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Jumpin’ Jimmer Mothervilker

yumpin' yimminy

By Phil Hecken, with the Mothervilker

Mr. 5 & 1 himself has been busier than a March Hare these days, but a couple weeks ago he told me he was working on his greatest “DIY” ever. He wouldn’t tell me what it was, but I promised him I’d let him tell the Uni Watchers around the world all about it when it was complete. He even promised a video. He has delivered.

That’s right, Jim Vilk is back, and here’s his latest. Yumpin’ Yimminy…he’s back:


March is here, Grapefruit and Cactus League ball is underway and most people have more than had it with winter. Well, no one has ever accused me of being like most people. I love to hang on to the season for as long as possible, and that includes hanging on to winter sports. From early childhood, my absolute favorite winter sport has been ski jumping. Watching the 1972 Olympics (where, coincidentally, fellow Pole Wojciech Fortuna won our homeland’s first gold medal) made me an instant fan, and I wanted more. Unfortunately, Olympic ski jumping is about all you see in America, and even then a whole day of jumping is edited down to a few minutes of late-night coverage. I want more. Yeah, I could go over to Europe, where this year’s FIS World Cup is wrapping up its schedule, but that’s not going to happen. So, you know the saying, when you can’t bring the Mothervilker to the mountain, you bring the mountain…er, ski jump hill…to the Mothervilker.

Paul may be the DIY fan on Uni Watch, but Phil was intrigued by my latest project, so here it is, made with nothing more than cardboard, poster paper, white duct tape, foam-core board and a donut tray. The jumper is an electric football player glued to two wooden craft sticks. Looks as if it would work, but as Paul has said before, “…we might need video to get the full effect.” This time I’m ready, thanks to my friend David Binkley, who dubbed my project The Indoor Ski Machine.

As the video showed, my guy didn’t exactly soar. But, while he may have resembled Eddie the Eagle, that’s a step up from the Agony of Defeat guy. I plan on tweaking this in the future, but I wanted to start with something that wouldn’t take up a lot of space in the house. Perhaps my next jumper will have his skis in the V-style position, which all of today’s jumpers use for greater distance (including my favorite, another fellow Pole by the name of Adam Malysz). I also have visions of a staircase-sized jump or even an outdoor jump. Maybe someday, but March Madness is coming and I have other DIYs to finish.


OK, then, Jimmer. Cool jump and hilarious video. Next DIY better be uni-related.


colorize this

Colorize This!

Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.

Not too much new this week, but we have some outstanding submissions nonetheless. Let’s get right to it:


Our first submitter this week has a nice B&W for the colorizers to take a stab at, and it comes from JC Parks:

I would like to submit a photo for consideration of colorization. This photo is of the 1942 Steubenville Big Red, Ohio, football team, that finished 9-1. My uncle was team captain (the one holding the ball). Our colors are red and black. The jerseys in this pic were black, with red numbers trimmed in white. I’m not sure about the pants. The stadium is cement, and the seats were wooden.

Thanks for your consideration.

JC Parks


Next up is frequent colorizer Joe DeAngelis, who has a B&W, a request, and a proposal:

Hello Phil,

Baseball is among us… my son is completing a school report featuring Babe Ruth, he needed some photos and stumbled across this beauty on line. Finding true color photos of the Babe are seldom if any, which brings me to you.

I think this is a great photo to colorize on Uniwatch, perhaps it could be added to your weekly “colorize this” challenge. I just might take up the task myself, but I would love to see the variations that spawn among regular colorizers like myself. Someone on UW recently said, there is no “right or wrong” when judging colorizations, it’s how the artist alters the canvas to his vision.

Hey, here’s an idea, how about a colorization contest, let the viewers judge … count me in as a participant.

Phil, yourself and Paul do great work on UW, thanks for that and continued success,


Joe DeAngelis

Thanks, Joe. Well, the “challenge” is of course up to the colorizers, but I’m sure we can get a few (hopefully more than a few) to take it up. How about it, Uni Watchers and colorizers? Lets see how many of these we can get sent in!


Next up is, of course, the master himself, George Chilvers, who hit one out of the park with last week’s featured image of Casey Stengel as a Brooklyn Dodger:

Here you go, Phil.

Best wishes


Super stuff George. But of course, he wasn’t done. He took on the task of colorizing Nick Maples’ Grandfather’s team, a task made much harder by not knowing the identifying colors. But I’d trust George’s eye and expertise as much as anyone here, and what a tremendous job he did:

Hi Phil

A tough one this. Lots going on in the picture, quite a bit of which wasn’t really clear till I got the colour in.

Very piecemeal areas of colour.

Best wishes


Just fantastic again, George!


Our final submission today comes from Gary Chanko, who appears to be every bit the equal of George, and who has also done a tremendous job with Casey at the bat in the outfield:

Great image to colorize. A little research yielded details on the right field fence: Fatima Cigarettes, Perfection Scotch Whiskey, and Imperial Beer. Hopefully the colors are close to correct.

Looking at the original B&W image there is an absence of strong shadows. Strangely Casey is sporting sun glasses. I can’t recall seeing images of players in this era wearing sun glasses and wonder if they were commonly used during games.

Gary Chanko


That’s all for today in terms of submissions, but how about all of you out there give the Babe Ruth B&W a shot this week?

And I’ll give you two more for the road:

Denver Broncos, 1962: The jersey, helmet and stirrups are orange, the crew socks, numbers and pants are white, the stripes on the pants are blue-orange-blue. As for the horsey on the helmet…well, it’s one of these two.

Johnny Mize, 1947. While Mize himself is probably fairly simple, the rest of the Polo Grounds could make for a fantastic portrait.

Thanks again to all our colorizers — hopefully many of you will take us up on the challenges set forth this week. Of course, feel free to submit your own colorizations or other B&W (high resolution please) photographs for colorization. As always, drop me a line with your efforts or if you have questions.


Benchies Header


by Rick Pearson


Sometimes in dating as in sports, there often are other mysterious forces at work (well, we’d like them to be, anyway).


And of course the full size version.


all sport uni tweaks

Uni Tweaks

Lots and lots of tweaks keep pouring in, so obviously this is a popular feature. A bunch new to get to today. If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.

Remember, if possible, try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per tweak. You guys have been great a keeping to that, and it’s much appreciated!

Got a smaller of tweaks today…so lets get right into it:


Starting off the show is Ben Trice, who gives us his take on the Falcons, pro combat style:

Just wanted to pass on my 2012 Nike concept for the Atlanta Falcons.

Home -”“ We have grown accustomed to the Falcons wearing red at home, but after the introduction of the recent throwbacks, I wanted to make a change to black. The socks and stripes from that throwback will stay as well as the white pants with a red belt. TV numbers (not shown in image) will be on top of the pads while the Falcons logo will be on the sides of the sleeves. I used Uniwatchblog’s idea of the compression sleeves as a nod to the old longer sleeved uniforms. I also chose to change the Falcons to the red helmet as there are so few red helmet teams and it just helps the logo pop so much more.

Away -”“ The same thoughts for the Home jersey went into the Away one, except that I went with the white.

Secondary -”“ Most hate a secondary uniform but I’m not one of them. If we have the option to go “bolder”, then let’s do it. Red was once the prominent look. Now it is a special occasion thought. I used the old red jersey as a point of reference. It is probably hard to see in the image but the red jersey also uses the gray pants.


Next up is Mike McLarren, who has some University of South Florida Bulls helmet concepts. His one word description:



And last up today is Quinlan Kasal, who has a Cubs road uni tweak:

Hi Phil,

This is my first time making a uniform edit, but here goes. I am a huge Cubs fan and I like the pinstripes and alternate, but the road uni is overwhelmingly boring. The Cubs experimented with navy from 2004-2006 and didn’t do it very well, but the navy itself was a good idea. I tried the navy here to make it more interesting, including on the socks and cap. Pants striping with black outlining also livens it up, I think. With all this navy and gray, the red bill (which they never should have taken off) stands out. Overall, the changes are simple and not the most noticeable, but I like it. I hope you like it, thanks for your time and keep blogging.

Quinn Kasal


That’s going to do it for this smaller-than-usual Sunday Uni Watch. With my classes shifting into higher gear and the warmer weather coming, I may start scaling back a bit on the length of the weekends, but we’ll see how things go. But before parting, I wanted to share this CNN/SI slideshow, which looked like it came straight from the pages of Uni Watch. “Jersey Misspellings” — I think Paul has covered every single one of those (and there are a few they missed), but it’s cool to see them all in one spot.

Have a great week everyone.


Somewhere around here I have a baseball card of myself dressed as a Pirate. I’ll have to dig that up someday. — The one and only Jim Vilk

Comments (68)

    I didn’t get to yesterday’s post until late, so some thoughts about spring training:

    The two things that really distinguish exhibition baseball from other sports’ preseasons are (1) they play in summery weather, which is really nice when you’re coming from the wintery North, and (2) there’s no pretense that it’s the same as a regular season game. The 7,000 (+/-) seats would pretty much be the 7,000 best seats at a regular big league park, and the atmosphere is much less formal, from the BP jerseys to the guys running on the warning track.

    I was last in Florida in 2003, and Lakeland and Kissimmee were my two favorite parks. They were just nice places to watch a game without much pretense. I was disappointed to see that Joker Marchant now has a video board; it’s a sign of how spring baseball is approaching the summer game, and that’s a shame. What’s next, listing the lineup when four non-roster minor leaguers enter the game at the same time? Disney and Tampa were my least favorite parks because they were trying so hard to be special and overwhelm the baseball.

    I’d still recommend finding your way to Spring Training if you can, but it may be a bit less different from the regular season than my experience.

    The video board mostly shows a rotating D and videos of the between innings promotions. They do show pictures of who is batting with their number and name. There are no replay or live video of the game.

    The one thing I did not get a picture of was the huge dry erase board in the concourse with the starting line ups on it.

    I’d go to Arizona for Spring Training, but cost & 1730 miles is why I don’t. But will have do it in the future someday just like Cooperstown.

    As for the topic of batting practice jerseys a few days ago, if it were up to me, this would be the only top teams would wear in ST & all would be NNOB. Whites, grays & NOB should be saved for Opening Day. To me, BP jerseys & color alternates will always look cheap / less professional & STish. I shake my head when I see players wearing home pinstripes with NOB; especially on guys who have no chance of making the club. Just seems like a waste and extravagance. But I guess that’s what MLB is now instead of ripping-off nameplates & reusing jerseys year after year.

    It really does help when #82 has his name on the jersey, especially since you’re close enough to be able to read it.

    From today’s Courier Journal (Louisville):

    Jersey experiment ‘a one-game thing’

    Those new adidas Techfit PowerWeb jerseys several Cardinals wore during Wednesday’s 87-60 win over Providence can be seen again only on replays. Pitino said the Cards will not wear them again this season.
    “The players loved it,” he said. “Here is the problem with it – we didn’t have it for all of our guys. It was a one-game thing, and the numbers were too small.”

    Adidas boasts that the jerseys are 40 percent lighter and that they “boost power to key muscle groups for more efficient movement that increases acceleration and endurance.”

    Chris Smith liked the new design, although instead of “techfit” they could simply be called “tight fit.”

    That’s why not all of the players loved it. Preston Knowles vowed that he would never wear the jersey because guys “looked stupid” in them. Kyle Kuric said he was relieved when he discovered that he wasn’t selected for the experimental run.


    Ishpeming, MI (Home of the US Ski Hall of Fame)and Iron Mountain, MI (Tom Izzo and Steve Mariucci’s home town)each hold ski jumping tournaments every year. You should take a tour of the Upper Peninsula (by snowmobile, eh) and check them out.

    Thanks, I’ll have to do that. Been wanting to take a Great Lakes roadtrip, and that’s as good a reason as any.

    I appear to have broken my left jusified button.

    Jimvilk, that is really somethin’. I have to say I was expecting a backyard contraption. Maybe something along the lines of this link

    But the video more than made up for the scale of the project. If only there were a cat stalking the linebacker……

    Yep. Can’t blame the fans, either, because they do show up. OK, part of that is because they have lots of good giveaway promotions, but still…

    It is going to take a lot of luck & factors to make the Pirates competitive again, and it’s going to include massive things like a salary floor & cap, better revenue sharing, possible division realignment (based on market size and/or revenue as ridiculous as that sounds, or at least making four divisions of 4 teams in the N.L.), more balanced scheduling and a generous reduction in MLB operating costs & salaries including lower ticket prices & owners with deep pockets with a willing to spend, tho throwing massive gobs of money at players isn’t the most logical step but apparently it improves a team’s playoff odds.

    It’s all a pipe dream so I’ll just go blow it out of my asshole.

    Too bad they can’t do relegation/promotion the way the do in European soccer. The threat of becoming a AAA team should give teams an incentive to improve.

    You know I’ve thought of that, and I’d rather see the A’s, Royals, Pirates, Rays, Marlins, etc be demoted to AAA rather than contracted or merged, based on some team’s rich history. If they ever unfortunately merge the leagues, they’ll probably have to divide them based on a class system rather than geography.

    I’ve also thought MLB should kick the Yankees out of the league which would only solve some problems as they seem to think small market teams are ruining the sport. And another convenient idea of ‘win a championship in 100 years or expulsion’. *tongue in cheek*

    The part of the soccer system that works better than relegation is that anyone can start a club, and if they’re good enough, they can make their way into the top division. There are no geographical rights. If someone competent could start a team that would compete with the Pirates, they’d dominate the Pittsburgh market in no time. And if a bunch of teams could start up all over the New York area (or New England, or any other large market), the revenue dominance that the current occupants have would be significantly diminished.

    Reality: If these changes happened next year, established clubs would still have a huge advantage because they’ve already built fan bases. More importantly, there’s no way current owners would even consider such a system, since they all have too much to lose.

    I’m slightly more optimistic about the Pirates this season, they do have the advantage of playing in the NL Central. The Reds were nearly as bad as the Pirates over the last decade, but they showed improvement is possible. There is a nucleus of talented young players, unlike past seasons. Ownership has spent considerably more on the draft and international talent in recent years.

    Don’t like the idea of demoting a team, especially when that franchise has a winning tradition dating back to the 1900s. By any definition, the Pirates are one of the most storied franchises in the history of MLB. We’re obviously not talking about the Astros, Brewers, Rangers, Angels, Padres, etc. We also must remember the Phillies went through 30 years with only one winning season, so it’s good they weren’t eliminated/merged way back in the day. The Royals and A’s have much shorter traditions, but they’ve won multiple world titles during the time they’ve been KC and Oakland, respectively. I see the Rays relocating, and the Marlins eventually moving to Orlando.

    I wish I could be optimistic about them, but instead I’m thinking this should be their theme song:

    The A’s were a charter member of the American League in Philadelphia. What puts the A’s and Rays up for contraction the quickest is their (according to Bud Selig) stadium problems & their lack of new stadium funding. While the Pirates don’t have a stadium problem, they do have a small market problem in a league with broken economics, and under the current system the Pirates have no realistic chance unless a bunch of draft picks suddenly boom into stardom.

    Past history aside, it’s 2011 and things aren’t what they used to be in MLB, and say 30 years (already 18) of no winning seasons is going to do a lot more damage to a franchise especially in these impatient times. I still say demotion with the chance of re-entry is better than contraction.

    Also I wouldn’t trivialize the Astros, Brewers, Rangers, Angels, Padres histories either, since all have been in the playoffs in the past 10 years & a few made World Series appearances. Seniority doesn’t mean a damn thing; just look at the Cubs.

    Also the “Miami Marlins” are opening a new stadium in 2012, so I don’t think they’re relocating to Orlando. The Rays have a 30-year iron clad lease that will be up after 2027, and even if they could get out of it & move, where would they go? Montreal? New Jersey? A second team in Boston? All the U.S. markets are tapped out, and the days of taxpayer funded stadium has fallen on the wayside. I could see the Rays moving more games to Orlando, but that’s it.

    There’s also been
    that MLB could buyout the A’s and a 2nd franchise.

    Not the A’s! MLB needs to make the Giants accept the San Jose A’s. If they could reach an agreement with the O’s and Nats, they can do the same in the Bay area.

    A few final thoughts on this subject:

    * Tradition does play a major role in whatever future contraction/merger speculations take place. Relocation is a possibility for newer franchises like the Rays, Marlins and Oakland A’s(in Oakland since the 1960s).

    * The Rays can escape their lease by the end of this decade, and I don’t see the Marlins succeeding long term in Miami, even with a new stadium.

    the in-laws are in town jim, so i have to be brief, but that was awesome!!! i love the tapestry. some styrofoam would make for a nice mountain around your form. and any thoughts of an interactive olympic mothervillage train set? mini curlers, jumpers, a hockey pond? just thinkin that could be pretty sweet. crazy, but sweet. i might as well not even show my project, how can it comete with that?

    Didn’t even think of the tapestry at first. Was just trying to find a good place to take my photos, and it just happened to be on the other side of the couch.

    Actually, when I first got that donut tray, I was thinking of Olympic hockey. But, it turned out to be a great way to slow down the ski jumper. If I had the room, an Olympic village would be great.

    Now let’s see your project, Robert!

    i need about 8 hours, then the photots, so by opening day/the start of the nhl playoffs i hope to have it done, but it is no ski jumper. i have another one pretty much finished too, but that is for football season.

    Ricko, my family may not be as appreciative of your Benchies as I am. Thanks to today’s installment, I’ll probably be bugging them with my Sean Connery voice all day. Good stuff!

    Speaking of good stuff, those colorizations are fantastic, especially the ones of that cool cat Casey Stengel. I can’t wait to see that Babe Ruth photo, and I’d also like to see yesterday’s “Grapefruit League” photo:

    And, going back to Friday…I’d definitely wear that old Redbirds hat.

    Just a few random comments:

    I really loved the colorization of Casey, although Casey was colorful enough even in black and white.

    I’m glad someone took a stab at an alternate logo for the South Florida Bulls. The current logo seems to be inspired by the Texas Longhorns, which is one of the best logos around. The Bulls’ logo is forced and disjunctive. I think they could have come up with something better, perhaps along the lines of the Chicago Bulls.

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t get the Uni Watch obsession with typos. If there’s some comedic relevance to them, it’s fine, but otherwise they’re just typos.

    These are professional teams! There shouldn’t be any typos! It’s embarrassing… All comedic relevance died after the XFL’s intentional vanity NOBs: “He Hate Me” :)

    otherwise they’re just typos.

    Just typos? Nothing is ever “just” a typo. It’s like how the NYPD brought crime under control: Instead of saying, “if it hurts someone, fine, but otherwise it’s just vandalism, j-walking, and petty theft,” they started sweating the small stuff and the big crimes fell.

    Typos are a mirror into the soul of an organization: A business that habitually lets typos happen is an organization that doesn’t care about the details, and attention to details is what makes the difference between success and failure in most business situations. There’s a connection between regularly letting your players take the field in uniforms that misspell your team’s name and, say, failing to notice that that your intended #3 starter has a serious nerve injury until he’s at risk of literally losing his arm. It’s not an accident that the Natinals are both prone to not detecting uni typos and prone to not detecting player injuries until they pass from treatable to catastrophic.

    But then again, I’m an editor, and there were two typos in a single hymn at church this morning, so maybe I’m just unusually typosensitive at the moment.

    I’ve made a living for several years working on documents and correcting typos so maybe I’m just immune to them. I agree that they reflect poorly on the organization, but I can’t get really hot and bothered over a simple typo that I would make an issue over it.

    “I’m sorry, but I just don’t get the Uni Watch obsession with typos. If there’s some comedic relevance to them, it’s fine, but otherwise they’re just typos.”

    I will jump on the bandwagon here.

    I just don’t get the obsession with:

    A. The Pedro Porthole – Do you really care how his shirt is not buttoned at the second hole or not? Really?

    B. Naming Wrong – No, it is not Shea any longer. It is a parking lot. Do you still call your current wife/girlfriend/significant other by your first love’s name? Try that sometime and see how that works for you.

    C. Meats t-shirts – Karma my friend, karma.

    Love Mike McLarren’s USF “horns-forward” tweak, as well as the 1-word description. You can’t get more “fewer than 50 words” than that! “Brevity is the soul of wit” indeed!

    Happening right now:

    Rangers wearing white at home vs the Flyers

    EL HEAT going color-on-color Against LOS BULLS

    In case anyone wonders why the NHL has road whites as the de facto standard, this article seems to be a pretty good primer (hint: it has to do with merchandizing).

    To me, the white at home seems so much more natural. Maybe it’s because it was something I grew up with.

    Perhaps the Rangers, having just defeated the Flyers by a touchdown while wearing white unis, may be encouraged to make this more of a practice.

    Caught the Habs/Lightning game last night. Tampa Bay was wearing their blue “BOLTS” alternates, and my girlfriend had a Uni Watch moment.
    “Wow, those things are ugly. BOLTS. What a fail! You’d look at the team and say, ‘OK, they’re called the Bolts,’ but no, they’re actually the Lightning. Even LIGHTNING written out diagonally would look better than BOLTS.”
    Couldn’t have been prouder. :-D

    This picture was posted on the baseball-fever forum. Color vs color. Notice the Giants’ player with a red helmet, while the rest of the players have blue helmets. Never seen that before.


    Dammit, I am getting tired of writing these notes praising the unavoidable genius of Lord Chilvers. Can’t we just name a bridge after him and get itover with?

    And this Chanko dude is annoyingly excellent, too.

    Greetings from the road.

    The ski jump is a little bit o’ heaven, Jim Vilk.

    That Casey Stengel photo is the epitome of cool. Wow. And the two colorizations are terrific. I really like Mr. Chanko’s painterly treatment of the background.

    Ok, when the Giants wore the Gigantes unis, that was cool. EL Heat versus Los Bulls? Just makes it sounds like someone doesn’t know Spanish.

    when you think about it, we Americans call the Montreal NHL team ‘THE Canadiens” an English/French combo.

    The argument for these unis has always been that Hispanic/Spanish speaking fans actually call the teams ‘Los Bulls’ and ‘El Heat’ etc.


    Loved the ski hill, and the best part? Your guy never loses.

    He needs some competition…


    link and I’ve got a few things lined up for next week, you want any of them?


    Loved the ski hill, and the best part? Your guy never loses.

    He needs some competition…


    link and I’ve got a few things lined up for next week, you want any of them?

    Oh that clever Jim Vilk guy. I like how your mind operates to even think of trying to do that.

    Did you trying using a more weighted figure? My mom still has some small Christmas figures from long ago. They were tin or something but heavy. One figure looks like he was doing a ski jump

    Anyhow that was fun to see what you came up with.

    Well, a weighted figure might make the hill sag, but if I went with my first choice (a Hot Wheels track), that could work.

    “Somewhere around here I have a baseball card of myself dressed as a Pirate. I’ll have to dig that up someday.” – The one and only Jim Vilk

    Like the guy in DODGEBALL?


    Never saw that one, so I’m not sure.

    Looks just like this,
    only there’s a fake backdrop behind me and I’m holding a bat over my shoulder.
    Found out my son has it in his desk at school. If he trades me for some other card he’s in trouble.

    If he trades me for some other card he’s in trouble.



    Waste of space to even discuss it.


    No, mine’s a realistic-ish card. Even went for realistic stats: .285, 15 HR, 65 RBI. Maybe it was .275.

    I should have used my 1982 wiffleball stats when I tied Roger Maris’ record.

    “Y’know that Major League Baseball franchise you paid hundreds of millions of dollar for? Well, next year it might be a AAA franchise.”


    Waste of space to even discuss it.


    Happens as said above in English “soccer”.

    My own team, Wigan Athletic, are currently a Premier League team. They are at the bottom of the table and quite likely will be a Championship team next season. Huge difference in financial outlook.

    Investors buy controlling interests in Premier League teams to gain worldwide coverage and profile (and money). Relegation can end that.

    I’m about halfway done with the coloring of the Steubenville HS football picture. It’s starting to look really nice!

Comments are closed.