How Do We Measure Uni-Notability?


Pretty nice shot of Dick Allen’s HSNOB (high school name on back), right? Reader Andy Chalifour sent it to me yesterday. I’d seen it before — hell, I’m pretty sure I’ve even linked to it before — but this time it got me thinking.

“Hmmm,” I thought to myself, “Allen wore a nickNOB, plus he wore a helmet while playing the field, plus he wore glasses, plus he’s among the relatively few players to have worn white shoes for two different teams, plus smoked while in uniform. How many other players can claim that many uni-related distinctions?”

And that’s when it hit me: We need to identify the most uni-notable player of all time.

I immediately started thinking of other examples (none of them as good as Allen, but I’m just presenting them here to get the conversation moving):

• Juan Pierre goes high-cuffed in a low-cuffed era (mildly notable), wears stirrups in a non-stirrups era (more notable), and is the last player to wear his cap under his batting helmet (highly notable).

• John Franco was one of the few captains to wear a “C” and also wore his father’s orange New York Sanitation Dept. T-shirts under his jersey.

• Jorge Posada doesn’t wear batting gloves and gunks up his helmet with pine tar.

•  Manny Ramirez gunks up his helmet, wears one of the baggiest uniforms of all time, pioneered the use of the snood on the diamond, wore that little cherub pin on Opening Day of 2006, and once wore Oakley Thumps on the field.

• Wayne Gretzky routinely hiked up his shirttail over one hip, was victimized by a jersey typo, and had his number retired by an entire league.

And so on. I’m sure there are much, much better examples than these, so let’s start brainstorming.

Aside from identifying uni-notable players, I think we need to establish some sort of point system (1 through 10, say) and then assign a value to each of a player’s distinctions. If we go back to Dick Allen, for example, his uni-notable quirks might break down like this:

• NickNOB 8 (might rate higher if it had been more than a one-season thing)
•  Helmet in the field: 9
•  Eyeglasses: 2
•  Smoking: 2
•  White shoes with two different teams: 5

I also think we should focus on player-specific quirks, not team quirks. Looking again at Dick Allen, if he had only worn white shoes for one team, there’s nothing particularly remarkable about that, so it would fall out of the equation. (You could argue that he shouldn’t get credit for his nickNOB either, since many other Finley-era A’s also wore nickNOBs. But those nickNOBs were optional — it was a trope but not a rule. Also, each player chose his own nickNOB, and Allen’s was particularly distinctive because it was a shout-out to his hometown high school, so I think that definitely counts in his column.)

There are other factors to consider. Does something like Gretzky’s typo or Manny’s cherub pin count less because it was only for one game? Does Franco’s orange undershirt count more because it led to the trend of other Mets wearing orange undershirts (something David Wright continues to do to this day)? What about things we know about but can’t see, like Adrian Beltre not wearing a cup — does that count at all, since we can’t see it?

I suspect this is going to be a very lively topic. Go ahead and discuss it at length in today’s comments, and also feel free to send player nominations and further commentary directly to me. I’ll do a follow-up entry soon, and then maybe we can establish some specific rules, protocols, and so on, OK? OK!

+ + + + +

Attention NYCers and/or aspiring journalists: On Monday I’ll be a guest speaker at NYC11, which is a convention for college journalism and media students. The session I’ll be part of is called “Making Your Own Job in 21st Century Journalism,” and will be moderated by Uni Watch reader Richard Craig, who teaches Journalism and Mass Communication at San Jose State in California.

Although convention attendees are supposed to have a badge, Richard says it’s easy enough to just waltz on in, so feel free to join us if you’re so inclined.

NYC11 is taking place at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Our session will run from 2:00 – 2:50pm, and will take place in New Media Central 2, on the fifth floor.

Uni Watch News Ticker: I didn’t even realize the Orioles had a facial hair policy, but now it’s been relaxed. ”¦ Mike Hersh just noticed that the famous 1939 Play Ball baseball card wrapper design includes a uni-history timeline. ”¦ Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: The Southern Miss baseball team will wear “Jimmy Buffett-inspired jerseys” on April 15. ”¦ Some nice, reasonably priced cardigans now available from Mitchell & Ness (with thanks to Nicholas Hall). ”¦ New soccer jersey for Real Madrid (with thanks to Alberto Sanchez). ”¦ Got a note from Clay Harvey yesterday, saying, “You’re gonna love these.” He was right! ”¦ Kelly Johnson of the D-backs forgot his jersey on Tuesday, so he had to wear a teammate’s jersey — and went 3-for-4 (with thanks to Joshua Exline). ”¦ “The Brewers’ BP jersey is ugly enough on the hanger,” says Eric Trager. “But it is somehow even uglier when somebody plays baseball in it.” ”¦ Love this photo of Bobby Bonds with all the caps he’d worn. … If you paint your face or otherwise act like a total moron, you can appear on the Jags’ season tickets (with thanks to Chris Flynn). ”¦ Chad Smith notes that the Florida baseball team is mixing Nike uniforms with New Era caps.

222 comments to How Do We Measure Uni-Notability?

  • scott | March 10, 2011 at 8:15 am |

    Looks like you have to go back to the mid-1990s, when Derrek Lee was with the Padres, to find the last time he didn’t sport a goatee or beard. Still, I don’t think a team’s facial hair policy should be relaxed just because of one or two players. Didn’t Greg Vaughn single-handedly get the Reds to change its policy in the late 1990s?

    • Greg V. | March 10, 2011 at 10:59 am |

      Yes, he did.

    • duker | March 10, 2011 at 12:18 pm |

      I don’t care why they’re relaxing it, I’m just glad they are. It’s a stupid policy. Anything that makes the Orioles more like the Yankees, other then winning, is a bad thing.

  • Seth H | March 10, 2011 at 8:23 am |

    It is only one thing, but by putting on a mask, Jacques Plante changed the equipment for an entire position and created the image (i.e., goalie in mask) that is probably the most familiar thing about hockey to most people.

    That’s got to be worth many points.

  • Ray Barrington | March 10, 2011 at 8:30 am |

    I’d give a uninotable vote to Bill Voiselle, who also wore his hometown on his back for most of his career – he was from Ninety-Six, S.C., and wore No. 96.

  • Ricky Weekes | March 10, 2011 at 8:32 am |

    Bobbly or Bobby Bonds?

  • ronnie poore | March 10, 2011 at 8:41 am |

    it appears Allen could juggle, smoke while in uniform, wear glasses and wear red shoes all at the same time

  • Kevin G. | March 10, 2011 at 8:46 am |

    That photo of Dick Allen and Booby Bonds is odd because the baserunner is wearing a cap while the fielder is wearing a helmet. How often did that happen?

    • Terry Proctor | March 10, 2011 at 9:24 am |

      Ever hear of John Olerud?

      • Geeman | March 10, 2011 at 9:30 am |

        Yes, but by the time he played baserunners had to wear helmets.

        • JTH | March 10, 2011 at 10:53 am |

          Yeah, I’d be willing to bet that the same thing happened exactly zero times when Olerud was playing. The only possible exception would be if there was a baserunner who wore a helmet over his cap and the helmet got knocked off but the cap stayed on.

    • A.J. | March 10, 2011 at 10:01 am |

      Hehehe…. he said booby.

  • Mike Hersh | March 10, 2011 at 8:58 am |

    Since were on the Dick “Richie” Allen subject, have you seen this blog

    • Ricko | March 10, 2011 at 8:14 pm |

      Allen also was the first player I recall seeing wearing adidas cleats that weren’t team universal (such as the White Sox, Phillies and Royals) when he wore a black pair during his season with the Dodgers (’71).


  • Broadway Connie | March 10, 2011 at 9:00 am |

    Thanks again to Mike Hersh, today for that beaut from ’39.

  • RS Rogers | March 10, 2011 at 9:01 am |

    The Play Ball timeline has a glaring uni error: The “1864” player is shown with stockings and an overhand pitching motion. The first known instance of baseball unis with stockings occurred in 1869, and all of the known rules of the organized game strictly limited pitches to a rigid underhand motion with no wrist-snapping or elbow-bending. (I’ve played on a team that follows the 1864 rules, and it’s an absolute bitch to pitch by that motion.)

    Also, baseball gloves were pretty common by the time of the “1889” player, who appears to be gloveless.

    Anachronisms aside, though, those are some killer illos. And the way they go through a single complete pitching motion is genius. I’d love to see that animated in slo-mo, with a pitcher evolving in uni style and facial hair through his delivery.

    • DenverGregg | March 10, 2011 at 9:06 am |

      Sadly, according to the timeline, pajama pants could be considered a “throwback” to 1839.

      • RS Rogers | March 10, 2011 at 10:09 am |

        Well, to 1845 anyway, when the first organized club play using something recognizable as modern rules occurred. Long pants would be a proper throwback to anytime from 1845 to about 1875. In fact, my Vintage Base Ball club just voted to switch from knickers and stockings to full-length pants after confirming that they’re more historically accurate for mid- to late-1860s teams.

        • LI Phil | March 10, 2011 at 12:46 pm |

          my Vintage Base Ball club just voted to switch from knickers and stockings to full-length pants after confirming that they’re more historically accurate for mid- to late-1860s teams.


          that’s only because no one was getting laid after games, right?

    • Mark in Shiga | March 10, 2011 at 9:52 am |

      Not to mention the problem that the founding of baseball in 1839 is a groundless myth.

  • ClubMedSux | March 10, 2011 at 9:06 am |

    I think I might hate that Parrothead jersey more than I hate Jimmy Buffett’s music–and that’s saying something.

    • RS Rogers | March 10, 2011 at 10:16 am |

      And I think I might like that Parrothead jersey more than I like Jimmy Buffett’s music, which is also saying something.

      Nothing to do with Buffett (whose music I like) or the whole Parrothead thing (which I find completely weird); I’ve just kind of wished for a long time that some team in an appropriate setting would adopt an aloha print as a full-time jersey. If uppity British suit patterns like pinstripes are acceptable, why not plaid, tattersall, and floral prints? Anyway, I’d love to see either the Rays or the Fish use a print like this for an alt jersey.

  • Chris in Nashville | March 10, 2011 at 9:06 am |

    Turk Wendell “wore jersey number 99, in honor of Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn, the main character in the movie Major League (played by Charlie Sheen). In addition, in 2000, he signed a contract worth $9,999,999.99″ and “Wendell wore a necklace made from the claws and teeth of various animals he had hunted and killed.”

    • JimWa | March 10, 2011 at 9:44 am |

      Turk may be the one guy to give Dick a run for the money. Good call. Lots of players smoked (though I don’t know how many were photographed in the dugout as such), but I don’t know that I’ve EVER heard of another player brushing their teeth in uniform.

      • ClubMedSux | March 10, 2011 at 10:46 am |

        And don’t forget chewing licorice (in the manner that others chew tobacco) in uniform.

        • MN | March 10, 2011 at 11:30 am |

          In the minors he also brushed his teeth in the dugout between innings….

    • Aaron | March 10, 2011 at 11:33 am |

      I wish I could remember Turk better. He really seemed like a kook, even in my single-digit days.

    • JenInChicago | March 10, 2011 at 5:09 pm |

      Turk also used to set up a target in right field (a bullseye one and one that looked like a deer)in Wrigley, get out his bow and arrow and have himself some target practice after games.

      They kept the targets under the left field bleachers. It was really fun to watch.

      He was great. I really liked him. Regardless of his pitching performances – good or bad.

  • josh's twin | March 10, 2011 at 9:07 am |

    There’s Carlos May, who wore his birth date, “May 17”, and Jordin Tootoo, whose number, 22, is also his name.

    • Terry Proctor | March 10, 2011 at 9:32 am |

      Fred Valentine, a journeyman outfielder, wore Number 14 during his three year stint with the Rochester Red Wings. February 14-Valentine’s Day.

  • Carl | March 10, 2011 at 9:11 am |

    Certainly not most notable, but Wade Boggs wore the two most iconic uniforms in baseball (RedSox Yankees) AND the worst uniform of all time, ’98 Devil Rays. The Rainbow Warriors were only around for 3 seasons.

  • MPowers1634 | March 10, 2011 at 9:19 am |


    1. Troy Polamalu:
    A. Pioneered long hair flowing from helmet
    B. Sports the crucifix on his nameplate

    2. Michael Jordan
    A. Popularized the shaved head look
    B. Began the trend of wearing longer basketball shorts

    3. Johnny LeMaster
    A. Boo Jersey

    4. Pedro Martinez
    A. Cut the sleeves of his jersey
    B. Pedro Porthole
    C. Jheri Curls

    • jdreyfuss | March 10, 2011 at 9:41 am |

      1. Ricky Williams was around before Polamalu.

      2. The Fab 5 started the long shorts trend. Jordan wore short shorts early in his career.

      • Ry Co 40 | March 10, 2011 at 11:00 am |

        ricky williams had long flowing hair?

        • Aaron | March 10, 2011 at 11:41 am |

          He had long, flowing dreads. As did Edgerrin James and a number of other players. Maybe you don’t consider dreadlocks flowing, but they were definitely long and worn on offense, which actually was a determent. That’s the reason Edge cut his dreads, he was tired of being tackled by the hair.

        • Ry Co 40 | March 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm |

          long… flowing… hair…

        • JTH | March 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm |

          Dreads don’t flow. They flop.

        • Clueless Joe Jackson | March 10, 2011 at 3:09 pm |

          Now you’re just splitting hairs…

        • Aaron | March 10, 2011 at 3:42 pm |

          I’m not sure I would really argue dreads are flowing, either, but it’s not all that much different than Mr. Head & Shoulders, so I’m also reluctant to give him uni points for that.

      • JTH | March 10, 2011 at 11:04 am |

        The Fab 5 started the long shorts trend. Jordan wore short shorts early in his career.

        Wrong. Jordan always wore longer shorts.

        Want proof? Compare his shorts to Orlando Woolridge’s. Jordan’s shorts are definitely longer by about an inch or so.

        That was so that the UNC shorts he wore under his game shorts would not show.

        The “Flyin’ Illini” basketball team of the late 80s picked up on it and went with the longer shorts as a team-wide thing. The “Fab 5” took it a step further and it escalated from there.

        • Jim Vilk | March 10, 2011 at 11:29 am |

          Those are still short, though. You’re both right.

          Glad the “Fab 5” never won a title. And I like Michigan.

          Here’s what I don’t get – this wonderful jersey×400.jpg was relegated to the dustbin because they lost one game in them. The “Fab 5” lost two straight championship games, and yet that look has spread exponentially across the basketball universe. And it replaced a classic-looking uni in the process.

        • Wes | March 10, 2011 at 11:41 am |

          Bill Simmons just discussed this in his podcast with Jalen Rose re: the upcoming Fab Five 30 for 30 documentary. They agreed with JTH that Jordan pioneered the longer shorts look, but the Fab Five took it to a whole other level. Today’s bball shorts still basically look like the Fab Five’s, more than Jordan’s late-80’s slightly-longer-than-average shorts.

        • Wes | March 10, 2011 at 11:42 am |

          Also, given that the Fab Five also were behind the black shoes/black socks trend in the 90’s, I’d say they definitely deserve mention in the conversation of all-time uni-notable players/teams.

        • JTH | March 10, 2011 at 11:47 am |

          Until I see proof of someone doing it earlier, I agree that the black socks trend should definitely be credited to the Fab 5.

          As for Jordan’s shorts in that rookie pic? By today’s standards, of course they’re short.

          The point I was illustrating is that by going with shorts that were longer than the standard length, Jordan absolutely started the trend toward the longer shorts.

          Compare the Fab 5’s shorts to their contemporaries. They weren’t that much longer. But they were still longer.

          Hell, by today’s NCAA standards, you could call them short.

        • CCJ | March 10, 2011 at 2:53 pm |

          It’s not just the length, though. It was the bagginess of the shorts (and jerseys) that the Fab Five pioneered.

          Compare this to this, or even this, for comparison.

        • CCJ | March 10, 2011 at 2:56 pm |

          Hmm. Left out a link. Here’s the link to the Fab Five’s baggy shorts.

        • JTH | March 10, 2011 at 4:49 pm |

          “…It was the bagginess of the shorts…”

          *ding ding ding ding ding*

    • teenchy | March 10, 2011 at 10:03 am |

      I’d think when talking about MLBers and cut jerseys, you’d have to start with Big Klu. He also sported one of the earliest notable jersey typos.

    • M.Princip | March 10, 2011 at 2:20 pm |

      My vote for player with massive uni-notability has to go to Joe Washington. He wore the very distinctive clear shell helmet, two bar mask, Mill-Mont Mouthgard, goggles(at times), and his last name is the city of the team he played for, when he was with the Skins.

  • MPowers1634 | March 10, 2011 at 9:19 am |

    Oh and Jordan wouldnt even wear his own jersey number after it was initially retired!

  • John | March 10, 2011 at 9:28 am |
  • Chris in Nashville | March 10, 2011 at 9:28 am |

    The Fab 5 brought black socks and shoes to the forefront and it still hasn’t left. I would also debate the fact that they alone grew Nike’s role in college sports. Marketing deals for schools from Nike, adidas and Under Armour are now HUGE.

  • William Bigbee | March 10, 2011 at 9:34 am |

    Vida Blue. Wore white shoes for A’s and Giants and wore firstNOB. Maybe smoked also. He is worth looking into as a notable.

    • teenchy | March 10, 2011 at 10:38 am |

      Did not scroll down to see your post when I posted my reply re Klu, sorry.

  • traxel | March 10, 2011 at 9:38 am |

    Has anyone done an inventory of the A’s nickname jerseys? I’d LOVE to see that. Always thought it was interesting to see the ones like this one that just simply stuck the first name on back instead of a gimmicky nickname….

    • Mark in Shiga | March 10, 2011 at 10:03 am |

      Did any of the other A’s have numbers as goofy as Dick Allen’s 60? Is there a reason for that; something connected with “Wampum”?

      • pushbutton | March 10, 2011 at 11:03 am |

        It stood for Wampum High, class of ’60.

        • Mark in Shiga | March 10, 2011 at 12:45 pm |

          Thanks, Push. Wouldn’t have guessed that!

      • John English | March 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm |

        Dave Heaverlo had 60 for the A’s starting the following season (1978) for no apparent reason.

        Willie Crawford on the ’77 A’s had 99. No clue why.

        • pushbutton | March 10, 2011 at 2:54 pm |

          Heaverlo had worn 60 with the Giants in about ’75. Also, he shaved his head, which was absolutely unheard of in 1975.

    • LI Phil | March 10, 2011 at 10:27 am |

      extremely busy today, but i know bert campaneris had “campy” as a NOB with the A’s — quick google search didn’t turn up a shot, BUT…check out this shot of blood red cavemen vs forest over white

      i loves me some monochrome baseball…but that’s just wrong

      • Geeman | March 10, 2011 at 10:33 am |

        The A’s uniforms look great, though.

  • Terry Proctor | March 10, 2011 at 9:47 am |

    How about Mike Pagliarulo of the Yankees who wore his pants so low that only about an inch of sock showed. He should be ashamed of himself for beginning a trend that has put the stirrup sock as we knew it on the endangered species list. Bad Mikey!!!!!

    • pushbutton | March 10, 2011 at 10:52 am |

      I remember him as the first player to wear his pants kinda baggy when most were still wearing the skin-tight 70s-80s look.

      I think George Hendrick is the real no-cuff pioneer.

      • Ricko | March 10, 2011 at 5:15 pm |

        Longest Hendrick ever wore his pants was above the ankle bone. Yeah, he was different in his time and that’s why he’s remembered, but in reality his pants never came even close to totally covering his socks or touching his shoes.


  • Adam | March 10, 2011 at 9:50 am |

    On the topic of the Jaguars contest, you dont get it; being a NY-er myself, you dont get “small Market” football teams like the Jags who have a hard time selling out a game. As a Giants fan in NY you dont understand HOW they cant sell out, but This is the latest of there crazy ideas to get behinds in seats and sell tickets. Every week the big story on Thursday here in Jax are how many tickets will need to be sold by 1 pm to avoid the black out!

    • Ry Co 40 | March 10, 2011 at 10:10 am |

      yeah people, you don’t get it… big market team’s fans dont paint their faces or otherwise act like a total morons

      • LI Phil | March 10, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • JTH | March 10, 2011 at 11:14 am |

      Who is the “Giants fan in NY” you’re addressing here?

      • Rob S | March 10, 2011 at 3:08 pm |

        I think Adam is making that assumption of Paul.

    • SkinnerAU | March 10, 2011 at 2:19 pm |

      It has nothing to do with “small market” it has everything to do with who the hell cares about the jaguars? the south is notorious for neglecting professional football and favoring college.

  • josh's twin | March 10, 2011 at 9:54 am |

    Nolan Ryan wore white shoes for two teams, Angels and Astros. He also wore two different numbers, 30 with Mets and Angels, 34 with Astros and Rangers, and got both of them retired.

  • Kyle | March 10, 2011 at 9:58 am |

    Gotta throw out Rodman. Wildly different numbers for different teams (#’s 10, 73, 91, 70) big appearance transition from rookie to last years in the league, different hairstyle every week with the bulls that always seemed to make headlines,

  • Mark in Shiga | March 10, 2011 at 9:59 am |

    Robinson Checo of the Hiroshima Carp, the only player to wear a three-digit number in a Nippon Pro Baseball varsity-league game. He was issued #106 as a member of the Carp’s Dominican Academy, but played well enough to make it to their JV team and then all the way up to the top team, and kept his number all the while!

    Following him, a rule was made that all first-team players must have numbers of one or two digits. Today there are more three-digit men than ever before, but they’re all minor leaguers, coaches, and staff.

  • Rob in Atlanta | March 10, 2011 at 10:09 am |

    I would like to officially submit two great Atlanta Hawks players as Uni-Notable:

    Josh Smith:
    My wife says that she thinks J-Smoove raids the team gear store before every game. The head band is always there, but he likes to switch it up. In a two minute search I found these combinations:
    – Single sleeve and double leg sleeves (

    – Double arm sleevs (

    – Single arm sleeve and double socks or socks and sweat bands on the ankles (

    – double arm sleeves and leg sleeves ( both home and away (

    – And of course his greatest uni-move, borrowing Nique’s jersey for the dunk contest (

    – Recently, while sidelined by injury, Josh even convinced new teammate Kirk Hinrich to act as his excessive uniform representative (

    However, this list wouldn’t be complete without a uniform pioneer: Pistol Pete Maravich
    – the high socks and mustache (

    – The Nickname on Back jersey (

    – and the fact that he played two pre-season games alongside this man (

    – plus, the man died on the court with his Chuck’s laced up

    • Kyle | March 10, 2011 at 10:41 am |

      Did Smith also wear the leggings? I remember quite a few NBA players wore them the single season they were allowed.

    • Ry Co 40 | March 10, 2011 at 10:44 am |

      …wow, was i late on that one, or what?!?!

  • StLMarty | March 10, 2011 at 10:31 am |

    How many points are Dick Allen’s sideburns worth?

    • MN | March 10, 2011 at 11:38 am |

      Not as many as Oscar Gambles fro.

      • Corey and Trevor | March 10, 2011 at 10:55 pm |

        Thrillhouse loved Yaz”s sideburns…. but com’on.

  • pushbutton | March 10, 2011 at 10:41 am |

    Hair curlers and LSD.

    I don’t know how uni-related that is, but it’s gotta be worth many points on some kind of scale.

    • LI Phil | March 10, 2011 at 11:20 am |


      ellis, d certainly merits his own subcategory

      • StLMarty | March 10, 2011 at 10:57 pm |

        Doc wins everything.

  • Jeff | March 10, 2011 at 11:01 am |

    The discussion begins and ends with Dick Allen, if only because he was such a badass.

  • pflava | March 10, 2011 at 11:04 am |

    Not sure if it’s been mentioned, but how about this guy

    Iconic, goofy glasses and the bumblebee pillboxes.

  • Keith | March 10, 2011 at 11:30 am |

    Regarding Jordan’s shorts, if you recall… and I am old enough… it’s not just athletically. EVERYONE wore shorter shorts of ALL KINDS in the 70s and 80s. The classic Bermuda short was completely out of fashion. Surf culture was not widespread yet.

    Furthermore, shaving one’s head was not cool. It was for weirdos, punks, or black dudes trying to look crazy. That’s why you’d see black dudes in the 70s with the Gus Johnson skullfro. You just didn’t shave yo head.

    MJ changed fashion for ALL men, not just athletes. Shorts got long, and dudes started shaving their heads.

  • GoMac | March 10, 2011 at 11:32 am |

    I know I’m a little late on this one.. but I was just looking at some of the older posts.. and the wikipedia guy has as the Bills uniform.. do you guys think he’s just guessing or has a little inside information on what the new uni’s look like?

  • Jet | March 10, 2011 at 11:52 am |

    My Uni-notable entry:

    Five players have played for two different pro hockey teams that wore colored skates.

    Norm Ferguson, Mike Laughton, Harry Howell, Bobby Sheehan and Gary Kurt all played for the 1973-74 WHA New York Golden Blades (white skate boot, gold colored blades) and the 1970-71 and/or 1971-72 NHL California Golden Seals (yellow boot with green trim, green boot with yellow trim, white boot with green trim)

    Another more obscure one which I can’t verify: The 70-71 Pittsburgh Penguins wore powder blue/navy blue skates for a few games – I can’t begin to identify how many, but I do have pics I intend to scan and send you. Rick Kessell played 6 games for them that season – if he got into one of the games with colored skates then he would qualify also since he also played for the 1973-74 Seals, with white skates.

    Another even more obscure one involving the same teams. In 1970-71, the Hextall brothers Bryan and Dennis were the leading scorers for their respective teams (Penguins and Seals), two teams that had colored skates that season.


  • Paul Lukas | March 10, 2011 at 11:53 am |

    Someone above mentioned Bert Campaneris’s nickNOB but didn’t have a photo. Here:

    But this doesn’t make him notable — it’s just one thing. Ditto for many of the other examples listed so far in the comments. Gotta have at least two uni-notable distinctions (and preferably more) to even be part of this discussion. Otherwise we’re just compiling a massive Ticker (which is fun but not what this topic is supposed to be about).

  • Jet | March 10, 2011 at 11:59 am |

    Here’s the NHL hockey version of that baseball flow chart that was posted last week:


    • teenchy | March 10, 2011 at 12:13 pm |

      Makes a great case for being a Hurricanes or Senators fan.

    • LI Phil | March 10, 2011 at 12:43 pm |

      “Do You Want To Win Ever Again?”


    • Aaron | March 10, 2011 at 12:44 pm |

      That chart is gold. Definitely at least the equal of the baseball one.

      And “God damn salary cap” is right. I don’t think I’m the only Blackhawk fan who wants Buff back badly.

      • Chance Michaels | March 10, 2011 at 2:12 pm |

        It’s clever, but the formatting on this one is wonky. The baseball one had clearly defined questions and answers in different colors. This one gets confusing very early – are the green ones questions, or the blue ones?

        Fix that, give it a clear “voice”, and it’s perfect.

    • Ry Co 40 | March 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm |

      soulda stopped at the baseball flo chart…

  • Austin Gillis | March 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm |

    A new sports logo for the Stormy Petrels of Oglethorpe University (an NCAA Division III school in Atlanta, GA)…!/photo.php?fbid=10150160697792642&set=a.485304652641.296472.30176742641&theater
    An unfortunate downgrade, in my opinion, from their prior logo…!/photo.php?fbid=30176862641&set=a.485304652641.296472.30176742641&theater

  • David | March 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm |

    How about Don Zimmer? He changes his number every year to signify how many years he has worked in baseball. I think it’s up to 62 or 63 this year. Similarly, Joe Giradi changed his number after the Yankees won their last World Series – his new uniform number (help me, Yankees fans) is either 27, for all Yankee championships, or 28, for the next one … ?

    • LI Phil | March 10, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Paul Lukas | March 10, 2011 at 12:56 pm |

      Again: You’ve identified one thing about Zimmer (and Girardi). I agree that it’s a notable thing, but it’s still just one thing. Interesting? Sure. But in the larger context of this topic? Not particularly relevant, unless you can point to other uni-notable distinctions on his ledger.

  • DJ | March 10, 2011 at 12:38 pm |

    Jordan would not have been subjected to a fine had he worn 23 when he returned to basketball. He did get hit with a fine for switching back to 23 during the Bulls’ playoff run that season (during the loss to Orlando, IIRC).

  • Greg V. | March 10, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • MPowers1634 | March 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm |

      They’re depressing…I know, I know!

    • SkinnerAU | March 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm |

      so ridiculous I must own one as soon as possible!

  • Stuby | March 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm |

    Hey Gang, it’s been a while! So, I’m thinkin’ Brooks Robinson. 1) For the weird short-brimmed batting helmet and 2) For his involvement in the development of those monochromatic orange O’s unis.

    • teenchy | March 10, 2011 at 1:54 pm |

      Good one!

  • rpm | March 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm |

    sorry i was a little goofy yesterday gents, sometimes my mind races a bit, and while i am only goofing around, i sort of proverbially put the bucket on the head and run into walls, i hope you weren’t a wall. anyway, thanks for putting up with my eccentricities fellas.

    my nomination for crazy uniform cat i dave baldwin. i was going to interview him when we did the 8 feather edge senators design(that’s him on the left), but it i didn’t, it didn’t seem proper to tie him into the revolution. anyway, he would have also worn the white hat, and socks in the famous 1967FU charlie finley games. o seem to remember they had some other quirks at this time period, but can’t recall. but in 1970 he was on the first brewer team which menat he wore the pilot-brewer mash, close-up. but he also wore the scrambled eggs pilots uni beofre the move. then after a couple years bangin around the minors he came to the white sox in 73 which meant powdwer blue, giant numbers, sleeve numbers, logo’d stirrups, and of course, zipper fronts. too bad he wasn’t around for this. okay that’s all i can think of for now.

  • Mike Hersh | March 10, 2011 at 1:26 pm |

    Rod Smart had He Hate Me on the back of his jersey

  • tommy | March 10, 2011 at 1:29 pm |

    How about Trevor Linden?
    Played forever with the Canucks,and had to play through countless uniform/logo/re-branding changes

  • Matthew Robins | March 10, 2011 at 1:36 pm |

    One again, ESPN needs to stick with Paul, and only Paul, whenever it covers uniforms:

    • Paul Lukas | March 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm |

      You know, they didn’t even ask me to participate in that issue. But four different fact-checkers called me to confirm assorted stuff…. Sigh….

    • teenchy | March 10, 2011 at 1:57 pm |

      Call me crazy but even though he played a large role in introducing the much hated teal into sports, I thought Alexander Julian did a good thing with the original Charlotte Hornets unis. Maybe not timeless but fresh at the time. Where did he go?

    • M.Princip | March 10, 2011 at 2:12 pm |

      Ha! I love this, what he wrote about his Cowboy uniform; “…We also liked the idea of making each player a star and enlarging it to include his number so everyone would be easily identifiable on camera, even when they’re piled up on the field searching for a fumbled ball!”


    • pflava | March 10, 2011 at 2:45 pm |

      So completely ridiculous.

      And it perpetuates the false notion that fashion designers should have anything to do with sports uniforms in the first place.

    • Rob S | March 10, 2011 at 3:29 pm |

      About the only thing I concur with Hilfiger on is that basketball shorts should end above the knee. That’s it.

    • Kyle | March 10, 2011 at 4:24 pm |

      I must admit I really like the Lakers jersey. I think that would be a great jersey for another franchise in the future, just not the Lakers.

      The rest I am not a fan of.

    • Teebz | March 10, 2011 at 4:59 pm |

      If Montreal ever adopts a uniform with a sash, I’ll burn the city to the ground.

      Absolutely horrible. Someone should be shot for that crap-tastic effort.

  • Andrew | March 10, 2011 at 1:45 pm |

    If there’s going to be an attempt to assign point values, how much is Bill Buckner’s double curse worth?

  • Ron V. | March 10, 2011 at 2:22 pm |

    Uni notable…. Brooks Robinson. Stubby brim helmet. Played the 1970 WS without a bird on his helmet and a year later his company gave us the all orange Oriole uni. Hat trick!!

  • Ron V. | March 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm |

    Shoot!! Sorry Stubby. We think alike.

  • Ricko | March 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm |

    FRED BILETNIKOFF would be among the leaders, I’d imagine.

    Long, long hair hanging from back of helmet.
    Lots of eyeblack.
    Jersey sleeves cut off just below TV number.
    Jersey sleeves slit up the seam.
    Jersey neck slit at front.
    Smaller than normal shoulder pads.
    Forearms taped from wrist almost to elbow.
    Stickum on that tape.
    Stickum on hands.
    No girdle pants in pants.
    No thigh pads in pants.
    No knee pads in pants.
    Pants slit behind hehind knee.
    Pants rolled above knee so knee exposed.
    Extra supply of Stickum on socks (applied with tongue depressor).
    White socks pulled high almost covering black of under sock or (prior to that) up to meet white tape at top of black stirrup sock.
    Riddell cleats long after most players had stopped wearing the brand.
    Black cleats well after most players had gone to white.
    Cleats taped over arch with white tape to cover tongue and laces completely.
    Most times sat on his helmet on sidelines.
    Smoked heavily before game and at halftime.


    • LI Phil | March 10, 2011 at 2:45 pm |

      did he have a smiley face?

    • Ricko | March 10, 2011 at 2:47 pm |

      Although, that probably IS more like “adapations to uni & equipment” than “uni-notable.”

      But he wasn’t hard to recognize instantly on the field.


  • Jet | March 10, 2011 at 2:40 pm |

    Someone with better knowledge than I can look this up – there’s gotta be some players who’ve worn monochromes with more than one team, i.e. Orioles pumpkin orange, Indians blood red, Rangers all blue, etc. etc.


    • Ron V. | March 10, 2011 at 2:43 pm |

      Boog Powell and Frank Robinson with O’s and Indians

    • JTH | March 10, 2011 at 4:36 pm |

      3 teams for Oscar Gamble — Indians in 75 (red), White Sox in 77 (navy) Padres in 78 (gold).

      Wait. Rangers wore solid blue?

      • LI Phil | March 10, 2011 at 4:59 pm |

        think he means the powders…cuz they never wore monochrome solids of any colour

    • Gusto44 | March 10, 2011 at 7:30 pm |

      Rich Gossage with the 1976 Chisox and 1977 Bucs, and Jim Bibby with the 1977 Indians and 1978 Bucs.

  • Seth F | March 10, 2011 at 3:09 pm |

    So far from all of the comments, I think the Nolan Ryan thing is pretty special. The white shoes with two teams is just ok, but having two different numbers retired by different teams has got to be pretty rare.

    Anybody know of any others that fit this category?

    I haven’t done the research, but I would venture to guess that he is also the only person to throw a no-hitter both in the Tequila Sunrise’s and in any other uniform.

    • Rob S | March 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm |

      Carlton Fisk had 27 retired by the Red Sox and 72 by the White Sox.

      • besty | March 10, 2011 at 8:29 pm |

        Pretty sure the ’81 no-no was in the Tequila Sunrises. Home game and they were still wearing them at home then. Plus he pitched with blood all over his jersey once.

    • Seth F | March 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm |

      How about I just throw a rock at myself? Of course there’s Reggie, who has his #9 retired in Oakland and #44 retired in New York.

      Oh well, the Ryan thing is looking less and less special now……..and I think the ’81 no-no with the Astros was most likely thrown after the rainbow jerseys…..

      Maybe I’ll just shut up now….

  • david goodfriend | March 10, 2011 at 3:13 pm |

    What is the story on the “Mets” uniform tops in this pic from today’s New York Times? Wondering if anybody knows.

    • LI Phil | March 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm |

      hmmmm…looks like they’re missing the headspoon and the sleeve piping…interesting

      • Paul Lukas | March 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm |

        Those pullovers with the one-button collar are what’s being worn in the minor league camp. Whole different roster.

        • david goodfriend | March 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm |

          Thanks Paul.

  • Adam Fritzen | March 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm |

    Gretzky tucked the right side of his jersey in prompting CCM to make an additional logo on the left hem just for Gretzky so people could see their logo. Making a company make a special jersey for you so their logo can be seen has to rank pretty high up there.

  • Kyle Allebach | March 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm |

    Allen Iverson started that whole elbow sleeve that got popular in the NBA, but you could add that in as a footnote…

  • Mark K | March 10, 2011 at 4:14 pm |

    I’ve been reading this site for a long time but never knew the A’s had nicknames on their jerseys until today.

    • Ron V. | March 10, 2011 at 4:17 pm |

      Please go stand in the corner quietly for 5 minutes.

  • MrSoleFresh | March 10, 2011 at 4:24 pm |

    In refrence to the Gators Nike uni’s and New Era hats, its actually common place or at least used to be. Alot of teams would wear Nike uni’s and New Era, or TPX (Easton) branded hats. However it seems Nike has been making a bigger push for total uni branding so its not seen as much. I will look for photo examples of this but I know Florida State used to and may still do this.

  • LarryB | March 10, 2011 at 4:29 pm |

    Wow what a coincidence for me. I now work over in Pa schools with kids with behavioral problems. My office left a message about a possible new client if I would be interested. The client is from Wampum, Pa.

    For one thing Wampum is too far away for me to want to take this client and i told the office that.

    Anyhow the first guy that comes to my mind was Richie Allen. And he came to mind. I have been to and through Wampum.

    Just odd coincidence for me to open today’s column and see the Big Wampum on Richie’s back. Which I do not remember that NOB.

  • Ricko | March 10, 2011 at 4:54 pm |

    KEN HARRELSON (by ’67-’69)…

    1. Wore golf glove while batting (among the first, maybe THE first to do so regularly).
    2. Among the first of the long hairs.
    3. Eye black.
    4. At least one wrist wrapped/taped.
    5. Tight taped pants, usually mid to high calf.
    6. High stirrups made be combining two socks into one (same as Frank Robinson).
    7. Despite an interrupted stay with the KC A’s, wore every version of the team’s gold, white, seafoam green unis, including black cleats, white cleats and green cleats (finished ’66 and started ’67 with Senators before returning to KC).
    8. “HAWK” for NOB after trade from Red Sox to Indians in ’69.


    • Ricko | March 10, 2011 at 7:51 pm |

      Most of those elements shown here…


      • Ricko | March 10, 2011 at 7:55 pm |

        He also left the top eyelet of his Riddells unlaced, leaving the tongue doubled over farther and revealing more of the front of the white sani than any other player I recall.


  • Ricko | March 10, 2011 at 5:06 pm |

    This is one of those “oh, so close” uni things…

    Had GEORGE BRETT retired two years earlier, he very well could have been the only TV-era HOFer to play his entire MLB career without ever wearing a gray road uniform.

    Can’t think of any other likely candidates.


    • Ricko | March 10, 2011 at 5:24 pm |

      Not Mike Schmidt.
      For one thing, he played 13 games with the Phillies in 1972, when they wore gray on the road.


      • LI Phil | March 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm |

        he also ended his career back in gray

        two more fun facts — 1972 (gray) and 1973 (powder blue) were played in button fronts — 1974-1986 (EXCEPT FOR ONE GAME) were zipper front — and then 1987-89 were buttondown again

        can you name the one game in which schmidty wore a button down (phillies) uni between 1974 & 1986?

        • LI Phil | March 10, 2011 at 5:54 pm |

          actually — check that — okkonen (shockingly) is wrong…

          i was gonna say the saturday night specials were button down, but in actuality, they were zipper front as well

        • Ricko | March 10, 2011 at 5:54 pm |

          I’ll let someone else chase that one down.

          Aren’t Saturday nights grand, btw.
          This Saturday, for example, we start Daylight Savings Time.
          (Just thought I’d mention it. Don’t know why.)


        • Ricko | March 10, 2011 at 5:56 pm |

          Aw, so they were. Thought that’s what you was goin’ for.


        • Ricko | March 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm |

          He sure did.
          I was saying he didn’t even get STARTED in powder blue.

          Might there be a HOF-caliber pitcher who never wore gray? Played for a couple clubs, maybe?


    • Ricko | March 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm |

      Not Ryne Sandberg.

      Despite starting with the powder blue Phillies before going to the Cubs (royal over white on the road), the Cubbies had returned to all gray roads by the time he hung ’em up.


  • JenInChicago | March 10, 2011 at 5:15 pm |

    Cubs are having a ceremony at HoHoKam Park in Mesa to honor Ron Santo. All of the Cubs players, etc. are wearing caps with “10” on the front.

    MLB will not allow any players or coaches to wear the hats during the game because they have no MLB logo on the back.

    These are the kind of things that just p!ss off fans and some players, apparently.

    Not like it’s the game of the week….it’s spring training. Not even televised.

  • JenInChicago | March 10, 2011 at 5:40 pm |

    I’ve seen the images….I’m just angry that MLB wouldn’t let them wear them during a game.

    • JTH | March 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm |

      Did the basketball team wear a memorial patch today?

      • JTH | March 10, 2011 at 5:52 pm |

        Oops. That wasn’t supposed to be here.

  • Corey | March 10, 2011 at 7:49 pm |

    Is it really that hard for the NBA to get the right color jerseys for the Spanish Heritage nights or throwback games? Is an extra 2 sets of uniforms going to bankrupt these teams?

  • scott | March 10, 2011 at 8:02 pm |

    Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will look like 1970s-era Brewers during Sunday home games this season:

  • Ricko | March 10, 2011 at 8:28 pm |

    Meant to post this the other day, afer the hat was show in some old black and white photos…


  • EMD | March 10, 2011 at 8:36 pm |

    I’ll throw out Pete Maravich, if only for the floppy socks. Did he have any other uniccentricities?

    Hey, did I just coin the word “uniccentricities?”

  • EMD | March 10, 2011 at 8:39 pm |

    Hilfiger should stick to the prep scene.

  • JimWa | March 10, 2011 at 10:25 pm |

    Heat in black at home, Lakers in white on the road, both in jerseys with unnecessary “The”s with an intercontinental flair.

    I’m confused.

  • LI Phil | March 10, 2011 at 10:29 pm |

    yeh yeh..

    nueva york (en blanco) vs. los mavs (en azul) — en dallas

  • Timothy D. | March 10, 2011 at 10:30 pm |

    Not sure if this example counts because it is golf related (and not team uniform related as such)

    The late great Payne Stewart.

    Wore Plus 4’s in an era when everyone else wore pants.
    Wore a Tom-o-Shanter hat when nearly everyone wore baseball style caps or visors.
    Wore the colour combinations of NFL teams.

    I’m sure during 1 Ryder Cup year he had the Plus 4’s and Tom-o-Shanter on in the same design/colours as the rest of the team, yet they were wearing pants and caps.

    Though he wasn’t the first to wear this style he is certainly recognisable for this style of clothing.

    Timothy D.

    • LI Phil | March 10, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
      • Timothy D. | March 10, 2011 at 11:11 pm |

        That’s the one!

        There is also a Team Photo I remember seeing of the 12 members standing in a row with Payne in his Plus 4’s and the other 11 wearing pants.

        I’m surprised no-one else has ever really “taken the baton” and started wearing Plus 4’s regularly. I know the tour guys used to get dressed up in them as a tribute to Payne but that seemed to be as far as they wanted to go. It always nice to see them on a golf course though.

        Timothy D.

  • Bob A | March 10, 2011 at 10:50 pm |

    Has any player been more identified with a particular piece of unique equipment than Johnny Unitas and his high top shoes?

  • Flip | March 10, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
  • traxel | March 10, 2011 at 11:55 pm |

    Ralph Garr. Wore shorts with the White Sox, and according to this article he had his nickname ROADRUNNER on his nameplate while with the Braves. That’s not five things, but it is two fairly significant uni uniques.

    Vida Blue wore VIDA on his back while with the Giants , and I would guess he did it with Charlie O’s A’s too?