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A Brand of a Different Stripe


As you may recall, last Friday I engaged in a lengthy examination of Hank Aaron’s 1974 footwear. A few hours after I posted that piece, I got the following note from my fellow Brooklynite Jeffrey Fedenko:

Paul: Just to throw a wrench into the Aaron cleat discussion, I’m not sure the cleats Aaron was wearing [when hitting No. 715] were Adidas. Wilson had a three-striped shoe in the early to mid-’70s that was almost identical to what Adidas made. It is in the football catalogs I have at home — I will scan and forward them to you later today.

Faaaaascinating. Later that day, as promised, Jeff delivered the goods: These two pages are from Wilson’s 1974 catalog, and this one is from 1967 — “the earliest example I’ve seen of Wilson using the three stripes,” says Jeff.

First things first: I think Aaron was wearing Adidas, not Wilson. His uniform and spikes from No. 715 are on display at Cooperstown. As you can see, there’s a white panel around the Achilles area — a panel that was not used on Wilson’s triple-striped cleats. So that settles that.

But this raises a larger, more interesting question: What are the implications of Adidas using three stripes as their brand identifier? Or to put it another way, can a common design flourish really function as a logo?

Let’s start with this: Every year during football season, I always get a few queries from readers who say, “You always gripe about logo creep, but how come you never say anything about Adidas designing triple-striped socks for the Patriots’ road uniform in 2000? And shouldn’t they have gotten rid of those socks once Reebok took over the NFL’s uniform contract?”

My response to this is always the same: Sometimes three stripes are just three stripes. Yeah, it’s annoying when they gratuitously slap the stripes on something like an NBA All-Star uni. But three stripes don’t always have to signify branding, even if they’re part of an Adidas-made uniform. That’s especially true for socks — I mean, shit, I’ve been wearing triple-striped tube socks since I was a kid (and I’m not the only one), and I don’t think any of them have ever been made by Adidas. To me, those stripes are just a classic hosiery design flourish, not a proprietary brand signifier.

I’ve even had people try to tell me that there’s something Adidas-related in this triple-striped 49ers sleeve design, which is patently ridiculous because (a) the Niners began wearing that design in 1996, when their uniforms were made by Reebok, and (b) the Niners already had a tradition of triple-striped sleeves that stretched back for generations.

The fact of the matter is that triple-striping has a long history in a wide variety of contexts, from commodore’s jackets to varsity sweaters. And I think that captures both the genius and the limitation of Adidas’s three stripes. On the one hand, it has a classic look and is more of a design element than a logo, so you can put it anywhere and it doesn’t have to feel like you’re engaging in logo creep. On the other hand, it’s such a classic, ubiquitous design feature that it doesn’t feel very brand-y (especially not for those of us who grew up in the era when stripes were just stripes), which may explain why Adidas has sometimes had problems when filing trademark-infringement suits.

All of which brings us back to those triple-striped Wilson shoes. Now, according to Wikipedia (I know, I know, but they cite two published sources), Adidas bought the three-stripe design from a Finnish company called Karhu Sports way back in 1951. But based on those catalog scans that Jeff Fedenko provided, Wilson was making triple-striped cleats from at least 1967 through 1974. So Adidas obviously hadn’t yet “owned” the three-stripe design by that point. I mean, it’s not like Wilson would have wanted to sell a shoe that could be mistaken for a competitor’s product, so the thinking at the time must have been “Stripes = cool” — not “Stripes = Adidas.”

Today, though, we definitely equate the stripes with Adidas, at least on footwear. When did that transition of perception take place? And what do you all think of the stripes as a branding signifier? I think there’s a really interesting discussion to be had here — let’s have it.


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Blue Jay Way, continued: Here are some more Blue Jays prototypes, or salesman samples, or something. Clearly not “game-used,” no matter what the auction house says, but interesting nonetheless.

That link came from Blue Jays uni scholar Rudy Visokay, who runs this site. He’s asked if the Uni Watch community can help him with a research question whose answer has so far eluded him. I’ll let him explain: Did the Jays’ 1981 home jerseys have NOBs? “Seems like a
pretty simple issue to suss out,” says Rudy, but I haven’t been able to find photos of the Jays at home that were definitively taken in 1981.”

I pointed him toward this page in Bill Henderson’s guide, which indicates that the Jays added NOBs in 1980 (and still had them in ’81). That led to this response from Rudy:

I know. I suspect bill got the information from me. I know they added names in 1980, so I assumed 1981 wouldn’t be any different.
But Chris Creamer [who lives in Toronto] says they didn’t have NOBs in 1981. When i asked for his evidence, Chris said he used baseball cards (not exactly 100% reliable in terms of knowing exactly when a photo was taken) and game-used jerseys from ’81. I’ve been collecting Jays gamers for a
long time and I’ve never even seen a picture of a home gamer from
1981. Chris didn’t send any visuals.

So either I’m right or Chris is right. The crazy thing is that I don’t think either of us has any actual evidence either way.

I’m fairly certain someone can find a newspaper clipping to settle this one within about 10 minutes, right?

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Collector’s Corner, by Brinke Guthrie

Little bit of everything this week– MLB, ABA, NBA, NFL and NHL. Enjoy.

• Reader Stephen Coulter sent along this 1976 World Series umpire pillbox hat.

• Wow, nice early-’70s ABA Dallas Chaparrals warm-up jacket.

• Get your groove on with this great 1970s Kinney Shoes NBA T-shirt. It would look perfect with these old Puma sneakers.

• Always fun to see one of the magazines from the “Today’s 1971”¦” MLB series. [I had the Mets version of this when I was seven years old. Not sure what happened to it, alas. — PL]

• Look at this great old “Beat West Philly” pin from the 1940s!

• You too can be an NFL team owner with this Minnesota Vikings electric football team set from Tudor.

• “You’re in Mets Country” with this 1960s beach blanket. [Man, that is one brutal logo rendition. Love to know more about this item. — PL]

• Always liked the NHL Colorado Rockies logo, and it looks particularly nice on this jacket.

• And here’s one from Paul’s friend (and City Reliquary founder) Dave Herman: a tremendous chain-stitched Hawaiian bowling shirt.

Seen something on eBay that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: This is great: 100 years of U.S. Presidents throwing out the first pitch, from Taft to Obama. ”¦ The Nats wore their red alts on Saturday and Sunday at Shea. Someone on the Chris Creamer board says this is the first time they’ve ever worn red on the road. Is that really true? ”¦ A straw hat blew onto the field during Sunday’s Chisox/Rays game, so Omar Vizquel tried it on for size (with thanks to Bob Gassel). ”¦ Jeff Barak went to the NCAA Frozen Four hockey championships and took a ton of jersey photos. ”¦ Dave Battafarano is the baseball coach for Delcastle High in Delaware. “With more players wearing high-top spikes, the 4″ stirrups were not showing enough sanitary, so I made the switch to a 6″ cut this season,” he says. “Makes a big difference, as you can see in these pics.” ”¦ Speaking of high school teams with stirrups, check out Westmoore High from Oklahoma. Too bad about the flat caps, though (with thanks to Arin Mitchell). ”¦ Of all the camo designs we’ve seen, this has got to be the worst. That’s North Salem High, from Oregon (blame Blake Theiss). ”¦ In a related item, I neglected to mention yesterday that the Padres debuted their new digital camo jerseys on Sunday. ”¦ Yesterday I mentioned that A’s pitcher Brian Fuentes had been spotted wearing a gray underbill. I asked A’s equipment manager Steve Vucinich if this was a special request on Fuentes’s part, or if he just grabbed an old cap that had been lying around, or what. Steve’s response: “Old stock. He wears a 7-7/8 — not a lot of requests for that size over the years. But from what I understand, he doesn’t care about the underbill color — he has one of each. Rich Harden prefers the gray underbill.” ”¦ Speaking of old stock, Tim McNulty notes that the mock turtleneck undershirt that Jorge Posada wore the other night is nowhere to be found on the team’s web shop (the closest thing is this Nike product) but appears to be identical to the mock collar design that seen in these 1999 photos. Could Posada have been wearing a 12-year-old undershirt? And would the Yanks really have kept something around that long, even while moving to a new stadium? ”¦ Chris Ashworth reports that Sergei Bobrovsky has a new mask for the playoffs, with Rocky on one side and Sideshow Bob on the other. ”¦ Here are the official specs for the new college football zebra uniforms. As you can see, the black slacks will be worn for all games. Sigh — yet another blow to high-cuffery (with thanks to Ben Matthias). ”¦ Still more high school stirrups. That’s Druid Hills High School in Georgia. The guy at right is former MLBer and Druid Hill alum Ron Blomberg (with thanks to Richard Lewis). ”¦ Now that’s a hockey jacket. It belonged to Chris Bisbee‘s father when he was an officer of the Omaha Knights Booster Club back in the 1970s. Chris also found this old Knights team portrait. Never seen a team pose like that (looks painful!), but the real story is the sleeve design: triple-stripe! Must’ve been an Adidas uni, eh? ”¦ Start ’em young! That’s Jon Smith‘s son pitching for his Pony League team, the Northwest Austin Twins. “This is the third youth team I’ve outfitted with stirrups,” says Jon. “It’s amazing how a sweet set of stirrups really jazzes up an otherwise ho-hum youth baseball uniform. But as you can see by the first baseman in the background, you can’t convince everyone to show their stripes, even when the evidence of stirrup greatness is right there in front of them.” ”¦ Joshua Exline reports that West Virginia Power players are still wearing the memorial patch for the 29 coal miners who died in the Upper Big Branch mine. ”¦ Here’s some more info on the new Arizona State uniforms, which will be officially unveiled this afternoon. ”¦ Some NYC punk band is making rather odd use of the old 1970s Pirates logo (good spot by Bob Brashear). ”¦ Good spot by Matthew DeLeon, who notes that Ryan Dempster has been wearing a black belt, instead of the Cubs’ usual blue. ”¦ Looks like the Angels’ 50th-anniversary cap patches are just heat-pressed, not sewn (screen shot courtesy of Kyle Mackie). ”¦ Here’s a set of predictions on the NHL playoffs based on jersey designs (with thanks to Chris Cocca. ”¦ In a related item, I expect we’ll be seeing Rob Ullman‘s annual NHL playoff pin-up illos shortly. Right, Rob? ”¦ New football set for Washington State. As you can see in this photo, they’re now up to three helmets, two of which are gray — can’t say I’m a fan of that. Look closely at those photos and you’ll see something else of note: the first jersey-borned appearance of the Pac-12 logo patch. ”¦ All oF WSU’s other sports are getting makeovers as well, by the way. … And speaking of the Pac-12 logo, it’s also been showing up on the field at Utah’s spring practices (with thanks to Trent Knaphus). … Phil and I will be taking off on a fun expedition today. I expect you’ll be apprised of the details soon enough.

Comments (207)

    “Now that’s a hockey jacket. It belonged to Chris Bisbee‘s father when he was an officer of the Omaha Knights Booster Club back in the 1970s.”

    You’re missing a link here.

    I am in England, hence 5-8 hours later than most of you (trying to figure out the time difference with Japan gives me a headache). So I apologize for leading off today with a matter from yesterday, but it kept me awake last night (a pathetic confession, but there you go) and I need to spill it out as promptly as possible.

    I’m referring to the question of whether Sparky, the ASU Sun Devil, is wielding a pitchfork or a trident. In a customarily smug outburst of instruction, I explained why a devil uses a pitchfork, not a trident. A trident, I noted, is a device associated with things marine, fisheries especially. Examples were submitted. Hence Sparky — representative of two parched realms (hell and Arizona) — had to carry a pitchfork, not a trident.

    All very sound, in an abstract kind of way. But once I actually looked at Sparky carefully, I noted that he was indeed brandishing a trident. Looks just like Neptune’s, just like the one on the insignia of the US Naval Academy, just like the device by the Woody Strobe gladiator against the Kirk Douglas gladiator in Spartacus. Sparky SHOULD NOT wield a trident but Sparky DOES wield a trident. I would urge ASU and its fans to drop the trident and get a more terrestrial-looking fork with additional tines, but it’s probably too late. Such is life in a time of decadence.

    Yes. It’s all about perspective. His day starts earlier than ours. While we’re just waking up and reading the site in the morning, it’s already late afternoon for him – so he can say he’s later than us. Same thing, different wording.

    /in other news, I’ve finished the AL

    Unveiling happens at 2pm PT on Fox Sports Arizona, should you all get that as part of your cable or satellite package. I wonder if they’ll carry it on as well.

    In other news, Connie is strident about tridents.

    School has for a while now been selling (even before this rebranding) merch with “Fear the Fork”

    while it may technically be a trident, it has always been marketed as a pichfork.

    Yes in fact this weekend was the first time the Nationals wore the red alternates on the road. It did not look right at all, unfortunately.

    Another corroboration: Nats have not worn red alts on the road before. Heck with Chris Creamer’s board; that was mentioned here yesterday.

    Bad move by the Nats, merchandising-wise. They just introduced a new road cap, and they’ve made it kind of a soft launch. Since the new red alt uni is worn with the regular home cap, permitting the red alt on the road further dampens fan awareness or acceptance of the new road cap. If they’re gonna sabotage themselves like this, they should just go ahead and eliminate the road cap and wear the red cap all the time.

    While the red jerseys on the road are new, the Nats have worn a red cap on the road previously. Last year, when they wore Senators throwbacks in Baltimore, they had on red caps. I assume they were the current red caps and now the slightly different Senators ones.

    I am not in favor of the red jerseys on the road because it means I don’t get to see the excellent road grays — best roadie a D.C. team has ever worn.

    The new two-tone road caps are a downgrade from the previous solid navy ones. I think the solid red cap will be the primary cap for the road too within a couple of seasons.

    I said this on Sunday also about the nats, their radio play-by-play man said the red on the road would now happen for all weekend road games. Apart from the senators day in baltimore, this is definitely the first red on road in history. (Coming from a fan following since they moved from montreal)

    Eric, you probably know or remember better than I, but I thought the Nats might have worn their red hitting rehearsal smock on the road once in 2005. Possibly a brain malfunction on my part, and I certainly listen to far more games than I watch, especially on the road. Since I kind of think they did this in Baltimore, but the Nats didn’t play in Baltimore in 2005 and didn’t have red hitting rehearsal smocks from 2006-2010, I’m definitely at least partially misremembering here.

    If the Nats must have a different road cap, far better to have gone red cap, blue brim, and even then, the whole “new road cap” thing only works if the team actually wears the road caps in games on the road. Wearing the home cap as an “alt” on the road one-third of the time pretty well dooms the “road” caps. I think WFY is right: The “road” caps will be gone by 2013.


    i don’t think you’re mis-remembering — i distinctly remember the nats wearing their BP jersey in a game (think they may have needed special dispensation to do this); not sure of the year and not sure if it was home or on the road, but they definitely wore their BP smocks at a time when they only had a home and road (white/gray) top

    i had thought they actually did this at RFK, not on the road, but i may be misremembering myself

    ok, scotty —

    searched for it, and of course it was mentioned on UW (where else?) by “War Damn Eagle” (Jonathon Binet)

    the Nats wore the BP jerseys early in the 2005 season, during a late afternoon game vs. the Phils (I had season tix that year). Esteban Loaiza was the starter, and Frank let the starters pick the uniform (even though they didn’t really have an alt uni, yet). Loaiza liked the lighter BP jerseys, so he picked the red BP jersey and the team wore them. It’s the only time I remember them doing that. They unveiled the red “DC” alt in 06, I think.

    here is, I believe a game photo — looks like the white pants, so it may have been a home game

    Phil, that is definitely the incident I’m remembering. Steve Loaiza exploiting Frank’s wishy washy “leadership” style. link that places this definitely at RFK. So no not-quite-an-alt red on the road for the Nats prior to last weekend.

    Don’t necessarily mind them wearing the red alt jerseys on the road but think they should stick with the road caps. It also goes with the jersey and looks better with the gray pants. Plus, it is the “road” cap. And for those of you who think the red jerseys are bad, wait until the debut the stars and stripes. Those are God awful.

    So now only the Reds, Dodgers, Phillies, Cardinsls and Giants in the NL and Tigers and Yankees in the AL don’t wear softball tops for road games.

    The Nats wore their BP jerseys for a matinee against the Braves in RFK. I was watching the TBS feed at work. It was the “mudball” game and I have never forgiven Christian Guzman for throwing it away. He killed the 2005 season with that and his five months of sub-Mendoza hitting.

    The Nats may have worn their red BP jerseys other times, but I was not allowed to watch the games because the owner of the Baltimore Orioles took away the Nats TV rights.

    A couple of things today.

    Adidas and the three stripes.

    In the fashion industry, the three stripe thing is a no-no. Our legal department will shoot us down in a heartbeat if we try to do something like that. There have been tons of cases in the industry where adidas goes after companies using the stripes. It used to be three equal stripes, but now it almost seems like any stripes.

    Presidents and the first pitch.

    Carter was the only President not to throw out the first pitch while in office. Truman was the first lefty. Personally, I’d rather check out the photos at the bottom of the page but get blocked at work because they are labeled “adult content.”

    Carter was the only President not to throw out the first pitch while in office.

    This is an error in the Wikipedia article on the subject. President Carter did throw out a ceremonial first pitch at Game Seven the 1979 World Series in Baltimore. Like Reagan, Carter stayed away from the ballpark until he was up for reelection and struggling in the polls.

    So sorry, Paul, I haven’t checked my home email account in like a week on account of being crazy busy at work and all heck breaking loose on various fronts at home, and nothing showed up in my gmail account. I’ll drop you a gmail note momentarily with my contact info.

    Like Reagan, Carter stayed away from the ballpark until he was up for reelection and struggling in the polls.


    it worked

    Jed Bartlett had to go to Camden Yards to throw out the first pitch, but I don’t believe it was Opening Day. IIRC, it was a night game. The episode was titled, “Memorial Day,” so there you go.

    Three stripe knock off.

    As a teen in the 90’s you HAD to rock a pair of Gazelle’s. I was poor, so I had none. Then fortunately, Wal-Mart saved my cool -meter. They had the audacity to make knock off Gazelles with three stripes. (Other’s in junior high were ridiculed for their four or five stripe “Adidas”) The only give away was the soccer ball where the Adidas logo should be. (But with a little magic marker…no one was the wiser.)

    All the Adidas knockoffs I remember from when I was young (late 80’s early 90’s) had all the same design elements but had 2 stripes. I had a pair of 2-stripers from Payless that I was teased pretty bad for.

    Converse All-Stars featured 3 stripes in the early 70s. I also wore various 2- and 4- stripe el cheapos then.

    Just a couple of thoughts that came across my mind about 2:15 this morning while I was up playing with my baby girl…

    Last week in the article about The Hammer’s 715th dinger, we found out that link might have been left behind by Joe Pepitone from his time as a Brave in 1973. The article stated that Paul had been in contact with Aaron’s reps as well as the people at Adidas, but I was wondering if anyone had ever asked Mr. Pepitone about the shoes in question. Did he recall leaving them in Atlanta and if so, did he know that his shoes were being worn during perhaps the most watched HR of all time? I’m sure he’d love to tell that story to his grandkids if it were true.

    Also, I didn’t see any posts or comments about Manny retir…..oops, I mean quitting on his teammates this past weekend. Oh well, at least there’s one example of how link to wear a baseball uniform is out of the game. Although, it wasn’t always link

    I will never feel bad for anyone who spends $200 on a polyester shirt.

    Every player will eventually retire, or be traded, or be released, or be injured, or be suspended. Which means every single player-associated jersey will eventually be obsolete. Some sooner than others, sure, but big deal — it’s the risk you take.

    And hey, now Manny’s jersey is a collector’s item!

    I will never feel bad for anyone who spends $200 on a polyester shirt.



    I happen to be a huge Manny fan (short comings, steroids and all). I have followed him from his days as an Indian and have jerseys from all his teams except the White Sox (hope to rectify- making arrangement right now).

    I did buy a Manny columbia blue Rays jersey and did get the chance to at least showcase it once at a Rays game (albeit a ST game) where I saw him CRUSH one of his last home runs (albeit steroid induced)off of Wakefield and the Sox. What I like is I didn’t pay anywhere near $200 AND because he had only 17 plate appearances with the Rays, it is unique- not a collectable, just unique.

    And I do not. Especially this one.

    Players do come and go, but they don’t all leave a trail of infamy. Caveat emptor for sure, but especially with a player like Manny, when you should just KNOW that won’t end particularly well.

    It’s one thing when you overspend on a jersey because you like a guy and he has a good career and gives you some good memories and then he retires or gets traded, but you keep the jersey around because you like it and you wear it to the game sometimes to show you didn’t just start following the Sawx in October 2004, but with Manny? Holy cow. What, did Jim Cramer convince you to make that investment?

    Moving on is one category. Infamy is another. Enough time passes and it becomes ironic, I guess (you wouldn’t mind having a Buck Weaver jersey now, but it’s too soon for Rafael Palmeiro, right?).

    But, no, I don’t feel badly for those people.

    For me it’s just another reason why there shouldn’t be player names on jerseys. Without them, you’re free to adopt every player who gets that number in the future.

    (Of course, Manny even made things difficult for *those* people by wearing 99 with the Dodgers…)

    The Blue Jays definitely did not have NOBs on their road uniforms in 1981, as you can see in this clip from Len Barker’s perfect game:


    I don’t have video handy of a home game, but it seems odd that they would have NOBs for the home folks but not on the road.

    No no no — the Len Barker game was in Cleveland. The question was whether the Jays had NOBs on their HOME uniforms in 1981.

    And now reader Mike Steiner has provided the answer:

    Yeah, Aaron was wearing Adidas for 715.
    Heel pad, white label with blue logo, etc., on tonuge, gold heat stamp of brand and model name just anterior to the stripes. All of which are shown in other photos from that night.

    Other than earlier the days of solid black, not sure Wilson got near MLB until a few years later with a version of this shoe (a red version of which was worn by Bernie Carbo, for one)…

    those are wilson? so…not only did they put 3 strips on their kicks, they also put a “swoosh-like” thing on there too?

    …and a little “w” thingee, too.

    That was a weebit before Nike was big in the cleated shoe business, btw.

    Seems to me the first widespread appearance of Nike in the NFL that I noticed was in the Rams-Steelers Super Bowl that concluded the ’79 season.

    Also, the serrated edge on the stripes are a pretty good giveaway that those are adi kicks.

    It looks to me like the Blue Jays jersey in the back of the picture is using an arched name plate for the team name. I wonder if this was done when they swiched from the striped to solid lettering as discussed this past week.


    I usually listen to WFUV on the way to work this morning, but their pledge drive is drolling on so I tuned in to Boomer and Carton on WFAN.

    They had Ed Cranepool in studio this morning and were peppering him with questions about what it was like in the Show.

    Is there anything better than old ballplayers discussing their tome in the bigs? I don’t think so.

    He covered a number of topics. As a younger (36) Mets fan I didnt realize he made it to the Show at 18, and was sent back to the minors in early 70 after a dispute with Gil Hodges. I cant imagine a manager sending down a seven year veteran these days. Ollie P anyone ugh……

    wow…didn’t even LOOK for the cryblack

    #13 is sporting some nasty shit too…

    but i was simply referring to the disrespecting of the rup

    but, yeah…the bryce harper wannabes need a beatin too

    love flat brims best style of all time. especially with stickers. it just says classy. ya’ know? like wearin a fedora

    All in all, though, that’s a good-looking uniform. MLBer’s need to realize how important stirrups are to the uniform. Wearing stirrups is just a part of baseball. Little Leaguers, high schoolers and even college kids LOVE stirrups.

    Is that a Walgreens W or a Nats?

    I simply don’t understand the flat-brim look. I just don’t understand.

    The war paint is simply sad.

    About the Mets “beach blanket.” I’m not 100 percent sure that is truly a beach blanket. I had a similar item with an Ohio State theme and it was a small rug. Alas, the rug is long gone – but I know for sure it was a rug. Moreover, there was no “official” Ohio State logo – just the state (red), some buckeyes (red and gray), and a generic football player (red). The relevant part of this rant is that Ohio State was written in that same script. I wonder if there were licensing issues?

    Agreed 100%. I also had a similar rug with a Georgia theme. Substitute state outlines, “Bulldog” for “Buckeye” and black for gray, otherwise the same. Licensing issues, no doubt.

    Regarding Hank Aaarons cleats. The photo from Cooperstown shows the numbers 714 – 715 written on the soles of the cleats. Doesn’t this give credence to the “overzealous shoe polish” theory Jerry Reuss presented in Friday’s post? It would appear that the all black cleats and the 3 striped ones were the same shoes, assuming of course that the Hall of Fame is meticulous about cataloging these things.

    I think what we’ve come down (now that the Internet has provided all kinds of photos) is that Aaron was wearing Adidas for both those home runs, but for 714 in Cincinnati they were polished all black, and for 715 back home in Atlanta they were highly polished with the white stripes bright as day. Now, was it the same pair of shoes? Possibly. Although the 715 shoes even show the gold heat stamp (which likely would have been polised over), so they looked shimmering, brand spanking new.

    And my general point (beyond any specifics I might have inferred from info and images available in ’74) was, “Was the dedicated showing of the stripes intentional as he was about to hit 715, or was it just a fluke?”

    Maybe it was nothing more than the smart local Adidas rep slipping the clubhouse boy a hundred bucks to repaint the stripes white before that game.

    It’s just that (having shined and colored a ton of cleats in my time) bringing the white stripes back after they’ve been polished takes a certain amount of extra work. And if the player was particular about wanting them to show, why would they have been polished over in the first place?

    The matte gray color that Washington State has adopted for their football helmets and pants is a nice idea. I wonder if Ohio State would try it on a full-time basis, with a lighter shade, of course.

    Anecdotal evidence shows that the 31-flavors of uniform helps with recruiting. Oregon’s craziness has helped them get better players. Case in point – the son of a family friend was a heralded recruit in Washington state last year. He told me he nearly went to UW just because of the then-rumor of a black alternate jersey.

    I will take my school looking goofy and winning over looking good and loosing any day of the weak.

    Loosing? Goodness gracious, it’s still early out here on the west coast. Try this again – I will take looking goofy and winning over looking good and losing.

    Oh, I knew that.
    Just bugs me.
    I’m trying to imagine some kid I coached saying, “Penn State wants me…but their uniforms are so BORING. I’m going to Viginia.”

    One for home games. One for road games. One for bowl games. There ya go.

    /ok, so 3 is too many, but I think 2 is perfectly acceptable.

    “One for home games. One for road games. One for bowl games.”

    That explains why Arizona State doesn’t have a third one. ZING!!!


    I recognize that many (most? all?) of us have something uniform-related that bugs us. Pajama pants. BFBS. Disappearing sleaves on football jerseys. Having more than one football helmet, for me, is not one of them. In fact, it makes no less sense to me than having more than one color of pants in football.

    I’m a big adidas fan (link is my current profile pic), so this opinion is in no way unbiased, but I generally appreciate the three stripes as a design element. I’m with Paul – they often have a classic look, and when adidas shows link in the rest of the design, the stripes add a necessary bit of visual link. Of course, when they don’t show restraint, the stripes link more than they help.

    Regarding Adidas’ three stripe style … I honestly haven’t looked closely at an Adidas shoe in the past 20 years, but at least in the 80s, my perception of what made Adidas shoes unique wasn’t JUST the three stripes, but actually the cut of those three stripes:


    Absolutely. The serrated edge was one way to instantly tell Adidas from the “impersonators”.

    Not necessarily. For many years I wore adidas shoes on which the stripes were merely link

    Re Mike Hersh’s comment about going legally after others using three stripes: would that extend to Northwestern stripes as well? I don’t think the casual observer would confuse the two.

    What Adidas actually claims as a trademark is three stripes of equal width, separated by negative stripes of width equal to the positive stripes.

    I believe Adidas did the “perforation” thing on their shoes for tennis, because at the time anything but plain white what was frowned upon.

    My Sambas definitely still have the serrated edges, though they’re retros of the 1980 model.

    I always thought the adidas three stripes had to be vertical (or slanted a bit) and not horizontal. The horizontal three stripes on the socks and sweaters don’t remind me of adidas at all and I can’t think of an adidas product using horizontal stripes as a logo. Am I out of line with this? Don’t Adidas stripes have to be vertical (or slanted)?

    Watching the Tribe in Anaheim last night, I counted FIVE Angels logos on their red alt unis. One on the cap, one in the patch on the cap, one in the jersey wordmark, one in the anniversary patch, and one on the right sleeve (which put it directly next to the wordmark logo.)

    Here’s a picture of Weaver (not from last night) to give you an idea…


    “And would the Yanks really have kept something around that long, even while moving to a new stadium?”

    I wouldn’t be surprised if, in the rush to get out of the old stadium, someone was tasked with grabbing everything out of any closet or cranny of YS23, and carting it over to YS09. This would stir things up, and make it more likely that a 12 year old undershirt makes it onto the field. Although it is year 3 for the new park… Maybe they’re just now feeling at home.

    In December the Astros had a clubhouse clear-out sale, and unloaded some great old jerseys & clubhouse equipment that clearly dated back to the Astrodome – including lots of blue and gold, which the Astros have not exactly been promoting for the last 11 years.

    So once you sell the ice, what’s next? How about the gear? Would Yormark put ads on Panthers jerseys if the NHL allowed it?

    “Yes, I would,” he said.

    *ahem* Ok. I’ll say this as politely as I can. Fuck that guy. When you can afford to pay millions per player, you don’t need *more* money from sponsors. Quit being so god damn openly greedy.

    Yormark is not particularly well-liked by his fan base, from what I hear.

    The capitalist is almost always in favor of getting as much as humanly possible. The fan doesn’t always feel that way, which is understandable. They come from two different viewpoints.

    The fan (“us”) often thinks aesthetics > additional revenue. The capitalist often thinks additional revenue > almost anything else. It’s all a matter of perspective.

    Having been on both sides of it, I recognize each side’s perspective. The fan in me doesn’t like to see uniforms cluttered with stuff, but the intrinsic capitalist in me knows that money matters most of all. And while I understand where the notion of “you have enough money” comes from, that isn’t something WE get to decide. The market decides what backup goalies and .255-hitting shortstops make and the market decides how much revenue a team can generate, whether by hook or by crook.

    You can’t honestly tell me that 99% of the people here think they earn “enough” money (or that they would turn down a raise, even a big one). The numbers are exponentially larger, but the concept is roughly the same.

    All that said, there’s maximizing revenue for the owner who employs you and then there’s just being a greedy dick. The Yormark guys (they’re brothers, right? The other guy is/was with the Nets or still is, right? The bag-on-the-head guy?) appear to be greedy dicks. And I have no problem with anybody who has a problem with a greedy dick.

    I’m guessing that of the three major sports, as well as hockey, you’d be hard pressed to find an owner not named Steinbrenner or Jones who would honestly say they wouldn’t be open to ads on uniforms “if it was allowed by the league”. This one is just being honest.

    If so, they’re short-sighted.

    If MLB allowed jersey ads, does anybody think that the Yankees wouldn’t get 10x the price that the Brewers, Pirates or Orioles see?

    It would only exacerbate the financial inequity.

    Speaking of shoes that look like one another, I didn’t know that Adidas bought the three stripes from Karhu.

    But Karhu is still around – their “brand” is a giant “M” on the sides. Which makes them look like old Mizunos.



    This is now my all-time favorite link.

    I first heard of Karhu the brand in 2004, when I came across a woodblock print by the American-Japanese artist link and started doing research. I’m pretty sure “karhu” is Finnish for “link.”

    I highly recommend doing a Google Image search for Clifton Karhu.

    my point (awkward as it was) is that adidas has karhu’s old logo, and karhu has mizuno’s old logo.

    fwiw – and I have no idea how this fits in – Karhu used to own merrell. Maybe that’s how they ended up with similar ‘M’ logos?

    As as Wazzu alum, I have to disagree with Paul’s take on our new football unis. I love the new grey helmets – it meas the cougs are actually wearing school colors. WSU is supposed to be the “Crimson and Grey” and for decades they’ve been silver or white. The charcoal uni is a bit much, but the grey helmet and dark grey cougar logo is a win.

    at the end of this video at ASU’s athletic website, it shows the symbol that will most likely be used on their helmets or shoulder…


    Yeah, that’s the one.

    I bought my son a window cling for his car, that’s the trident/pitchfork they’ve been easing into the marketplace.

    Gray-on-gray helmet aside, the new WSU uniforms well done across the board. The designs are all simple and understated without being bland or generic.

    The only gripe I have is that the flat, sans-serif “Washington State” is too long to work as a wordmark on anything other than the football jerseys. It becomes too small to read, which isn’t a problem when the primary identifier is the helmet, but when it’s the single largest identifying mark, if it’s unreadable it fails as a logo. They should have gone with “WSU” or arched it to fit a larger font.

    I do like the red-on-gray helmet. The gray-on-gray is a continuation of the monochrome stylistic flourish that has never worked.

    I too like the gray helmet with red. I have always liked silver helmets. Hardly any teams use gray

    Adidas claims that they came up with the 3-stripes themselves: link I know they used the “brand with the 3 stripes” tag line for a long time. My dad has an old shoe box from the 70’s with that slogan on it.

    I find it fascinating that it appears Jimmy Carter was the first president to throw the first pitch from the actual mound. Did it just never occur to people prior to the late ’70s to have the president get out of his box and walk over to the mound, or is there more to the story?

    That picture was from the 1990s. I think Reagan was actually the first to throw off the mound.

    Good catch… I just caught the “1976” below the picture and thought it was a caption to the photo. Still odd that nobody did that sooner.

    Three thoughts.

    1. FDR certainly wasn’t about to do it, so the “from the stands” tradition would have continued through his administration.
    2. Subsequent Presidents probably were interested in showing their vitality in an increasingly more “active” cultural environment, especially on…
    3. Television

    Here’s link throwing from the mound with team gear, but this was 1961, when he was still a senator, and he’s doing the honors for the Nashville Vols. Seems typical of the divide between local or statewide pols and sitting presidents; once he was in the White House, LBJ did first-pitch honors from the stands in business attire.

    Far as I can tell, Eisenhower was the first to wear a glove while doing first-pitch honors; presidents since have been about evenly divided between gloved and bare-handed.

    The Carter photo is from 1992. Carter’s lone presidential first-pitch appearance, at Game Seven of the 1979 World Series in Baltimore, was of the traditional throwing-from-the-stands variety.

    Reagan was the first president to throw out a first pitch from the field of play, in Baltimore in 1984, but his throw was in foul territory between the dugout and third base. He repeated the performance in 1986. In 1988, Reagan became the first president to throw a first pitch from the mound and the first president to wear team gear when he did first-pitch honors for the Chicago Cubs.

    Reagan invented many of the little theatrical flourishes that we now associate with the presidency, such as jauntily returning salutes from uniformed military personnel. Kind of interesting to contrast the ideological conservatism Reagan brought to the substance of the political aspect of the presidency with the tradition-thrashing innovations he brought to the ceremonial aspects of the presidency. Seriously not asserting a judgment here: good or bad, it’s interesting, and the fact that Reagan broke with tradition to take the first-pitch practice out onto the field of play, onto the mound itself, and into team-logo merchandise is typical of of him.

    Though I’ve previously speculated that moving from the stands to the field of play, where the president can be hidden from the public until immediately before the ceremony and whisked away immediately afterwards, may have been a result of the post-1981 Secret Service reforms of presidential security practices, not the president’s personal preference. But going out to the mound in a bright satin Cubbies jacket, the theatricality of that gesture is pure Gipper. And as with the little salute and other touches, it’s become the accustomed practice of the office.

    Oh, yes, indeed.
    There’s an episode of THE WEST WING where President Bartlett, in a long White House hallway, tries to figure out how to pitch while wearing one.
    Some crystal gets damaged, if I remember correctly.

    So pop culture references are off-limits now? Just so I know the rules. We can go back to discussing whether something is a trident or a pitchfork. Much more fun.

    After two assassination attempts in just a few weeks, Gerald Ford took to wearing bullet-resistant vests in public. Far as I can tell from press archives, Jimmy Carter did not continue the practice. Reagan may or may not have begun wearing protection after the major security reforms following his near-assassination. I can’t find press reports one way or the other about First Bush, and Clinton is said to have worn a kevlar vest in some circumstances. But Clinton is also widely reported to have been highly resistant to Secret Service requests, so if he wore a vest sometimes, then Reagan and First Bush probably did most of the time after 1982. Second Bush was widely reported to have worn ballistic vests in public for the duration of his presidency, as was Vice President Cheney. Press accounts about Obama vary, but videos of him do suggest that he’s a bit heavier in public than in appearances at the White House, and in Washington it’s also rumored that the Secret Service has ordered suits made with very thin ballistic fabrics in addition to under-the-shirt vests.

    But given how much armor players are wearing these days — link — the kevlar vest can’t be considered much of an impediment for presidential first-pitch duties.

    Who said it was off limits?
    I was joking that maybe I was someone who couldn’t separate TV from reality.

    Thin-skinned, are we?

    Because Paul and I have talked about this, I won’t get into it with you. But if I did, it’d be over for you.

    This link does not portray our Uni-leader in such a glorious light.

    The alternate “Uniwatch” iphone app made me think of that.

    Mention it? Shoot, he should have a replica of it made and put into the sidewalk in front of his house.

    Fc Porto secured the Portuguese league championship last week and already have patches on their jerseys proclaiming their status


    Now this is different from the shield the league uses on the shirts, that’s still on Benfica’s for the rest of the season

    Saucony had a three-stripe shoe that showed up in U.S. football in the early 60s.
    Cliff Livingston of the Giants wore them.
    Tommy McDonald while with the Rams.
    So did Lance Alworth at Arkansas.
    New Mexico State had a number of players who wore them, including QB Charlie Johnson (later of the Cardinals, Oilers and Broncos) and Pervis Atkins (Rams and Redskins)…

    We would be remiss if we didn’t note New Mexico State’s unusual jersey striping, wouldn’t we.

    Don’t think I’ve seen that jersey striping pattern before. Nice touch w/ the plain helmet and plain pants.

    Side Note: Addidas were still very expensive in the early 1970’s (currency issues, still being made in Germany), so most kids at my school wore the Sears house brand immitation of Addidas with FOUR stripes. Called “The Winner” shoe. There were everywhere from 1973-1976 or so.

    Count me in as one of the people who are interested in seeing more of Rob’s playoff-themed illos!

    If anyone reading this is interested, the HBIC Playoff Pool opened today as well.

    Wayne Hagin’s powers extend beyond his own broadcast booth! Yesterday afternoon I was listening to the Rox/Mets game on my drive home. In the top of the third, Jonathan Herrera got a hit and Jerry Schemmel said “He’s rounding second and heading for first, er – rounding sec – er, rounding first and heading for second”.

    Other side note on Adidas footwear: The Aaron cleats pictured are essentially the baseball version of the “World Cup” soccer boot. The white polyurethane sole riveted/tacked to the welt was produced for a long time across a lot of their different sport shoes. The upper design with the pinked stripes and the white achilles pad goes back that far too, and they started adding the trefoil logo embossed in the leather in the late 80’s I think (and replaced with the “adidas” wordmark around 1994-95.

    Second note: The first instances of serious adidas logo creep moving from just three stripes to “brand” were around the release of the Adidas Equipment line, which happened around late 1990-ish. Compare photos of the 1986 and 1990 World Cups to the 1994 Cup – big difference in jersey designs (excepting Argentina, Italy, and others with long-standing designs independent of branding).

    In regards to potential for ads on jerseys:

    At one time, there were no MLB teams with jumbotron-based commercials. Now there are 29 of them. At one point, there were no teams with ads on the wall behind home plate. Now there are 30 of them. It’s just another form of revenue.

    Keep in mind, I don’t like the idea of ads on uniforms, and I hope it never happens, but I’d be shocked if it doesn’t happen in the next 10 years.

    The sad thing is, the day WILL come where your favorite NFL team has an ad on their jersey, and the number of people that walk away from being a fan because of it will monetarily be more than made up for by the new stream of revenue the team creates.

    All I know is…if you walk away from being a fan because of an ad on the jersey, but you haven’t walked away because of PSLs and incessant commercial breaks and $9 beers and having to pay for season tickets in full months before games might or might not be played, I can’t follow that.

    In for a penny, in for a pound. If the NFL (or whatever league it is) means enough to you that you’ll carve out time to watch, pay for Sunday Ticket or whatever it is, pay for PSLs, pay $30 to park, buy overpriced jerseys and put up with whatever else they throw at you…and THAT won’t piss you off, but an ad on a jersey will? I can’t get my head around that logic. That’s just me.

    Mark my words: advertisements will not be appearing on baseball uniforms in the next 10 years. So I guess you will be shocked.

    Do your words cover baseball, basketball, football, and – dare I say – hockey? I wasn’t very clear, but I was referring to highest level leagues in all US major sports.

    As an alumnus of Washington State University, I would have liked to see the crimson helmet gone altogether. If they were to keep (which they obviously did), why couldn’t they have changed the facemask to gray, along with the Coug-head logo? After all the colors of the school are crimson and gray. This helmet has always reminded me of Oklahoma, which isn’t a good thing if you live in Washington state. Ever hear of the Sonics?
    Also getting rid of the crimson facemask on the silver helmet looks bad as well, and don’t even get me going on the all gray helmet, that just looks terrible.
    As far as the uniforms go, they are not bad, better than I would have expected from Nike…a little bit of an upgrade from their last set. I would have they rather gone with something a little more traditional, Bledsoe-Leaf era, or even what they had up until 4 years ago (which was loosely based on the past).

    Well, THIS should spark a nice debate:


    Yes, it’s the victim’s fault because he was wearing the road team’s jersey. And you’re too old to wear a jersey anyway. Oy.

    It’s like blaming a person who goes into a bad neighborhood at night for getting mugged. Yes, it might have been reckless for him to go to Dodger Stadium wearing a Giants jersey, but that doesn’t excuse the actions of the two men that jumped him.

    And I have no problem with an adult showing support by wearing a jersey, painting his face, or wearing an outlandish costume. Of course, I am from Cleveland, so I grew up with it.

    “Yes, it might have been reckless for him to go to Dodger Stadium wearing a Giants jersey, but that doesn’t excuse the actions of the two LITTLE BOYS that jumped him.”


    Not trying to be snarky in any way, shape, or form, but assholes like the ones who jumped Bryan Snow are NOT men. Not now, not ever.

    One who performs a thuggish act may be deemed a thug. How someone wears their pants, particularly a baseball player, should not demand such a label.
    The world would be a better place if everyone aspired to be a big lug.

    “Know when you’ve outgrow the uniform”

    Duhh…edit much? How can you take an article seriously when someone, copy editor, publisher, webmaster, etc…allowed THAT headline? Someone was paid for that.

    good rule of thumb… NEVER link an article from john EFFing steigerwald. he’s a joke AND a dumb asshole. wish he would leave town and take his creepy hack of a brother with him!

    (and that’s as nice as i could have put that)

    Swear to God, almost every day something happens that makes me think maybe re-instituting mandatory military service isn’t such a bad idea.

    If you’re between 18 and, say, 23, unmarried and not in school, spend at least two years serving.

    a) They’d be giving the men and women of the National Guard and Reserves a well-deserved break.
    b) They yearn to fight for colors, do they? Done deal.
    c) It would be an opportunity for them to show just how tough they really are.

    Had a kid from South Korea that was in my dorm freshman year of college. Did drugs, drank like crazy, and was pretty much an asshole. He decided to do his two years of service after that year. When he came back he was a totally different person. Amazing what happened when the world wasn’t handed to him on a platter anymore.

    Mandatory military service?
    Because we take such good care of our war veterans?
    I hope that you are all giving extra quarters to the homeless.

    Those uniforms WERE an epic fail, I agree. But they are uniforms from the past. That Article has a date at the top of August 2003, Dirk Koetter is shown in the article (Erickson has been the coach for 4 years +) and those are Adidas uniforms that were only worn in 2003 I believe. ASU has been Nike for a while.

    Three stripes wise: O’neills, an Irish sporstwear company with a huge presence in Irish rugby and soccer, beat adidas to use the three stripes in the UK and Ireland, and sometimes, still uses it in retro stuff

    Ignore that comment, I just saw the date of the article is from 2003. My apologies lol.

    Regarding the Omaha Knights team photo: Fantastic! Do you notice the crest? It’s a big ‘O’ with an ‘AK’ inside. Omaha-area natives like me know that ‘AK’ is short for AK-SAR-BEN (Nebraska spelled backwards). AK-SAR-BEN was a major horse racing track in the middle of Omaha that also had a hockey arena, AK-SAR-BEN Coliseum (“The AK”). There was (is?) a local group called the Knights of AK-SAR-BEN made up of the elite businessmen and politicians of the city, hence the Knights nickname. Would love to have one of these sweaters! My parents met on a blind date to a Knights game. The team was long gone by the 80s, but we had a Junior A team called the Lancers that blew the lid of the AK drawing 6,000 fans to every game when their opponents typically drew 500. What a blast! The AK is gone now, just a corporate business park (boo!).

    The ASU football uniforms actually look pretty cool.

    There’s a wordmark on the front, which sucks, but the helmet looks good with the new pitchfork/trident (they’ve referred to it as a pitchfork and it’s their university so there you are).

    Here’s the new proprietary font and revamped pitchfork:


    The pants feel too plain to me. They need some kind of leg striping. I actually wonder what a pitchfork down the side would look like.

    I agree with KT here. I don’t care much for “Sun Devil Bold”, but the helmet is sharp and the shoulder stripes/points are sharp (pun not intended). I’ll miss Sparky on the helmet, but I can definitely get behind this look.

    The more I look at the helmet, the more I like it.

    the “Sun Devil Bold’ is a slightly (emphasis on slightly) modified Florida State font when it comes to the numbers.

    Why is everything always bold with Nike? and will they ever use the un-bolded version of the fonts?

    The only complaint I have with this is that they no longer have gold basketball uniforms.

    The shoulder stripes look like swooshes. I know it is supposed to be pointy like a fork or horn or tail, but it looks like a swoosh.

    And two of the three unis:


    You can’t see it from this photo, but there’s a gradation in the font on the black jersey numbers…they start yellow and gradually go white at the bottom.

    I like the sorta-pitchforks on the shoulders. At first the maroon jersey looked like USC.

    “A donor is funding the ASU uniform change for all 21 athletic teams.” – Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic

    I think BFBS is disgusting never more than for a team that plays games in 95 degree heat and the block lettering of ASU where the TV numbers would be is gross. It’s like if Florida State and USC had a kid, a kid that sucks.

    The basketball jerseys are so plain, too. More black? The home ones look like Cavs ripoffs, which is not a good thing.

    I bet this look lasts 3 seasons before a change is made.

    95 degree heat? That’s called October here, homes. We pray for when it gets back down to 95.

    Walking around downtown Phoenix in February is real nice though, especially coming from Ohio

    So what is the best of the sports tridents? Seattle Mariners, Everett Aqua Sox or Arizona State Sun Devils?

    I don’t understand the use of the block “ASU” on the sleeves. Everything is supposed to be “sharp” and clean. The lettering just looks bulky and very out of place

    “The basketball jerseys [sic] are so plain, too. More black? The home ones look like Cavs ripoffs, which is not a good thing.”

    They’ve been using that “Cavs ripoff” look for years now. So really, the Cavs ripped off the Sun Devils. I like everything about the AP rebrand EXCEPT the BFBS looks. The black helmet is cool, though. Don’t know why… *shifty eyes*

    Call me crazy, but they don’t have to wear black when it’s sunny out during the day. I’m pretty sure the new black uniforms will never be worn outside of a night game

    Herb Sendak brought those boring-ass uniforms with him from NC State.

    I LOVED their basketball gear before he got there…The Nike Ike Diogu era was AWESOME.

    As for the football uniforms, I really miss Sparky and the double ASU on the sleeves is an utter WASTE!

    And who gets more mileage from someone who has passed: ASU with PT-42 or Marquette with AL McGuire?

    Not crazy at all about the ASU black. It is ok I guess not but nothing special. I liked Sparky on the helmet

    Nike Video on ASU: link

    “We like to say that black is an attitude, more than it is a color.”

    I swear the Pats three stripes are from Adidas. “Sometimes three stripes are just three stripes.”

    If they’re a part of the pre-existing uni set, sure. But nowhere have the Pats ever had three symmetrical stripes in their design package, ever, all of just one color like that.

    And they arrived when Adidas had their /// logo on the sleeve, yes?

    If not a fan of baseball, so please excuse me for being ignorant, but why does baseball have road grays? I understand the white at home–it’s a classic thing and many teams do it, but why does every baseball team go out of their color spectrum and wear monochrome gray when they are at a different stadium?

    It’s a tradition that emerged from the days when teams didn’t know if they’d have ready access to laundry services whilst playing on the road. They could wear the same road grays for multiple games before “really” having to wash them.

    Not every team goes with road grays always. Famously, quite a few teams had road powder blue in the 70s and 80s. For some reason, I grew up calling it “rose blue” either because I misheard “road blue,” it’s actually called that, or because it reminds me of when Pete Rose played for the Phillies. Not sure.

    The ASU “Brand Manual” which talks about how vendors/the school is supposed to use the new logos and wordmarks. Kind of interesting, all the guidelines they have. I know this is a standard practice for “protecting your brand” but I’d never seen one of these until today


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