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Guess Who My New Favorite Player Is

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Happy Gringo de Mayo from St. Louis, where I got in last night. Didn’t get to see much of yesterday’s Dodgers/Cubs throwback game, but I got lots of e-mails telling me that Cubbie closer Sean Marshall was the only Chicago player to wear one of the long-sleeved undershirts that Bob Halfacre and his crew painstakingly stripe-ified. Turns out that’s not completely accurate, though: Marshall was the only one who wore the glorious stripes in the game, but reader Dave Hall got a shot of Ryan Dempster and someone else (Blake DeWitt..?) wearing them in the dugout.

Interesting that Marshall was permitted to wear the striped sleeves on the mound. Remember what happened a few years back when a different Cubs pitcher tried to pitch with Nike Pox sleeves? As you may recall, the umps nixed that one, and I was worried that we might see a similar scene unfold yesterday. Fortunately, nobody complained about Marshall’s stripes being distracting or anything like that.

You can see lots more photos from the game here.

New ESPN column today — here’s the link.

For those of you in the St. Looey area, I look forward to meeting you tonight at the Corner Bar in St. Charles. If you get there before 9:30pm, we’ll be milling around upstairs; after that, we’ll trying out cocked-hat bowling in the basement. See you there. — Paul

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Raffle reminder: I’m currently raffling off a free ticket to that Pop-Up Magazine thing I’m participating in. Details here.

Stirrups Club reminder: Robert Marshall has a new slate of stirrups up for sale. Details here.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: The Pirates are holding something called “Armed Forces Day” on May 15. At first I thought this meant they’d be playing one of 1979’s best albums on the sound system. Alas, no such luck. ”¦ In a related item, similar shenanigans are on tap for Ole Miss baseball this weekend (with thanks to Zach Bonner). ”¦ New home kit for Aston Villa. “No word on whether the kit comes with a set of checkers,” quips Patrick Runge. ”¦ I’ve never been a big Disney fan (there’s a shocker), but it’s still hard not to like this Donald Duck family tree (thanks, Kirsten). ”¦ Ryne Jungling notes that Andre Ethier was using Matt Kemp’s bat the other day. ”¦ One of you DIYers ought to snap up this Bruins-style blank jersey. ”¦ I think we’ve mentioned this before, but just in case: The Wizards will unveil their new uniforms next Tuesday. ”¦ New soccer kits for Arsenal. “I’m thinking it’s a step back from last year,” says Joel Villamil. “One saving grace, though: the socks.” ”¦ Tons of old college football photos on display here (with thanks to Joseph Newman). ”¦ Key revelation lurking within this Big Ten blog post: “New Michigan coach Brady Hoke told that he never wore red, ‘Ohio’s color,’ when he coached at both Ball State, his alma mater, or at San Diego State. Cardinal is one of Ball State’s school colors, and red is one of San Diego State’s. ‘People understood,’ Hoke said. ‘They got the message, I guess. Right, wrong or different, that’s me'” (as noted by Dale Coley). ”¦ Spectacular work by Eric Rosenberg, who was watching last night’s Bosox/Angels game and noticed that Angels catcher Hank Conger still has last year’s logo decal — the one with the silver halo instead of this year’s gold halo — on his catcher’s helmet. ”¦ From that same game, Angels first base coach Alfredo Griffin was wearing a hoodie. ”¦ Really well-written piece about college football uniforms here (with thanks to Jerry Wolper). … A few readers mentioned that Brewers broadcasters Bill Schroeder and Brian Anderson had two lengthy stirrup discussiosn yesterday. The first one, prompted by the sight of Nyjer Morgan’s hosiery, was one of those basic, “Wow, look at that, stirrups, never see those anymore” deals, and then Schroeder apparently wondered aloud how stirrups got started in the first place. Later on, they revisited that topic, and Nicole Haase got us a transcript:

Bill Schroeder: I got the answer to the stirrup question. We’ll deal with it next inning.

Brian Anderson: No, go ahead, I’d love to hear what you have to say about the stirrups. Now what was the question?

BS: I didn’t understand why they needed the stirrups the way they were.

BA: Oh you’re talking about the genesis of the stirrups. You were wondering where it started.

BS: Why didn’t you just have a colored sock?

BA: I see. And you have some clarification.

BS: Yeah the dyes that they used to make those socks back in the old days were such that if you got cleated or cut yourself you’d get an infection.

BA: Interesting.

BS: So what they decided to do was wear sanitary sock ”“- there’s why they call them sanitaries”¦

BA: Nice

BS: Right. The problem is with the double sock, the shoes didn’t fit all that well. Okay”¦

BA: Wow. One problem after another”¦


BS: I’m trying to help here.

BA: No I can see. This is totally making sense.

BS: So that’s why they did it that way.

Comments (200)

    Green is Ohio’s color.

    You’d think Brady would know that, because the last time he faced us, in 2005, we gave him a beatdown.

    If you’ve read any of the content this week, you’d know it’s not anti-military rhetoric. It’s “anti-messing with the uniforms by putting military tributes and camoflauge patterns and such” on them. There’s a way to honor the military and it’s not by messing with the uniforms.

    For a guy who lives in New York you sure do have a lot of disdain for honoring our military. What gives? I liked the Mets hats, I like the Pirates hats. There is nothing wrong with honoring the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. WAY TO GO MLB. Your Internet and social media strategy are failures but your love of our military is spot on.

    No, there’s nothing wrong with honoring them. Problem is, wearing a camo-trimmed uniform isn’t the best way to do that. Why not wear a military appreciation patch and donate $5 from every ticket sold to military families or to buy supplies for those serving overseas or something. Paint a promotional logo on the field. Whatever you want to do, leave the uniforms alone. Team uniforms and especially military uniforms both deserve their fair share of respect, and combining the two respects neither.

    I don’t understand what being from New York has to do with the amount of disdain someone is allowed to have for the military. Is it more or less than someone from Seattle is allowed to have? Or Chicago? Does the amount of patriotism a person has go hand in hand with how close they live to New York?

    What a sublimely beautiful Cubs-Dodgers game that was (both aesthetically and scoreboard-wise, for this Cub fan)!

    Pale blue looks great; the script “Brooklyn” looks great; the Cubs look much better in their traditional NNOB style; the socks on the Cubs were perfect and added jus tthe right touch of color to their gray.

    I hadn’t noticed before, but Bob Halfacre’s company even got the base on the 4 correct; the Red Sox’ more famous version of the McAuliffe font doesn’t have a base.

    The other Cub pitchers must be getting jealous of Z — he got to pitch their last ’40s throwback game in 2008, when they wore the home version of yesterday’s uniform (that game was 1948 and yesterday’s was 1944, but they wore these, both home and road, consistently until they went back to pinstripes in 1957).

    These throwback games shouldn’t be single isolated games. They need to do them much more often.

    I wasn’t that impressed with the Brooklyn garb but that Cubs uni was gorgeous. Those 3 stripes on the stirrups (for those who displayed them) were a thing of beauty. A win, from head to toe.


    I was very disappointed in Carlos Pena for not wearing the socks. Picture 7 is best shot.

    I wish I could say that’s all I was disappointed in Pena for this year, but alas, that started happening about the time the ink was dry on his contract.

    I have to agree…I am not a fan of the Brooklyn look. Just doesn’t hit my eye right.

    I savor any chance to see the Cubs go NNOB. Their simple, elegant number font was damaged by the decision to pad it out with red trim in ’93….and slapping names on the back was a decision we at UniWatch could call OTADI….e.g., a uniform change made only because “Other Teams Are Doing It”.

    Uni decisions would be better based on what other teams are not doing. Be your funky selves, Cubbies. You look great doing it.

    I agree, Pushbutton. All teams look better without names on the backs, but particularly the Cubs, who should be going for the traditional look. At lease be like their contemporaries the Giants and leave the names for the road.

    I don’t mind the red borders at home, though. It balances the red-and-blue Cubs logo on the front perfectly. I thought the Cubs had their ideal home look when they got rid of the names in 2005; the only problem was that Majestic (as I’ve mentioned countless times here) link.

    The best thing about the Cubs’ number font — a variation of Eurostile, which might be on your computer — is that it somehow looks modern and even a bit futuristic no matter what year it is, in prefect contrast to the McAuliffe font which always looks old-fashioned. I love both of them.

    Baseball is played at such a slow, pastoral pace that NOBs really aren’t necessary. At the games they show the player’s name on the scoreboard, on TV it’s on the screen. Look how good the Red Sox home and Yankee uniforms look. Clean and classy.

    Wouldn’t it be great if society could stop glorifying war and death?

    /just sayin…

    Amen. Sometimes it’s a necessity, true. But our society has fetishized it.

    Exactly. We didn’t win, and thereby end, a war on Sunday.

    Note to young people. All those celebrations after WWII weren’t because Americans were chanting “We’re No. 1” and “U-S-A.” Yes, we’d won, but mostly the joy sprang from this thought…it’s over. Thank God, it’s over. People will be coming home now.

    This current situation isn’t over. We took out the number one bad guy. But again, it isn’t over.

    No need for an endless stream of, figuratively speaking, ticker tape parades.

    Maybe if people from more families were involved we’d understand that. Instead, though, it’s a small group of volunteers who are taking the responsiblity and letting the rest of their generation skate through it.

    I grew up in a pretty conservative household and used to equate “supporting the troops” with waving American flags, not questioning the president, etc. However, the turning point for me was when one of my best friends from college shipped off to Iraq a year or two after 9/11. That perspective led me to question our interventionist and nation-building policies, and I’m now against any non-defensive war. Certainly there are other people with friends or family overseas who have political beliefs that are quite different from mine, but I completely agree that you have a more informed (dare I say credible?) opinion when the names and faces of the soldiers in the Middle East aren’t all abstract. I’m all for thoughtful discussions about foreign policy and patriotism; I just get frustrated when certain people delineate certain positions as de facto patriotic or unpatriotic.

    “Yes, we’d won, but mostly the joy sprang from this thought…it’s over. Thank God, it’s over.”

    Ricko, I agree with probably 95% of your post, especially when it comes to uni asthetics. However, in this situation, I’m going to have to disagree. While I don’t agree with the excessive celebration, its important to remember that many of the people celebrating were still in elementary school 10 years ago. I can’t remember if I read this in the comments here yesterday or on one of the news sites, but it’s worth repeating that to many of those celebrating, bin Laden was the boogeyman personified. So, while the war isn’t and may never be over, the fear of this one man is. I would be willing to bet that many of the people celebrating in after WWII were Jewish and held a very similiar fear, and thus relief, of Hitler.

    But again, I agree when it comes to uniforms. Keep the “look at me” pageantry away. Instead of MLB authorizing the tacky Mets cap yesterday, a small flag patch (think post-9/11 2001 season) across the league would have made more sense and been far more classy.

    “…bin Laden was the boogeyman personified. So, while the war isn’t and may never be over, the fear of this one man is. I would be willing to bet that many of the people celebrating in after WWII were Jewish and held a very similiar fear, and thus relief, of Hitler.”

    I mentioned that about OBL yesterday. I also mentioned that we celebrated V-E and V-J day, not “Hitler Offed Himself in His Bunker” Day.

    Again, as you say, we have taken out the number one bad guy, not won the war.

    So, for young people “the witch is dead”. But that doesn’t get them a pass from stopping to judge whether their ongoing celebrations (NOT meaning the spontaneous outbreaks of Sunday night) aren’t actually quite shallow and short-sighted, all things considered…in the greater context.

    As I also said yesterday, “We don’t gloat.” It just has never been our style. Thankfully.

    Ricko, I’ve been reading this site for years, and respect you and your contributions to the comments section, but it really upsets me when you (and others) throw out the “young people” thing. I turn 23 in two weeks, and was in middle school when 9/11 happened, so I do fall in to the category of having grown up with Osama bin Laden as the “number one enemy”.

    However, I work for a professional team in one of the major leagues in this country (nothing to do with uniforms, alas), and it is not my generation that makes these decisions to “honor the military” with special uniforms. The decisions may be targeted at my generation, but we are not the ones that are making these decisions. As far as I have been able to tell, the ones that are making these decisions tend to be closer to the age of my parents than to myself.

    You’re absolutely right.
    You aren’t making the decisions, and that wasn’t fair of me.

    But the fact is, sophisticated marketers know your generation will patch into it, and that says something.

    A vicious circle. They look at your feelings, and offer opportunities…and stuff. “You” buy. So they offer more. And “you” buy more. Somewhere along the line, “you” (as their prime target market) need to stop buying their act.

    They’re pandering to a group, knowing they won’t get “No” for an answer. Ballpark Patriotism has become sort of a cottage industry inside the larger industry of pro sports.

    The way to stop it is to stop supporting it. Know what I mean?

    “The way to stop it is to stop supporting it. Know what I mean?”

    Yes, I do. I have yet to purchase any of the Stars & Stripes caps, though this is mostly because I think they are ugly. You know what’s funny though? My 50 year old father thinks they’re cool and bought one for himself.


    So… How about them sports outfits, huh?

    (Let’s move past this before some troll comes on here and ruins it like what happened yesterday)

    Maybe I’m feeling defensive, but I feel like I’ve got to stick up for youth, too. I’m about to turn 25 and was taking a state standardized test my sophomore year of high school when the attacks happened. And I just don’t buy OBL being the “boogeyman” personified. I know I sure as hell didn’t feel that way. Am I glad he’s gone? Sure. Did I think the celebrations were out of line? Absolutely.

    Celebrating a death, even for one as vile as OBL, is no good. Especially to celebrate it the same way you act at frat party. I found the shots in front of the White House terribly distasteful. Almost equally distasteful is the mindset ClubMed espoused earlier, and the uni “tributes” smack of that and wrapping yourself in the flag to curry favor. I don’t think the younger generation is blind to it, but the ones who are tend to be louder.

    Bottom line?

    If 10 percent of the men between 18 and 23 who demonstrate their profound patriotism by bellowing at ballparks would enlist we wouldn’t have military units and families stretched so dangerously thin.

    Yeah, like that’s gonna happen. Easier to let the other guy do it. And chant your support for him.

    Maybe, just maybe, there’s responsibility beyond being a “fan” of the U.S.

    My whole view on the celebrating is this, You can’t tell people how to grieve. And while, yes, some people acted like jackasses, some people ALWAYS act like jackasses.

    At funerals I find people like my mother and brother who, like me, like to make jokes and laugh through trauma. I don’t do it in front of people who aren’t ok with it because I grieve differently than them. While both are perfectly acceptable forms of grieving (because there is no wrong way to grieve) I realize that others may view my actions as inappropriate but it’s what I need to do to move forward.

    I view this the same way, if people feel the need to chant USA, ok, fine. I’m not going to do that because I know this didn’t end anything other than a few people’s lives. But I am not going to get worked up about it because people are going to do whatever they need to get past what may be a very traumatic moment in their lives.

    And teams keep throwing more logs on the fire.
    That ain’t helping.

    What I’m saying is, I want people to be smart enough to stop buying into it.

    Oh, yeah, another thing that’s gonna happen.

    Sidebar: 50-year-olds don’t necessarily get it, either. They were, what, 12 or 13 when the Vietnam War ended? They, too, have lived most of their adult lives with a volunteer military, an era when serving wasn’t considered a possible part of their obligation as citizens. They’ve had “people to do that,” and many of that generation now are the decision-makers in MLB.

    Not saying conscription should be the law of the land. But the feeling in the land is a whole lot different when it is. In that cirucumstance, it’s “all of us.” With volunteers, it’s “those guys are taking care of it.” When you’ve seen it both ways, you do understand that difference.

    And it’s huge.

    I suppose I should also add that maybe I was more, I dunno, “conservative” about my celebration because almost all my uncles and good number of my cousins are in the military. I would agree with Ricko that it makes a huge difference if you’re around the military than if you’re not.

    The spontaneous celebrations on Sunday? no problem here as most the people seemed to be in the 18-25 bracket. I was a freshman in high school when it happened. It was the first major “thing” that had happened in our lives and so had a different effect on most younger people than it did for the older generations. I had to explain it to my parents the other day when we went to dinner because they didn’t get the celebrations either. The uniform tributes are over the top though.

    And Ricko a friend of mine from college tried to join the Navy after graduating but got turned away because he had foot surgery when he was 11. So some have tried to volunteer but weren’t accepted.

    My goodness. Not saying a whole generation is sluffing.

    Just saying there is a tremendous difference between…
    “I don’t have to serve if I don’t feel like it”
    “We’re all probably going to.”

    Sorry, Ricko didn’t mean it like that. And you’re right, there is a huge difference between the two.

    I agree that “honor the troops” days should have an actual direct impact on the troops. Invite troops/units to the park, donate a percentage of the take to a military cause, or have people brings goods to send over there.

    Nope. We owe our existence to war and death. We chose war and death over enduring a slight bump in taxes 235 years ago. We chose war and death over letting the South walk peacefully 150 years ago. We chose war and death so we could fulfill our Manifest Destiny and stretch our legs from sea to shining sea, Indians and Mexicans be damned. America forged its existence through blood and iron. Why some people are afraid to acknowledge that is beyond me.

    Who’s not recognizing that?
    Or discussing it, for that matter?

    So, what are you saying? We would be truer to ourselves if we all dressed as Imperial Storm Troopers every day? Got busy building a Death Star to continue our work here?

    Or that the war in Afghanistan isn’t much, but it’s all we’ve got right now so we should make the best of it?

    I don’t think anyone could have worn those stripes better than ol’ Stretch Marshall. As a fan of the Cublets, I’ve always been dismayed by his inconsistent play. Nonetheless, he just looks “like a ballplayer”. Good to see this come together yesterday.

    That “Bruins-style” blank is curious, as the shoulders are not only lacking the black border stripe, but the cut of the yoke looks a lot like the style the New Jersey Devils adopted when they replaced green with black in 1992.

    Holy crap that Duck Family Tree is awesome. How about Donald’s sister getting knocked up and no one knows by whom? Huey Dewey and Louie don’t know their old man (duck)! The artist went out of his way to come up with all these ducks, and intentionally let Della Duck be known as a harlot. Was making a brother-in-law for Donald too hard? What is the backstory on her? Did she get pregnant in highschool and drop out? Did she party with the Denver Broncos and not know who she slept with? I’m fascinated by this.

    Yeah, let’s not get into the possible Unfortunate Implications on that one…

    Anyone notice the car wrapped around the center tree?

    Haven’t the Ducks gone through enough heartache without you piling on? Donald is both the uncle and father of Hewey, Louie, and Dewie. Would you have preferred the artist to highlight incest in a children’s poster? I didn’t think so.

    Never mind the incest, how about the interspecies mating? Apocalyptic, I tells ya.

    The artist could have also found a place for Daisy Duck, Donald’s main squeeze. As far as we know Donald and Daisy didn’t procreate any little ducklings. LOL!

    The artist is probably link. Right up there with Eisner, Kelly, and Schulz among the absolute masters of 20th century cartooning. With Disney, there’s Carl Barks’ Scrooge McDuck comics, and then there’s everything else.

    If that isn’t Barks’ drawing, it’d probably be by Don Rosa, who effectively curated and extended Barks’ work on Scrooge McDuck.

    I’m not sure why the Pirates aren’t celebrating “Armed Forces Day” on Armed Forces Day–May 21.

    When I read your comment, I thought, “Well, they must be on the road on May 21.” So I checked their schedule, and get this: They’re home on the 21st but on the road on the 15th (in Milwaukee), which is the day they’re wearing the caps.

    So maybe this is actually a Brewers promotion..? Will they have stupid/ugly caps too? Very odd publicity job by New Era on this one.

    It still falls within Armed Forces Week.

    What’s more curious is why they’re doing this on the road in Milwaukee, rather than at home against Detroit the following weekend (which would include said Day). I have to wonder what the Brewers might be planning, then…

    Flying a flag doesn’t make you patriotic. Slapping a magnet that says “Support Our Troops” on your car doesn’t make you patriotic. Singing God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch doesn’t make you patriotic. Nor does the inverse of these make you anti-patriotic. If you want to be patriotic, do something to make a positive difference for your country. Question laws or lawmakers if you feel they are unjust. Pick up trash in your community. Treat your fellow citizens with respect. Speak your mind and allow others to speak theirs. Volunteer at a local charity.

    Wearing camo has nothing to do with supporting your troops or your country. Support involves action. Wearing clothing is not action. When the majority here show disdain for these military tribute nights, its not because we/they hate the military. The opposite is true. We support the military, we just feel that they deserve better. When everyone has camo nights or S & S games sprinkled throughout the season, it becomes watered down and even more tacky, because its no longer special.

    “Wearing clothing is not action.”

    That is a sound point against any cross-promotional marketing hype. A perfect example is the whole pink-out concept. Cancer research is certainly a cause everybody can get behind, but NFL players decked in pink trim with pink everywhere in the stadium does not make me want to donate my money or time. Run commercials, run a ticker at the bottom with phone numbers and websites so people know where to donate… but quit burning out our retinae!

    Agreed, agreed, agreed.

    Breast cancer awareness and testing is a worthy cause. So is supporting the military (whatever that really means, other than sending genuine good vibes).

    None of those are really helped by millionaire athletes at a costume party.

    Donate money, donate time, give out blocks of tickets to servicemembers. Many teams do this, and that should both be applauded in every case and encouraged to spread. More of that, less of the costumed theatrics.

    If you want to support the military, all you have to do is shake their hand. You have no idea how much that means to us. Go a step further and say “Thank You”. We don’t need to hear it, and we’ll tell you as much, but it makes us all the more proud to serve.

    I have a bunch of laminated “Thank You for Your Service” cards given me by a friend. I keep a couple in my pocket and give one to every service member I see in uniform. In an airport. A mall. Anywhere.

    Sounds stupid to some, I suppose. But I’ve yet to have one of the recipients see it that way.

    Absolutely. Not even a thread of stupid. I’d be honored, that’s for sure.

    Talk, my brother. You got it.

    I believe much of the tension over the past few days, as evidenced on this site, is attributable to the lack of military conscription. People who take their shirts off and shout U-S-A are generally young males of draft age unlikely to join the military. The state-sanctioned use of force is part of a game, and related to games one sees in a stadium or, more likely, on a screen. For these guys, “patriotism” is akin to rooting for the home team. You “support the military” in the same way you “support” the South Central Regional High School Fightin’ Cowpokes. In the Second World War, there was tons of “support the military” propaganda (including some vile racist stuff about the Japanese), but I’m not aware of many examples where men of draft age were out in the streets shouting what are essentially football cheers. A patriotic young man of the 1940s either enlisted or went uncomplainingly when drafted. Warfare had not yet become a sub-set of of the sports/entertainment complex, an civic beast unforeseen by Dwight Eisenhower in his warnings about the military/industrial version.


    Pariotism is now equated to “root, root, rooting for the home team.”

    Non-participant participation.

    “I did my part. I cheered really loud.”

    Easy to be a “Ballpark Patriot”, isn’t it.
    (That’s kinda like “Sunshine Patriot” only you have to have a ticket…and at least one souvenir item of apparel).

    Non-participant participation.

    Dude, that is what society’s all about these days. Too many people view copying and pasting a Facebook status or buying the yogurt with the pink ribbon as actually doing something. Slacktivism drives me fucking insane, and this is a perfect example of it.

    Yes, yes and yes! Agree with all points above. Good thread.

    There is no need in sports to aesthetically honor the military at all times with tackier and tackier costumes. Subtlety is a lost art.

    Very well said Craig. Couldn’t agree more. And I’m an Ole Miss fan. Those camo hats….while I don’t get mad about it…don’t inspire me either.

    I’m a very patriotic person who loves my country. I just don’t feel the need to wear camo or put a bumper sticker on my car to prove it.

    The worst thing I’ve ever seen in this regard was the way the Houston Aeros hockey club marketed itself in the mid-90’s. They adopted this World War Two theme: their training facility was called “The Aerodrome”; their mascot was a dog (“Chilly”) dressed like a B-52 pilot; and every time the team scored a goal, the Jumbotron ran footage of an atomic bomb blast. U-S-A! U-S-A!

    I wrote the team, and suggested they add to the ambiance by having “Internment Night”, where any fans of Japanese descent were removed from their seats and herded into a fenced area on the concourse, or offer half-price tickets to anyone with numbers tattooed on their wrist. They never wrote back.

    Wow. And you wonder why the IHL didn’t stay in business after 2001? Hopefully, the Aeros dispensed with that crap long before they jumped to the AHL.

    Very thoughtful comments. Thank you.

    Freshman year of college, I did a six month internship in the district office of a US congressman. Our offices were in the Buffalo Federal Building. Every Tuesday and Thursday, the cafeteria was filled with new armed services recruits; they got a free lunch before being shipped to basic training. They were my age, and you could tell that they came from tough circumstances, poor kids, working class kids, like I was. Only I was never going to join the Army. I’m no warrior. I feel ashamed of that, ashamed and grateful that there are people out there who have that courage or determination or desperation or whatever it is that makes them go.

    And if I had a kid in Afghanistan (I don’t; my kids aren’t warriors, either), I don’t know how I would feel about millionaires wearing camo ball caps to “honor our troops.” This isn’t about patriotism; it’s about marketing. It’s cynical and depressing, the way it was cynical and depressing (not to mention ignorant) that the Houston Aeros used to celebrate home team goals by showing footage of an atomic bomb blast on the Jumbotron (it was part of their World War Two marketing theme).

    Sorry for repeating myself; I didn’t think the first one went through. My computer is acting funny.

    I agree that “honor the troops” days should have an actual direct impact on the troops. Invite troops/units to the park, donate a percentage of the take to a military cause, or have people brings goods to send over there.

    Yeah, as great as the unis were, that game sure pointed out how butt ugly high tops or med tops look with any baseball uniform from the 1920s on.

    Long pants may not draw much praise here, but at least they cover up the “shit kicker” look.

    I’ve got like 7000 fonts installed here… I’ll skim through when I get some time and see if I have anything. I’ve gotta have something close, it wasn’t exactly a complex design or anything.

    Or there’s this: link if you don’t mind paying $20 for a single font. I find that to be insane though.

    Oy. Firstly, I have way too many fonts that are completely utterly stupid and useless. Secondly, the closest I have to the GIANTS font is this: link which would need to be stretched up a little and manipulated a bit, but it’s not -too- far off.

    Let me know if you want me to send it

    Why do you need it, if it’s to write something specific, I could photoshop that for you now.

    If it’s for prolonged use, or something, then ur F’d in the A

    Twenty dollars for a font is dirt cheap. Do you not realize that typographers make their living drawing these letterforms? Would you walk into a restaurant, sit down and say to the waiter, ‘These meals are outrageously expensive!’ and then walk out?

    “Would you walk into a restaurant, sit down and say to the waiter, ‘These meals are outrageously expensive!’ and then walk out?”

    Of course not.

    …I quietly eat my meal and then run out before the check comes.

    And what I think he meant is $20 for a font is pretty outrageous for a one time use by a person. For a design company or something, it’s nothing – it’s actually probably cheap – but it’s pretty expensive for MPowers1634, The Jeff and I all use fonts for.

    Well Andy, when I can go to amazon and search for “fonts” and get a cd with 4000 on it for $35, yes, $20 for one is expensive.

    “It’s great…I need it to make T-Shirts for my daughters class for Field Day.

    Go ahead everyone, woo-hoo!”
    wait, what does that mean? does that mean you would like me to photoshop something for you?

    Just the wordmark Giants?

    MPowers’ Daughter’s Field Day?

    Super confused

    “BS: So what they decided to do was wear sanitary sock —- there’s why they call them sanitaries…

    “BA: Nice

    “BS: Right. The problem is with the double sock, the shoes didn’t fit all that well.”

    Shoes didn’t fit all that well? Oh, please. Why do people keep making up stuff? If anything, say the stirrup under the arch maybe wasn’t all comfortable, that it at least accurate. What “double sock”? There still was only one sock inside the shoe, the sanitary. “Fit” is virtually irrelevant to the discussion. A discussion, btw, that obviously was between two people who never wore stirrups to play ball.

    What he meant was, wearing two socks — sanitary and stocking — would have created a double sock, which would have created problems with the shoes fitting. That’s why they changed the outer sock to a stirrup.

    He’s talking about how you would wear a whole colored sock over a sani, which you would have to do in order to get a colored sock look without getting an infection. That is pretty uncomfortable, which is why they cut a big hole in them and made them stirrups. This is obviously in the days before nylon and all that. Two big wool socks shoved into leather shoes probably wasn’t that well fitting.

    I’m pretty sure he meant that wearing two socks (a coloured one over top of a sanitary) would have made the shoes fit too tightly, so the toe and heel were ‘removed’ to create the stirrup.

    Well, I hope so because THAT would make sense.

    Because I never met, or heard of, a ballplayer who complained that wearing a stirrup sock made his shoes fit badly.

    Although I doubt wearing a full sock over a sani was even really considered. Don’t think the stirrup would have evolved in a two-step process, that is. Think about it. They’d have to try it in order to realize a colored sock over a sanitary still would put a dyed sock near a spike wound or blister?

    Have you ever researched, Paul, as to whether stirrups weren’t used long before baseball by, say, horsemen or hikers (or someone) who had the same problem? More with blisters than spike wounds, of course, and we just never really saw them because they were inside their boots?

    We should get something else straight. The issue in those days wasn’t being spiked or cut as much as it was blisters.

    Do we really think brand new cleats back then were as comfortable as they are today? No. The were stiff, like breaking in a new pair of street shoes.

    Trainers dealt with blisters far, far more often than they did spike wounds.

    Terry Proctor of some other old bugger here (no offense, TP) will confirm that, I’m sure.

    link not Arsenal’s current shirt. That’s two kits ago.

    linkThis is Arsenal’s current kit. The new one’s a bit simpler yet, except for the overly-busy link (which is laden with historical meaning behind every symbol but just looks a mess to me).

    Personally, I like the new look. Red socks are a must for the Gunners – it’s very hard for me to take the white shorts, white socks look link.

    Next season’s kit is too plain for my tastes.

    Not sure why they didn’t go back to a variation of the “red currant” link shirt which was a thing of beauty (although I don’t think the Emirates ad would like quite as subtle as the O2 was.)

    I think they should have gone with the polo they’re trying to sell as the top. Put a collar on that thing and I’ll take the “historical” bs. And I LOVED those “red currant” kits though I know quite a few supporters were less than pleased with them

    I’d love to have a blank durene hockey jersey but that Bruins one on Ebay isn’t an accurate match to their actual 70’s version, if folks are looking to make a Bruins D.I.Y.


    See my comment earlier. As I noted, it’s odd that this one has its shoulders cut that way, since I haven’t seen a yoke treatment like that in use before 1992 – at least, in the NHL.

    Thanks, missed your post, that’s what I was driving at, the missing black bar on the shoulder pattern, plus the rest of the stripes aren’t at the right proportions


    Nice column, Paul. Perfect touch. [Personally, I like a lot of the metal work, but oy, those stones.] Best In Show: that crazy silver All-Star box.

    Take care of yourself in St Loo. And please raise a glass to native son Charles Berry, a cat cooler than even Elvis C…


    The bling article came out great! All the links seem to be working etc. Thanks again for thinking of me to collaborate on it. All the back/forth emails turned out a very cool piece…hopefully everybody enjoys it.


    The article came out great!
    Thanks again for allowing me to collaborate with you on it.
    Have fun in St. Louis & Cheers!

    (I sent a thanx message before, but it never showed up here)

    Loved the “anti-bling” crack on those ’74 Celtics digital watches. Of course, that was back when we thought digital watches were still a pretty neat idea, and a home video game consisted of slapping a static-cling overlay on the front of your Zenith and moving a blocky dot of light around the screen.

    I haven’t even worn a watch (digital or otherwise) in years, since I can just look at the screen on my cell phone to tell me the time.

    I didn’t even know there were digital watches like that in 1974. This link suggests that the first commercially available watches of that kind hit the market in 1972. In 1974, the equivalent Pulsar digital watch retailed for $2,300. That’s over $10,000 in today’s dollars.

    Great column. Loved the Aaron charm bracelet. How gawd-awful were those Marlins rings!

    I really enjoyed the article Paul. Thanks to Mr. Menard for sharing.
    Without question, my favourite is the 1930 Athletics pocket watch. Gorgeous!

    You bet!
    And yeah, that ’30 Athletics watch is pretty spectacular. I can’t even imagine what it would cost to make today…with a different player’s face hand-engraved on each one.

    My two Cubs/Dodgers uni-observations based on the clips of the game available on

    First, not only did Peña not wear the throwback socks (as noted by A.J. above) but he also wore long sleeves… but not the throw-back ones! Seems like if you were going to bother to wear long sleeves on a hot day, you’d at least wear the ones that were made specially for that day.

    Second, as you can see link, Paul’s former favorite Cub, Darwin Barney, had the exact issue with his socks that Halfacre was worried about: the whites came halfway up his shins.

    Know what was sad about the Cubs-Dodgers game yesterday?
    All the empty seats.

    The adjective “storied” is over used, but it this case it’s appropiate. Sad to see so storied a franchise in such a state.

    I don’t understand how attendance at a weekday afternoon game indicates anything about the state of a franchise. Even in the best of times the Dodgers don’t sell out weekday afternoon games.

    Wasn’t saying it proved anything. Was just kind of a visual reminder. I never said, nor expected, it should have been a sellout. It just looked excpetionally sparse.

    “So far this year there have been two weekday home games; remove them and the average goes up to 37,561 tickets sold this year. But that is still a drop of 14.5%, and remember, that’s just tickets sold, which at least to the naked eye has grossly inflated the true number of people attending Dodger games in 2011.”

    In other words, when people have paid for tickets and still don’t bother to show up…you got problems.

    Even if the empty seats don’t indicate anything, the Dodgers really are in a link.

    And their attendance is down, too.

    Maybe it’s been answered before: Anyone know where one could purchase that Cubs hat from the game yesterday?

    I’m talking about the actual version they wore in the game, presumably by New Era.

    Why, you gonna suit up? ;)

    I dunno, unless someone has a head the size of a pony keg that high-crowned New Era model is a bit much, very 1970s, actually. The American Needle crown is less “uplifted”.

    The guy next to Dempster looks more like Koyie Hill than Blake DeWitt. Quick, someone count the fingers.

    Lots of people are looking for ways to say thank you… You can now donate to the Navy SEAL foundation by texting “SEAL” to 90999. A one time $10 donation will go towards helping families left behind by heroes.

    I know the subject has been broached here before, but after seeing the pictures of yesteerday’s Cubs/Dodger game I have to ask again, rhetorically:

    Do we really, EVER, need names on the back of baseball jerseys??

    As a fan of the Yankees I realize I am spoiled with the NNOB look every day; I can only theorize that names continue on jerseys specifically for uniform sales to the public.

    Ironically, more and more Yankee fans are buying customized jerseys with names.. I can only guess that these fans could care less about tradition and accuracy. It is an embarrassing display, especially when someone wears a #4 jersey with “Gehrig” on the back or #7 “Mantle”… or #2 “Jeter” for that matter… Different strokes I suppose.

    I live and teach 30 minutes north of Manhattan, and the spread of these jerseys is an epidemic furthered by the likes of Modells and Sports Authority.

    i may be wrong, but i believe those are “replica” jerseys, not authentics — you can’t buy a replica without NOB

    for all the money you save on not springing for the authentic, you should spring for one of these bad boys

    yeah, the number font isn’t correct (none of the replicas are), but what’re ya gonna do

    except spend $200 on a polyester shirt, that is

    I’m pretty sure you’re correct that it’s not possible to get them sans NOB for the Yankees, Giants, etc. But they do the correct fonts nowadays (as of last year?).

    The numbers/letters are no longer sewn-on tackle twill but heat-pressed, I believe. So that seam ripper isn’t really a viable option.

    Also, if the team wears a sleeve patch, you’ve got to link.

    NYBatt is right: NOBs have long outlived their usefulness.

    I’m biased against them, not least because my eyesight isn’t good enough to read them from the cheap seats, but I’ll admit that they might have been useful for the television crowd in the 1960s and ’70s when broadcasts didn’t have the on-screen graphics capabilities that they do today. Now we can display all kinds of info in addition to names of players. Even at the park, scoreboards typically have link rather than link.

    We could even have a video-game-like display where the player’s name is displayed beneath him and moves as he moves!

    It’s probably already possible with today’s digital broadcasts to move your mouse over a player and see his name, stats, whatever you like. In the future some kind of Wii/Kinect/Playstation Move-like thing attached to our TVs will let us point our heads at any player and spit out his name if we have too quizzical a look in our eye!

    But returning to reality, I’d be happy to see them dumped just on aesthetic grounds.

    I suspect that one reason manufacturers want names is so that the jersey becomes worthless if the player changes teams — you can’t “adopt” whoever takes the number next. The other reason is that there are probably some fans who want to show loyalty to a specific player but want to advertise it even to people who don’t know whose number it is. As if there were something unpleasant about people coming up and asking “who was #4 for the Yankees?” That’s an opportunity to educate some kid about the history of your team!

    I completely understand the “epidemic” statement MPowers makes… I also teach and have ‘confronted’ students with Yankees jerseys with NOB… when I ask about it many say they either got it as a gift, OR that they fully know the team doesn’t have names on the back.. but go with it anyway..

    Mark’s point is well taken about a jersey becoming ‘worthless’ when the player leaves.. one of the unique things about buying a yankees jersey with a non-retired number is how you can try and name all the guys you’ve watched/seen wear that number.. how many people bought hidecki matsui jerseys (#55) and are now more than happy to ‘represent’ Russell Martin!!??

    it’s just real disturbing to see how widespread the NOB yankee jerseys have become… even the road greys with names are popping up all over now..

    just to reiterate on the NOB yankee jerseys

    replica jerseys, which list for around $100, all come with NOB and incorrect (or generic) fonts

    authentic jerseys, which list for close to $200, have NNOB & correct font

    so the “epidemic” of NOB jerseys you’re seeing is merely those who want to wear yankee colors without spending $200 for a polyester shirt, only $100

    Help me out here. What’s the difference between the incorrect/generic font and the correct font?

    Aside from the fact that there’s a name above them, the numbers on the replicas look exactly the same to me as the ones on the authentics.

    im not sure the exact differences, and in fact, the yankees replica and their authentic numbers may be the same; however, i had it explained to me that every team gets the same NOB and number font (standard block); the yankees, of course, don’t have to worry about NOB (except for the fact that they don’t have one, so that font can’t really be “wrong”); there may be subtle differences between the numbers and the color might be off as well

    anyway, that is really babble, since im very busy, but the point im trying to make is there ARE differences, and the font they use on their authentics is actually very close (but not exact) to what all replica jerseys have

    Yeah, all the Majestic replicas used to use the same font, but as I pointed out about four minutes before you posted those links, they don’t do that any longer.

    my bad

    was incredibly busy today and didn’t have time to research any of this

    i don’t buy either replica or authentics (any more — full confession, i did buy both a pinstriped home and road mets replica, but sans ANY number/name OB in 06); so, im not really up with what’s correct and not anymore

    i know that at one time, the replicas were really shitty; if they’ve fixed them now, i didn’t know

    thanks for the correction

    It would be a lot cheaper to just buy an unnumbered cheap replica and then get a sporting goods store to put your favorite player’s number on it. The Yankees have a standard full-block number font, so you should be able to get a perfect match. It’s not like with the Phillies or ’80s Blue Jays where you risk them messing the font up.

    /had a Bears shirt with block-numbers as a kid

    Maybe Hank Conger is wearing a “throwback” helmet like the O’s & Twins catchers do…

    (Remember back in the 80’s when a team would adopt a new cap and Manny’s Baseball Land would sell last years caps/leftover stock as “throwbacks” – for more money, of course?)

    Wow. In those pre-internet days I used to just pore over that Manny’s catalog. Especially the page with the “old team” caps.

    Reposted from yesterday’s comments:

    My Quatro De Mayo update has everything you could want: Beer, Oklahoma, Fordham, San Deeago…



    link is pretty close the way I always thought the old black alternate should have looked. I never understood why they
    A) used the green/white tomahawks on the shoulders.
    B) didn’t have more red at the hem to contrast better with the pants.

    Actually, it was based on the home jersey (white at home from 1970 to 2003).

    ok, that’s semantics because it was supposed to be an alternate for WHEREVER the red jersey was to be worn (road before the lockout, home since…), not the white jersey, which is the template they used.

    Get me?

    Didn’t teams wear the alts at home a good portion of the time, though? I really can’t remember.

    So that was like junior high and high school for you.

    Shit, Ricko can remember things that were going on when he was in preschool.

    well…there really wasn’t that much going then, tho, was there?

    fire had just been discovered, and i think there was that new invention, the wheel…

    As Ol’ Eddie has said…

    “No, I didn’t know Abner Doubleday. But his sister and me invented the ‘hit and run’.”

    I didn’t really start following the NHL until around 2000-2001 and I never saw home Hawks games because of Dollar Bill Wirtz’s policy

    For those wondering, the Brewers will also be wearing a camo cap for Armed Forces Day against the Pirates.

    2 things:

    1. the Perfect Game rings – who gave them to the players, the teams they play for or Major League Baseball?

    2. military rhetoric – everyone says sports and politics shouldn’t meet, yet everyone is so gung-ho when military and sports meet. i find that very odd and i’m sure i’m in the minority in that point.

    if teams/people want to support the troops in a sports setting, give them free tickets. if the Red Sox / whoever REALLY cared about the troops, wouldn’t they play a game on a base? wouldn’t they just play a home game w/ tickets donated to people in the service? maybe have a night where season ticket holders can donate their tickets for one game to a fund for soldiers? that way everyone can feel a part of it?
    but i think that it can all be done in a far more important yet subtle way than selling camo merchandise and stars and stripes caps where a “percentage” of the profits go to “the troops”.

    “1. the Perfect Game rings — who gave them to the players, the teams they play for or Major League Baseball?”

    Those rings were given by the teams, not MLB.

    Giants’ Cody Ross PH last night, and has dropped his trademark black sox. He’s now wearing pajamas like most of the team. He also shaved his thin beard. Lincicum has also been wearing pajamas. Rats.

    I don’t know if this was mentioned before or not but the all of the angels batting helmets also have the old silver halo instead of the gold.

    It was over 90 degrees in L.A. on Wednedsday. Definitely not great long sleeve undershirt weather.

    Just hittin the road to St. Louis. Looking forward to the evening even though someone took off out of town with the jersey I was going to wear. Arrrrgh…

    I may go FBPS (Flat Billed for Phil’s Sake).

    Perhaps I missed it in the comments for the Halfacre interview, but I love how they modified existing undershirts to match the striped sleeves the Cubs wore. It’s kind of like what I did for my ’56 Portland Beavers DIY project. Hooray Stripes!

    Hey Paul, not to be a spelling nazi, but you spelled “discussion” discussiosn in the Ticker.

    Hmmm – here’s a thought:

    Why not just dress the teams “honoring the military” in full, standard-issue camo unis with maybe a number heat pressed or sewn on the back and pehaps a logo patch on the sleeve or a front pocket? Each service’s current “fatigues” are different enough in color so there shouldn’t be any problems – for example have the Brewers in the current blue-dominant US Navy “Navy Working Uniform (NWU)” and the Bucks in grayish-green US Army “Army Combat Uniform (ACU).” The caps would be the matching standard issue with the appropriate team letter/logo embroidered (ala’ those fashion “cadet” caps we’ve all seen) or even some sort of “insignia pin” logo and the appropriate camo covers would be provided for the batting/fielding helmets (it would save re-painting at least).

    Current military field uniforms are quite comfortable and designed for running, jumping and other forms of excertion, so there would be no problem with comfort, though I’d imagine they’ed have to order them 2 sizes too big and definately not “blouse” in order to maintain that professional MLB look we all love so much.

    No. Completely inappropriate, on several different levels.

    Better idea, which I’ve suggested many times: Have teams wear throwbacks based on old military baseball team unis. That way you’re not just telling a military story, you’re telling a BASEBALL story.

    — Paul (writing in from work)

    This is a great idea. Since the Civil War area, basically everywhere in the country has a military installation in its history somewhere, and any one that existed after the Spanish-American War almost certainly had a ball team or two associated with it.

    If any professional athlete really wants to wear the BDUs of any of our uniformed services, link will be happy to make it happen.

    Other than Pat Tillman, are there many members in that group?

    Oh, that’s right, they’re stateside wearing special camo unis and saying, “Attaboy, go get ’em, Guys, cuz these are my prime earning years. Plus, I got a date tonight.”

    I know, I know, I know. Of course they aren’t all that shallow. Then again, they ain’t exactly knocking down the doors wanting to join up, either, are they.

    FDR green-lighted MLB to continue to help take America’s mind off the war.

    We’ve sure come 180 degrees on that, haven’t we.

    Sorry – I was wearing my sarcasm cap and I guess it didn’t come across (I had other “suggestions” – such as Vietnam Tiger-stripes versus 1980’s BDU’s for a throwback game and “Aliens” Colonial Marines versus “Battlestar Galactica” Colonial Marines for a turn-ahead-the-clock game etc.)

    I do think the WWII-era military/naval base baseball team unis would be pretty sweet though…

    I don’t think camo belongs on any sports uniform, even when it’s the actual Army playing. Remember thos dreadful camo uniforms Army’s football team whipped out this past year?

    I never understood the deification of “the troops”. They are instruments of imperialism and mass murder, and the grease that oils the gears of the American war machine.

    As a society, we need to discard our blind deference to military service. There’s nothing admirable about volunteering to murder people. There’s nothing admirable about being rooked by obvious propaganda. There’s nothing admirable about doing what you’re told if what you’re told to do is terrible.

    Fuck the troops.

    Trouble is, the other guy gets people to fly jetliners full of passengers into buildings so they can be surrounded by virgins in Heaven.

    You gotta do something more than make them promise never to do it again.

    They printed pinstripes on the inside of the shirt???

    Wow, you’d think they’d just flip over printed fabric and make shirts out of it, wouldn’t you.

    Uh-uh, chain jerking alert. ;)

    I saw 4 Cubs in the dugout wearing the striped sleeves. Dempster plus a guy to his left, a guy to his right, and a guy behind him. Screen shots here: link

    So yesterday’s post(just read it) mentioned John Fox saying they were for sure going back to orange as the primary home uni color. Is there a reason they’re waiting until 2012 other than there may not be a season because of the CBA or Nike? I would think that they’d just switch this year if they were going to do it anyway.

    Obama rendered (almost) entirely in Nike Swooshes. Pretty sure this is Paul’s desktop background.


    Am I the only one who thinks the Cubs throwback uni looks like a frowny face?

    “the oakland a’s are the best starting rotation in all of MLB” — MLB network

    better than the phillies

    i haven’t been watching any oakland games (or really following them at all), but their starting staff era is 2.58 — in a league with the DH…holy shit

    granted, that park is a pitchers’ park, but still…that’s pretty damn impressive

    I just caught the tail end of the World Taekwondo Championship medal presentation on ESPN3, and as well as medals, the winners got these awesome caps:
    Not sure of the significance of these, but they’re pretty sweet. Looks like the feathers are from a golden pheasant, and the cap is some interesting fabric. Kinda appropriate to see these on a day of championship gear discussion.

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