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Uni Watch History Mystery: Red Letter Day Revisited

A few weeks ago I ran a piece about how the Dodgers used to have certain players wear letters instead of uni numbers during spring training. The letters we had identified as part of the alpha series were H, S, X, and possibly T.

We can now add a new letter to the Dodgers alphabet soup — take a look:

gomez and minor league catcher bill lofton 60.jpg

That shot was taken in 1960. It shows Preston Gomez, who was a Dodgers minor league manager at the time, talking with minor league catcher Bill Lofton. It’s interesting to see Gomez wearing a pinstriped Dodgers uni — I’ll get to that in a few minutes, but the real story is our first sighting of a B on the front of a Dodgers uni. Note that Lofton doesn’t have a cap logo, which jibes with what we’ve seen before — only minor leaguers with blank caps appear to have worn the letters.

But wait, it gets better — and more confusing (click on the photo to see a larger version):

young Los Angeles Dodgers fans with the a 1959 Dodgers World Champions banner.jpg

That’s another shot from the spring of 1960. Lots of noteworthy bits here:

• We can now add A, C, and W to the mix (and probably could’ve added more if the photographer hadn’t told so many of the players to extend their arms across their knees).

• Again, mostly blank caps (and one blank helmet). We can’t see the chests of the three guys with cap logos, so we can’t be sure if they were wearing letters or numbers.

• Here’s the weirdest part: According to the guy who’s selling this photo on eBay, the image shows “young Los Angeles Dodgers fans with the a 1959 Dodgers World Champions banner.” Not minor leaguers — fans. But the guy wearing the B with Preston Gomez was Bill Lofton, definitely a minor league catcher. Wha..?

That didn’t add up, so I contacted the eBay seller. “I have reason to think those are minor leaguers,” I wrote. “Are you sure they’re ‘young fans’?” His response: “I’m not 100% sure. The info on the negative just says, ‘Dodgers’ and [the person who set up the listing for me] thought they were fans. It’s possible that they are actually minor league players.”

Okay, so forget the bit about them possibly being fans. But our Dodgers alphabet now stands at A, B, C, H, S, W, X, and possibly T. And we still don’t know exactly what these letters were for. But I’d like to think we’re getting closer.

Now then, about Preston Gomez wearing pinstripes in that first 1960 photo: We’ve seen that before for Dodgers minor league instructors (that image was linked in this entry from a few years back). Here’s another 1960 shot of Gomez, and here’s a shot of all the Dodgers’ 1960 minor league managers. On other teams, you earn your stripes; with the Dodgers, you apparently earned your lack of stripes as you moved up to the bigs.

(Doubleplusthanks to the increasingly indispensable Mike Hersh, who found most of the photos featured in this post.)

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Birthday boy: Webmaster John Ekdahl turns 33 tomorrow. Please join me in wishing him the happiest of birthdays.

Like so many underappreciated behind-the-scenes types, John usually gets noticed only if something goes wrong. But he devotes a lot of time to the site — basic maintenance, troubleshooting, keeping up on software developments, and lots of other stuff I’m too tech-challenged to deal with. Plus he’s always coming up with new ideas, even though he knows I’ll shoot most of them down cuz I’m so old and set in my ways.

John is also the one who came up with the idea for this site in the first place. When he approached me in early 2006, my ESPN column appeared twice a week, but he saw an opportunity for daily uni coverage. Frankly, I wasn’t sure there was enough material or enough of an audience for that, but John believed, and he was right! Thanks, buddy — I literally couldn’t do this without you. Happy 33rd!

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Uni Watch News Ticker: The Mets appear to be suffering from — among other things — a bobblehead curse. ”¦ Good article on tennis court colors. ”¦ Here’s a jersey for the ages although it’s waaaaaay too expensive (big thanks to Mike Hersh). ”¦ Here’s an apparent first for tennis: Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who’s reached the third round of the French Open, has been wearing eye black stickers. ”¦ Latest team to play G.I. Joe dress-up: the Gwinnett Braves. “I know this is weird to say, but it might be a wash compared to their regular home unis,” says Jonathon Binet. ”¦ Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: According to the fourth graf of this piece, Jordan Schafer’s S100 helmet — mentioned in yesterday’s Ticker — was actually borrowed from the batboy! ”¦ Bit of a kerfuffle in a Pennsylvania town, as people don’t like that the local high school has changed its football helmet logo (with thanks to Art Savokinas). ”¦ In a truly nauseating development, John Muir reports that Washington DC is planning to sell corporate naming rights for its public parks. Hey, why not change “DC” from District of Columbia to Diet Coke while you’re at it? Embarrassing. ”¦ The York Revolution wore “Mudville” jerseys on Wednesday night, to raise funds for the local library system, which you have to admit is a better idea than selling off the names of your public parks (with thanks to Jeremy Richardson). ”¦ Also from Jeremy: No photo, but the L.A. Galaxy wore blue at home on Wednesday for the first time in a few years. ”¦ Click on the photo-enlarge link of this auction to see how totally cool Joe D’s restaurant used to look. ”¦ Here’s the latest on the controversy over the dress code in women’s badminton. … According to the seventh graf of this story, the guy who’s about to buy a piece of the Mets “once dressed in a homemade Mets jersey for Halloween.” It’s not clear if he did this because he was unable to find a retail version without a black drop shadow. ”¦ Two bad tastes that taste even worse together: purple uniforms and camo undershirts. That’s Western Carolina (blame Britton Thomas). ”¦ Here’s our first on-field look at the Royals’ Paul Splittorff memorial patch. ”¦ Remember that Michigan throwback jersey that was circulating last week? Last graf of this item finds athletic director Dave Brandon saying that it isn’t legit (with thanks to Kevin Wos). ”¦ A DC-area high school girls’ track team has been wearing skorts (fun read from Bob Kohlmeyer). ”¦ has just released 18 never-before-seen photos of the Say Hey Kid (big thanks to Ben Fortney). ”¦ New away kit for Celtic FC (with thanks to JK Chaney). ”¦ New kits for Real Madrid, too (with thanks to Kenny Loo). ”¦ Wayne Koehler reports that the Sugar Land Skeeters are bringing back the classic bullpen buggie. ”¦ Casey Gross notes that Lebron James wore a Liverpool FC jacket for his postgame press conference last night. ”¦ Edwin Jackson of the White Sox went out on the field yesterday in the wrong jersey (screen shot by someone who didn’t give his or her name).

Holiday schedule: Phil will handle the weekend, as usual. I’ll be open for business on Monday, although maybe just for discussion. However you’re spending the holiday weekend, have a great time, and put an extra burger (or steak, or pork chop, or whatever) on the grill for me.

Comments (146)

    Looks like the Gwinnet Braves are combining GI Joe and turn-back-the-clock. That camo is a throwback to the first Gulf War of 1990-1991. Presumably Stormin’ Norman Schwartzkopf will throw out the first pitch, and when the G-Braves put on the suicide squeeze they’ll call it a “left hook.” On the camo, though, there’s an interesting uni note: That “chocolate chip” pattern had been officially retired circa 1989, but not enough of the new desert camo had been made yet by the time Desert Shield got underway in late 1990. Seems nobody planned to fight an actual war in the desert anytime soon. Brilliant planning, that. Anyway, most of the half-million troops sent to the theater were issued the old camo unis on account of the new duds not being available. Units that came into the theater after the start of combat mostly did have the new camo, though, since production was ramped up over the winter. So uni-wise, Desert Storm was kind of like Dodgers training camp.

    And boo on the Riverside Vikings for switching from eagle-wing helmets to horn helmets. Real actual Vikings are known to have worn winged helmets, whereas the only Vikings to wear horn helmets are Minnesota football players and Elmer Fudd.

    The term “increasingly indispensable,” as applied to Mike Hersh, was first employed on this site by me, and since I woke up cranky, and maybe a little litigious, I would appreciate a full-prone-position (or do I mean supine?) apology for the hurtful failure to give due credit… Liked those pieces on tennis courts and the high school helmets. And a few others, I guess.

    I can’t thank you enough for the title of “increasingly indispensable.”

    I love when absolute terms (like indispensible) are combined with degree-denoting adverbs (like increasingly). Reminds me of the Dane Cook line about watching infomercials: “What exactly is the difference between ‘free’ and ‘absolutely free?'”

    Heh. I spelled “indispensable” wrong. Then I again, my name is Grammar Watch, not Spelling Watch.

    I wish you could get the name of one of the largest soccer clubs in the world correct. Celtic FC International? They’re not the New York Queens Mets are they?

    I wish I could get it right too. But as I’ve always been the first to admit, I know exactly nothing about soccer.

    Point taken. As another said, it’s used as the away kit for matches not in league play such as Champions League or international friendlies.

    It will not be worn in the Champions League this year as Celtic lost the Scottish Premier League to their rivals Rangers FC (who are very international, by the way).

    Celtic might wear that jersey during international friendlies or in the Europa League (which is like the Champions League but for teams that aren’t champions).

    He’s right, Paul. It’s their “International” kit..aka a third jersey to wear in the Champions League or Europa League.

    Nice to see you can buy a sponsorless jersey for the same price…although I’m still trying to figure out if I’d wear that one or not.

    I believe that’s due to the French, Jim.

    You can’t wear any sponsorships for alcohol in France, so teams have to go sans sponsor for UEFA competitions on French soil. Liverpool had to ditch their Carlsberg sponsorship for a few games in the Champions League a couple of seasons ago, as well.

    its also to get over the small moral issues of kids wearing shirts advertising alcomahol

    Regarding LeBron’s attire at the post game presser: He owns a stake in Liverpool, doesn’t he? Which is interesting because the Red Sox owners are the majority stake holders. LeBron’s a well-documented Yankees fan.

    Sox own Liverpool, Fenway Sports Group is partly owned by the New York Times, and around and around we go.

    And due to my 401k, I’m in on all this nonsense, microscopically.

    For the time being. Apparently, Liverpool has signed a huge deal to be outfitted by Warrior, the Michigan company that has made a name for itself in lacross uniforms and equipment. It seems Warrior wants to branch out into other sports, and wants to make a big entry.

    I thought Warrior is actually a subsidiary of New Balance, a Boston-based shoe company. Makes a bit more sense, seeing how New Balance just signed a long-term deal for a giant advertising sign at the top of the bleachers in Fenway Park.

    Lebron signed a deal with FSG in April. link article says:
    “The deal between Mr. James and Fenway Sports Group will give Mr. James a minority interest in the soccer club Liverpool, which FSG owns. FSG, which also owns the Boston Red Sox, is partnering with Mr. James’s sports-marketing firm, LRMR Branding & Marketing to become the exclusive world-wide representative for Mr. James.”

    “No photo, but the L.A. Galaxy wore blue at home on Wednesday for the first time in a few years.”

    You sure it wasn’t brown? Because until there’s a photo…

    Sorry. And here’s a photo:

    What’s up with the LA teams? When the Revolution were at the HDC playing Chivas a few weeks ago, Chivas wore their navy away kits as well.

    I watched the game for a solid 5 minutes without being able to figure out which team was which.

    When Houston plays the Galaxy, it’s a difficult matchup in terms of contrasting kits. LA’s primary is all white; Houston’s is bright orange with white shorts. Houston’s change kit is white, with orange shorts. The best contrasting matchup, I guess, is for LA to break out their dark blue kits.


    I was looking through some of our film the other day and I saw some Dodger’s at Spring Training with VB on their uniforms. Clearly that stood for Vero Beach. So you’ve got to figure the letters have something to do with the location of the minor league franchises. Back then there were many more levels of minor leagues.


    If link is accurate, the letters on the jerseys don’t match up with the initials of the cities of the Dodgers’ 1960 farm teams.

    Well, here the Dodgers’ 1960 affiliates list, according to

    Reno Silver Sox (Class C)
    Panama City Fliers (Class D)
    Spokane Indians (Class AAA)
    Atlanta Crackers (Class AA)
    St. Paul Saints (Class AAA)
    Kokomo Dodgers (Class D)
    Green Bay Dodgers (Class B)
    Odessa Dodgers (Class D)
    Orlando Dodgers (Class D)
    Great Falls Electrics (Class C)
    Montreal Royals (Class AAA)
    Macon Dodgers (Class A)

    So let’s see, with “A, B, C, H, S, W, X, and possibly T.”

    I’d guess A for Atlanta, and hmmm….

    OK, how about, A, B, and C for class A B and C, and ummmm…

    Ok, how about X for Reno Silver Sox, since it ends in X…

    I got nothin.

    Two things to consider.

    Unis almost certainly were used over and over from year to year. A “T” originally may have stood for “Thomasville”. Two years later (or five years later) it may have identified Reno. Subesequent use was more code that “logo”.

    Gray was far more preferable for all farmhands than white.
    One reason: If everybody’s in gray, no mixing and matching problems.
    Straight up second reason: Gray wool didn’t show the dirt the way white did, so not as many whites survived a season. Too obviously, and too quickly stained and they’d be trashed. Gray endured.

    Can’t think in terms of doubleknit. Different universe.

    I can add one more Met to the bobblehead curse. I have a Golds sponsored Jason Bay bobble sitting on my desk that I got at a game early last season. ….. UGH…These guys are shitty!

    Two observations on this pic:

    1. The three men with hat logos are wearing “white” uniforms while everyone else is wearing “sand” or darker colored uniforms.

    2. The gentleman at the bottom right of the photo definitely has a number on this jersey. You can see it right under his left wrist. It’s a two digit number…10 or 16 or something like that.

    Just my observations.

    How much more awesome could it have been if a few of the guys in the back road changed positions and they spelled this out:


    Sorry to ask this if it’s been asked before, but wouldn’t Scully and/or Lasorda know? I refuse to believe Scully has ever forgotten anything. If this has already been tried, please be gentle with me…

    I think both guys would know about the letters and pinstripes (LaSorda wore them)

    Update…. Mystery solved!:

    That’s from the Spokane Daily Chronicle, 4/8/60.

    I’ll post this on the site on Tuesday. For now, it’s a treat for those of you who read the comments.

    Great! Been wondering about this since SI published one of those pictures a few years back.

    Now, an even bigger mystery… why after “C” did they just start using random letters? Letters that don’t appear in the team names.

    I could understand just going A, B, C, D…


    See my comment above at 11:30.

    We really think they popped for new farmhand unis every spring?

    Shoot, teams don’t do that now.

    OK, so it’s not random at all, then. A, B, and C are for their AAA teams, then it skips to E for the AA team, on down to a shared W for all four Class D clubs. It’s not entirely sensible, but it’s not entirely random, either. There’s skips between each class. The further down the alphabet you are, the farther from the big leagues.

    Was Montreal considered their “top” AAA team, I wonder?

    Didn’t know that Mr. O’Malley was proficient with firearms.

    O’Malley was famous for going on long post-season big game safaris. I recall reading about it in the interesting book Forever Blue by Michael D’Antonio. He’d take the Dodger plane, fly a bunch of his friends to New York for a big feast, then off to Africa for three weeks. As time went on and his hunting skills declined, he went more for the company and the scenery.

    So did Jackie Robinson ever wear number A?

    Might have to make a number C Dodgers jersey a DIY project at some point.

    Nice!!! One less thing I need to think about. On to other uni mysteries like how come there’s no team photos with guys wearing satin uniforms?

    Have a great holiday weekend.

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned the flags the guys are holding. Could they be international?
    There’s a USA. That might be West Germany, third from the left.
    Is that Argentina’s flag, third from the right? The guy on the right in the fashionable shirt is from somewhere else for sure.
    The Dodgers always were ahead of the curve with international scouting. Maybe these were their international prospects….Are they highlighting ‘World’ Champs?

    The beauty of this lettering system is that farm teams can relocate from season to season without affecting it. A is your top minor league affiliate, whether A is in Montreal or Montevideo. As Ricko noted, these uniforms were probably reused, year after year.

    Just another example of the efficiency and expert planning that went into Dodgertown…

    No, but I think he was heading out to the bullpen when the game started. I think yesterday was his side day, and he ended up throwing some pitches in the bullpen late in the game.

    I know none of us like the idea of DC selling park sponsorships, but as a Comptroller for a county, I can tell you that the other two options (cutting services or raising taxes) are even less popular.

    Corporate sponsorship of public space isn’t a matter of popularity — it’s simply wrong. “U.S.” stands for United States, not United Shareholders.

    There are certain things that should never be for sale, and our civic institutions are at the top of that list. If taxes have to be raised and/or other services have to cut, that’s called responsibility.


    I’m going to play a little devil’s advocate here, so don’t bash me. I essentially agree with you, but for the sake of argument:

    Parks are owned by the government. The government is controlled by both people and corporations. The whole point of a “corporation” is that it acts, in some respects, as an individual person. The government (who serve and are controlled by people and corporations) needs money obviously. What is so wrong with selling advertising or naming rights to institutions?

    Would you have an issue with someone buying a park’s naming rights for themselves “Bill Gates Park”?

    If the majority of the people agree with giving naming rights to Coca-Cola, isn’t the government acting in the spirit of the will of the people?

    I know you covered this a lot with the oft-linked (and well written) manifesto you wrote about advertising in sports (stadiums, ads on the bases, etc.)

    But when it comes to parks in CD… I guess I’d be curious on a deeper philosophical argument.

    The whole point of a “corporation” is that it acts, in some respects, as an individual person.

    Please. The corporation exists to return a profit to its shareholders. Corporate interests should never be commingled with civic institutions.

    The government (who serve and are controlled by people and corporations) needs money obviously. What is so wrong with selling advertising or naming rights to institutions?

    You know, you’re right. The gov’t needs money — so how about if we have the gov’t set up a pornography business? Proven money-maker. For that matter, let’s have the gov’t operate a casino. Can’t lose! They need money, so what’s the problem?

    I agree in principle. I would much rather have my local politicians act more fiscally responsible (there’s a concept) than run out of money and have to raise my taxes. This is coming from a guy that works for the local county government, and we haven’t received a raise since 2008 due to budget woes. It certainly sucks.

    While seeing this happen anywhere would be horrible, I think this particular situation is compounded by the fact that we’re talking about DC. Then again, what’s more quintessentially American these days than corporate sponsorship? Not that I agree with it in any way, shape, or form, but it’s the truth.

    Personally, I just wish matters like this would be put to a vote of the people than letting the pols do whatever they wish on a whim. Yeah, I know we aren’t a true democracy, but still. I’m guessing the majority would rather see sponsored parks than their property or sales taxes increase. And not being exactly rich myself, I can’t say I would blame them too much. Yeah, this is certainly a horrible idea… but for people who actually feel a hit in their pocketbook when taxes increase, it doesn’t look that bad.

    Then again, what’s more quintessentially American these days than corporate sponsorship? Not that I agree with it in any way, shape, or form, but it’s the truth.

    This is akin to saying, “People are really stupid nowadays, so let’s operate things really stupidly” or “The world is going down the toilet, so let’s operate on a toilet level.” Hey, it’s the American way!

    Some of us prefer to aim a bit higher.

    You missed my point. I was actually saying that that is a sad commentary of Americans nowadays. I agree, we should aim higher.

    Gotcha. But even stating it like you did creates an air of inevitability that I find distressing. It’s like saying, “Ads on uniforms would suck, but whaddaya gonna do.” Fuck that — there’s PLENTY to do. Don’t settle, don’t accept the unacceptable, don’t stay quiet when the situation calls for outrage.

    It doesn’t pass the smell test plain and simple. It reeks of whorishness. The private sector and civic/public institutions have a clear line between them, this just blurs that line. This might just be me, but it feels like our politicians are pimping our neighborhoods when they do this. This could be the proverbial camel nose in the tent…where will we draw the line? When will they start pimping street names (Maple Drive brought to you by Jimmy Deans Sausage, or Nike’s MLK Boulevard)? It used to be civic places were named after those who made positive impacts on a society or accomplished great things, now all you have to do is pony up and you can have a Gatorade Park. There is no valid opposing argument, only excuses so the shit doesn’t taste as bad when they make you eat it. The point is, (I live in Pittsburgh) I want to take my kids to South Park, not PNC SouthPark brought to you by Miracle Grow.

    At least you can tell your kids that before (naming rights-free) Three Rivers Stadium, the Steelers practiced in South Park.

    Even putting aside Paul’s philosophical objections, which I share, the “but it’s unpopular to raise taxes or cut other spending” line just isn’t true. Not generally; polls consistently show that Americans are willing to pay higher taxes to sustain the services they value. And not specifically, where the District government just adopted a budget that excluded an income-tax increase plan that was supported by upwards of 75 percent of voters, and by more than 80 percent of the upper-income voters who would have been hit by the tax. If DC goes down this road, it won’t have been because the alternative of raising taxes is unpopular.

    Not saying I disagree with you necessarily, though I bet the majority of people that feel that way also make enough money to sustain a 2% tax increase, or whatever. Put me in the camp against tax increases, 95% of the time. When you work in government, you get to personally see how unbelievably inefficient and wasteful most employees/departments are. We just need more responsible government. Of course, I’m more likely to have elephants fly out of my ass the next time I go to the bathroom… but still.

    No problem — just elect the people you want who’ll run things responsibly. That’s democracy.

    Selling your civic values to corporate interests — that’s pretty much the opposite of democracy. And the opposite of responsible gov’t, too.

    Come on, Paul. Your suggestion would only work if there WERE politicians who wanted to run things responsibly :)

    I don’t trust any of ’em.

    Then you’ve essentially opted out of the system. That’s your prerogative, of course, but I’m curious to know when your revolution will be starting and what the details will be..?

    Just a joke. Actually, I’m 28 and have never missed voting in any kind of election, be it local, state, or national. I vote for the person I think is likely to do the best job – though the current political climate suggests to me that nothing much ever gets accomplished. I’m not as apathetic as I may have made myself sound, just distrusting of today’s politicians to accomplish much in the way of good. Call me jaded if you wish.

    Chris, the polling in DC on the mayor’s proposed tax increase was overwhelming: Three-quarters support generally, and higher support among the wealthier voters who would actually have paid the increased taxes. This is not a case where one can blame the supposed public objection to higher taxes; the people of DC wanted the higher taxes, and the people who would have paid the higher taxes wanted the tax increase most of all.

    It’s worth pointing out also that Paul’s objection to selling naming rights on philosophical grounds is rooted in what used to be considered core conservative principles. That conception of the public good has its roots in Burke and Gibbon in the Anglo-American political tradition, and a version of it formed a core of the conservative objection to progressive civic-improvement projects in America’s Gilded Age.

    That’s certainly an interesting statistic. And hey, I actually voted for a property tax increase in my home state years back. Why? We already had practically the lowest property taxes in the nation, and I thought it would be good to have the extra funding for education, roads, etc. Unfortunately, you have to see the waste on the “inside” that I do before you realize how pulling the trigger on a tax hike may not be the best idea. Some people trust their government. Perhaps the people in DC do. I generally don’t. And again, while I’m not exactly poor, I’d much rather see the government run more efficiently before defaulting to tax hikes that I’m sure I will feel in some way. Maybe that’s just me, I don’t know.

    We’re going ’round and ’round on this (call me a masochist, I like debating politics)… but to get back to the issue at hand, I don’t support corporate naming rights for public property. I just want to make that clear. I’m just tired of more money being taken out of my paycheck. Doesn’t mean I want to see the government selling our parks, I just want them to get their shit together so neither that nor tax hikes have to be considered. But I digress. This forum really isn’t the place to say any more about this.

    What’s to say when the naming rights are sold the company now has the right to decide who the government does business with? The moment the rights are sold in any stadium, all competition is wiped from view. How can we be sure the corporations don’t then decide to throw around their weight to decide rule of land. Hell – they are part owners at this time. Coke thinks the FDA regulates their plants too much? Well since they are the primary sponsor of Yellowstone, how can we stop them from influencing the law? You think Congressmen who drive Fords will get a halfway decent parking spot when it’s renamed “The US Capitol, brought to you by GM”?

    sadly, i’ve worked in government for more than half of my life…and one of the first things i learned…perhaps THE first —

    we don’t live in a democracy

    we live in a republic

    and yes, there is a huge difference


    now back to unis…or whether or not we should play softball on Steve Jobs field

    Re: DC mulling corporate naming rights for public parks.

    Yeah, this is just Sooooooooo embarassing. In this day and age when entire states are on the verge of insolvency and cites like Detroit are on thev erge of disappearing altogther due to deficits and decreasing revenues, Lukas says “FUCK THEM in their buttholes for daring to try and raise some money to possibly save their cities and communities. FUCK THEM. Let those scumclowns die.”

    Way to be compassionate for those less forunate then you, Lukas.


    Whose fault is that? Selling out to make money will only encourage other institutions to sell out as well.

    Your kids? They go to “Anywhere Elementary sponsored by Coca-Cola. Because lunches are served better with a Coke!”

    Look, there’s something to be said about those states and towns that are insolvent: maybe your choice of politicians was poor. That’s a reflection of your democracy, and you have the power to change that.

    There are a lot of homeless and insolvent families in the US. You don’t see Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Microsoft, IBM, Goldman-Sachs, or Ford reaching out to them, do you?

    So I have to ask: why does the city/county/state get the bail-out, but the people who live there and need it the most get nothing?

    Answer that, and you might just change democracy for the better.

    Detroit is on the verge of disappearing entirely? Really? I mean, hyperbole is one thing, but I’m not even sure what to call that.

    Detroit is not on the verge of disappearing, and neither is Detroit’s declining population due even a little but, much less “entirely,” to deficits and decreasing revenues. Talk about getting cause and effect backwards!

    History offers us several examples of republics that sought to offset public squalor with private opulence. Including, literally, selling naming rights to public parks. None of these examples ended well for the republics themselves, nor for the liberties of their citizens. Our politicians, and because we are a, yes, democratic republic, we citizens too, have a higher duty than merely balancing the public books. The state’s bookkeeping functions must serve the people’s interests and values, not the other way around.

    Then again, I’m kind of old-fashioned and conservative about this sort of thing. To my mind, more honor is shown to our troops and our country when a ball team wears white uniforms at a game in Veterans Memorial Stadium than when a ball team wears camo uniforms at a game in Corporate Sponsorship Field.

    “No problem – just elect the people you want who’ll run things responsibly. That’s democracy.”

    The naïveté of that statement is unbelievable.

    Unless it’s Paul being sarcastic. Or just acting like one of those Brooklynites who live in those “artsy” neighborhoods, busting out the pseudo-Bohemian attitude that they all covet and flash to anyone they think will be impressed by it.

    Not quite sure which it is.

    Unfortunately, our republican (little “r”) form of government is about the best the world’s ever seen. As much as I despise most politicians, I’d still rather have them than Some Random Dude making all the country’s decisions.

    I challenge your statement of “best the world’s ever seen”. Thousands of people in your country can’t get basic healthcare. Thousands do not have homes. Thousands cannot afford fruits and vegetables in stores. Thousands survive by whatever means necessary. That’s not the “best the world’s ever seen” by any means.

    Perhaps the American ideology needs to change.

    “Thousands of people in your country can’t get basic healthcare. Thousands do not have homes. Thousands cannot afford fruits and vegetables in stores. Thousands survive by whatever means necessary.”


    and that, of course, is ALL the fault of our system of government?

    i love ya teebz, but please, you don’t want to go down this road today

    I never said that it is completely the fault of the government. What I did say is that the ideology may need to change.

    whose ideology?

    you see, there are many different ideologies at work in the united states…not everyone has the same one

    and that doesn’t mean yours is better (or worse) than mine

    /it’s a good debate, just not one to have here, on these boards

    I confess to not knowing what country you’re from, Teebz, but as far as I know, some form of a republican government is used by most every English-speaking country (of course, just guessing on my part that you’re from one of those). The fallacies of our government, as you seem them, don’t seem to be related to what kind of government we have. Maybe I’m lost as to what your argument trulyis, though.

    I agree. I’m not looking for a debate in any way nor am I suggesting that everyone has the same ideology. What I am doing is simply provoking thought.

    Please don’t think I want to paint anyone with the same brush as anyone else, Phil. All I was looking for was some thought on the claim. I never meant to light any sort of inferno whatsoever. :o)

    What exactly — EXACTLY — is naive or wrong in the statement from me that you quoted?

    If your implication is that the political system is broken, well, I don’t completely disagree. But why is it broken? Most people seem to agree that it’s because of the pervasive influence of corporate money.

    Which is just another reason not to allow further corporate entanglement in parks and other civic institutions.

    — Paul (who lives in the decidedly non-artsy Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope)

    Societal and cultural paradigms aside, I think he was referring to their intellectual capacity.

    Because, y’know, they didn’t think women should vote, either. But that doesn’t mean they were stupid, just products of their times.

    We all are.

    Like, I remember when a store clerk could say, “Merry Christmas” to you in December without putting his/her job a risk.

    In my opinion, the broken spoke in our government right now is apathy. People won’t go out and vote because they would miss the rerun of Sixteen & Pregnant. Just look at the above comments to the reaction of Paul’s “elect the right people” comment. People said it was naive. That sounds apathetic to me. We can change things and be heard, it just takes numbers. It takes getting of our asses, putting down the McShake and XBox controller and learning the system and issues. It’s still one ‘man’ one vote. people say the system is broke, but yet they never truly try to work it. Working the system isn’t easy, but it’s possible, it just takes numbers.

    Maybe it’s because I’m a little too socialist for my area (Indiana. . .doesn’t take much), but isn’t there something to be said for the lack of appealing candidates? I’ve only missed one voting opportunity, and it was a local election when I was in college and not really living in the locality where I was registered, so it felt irresponsible at best to vote. But, yeah, consider me underwhelmed with the choices I’ve been handed, which makes it awfully hard to stay engaged with the system.

    To update an old Mort Sahl analysis.

    “240 years ago, this country produced John Adams, Ben Johnson, Samuel Johnson, Thomas Paine, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton…

    “Now the leaders of our two parties are Barack Obama and…Sarah Palin? Tim Pawlenty? Michelle Bachman? Newt Gingrich? Mit Romney?

    “What can we conclude from this.

    “Darwin was wrong…”

    “240 years ago, this country produced John Adams, Ben Johnson, Samuel Johnson, Thomas Paine, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton a bunch of gentrified white dudes, many of whom owned slaves…


    perception is everything

    What I’m saying, Chris, is that you, as an American, should feel that your system is working (for the most part). I’m not denying that it doesn’t work, but there are gaps where it could be better. And I hope you agree with that because if you recognize that, you can make it better by asking your representatives to make those areas that lack support better for you.

    As an example, I’m from Canada, and we constantly are demanding better healthcare because it is a service we have come to value very highly. The wait times in some hospitals for some procedures are long, and we recognize this as a flaw in our system. We ask our elected officials to manage that better, and we wait for results. The democratic process allows us to make these changes. Those that promise and deliver normally find themselves in office a lot longer than those that do not.

    Is it perfect? Not by any means. But does it allow us an opportunity to get better? Yes. Do I think my government does a great job? Yes, I do. But can they do better? Of course. Is it the greatest in the world? That’s debatable, but it’s certainly better than those in Afghanistan, Libya or Iraq in my view.

    Make that “I’m not denying that it does work” – double-negative makes me sound like an ass! LOL

    Then again, I could just sound like that everyday. Hmmm….

    Yeah, bad drugs that Americans simply dare not trust, lousy health care…

    By now, dead Canadians must be stacking up like cord word, so tell us us, Teebz, where are you guys hiding them?

    We ship them south to Florida for the winter because we can’t dig through the frozen tundra. There are tons of trailer parks there that are full of them, and we’re just waiting for the perma-frost to thaw at this point. ;o)

    Wow, Canada sounds like a utopian paradise! It’s a wonder that they don’t have any of the problems that we face in the states…

    “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

    —Winston Churchill
    speech to House of Commons, Nov. 11, 1947

    No offense to anyone in particular, but if I had the strange urge to enter a political or ideological debate regarding the merits (or lack thereof) of any political system I would not come to the Uni Watch site. I appreciate that everyone has strong feelings about this; however, I would prefer we stick to the basis for this site. I generally read the site and comments everyday and have commented infrequently. Working in local government I enjoy the escape into something that (in the grand scheme of things) has no real ramifications aside from the occasional grimace while watching some sporting events.

    This discussion is about corporate sponsorship of civic entities, which is EXACTLY what an ad on a uniform would be. That’s why it matters, and that’s why it’s very much “in bounds” as a Uni Watch subject area.

    Not your cuppa? No problem — don’t take part in this particular discussion.

    It won’t happen, but I’d love to see the Miami Heat wear their Floridians throwbacks for a game in this upcoming NBA Finals.

    Have the Washington Wizards ever worn the same style Baltimore Bullets throwbacks or the Atlanta Hawks wore the green/blue version of this unusual design?

    Apologies if this is old news but I’m saddened to note the Camo plague has gone transatlantic:


    I suspend my usual disapproval, since the team is called Warrington.

    And when Battle Creek, Michigan gets a minor-league team, they can wear camo too.

    For give me if this has been mentioned before, but Pac 12 is having a poll to determine its football championship logo. All uninspired if you ask me, but cool to let people vote:


    Yeah, whatever. I’d vote, but nothing will ever really get done. I don’t trust any politician to…

    Oh wait. Wrong thread.

    Actually, Bernard, you’re not the only one. I spoke to a woman through work who had a triple-hyphenated name as well, and it took me a second to realize that I had to call her “Miss Jones-Smith-Richards” (real name not used). After she had finished her transaction, the hockey jersey idea hit me: her name would go from sleeve cuff to sleeve cuff! LOL

    Paul said:

    “You know, you’re right. The gov’t needs money – so how about if we have the gov’t set up a pornography business? Proven money-maker. For that matter, let’s have the gov’t operate a casino. Can’t lose! They need money, so what’s the problem?”

    i don’t want the government in the porno business…that would be, um…wrong…plus, they’d just fuck it up (no pun intended)…no…keep that on the interwebs, where it belongs

    now, if you don’t think the government isn’t in the gambling business, even here in NY…you’d also be wrong…

    the “lottery”? yeah…that money goes to “education” … right

    and there’s a bridge connecting your beautiful boro to manhattan i’ll be happy to sell you

    and while we’re at it — what’s worse? naming the triboro the “RFK” bridge? the 59th the “Ed Koch bridge” or the interboro the “JRR”? i suppose nothing, if there were no expenses involved, but there are

    think that $4 million could buy a shitload of textbooks or iPads for school kids in the poor neighborhoods?

    at least if you sold those “naming rights” to corporations, the government would be getting some scratch back

    i’m NOT saying i agree with that — but there are things the government does some don’t agree with that affect the taxpayers…like renaming bridges after people…would the “brooklyn nets bridge” be so bad if it meant NYC would never toll it?

    would the “brooklyn nets bridge” be so bad if it meant NYC would never toll it?


    And they should toll it anyway, to encourage mass transit over cars.

    How about the Homestead Grays Bridge, which was originally the Homestead High-Level Bridge?

    And link.

    There is a difference in kind between naming something as a tribute or an expression of public honor and naming it in exchange for a little cash.

    Think of it this way: The Medal of Honor costs about $30 to make, and then the recipient and/or his heirs receive potentially tens of thousands of dollars in benefits from the government as a reward. Instead of paying out all that cash just to honor specific individuals, we could do what the Brits do with minor noble titles and sell the Medal of Honor at an auction every year. Top five bidders are awarded the Medal of Honor. You’d turn an expense into a revenue source. The logic in favor of doing this is exactly the same as the logic in favor of the switch from using public facility names to honor people to using them to raise money. If the latter, why not the former?

    why should we name ANY public facility after anyone? particularly if that comes at the expense of the taxpayers?

    and there are plenty of public works named for people often posthumously reviled…or even those still with us…many streets and roads are also renamed in honor of some rather questionable historical figures

    i suppose if you build a building privately, or want to slap your kid’s name or your legacy or what have you…that’s OK

    but i just don’t see any need for public buildings to be named after anyone, no matter who they were or what the reason, especially if the expense runs the public tab into the millions to so do

    Michigan is not wearing that pictured jersey. But they are still going to wear a make believe jersey with elements of different eras.

    Big Deal.

    I just got this ‘red jacket’ t-shirt today: link

    Which has a replication of this awesome sleeve patch: link

    Which can be seen on this game jersey: link

    Weird, though, that the perspective of Chicago on the patch is from the near north side looking south. From The Cell (Comiskey) the Sears Tower (Willis Tower) would be closer/much bigger than the Hancock tower which is the tallest building in the patch (Which is almost impossible to see from the Cell – link ).

    It looks like its from the perspective from North Ave Beach: link


    i know its a little off the topic of todays news but i have been so intrigued on the 1962 broncos helmets i haven’t stopped researching since i saw the article. So i compared the 1962 lions with the 1962 broncos… since the lions blue at the time matches up to the suspected broncos helmet blue i thought id look into that. thoughts on the picture?

    That can be a fruitless and frustrating effort.
    The blue horse used would have been, as most “royal” blues then and now on helmets, closer to navy.

    The Colt horseshoe was darker than the blue on the jerseys, as was ’60 Pats three-corner hat, the initial Cowboys’ star and also the one that followed when they changed to silver helmets.

    The Lions’ lion, while probably still darker than the Honululu Blue jerseys, wouldn’t have been close to either the Colts or the Broncos, because the base color is lighter than royal.

    And brown? Man, that can look, in black and white, like anything from royal to kelly to red to navy to forest to burgundy, depending on the lighting conditions at the time.

    Determining colors with only black and white can be misleading. As I’ve said, the first time I saw the Broncos on black and white TV, I guessed maybe Tennessee Orange and Navy. Wasn’t until the second broadcast that I caught the anouncers identifiying them as gold and brown.

    Granted that ebay mini-helmet logo is painted, but is it painted in a color based on the misconeption of an odd shade of brown?

    Or maybe the scan’s just haywire.

    Either eay, the point is that it’s led me to something I hadn’t thought of before, a hypothesis that is actually quite reasonable, given the state of things in 1962, and it would explain the confusion.

    What if it WAS a decal problem, but not the one everyone’s assumed?

    What if they started royal/navy but because of a manufacturing problem quickly faded/discolored, letting the orange of the helmet show through moroe than it should have, enough to turn the horsey a purplish brown? Combining orange and blue (visually) could very easily get to such a color.

    So they solved the problem by saying, “Screw it, we aren’t purple and we sure as hell have had enough of brown, just order some white decals. Can’t go wrong with a WHITE horse.”

    Therefore, those who saw them early, such as in that PR photo with Faulkner, would have seen an intense blue and said, “Looked like a big ink blot” (my former partner, then with the Denver Post, described them thusly). Those who took a look at them later might have seen it as an odd shade of brown, a softer color much like the logos in those photos Phil found from the day game at the Polo Grounds. If it had faded, it definitey would have looked softer, lighter, in black and white.

    So, in a way, could it have been BOTH blue and “brown”? The former by design, the latter by…accident?

    We’ve seen such a thing before: Those silver Lions helmets that turned “gold” back in the early ’50s.

    Or it just yellowed.

    Add yellow to blue you get green.
    To that, add enough orange showing through from the helmet and you get…an odd brown.

    I’ve pushed enough paint around over the years to know that’s EXACTLY what you’d get.

    I also saw enough car window decals “yellow” almost immediately back in those days, that I can’t believe this thought didn’t occur to me a long time ago.

    It is entirely possible that EVERYONE is right. Just depends on at what point they saw the helmet.

    The whole damn thing could be because of some faulty decals.

    Jordan Schafer is back to wearing a single-flap CoolFlo batting helmet at home vs. the Reds.

    Hey everyone… I’m an aspiring rookie DIY-Jersey maker. Im trying to make the Yellow alternate Oakland A’s jersey for when i go up to Boston to see them in Fenway next weekend. Any tips or ways to help me out? Thanks.

    p.s. this blog is the s***

    Phil, I’m not sure that’s as helpful as you think it is, haha.

    Chris, I myself am only halfway through a DIY project so I can’t really give any advice. Sorry.

    oh, sorry t…you’re right

    if you’re taking the red line, take it to the park street stop and then switch to the green line…take the green line to the kenmore stop using any green line train — except the e…if on the green line — d branch, just use the fenway stop…

    if you’re taking the orange line, take it to downtown crossing stop and then switch to the green line via the park street stop

    and, if you’re taking the blue line, take it to the government center stop and transfer to the green line

    I think he wants DIY help, not directions. Or is this the whole “If I gave you tips it wouldn’t really be a DIY, now would it?” thing?

    You’ve chosen a great project for your first time out, Chris. Wouldn’t mind doing that one myself. The man you want to talk to is Ryan Connelly.

    Lebron James is a part owner of Liverpool… has worn this jacket several times this season

    …And in other soccer news, Unis are set for the Champions League final tomorrow, Man U will be wearing their Away (white) kit, even though they’re playing in England….

    also, you can snatch up a fully embroidered jersey for either team:


    I REALLY wish more sports would do this, far less tacky the the giant super bowl/ world series logos were used to

    Mike Leake is wearing some sweet stirrups against the Braves tonight. No pics, but plenty of folks on Twitter agree with me…


    While done some research on another project…I notices that the Vancouver Canucks will be wearing a different set of uniforms in this years final then they did the last two times they were there (1982 & 1994). I wonder has this been happend before by a team that stayed in one place?

    top of my head?

    mets have worn three different unis for their 4 WS appearances (69 & 73) was one set; 86 had the racing stripes; ’00 was the black & dropshadow unis

    im sure there are more

    On Thursday’s Late Night with David Letterman, stand-up comedian Reese Waters, did a bit where he wonders whether changing names and uniforms, like the Washington Bullets of his youth, would also work in marriage:


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