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There's No Service Like Wire Service, Vol. 31

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Almost all of today’s photos all come from the Sporting News archives. With one exception, which I’ve noted, all were contributed by the increasingly indispensable Mike Hersh. Some really good stuff this time around, so off we go:

• One can never have too many satin uni photos.

•  Speaking of satins, here’s something I’ve never seen before: a satin team portrait. According to the caption, even the batboy got a satin uni (but not the ballboy).

• Here’s an excellent look at the Cards’ 1927 “World Champions” jersey.

• Look at the two unusual belt styles in this shot.

• The Rochester Red Wings appear to have had some very unusual sleeve panels back in the early 1930s.

• Here’s a later Red Wings jersey, with the chest insignia seriously askew. Sensational stirrups, though.

• Here’s a great shot of Lefty O’Doul wearing the 1933 National League all-star uni.

• We’ve seen the Columbus Red Birds’ cap before, but once more won’t hurt, since it’s such a beauty. Interestingly, an editor had given instrux for the cap logo to be painted out, presumably because the player had been traded or called up.

• Back in the days when more Americans worked on farms (and therefore more ballplayers came from farming families), milking promotions like this one were fairly common. Good notes on the back of the photo.

• Several interesting things here: (1) It’s rare to see a ballplayer roll up his jersey sleeves like that. (2) Such a teeny chest emblem! Almost looks pinned on, no? (3) The cap logo is a chain-stitched patch.

• And if you don’t want to roll up your sleeves, you can just tear them off.

• Here’s a tremendous shot of a Cardinals player getting fitted for his uniform. Not sure who the player is, though. Anyone..?

• For years I’ve thought that the most absudist team name ever was the Atlanta Black Crackers. But that was before I knew about the short-lived Columbus (Georgia) Confederate Yankees. Wow. Even worse, the team only existed from 1964-66 (that photo is from ’65), which makes the team name and the sleeve patch seem like a very intentional statement about the civil rights movement. (My thanks to Alan Tompas for finding this one.)

• Here’s a first-class view of the old Hale America patch being worn in the minor leagues. Also, note the contrast-colored placket on the undershirt.

• Wish we could get a full-body shot of this jersey. Looks like it was a pullover, not a formal jersey, but it also appears to have had a chest insignia and a uni number. Very odd for that era.

• Oooh, check out the absolutely dynamite sleeve patch on this Montreal Royals uni. I bet that patch was at least partially purple, and I don’t even mind.

• And speaking of Canadian teams with noteworthy sleeve patches, yowza! That’s the 1949 Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Joy of Sox, Part 1: Due to a coding error on my part, one of the items in yesterday’s “Collector’s Corner” section didn’t display properly for part of the day. Here it is again — a great shot of the prototypes from the White Sox’s 1981 uni design contest. I’d seen other photos of the prototypes before, but not this one.

As you may recall, I wrote an ESPN column about that design contest a few months ago. During my research for that piece, Richard Launius, who ultimately won the contest, told me that the White Sox had also showcased the six prototypes in a glass display case near the Comiskey Park entrance, so fans entering the ballpark could examine the designs before voting on them. I’d never seen a photo of that display — until now.

Paul Weirderecht sent me that shot yesterday. Very, very cool. I love it when we can fill in some of the blanks in these old storylines.

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Joy of Sox, Part 2: Barry Zito wore his striped socks last night in Chicago. That’s standard practice for him, and the striped hose have been part of the Giants’ official wardrobe since last season, but all that was apparently news to Cubs broadcasters Bob Brenly and Len Kasper, who proceeded to play Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dumber (as transcribed by reader Patrick Karraker):

Len Kasper: Not really sure what to make of Barry Zito’s style in terms of the way he wears his uniform because, you know, he’s got the striped socks, and bottoms, around the bottom of the knee, and that’s all old school, but, you know, if you really went old school, you’d wear the baggy pants.

Bob Brenly: Going a combination of old school and new school, I guess.

Kasper: I never knew the Giants’ stirrups had the orange stripes. You occasionally see guys with the Cardinals, the stripes at the top of the socks.

Brenly: I didn’t know the Giants ever had orange stripes on their socks. (Camera shows Cody Ross wearing plain black socks.)

Kasper: Look, those are different. Different socks!

Brenly: Just a Barry Zito thing. Might’ve worn them for one of those throwback days, where they wear the old unis. He decided he liked ’em, and continues to wear them.

Kasper and Brenly’s cluelessness notwithstanding, their basic point — that Zito wears one kind of socks while most of the Giants wear another — hints at the larger problem regarding MLB lower-leg regulations, namely that there aren’t any. Obvioulsy, I prefer the striped hose, but it’s ridiculous that the Giants don’t have any consistency on this uni element. Of course, it’s also ridiculous that some players don’t even show their socks to begin with, which is just part of the same larger problem. Sigh.

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In which everyone gets worked up over nothing (again): About a dozen people in a one-hour span sent me the link for this Nike/NFL story yesterday. Most of the e-mails had a panicked tone and used terms like “Our worst fears realized” and “There goes the league down the toilet.”

The source of all this consternation was this passage:

Nike’s NFL contract begins next April and that’s when Nike will start pumping out products for retail.

So I asked [Nike Brand President Charlie] Denson the all-important question: How much will you change it up?

“We’re going to be aggressive,” Denson said. “Some teams are willing to go further than others.”

Wow. If that doesn’t get the NFL fan base hurting for good product excited, I don’t know what does.

Yeah, wow. Some marketing suit gives a boilerplate quote and some mouthpiece posing as a journalist — in this case CNBC’s Darren Rovell, who never met a merchandising initiative he didn’t like — basically blows a load all over it.

But there are two important points here: First, they’re not talking about uniforms. They’re talking about “products for retail,” which can mean T-shirts, fashion jerseys, wristbands, caps, etc. (And boy, it sure would be a shame if Nike came in and ruined the integrity of classic Reebok product lines like this one.)

Secondly, Denson himself admits that the Swooshkateers can only go as far as a team will let them — which is exactly what I’ve been saying all along. Will some teams go for a full-on Lifestyle Inc. overhaul? Sure. I can see the Panthers or Bengals going that route, for example, and maybe one or two others. But most NFL teams have way too much invested in their brand identities (and have way too conservative owners) to put their visual systems in the Nike centrifuge. Bank on it: When the NFL hits the field in 2012, the vast majority of the teams will look no different than they look now.

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Membership update: The good news is that we’re now caught up on every membership card order (including Nick Werner’s Notre Dame marching band treatment, shown at right), with one exception (we’ll get to you momentarily, Murray). The bad news is that if you’ve been thinking about signing up, you’ll have to think a little longer, because Scott is in the middle of some big projects and some long travels, so we won’t be taking any new membership orders for the next month or so. I’ll let you know when we’re ready to reopen for business.

Speaking of summer breaks: As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ll soon be taking my annual summer sabbatical from the site, which will run from July 11 through August 7. I’ll still be doing ESPN work during that period, but Phil will be running this here site — a big job to handle on a daily basis, so get ready to be really nice to him and stuff.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Here’s our first look at the new Penn State jersey on a player. I’m surprised by how many people have already said, “I really miss the white trim” or “Looks like shit without the white trim.” Personally, I’m fine with it either way, but it’s interesting to see how many of you apparently feel quite strongly about it. ”¦ Here’s a hexbreaker I’ve never seen before: Evan Longoria has attempted to break out of slump by not wearing batting gloves (big thanks to Don Gale). ”¦ Want to order yourself a Dodgers “Chapter 11” jersey? Too late — you can’t! ”¦ Not sure if I’ve ever seen a tequila sunrise-era Astros jacket with a wordmark quite like this one (good find, Jet). ”¦ Douglas King notes that this video footage from NCAA Football 12 appears to show new uniforms for Hawaii and USF (but not, unfortunately, for UCF, as you can see). ”¦ Several good hockey finds by Mike Hersh: a set of promotional photos featuring the Flyers in Cooperalls, and three sensational-looking old scrapbooks — look here (scroll down to see some primitive headgear), here (scroll down to see a young, pre-Bruins Bobby Orr), and here. ”¦ Also from Mike: Scroll down on this auction listing to see a very interesting cap-enlargement modification. ”¦ Who’s that in the stars and stripes? None other than a very young Alex Ovechkin. It’s from a fun site devoted to hockey players as kids (with thanks to Mark Kaplowitz). ”¦ Women’s World Cup note from Mike Styczen, who writes: “A Canadian forward broke her nose in the first game and is now wearing the most awesome mask I’ve ever seen.” ”¦ “I coach a sixth through eighth grade baseball team,” says Scott Sidor. “This past season, the other coaches and I decided to go old school and get our players striped stirrups. All but one player even knew what stirrups were.” Nicely done — but now you have to get the kids to stop wearing mid- and high-top shoes. ”¦ In a vaguely related item, Mike Caldwell did a bit of stirrups/high-tops commingling himself the other day: “I got married this past Sunday (6/26). I didn’t tell anyone beforehand, but I thought it would be cool to wear my Red Sox stirrups with my formalwear (if you can call it formal). They didn’t go very well with the Columbia blue of the shoes, but the idea was to bring some good luck to the day, as well to as my favorite baseball squadron. They seemed to do the trick — the weather was perfect, ceremony and reception went off with nary a hitch, and the Sox actually won an interleague game. And yes, we were both wearing custom-designed Chucks.” ”¦ Reminder for all you Philly folks: Mitchell & Ness’s Peter Capolino will be speaking about the throwback biz tonight. ”¦ N.C. State hoops will wear a Lorenzo Charles memorial patch this fall. ”¦ Kentucky will unveil new football uniforms on Thursday. ”¦ There’s something very endearing about this chest insignia. ”¦ What’s even better than a stereotypical cartoon Indian on your sleeve? How about a stereotypical cartoon Mexican on both your sleeves. Yikes. ”¦ Matt Harris alertly notes that Prince Fielder appears to have something stitched to the underside of his jersey collar. Maybe some Velcro, for when he goes unbuttoned..? ”¦ Three new Japanese basketball teams for the B-J League, all with new logos: the Yokohama B-Corsairs, Iwate Big Bulls, and Chiba Jets (with thanks to Jeremy Brahm). ”¦ Unusual squared-off uni number font for Brazil’s Copa America kit (with thanks to Kenny Loo). ”¦ What’s this? It’s an X-ray of an upholstered sofa. Lots more here (great find, Kirsten). ”¦ Strange development in the fly fishing world, as the feathers used to tie flies have become popular as women’s hair accessories, leading to an acute shortage.

132 comments to There’s No Service Like Wire Service, Vol. 31

  • The Jeff | June 29, 2011 at 7:27 am |

    “Sure. I can see the Panthers or Bengals going that route, for example, and maybe one or two others.”

    The Panthers? Really?? The only uniform change they’ve made in their entire existence is adding the blue alternate jersey. I don’t know how you’d consider them an overhaul candidate.

    Also gotta love that Red Wings shot with the weird sleeves…just more evidence that fashion goes in cycles and everything old will eventually be new again.

    • Andy | June 29, 2011 at 9:49 am |

      They don’t exactly look like the Colts now, do they? They have a very modern uniform set and identity, and that’s all a marketing department needs to convince someone to jump off the deep end it seems.

      • The Jeff | June 29, 2011 at 9:58 am |

        True…they don’t look like the Colts. Unlike Indy, their shoulder loops still mostly resemble loops rather than dashes.

        I just don’t see a team who’s never made a uniform change being one to do it now just because Nike is taking over. Teams with relatively recent changes or that have been flirting with throwback uniforms (Falcons, Vikings, Seahawks, etc) seem like much more realistic targets to me.

        • Charlie | June 29, 2011 at 12:03 pm |

          The thing about the Panthers is that their owner is a fairly conservative guy, and I just don’t see a major overhaul in their near future. He’s an old businessman who has worked hard to create a brand in a small market, and he certainly is going to value that over the appeal of the Swooshdom.

    • Rob S | June 29, 2011 at 12:20 pm |

      Maybe Paul was thinking of the Jaguars?

    • Peter S | June 29, 2011 at 2:40 pm |

      Jeff, I was just about to say the same thing. I’ve been a Panther fan for years, and as long as Jerry Richardson is at the helm, our ’90s era uniforms are going nowhere. I suppose consistency is good, but I’d appreciate it more if the uniforms looked a little sharper to begin with.

    • Pat | June 29, 2011 at 6:15 pm |

      Maybe Paul was thinking that bot of their unis suck. Which they do. There are some easy fixes to spruce them up though.

      The Bengals need to get rid of the drop shadow on the numbers, get rid of the side panels on the jerseys, get rid of the white patch on the tiger stripes on the pants and get rid of the orange shoulders on the away uni and they’d be a much nicer set. Addition by subtraction.

      The Panthers need to go with black helmets. Make the center striping on the helmets match the striping on the shoulder loops. Go to black pants with the black jerseys, make the striping on the pants match the loops on the jerseys. Then they’re all fixed.

      • NE | June 29, 2011 at 6:38 pm |

        black logo on a black helmet?

        • Pat | June 29, 2011 at 6:43 pm |

          The current silver helmet has a black logo with the blue and white as outlines so yeah it’d totally work if they kept the outlines. Plus an all black look would be cool because they’re the Panthers and Panthers are black. I have a lot of design ideas, but don’t have the design skills to make them so they just roll around in my head. Therefore, it may not look good once I put it on paper, but I think these would be a huge improvement.

    • Joseph Gerard | June 29, 2011 at 6:31 pm |

      I think that people need to understand too is that some teams will not make significant changes. The Steelers are one of them. Aside from the jersey numbers (which coincidentally is Nike-related, as they had the Steelers contract at the time when each team had individual contracts), the Steelers uniforms have been unchanged since 1968–except of course the advancement of the football uniform with disappearing sleeves and all. But remember when Reebok took over in 2002? They did want all NFL teams to do an Rbk EDGE-like makeover, and who was it that successfully fought against it? Dan Rooney.

      When it comes down to it, here are teams we can rule out for 2012 changes. We’ll start with teams that have had new uniforms come out since 2008, since by NFL rules they would be ineligible for new uniforms anyways:

      Buffalo Bills
      Detroit Lions
      Jacksonville Jaguars
      San Francisco 49ers

      So those four teams, rule them out. Now let’s go with teams that won’t change their uniforms under any circumstances:

      Chicago Bears
      Cleveland Browns
      Dallas Cowboys
      Denver Broncos
      Green Bay Packers
      Indianapolis Colts
      New England Patriots
      New Orleans Saints
      New York Giants
      Oakland Raiders (Not while Al Davis is alive.)
      Pittsburgh Steelers
      Washington Redskins

      Notice a trend? These are teams that are either flagship teams (Steelers, Packers, Cowboys, Patriots, Colts, etc…), have gone so long without a uniform change that doing one now would be too radical (Saints, Browns, Raiders, etc…), or in the case of the Broncos, already planning on unrelated changes by designating their orange alternate their primary colored jersey.

      That leaves 16 teams for changes. Teams like the Dolphins, Rams, Chiefs, and Panthers seem ripe for change.

      • Pat | June 29, 2011 at 7:10 pm |

        Interesting point about the 4 who couldn’t change. Does that rule include tweaks or is it just for complete overhauls? Of course the Jags could use an overhaul but would it be against the rules for the Niners to fix their sleeve stripes?

        As for the untouchables I somewhat disagree. Cowboys have flirted with matching their silvers and blues, which they should do. Broncos are already going back to orange as their primary uni color in 2012. There are a lot of people who’d love to see the Pats go back to their throwback look on a permanent basis, but I think with a few tweaks their current set could be a lot more streamlined. I could see the Saints matching their golds. I personally hope that the Giants get rid of their gray pants and go for some white ones. I could definitely see the Redskins trying to match the striping of their yellow pants on their maroon ones. You also left the Jets out of the untouchable list. I also highly doubt that the Chiefs would change their current set.

        The Seahawks have already said that they are going for a redesign in 2012. I’d love to see the Chargers go back to powder blue as their primary and then redesign their away unis so that they used powder elements versus the navy ones. Other teams who need a rehaul or a tweak are the Texans, Vikings, Bengals, Dolphins, Panthers, and Ravens

  • JAson | June 29, 2011 at 7:41 am |

    The Cambridge Cardinals look an awful lot like the Columbus Red Birds

    • Paul Lukas | June 29, 2011 at 7:48 am |

      I think you’re right. Based on the tips of the letters on the chest insignia in the wire photo, it appears to say, “Columbus.”

      I’ll change the text now.

  • scott | June 29, 2011 at 8:02 am |

    I sure hope MLB never decides to standardize the way ballplayers wear their stirrups and pants. To me, that would be like telling Ted Kluszewski that he had to wear an undershirt to conform with his teammates or that all ballplayers either have to wear longsleeves or not depending on the gametime conditions. I think it’s nice that MLB isn’t that stringent and I certainly don’t consider it a problem.

  • Alan Saunders | June 29, 2011 at 8:05 am |

    The Penn State link isn’t working for me.

    • Paul Lukas | June 29, 2011 at 8:08 am |

      My apologies. Now fixed.

  • Simply Moono | June 29, 2011 at 8:15 am |

    “…video footage from NCAA Football 12 appears to show new uniforms for Hawaii and USF (but not, unfortunately, for UCF, as you can see).”

    The ‘C’ in ‘UCF’ is italicized.

    • Simply Moono | June 29, 2011 at 8:17 am |

      Let’s try that visual mistake again:


    • Paul Lukas | June 29, 2011 at 8:23 am |


    • Horation McChoad | June 29, 2011 at 10:50 am |

      Paul is a dumbfuck

      • Brian | June 29, 2011 at 12:18 pm |

        As are people who comment on the internet with the sole intention of insulting another person, especially when the insult has no grounds. But feel free to waste your time some more.

  • R.S. Rogers | June 29, 2011 at 8:33 am |

    I’d always assumed that the Confederate Yankees moniker was overtly intended to be a kind of Civil War Centennial-era coming-together kind of deal. There was a lot of that, both in the era after the end of Reconstruction and then again during the period of the Centennial. (Also, making lemonade out of the lemons of being a Yankees affiliate that deep in Dixie.) With the team, I’d assumed that the obvious appeal to the white supremacists who opposed desegregation was secondary – that it was implicit, not the overt purpose of the name. Kind of a side benefit, like, “Hey, we’re really just honoring both sides of the Civil War, who were all Americans. If it drums up a little extra support from the local bigots, well, that’s not our purpose, but their money spends just the same.”

    But I’d never seen a photo of the uniform with the Confederate navy jack on the sleeve. Ebbets, for example, doesn’t put that patch on the sleeve. And the use of that insignia, in that era, in the South, is an unambiguous statement of overt, deliberate support for the white supremacy agenda. Unless you were a clueless Northerner, and there was some of that in the business world, you didn’t display the Confederate navy jack in the South during the postwar years unless you intended people to understand that you stood for social and statutory white supremacy and the maintenance of segregation and other Jim Crow laws.

    It would have been just possible to display the Stars & Bars, or even the square Confederate Battle Flag as a politically neutral “heritage” or historical symbol, but not the navy jack.

    Raises the question: Did the team put the navy jack patch on all uniforms, officially, or was it just certain players who wanted to make that political statement?

  • J-Dub | June 29, 2011 at 8:33 am |

    This shot: of the player with the ‘pullover’ jersey was taken at Ebbets Field, if that helps anybody in identifying the player and/or team. The “J.Michaels Furniture” ad in the background is the tipoff – my grandfather worked for them for 50 years

    • Mike Hersh | June 29, 2011 at 8:42 am |

      The pitcher is former Dodger, Billy Loes. The auction listing says it’s from 1947.

      • Mike Hersh | June 29, 2011 at 8:54 am |

        If the photo is actually from ’47, Loes was still in high school. He went to Bryant High School on Long Island City.

  • Craig D. | June 29, 2011 at 8:35 am |

    I would guess Jacksonville would be a team to watch as far as Nike-fication goes. They seem to be desperate for anything to draw fans. They might be one foot out the door anyway, so why not? I would not be surprised to see Cincinnati actually get their look cleaned up.

    • Andy | June 29, 2011 at 9:50 am |

      Jacksonville just updated a few seasons ago. They have a few more to go before they can do anything major.

    • Lew Holst | June 29, 2011 at 11:37 am |

      They did a pretty good job drawing decent crowds last season with the season tickets for $9 per game.

      I still love that multi-color helmet too!

  • Connie | June 29, 2011 at 8:43 am |

    Maybe one of the best set of contributions from I.I. Hersh, which is saying something.

    One of the attractions of these old photos, of course, is their non-sports elements. Look at the picture of the Cardinal with the “World Champions” on his chest. Besides the athletic aesthetics (the logo, that crumpled cap), there are psychological stories upon stories in that guy’s face, his eyes especially. Troubling, complex. And, as Paul says, there’s a lot of historical, sociological information embedded in there as well. Those Idaho Falls ballplayers fooling around with the cow n the barn are playing for a team called the “Russets.” Such a motif! Such a name!

    • interlockingtc | June 29, 2011 at 12:17 pm |

      Well said, Connie. The uniforms and logos and textures are luscious and interesting, but I’m really drawn to those faces and the stories they conger up in the imagination.

      This is one of the most beautiful portraits of a man, sports or otherwise, from this era you will see…

    • R.S. Rogers | June 29, 2011 at 2:42 pm |

      On the subject of “one of the best sets” ever, I absolutely agree. Twice I had the reaction to a photo, “This is excellent for the reason Paul writes, but look at that [unusual rolled-up-sleeve/good example of a Hale America patch],” only to see an even better example of exactly the same noteworthy phenomenon highlighted in a subsequent photo. So not only a great set, but keenly curated for our edification.

  • Kek | June 29, 2011 at 8:55 am |

    “some mouthpiece posing as a journalist – in this case CNBC’s Darren Rovell, who never met a merchandising initiative he didn’t like”

    That’s a tad harsh no? I mean, he covers the business end of sports.

    • LI Phil | June 29, 2011 at 8:59 am |

      perhaps he should be ripping lacee collins on twitter?

      • Kek | June 29, 2011 at 9:39 am |

        Hey alright! Someone is paying attention to my twitter feed!

        Seriously, I think Darren is held in a slightly higher regard than Lacee Collins of ROOT Sports Pittsburgh!

        I get that his “beat” is going to conflict with a lot of folks here that have an anti-mainstream attitude towards EVERYTHING but it’s hard to argue his reach. He’s a must follow on twitter with the news and info he posts as well the quick polls he does with his follower base.

        There’s a lot of crossover with the UW crowd in topics that interest him. I just thought it was an unneccesary shot.

        • Paul Lukas | June 29, 2011 at 9:46 am |

          it’s hard to argue his reach.

          Agreed. He has more access than most other people connected to the uni beat.

          One reason for that is that he works very, very hard. Like, really hard.

          Another reason is that he basically rubber-stamps anything that comes out of any corporate office. Why wouldn’t you give him access? He’s part of your rollout strategy.

        • Bill | June 29, 2011 at 5:22 pm |

          / ot

          Can’t we have Trenni Kusnierek or Jenna Morasca back? Anyone but Lacee. That is all.

    • Paul Lukas | June 29, 2011 at 9:36 am |

      Let me start by saying Darren is a nice enough guy who’s always been supportive of my work.

      That said, he no longer covers the merchandising-industrial complex — he’s become a part of it, a shill for it.

      Go back and read that full Nike piece. That would get laughed out of the newsrooms of Fortune, Business Week, The Wall St. Journal, the Financial Times, etc. (and I know, because I’ve written for those publications). That’s not business reporting — that’s cheerleading. It’s embarrassing.

      Darren’s capable of better — his reporting chops are way better than mine — but that’s not where he’s at these days. Too bad.

      • Kek | June 29, 2011 at 9:44 am |

        In fairness, hasn’t Walt Mossberg been accused of being an Apple cheerleader for years?

        • Paul Lukas | June 29, 2011 at 9:48 am |

          For better or worse, I don’t even know who Walt Mossberg is. But I know who Darren is, and that’s the point we’re discussing.

        • Kek | June 29, 2011 at 10:21 am |

          Oh, you mentioned WSJ and Mossberg is the Tech guy. I listen to a bunch of tech podcasts with industry folks on them and that’s always the word on him.

    • Paul Lukas | June 29, 2011 at 10:05 am |

      And while we’re at it, this line kind of bugged me:

      I get that his “beat” is going to conflict with a lot of folks here that have an anti-mainstream attitude towards EVERYTHING…

      I realize everything is relative, but come on, Doug: I’m a white heterosexual male who writes about professional baseball and football for one of the biggest media conglomerates on the planet. It doesn’t get any more mainstream than that.

      A bit of perspective, please.

      • Kek | June 29, 2011 at 10:48 am |

        I guess my perspective is that I tend to look at Uni Watch being an outlet more on the fashion/design side of things whereas Rovell works for CNBC, a business news outlet. He’s going to cover companies like Nike and Reebok in a manner that might be uninteresting (or disagreeable) to many UW readers.

        The athletics aesthetics fan probably doesn’t care to know how many pairs of Lebrons Nike sold, what their profits/losses are, earnings, stock price, etc, etc.

        As you might guess, I find myself in both camps. I was a business major, work in that field for a living and enjoy seeing what these companies do as far as uniforms, equipment, etc. I enjoy critiquing the good and the bad of uniform design. I don’t however, feel that any one company is evil or ruining sports by doing things that might not look right to others. It’s all simply a matter of taste and opinion.

        so when I see a tweet like Rovell posted last night: “Under Armour making a nice run this year with high profile BCS champion (Auburn) & College WS Champion (South Carolina)” well, that interests me. But I know that many fans of UW and quite possibly you yourself Paul, would cringe at that analysis. So that’s what I mean when I say or hint that sometimes things feel “anti-mainstream”.

        • Paul Lukas | June 29, 2011 at 11:22 am |

          I don’t however, feel that any one company is evil or ruining sports by doing things that might not look right to others.

          I don’t think Nike is evil because of their bad designs; I think Nike is evil because they treat team design as a function of Nike’s greater glory, when it’s supposed to be the other way around.

          As I’ve said before, I never accuse Majestic of being evil, because they understand their role: They’re a vendor supplying a product for client. They’re not in the lifestyle business, and they don’t subordinate their clients into the role of guinea pigs. (Majestic does have some competency issues, but that’s something else altogether).

          My problem with Rovell is that he fails to bring ANY critical analysis to the table. It’s always just, “Here’s what Nike [or Puma, or whomever] is doing, wheee!” Business journalism doesn’t have to be that way — just ask Joe Nocera, Stanley Bing, and plenty of others.

        • LI Phil | June 29, 2011 at 12:13 pm |

          “Majestic does have some competency issues”


          no shit

        • Chance Michaels | June 29, 2011 at 12:41 pm |

          I guess my perspective is that I tend to look at Uni Watch being an outlet more on the fashion/design side of things whereas Rovell works for CNBC, a business news outlet. He’s going to cover companies like Nike and Reebok in a manner that might be uninteresting (or disagreeable) to many UW readers.
          The complaint against him isn’t that he covers those companies from a “business news” angle, but that he covers them uncritically.

          He appears less as a journalist than a vendor of press releases. That really ought to be disagreeable to all readers.

    • Horation McChoad | June 29, 2011 at 10:51 am |

      Paul is a dbag…plain and simple

    • Bernard | June 29, 2011 at 11:02 am |

      The important thing to note here is that Lacee Collins is terrible.

      • Kek | June 29, 2011 at 11:46 am |

        That is a point that cannot be debated!

  • C. Thiele | June 29, 2011 at 9:02 am |

    “Unusual squared-off uni number font for Brazil’s Copa America kit…”

    Those numbers are very reminiscent of Oregon’s football font. Also, Brazil’s team playing in the U-17 World Cup (yes, I was bored this weekend and watched) seems to have replaced the standard yellow numbers on their away kits with a color suspiciously similar to Nike Volt. Brazil – the Oregon of soccer??

    • Connie | June 29, 2011 at 9:16 am |

      Be proud of your viewing! Some of those U17 games have been excellent. Think the Yanks have a chance against Germany?

    • Lew Holst | June 29, 2011 at 11:55 am |

      This does bring up an interesting situation with the U-17 World Cup, because national federations who have released new kits to be used at all levels are in a position where the actual debut (especially for change kits) will be by a youth side.

    • ChrisN | June 29, 2011 at 8:45 pm |

      Same weird font for the women’s team. More interestingly, the Brazilian soccer federation crest on the women’s jerseys has five stars above it, just like the men’s team. Stars above the crest normally represent championships – the Brazilian men have won 5 world cups, and the US women have two stars above the crest. But the Brazilian women have never won the world cup.

    • Muirinal | June 30, 2011 at 9:23 am |

      The font on Brazil’s jersey reminds me of Pixa, the font used for much of the graffiti in Sao Paulo.

  • walter | June 29, 2011 at 9:14 am |

    The Penn State uniforms are improved by taking the contrasting cuffs off. They’d be improved further if the Nike trademarks were removed, but that of course is crazy talk. If PSU talks the talk of going logo-free, they should walk the walk and foot the bill for their own uniforms.

    • Walking E | June 30, 2011 at 3:04 am |

      I agree – they look better without the jersey stripes. I never liked those stripes and was quite happy to hear that they were finally removing them.

  • Terry Proctor | June 29, 2011 at 9:18 am |

    Paul, you’ll be glad to know that the Montreal Royals used the Dodgers’ colours of Royal, White and Red for the trim. Which means that logo is sans Purple! Huzzahs all around!

    The Toronto Maple Leafs baseball club was celebrating the 75th anniversary of baseball in T.O. and the mustachioed “Handlebar Hank” was the mascot for the years’ celebration. The logo also was a large sign placed on the outside wall of old Maple Leaf Stadium located at Fleet and Bathurst Sts. near the shores of Lake Ontario. The Leafs’ colours were also Royal & White, eh.

    • Lloyd Davis | June 29, 2011 at 11:05 am |

      That Leaf jersey would make for a superb turn-back-the-clock night at (I’m still calling it) SkyDome. Maybe against a former International League rival like Baltimore or Atlanta.

      Admittedly, the ones pictured look to be the road greys, but we just had several years of the robin’s-egg blue unis being trotted out for Flashback Fridays, so there’s precedent.

      Then again, Handlebar Hank did appear on the home unis, and I’d also pay cash money for one of these jerseys that, based on the size of the script, could double as an eye chart.,_Maple_Leaf_Stadium.jpg

      • Terry Proctor | June 29, 2011 at 12:46 pm |

        I agree with you Lloyd. Either uniform (worn properly with correct STIRRUPS) would make a fantastic TBTC set for the Black, er I mean BLUE Jays to wear. But the baseball name “Maple Leafs” has been usurped by Jack Domenico’s semi-pro Intercounty League team since the I.L. Leafs moved to Louisville for 1968. So I don’t think the Jays would want to get into a dispute with Jack over the name.

        The professional Toronto baseball team was using “Maple Leafs” as its nickname for almost a half-century before Major Conn Smythe christened his hockey team in 1927. I’ve always wished the Jays were the Leafs.

    • Chance Michaels | June 29, 2011 at 12:44 pm |

      “Handlebar Hank.” I love it.

      Here’s a better picture.

      • Terry Proctor | June 29, 2011 at 12:49 pm |

        Great find Chance. That’s the photo I was referring to in my original post on this subject.

        • Connie | June 29, 2011 at 12:58 pm |

          Go, Hank!

  • Joe D | June 29, 2011 at 9:19 am |

    Here is a quick video with PSU player reactions to the jerseys:

  • RS | June 29, 2011 at 9:29 am |

    Help me out here. What does the Nike president mean when he says Lebron “has put the B back in basketball”?

    • Andy | June 29, 2011 at 9:53 am |

      Well, for a while there, people coast to coast were calling it asketball.

      • Shane | June 29, 2011 at 10:37 am |

        And to think all this time I was calling it “basketall”.

      • pushbutton | June 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm |

        He put the “ass” in assketball?

    • Matt Beahan | June 29, 2011 at 10:24 am |

      The “B” stands for bitching.

      • timmy b | June 29, 2011 at 12:09 pm |

        B-Ball, yo.

      • Aaron | June 29, 2011 at 4:10 pm |

        Just like it does for Susan B. Anthony?

  • Capital Z | June 29, 2011 at 9:55 am |

    How does Richard Launius get any credit at all for designing what we Cubs fans called the White Sox’ softball unis? The concept he designed looked nothing like the finished product, except the number on the pant leg, and the collar trim.

    But the pillbox hat, the batter logo, the red socks (!), the blue undershirt…some pretty big elements that never saw Comiskey Park.

    That’s great that he was celebrated as the winner, but it seems the design shop tweaker should have ridden with Bowie Kuhn to the World Series.

  • Juke Early | June 29, 2011 at 10:21 am |

    I thought the Columbus Redbirds cap was amazing ( yes, it is). Until I saw “the most awesome mask I’ve ever seen.” Almost makes you want to have a broken nose, so yo ucan wear one. . ..

  • Chris | June 29, 2011 at 10:45 am |

    Going with the Zito socks entry, Reminder: Sat. July 9th is the striped socks giveaway at AT&T. And they are playing the Meats!

  • Johnny O | June 29, 2011 at 11:00 am |

    I have never seen Prince, or any other Brewer, have that stitching near their collar like that. Obviously, the Crew, and a lot of other teams, have the velcro in the middle of their uniforms in case they come un-buttoned, but I have never seen it that high before. Here is an image of Fielder that you can blow up pretty big (different uniform, I know) but there is no stitching:

    However, with a little more research, I found Fielder with that same stitching (oddly enough on the gray alt.) from last year (notice the 40th anniversary patch):

    Very strange. I will try and dig up some details if I can.

    • FormerDirtDart | June 29, 2011 at 11:33 am |

      Missed you post, but posted below:

      It might be a “Passive Negative Ion Generator”

    • NE | June 29, 2011 at 1:58 pm |

      It’s gonna be sad to see him in a Cubs uni next year.

  • FormerDirtDart | June 29, 2011 at 11:04 am |

    Garmin-Cervelo will be be unveiling new kit for the Tour de France tomorrow :!/Ride_Argyle/statuses/86080661143822337

    Let’s hope for more argyle, and less black

  • Johnny O | June 29, 2011 at 11:07 am |

    In other Wisconsin news… over on the great blog “Packerville, U.S.A.” a man has sent his 1960 Green Bay Packers yearbook to get scanned and put online. This issue is extremely rare because it is the first one the Packers put out, and they didn’t know how popular it was going to be so they didn’t how it would sell. The blog says it will release new scans every day, and so far, part one looks awesome. I friggin’ LOVE the “Coaching Staff” Packer staff jackets!

  • B-Rich | June 29, 2011 at 11:17 am |

    “How about a stereotypical cartoon Mexican on both your sleeves. Yikes.”

    Was intrigued by that one and did a little research on that one. Apparently it was from Dorsey High School in Los Angeles (still exists) with the nickname of the Dons.

  • eli | June 29, 2011 at 11:24 am |

    any help would be great…..sometime in april or early may there was a link to a mickey mantle pic….it is taken from behind waist up and he is facing yankee stadium the pic is black and white…..i had it as my wall paper but had comp issues and it was lost….any help on where i could find pic or date of the entry would be great..

  • Ricko | June 29, 2011 at 11:27 am |

    Cardinal player getting fitted…

    First thought was Peanuts Lowrey, but not sure..,

  • FormerDirtDart | June 29, 2011 at 11:31 am |

    “… Matt Harris alertly notes that Prince Fielder appears to have something stitched to the underside of his jersey collar. Maybe some Velcro, for when he goes unbuttoned..? … ”

    It might be a “Passive Negative Ion Generator”

    • Paul Lukas | June 29, 2011 at 11:35 am |

      Faaaaascinating. Let me look into that.

      • Johnny O | June 29, 2011 at 12:48 pm |

        Although I won’t dismiss that it could be this… for what reason would Fielder only have it on his away gray uniform?

        • FormerDirtDart | June 29, 2011 at 2:15 pm |

          Because it’s not only on away gray uniform? You can see it clearly on this uniform.

    • The Jeff | June 29, 2011 at 12:03 pm |


      Those sound about as ridiculous as magnetic bracelets.

      • Ricko | June 29, 2011 at 12:33 pm |

        Ah, but not if it’s installed in a DeLorean and you reach 88 mph.

        • Ricko | June 29, 2011 at 12:35 pm |

          In which case, you go sideways in time.

        • Ricko | June 29, 2011 at 12:36 pm |

          Not to be confused with the theory that the key to time travel is to put instant coffee in a microwave.

  • Samuel | June 29, 2011 at 11:43 am |

    While Zito was on the DL, Cody Ross wore the striped socks for some time.

  • Sean | June 29, 2011 at 11:43 am |

    Before this series, Cody Ross had been going with the striped socks. He wasn’t hitting well when he wore them.

    After having a nice day with the bat, sadly it looks like he’ll be going sans stripes for the foreseeable future.

  • Rob H. | June 29, 2011 at 12:04 pm |

    ..and then Longoria put the batting gloves back on and hit a game-winning walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth. (The Rays have five walk-offs this year, and as even Chris Berman knows, all five were at home)

    oh and congrats to the Mets’ 2 grand slams

    • LI Phil | June 29, 2011 at 12:16 pm |

      “congrats to the Mets’ 2 grand slams”


      yes, they filled both last year’s and this year’s quotae in one game

      • Jet | June 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm |

        Reminds me of the 1969 season with the doubleheader with the Astros where Dennis Menke and Jimmy Wynn both hit grand slams in the 9th in the first game of the twinbill.


  • DJ | June 29, 2011 at 12:19 pm |

    Interesting turquoise/teal/light blue shade for the Brazilian Women’s World Cup team’s change kit. Considering that the U-17 boys are wearing the traditional royal blue, perhaps the women are getting their “own” color from Nike.

  • Alan | June 29, 2011 at 12:28 pm |

    Mears had this in their catalogue..Roy White in the minors..I wish this photo was bigger but you can clearly see the Stars and Bars. It is jarring in this day and age to see an African American athlete wearing this..

    • Paul Lukas | June 29, 2011 at 12:38 pm |

      Whoa — that is all kinds of fucked up.

      • Alan | June 30, 2011 at 5:06 pm |

        Shocked the shit out of me frankly..I can’t imagine being a black man wearing that in the south..but when you are a kid trying to make it to the do what you gotta do!

    • R.S. Rogers | June 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm |

      So it was a team-wide thing. Paul’s right about that being all kinds of fucked up, given the unambiguous nature of that particular Confederate emblem at that particular place and time.

  • KT | June 29, 2011 at 12:28 pm |

    Seriously, if you sent Paul an email along the lines of “Our worst fears realized” or “There goes the league down the toilet,” based on something that hasn’t happened yet and which you haven’t seen even if it was going to happen, you need to get a grip.

  • Rob S | June 29, 2011 at 12:42 pm |

    Ugh. Bad enough to have to see the Mets trash the Tigers last night, but for them to be in their black tops when doing it? And they’ll probably repeat tonight, seeing as how Phil “Shouldn’t Be Anywhere Near An MLB Rotation” Coke is starting…

    By the way, anyone notice that doesn’t use any black for their Mets graphics?

    • Another Jeff | June 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm |

      According the their media guide, the Mets don’t use black, either:

      • Ricko | June 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm |

        And, for those who insist Mets is short for “Metropolitans,” or that the team has EVER been nicknamed the “Metropolitans”…see page 28.

        • Connie | June 29, 2011 at 3:37 pm |

          You’re right, Ricko. Evidence is that the Mets were always going to be the Mets.

          I just WISH they were the Metropolitans, and certainly don’t mind when nickname-seeking sportswriters fling it around… Five syllables! On the same theory, I like to call the Cosmos Cosmopolitans. And the Knicks are indeed Knickerbockers, in fact as well as anachronistic preference.

        • chuck | June 29, 2011 at 9:50 pm |

          watching the Mets/Tigers at the moment and one of the Tiger announcers just called N.Y. the Metropolitans!

  • Mike Hersh | June 29, 2011 at 12:59 pm |

    Another picture of the Columbus Confederate Yankees

    • LarryB | June 29, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
      • Ricko | June 29, 2011 at 2:02 pm |

        Wrong font. ;)

    • LI Phil | June 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm |

      and yet, those still look better than these

      • LarryB | June 29, 2011 at 2:03 pm |

        Even though I was never a fan of those made up jerseys. I totally disagree.

        A 1st grader can make his own PSU jersey. They could not make that 2009 Buckeye one.

        • pflava | June 29, 2011 at 2:38 pm |

          Nor should they want to.

  • denverbuckeye | June 29, 2011 at 1:36 pm |

    Omar Vizquel either rolled his jersey sleeves last night, or rolled his undershirt up over his sleeves. On a witch-hunt for photos.

  • Jet | June 29, 2011 at 1:46 pm |

    Someone has GOT to make that 1949 Toronto Maple Leafs baseball jersey, with accurate patch AND the cap, too!!!



  • Brian | June 29, 2011 at 1:47 pm |

    Brian Anderson (former Major League pitcher and current Rays color analyst) was asked about his feelings on Edison Volquez’s flat brimmed cap, to which he responded that he hates it, and that if he’s gonna leave it flat, he may as well “turn it sideways, have the sticker on the brim and have the tag still hanging off of it,” and finished with, “Bend it a little, look like a ball player.”

  • Shaftman | June 29, 2011 at 2:06 pm |

    Does anyone know why Walter Alston doesn’t have a number on the front of his jersey?

  • Brian | June 29, 2011 at 2:16 pm |

    They just mentioned on the Rays broadcast that this Saturday when they wear the Tampa Smokers throwbacks, all players will wear stirrups. No word on the Cardinals, but considering their recent trend with the high socks, don’t be surprised to see them go high-cuffed as well.

  • Mr. Pancake | June 29, 2011 at 2:47 pm |

    Question about alternate NFL unis. The piece about the new rules for teams wearing alternate unis got me thinking and I have a question? Does that rule apply only to jerseys or does it apply to pants as well? ’cause I seem to recall the Redskins wearing their ‘old school’ (God there’s a fucking term that needs to fucking die) gold pants a lot last season and I wondered if the new rules would mean they could only wear those twice a season?

  • M.Princip | June 29, 2011 at 2:59 pm |

    Pretty badass little pillbox hat on that sleeve patch. Love this 1949 Toronto jersey, and that patch, the way that stripe runs through it, very slick.

  • Eriq Jaffe | June 29, 2011 at 3:20 pm |

    Nice looking stuff going on at the Double Duty Classic at U.S. Cellular Field today:

  • chuck | June 29, 2011 at 4:17 pm |

    Tribe vs D. Backs sporting the softball look today, blue tops and red tops. Is this softball look an issue with MLB?

  • Tom | June 29, 2011 at 4:19 pm |

    I think it’s a bit of a stretch to mock Kasper and Brenly for not knowing the story behind Barry Zito’s sock habits. They see him at most twice a year. Remember, they’re also trying to keep a lot of us interested in what I sadly must admit is a pretty bad Cubs team. I think that just mentioning his socks in general, should make Uni-Watchers out there happy since they’re drawing attention the the hobby.

    • Besty | June 29, 2011 at 7:38 pm |

      It is hard to believe Len and Bob weren’t aware of the Giants’ striped socks. I first became aware of Uni-Watch when Len Casper referenced it during a telecast a few years back. He must not be a daily reader any more if he was once.

  • Alex Parisi | June 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm |

    Judging by the what Nike has done in college football, I think these new uniforms for NFL teams will be fantastic.

  • R.S. Rogers | June 29, 2011 at 5:37 pm |

    Check out this video of a Cubs fan making a terrific catch and throw-back of a Miguel Tejada home run. (I know, right? But it’s true: Tejada actually hit a homer. And is still playing pro ball.)

    Anyway, at the start of the clip, one of the announcers is saying, “It was powder blue with white pinstripes. That was our road uniform. I remember -” Nice little moment of uni-talk.

  • Pat | June 29, 2011 at 6:39 pm |

    ‘Mike Caldwell did a bit of stirrups/high-tops commingling himself the other day: “I got married this past Sunday (6/26). I didn’t tell anyone beforehand, but I thought it would be cool to wear my Red Sox stirrups with my formalwear (if you can call it formal). They didn’t go very well with the Columbia blue of the shoes,’

    I found this comment funny because a high school team about 20 minutes north of my hometown has the colors Columbia Blue, Scarlet and Navy.