Screen shot 2011-07-08 at 9.55.48 PM.png

Paul here, taking a rare weekend turn. And I’m glad to be on the job today, because the Rangers and A’s did something really unusual last night: They wore ribbons on their jerseys.

Now, you may think MLB teams wear ribbons all the time, like on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. But you’d be wrong, because those aren’t ribbons — they’re adhesive patches that look like ribbons. A symbol of a symbol. Then you’ve got all the secondary and tertiary ribbon representations that are even further removed from actual ribbons. Perhaps none of this is surprising in a country that’s somehow gotten the idea that a ribbon is something you put on a hunk of metal, but the cumulative effect is that most of us have forgotten what a ribbon — a real ribbon, a genuine ribbon — actually is.

Last night the Rangers and A’s reminded us. Those are genuine strips of black ribbon, which both teams wore in memory of the fan who fell to his death during Thursday night’s game. They had depth and texture — light shone through them, they cast shadows, they stuck out at odd angles. Sometimes you could even see the little pin that affixed the ribbon to the jersey. In other words, these things were real. Compare that to something like this — it’s isn’t even a fair fight. (As an aside, the umpires wore the ribbons too, but they were very hard to make out. Just another reason for the umps to go back to wearing blue.)

These black ribbons, incidentally, are very much in keeping with the way baseball memorials used to be. If you check out the “Patches and Armbands” section of Dressed to the Nines (which is currently having major technical issues, so I can’t link to it at the moment — I’ve alerted curator Tom Shieber), you’ll see that the standard uniform memorial for several decades was “black crêpe” — basically a small strip of black fabric.

The last time something like that was worn, at least that I can think of, was in early 1973, when the Pirates memorialized Roberto Clemente by wearing a strip of black fabric during spring training (they later switched to a cover-up patch and then a more legit “21” patch; further details on all of that here), but maybe there are some other instances I’m forgetting. In any case, I totally dug the ribbons last night.

Speaking of which: Among the various things I collect are salesman sample catalogs, and one of my favorites is this 1940s ribbon catalog, which is filled with cool swatches. You can see additional photos here, plus I wrote a short article about the catalog a few years ago, which is available here.

+ + + + +

Summer break reminder: I’m going on summer break starting on Monday (but will be covering for Phil again tomorrow), which has a few implications for the site. Details here.

+ + + + +

Uni Watch News Ticker: Speaking of that Rangers/A’s game, Gio Gonzalez apparently couldn’t wait to wear his All-Star sleeve patch (screen shot courtesy of Cody Canafax). ”¦ Some uni number changes for the Blues (with thanks to Mark Richter). ”¦ Coupla great finds by Bruce Menard: First, dig the amazing-looking uniforms worn by the 1933 Greensboro Patriots. That chest logo! Those sleeve panels! And second, you knew about the Houston Colt. .45s, but did you know about the Moultrie Colt .22s? They were a Houston farm team. ”¦ Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: A baseball glove manufacturer is recalling 131,000 gloves due to mold. ”¦ Also from yesterday: Here’s a Pirates bumblee-era uni combination I’d never seen before. I showed it to Jerry “BucTracker” Wolper, who said, “The only instance of that combination that I have in my records is from 9/22/80, which is before Thompson was a Pirate, so I’ll assume it’s a spring training shot.” ”¦ A KC writer has taken the Royals to task for holding a Negro Leagues promotion without wearing Negro Leagues uniforms (with thanks to Dennis Anderson). ”¦ John Choe won a charity auction to be a minor league for a day with the Normal CornBelters. “When I got to the stadium, I was assigned a clubbie,” he says. “I asked for stirrups, but he said that they don’t have them. Just long pajama bottom pants.” Sigh. He made good contact in his lone at-bat, grounding out to first. ”¦ Good job by Steven Little, who scored an interview with NFL designer Mark Verlander, who’s done logo and uniform work for the Titans, Falcons, Bengals, and Cardinals, among others. ”¦ The recruiting scandal at Oregon apparently has a Nike-related subplot (big thanks to Joel Horn). ”¦ New rugby uniforms for French Top 14 (pro league) club Toulon. “It would look fantastic if it weren’t for the VW logo,” says Eric Bangeman. ”¦ Check out this shot of Dave Parker with a TV number on his helmet! That’s a new one on me (great find by Scott Little). ”¦ Lots of All-Star cleat designs on display here and here. ”¦ And here we have some All-Star batting gloves. Additional info here. ”¦ Houston football will wear throwbacks for homecoming. Additional photo here (with thanks to Perry McDaniel). ”¦ The Pirates use nameplates for their NOBs. But Michael Williams alertly points out that recent call-up Josh Harrison appears to have been wearing direct-sewn NOBs on his road and alternate jerseys lately. He has a nameplate on his home jersey, however. ”¦ In a related item, last night’s Angels throwbacks had nameplates, except for rookie Mike Trout, whose NOB was direct-sewn (good catch by Casey Gross). … Speaking of last night’s Angels game, Seth Moorman asks, quite reasonably, why they didn’t get throwback helmets for the base coaches. ”¦ Those of you who masturbate to photos of torn uniforms (I know you’re out there) will totally get off on this shot of Miguel Tejada from last night’s Mets/Giants game (screen shot by Mike Mattison). ”¦ Here’s a piece, including some video footage, about Washington football using helmet cams in practice (with thanks to Kyle Hanks). ”¦ Additional news regarding that new Western Kentucky football design, courtesy of WKU alum Gary Moore: “According to a contact whose daughter works in the athletic department, those may be the new unis — or may not be. No official announcement yet. He did say WKU signed a new deal with Russell Athletic (which is owned by Fruit of the Loom, which is world-headquartered in Bowling Green, which is where WKU is) and said WKU is sort of Russell’s ‘lab’ for new designs and fabrics.” ”¦ Here are the newest Florida Panthers, in their new jerseys (with thanks to John Muir). ”¦ Cal is soliciting fan input on the design of its football field (with thanks to John Furstenthal). ”¦ Why I’ll Probably Never Write for Grantland: Deep in the middle of this piece, Bill Simmons suggests solving the NBA lockout by, among other things, “getting sponsors for every team’s jerseys and every team’s half-court logo.” ”¦ For those who didn’t get the reference in today’s headline, it’s a nod to my Very Favorite Musician Ever:

88 comments to Ribbon-a-Ning

  • Ricko | July 9, 2011 at 8:38 am |

    The Moultrie .22s?
    That’s the team that, when the parent club changed its nickname, one writer wondered would become the “Half-Astros”.

    • Ricko | July 9, 2011 at 9:33 am |

      Now I ask you, is that a hat to DIY or what?

      • Bruce Menard | July 9, 2011 at 1:03 pm |

        “Now I ask you, is that a hat to DIY or what?”

        No doubt!
        When I found that pic I couldn’t believe I’d never seen or heard of it. It’d be an easy one to do too.

    • pushbutton | July 9, 2011 at 11:23 am |

      For some odd reason I love photos of players wearing glasses. Not the ‘sports’ type they wear now but their regular ‘street’ frames, worn with that little strap thing hooked on the back.

  • Jeff Katz | July 9, 2011 at 9:02 am |

    I got the reference right away, though it came as a surprise that Monk is your favorite musician. However, the You Tube poster is a bit off: “Theolinius?”

    • Paul Lukas | July 9, 2011 at 9:09 am |

      Yeah, and they left out the hyphens on “Rhythm-A-Ning,” too. Whaddaya gonna do….

      And yeah, Monk is pretty much the top of my personal heap. Timeless, totally eccentric and angular yet totally catchy, an American original. The Best.

      • StLMarty | July 9, 2011 at 1:46 pm |

        I’ve always been a big fan of the term “angular”.

  • scott | July 9, 2011 at 9:17 am |

    The San Francisco Giants may have worn real ribbons during the July 31, 1994 game in which they promoted the “Until There’s a Cure” cause, though the New York Times article previewing the event indicates they would be iron-on patches.

  • Neil R | July 9, 2011 at 9:19 am |

    I remember the 1975 Angles cards showing nearly everybody with a black strip of fabric on the sleeve, but I’m not sure for whom.

    • Ricko | July 9, 2011 at 9:39 am |

      From a newspaper story following the death of Nick Adenhart…
      “1974: Bruce Heinbechner, a pitcher entering his first major league season, is killed in a car accident in Palm Springs during spring training.”

      Hence, the mourning bands from ’74 on the ’75 cards.

    • Paul Lukas | July 9, 2011 at 9:47 am |
  • Ricko | July 9, 2011 at 10:08 am |

    Didn’t some teams, in the early 80s, wear ribbons during the time of the Atlanta child murders?

    Braves did, I believe, and maybe the Pirates.

    Were red, I think. But might have been yellow.

  • Ricko | July 9, 2011 at 10:12 am |

    Was 1981. From the article…
    “A benefit organized by Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis,Jr. raised $280,000. Nationwide, people wore green ribbons to demonstrate their support for the victims’ families.”

    Some MLB teams were among those “people” who wore ribbons. Seem to remember Willie Stargell wearing one.

  • JTH | July 9, 2011 at 10:17 am |

    The Normal CornBelters!

    My friend and I drove by the Corn Crib on our way back from St. Louis last Saturday and we were trying to figure out who played there. I meant to look it up when we stopped.

    • Ricko | July 9, 2011 at 10:20 am |

      “Well, whose brain WAS it?”
      “‘Abby’ someone.”

      • Coleman | July 9, 2011 at 8:49 pm |

        “Puttin’ on the Ritz!”

        • Ricko | July 9, 2011 at 9:14 pm |

          “Could be worse. Could be raining.”

  • Kek | July 9, 2011 at 10:23 am |

    Spring training shot or not, I KNEW I had seen the plain white jersey over the black pants for the Pirates SOMEWHERE. Glad to know I’m not crazy…..well, that’s debatable, but you get my point!

    • Gusto44 | July 9, 2011 at 12:04 pm |

      Another question regarding that time period of Pirates uniforms would be if they ever wore BP jerseys with any of the three different pants during 1977-79 in spring training.

      Wonder if the Indians had any unusual color combinations during their multicolored era as well in exhibition games, this is one of those subjects which is difficult to track.

      It’s been my understanding teams started wearing BP jerseys in spring training games on a more common basis in the late 80s, early 90s.

      • LI Phil | July 9, 2011 at 12:10 pm |

        maybe that’s ricko’s “blue” whale — his thought that the indians of that era wore a mono-blue outfit, similar to the blood clots of the frank robinson-era

        if memory serves, ricko thought he saw that all-blue look in an ASG, but maybe it’s a spring training shot???

        • Ricko | July 9, 2011 at 12:24 pm |

          Coulda been. Was a long time ago.

        • JTH | July 9, 2011 at 12:41 pm |

          Maybe they were actually brown.

          Or purplish-brown.

      • Kek | July 9, 2011 at 12:52 pm |

        Not sure if that happened in 77-79 but I remember the ’82 Topps set having the team mostly in BP tops from spring training, don’t recall what pants though.

        • Kek | July 9, 2011 at 1:03 pm |


          just from a quick google image search. All black in the sun at Bradenton, Florida….that’s smart!

        • Gusto44 | July 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm |

          That’s a good spring training practice photo, but I wonder if the BP jersey was used in an actual game in Bradenton. My recollection having attended one game a year at Bradenton during that era, those BP jerseys were jettisoned for game action.

  • johnj | July 9, 2011 at 10:32 am |

    The MLS All Star jerseys have been officially released:


    Not a big fan, but compared to what we previously expected, this is a welcome kit. Also, definitley an upgrade from last year, but playing a team like Man U again just makes both of our allstar unis look even more silly


  • Tedkerwin | July 9, 2011 at 10:58 am |
  • Ricko | July 9, 2011 at 11:13 am |

    Yeah, those pillbox hats looked great, alright.
    Especially the spring training mesh version…

    • Rob S | July 9, 2011 at 3:53 pm |

      … what.

    • Jim Vilk | July 9, 2011 at 11:38 pm |


  • Bryan Justman | July 9, 2011 at 11:41 am |

    Let it be said that Paul has some wonderful taste in music.

    • Ricko | July 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm |

      Saw Monk live in NYC on a school trip in 1963. Junior year. Jeez, I’m old. :)

      • LI Phil | July 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm |

        christ, you got field trips to cities 2,000 miles away to see jazz musicians?

        we got to go to the county museum to see “indian arrowheads”

        • traxel | July 9, 2011 at 2:52 pm |

          You both were lucky. We would go to the nursing home to sing to the “shut-ins”. Or in my case stand there looking miserable and mouth an occasional wrong word. Was it just us or did anyone else “get” to do this?

        • LI Phil | July 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm |

          no…but most of us didn’t ride the short bus to and from school either

        • Kyle | July 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm |

          when i was in pre school, there was a convalescent home basically right next door to the school, and on halloween we’d “get” to trick-or-treat there. i still think it’s creepy to this day. all the sick old people there, just sitting and watching basically.

  • Douglas | July 9, 2011 at 12:59 pm |

    So is WKU replacing Georgia Tech as Russel’s test subject? Or are they just joining in on the action?

    Also Russel Athletic’s wikipedia page claims that Tulane Football is sponsored by Russel. Is this a future thing, or are they just the supplier for certain apparel/equipment, or is this just a wiki-lie.

  • Connie | July 9, 2011 at 1:30 pm |

    There can be no peer /
    Of Thelonius Sphere.

  • LI Phil | July 9, 2011 at 1:33 pm |

    for anyone who actually cares about such things…

    derek jeter’s next hit will be his 3,000th

  • Mike 2 | July 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm |

    From last night – the Stampeders in their new black road helmets



    Last night, I thought they looked like crap. Today, looking at those awful uniforms with the black pointy numbers, red bibs, pointless black patches, really the black helmets helmets are the least worst thing going on there.

    • Jim Vilk | July 9, 2011 at 11:43 pm |


  • Mike 2 | July 9, 2011 at 1:43 pm |

    Meanwhile, as Oakville Endive pointed out last night, the Blue Bombers looked perfect in throwbacks.


    I almost expected to see Dieter Brock coming into the game in the 4th quarter.

    • Ricko | July 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm |

      Maybe my favorite uni ever.

      • Ricko | July 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm |

        Pitt should wear something like that.

      • LI Phil | July 9, 2011 at 2:29 pm |

        shouldn’t that be “favourite”?

        • Ricko | July 9, 2011 at 4:04 pm |

          I guess. Because the colours look so good together, and I loved the Bomber “oaf-fense” when Brock and them were there.

    • Jim Vilk | July 9, 2011 at 11:42 pm |

      Winnipeg is my least-favorite CFL team, but the Dieter Brock-era unis made the Bombers very enjoyable to watch.

  • Rob H. | July 9, 2011 at 1:56 pm |

    I see David Price & Matt Joyce are also not wearing the All-Star stars on their unis today (Navy Alts – also Vogelsong of Giants didn’t wear them on the Orange Giants Alts last night) I guess the “opting out” is picking up steam.

  • pru | July 9, 2011 at 2:16 pm |

    Seems that Houston could get pants without the newish cougar logo to go with their throwbacks.

  • LI Phil | July 9, 2011 at 2:23 pm |

    and finally, our long, national nightmare is over

    good for jeter…he may be, to use a certain scribe’s parlance, a “goddam yankee,” but he’s one of those whom i’ve always respected, always seemed to do/say the right thing, got all 3,000 (we think) without the use of PEDs, and generally “plays the game the right way”

    except for some look-at-me cleats and batting gloves, he’s also one of the few who doesn’t seem to be a “me-first” player

    if the yankees lose this game, he’ll probably be pissed…anyone else would be relishing the 3K moment…but he’d rather (from all i can gather) win and go 0-5 than lose and go 4-4 with a cycle

    • Rob H. | July 9, 2011 at 2:57 pm |

      I hope he gets a triple — get his 3,000th hit and a cycle on the same day! (As long as the Rays win!)

    • Kyle | July 9, 2011 at 3:38 pm |

      he wasnt wearing the new batting gloves we saw the other day, was he? i havent seen video of it, but on the espn homepage the photo of him looks like he’s just got his regular gloves. no black and gold.

      • Rob H. | July 9, 2011 at 4:47 pm |

        i believe he was wearing white gloves

  • possum | July 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm |

    I was researching 80s Topps card designs and ran across this 85 Tony LaRussa. First, the bend on that brim is so far outside LaRussa’s standard it’s funny. But not as funny as that (non-beach blanket) BP jersey thrown over a collared shirt. Certainly not Tony’s best dressed moment.

    • Ricko | July 9, 2011 at 4:07 pm |

      Looks like a navy nylon windbreaker. Spring training shot, judging by the background.

  • LI Phil | July 9, 2011 at 4:07 pm |

    man…jeter now has 3,003 hits…going 5-5 today (3 singles, double, HR [for 3K])

    oh, and his last hit just put the yanks up 5-4 in the bottom of the 8th (probably with enter sandman to seal the deal in the 9th)

    • Bruce Menard | July 9, 2011 at 5:54 pm |

      So, 5 for 5 and a win…not too shabby!

  • Brandon Davis | July 9, 2011 at 4:19 pm |

    Gio Gonzalez wore the stars and patch on his jersey but he didn’t have either on his cap last night.

  • AFP | July 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm |

    Best road uni in baseball (Braves) vs best uni (home or away) in all of baseball (Phillies cream alternate) on Fox now

    • Simply Moono | July 9, 2011 at 7:11 pm |

      The Braves need to ditch that all-navy cap… then it’ll be the best road uni in all of baseball. Luckily, they have the best home uni in all of baseball, IMHO (the all-whites worn at all home games except Sundays).

  • DJ | July 9, 2011 at 5:35 pm |

    Watching Saskatchewan play Montréal on NFL Network. The white-and-black shoulder stripes on the Roughrider jerseys are not bad. Better than the Colts’ in any event.

  • traxel | July 9, 2011 at 6:15 pm |

    Admit it Phil, you’re getting some of your daily posts ready right now in this sticker adorned flat brimmed beauty.


  • Jowen | July 9, 2011 at 7:22 pm |

    Looks like the Reds are going with the faux flannel technology on their road grays in a throwback game in Milwaukee.

    • LI Phil | July 9, 2011 at 7:34 pm |

      dammit…mlb tv is (for me anyway) baltimore vs. bahstin and the free game on mlb.com is tiggers vs. royalz who are doing a negro league tribute…sans the unis (see ticker)


    • Chris from Carver | July 9, 2011 at 10:41 pm |

      Those are real flannels. I’d venture a guess and say their Ebbets Field Flannels. http://www.ebbets.com/product/CincinnatiTigers1937Road/BaseballJerseys

  • Johnny O | July 9, 2011 at 7:22 pm |

    Brewers in their annual Milwaukee Bears (1923 Negro League) uniforms tonight. Cincy playing along too by wearing som sweet threads as well. Their uniforms have the cool faux texture to them.

    No sign of any Majestic logo creep, and no MLB logo on the hats. Most players are going high cuff and/or ‘rups.

    • Johnny O | July 9, 2011 at 7:33 pm |

      Johnny Cueto paid an tribute to Luis Tiant (seemingly) on the first pitch of the game by mimicking his specific style of wind up. It didn’t work since Rickie Weeks hit a single… but a cool gesture nevertheless on “Negro League Night”. The Brewer announcers said it was “Tiant-esque”, but it will be cool to see what Cueto says about it.

      • Johnny O | July 9, 2011 at 7:39 pm |

        Reds are representing the ’36-’37 Cincinnati Tigers.

      • LDH | July 9, 2011 at 7:51 pm |

        Cueto has started throwing like Tiant since he started his rehab assignment earlier this year.

  • random reader | July 9, 2011 at 7:49 pm |

    Mike Quade and Starlin Castro wearing the All Star Game patch on their hats tonight in Pittsburgh.

    The patch on Castro’s hat is unusually applied; it’s on the left side but positioned closer towards the back of the hat.

  • Simply Moono | July 9, 2011 at 8:59 pm |

    Hey, KC Royals, this one’s for you…

    ……..…../´¯/)……….. (\¯`\
    …………/….//……….. …\\….\
    ………../….//………… ….\\….\
    …../´¯/…./´¯\………../¯ `\….\¯`\
    .././…/…./…./.|_……_| .\….\….\…\.\..
    …(.(….(….(…./.)..)..(..(. \….)….)….).)
    .\…………….\/…/….\. ..\/……………./
    ..\…………….. /……..\……………..…/
    ….\…………..(………. ..)……………./

    • Simply Moono | July 9, 2011 at 9:00 pm |

      Not the best ASCII double-bird ever, but I try.

  • chuck | July 9, 2011 at 9:08 pm |

    Anyone watching the Indians /Jays game tonight, please tell me if the Indians jerseys are white or cream colored? I swear they look white to me, but my eyes suck, so a little help please!

    • Matthew Radican | July 9, 2011 at 10:18 pm |


      I saw highlights of the game on mlb.com. They definitely look white to me also.

  • Jim Vilk | July 9, 2011 at 11:25 pm |

    “Cal is soliciting fan input on the design of its football field”

    I’m no Cal fan, but if I had a say I’d pick field design #7.

  • Jim Vilk | July 10, 2011 at 12:00 am |

    Normally, I read UW sans musical accompaniment, but Thelonius Monk added a nice touch tonight.

    Haven’t jammed this much on here since I listened to Mike Engle.

    • Mike Engle | July 10, 2011 at 12:29 am |

      Totally unbiased comment of the day :-P

  • nicefellow31 | July 11, 2011 at 1:59 pm |

    Loved the Monk reference although I prefer (in this order) Miles Davis, John Coltrane, & Dexter Gordon. BTW, did you that he is a cousin of HOF football player Art Monk?

  • Ben | July 12, 2011 at 12:39 am |

    hey i was wondering if anybody saw on the back of the florida panthers jersey, reebok has put their wordmark logo instead of their vector logo in the ree-box.