All Gummed Up


Bit of a sticky situation last night in Arizona, as Jordan Pacheco of the Rockies came up to the plate with a big wad of bubble gum stuck on his butt. “And just to add insult to injury, he struck out,” says reader Villaroman Santos.

I’m assuming this was a prank played by one (or more) of Pacheco’s teammates. If so, it’s the first uni-related prank we’ve seen in a while, at least that I can think of. Here are some others from years past:

• In 2007, Dodgers reliever Ramon Troncoso had a piece of tape stuck on his uni number. Could have been accidental somehow, I suppose, but the placement of the tape was so precise across the center of the numeral — feels like a prank to me.

• Also in ’07, several Mets managed to stack a cup, some bubble gum, and I think a few other things on Ramon Castro’s cap without him noticing.

• That Castro prank is, of course, a more involved version of the standard bubble-on-the-cap prank, which many players have fallen for over the years.

• Derek Lowe’s teammates on the Dodgers once”>put a captain’s “C” on his jersey, as a parin. Further details here.

• In 2006, Rays pitcher Jae Seo had a big “W” taped onto his windbreaker. At the time, Cork Gaines explained, “It was from some prankster teammates. Seo has yet to earn a ”˜W’ with the Rays, and his teammates felt he deserved one.” Ouch.

• In 2003, Rocco Baldelli’s teammates on the Rays hung a FiNOB jersey in his locker as a prank, and he wore it for one inning before an umpire pointed it out to him. Personally, I’ve never really understood the prankitude behind this one — what’s so horrible or humiliating about FiNOB?

• In Jim Bouton’s seminal Ball Four, he talks about the time his teammates nailed his cleats to the clubhouse floor. He also spends some time talking about the art of the hot foot (i.e., surreptitiously setting someone’s shoes on fire), which I assume is never practiced these days.

• In some book that I read years ago — Ball Four? Sparky Lyle’s The Bronx Zoo? — there’s some talk about taking someone’s jockstrap from his locker, rubbing super-hot liniment on it, and then putting it back in the locker. Yikes.

• Okay, not really a prank, but still pretty funny. The player on the ground was actually an actor named Lou Archer, who had appeared in movies with Babe.

I’m sure there are many more that I’m overlooking (and not just in baseball). If you know of other good uni-related pranks, post them in today’s comments.

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In case you missed it over the weekend, the final round of voting is underway for Phil’s contest to redesign the Redskins. Cast your ballot here.

And while we’re at it, don’t forget that I’m currently running an ESPN contest to redesign the Astros. Full details on that are in the sidebar of this column.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: If you go to the Browns’ home page, you’ll see a background image that includes a photo of Joshua Cribbs running with the ball. That same photo appears in a photo gallery linked within the site. Notice any difference between the two images? The one being used for the background image has had the Reebok logo removed from Cribbs’s shoulder (tremendous spot by Joseph Bailey). … Yesterday I mentioned that Arizona’s athletic director had debunked the rumor of the red helmet. Now comes this, from reader Kenny Abbey, who claims to have an inside source: “Our AD is pretty much lying. Although the helmet in that photo may not be the final version, we’ll definitely have a red helmet added this year. I give you my honest word on that.” … More on the Bobcats’ apparent color change here. … Excellent article on the new national standards for high school football jerseys (from Jared Wheeler). … Here’s a really cool map showing the birthplace of every MLB player (big thanks to Chad Todd). … Yesterday I Ticker-linked to a 1970 newspaper article proving that Kevin Cunningham of the 49ers had worn a “Goober” nickNOB. But Jim Vilk kept reading that newspaper column and noticed another uni-related item of interest: Utah State was wearing football-shaped American flag decals. “I wonder if this was the earliest example of flag stickers on helmets,” says Jim. … Interesting news regarding some Euro 2012 NOBs (from Christopher Peterson). … Good cartoon, but the skyline sleeve patch should be blue, not black. … You know how various uniforms are always claimed to be “scientifically superior”? Here’s one that’s been judged to be the “scientifically worst” of its class (from Mark Loveland). … Ray Pelletier notes that the three QBs on the Panthers’ roster — Cam Newton, Jimmy Clausen, and Derek Anderson — wear uniform numbers 1, 2 and 3, respectively. “Also, their numbers reflect their positions on the depth chart (starter Newton #1, backup Clausen #2, and third-stringer Anderson #3),” he writes. “How often has that ever happened?” … Back in the day, when the Terrible Towel wasn’t enough, it was time to break out the Terrible Truck. Frankly, I have zero memory of that, but it’s pretty funny (from Brady Phelps). … Many of you may know that MC Hammer was once an A’s batboy. But did you know he wore a nickNOB? And with a complementary number to boot (from Steve Dodell). … Canadian track and field athletes will wear their Twitter handles on their bibs later this month. … The Tigers have a minor league prospect who doesn’t wear batting gloves (from Tom Meyer Klipsch). … New football uniforms for South Dakota State (from Kyle Petersen). … If you’re elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, you get one of those yellow blazers. But for the Rugby Hall of Fame, you get a cap with a tassel (from Jeremy Brahm). ”¦ Todd Radom was at a Mets game and encountered some seriously bad punctuation. ”¦ Cardinals were in Houston last night, but skipper Mike Matheny wore a red home cap for his postgame interview (from Caleb Yorks). ”¦ Rebrand for Cardiff City (from George Chilvers). ”¦ One of Bernie Parent’s masks, missing for 41 years after being tossed into the crowd at Madison Square Garden, has turned up (from Mike McLaughlin). ”¦ Brad Mangin has written an excellent piece about the Giants’ approach to throwback games.

123 comments to All Gummed Up

  • DonS | June 6, 2012 at 8:58 am |

    On that receipt, bad punctuation AND the “Ron Darling Found”? Wow. Must have done it in a hurry.

  • Duncan | June 6, 2012 at 8:58 am |

    Last year Clausen was #3 on the depth chart, I don’t expect that to be different this year

    • RAY | June 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm |

      According to the article on ESPN Clausen is the backup and Anderson third string

  • Mike Engle | June 6, 2012 at 9:02 am |

    Cool picture of Stanley Burrell aka MC Hammer. Makes me wonder, what came first? Is it possible that young Burrell asked for a Hank Aaron tribute jersey, which inspired his stage name, or was he already going by MC Hammer at that time?

    • Curtis | June 6, 2012 at 9:14 am |

      He was nicknamed “Hammer” because Charlie O’ said he looked like a young Hank Aaron.

      • Dumb Guy | June 6, 2012 at 11:14 am |

        From that photo I would agree 100%.

      • Brinke | June 6, 2012 at 9:03 pm |

        dead on accurate. he did, too.

    • Valjean | June 6, 2012 at 11:53 am |

      Hiring and naming “Hammer”: One of the few things Charlie O. did right. Well that and building a dynastic team (on the cheap) …

      Lovely to see the old open Coliseum in the background too. Before Mount Davis it was actually a pretty decent park, at least by multi-use ’70s standards.

      • Lee | June 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm |

        The photo posted is a nice shot, all around.


    • Steve D | June 6, 2012 at 11:58 am |

      Ironically, it wasn’t Burrell’s rapping skills that got him the name MC Hammer. Long before he picked up a mic, the then 13-year-old kid from Oakland received the nickname from baseball legend Reggie Jackson.

      Burrell earned a gig as the batboy for the Oakland A’s after catching the attention of the team owner Charlie Finley who spotted the ambitious baseball fanatic dancing in front of the stadium for tips to buy game tickets. Jackson dubbed Burrell Hammer because he thought he resembled Hank Aaron.

      • Geen | June 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm |

        Can’t touch this.

  • SoCalDrew | June 6, 2012 at 9:10 am |

    Anyone who has read “The Bronz Zoo” will be unable to look at a birthday cake without a certain image coming to mind!!

    • BrianC | June 6, 2012 at 11:27 am |

      I wish I hadn’t ;)

    • walter | June 6, 2012 at 11:56 am |

      I wonder if an angry teammate ever stuck a fork in his ass. Nobody comes between me and my chocolate cake!

  • Seth H | June 6, 2012 at 9:14 am |

    Not only seriously bad punctuation; seriously bad spelling.

    Ron Darling “Found”? I didn’t know he was lost.

    • Seth H | June 6, 2012 at 9:15 am |

      Damn. Didn’t see first post.

  • Ray Barrington | June 6, 2012 at 9:18 am |

    The cleats-to-the-floor prank in Ball Four was nothing compared to the classics in that book – the fake telegram from the Home Run for the Money winner and the fake paternity suit.

    • Paul Lukas | June 6, 2012 at 9:36 am |

      Yeah, but those had nothing to do with uniforms.

  • Chris Holder | June 6, 2012 at 9:19 am |

    Anybody else get a “not found” on the Bobcats link?

    • quiet seattle | June 6, 2012 at 9:34 am |

      Probably just as well…..

  • Joey Guns | June 6, 2012 at 9:19 am |

    Hot Foot is always a good baseball prank. Roger McDowell was the king of it back in the day.

    • Boxcarvibe | June 6, 2012 at 11:19 am |

      McDowell hocking a loogie at Kramer and Newman was his best prank of all. That was one magic loogie!

    • JMP | June 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm |

      McDowell even made a video demonstrating how to do it. Apparently, it involved wrapping an entire book of matches around a cigarette, which acted as the fuse (so that the perpetrator could be at the other end of the dugout when the victim’s shoe burst into flames). The whole thing was literally held together with chewing gum.

      Imagine trying that these days. Even if there was a tolerance for the prank, I’d bet that it would be all but impossible for the smell of a lit cigarette to go unnoticed in a Major League dugout.

      You can see the video at

  • Joey Guns | June 6, 2012 at 9:20 am |

    This Griffey Jr. penny thing was pretty funny:

    • Paul Lukas | June 6, 2012 at 9:25 am |

      Yeah, but that has nothing to do with uniforms.

      • jss7755 | June 6, 2012 at 10:03 am |

        There’s a uniform in the picture….

      • Tony C. | June 6, 2012 at 6:12 pm |

        neither is steak or meat, but on occasions we see post about them

  • Dane | June 6, 2012 at 9:24 am |

    According to Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, new Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun will wear #92. That’s a rather high number for a goalie.

    • The Ol Goaler | June 6, 2012 at 10:08 am |

      It’s a reverse of his usual #29, which is already taken by Marc-Andre Fleury. Not the “highest” number worn by a goalie… Daren Puppa of the Lightning wore #93, for whatever reason…

      • ButghFan | June 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm |

        From a Rorabaugh tweet:

        “Per Hockey Reference, the highest number ever worn by a goalie was 95 by Olivier Michaud who had 18 minutes of action for the Habs in 01-02.”

    • Mike Engle | June 6, 2012 at 10:17 am |

      Because it’s obviously the swapped digits of 29, his otherwise career-long number. Too many MAF shirts and jerseys in the gift shop, and rightfully so.
      That’s probably the second highest goalie number EVER in NHL history, behind Lightning goalie Darren Puppa’s #93. (This assumes that you don’t translate #00 as a century aka one more than 99, which John Davidson and Martin Biron once wore.)

      • Teebz | June 6, 2012 at 11:24 am |

        And Bernie Parent in the WHA as a member of the Philadelphia Blazers in ’72-73, making him the first goaltender to wear double-zero.

    • Ryan B | June 6, 2012 at 10:25 am |

      Darren Puppa wore #93 for Tampa Bay back in the day, so it’s not unprecedented.

    • Daren Puppa | June 6, 2012 at 11:12 am |

      I wore #93. And there is only 1 ‘R’ in my name.

      • Brendan Burke (bwburke94) | June 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm |

        You are not Daren Puppa.

  • Kyle Allebach | June 6, 2012 at 9:25 am |

    I don’t know if people know Eric LeGrand, the Rutgers DT who injured his spine making a tackle in college. Since his college coach moved to the pros, he was signed with the Buccaneers, as a sort of symbolic move.

    The Bucs didn’t stop there; they are sellign his jersey, in which all proceeds from each jersey will go to benefiting the Eric LeGrand Foundation.

    If that’s true, all $99.95 goes to Eric LeGrand’s Foundation, good for them.

    • T.J. | June 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm |

      That’s truly awesome. When Schiano initially left Rutgers just before signing day, I thought very little of him. Class move by Schiano and the Bucs organization. LeGrand continues to be a truly inspirational guy. Every quote I read from him is insanely positive.

  • Scott | June 6, 2012 at 9:30 am |

    Saw someone get hot footed on tv not long ago, verlander was involved

  • Jon | June 6, 2012 at 9:30 am |

    In the Giants throwback article, are the second set of hats chain stitched? I’m not concerned about the accuracy, I want one if they are. Has this been a topic of discussion here before?

  • wayne | June 6, 2012 at 9:33 am |

    Didn’t Verlander do the Hot Foot on a teammate last year or the year before?

  • Joey Guns | June 6, 2012 at 9:34 am |

    I just read about this Casey Stengel bird thing, pretty funny….

    In 1919 Stengel of the Pittsburgh Pirates was being taunted mercilessly by fans of the Brooklyn Dodgers, his old team. Somehow Casey got hold of a sparrow and used it to turn the crowd in his favor. With the bird tucked gently beneath his cap, Casey strutted to the plate amidst a chorus of boos and catcalls. He turned to the crowd, tipped his hat and out flew the sparrow. The jeers turned to cheers, and Stengel became an instant favorite

    • Ricko | June 6, 2012 at 10:37 am |

      Didn’t Stengel also one time, in an attempt to get the umpire’s to stop a game because of rain, walk out to talk to them under an umbrella?

      Pretty sure it got him thrown out.

      Or was that someone else?

      • PG | June 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm |

        I don’t know who it was, but that’s pretty damn funny right there!!!

      • Paul Lukas | June 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm |

        In Ball Four, Bouton tells how Pilots manager Joe Schultz got himself tossed during an argument by taking off his glasses and offering them to the ump. I’ve always loved that story.

      • umplou | June 6, 2012 at 8:33 pm |

        There’s a picture somewhere of Stengel, while in the depths of managing the hapless Boston Braves, wearing a nor’easter coat with a lantern. During WWII, he had a player who was like 5’4 or something, and he would stand in the 3rd base coaches box, and pretend he was focusing binoculars while looking at this guy in the batters box.

        The talent pool during WWII was pretty thin…

        Another thing about Ball Four, is Bouton complaining about the Pilots uniforms, stating the only worse ones were the ones worn by the Pilots AAA team in Vancouver – where, of course, he got sent down to for a couple of weeks early in the season…just in time for their road trip to Hawaii. I would LOVE to see (maybe) the 1969 Vancouver Mounties uniforms…if only to see how bad they might possibly be…

    • Mike V. | June 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm |

      If all else fails, take a part of the field with you. Modern day classic.

  • Joey Guns | June 6, 2012 at 9:36 am |

    Jesse Orosco put black shoe polish in Kirk Gibson’s hat one spring training so when he took off his hat he had a black ring around it.

  • Dane | June 6, 2012 at 9:36 am |

    The proposed agreement between the city of Glendale, AZ and the investment group looking to purchase the Coyotes apparently includes a provision that the team will be known as the “Arizona Coyotes” starting with the 2013-2014 season.

  • Ronnie Poore | June 6, 2012 at 9:42 am |

    the new official rules for high school football uniforms are interesting. now the visiting team will be required to wear white jerseys. i know of at least 2 local teams that have traditionally worn a yellow/gold jersey on the road. i look forward to seeing if they are compliant.

  • ChrisH | June 6, 2012 at 9:44 am |

    Flyers announcers Jim Jackson and Keith Jones conspired with Comcast Spectacor exec Peter Lukko to ‘punk’ collegue Steve Coates with a phony helmet mandate:

  • Arr Scott | June 6, 2012 at 9:58 am |

    After Stephen Strasburg’s worst start of the season for the Nats last month, Davey Johnson implied in his post-game interview that Strasburg had an issue with hot linament in his jock. Had the beat reporters trying to find out if it was a prank, and if so by whom (a big deal, since if it happened, it likely cost the Nats a game). By morning, it was denials all around from the Nats, and the story had changed to either the rain making hot cream applied to his shoulder run inside Strasburg’s uni while he was on the mound – or it never happened at all and who knows what the old coot who manages the team was talking about.

    For a couple of days, it looked like Strasburg was going to have the nickname Hot Stuff follow him for the rest of his career as a result of the kerfuffle.

  • Simply Moono | June 6, 2012 at 10:00 am |

    “Ray Pelletier notes that the three QBs on the Panthers’ roster – Cam Newton, Jimmy Clause,n and Derek Anderson…”

    The misplaced comma in Jimmy’s name, that botched receipt


    • JS | June 6, 2012 at 11:23 am |


  • Josh | June 6, 2012 at 10:23 am |

    RE: Matheny’s red cap –
    The Cardinals do not wear the spring training / BP stretch fit caps. Instead they wear their red home cap for BP, and when playing road games they switch to the regular navy road cap.
    They have been doing this as long as the stretch fit BP caps have been around (I believe they were introduced in 2003).
    They actually wore the prior generation of BP caps, the old “mesh” 5950’s that came out somewhere around 1999.

  • Werme | June 6, 2012 at 10:26 am |

    Watching Steelers-Raiders game on youtube from 1980. Lester Hayes has on what appears to be silver shoes.
    Great seeing sleeves again, and great socks for the refs.

    • Ricko | June 6, 2012 at 10:33 am |

      Entirely possible.

      TE Raymond Chester wore silver adidas for the Raiders a couple times.

      I think one of their linebackers may have, too, but I’m totally going up who it was. Bill Laskey, maybe? Gus Otto?

    • Ricko | June 6, 2012 at 10:41 am |

      In 1980, and if on turf, could be those very early Nike waffle bottoms. A number of players wore them on turf. Uppers were all nylon and suede, and they were kinda gray right out of the box. When they got a little wet got even darker.

  • Lose Rem | June 6, 2012 at 10:28 am |

    The Linement prank reminds me of this I saw earlier today

    • Brinke | June 6, 2012 at 8:57 pm |

      Never pulled that prank on anyone, but I had a pulled muscle in my leg once, and put “Tiger Balm” on it—of course not bothering to read the instructions. Let’s just say I put a big blob of it on there.

      I would not advise this course of action.

  • Rob H | June 6, 2012 at 10:28 am |

    I think the gum on the seat of the pants thing is accidental, if it was a “prank” then I was being pranked all through school. People leave huge wads of gum in places where people will sit all the time — it happens. It’s not like getting mustard squirted on your back or something derogatory taped to your back without your knowledge and you walk around all day with it there. I never got stuffed in a locker, but that could be because our lockers were the half-size ones and not the full size ones.

    So in this series the Celtics are 3-0 in traditional uniforms and 0-2 in the black… Hmmm. And the Heat are 0-2 in the road blacks? Hmmm. Wonder if the Heat wear red in Game 6?

    Also, we covered the Panthers 1-2-3 thing last August at Gridiron Uniform Database.

  • Geno Clayton | June 6, 2012 at 10:30 am |

    Vokoun will wear No. 92. The only other player in franchise history to wear that number was Rick Tocchet during the Penguins run to the Stanley Cup in 1992.

    I believe the last goalie to wear a number in the 90’s was Darren Puppa w/ Tampa Bay. He wore #93.

  • Jeff | June 6, 2012 at 10:37 am |

    So, given Pacheco’s situation, is this where the term “bubble butt” might be applicable?

  • jsheehan | June 6, 2012 at 10:49 am |

    Pedro Martinez was taped to the dugout pole during a game by Nomar and others. The manager Jimmy Williams didnt want his star pitcher getting hit by a foul ball so he told them to untape him. So Nomar put a glove on his shoulder to protect himself.
    I laughed.

  • Wayne Koehler | June 6, 2012 at 10:58 am |

    A note on the Tigers’ minor leaguer who doesn’t wear batting gloves. Nick Castellanos, playing for the Class A Flying Tigers, was leading the minor leagues in batting (.405) and was leading the Florida State League in hits (87), on-base percentage (.461), and total bases (119) before being promoted to AA Erie on Tuesday. Perhaps not wearing gloves could be an advantage?

  • Mallrat92204 | June 6, 2012 at 10:59 am |

    You said there is no picture of Derek Lowe’s “C” but the post you linked to had a link to a screen grab:

    • Paul Lukas | June 6, 2012 at 11:08 am |

      Oh — thanks. Will add to text!

  • Matt Beahan | June 6, 2012 at 10:59 am |

    The old “liniment in the jockstrap” gag is a classic. Back when I was playing basketball in high school it happened virtually every game (only we used Deep Heat spray) – everyone had their turn. There was always some kind of wacky prank or other going on, much to the chagrin of our coach – debagging teammates after a win, using masking tape to create witty (and often obscene) NOBs, but I think the crowning achievement was putting a sports bra in the locker of one of our larger teammates – luckily he had a good sense of humour, and even wore it in the game…

  • Mark | June 6, 2012 at 11:01 am |

    A college coach of mine(played in the minors) would always tell us about the pranks that were pulled while he was playing. Along the lines of the hot foot prank, the pitchers in the bullpen would hang a piece of tape from under a chair and light it on fire. The dangling tape gave those sitting around the chair time to move before the “prankee” felt anything

  • Clayton Lust | June 6, 2012 at 11:22 am |

    I’ve read the story of the linimint – it seems to run in my mind it was done to Steve Garvey (perhaps by Jerry Reuss?)and I read about it in either the Complete Handbook of Baseball, as they did a piece on the best pranksters; or in one of the volumes of the Baseball Hall of Shame.

  • BrianC | June 6, 2012 at 11:28 am |

    Doesn’t the mask still belong to Bernie Parent, or has the statute of limitations expired?

  • superfly | June 6, 2012 at 11:32 am |

    Anyone recognize the uniform Babe Ruth is wearing in that picture? an “A” on the hat, and looks like an interlocking LA on the jersey.

    I would guess it’s from a movie, as noted in the blurb. His barnstorming teams were usually the “Bustin’ Babes” or something similar, so doesn’t look like that.

    • BrianC | June 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm |

      Old LA Angels of the PCL maybe?

  • Raymie | June 6, 2012 at 11:38 am |

    I found a football team in Arizona that wore gold on the road:

    The school in the black is Salt River High School; the school in the gold with the bright blue helmets is (was) St. Paul’s Preparatory Academy (not a Catholic school, but an alternative boys’ school). St. Paul’s closed on Christmas Eve 2009 (couldn’t bear the funding declines), so we’ll never know.

  • Silver Creek Doug | June 6, 2012 at 11:51 am |

    The NFHS has pretty much mandated that one team in every contest wear white. It takes effect in soccer in GA where I referee in 2 years. The worst part of the rule is that it HAS to be solid white and not predominately white. No trim coloring allowed anymore.

    And for you hockey purists, soccer is mandated white at home.

  • ChrisH | June 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm |

    Max Talbot of the Flyers was the part of an on-ice prank when he played for the Pens in 2007. He donned a Sidney Crosby jersey during an optional practice that Crosby had chosen to skip. He initially drew a large cheer from the crowd in Toronto before they realized the jersey switch.

  • Paul Lukas | June 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm |

    Brewers just revealed the Italian Night jerseys for themselves and the Diamondbacks. Prepare yourself:

    Press release:

    • Shane | June 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm |

      Those are bad, but the D-Backs one you put on Twitter are somehow miles worse. One of the worst baseball uniforms I’ve ever seen.

      • Paul Lukas | June 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm |

        The ones I just posted here are the same one I posted on Twitter.

        • Shane | June 6, 2012 at 12:09 pm |

          Couldn’t bring myself to click either one and risk seeing it again.

    • JTH | June 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm |

      Nevermind the horrible BP jersey template — “i D-Backs”?


      They couldn’t figure out how to say Diamondbacks (or at least rattlesnakes) in Italian so they just half-assed it Noche Latina-style and slapped the definite article on there?


      • walter | June 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm |

        Diamondbacks-a. :)

    • JP | June 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm |

      Made up conspiracy theory – Diamondback Jerseys are sneaky racist: ID – Backs (the AZ ID law)

    • Mike V. | June 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm |

      As a person of Italian heritage…I would rather them ditch the jerseys and just have a .10 cents pizza slice night.

      • Paul Lukas | June 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm |

        As a person of non-Italian heritage, I too would rather them ditch the jerseys and just have a 10¢ pizza slice night.

        • Jim Vilk | June 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm |


          The D-Backs and Brewers’ regular unis are my least favorite in the majors, and these things are way worse.

      • Tom V. | June 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm |

        But then all the folks on and will be up in arms and wonder why they ditched the italian jerseys. Can’t win!

    • Arr Scott | June 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm |

      When the Brewers translate their nickname onto otherwise normal uniforms, I regard them as the shining beacon of How to Do This Sort of Thing. Come the revolution, team execs who lazily slap a “Los” on their jerseys will be sentenced to ten years’ hard labor in the cheese-curd mines of Central Wisconsin.

      But changing the uni colors in addition to translating the name? That steps across the line from awesome to “Los”-slapping crappy.

      Also, I’m expecting to hear about Apple’s lawsuit to prevent the iDBacks jersey. I’m pretty sure elementary kids are taught to recite the alphabet with a TM mark after the letter “i” at this point.

    • JTH | June 6, 2012 at 2:41 pm |

      And why are the i D-Backs’ jerseys black, anyway?

    • concealed78 | June 6, 2012 at 3:04 pm |

      Not that I’m one of them heritage guys (since I am a mutt) but what’s with all the singling out/favoring of particular nationalities? I know it’s just a cheap marketing stunt, but it seems like if you do one, you should probably do them all. I know the White Sox do plenty of these heritage promotions complete with between innings themed-entertainment & such, which usually doesn’t make it to the uniforms.

      Actually I’m more bothered by the ugly designs than anything & there’s way too many alternates in baseball. Seems like a waste of resources.

      • Arr Scott | June 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm |

        “Do them all” is impossible. What I suspect teams like the Brewers do is wait for input from fans (“hey, you do German heritage night, what about us Poles?”) to coincide with revenue-generating sponsorship opportunities (“hey, Johnsonville Brats here – we want to promote our new Polish sausages, you got any thoughts about an event we could sponsor?”). And that, or something like it, is just fine. This is commerce, not the United Nations.

        Maybe not so much the Brewers, but I’d love to see someone, perhaps the Twins or the (non-i) D-Backs pull this stunt, Brewers-style, for a Native American heritage night, complete with the team script in Lakota or Apache or Yavapi or whatever.

      • concealed78 | June 6, 2012 at 5:15 pm |

        ““Do them all” is impossible”

        Which implied “don’t do it all, then”. Doing things like this puts out the risk of alienating other heritages for no good reason. Basically, it’s like having “Left-handers/Southpaw Night” or “Redhair Night”. We never saw this kind of Special Interest targeting 20 years ago. I could understand “Elvis Night” or “Mother’s Night” but the heritage thing is something nobody can control.

        • Mike Moves | June 7, 2012 at 1:55 am |

          The Giants try to do it for everyone. They have 60 different games where they will celebrate a different heritage or profession. You can buy special tickets to sit in special sections of that particular group and they get special giveaways specific to those groups (bobbleheads, t-shirts, hats) and pregame and during game entertainment related to that theme. Thankfully, none of this makes it on to their uniforms except for Fiesta Latina and Cinco de Mayo when they break out the Gigantes jerseys.

          A list of all the nights:

        • Mike Moves | June 7, 2012 at 2:00 am |

          and the ribbons they wear on their jerseys for Until There is a Cure day. This is the 19th season that they have done that which makes me wonder if the Giants kind of started the idea of where ribbons for supporting a cause on uniforms.
          The only examples I can think before the Giants did it in ’94 was the yellow used by the Bills and Giants in Super Bowl XXV and the yellow tabs on the helmets of the Eagles and Raiders in Super Bowl XV.

  • Shane | June 6, 2012 at 12:09 pm |

    The Cardiff City re-color is a frigging embarassment. They’ve always been the Bluebirds. Ugh.

  • Andrew L. | June 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm |

    Cardiff City have been the Bluebirds for well over a century and now some investors reshape the club in their own image–that’s horseshit. Why should it matter that red and dragons are more appealing in Malaysia? The club is based in Wales, with loyal supporters IN WALES.

    As Paul says, the uniform is the most identifiable image that represents the team, the brand we all associate in our minds. Uniforms come and go, but this change goes far beyond that. Barcelona and Real Madrid are trying to grow in the Mid East, so I guess they should change to green now? Should the All Blacks change their name to the Eagles and turn red, white, and blue to appeal to Americans?


    • Shane | June 6, 2012 at 12:12 pm |

      Might as well just change the name to TG Dragons of Cardiff.

    • JB | June 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm |

      Yeah, wouldn’t mind seeing Paul go a little more in depth than a “rebrand.” It’s really an insane thing they’ve done. Think new owners buying the Cubs and deciding to turn everything from blue to red because it helps with marketing overseas.

      • George Chilvers | June 6, 2012 at 6:21 pm |

        To be fair to Paul I only sent him this at 10am this morning UK time (3am East Coast) as it hit today’s papers.

        And I only tagged it with “Cardiff City in controversial rebrand – including century’s old colours:(”

        There is a lot being said on both sides of the argument – some are incensed that over a century of tradition is being thrown away; some reckon that without investment then Cardiff could go the way of Portsmouth and Rangers – and if someone wants to invest to keep a club alive then they have a right to have a say in what colours they wear. Apparently red is viewed as lucky in Malaysia.

  • Matt B | June 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm |

    Euro2012 news, the official jerseys on sale to the public are apparently “toxic” and contain heavy metals!

    “Lead, a heavy metal, was found in the team strip of six of the countries – Spain, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, France and Italy.

    In kits from Spain and Germany, lead exceeded the legal level for children’s products and Portuguese and Dutch shirts also contained nickel.”

    • Andrew L. | June 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm |

      I don’t know enough about the manufacture of soccer jerseys, but typically what happens in Chinese manufacturing is the factory management will surreptitiously and unilaterally alter the method, formula, materials, &c. to cut costs for themselves and pass the risk along to their retailing customers. Companies like Adidas, Nike, Puma, and the like have numerous factories throughout China (or Pakistan, or India, or Bangladesh) that are generally the more trusted ones, but that’s not saying much and they still require virtually impossible oversight. I’d be surprised if all the product is tainted, it’s probably a batch from one factory. Practically speaking there’s almost nothing these large companies can do to prevent these shenanigans from popping up, and then the factories when the get caught play dumb or blame their client (“With these prices what did you expect?”). My brother worked in China for a while; it’s a business nightmare.

      • Tim E. O'B | June 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm |

        “Practically speaking there’s almost nothing these large companies can do to prevent these shenanigans from popping up”


        They could make the shirts in America and pay unionized workers a fair wage, but that gets in the way of their 99% profit margins.

        • Andrew L. | June 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm |

          I generally agree, and I should have clarified that it’s a paradigmatic of China specifically. (I don’t have any personal experience with other Asian countries, but I’ve heard through the grapevine that they’re more ethical.) Sadly a major shift back to American manufacturing is unlikely in the foreseeable future; that would require admitting that money isn’t everything.

          The cost for manufacturing and shipping *per jersey* from China is something around $1.50, and in my estimation American companies could nearly match that, actually. The main reason these companies are so attracted to China is not cheap labor (although they do love that), it’s the supply chain, and the ability to scale very rapidly. I’ve heard stories of factories getting a contract and adding 15,000 employees in 10 days. In the US that would take six months, minimum. Megacompanies like Nike (and Apple, especially) are always looking at that kind of stuff, and sometimes we all pay in the price in the form of toxic jerseys.

        • Teebz | June 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm |

          Tim, you do realize that EUROPEAN footy teams would probably never have their shirts made in America, right? In fact, they’d be better off not having them made in a country that recognizes soccer as being a lesser sport than, say, mini-golf. ;o)

        • George Chilvers | June 6, 2012 at 6:22 pm |

          I think we could probably make the shirts here in UK too ;)

  • Philly Jason | June 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm |

    Re: Ray Pelletier notes that the three QBs on the Panthers’ roster – Cam Newton, Jimmy Clausen, and Derek Anderson – wear uniform numbers 1, 2 and 3, respectively. “Also, their numbers reflect their positions on the depth chart (starter Newton #1, backup Clausen #2, and third-stringer Anderson #3),” he writes. “How often has that ever happened?”

    Additionally, Cam Newton was drafted in the 1st round, Jimmy Clausen in the 2nd round…..and Derek Anderson in the 6th round (can we make it work with 1+2+3?)

  • Jim Vilk | June 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm |

    Pretty sure the liniment story was from Ball Four.

    I remember the Terrible Truck. That wasn’t the only vehicle parked inside Three Rivers – sometimes it looked like a parking lot there, as I’m sure Lynn Swann remembers:

    • Ricko | June 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm |

      What? Those are just proper hand signals for a turn when you’re riding your Vespa.

      In England.

      Here would be the other hand.

      • George Chilvers | June 6, 2012 at 6:25 pm |

        Nope – hand signal for a turn on a bike of any description in UK is to extend that arm straight out sideways.

    • Phil Hecken | June 6, 2012 at 7:09 pm |

      please tell me that’s not instructions on how to do the “tomahawk chop”

      • Simply Moono | June 6, 2012 at 7:47 pm |

        O.K.: They’re not instructions on how to do the “Tomahawk Chop” ;)

  • NJ Scott | June 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm |

    Am I missing something, or are the letters PAC noticeably smaller than the letters HECO on the back of the Pacheco jersey in the gummed up picture?

    • concealed78 | June 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm |

      I think it’s just a crooked sewing job.

  • Sean | June 6, 2012 at 7:11 pm |

    I noticed the Celtics wore the white headbands last night with their green away uniforms. Thats a rare combo. I don’t know the last time they’ve worn that.