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Views From Elysian Fields: U.S. Baseball at the Olympics


By Morris Levin

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games open tonight in London. The International Olympic Committee voted to displace baseball from the Games in a 2005 vote, and the 2008 Beijing games were the last for the sport at the Olympics.

In honor of the opening of the Games, and with respect to baseball’s absence from London, let us look at the uniforms worn by U.S. teams at previous Olympiads. (Anybody want to make a t-shirt for Pride Park Stadium, “I Still Call It The Baseball Ground”?)

Baseball was a demonstration tournament in 1984 and 1988, and a medal sport beginning in 1992 at Barcelona. While baseball was exhibited during the meandering five-month St. Louis Games in 1904, we trace the first Olympics baseball game to 1912 in Sweden.

1912 Stockholm

The Swedish club VästerÃ¥s SK (the football club still plays today in the third division) had started a baseball team in 1910, and the 1912 Stockholm organizers invited the Americans to play an exhibition at the games. The U.S. brought their own uniforms which featured the word “Olympic” across the front in san-serif font. They featured the cadet collars common of the period, and did not have numbers on the back.

1936 Berlin

Ahead of the 1936 Games, former Major League player Les Mann secured corporate sponsorship and an invitation from the German Olympic Committee to bring a team to Berlin. The U.S. wore uniforms featuring the letters U and S in Tuscan font, placket piping, a stars and stripes shield patch on the left sleeve, and back numbers in matching Tuscan. The U.S. was to have played a Japanese squad. When that team backed out, the U.S. played a split-squad game. One team wore white caps, and the other dark caps.

1956 Melbourne

The U.S. was again invited in 1956 to play an exhibition as part of the Games. U.S. military personnel stationed in the Pacific composed the team. The picture above is of Dick Griesser wearing his uniform in 2000s photo shoot. It is a white wool flannel uniform with a zipper-front. The lettering and numbers were in red and blue felt, and the numbers appear to be ten-inches. This is an outstanding color film about the match, played against an Australian squad.

1964 Tokyo

Japan had established professional baseball leagues by 1964, and the hosts invited the U.S. to play a one-game exhibition. This is Mike Epstein wearing the U.S. button front powder blue uniform with USA arched across the front. This is Jim Hibbs and we can see the shield worn on the cap, along with the patch on the left sleeve.

1968 Mexico City

Baseball was not recognized as a medal sport but the 1968 games were the first with multi-country representation. In February 1964, the University of Arizona had played exhibitions in Mexico City to promote the inclusion of the sport for the 1968 Summer Games. This post recounts at least four countries taking part in the demonstration tournament, and a game between the U.S. and Cuba dissolving into a brawl. I have yet to uncover images of the uniforms worn by the U.S. in Mexico.

Support for Olympic baseball increased through the 1970s as Los Angeles became the favorite to host in 1984. In March 1983, the IOC approved the inclusion of a multi-team non-medal tournament.

1984 Los Angeles

Many are familiar with this team from Topps’ inclusion of player cards in its 1985 set. The photos were taken prior to the games; the player to Larkin’s left is wearing a General Electric sponsorship patch, prohibited during the Games themselves. This is Mike Dunne in a button front jersey uniform worn by the team in Los Angeles. It features the players name on the back, and the numbers in the font used by the Expos from 1969 to 1991, (and the Athletics in 1972, Mr. Henderson). This is Mark McGwire during the games and this is a full color side-view. The left sleeve featured a Baseball USA patch.

1988 Seoul

In 1988, the U.S. wore gray button front jerseys with U.S.A. slanting upwards across the front, allowing room for a two-color number beneath. This is the home and this is without autographs.

1992 Barcelona

Baseball became a bona fide medal competition in 1992. The U.S. introduced pinstripe home jerseys, and Jason Giambi wore the gray button front jersey with three color drop-shadow lettering. The U.S. had previously worn royal blue, and switched to midnight blue for 1992. This is Nomar wearing the BP with a DQ sleeve patch.

1996 Atlanta

Today, USA baseball has a standard jersey worn in international competitions and by MLB’s professional WBC team. The U.S. wore this design for the first time in 1996. In 1993, the Reds and Marlins had returned vest to the Majors, and the U.S. team wore them in Atlanta. That is Troy Glaus with the perfect hose. The team wore NOB with nice serif lettering. The road unis were gray versions of the same. This is another view of the road.

2000 Sydney

The U.S. wore full jerseys in 2000, retaining the basic design from 1996. This is Ben Sheets wearing the home whites. The team introduced a new cap with US imposed on a star, but retained the 1996 cap logo on the batting helmets. The team had a matching gray uniform, and added an alternate navy jersey, worn with the white pants. NOB were arched serif lettering.

The U.S. did not appear in the 2004 Athens Games, after losing to Mexico in the qualifying Americas Tournament.

2008 Beijing

The U.S. wore its now standard home whites for the last Olympic baseball tournament. The team added an American flag to the right sleeve, sewed the NOB in san-serif letters along an even horizontal plane, and matched the batting helmet logo to the field cap. The team wore matching grays, and added New Era’s corporate logo to the side of the cap. As they did in 2000, the U.S. wore a navy alternate, but rendered it like MLB batting practice jerseys with contrasting red and white side-inserts, and as seen here.

I am not going to miss baseball at this year’s London Games. The Olympics’ attraction is sport’s elite athletes. Baseball’s best are playing today, but in cities across the U.S., in Toronto, in Cuba, and Japan. Iranian-Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish will be facing Cuban Dayán Viciedo, Dominican Alejandro De Aza, and Bridgehamptonian A.J. Pierzynski tonight in North Texas. It is for the absence of top professionals that baseball is unlikely to return to the Games. And while the WBC is a nice idea, I want to see MLB’s World Series champion take on the winner of the Asia Series for a true international baseball world championship.

. . .

Morris Levin is an independent small business consultant in Philadelphia, a member of Athletic Base Ball of Philadelphia, a member of SABR’s Philadelphia-Connie Mack Chapter, a supporter of the Philadelphia Stars West Parkside commemoration project, and editor of William F. Henderson’s “Game Worn MLB Jersey Guide”.


Phil here — Thanks, Morris! If you were a reader of Uni Watch last summer, while Paul was on vacation, you’ll recall Morris provided a guest article for each of those Fridays, and he’s back again for another run this year.


Tramp Stamp

Now, THAT is a Northwestern stripe…

Full disclosure — I had one of those days at the office yesterday I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Actually, I was out of the office (and since I was in meetings, didn’t even get to check E-mail, which always blows up when the uniwatching account is forwarded to me) until late last evening. As such, I BARELY got to look at the new Northwestern Uniforms. From what I did see, I am not a fan. But I simply didn’t have the time to dedicate the amount of time and space to a review as you folks richly deserve. Fortunately, or unfortunately (depending upon your perspective), while in the middle of meetings, I got a text from Tim E. O’Brien which read, “Can I do a writeup for next week on NU’s new unis. I need to vent.”

Knowing I wasn’t going to have time to do so myself, I simply said — “how about tomorrow?” in reply. And thus, what you are about to read, was hatched.

. . . . .

Those wild ‘Cats…
By Tim E. O’Brien

Some of you may recall that last fall, Northwestern decided to switch uniform providers, school wide, from Adidas to Under Armour. The switch seemed beneficial to both the school, who felt Adidas had been ignoring them, and the apparel company, who would finally have a school to outfit in the most prestigious conference in college sports (Yeah, I said it. Deal with it.).

Well, on Thursday Pat Fitzgerald and crew announced the new NU/UA uniforms – for football at least.

The Reaction: Mixed.

My Reaction: Mixed.

Some background on me that will explain my strong opinions.

While I’m a Hoosier by education, I grew up the son of a Wildcat and my family had season tickets to NU football from as early as I remember until I was a freshman at Indiana (and we started back up again last year). Members of my family have traveled all over the US to see the Wildcats play and I, personally, have seen them play in Arizona twice, Hawai’i once and Florida once (Northwestern games were family vacations). All in all, I estimate I’ve been to around 100 NU games.

Now, that being the case, I’ve seen many iterations of NU uniforms: Pre-BarnettBarnettWalker … the transition to Fitz … and Fitz — but this is, by far, the most radical design of the bunch.

Now, from promotional videos released by NU Athletics and UA, I made a few guesses at what I thought these unis would look like (home, road, alt, second alt). I even guessed they’d sublimate bricks on the numbers but while I had some parts right, there’s a whole lot more I got wrong or didn’t see coming.


They didn’t touch the Helmet! Huge victory. It may be a bit shinier, but it’s purple with a black facemask and a white ‘N’ – as God intended.

Tim’s Grade: A++


So the Northwestern stripe goes across the entire chest and back (but not the sides…) and meets up on the compression sleeves. Assuming compression sleeves will be worn by about 20 percent of players, this isn’t a terrible way of getting the stripe on the jersey (and there is precedent for hoops in football and even at Northwestern)

Still, hoops work better in soccer and I don’t understand why you wouldn’t let the stripe loop around the entire jersey.

‘Northwestern’ is featured on the chest for the first time ever. The sewn on numbers have a limestone brick pattern sublimated on them, which is a nice (if unnecessary) touch, and the jerseys feature TV numbers.

Tim’s Grade: C (but this could go up or down when I actually see these on the field.)


So the pants are stripeless yet again, I like that. They come in black (Meh…), white and purple. The purple pants should always be worn with the white jersey and the purple jersey looks best with the white pants, though the black isn’t a terrible look (never go full purple).

Ugh! Tramp Stamp. SMH.

Another thing missing from the pants (and actually, the whole uniform) is the N-Cat logo. I like the N-Cat logo, but the plain N just works better, especially in the B1G where almost all the schools’ main sports mark is just a letter or series of letters.

Tim’s Grade: B (Would be an A without the tramp-stamp.)

Overall, I think this is an OK start. I want to see these on the field and I think that there’s room for improvement, but I actually think these might grow on me. Who knows, if they win a bowl game in these, I may love them.

I still think there’s a black jersey coming out for a big game, just like Adidas did with the Wrigley game, but I just hope it’s not an obnoxious one-off like Maryland’s flag-tastrophe.

. . . . .

Thanks Tim for taking a shot at this. Didn’t Maryland actually wear the flag-tastrophe twice tho? Pretty sure they did. Readers? What do YOU think of the new duds?



Paul Sez…

Uni Watch reader Jared Wieseler recently came across a bunch of report cards, diplomas, and other old school records pertaining to his grandmother, who grew up in Nebraska in the 1930s. He generously offered to scan them for me, and they’re now the basis of the latest entry on the Permanent Record Blog. As always, you can also sign up for the PermaRec mailing list — just ask.


Screen Shot 2012-07-24 at 7.55.57 PM


This section will feature “lesser” Olympics stories — both the good and the bad — of the Olympic games, past, present and future (ok, maybe not future–we’ll see).

Not too much on tap today, mostly ‘cuz I was working for most of yesterday…

* “Came across this site mocking the London Olympics with sarcasm using the logos.” says Yancey Yeater

* Steve from the Sports Design Blog has come up with a review of Olympic uniforms. Give that a look-see!

* “Socks Paul Would Love” read the subject line in an E-mail from Joe Makowiec: “In the Republic of South Africa / Sweden women’s football (soccer) match, both teams were wearing really nice striped socks. Full set from that game.”

* Mike Colvin, he of Big Slices of Wrong, checks in with this: “Not fishing for more but the Olympic Posters you posted the other day reminded me that I have an entire collection from a radio promotion I did in the 90’s, These are the ones I could find and are easily the best: 1896-1908. I’ll try to find the rest before the games are over.”

* “Our bags have a Nike logo but the zippers are Adidas” (give credit to Brinke’s wife Cindi).

* Most Presidential candidates shouldn’t insult the host country about their preparedness to host the Olympics. But most Presidential candidates can’t claim to to have invented the Interwebs to have run their own country’s Olympics either. Still it makes for an awkward moment.

* Speaking of controversy, a lot of people are giving the City of London a lot of grief for this year’s Games. This really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, since they have had their share of practice.

* Finally — no one is arguing that security shouldn’t be tight for the Olympics — draconian even. But I think that rooftop missiles might be a bit much. Let’s hope those are dummy missiles.



#NoUniAds Campaign…Day 8

This will be a regular feature on Uni Watch until the NBA rescinds its incredibly offensive and stupid proposal to place corporate advertising on uniforms.

And now, a personal note from Paul:

It’s important that we keep making our voices heard: Call the NBA’s publicly listed phone number (212-407-8000), ask for Adam Silver’s and/or David Stern’s office), e-mail deputy commissioner Adam Silver at his his publicly listed address (, and tweet to @NBA with the hashtag #NoUniAds. Do it now.


More of your letters to the NBA:

Edward Bedard:

As advertising continues to advance in our society and it seems everything is for sale, I was deeply disappointed to hear of the NBA’s decision to potentially allow advertising on game jerseys. This is totally unacceptable not only to me but to many fans who see the sports uniform as sacred in the realm of sports.

In no uncertain terms, if you move forward with this proposal, I will no longer purchase NBA uniforms.

You know the right thing to do, and it’s to preserve this last sphere of pure space in sports.

Marc Parker:

I can not support a team or watch a product that has corporate logos on their uniforms. If you need corporate logos on your product, I want free season tickets to my local franchise. I watch commercials on NBC and CBS because their service is FREE. If you are going to force a 2 hour McDonald and Coke commercial down my throat, I better be watching that for free too. FANS DO NOT WANT THIS. Hope you enjoyed your high jersey sales. They are about to drop to record lows when you put corporate logos on retail items. Maybe you should talk to the NFL. They have logos on practice jerseys, and guess what – THATS FREE TO THE FANS! Put them on game jerseys, I better get in for free too.

Scott Misner:

I do find the notion that the NBA modeling its business practices after NASCAR, golf, WNBA and (hysterically) pro soccer … as quite laughable. Each of these sports has either, A) struggled to find a consistent fanbase (pro soccer / WNBA), or, B) suffered a severe hit to its popularity in the recent recession (NASCAR / golf). Instead of forcing economic change within these organizations to match economic reality (i.e., participants get their pay cut like so many others in society), they look to new revenue streams. It may be inevitable. But we can vote with our own brand of consumerism … I will certainly boycott the league should it come to uni ads. I pretty much despise the NBA and David Stern’s rule over the past decade.

. . .

* Some guy who has a blog called “Kanye To The” has taken up our cause.

* If you’ve never seen the results for #NoUniAds on the Twitter, take a look.

* Finally, Caleb Borchers thinks the All Blacks and the NBA might have something in common…sort of:

The All Blacks are reversing field on the preposed addition of AIG sponsorship to their jerseys. Apparently Adidas was not to thrilled to see their significant contribution to New Zealand rugby watered down by another corporate mark on the famous black jersey. Even sent an exact from Germany to New Zealand to discuss the issue.

Can’t help but feel like this might have implications for the NBA story. Let’s imagine that you’re the Adidas exec working with Stern. For years you were told that no matter how much you were paying to be the league’s apparel company ($40 million a year) you cannot put the Adidas logo on the actual jerseys. That space is sacred. Now, all of the sudden, you hear that Joe’s Furniture Mart is going to be getting a 2X2 inch patch in the EXACT location the Adidas mark appears on replica jerseys. Wouldn’t you be on the phone pretty quick with Stern?

Might we be coming into an era where the Adidases and (gulp) Nikes of the world might actually be a force against uni ads?

. . . . .

Thanks to Tim E. O’Brien and Chris Giorgio for the image in the upper right of this section!


Screen Shot 2012-06-24 at 10.32.36 PM

“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.

. . . . .

The turning point was when the other teams showed up…

7-27-12 d-Twelve way

Click to enlarge



Reminder: Paul is on summer break until Aug. 23. Phil Hecken is handling the weekday content and John Ekdahl is running the show on weekends; contact info for them is available here.

The Uni Watch e-mail address is being auto-forwarded to Phil, so any Ticker submissions or story ideas sent to that address will go directly to him. If you have a question or comment for Paul, go ahead and send it in, and Phil will make sure Paul receives it. We’re particularly interested in keeping up-to-date with college football uniform unveilings, so definitely keep submitting those. Thanks.


ticker 2

Uni Watch News Ticker: Some upcoming Astros giveaways, per Paul Pass: – July 28 Burke bobblehead from 2004 NLDS walk-off home run; August 18 – Bagwell bobblehead from 400th home run in 2003; September 21 – Astros canvas art. … Robert Montenegro notes the new American Football League in India started Wednesday — “Sharp Unis,” he notes. … Marcus Hall was the Orioles game the other day and took this shot of the Earl Weaver Statue – “beautifully done with stirrups.” … Interesting stat from Jamal Wilburg, who noticed that the Rays stats on the road are very different when they wear Grey jerseys (9-17) compared to when they wear blue (17-7). This is still no reason to wear softball tops, however. … There’s a new book out about unusual minor league baseball team names. Here’s a fun interview with the author. … While searching for an 80s Marino Pro Bowl jersey, Danilo Roman ran into this site which had a custom “McFarlane” figure of Marino with the ’84 Pro Bowl uniform. … John Muir muses, “Normally, a press conference to introduce a new player only requires one jersey. The Rangers decided to put all three (H/R/A) in Rick Nash’s new stall. I knew the Rags were douchebags but they really went the extra step in showing off the newest items that will soon be in the team store.” … Stan Bush points out at media day in Las Vegas, team USA (hoops) wore a more subtle version of their uniforms. He’s not sure why these haven’t been used (full shoot). … Nicole Tronolone notes adidas is unveiling the new adizero Primeknit at the 2012 London Olympics (and now Jason Bernard needs to change his underpants). … Here’s a link for Premier League – full new kits guide (give thanks to Trevor Banks). … Anthony Nuccio came across this Italy jersey on eBay. “Holy ugly” he says. … It’s not uncommon for teams to use MLB logos, says Sean Robbins, but this Curly Nats “W” is on the backstops and all outfield fences at the Western Little League complex in Stockton, CA. … Want to be a design engineer for Riddell? They’re hiring. … Even the losers can walk away with millions, especially in soccer. Nice infographic breaks sports payouts down (John Muir again). … New football uniforms for Mississippi State. … The Mets will apparently wear a flag patch on their caps, not a camo cap, on Sept. 11. It’s not clear whether other MLB teams will be doing likewise (props to Paul for those last two). … In response to my Philly ballgirls ticker question yesterday, A.J. Frey replies, “Of course the ball girls wear the cream alts.” … Cody Walker found this video of Shug Jordan’s final recap show in 1975 of the Iron bowl, which he describes as “fascinating not so much from the uniforms on the field, as both AU and UA are mostly unchanged in the history of the rivalry, but from what everyone else is wearing. From Shugs’ iconic hat to the red Big AL elephant mascot…All in color and the video even has all the commercials intact.” … Ronnie Poore notes “If Penn State wanted to change to a reversed colors helmet, they’d resemble Georgia Southern.” … Walter Ford “Saw this new kit for Hungarian football club Ferencvaros that you might be interested in.” … I’m not so sure this is the prediction of the century, but interesting nonetheless: Keenan Bailey, after researching what the coaches will be wearing and the sideline apparel for the game, says, “There’s no way in the world Notre Dame will be wearing their usual away uniforms in Ireland. Not to mention the cleats / undershirts assigned to the game…I predict will look like the Michigan game unis.” … Do we need to start a “McCutchen sock-tracker”? Brian Skokowski reports, “No zebra socks tonight…Andrew McCutchen is rocking some Pirate socks. Too bad he didn’t pull his pants up so we could see what they were all about!” … Paul Lee has a beef: “One thing that always bothers the heck out of me every time I see a team photo of the Dream Team (the “I” and only) players in front of the US flag is that the flag was improperly displayed. It’s a pet peeve of mine, and, whenever possible, I always try to notify a neighbor when they display a flag incorrectly. Does it bother other UniWatchers, as well, or do they not even know that there’s a preferred way to display the US flag?” … The Vikings posted this video on their facebook page. Their mascot, Victor, has a reebok jersey and rookie safety is wearing a nike one (thanks to David Caruso.) … Nebraska black helmet? “These are somehow worse than the Stanford procombats. Not a bad uni, but terrible for Nebraska. Ick.” (from Tim E. O’Brien) … And finally, this from Yancey Yeater” “MLB linked this video to a couple who came to a Blue Jays game for their 50th anniversary. They have customized jerseys that say ‘Together Since 1961’ but sadly they are last years ‘Black Jays.'”


And that’s it for this week. And hey, the Olympics start today (well, except for the part about them starting on Wednesday) — but we get the Opening Ceremonies tonight (yay!). Thanks to Morris Levin for the first of several great Friday entries. And because it’s Friday, that means you’ll get some shorter posts over the weekend, when Johnny Ek will take you through till Monday. I’ll catch you then — everyone have a great weekend, and thanks for a great first week subbing for Paul.


“I haven’t heard one good argument for a reason to keep ads off of uniforms. I’ve heard it looks crappy, it doesn’t belong there, and made up stuff that jersey sales will go down, but not the real ‘here’s why we can’t have ads’ argument.”

–Tom V.

Comments (148)

    Northwestern should have put stripes on the pants and used striped socks too. So I give them a big MEH. The jersey’s cool, but the rest of the uniform is too plain.

    I agree with The Jeff, but IMO…

    1. Stripes should be on the sleeves, not the chest & back
    2. Numbers didn’t need unnecessary sublimated bricks
    3. The short-sleeve undershirts are rarely worn, based on what I’ve seen. Those stripes won’t be seen often.

    I’d have preferred the waist stripe wrapping all the way around as well. If they were concerned about lining up the stretch fabrics, they could’ve just broken up that side panel into three (one for the stripe, two for above and below).

    But, of course, that would add an ounce or two of thread, and that might slow a player down by a fraction of a fraction of a secondheaven forbid that we should risk slowing down the players by such a tiny increment! Bleh.

    The 1985 Topps Barry Larkin card is just a fantasy card. Will Clark and Barry Larkin were prohibited from appearing in the set, as they still had NCAA eligibility and in 1985, their appearance would have been a violation of NCAA rules.

    True enough. I included Larkin because he was inducted into the HOF last week, and it has the sleeve patch to which I was referring.

    And I wasn’t the only one to do it this year. Bob Lemke posted a Larkin as well as a Will Clark back in March.


    Now, does anyone have color photos of the others that were left out of the Topps set? I would love to make some more of Charlton, Swindell, Surhoff, etc.

    I’ve got preseason soccer on the TV in the background between Manchester City and Arsenal. The game’s in Beijing and the Arsenal player have CNOBs – Chinese Name On Back. Pictures ASAP if I can.

    The first pic in this gallery shows Mikel Arteta (8) and Andre Santos’ (11) jerseys. Arsenal also wore a sponsor’s logo in Chinese on the front.


    All hail Morris Levin! May he be fruitful and his tribe increase!

    Just a perfect feature, to my history-obsessed taste anyway. I don’t know why an old Swedish poster advertising “Amerikanskt Baseboll” gives me such a thrill, but there you have it.

    One little typo, Phil, or else it’s an on-purpose joke. You describe Morris as “a member of SABR’s Philadelphia — Connie Mach chapter.” Unless Morris and his friends are intentionally punning on the speed of sound, I think it’s Connie Mack, not Connie Mauch.

    My own typo. The last word above should be “Mach,” not “Mauch.” Unless, of course they’re referring to Gene Mauch.

    Perhaps we will create an alternative SABR chapter for Philadelphia baseball masochists and call it the “Mauch 64ers”.

    Permanent Record link isn’t working for me. I can find the article by going to the site so it is there.

    Does anyone know if the Pirates are wearing throwbacks against the Astros tonight?

    I’m told (via Twitter) that they’re just wearing their black alts tonight.

    My Terrapins did indeed wear the Maryland Pride uniforms twice — first for the season opener against Miami and then again against Notre Dame.

    And brace yourselves…word here is that a couple of new uniforms are on the way (which might have already been discussed).

    Yes, but they were originally one-offs. They decided to wear them again even thought their specific, original purpose was to be worn for one game.

    The Dream Team picture bothers me too… I’ve always been very aware of flag etiquette. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen flags displayed incorrectly and it always grates on me. My guess is that most people just don’t realize there is a set of guidelines on how to correct hang, fly, or display our flag. We’ll probably several more examples in the next two weeks during the Olympics.

    I hadn’t seen the Dream Team photo before either, but it does bother me when I see the flag displayed improperly. I’ve approached store managers before and requested that they correct it. I wish more people knew the flag code!

    It bothers me too. I always make a point to point it out when it is displayed improperly. The problem is that I have yet to find a definitive guide on flag code that isn’t pages and pages of political document. I think it needs to be taught in schools or something to make us more educated. And you would hope in a picture of that magnitude they would’ve gotten it right.

    Yup, I cannot stand it when the vertical US flag is displayed improperly. Always make sure the stars are on the left!

    Speaking as a Cornhusker, I am deeply disturbed by the uniform that will be worn for a game this season. BFBS? Nauseating and definitely not a school color.

    I actually like the giant N on the front of the jersey, as the team used such a design element back in the ’30s.

    The Huskers should have just worn this uni. With the white N on front. It would look much better than black.


    The Husker pic was scanned from an old 1930s football magazine. I colorized it long time ago. One of my early tries.


    In response to my Philly ballgirls ticker question yesterday, A.J. Frey replies, “Of course the ball girls wear the cream alts.” …

    That’s a bunch of homely looking girls right there. God’s assistant worked overtime in the chin department when crafting those faces.

    Really? I don’t see any of the women UniWatch readers commenting on any of the ugly male athletes shown periodically on this site. I’m sure your mother/sister/wife/daughters would just love your comment. Grow up.

    Even more impressive about the Earl Weaver statue is that it includes the pouch he had sewn in on the inside of the jersey for storing his cigarettes (beneath the #4).


    As to the non-Levin Olympic features, once again we have some fun stuff. I like the snarky anti-Games bags and T-shirts, especially “They’re All on Steroids” and “I’m Renting My Flat to a Fat American Family.” And Steve’s sampler of 2012 unis is a real service. [I like Brazil, China, Estonia, New Zealand, Russia, and Switzerland, fwiw.]

    I like the jersey. The hoop is really unique and an interesting (and eye-catching) feature. Absurd and ridiculous presentation aside (really? The model needs to be sweating and shouting that much?), I say kudos to Under Armour for a good design.

    re:custom McFarlane figures

    i’ve had that guy make me a figure last summer(Browns Payton Hillis(yeah yeah i know)) and he did a great job, just took him a bit longer than he originally said it would take.

    I agree with you that Baseball doesn’t belong in the Olympics because the best players are not there. BUT, softball does belong. The world’s elite players play and it is the premier championship of the sport. AND, the US didn’t even win the last time around. It is unfortunate that Softball and Baseball always get lumped together.

    expect the lumping together to continue: The International baseball federation and the International Softball Federation are going to merge, intriguingly to increase the chances of both sports returning to the Olympic stage.

    I disagree strongly re the NW unis. I think they’re the best look NW have sported in a long time. Would prefer mostly white and purple, or grey and purple, as the black and purple tend to nelson into one bruise like monochrome. But I LOVE the NW stripe design element. Kudos to the ‘cats.

    Seconded. But praise from yours truly is considered a left-handed compliment in some circles. Some of my favorites were the bumblebee Pirates, flying-V Canucks and taco-colored Padres: )

    I agree about the black and purple. There had been times in the past when I wondered is that black or dark purple. Purple and white look better.

    I wonder if Tim E. O’Brien felt like changing the black mid stripe on the purple to white. Just to see how it would look.

    Or is there a full shot of the pants in white? I do not like the black pants.

    Stirrup Friday:


    In honor of the Nats becoming the best team in baseball (well, tying with the Yanks for the honor) and going 20 games over .500 for the first time, 1948 Senators.

    Careful with that auto-eroticism, RS.

    It’s been a gas moving to DC and jumping on the Nat-wagon, I must say. But I’ve also been infected by the contagion of anxiety about Stephen Strasburg and his innings-pitched ceiling. What’s going to happen?! What about the playoffs?! , et cetera. Worry, worry, worry.

    Best Yankees pun ever, that.

    Don’t drink the Strasburg shutdown kool-aid! It’s all about the offense, not the pitching. If the Nats fall back into the two-runs-a-game batting quota they played with through mid-June, then it won’t matter who’s on the mound in the playoffs anyway. And if the bats stay warm, then they have sufficient pitching and bullpen depth to compete in the playoffs without the Strassiah. Either way, no reason for anxiety, or anyway, no reason for anxiety about Strasburg. If you need to worry, worry about the RISP hitting. Or the injuries – Nats catcher has become the Spinal Tap drummer of MLB.

    You’re right about the offense. Seems to flourish only when temperatures are above 90. And you’re right about the RISP/no-hit connection. Worry, worry, worry.

    How does displaying all three jerseys for Nash’s presser make them “douchebags”?

    Sounds like Mr. Muir is a bitter/jealous fan of those LI scrubs.

    Good one, as an Islander faithful and Ranger hater, I don’t see any problem putting all three Nash jerseys in the locker. Looks like they got the vertical arch right too versus that Crosby’s lookin’ jersey yesterday.

    Is the Nebraska uniform a unitard? If you pause the posted video at 0:18 seconds, there looks to be no separation between jersey and pants.

    The Cubs are honoring Ron Santo’s HOF enshrinement today (their first home game since the ceremony), including a big (incorrectly styled) 10 in the outfield grass. What I didn’t know until seeing this story is that when playing St. Louis last week on the day of the HOF enshrinement, the Cubs wore a patch to mark the occasion which looked a great deal like the memorial patch they wore when Santo died:


    That Italian shirt is not a team shirt. In fact why they are calling it a football shirt is a mystery. It’s a T-shirt, no more, no less. Pretty ugly I agree.

    Will try to get a review of the first round of football games together, but just to say a very enjoyable day with one nice thing. After all the talk of sponsorship etc there was no real sign of any advertising around the stadium (I’d expected tons), and in fact round the pitch and stands were no adverts at all, just purple boards with London 2012. It looked really good and makes you realise how ugly advertising is.

    The game was a weird experience for a football aficionado, as the crowd dynamics were hugely altered. The bulk were families, with a smattering of groups like those in front of us of five elderly ladies who had obviously (a)hoped to get tickets for something else but could only get football so thought they’d try that for the Olympic experience and (b) never in their lives even thought about going to a football game (or will again).

    With this type of crowd I felt quite limited in not being allowed to shout and swear. Booing Luis Suarez was some small consolation. I think most of the crowd would die if they ever went to a Premier League game at Old Trafford.

    And with that type of crowd (families with kids, old people, people who had never been to a match in their lives), and watching them settle all their things out, get some food and drink during the game rather than at the breaks, spend time organising who wanted the orange juice and who wanted the Coke, and whether Mary should sit there or there, and does Elsie need her cardigan on or not, I now firmly believe that if there was a Gold medal for “faffing” then GB would win it outright.

    And if you don’t know what “faffing” is:

    “… With this type of crowd I felt quite limited in not being allowed to shout and swear. Booing Luis Suarez was some small consolation…”


    My first thought was that this was a cycling shirt in terms of cut, etc. George is probably right that it is just a mass market shirt and was a never a team uni, and certainly not a soccer kit.

    I’ve seen that company make shirts for numerous countries before. They make garish polyester shirts that I last saw around the time of the World Cup. They keep them generic so as not to refer to a particular sport (perhaps to increase shelf life and/or avoid copyright issues). Asking $18.00 for a used one is more than what the new ones went for.

    Somewhat surprisingly, I actually do like those link. Although their new technology kicks usually leave a bit to be desired for me (I overwhelmingly prefer Originals), these I like.

    The thing that REALLY gives me a veiny throbbing one is the link uniform. It combines my love for adidas with my love for a red & black color scheme. In fact, if the pants were white, I’d go so far as to say it’s just about perfect.

    Adidas is just barely keeping up with Nike, whose new knit shoe is debuting at the Olympics and hits the consumer market later this year.


    I know its fun to hate on Nike (and everyone else) for outlandish performance claims, but in the world of actual performance running shoes, when you’re an elite runner or running marathons, this kind of innovation matters.

    B1G teams starting a new trend? Brick patterns on numbers.
    1st Minnesota now Northwestern. Looks good up-close but you lose the effect when you are more than 10 feet away.

    The Nebraska video has been taken down…

    I’ve never really paid attention to it, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen far more “wrong” flags than correct ones. The field on the left of a vertical flag is completely counter-intuitive and really makes no sense. Take the normal image of the flag, field on the left – rotate it 90 degrees – the field is now on the right. That’s it. Whoever decided that the “proper” display is to have it on the left wasn’t thinking very clearly.

    I always found it counter-intuitive, also. And the exception the the blue union and stars being on the left, is if a patch is on the right shoulder of a uniform. See the pic in this FAQ from the site…


    The right-shoulder thing is not an exception! It’s a special rule for the U.S. Army. If you are not a member of the U.S. Army, Army Reserves, or National Guard, then the union-on-the-left rule applies wherever you put the flag patch.

    I guess I didn’t really mean “exception” to the rule. I know its the standard. The explanation is that the flag is to look like it is flying from a pole (which is always on the union side) and is flying in the “breeze” as the person walks. I’ve also seen this on the side of a charter bus which has the flag on both sides, with the union toward the front as if flying from a pole.

    That exception is for vehicles, not people. Unless you’re wearing an Army uniform, the union goes on the left no matter where you put the flag on your clothes. And the Army’s little dress-soldiers-like-they’re-trucks thing is a recent innovation.

    This, for example, is how the Army wore the flag on the right shoulder back when we used to win wars:


    I’d recommend that uni for, say, Northern Illinois (a team without much history whose color palette actually includes black), but Nebraska?!? What’s wrong with the current set? It’s a brave new college football world, I tell ya.

    That N on the front of the jersey looks like it is from the Table of Elements from science class. Not sure what isotope N^12 is. Also, not sure any of the science terms I just used are correct.

    Starling Marte, the highly anticipated rookie for the Pirates, hit a home run on the first pitch he saw in the bigs last night. Have to say though, his number six uniform number looks like an eight from a distance. The number seven font style is also funky with what the Pirates are using.

    Both the 2 and the 7 are atrocious. I like the font for the wordmarks, but some conventional numbers are in order.

    Be sure to check out the color film of the Pacific Coast League’s 1946 spring training that immediately follows the clip of the USA-Australia baseball game at the 1956 Olympics. A 56-year-old Casey Stengel (wearing Number 1) was the pilot of the Oakland Oaks.

    Also enjoyed the picture of a young Mike Epstein in his U.S.A. baseball uniform. Two years later Mike a.k.a.”Moby Mike” or “Super Jew” helped lead the Rochester Red Wings to the 1966 International League pennant. The Wings were picked to finish deep in the second division that year but thanks to Mike’s efforts and the managerial skills of some guy named Earl Weaver the Wings captured the flag on the final day with a win over the Syracuse Chiefs. Mike was IL MVP and Rookie of the Year and Minor League Player of the Year for 1966.

    Baseball was removed from the Olympics to make room for 7 on 7 rugby and I believe cricket. I love baseball, but both of the other sports are far more popular and competitive in the world. Both sports start at the 2016 summer games.

    Actually, the two sports for 2016 will be rugby sevens and golf. There’s also a possibility of beach soccer, per Wikipedia.

    I understand the esthetics part of objecting to uniform ads. European sports shirts often look crappy because of them. However, since I presume that not all Americans are as uni-oriented as the people navigating to this site, I wouldn’t expect a public outcry over them.

    As a matter of fact, I had expected uni-ads to pop-up in America long before they had in Europe, because of the more corporate structure of professional sports. I have a hard time feeling the line that is crossed by uniform ads. The corporate-named stadiums (with their names painted on the playing field) adorned with huge billboards all around the playing field, corporate ads on the tickets, and corporate sponsoring of every minute of the TV broadcast… the sponsored watercoolers and towels.. the huge logo’s on the uniform accessoiries (battinggloves, elbow patches, sweat bands)… what makes a corporate name on a jersey so much worse?

    “…The corporate-named stadiums (with their names painted on the playing field) adorned with huge billboards all around the playing field, corporate ads on the tickets, and corporate sponsoring of every minute of the TV broadcast… the sponsored watercoolers and towels.. the huge logo’s on the uniform accessoiries (battinggloves, elbow patches, sweat bands)…”

    Maybe the saddest consequence of those developments is the acceptance of them by younger generations who assume that’s just the way things are… I know Paul can bother some readers by his insistence that common space — civic space — should not be turned over to private interests, and that sports venues and sports unis (and the sides of school buses and ambulances) do indeed occupy common space. But imo he is absolutely right, both in what he says and how frequently he says it. You’re right, RS, commercialization has long been underway, drip by torturous drip. But drawing lines in the sand — no ads on NBA unis — is a praiseworthy act of rebellion.

    The corporate naming of stadiums, ballparks, etc., has bugged me from the outset, and it’s kind of where “ads on everything” really jump-started.

    History and memories are about putting and keeping things in context, and that starts with the tenets of basic journalism: Who, what, when and where. Where something happened is critical to that paradigm.

    The constant re-naming of places messes with context, devaluing continuity and putting commercialism ahead of it.

    Being a bit absurd (but hopefully to help make the point quickly), a film called MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET might be far less relevant or relate-able if 34th Street had gone through 10 or 15 different corporate names since the movie was released in 1947.

    It sounds like your “bug” only applies to corporate re-naming.
    Municipalities rename things all the time for any number of reasons…is that any more or less disruptive?
    Example: Philly has a wonderfully scenic pair of roads which for decades were called East River Drive and West River Drive (they border the Schuylkill River BTW).
    Today the former is called Kelly Drive, the latter MLK Drive…both perfectly good names, but their re-namings also messed with “context” and “continuity”.
    Of course, renaming places/things our of respect for someone who ‘paid their dues’ might be more acceptable a practice than a paid privilage, but both are still ‘renamings for renaming’s sake’ IMO (others may see this as an ‘apples to oranges’ comparison), and I still know where I’m at once I’m there and there’s no adverse effect on my enjoyment.

    Yeah, I knew someone would bring in streets if I used that movie to make a point.

    And, yes, I meant the peddling of “corporate naming rights” that keep the name there only as long as the money is collected.

    Wrigley Field and the like aren’t the same thing. If someone builds or buys a stadium and wants to name it after themselves, that’s kinda their privilege. But taking $X dollars from Y company to call it Whatever Stadium for Z years is most definitely commerce-driven. And not really wrong. But it DOES mess with context.

    Maybe better example. “The NFL Draft from Radio City Music Hall” (a corporate-but-not-peddled name, to be sure) has a LOT more historical sense of place than, “The NFL Draft from New York Life Music Hall, which used to be Westinghouse Music Hall, and before that Chase Manhattan Music Hall, which was preceded by Proctor & Gamble Music Hall, the name that followed Con Edison Music Hall…”

    Also why it originally was released in May of 1947. Y’know, to drive Christmas sales.

    (You looking for something that isn’t there).

    As to the remake, Macy’s wanted nothing to do with it. Hence, the store became “Cole’s.”

    Amusing spin-off of this though during the Olpympics football.

    Mike Ashley, owner of Newcastle United, is fighting an ongoing battle with supporters about him corporately naming Newcastle’s 100+ year old stadium “Sports Direct Arena”.

    As Sports Direct are not an official sponsor it has to be called “St James’ Park” again through the tournament.

    Same with Coventry’s Ricoh Arena which becomes “The City of Coventry Stadium”.

    Olpympics should not be confused with the Olympics which is completely different ;)

    I always find it odd that football in the olympics gets spread so far around the country, which occasionally leads to oddities like Old Trafford cheering a Craig Bellamy goal yesterday.

    I mean I sort of understand it, but between the Emirates, Wembley, Stamford Bridge, and White Hart Lane, you’ve got plenty of large-capacity football stadia in London itself.

    Who says all of that other corporate advertising is a good thing?

    I think the opposition to uniform ads is more of a “straw that broke the camel’s back” sort of thing. There’s already ads on EVERYTHING ELSE, why do they need to be on the uniforms too? I mean, enough already. Every god damn thing I look at does not need to have an advertisement on it.

    Word from Big Ten media days is that Iowa will be wearing a Pro Combat uni against Purdue. May have silver helmets, silver pants. Players will be able to choose military branch they want to honor on nameplate.

    Lame is right. Iowa is wearing 1921 throwbacks early in the year. I like how Iowa wears throwback or has 2 other times.

    The Des Moines Register‘s Randy Peterson link that, according to QB James Vandenberg and CB Micah Hyde at Big (Math-Challenged) Media Day, Iowa will have Pro Combat unis for one game this year.

    Cedar Rapids Gazette columnist Marc Morehouse link and (citing Vandenberg) will likely have link.

    Please excuse me while I go throw up.

    That first tweet was today, not yesterday. Still going to throw up, but must learn to remember the date first.

    Pretty much the only ones I’d take over the current 1996-present set. I’m hoping EFF has taken notice of today’s lead photo!

    Surprising even myself, I love the stripes on the Northwestern jerseys. Unique, very Northwestern. Well done.

    Tim, please don’t take it as a shot. Just a little friendly teasing. Keep up the fine work.

    I’m a Nebraska alum and those alts are godawful. We already have one of the best unis in all of football. Any change is a downgrade, and this is a major step down.

    Think positively,

    At least the Wisco/Neb game wont be confusing to watch at all this year. You’re team will be the empirically ugly one.

    You know what offends me most about ads on NBA uniforms? That they’re not showing up on NHL uniforms first. At least THEN the major sports leagues would take pause for a moment and think … do we REALLY want to fall in line AFTER the NHL?

    Sorry, NHL fans, it’s not that I want ads on your league’s jerseys, but if there’s going to be a sacrificial lamb in this whole mess, it might as well be the originators of the Reebox.

    I shudder to think, but JimWa has a point: hockey uniforms have more real estate, and an established pro league in Europe where players are a veritable quilt of ads. Plus, hockey has fewer stoppages, meaning fewer commercials and a “necessity” to reclaim lost revenue.

    I lied in my part of the post today:

    I have only seen NU play in AZ once – a regular season game against ASU.

    My other college football game in AZ was IU vs OkSt for the Insight Bowl a few years back. Same stadium, different teams.

    The other time I traveled to see NU was Detroit for a Motor City Bowl against Bowling Green.

    I got my bowls confused. Mia culpa.

    I am surprised to say I really like Northwestern’s new football uniforms. There’s nothing I would change, despite the fact I am not generally a fan of some of the elements, e.g., the tramp stamp. My letter grade is A. I don’t recall ever giving that high of a grade. For comparison, I liked Washington State’s new uniform’s last year, but gave them a B+ overall (there were many things I would’ve done differently).

    You wouldn’t remove the tramp stamp?

    Also, explaining “tramp stamp” to your 60 year old Northwestern alumus father? Not as easy as you’d think…

    For some reason, the tramp stamp looks really good to me (and I can’t recall feeling that way on any previous uniform). Maybe it balances with the player NOB. Maybe it gives a little design flair to the stripeless pants. Maybe it completes the “Northwestern” on the front.

    I do like that the design doesn’t needlessly repeat any of the elements (think of the L.A. Angels’ haloed A as an example of overuse). As a result, the overall design has an appealing simplicity.

    My letter to the NBA…

    Mr. Silver:

    From 2000-2002, Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros played in Enron Field. When Enron’s embarrassing and shameful downfall occurred, the news was met with shock. This was a respected organization, having been named “America’s Most Innovative Company” six years in a row by Fortune. Few outside of Enron’s walls saw it coming. It devastated the community and occupied headlines for weeks.

    It would be a shame if something like this or, God forbid, like the scandal at Penn State University were to occur at an organization that served as a jersey sponsor for an NBA franchise. For a league such as the NBA, which has such close ties to its proud heritage, uniform ads would change the way we look at the game’s great moments. Imagine how awful it would be if every time broadcasters played the video of Michael Jordan sinking The Shot, he turned around to pump his fist with the logo of some disgraced entity emblazoned on his chest. The moment the NBA places ads on uniforms, they’re associating themselves with these organizations forever. The shelf life of video in the information age is eternal. It will never go away. These are not just ads hanging in an arena or printed in a program. The league’s greatest highlights will forever be associated with these sponsors. Is the association really ready to take that big of a gamble?

    In my mind and the minds of many of my friends, the NBA’s uniforms are not an opportunity to market a sports drink or insurance or menswear. They’re an opportunity to market the NBA and its franchises. Players come and go, but the constant is the name on the front of the jersey. Who are you? We are the LAKERS. We are BOSTON. We are the KNICKS. We are not, nor will we ever be, Nivea for Men or Sherwin Williams.

    Count me with those who are done with the NBA if you count yourselves among those who are willing to sacrifice one of the most identifiable points of pride for your league’s fans at the altar of the easy buck.

    “Count me with those who are done with the NBA if you count yourselves among those who are willing to sacrifice one of the most identifiable points of pride for your league’s fans at the altar of the easy buck.”

    That is the most concisely articulated arguments I’ve read about this whole #NoUniAds debate.

    edited down to twitterable:

    Count me with those who are done with the @NBA if they are willing to sacrifice a point of pride of their league for an easy buck. #NoUniAds

    UN’s unis: I love them. Even though I bleed Gopher Maroon and Gold, I’ve always had a soft spot for NU’s stripes. I’m extremely happy they have prominent Northwestern stripes for football. And seeing as they’ll make the trip up to MPLS this fall, I’ll be giddy with joy seeing both the Gophers and NU’s new threads.

    Not uni-related but I am officially confused.

    We have the only London Olympics in a lifetime for most of us. And we all, no matter what sport we follow, have to accept that track & field are the prime events.

    The opening ceremony is moments away as I write this, and this surely is the pinnacle of any competitors’ lives.

    So where are GB’s track and field athletes?

    In a training camp in Portugal – they will not be at the ceremony.

    Is it just me that thinks this is wrong?

    Well – I loved it, but then I would, wouldn’t I?

    We do have a habit of decrying ourselves (see all the newspaper items about the potential disasters, mistakes etc) but it’s self-effacing Britishness.

    Firstly, isn’t it great to live in a country that allows the Press to do that?

    But secondly it shows that we aren’t too bad at such things (well, except for Paul McCartney).

    Actually The Guardian newspaper has expressed what I’m trying to say best:

    “So the big surprise in the opening ceremony is not what I expected. I thought Danny Boyle would set aside three minutes for a lavish video tribute to Willard Mitt Romney, thanking the Republican presidential nominee for doing what, until Thursday, neither David Cameron, Boris Johnson or Sebastian Coe had managed to do: silencing all but the grumpiest sceptics and uniting the British people in enthusiastic determination to enjoy the London Olympics.

    Because we’re quite happy to whinge endlessly about security, transport and ticketing failures — but we’ll be damned if we’re going to hear it from some perfect-toothed American. Now we’ll get behind the Games just to spite him. For that, Coe & co will forever owe Romney a great debt.”

    we’re getting it on delay here in les etats unis, so i just watched the rousing rendition of my country, tis of thee


    Record it and fast forward through the teams entering the stadium – I know this is a uni-phile site, and that looking at what is being worn is of interest, but trust me – it was long!! :)

    My wife said the same – and she worked for the NHS :)

    I’m off to bed now – it is ten to two.

    Night all!

    Just wanted to let everyone know that the newest episode of the Logocast has been released. Episode 3 – Something Guy Fieri farted out – link

    Next week, we go Buffaslug hunting with the creator of the logo, Kristopher Bazen!

    did anyone see this about penn state’s uniforms this morning?


    sorry if it has already been posted

    I’m getting excited for NCAA football season and as such, I’ve revamped the Hoosier Tracker link and I’m excited to intorduce The NUni Tracker (pronounced “En YooNee” Tracker) link

    sorry martay…not doing the weekends now, so i can’t use that for tomorrow’s QOTD…but i would

    At the start of the ceremony, where they showed rugby clips of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England, they blurred out the Swoosh on Jonny Wilkinson’s England rugby jersey.

    Stopped reading the NW stripe vent at “the most prestigious conference in sports”. One of the most laughable comments I’ve read in a long time.

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