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And So It Begins

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Interesting situation last night in Cleveland, as the Red Sox played the Indians. As you can see, the Bosox acknowledged the Boston Marathon bombings by hanging a jersey in the dugout, but check out the black armband Shane Victorino’s left sleeve — looks like they just used a thin strip of elastic. That’s what most of the Red Sox wore. Sometimes the elastic was stretched so thin that you could barely see it. But Dustin Pedroia must have used multiple loops of elastic, because his armband was thick. Then there was starting pitcher Felix Doubront, whose armband was on the other sleeve — presumably so as not to interfere with his pitching arm — and sewn on, not elastic.

The Indians wore black armbands too. Pretty sure all of them were sewn onto their right sleeves.

In other uni-related responses to the Marathon bombings:

• Keith Yandle of the Coyotes, who’s from the Boston area, wrote “Pray for Boston” on his skate on Monday night (from ).

•  The Yankees played “Sweet Caroline” during last night’s game against Arizona.

• The Louisville baseball team wore flag-desecration uniforms yesterday.

• A reader who prefers to remain nameless was one of the yellow-jacketed volunteers at the Boston Marathon. “I had driven about an hour west, toward home, when the bombs went off,” he says. “It’s impossible for me to watch the footage and see other people in those yellow volunteer jackets at the finish line and not feel dumbstruck by fate (in the case of other volunteers) and pure random luck (for me). I’m not much given to public displays, but I’ve added a ribbon to my jacket.”

Meanwhile: New ESPN column today — the results of the “Redesign the Vikings” contest. Enjoy.

(My thanks to Scott Davis, Raymie Humbert, Michael Kinney, Tom Shieber, and Paulie Sumner for their contributions.)

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Uni Watch News Ticker: The Jaguars will unveil their new uniforms on April 23. … Weird scene in the second game of yesterday’s Mets/Rockies doubleheader at Coors Field, as both teams wore 1993 throwbacks, but the Mets were in white and the Rockies were in gray, even though the game was in Denver — a nod to the first game in Rockies history, which took place at Shea Stadium. One inaccuracy in the Mets’ throwbacks: They wore their current orange-squatcheed caps, which is wrong, because the Mets didn’t switch from blue to orange squatchees until 1995. ”¦ UCLA football coach Jim Mora had more to say about the team’s jersey striping the other day. It came in the form of three separate tweets, which string together like so: “More on the UCLA Stripe; it is part of the fabric of the jersey, not an insert, but it takes a 2nd layer to include it. Not functional or comfortable to have 2nd layer under armpit. Adidas working on technology to include a rubberized paint that will allow us to extend UCLA Stripe. We all know how important it is to our fans and we promise to keep pushing. Adidas has been great.” While the explanation is unsatisfying, you don’t often see a coach get his hands dirty with this kind of uniform detail. Good for him (from Jamie Belz). … The Reading Royals — ECHL affiliate of the Washington Caps — are wearing Caps-themed jerseys for their playoff game this Friday (from John Muir). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Before Monday night’s Mets/Rockies game was snowed out, the Mets tried to get some work in. ”¦ “Here’s a fantastic idea,” says Phil. “Next year for JRR Day, the 16 original teams wear the unis of their first black player. How great would it be to see St. Louis Browns and Philly A’s unis?” ”¦ Really awful G.I. Joe uniforms for Southeastern Louisiana baseball. ”¦ Southern Miss will unveil new football uniforms today (from Joe Bearden). ”¦ Here’s something you don’t often see: an NFL player — other than Reggie Roby — wearing a watch. That’s Charles Tillman. “I know there’s no contact in these practices, but still seems odd,” says John Koziol. ”¦ The NHL plans to have six outdoor games next season. ”¦ A fan in Atlanta improvised his own 42 jersey (from Mike Kingery). ”¦ Speaking of 42, we’ve seen this before, but it’s worth repeating around this time of year: Here’s an infographic showing the last player to wear 42 for each MLB team (from Britton Thomas). ”¦ MLB isn’t too happy about Carl Crawford’s mismatched shoes from Monday night. ”¦ Tyler Kepner was looking at the cover of the Marlins’ 1993 media guide and was struck by a revelation: “I guarantee that player is a reverse image of the Alan Trammell SI cover from after the 1984 World Series. The distinctive Tigers belt loops are a dead giveaway. Of course, the Marlins had never played a game prior to the 1993 season, so they had to swipe some image, I guess.” Sure enough, he’s right! ”¦ This is interesting: color home movie footage of tbe Dodgers, including Jackie Robinson, prior to a game at Wrigley Field in 1947 (from Greg Trandel). ”¦ Blue Jays pitcher Josh Johnson began last night’s game against the White Sox with the Newtown memorial patch from Opening Day still on his jersey. “It was gone by the second inning,” says David Taub. … New flight attendant uniforms for Qantas. “Reminds me of the Miami Floridians of the ABA,” says Peter Leech. … In a related item, here’s a slideshow of vintage United Airlines uniforms (from Jim Walaitis).

Comments (130)

    Rather than replace JRR day with “First Black Player Day”, maybe each team should celebrate the anniversary of its integration. Twins could have Carlos Paula Day on Sept 9, Cleveland could have Larry Doby Day on July 26, etc.

    At the same time, and across-baseball celebration is nice, too, because it’s hard to avoid.

    AMR beat me to it — it doesn’t make sense that the White Sox would celebrate Minnie Minoso’s #9 on the anniversary of Robinson breaking the league color barrier and not on the anniversary of Minoso breaking the team color barrier.

    Keep the league wide celebration for Robinson on April 15, but each team could also celebrate the anniversary of it’s color barrier breaking separately.

    I always thought it would have made more sense for each (Original 16) team to retire the number of their first black player, rather than have everybody retire 42. Unfortunately, not everything worked out like Jackie Robinson. Beneath link is one about Curt Roberts, the first black Pirate.

    I’d definitely prefer this over making every team retire 42. I’d be particularly angry if I were a Giants fan whose team was forced to retire the number of an enemy player.

    Well, it’s probably because Larry Doby really didn’t make any significant contrib… what? Oh, really? Led the AL in HRs twice, huh? 7 All-Star games, eh? Hall of Fame? First black player in the American League and second behind Mr. Robinson by a mere few months??!? MLB needs to institute “Integration Day” wherein 42 is worn in the NL and 14 in the AL.

    Bill Veeck doesn’t get his due respect in this area, either.

    Veeck had been working on integrating baseball for a long time before that, perhaps inspired by his father’s calls for integration in the 1920s. Veeck also had a plan to buy the Phillies in 1943 and fill the roster exclusively with players from the Negro Leagues, but that was foiled when he told Judge Landis before the sale was finalized

    Off the top of my head, wasn’t Larry Doby also the second black manager in the majors behind another Mr Robinson (Frank)?

    Premier League soccer clubs Everton and Arsenal both wore black armbands and had a moment of silence before the match.

    the armbands looked like they were trainers tape or even black duct tape

    Arsenal looked matte while at least Fellaini’s looked shiny.

    If they were going to honor Hillsborough, wouldn’t they have planned in advance for it?

    Sure, but Hillsborough tributes have almost always been plain black armbands (though there have been exceptions in the past). Here’s a pic from the weekend’s Liverpool vs Reading match: link

    When a match falls on the anniversary (like Monday), it’s customary for teams to wear black armbands, and Everton usually joins Liverpool in commemorating the 96.

    My point was, they knew they were playing the day after the Hillsborough wouldn’t they sew the bands in and not just tape the sleeves? The taping makes it seem more spur of the moment.

    Looking at the photographs again, you’re right, though I would’ve thought Everton would always wear some kind of tribute in a match near the Hillsborough anniversary.

    I presume Arsenal just had the regular black armbands in their dressing room: link

    The Indians, who were hosting the BoSox, also played “Sweet Caroline.” “Dirty Water” was played after the Sox win as well. Nice gestures by the Indians, IMHO.

    For about a decade, they’ve been playing Sweet Caroline during a late inning break at Fenway, and the crowd sings along with the “bum-bum-bum”s and “So good! So good! So good!”

    They do it at Pitt basketball games, too. For better or worse, it’s become a tradition in Boston, which is why it’s being played in other ballparks this week.

    according to the song’s wiki page

    “”Sweet Caroline” is popular at sporting events. Boston’s Fenway Park has played the song since at least 1997, and it has been played at every game in the middle of the eighth inning since 2002 by the influence of Amy Tobey, a production agent responsible for the audio played over the park’s loudspeakers. “She had noticed ‘Sweet Caroline’ was used at other sporting events, and she decided to send the sweetness over the Fenway speakers.”[7] On opening night of the 2010 season at Fenway Park, the song was performed (albeit abridged) by Diamond himself. It is also played at sporting events at the University of Pittsburgh[8] and Iowa State University.[9] The song is also played at Florida State University baseball games in the middle of the 8th inning and during television timeouts of Davidson College men’s basketball games. It gained national attention during the school’s 2008 run to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.[10]”

    There’s nothing about the song that’s connected to Boston or the Red Sox, but long story short, the team started playing the song in the late 90’s and fans liked to sing along: link

    Key word “liked”.

    Sure, the pink hats liked it. The fans didn’t. And don’t.

    Thought the Brewers move of playing the theme from Cheers last night was a great way of recognizing this tragedy

    @Lose Rem – I don’t think you can pin “Sweet Caroline” on the pink hats. The playing of the song came about, it appears, in the late 90s, just as Fenway was starting to gentrify, but before the pink hats really took over.

    @Clevo – thanks for pointing that out. Though my Googling tells me Caroline Kennedy was 11 years old when Neil Diamond wrote the song. Yeaaaaaah.

    Pink hats = dismissive term for bandwagon Red Sox fans who haven’t suffered long enough.

    Fenway Park’s rise in popularity as a summer drinking destination coincided with the emergence of pink baseball hats among young female fans: link

    Dan Kennedy came up with a simple but super-effective logo that’s feels NFL-ready.

    I had trouble with the above hyperlink on the ESPN article.

    was coming here to post the same thing. it doesn’t do anything when being clicked on

    It’s great that when Tom Bierbaum submits a entry, he also redesigns the opposition.
    I really like his treatment of the Bengals this go-around.
    Well done!

    Thanks, Chris. For me, that’s one of the most enjoyable parts of doing a re-design is to come up with some pretty out-there, indulgent approaches to some other NFL teams and just throw them in there. The template doesn’t leave much space that I need to fill for the opposing teams so if my idea bombs, it’s not a big deal, since they’re just the supporting cast in the drawing.

    Pretty ridiculous that MLB would take issue to Crawford’s shoes, considering they had no issue with Jimmy Rollins using two pair of non-approved shoes in one game. (And I’m a Phils fan). If they do end up giving him a fine, that’s disgraceful, considering all the efforts put in place for the day around the league.

    (And I understand that both pair were ‘approved’ for that one day, but since they would be unallowable on any other day, there should be some slack.)

    I’m just glad to see the MLB cares about SOME below-the-knee uni choices a player makes.

    Pedroia’s band looked like electrical tape. It looked like Francona had a band on as well, on his sweatshirt. Hard to be certain with the navy blue he was wearing, but in the photo you linked you can see some extra bunching on the sleeve which is where it appeared he had the band.

    also couldn’t you have at least dropped the “flag desecration” bit for one day in light of what happened?

    I don’t see how “what happened” suddenly makes it OK to use the flag as the basis for a uniform design. If you do, that’s fine. But to me, wrapping oneself in the flag, literally or metaphorically, is still a very poor idea.

    it was the team’s way of showing respect. maybe it might be a poor idea in your eyes, but in theirs it was a tribute.. so why not just put your feelings aside for just one day and show some respect for their decision. it just comes off as a tasteless comment on your part

    I never questioned their intent. But I think the reflexive use of flashy, flag-based imagery cheapens both the flag and the values it stands for. I think the Red Sox’s elastic bands were much better. If you disagree, that’s fine. Different strokes and all that.

    you don’t wish to cheapen it.. but calling it “flag desecration” does exactly that. i agree that the BoSox bland armband was a better way to go about it, but the intent for both teams was still the same.

    You’re missing the point. I’m not questioning anyone’s intent; I’m questioning the execution.

    You may feel that the execution is fine, or that the circumstances should render the execution immune from critique, or that there are no larger issues here regarding Band-Aid patriotism — that’s fine. But I disagree.

    So we’ll agree to disagree. Let’s move on.

    What does a bombing in Boston have to do with a flag-desecration “bit”? I don’t know that I understand the connection between the bombing and (misplaced) patriotism.

    “The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.” (Flag Code, Section 8d)

    No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. (flag code 8j)

    It depends on your perspective.

    We are inarticulate and inept when it comes to expressing sorrow. Maybe it’s because the horrible things we’re seeing are bigger and more evil than we can process. Maybe because secular societies lack the tools for community grieving. I don’t know. After Columbine, a Wall Street Journal columnist observed that our public mourning has been reduced to candlelight vigils and plush teddy bears, which seems pretty thin.

    It’s hard to see how displaying a jersey featuring the Boston area code articulates any sort of sorrow, solidarity or commiseration. Maybe it’s earnest, but it’s sort of stupid, too. Honestly, most of what we’re going to see in the coming days is going to be a mix of earnest stupidity, jingoistic chest pounding, and simple exhibitionism, layered with the searing, awful grief of innocent people who have actually suffered loss.

    So, So It Begins.

    I suppose there is a certain irony to the Minnesota Twins wearing a Washington Senators jersey given the remarks of Calvin Griffith in 1978.

    Griffith said that he moved the Senators to Minnesota because they had, in his words, “hard working white people there.”

    The Griffith quote

    “I’ll tell you why we came to Minnesota. It was when we found out you only had 15,000 blacks here. Black people don’t go to ballgames, but they’ll fill up a rassling ring and put up such a chant it’ll scare you to death. We came here because you’ve got good, hardworking white people here”

    Never seen that quote before, but it’s very odd considering the Grays were able to draw plenty of black people to their ballgames in his own stadium. Might of had something to do with the quality of play… maybe.

    Bill Veeck wrote in one of his books that Griffith began to look to move when he learned that what became RFK Stadium was going to be built in an African-American neighborhood.

    @DJ – I think that’s more Veeck taking a shot at a fellow owner.

    Griffith Stadium was located just off of U Street in DC, what used to be know as “The Black Broadway,” and steps from Howard University. The larger neighborhood, Shaw, has been an African American neighborhood since the Civil War.

    Griffth will be smiling when he sees Nationals Park is filled with high-earning white people!

    “Griffth will be smiling when he sees Nationals Park is filled with high-earning white people!” – ‘terriblehuman’

    So Cal’s only wearing a grin (from wherever he is at the moment) when the Phillies come to DC?

    You’re deluding yourself if you think that racial demographics are not taken into account in product marketing, and always has been. One thing that was clear about Griffith: he cared mainly about one color, and that’s the green of cash. It’s not surprising, or scandalous, that he would move his team to achieve the higher earning, and therefore more frequent attending, consumer. We’ve already taken as gospel in this forum today that having a flag pattern on a uniform (regardless of intent) is “desecration”, and advocated for separate commemmerations of every initial minority player on every single ball club—the PC gods have been paid sufficient homage.

    the PC gods have been paid sufficient homage

    Not true! We have yet to mention women and the gays, nor have we pointed out that the United States does not have an official language! You make the PC gods very angry!

    Calvin Griffith was the last of the Real Baseball Men, a guy who had no business but his ball club, a lifer.

    He was also, by all accounts, a bigot, a skinflint, and a reliably miserable fellow.

    I think Veeck — also a baseball lifer, but the opposite of Griffith in every other way — might have been taking a shot at Griffith, but he had a point, too.

    the patriotism isn’t misplaced, it’s a direct connection to the bombing, which took place on marathon monday aka patriots’ day which is a mass state holiday.

    No I think the patriotism is misplaced. yes, it was a holiday here, but the flag waving people are assuming it’s some sort of anti-american attack, which we don’t know, it could just as well be one some right-wing person acting in isolation. We shouldn’t automatically bust out the flags in reaction to every violent act, this should be about the people affected, nothing more, nothing less.

    For better or worse, when something tragic happens, the response now is “USA! USA!”.

    I’ll be the guy who says it: It’s for worse. When the nation (and organizations such as teams) replies to tragedy with a rote display of the flag and other blind patriotism, it becomes not a display of solidarity or compassion but one of reflex.

    I think this is especially true of wearing flag-based uniforms. Think about what the teams are doing (not their intentions, which may run from “we want to show support” to “we want to avoid criticism”), they are showing the flag off. The more traditional response is to lower the flag to half-staff in a display of somber respect. Most of these flag-based costumes are certainly not somber, as befits a memorial gesture.

    The larger issue is that these displays are a way for people to act like they show solidarity and compassion without actually having to do anything that requires effort. A simple armband and a moment of silence are more than appropriate. However, the general public might not quite understand what you were doing, and so teams go over the top, with a display.

    To answer the presumptive question of “what would you have them do”: I can think of many things that are probably better, but not as easy to execute: organize a blood drive at the game, collect donations for the inevitable funds that are created after a tragedy, sign a giant “thinking of you” card for Boston etc. However, these actions require two things that there is a dearth of in corporate America today: creativity and thought.

    Okay, so re: the #42 infographic…I get that 42 wasn’t actually retired by the Dodgers at the time, but who on earth let ANYBODY wear 42 after Jackie? Let alone Ray Lamb.

    i think the skate inscription is actually keith aucoin of the islanders. either that or a weird keith/keith coincidence, because aucoin did the same thing. it was shown last night on the MSG+ broadcast and on the islanders instagram account.

    In other equipment messages, Cory Schneider, goaltender for the Canucks, was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He had “Pray For Boston” written on his stick tape last night at the top of his stick.

    Hard to tell from this photo if the “NY” is on the skyline logo for the Mets 1993 throwback home uniform worn last night in Col. as it should be.


    I had noticed the uniforms seemed to use what I like to call the more proper Mets skyline logo patch, where “Mets” is arranged straight and neatly kerned (everything just seems to be in nicer proportion to one another)–wasn’t there a Uni Watch documenting the differences between patches and the fact that both were being used on various Mets jerseys?

    You are referring to the Wilpon script, where the M seems to fall down…the patch they wore last night corrected that, but of course, another problem now exists. The Mets is too far left of where it is meant to be, throwing off the whole balance of the logo.

    I didn’t see the “NY” originally until I saw the link posted by Brad. Good attention to detail!

    Was unsuccessfully trying to spot that on the broadcast last night.

    Along with the “modern” squatchee, all the caps had black underbrims and the MLB logo on the back. The uniforms did not have the ubiquitous batman though.

    In summary: they paid attention to detail when it came to the jerseys, but decided to use the modern caps.

    Wag of the finger to the Rockies, who in their early makeup game with the Mets, received the ignominious fame of being the only team this year to celebrate Jackie Robinson by wearing a softball top.


    I believe they wear purple on Mondays specifically and that first game was a makeup of a Monday game. Guess they wanted to keep with their protocol?

    Correct, the Rockies have done their “Purple Monday” for a couple of seasons now, where they wear the purple jerseys every Monday and normally have purple-themed promotions to go along with it. Since April 15 fell on a Monday this year, obviously they chose to just use the “42” on the purple jerseys. You can argue whether or not you like them honoring Jackie Robinson by wearing the purple jersey in the first place, but had the 15th not been on a Monday, this wouldn’t have been an issue.

    Also, since the game wasn’t played until Tuesday, I’m sure it would have been more of a pain to use non-purple jerseys that hadn’t already been all numbered “42”. Heck, they had a difficult enough time getting the snow removed to play that game as it was.

    In other shallow ways to show support, update your gay marraiage equality avatar with the Boston strong avatar link

    Look, it’s nice that people demonstrate solidarity when bad stuff happens. And for once, as an MA native, it’s nice to hear people reference Boston without making some sort of joke. But whenever stuff like this happens, it feels like these avatars, patches, etc just feel hollow, like it’s the least and easiest thing one can do without actually doing anything. And maybe it’s just the only way people can think of letting the affected know they care. I dunno, I’m conflicted.

    I think with the red equality avatars, I thought it was effective because of how quick and widespread it was, and there was great value in the display of support for something that didn’t have widespread support until recently. I think the gesture matters (especially since marriage equality doesn’t take blood donations or emergency supplies).

    But I agree with your point in general – there’s nothing wrong with shallow show of support, but you *could* do a lot more. And I wish baseball did more subtle, somber displays of support while concentrating their effort into helping relief organizations.

    ha, i like it. terriblehuman’s point on the equality avatar is a good one, but I’d counter and say maybe a letter writing campaign would be even more effective. you know, good ol’ fashioned civic engagement. I’m not trying to claim to be the most engaged person out there, the social scientist in me just can’t help but observe these social phenomena

    dan kennedy’s vikes logo rocks…minnesota would be wise to pick that up…very marketable…nice job, dan…

    I love that in 2013 putting a stripe on a sports uniform is a serious technological challenge for Adidas. Next stop: Mars!

    I have to agree. I find it unfathomable that a uni manufacturer cannot figure out how to get a wraparound stripe onto a uniform.

    It’s more than that. It’s a matter of figuring out a way that works for the factory that makes the garments, that is cost effective, that is durable, that doesn’t inhibit the functionality of the garment, etc. Lots of engineering goes into the way these things are constructed, and it’d be tough to economically justify blowing it up for one team, especially when the garment is probably scheduled to be redesigned in the near future anyway. More than likely, you’re just looking for a temporary solution at this point.

    Not saying it’s right, but that’s how it is.

    That second to last United Airlines uni – designed by Jean Louis, hat by Mae Hanauer – reminds me of the archive photo that ran here ages ago showing a United flight attendant in 1970 wearing a Milwaukee Brewers uni that was never actually worn in a regular season game:


    Chance, I have to say I really enjoy reading your blogs also. They are full of fun info. I’ve spent more time on Green and Gold, but the Borchert Field one is a lot of fun too!

    re: Qantas uniform

    1. I feel like legacy airlines in the U.S. have stopped trying on all levels, but it really shows in the branding and flight crew uniforms. The new Qantas uniform is a nice splash of color, but still looks functional – a nice contrast to the standard Aramark uniforms we see over here.

    2. But I’m not digging the Dragnet-style hat and trench combo.

    3. The photo at the bottom with past Qantas uniform designs – I’m guessing the orange one is from the late 60’s/early 70’s, but it’s really, really short. That must’ve been awkward to work in.

    Ole Miss going to Russell after years with Nike and MLB “upset” with Crawford for wearing mis-matched cleats is ridiculous. Yeah it may look dumb, but he was just trying to show support for JRD. It really wasn’t that big of a deal in the first place. By them doing that, just takes away from what he was trying to do in the first place.

    Southern Miss’s new uniforms are out, and well, woof. Also, the basketball team will be getting throwbacks for the ’87 NIT Championship team, also included in the photo gallery.

    Dear god, those are terrible. Nearly worse than Georgia Tech’s from last season (Which I didn’t think was possible).

    What do all the teams do with the ’42’ jerseys after they are used for this one day? Store them until next year? Auction them?

    Good question. Looks like each time is auctioning a signed 42 jersey, but not game worn. Who wants to chip in and get the Rockies jersey for our dear leader?


    Last year, the Astros had several available at the end of year equipment sale. Not sure if the JRR jerseys are always available, but it was an option.

    Despite my dislike for the for sand-and-brick color combo, Jose Lima was my favorite player growing up, and I couldn’t turn down picking up an authentic with that sweet, sweet chain stitching.

    With cold weather taking place in a lot of mlb games lately a lot of players have been wearing ski masks. I’ve never seen that until this year

    Excuse my ignorance, but what is the significance of 617? The amount of first responders? I can’t figure out for the life of me what the number means.

    Off the top of my head, wasn’t Larry Doby also the second black manager in the majors behind another Mr Robinson (Frank)?

    Yes, Simon, he was. Thanks (again) to Bill Veeck.

    Unfortunately, Doby was hired to manage a very bad White Sox team, got fired early and never for another shot. Veeck had intended to hire Doby down the line when the team was a little better, but Veeck’s time in Chicago was running out and he feared that he’d never have another chance to make Doby a manager.

    Again, I think Veeck is remembered too much for his stunts and not enough for either his excellent work putting teams together and running them or for his ongoing push to provide opportunity for all players (he was also the only owner to testify [i]against[/i] the reserve clause in Curt Flood’s lawsuit).

    Great home movie footage of tbe Dodgers, including Jackie Robinson.
    Rockies uni’s are not throwbacks, they are their inaugs…!

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