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Beanie Babies

A little while back I ran an entry about a vintage uniform catalog that included a listing for beanies. That led reader Larry Bodnovich to point me toward a fantastic web project devoted to a phenomenon I hadn’t previously known about: Beanies of the Big 10.

The basic story is this: At many schools (not just including those in the Big 10), freshman students in the early 1900s — and sometimes earlier — were required to acknowledge their underclass status by wearing beanies, mainly as a way to identify potential hazing prospects. Or as a 1907 article in the Wisconsin student paper put it, the caps were not for “humiliating the first year men but to make it possible to identify them for the purpose of assisting them in every possible way.” Uh, right.

Sometimes the beanies — which were often called “pots” or “pods” — were in school colors. But frequently they were green, regardless of the school, to indicate the freshmen’s “greenness.” Toward the end of the school year, froshes would often mark their impending ascension to the sophomore ranks by gathering and burning their beanies (one unfortunate result of which is that few of the old beanies have survived). The whole thing had mostly died out by the late 1930s, presumably because upperclassmen found more aggressive ways of hazing freshmen.

Clicking through the Big 10 beanie site, I came across some interesting factoids. One example: The burning of the caps was suspended at several schools during World War I, when the caps were instead sent to war refugees in Belgium and elsewhere in Europe. And at Michigan State, freshmen were exempt from wearing the beanies on Sundays or if they were married. There’s plenty of additional good info in there — I encourage you to click around on the site.

This is all pretty new to me, because I attended SUNY-Binghamton, which doesn’t have a deep WASP-y heritage like the Big 10 schools. What about you folks — were you aware of this tradition? Did you see or experience anything like it while you attended college?

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Accursed color update: Of the 21 membership orders that came in on Purple Amnesty Day, my favorite was the order Travis McGuire, who asked for a card (shown at right) based on his old Portland Rockies batboy jersey, although I also liked Mark Graban’s Northwestern football jersey, Adam Garrettson’s Clemson helmet, and Dusty Kalis’s new Vikings jersey (the nesting numerals look nice on a card, right?). Dealing with all that purple has been a harrowing experience, but I got all my shots beforehand, so I should be good.

These and many other new designs are now available for your perusal in the membership card gallery. The printed and laminated versions of these new cards should mail out either on Saturday or next Tuesday. And if you want to sign up for your own card, you can do so in the usual place. But remember, no more purple until May 17, 2014.

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Candela update: The former World’s Fair pavilions colloquially and erroneously known as the Candela Structures, which I’ve been periodically researching and writing about for the past four and a half years (sometimes on Uni Watch, sometimes elsewhere), are about to get a nice showcase, because Kirsten and I have written an article about them for the Metropolitan section of this Sunday’s New York Times. The article will summarize everything we’ve learned about the structures since we first developed a crush on them in the fall of 2008, and will also tell the full story of the family that acquired the “missing” structure after the Fair.

We’re really happy with the way the article has turned out, and even happier that it will bring the structures’ story to a wider audience. I’ll post the link to the article next week.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: June 4 is shaping up as a big day for NHL uniforms. We already knew the Stars were unveiling their new unis on that date, and now it turns out the Hurricanes will also unveil that day. Carolina’s event will be at noon, with Dallas’s to follow in the evening. Although the new Dallas logo may have already leaked (thanks for that one, Phil). … Meanwhile, the Star’s AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars, just had an unveiling of their own (from eff Czuba). … You know what the word really needs? If you said, “G.I. Joe NFL gloves!,” then you have no idea what the world really needs, but you have a good sense of what the world is getting anyway. … Someone working on the broadcast of last night’s Royals game was either high, messing with us, or looking to get fired (thanks, Phil). ”¦ In my recent ESPN column about the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s baseball card collection, I mentioned that they’d soon be having an exhibit of cards from the dead-ball era. They’ve now created a web page for that exhibit — look here. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Excellent article about how the NCAA is more concerned with water bottle labels than the big picture. … Uniform designer Todd Radom has written an absolutely superb piece about the Expos’ logo. Highly recommended. … Speaking of Todd, he found an entertaining account of how Kareem wore his shorts backwards for a game in 1972. … Ubaldo Jimenez has always worn very low-cut stirrups, but lately they’re not quite as low-cut as before (from Ed Hahn). … There’s some chatter — only speculation, for now — about a Raptors rebranding. … New uniforms for the Alexandria Blue Anchors. … Purple tequila sunrise — with purple-striped stirrups! That’s Brownsburg High School in Indiana. “I’m hoping those unis are phased out by the time my son gets to high school,” says Jonathan Daniel. … Here’s a page showing the origins of the NFL team names (from Matt Dubroff). … David Firestone spotted a fake Jeff Gordon racing helmet, being presented as real, at the Museum of Science and Industry. … Southern Miss football fans are being invited to vote on the logo for the team’s gold helmets (thanks, Phil). … James Pallotta is President of the Italian soccer club A.S. Roma and a minority owner of the Celtics. So on a recent visit to the Vatican, he gave the Pope jerseys from both teams (from Brady Phelps). … Will Leitch wrote a pretty smart analysis of this week’s ESPN layoffs (although he’s wrong about the part at the end where he says the casualties were all on the sales and tech side — not true). … Who’s that in the Penguins uni? None other than Brandon Inge of the Pirates (from Jerry Wolper). ”¦ Ooooh, look at this sensational old NFL foot locker! It’s part of this Craigslist offering (great find by Jeff Wilk). ”¦ I like this SF Giants cycling cap (from Elliott Bueler). ”¦ Earlier this week I mentioned that the A’s were giving away a jersey with vertically arched NOB lettering. I was wondering if that was just an illustration, but it turns out it’s the real deal. Very odd (from Matt Gagnon). ”¦ I’m still calling it the UCF Arena (from Tom Van de Kieft). ”¦ A while back I posted this photo of Bills WR Andre Reed in a Dolphins T-shirt. “I finally saw Andre at the golf course today and was able to ask him about it,” says Drew McClintock. “He laughed when I showed it to him and said it was most likely at the Pro Bowl where, players wear other teams’ clothes, but could not remember 100%. He asked me to send it to him and was gonna put it on his Instagram for ‘throwback Thursday.'” ”¦ Three uni-notable aspects of this shot from a Fresno State/Air Force baseball game: (1) Color vs. color. (2) Air Force wearing camo. (3) Love those Northwestern-striped stirrups (from Holden Sprague). ”¦ The Orioles wore a lot of denim for their latest road trip (from Stephen Murphy). ”¦ We’ve documented Alexander Julian’s work as a basketball uni designer in recent days, but I didn’t realize until now that he also designed racesuits for Michael and Mario Andretti (from Tommy Turner). ”¦ Also from Tommy: Robert Griffin III, rehabbing from surgery, participated in some throwing drills yesterday in an Adidas shirt. ”¦ You know how Nike loves to make big, splashy announcements about its new uniforms? That hasn’t been the case, oddly enough, for the Nike’s new unis for the National Women’s Soccer League. ”¦ Washington Huskies softball pitcher Kaitlin Inglesby was hit in the face by a line drive in 2010, shattering 40 facial bones. So now she wears this mask (from Jim Wagner). ”¦ Why the hell does Sharks goalie Antti Niemi still have a jersey with the Reebok vector logo? (Screen shot by Mike Engle.) ”¦ “AS Roma have ‘updated their brand identity,’ which is to say they’re going to be using a lot of Trajan from now on,” says Bernd Wilms. “Also, the interlocking ASR that had been around, with interruptions, since the 1960s is now gone. Thanks, American owners!” ”¦ Oh baby, look at this awesome baseball jersey from a milk deliverymen’s team! Too bad about the divot taken out of the back shirttail, or else I’d be all over this one. ”¦ This is odd: a gray jersey with white felt lettering and numbering. Unusual design choice!

Holiday schedule: Phil’s on duty this weekend, as usual. The site will be open on Monday, although content will likely be light. Everyone have a great holiday weekend. If you’re traveling, travel safe; if you’re grilling, use charcoal. See you next week.

Comments (171)

    I really like the new Dallas logo. I think it will sit on a hockey jersey better, now that the ‘STARS’ word is gone. It has an original six or 60’s expansion team look, with a modern twist. 8/10 for me (misses the gold imho)

    Agree. Swap the silver/gray with gold and it would really be excellent. The Texas Stars’ jerseys are terrific. Better than these leaked jerseys for the parent club.

    Here’s what bothers me about this Stars logo.

    If it was not italicized, the strokes in the D would be vertical and the top bevel in the star would be too.

    But they are slanted on different angles. It really looks awkward.


    The stroke on the D is parallel to that side of the star. Having the stroke line up with the top bevel line while being slanted would make it look more off.

    Of course, they could just not use bevels…

    Nah, the beveling is kind of a Texas thing. Without the beveling, we might just think the star represents America or something. With the beveling, we know it’s Texas.

    Good question. Stars name is left over from Norman Green’s ownership. I imagine he didn’t want a region-specific name in case he had to move the franchise again.

    After 20+ years it might be time for an update, I like your suggestion.

    At the time, in Minnesota – or rather, in a Washington, DC office full of Minnesotans, which is how I spent that year – everyone assumed that they would become the Lone Stars. But Minnesotans had kind of been living in denial of the switch from North Stars to Stars in the first place.

    Problem is, I’m not sure they can really be the Lone Stars and keep green and black as dominant colors.

    As Arr notes, or rather alludes to, I’m about 99.2% positive the plan was to go from “North Stars” to “Lone Stars,” but somewhere in the move, it never happened. I think it was more than just an assumption, but (and I don’t have time to dig) I’ve never seen any plans for “LONE” to be added; perhaps this is a future UW project — did the North Stars ever have any printed or copyrighted material using Lone Stars.

    Here is an article about the Dallas Lone Stars name change:


    I’ll look later to see if I can find why “Lone Stars” didn’t go through.

    I do remember seeing something on one of the ESPN broadcasts about the revised division plan from late in the 1992-93 season, with Anaheim and Florida added as expansion teams, and the soon-to-move North Stars being listed as the Dallas Lone Stars.

    I still think Norm Green is an asshole after all these years, though. Howard Baldwin bailing early on to by the Penguins from the DeBartolo family didn’t help, either. And now my mind’s going down the rabbit hole of the history of North Stars franchise changes, involving the Seals/Barons, Sharks, Mel Swig, the Gund brothers, Clarence Campbell, John Ziegler, Harold Ballard, the 1992 strike, Tom Hicks, etc. etc. and ARRGH!

    Hah! Gold Star for JTH (but remember, it is Texas we’re talking about here, so grammatical rules don’t always apply).

    The plural of Lone Star would be the same as the plural of Maple Leaf – a collection of unique individuals. They aren’t Maple Leaves, which is a bunch of common, generic items. The same logic used to pluralism common thieves and distinct chiefs.

    “Also, the interlocking ASR that had been around, with interruptions, since the 1960s is now gone. Thanks, American owners!”

    Seems to me it’s an attempt to make it easier to market the team outside of Italy. While most people around the world don’t know what “ASR” means, they sure know what “Roma” means. Rather like how the Qatari owners have emphasized the “Paris” part of the new logo of Paris-Saint Germaine.

    “ASR” is the initials of the club’s official name, Associazione Sportiva Roma.

    As for “Thanks, American owners!” … dunno about anyone else, but I was about done with the Sensis’ constant whining about how broke they were. If an updated crest (which looks pretty good) is the price for financial stability, so be it.

    I know what ASR stands for. My point was that an ordinary person in St. Paul, Singapore, or Soweto would recognize “Roma” more readily.

    I can’t tell if “Thanks, American owners!” is sarcasm in the style of the “Thanks, Obama!” meme, considering Bernd points out that the interlocking ASR wasn’t in continual use and like you point out, the previous Italian owners had let the club fall into relative irrelevance.

    I know a lot of fans will hate the change, and the ASR monogram was an institution, but purely from aesthetic and communication standpoints, I think the change is a net positive.

    Changing Romulus and Remus to an illustration from an awkwardly pasted photograph is an upgrade for sure.

    There is lots of “knock-off” Roma merchandise available all over Rome. The crest is usually pretty close to the authentic crest, but usually has “ROMA” in a generic font in place of the ASR. Seems to me like the new crest is even easier to knock off in that it’s much more similar to the fake merchandise already out there. Not sure why they would make the change.

    I recall reading in The Penn Stater that beanies fell out of use there following WWII. Veterans had no interest in that tradition.

    Yeah, that takes me back to my pre-internet youth. Oh, the mammaries.

    Vets did have a big part in ending the beanies, but they lingered on for a while after WWII. My dad told me that when he arrived at college, as a Korean war vet on the G.I. bill, he was handed a beanie by an upperclassman. This gentleman told my dad he had to wear it. My dad replied, “Gee, thanks,” and promptly threw in the closest garbage can. The upperclassman looked shocked, so my dad said to him, “Look junior, I’m a vet, not a boy. I won’t wear your stupid hat. Neither will any of the vets around.” Nice!

    My dad told me similar stories: It was the Korea vets, not so much the WWII guys, who transformed campus life.

    I may be mistaken, but didn’t WWII vets only get their tuitions paid for (and those funds were paid directly to the institution, not the soldier) under the original GI BoR, while those returning from Korean War service received a monthly stipend which offset the cost of, among other things, on-campus living expenses which afforded them the ability to enjoy and also transform campus life?

    Around the 1:30 mark of this video, you can see a University of Massachusetts freshman (class of 1973, apparently) wearing a maroon beanie:

    UMass, behind the times? Never!

    Though our football teams still suck. :)

    Thanks, Conn.

    And here’s the best part: For nearly two years now we’ve been trying to get the NYC Parks Dept. (which owns the two structures in Queens) to get in touch with the upstate family that owns the third structure, because the Queens structures are badly in need of repair and the family’s patriarch probably knows more about maintaining these things than anyone alive. Until recently, the Parks Dept. didn’t show much interest in this, but now, finally, they’ve made contact with the family, and it looks like the wheels are turning for some repairs and restorations on the Queens structures. We’re reallyreallyreally happy about this!

    Well done, indeed.


    Did I ever share this link with you …



    It’s a Batman episode with footage of the ’64 Fair.

    Hey all. So it is cool that the Big 10 did this. I attended Baylor University and we actually still do the freshman beanie tradition. They’re called “Slime Caps” at BU, probably because upper classmen used to dump green slime on freshmen, and are still given out to every freshman. A twist is that they’re two-tone and have the grad year on the front. They get these the same night they get their Line Jerseys. Both traditions are awesome. Here is a pic.


    “….hit in the face by a line drive in 2010, shattering 40 facial bones.”


    There are only 22 bones in the entire human skull.

    Paul, As a freshman in 1972 at a small Ohio college, Heidelberg, we were issued beanies. There were in school colors, orange and black alternating panels with our graduation year on front. In my case, 76. All the frosh meet in the chapel the evening before classes started and received their beanie while the upperclassmen waited outside. We were told to wear our beanie and we needed to collect signatures of upperclassman. To get these we would be required to do silly tasks. These were things like push-ups, run up the fire escape and yell, sing a song, simple stuff. If an upperclassman ask you to, “Dink Frosh, Dink.” You removed your beanie, and bowed to the person.

    It was a big mass of people running around doing crazy stunts and having fun. It gave the freshmen and upperclassmen a chance to interact and break down some barriers. The beanies were not worn much past that opening night but hung in your room somewhere. My wife and I both still have ours I believe, it’s just putting your hands on it when you want it.

    I haven’t thought of those beanies or that night for sometime. Ahh, fun times and good memories. Thanks for bring the beanies up Paul.


    Jim Kubuske

    My alma mater, Baldwin Wallace, had beanies at least into the 60s. Long before I was there. They were school colors too.


    Heidelberg and BW are both in the OAC, maybe other schools in the conference did this too?

    John Carroll, also in the OAC, used to do it as well. Not sure when they stopped, but there is an old beanie with alternating blue and gold panels and “JC” stitched on the front in a case in the student center.

    I had a beanie at columbia in 1986…columbia blue with white felt numbers with the graduation year ironed onto the front. I still have it somewhere in storage

    Hey all you OAC alums! I went to Otterbein in the 80s and my parents went there in the 50s (and told me stories of them having to wear beanies as freshmen). My mom still has hers and I used to wear it like a ball cap when I was a kid. Perhaps a “Beanies of the OAC” is in order!

    Oops, meant to mention the Otterbein beanies were red (Cardinal) with a tan “O” in the center (rather than green).

    We’ll keep the OAC stories going. I attended Ohio Northern U starting in the fall of ’76. Black and Orange beanies. I still have mine. End of the quarter the Dean of Men attached one to the top of the flagpole outside the athletic facility. Did I mentioned the flagpole was greased? The freshmen had to take it down and deliver it to the Dean’s office. The sophs defended the pole. I vividly remember being part of the 200-300 males in thr fray as a freshman. No recollection of my sophomore involvement at all.

    The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology still issues beanies to all the frosh. They’re worn until M Day, when the frosh run a lap during the homecoming football game. The beanies are green with a yellow M, actually the school colors of rival Black Hills State; but some get decorated by the students –


    I forgot that we actually had a beanie song:

    I love my beanie hat,
    That’s where it’s really at.
    It makes me realize
    That I am a FROSH!
    Boom! Boom! Boom!

    Someday if I survive
    I’ll do that Senior Jive
    Yes sir, I love my beanie hat
    Yes ma’am, I love my beanie hat

    “… … Oh baby, look at this awesome baseball jersey from a milk deliverymen’s team! Too bad about the divot taken out of the back shirttail, or else I’d be all over this one. … ”

    Sorry to be talking so much. But c’mon, it’s the penultimate item in the Ticker.

    Paul, you must not pass on this amazing fabulous galaxy-class jersey. “MILK DRIVERS UNION 546”??!! You’re gonna let a little defect in the back stand between you and the Acquisition of the Century? I’m serious now: you bid on that baby and I’ll split the cost of your winning bid, ceiling of $250. I’ve fallen behind on my UW dues, so I owe you anyway. Get that Shirt!

    My alma mater (Wabash College) has a long history with the freshman pots. One (maybe) interesting note is that it made it’s way from a freshman hat to a hat of honor. Now it’s worn by one of our more prestigious and visible clubs (the Sphinx Club, link.jpg), while those trying to get into the club (Rhynies, link) wear old, beat up red pots.

    Paul, I’m not seeing a link for the Fresno State/Air Force baseball game.

    If any use of Trajan is ok, it’s with a club like AS Roma. I do like Trajan with KU’s branding, but it’s starting to become one of those typefaces like Papyrus and Comic Sans that is overused.

    KU alum here, and I was originally OK with KU’s use of Trajan for university branding, but I’ve never liked it with the athletic teams.

    Now that we’re 8 years in on this one, I see Trajan everywhere. Local businesses, casinos, billboards, boxes of stuff at Trader Joe’s. Sometimes I even annoy the wife when I say “KU font!”.

    I like it for basketball, I think the old font was a little too cartoonish (yes, it’s silly of me to say, considering we have a smiling cartoon bird for a logo). I do wish football would use the jayhawk for the helmet though; I like when they used it for the Mizzou game a few years back.

    I should apply the disclaimer that I did not grow up in KS and am only affiliated with KU as a grad student, so my opinion should carry less weight than a KU lifer! haha

    David Firestone, did the display mention anything about the helmet being “race worn” or “authentic?”

    IMO, if it did then the display is wrong/misleading. otherwise, that is a jeff gordon helmet… just like the steelers helmet i bought off of ebay this year is a steelers helmet… just like the bills helmet someone DIYed last year… just like the penguins jerseys people are wearing in the office today… representations of the authentics that the pros/team wear.

    not trying to be a troll at all, just curious as to what the display actually says (or doesn’t say). if they are trying to pass it off as race worn, then shame on them. keen eye and good research on your part either way!

    The way the display is set up is what makes it look “race-worn” The driver suit is labeled “Jeff Gordon’s Driver Suit C. 2002” Now we’ve established that it is a legit suit. The helmet in question is labeled “Jeff Gordon’s Helmet C. 2002.” link
    The way it is worded makes it look like they are trying to pass it off as his helmet, despite all evidence to the contrary

    paul, i know i’ve asked you this before, but what font did you use for the label on the candela structures pic? “1964 flushing bay 2009”

    Can’t remember — Kirsten would know. I just asked her. Will advise.

    In any case, it’s a pretty unremarkable font!

    This is probably old news, but I just found out HBO is developing Chard Harbach’s “The Art of Fielding” into a miniseries. How long until we do uni concepts for the Westish College baseball team?

    That’s currently buried in a big stack of “to read” books. Does the text give any guidance re school colors, uni elements, etc?

    I don’t remember if any colors were mentioned, but there’s a founding myth based on Herman Melville, and Westish athletes are known as the Harpooners.

    The second-best project on Kickstarter right now, behind Bethany Heck’s new Eephus League scorebook, is a card game based on Moby Dick:


    If you watch the game-play videos, it actually looks like a fantastic card game. But more to the point, the project has created some great art that would be a good starting point for thinking about the Harpooners’ identity.

    That DIY jersey one (link) is a thing of beauty. The others, I’m sure a UW contest would produce even better work. Phil, if your reading, weekend contest?

    I’m guessing that Nike hasn’t made a big deal out of the NWSL uniforms because they are all wearing the same basic kit. It would seem that each team is wearing the Nike Hertha shirt in either blue or red, and then have an alternate white. Chicago and Western NY are similar, but have a shirt with a vertical stripe rather than horizontal.


    The article eluded to the league coming together rather quickly, so I am guessing Nike didn’t have time to give them the full treatment. I would expect a uniform overhaul for next year.

    Oh, and while their at it, can someone please redesign the FC Kansas City crest?

    Yeah, the league seemed to pop out of nowhere so it makes sense there just wasn’t the time.

    Also, as the article points out, Nike doesn’t have a contract with NWSL, and Nike may be doing US Soccer a favor. Whatever the case, it’s a far cry from three years ago when Puma put on a runway show for WPS uniforms: link

    If the Raptors have a rebranding, the jerseys should say “Torontosaurus” on the front.

    I’m a relatively recent Univ of Michigan grad, so we didn’t have these. When I hear the woard “hazing”, I think of some really painful, mean-spirited things. I have a feeling that the rituals of a century ago were much more benign and probably fun.

    on that “origin of nfl team names” page [], i noticed the rams’ logo is one ive never seen before: link

    whats up with that?

    It’s the logo used from 1995 to 1999 (from when they moved to St. Louis to when they came out with their current unis): link

    huh. i did not know that! i guess the colors should have been a giveaway as to the period of that logo. thanks!

    for a terriblehuman, you arent a bad guy.

    It strikes me as odd that the National Pro Football HOF’s website doesn’t use current logos. Or, in the Chargers’ case, just an image of the helmet.

    Georgia Tech still disitributes these beanies in the form of “RAT Caps.” Instead of burning them, we all tend to keep them. There are rules about what to write on them, and when and how they are to be worn.



    Everyone I know from Tech still has their RAT Cap. Coming from such traditions it seems odd to me to hear of people burning them. I still have mine with all the football scores written on it. Looks similar to this:


    To expand on what JK said, and what is said in the wiki article, the band’s policy of having all freshman band members have to wear their caps properly on game days and all band events is refreshing. Besides it looks good to me when it is done right.


    Also, quick video explanation from HLN.


    I absolutely still have mine. I just graduated a few weeks ago and it is from 2009-10, the year we won the ACC Football Championship (yes, I am still saying we are the champs). Too bad the georgia score was still upside down! :P


    I would not be surprised to hear Brandon Inge get booed even more when the Pirates hit Comerica Park on Memorial Day.

    Granted, I’m one of the few around here who actually like the Pens – the outright hatred of the team as a whole in the Detroit area didn’t really start until the 2008 Finals. There are plenty who’ve never liked Crosby, though, and his missing the handshake line in 2008 only added fuel to the fire.

    Crosby didn’t actually miss the handshake line back in 2008, he was late, and that caused the uproar in today’s sports coverage. The endless coverage of superstars today ensures a small number of haters will always exist. Had the internet been around in the 70s and 80s, you better believe Orr and Gretzky would have had their share of critics and complainers.

    I don’t think Brandon Inge and the Pirates care about what other fans think, say, or do. Inge was released by Detroit, he owes them nothing. There have been a number of positive developments with the Pirates over the last 2.5 years, and the Bucs have held their own versus the Tigers in interleague play recently. Looking forward to the series.

    There are plenty of people who disparage Gretzky today, espeically if they are Penguins/Lemieux fans.


    On a sartorial (sailing version) side note – the Film Kon-Tiki (oscar nominee best foreign film 2013) is finally being released in a limited run in theaters in the US. In my youth I read Thor Heyerdahl’s book and saw the 1947 documentary (oscar winner). To me this was an amazing true real life adventure as opposed to the Disney versions – see critters being thrown off a cliff – but that is another story.

    The point I wanted to make was that if you are gonna travel 5,000 miles on a raft made out of balsa wood, it might as well look good. Sweet Logo on sail.


    Absolutely. I was a kid in the late 1970s and early 80s, and it seemed like there must have been some kind of Kon-Tiki revival or something, because circa 1979, I remember hearing a lot about it. I think seeing and then drawing the sail is what planted the seeds for my grown-up love of all things tiki.

    It’s just a shame that Heyerdahl’s hypothesis has been pretty well demolished. It was a fun idea! (And there almost certainly were a few South American seafarers who made it to Polynesia; it’s just that they weren’t the source of what we call Polynesian people or culture as Heyerdahl theorized.)

    Paul: Big Ten schools “WASP-y”? Not what comes to mind when I think of Wisconsin, but I guess if you leave the Anglo part out you’ve got most of those Germans covered (but not the Bavarians and Saarlanders).

    Wow, Paul. Great lede.

    I have in my hallway a period photo of my great-grandfather’s UW freshman football team in 1903. One of the boys (not my great-grandfather) is wearing a W beanie, for all the time I’ve spent looking at it I never knew this story.


    One more thing about the Expos logo.

    Back in the 80s I received paperwork and the saleswoman’s signature stared with an M – small loop, big loop, big loop, small loop. I recognized it right away. We talked it and, yes, she grew up in Quebec.

    The handwritten M in Quebec has a lot of curlicues. The bad thing is…I can’t prove it. I search online and cannot find one example. I drew a standard cursive that starts on top and goes down, then I drew the “elle” M with curlicues.

    I found some fonts online, but not the exact one. You can also see the cursive M in the Olympic logo.

    So, there’s one more element in the logo – the style of the M is French Canadian (but I cannot prove it!!!!!)


    Simon, that is the way many French people (and Francophone Canadiens from Quebec) write their upper-case Ms.

    I’m guessing they use the same penmanship books/charts in Quebec schools that they do in France, whose educational system dates all the way back to Napoleonic times.

    Anyone notice on the Honus Wagner card, both his jersey and the bottom spell PITTSBURGH as PITTSBURG? Wat up with dat? The jersey might just be a cropping thing, but the bottom spelling leaves off the H.


    Found this on Wikipedia:

    “The city’s name is commonly misspelled as Pittsburg due to the fact that innumerable cities and towns in America make use of the German -burg suffix, while very few make use of the Scottish -burgh suffix. This problem is compounded by the fact that from 1891 to 1911, the official spelling of the city’s name was temporarily changed to Pittsburg.

    In 1891 the United States Board on Geographic Names adopted thirteen general principles to be used in standardizing place names, one of which was that place names ending in -burgh should drop the final -h.[7] The Board compiled a report of place name “decisions”, also in 1891, in which the city’s name was rendered Pittsburg.[8][note 2]”

    Amazing that the card came out in the small window when the city was Pittsburg.

    Pittsburgh, named by General John Forbes in honor of Sir William Pitt, has officially ended in an ‘h’ since its founding in 1758 with the exception of the time period from 1890-1911. In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison established the t10-man U.S. Board on Geographic Names to help restore order to the naming of cities, towns, rivers, lakes, mountains and other places throughout the U.S. At the time, some states actually had as many as five different towns with the same name which, understandably, caused confusion.

    One of the first codes established by the new Board to help restore order to U.S. place names was that the final ‘h’ should be dropped from the names of all cities and towns ending in ‘burgh.’ The proud citizens of Pittsburgh, considering their town an obvious historical exception to this ruling, refused to give in to the Board’s ruling and mounted a campaign to keep the traditional spelling. Twenty years later, in 1911, the Board finally relented and restored the ‘h’ to Pittsburgh. To this day people remain confused.


    In 1891 the US Board on Geographic Names, formed just a year before, mandated that all towns ending with the Scottish-style “-burgh” suffix be truncated to “-burg”. Their basis for enforcing the change on the Pennsylvania city came from printed copies of the city charter which featured the H-less spelling.

    However, Pittsburgh, PA resisted. For one, the original charter had spelled it with the H, and the spelling in the printed copies had been a typo. While many agencies were forced to use the “Pittsburg” spelling (such as the Post Office), others refused to change (such as the University of Pittsburgh). Ultimately, pressure was put on the US Geographic Board to formally restore “Pittsburgh” in 1911.

    See, this is why I love this site. Within 20 minutes of the original question, you have three very informative responses.

    Which does tend to make one wonder about when Massachusetts towns like Foxborough and Marlborough are also spelled Foxboro and Marlboro.


    Right – the zeal to unify the “-burgh” didn’t extend to “-borough” apparently, as it’s “Malborough” in Massachusetts, but it’s “Upper Marlboro” in Maryland.

    Also, one of the more prominent landmarks in Brooklyn is the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower, which is found in the neighborhood of Williamsburg.

    It’s actually pretty obvious the “PITTSBURG” was drawn in if you look carefully at the placement of the “B”.

    Concordia College in Moorhead, MN still “makes” freshmen wear gold beanies with a maroon C on them during freshmen orientation. Here’s a link to a blog that discusses.


    Just Google Concordia Beanie for more info.

    An inconsistency on the new white Texas Stars jersey. In the photographs, the NOB is in green letters, but at the drawing at the bottom, NOB is in gold letters.

    Here’s an article about the beanie tradition at the University of Kansas. It talks about the history of freshman beanies and the refusal of WWII veterans to don them. Some cool old pictures too.

    Since when are Big 10 schools WASP-y? I think Paul is confusing the Big 10 with the Ivy League.

    Washington State, like many other colleges, used to have freshman beanies.


    The beanies were not burned at the end of the year, but instead thrown into “Lake Silver”, a small shallow swampy lake that was later filled in to build the fieldhouse and track on campus. My understand is that at the beginning of each year the freshman were asked to participate in a game of tug of war vs the sophomores at the lake, and if they won, they were not required to wear the beanies. However a well kept secret from the freshman was that the sophomore side of the rope was tied to a tree on their shore. As such, the freshman were always required to wear their beanies.

    (Disclaimer, this was long before I was born, I just happen to know quite a bit of history, and a beanie is on display at the alumni center with some of the history)

    The funny thing about Niemi’s old jersey is that yes, he has the George Gund memorial patch like everybody else. If that were actually his old jersey, it would have been from the 2010-11 season: at once his first year with San Jose and the last year of the vector. But the Sharks also had a XXth Anniversary patch that year, and I didn’t think to check for that.
    Bottom line, it was probably a piece of old stock out of the equipment room. It happens.

    Wasn’t there, Mike. The anniversary patch doesn’t appear on Niemi’s jersey last night. Good eyes, man!

    New helmet for Sebastian Vettel this weekend in Monaco with thermo-sensitive graphics, using the same technology as your co-worker’s Niagara Falls coffee mug.


    Don’t the Miami Marlins also have white lettering on their gray uniforms?
    That’s the reason I dislike those unis.

    The old beanies remind me of the caps that soccer players received every time they appeared for their national teams: link

    Now “caps” have come to be a shorthand for “international appearances”, but the Football Association apparently still hands them out, and here’s David Beckham receiving a golden cap for his 100th appearance for England:

    actual caps are still a big part of international rugby – you get one on your first appearance, and usually one in gold or silver on your 100th.

    here’s richie mccaw getting his 100th during RWC 2011: link

    here’s bull hayes with his RWC 2007 cap (and jerry flannery wondering what the hell bull’s been drinking…): link

    here’s victor matfield, receiving his 100th cap after the game: link

    it’s not just a commonwealth thing, either, as you can see from this picture of argentine legends contepomi and fernandez lobbe: link

    Whenever English football teams won cups, you often saw players going to the royal box at Wembley wearing scarves and beanies — and sometimes, top hats.

    There’s some really goofy hat action in Liverpool’s 1986 FA Cup celebration:

    Luis Garcia revived the silly hat tradition somewhat in 2005:

    You know, I’ve this beanie entry all written and in the can for about three weeks now. I kept putting off posting it because I thought people wouldn’t like it (plus sometimes there was breaking news, etc.). Too twee, not sports-y enough, etc. I knew I’d eventually run it anyway, but I didn’t think it’d get a very good reception.

    Turns out you folks like it a lot! Or at least that’s the impression I’m getting. Shows what I know. Glad you like!

    I, for one, come & come back for the non-sports related stuff just as much as the sports stuff.

    Keep it coming! (and thank you)


    My father had a beanie from both high school and college– ’48 and ’52, or around there. (Loyola HS and Loyola College in Baltimore). I knew that they were for freshmen, but never heard much more about them. I have not seen them in years, and hope that one of my siblings ended up with them.

    Not uni-related, but that 1972 Milwaukee Journal sports section in which the item on Kareem’s backwards shorts was found is full of fascinating tidbits.

    That same night, Minnesota’s Corky Taylor kneed Ohio State’s Luke Witte in the nuts. Earlier that day, the Bengals’ Ken Dyer got out of a Green Bay hospital, 4 months after breaking his neck while trying to tackle the Packers’ John Brockington. There’s a pro wrestling card and a picture of 5- and 6-year-olds boxing. All that, and Al McGuire talks about race relations on his Marquette basketball team, “the checkerboard situation” involving “the brothers.”


    And because somebody from the Uni Watch hockey wing should voice an opinion on the new Dallas Stars logo, totally meh. The NHL does not need another circular logo with the name around it. Maybe the whole package will look good, but this is the epitome of the EDGE system: making nobody look better (Boston’s awesome look is a coincidence), making everybody look a little goofy with the tail, and destroying Dallas. Bring back the Star template from the early 2000’s!

    Yep. I see nothing good about that new logo.

    in addition to the circular scheme you mentioned I see the fololowing cliches:

    – “edgy” font with cleats/notches
    – beveling
    – italicization
    – color scheme that features black and/or silver prominently

    It seems like someone just checked a bunch of boxes on a logo-generator webpage and clicked submit.

    You are right, JTH.

    Here’s an idea: Drop the black, drop the circle, drop the text, drop the beveling and put this:


    …on a conventional looking jersey (you know, shoulder yokes, sleeve stripes, hem stripes).

    It’s hard not to imagine that corporate people (whether we’re talking about Nike or Coke or churches who make very ostentatious, media-heavy displays of their charitable works) see natural disasters as a great way to grow their brand.

    I have an orange-and-black beanie for the Farnsworth Sabres of Farnsworth Junior High School in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

    My first year at New England College was 1968 and they gave us beanies but nobody wore them.

    My wife has a Houston Baptist University beanie, from her freshman semester at that august institution.

    On an unrelated note, does yesterday’s vote in Grapevine mean that the Uniwatch moratorium on discussing Boy Scout regalia will be lifted? The Scouts dwell in a weird, wild uniform world, one at least as interesting as, say, flight attendant uniforms.

    On another unrelated note, it’s sort of a shame that Arr Scott’s comments on intellectual property and cultural identity came so late in the yesterday’s postings. It’s very, very interesting reading, and most people probably missed it.

    Finally, City and Chelsea both wore black armbands, partly to support tornado victims, partly to remember the British serviceman who was murdered yesterday. It was simple, and classy, and eloquent.

    There’s never been a moratorium on BSA uni discussions here, just as there’s no moratorium on, say, Redskins uni discussions.

    When I first saw ( even now still) the Expos logo as a child, I thought it was ” e J b”. The “M” just doesn’t pop out. Maybe it’s just me.

    I always saw it as “elb” as a kid. ????

    Later on I saw the tri-colored “M”.

    Same here. I totally saw it as “elb” and wondered what the frell that was supposed to stand for, given the team name. As iconic as some might consider it, I think it was a rather terrible logo. Even now, knowing that it’s supposed to be an M, I really don’t see it.

    Same here. I stil see “elb”.

    For some reason, I had an Expos cap when I was like 6 or 7 years old and when my dad explained to me that it was a “stylized M” I was certain that he was just stupid and that elb was the Canadian spelling of Expos or something.

    I always thought elb stood for exposition le baseball (a half semester of French in middle school will do that to you)

    You know the worst thing about the inaccurate Cespedes replica jersey? THE FUCKING PEPSI AD. #NoUniAds

    Re: the rash of Tequila Sunrise uniforms (high-school teams in Nevada and Indiana cited here this week):

    Turns out that they are now available in the Rawlings Spring 2013 Catalog. If you have the patience for the PDF to load, it’s page 176:


    I don’t like perusing the membership card gallery as much with this new Flickr format, it was more straightforward the old way.

    Regarding college beanies, I know they were in use at least into the mid- 1940s. My Dad, now deceased, attended Brown University — thanks to the “GI Bill” — after returning from WWII. He graduated in 1949 and I remember asking him if he was ever forced to wear a beanie, after seeing college students wearing them in old black-and-white movies.

    He told me that he was asked to wear one after he enrolled but – as I recall him telling me – he, and the other GIs returning from the war told the upperclassmen who encouraged them to wear beanies to “Go to Hell.”

    He and his fellow returning GIs, who were — at the time — several years older than the other incoming freshman class (and older than most upperclassmen) were’nt about to put up with any hazing or humiliation from their fellow students after returning home from the war!

    You don’t think the author wrote that tongue-in-cheek? Obviously the references to a patriotic duty to attend mattress sales are, but while I agree with the sentiment, it doesn’t seem genuine.

    Hey! The big takeaway from today’s entry… Holden Sprague is a UniWatcher too?!?!?! I remember UniWashing his clothes back in the day!

    Eddie B.
    Equipment Manager for YOUR 2008 Fresno State Bulldogs

    ‘Tis true.

    And on the subject of that Fresno State ticker entry, is the batter link? It could It could just be my monitor, but it sure looks like it to me.

    Navy blue with red underarm inserts. Originally introduced as BP tops, but favored quickly by the athletes as an alternate option. Interesting to see those still in rotation, as the piping on the placket is very susceptible to fading.

    This Flickr stream of ephemera that is maintained by the Swem library at William and Mary has lots of examples of beanies. Pages three, four, and six of the stream include some fine examples of beanies that are actually referred to in the collection as “duc caps.” According to this page, “duc” is an abbreviation of “introductory,” as in introductory or freshman courses.

    While most of the W&M beanies are primarily in school colors of green and gold, there is a variety of styles (much like the Big 10 collection you highlighted): sailor-like, traditional beanie, short-brimmed, and pseudo military dress.

    Some of the duc caps have names, both males and females wore the caps (males wore caps with brims).

    Most of the duc cap photos don’t have dates, but this one is circa 1931 and was owned by a member of the class of ’35. This cap notes that it is circa 1942. Again, according to this post the tradition at William and Mary persisted into the 1970s. It was long gone by the time I was a student in the early-1990s.

    W&M was for much of it’s history a very southern WASPY school with many of the associated, requisite traditions, so it’s not surprising that the beanie tradition was widespread

    Also in the textile collection is the pair of 1948 baseball stirrups. Talk about texture! Also liked this baseball cap for a doll.

    Sorry, lost the links in the previous comment about William and Mary beanies…

    Referenced Flickr stream is here: link

    Reference page with information about the “duc caps”: link

    Sailor-style duc cap: link

    Traditional beanie: link

    Short-brimmed: link

    Pseudo military: link

    Bonus 1948 texture-rich stirrups: link

    According to the always-reliable Wikipedia:

    “Goober was distinctively attired for the show. He was generally dressed in a work shirt, breast pocket filled with pencils, pens, and tire gauges. His dark blue Dickies work pants were hoisted high and cinched with a wide belt, giving him an Empire waistline. Work boots and a customized fedora hat (similar to that of the comic character Jughead Jones) completed his episode-to-episode wardrobe.”

    Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Single A affiliate of LA Dodgers) just Tweeted out link.

    They’re, um, unique.

    Not saying it isn’t nicely done, but man is that Blue Anchors logo involved. Why do minor league teams feel the need to have such elaborate logos? There are so many elements – the ship, the Old English ‘B’, the word mark, the anchor. It’s at least four logos in one, which I’m not sure you really need (the site has the anchor by itself in one spot, which seems to make more sense.

    The Stars in contrast seems pretty simple. Not that I’m in love with that, either – something about the beveling isn’t sitting quite right and the green seems off. But other than the circle (pog) element, it’s nice and direct.

    Why do minor league teams feel the need to have such elaborate logos?

    I think you nailed it when you said it’s four logos in one. That’s four caps they can possibly make off of one logo, and additional jerseys, which obviously means the potential for increased merchandise sales. To be fair, a lot of minor league teams struggle with attendance and probably need any extra revenue they can get. But you’re definitely right – a lot of minor league logos and uniform sets are a complete mess.

    Other than a couple of alternate jerseys, I’m happy that my hometown team keeps it pretty simple: the link.

    Someone has mentioned that the Pirates have been wearing Penguins jerseys the last few days…here’s Andrew McCutchen in what I assume is a Evgeni Malkin jersey


    The beanies story is interesting for a history lesson. A while back Paul mentioned beanies and it was coincidental that around that same time I had just seen the Big Ten Beanies page.

    I enjoyed that and todays column.

    The Dallas Stars more or less adopting the Philadelphia Eagles colors – albeit it appears to be a lighter green hue. Anyone think that may be a risky choice in a football mad city?

    My Mom (St. Olaf ’67), Aunt (Pacific Lutheran ’70), and Father-in-Law (Concordia (Moorhead) ’72) all had freshman beanies. It obviously wasn’t a Lutheran college thing! It’s also no surprise that many of the college/university logos from that era featured mascots wearing beanies, sailor caps, etc.

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