By Phil Hecken
Last summer, when I took over for Paul during his 2012 hiatus, I ran a post featuring fantastic baseball photography from a (seemingly now-defunct, since it hasn’t been updated since 2009) blog called “Steve’s Baseball Photography Pages (A pictoral history of baseball in the 1960s and 70s)” — If you missed the first installment, check here, which explains the deal.
Let’s take one more look at the gems found in those pages and blog posts:
• One of the smaller points we argue over is whether the Cardinals should wear red caps or blue caps with their roadies. For the older generation, who grew up with blue (or blue caps with red brims), they prefer the blue set up. For those middle-aged folks like myself, here’s why we prefer red. How gorgeous is that? And look at the texture of those wool jerseys (plus the chain stitching)!
• While I’d probably hate this look today, I loved the black bumblebee Pirates uniforms of the 70’s.
• There are a couple of fantastic shots of the 1968 Athletics when they wore the gold batting helmets.
• I’m pretty sure (like, 100%) the Mets never wore white shoes (except during All Star Games). Likewise, I’m pretty sure this guy (even Steve doesn’t know who he is) never played in an All Star Game. So what gives?
• We’ve seen lots of photos of the Seattle Pilots with their “ensign” sleeve striping and scrambled eggs caps, but here’s a couple shots without either. This had to be a spring training shot in ’69, right?
• I love how teams who didn’t wear sleeved jerseys had to find space for the Jerry Dior 100th Anniversary of baseball batch in 1969!
• Hank Aaron wore some beautiful uniforms during his career. He also wore some stinkers. Depending on your viewpoint, this could fall into either category. Personally, I loved it. Best. Brewers. Roadie. Ever.
• Dave Kingman struck out in a LOT of games…and a lot of different uniforms.
• The man who many deem responsible for ushering in the “low pants” look was wearing them pretty low with the Angels.
• We all remember the Pirates and their bumblebee uniforms, which were always worn with the “stovepipe” cap. But many of us forget they actually introduced that look in 1976, before they went full-bee.
• Lots to love here: Texture, beautiful sleeves, 1969 patch, and the classic uni number inside the “C” patch on the helmet.
• Fantastic shot of the 1970 All Star Game here. Interestingly Boog Powell is making the catch and Gil Hodges is in the dugout — the two teams who met up in the 1969 World Series (Mets & Orioles).
• I’m not a fan of softball jerseys (duh), but if teams would pair them with white shoes and colored sanis, I might change my tune slightly.
• And hey, who’s that guy on the bump? None other than UW favorite Jerry Reuss!
• Say “Hello” to Mr. Cub.
• I’m not really a huge fan of crowns and brims in different colors. I do, however, think one or two teams should wear road gray caps. Here’s why that look would work, even today.
• How great would this have been in color?
• Tell me again — why don’t the Nats throw back to this? Oh, right, they never were the Expos.
• I loved Oscar Gamble’s afro. Always wondered how he got it under his caps/helmets. Don’t think I’ve ever seen him in a trucker cap though.
• Sorry Mets fans. It’s all part of the public record.
• And we’ll end with this. One of the most most beautiful Phillies unis ever.
And there you have it — just a couple dozen more gems from Steve’s baseball pages. Hope you enjoyed — I know I can spend hours on that site.
First of all, I cannot begin to express my deep and sincere appreciation for all the wonderful thoughts posted on Uni Watch (as well as many personal e-mails and tweets) in regard to the passing of my son, my buddy, my best friend Bizkit, pictured to the right.
I’d like to especially thank Paul for his writeup, but every single one of you who wrote (and believe me, I read every single comment, usually with tears welling up in my eyes, or flowing down my face) touched me deeply, and words alone cannot express how truly moved I was. Uni Watch is, first and foremost, a uniform website, but it’s also a family — and you all are helping me through a very tough time. As Paul is fond of saying, “You’re all aces.”
Hopefully without boring you — a quick story on Bizkit. I got him in 2000 with my then-wife; as a childless couple, Bizkit quickly became our son and our world. He had a great couple years in our house, and we even built our “Bizkit fence” so he could romp in the backyard without our having to worry he’d run away. When we split and divorced in 2003-04, I fought for him and won him. We ended up selling the house.
I got a condo which accepted dogs, and he lived with me for almost two years, but he wasn’t happy there (being cooped up 8 hours a day will do that), so I begrudgingly “gave” him to my parents, who lived only two towns over, so I could easily visit him daily. They, of course, fell in love with him and quickly they too constructed a “Bizkit fence” in their back yard. My dad was especially fond of “the little guy.”
Fast forward many years and eventually my dad passed on and Bizkit began to encounter several health issues (diabetes, liver problems, etc.) which began to diminish his quality of life. My mom had problems caring for him, so he then went to live with my Aunt (who lives in that same town, three doors down and across the street from my Mom), and she too fell in love with him. That was great for me, since I could see him just as often, but Bizkit clearly missed living in what had become his home (mom’s house).
The diabetes (and subsequent insulin shots, which I gave to him twice daily, without fail, for more than two years) eventually led to other complications, including his being blind in one eye and very poor vision in another. He suffered two strokes. As Paul described on Tuesday, I thought several times the end was near, but every single time, he pulled out of it. He was a fighter like I’d never seen.
Until this past Sunday. Though in declining health, he still wanted his Sunday morning walk, which I took him on, but he was weaker, more wobbly, and even less energetic than ever. Still, he walked, but he did something very odd — instead of walking around the block, as he always did, he insisted on crossing the street. Of course, I let him go wherever he wanted, but this, I thought was odd. He ended up struggling to my mom’s house, and somehow made it to the backyard with the Bizkit fence. He didn’t want to leave. Eventually, I just ended up carrying him back to my Aunt’s.
His condition continued to deteriorate Sunday, and by Sunday night when I went to give him his insulin shot he was clearly in distress. He’d come through stuff like this before, so I thought, hoped, prayed he’d pull through. By Monday, it was clear it was his time (his organs were beginning to shut down and he’d lost control of some bodily functions). I took him to the vet who agreed, but understood if I didn’t want *then* to be the end, even though she agreed he was in pain.
It was probably the hardest decision I ever had to make, and even now I don’t know if I made the right one. But I couldn’t stand to see him suffer any more. I hope I made the right call. At least I know he’s in a better place now.
He’ll be cremated and buried in my mom’s backyard, by the Bizkit fence.
Above, I mentioned how great the entire Uni Watch family has been, and how supportive so many of you have been. But two readers, in particular, and in true Uni Watch fashion, went out of their way to create “memorial patches.” Thanks to Kyle Beaudoin, who created the “Bizkit” patch below (on left) and Jason Bernard, who made and placed on his own dog “Fudge” the “BH” patch (on right). You guys (all UW readers) are
nuts the absolute best. Thanks again for all the love and support. I really needed it. I’m sure Bizkit thanks you for it too, as he plays by the Bizkit fence in doggie heaven.
NCAAFB Uniform News & Updates
This will be a semi-recurring column on Uni Watch and will appear whenever there is any news or updates on the College Football uniform front.
Wednesday was ANOTHER huge day for college uniform news, with several schools releasing more uniforms. Here’s a rundown (for any image, click to enlarge):
• Miami University (Ohio):
OMG. Miami (of Ohio) has intro'ed new unis. Holy Moly. Helmet & Shoulders: pic.twitter.com/VgnEETAioy
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) July 24, 2013
And that’s just the helmet and shoulders. You can see the giant “MIAMI” splayed across both sides of the shoulders and the helmet is, well, interesting:
The numbers also have a feather pattern on them — seems like patterns on the numbers are about par for the NCAAFB course these days (didn’t the NCAA ban this sort of thing?). You can read all about these unis (plus there is lots more photos and a video of the unveiling here.)
• South Alabama:
— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) July 24, 2013
OK, now that’s not so bad. You can read more about these and see more pics here.
• Central Arkansas:
Central Arkansas has unveiled a new matte gray helmet (for now). You can see more pics and a video of the helmet here.
• NSU Demons:
— Chris Mycoskie (@mycoskie) July 24, 2013
• NC State Wolfpack:
No pictures, but there are rumors of upcoming “minor” tweaks and possible new colors/combos.
• Texas Longhorns:
Not sure if this is *new* or not, but here’s a short video of the slight changes to the Texas Longhorns’ unis for 2013 (released Tuesday):
• Fresno State:
Paul already covered the new unis yesterday, but here’s a video of the uni unveil:
• SUNY Buffalo:
Lost in the horridness and discussion of the uniforms yesterday, it seems that SUNY-Buffalo actually went with a pretty nice looking matte blue helmet:
Lost in the kerfuffle of how bad SUNY Buffalo's new unis are, they do have a new matte helmet, which is nice. pic.twitter.com/lVU7F5MCV3
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) July 24, 2013
You can read some spin about the unis here. I particularly like the quote, “The ‘New York’ section jumps off as the clear emphasis with the other words in smaller font.”
• Campbellsville University
Thanks to reader Josh Claywell, we learn “On the uniform front, Campbellsville University — an NAIA school near my hometown — has gotten new gray jerseys from Adidas. I guess gray really is the new black.” Josh also included a link to the gallery.
Wow, that probably could have been a lede, but it’ll just fit nicely into this section. If you have ANY new NCAAFB news, follow and tweet me at @PhilHecken (and you’ll get your tweet in lights on here). You can also e-mail me (Phil (dot) Hecken (at) Gmail (dot) com) or send/cc: Paul to the following address: NewCollegeUni (at) Gmail (dot) com. OK? OK!
Here’s the latest on the ‘Skins name and related issues:
• “Oneida Indian Nation Calls on Washington Redskins to Follow the Courageous Lead of Hall of Fame Players and Consider Dropping Redskins Mascot”
• “Local school board votes to remove ‘Redskins’ mascot”
• “Darrell Green actually doesn’t want to change Redskins name”
• “Only one right side to Redskins debate, and history will remember”
Uni Watch News Ticker (mostly compiled by Paul): The 49ers have added little “Heads Up” decals to their helmets, which is apparently an anti-concussion safety initiative (good spot, Brinke.) … If you go to this page and search on the word “uniform,” you’ll read a very interesting exchange with Texas Tech’s coach regarding uniform design (from Dave Wilson). … Check this out: Reggie Jackson wearing No. 20 for the Yankees. That’s from spring training, 1977 (from Adam Treiber). ”¦ New rugby kits for the Cardiff Blues (from Josh Jacobs). … Here’s a very fast video clip showing all of Virginia Tech’s uni combinations since joining the ACC (from Andrew Cosentino). … New logo for the Big 12. Interesting (intentional?) “arrows” contained within the “X”. … Not uni-related but amusing: Indie musician Sufjan Stevens has called out the indie band Savages for their lousy typography (from Britton Thomas). … Here’s the NHL’s logo for next season’s Heritage Classic (from Anthony Nuccio). … Here are the new American Athletic Conference patches for Temple. … The Astros wore hockey jerseys for their current road trip (thanks, Phil). … Here’s the winner of the North Melbourne Kangaroos’ jumper design fan vote (from Leo Strawn Jr.). … Love the centennial sleeve patch on this 1985 Arizona State baseball jersey (from Steve Valdez). … New kit for Celtic FC (from JK Chaney). … Check out some of these unis from the lesser known baseball playing countries. “Good to see the game growing internationally!” says Charlie Charnigo. … The big news last night was, sadly, the gruesome injury to Tim Hudson, but the Mets made the game even uglier by wearing orange “Los Mets” jerseys. … Bit of a screwup during last night’s Giants/Reds game. Tyler Nees noticed the batters boxes weren’t drawn parallel. I have MLB Extra Innings Free Preview so I checked it out. He was totally correct! Great spot, Tyler.
IMPORTANT FOR TICKER SUBMISSIONS!: For whatever reason, Flickr is going to be “down for scheduled maintenance” this evening from 7:00 pm to 1:00 am (Eastern time). So, if you have anything for the ticker that is an attachment (and needs to be hosted), PLEASE try to get it to me before 7:00 pm tonight. Anything that needs flickr’ing after then will have to be added to Monday’s ticker. Thanks!
There you have it Uni Watchers. I’ll be taking over for Paul until August 26th, so please bear with me for a day or two. I have LOTS of great guest entries lined up and I hope everything goes smoothly during Paul’s well-deserved blogcation. Everyone have a great Thursday and I’ll catch you guys tomorrow!
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“When I read Phil’s link about putting ads inside the cups, I thought that was an incredibly bizarre place to put them. Then I clicked the link and saw he meant drinking cups.”
–Tom Van de Kieft