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An Inside Look at Pinktober


Pinktober reached its inevitable apotheosis (or nadir) yesterday, as Oregon announced that it will be wearing pink helmets, socks, and gloves this weekend.

The Oregon announcement came one day after I received a very interesting note from a reader who’s a teacher and equipment manager for a high school on the eastern seaboard. He’s asked me not to reveal his name or his school, but he has some fascinating stories about Pinktober and has agreed to let me share them with you. Here we go.

My Pinktober Experiences

By Anonymous

I’ve been the equipment/uni guy at my school since 2004. The first request to wear pink came in 2011, after some of the senior players saw it on TV and showed up at practice with some pink accents: shoelaces, wristbands, chin straps. Knowing that I’m a stickler when it comes to our football uniform, the guys asked about wearing pink for our October games.

After checking with the head coach, we decided that we would choose one home game to wear pink accents. Wristbands were okay; wearing pink socks instead of our team socks was not. The senior leaders picked the game and we looked like shite! Some players chose to participate, others wanted no pink at all, some wore quite a bit, some kept it simple. As it turned out, we played in a monsoon and mudbath, and soon all the pink was covered anyway.

We kept the policy in 2012 but encountered more friction from team members, who wanted to wear pink for more than one game, cover themselves in pink, etc. I fought to keep the one-game protocol, and thankfully the coach agreed. The biggest challenge was that our opponents were now bathed in pink the entire month.

I decided that this season would be different. If the team was truly interested in supporting breast cancer awareness, then I had a solution. I purchased small pink ribbon decals for the back of our helmets (similar to the NFL decal, minus the NFL shield). Problem solved! Now there would be no need to wear any other pink accessories the entire month. I actually lobbied (unsuccessfully) to wear the decals from August through November to show our support the entire season and not just in October.

The players were excited about the decals but when they saw them they were not impressed. The message: Not flashy enough. I stood firm and stressed that we were about team, not individuals, and that we were supporting the cause with the decals. After taking quite a bit of parental shit/pressure, the head coach relented and once again we designated a specific week for our pink accessories. Here’s how they looked (click to enlarge):


As you can see, we have a traditional navy uniform with white/blue striped team socks, and a traditional double-sided numeral helmet. Once again we looked like crap with dribs and drabs of pink (our opponents at least wore gaudy pink socks across the board), which brings me to the bigger issue: the hypocrisy of profiteering off the breast cancer cause.

Most of the pink accessories worn by players is covered in corporate logos: Nike, Under Armor, Reebok. The players wear the logos almost as a badge of honor — you would think some of them had contractal obligations. Meanwhile, most of our players who participated have no interest in the cause other than to see who can look the coolest for fans and teammates. It is tragically pathetic. We have talked about volunteering, participating in a breast cancer 5K, raising money, or honoring cancer survivors, but nothing gets a nibble compared to wanted to show off and wear something pink. The desire to be an individual while showing off your Nike has trumped the concept of team.

And it’s not just the players. The parents care more about our refusal to let their sons wear as much pink as they want for the entire month than about our struggles to build team camaraderie and victories. I thought the pink ribbon decal supporting the cause would be enough. Not even close.


Fascinating stuff. It’s not exactly a news flash to say that I’m not completely in tune with today’s youth, but I’m nonetheless surprised that so many young athletes are embracing pink. For starters, I would have guessed that the whole “pink is effeminate” thing would be a dealbreaker (the fact that it isn’t is a sign of social progress, I suppose). Aside from that, though, there’s the larger issue of the pink gear looking like crap. Disappinting to hear that the kids don’t view it that way.

Meanwhile, reader Kevin Dorsey has another take on all this, along with a suggestion:

It seems to me that this pink overload pisses a lot of people off because it excludes many other cancers, diseases, disabilities, etc. That, along with Brandon Marshall’s absurd fine [due to the green shoes he wore for Mental Health Awareness Week], gave me an idea.

Here it is: Instead of October being just for breast cancer awareness for the NFL, they could designate October as Charity Month. Players, coaches, sideline staff, etc. could wear subtle accessories to represent charities they support. There would have to be some regulations as to which items could be customized, of course, but it could work. Marshall’s green shoes didn’t match his uniform, for example, but they weren’t a huge eyesore either.

As you know, Marshall matched the fine he got from the NFL and donated it to a mental health charity. Very classy move. So a buddy of mine suggested that the NFL could take the money they would’ve fined the player and donate it to the charity he supports instead.

Personally, I’d rather stick with the basic uniforms and not bring other causes onto the field of play. But I can see the value in Eric’s suggestion here — it would spotlight other worthy charities besides breast cancer groups, and it would put the players, instead of the league, in control of what they’re supporting. Thoughts?

Finally, just to bring everything full-circle, the most interesting aspect of the Oregon Pinktober uniform costume is that the socks are styled to look like boots — the latest example of Nike’s endless attempts to transform athletes into comic book superheroes. Pfeh.

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Baseball News: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: I knew Salty was a front-brimmer, but I didn’t know why. Kevin Zdancewicz says this was discussed during the ESPN radio broadcast of Game 2 of the ALCS: “Apparently, he started doing it when he was having trouble throwing the ball back to the pitcher. Wearing the brim forward gave him ‘tunnel vision’ on the pitcher, which allowed him to focus.” Fascinating! … Here’s a Spalding baseball uniform ad from 1896! (From BJ Lanier.) … Here’s a great 1927 panoramic shot of the Bustin’ Babes and Larupin’ Lous (big thanks to Bruce Menard). … Rick Edelman notes that the Chunichi Dragons look just like the Dodgers. … Curtis Peddle was watching Game 1 of the 1979 NLCS and noticed that Willie Stargell’s chest lettering was thinner and most widely spaced than everyone else’s. “I checked Bill Henderson’s game-worn jersey guide and it says there were mesh and solid fabric styles on this alternate black jersey,” says Curtis. “I’m thinking Stargell was wearing the solid fabric and the others were wearing the mesh.” … The commercials that run during playoff games have given me ample opportunity to ponder the great questions in life, such as: What is it about pickup truck advertising that brings out the douchebag in everyone? First there are those Ford ads with Denis Leary doing that snotty voiceover that makes me want to heave a cinder block through my TV, and then there’s the Chevy ad with the smug little jerk who tries to sound all superior as he says, “Chevy’s second to nobody in its class. And when I say nobody, I mean Ford and Ram.” This means the Chevy ad is literally saying that Chevy is worse than Ford and Ram. Nice going, nimrods. ”¦ As you know, the Tigers have two different “D” logos — one for their caps and one for their jerseys. The odd thing, at least to me, is that they’re using the cap logo on their dugout jackets. At least it makes for a more consistent look — everything matches — but it’s still odd to see that version of the “D” on someone’s chest. ”¦ These two shots were taken at Folsom State Prison in California. “There’s no date given, but the one on the right shows of a barnstorming team that came to the prison to play a game,” says Tyson Borm. ”¦ I’ve previously mentioned that the MLB umps have added a memorial patch for Wally Bell but hadn’t shown a photo until now. ”¦ Love the placket lettering on this early-1900s team portrait, although I’m not so crazy about the sleeve patches (nice find by Dane Pence). ”¦ Earlier this week I noted that Jose Veras of the Tigers had a full set of retail cap stickers on his underbrim. This led several readers to speculate that he must have lost his game cap and gotten a retail replacement from the pro shop, because game caps wouldn’t have all those retail stickers. Me, I wasn’t so sure about that, so I asked A’s equipment manager Steve Vucinich about it. He said all of Oakland’s postseason caps had those stickers too, so there you go.

NFL News: What if all NFL logo characters were fat? Pretty amusing stuff. ”¦ A reader who prefers to remain anonymous checks in with a Pinktober update: ” I recently ran into an old friend who happens to work for the NFL in community affairs and asked about why some games appear to be pink-free. She said the program has been scaled back this year. Basically, everything and everyone is pinked-up for each team’s first game in October. Beyond that, there is no mandate to continue with all the pink accessories, but individual players themselves can continue wearing pink if they choose.” ”¦ The Stupor Bowl hype has started here in NYC, at least judging by this helmet-clad truck that Alex Putelo spotted in Manhattan yesterday. ”¦ Chris Perrenot was watching last night’s Seahawks/Cards game and got this screen shot of Lemuel Jeanpierre’s NOB. The diagonal stroke on the N looks too thick, no? ”¦ How’d you like to have Manning and Luck on the same team? That was the case for the 1982 Oilers, who had Archie and Oliver — Peyton’s and Andrew’s fathers, respectively. Looks like Archie’s TV number got a bit mangled there (from Matt Barnett).

College Football News: Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly says the Irish’s Shamrock Series uniforms are for recruiting. Everyone parrots that same basic point, but if they’d bother to read this article, which is to my knowledge the only serious reporting that’s been done on the subject, they’d find that most players don’t rank helmets or uniforms very high on their list of factors influencing which school they choose. Never let facts get in the way of a good narrative, eh? … Check out the odd Tulane helmet in this shot from the 1982 Vandy/Tulane game. It was apparently this design. Anyone have better photos of this? (From Jerry Lawless.) … Here are this weekend’s uni combos for Maryland, Arizona, and Missouri. … Throwback helmets on tap this weekend for Fresno State (from Richard Paloma). … It had previously been reported that Arizona State would probably wear this, but it turns out they’re wearing this instead (from Marc Altieri). ”¦ Pinktober helmet this weekend for Western Michigan (from Chris Flinn). ”¦ A Purdue blogger thinks the team shouldn’t get to wear any special or alternate uniforms until they get their shit together on the field (from Jonathan Larson). ”¦ I think this may have come up before, but once more can’t hurt: Findlay University, a D2 school in Ohio, puts its players’ names on their helmet stripes. “Doesn’t look so bad until you see someone with a long name,” says Matt Warmuth, who caught one of Findlay’s games on TV.

Hockey News: Henrik Lundqvist may have new Stadium Series pads (from Matt Kaplowitz). … “I was in Pittsburgh on Saturday, shopping for souvenirs to bring home to my kids, and came across this ‘Pittsburg’ Penguins shirt,” says James Huening. “Pointing out the misspelling to the clerk at the store was good for a $3 discount!” … Marc-Louis Paprzyca’s plays on a beer league team whose jerseys are based on the Comedian from Watchmen. Nice, but too bad about the THOB. … Mike Lafferty notes that Brent Burns of the Sharks was violating the new anti-tuck rule last night. ”¦ Lavender-trimmed warm-up jerseys on tap tomorrow for the Blackhawks. Say this much for the NHL: They keep all the “worthy cause” gestures confined to pregame (thanks, Phil).

Soccer News: The Chicago Fire have changed the logo on their Facebook page to purple in support of LGBT youth and to take a stand against bullying (from Matt Sisul).

NBA News: Here’s a first: The Warriors have a Chinese New Year jersey in the works, and hope to get it approved in time for, you know, Chinese New Year (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam was wearing Larry Bird socks for the band’s show in Worcester, Mass., on Tuesday (from Mike Mongada). … Dwight Howard is upset that the Magic have assigned his old number to Tobias Harris. ”¦ Anyone else think it’s weird for a team to retire a number during a preseason game? That’s what the Nets did last night for Jason Kidd.

College Hoops News: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: New road uniforms for Colorado (from Matthew robins). ”¦ New road unis for Loyola, too (from Bob Stokas).

Grab Bag: Albert Burneko’s “Foodspin” column, which runs on Deadspin, is everything I wish my own food writing mini-career had become. He’s smart, funny, irreverent, smart, genuinely educational, and did I mention smart? I wish most of my writing could be half as good as his. I have no idea why his stuff runs on Deadspin, which is just another part of its appeal. His latest piece, about the signature foods of all 50 states, is an enjoyable romp that’s bound to piss off a lot of people and entertain even more people. Don’t miss. … Two items from Jeremy Brahm: New uniforms for the Japanese gymnastics and trampoline teams, and the Japanese women’s volleyball team will wear red shoes for the first time ever at the Grand Champions Cup next month in Japan. … Hooters apparently considered brown shorts for its waitresses’ uniforms before going with orange. Details here (from Mike Edgerley). … The Ohio High School Athletic Association has refused to endorse the Guardian Cap — that’s the new anti-concussion accessory similar to the old ProCap — because they think it may create a false sense of player security (from Tommy Turner). … Really interesting story about why Japanese cars use English-languages badges (thanks, Brinke). … “Auburn getting some love from Jamie McMurray at Talladega this week,” says David Firestone. ”¦ Remember the Hamilton Nolan piece about selling out that I linked to a few weeks ago? Maybe the band We Are Scientists read it, because this page on their site includes the following note: “[W]e’re going to be the official faces of Nike in 2014! Isn’t that something?? Haha, just kidding. They asked us and we said no.” Good for them (from Mark Richter). ”¦ Under Armour has created something really clever and genuinely innovative: a zipper you can zip with one hand. Very cool, although of course they had to douche it up with an embarrassingly over-the-top promo video (big thanks to MJ Kurs-Lasky). … New rugby uniforms for Wales (from George Chilvers). ”¦ Funniest Pinktober example of them all: I’ve periodically written about Millard North High School in Nebraska, whose helmets have a wraparound strip of white athletic tape. You can probably guess what they’re doing this month (big thanks to Joe Kramer). ”¦ Good story about the uniforms worn during the football scenes in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman movie (from Jordan Reagan).

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Badger State-bound By the time most of you read this, I’ll be on my way to my very favorite state, where I’ll be spending the weekend. The highlight will come on Saturday evening, when I’ll have the privilege of attending the opening reception for a major art show by two of my dearest friends and heroes, but I expect the entire weekend to be blast. Yours too, I hope. See you next week.

Comments (150)

    My only comment is that he asked not to reveal his name or his school and then showed pictures. It won’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out who this guy is. LoL. Good read though.

    Maybe the intro paragraph will be edited to add ‘former teacher and equipment manager’?

    I may be missing something here, but if you post school identifying pictures directly next to an anonymous submission, doesn’t that render the person not so anonymous? Kinda like writing your name on the outside of a ski mask…

    Eh, Cougars is almost as generic as Wildcats, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t at least a couple dozen teams across the country that look like that.

    Well, first clue (as vague as it may seem): no front plates…a few states don’t require front plates (this slightly narrows it down)…second clue: black track around the field…third: the opposing team colors…we can crack this nut…

    What killed me about NFL’s BoobTober is that Ticketmaster sent me PINK tickets for the game I’m going to in November. I guess since they were bought in October they were turned pink.

    This is a discussion I have lots as well. I feel like it’s a way to paint over the uglier cancers no one wants to talk about like debilitating brain cancer, which is one of the most awful things I’ve ever seen, or colon cancer, which is a menace but doesn’t lend itself to pink femininity and flashy displays (or crass mottos that young men can get defensive about).

    The local high school actually has pink as one of their colors, though it’s been muted over the years (as I understand it, it’s becoming more pink again, likely as public opinion has lightened up about the genderization of color). Specifically, the colors are old rose and black. I would be perfectly fine with seeing more pink in the world of athletics, tastefully applied and in proper shades, so long as its not some kind of “LOOK HOW MUCH WE SUPPORT BREASTS AND CANCERS ABOUT THEM.”

    The only issue I see with “Charity Month” is what happens if a player decides to show support for a controversial cause? It almost seems like to avoid controversy, the league would have to have a list of acceptable organizations, which then kind of defeats the purpose of leaving it open. Personally, I’d like to see the whole pink thing go away, not only for aesthetic reasons, but because of the commercialization and profiteering of it all.

    I am by no means a fan of Pinktober, but this guy comes off as a real stick in the mud. Helmet decals, that nobody will be able to see from the stands? Get real.

    And that is exactly the problem. If the point is being seen by every last fan in the stands, then the point is not authentic charitable support. Who cares if the fans can see it clearly? That’s not what charity is about.

    Culturally, how much of this is the result of the post-9/11 wars, in which we as a nation accepted the novel idea that shopping and putting yellow ribbon magnets on our cars was the sum total of patriotic engagement with what would, in the past, have been a pervasive national effort? So here are these kids, raised entirely in this new era of car-magnet patriotism, acting as though “fighting breast cancer” requires being seen to wear as much store bought pink as possible but zero personal involvement or charitable action.

    Hey, you can’t spell “slacktivism” without “activism”!

    I see Pinktober and the patches for everything as a close relative of grief tourism that happens whenever there’s a news event, and using said news events as platforms for expressing civic or national pride.

    I have always understood the pink to be about creating/raising awareness of breast cancer, breast cancer research, etc. In that context, yes, I think it might be a good idea for people to be able to see the shit.

    Whether it’s a good idea or not is an objectively verifiable question. First: Is there actually a lack of “awareness” about breast cancer? Second: Does raising “awareness” actually reduce the incidence or severity of breast cancer – that is, does it do any good?

    On the first question, polls consistently show that nearly 100% of surveyed adult women are already aware of breast cancer and nearly as many are specifically are aware of national pink-ribbon awareness campaigns. And we can safely assume that anyone who attends a high-school football game in October has already encountered pink-ribbon “awareness” campaigns from other sources, especially the NFL. Number of fans in the stands whose awareness can be raised by seeing these players wear pink: Zero.

    The latter question is more troubling. Polls have shown that even as pink-ribbon campaigns have increased awareness of breast cancer as a thing that exists, specific knowledge about how to detect it and what tests are appropriate at what age and at what frequency has declined in the last six years. Somehow, the pinking of American October has produced more awareness that breast cancer exists but less knowledge of what to do about it. That’s not winning.

    So color me unimpressed by claims that “awareness” is or should be the point, especially since the teacher quotes none of the players even claiming to care about raising awareness.

    But I guess one man’s pragmatic, conservative traditionalist is another man’s stick-in-the-mud.

    Whether or not you’re impressed is completely irrelevant. If the goal of the initiative is to raise awareness, it is at best foolish and at worst negligent to hide a small sticker in a low visibility area. In this instance, actively and intentionally undermining the initiative is not being a pragmatic, conservative traditionalist, it’s being a stick in the mud.

    But these are children, in school, and their coaches are their teachers. Shouldn’t there be, you know, education going on here? If so, then critical thinking and engaged citizenship matter, so the question of whether “awareness” is a worthwhile or sufficient goal should be primary.

    Is there any chance that these particular high-school players will in fact increase “awareness” of this disease? No. There’s no case to be made that they can or will do so. And does “awareness” actually benefit anyone, or improve prevention, detection, or treatment of this particular disease? The data strongly suggests not.

    If a bunch of children get together and tell the nearest adult that they really want to do something that doesn’t need doing and, if done, won’t help anything, is it the adult’s job to pat them on the back and say “good job” and give them a trophy for participation? Or is it maybe the adult’s job to push them to think harder and figure out what does need doing and how to do it, and encourage them in that direction?

    I guess our mileages may vary, but in my book, the job of a coach is to mold his players into better people, not to be their enabling yes-man best pal.

    Pink gear is basically like campaign yard signs.

    People who plant signs in their yards think they’re generating support. But the presence of signs is indication that support already exists. Likewise with pink crap.

    Plus, wearing pink crap is the basest form of low investment and high emotional satisfaction.

    Or how about this, the high school puts up a big pink banner on one side of the field where everyone can see it for all games in October that says “October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month”. Message delivered. No need for either team to wear any pink at all.

    The new college hoops unis are for the University of Colorado in Boulder, not Colorado State University.

    “… Made of good quality flannel in a variety of very desirable patterns. Well finished and a most excellent outfit for amateur clubs…”

    most players don’t rank helmets or uniforms very high on their list of factors influencing which school they choose.

    That’s true – it’s hard to imagine a player thinking, “Well, Nick Saban says he wants me, but Indiana has so many helmets!” But alternate helmets and uniforms are media-bait, social and otherwise. For programs like North Carolina and Indiana that don’t get a lot of national press, every Instagrammed and re-Tweeted photo counts, as do (non-social) media mentions.

    Plus, think about when you’re switching jobs – you’re not going to pick your employer based on the employee cafeteria or the office decor, but those are little things are part of the corporate culture and overall vibe that end up informing your decisions. I think the uniforms work the same way for players.

    So I don’t think Kelly and everyone else who cite “recruiting” as a reason for the flashy uniforms are off the mark.

    Not to be a spoilsport but pretty much every pro team and league in America did the purple logo for bullying awareness thing yesterday. It was “Awareness Day” or something like that. Deadspin had a whole post about how Braves fans had a negative reaction to the cause.

    Braves fans had a negative reaction to the cause.


    Is that really surprising?

    No. That makes the Deadspin story lazy. Aren’t you more surprised that so many people in many northern, “liberal” cities had the same exact reaction?

    But it’s click-bait to say, “Southerners are biased!”

    I guess Paul and I will have to disagree about this Albert Burneko guy if that article was as good as it gets from him. I usually enjoy pieces like that, as I’m a geographer and mapping regional/cultural peculiarities is always fun. But man, that got tiresome to read real fast. I have no problem with sprinkling some humor in your writing, but he just seemed to be trying way too hard in that one. Subtlety is always my preference.

    I thought the article was pretty funny, although it’s killing me he had Cincinnati Chili dead last. I love that stuff (shit)! I concede it looks gross, but it’s great stuff.

    I’ve always heard great things about it. Definitely surprising to find it last. I assumed he might just be from Michigan, hating on Ohio.

    It looks like the CBC page has been updated, because I’m looning at the logos featured, and I don’t see any that appear to be out of date – the only critique I have would be putting LA’s banner/shield logo on a purple background.

    I understand the kids wanting to take up a cause even if it just gives them a chance to look flashy. This is where it becomes the responsibility of the administration (coaches, athletic director, principal, etc.) to teach the kids about supporting a cause without trying to show out for the cause. As the coach for a small private school I have been inundated with information about uniforms and accessories that can be worn. I am strongly considering adopting something for next year, but with the condition that everything we make that night goes to a local charity. I loved the idea of also tying in a 5K event and having all the team members participate.
    To take things further, I feel that it would only be fair that if we support a woman’s cause such as breast cancer in October that we find a suitable cause for men. Let me encourage people to support Movember (the month formerly known as November) which is tied to prostate and testicular cancer. Supporters are encouraged to wear blue. The other tie in is mustaches (even the over done faddish looking ones). Something I’m sure high school basketball teams could get behind.

    “I doubt that the ones who can’t grow mustaches have to worry about testicular cancer.”

    -Ron Swanson

    Regarding the Nets retiring Kidd’s number in the preseason, the third paragraph clearly states the reason why…

    “I don’t know if anyone’s had their number retired and had to go to work,” Kidd said before the game. “I’m a rookie coach. So this game, [the ceremony] being [in the] preseason is something I wanted. I wanted to get this over with as quickly as possible and then get back to my team.

    I think Jason Kidd being suspended for the first two games of the regular season also had something to do with it.

    “The Chicago Fire have changed the logo on their Facebook page to purple in support of LGBT youth and to take a stand against bullying”

    It wasn’t just the Fire, there were quite a few teams that did this. Just judging from my twitter feed, the Red Sox, Bruins, SF Giants, and Springfield Falcons (AHL) were in on it as well.

    As for Dwight Howard…

    1. YOU’RE STILL PLAYING. Active players don’t get their numbers retired by their former teams, PERIOD.
    2. You basically flipped the bird to the organization and fanbase on your way out. There’s no way in hell they’re going to honor you unless you reconcile with them.
    3. YOU’RE STILL PLAYING so SHUT THE HELL UP and focus on what the Rockets – your current team – are doing!

    #2, my thoughts exactly.

    Of course if Dwight didn’t want anyone wearing his number, he could have stayed with the team and kept wearing it.

    Also, it’s not uncommon for a number to be removed from circulation before it’s retired, or even to be held in an unofficial retirement indefinitely. The Nets didn’t give out no. 5 again after Kidd left.

    Sometimes the number is put in storage for a period of time; the Magic waited more than 10 years to give out Shaq’s no. 32. So Howard is not out of line for being upset at the Magic for giving out his number so soon.

    I seem to remember the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies retiring Mike Ribeiro’s #9 while he was still a member of the team.

    What made the situation really strange was that this was Ribeiro’s last game with the Huskies as he’d been traded to the Quebec Remparts at the deadline and it just so happened that the Huskies were playing against the Remparts that night.

    I love a lot of things Japan produces. Great article about the car badges.

    If you go to the Toyota International website, they have a really cool way of showing the lineage of every car, and give the meaning of each car’s name (by clicking on it):


    If the kids want to wear pink so much, but have no interest in doing anything that would actually support the cause, why not just make them? You get to wear pink crap if you participate in a fundraising activity of some sort. Yes, your team would still end up looking like shite, but at least they’d look like shite for a better reason.

    But by them (their parents) buying pink gear, aren’t the supporting the cause financially anyway? I know the NFL’s numbers came out and were low, but does anyone know what proceeds Nike, UA, et al donate towards the cause?

    Maybe the school can donate a portion of their gate?

    After i tweeted that cbc article to paul and phil, the original poster it was actually 13 and not 11.

    Glad they fixed it.

    Speaking of charity month, the bbc sent out a style guide about poppy wearing procedure.

    Speaking of poppies, the Jaguars have adopted the Poppy Appeal as the official charity of their game at Wembley.

    the new superman-batman movie has a football scene in it: gotham city university vs metropolis state

    screenshots of the uniforms are floating around. metropolis state’s logo looks like miami ohio


    One thing not mentioned in the Pinkification of Oregon this weekend:

    Nike and Oregon are raising money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Kay Yow was a women’s hoops coach at N.C. State, who passed away in recent years. NCSU is an adidas school.

    Very interesting.

    It was very indirect, but in Paul’s ESPN piece about the explosion of college football helmets he shared a link to another ESPN piece about Oregon wearing pink helmets this coming weekend. In that other piece it mentions the support for Yow’s cancer fund.

    Someday anthropologists will study our society and marvel at how we dedicated an entire month to boobs.

    A whole month dedicated to the “awareness” of boobs. In a related story, I’m gonna go into work on Monday and tell my female coworkers that they should check themselves for cancer…because watching the NFL in October made me “aware” of the potential danger to their boobs.

    Always hear the same thing that flashy uni sets are for recruiting. What teams, other than Oregon, have flashy uniforms actually helped recruiting to the point those teams’ programs have drastically improved? I can’t think of any. The best players are still going to go to the best programs. That is how it always has been and that’s how it always will be. It is more about winning than anything else and the best players will go to the school they think gives them the best chance at winning games and championships.

    Uhhhhhh, yeah, Paul … That Burenko piece about signature state foods? Ignoring New Haven pizza and focusing the steamed cheeseburger as Connecticut’s signature food — when most people here have never even heard of the one steamed cheeseburger joint in the state — well, I’m wondering where his editor was to save him from the embarrassment. Sounds like a hip New Yorker sitting in a coffee shop spewing facile wiseass comments. No cred whatsoever. Maybe if he got off his ass and got on Metro-North and took it to the end of the New Haven line one day … Anyway, as a piece, it’s what the kids call an epic fail. But hey, it did succeed in generating page views …

    Pretty obviously “cred” was the LAST thing Burneko was aiming for in that piece. Or so I would’ve thought.

    Quoting from the very first graf:

    “Rigorously scientific (not), ardently researched (nope), and scrupulously fair (not even a little bit).”

    I enjoyed the article. Thanks for posting it in the grab bag!

    However, with that being said and taking that caveat to note, I’m still going to argue Pennsylvania is wrong. It’s not scrapple. It’s not cheesesteaks.

    It’s chocolate. After all, Hershey and M&M/Mars are 30 minutes apart from each other in Central PA, and they’re both huge. Who doesn’t like one of the following: M&Ms, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, a Milky Way, Kit Kat, Snickers or a regular Hershey Bar?

    I got a good laugh out of it, (leave it to Maine to turn lobster into a hot dog). And I doubt it was some hip NYer since Chicago pizza was 1st and NY pizza 17th or so.

    Yeah, it’s somewhat amusing, though.

    The pasty is more an Upper Peninsula thing, and Yoopers are pratically their own distinct culture from us “Trolls” down here in the Lower Peninsula. I can’t say much about the northern half of the LP, but it’s probably very rare to find a restaurant in the southern half of the state that actually serves pasties; such places seem to be almost nonexistent in the Detroit area (at least, I can’t recall ever finding one).

    If there’s a food item that’s more distinclty Michigan, or at least more LP, it’d be the Coney dog – which is basically just a variation of a chili dog that appropriated the Coney Island name.

    I do have to enjoy, though, that Ohio got dead last.

    I believe Albert is from Portland, so I doubt he’s either hip or a New Yorker, though he might very well be sitting in a coffee shop at this very moment.

    Oh no, being in DC disqualifies one from any sort of hipness. Don’t let the young folks on 14th & U fool you.

    Surprised that Burneko disqualified the cheesesteak from PA based on its regional limits to Philadelphia, but he applied the Cincinnati style chili to all of Ohio. Kind of a weird justification system. There are a few chili parlors in Columbus and Dayton, but it’s really a SW Ohio thing.

    For what it’s worth, I had my weekly Skyline chili yesterday and it was fantastic.

    Eh, if you’ve read Deadspin over time you knew in advance of reading the column that (1)”getting hit by a car” would finish next-to-last; yet (2) would still be adjudged superior to Ohio. They’re several of that site’s more enduring (some might even say endearing) conventions.

    The state food piece was interesting but it would be fun to see something like that broken up by region. The New York one in particular, I know a lot of people in WNY that hate NYC style pizza whereas they would probably consider the wing (the obvious choice) or a beef on weck sandwhich as their contribution.

    I’m on board with the article, just because of this inalienable truth: “blue crab–particularly the Chesapeake blue crab–is the best of all ingestibles.”

    However, this guy clearly has never had a half smoke from Ben’s Chili Bowl.

    I haven’t had the time to read in a while, have you done anything about MLB’s new jackets? What do you think of them?

    “I was in Pittsburgh on Saturday, shopping for souvenirs to bring home to my kids, and came across this ‘Pittsburg’ Peguins shirt,”

    A typo in an entry about a typo. Again. How ironic. Should be “Penguins”.

    While I’m no fan of Pinktober myself, the tone of this guy just smacks of power tripping geek butthurt that his Absolute Authority was successfully challenged. Be mad, sure, but insulting the players and questioning their team spirit… not a good call.

    As for Oregon, at least black goes well with pink and they didn’t pull a Wyoming.

    I don’t mean to single you out, but I feel like “butthurt” is basically the internet hoi polloi equivalent of “beloved”. I see the phrase more frequently on the internet now, and it’s unfortunate on several levels.

    “For starters, I would have guessed that the whole “pink is effeminate” thing would be a dealbreaker (the fact that it isn’t is a sign of social progress, I suppose).”

    I don’t know about the USA, but over here it’s almost become a badge of honour for certain types of men to wear pink. On any Friday or Saturday night, if you were to brave the pubs & clubs of my town you’d see a fine selection of local hardnuts wearing pink shirts, polos and t-shirts, from salmon to bright neon pink…

    You’re not kidding – check link.

    But pink is manly in the States too – I haven’t gone out on the town in a few years now, but pink shirts have been regular seen on both Wall Street bros and bridge & tunnel tough guys for the good part of the last decade.

    I have an older British colleague who wears a lot of pink. Since he sometimes appears in the media, I’ve tried to persuade him that just as “truck” is the American equivalent of the English “lorry,” so too is yellow the American equivalent of the English pink.

    I mean, sure, pink has come in and out of style as a “power color” for American men a couple of times since the early 1980s, and it’s on the upswing now. But pink has consistently been the primary accepted “loud” masculine color in Britain just about forever, yellow has filled that role in America for almost as long. At least, among colors pastel enough to be worn as a shirt.

    ” … Two items from Jeremy Brahm: New uniforms for the Japanese gymnastics and trampoline teams, and the Japanese women’s volleyball team will wear red shoes for the first time ever at the Grand Champions Cup next month in Japan. …”

    That little notice exemplifies why this site is so enduringly attractive (to odd people like me). Thanks, Jeremy; thanks, Paul.

    And the 1895 Spalding catalogue? Where else can you go to find such great stuff?

    I mentioned this in the comments a couple of days ago, but Dragons looking like the Dodgers is neither an accident nor intellectual property theft.

    They adopted the Dodgers look in 1987 because the manager was a fan, and he was able to get permission from the Dodgers because he was friends with Tommy Lasorda.

    They in the 00s, link. In 2012, they introduced a look that link.

    Since we’re on the topic of the Chunichi Dragons, what the hell kind of mascot link? Who in their right mind would look at that and think, “Oh, hey! link!” It’s particularly perplexing when you realize the team link for a significant chunk of its history.

    Pretty sure it’s a synonym for “walloping”, as in hit the ol’ Spalding with significant force, but I don’t know its origins.

    Have to find out now, though.

    One etymological possibility is that larrup comes from the Dutch larpen which means to thrash.

    Larrup can be used as a noun to mean a blow. As “I gave that ball a good larrup.”

    It can also be used as a verb for a beating either physically or competitively.

    Regionally, larruping has been used an adjective synonymous with exceedingly usually larrupin’ good. I found another reference where larruping was used with delicious.

    Does have a nice ring to it.

    Article about Fred Glass,the AD at Indiana, and his opinion on replacing Assembly Hall (NOT). link The most interesting part is near the end where he says, “A rebuilding project that would satisfy IU’s wants would cost around $300 million. And though that money could be earned through commercial naming rights, University policy does not allow corporate sponsors to name campus buildings. Yes, IU could pursue the private donor route, but Glass believes that is simply unreasonable due to such a high cost.” I love that there is a University policy that doesn’t allow commercial naming rights.

    Would love to see the NFL take the lead on the pink thing. Traditional white and black/team colors accessories with the nike/adidas/reebok/underarmour or whatever logo in pink. That way it isn’t as much of an eyesore for the traditionalist,and the players get to act like they remotely give a damn about a cause while still looking professional. Also what about putting a pink ribbon decal on the actual jersey above the heart similar to where the nike logo is on the college uniforms. I get that players want to be flashy, but at the end of the day that is their work uniform, and they are being paid to be professional.

    I find the “Pinktober Experiences” column to be overly dismissive of the players’ desire to be “flashy.” Yes, it smacks of selfishness to use pink accessories–meant to further a cause–in the interests of self-exposure. However, we know that an absurd percentage of high school and college football players–I believe the number hovers around 80 percent?–come from impoverished backgrounds. We know the Head Coach is often a stand in for absent parental figures.

    Perhaps the players’ desire to stand out should be, at least on some level, condoned. Football offers one of the only avenues for the socioeconomically depressed to achieve tangible success and receive praise, even if it only be on the High School level.

    While the sentiment, that the cause of cancer awareness should trump a need for individuality, is good, the language in this case comes off as overly harsh and preachy. Of course there needs to be a balance, but c’mon, lighten up… they’re just kids.

    I don’t know about football being the sport of choice for the ‘poor man’, but since the pink gear is not ‘uniform’ asross the team, it’s probably safe to say that they were obtained by the players on an individual basis(i.e: mom and/or dad “spent good money on that so it better get worn!” or something to that effect) which helps to explain why the parents were so engaged and vocal about the coach’s initial decision.
    However, there’s little excuse for his backing down to player and parent(s)’ wishes over such a trivial issue as appearance. He’s in charge of a football team, not a catering business. This raises the squad and the staff’s lack-of-leadership awareness…what color denotes that cause?
    Yes, “they’re just kids”, but kids benefit from being told No every one and a while, whether that comes from 1 parent, 2, or a surrogate. Besides, a player stands out more effectively through approach and performance…those can be rewarded and/or help one rise above a particular circumstance far better than flashy displays and trendy fashion choices.

    Is Findlay High Big Ben’s alma mater? I know he’s from there but not sure off the top of my head what school he went to. Might he have helped with the purchase of those unis?

    “Rick Edelman notes that the Chunichi Dragons link.”

    I don’t think those Chunichi Dragons uniforms are current. Their link may echo the Dodgers in some ways, but they’re certainly not identical.

    Sure, the link is almost identical link and the link on the front of the jersey are there. But the Dragons’ shade of blue is much more of a navy than it is Dodger Blue. The jerseys have piping along the shoulder seams. The numerals are in link similar to Times New Roman rather than the sans-serif, varsity block-stye font link. And obviously, the Dragons’ link don’t look much like the Dodgers’ link.

    Whoops! I missed terriblehuman’s comments about the Dragons above. He must have posted them while I was having fun with hyperlinking.

    IU may have a no naming pokicy, but they are sadly taking the name off Ernie Pyle hall when thr joutnalidm dept moves out.

    I’m not sure why you aspire to write like Albert Burnenko.

    It seems his shtick is to just say everything “sucks” and thenmakesidecommentswithoutspacesinitalics. Har har har! Sounds like something my ten-year-old nephew wrote.

    Come to think of it, is Albert a pre-teen? I’d have a lot more respect for him if he was.

    The guy is Drew Magary Lite. I like Deadspin for the most parts, but the Foodspin columns are insufferable.

    Ha! Drew Magary and Albert Burnenko are the reason I love Deadspin. Different strokes I guess. I love it.

    Oh, I love Magary. His columns are what brought me to Deadspin, actually. I just find Burnenko to be totally derivative and, quite simply, way worse at it. It’s like the second wave after Deadspin/KSK, which is never as funny as the first wave.

    Regarding the first item in College Football News today:

    “…to my knowledge the only serious reporting that’s been done on the subject.”

    A simple online search found quite a few articles that appear to be “serious reporting” on the subject from some reputable news organizations dating back a couple of years.

    Also, the uniforms ARE for recruiting, just like Kelly mentioned.

    It doesn’t matter that only a small percentage in one particular survey said it was the top factor in deciding on a school, or that a bigger number of recruits said it was further down on their list of reasons why to pick a program to continue their football careers. It’s still on their list.

    Impressionable recruits, many of whom have played football video games for years in which they have decided on a team’s virtual uniforms even before setting foot on a college campus, ARE most interested in seeing how the program handles, or ignores, these contemporary cosmetic components that they see coast-to-coast. Therefore, for a majority of programs it’s important to “play the part” and show recruits what they ENJOY, even if it’s not the number one deciding factor or further down the list.

    Sure, but I have a hard time believing aesthetics don’t play any part in making important decisions. If a company you’re considering working for had really tacky decor, or an ugly logo, or was full of people who dressed like crap (or alternatively, tried too hard to be fashionable), well, those aren’t deal killers, but they do say something about the company’s taste level or culture or attention to detail.

    And while those won’t be the reason you accept or decline an offer, they are things that should signal whether you’re going to be happy going to that office every morning.

    Obviously, the kids aren’t thinking deeply about this, but that aesthetics play a role in choosing a school is neither surprising nor disheartening. It’s human.

    Any kid who has ever accepted an athletic scholarship (or mulled the choice between competing offers, etc.) has no doubt envisioned him- or herself in the uniform of the team in question. If you’re going to Michigan, you instinctively picture yourself in a Michigan uni; if you’re going to Oklahoma, you picture yourself in a Sooners uni; and so on. As you said, that’s human.

    But picturing oneself in a uniform is not the same thing as basing one’s decision on that uniform. That’s a big leap. And with a couple of exceptions (like that kid who would only play basketball at a Nike school a few yrs back), the only data I”ve seen suggests that the uniform is not a strong factor in the choice of where to attend.

    Regarding the first item in College Football News today:

    “…to my knowledge the only serious reporting that’s been done on the subject.”

    A simple online search found quite a few articles that appear to be “serious reporting” on the subject from some reputable news organizations dating back a couple of years.

    Also, the uniforms ARE for recruiting, just like Kelly mentioned.

    You’re missing my point. Yes, lots of schools claim to use uniforms for recruiting purposes, and you can find innumerable articles on that. But not much serious reporting has been done on what the RECRUITS think of all this.

    Just because someone does something with a particular purpose in mind, that doesn’t mean that it’s working. That’s my point.

    — Paul (checking in from the airplane)

    the most interesting aspect of the Oregon Pinktober uniform costume is that the socks are styled to look like boots – the latest example of Nike’s endless attempts to transform athletes into comic book superheroes. Pfeh.

    Not to refute the superhero aspect, but those socks are neither link nor link That’s pretty much a basic Nike design template for their football socks.

    “New road uniforms for Colorado (from Matthew robins).”

    Netbacks. link and link. They’re everywhere now. Thanks, Nike. I wouldn’t have been able to figure out what sport I was watching without your help.

    Is this the NCAA’s version of the NBA having everyt logo imaginable include a basketball?

    A. I don’t find it offensive that the NFL and other outlets focus on Breast Cancer Awareness month, but I don’t support it either. It says that the NFL cares ONLY about this type of Cancer when there are millions of Americans who live with other Cancers. Is their Cancer somehow less important to the NFL juggernaut? It’s all or nothing NFL…

    B. As far as the TV ads go, I find it quite disturbing when the State Farm Insurance ad airs featuring 3 guys in their early 20’s in their apartment when a rock or baseball flies through the window. Anyone who knows anything about their insurance policy knows that a claim like that is handled by your landlord. Renters coverage offers you liability and contents, not building protection, you don’t own the building. When they “do the jingle” and their State Farm agent appears, they ask for a “sandwich”, “the girl from 4E” (proving it is an apartment), and a “hot tub”. Nothing better than putting in a false claim to begin with, IN FRONT OF YOUR AGENT NO LESS, and then having the balls to defraud the agent and company for a hot tub. Basically we have State Farm promoting Insurance Fraud.

    Without specifics, you’ve got a slippery slope, don’t you? “We can’t support BREAST cancer month, why not all cancers?” Well then what about ALL diseases. I lived for years with chronic kidney failure. Was on dialysis by 29. So why cancer, but not say, kidney disease? What about “why disease, why not other problems?” Because it HAS to start and end somewhere. Yes, I’d like my problem to be a concern. Lots of people die from it too. Even after a kidney transplant, I still fight each and every day, and I will for the rest of my life, regardless of support. Why not for type-1 diabetes (which led to heart/blood pressure issues (and even a partially amputated foot, due to mismanagement and immaturity early in my teens), which led to my kidneys dying)? Why not for abused children and wives? Why not for homeless people? That said, is the point to create a tangible difference (all supporting ONE cause) or is it to have a few pennies go here, a few pennies there (everyone picking his/her own charity)? We ALL have our problems, is it so wrong to be happy for one getting some sort of support?

    New link for Gronk’s return shows the white Pat Patriot helmet….which the Pats won’t be wearing this season.

    “Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly says the Irish’s Shamrock Series uniforms are for recruiting. Everyone parrots that same basic point, but if they’d bother to read this article, which is to my knowledge the only serious reporting that’s been done on the subject, they’d find that most players don’t rank helmets or uniforms very high on their list of factors influencing which school they choose.”

    I would very much argue that a survey of kids would be errant if it supposed that these kids would admit, even in an anonymous survey, that uniforms matter. Of course they’ll say school, program, playing time matters more… but if the team has new cutting edge uniforms that will definitely matter to kids.

    And here we once again have someone substituting his own intuition for a professionally reported piece of journalism.

    Why bother to read anything? You obviously know better.

    Kenny has every right to voice his opinion, questioning the validity of the surveying process that was reported in said article.

    That snarky response was uncalled for, Paul.

    The entire carnival of “Shamrock Series” uniforms and Oregon Mix & Match templates and Tulane currently dressing up like the Haitian Sex Offender Prison American Football Team would be immensely easier to stomach is so many of these uniforms were not so AWFUL.

    Here’s a sensible proposal.

    1.) After the first 36 teams do so, NO MOE Chrome, or Gold CHROME, or Green CHROME, or ANY other Chrome shiny helmets.

    2.) Only teams wearing Black Jerseys or road jerseys trimmed I Black as an official school color may wear Black Matte helmets. The idea was cool the first time, maybe the fifth time, tired by the tenth team, and is now just ridiculous;

    3.) Somebody, ANYBODY, if you are going attempt to wear Silver, Gray or Gold jerseys as “home” dark jerseys – go ahead and wear a dark enough shade to contrast with White jerseys worn by the opposing team. In the past 5 years, only Chattanooga (needlessly in a color v color road game at Oklahoma), So. Carolina – wearing darker Gray jerseys vs. LSU’s home Whites, and maybe Air Force – have gotten it right. I mean, Come on, Man! How much effort will it take?

    UCF in particular – just wear Old Gold, or do away with it. That also goes for numerals on White jerseys – go dark enough, or go home.

    4.) The split color helmets just have to go. The multi color facemasks are distracting and simply do not look good. The tramp stamps and vertical team names on the pants just need to go. Do you really not know that you’re watching Ole Miss vs. A&M? Well, maybe not, since Ole Miss now wears Navy pants with vertical team names and looks like East Mississippi Panhandle State Consolidated Jackass Junior College. (By the way, if you can’t have Colonel Reb on the sidelines or on the helmet sticker – is it really advisable to print “Rebels” up and down the pants legs? Wouldn’t the World be better off without it?)
    Honor your better, classic look, and ditch the gimmicky, less good-looking or field-worthy crapola.


    Minor correction from a comic book geek, Paul. The title of the book is simply “Watchmen.”

    I have no idea if this is going to come out right, but I need to get this out somewhere, and this comment is relevant to today’s post. I had breakfast with the mother of a good friend of my young son today. She is currently battling stage 4 breast cancer. She had through operations, chemo and radiation fought of the disease, only to have it metastasize throughout her body. This woman with two young kids has gone from boundless energy to walking with a cane and double vision. This morning, she was going in for her tenth day of radiation treatment in a row. No one knows what her time left is. Probably short. She is both awe inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time.

    The aesthetics of Pink in October do not matter to me at all. I find the subject beyond trivial at this point. I care more about if the pink for October is actually accomplishing anything. If the wall to wall pink prods action, then I could not care less if pink looks bad with the Chicago Bears color scheme. Sadly, I do not see the pink initiative as doing much of anything. Pennies on the dollar for merchandise sold? Please. Raise awareness? I mean, who is not aware of breast cancer by now? If all the pink doesn’t make people act, donate money, assist those who are ill, etc. then what is the point of all this?

    Through friendship I am learning some harsh realities about human frailty, and cruel fates. I am also learning about resolve, dedication and love. I just needed to put out here that we should all be careful about wasting too much time and energy debating Pinktober solely an aesthetic issue and refocus that debate on the effectiveness of the campaign, for as I have learned, time and energy are precious things.

    I think this site and today’s post do a nice job talking about aesthetics trumping action, BTW. This isn’t really meant to be a critique of today’s content. It’s more just something I needed to get out.

    I’ll shut up now.

    Here’s an example of how adding pink socks to a football uniform makes a real difference. I’m with a youth football club in western NY. We have 3 teams, with players aged 7-13. Too many of our families have been deeply hurt by breast cancer. Last year we began allowing our players to wear pink socks (our uniforms are navy blue & white) during the month of October. We supplied generic pink socks, not a name brand, to keep our cost low. We asked families to “buy” the socks for their son(s), by making a donation to a local cancer center. 100% of the money collected was donated. (We ate the cost of the socks, which was only about $200.) All players were given the socks, whether or not a donation was made. We collected over $1000 for the center.

    Did many of the players think it was cool to wear pink because the NFL does it? Yes. Did the boys whose mom, aunt or grandma have breast cancer feel empowered because they were showing support & raising funds? Yes. Were the women affected by breast cancer touched by this gesture? Yes.

    Despite all the cynical comments posted above, “pinktober” can have very beneficial results!

    Have fun in Sheboygan! You’ll have to get a double brat; which is, of course, twice as good as a normal brat. I’m about 2 hours away from there, it’s a good fun town.

    Not much more to say, I was just excited to read you were coming to Wisconsin!

    When you’re in “SheVegas” make sure you order your brat(s) on a hard roll.

    Also, a few blocks from the JMKAC is a piece of living sports history; the Armory. It was the home to Sheboygan’s former NBL/NBA team.

    Fun poster getting Kickstartered: Every MLB playing field, superimposed. If nothing else, it’s worth a look to see a sort of ur-ballfield.


    Great Uni Watch today.

    As a college football fan I do not like the pink for October because the football season is only a few months period. And recently it has to be ruined with pink.

    Penn State would be fine wearing pink and black since those were the schools original colors.

    If someone could get a screen grab of Robinson advancing on pitch on dirt he has his wedding band on.

    No picture, but WWE wrestler Goldust is wearing pink gloves on Friday Night Smackdown. Pinktober has spread to WWE.

    They are going as much pink as the NFL. Anything they can turn pink they are doing. I noticed it flipping channels on Monday nights but haven’t really watched to point out anything specific other than the middle rope is now pink as well.

    Seeing the Oregon look I just threw up in my mouth a little. Yes my family has had it’s share of cancer as has everyone’s. But can we please just admit the pink thing has jumped the shark and move on to the next “thing” now?

    The Folsom prison photo reminded me of a photo recently in a traveling exhibit on Japanese interment camps of the U.S. and Canada during WWII that came to my local museum. Two Views: Photography of Ansel Adam and Leonard Frank.

    The photo was of an amateur baseball game at Manzanar Relocation Center, California.


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