By Phil Hecken
Several months ago, in the comments, a reader whom I can’t remember mentioned that @MLBCathedrals would be a great Twitter account to follow. I think, at the time, the account was just starting, since it had like 1,000 followers.
A couple months and 26,000+ followers later, it’s one of the best on Twitter, especially if you’re into the history of baseball stadia (as I know a number of Uni Watchers, myself included, are). I began following the account that day, and I’m constantly amazed by the breadth and depth of the photos and history found on that account. If you didn’t click on the link above, go back and do so now, and just take a few minutes to read the timeline with all the photos and history. You won’t be disappointed.
I decided it was time to dig a little deeper and get to know the man behind MLB Cathedrals, and today, I’m pleased to let you get a bit better acquainted.
I conducted an interview with the proprietor of MLB Cathedrals, and I’m going to break that up into two separate articles. The first half will primarily deal with unis, and the second will delve into the stadia of baseball. So without further ado, here we go:
Uni Watch: Thanks for the interview. To start, the basics: What’s your name, where did you grow up and how old are you?
Mark Anderson: My name is Mark Anderson I grew up in the Seattle area. I am now 41 years old. I went Washington State University (Ryan Leaf was our QB, ha) and got a BA in Broadcasting. Worked in Radio for a couple years. Currently, I am stationed in the Republic of Korea, as a Non Commissioned Officer, in the US Army.
UW: Are you a Uni Watch reader? If so, how long and how did you find us?
MA: I’ve been on to Uni Watch for what seems like years now. I most likely discovered Uni Watch by Googling to see some uniform change and your site was the first to pop up. I’ve been hooked ever since.
UW: What are your sports passions?
MA: I’ve always been fascinated by history, Major League Baseball, ballparks, ballpark and MLB history, architecture, ballpark architecture, photography, sports logos, and uniforms.
UW: ‘And uniforms.’ Of course!
MA: I’m always interested and want to be the first one to know of any changes in uniforms for the upcoming season, particularly MLB. There is no better source, period, than Uni Watch for getting up to the minute visual information on uniform changes, logo changes, and patch changes. Anything that goes on a uniform you have covered and I appreciate that.
UW: Sweet! You read weekends, I hope? You like the concepts?
MA: Though I don’t always agree with the proposed uniform changes that Uni Watch comes up with, including reader created ones that you post, I thoroughly enjoy this feature as well.
UW: Any particular unis you don’t like?
MA: In my opinion, MLB uniforms consist of entirely way too much blue and red. If it were up to me I’d have the Padres go back to this uniform:
UW: Ah, the 1969 throwbacks. I love those. They need to go back to those.
MA: I love everything about it: it’s brown, which isn’t used by anyone, love the cream, and the stirrups with the yellow stripes are fantastic. This would be, instantly, my favorite uniform in baseball. Never really been an online troll but, I send @Padres and @PadresMikeDee (Team CEO) a tweet at least everyday that simply says, “Brown.”
UW: I’m pretty sure the Pads are considering new unis for next (2015) season, although I’d have to check. So maybe. Any other teams you’d like to ‘ditch the blue or red’?
MA: Tampa Bay is another candidate that I’d like to see go away from blue. Are they trying to be sea creature rays or rays of light? I’m confused. I like the green unis (at least the colors) that they wore a few years ago.
UW: Yeah, Paul really likes that one too! I’m not a huge fan of it, but it’s better than the bland generic uni they wear now.
MA: If the Rays are really migrating toward sun rays. Maybe USC Trojans colors (red and yellow). No one in MLB has this combination and personally think that would look sharp.
UW: Anyone else?
MA: One last team I think would be ideal for a color change would be the Atlanta Braves, particularly when they move into their new ballpark. I’d like to see them swap out their blue for Hunter green. Hunter green and red would would phenomenal, in my opinion. They do have a red and green in their history, as seen in this logo:
MA: Again, no one in baseball has a red and green combination.
UW: Well, I agree with you on the colors. OK. Let’s move on to your Twitter presence. When, exactly did you start it up? And do you have a blog or Myspace or Facebook or other accounts?
MA: Currently, @MLBcathedrals is less than four months old. I have never had a Myspace or Facebook account (have had enough ex-girlfriend trouble with the wife as it is, lol).
UW: OK then. What made you want to start up MLB Cathedrals?
MA: Back in September, while I was on leave from Korea, I was cruising through some photo archives, like I do often, when I first thought of starting a ballpark history Twitter account just to share some of my knowledge on the subject. Before this, while keeping in touch with an Army buddy, I’d have him text me photos of old ballparks and I’d guess which park it was. After a hundred or so of not being able to stump me, he gave up.
UW: Sounds like the obsessive study of ballpark aesthetics! Did you think a Twitter account would be so popular?
MA: When I started MLB Cathedrals I thought I’d find a few hundred, maybe even a thousand, followers who were ballpark fanatics like me. Never in my wildest Imagination did I think @MLBcathedrals would pick up an average of over 6,000 followers a month.
UW: Nice! I’m glad it keeps growing too.
MA: Like I said before, I’ve always been fascinated by history, Major League Baseball, ballparks, ballpark and MLB history, architecture, ballpark architecture, photography, sports logos, and uniforms.
UW: Well, I think there’s a site or two that keeps track of unis and logos…
MA: Uni Watch has sports logos and uniforms covered. I did a quick search and couldn’t find any Twitter accounts that focused on ballparks and ballpark history.
UW: Very cool. OK, I want to really get into the ballparks and history and stuff. We’ll get into that next.
OK readers — that will end Part I of this interview — there’s a lot more great stuff coming up in Part II, but do yourself a favor and give Mark’s account a follow and check out all the great stuff in there. Next time, we’ll have a much more in-depth look at the inner workings of MLB Cathedrals and I’ll have Mark describe some of his favorites.
Oz Open Preview…
Back once again with my doubles partner, Brinke Guthrie, who is going to give us the run-down on the goings-on Down Undah, as the Australian Open is set to kick off today.
By Brinke Guthrie
Here’s a look at who’s gonna wear and use what, Down Undah at the AO.
• Roger Federer talks about his larger size Wilson racquet here.
• Andy Murray is coming off a terrific 2013 that ended with back surgery, and he’ll try to rebound wearing this look from Adidas. This says he’ll also have a new Head racquet — more likely it’s the model he’s always used, with a new paint job.
• Ana Ivanovic’s Adidas look is here.
• Tomas Berdych of Sweden is the only player I know of wearing H&M clothing — rather bland IMO.
• And finally — the stars at the Australian Open get everything handed to them on a gold plate, but not so for most of the rest of the men’s and women’s tours. Here’s a good article on one Camila Giorgi from SI.
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.
And so, lets begin:
We begin today with Thomas Juettner, with a new look for the Chicago White Sox:
I thought about what color schemes are unseen in baseball and wondered what the White Sox would like if they went with just black and white. Ideally I would like to see blue but every other team in their division already does. I went back through Sox history and found in the teens and twenties they used a double outline with some frequency. I thought it worked really well with the double outlined S-O-X the Sox use in promotional materials. So I took that concept and applied it to the whole uniform set. I threw in some striped socks to add something unique as well as Chicago themed roundel for the home set. Home you enjoy!
Next up is Bryan Moss with some San Diego Chargers concepts:
I would like these to be on Uni Concepts. The Powder Blue uni is the home one. The white is the away. The yellow is the alt.
We close today with Dave Singleton with some Portland Trailblazers jersey concepts:
Attached are my jersey concepts. The biggest idea is getting rid of the white home color and utilizing a silver home jersey. As for the logo I just kept it simple and removed the annoying tilted logo which every Blazer fan hates.
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Not a lot of submissions from yesterday, so it’s Old School ticker today (divided into “big” and “not as big” news).
• Yesterday we got our first (exclusive?) look at what the USMNT (US Men’s National Team) soccer will be wearing for the 2014 World Cup. I like ’em (h/t @doctorofdunk). … • The Kansas basketball team introduced two new uniforms yesterday. The home uni features a retro script (and they wore it yesterday). The white one has “Rock Chalk Jayhawk?)” stitched into the inside collar. They’re calling the white one “CHALK” and the gray one (which has pinstripes) “PHOG”. More info on those unis here and here, and a neat photo gallery is here. … • The Ohio State University hockey team has a new alternate sweater, which Nicole Haase called “laughably awful.” … • Oklahoma State University has introduced all orange baseball uniforms (thanks to Alex Allen for the tip). I like ’em, but they absolutely need hosiery. As is (without sockage), they’re not so good.
Not As Big News:
A reader who wants to remain anonymous was at Friday night’s Nets/Heat game (with the NickNOBs) and snapped a few photos of the players who were ID’ed on the scoreboard by their nicknames throughout the game. Also, Snacks Jersey NBA Nickname Night (from Matt Powers). AND, if you play video games, then you can now get the NickNOB jerseys in your game play. … In this week’s Arabian Gulf League match Robert Liebhart attended, he was surprised to take in the beauty of this blue-on-orange game. Says Robert, “BaniYas usually wears white at home against their opponents in colors, but this game was different. On the green field against the sunset, it looked quite beautiful.” … The U baseball will have new batting gloves next year (h/t Chris Freet). … Those beautiful Baylor throwbacks they wore for the last regular season game? They were quickly auctioned off to fans. … Um: Some KHL-themed beards outside Slovnaft Arena (via John Muir). … At Uni Watch, we love stripes, but is this too much of a good thing? (h/t Christos Daglis). … Hockey Canada has posted number assignments for Team Canada. According to Harvey Lee, “It appears that seniority rules, as Bouwmeester got #19 so Toews was bumped to #16, which he wore in Vancouver because Joe Thornton wore #19. Stamkos is 7 months older than Tavares, so he got #91 which bumped Tavares to #20.” … Yesterday, the Saints wore gold pants, which looks so much better than those black leotards. In that game, Jimmy Graham’s mouthpiece had the University of Miami’s logo on it (good spot by Andrew Domingo) and there was a helmet stripe malfunction (nice grab by @chargersfan_73). … Reader Benjamin Bonnett writes, “Not sure if you had seen this or not (I am currently behind on my Uni Watching, but catching up) but, just in case, new Belgium has updated their logo.” … Last night the Oregon State University Beavers had *special* Gary Payton shooting shirts for warmups (h/t Beavers Equipment). Fans also got these gloves as a giveaway. … Flag desecration? Frank Mercogliano notes, “Backwards flag. This is at the San Jose State Events Center… Oops?” … TommytheCPA sends this “Electric football champion hopes to keep game alive” article. Jim Vilk approves. … Alan Kreit has some jersey peeves. “This drives me nuts,” he says. “A. Gretzky never wore this jersey for the Rangers B. He was not the captain.” … Last night, the Raptors did something with some guy named “Drake,” who was happy to show off this jacket, lined with a Raptors jersey. … Will Edge ran across this Sporcle quiz “where you have to put sports logos in chronological order for various teams. For the record, I got 16/25.” … Check out the back of the Hawai’i hoops shooting shirt. Very cool (h/t Sydney H.).
That’s it for today, everyone. Big thanks to Mark for the interview on MLB Cathedrals (seriously, if you haven’t followed him yet, you’re missing out!) and look for Part II soon!
Two more NFL games on the docket today: 49ers will visit Charlotte and take on the Panthers (who will be in all black unis) at 1:05 ET, followed by the Bolts visiting Denver to take on the Broncos at 4:40. And of course, if it’s somehow televised where you live (Big 10 Network), you can check out Northwestern in their nifty new, student-designed hoops unis as they take on Illinois at 7:30.
Also — don’t forget — if you live in the NYC area (and are a Mets fan), check out the Queens Baseball Convention (at McFadden’s Restaurant & Saloon at
Shea Citifield), next Saturday – January 18th. It’s basically an all day long Mets-a-palooza, with a ton of stuff, including an All-Star Uniform Panel Paul’s assembled (and on which I’ll be seated, surrounded by some real giants): Designer Todd Radom, Jon Springer, who wrote the book and who runs Mets By The Numbers, and Russ Gompers, who runs Stitches. I only hope to be able to add something constructive to that all-star panel. There’s much, much more too, so just visit the QBC link above to see who will be there and what will be happening. OK? OK! Hope to see some of you there. Even if you’re not a Mets fan, you might enjoy it (ok, you probably won’t).
Have a great week and I’ll catch you guys next weekend.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Kansas’ new alts look sharp. A rare instance of adidas making a decent-looking alternate uniform.”