An Alternate Cap Not Made by New Era (Revisited)


[Editor’s Note: Greetings from Bristol, Conn., where I’ll be attending to some ESPN business over the next two days. Those are also the last two days of Passover, so I thought I’d re-run an entry that originally ran on the site three years ago. Enjoy. ”” PL]

This is Passover season, which means Coca-Cola is undergoing its annual uniform revision. If you live in an area with a decent-sized Jewish population, you’ll see bottles of Coke with yellow caps, indicating that the product is kosher for Passover.

The alternation isn’t just cosmetic. As any serious soda pop geek will tell you, the yellow-capped Coke has been made with cane sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup (which, like all corn-based products, is off-limits to observant Jews during Passover). Soda savants claim that this makes the Passover Coke taste better, although I drink Diet Coke, so the distinction is lost on me. I do, however, make a point of buying a new container of Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup each Passover, since it too is made with cane sugar for the holiday. Does it really taste better? Honestly, I wouldn’t argue the case on the merits, but it’s a nice little ritual I enjoy each spring, and that’s what holidays are all about, right?


Speaking of ritual, I was raised in a non-observant household. About the only religious-ish aspect to our family was that we always had matzos in the house for Passover. You can buy matzos anytime, of course, but only certain matzos are certified kosher for Passover (which basically means some rabbi got paid a lot to stand around at the bakery and give his blessing to the flour and water — what a racket), and that’s what my Mom would buy every year. She was very brand-loyal: We always had Streit’s matzos, which came in a pink box. I am even less religious than my parents, but I still buy Streit’s matzos each year for Passover, and they still come in a pink box. If they ever change the package design, that would probably be the end of my one Jewish ritual. Just goes to show the power of a uniform.

I learned very early on that I really, really like a sheet of matzo slathered in butter and then sprinkled with salt. Even better: several sheets of matzo slathered in butter and sprinkled with salt. But of course I wasn’t supposed to be snacking in between meals when I was a little boy, so I had to keep my matzo consumption on the sly. And therein lies a tale.

One afternoon when I was nine or 10 years old, I was scarfing down a nicely buttered sheet of matzo — my second of the day, I believe. As was my usual custom, I had redistributed the remaining matzos in the box to make it look like it was still fairly full, just as I always did when sneaking an extra Hydrox out of the cookie jar. Everything seemed just about right with the world, when I heard something I wasn’t supposed to be hearing yet: a car door slamming closed in our driveway.

Screen shot 2011-04-18 at 6.12.44 PM.png

It was my Mom — home from work more than an hour earlier than usual. And there I was, about to be caught red-handed with contraband snackage. There was no time to run to the garbage can or the toilet — she was only seconds away from walking in the door — so I looked around and saw my salvation: Sitting on a shelf a few feet away from me was our family’s game of Scrabble. I lifted the top of the box, slipped the matzo inside, and then went and greeted my Mom.

The next morning, before I left for school, I retrieved the incriminating mazto and disposed of it. But as you probably know, the inside of the top of the Scrabble box is where they print the instructions, and I had put the matzo in the box buttered-side-up, which had left a few butter stains on the instrux — pale-yellow symbols of my transgression.

Those stains faded a bit over the years but never disappeared completely. Fortunately, my Mom didn’t play Scrabble and my father wasn’t the kind of guy who’d notice a few stains on the Scrabble box anything, so these telltale splotches never gave me away. The stains were still there in 2005 — 30 years after the original incident — when I finally told my parents the whole story and showed them the evidence. We all enjoyed a good laugh about it, although my Mom seemed a bit perturbed to learn I’d been eating so many matzos without her realizing it.

Two years after that, in 2007, I wrote an article about the Streit’s factory. While interviewing the company’s vice president, I told him the Scrabble story. He listened, then thought for a moment, and finally said, “That’s a shame to waste a good matzo like that.” At long last, I’d been called to account for my misdeed.

Happy Passover to all who are observing, and to all who enjoy Passover Coke.

[Addendum: I ended up showcasing the Scrabble box last year during one of my Show & Tell events. You can see it at the bottom of this entry. ”” PL]

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Yo, Red Sox fans: In case you missed it last week, Uni Watch readers are being offered a special deal on 2013 World Champion Boston Red Sox: Every Picture Tells a Story, a gorgeously produced coffee table-style book (not an e-book) that chronicles the 2013 Bosox season. It features over 200 photos (some of which you can see here), along with essays by team owner John Henry, outfielder Jonny Gomes, manager John Farrell, Boston broadcaster Joe Castiglione, former mayor Thomas Menino, journalists Gordon Edes and Leigh Montville, and more.

The book lists for $40, and Amazon has it for $27.33. But if you go here and use the checkout code RSX131, you can get it for $24.95 — definitely the lowest price you’re gonna find. You know what to do.

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PermaRec update: The singer/songwriter Jill Sobule received a vintage charm bracelet (shown at right) as a birthday present and started wondering about its original owner. That ended up becoming the basis for a new concept album that’s just been released. Details over on Permanent Record.

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’Skins Watch: Did you ever collect Pez? I never did, but some of today’s Pez collectors might be a little confused, because the Pez execs can’t seem to decide what the Indians’ logo is (from David Sonny).

Baseball News: If you have to combine stars/stripes and baseball, here’s how you do it (big thanks to my pal Karen McBurnie). ”¦ Not to be confused with Chief Wahoo: Good article on the unusual uniforms and logo for the double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos. ”¦ Here’s something you don’t often see: a Ku Klux Klan baseball team. That’s in Tennessee, 1957. ”¦ Nice stirrups, with gold sannies to boot, for Arlington High in California (from David Lassen). ”¦ David Firestone thinks he knows why the Washington Senators began wearing the 3-D numbers. ”¦ The Red Sox will wear their white “Boston” jerseys for this morning’s Patriots Day game against the Orioles. ”¦ Terry Proctor recently scored this gorgeous-looking 1958 MacGregor uniform catlog. Show us some of the interior pages, Terry! ”¦ Not uni-related, but here’s a really interesting article about how rooting interests are heavily determined by our youth. ”¦ Here’s a ranking of baseball stadiums by the number of names they’ve had in the past 20 years.

NFL News: Got a spare 35 grand burning a hole in your pocket? You can spend it on this Steelers helmet cart (nice find by David Firestone). ”¦ Some 49ers fans in San Francisco want BART — the city’s subway system — to change some of its seat colors because they match the Seahawks’ colors. “These people need to get a life,” says Brinke. ”¦ I think we’ve seen this before, but just in case: Football helmets based on Star Wars characters (from Jeremy Baker).

Hockey News: Okay, so this is seriously weird: Marc Hammil was poking around at an antiques market in Ontario when he came across a container of little unpainted Ken Dryden heads for $10 apiece. “They had other players too, but they weren’t labeled, so I’m not sure who they were supposed to be,” he says. Anyone know what these were for? (Oh, and Marc, also saw this awesome-looking baseball game, but that’s not as odd as the Dryden heads.)

NBA News: This was in yesterday’s Ticker, but it’s worth linking to it again for those of you who missed it: a sensational article on the Trail Blazers’ seamstress. Recommended. ”¦ The TNT TV crew wore wacky outfits yesterday as a gesture of support to leukemia-stricken colleague Craig Sager (from Robert Silverman).

Grab Bag: A dog-walking service in NYC has a strict uniform code for its employees. ”¦ David Firestone has compiled a list of NASCAR, IndyCar, and F1 drivers by driver suit manufacturer. ”¦ The U.S. Army’s new hairstyle regulations are causing problems for black women. ”¦ Interesting little piece on Nike’s 540 patents from last year (from Kyle Hanks). ”¦ Leo Strawn Jr. reports that the Australian Football League’s NOB experiment was a big failure. “The lettering was too small to read even from the good seats, plus the NOB went over the GPS pocket on the back. If AFL wants to use NOBs in the future, I would suggest they reconsider size and position, maybe putting the lettering below the number instead of above.”

53 comments to An Alternate Cap Not Made by New Era (Revisited)

  • Dumb Guy | April 21, 2014 at 8:21 am |
    • Chris | April 21, 2014 at 10:03 am |

      Regarding the whole Indians/Wahoo/Pez controversy. I have a different idea. The idea that Wahoo is being demoted to secondary status is denied by the team. Paul asks, what the significance is of making it a secondary logo if he’s not gradually being phased out and he’s still on all Indians uniforms? Remember last year when New Era released the July 4th stars and stripes caps and the Wahoo logo was quietly replaced by the C? What explanation did the New Era company give? “We thought all teams were using their primary logos for the stars and stripes treatment.” I am suggesting that the reason the Tribe made Wahoo secondary was to avoid issues like this, rather than some plan to gradually phase him out. Same with the PEZ dispenser, Just because the C is on the road cap doesn’t mean Wahoo isn’t a Tribe logo….

      • The Jeff | April 21, 2014 at 10:30 am |

        If it was any other team, it probably wouldn’t have even been posted. It isn’t like it’s that uncommon for the previous year’s primary logo to still pop up occasionally on a new product, especially if both logos are still actively in use by the team in question. (We’re assuming of course that the Pez dispenser is actually new and not just old stock in the first place).

    • Judy | April 21, 2014 at 12:39 pm |

      I actually used to collect Pez, as Paul may or may not remember, based on a conversation we had about my email address. I don’t add to the collection as much as I used to, but I’d love to get my hands on one of those Cleveland Pez, just in case the Wahoo logo actually does get phased out.

  • Maccabee | April 21, 2014 at 8:35 am |

    How much would you pay for some unpainted Paul Lukas heads? Ten dollars? Oy!

  • Jimbo | April 21, 2014 at 8:52 am |

    The Ken Dryden bust is from the 1971 Colgate NHL player collection:

    I especially like the Jacques Plante bust, because of his sharp looking turtle neck.

    I always thought these looked like butter sculptures.

  • FiteClub | April 21, 2014 at 9:03 am |

    Re: NY Times article

    My favorite teams (Dodgers, Raiders, Lakers) all became my favorites when I was around age 7 or 8. However, none of them were defending champs at the time as supposed in the article. Uniforms did have something to do with it. Those Dodgers home unis looked stunning on Game of the Week.

    Oddly, they all did become champs of their leagues within a few years of me claiming them as my favorites. In fact, all three won multiple championships in the 80s when I was but a youth. Since then it’s been comparatively dry, particularly with the Dodgers and Raiders, but those favorites were set in stone at a young age.

    • BurghFan | April 21, 2014 at 9:17 am |

      Is it coincidence that those are/were all LA teams?

      The one huge factor that’s missing from the article is geography. Whether the Mets or Yankees are better when a kid is 8 may affect a New Yorker’s fandom, but the kid growing up in Baltimore is likely to become an Orioles fan regardless of how the team performs.

      • FiteClub | April 21, 2014 at 9:58 am |

        BurghFan, I was living in Sacramento (Northern California). While geography may have been a factor (all CA teams) I wisely chose not to follow the SF Giants [or Golden State Warriors]. I shudder at the thought of that now!

        Many of my childhood friends were Yankees fans in the late 70s. As the article points out, they won back-to-back championships. I liked the Dodgers name and the uniforms. They were seemingly on Game of the Week a lot and those crisp white uniforms in that bright Southern California sun were perfect.

    • Judy | April 21, 2014 at 12:54 pm |

      I grew up in the DC suburbs and wasn’t really much of a baseball fan as a kid, although I do remember being really disappointed when the Senators moved to Texas. I’ve rooted against the Rangers ever since. Mostly I was a Yankees fan because my family used to live in NY and my brothers were all Yankees fans. I went to college in Baltimore the year the O’s won the World Series and HATED them – partly because they were in the same division as the Yankees, but mostly because if you were in Baltimore in 83, all you ever heard about was the O’s. I can still hear the old Lowenbrau commercials – “tonight, tonight – let it be Lowenstein” – in my head as if it was yesterday. Now I’m a Nationals fan, and for all you Expos fans, yes I get the irony.

      I’ve always been a Redskins fan because my dad and I used to watch games together. Sonny Jurgensen will always be my # 1 sports idol.

      • scottrj | April 21, 2014 at 3:57 pm |

        Whereas I grew up pretty much right in-between Baltimore & DC in the late 1960s, thus facing the dilemma of whether I should root for the Orioles or the Senators (the dominant team of the era, or the cellar-dweller); the Colts or the Redskins (one of the dominant teams of the era, or the cellar-dweller); and the Bullets or … oh yeah, Washington didn’t have a team.*

        So actually there was no “dilemma.”

        * I know, I know, there was an ABA team in DC for one year and it featured Rick Barry. But for sheer excitement the Bullets of Earl the Pearl, Wes Unseld, Gus “Honeycomb” Johnson, Dancing Harry, et al., blew them off the court.

  • JimWa | April 21, 2014 at 9:11 am |

    “… Star Wars characters (from Jeremy Baker).

    Hockey News: Okay, so this is seriously weird: Marc Hammil …”

    Coincidence? I think not.

    • Rob S | April 21, 2014 at 9:20 am |

      I noticed that too.

      On the helmets, though, I’m disappointed that they didn’t have any X-Wing pilot designs.

  • Robert | April 21, 2014 at 9:14 am |

    In Texas, coke with sugar is called Mexican coke because they still make it with sugar there. With the high Mexican population here, it’s not difficult to find year around, either in restaurants or grocery stores.

    • El Duderino | April 21, 2014 at 9:28 am |

      Same here in Chicago.

      • RyanB | April 21, 2014 at 10:58 am |

        You can buy it by the case at Sam’s Club. (At least the ones near me carry it.)

        Glass bottles, too!

      • DenverGregg | April 21, 2014 at 2:01 pm |

        . . . and Denver, solamente con glass bottles.

  • Rob S | April 21, 2014 at 9:27 am |

    Here’s a ranking of baseball stadiums by the number of names they’ve had in the past 20 years.

    That is one ugly graphic. It just looks so poorly arranged, with its haphazard placements and wasted white space, that it’s completely unappealing.

    Also, unless they’re counting the rather unofficial nickname of “Tropicana Field House” from the 1999 Final Four, Tropicana Field’s only had 2 names in the last 20 years.

    • Rob H. | April 21, 2014 at 9:34 am |

      Did they limit it to 20 years (or only during the Devil Rays/Rays existence)? Because it was: 1. The Suncoast Dome, 2. The Florida Suncoast Dome, 3. The Thunderdome and 4. Tropicana Field. Of course that goes well back into the 1980s.

      Also, I don’t think that’s technically a “ranking” since it haphazardly puts them neither in order from fewest to most nor from most to fewest.

      • Rob H. | April 21, 2014 at 9:36 am |

        Oh, nevermind, I see it says “in the last 20 years”. Although only in the ticker, not anywhere on the graphic itself.

        • Rob S | April 21, 2014 at 9:52 am |

          Presumably, there’s some accompanying text on the page where it was found, but even if we got to see the image in situ, I doubt it’d help the presentation much.

        • Rob H. | April 21, 2014 at 10:00 am |

          …and also what’s the point of which 8 stadiums they chose? Why not all 30? They chose 7 stadiums with two or more names, and one which has had only one. Is this graphic merely to make Busch stadium look good for only having had one name?

      • Rob S | April 21, 2014 at 10:22 am |

        Especially when there are four other stadiums that have had 2 names in the past 20 years:

        Jacobs Field/Progressive Field
        Comiskey Park/US Celluar Field
        SkyDome/Rogers Centre
        Olympic Stadium/Turner Field

        • Rob S | April 21, 2014 at 10:23 am |


          Not that it’s a good name to begin with.

        • kst8cats | April 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm |

          I was going to say Royals Stadium/Kauffman Stadium, but after checking it changed 21 years ago.

        • just Joe | April 21, 2014 at 4:29 pm |

          Rob S, I’m not sure I would put Turner on the two-name list. Yes, it was Olympic Stadium in its original, rectangular shape, but it has been Turner Field since its reconfiguration and inaugural season as a baseball park.

        • Rob S | April 21, 2014 at 4:46 pm |

          By that standard, Tropicana Field (which was included in the Times’ graphic) shouldn’t be on there, because it received that name before the Devil Rays ever recorded an out.

        • just Joe | April 21, 2014 at 5:03 pm |

          I’m trying to remember the Devil Rays completing any outs during their inaugural season…Anyway, in my opinion, a ballpark isn’t a ballpark until it has hosted a game(kind of like saying “in my opinion, the sky is blue.”) Just seems like a faulty chart.

  • Mark Hinkley | April 21, 2014 at 9:30 am |

    Re: AFL NOB

    When I first heard about the NOBs being added, I felt that this was a great idea. But I also understand it being a failure.

    The field is significantly larger than an NFL field, or a baseball field. The names would have to be 1/2 the size of the numbers just to be legible!

    (not sure if that would be awesome or insane…)

    • Rob S | April 21, 2014 at 9:53 am |

      It would really only be useful for TV… and for merch.

      • Rob S | April 21, 2014 at 9:58 am |

        The NOBs they have, that is – not the oversized ones Mark proposed.

    • Mark in Shiga | April 21, 2014 at 12:31 pm |

      I was happy to see the NOBs fail. I like nice big numbers that can be read easily even from the cheap seats.

      And for merchandise, it’s only the team/manufacturer/league that benefits from NOBs, because when a player gets traded or demoted, the jersey plummets in value. A classic NNOB jersey allows the fan to inherit whoever gets the number next. Clearly the latter style is better for the fans. I have several game-used NNOB Cubs baseball jerseys (2005-06 home and alt, and BP) and love seeing who gets ‘my’ numbers next.

  • Kevin | April 21, 2014 at 9:38 am |

    CBS’ Sunday Morning did an article on Arlington High (the team with the sannies linked in the Ticker). Great story and, bonus, they use the ChiSox batter logo to boot,

  • Rob H. | April 21, 2014 at 10:08 am |

    Since we’re photoshopping Australian Rules Football, why not go all the way:

    • Mark in Shiga | April 21, 2014 at 12:32 pm |

      Now where’s that Like button?

  • ajr1969 | April 21, 2014 at 10:37 am |

    Not sure if this has been covered here, but I noticed yesterday (4/20) Chris Young of the Mets was wearing high cuffs and stirrups. I know he has shown the stirrups in the past, but this was the first time I noticed him doing it with the Mets.

    • Dumb Guy | April 21, 2014 at 11:05 am |

      Duuuude, you said “high” and “4/20” in the same post. I know where your heads at! Righteous, man, righteous!! Whoa!

      • BvK1126 | April 21, 2014 at 12:13 pm |

        You mean the new state holiday here in Colorado?

  • Jet | April 21, 2014 at 10:47 am |

    Interesting article about team rooting preferences being formed in childhood according to winning teams… but for me it was the exact opposite. I started as a Mets fan in 1965 and stayed on through 3 more bad seasons until the improbable events of 1969. I always latched on to bad teams; it was just more fun for me to root for them. Added the Padres to my fave teams when they came aboard in ’69 but lost interest in them when they dropped the brown uni colors!

    In hockey, became a California Golden Seals fan starting in 1970 and always like any other bad expansion teams. I guess I always like going against the grain.


    • walter | April 21, 2014 at 2:32 pm |

      You have peeked into my subconscience, Jet. My rooting loyalties have always been determined by garish uniforms/chronic ineptitude/lack of TV exposure. It seemed to me teams in such sorry shape could use all the help they can find.

      • Jet | April 21, 2014 at 4:16 pm |

        Right. As a kid I always thought it was EASY to be a Yankees fan, a Cowboys fan, a Canadiens fan, etc. You rarely had to deal with adversity. Rooting for the bad teams was more of a character builder, but oh the ecstasy when they won a game!


        • Devern Hansack | April 21, 2014 at 7:33 pm |

          It’s part of the reason why I’ve chosen my secondary teams over the years. I started cheering for the Pirates in 2008 while also picking up the Vikings, Oilers, and Warriors. Despite the Oilers’ successes in the 1980s, I wasn’t born until 1989 so I wasn’t around to experience it. My other sports allegiances have been regional–having grown up in the Boston area–and from family ties (Duke and Auburn).

  • unionjack | April 21, 2014 at 10:53 am |

    “Kosher” food is the biggest scam since Rome stopped selling indulgences.

    Also, your tax dollars are being wasted to enforce “kosher” food laws.

    • Dumb Guy | April 21, 2014 at 11:18 am |

      Our tax dollars are being wasted on a LOT of things.

    • Maccabee | April 21, 2014 at 7:53 pm |

      VOT? Vot you mean kosher food is a scam and vasted tax dollars?

  • Connie DC | April 21, 2014 at 11:18 am |

    “…If you have to combine stars/stripes and baseball, here’s how you do it (big thanks to my pal Karen McBurnie). …”


  • JimWa | April 21, 2014 at 1:31 pm |

    A closer look at the actual jerseys being given away for Wrigley Field’s 100th anniversary game. Looks to be better quality than any mass jersey giveaway I’ve ever seen.

  • Bromotrifluoromethane | April 21, 2014 at 2:09 pm |

    The Falcons posted this on their facebook page today so I guess these are the draft hats for this season. The bills of these hats look ridiculous but at least it’s in the proper Falcons color, black. If only we could get the uniforms to go back to that now. But then again they have much worse problems than using red and not black.

  • Bromotrifluoromethane | April 21, 2014 at 3:38 pm |

    Interesting article on the sports fandom. By the percentages I should either be a Tigers or a Twins fan although the earliest World Series I remember was the Phillies vs Orioles. But for me family played more of a role than success did along with a bit of a geography quirk.

    Growing up in Northeastern Pennsylvania my family were diehard Philly and NY haters and big Pittsburgh supporters as we still are. I still list the Pirates, Panthers, and Power as my favorite teams in their playing fields. When I still watched hockey the Penguins were my favorite team.
    When still I watched the NBA I grew up a Celtics fan because in that era it was Bird vs Magic seemingly weekly and having Irish in me I chose Celtics over Lakers. I still follow the Celtics but since the expansion era kicked in my favorite team has been the Timberwolves which I would loosely credit growing up with Huskies as pets for the change along with liking the colors and looks the franchise has had (even the most recent ones). I’m sure if Pittsburgh ever had an NBA team my loyalty would’ve been with them, however. And yes, if the Raptors ever went with a Huskies rebrand unless they come out with something absolutely amazing I’d keep the Wolves as my favorite.
    The one big quirk? The NFL. My family are mostly all very big Steelers fans and while I “like” them and have been to many Panthers and Steelers games in Pittsburgh I consider them my favorite AFC team but not my overall favorite. I’ve been a Falcons fan since the Bartkowski days despite my dislike of the red and preference for the black uniforms of the Glanville and expansion eras (Black is my favorite color, what can I say?).

  • Steve D | April 21, 2014 at 8:41 pm |

    Mets wearing their camo uniforms and caps for the first time. They are hideous, as expected. When the Mets are batting, they are wearing their standard blue helmets and the pairing is slightly more tolerable. They look ridiculous with white pants…they should try the cream pinstriped pants with that jersey.

  • LD | April 21, 2014 at 11:37 pm |

    Great link to blue wahoos article

  • Yosef Mordechai Coleman | April 22, 2014 at 11:03 pm |

    Kosher food is not food blessed by a Rabbi. It is a food that follows certain guidelines. For Matzot that means that from the time the water hits the flour until the matzos are done being baked cannot be more than 18 minutes