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Uni Watch Profiles: Maeser Anderson

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[Editor’s Note: Paul is on vacation, but he left behind this interview with a designer who does cool sports illustrations. Enjoy.]

I recently received an email from a guy named Maeser Anderson (that’s him at right). He pointed me toward his website, which features all sorts of very cool, very stylized sports illustrations. A few of them, like the one shown above, were explicitly uni-oriented, and all of showed that the artist had taken a lot of care to get the uni details right.

I was intrigued, so I asked Maeser if he’d be willing to do an email interview. He readily agreed. Here’s how it went:

Uni Watch: How old are you, and where do you live?

Maeser Anderson: I’m 34 years old and live in Mesa, Arizona.

UW: Do you make a living as an illustrator? If not, what do you do for a living?

MA: I wish! No, I am an insurance representative working for Eagleston Financial Group.

UW: When did you start drawing/illustrating/etc.?

MA: As long as I can remember, I have always been drawing. As a kid, that is all I wanted to do, and nothing has changed as an adult.

UW: Do you have any formal art training?

MA: I did take art classes at Utah Valley State College and Mesa Community College, but most of what I know has come naturally or I’ve taught myself. There is only so much you can get out of a classroom.

UW: All the images on your website were created digitally. Do you also do analog drawings (with pen, paper, etc.)?

MA: I do. Painting has to be my favorite. I just don’t have the time for it right now. I love drawing any chance I get. Here’s a mural I completed last year for a local high school here in Mesa, along with some photos of a shark mural I did for a dentist’s office in Vancouver, Washington.

UW: Your artwork is very stylized. How would you describe that style, and are there other artists (or heroes, or whatever) who’ve influenced it?

MA: Retro art. My eye is drawn towards simplicity. I love Ernie Gilbert’s work. That guy is amazing!

All of the drawings on my blog are done with shapes. I don’t hand-draw them with a pencil — I modify shapes in Illustrator to form the image. It is a lot of fun, because it ends up being like a puzzle. You take a bunch of shapes, and you make a picture. I love that. I love hard edges and out-of-proportion things. And I love simplicity — maybe that’s why I love old uniforms. Simple always wins in the end, in my opinion.

UW: Your depictions of athletes all show them with broad shoulders, a smile, and little, spindly legs. When and how did you arrive at that template?

MA: I love clean lines and basic shapes. I love how you can tell a complete story in a simple drawing. I try to catch the essence of the player I am creating with as little detail as possible. I love shapes that are put together to create a picture.

UW: When/how/why did you get into uniforms?

MA: I’ve been a uniform fan ever since I can remember. I remember when the Utah Jazz changed their uniforms in the ’90s and everyone freaked out. Seeing mountains on uniforms was nuts. I remember when the Lakers modified their uniforms and thinking they were pretty cool. Now I look forward to those changes each year. I’m obsessed with the way the uniforms look, and the shoes the players wear. Some teams never seem to get their look right, like the Minnesota Timberwolves — they had the best uniforms in sports with their very first set, but all the changes they’ve made since have been tragic!

UW: Which are your favorite and least favorite uniforms in the real world? Are those also your favorite and least favorite ones to depict in your artwork?

MA: My favorite uniform has to be the old Seahawks uniforms. That light blue and grey helmet rocked. I haven’t had a chance to draw anyone in those uniforms, but it is on my list. My least favorite would have to be the current Houston Rockets set. Why did they get rid of the yellow? You win two championships and you change the look of your franchise? They haven’t had a whole lot of success since.

I love drawing uniforms that are old. There was something about uniforms back in the day that was pure. The old Miami Dolphins or Denver Broncos uniforms, or the old Phoenix Suns and Portland Trail Blazers uniforms. Back in the day, each uniform was unique. Now, they are all the same and boring. Don’t even get me started on sleeves in the NBA.

UW: I find it interesting that you show the NBA logo on your depictions of basketball players but only show the outline of the NFL shield (rather than the shield itself) on your NFL illos. Why the discrepancy?

MA: Great question. If I ever end up selling my prints, I don’t want want the big, bad NFL to sue me. If you notice, the NFL drawings don’t have logos anywhere. I will change the NBA one to just a shape as well if there is ever any interest in buying them. It may be silly, but I just want to be careful.

UW: Have you ever done any baseball or hockey illos? If not, why not?

MA: I have several started, just not completed. I have a list a mile long of people I want to get to. Just wish I had the time to do them all. I’m a perfectionist, so it is hard to do things quickly with no deadlines. My goal is to have all the major players in all sports drawn.

UW: Have you ever exhibited printouts of your artwork, or even just put a few of them on your office wall?

MA: Yes. My buddy has a Boston Celtics one hanging in his office, and I have another friend with the top five Portland Blazers hanging in his office. Also, my son’s name is Stockton, so we have a “Stockton Theme” going on in his room:

UW: Anything to add?

MA: I love creating historical figures as well. Here’s a “Presidents of The United States” project I’m working on [click to enlarge]:

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I do these kind of drawings because I have four small children, and I want them to have fun while learning.


The MLB Protective Cap Debuts…

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres

Saturday evening, Padres pitcher Alex Torres (pictured above) became the first major league pitcher to don the new “protective cap” (an IsoBlox protective pitching hat, to be technical) which was just this year approved for use. If you’re not familiar with the device, well here’s what it looks like:


As for why he’s wearing it? Last year Torres was teammates with Alex Cobb (on the Tampa Bay Rays), and here’s what happened to Cobb:

Cobb isn’t the only pitcher to have taken a liner to the head — Aroldis Chapman, Brandon McCarthy and J.A. Happ were seriously injured by hard hit drives as well.

“I came in after Alex Cobb was hit in the head,” Torres told CNN on Sunday. “That’s really an impression to me, how his head sounded from the bullpen. That was really bad. I was shaking. ‘Oh my God! Oh my God!’ I’m glad he’s alive.”

Torres himself had never been hit in the head by a batted ball, but he is taking the “better safe than sorry” approach. Also, he had a close call:

He told “It could save our lives, if someone hits a ball to your head. I get it for free, so I’m just gonna use it to see how it feels.”

Torres almost didn’t make MLB history — Todd Redmond of the Blue Jays was wearing it earlier this year — but he never appeared in a game actually wearing the cap (supposedly claiming he’s “not a fan” of it).

So — how was it? According to, “The difference between how this hat and the regular hat feels isn’t much,” Torres said. “I tried it before using it in the game, playing catch. It doesn’t feel really bad. It doesn’t feel like how it looks on my head.”

Just like the original batting helmets, then helmets with ear flaps, I’m sure this piece of safety equipment will, with time, catch on, and we won’t think of it so much as a novelty but as a regular piece of equipment.

Readers, what say you? — Phil


CC image

Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Some terrific NFL posters this week, starting with one for that Washington team. Who’d object to George Washington? We’ve also got one for the TB Buc’s first season (how’d that work out btw?) and Cleveland Browns.

Other items this week include:

• Cool 1970’s #44 Chuck Foreman Vikings shirt.

• This 1970s Colts sticker would work for ya if you’re in Baltimore or Indy…no city listed.

• Great graphics on this 1970s Buffalo Sabres button.

• Nice looking 1970s 49ers helmet wall plaque.

• A Heath Shuler Draft party T-shirt? Really?

• For about $2500, you can have every St. Louis Cardinals bobble issued in the last 13 years- 32 in total. (Heck, the Giants do about 15-20 per season.)

• Vikings fans, the quality of this vintage Russell Athletic sweatshirt beats Nike by a mile. (IMO.)

• This 1960s Kansas City Chiefs bobblehead is in great shape! Staying with the Chiefs, here’s a classic Logo Athletic “Sharktooth” design jacket.

• A variety of Miami Dolphins items from Sears to be found in this “Fan Pack” including the classic poncho and zip front sweater.

• This Philadelphia Eagles glass goes way back. Why can’t they go back to the kelly green and white? And while we’re talkin’ retro, wouldn’t the Ray-duhz look great going back to the silver numbers? Nah, they’ll never change.

This “All-Pro” NFL wristwatch features the signatures of Jim Brown, Mike Ditka, and Jim Taylor.

and finally..

• Since The Grand Poobah is off this week, thought we’d slip in this ugly PURPLE Mets cap, Mwah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.


Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.


Too Good For the Ticker

Too Good…

for the Ticker

By Garrett McGrath

Reader Cameron Reed was at his local Goodwill in Nashville and spotted a uniform and was wondering what logo this is.

I didn’t immediately recognize it and, after exploring the wonders of the internet, found that it was the logo for the short-lived Single-A Mudville Nine. The Stockton Ports changed their name to the Mudville Nine for the 2000 and 2001 seasons in homage to the team in the poem “Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888” by Ernest Thayer. The poem was about the local team in Stockton, California in the last 1880s. Here it is in full:

The Outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only Casey could get but a whack at that –
We’d put up even money, now, with Casey at the bat.

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Casey’s getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despis-ed, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile on Casey’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped-
“That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one,” the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the stand;
And its likely they’d a-killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Strike two.”

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.


The poem has gone on to not only be considered the most famous about baseball, but one of the most well known in American literature. It was staged regularly on Vaudeville and was referenced and performed by people like Jackie Gleason in his “Reginald Van Gleason III” persona.

The most interesting details are from the backstory of the poem and its publication in the San Francisco Examiner. Baseball Almanac noted that:

It all started in 1885 when George Hearst decided to run for state senator in California. To self-promote his brand of politics, Hearst purchased the San Francisco Examiner. At the completion of the election, Hearst gave the newspaper to his son, William Randolph Hearst.

William, who had experience editing the Harvard Lampoon while at Harvard College, took to California three Lampoon staff members. One of those three was Ernest L. Thayer who signed his humorous Lampoon articles with the pen name Phin.

In the June 3, 1888 issue of The Examiner, Phin appeared as the author of the poem we all know as Casey at the Bat. The poem received very little attention and a few weeks later it was partially republished in the New York Sun, though the author was now known as Anon.

A New Yorker named Archibald Gunter clipped out the poem and saved it as a reference item for a future novel. Weeks later Gunter found another interesting article describing an upcoming performance at the Wallack Theatre by comedian De Wolf Hopper – who was also his personal friend. The August 1888 show (exact date is unknown) had members from the New York and Chicago ball clubs in the audience and the clipping now had a clear and obvious use.

Gunter shared Casey at the Bat with Hopper and the performance was nothing short of legendary. Baseball Almanac is pleased to present the single most famous baseball poem ever written.

Thanks Cameron for the great history lesson.

. . .

Thanks! — Great stuff. OK, now onto the ticker…


skins watch - 50 wide

‘skins Watch: Here’s a good article on the Chicago Blackhawks’ logo amidst all the Redskins dilemma (thanks to Yancy Yeater. … With the Washington Redskins’ name under attack, three Northern Virginia legislators are announcing the formation of the “Redskins Pride Caucus” (from Tommy Turner). … Also from Tommy, the Redskins have launched an official Military Appreciation Club, which provides “a platform for fans to serve, support, thank and connect with military service members and their families.” … Here’s an article that lays out how stubbornness will cost Dan Snyder more than the trademark, arguing he’d make a shit-ton of money by rebranding and come out ahead. … And it seems that even fake sports have a real problem with the “Redskins” name.

Uni Watch Ticker

Today’s ticker was complied by Garrett McGrath.

Baseball News: MLB released the All-Star Game Home Run Derby hats on their site, red for the American league and blue for the National League. … During the College World Series last night, Vanderbilt wore red, white, and blue uniforms with patriotic hats and batting helmets (from CJ Fogler). … Yesterday, reader Bruce Menard sent in this picture of great Yankee skippers in 1951. Coincidentally, yesterday, the current and five previous skippers posed together for another great picture. … Re-writing history: The Tampa Tribune declared the one-hitter pitched on Saturday a no-hitter in their Sunday print edition (from Jerry Kulig). … Pajama Pants: Honorary Nova Scotian Paul is all over this Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article on long and short baseball uniform pants (thanks, Phil). … Here’s an article on the disturbing history of baseball’s mascots (from Adam Brodsky). … The Double-A Binghamton Mets wore these “Magic Paintbrush” jerseys last night for charity. These look like they were designed in Microsoft Paint and a mash up of the 80s/motorcycle bro culture/and Los Mets. … The Double-A Birmingham Barons will wear these Stars and Stripes hats on July 4th. … The Triple-a affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, the Omaha Storm Chasers, are celebrating 4th of July with this crazy uniform (from Jeff Funke).

NFL News: The Starter Clubhouse, a pop-up clothing shop that was in Times Square as a part of the Super Bowl XLVIII festivities from January 17th until February 9th earlier this year, featured the old Miami Dolphins logo on a helmet on a wall in the shop (from Steven Salayda). … The NFL could start using the Schutt Vision camera system for TV broadcasts (thanks, Phil).

College Football News: The University of Akron Zips coach Terry Bowden revealed their new black uniforms with metallic gold helmets on Twitter last week (thanks, Phil). … New footballs for the Notre Dame team (from Warren Junium).

Soccer News: The New Yorker on United States coach Jürgen Klinsmann’s polo and khaki dressed down sideline outfits (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Good eye: Brandon Seale spotted an Auburn flag being waved after Mexico’s 3-1 victory over Croatia yesterday. … Everton F.C. sent a 2014-2015 Home kit release teaser email (from Casey Hart). … Hmm. ESPN might want to reverse those teams in the graphic Nevermind, it’s a fake.

NBA News: Bullets Fever! John Wall of the Washington Wizards has been seen this offseason in jerseys of other NBA teams including the Hawks, the Pacers, and the Suns (from Tommy Turner). … The Celtics, Warriors, 76ers, and Kings have released new secondary logos and partial logos for the 2014-2015 season. The 76ers secondary logo is a revamp of a previous logo from 2002. … The number one pick in the draft on Thursday will be wearing this special hat. The other draft caps will look like this.

College Hoops News: A timelapse video of the new court floor design at North Carolina State’s practice facility, the Curtis & Jacqueline Dail Basketball Complex, and the finished illustrations of finished designs from the practice facility and the PNC Arena (thanks, Phil).

Grab Bag: A Washington Post story about the man behind University of Maryland’s branding transition into the Big Ten (from Yusuke Toyoda). … This weekend’s US Open Women’s Champion Michelle Wie wore camo kinesio tape on her left leg (from Patrick O’Neill). … Canadian military forces returned to old-style uniforms at a cost of $4.5 million, CANADIAN! (from Casey Levene) … Style editors at Esquire debate if grown men can wear sports uniforms off the field (from Tommy Turner).


Comments (107)

    Hey, no ridiculous typos or errors in a weekday post! I’ll assume this is Garrett’s work.

    Not my work at all. Phil is doing a great job holding down the fort in Paul’s absence.

    So… is that WWE wrestler considered a heel or a face? His comment kinda takes on a different meaning depending on if he’s one of the good guys or one of the asshole villain characters.

    Bad News Barrett is a heel that a lot of people are starting to cheer for. Although last night his match with Dolph Ziggler, who everyone likes, pretty much made him the bad guy no matter what. Typical tactic to get a pop from a hometown crowd. Like going to a pro-Boston sports bar and wearing Yankees gear.

    The notion of ANYONE affiliated with professional wrestling chastising someone for racial insensitivity is enough to boggle the mind. That it was someone from the WWE?!?!?
    *head explodes*

    WWE has gotten better, as they fired a manager two years ago after link (which, personally, I found funny), even though they also have a history of going a little too over the top–even with link. A lot of that has to do with WWE becoming a publicly-traded company in 1999 and needing to be more mainstream in order to please investors. (Although it should be noted that the McMahon family still controls about 70% of WWE stock.) They also make more money with advertisers by being more PC–having ads with Kmart and CKE Restaurants are better than say, Stacker 2. Are there still some non-PC moments in WWE? Yes, but you’ll find that in any entertainment sector, and you see that in sports when some athletes play to ethnic or racial stereotypes.

    Seeing a lot more wrestling talk on here as of late. Isn’t one of the new interns a big fan or something? How cool would a story about wrestling outfit aesthetics be?

    It wouldn’t hurt, explaining to people the difference between short trunks, singlets, long tights, etc… (Let’s just leave out NSFW link. and what those link), as well as unconventional gear like the recently broken-up Shield link (Roman Reigns, whose on the left, still wears riot gear) or IRS wearing link. (For newer fans who don’t know, Mike Rotunda, aka IRS, is the real-life father of current WWE stars Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas.) Yes, it’s a fake sport, but there is a lot of athleticism involved.

    Actually worked with a guy during the 2012 Olympics who did a piece on wrestling gear and whatnot.

    I thought Attila was talking about PRO wrestling gear/outfits, to which the answer would decidedly be “No.”

    I absolutely AM talking about theatrical/pro wrestling. As Joseph said, they ARE athletes that are wearing uniforms.

    I mean, I get that it may not be your cup of tea or whatever but there is a large fan base (on here clearly) that might appreciate some love. If I recall correctly there was a whole day devoted to curling uniforms; how difficult could it be to do one on wrestling?

    Hell, if I was computer literate in the least I would even volunteer to be involved…

    they ARE athletes that are wearing uniforms

    They are performers wearing costumes.

    Athletic performers, but performers nonetheless. If the event is scripted and the outcome preplanned, it’s not a sport and they aren’t athletes.

    By definition wouldn’t doing something athletic make the one doing it, for the time at least, an athlete?

    Plus, it can tie into actual sports competition with the vast number of pro wrestlers who have “real” sports backgrounds (Lesnar, Benjamin, Angle, Reigns, Wyatt, JBL, Savage, etc….).

    “If the event is scripted and the outcome preplanned, it’s not a sport and they aren’t athletes.”


    Couldn’t have said it better, myself.

    Doesn’t matter if the performers are “athletes” (I’m sure the Cirque du soleil guys are in better shape than many professional sports-players, doesn’t mean we’re going to do a piece on them.

    And there are lots of former pro athletes who’ve turned to performing in TV shows and movies.

    I appreciate the desire to see “pro” wrestling costumes profiled here. Perhaps this summer when I take over during Paul’s sabbatical, you’d be interested in penning a piece. Not something I plan on doing, but give me a shout in a month or so and you can pitch it.

    I actually was going to suggest the same. Seems like the appropriate time to have some fill-in content. Clearly you’re not a fan yourself, lol.

    Also, no love for Fred Dryer? Hunter was badass when I was a kid.

    Great lede and great stuff from Mr. Anderson!

    Really like the presidents cartoon, but two observations:
    – why is Harry S. Truman missing?
    – why is LBJ impersonating Mr. Magoo?

    Also, why is the Gipper in blue? His penchant for brown and tan suits was kind of a big deal at the time. Also, he was the last to regularly wear gray pinstripes.

    That, or a Cubs jacket:



    Not really a criticism! I love all of Mr. Anderson’s work, and the presidents series most of all. How about a print with Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Taft?

    Besides, Al Bundy scored 4 TD’s in a game at running back for Polk High. So lay off! LOL #33 forever!

    If he added Harry S., that would give the piece an unbalanced line. I say ditch Ford since he was not elected to either post.

    . . . but the Ford cariacature is one of the very best (along with Ike and Slick Willy).

    Truman and the other Presidents are all in process of being designed. You will love the rest of them. I will be sure to send the final product to Paul.

    He loved those windowpane checks, didn’t he?

    Few men have the chutzpah to pull off a suit that flamboyant. (Then again, the guy had the chutzpah to secretly fund a war in Nicaragua, so a green suit was child’s play>)

    You’re a talented guy, Maeser. I’m only seeing three photos of the shark installation, all of them in the construction phase. I’d love to see a finished version!

    Those protective hats look like turbans, but if it takes a Sikh to shield a heat-seeking missile, then so be it.

    The Guardian has an interactive chart on the football leagues being represented in The World Cup.


    Good find. I’m not going to do all the math but it would be interesting if they did it by country rather than league. For example, England would have an additional 14 players (12 from the Championship and 2 from League 1) while Italy would only add one additional player from Serie B.

    The name Stockton appears in two different segments today. That’s gotta be a record.

    There was a pretty good discussion about the goofy looking padded cap in the comments yesterday. My opinion is that, if it makes you feel more safe, why the hell not. Sure it looks dumb, but better to look dumb than to get a line drive to the side of the skull.

    Agreed. I wasn’t alive when the first padded helmets and later plastic helmets were first introduced, but I believe there was lots of ridicule directed at the wearers at the time. Since then, every player is required to wear an ear flap (which was also derided as “goofy” at the time of introduction), and players at pretty much every level below the majors wear double-flappers. I think many little leagues require cages too — and if the kids grow up wearing the equipment, there’s much less “stigma” to wearing it “when you make the show.”

    If kids in the little leagues and young adults start wearing protective pitching caps, in a few years, we won’t be thinking much about how “goofy” it looks and instead just accept it as a regular piece of equipment.

    The same can be said for “hockey style” catchers masks — no one bats an eye now, but when they were first introduced, it was like, “whaaaaa?”

    If you (or anyone) watched video of those pitchers taking line drives to the head, I think you’d agree having the skull cap is probably not that bad an idea.

    And unlike other sports, there’s less worry over the “superman effect” where a player is more reckless because he feels more protected. I mean, a pitcher with a padded hat isn’t going to stick his face into a line drive.

    Is there any chance that the new pitcher’s caps could interfere with performance? Back when pitchers commonly used classic windup motions that involved raising their arms up behind their heads, this new cap might have been a problem. But with most pitchers using compact windups or pitching from the stretch these days, I guess that’s not really an issue anymore.

    If it makes you feel more safe, then why the hell not? That’s why I wear a crash helmet, flame retardant suit, balaclava, a five-point racing harness, shoulder pads, knee pads, and a cup every time I go out driving. Because, you never know.

    Obviously, you want to balance safety with function. In this case, it doesn’t seem like the padding gets in the way of pitching. So given that, why not?

    Anyway, you’re free to take all those precautions, just as a pitcher should be free to wear a more protective headgear. One just happens to be less disruptive than the other.

    I think somebody yesterday mentioned that the safety caps were Charlie Brown-esque. I didn’t bother to look at the photo then, but seeing it today, wow! It would be prefect if the Padres had a catcher named Schroeder, and a beagle playing second base.

    I don’t think a big deal should be made out of John Wall wearing some 1990s throwback Jalen Rose, Steve Smith, or Kevin Johnson jerseys. (I’m assuming that’s a 7 and not a 1, which would be Cedric Ceballos.)

    It’s hard to tell with the 90s Suns jersey because with the italic, 7 and 1 are at pretty much the same angle.

    I’m glad Wall is wearing authentic throwbacks and not the retail replicas that took out most of the design elements. For example, Pacers replicas looked link.

    Did we know that the ASG BP caps were going to feature team logos in white, rather than standardized logos representing the league? Seems like kind of a big deal in ASG uniforming, though one with an obvious marketing purpose. Also, given that the Twins are the home team, it seems odd to me to see the white TC logo on a solid red cap – as well as the white curly W logo on a solid navy cap. It’s like, this is what the Twins and Nats look like in the “Mirror Mirror” universe with evil Spock.

    Casey at the Bat also inspired this poem by my Pulitzer prize winning great-uncle, in regards to the 1941 World Series and Mickey Owen’s dropped 3rd strike.


    Why not just pitch with a double flapped batting helmet? First reactions are to turn your head so it would have more protection, stay on with no problem. I also feel it would become acceptable a lot quicker since we already have players wearing them. Seems like a simpler quicker solution to me.

    Devil’s advocate: Isn’t the fundamental issue here batted balls that come too fast for a pitcher’s reflexes to matter? If his “first reaction” was at issue, then he would avoid getting hit at all, right?

    Or anyway, I could see that being the thinking behind not just throwing batting helmets at the pitching staff.

    Two reasons come to mind why a batting helmet wouldn’t be ideal:

    A standard New Era 59Fifty on-field cap weighs approximately 4 ounces (or a little less). The standard Rawlings S100 Pro Comp model batting helmet weighs about 18 ounces, or 4 1/2 times more. The IsoBlox padded cap adds about 7 ounces of padding for an approximate 11 ounce total.


    Secondly, head and neck mobility is much more difficult in a batting helmet. A hitter only ever needs to look forward and virtually never looks upwards. A pitcher needs to be able to swivel his head and look up to find a pop up, cover a base, or field a bunt.

    BWags, seconded. Hopefully some kind of future technology will make it possible to add super-light padding to caps so that the player wearing one will never lose head mobility because of the differing weight. I often remove my batting helmet when running the bases for this very reason — my head movements are calibrated to the weight of a cap, not a helmet.

    I hear you arrScott. my thought was a head jerk/turn happens quicker/easier after the follow through. I just feel a transition to double flapped batting helmets would be an easier transition for the reasons i mentioned above. The helmet could even be modified slightly to add more protection in areas with more concern. present day a batting helmet is more acceptable than the modified cap. it just seems like a more natural progression. they put batting helmets on base coaches.

    If MLB was in a position to make a move to require pitchers to wear head protection and they had to choose between the two…I’d bet most would choose the batting helmet. The baggy shirts and long pants add more than 11 ounces to their uniform but they choose to wear them, why? because of the way it looks. I played baseball for over 25 year of my life. the weight of a batting helmet was never something I lamented about. We’re talking ounces here not pounds. Mobility if impacted would be minimal. I’m just saying a betting helmet is the next progression. modify it for the pitcher if you have to, but if protection is the main focus you would see batting helmets sooner than what Torres was wearing

    I completely understand your point, Rick. I would point out that the additional weight, although, as you point out, ounces not pounds, would definitely affect pitchers’ mechanics (even if only psychologically). Think of all the examples of tiny changes that pitchers will point to for not being sharp or having trouble getting people out.

    I agree with you completely that if MLB made the move, the existing batting helmet would and probably should be jumping off point.

    I was just trying to engage in a pro/con discussion, more so than right/wrong.

    All good BWags…To your point, I agree pitchers mechanics are very minute and can get thrown off quite easily ( I know from experience)and to add, the psychological effect I feel would be less with a batting helmet when you compare the aesthetics of each and take into account the choices that players make for looks rather than function.

    “A Heath Shuler Draft party T-shirt? Really?”

    Someone wants $18 for that worthless rag? Really?

    Shuler was going to be the savior of the ‘Skins.
    Just like:

    “Since The Grand Poobah is off this week, thought we’d slip in this ugly PURPLE Mets cap, Mwah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.”

    I never understood Paul’s aversion to purple. Until now.

    I have problems with the science and economics behind the pitcher’s helmet – as in, far as I can see, MLB has done neither. But deep down, my real objection is aesthetic. It’s a helmet. It’s not a ballcap. It doesn’t look ridiculous because it’s kind of large; it looks ridiculous because it’s dressed up to resemble a ballcap, which looks absurd at the scale of a helmet. That’s a mistake. Admit that it’s a helmet, dispense with the giant bill, and just paint and decal it to have the proper color and logo on the front.

    Seems like what MLB really needs here is this:


    My TL didn’t go back to late Saturday night, but after I posted (or reposted) the photo of Torres in the procap, there were at least a dozen similar pics (including Mario among others) to mock the look.

    Yeah, it looks kinda stupid, but other than Chapman (who got hit in the face), I bet any of the other three pitchers who got hit would rather have looked goofy and had the cap, than not.

    I’m actually surprised something similar to this (including just a helmet — think John Olerud in the field hasn’t been tried either in the bigs or the lower levels (and maybe it has, I just haven’t seen much if any press on it).

    Olerud type caps would more than likely fly/fall of during the pitching motion. They should just wear double flapped helmets…no?

    Its not just about weight. Its how/where the weight is located…Think center of gravity. How the weight is secured is also a factor. 18 ounces around the whole head and secured probably doesnt feel that much different than 11 around the top half of the head. My take is it probably feels better. mobility would not be an issue…especially with some modifications

    I thought the Mudville name was sort of a fun gimmick, but are there any other teams that use a fictional locale as not only their team name but in place of their own locale?

    As for the Visalia Rawhide, I liked the Oaks name as it relates to the trees in the town and they were an A’s affiliate so it harkened back to the PCL Oakland Oaks. I don’t have a problem with the Rawhide name as it relates to the livestock in the area. I like their cap logo too as it looks like a cattle brand and is one of the few new logos that isn’t a fighting or fierce animal/object.

    Before reading, please know my son is perfectly fine!

    Three weeks ago my son was pitching for an 11U baseball team against a 12U team. On his second pitch, he took a screaming line drive directly to the forehead. He was briefly knocked unconscious, and then was quickly able to answer the basic questions given to people in these situation (Where are you? What’s your mom’s name? etc.). Fortunately the coaches were trained for this kind of event, and there just happened to be an EMT in attendance. Then, we were in the emergency room until 1am. The doctor confirmed a concussion. Fortunately, the MRI tech just happened to be in the hospital and was happy to fire it up…just to make sure there was no bleeding behind the skull.

    Despite this recent event, I’m not interested in getting a IsoBlox protective pitching hat for my son. Frankly, it’s not enough. It has no face protection. What if a batted ball were to shatter his orbital bone? I’m thinking a combo cycling helmet/light facemask might do the trick. Just imagine a lacrosse helmet, and then imagine it much lighter and breathable. I’ve been considering the idea ever since that day.

    Overkill? Maybe, but maybe not. It was a one-in-100,000 shot, and it happened to my son.

    First, and most obviously, I’m glad to hear your son is ok.

    On to my point: in softball, (girls leagues primarily, but I’ve seen them in use up through competitive men’s teams) it’s not uncommon at all to see facemasks and even helmets for fielders.

    Maybe that’s a way to pursue:


    I’ve noticed in women’s softball safety equipment us men think is revolutionary has been around for years. Pitcher’s facemaks, facemasks on batting helmets, that’s all old hat in women’s softball. It doesn’t seem like girls have any concerns about how “goofy” safety equipment can make you look. So this bring’s up a question: why is unconventional safety equipment like pitcher’s facemasks and batting helmet facemasks so common in women’s softball but in men’s baseball it doesn’t exist? Is it just the old problem of men trying to be manly and how it makes them look tougher if they don’t wear any safety gear? Is it the old problem of parents treating girls like girls and making them require *extra*, perhaps unnecessary safety gear because girls are fragile? I mean, if a girl ever got a line drive to the face and was disfigured for life the odds of her leading a normal life are pretty fucking low. Guys however think scars make them look tough and are always afraid of looking like a sissy so if a new pitcher’s helmet makes them look both goofy AND like a sissy the chances of more men wearing it are pretty damn low.

    Some guys, for sure. As a girls softball umpire, I’ve seen dozens of girls wearing the simple (and not so simple) face-masks. But there are now products being marketed directly to slow-pitch softball pitchers. And as a slow-pitch player, the vast majority of people buying these are men for use in high-level play against other men.

    Perhaps the demographic of guys not wanting to look goofy and like a sissy tends toward the younger side. As many slow-pitch players are a bit older than typical baseball players, there is virtually no stigma attached to choosing to wear the masks and helmets.
    I play third base, and I always wear a mouthguard. If I were still playing at the higher levels I used to play, I would give serious thought to a facemask. And I have the added advantage of being able to set myself for anything hit at me.

    @HHH: Without question there’s a paternalism & a double standard viz a viz the treatment of safety concerns in men’s v. women’s sports. While perhaps in women’s softball they’ve been addressed in sensible, constructive ways (I couldn’t say), there’s abundant examples in other sports to the contrary, most recently:

    Similarly, several years ago the National Federation of High Schools mandated the nationwide use of protective eyewear in high school field hockey as “the right step,” even though (1) it conceded there was no proof of their effectiveness at avoiding injury and (2) its own medical committee that had investigated the issue had recommended, unanimously, against the mandate. The NFHS even went so far as to endorse the use of women’s lacrosse-style goggles even though they’re banned in field hockey literally worldwide BECAUSE wearing them has been potentially hazardous to players.

    Glad your son is OK! Thanks for sharing the story — if he gets back on the bump, let us know what (if any) protective gear he uses.

    Actually, Jerry “The King” Lawler did actually mention the Redskins by name on “WWE Raw” last night. Michael Cole and JBL didn’t wanna do it.

    Italian goalkeeper wearing one red boot and one blue boot, and one red glove and one blue glove :(

    That a tilt b/w two of the most historically cynical teams in international soccer, with advancement on the line, would result in a bloodbath?

    Didn’t see that coming…

    There’s even a uni-related angle to the controversy, as Uruguay’s Gaston Ramirez tried to push Giorgio Chiellini’s collar back in place to hide the bite marks from Suarez’s attack. As shown here:


    I assume a lengthy ban from international play is heading Luis Suarez’s way, but should Ramirez be subject to discipline, too?

    Seems like the ref should’ve at least taken a look at the bitemark and noted it in his match report, with or without Ramirez’s interference. I don’t think it’s any worse (though no better either) than when players crowd around a ref to try to influence the call.

    Suarez can be banned for up to two years, which, because of the centennial tournament in 2016, would force him to miss Copa America twice.

    ‘Casey at the Bat’ fans need to check out Martin Gardner’s “Annotated Casey at the Bat”, which contains just about every parody and homage to the original powem written in the next 100 years. Gardner was more famous for his educated-layman-oriented mathematical writing, but his commentary on this poem (and also no Alice in Wonderland) is pretty fun to read.

    If I was an MLB pitcher I would totally wear the new pitcher’s helmet, but I would demand that earflaps and/or a facemask be options. I mean, what are the odds a batted ball is only going to hit the top of your head? I’ve seen pitchers get hit near the ear or in the face and earflaps and/or facemasks would prevent that from happening. Even in that video they said the ball hit that one pitcher near his ear. With the helmet Torres is wearing his ear is completely exposed. If you get hit in the exposed areas wearing the helmet is pointless.

    Just like how earflaps and facemasks eventually became available options on batting helmets I think we’ll see the same for pitcher’s helmets as time goes on and they become more popular and more widely used. I mean, I don’t know why it took this long for a pitcher’s helmet to debut in MLB. How many more pitchers being hit in the head and having their careers and almost their lives end did it have to take? I mean, with the Titanic it was just one ship before many safety precautions became requirements on cruise ships. But then again thousands of people died that day and when a pitcher gets a line drive to the skull it’s just one guy that goes down.

    I think Saturday night was a great day for baseball and a day I’ve been waiting for since I was a kid. I remember when I was 10 or 11 around 1990 asking my older friend who was much more into baseball than I was why pitchers didn’t wear helmets. He didn’t have an answer for me but knew of plenty of instances when pitchers almost died and their careers cut short after getting hit in the head. I can’t believe it’s been 24 years since our conversation that a pitcher’s helmet has finally appeared in MLB. This is truly a major milestone.

    The protective cap doesn’t anything for face protection, which is what most of the injuries from line drives have been. Softball pitchers use face protection, so why not just use the same face protection in baseball? Any pitcher that concerned about the skull protection can use a helmet or this silly cap if desired. If this hat is the only extra protection the pitcher is allowed right now, then MLB is only concerned with the illusion of safety.

    Look, I’m not a fan of the pitcher’s cap, but this is kind of silly: then MLB is only concerned with the illusion of safety.

    No, a league that is only concerned with the “illusion of safety” would cook the books and put out blatantly falsified studies to demonstrate that everything is perfectly safe and no new equipment or rules are needed. (See: NFL.) Safety is never a binary issue: The choice is not between doing nothing or doing the absolute maximum physically possible, and anything in-between is just posturing.

    Take yesterday’s discussion of airplane emergency oxygen masks. If you really wanted to keep passengers 100% safe from loss of cabin pressure, you’d restrict planes to flying below 10,000 feet, so that if the fuselage cracks, everyone can just keep on breathing normally. Therefore, letting planes fly above 10,000 feet and installing emergency oxygen masks is just a sham concern with the illusion of safety, right? On the contrary. Even in the context of adopting safety equipment, perfect safety is never the only, and often not the primary, value among several important values that must be taken into consideration. Every safety measure short of not playing the game at all will be a compromise between perfect safety and other important values.

    The clearest way to protect the pitcher is to put a batting practice style screen in front of him, but that would radically change the game, which is one of those “important values” that must be considered.

    I think I understand what russ is saying. The caps are a little like that Gazoo helmet that Mark Kelso wore in the 90’s: safe, but silly-looking. Lots of people don’t have the will to don equipment that will make them look silly, so it often doesn’t get worn. MLB’s endorsing the caps is a way of saying, the next time something awful happens to a pitcher, “Well, the proper equipment was available; he just refused to wear it.” It not so much the illusion of safety, as the avoidance of liability.

    I realize there are far greater minds working on this than mine, but I’m thinking that some adaptation of link would be ideal for baseball pitchers.

    Augment this with a bit more protection around the ears/side of head (something like a modernized version of link & I’d think you’d have optimal protection with minimal weight/bulk.

    I really need to read all the comments before responding to something. Also, I need to read earlier in the day: I always come in late, and all the good observations have been taken.

    Nice tweak to the ‘skins Watch logo!
    I appreciate the use of the lower case S as well.

    Great post today! I grew up very into uniform design myself (no doubt how I got hooked on Uni Watch). I’ve got to say that I agree with you on the Houston Rockets unis too. Those red and yellow uniforms were classic. The current red / white combo has always felt like a boring template for a high school JV team.

    Minor trivia:

    Of the World Cup teams that have played three matches England, Italy, Brazil, Croatia and Australia didn’t wear their away shirts in any group match. All but Brazil is out of the tournament.

    Neither Italy nor Netherlands wore their preferred combination (white shorts with their dark shirts) once.

    The funny thing about the first Bucs’ poster from 1976 (which I like, but would not pay $100 for) is the orange jersey. They actually only wore orange in one of the 20 (preseason and regular season) games that year, the preseason home opener against Miami. In every other game that year, the Bucs wore white. I still don’t know exactly why. Even in December at home, white. On the road, I can see, the home team would wear its colors. At home early in the season, okay, it’s hot under the Florida sun. But they wore white in every single regular-season game.

    Especially when the problem with the white jerseys (the orange numbers hard to see) required them to be changed the next year.

    Also, 1976 was the only year they wore the striped socks, so the orange 1976 uniform in that poster, which like you say they only wore once in preseason, was worn four times as a throwback from 2009-2012. How often has that happened – a uniform worn four times as many times as a throwback than it was ever originally worn. I get, though, that the 1977-1996 uni was pretty much the same thing, albeit with solid orange socks.

    I watched a bit of the Brewers game last night.
    I like the look of the AL Brewers’ uni rather than the NL’s.
    Although I must be in the minority because the fans in attendance that the TV captured were mostly wearing NL Brewers attire.

    Don’t know if anyone mentioned this but there’s a statue of Mighty Casey on the hill above Lamade Stadium with the poem around it’s base

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