Skip to content

The Worst MLB Giveaways of 2014

Worst MLB 2014 - hed

By Phil Hecken

Last week I was joined by Joe Mueller, who brought us his version of the Best MLB Giveaways of 2014. Today he’s back with the worst. (Click on most images to enlarge). Here’s Joe.

. . . . .

Worst MLB Giveaways of 2014
By Joseph Mueller

Thanks again for having me! Today I’m going to give the worst giveaway from each team. While some of these are obviously in my mind the worst giveaway from each team there are others that are very difficult to choose. I stay away from the theme tickets, social night at the ball park or any other special at the night which required the purchase of an additional ticket. I also tried to stay away from team schedules and regularly scheduled t-shirts. (Free Shirt Friday, T-Shirt Tuesday) I’d love to hear your own opinion and if you have any questions for me I’ll be happy to respond. I’d love to hear your own opinion and if you have any questions for me I’ll be happy to respond. Now to get into the rankings.



•Arizona Diamondbacks:

I love tradition especially when it comes to uniforms. I think the Cardinals, Yankees, Red Sox all have great sets of uniforms and I don’t want them to change anytime soon. But I’m also a fan of new concepts like the amount of colored of “softball” tops as you will. I actually prefer the black uniforms over the road grays. I’ve tried to give the camouflage craze a chance. There are times when I think that it’s subtle enough and well color coordinated where it works. This is one of the times where it’s a swing and a miss. It’s been done before and it’s not even a jersey worn by the club. Also due to the beer advertisement only fans 21 and older are allowed to receive it. A regular jersey would have done the job and looked soooo much better.


Braves Military Patch Giveaway

• Atlanta Braves:

I could find no images for this giveaway but according to the Braves it exists. That giveaway would be a Military Patch sponsored by AT&T. So it could have turned out two different ways. Ugly and Ugly.



• Baltimore Orioles:

This pillow is a little to creepy for my liking. I like the idea but I think that it could have been executed better.



• Boston Red Sox:

This is one of the teams where there aren’t really any bad promotions. That could because there are only 4 promotions all year and/or they have really good promotions. If I had to pick one it would be the David Ortiz bobblehead solely on the fact that he killed the Cardinals in the World Series last year.


Chicago C

• Chicago Cubs:

Yes, I know Northwestern is just outside of Chicago but it just doesn’t make sense. Not everyone is a Northwestern fan, heck I’d bet that there are more Notre Dame fans in Chicago than Northwestern. I’d understand a Bears schedule because most Cubs fans root for the Bears but not really sure about Northwestern. Side note: look the team I student equipment manage for is on that schedule!


Chicago W

• Chicago White Sox:

This is a highly controversial issue among the uni-world. When is it too much pink? For some it might be for a day. For some it might be the whole month of October. (ALL FOOTBALL LEAGUES) For others it might not be an issue at all. I’m all for supporting breast cancer research but games like this tend to be more gimmicks. This giveaway is a nice gift but I’m afraid of what it will become. Camo and Stars and Stripes have taken over Fourth of July and Memorial Day. New hats have taken over All-Star Game. Teams now wear their batting practice uniforms for regular games. We’ve already seen the White Sox break out the pink caps. Could it be potentially a sign of teams regularly doing this? Could it also mean the incorporation of a special pink jersey? I don’t know an answer to either of those questions. I could also be reading into this thing way to far.



• Cincinnati Reds:

More camouflage! It’s basically the opposite of the jersey they are wearing this year. The camouflage is in the logo, name and number while the shirt is brown where as the jersey is camouflage and the logo, name and number are brown. It just makes ugly uglier.



• Cleveland Indians:

I have never heard an Ohioan ever refer to Ohio as Brohio. I̶t̶ ̶a̶l̶s̶o̶ ̶b̶a̶f̶f̶l̶e̶s̶ ̶m̶e̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶w̶h̶y̶ ̶N̶i̶c̶k̶ ̶S̶w̶i̶s̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶H̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶s̶c̶r̶i̶p̶t̶ ̶O̶h̶i̶o̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶O̶h̶i̶o̶ ̶S̶t̶a̶t̶e̶. Well, he played for Ohio State and is from Columbus so now the H makes sense. As for Brohio it was started by Swisher, who is the self proclaimed President. I think it’s stupid plain and simple.



• Colorado Rockies:

All 9 gnomes. Yes ALL NINE. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. It’s overkill and not needed. Also the whole Tulowitzski mess up was bad, really bad.



• Detroit Tigers:

I’m not sure what April in the D is. Could those from Detroit please tell me what it is? All I’ve seen is pictures of giant bobbleheads throughout the city. I do like that. I don’t like winter gloves given away before the start of summer. Maybe they should’ve given them away in September? But then they wouldn’t have the April in the D sponsorship. This is another iffy one.



• Houston Astros:

One of the better gnomes because it could actually sit out in your yard like a gnome should be doing. Then again it is a gnome and don’t really see people enjoying gnomes.


Kansas City

• Kansas City Royals:

This one was close. I was on the fence between this poster and the camouflage jersey. Robert Blehert created the poster and has other similar pieces. I personally am not a fan of most of his work. I think in many of his pieces the background is too busy and detracts from the featured image. That would be the case for this poster. While it’s not my favorite I still think that it’s better than the camouflage jersey. The camouflage has seen it’s time and go yet refuses to go. The Royals also haven’t worn jerseys with this specif camo. If you’re going to give away a camouflage jersey at least use a previous or current one.


Los Angeles A(Hat)

• Los Angeles Angels:

Is that leopard print? No, it’s more camouflage! If you’re going to make a camouflage something at make it look like camouflage. Bonus: Mike Trout shirsey given away the day before.


Los Angeles D

• Los Angeles Dodgers:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is coming back in the form of a new movie! The Dodgers hare having a Leonardo mask giveaway. (Because he’s blue) Honestly when I first saw this mask I thought it was just a regular mask not to promote the new movie. Then tanking a further look at the mask it didn’t really make me think of a Dodgers promotion just like the Mets’ loom bandz. Sure it might be in team colors but there aren’t any team identifying marks. There isn’t a logo to be seen on the one picture we have of it. It’s bland very bland.



• Miami Marlins:

Not really a bad promotion but not really a great one either. The Marlins really have a tough time drawing people into the games because they aren’t exactly the best. Last year when I went down to Miami for Thanksgiving I took a tour of the stadium. I remember my tour guide saying that Miami is a very bandwagon town. People go to sporting events when the specific team is good and wouldn’t know what they’d do if they lost LeBron in terms of sports. The Marlins don’t really draw well because they aren’t the best. Because they don’t draw well and there aren’t that many hardcore baseball fans there are pictures of Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and other non-Miami greats lining the inside walls of the stadium to help educate casual fans. It was really surprising seeing players which had no connection to Miami or the Marlins on the walls. For me at least it’s surprising Miami doesn’t have a greater quantity of promotions to try and draw fans.



• Milwaukee Brewers:

Another team trying to sell tickets using camouflage and baseball but this time it’s with a bobblehead. From a far it appears to be all the same color but it is definitely camouflage when you look take a closer look. The Brewers also failed to pay attention to the details and made his wrist tape white when it’s supposed to be black.



• Minnesota Twins:

The gnomes have been taking over the giveaways the past few years. I couldn’t give you an answer as to why, but they are. I’m not a big fan of them, especially since they aren’t truly gnomes. They don’t even function as a gnome that you could put outside. It’s not a game I’d specifically go to just for the promotion.


New York M

• New York Mets:

Chances are you’ve heard of Loom Bandz. If you haven’t they are little rubber band like things that you use a loom to make a bracelet, necklace or anything else that you can think of. While it’s a fun activity I don’t think they warrant a giveaway. I mean all they are colored rubber bands. Someone isn’t going to ask if they are Met loom bandz. They might complement on the colors but they won’t know that they are Mets’ loom bandz.


New York Y

• New York Yankees:

Is that a rubber duck? No, it’s a Peep. Do some people like them? Absolutely. Does it make it worth to hand out just because the Yankee jersey is stuck onto it? Absolutely not.



•Oakland Athletics:

Too many gnomes for my liking. I don’t know where this craze is coming from but it needs to stop. Half don’t even function as actual gnomes where they are able to be stuck out in a garden. Also when the Athletics had such a great giveaway of Coco Crisp a couple of years ago it’s hard to beat.



• Philadelphia Phillies:

The concept is great. Give the kids a promotion to make them look like the mascot while also making it possible for them to see. By see I mean it’s not a mask that the put on and it’s pitch black. The problem is that the execution is pretty bad. The top of the glasses appear to be some material super glued onto the inside of the glasses. I’d expect the material to fall of after a couple of uses. The nose is a little better but I’m not sure how it’s secured onto the glasses. So after a couple uses or one heavy duty use one would expect to have green glasses which say Citizens Bank.



• Pittsburgh Pirates:

I can’t decide if this is a bad giveaway because it’s of a player who got traded a couple of months after this was giveaway or if it’s because I hate these jerseys. I just hate that awful gold color. I know it’s supposed to be a throwback but it’s not a good one. At least they haven’t brought back either of these jerseys.


San Diego

• San Diego Padres:

Unlike the divisional foe Arizona Diamondbacks the Padres actually have a camouflage jersey and wear it for Sunday home games. I’m glad the Padres decided to giveaway a jersey they actually use. What I’m not so thrilled about are the jersey inadequacies. The United States of America is missing from the left sleeve and the interlocking SD logo is missing from the right sleeve. The biggest flaw in the giveaway jersey is the style. For games the Padres wear button up jerseys while this promotion is a pullover. It’s the small details which add up to make this the worst Padres giveaway in my opinion, well also the camouflage.


San Francisco

• San Francisco Giants:

While I’m not opposed to sports sleeves there are times where they can go too far. While this was given away to kids 14 and under it doesn’t excuse the ugliness of the sleeve. I also highly doubt kids wear the sleeve for compression but rather because it looks cool. It would have been much better just a plain black sleeve with the Giants logo. Honorable Mentions: ‘Merica & Camo. This is one of the cases where it goes too far. A simple Giants logo would have just been fine but rather it had to be covered with flames so the little kids that this promotion is given to can throw their arms out.



• Seattle Mariners:

2010 is calling and would like it’s terrible hat designs back. While the Mariners never wore a hat exactly like this there were teams that did. The piping is terrible and is really not unnecessary, almost like the St. Louis Blues old jersey. This style of hat should be retired and never come out of retirement, unless on Willie Mays.


St. Louis

• St. Louis Cardinals:

Being from St. Louis and a Cardinals fan has taught me a lot. One of the things is to appreciate a nice jersey and the details. I remember reading how much Bill Dewitt III, the Cardinals president, cares about the uniforms. The Cardinals pretty much threw everything out the window and decided to be “cool” and giveaway this monster of a jersey. The Cardinals decided to give the jersey away during the fourth of July weekend, so you’d expect them to give it away on the 4th, right? Ha! Well you’d be wrong, they gave this away instead. (I think they knew the ring would be a bigger ticket seller) The next head scratcher was the decision to make the jersey gray. It might just be me but I prefer either a throwback, alternate, or home jersey given away. Then they decided to include the flag in the logo, which just makes it look ugly. The last thing is the mesh armpits. Why? To imitate the New Era Cool Base technology? It’s doesn’t work and doesn’t even look similar. I really hope this was a one time thing because they are just plain awful.


Tampa Bay

• Tampa Bay Rays:

“Because handing out basketball items at a baseball game makes sense.”



• Texas Rangers:

While there has not been any images of what the giveaway will look like I decided to come up with my own. In all seriousness it will most likely be this camouflage. It needs to stop.



• Toronto Blue Jays:

When I think of cowboys I think of the west. I think of Montana, Utah, California, New Mexico. What I don’t think of is Toronto. I’d prefer if the cowboy hats stayed out in the west. I’d also prefer if it’s called a cowboy hat to have it look more like a cowboy hat than a straw hat.


Jayson Werth Gnome

• Washington Nationals:

Another gnome not able to be used as an actual gnome. I hope this trend ends just like the camouflage.


I’d like to thank Phil and Paul for having me again! It was a pleasure. I hope you all enjoyed it and I’d love to respond to your comments. If you’d like to reach me I can be found here. I also write regularly for and would love if you came to visit me over there. We will be releasing a big article about all the giveaways at the end of the baseball season so stay tuned for that. Again thanks for having me!

. . . . .

Thank you Joe! Great job this summer — while we may not all agree with your choices (although I think you’re pretty spot-on), you certainly put a lot of effort (and justified your choices) into this. Three cheers (except for the Pirates — the mustard rules!).

Readers? What say you? Have any of you gone to games where these giveaways were part of the promotion? Did you actually go to the game because of one of them? Let’s hear it!


Fresno State Uniforms 2014

New Unis for Fresno State…

Fresno State Uniforms 2014
Click on the above images to enlarge

Yesterday afternoon, the Fresno State Bulldogs introduced the chrome helmet you see above. According to the team, “The chrome helmet is the highlight of the new uniforms unveiled Sunday and its debut will be a part of Fresno State’s `Night in Navy’ game when the Bulldogs take on in-state rival San Diego State on Oct. 3 in front of a national TV audience on CBS Sports Network.”

In addition to the new helmets, the team also revealed (but did not unveil) a schematic of a new blue uniform (top shown) below:

Fresno State unis 2014

Per the team, “Fresno State will be dressed in its new navy jerseys and pants for that game (October 3) and also encourages the fan base to wear navy to that game in an effort to duplicate the blackout game in 2013 that saw a sold-out Bulldog Stadium completely covered in black. This year, Fresno State is looking to deck out Bulldog Stadium in navy.”

The team also has a “new look” for 2014, some of which can be seen in this video:

If you can’t handle the music (besides muting it), or want to see some stills, check out my album:

(If you can’t see the slideshow, click here).

I like the look of the new uniforms (although I’m not so enamored of the new chrome helmet — that’s as played out as the matte helmet these days). Especially when you look at their 2013 uniforms. Addition by subtraction with these. Except for the black uniform (which doesn’t look like it was upgraded).

The 2013 uniforms had pit stripes, block numeral font (now rounded), and also a generic font for the wordmark. The new wordmark (as are the numbers) are now custom.

Some of you will probably not like these changes (*coughJimVilkcough*), but I think they’re actually upgrades. Considering how Nike has ruined some unis with their custom fonts, I think this one actually works well.

Well done, Bulldogs. Well done.


Click to enlarge

And now a few words from Paul: I mentioned this on Saturday, but for for those who missed it: Colored plastic markers like the ones shown above, about the size of a poker chip, appear throughout the streets of New York and Boston. They’re precisely the kind of inconspicuous landscape detail I love, so I’ve written an article about them for a new design website called reForm — check it out here. Thanks.


Too Good For the Ticker

Too Good…

for the Ticker

Got a note from Andrew Nash, who has a nice project I thought was too good for the ticker. Click on any image below to enlarge.

I saw you showed some Cornhole boards of the Buffalo Bills and Syracuse Orange, so I thought I’d pass along some of my previous projects to ring in college football season.


Andrew Nash
Burlington, N.C.

Alabama Final

Notre Dame Final

KSU Grey Final

KSU Purple Final

WVU Final

Alabama and Auburn

. . .

Great stuff, Andrew. Believe it or not, dear readers, I have NEVER played cornhole. It’s just not a “thing” (or at least it wasn’t growing up) in the Northeast. I played a “bean bag toss” type game, which was similar, but it wasn’t cornhole. One of these days, I hope someone invites me to play.

OK, now onto the ticker…


Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Reader Matt Shepardson found it humorous that the mothership confused the Cubs and Sox in their headline yesterday morning. … Yesterday, the Colorado Rockies retired Todd Helton’s #17. Here is a closeup of the patch (thanks to The Emblem Source). … There’s a whole lot going on here: mesh paneled cap, red pinstripes, big collar for Dale Murphy of the Atlanta Braves (nice find by Ben Fortney). … The Houston Astros all went high cuffed yesterday, to honor longtime Astros scout & coach Gordy MacKenzie, who died Tuesday. More pics here (thanks to Brian van Manen for the tip). … Tyler Maun is pretty sure “The Player” statue at Coors Field has its stirrups on backward. “Never noticed,” he says. … Speaking of things we may have missed, Kody Sherlund just noticed the Mariners’ blue jerseys have a different number font than their other three jerseys — the navy jerseys are also the only ones to have a number on the front. … “Oh, joy! It was military day at the American Legion Worlds Series,” says Trés Lawless. “This features camo jerseys (although with stirrups) and camo sleeves. Pinch me, it must be a nightmare.” … Holy shit. A pitcher in the UnderArmour High School All-American game appeared to be wearing UA temporary neck tattoo.

NFL News: “(Saturday) night while watching the Falcons-Texans, I noticed that Jadeveon Clowney (#90 Texans) was wearing Nike’s,” says David Westfall. “I thought he had signed with Puma. Turns out that because Puma isn’t endorsed by the NFL, he can’t wear cleats with the Puma logo on the field (so dumb).” … Thanks to Brinke, we can now see what the new 49ers locker room looks like. … Derrick Linn saw this couple as he was walking to the Colts game Saturday. I’ve seen a few of these now, and they’re no longer original or witty. … Sweet find from Bill Abbate, who writes, “I was going through a box of stuff in my attic and came across this sticker from the first season of the WFL. I was going to intermediate school at the time and one of my friend’s fathers was an assistant coach with the WFL Houston Texans. I am sure that is how I ended up with this.” … McLeod Bethel-Thompson of the 49ers was wearing sleeve stripes that go all the around instead of the truncated stripes. Notes submitter Lendel Martin, “Haven’t seen anyone wear them like this before but it looks better then the normal jersey.” … More 49ers news: Brian Belcher notes this 49ers graphic with a white facemask before their preseason game (that sound you just heard was THE Jeff pounding his head into a brick wall). … The Packers Eddie Lacy had an Incredible Hulk undershirt on Saturday. Asks submitter Johnny Okray “Is that legal?” … This custom Eagles jersey honors old Nintendo game system.

College Football News: Apparently, the University of Maryland has even more new uniforms (or perhaps we’ve seen those already, just not on a field yet. With them, it’s hard to keep track). … Oh, dear. Chris Mycoskie notes that McNeese Athletics warns us of a “One of a kind blue & gold camo” uniform coming soon. … Air Force will be wearing USAF and Squadron patches on their uniforms this year. … Baylor’s new McLane Stadium will open August 31st (thanks to Baylor Pride). … Whoa, check out this jersey rip! 1980 South Carolina vs Georgia. Herschel Walker after 2nd carry of the game (thanks to John Reynolds). … As a follow up, it’s interesting to see that Walker’s replacement jersey was simple red with no sleeve stripe or NOB (via Tanner Dabbs).

NBA News: Has the “honorary” (or “memorial”) patch craze gone too far? Apparently, Pacers President Larry Bird thinks that it has (h/t Chris Flinn).

Hockey News: A question for the hockey wing on hockey pad legality: “Came across this website and I wasn’t sure if you’d seen these before or covered these,” writes Ronnie Yates. “I don’t really know much about hockey pad design legality and was wondering if you think they’d be able to wear this at the NCAA / pro level?” … Admirals Roundtable recently made a list of the top logos in the American Hockey League (AHL). You can find the top 10 here, which also is linked with the rest of the countdown (thanks to Daniel Lavender). … The Tulsa Oilers have plastered fans’ selfies all over new jerseys.

Soccer News: Reader Laurence Holland noticed during the Arsenal-Crystal Palace match yesterday that Palace has switched to using Cooper Black on their training tops (see interim manager Keith Millen this season as opposed to last). He adds, “Another (small) step on the ’70s stalwart’s journey back to typographical respectability, I guess. Maybe we’ll see it as the number and NoB font for Palace’s cup matches, when they don’t have to wear the Premier-League-wide typeface?”

Grab Bag: Reader William F. Yurasko found this neon REDUCE SPEED sign for sale on ebay. Says William, “I’m hoping somebody will buy, ship and store it for me.”


Whew! That’ll do it for this fine Monday. Hope everyone had a good weekend.

I’ll be heading off the Shea with Paul today for the Mets game versus the Cubbies. We’re both hoping they’ve decided to keep these things in the closet. Could be very ugly, otherwise. So, everyone please play nice on the boards today, since the teachers will be away for a portion of the day, OK? OK?


Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“Phil, we may not agree much on uniform looks/tastes but I totally agree on this. … I hate all the ads and all the extra crap going on. If you want to go to the arena/ball park watch the damn game. If you want to be entertained go to a movie, go to an amusement park, or go to the arcade (they still have those, right?).”



Comments (136)

    More 49ers news: Brian Belcher notes this 49ers graphic with a white facemask before their preseason game (that sound you just heard was THE Jeff pounding his head into a brick wall)

    Nah… while it’s absolutely inexcusable for any TV network to use an incorrect helmet in this day & age, a white mask is better than gray. The Niners actually have white on the rest of their uniform.

    The giveaways list missed the boat for at least two teams. The Orioles’ Chris Davis as Superman action figure (yes, seriously) made Gnome Day look positively traditional. link (Plus Davis is hitting under .200, so maybe not so super…). And how could you omit the White Sox’ massive fail with the white ponchos that made the game look like a Klan rally?! link

    I’ll agree with you on the Orioles giveaway should have chosen that. As far as the White Sox goes those were only handed out when it started to rain and not as a regular giveaway.

    Ah, OK. I didn’t realize the ponchos weren’t a promotional giveaway. Thanks. (Of course, at some level, knowing they’re in some kind of regular “if it rains” rotation probably makes it worse!)

    “April in the D” is an annual cross-promotion effort on the part of Fox Sports Detroit to hype the beginning of the Tigers’ season and, back when such a thing lasted more than a week into April, playoff games and coverage for the Pistons and Red Wings, which FSD also has local broadcast rights to.

    Among the offenses committed over the years in the name of “April in the D” were song contests involving local garage bands and life-size bobbleheads posted at Detroit landmarks, one of which (Jimmy Howard) was stolen and one of which (Max Scherzer) was pure nightmare fuel.

    The gloves make a lot of sense – its so cold in the D

    I’d rather have the gloves than this Pudge Rodriquez Bobble Body?


    It is supposed to mimic his leap in the 2006 ALCS victory.

    When I wrote this article the Tigers did not have the picture up for the Pudge jump. Just briefly looking at it the head seems off. But if I re-wrote this article today I’d choose the Miggy MVP bobblehead. link

    Yes! A T-Baby reference! The epitome of Detroit.

    I went to the second game of the season one year. It was 41 degrees and drizzling. We would have murdered for those mittens.

    Leaving Fenway Park on Friday night I was handed two 4 pack bags of dinner rolls. Initially was going to just say “No thanks”, thinking “worst giveaway ever”, but then I noticed they were King’s Hawaiian rolls and gladly took them home.

    While the ponchos were a hilarious miscalculation, they weren’t listed as an official at-the-gate White Sox promotion.

    And yet GnomeWerth was probably the most ridiculously sought after giveaway this season. It looks the most gnome-ish.

    I was just about to comment on this, too.

    While he has a point that many gnomes are pretty lame, Jayson Werth was the perfect player to be used as a gnome. Factor in that he’s a fan favorite and folks were lining up at 3pm for a 7pm game for them. Nationals could probably use Harper next year, too, considering he has a beard this year. LaRoche would be another great one with his beard this year, but he probably won’t be back next year.

    Werth gnome and Harper bobblehead were the two most popular giveaways at Nationals Park this year.

    Just read the link…the Tulsa Oilers are in the Central HOCKEY League…..the old Tulsa Oilers baseball team moved to New Orleans and became the Pelicans for one year before moves to Springfield and ultimately Louisville.

    Not sure if this is closer to the “worst” or the “best,” but the Twins are giving away zubaz pants (and calling it “Zubazapalooza”).


    To our great shame, Zubaz pants are a product of Minnesota. (I believe the idea was stolen from California.) So at least it’s an appropriate promotion.

    We did give you Scotch tape so cut us some slack here.

    I didn’t even know what Zubaz pants were until I read Uniwatch. And yes, I was around in the 90s. Graduated high school in 94.

    How did you survive the ’90’s without knowing what Zubaz pants were? You weren’t homeschooled with no cable TV or something, were you? I can understand not liking them, but they were pretty much everywhere. I think they were even official NFL sideline gear for a year or two.

    My favorite promo was at Yankee Stadium a couple of years ago – Scott’s Grass Seed Night. You got a planter in the shape of a baseball with the NYY logo on it and a pack of grass seed. The same seed they use on the field!! It worked very well….just wish I kept a picture of it!

    Would that Walker jersey rip be an old tear-away jersey? They would get shredded in a game and skill players went through plenty of them in a game.

    Gnomes and camo making give-a-ways worthless today and maybe priceless tomorrow if you hang on to them in pristine condition.

    There was some discussion of the Walker jersey on the Twitter, and it was mentioned that the tearaways were likely mesh — this appears to be a thicker fabric (not that it wouldn’t be a tearaway anyway).

    Back in those days, I didn’t watch too much SEC, but I remember trying to watch Hershel every time he was on TV. An absolute beast even then. Fun to watch.

    If the Pro Football Hall of Fame actually lived up to its name rather than being the “NFL Hall of Fame, and We Guess We’ll Acknowledge the Existence of the AFL Since We Absorbed It and the AAFC Since Otto Graham and Marion Motley’s Carer Stats Would Suck If We Didn’t,” Herschel Walker would have been enshrined long ago. Combining Walker’s three amazing years in the USFL with a respectable run in the NFL, he had one impressive career.


    The Walker jersey looks identical to what Anthony Carter wore at Michigan during that era. It was most noticeable on the away uniforms, but standard procedure was a plain tearaway, barebones numbering, NNOB. Wasn’t a standard mesh, but more of a jersey cotton material, from the looks of it.


    The Angels are using an actual US Military camoflague that was used during Desert Shield/Storm.


    The Braves stadium giveaway Joe mentions does in fact exist (at least if you believe in these auction listings):




    The only confusion to me is why they felt the need to make it period!

    Great write ups Joe! I have really enjoyed them.

    Thanks for the compliment! I just don’t know what goes through some of the marketing directors minds for some of these promotions. I guess some people will go for any promotion even if it is a “bad” one.

    “Not everyone is a Northwestern fan, heck I’d bet that there are more Notre Dame fans in Chicago than Northwestern.”

    I’ll bet you that there are more Notre Dame fans than Northwestern fans in EVANSTON.

    I bet that’s true. Whenever I venture up to Chicago and Notre Dame is playing it seems like a quarter of the people I see have Notre Dame apparel on.

    I went to the July 5 Cardinals game and got the flag-patterned jersey.

    For a giveaway, I was impressed. It’s a quality shirt and we saw people wearing them all over the city for the rest of the day. I was surprised that it was the road jersey. But it was free!

    I like the gnomes and camo stuff. Apparently so do so many other fans, which is why so many teams have giveaways along those lines.

    I know it’s one man’s opinion. I just disagree with him.

    I’m with you. I’m fine with the gnomes. And I can accept his opinion and taste on gnomes.

    It’s crazy, though, that the Rockies did NINE gnomes, though. And none of them were nearly as good as the Werth gnome.

    I too also went to the Cardinals game on July 5th and got the flag-patterned jersey. I’d say it was my least favorite giveaway I’ve seen all year. I hate the mesh armpits and how it’s grey. I have been surprised seeing them worn around town. The Cardinals will also hand these out. link

    In regards to the gnome. I don’t mind them when they are made to sit out in the lawn but not on the shelf. There is one gnome that clearly is better than the others and that would be the Werth Gnome. I would much rather go to a game to get a bobble head than to get a gnome but that’s just me.

    Fresno State’s “new wordmark (as are the numbers) are now custom.” They look an awful lot like link to be custom.

    According to the NHL rule book, there is no reason why a goaltender would not be able to use pads with a netting-style pattern on them.

    Of course, the NHL could add a sub-rule somewhere in the future, but it stands that as of today there is no rule saying goalies cannot wear the pads.

    I enjoy this feature of the best/worst giveaways. Let’s make this a regular thing. Shoot. I guess it can be expanded to basketball and hockey, too.

    I disagree with him on some things. (WERTH GNOME!) But that’s half the fun, right?

    Thanks! I definitely think that the Werth gnome is better than all the other gnomes. I’m surprised by it’s popularity but he does look the part. I know hockey has some good giveaways not sure about basketball. I also know the St. Louis Rams have their own for football but I’m not sure if any other NFL teams have them.

    As an Orioles fan, all I can say about that pillow is I’m glad the Orioles started thinking outside of the bix this year. I’m soooooooooo sick of orange t-shirts and/or shirtseys & bobbleheads year after year. Thankfully, they seem to be getting more creative w/ the tees & are giving out stuff like fedoras, Wild Bill Hagy cowboy hats, & action figures this year.

    On a related note, in regards to the Dodgers TMNT mask, I think that was a MLB initiative. The O’s gave out orange Michaelangelo masks & promoted #TMNTOrioles. Did other teams give out color coordinated masks; perhaps the Rockies gave out purple to honor the those sewer dwelling ninjas in conjunction w/ the water main break on Saturday?

    I did not know wthat Orioles also gave out a TMNT mask. I don’t know if it’s a league mandated thing like the mlb tote bags. I definitely do like teams thinking outside of the box. (Giants Rain Globe)

    The red Pride 2.0 jerseys debuted last season with the hand-painted flag helmets against West Virginia. The white ones are new, but based on the same template. It sounds like Maryland is still planning to release a new pride jersey sometime this fall (not sure that it’s the white Pride 2.0 seen above).

    My expectations for Maryland football uniforms have dropped so low that anything that isn’t hideously awful qualifies as “not bad” for me. And on that scale, I would agree that these new uniforms are… not bad.

    I was at a BYU-University of Utah baseball game in Provo, Spring 2013. It was Stroke Awareness Night at the ballpark: the giveaway was a list of Top Ten Warning Signs That You May Be Having A Stroke, and a grey stress ball, molded into the form of a human brain.

    I spent the entire game squeezing that brain, and contemplating my mortality.

    Maybe not the worst giveaway ever, but certainly the most morose.

    “Speaking of things we may have missed, Kody Sherlund just noticed the Mariners’ blue jerseys have a different number font than their other three jerseys – the navy jerseys are also the only ones to have a number on the front.”

    The blue jerseys have had this different number font for a few years now, this isn’t news. These jerseys also used to have “Mariners” on the front but now have “Seattle” since these are intended to be an alternate worn on the road.

    I was aware of it (hence the “just noticed”), but probably not everyone is/was, which is why it was included. I didn’t say it was new news.

    When someone sends in something for the ticker, a decision is made as to whether it should be included; in this case I chose to include it because while it is something we’ve covered here, I don’t remember seeing it recently, and not everyone (obviously, if it was just sent it) is aware of it.

    It’s one of those quirks/oddities that I find endearing.

    It’s kind of a cool reminder for me because it’s something I was aware of but had completely forgotten about.

    And to say they’ve been like this for a few years now” is an understatement. This has probably been the case since before this blog existed.

    Great lists, Joe.

    For next year, it would help if you wrote the name of the promotion to start off each summary. For example, for the Rangers, you just say there aren’t any images, but this is what you think *it* looks like. What is *it*?

    Also, what makes a garden gnome suitable for outdoor use? They all look the same to me.

    Thanks! Next year I’ll definitely write the name of the promotion to start off each summary.

    When I think of a suitable garden gnome for outdoor use I first think that it has to be big. Something that can be hidden in the garden but able to be seen unlike the giveaway gnomes which aren’t that big. The second would be the appropriate weather coating. Most of these gnome giveaways wouldn’t be suitable for rain or snow because they don’t have a proper weather proof coating.

    I still don’t know what item the Rangers are giving away. Is it a jersey, hat, gnome or a ‘mystery’ item?

    Cornhole? Where I grew up that word meant a “whole” different thing. And because I’m old-fashioned, I will not describe here.

    Same for me. I always chuckle adolescently (is that a word?) when I hear someone say “cornhole”?

    Alex smith also used to wear his stripes all the way around with the 49ers. When they went with those truncated sleeve stripes it was to accommodate the way players were wearing their jerseys. He had custom sleeves.×471.jpg

    Argonauts wore their third uniforms last night, I thought they looked great. BC also wore their black/gunmetal alts.

    Ummm, yeah… NO.

    Those Argonauts uniforms trick you into thinking they are going to be okay, and then you start noticing the details — gradients, truncated stripping, word marks down the legs, funky sock stripes — you realize they are just as bad as most other alts.




    With numbers like the Lions were wearing, the question becomes: “why wear numbers at all”?

    For player identification purposes, it’s virtually null.


    I kind of thought the hat the Blue Jays gave away was a golf hat. It reminded me of the hats Greg Norman used to wear…it was still ugly.

    Nice to see he has supporters still but the Go’Bama board should have a donkey, not an elephant, no? ;)

    Agreed – forever, I used to just call that game “bean bags.” That was it. Three years ago, people started calling it Cornhole, all of a sudden. Terrible.

    I don’t know who is dumber, the NFL for not allowing Jadeveon Clowney to wear Puma’s, or Clowney signing an endorsement deal with a non-NFL sanction company.

    It actually seems like a win-win for Clowney. Sign the deal, cash the check, and then go out and wear whatever you want to without worrying about taping over logos or whatever. Puma seems to be the loser here, unless this is step one to their breaking into the NFL

    As a soccer fan, I thought this was interesting.

    Most of us that follow the game know the concept of a “blood jersey” (a jersey to be worn, often numberless, because the regular kit has been soaked in blood and is unusable). Apparently, in France, the “blood jersey” is not allowed. Andre Ayew, a striker for Olympique Marseille, has to be substituted after 60 minutes because he bled through 2 shirts and the referee refused to let him play wearing another number or allow the kit man to alter that number to resemble the number 10 Ayew normally wears.

    Needless to say, the OM manager was not a happy camper…


    Huh? Soccer teams only carry one-two jerseys per player, and maybe a few extra blanks/unused number jerseys? How much baggage does an extra set(s) of jerseys take up? Given how much gear pro hockey/football teams carry, it makes soccer look real sorry for not having multiple player jerseys available. Or, can they not carry multiple blanks, and just iron-on some numbers in the dressing room?

    They use a heat-press to apply the numbers; it’s not a huge apparatus, but it’s probably something that is not kept at the stadium (it’s probably kept at the team’s practice facility). The referee should have let Ayew play with a numberless jersey.

    Most top tier teams (and even lower tier teams in England) have a heat press in the team shop for fans to get personalized jerseys. It should be pretty easy to get a name/number pressed on and run down to the field.

    In addition to McLeod Bethel-Thompson of the 49ers wearing sleeve stripes that go all the around, the Colts also found a way to have their vertical stripes perform a complete loop (like the old days) for their quarterbacks’ jerseys.

    Sorry, I messed up. It was actually the Carolina Panthers who had full loops on their quarterbacks’ jerseys.

    You said Colts. I haven’t seen any Colts with shoulder stripes that have gone all the way into the arm pit.

    The Colts and Panthers have different shoulder stripes, but I agree, if Nike can make them happen for the Panthers, they should be able to do something for the Colts too (at least QBs at least)


    Please make sure articles are proofed a little better before posting. I stopped halfway through because it was so frustrating.

    I mean, if there is anywhere in the world it’s OK to have “military day”, it’s at the American Legion World Series.

    One thing I wanted to add about McBLT’s sleeves. While Alex Smith had all around stripes, he also had longer sleeves. McLeod was wearing the same sleeves has the other players who had the old style

    The Niners should just fix the stripes. Their attempt to replicate the historical positioning of the stripes just doesn’t work, and some players just manage to make it look worse than it already is.

    That was another fun entry from Joe. A couple disagreements/comments.

    1) Gnomes: I think the gnomes are great. On a personal level, I’d rank them third behind bobbleheads and jerseys. The gnomes are usually pretty small but can still be placed in the garden. I have large and small gnomes in my backyard/garden and the mix makes for a fun, lighthearted addition.

    2) Rainbow loom bands: While these may be really lame for most of the population, these are incredibly popular for the elementary school set. Bands usually come one color per bag, so to make your own Mets bracelet, a kid (or their parents) would have to buy three different bags of bands at a couple/few bucks each (assuming you can even find the colors you want).

    3) Orioles pillow pet: If one of our local teams gave out a pillow pet I’m sure my daughter would have asked to go to the game. They do look odd, but they are a nice combination of a stuffed animal and pillow. If you fold the pillow in half and velcro the bottom together, most turn into a 4-legged animal that stands up on its own. I’m not sure how that applies to a bird though – I guess the front arms are the wings and the rear ones are supposed to be the legs.

    1) Fair point about the gnomes. Maybe I’ll give them another chance or maybe they will grow on me when I get older.
    2) I do have some younger brothers that use loom bands and love them but I’d argue that it would be cheaper to buy separate colors than buy a ticket to a game. I wouldn’t buy a ticket specifically for this promotion.
    3) The Orioles didn’t really have that great of giveaways but they also didn’t have that bad of promotions. t’s definitely not the worst one on the list. I’d say it’s in the middle of the pack for all the promotions but if I had to pick my least favorite, which I did, it would be the pillow pet.

    Regarding Detroit’s “April in the D”. That’s a promotion the Fox Sports Detroit station runs here every Spring. It’s premise is that April is an exciting time to watch Fox Sports Detroit because they carry Red Wings and Pistons playoff games as well as the start of Tiger baseball season. They hype it up as “April in the D!”.

    Well of course that hasn’t gone so well the past few years…

    Does anyone else think the main facade of Levi’s Stadium just looks like the entrance to a shopping mall? Although, I suppose it is, in a way. Also, the banners showing the players and the Levi’s ad looks like if you pan out, they’ll be wearing helmets, jerseys, and jeans.

    I think that bank of suites or whatever it is looks horrific.

    Reminds me of Mount Davis in the Oakland Coliseum. Not a good look for an open air stadium.

    Doesn’t matter to me though, I have no plans to attend a 49ers game.
    I enjoy football on TV more than sitting in a stadium.


    I agree it does remind me a little of Mount Davis, but horrific is a strong statement. Mount Davis completely ruined a great baseball stadium. Levi’s stadium’s suite tower adds a uniqueness to a football stadium. Most football stadiums are bland with no style. I applaud trying something new just as the Giants did with AT&T Park.

    This article is entertaining but is BADLY in need of an editor. Missing words, misspellings, and grammar errors abound!!

    It does give me the sense that these were more quickly-taken notes rather than a properly composed article.

    Roberto Clemente was born on this day in 1934. Clemente, of course, was part of the 1970 Pirates, the first baseball team to wear real athletic wear. No buttons, no belt, no problem! Mr. Manfred, let’s have baseball embrace this philosophy again!

    “Yes, I know Northwestern is just outside of Chicago but it just doesn’t make sense.”
    Yeah, it does. The Cubs and NU have a long cross-marketing relationship. You can see downtown Chicago from Northwestern’s Evanston campus. Not to mention that Northwestern has a campus in downtown Chicago. Notre Dame, not located in the same state, BTW, is not relevant. Alabama probably has more fans than NU in Chicago. Also not relevant.

    Northwestern is aggressively marketing itself as link To that end, the Wildcats played a football game against Illinois at Wrigley in 2010 and link at Wrigley in the coming years. Giving away Northwestern football schedules at Wrigley Field seems to fit right into that strategy of partnering with the Cubs and attracting Chicago fans to Northwestern sports.

    “Notre Dame, not located in the same state, BTW, is not relevant.”

    If you are suggesting that Notre Dame, as a college football concern, is not relevant in Chicago, then I can only guess that you have either never been to Chicago or are simply in some kind of B1G denial.

    Did I know about the marketing tactics of Northwestern? No. But the Notre Dame point still stands. According to Notre Dame’s Chicago Alumni page it’s “largest alumni club in the nation.” link I would say that a higher percentage of the Chicago population care more about Notre Dame sports than Northwestern sports. I think that it’s a good idea to market Northwestern to Chicago however I think that people will care more about Notre Dame. Maybe instead of handing out a season schedule they could have offered a voucher for a cheaper Northwestern football ticket.
    In regards to the five football games at Wrigley those dates are still pending. If those games are played will they be enjoyable to watch given the use of only one end zone and limited space?

    By that logic, the appropriate handout at St. Louis Cardinals games would be Dallas Cowboys schedules.

    Joe, honestly, you’re kind of talking out of your ass here. For those of us who live in Chicago (and, coincidentally, are probably likely to attend a game and receive a promotional giveaway), this makes sense. I’m a student at Northwestern. Our baseball team plays at Wrigley from time to time. The football team played a game there last season.

    I’m still not sure what your point is with the ND stuff.

    Back in 1982, the late great Mike Royko wrote a series of columns where he said he couldn’t think of a single thing about Indiana that he liked. In a subsequent column, he said a reader had pointed out that Notre Dame was in Indiana. Royko responded that as far as he was concerned, Notre Dame was part of Chicago. Ninety miles from the state line, but still part of Chicago.

    These subjective guest postings are terrible (worse than the NBA/MLB color combo posting last week). They add nothing of value, and the only redeeming factor is that the postings aren’t a slide show like other pathetic sites.

    “If I had to pick one it would be the David Ortiz bobblehead solely on the fact that he killed the Cardinals in the World Series last year.”

    Wow! Such insight! If one of my analysts gave me information like that, that analyst would be looking for a new job.

    If I were a paid analyst I’d hope I would be fired. I’m not a paid analyst I’m just a regular 18 year old kid that loves giveaways. I didn’t want to bore everyone out of their minds with long descriptions and information like I did for the same David Ortiz giveaway here. link I didn’t really hate it either. They just had so few giveaways and I didn’t hate any. So I just picked one and wrote a sentence on it.
    If you think that “they add nothing of value” then don’t read them!

    I like Joe Mueller’s contributions to Uni Watch way more than Paulie Walnuts’.

    Mr. Walnuts has a good point, because this site never has opinion based content, right?
    We have no idea what Paul’s favorite, or least favorite colors are. Or whether he likes a new uniform. Or how he feels about how guys wear their baseball pants. It’s all completely factual, analysis driven data.

    New uniform and helmet for Arizona State football: Nike gray (“anthracite” in Nikespeak) and a white helmet with copper pitchfork, stripe, and facemask. I like the helmet.

    You did an awesome job Joe. Fuck anyone with negativity. Keep creating your own opportunities, things like this will help you carve out a career that most have us would kill for, we just didn’t have the drive, the direction, or the focus.

    Thanks Skott it truly means a lot! Some people are just going to criticize no matter what. Because of these articles I’m fortunate enough to get a first look at the St. Louis Rams promotions so I can review them for my site. Thanks again! You made my day!

    The pleasure’s mine, Joe. You’ve found a creative niche for yourself in the uni-verse and have come up with some interesting and entertaining content here at Uni Watch and on your own website. Keep it up!

    Tampa’s (Buccaneers) new number font isn’t great, but it is not that bad either.

    Ravens and Broncos are worse..jus saying.

    I disagree in the strongest possible manner.

    The Buccaneers font is the worst font set in the history of the NFL.


    Regarding goalie pads with designs, I know the NHL has no rules regarding what they can look like, only what size the pads are. Not sure about other leagues.

    Goalies will regularly use this to their advantage, although not as blatant as the ones on the site. Patrick Roy is a good example: link

    The colored outside with the white inside was designed to trick skaters who could only get a quick glimpse at the target. They’d naturally aim away from the colored pads and for the white of the net… And then discover that the “white of the net” was part of the pads.

    However, skaters will sometimes flip it around. Black stick tape, for example, makes it harder for goalies to tell where the puck is, and some hockey sticks, like Easton’s Mako model, have white blades, which make it harder for goalies to get an idea of what kind of shot they’re about to deal with.

    Roy’s 95-96 pads were even more of an optical illusion. With the Canadiens colors of red and white, they were pretty close to the goal colors. Roy ended up using these pads all year, and got an avs glove and blocker by the end of the year.


    I’ve pointed out the Mariners Stylized font for the road alternate a few years back. The jersey originally started out as a plain navy home alternate that read “mariners” instead of “seattle”. That home alternate that started in 2004 (plain sans any neck yoke down to pants) and had the “Mariners” stylized font then. When the Teal alternate made a comeback in 2012ish the Navy alternate got “Seattle” slapped on it was deemed the road alternate and the font stayed with it. A college buddy of mine is the Mariners beat writer and said he’d “look into it”. Interesting was even though the mariners have been branding a navy alternate as far back as ether 97 or 98, to celebrate the opening of Safeco Field in 1999 the team came out with a home navy alternate with “seattle” on the front with the neck to belt silver Yoke. Those jerseys came out in July of ’99 but the one’s for sale where solid sans silver yoke, which is what the mariners actually have now for an alternate road.

Comments are closed.