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Closet Case, Vol. 9: Pure Gold


For all of these photos, click to enlarge

There are few things I like more than a vintage Durene basketball warm-up top. The problem, at least for me, is that most basketball players — even high school players from 40 or 50 years ago — are larger than I am (5’8″, 150 lbs.). So even when I come across a really nice warm-up top, it tends to be too big for me to wear.

Every now and then, though, I stumble upon one that fits me like a glove. That’s the case with this gold beauty that I recently scored on eBay. It cost more than I usually like to spend ($85, including shipping), but it was totally worth it. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the elements, starting with the blue jay on the front, which is comprised of chain-stitched blue thread (texture!) on a white cloth background:


The block-shadowed uni number on the chest is basic blue and white tackle twill:


Here’s a closer look at the excellent King-O’Shea tag on the inner collar. I love the asymmetry of that the little bar that houses the word “Chicago”:


Now let’s look at the back (with a cameo from Uni Watch girl mascot Caitlin). It’s emblazoned with the name “Delphos St. John’s,” which is a Catholic high school in Delphos, Ohio (I like that this Catholic school garment will now be worn by a secular Jew):


When I saw the eBay listing, I had originally thought that the back lettering was chain-stitched, but it turns out that it’s actually tackle twill. Either way, the script is really nice. Here’s a closer look at it:


And how does it fit? Like a fucking glove, baby. Check it out (photos by Heather McCabe):

front back

All in all, it’s a gorgeous piece of uni-related clothing. Can’t wait for the weather to get a bit warmer so I can put it into heavy rotation.

Update: One of the day’s first commenters, Munch Suchland, posted a link to the following photo, which shows the 1959 Delphos St. John’s team wearing these very warm-ups! Dig:

As you can see, the guy in the front row, far right, identified in the caption as Paul Grothouse, is wearing No. 30 — the same number that’s on my warm-up. Could it be the same garment? I’ll going to see if I can track down this Grothouse guy. Stay tuned.

(Closet Case is an occasional Uni Watch series devoted to vintage sportswear finds. The name refers to my closet, and to the tendency of people to say, “You write about clothing? You must be gay!”)

• • • • •

ESPN reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, my latest ESPN column is about Nike and the NFL.

• • • • •

Caddie update: Yesterday’s entry about the class-action lawsuit by PGA caddies, who contend that they should be compensated for the corporate advertising that appears on their bibs, prompted an interesting note from a reader who prefers to remain nameless:

Tiger Woods’s longtime controversial caddie Steve Williams, who went on to work with Adam Scott, routinely ripped off his bib for the last few holes of a tournament. He had his own sponsorship deal with Valvoline [shown at right ”” PL] and the bib covered up that logo on the front of his shirt. But for the “money holes,” the bib ended up tucked away somewhere in the golf bag so that his Valvoline logo could show clearly and prominently.

To my knowledge, he was never once warned or reprimanded for this. He did it in every tournament except the Masters ”” the one place he couldn’t get away with it.

• • • • •

So I guess I’m a Beavers fan now: I’ve never had strong feelings one way or the other regarding Oregon State (although I should probably thank them for providing so much comic relief during their sports bra phase). But I may have to start rooting for them now that they’ve landed a certain recruit:

Okay, so the kid can’t spell, but you know how it is — he came to play football, he ain’t come to play school. Go Beavs!

(Big thanks to Joey Artigue for bringing this one to my attention.)

• • • • •


Click to enlarge

Not-so-terrible towel: Last night I went over to the house of reader Craig Markus, who had some very interesting stuff he wanted to show me. More on that later, but while I was there he brought out something I’d never seen before: a Rammy Whammy — basically an L.A. Rams version of the Steelers’ Terrible Towel, produced during the Rams’ 1979 Super Bowl run. Craig actually waved this very Rammy Whammy while attending Super Bowl XIV, where he watched his beloved Rams, helmed by quarterback Vince Ferragamo, blow a 19-17 fourth quarter lead to the Steelers — a memory that clearly still haunts him to this day.

Rammy Whammys occasionally show up on eBay. One that was recently listed for $25 didn’t attract any bids, but another one — still in its original packaging — sold for $33. But I don’t think Craig would sell his for any amount.

• • • • •


Membership update: A new batch of designs has been added to the membership card gallery (including Nick Dembski’s Ohio State helmet treatment, shown at right). The printed/laminated versions of these cards should mail out either tomorrow or Saturday, so you new enrollees should watch your mailboxes.

As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed membership card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here, and you can see how we make the cards here.

• • • • •

Box-ing day: Here’s a fun video report on a guy who has the world’s largest collection of pizza boxes. Along the way, the reporter also visits a pizza box factory and shows one of the designers who create the graphics on the box (with thanks to my old grade school pal Pete Simmonds, who tipped me wise to this one):

• • • • •

Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik

After every pro sports championship, title merchandise goes on sale. So if you’re a Patriots fan, you can now buy a Super Bowl T-shirt just like what the players wore after the game. You can splurge on hats, banners, and other trinkets, too.

Have you ever bought championship commemorative merchandise after your team won a title? (Or, if you’re like me and you’re teams never win anything, would you buy championship gear if they won?) What did you buy? How long did you wear it afterwards? Like, did you wear a championship T-shirt years after the title season? Did you buy anything just to keep for memories? Did you any stuff that honored a lesser accomplishment, like division title or wild card winner merchandise? If you’re opposed to all of this, why?

• • • • •

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: The Fresno Grizzlies will wear Raisin Eaters throwbacks in May (from Phil). … Roberto Alomar wore a nifty 1995 Puerto Rico jersey the other day (from Ryan Burns). … Virginia Tech will have bat knob decals. … A baseball blogger ranked the MLB teams’ uniforms from worst to best (from Phil). … The Sacramento River Cats will have four theme nights this year (from Phil). … What might have been: One hundred years ago, the Yankees considered Columbia blue as a team color (from Phil). … Candlestick Park’s demolition has begun (from Brinke).

NFL News: Rob Gronkowski wore a No. 69 Pats jersey for the championship parade yesterday. Gronk is a beast on the field and an endearing goofball off of it (from Phil). … Rex Ryan’s wife gave away his old sweater vests to the Salvation Army (from Tommy Turner).

College Football News: New helmets for Louisiana-Lafayette (from Phil). … LSU Instagrammed a photo with three different Tigers helmets (from Mike Vamosi). … Highly recruited linebacker Leo Lewis opted to attend Mississippi State yesterday, which is interesting because his high school has an Ole Miss-esque wordmark (from Dustin Semore). … In a 1979 live performance of Al Stewart’s “The Year of the Cat,” the piano player is wearing a Kansas football shirt (from Patrick O’Neill).

Hockey News: Dartmouth wore some legit hockey sweaters in 1906 (from Jay Sullivan). … Alex Silverman discussed the NHL’s expiring Reebok deal and the World Cup of Hockey jersey ads in this week’s edition of his NHL Wraparound podcast. … Metallica’s custom-made Sharks jerseys are up for auction (from Phil). … Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist will sell his game-worn masks for charity (from Aaron Scholder). ”¦ A while back, it was noted in the Ticker that the New York Fire Department’s 150th-anniversary patch featured a Lady Liberty design identical to the one that the Rangers used to use. Turns out the Rangersapproved the design (from Alan Kreit). ”¦ Jets LW Evander Kane was scratched from last night’s game against the Canucks because — get this — he showed up for a team meetingin sweats instead of a suit (thanks, Phil).

Soccer News: A leaked Sounders shirt has put some minds in the gutter (from Phil). … Here’s a nice little project showing current Premier League playersas sepia-toned football cards (from Graham Clayton). ”¦ The next three items are from Yusuke Toyoda: New Balance is now in the soccer shoe and apparel market … Arsenal players posed for a sponsor promo in baggy retro unis, at least compared to what they wear now. … Here’s a gallery of soccer players looking miserable in photo ops with their new clubs.

NBA News: The Pacers wore their FloJo throwbacks last night. … The Warriors will wear their Chinese New Year jerseys on Feb. 20, the night after the holiday (from Phil). … The new Androidify app allows you to dress your character in the uniform of your favorite NBA team. ”¦ Jazz C Enes Kanter’s new shoessparkle (from Bob Aagard). ”¦ “The new TV show Fresh Off The Boat is based in Orlando circa 1995, and the main character isobsessed with Shaq,” says Chris Flinn. “The show also featuredthis jersey, although I’m not sure that’s a real team or a just a brand on the front.”

College Hoops News: Purdue gave away John Wooden bobbleheads last night (from Phil). … Two small schools had an orange-versus-gray matchup last night. … Pat Costello sends in a photo of the 1955-56 St. Joseph’s basketball team. “Sleeves, satin shorts with a belt, cool fin on the 5 (that’s my grandfather), and notches in the 6 and 9,” he says. And that’s Dr. Jack Ramsay in the back row, far right. … Kary Klismet found a nice game-worn Iowa shooting shirt on eBay. “I love the mascot design on the left breast,” Kary says. “Interestingly enough, I’ve never seen that design used in any other context by the university. Historically, Iowa’s ‘Herky the Hawk’ mascot usually looked like this or this.” Kary also noted that Iowa State’s women’s team has been wearing grey over the last two seasons, with some players going super-grey by playing with an exposed charcoal-colored inner lining.

Grab Bag: Nike’s new NYC collection has its share of day-glo. … New logo for snack food company Snyder’s-Lance.

Comments (142)

    You certainly DID make a splash on Signing Day! Oregon State was a complete surprise for him, especially because he had already committed to ASU.

    QOTW: You bet I bought one of these shirts:

    And if “Back to the Future II” proves to be prophetic, I will most certainly buy one of these:

    QOTD: As far as championship commemorative wearables I only bought some after the Rangers Stanley Cup win in 1994. I’ve been a fan since my first game in 1959 and when they finally broke the ‘curse’ I would have bought ANYTHING related to that Cup. I got a cap and t-shirt. I still have the cap which was the one they wore link

    QoTW: there have been a few

    (1) 1989 Denver Broncos AFC West champs t-shirt that my then-girlfriend, now-wife bought me in the run-up to the rather embarrassing SB XXIV loss to the 49ers – I’ve long suspected it was a regular Broncos t-shirt of the day that got the division championship verbage added – the shirt is still around, but it’s become way too small in the intervening years;

    (2) 1998 Elway replica jersey with SB XXXII insignia that I bought shortly after the big day – it’s still around and gets out of the back of the closet every few years;

    (3) 2002 Colorado Avalanche Stanley Cup champs polo shirt I bought at a pop-up retailer right after the win – this was cheap and deteriorated in short order;

    (4) 2007 Rockies NL champs cap I got after the WS loss – it’s in the rotation of caps I wear sometimes.

    It would be tough to rip off the full jumpsuit they make the caddies wear at The Masters.

    I have both recent Giants Superbowl hats, but I recall that the ’94 Rangers black and white locker room hats were incredibly popular. Still see some people with old beat up originals. Ugly hat to my taste.

    DSJ is in my schools Athletic Conference so I know some people from there. I asked the head of their Alumni Association and he hooked me up.
    BTW, he’s insanely jealous of your find and he doesn’t know how he missed it!

    Looks like Paul G now owns a lumber company specializing in (as fate would have it) butcher block countertops and custom furniture. Interesting note: the countertops include a “waste hole” for easy scrap disposal.

    That is a awesome warm up. That school is on the other side of Ohio from me. They are very good in football now for a small school.I saw they played Hicksville. Not sure that school still exists. Wonder what the mascot or nickname for Hicksville was.

    The company I work for has a plant in Hicksville, OH. Last time I was there back in 2000, the high school was the Hicksville Aces.

    QOTW: i have an 02 OSU national title sweatshirt, but i think that was part of an SI deal or something like that.. I also have an 02 OSU champions mini helmet..nothing from this year’s championship so far..

    as for pro.. i am Cleveland everything fan.. soooo it goes without saying.. the buckeye stuff is all i got

    As for the question. I did buy quite a few items such as shirts after the Ohio State 2002 National Championship. I plan on buying more after this National Championship. So far have not got much. Plan on getting the Undisputed shirt worn right after win over Oregon. I hear the Nike merchandise is running very small size wise. Plenty of complaints I see about it.

    Brother and sister and I plan on wearing the Undisputed shirts together when we have a get together with our obnoxious PSU cousins. They are obnoxious fan wise but we love them.

    QotW: I have a lot of title merch from my hometown Steelers and Penguins. I have special edition jerseys of Super Bowl XL MVP Heinz Ward and Super Bowl XLIII shoulda-been-MVP James Harrison.
    I also have a 2002 AFC Central Division Champions sweatshirt, for some odd reason.
    I picked up many title T-shirts for both teams during their 2006 and 2009 championship years. Since Reebok had both the NFL and NHL licenses in 2009, they put out this shirt showing the 6 Super Bowl logos and the 3 Stanley Cups.

    A question about yesterday’s ESPN piece: Why won’t the NFL just ask for bids and take the highest one?

    “The hunch is that the NFL, which tends to favor stability, will stick with Nike and extend the company’s contract.”

    “… (I like that this Catholic school garment will now be worn by a secular Jew)…”

    You bet.

    “… … Pat Costello sends in a photo of the 1955-56 St. Joseph’s basketball team. ‘Sleeves, satin shorts with a belt, cool fin on the 5 (that’s my grandfather), and notches in the 6 and 9,’ he says. And that’s Dr. Jack Ramsay in the back row, far right. …”

    What a wonderful image! If the St. Joe’s of the 1950s had the same school color as today — crimson — those unis must have looked mighty fine indeed. The satin pants must have made a handsome contrast with the pasty white winter complexions of the many Irish guys in that picture.

    Those St. Joseph’s uniforms were made by Coane Mfg. of Philadelphia. Coane was a long-time manufacturer of special order team uniforms. Tey did a lot of ro work including the Philadelphia A’s, the Warriors and the first three years of the 76ers. They also made the uniforms for the Syracuse Nats.

    Coane, like a lot of the independents, was forced out of business by companies like adidas, Nike etc. who have ruined a once-proud all-American industry. I knoe Nike’s hq is in Oregon but they manufacture a lot of stuff off-shore. Nuf ced.

    I thought for sure Con would be all over the occurrence of an Al Stewart reference on Uni Watch. Or just disappointed it was “Year of the Cat” instead of a better song like “Warren Harding” or “Roads to Moscow”?

    QOTD: I purchased Stanley Cup championship t-shirts when the Devils won the Cup in 1995, 2000 and 2003. I bought the official one in 95 and it listed all the players on the squad. I liked that touch and ended up not getting the official t-shirt for the two other championships because they did not list the players. I searched around for other t-shirts that listed the squads. I still have the t-shirts and break them out every once and a while. The Devs are going to honor the 95 champs in March for the 20th anniversary of their championship and if I can swing going, I’ll fish out the 95 tee from the bottom of a drawer to wear. 20 years. God, I’m getting old…

    Definitely big on championship gear. I usually wait until the season is over so I know which level to buy (didn’t buy conference champions gear for the Steelers in 05 because I was waiting for the super bowl gear), but I mostly collect the hats. I have both super bowl hats for the Steelers, the 09 Stanley Cup champs hat for the Pens, but broke my rule and bought both the hat and the shirt for when the O’s won the division this season…the longer you wait for a team’s success, the easier it is to make concessions on your previous “rules” haha.

    I also have a Rose Bowl champs hat for PSU from 09, which of course we lost, so I guess this particular hat got lost on its way to the 3rd world and couldn’t make it out of the country.

    QoTW- When the Eagles went totl the Super Bowl in 2004-05 I got a couple of NFC Champion shirts. But understand they had lost 3 in a row, and they were each painful losses. So I felt a sorta championship shirt was justified.

    I probably spent $200 on Phillies stuff when they won the World Series in ’08. I hardly wear any of it now because it seems silly to celebrate the somewhat recent past. I figure in 20 or 30 years or will be a retro look and I’ll wear them again.

    I was given a couple shirts when the Phils won the division, NL, and World series by a friend’s mom, but I mostly wore them around the house when lounging. A girl I was dating who was living in Philly gave me a WS cap when they won it, but I don’t wear it. It’s just hanging up in my room, collecting dust. Not really my style of cap.

    I also have a shot glass from the Eagles Super Bowl run. I use that :)

    QotW: Pretty much always. I think every kid in my school had this sweatshirt after the Twins won their first World Series:


    But being a fan of the Twins, Vikings, North Stars, Wild, Capitals, Nats, and sorta Brewers, the issue rarely comes up. Especially since I don’t go in for merely winnings as division or a wild card berth. If a team I really follow wins the equivalent of their league pennant to advance to the final championship, then I’ll buy commemorative merch.

    QoTW: Ah, the 80s were a grand time for me. I moved through my 8-18 years and watched as my teams (Dodgers, Raiders, Lakers) each won multiple championships. Nearly every year I had some thing to celebrate! Those were indeed the salad days, and I had commemorative caps, tees, pennants, a hot cocoa mug, and other such collectibles and wearables. I probably still have some stuff, especially 1988 Dodgers World Series commemoratives. The Lakers won some more titles after that decade, but the Dodgers and Raiders…don’t get me started. I’m certainly not buying anything that commemorates something like “2014 Western Division Champs”.

    QOTW: Two words – fuck and no.

    Except for the $10 t-shirt that my daughter’s college coach had made up to commemorate winning an NCAA championship.

    Oh, and the Moonlight Graham red & gold long-sleeve T-shirt I bought at an outlet years ago that says “1967 World Series Champs” and features a cartoon Cardinal sporting a top hat, cane, and monocle. Though that doesn’t really count I suppose.

    Mike’s QOTW –
    ABSOLUTELY! When Ohio State won the NC in 2002, I instantly had shirts. And collectibles make great gifts so I bought a bunch of stuff throughout the following year and gifted them. And I got a Block O tattoo (my first and only) to commemorate. I also framed my student ticket from that season along with some grass from Ohio Stadium that I “found” after storming the field after the Michigan game.
    My brother got something a little cooler that year…

    Also, I did get a 1990 World Series Champs shirt for Christmas when I was 10.
    And I bought a Reds NL Central Champs shirt from a few years ago, but only because it was on clearance.
    And you better believe I’ll be filling my closet with more Ohio State National Champs gear this year!

    I dig it but I’ll probably get one that proclaims us winning the NC instead of beating Oregon.
    I wish there was a mix between the two. I love the style of this one.

    QotW: I did have the ubiquitous white Twins sweatshirt after the 1987 World Series. (A gift from my grandmother.) I think everyone in the state had one of those.

    My favorite though was a shirt I picked up on sale at JC Penney which was for Minnesota State’s trip to the Pineapple Bowl. Something to do with the Coach TV series. It looked realistic enough that I occasionally had to explain that (at the time) there was no Minnesota State and probably wasn’t a Pineapple Bowl.

    If my team would actually win a championship, I’d buy something. Probably a hat. I’m not really sure how long I’d actually wear it though… too long, and you start looking like you’re stuck in the past.

    well you’re a browns/indians fan right?? if the browns were ever to win the superbowl(especially after what came out yesterday about the environment in Berea) i think all us browns fans have carte blanche to wear any championship gear until the end of days


    I’ve bought Stanley Cup Champions hats when Chicago won in 2010 and 2013. The 2010 hat was an awesome stretch fit that I wore for about 6 months. In 2013, Reebok switched the Stanley Cup hat to an awful trucker cap. The conference championship hats were still stretch fit, but who wants to buy those. I think I wore that hat twice.

    Like Mike, in my lifetime, I don’t have many of my sports teams winning championships. (Bucks, Brewers, and Packers)

    When the Brewers won the 2008 Wild Card, it was a big deal around here. Wild Card t-shirts and hats were sold out quickly, and were selling on eBay for $50+.

    What I do about championship or playoff gear, is I wait to see how my team ends up. So when the Packers won Super Bowl XLV, I bought the Super Bowl gear right away (shirt and hat) but then waited a few months to buy NFC Championship gear (when it was like $10 on clearance)

    I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a fan of the Yankees, Cardinals, Patriots, or SF Giants when your team is constantly winning championships or making championship runs.

    Being a sports fan in Wisconsin, it doesn’t happen a lot, so it’s very exciting when it does.

    As far as wearing the gear goes, I wear my Super Bowl, NFC Championship, Wild Card, and NL Central champs shirts to work out in. I wear my XLV Champs hat when the Packers are in the playoffs. If the Pack win another Super Bowl, I’ll retire the XLV hat, and start wearing the other.

    Believe me, I know what it’s like to root for the Bucks and the Brewers. Haha.

    QOTW: Normally I’d only get champions tees and hats for my teams (Mets Rangers and Giants) but last year I got the Eastern Conference Champion Rangers tee. Didn’t get the hat because they were sold out. Never again!

    I bought the Bruins Stanley Cup blu-ray and champions cap in 2011. I was 11 and 13 when they won in ’70 and ’72, with a lot of heartbreaking defeats in between, so I didn’t think twice about spending some money on their win.

    I’ll probably bankrupt myself if the Vikings ever win a Super Bowl!

    “Rob Gronkowski wore a No. 69 Pats jersey”

    Of course he did. Wonder what name was on the back!!

    QOTW: I have the Rangers 1994 Stanley Cup shirt, and a full set of shirts from the Giants’ Super Bowl runs in 2000, 2007, and 2011.

    In 2000, I was all “I’m not buying the NFC championship shirt, I’ll get the Super Bowl champs one.” In ’07 and ’11 I bought the NFC shirt before the game.

    I wore the SB 42 shirt last Sunday. Generally I use them as gym shirts.

    Re: QOTW

    I am a Pittsburgh fan, so I was in on the recent Cup and Super Bowl wins. I will usually buy a shirt and that’s about it. I usually buy them at the start of the next season when they are clearanced and cheaper. I figure just wait a few months and save a few bucks, they are still the champs of the prior season. I usually just wear them around the house.

    This touches on a pet peeve of mine. I will only buy championship merchandise. I don’t understand the point in buying “Division Champs”, “Post Season / Wild Card”, or even “Conference Champs” merch. To me, that means nothing. I get no pride out of my team winning the regular season or winning a certain post season game. I’m in it for the championships. I’m very happy if they do those things, just not “here’s my money” happy.

    I’m with you, Mike. Full championships only, on clearance a couple months after they come out, and Pittsburgh teams.

    You’ve been spoiled in Pittsburgh… Not the same everywhere else. Sometimes if your team makes the playoffs its an accomplishment.

    QOTW: I purchased two Yankees world series champions t-shirts and a champions hoodie at a Modell’s pop-up store near the “Canyon of Heroes” in 2009. I still wear the shirt as an undershirt sometimes and the hoodie every now and then. (I can’t recall where I had placed the spare t-shirt, though.)

    My mom had also bought me a Yankees World Series Champions long sleeved shirt back in 1998 and I used to wear it occasionally as a child – it no longer fits me.

    Re: The Warriors’ CNY jerseys–2nd Day is an important part of the Chinese New Year tradition. It’s known as “beginning of the year” and is the day that married women visit their families, which often in the modern world means a married couple visits the wife’s family that day. So few Chinese people would think of the 20th as being after the holiday. (In fact, the CNY festival officially lasts until the fifteenth day, but it’s Reunion dinner on the eve and First and Second Day that really matter.)

    For the QoTH, I have one shirt from the Rangers’ 1994 cup win, which IIRC was a gift from my brother. I still wear it from time to time. I tend to be a bit cheap with regards to…well, most things, but I’d buy one again if it were a good deal (which might be long after the championship in question!)

    QOTW: I never bought any of the Bruins or Red Sox gear, even though I wanted it when they won. I am pretty picky about the design of stuff I wear, especially hats, and I am not a fan of most championship hats.

    However, I am still waiting on the Lions to win the Super Bowl, and I will definitely get something when that happens regardless of design.

    I think the only non championship gear I would get is if Villanova makes it back to the Final Four. I new shirt would go nicely with the 112 free tees I have from my time there.

    I some Broncos SB stuff after they won their first SB–pennants, cards, a couple of other things (I was living in Denver with a rabid Broncos fan at the time). Then I thought to myself, Why the @#!&! did I just buy that stuff??

    Bought nothing after their 2nd win.

    “… (I like that this Catholic school garment will now be worn by a secular Jew)…”

    I’ve often joked that my law firm is the only one with an Italian-Catholic and atheist Jew at the helm. (Even though that’s probably far from true.)

    I’ve never bought championship gear/merchandise, but I do still have my “Purple Reign” 2005 Calder Cup Playoffs giveaway t-shirt (as seen being worn by fans here):


    I wear it in the summer when I am on the beach down the shore.

    I also became the owner of a Dale Earhardt 1994/7-Time Winston Cup Champion hat when a family member gave it to me after originally purchasing it for someone else, not realizing that the original intended recipient was not a fan of the #3.
    I wore for about a 2 years, then tossed it.

    QOTW: I do, but only for world championships. (Steelers in ’05 and ’08, Penguins in ’09) I’ve learned its a bad omen to buy championship gear for a division championship. In 2004 I got the Steelers “AFC North Champions” stuff after we beat the Ratbirds and won the division because I thought we were going to win the Super Bowl that year. (We were 15-1) Yeah, we all know how that turned out.

    I always buy the Championship gear for Chicago teams. World titles only of course.

    When I was a kid I had all of the Bulls championship hats but from wear and garage sales they are all gone.

    Recently I started collecting them from eBay. The only one I don’t have is the 1992 Back to Back cap. So if anyone has one they’re looking to sell for a decent price….

    QOTW: You better believe when the White Sox ran the table in 2005, I got all kinds of stuff.

    But, since I’m not accustomed to winning teams, we make deals with other family members across the country; if one of their local teams win something, we “swap shirts”. That’s how I ended up with a Chargers Super Bowl shirt from ’95, a NY Giants SB XXI Champs from 1987, and a Reds WS shirt from 1990. (Most of them want Bulls stuff, as they won constantly.)

    QOTW. Yes. Depends on the team, because expectations are in silos. I was a Jets fan as a kid (despite a New Orleans childhood), but I got a hat and tee shirt for the 2002 division championship because I was in New York at the time and because the Jets never win anything. But as a Yankees fan, it was World Series or bust.
    Nowadays, I really only care about the Habs. The other sports are fun, but they are markedly secondary. If the Habs ever win the Prince of Wales trophy, I’d hold out for the Cup. If they would win the Cup, I’d outspend a Vegas bachelor party buying commemorative crap. But if the Habs would lose the Cup Final, I’d probably pick up a shirt and hat on clearance after the fact. Unless it was a really painful collapse like Toronto to Boston in Game 7 Round 1 a while back.

    I might have the saddest commemorative gear of all: commemorative scarf celebrating Japan’s qualification for the 2006 World Cup (Japan had a forgettable tournament, going winless and crashing out in the group phase)

    I always think about getting commemorative gear for the Tar Heels, but I’ve never splashed the cash for it. I did have a special Sports Illustrated issue for the 1993 national championship, but it’s buried in a pile somewhere, if not accidentally tossed in the recycling.

    My professional teams have a way of winning the division but not actually winning the title (Carolina Panthers, Washington Nationals), and division champions gear feels lame.

    The one big reservation I have about wearing (as opposed to simply owning) commemorative gear is that it’s hard to escape the feeling that I’m living in the past.

    QOTW: When Union College won the NCAA Hockey Championship last year I went bonkers with buying stuff. They had shirts and pins for sale at Messa Rink (Union’s home Ice in Schenectady, NY). I later went to the school store and bought hats for my dad and brother-in-law and a few more shirts and a couple of hoodies. I still wear the shirts and hat and hoodies to home games. I’ll wear the shirts and hat in public but the shirt is usually covered by a different hoodie. The hat I’ll wear just about any time i fee like it.

    I also had a shirt from when Mark McGuire broke the HR record. Forgot where it came from but from what I can remember it was a cheap red shirt with white text with the date, time, #62 and maybe a cardinal on it somewhere.

    Does anyone at all remember back in the day (like 15 to 20 years ago) when there used to be really cheap Super Bowl shirts and plastic mugs that use to be sold like that week before the game? My dad used to buy them every year for a while.

    Paul’s mention didn’t really do justice to the “gallery of soccer players looking miserable” — the photos are okay and amusing enough but the captions are hilarious. Well worth a click-through.

    There are better captions done this, but:

    Ishak Belfodil is unveiled at Bologna on loan from Lyon in February 2012, though he thought he was going to join the Boston Red Sox.

    One thing that stood out was the Red Sox t-shirt by Bologna’s Befodil in 2012. I’ve never seen anything like it. Is that actually licensed apparel?


    Pretty sure Paul didn’t get the same Delphos St. John’s warm-up as in the 1959 photo — the sleeve striping pattern looks ever so slightly different. The 1959 photo version appears to have a narrow, slightly darker stripe in the middle of the light center band. Like maybe the order of white and gold are reversed from the pattern on Paul’s shirt.

    I am going to say that Paul does have the actual warm-up in the photo. Look at the Blue Jay patch. on many f those pictured, the tail of the Blue Jay is actually HIGHER than the head of the bird, while on others including the pictured #30, the head of the bird is higher than the height of the tail. Paul’s warm-up like the #30 in the photo have the “upward” bird. Also, I fail to see the difference in the striping. What a great shade of Gold to go with the Royal Blue! (my HS colors also) Makes me despise the current “Vegas Gold” plague all the more.

    Great Get!

    It’s the same. The head of the DSJ Alumni Association looked through the yearbooks for every year. They didn’t get new ones every year and when they did, they got different styles.

    I was looking at the following website (link) about Nike headquarters, when I stumbled across this photo of Bill Bowerman wearing a sweater with an odd/old(?) Nike logo. Check out photo #8.

    Wow, I’ve never seen the Swoosh treated like that.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if that’s now disallowed in Nike’s brand standards (anyone have a PDF?).


    I wonder if it’s not meant to be a set of rotor blades in a wind tunnel for product testing.

    Nike used to use that pinwheel logo loads and it has reappeared on some of their retro product in recent years

    QOTW: Not a championship thing, but I got a Washington State Rose Bowl 1998 shirt after the team went there my senior year. Also, the Seahawks sent me link after the 2013 season because the TV station I work for airs their preseason games. It’s a pretty sweet lid. I wore it last weekend.

    Wow great piece on that warm-up top today!

    Is there any info available on durene material? I love hockey jerseys that used it but I’ve never seen any info on the material and I’d like to know more.

    QOTW: I’ll go out and purchase the occasional championship t-shirt.

    For pro football/basketball/hockey, this means super bowl or finals only. For baseball, I’ll buy a league championship shirt if my team doesn’t win the world series, but only after the world series ends.

    For college football/basketball, I’ll get a conference championship or bowl game shirt, if the bowl is respectable enough.

    That Gronk 69 jersey is a Reebok jersey, not a Nike jersey. I’m guessing he had it “made” during his first Super Bowl run at 2011 against the Giants.

    QOTW: After the Cardinals won the 2004 NLCS, I bought a long-sleeve shirt commemorating that. They were swept by the Red Sox, so I vowed never again to buy a shirt for anything less than a World Series. Because, let’s face it: if you’re going to spend your money on an “LCS champions” shirt, it’s worth wearing for about 2 weeks–basically, during the World Series. If they win that, then that’s a *slightly* better shirt to wear; if they lose, then what’s the point of the LCS win?

    Luckily, I had an opportunity to do so 2 seasons later, and snatched up one of the first t-shirts that arrived at the Target store at which I worked. I wore the shirt regularly for approximately 5 years (it’s still in rotation among other old tees that get use for yard work & such), when a certain 2011 WS champions shirt rendered that one useless. I purchased both in the short-sleeve format. A long-sleeve won’t see much action during baseball season, after all. However, my parents ended up getting my sisters, wife, and I identical long-sleeve versions of that same 2011 WS shirt. I still wear both regularly.

    I’ve never purchased a hat–mostly because they’re of inferior design to my regular red STL hat (case in point: 2006, link). My wife has an ’06 WS poster that’s still hanging in our basement, and I also came across an abandoned 2011 WS banner that was given away as a promo the following season, still in its bag, now hanging in the basement. And a pair of empty Budweiser longneck cans commemorating that same title.

    I don’t recall having purchased anything after the Rams’ Super Bowl victory–certainly nothing in my possession now–but you can be damn sure if and when the Blues ever finally hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup, I’ll at least be getting a shirt.

    “What’s the point of the LCS win?”, you ask? The point of the LCS win is that your team were the National League Champions of that year.

    I understand being disappointed at losing in the World Series. But I don’t agree at all with dismissing a League Championship as though it’s nothing. It’s still a championship that is worth celebrating; and the accomplishment still represents a very successful season.

    The same goes with the conference championships in the NFL and the NBA. I never actually bought any Nets Eastern Conference Champions gear in 2002 and 2003 (for the reason stated below); but, if I had some that looked decent, I would gladly wear it even today.

    My problems with championship gear are aesthetic. These shirts usually consist of a nightmarish mishmosh of logos and typefaces.

    Also, right after a championship is when you should be most proud of the team’s uniform; so it seems silly to cover up that uniform.

    On a that note, I really dislike championship caps in baseball. It’s bad enough that the teams’ regular caps now have gaudy patches on the side during the post-season series. But it’s even worse that, after the championship, the winning team’s cap is essentially discarded in favour of this one-off poorly-executed “design”.

    But I don’t agree at all with dismissing a League Championship as though it’s nothing. It’s still a championship that is worth celebrating; and the accomplishment still represents a very successful season.

    Agreed. But now, division championship? Sometimes that’s just being in a crap division (I’m a Panthers fan, I know).

    Yeah, the notion of celebrating a division championship is definitely absurd. I can’t remember if it was after they’d clinched the division, or between the season and postseason, or in 2012, but the Brewers plastered “2011 NL Central Champions” signs all over the place. I mean, it’s nice celebrating your first division title since 1982, but that would always remind me about how they lost to their hated division rival and NL Wild Card (and eventual NL & WS champion) Cardinals in the NLCS.

    I guess my issue with a *mere* LCS victory is that, in both instances for my team, Red Sox fans can look at it and say, “So?” After all, you never hear players or management admit, “Really, our goal this year is to win our half of the league. We make it that far, I couldn’t care less what happens in the World Series.” And, besides, there’s usually a bad taste associated with why you don’t have that article of clothing commemorating the Big One–for the Cardinals, a sweep at the hands of a team that hadn’t won in 86 years, and then allowing a guy to hit over .700 off you in 6 games…

    Is it me or has some of these skin-tight football jerseys look so ridiculous that it looks like these kids are holding up baby onesies? Case in point, Snoop’s kid:


    And then compare that to another kid who signed with Auburn this week:


    When you’re Adidas and you make your jerseys out of link, they tend to look a little small before someone puts them on.

    I was 12 when the Red Wings won their cup in ’97 and I went out the next morning to the mall and bought the official stuff stuff they wore on the ice. I wore the hat until I had Kris Draper/Bob Rouse/Mathieu Dandenault sign it that summer. I still have it somewhere and I’ll probably put it on the wall when I finally make my hockey themed basement bar.

    Why would the reader who was ‘revealing’ public knowledge about Steve Williams’ bib-removal habit want to remain nameless?

    If it was a fellow PGATour caddie – I could understand. But even still, we all knew already.


    Kinda of surprised you got through her whole Closet Cast post today without the obvious Portlandia reference.

    I lucked out with our season ticket draw and landed at Game 7 of the 2011 World Series in St Louis. The Cardinals won and I wanted to mark the occasion of my only Game 7 WS Winner (maybe ever) by picking up the WS cap worn by the Cardinals after the game. In my excitement I overcame the $39.95 (I think, in that ballpark) price tag and wound up with a hat that’s too small to wear for more than 20 minutes or so and isn’t really of that great quality. It was the black/white cap the player were wearing and while New Era generally makes a good cap, this one was really cheap (“one size fits most”, yeah, right). I won’t ever splurge on specially made championship wear again. They did design a nice patch for the 2011 WS which I also bought and enjoy having as a memento of that great season.

    After the Ravens won their first Super Bowl, I bought a sweatshirt, a hat (with a really clean, classy look, in my opinion), and a VERY purple windbreaker. I still have, and still wear, the sweatshirt in the winter, and I’ll break out the cap every now and then. I got rid of the windbreaker many years ago, but I did get a lot of comments about it – mostly along the lines of, “Wow – that is a seriously purple jacket!”

    To answer Mike’s question, I have bought Stanley Cup championship merchandise the night of my favorite team won the Cup. Just a shirt and hat. I still have the shirts but I wear them to work out in or go walking in. They still fit even though it’s been a few years since they won. The hats are just a memento now. I wore those for a year and then retired them.
    I bought an NFL conference championship once and still wear it around the house or to work out or to walk in, but don’t wear it out.

    QoTW: Heck yes I buy them and still wear all of them.

    2004, 07 and 13 Red Sox (I did “splurge on the ALCS championship t-shirt that year).
    2001, 03, 04 and have already ordered my 14 for the Patriots.
    2011 for the Bruins.

    For the 2001 Patriots and the 2004 Red Sox I actually bought 3 t-shirts. Before someone goes off about that here is why. I bought one to wear, one to save and and for the 01 Patriots one to put on/near my Poppy’s (Maternal Grandfather) head stone and even though its the same head stone, one for the 04 Red Sox to put on my Nanna’s side.

    Side story, since it jogged my memory and sorta uni-related: I think Poppy would have loved both wins equally. He worked for Balfour Jewelry company when I was little, and when it was in South Attleboro. The story from my Mom was that when Balfour was commissioned to make the rings for Championships, he was part of the group that produced them. I can imagine how he would have loved to work those two rings.

    QOTW: When the Saints won the Super Bowl, it seemed to catch the NFL flat-footed. They may have been praying for a Peyton Manning coronation. But I bitched to anyone who would listen about the paucity of New Orleans Championship gear. They had been my team since Russell Erxleben. Finally my folks came through with a T-shirt and Sir Saint knit cap from I’ve worn them proudly ever since.

    QOTW: I would definitely buy a tee shirt and cap if the Goddamned Jets ever won the big one. I think my money is safe for the foreseeable future, however. I do have a Jets 2009 AFC Champions tee, which I have never put on. I believe that’s from the year they lost to the Colts. Most of the losers’ discarded winners shirts end up overseas I think, but every once in a while I see them in sport shops around town, which is how I found this one. I also once had a cap that said 2002 AFC East Champions (the year they went 9-7, but somehow won the division; the Pats apparently took that year off). Not sure what happened to the cap.

    QOTW: I’m a huge Mets fan so when they went to the Series in 2000, I bought a league championship hat and two on field hats with the World Series patch (blue and black versions). I still wear them to this day though the black one is in pretty rough shape.

    Dallas Mavericks fan also. I have the 2006 Western Conference champs shirt but the big one was 2011. I have the NBA championship locker room tee and a Dirk Nowitzki Finals MVP tee. At the start of the next year, I bought a very nice Mavs NBA champions hat. All get regular wear, especially the hat.

    Your St. John’s warm up top is fantastic. For 20 years my father twin brother and I have visited the Ohio State Boy’s Basketball State Championships held at OSU. Delphos St. John’s is a regular contender each year! I love their color schemes. When I saw this a while back I was so pumped to see a recognizable piece on a website I follow daily. Heck of a find Paul!

    QOTW: I think I single-handedly kept the commemorative sports championship memorabilia industry afloat from the late ’80s and ’90s. If a team I was even a casual fan of won a championship of any kind, in my youthful exuberance I’d snag myself a shirt, a hat, a poster, or some other bauble to celebrate the occasion. Among the highlights:

    -This Los Angeles Lakers link t-shirt. (Wow! That might be the most ’80s thing ever.)

    -A 1988 Cedar Rapids Reds Midwest League Champions commemorative program.

    -A Colorado Buffaloes 1990 football National Champions sweatshirt.

    -A Duke Blue Devils 1991 basketball National Champions sweatshirt.

    -A 1992 Toronto Blue Jays World Series Champions t-shirt.

    As my rooting loyalties and purchasing discretion matured with life experience, I bought championship memorabilia much less frequently. But when the team I care about most (the Denver Broncos) finally won its first Super Bowl – and then a second! – I fell off the wagon and stocked up on a few “necessities.” This included t-shirts commemorating each championship, a baseball cap, both of the official Super Bowl game programs, and a Sports Illustrated collector’s edition with John Elway on the cover.

    Most of that stuff now sits unused in boxes in storage, just taking up space. I wore the t-shirts and sweatshirt for a while, but I never wore the Broncos cap for fear of it deteriorating from its “mint” condition. The same went for the game programs. In retrospect, I don’t know that I would make all those same purchases all over again.

    I’ve never been much of one to buy commemorative gear to denote minor accomplishments such as division or conference titles. This had less to do with me considering them not worth acknowledging and more to do with “holding out for something better.” But if my team didn’t go all the way, I’d usually lose my enthusiasm and rarely pull the trigger on gear for those lesser championships. I have received several t-shirts and sweatshirts commemorating my favorite teams’ minor titles as gifts over the years, though. Those include a Broncos AFC Championship shirts from 1986 and 1997 and a Colorado Rockies World Series t-shirt from 2007. Most of those have ended up in the storage boxes, too.

    My most recent championship memorabilia purchase? Last summer – a burgundy Colorado Avalanche t-shirt with link celebrating the 2001 Stanley Cup. I picked it up at Goodwill for two bucks. Hey, I thought, why not?It’s in great condition, it fits perfectly, and it makes a great shirt for bumming around the house or doing yard work. At least it’s not in a storage box.

    I remember seeing someone with that Lakers “Back to Back” shirt, years ago. Is that a Mort Drucker illustration?

    I appreciate the responses, everyone. I am a little surprised that the vast majority of you have bought or would buy championship gear. Don’t know why, I thought it would be more mixed.

    If one of my team’s won the title, I certainly would pick up a T-shirt or two. Whether I wore it in public or wore it shooting hoops, I’d want something that gave me a little reminder of something joyous.

    As for a conference or division title shirt, I’d get them if the price was right or if they were readily available, but I wouldn’t go crazy over getting one. Like, I loved the 2011 Brewers, but I wasn’t going to spend real money on a division champs T-shirt.


    I haven’t purchased championship gear since I was a kid, but like BvK 1126, I owned the 1988 Lakers back-to-back caricature shirt. I also had the Dodgers version from the same year:

    These days, I’m much more likely to purchase “event” gear commemorating a game I go to – All-Star Game, NCAA playoffs, etc.

    “I haven’t purchased championship gear since I was a kid, but like BvK 1126, I owned the 1988 Lakers back-to-back caricature shirt. I also had the Dodgers version from the same year.”

    Yeah, man! We’re bringing ’88 back!

    This issue of championship sports apparel will take an interesting turn in St. Louis, where the Rams are expected to leave in the near future. Losing the nation’s most popular sport for the second time will dent the credibility of the St. Louis sports scene, leaving them with just two major sports teams, one of which has never won the title in nearly a half century of existence.

    With the ending of the St. Louis Rams, you’re going to see a big reduction of Rams 2000 to present gear worn in the city. With the Browns, there was always speculation about another team, and Cleveland did have a long winning tradition. That’s not the case here.

    When the Rams go, there will be some fans still following the reborn Los Angeles Rams, but that number will be dwindling as the years go by. Eventually, St. Louis Rams gear will be a rare sight in that city, it would bring up bittersweet memories.

    In 2010, I was 47 and had been virtually a life-long S.F. Giants fan. All those disappointing years previously caused the dam to break when the Giants finally won, and I’ve been buying their W.S. caps and shirts since, to add to my already crazy cap obsession. I did occasionally buy a playoff cap or shirt, but it was somewhat hollow and nothing matched the joy of being able to buy the World Series stuff.


    Interesting article on Grantland about picking a college solely on uniforms. Can’t say I agree with much of his list (and Paul you will hate his love of purple), but an interesting take.

    I know it has been discussed on here many times about new and alternate jerseys appealing to recruits. I wonder how many of them take things like this into consideration.

    I came here all fired up to post this link, but you beat me to the punch. Oh well.

    I was a little surprised Purdue’s absolutely terrible and bland uniforms didn’t rank in the bottom, but I’m guessing Purdue has been bad enough not to even enter Andrew Sharp’s mind.

    “The Fresno Grizzlies will wear Raisin Eaters throwbacks in May.”

    The Raisin Eaters jersey looks a lot more fauxback-y than throwback-y to me. The Raisin Eaters existed for one year – link. That logo looks way too stylized and reminiscent of cartoonist/comic strip art from the ’50s and early ’60s to be authentic. And the uniform lettering looks like awfully similar to link Solid, a font available on Microsoft Word.

    Yeah, I was hoping that this was a real turn-back-the-clock uniform, but it doesn’t appear to be the case. A nice thought by the Grizzlies to recognize a 100+ year old team, though.

    I agree. I like the idea of giving a nod to the history of baseball in Fresno, especially with that unique and classic team name. I also like the fauxback jersey in a vacuum. It’s a fun design that evokes an earlier, nostalgic era of baseball. Unfortunately, that era feels more like the 1950s than the early 1900s. I would have loved to have seen the team create something that more closely reflects the era when the Raisin Eaters actually played.


    Growing up I had all 6 of the Bulls championship t-shirts, my father had nearly identical sets, he also purchased the hats for those years. I recently found these shirts as I was packing up to move south, hope this link works: link

    Also purchased pennants for all 6 championships and they’ve been in our garage until we sold the house this past summer. They’re now in my new home.

    In 2005 I purchased a Sox championship t-shirt, but didn’t wear it that much.

    When the Hawks won in 2010 I bought a shirt, maybe wore it once, and purchased a felt banner for my garage. 2013 I didn’t buy anything, I need to find a pennant or something for the garage.

    I have started a tradition of buying a Cardinals cap with the World Series patch of years they have won while I’ve been alive (2006, 2011). I was in utero for the 1982 World Series, but I do not count that. The caps are more collectible, but I wear them to games when mood strikes. When the Rams won, I’m sure I was given a t-shirt for my birthday, but that has been lost to the void. If the Blues win the Stanley Cup, I’m sure I’d buy some sore of memorabilia.

    In a 1979 live performance of Al Stewart’s “The Year of the Cat,” the piano player is wearing a Kansas football shirt

    Late 70s/early 80s, I think it was a bit of a trend for bands from across the pond to wear American football jerseys. Here’s a couple of examples from Level 42:

    Sad that Level 42 lacked the hookup for authentics and gamers. Around this same time Christopher Cross was peaking with the “Arthur” movie theme, “Sailing” and “Run Like The Wind” – he practically LIVED in an Oiler’s Earl Campbell jersey during live performances. And who could forget Mick Jagger rocking the early-1970s Eagles’ 27-sleeve striped #21 John Sciarra (!) jersey during a couple of stadium performances …..

    sometimes I wished reporters did research. New Balance used to sell soccer shoes back in the 80s and 90s. I had one of their catalogs and if memory serves me right Liverpool great Kenny Daglish wore them.

    BTW, the Bronze/Old Gold LSU helmet pictured is absolutely gourgeous, and was pretty much wasted on an odd, one-and-done fauxback effort where LSU wore White jerseys AND pants to go with it a few years back. (prior to this LSU NEVER wore White jerseys AND pants together in a game).

    It would be a wonderful change-of-pace helmet paired with White or Purple jersey, and with similar colored Bronze/Old Gold pants, or even a Bronze/Old Gold JERSEY with White pants. Such colors would look insanely wonderful in a day game.

    Qotw: I own tons of 2004 Red Sox World Series gear. I still hold that final out as one of the five most emotionally overwhelming moments of my life. Some stuff still gets worn. I have some Packers gear from 1997
    and I think my dear mother has every UConn, Sox, and Pats championship t shirt for the last twenty years.

    If the Islanders ever win the cup again I fully except to spend a week’s salary on gear.

    While it doesn’t count as clothing, I own a 5’x12″ canvas banner that hung in the Robert Yates Racing raceshop floor, celebrating Dale Jarrett’s 2004 victory in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. It is probably my coolest bit of champion paraphernalia.

    Despite being a lifelong fan of teams that win championships (Steelers and Celtics) the only championship attire that i own (and it was a gift) is a 1998 Tennessee Nat’l Championship hat (complete with Tostitos logo).



    Wife still has and wears as a nightshirt a 1999-2000 Pacers Playoffs T-shirt. Not a Division Winner, nor the Conference Champs T-shirt (which they won), but a generic, “Hey, we’re in the playoffs!” T-shirt.

    I have a Colts SB XLI Championship hat that I’ve never worn because 1. It has a Velcro adjustable strap, and 2. It’s a low-rise crown and doesn’t fit my big head.

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