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Restoring Baseball … (Magazine)

Baseball Magazine Cover Splash

By Phil Hecken

You fine folks are all familiar with Bruce Menard, who has provided literally dozens (if not hundreds) of superb wire service photos which Paul has featured on Uni Watch, and you probably also know Bruce for his great colorizations (including one hosted just yesterday). I’ve also worked with Bruce many times and he entertained us with a wonderful lede on Vancouver Baseball Treasures.

Suffice it to say, Bruce and old baseball photographs and memorabilia go together like, well, baseball and hot dogs.

It’s one thing to colorize old photographs (quite an art in and of itself) — but Bruce doesn’t just find and post old photos — he also fixes them. What do I mean by that? Well, I’ll let Bruce explain.

You know what do to do about clicking on photos by now. The “old” photo is on the left and the “new” photo is on the right.

Here’s Bruce:

. . . . .

Restoration of Baseball Magazine Covers
By Bruce Menard

I’ve always been a fan of the covers of Baseball Magazine, which ran from 1908-1957. Their earliest covers featured the illustration artwork of Gerrit Beneker and J.F. Kernan, two recognized legends in the field. I noticed that undamaged covers were nearly impossible to find, so I decided to try and restore some of my favorite examples from 100+ years ago.

My restoration process is a step-by-step process of cropping, damage removal (mostly by using the “clone” tool), centering, sharpening (as needed), brightening/contrasting, color adjusting and finally adding borders. I use this same process for all of the photos that I submit to Uni Watch, including the Wire Service volumes. For editing software, I use a combination of Corel PaintShop Pro and Adobe Photoshop (on a Windows 7 system with a 2TB of hard drive). I’ve been working on this project chronologically by month, therefore I’ve only edited covers from January and February so far, but March is up next.

First up is the January 1912 issue, which features a beautiful illustration by Garrit Beneker with the title “All Sports in Season – Baseball Forever”. The name of the magazine at this point was still “Baseball Magazine – Outdoor Sports”, they’d shorten it by the end of 1913.

1912 (Jan) Baseball Magazine All Sports In Season

1912 (Jan) Baseball Magazine All Sports In Season (edit)4 BrdW

. . .

Baseball Magazine (January 1914) – Another classic cover from illustrator Gerrit Beneker, “New Major League”, which is a reference to the new Federal League. Great uniform on the anonymous player wielding the mushroom-style knob bat.

1914 (Jan) Baseball Magazine New Major Lg Federal

1914 (Jan) Baseball Magazine New Major Lg Federal (edit)BrdW

. . .

Baseball Magazine (January 1915) “Hans” Wagner Number – “Hans Wagner’s Own Life Story – This one is the first edit that I attempted in the series, original cover art from legendary illustrator J.F. Kernan.

1915 (Jan) Honus Wagner Baseball Magazine

1915 (Jan) Honus Wagner Baseball Magazine (edit)5W

. . .

Baseball Magazine (February 1915) “Boston Braves Issue” Featuring the 1914 World Champion Boston “Miracle” Braves players Hank Gowdy, Rabbit Maranville & Butch Schmidt. Love those jackets and striped stirrups! (original illustration by J.F. Kernan).

1915 (Feb) Boston Braves Baseball Magazine

1915 (Feb) Boston Braves Baseball Magazine (edit)2BrdW

. . .

Baseball Magazine (January 1916) “Why I Lost The Series” by Grover “Cleveland Alexander (original illustration by J.F. Kernan). The lead story is a reference to the 1915 Philadelphia Phillies World Series loss to the Red Sox. “Old Pete” looks pretty happy on that cover though! Here’s a link to that original story.

1916 (Jan) Baseball Magazine Grover Alexander

1916 (Jan) Baseball Magazine Grover Alexander (edit)brdW

. . .

Baseball Magazine (February 1916) “Sam Crawford Number” – “1916 – Baseball’s Banner Year; New Stars Mean New Life”. ~ Another cover by J.F. Kernan, this time of Tigers star “Wahoo Sam” Crawford, still the all-time leader in triples with 309. He finished his career with 2,961 base hits overall, before 3,000 became such a big deal.

1916 (Feb) Baseball Magazine Sam Crawford

1916 (Feb) Baseball Magazine Sam Crawford (edit)BrdW

. . .

Baseball Magazine (January 1917) “New York Number” – Finally, here’s one of my favorite J.F. Kernan covers, featuring the co-tenants of the old Polo Grounds, New York Yankees Mgr. Wild Bill Donovan & New York Giants Mgr. John McGraw

1917 (Jan) Baseball Magazine John McGraw

1917 (Jan) Baseball Magazine John McGraw (edit)23 BRIGHT

. . . . .

Thanks, Bruce! Tremendous job (of course). The amount of time and energy Bruce puts into these cannot be understated — and he’s doing yeoman’s work too: the preservation of our history.

If you guys don’t already do so, you really need to follow Bruce on Twitter @BSmile and be sure to check out his Facebook page as well. You’ll thank yourself for doing so.

OK, readers, let’s hear it (again) for Bruce and be sure to let him know what you think!

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all sport uni tweaks

Uni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.

And so, lets begin:


First up today is Nathan Fein, with some Winter Classic concepts:

2015WC - Nathan Fein

CBJ - Nathan Fein GA-ARI - Nathan Fein

GA-CAR - Nathan Fein SanJose_SS2015 - Nathan Fein

Hey there,

I’m an amateur hockey jersey designer, who has made a few dozen jerseys, but never sent it to anything more than a concept site. However, I do usually receive quite positive feedback, so when I stumbled across your site earlier, I thought “Cool! A guy who actually works with stuff like this for a living!”.

Anyway, I thought I’d share with you a few jerseys I’ve made that I’m proud of. Any feedback from you, positive or negative, would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a ton,
Nathan Fein

. . .

And we close today with Tim Carroll who has some ‘reverse’ looks for some NFL teams:

packers uniforms - Tim Carroll

patriots uniforms - Tim Carroll

steelers uniforms - Tim Carroll


Wondering what you thought of these teams wearing their secondary color as a primary jersey color. You’ve probably seen these one’s though.


Tim Carroll

. . .

And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.

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EPL Tracker

Each Saturday or Sunday, Alex Gerwitz will be tracking the kit combinations (shirt/shorts/socks) of the teams in the English Premier League from the previous weekend and the current weekend.

Here is the EPL tracker for Weeks 27 & 28:

EPL Tracker Weeks 27 & 28

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UWFFL banner

Anchorage vs Hartford UWFFL Bowl XV (1)

By Rob Holecko, Andrew Seagraves and Robert Kramer

Twelve teams started the season, six made the playoffs and only two now remain.

In an exciting season where veteran squads slugged it out with upstart sides and two of those upstarts find their way into UWFFL BOWL XV!

Anchorage and Hartford were both promoted into the Premiership after each team won the BCS and Eastern Association titles respectively last season. This season they picked up where they left off winning their respective divisions and earning first round byes.

Hartford took to the waters and navigated through ports far and wide to finish with an 11-5 record. Ahab and Crew defeated UWFFL stalwarts such as the Flying Fleet, the Storm, Timberwolves and Reign Fire to prove their mettle and earn a spot in the Grand Finals. Their White lids, jerseys, and green pants propelled them to a wonderful season. For the title match they will be decked out in a new mono-green kit as they take on the Pod from Alaska.

The Orcas swam the seas in a furious frenzy ending the season with a 16-0 mark. The team with the two-toned hats had some great matches against top notch talent and defeated all comers. The find themselves on the brink of history as they enter this Title Tilt. They are going with their White jerseys, black pants and white stockings in their game against the Whalers as they try to complete a perfect season.

With the best record, the Orcas had home field advantage for the game, and therefore choice of uniforms. Was it gamesmanship for the Orcas to choose to wear white to force the Whalers out of their favored white unis? Or is it just a smart and savvy bit of team management as the team from the great white north faces its’ biggest challenge in the biggest game of the year?

Anyway, this one is sure to be a classic matchup that will go down in the annals of UWFFL history. And now it’s time to vote, as you decide the winner of UWFFL BOWL XV!

. . .


. . .

UWFFL Bowl XV: Hartford vs Anchorage free polls

. . .

Thank you for your interest in the UWFFL this season, and we’ll see you again next year (actually this year) or maybe sooner.

Remember, if you have a concept to enter for next season you can do it at our Prospective UWFFL Teams Google+ page and you can see the rest of this weekend’s action at

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Spring Forward

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Someone from the SF Gate has done a ranking of the best and worst SF Giants unis over the years. … Yesterday, UM Coach Jim Harbaugh was at the A’s game in full uniform, including stirrups! (from notthefakeCasey). Here apparently specifically requested stirrups too (h/t Steve Vucinich). Harbaugh served as first base coach (thanks, Brinke). … Paul found this vintage cap stylized like a jersey, which is for sale on E-Bay. … You probably all saw Paul’s ESPN article on Giancarlo Stanton’s custom facemask. Reader John Swol writes, “I don’t believe you mentioned Twins Earl Battey in your article who I believe wore one of the first helmets of this type. Here is a link to a blog I once did about it.” … The Salem Red Sox already announced their new unis, but they recently showed some of the promo jerseys they have for 2015, including pink and G.I. Joe, of course. … Here’s a good look at the Natinals 10th Anniversary bat knob decals (thanks, Paul). … This matchup featured Gator Blue and white pants versus Columbia Blue and White pants (Maine) yesterday (from Dan Wunderlich). …. Oooohhh, look at the gorgeous stirrups on Syracuse’s softball team (h/t David Jordan). … Some kick-ass uniforms yesterday for ASU Baseball (Uniform Critic). … Pretty solid (and strange, it seems) matchup between Texas A&M and Houston, sporting actual white versus gray (h/t RCB05). … Earlier yesterday, Jonathan Papelbon wore an all-red Phillies cap while his teammates wore blue-brimmed ones (thanks Paul).

NFL News: Check out these minimalist NFL prints. Submitter Marc Burgess adds, “I dig a lot of these, and I think other uni-watchers will as well.” … Here’s a little DIY Lions helmet concept set for a guy who goes by Wings & Tigers (guess it’s safe to say he’s from Detroit, or at least a fan of Detroit teams).

College Football News: Looks like there are some new uniforms in the works for Louisville (thanks, Paul). Here’s another look. And some more. … An auto racing safety engineer is developing safer football helmets.

Hockey News: An Islander fan has designed a commemorative jersey for the final season at the Coliseum. You can read more about it here. … Check out Mike Hackett’s new mask (thanks, Paul). … The New Jersey Devils were using replica “7”s for their alumni game yesterday (thanks to Steve Woj). … Take a look at this photo. The Indy Fuel goalie is wearing a different jersey than his teammates (good spot by Marc Viquez). … The New York Islanders new goaltender Michal Neuvirth was still wearing his Buffalo Sabres goalie gear (nice spot by Mike Diaz & Paul). … Danish hockey team Gentofe Stars has been renamed Unibet Stars last August following a sponsorship deal with sports betting and online poker company Unibet. Their new logo looks pretty familiar. Here’s the old logo. Submitter Stefan Schubert adds this side note: The Stars are not the only team in the league that uses a star with their wordmark.

Soccer News: Pretty cool RFK Stadium snow clean-up time lapse. Says submitter William Yurasko, “I wish they had kept it the snow for the DC United opener. Snow futbol is just as fun as snow football.” … Interesting sight during yesterday’s FA Cup clash between Reading and Bradford – Reading’s Alex Pierce suffered a nosebleed to the extend that both his shirt & shorts were covered, necessitating a quick change (and rinse-down) right on the pitch! Says submitter Matt Beahan, “This is the first time I’ve heard of ‘blood shorts’ being used.” … Concluding MLS Jersey Week was the San Jose Earthquakes, who released yesterday. … Oops. Looks like ESPN is still using the old Columbus Crew logo (good spot by Jared Law). And not on the app either (via Dan Saifer).

College Hoops News: Oklahoma State and WVU went color on color yesterday (thanks, Paul). Here’s another look (thanks to Trey Dawson). … More color on color: UTA vs. App State (Paul). Here’s another look (h/t Jamie Violette). … Also doing the color on color thing were Clemson and Notre Dame (h/t James Lee Gilbert). Here’s another shot (from @notthefakeCasey). … Tennessee and South Carolina also went color on color (from Jason Yellin). … More color on color in this matchup in the OVC Championship game between Racers Hoops & Belmont (from Trés Lawless). … Goggles alert: check out these numbers from the UNCW Seahawks (thanks to CAA Basketball). … What do you do when you don’t lose in the regular season? You put out “Undefeated” merch, that’s what. Says submitter Josh Claywell, “This shit really makes me want to see them lose now.”

Grab Bag: Lots of team gear at the new UA store, which recently opened in Chicago (from TommyTheCPA). … If you click on the last picture in this article, you’ll see Frank Sinatra’s YANKEES jacket is on display as part of an exhibit for what would be his 100th birthday (thanks to Chris Flinn). … Good New York Times article, “How the Army Jacket Became a Staple of Civilian Garb” (thanks to tommythecpa).

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That’s going to do it for today, everyone. Huge thanks to Bruce, the concepters, Alex, and Rob and the UWFFLers (don’t forget to vote!), and of course all who tweet and e-mail to the ticker. You guys are great.

You probably did already, but just in case you forgot — move the few analog & non-auto-updating clocks & watches ahead an hour. Half of your devices probably already did this for you, but for us old schoolers…

You guys have a great week and I’ll catch you all next weekend. Cheers!

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“(The reason) You don’t see ads on NFL, NHL, MLB or NBA (not yet anyway) isn’t because the leagues care any more about the sanctity of overpriced polyester.”


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Comments (36)

    Or, alternatively, he has hockey news listed under “basketball” and the hockey icon is missing.

    Did the author of the SF Gate article think the Sansabelt pants were really just a thin orange belt in #10? And how is that uni (one of the lowest ranked) any different from #1, except for the color of the top?

    Very strange rankings. I guess the person doing the list thinks McCovey looks like a ballplayer, while Morgan does not. The uniforms themselves seem to have little to do with the rankings.

    That was one of the worst uni rankings I’ve ever seen and as a Giants fan I found it offensive. They included batting practice unis while leaving out the 83-93 home uni.

    Awesome work, Bruce. Really quite a gift to all of us. That 1912 Beneker cover is a special beaut.

    It’s funny to see that in 1912 the non-baseball sports seem to be represented by Ivy Leaguers. Crew: Cornell. Lacrosse: Harvard. Football: Princeton. Field Hockey(?): Columbia (or is that sky blue color just Yale Lite?).

    Thanks Connie!

    Even back in 1912, collegiate sports were a big deal, especially the Ivy Leagues (not to mention there weren’t a lot of pro leagues to follow). I think you’re correct with the schools/sports on that cover.

    Thanks Connie!

    Even back in 1912, collegiate sports were a big deal, especially the Ivy Leagues (not to mention there weren’t a lot of pro leagues to follow). I think you’re correct with the schools/sports on that cover.

    Late to the game, but Bruce is doing a real service to the republic. Thank you, sir!

    Those NFL minimalist prints? Lotta work put into the Raiders’ entry. And who are “Jasonville”?

    I’ll give you the Raiders’ one; waaaay too obvious. But most of the posters are brilliant. On one of my good days I couldn’t come up with something as crafty as the Broncos’ entry. Extra yahoos for Redskins, Chiefs, Saints, Titans, Bills, Giants, Jets, Colts, 49ers.

    The Indy fuel goalie is involved in the ECHL’s “silver skater” or “golden goalie” (or whatever the hell they are calling it this year.). Bottom line; Each ECHL team votes for a skater and goalie to wear these things for one game. For instance, I believe cincinnati has josh shalla and Sam Britain wearing these things soon. I think on the 14th.

    Smug but savvy move by Nike and UK releasing Undefeated Season merchandise. If they win the NCAA Tourney, they they have National Champ gear for the UK fans to buy too.

    Stirrup report though I didn’t get any good pics thanks to bright sun and crummy phone camera, but I was at the first game of the Maryland and UNCW baseball game. Maryland went BFBS (of course) with the exception of white pants. Hats, jerseys, stirrups, and cleats. They were all wearing actual stirrups, which was impressive, except that the striping was the Maryland flag. That is fine for some elements, I guess, but from any distance at all looks like a weird, multicolored blob. UNCW was wearing gorgeous white unis though most went pajama style. Several players had nice short stirrups but the 3B had marvelous tall ones, worn perfectly (at least to my eye). Maybe others have seen or reported on these important developments before, but thought I’d share anyway.

    In the Harbaugh photo, he’s seen inquiring as to why his pants didn’t come with pleats.

    Worst. Bat knob decals. Ever. Just throwing the dates on there with no context makes it look like they’re celebrating the Nats’ last season. The “R.I.P.” is implicit in the formatting.

    Phil…. You and Paul have much more credibility than that bozo at sfgate… I frequent that site a lot and that’s one of their “roll-my-eyes” articles. What was that guy thinking other than to be contrarian. I know it is his opinion… but heck I can put my top 10 SF Giants uniforms online since I am a long time Giants’ fan.

    Tim Carroll’s NFL designs are spot-on. I’ve been waiting for the league to distinguish “Throwing away the baby with the bathwater” (Buccaneers, Jaguars) from “A new spin on an old favorite” (Cardinals). Tim’s efforts certainly fall into the latter category.

    Unfortunately, the Bucs’ creamsicle babies got thrown out in 1997.. since then it’s been nothing but dirty, crappy, murky, pewter-tinged bathwater since then. And in 2014, someone took a dump in the tub.

    I’d call Arizona’s current mess something a bit more problematic that just “a new spin.”

    But Tim’s first two designs (Packers and Patriots) are intriguing, if perhaps in need of some refinement on the presentation (rough lines, etc.). I like some of the contrasts, even if I’m still apprehensive about gold jerseys in football.

    The Steelers concept, on the other hand, is painful. Stripeless (I think?) black pants and a bad case of Wrong Sock Syndrome…not a nice look.

    Speaking of NFL stuff, though, let me just say that I really hate those minimalist prints linked from the ticker. I don’t even have a good reason, which bothers me greatly.

    Do some people just have an innate disdain for minimalism…?

    Once again, Bruce Menard brings to life a side of baseball history that I never knew existed. Thanks for sharing my friend!

    You want Kentucky to lose now because Nike and ever other company are printing up “undefeated” and “perfect season” shirts and hats. What does that have to do with the team and the players. Just because every company with a screen printer is trying to cash in on what these kids have done is no reason to hold it against them.

Comments are closed.