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A Cautionary Tale


By Phil Hecken

There was quite the kerfuffle yesterday as news began to break that these caps were NOT designed by MLB, nor were they designed to be worn in the All Star Game (or batting practice, or the home run derby or any other part of the ASG festivities). They were, in fact, just concepts leaked to Paul and myself (and others who picked up on it); I (and Paul) was not alone in being duped by the Twitterer who goes by the pseudonym of WallendaNik. The story, which had some pretty long legs, was debunked pretty quickly yesterday morning, and by yesterday afternoon, more details became clear (and I’ll have a bit to say on that shortly).

I did some sleuthing (something I should have done Thursday night before I basically Re-tweeted “Nik”‘s tweet), and have found out Nik’s identity. Turns out, I’ve worked with him on Uni Watch before (which may have been why he tweeted at Paul and me to begin with).

I’m embarrassed that I ran with the tweet like I did (and never realized so many would r/t it and run with it as if it were fact) — one of the first things one is taught in Journalism 101 is to always have at least two sources verifying a story. Although I did see others, including Darren Rovell of ESPN (who debunked the story early yesterday morning), taking them seriously enough to comment on them. I can’t say whether Rovell was duped either, or if simply was re-reporting (without attribution) my original tweet. Either way, it doesn’t matter, I was in the wrong to do so, without first verifying the authenticity. I’ve still got some egg on my face.

I am embarrassed for myself, but also for Paul, who I inadvertently put in an untenable position of first posting these “leaks” as fact, and then having to retract them as bogus. Clearly that was not my intent. Even so, I asked Paul if he’d like to say something in today’s post. Here’s what he had to say:

There’s a lot to learn from this episode.

I was out of the house when these images began circulating last night. By the time I got home (close to midnight), the images were all over the place and Uni Watch was a part of the story because Phil had retweeted them.

Frankly: If I had been home, I would not have retweeted the images, and I would have advised Phil not to do so either. I never like to put my name next to a leak until I’ve verified who the source is, how he/she obtained the content, etc. (as I did, for example, with the recent Clippers, NBA Xmas, and MLB Independence Day leaks). If I can’t verify, I usually don’t retweet the leak, much less write about it.

But in this case, the toothpaste was already out of the tube, and Uni Watch had a hand in that, so I felt like I should make it Friday’s lede — which I did, with a disclaimer that I hadn’t yet verified the source. That gave me a bit of cover, but it was really only a fig leaf. As the story unraveled over the course of a few hours on Friday morning, I felt foolish for having written the entry. I should have waited, even though the images were circulating.

I’m not trying to throw Phil under the bus — I’ve made plenty of mistakes of my own, and will no doubt make more. But the lesson from this one is that we should always treat leaks with skepticism.”

Lesson learned. But there’s more to this story.

It turns out that “Nik Wallenda” is actually Jesse Alkire, a great designer and a name you may recognize. You see, I’ve worked with Jesse before (in a four-part sub-series called Designing Minds, Volume V — several posts are linked within that one). His talent is amazing, which partially explains why I was duped by the quality of the “leaks.” These legitimately could have been designed and produced by MLB. But they weren’t — they were entirely the product of Jesse’s very vivid imagination. He’s hoping to catch the eye of some of the major leagues to do some work. Sharing his concepts with me, which I will gladly run on Uni Watch (and have) is a great way to get noticed — creating a new twitter personality and tweeting at Paul and me may have been a good way to get noticed by the leagues, but it’s not the way I would have gone about it. But hey, I guess when you’re looking to have your talents noticed by the major leagues, “leaking” designs is one way to do it.

Once I became aware Jesse was behind the leaks, I asked him about it. His reply:

Just trying to get the attention of MLB, New Era, Nike, whoever. Look at the buzz this created — sports design can and should be better, and I want to help.

A re-tweet of my tweets to MLB and New Era would help, you guys have a solid following. You guys do a good job of critiquing sports design, but what if you started to actively make a positive change with all your power?

I think it’s possible.

All very well and good, but it would have worked better if Jesse had tipped me wise to these designs as his own. And who knows if the “attention” he got from MLB, Nike, New Era etc. will be positive. Maybe there really is no such thing as “bad publicity.” But there is bad reporting, and of that I’m guilty.

There’s more: I asked Jesse if he was indeed behind “Nik Wallenda” and he said “all me.” About the ensuing stories that followed, Jesse said, “Well, I started it — but its ending up in some weird places that I didn’t plan for, so obviously once I seeded it out in the right places it becomes it’s own animal.”

I asked Jesse if it was cool to mention this and show his full set of MLB ASG caps on Uni Watch, and to describe them to me, and he replied,

Yeah, promote the hell outta me — MLB needs to give me a call, for sure. I’m ready to help.

The designs are conceivably what I believe New Era will actually release this July, based on last year’s ASG hats as well as their recent history of special limited editions. The use of the Diamond Era 59FIFTY, the modernization of a retro style that is a major part of the host city’s brand, the split of white hats to be paired with home white National League jerseys, and teams’ road hats to be paired with the American League road jerseys — all things I would guess New Era is or will be considering for their final designs.

And if they weren’t considering any of this, well, then they now know where to reach me.

Yes. Yes they do.

I have to admit that while not necessarily my cup of tea (I’d say the “these are awful” comments were running about 2-to-1 over the “these are great”), they are very intriguing, and certainly something that took a LOT of talent and vision. As concepts, some of them are actually really, really good. And thanks to Jesse, you can see all of these concepts here, or watch the slideshow below:

Pretty impressive, right? In fact, on Jesse’s own design site, he asks the question, “Why the hell did I do this?” answering it like so:

When Major League Baseball issued special All-Star hats for the 2014 game in Minnesota, they were a huge success. The 2014 designs were based off an old Twins batting helmet and resonated with fans of the game’s history and New Era hat collectors, alike — arguably pro baseball’s two biggest niche consumers.

So what does MLB have planned for the 2015 All-Star Game in Cincinnati? We won’t know what New Era has come up with until late June or July, but I already know what I’d like to see — the return of the “pillbox” hat.

Many teams throughout baseball’s early history have worn pillbox hats, beginning in the late 1800s and sporadically up through the early 1900s when the style finally died out. The last time pillbox hats were regularly seen was back in 1976 when five teams wore the style to commemorate the National League’s 100th anniversary. Of the five teams to wear the pillbox hats that year, one of which was the Cincinnati Reds, only the Pittsburgh Pirates continued to wear them regularly after that season, finally switching back to a normal hat after the 1986 season.

Although Reds teams of the past weren’t exactly known for wearing the hat style more than most, the pillbox hat is now used heavily in Reds logos, uniforms, merchandise, and stadium imagery, largely as a tribute to the early days of baseball and to the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first professional baseball team formed in 1866. Another nod to that tradition was seen in this year’s All-Star game logo, with a two-striped pillbox hat featured featured prominently atop the logo.

So, like the All-Star game logo, my designs are relatively simple and clean — two team-colored stripes on white hats for the National League (this year’s home team) to mimic Cincinnati’s old pillbox hat, while the American League teams wear a striped version of their respective road cap.

I continue to be impressed by Jesse’s talent, and I do hope MLB (or the NFL or some other league) sees his work and thinks maybe he’s talented enough to join them. I just wish this post weren’t necessary, as I’d have gladly helped promote his talents as I have on UW before.

Well played, sir. Shame on me. But I won’t get fooled again.

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classic scoreboards splash

Classic Ballpark Scoreboards

I’m pleased to continue with a favorite weekend feature here at Uni Watch, “Classic Ballpark Scoreboards,” which are created by Gary Chanko. You probably know Gary best for his wonderful colorizations, but he has been a solid contributor for many years, and this is his new project. This segment will appear every Saturday on Uni Watch.

Here’s Gary (click on image to enlarge):

. . . . . . . . . .

Classic Ballpark Scoreboards – Series II
by Gary Chanko

In this edition of Classic Scoreboards we pay a visit to one of last of the Jewel Box ballparks, Braves Field as it celebrates a Centennial Anniversary.

Braves Field Scoreboard UW

Braves Field

Baseball home of: Boston Braves/ Bees (MLB) (1915”“52)
Also known as: The Wigwam; the Bee Hive and National League Park (1936-41)
Opened: August 18, 1915; Last baseball game: September 21, 1952
Demolished:1955, Reconfigured as Nickerson Stadium. Located on the campus of Boston University, the right field pavilion and concourse remain.

When it opened in 1915 Baseball Magazine heralded Braves Field as “The World’s Greatest Baseball Park.” All steel and concrete, the 40,000 seat Braves Field was built in a remarkable five months. It was baseball’s first million-dollar ballpark and MLB’s largest ballpark until surpassed by Yankee Stadium in 1923. For a complete, detailed history of Braves Field you will want to read this SABR research article and watch this slide show.

Braves Field was well suited for baseball’s Deadball Era but struggled to keep pace as the game changed over the succeeding decades. New ownership in the 1940s brought much needed investment in major renovations to the Wigwam.

The original scoreboard, located at the top of the right field bleacher section, was finally replaced in 1948 with a new 68-foot tall monster scoreboard. Back then it cost $70,000, equivalent to nearly a million in today’s dollars.

The new scoreboard and the double-decked outfield fences were dominated by billboard ads. A few years later the owners completed a ballpark beautification effort and eliminated those excessive billboard ads. The Chesterfield cigarette brand became the replacement advertising revenue stream. Chesterfield advertisements were located throughout the outfield on light towers, the old right field scoreboard, and of course, the mammoth new scoreboard.

The scoreboard illustration is based on a game played on September 27,1951 against the Dodgers that resulted in a storied rhubarb. The game was photographed by the noted LIFE magazine photographer George Silk. Several of these game photos were used as reference to complete the illustration.

A Few Things to Know

• The Longines digital clock display was an oddity. For this era, a Longines analog clock was a more common sight sitting atop scoreboards throughout major league baseball.

• After the Braves departure the scoreboard was recycled for use in Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium, the new home of the similarly recycled Philadelphia Athletics.

• The Always Buy Chesterfield scoreboard display was a potential source for snagging a ball in play. If this occurred, the ground rules called for the batter to be awarded second base.

The next edition of Classic Scoreboards will stay put in Braves Field. We’ll turn back the clock to look at the original scoreboard in right field bleacher section, famously known as The Jury Box.


Many thanks to Bob Brady, President, Boston Braves Historical Association (BBHA), for helpful assistance in research for this project. Bob’s personal knowledge of the Wigwam and photo archives filled in many key scoreboard details. The BBHA is commemorating the Braves Field centennial thought 2015. If you are interested in following the activities and leaning more about the Boston Braves and Braves Field, please visit their website.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If anyone is interested in purchasing a digital copy of these posters, Gary is working on an online purchase option. In the interim you can contact him directly at

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Too Good For the Ticker

Too Good…

for the Ticker

Got an e-mail from Jimmy Corcoran, who you may remember is the son of King Corcoran, the star QB of the WFL’s Philly Bell. I’d previously spoken to Jimmy about my annual “Fathers in Uniform” piece that runs every Father’s Day, and Jimmy will of course have something for that — but here’s a “little” something he prepared in advance.

Jimmy’s e-mails are always great, so enjoy:

. . .

How are you Phil? I made a couple of Pottstown cereal boxes for your Dad’s in their uniforms piece you do every father’s day but I also did this piece that has the King in some of his uniforms plus some family pictures from the 70’s and 80’s. He loved the movie Super Fly and he had suits made just like the guys in the movie, when we showed up to my grandparents house and he was wearing this my grandmother thought he drove to New Jersey in his pajamas? The King got to wear some really classic uniforms during his ten years of playing in various leagues, The Patriots, The Jets, Pottstown Firebirds but you will be surprised when I tell you what was his favorite uniform he ever wore was, I will tell that in the father’s day piece.

After his football career ended in 1975 he still stayed in touch with his teammates like Ron Holiday, Claude Watts and John Land. He had lost touch with Jack Dolbin and Firebirds DB Herbie Nauss but I remember them coming to our beach house as a kid and hanging out while my father cooked hamburgers for everyone and told his King stories.

I took the picture of my father with his old Bell teammates in the spring of 1977, we were also with Vince Papale that night but he didn’t come back to our house, he had to get back to Philadelphia that night.

King Corcoran montage

In 1973 it looked like the King’s football career was over, he was playing for a team in Flint Michigan called the Sabers, they gave him a blue velvet cape that said King on the back to wear on the sidelines but he wouldn’t do it, he thought someone would shoot him. On September 16, 1973 we went to see the san Diego Chargers play the Washington to open the season. My father’s Pottstown WR Ron Holiday was now with the Chargers and Ron Waller was coaching with them. I sat on the Chargers side with the King, Claude Watts and John Land. During the game the King kept saying to me “Jimbo I could start on this team, they have nothing right now, the Chargers need the King!” The Redskins shut them out 38-0 and Johnny Unitas took a real beating.

After the game I went into the Chargers locker room with my father, I had been in the Chargers locker room before in 1972 and I noticed that they had changed the jerseys. I picked up a jersey in 72 after the Colts game and the white jersey was shiny durene with the numbers sewn, after the Redskins game the equipment guys were laying all the game jerseys flat on top of each other and checking them off on a list. I went over and picked one up and they were mesh with pressed on numbers and had gold around the numbers (I know today that this was a one year style) but in 1973 there was no Uni Watch so I had to figure this out myself.

The mood was pretty somber in their after losing 38-0 but as usual the King was holding court, he was talking to his old Eagles buddy Tim Rossovich and Ron Holiday and somehow a lot of the Chargers players seemed to know him. I decided to get a couple of autographs I walked up to Deacon Jones and he was real nice to me, he said how are you doing little man? I told him I saw him on the TV show the Odd Couple doing a shaving commercial with Oscar Madison and this made Deacon laugh, I then went over to Mike Garrett and he was nice too. Dan Fouts was in there too that day but he was a rookie and I didn’t know who he was at the time? My father said ” Jimbo, don’t forget to go over there and get Gary Garrison’s autograph, he is a great receiver” Gary was talking to reporters but saw me walk over and grabbed my pad and signed for me.

There was one more autograph I wanted to get, Johnny Unitas. He was sitting on a very small stool in his jockstrap and his ankles still taped, since I grew up in Maryland I had seen him many times on TV playing for the Colts, but now that I was only two feet away from him there were two things I noticed, he looked much older than all the other Chargers players and he wasn’t wearing a shirt and I was surprised he had no muscles at all. At the time my father was an avid weight lifter and I thought all QB’s were supposed to have big arms and a big chest like the King had.

Unitas had his face in his hands and it looked like he was crying, I walked up to him and asked him for his autograph? when he took his hands away he wasn’t crying he just looked really down. He never made eye contact with me and signed the pad and handed it back, the other players were a lot friendlier when I asked them. I walked over to my father and said “what is wrong with Johnny Unitas?” My father looked at him then back at me and said “He knows it’s over and he can’t accept it” I didn’t know what he meant, and I said you mean the game is over? and the King said ” no his career is over, he can’t play anymore and he knows it, he got killed out there, he can’t move anymore” Unitas heard this and shot a dirty look at the King.

The King was such a good self promoter he was telling the Chargers player’s if the signed him this week he could help them win games. He said look, Unitas is done! Fouts is a rookie and isn’t ready and Wayne Clarke is garbage, you guys don’t have a QB! But never fear the King is here! I can run Ron Waller’s offense, it’s the same stuff we ran in Pottstown. By the time we left some of the Charger’s players were slapping him five telling him we need the King! Of course Ron Waller was not retained in 1974 and Dan Fouts went on to have a Hall of fame career and in 1974 Waller, the King, Ron Holiday, Claude Watts and John Land all went to play for the Philadelphia Bell in the World football League. When we were driving back to our house the King said “What do you think Jimbo, can you dig the King in powder blue?”

Here is a picture from that game. After the game when we were in the locker room Ron Holiday asked me for my windbreaker, I handed it to him and he turned around in his locker and rolled something up and handed it back to me. It was wet and kind of heavy so I thought he gave me a game jersey. He said don’t open this up until you get outside of the stadium. When I got outside I opened it up but it wasn’t a game jersey, it was a gray Champion team issued Chargers t shirt that all the players wore under their shoulder pads. It was a size XL and I was 9 years old so there wasn’t much I could do with it but my father grabbed it and said “Great, the King has a new workout shirt”

King stuff

Thanks, Jimmy. Great Stuff.

OK. Now, onto the ticker…

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: In yesterday’s ‘skins Watch, there was a photo of the Braves’ bullpen bag. Reader Richard Jurnack adds, the “Braves Bullpen Bag … it’s even got a weird white supremacist patch on it!” and notes “The three percenter patch on the bag is a symbol embraced by assorted white supremacist/militia/anti-government types.” … Future Mets Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki went with two undershirts on Mother’s Day, which probably pleased Nike to no end. … Good spot by Stephen Hayes who writes, “Never noticed this before, but here’s a nice card with Jeff Newman wearing catcher’s helmet/shell for the Sox in 1984 that appears to have the Sox’ “B” logo on the front.” … Vintage official specs for Pirates pillbox caps back in the 70s refer to them as “Anson style!” (from Todd Radom). … Here’s a look at the Paul Konerko t-shirt the White Sox are giving away for their free shirt Monday (h/t Captain Covert). … Pretty cool article from The Alaska Dispatch News entitled, “Innings under the Midnight Sun: Museum exhibit links baseball with the history of Alaska” (h/t Josh C.). … Minor League Promos notes, “on Instagram the @RiverCats are showing off their SacramenTones jerseys the’ll be wearing 5/27 for #PitchPerfect nite.” … What’s up with those Missouri State baseball uniforms? … Saturday, May 16th is Armed Services Day and Military Appreciation Night with the Chiefs. Just gonna leave it at that. … “Brought my 8 yr old daughter to the NCAA softball regional in auburn for the weekend,” writes David Keel. “UT-CHATTANOOGA is rocking some good looking striped stirrups. Also their helmets have a snake skin look to them but I can’t get it to show up in the pics.” Also from David: “More great high cuffs and stirrups from the same Auburn regional. This is from Girls of Tennessee Tech.” … I don’t know too much, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t Starling Marte (h/t Kenny Williams). … Edwin Encarnacion has new Franklin Sports CFX Pro gloves with a custom “Walking-The-Parrot” logo on the wrist (h/t Patrick Lahaie). … So this is how Tim Lincecum cleans his spikes. Says submitter Matt Larsen, “Isn’t there a specific tool for that?” … The St. Louis Cardinals will be wearing a 30th Anniversary Patch on June 14th (via Andrew Jenkins). New Era doesn’t really explain what the 30th Anniversary is, but if you go to their promo site, you’ll see they’re celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their 1985 National League Championship. … It’s a small capital D for Chase d’Arnaud — Scranton AAA road uni (h/t Jeff Smith).

NFL News: Marcus Mariota didn’t have his signature facemask in his first Titans practice (via Tres Lawless). A couple people replied to that tweet saying some custom facemasks are no longer permitted, so perhaps that’s why. It could also be because he is wearing a Schutt Air XP not a Riddell Speed Revolution. … “This disturbing clip from an upcoming Vice documentary about violent homophobia in Uganda has a weird uni note — one of the men interviewed is wearing a Matthew Hatchette Jets jersey (good view around :50)” writes Alex Spanko. … On “The Amazing Race” contestants were at AT&T stadium in pseudo Cowboys uniforms, writes Jon SolomonsonNo star. No swoosh. No shield. No star at midfield either.”

NBA/Basketball News: Here’s a good article from the New York Times entitled, “From the Quotable Mouths of the Memphis Grizzlies, Straight to Ad-Libbed T-Shirts,” (thanks Paul). … Reader Kevin Brown writes, “It hasn’t been announced anywhere, but the LA Sparks replica jerseys for 2015 just went online and they have a new sponsor replacing the team logo.” … Here’s the new official socks of the NBA (@stancesocks) — Being worn at the NBA Draft Combine for the first time ever (via Jonathan Givony). … Here’s a Vogue article entitled, “How the Chicago Bulls Jersey Became a New Global Street Style Obsession” (from Aaron Husul).

Hockey News: Have we had enough logo mash-ups yet? No? Check out these NHL team logos combined with their Province/State flags (via BarDown). … Tweeter Patrick Thomas was watching OHL hockey, and stumbled upon this photo of Eric Lindros playing for Oshawa. “Half/half cooper shells!” he exclaims.

Soccer News: Apparently the new Benfica 2015-16 kits have leaked — that site is in Spanish, but a google translation describes the jerseys (h/t Mike D.). … The new Schalke alternate kit is here (h/t Brad Denny).

Grab Bag: Since there aren’t already enough “vanity” license plates already available, New Yorkers may be able to get Jamaican bobsled plates (for the record, I think this is a cool option). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: here’s an Idaho mascots quiz. Poster Brad Iverson-Long notes,”there (are) blatant Georgia Tech and Wyoming rip offs, but there’s also the Orofino Maniacs, which isn’t a great mascot or a great nickname.” … Race leader Alberto Contador dislocated his shoulder in a crash at Thursday’s Giro d’ Italia, making it impossible to slip the pink jersey on during the post-race podium ceremony. The tailor who takes care of the jerseys after each stage has now customized a new one for the injured Contador (from Sean Clancy). Here’s a bit more on that (From Bryan Redemske). … An architect is proposing to build an underwater tennis stadium in Dubai. As the article notes, not sure if this is the greatest or stupidest thing ever. … Did you ever wonder how McDonald’s got its famous “Golden Arches”? Wonder no more (thanks Brinke). … Great Deadspin article, “Nike To Tennessee: Don’t Talk About What We’re Doing” — definitely worth a read (thanks Paul).

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That will do it for today. Everyone have a great Saturday — enjoy the hockey & hoops, and the Preakness later this afternoon. Thanks to Gary for the Scoreboards, the concepters, and all who send in for the ticker, and of course Jesse Alkire.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken


.. … ..

“My wife & I were lucky enough to be able to see Mr. [BB] King perform a few years ago at Club Nokia, a relatively small-ish venue near the Staples Center in LA. At the end of the show, instead of just a wave from the stage & the raising of the house lights to signal it was time to go home, somebody came out from backstage with BB’s overcoat & hat. He put ’em on, said goodbye, and exited.”

— Hugh McBride

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Comments (76)

    FYI the “After the Braves departure the scoreboard was recycled for use in Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium, the new home of the similarly recycled Philadelphia Athletics” is behind a sign up wall…

    Jesse Alkire – pure hubris. I believe he owes everyone an apology for his sophomoric nonsense.
    If what he wants is to get the “attention of MLB, New Era, Nike,” the first step is to learn to act professionally.

    It IS nonsense and Mr.Alkire’s antics are exactly the type of self-promotion this site usually and rightfully condemns. What strikes me is the absence of any apology to Paul or Phil for the intentional deception. Instead , Mr. Alkire revels in his own selfish machinations. Other media outlets, including the Cincinnati Enquirer, ran with the Uni Watch tweets/blog post, based in part, on what is now a somewhat tarnished, reputation this site has for uniform reporting. None of that seems to matter to Mr. So long as he can get a job with MLB, New Era, etc. it’s pathetic.

    Anyone know how old Jesse is?

    Is he simply the unfortunate product of his time? An era where getting attention is valued above all else, and if one should gain notoriety from bad behavior, then well…so much the better…

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to wander off and be introspective for a little while.

    You could see this one coming …

    To tweet or not to retweet.

    Looks like everyone involved has been up front with their actions in this episode. No Leakin’ without verification. I get it. Moving on.

    As for the real author of this fiasco, Mr. Alkire… I will be brief.

    You sir are no artist, you are lazy pixel pusher with delusions of talent. I am saying this as a former Creative Director with over a decade of managing and hiring talented artists and creatives. One of the first tasks in separating the fakers from the makers is to just look at the actual ART… not the mechanicals. You know… a better logotype, better lettering… things that take actual vision and talent to regularly deliver.

    All I saw in the leaked images is a passing skill in photoshop mechanicals… entry level skills at that. I have no problem with people who try to fake it till you make it, somewhere, sometime one has to put in the work to develop their skills beyond cut and paste.

    You can tell Jesse is a hack: He orders the teams by nickname, not city name.

    Kidding! But seriously, city name, not nickname. In all settings.

    As for Phil and Paul, the mistake wasn’t retweeting. It’s freakin Twitter; everyone understands that anything reported there is iffy at best. The mistake was RTing without adding a note of overt skepticism or questioning just for CYA purposes. Also, writing and posting a lead article without confirmation: That’s 100% on Paul, not Phil. But look: Every journalist gets stuff wrong from time to time. Getting duped about All Star Game caps is not getting duped about Iraqi WMD. A professional doesn’t cut himself any slack because the stakes are lower on a given story, but his readers should.

    @Gary – the second step is to provide good designs! Those hats were, meh, not great to me. I see what he was going for but it didn’t look right. Reds have also been known for their pinstripes. I think that would have been a better idea to take from.

    A few points:
    1. Jesse is not a great designer. He just knows how to present his concepts. Big difference.
    2. After this stunt I don’t think Jesse will be working for MLB any time soon.
    3. Phil’s timeline is fun but he’s RT’d a lot of hot garbage. This is no different.

    Kind of sloppy all around — rumors happen and get reported as fact all of the time, unfortunately. I think I’m more bothered by today’s post than yesterday’s, to be honest. It gives a sheen of legitimacy to Alkire – undeserved – and suggests that leaking fake designs (or fake info of any kind) is OK as a career move. It’s not. It’s safe to say Alkire can go back to design flyers for local counterculture events, because no large company is going to trust him. And honestly, the work wasn’t special, anyway.
    And yeah, Phil jumped to gun – but I think today’s entry deserves more scrutiny and criticism.

    Another point:
    Instead of Phil being mad at a source who royally burned him, he continues to promote his work. Really? Does Jesse have pictures of Phil?

    Either way, Phil and Jesse’s credibility is about the same right now.

    I know, right? It”s as if Phil has some low-grade strain of Stokholm Syndrome.

    I fall for stupid crap all the time, so I’m reluctant to put a sucker in the same category as the perpetrator.

    Still, I really don’t see what’s so great about Jesse’s work, and I certainly don’t like the attitude.

    “Look at the buzz this created – sports design can and should be better, and I want to help.”

    This from the guy who waltzed in here with a full set of 32 train wrecks, and kept falling all over himself trying to convince everyone how “clean” and “modern” they were.



    Seriously, Jesse. You might want to consider the possibility that you’re a *designer*, not a *sports* designer.

    This conversation has been had in the comments before, it bears repeating: “design” isn’t about making things look cool or pretty. It’s about solving problems. It seems apparent that Jesse doesn’t understand the first thing about design, literally, because his work only creates problems.

    “I’m not trying to throw Phil under the bus –”

    Well ya you are.

    The “I wasn’t home” excuse is more embarrassing then getting duped.

    I’m starting to think Phil is the one who doesn’t get it.

    I got that impression too. He says he doesn’t want to throw Phil under the bus, then proceeds to do just that.

    You guys deserve some blame for sloppy reporting. But if I were you guys and it was my site, Jesse’s work would never get the time of day in this space again. Pretty sad that he doesn’t care whether he lied, just as long as he got attention. And if I were an employer, I wouldn’t hire someone who seems to display a blatant lack of integrity. Based on his lying, how would I know the work is even his?

    On the flip side, I’m thankful that those are not the true 2015 ASG caps because they look like crap. If you’re going to do pillbox with a team logo, the stripes need to be thinner. See the Pittsburgh Pirates of the 1970s/’80s.

    “Yeah, promote the hell outta me – MLB needs to give me a call, for sure. I’m ready to help.”

    I would’ve stopped the interview right there and buried today’s column. This guy deserves zero praise and zero press.

    On the NHL mashups, how come the Flyers got the Pittsburgh flag and the Pens got the Philly flag? BTW the Habs and Yotes were by far the most successful.

    Like we saw the Ms do earlier in the week, the Rox are doing a link (mischaracterized as a Fedora giveaway). Beige and purple does makes the Rox hat look even worse than Seattle’s.

    On a different note, thanks Jimmy Corcoran, I can never get enough stories about the King.

    Thanks Mild bill, my Mother always said a little of the King goes a long way! He has been dead six years now and we lost touch with him in 1987. When we tell stories about him today we always say “how did we live with him?” it literally was like living in a madhouse with him there was so much chaos in his life.

    My mother always asks me, do you think you will ever run out of King stories? I said someday but it would take at least 10 years.

    “An architect is proposing to build an underwater tennis stadium…”


    “…in Dubai.”


    The reason why Mariota has a different face mask is definitely because he is wearing a Schutt Air XP instead or a Riddell Speed. Speed face masks only fit Speed helmets.

    Also shocked that Jesse would get any more pub from this site. UniWatch has made itself one of the top 2 uniform sites on the Internet, and its reach extends far beyond the diehard uniform design fans. It has become a reliable outlet. I give him credit for duping a very good site but it hurts the site at the same time.
    Of the state flags/hockey crests, only the Coyotes, Stars, Predators and Canadiens look remotely appealing. And why would he do the Flyers and Penguins each in the flag of the rival city? Blecch.

    I will say that I bet Jesse’s concepts are better than what MLB actually has planned. The HR Derby caps seen in the MLB video game are terribly uninspired, and the vdeo games have been accurate in the past.

    I think I’ll echo everyone else and say that Jesse comes off as kind of a douche here. I mean, I’ve done quite a few concepts and had them featured here before, and I’ve never tried to pass anything off as being official. Hell, I want people to know that it’s my creation.

    Does that mean this email I just received from a “Nigerian Prince Jesse and
    $400 million in lost treasure” is not legit?


    Wait a minute…

    Jesse says the @WallendaNik profile was all him. But in this article (link), both he and the writer make it sound like the concept just got picked up.

    Oh Jesse. I think you’ve messed up big. Might want to consider moving on from sports design. Your name is mud.

    I generally agree with the sentiment of other commenters. However, I don’t take any issue with today’s post, especially because I don’t view this as promoting him. Jesse doesn’t come out looking good, and we’ve been provided with a transparent view of everything that went down with the “leak.” Sure, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but I think this did more harm to his image than good – at the very least, to our community.

    Just saw an ad on facebook and was struck by the photo…


    The word that jumped out at me in the ad was “Clipper” (it’s also in the URL). I’m not sure if that is a clipper ship or not but the left sails are square, like the negative space of a letter L. The right sails are triangular, like the negative space of an A. If an artist took this boat outline and played with it, they could create something that’s a lot better than their new LA inside of a C logo.

    I’ve been a loyal Uni Watch reader since it was just a small feature on ESPN’s Page 2 — I would never actively seek to harm something I read and rely on on a weekly basis.

    I take umbridge with today’s “reporting” — I did not leak these to Paul and Phil. The AgencySpy article from yesterday is so far the only outlet to get this story right. As Phil said above, I have sent things to him in the past to be published on the site, and I was waiting until sometime in late June to send this project that I had just completed last week.

    Finally, as Phil just copy and pasted what I thought were, in part, private emails, I should explain my request for promotion — who wouldn’t want promotion from this? My work goes viral, of course I want the exposure? Exposure is everything in my business. My work gets out, along with my name, and that leads to more work.

    In all, this shouldn’t be that big of a deal. No mea culpa from Uni Watch is needed. It was just 24-hours of Internet silliness. After all, since most of you hated the work — be glad they’re not actually real.

    The problem was your presentation. Rather than a “Hey Paul/Phil, check out these cap concepts I made” you tried a little too hard to make it look real.

    Was the Twitter profile fake or not? If it was and it was sent out as such that’s a lying and manipulating people. No excuse for that – it’s unethical (obviously) and childish.

    Grow up if thats the case! You have talent, but it’s obvious immaturity takes command over your life.

    There are two HOFers (Unitas, Hanburger) and an All-Pro (Mike Garrett) in that photograph.

    There were a couple of things I remember from that game, the Chargers visitors locker room in RFK was the worst I had ever been in, the Philadelphia Bell had a better one and that was a mess too.
    Also I remember how hard the Chargers took that loss, the 1973 Chargers were a bad team and nothing was expected of them that season but those guys really took that 38-0 loss hard.
    Today in the NFL if you tune in right after the game you can’t tell who won and who lost? the players are all smiling joking around with each other, back in the 70’s there wasn’t all that buddy buddy stuff with players from the other team.


    Great story today. I always look forward to stories about the King.

    Please keep them coming!

    I’m not quite convinced that anyone is ever particularly happy to lose a game, but I suspect that the friendlier post-game interactions in some sports have something to do with how frequent and unpredictable player movement has become in recent decades. One is generally less inclined to be mortal enemies with an opposing player who’s a former teammate (and possibly good friend), or even one who may well end up being a teammate sometime in the future.

    Don’t get me wrong; when it’s game time, it’s show-no-mercy time. But when it’s all over, I think it’s good that competitors can just be people again.

    I see your point, also a lot of players share the same agent and see each other at off season charity functions. When my father played for the Bell in the WFL, I remember many times after a loss I would walk off the field with him and guys from opposing teams would say “good game King” and sometimes these were former Maryland teammates and sometimes former Jet or Patriot teammates and he would just walk past them, he would be in a bad mood for 2-3 days after a loss.


    Thanks so much for these stories. I can’t get enough of them and remember some of this like it was yesterday.

    I was 13-14 when he WFL played and I have very vivid memories of watching every WFL TV game (there was a national TV game each Weds. I believe that we watched in New Orleans) and I remember reading a pretty extensive article on Pottstown head coach Lou DeFillipo (?) and his QB King Corcoran, either in Sports Illustrated or maybe even Playboy. Really in depth and supportive article documenting their Championship in Pottstown and how many were moving on to the WFL. The article went on in detail about how your Dad was making a go of it in the new WFL, and the article has stayed with me maybe 40 years.

    I remember that 1973 Chargers/Redskins game. It was shown in New Orleans – likely because of Unitas first game with the Chargers, and it was truly a depressing stinker of a performance. I had the distinct impression that Unitas was never healthy or able to endure the punishment.

    Interestingly, Unitas actually tried to play in 1974, but early into the Chargers’ training camp he retired reportedly due to injury. There was a really crazy magazine story (Playboy maybe?) about the 1974 Chargers camp, where Unitas was horrified by the rampant drug use and crazy life the players led there. If I’m not mistaken, Mercury Morris had become estranged from Don Shula and he Dolphins and I believe was traded to the Chargers that year (drug issues) and the magazine article talked about marathon card games at camp with women underneath the card tables servicing one player after another while cards were played, dope smoked and taken, and players serviced under the tables even while being interviewed for the article. The author went on about how Unitas, literally in his last days and hours ion the NFL, would withdraw into his room and refused to be around any of the madness.

    Man, the things that you remember from your early years ….

    Thanks again for sharing this. Awesome crazy times.

    Wow Nick, you seem to be right on point, everything you remember about that era is how I remember it too. I will tell you a Johnny Unitas story that not too many people know. Ron Waller was like a member of our family, no matter where he was coaching he would spend Christmas with us. The King lost his father in 1968 and Ron Waller was kind of a father figure to him. He wanted to bring the King out to San Diego, he knew Unitas was done but he was trying to get the head coaching job for the 1974 season and the last thing he needed was the King showing up with all the drama that comes with him.
    Unitas only played in four games in 1973, Ron wWller gave us a call from San Diego and the King wasn’t home so he talked to my mother for a while. He told her that he was going to put Johnny Unitas on waivers? My mother was like , are you kidding? He said he couldn’t play and they needed the roster spot. There was no ESPN or internet back then so we read in the Washington Post that Unitas was put on injured reserve. The next time my mother spoke to Ron she asked him what happened and he said I couldn’t cut a legend so we put him on IR, I didn’t want to be the guy who cut Johnny U. I didn’t know Unitas was attempting a comeback in 1974?

    Being from Cincinnati, when I saw those fugly ASG caps, I said to myself “Oh no, what an embracement. Please don’t let them use them at the All-Star Game. I hope that the Reds didn’t sign off on those”.

    All for Jesse’s self-promotion.

    Just more of “Look at me!!!”

    Maybe Jesse should design caps for the NFL.

    Hopefully, whoever does tomorrow’s post mentions the Under Armour “Band of Ballers” t-shirt. If you think putting camo on a hat or jersey is disgraceful I can’t imagine the thoughts about an image of people raising a basketball hoop like they raised the flag at Iwo Jima!

    This one took me by surprise, and I’m not sure what to think about it.


    There’s also another design, called “Crossing Over.”


    Compared to outrage over “Band of Ballers,” criticism of the second shirt seems something of an afterthought.

    Is due to a greater distance in time, or perhaps some other factor that I haven’t considered?

    I can certainly understand the negative feelings toward these shirts, but I’m a bit perplexed at the lack of consistency. Are we disgusted at having our military history and traditions trivialized by sports apparel companies, or are we ok with it?

    I would say generally people are ok with military history/traditions being trivialized, as you put it, if it’s in a generic way or in a way to honor them.
    That’s why you barely hear a peep about things like Nike using camo, Under Armour doing a flag version of their logo or things like that.
    That’s also why things like this Iwo Jima shirt drive people nuts. Raising a basketball hoop like they raised the flag after battle? That’s just ridiculous. Someone should have seen this coming back at UA HQ.

    You can’t really look at that shirt in anyway and view it as a honor/tribute to America/’the troops’/whatever. A camouflaged hat, sideline gear with a flag design, that stuff can be viewed that way. That’s why one most are ok with and one leads to mostly outrage

    And, I have been following the Reds since 1970. My first job was working for SportsService at Riverfront Stadium in 1976.

    But, did the Reds ever wear the “Anson” type pillbox hats in a regular season game? I have seen pictures of them wearing them at special events, but never seen a picture from a regular season game.

    If they did, I sure would like to see a picture of it.

    Thanks Mookie.

    The pillbox Reds caps that I have seen pictures from that season were all red with white stripes. Not saying they did or didn’t wear either style, I just want to see proof of the whole team wearing them in a regular season game.

    Linking may be problematic, so feel free to search at yourself, but the couple of AP regular season game photos I saw didn’t have pillboxes. And, of course, the Reds didn’t wear pillboxes in the 1976 Series.

    One of the first lessons I learned at the Associated Press…If your mother says she loves you, check it out.

    Wow, Paul’s really hanging Phil out to dry on this one. Comes off like a selfish tool, guess there’s no loyalty anymore.

    In my business… life, beating someone when they’re down is even worse than a dead horse.
    Plenty of both going down today.
    Grey skies clear up if you let them.

    I think readers have come to expect a certain level of reliability from Paul and Phil, and it’s understandable they’re disappointed, even ugly. But I’ve also come to expect transparency and accountability, and it think they both came through on that front.

    and equally a crime when he says:

    And thanks to Jesse, you can see all of these concepts here, or watch the slideshow below

    as if to turn this incident into a positive.

    I know people have emotional attachments to the “Lady” prefix, attaching a gender signifier is a tacit, if unintentional, signal of second class status.

    I agree with your premise, but I don’t have a dog (or vagina, as it were) in this fight. When I coached women I pushed against the “Lady” and “-ette” designations – sometimes successfully, sometimes not.

    Unsolicited advice for Jesse:

    If you’re trying to get a job with an agency or a vendor or a client, don’t present unsolicited spec work. Nine times out of ten, that’ll be a reason *not* to hire you. The unethical ones will steal your ideas or underpay for your work (which is probably worse than stealing).

    And why would you present your idea as something New Era *would* do? Why would New Era hire you if they already have designers who can do the same things you can?

    The irony for me in all of this is I feel leaks of new major league jerseys is kind of beneath Uni Watch anyway. All of these designs will eventually come out, and most of them will be predictable, terrible, or both. I still enjoy reading them, but for me I’m in no rush to get it and it’s not a big deal when it does come out.

    I’ll take original, unique, and insightful anyday over simply being first. Most of the time Uni Watch delivers, and then some.

    Within the confines of the Uni-verse, new uniform releases have become a Big Deal. If a (the?) leading journalist on the beat gets early wind of something, there’s no reason for he (or she) not to share it within the normal journalistic constraints about respecting agreements, confirming the story, etc. If we don’t see a new uni until it hits the field, or until an overblown unveiling ceremony, it’s no big deal, but knowing in advance doesn’t hurt anything either.

    Apparently, a lack of ethics goes along with a lack of awareness here. We all make mistakes in the world of social media. However, deliberate deception would be one reason, no matter how ”good” the designs, I wouldn’t hire the guy.

    The lack of awareness, and grace, and then a deflection to “but mlb’s design is so bad,” just shows he’s got some growing up to do.

    It’s not all about creating attention. Fool me once…

    You are so right. I read Jesse’s rebuttal earlier and it could all be a he said, he said, but the fact remains that he used a fake twitter account to push these designs out. It doesn’t pass the smell test to me.

    So I just clicked over to ESPN’s home page, and the lead story is the result of the Preakness. Remember Marlins Man, the Miami fan who sat in the big money seats during last year’s World Series in the orange jersey & visor belonging to neither participating club? Evidently he’s a fan of the ponies, too.

    Jimmy Corcoran,

    Thanks so much for these stories. I can’t get enough of them and remember some of this like it was yesterday.

    I was 13-14 when he WFL played and I have very vivid memories of watching every WFL TV game (there was a national TV game each Weds. I believe that we watched in New Orleans) and I remember reading a pretty extensive article on Pottstown head coach Lou DeFillipo (? there was a boxing referee with a similar name and I forever confuse the two) and his QB King Corcoran, either in Sports Illustrated or maybe even Playboy. Really in depth and supportive article documenting their Championship in Pottstown and how many were moving on to the WFL. The article went on in detail about how your Dad was making a go of it in the new WFL, and the article has stayed with me maybe 40 years.

    I remember that 1973 Chargers/Redskins game. It was shown in New Orleans — likely because of Unitas first game with the Chargers, and it was truly a depressing stinker of a performance. I had the distinct impression that Unitas was never healthy or able to endure the punishment.

    Interestingly, Unitas actually tried to play in 1974, but early into the Chargers’ training camp he retired reportedly due to injury. There was a really crazy magazine story (Playboy maybe?) about the 1974 Chargers camp, where Unitas was horrified by the rampant drug use and crazy life the players led there. If I’m not mistaken, Mercury Morris had become estranged from Don Shula and he Dolphins and I believe was traded to the Chargers that year (drug issues) and the magazine article talked about marathon card games at camp with women underneath the card tables servicing one player after another while cards were played, dope smoked and taken, and players serviced under the tables even while being interviewed for the article. The author went on about how Unitas, literally in his last days and hours ion the NFL, would withdraw into his room and refused to be around any of the madness.

    Man, the things that you remember from your early years ….

    Thanks again for sharing this. Awesome crazy times.

    Speaking of Comebacks, the King was going to make a comeback too, 7 years after retiring. I will tell that story when I send Phil the Fathers’ Day uniform pictures

    The 3% refers to the number of Americans that participated in the Revolutionary War. It’s not white supremecy, it’s not anti-government. It’s anti-tyranny, pro-freedom for all. Thank God for those 3 percent.

    the d’Arnaud picture is actually him in a Lehigh Valley IronPigs uniform. They’ve been wearing their red “bacon” alternates on the road.

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