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Sunday Patchwork

Some interesting MLB patches yesterday, beginning in Kansas City, where the Royals celebrated the 30th anniversary of their 1985 championship team by wearing patches on their caps and sleeves for their game against the Cardianls (click first two photos to enlarge):

But there were some exceptions. Pitchers Yordano Ventura and Joe Blanton didn’t wear the sleeve patch:

But the best move was by left fielder Alex Gordon. His cap didn’t have the patch, so he made his own (click to enlarge):

I’m told that this may have been due to Gordon’s superstitious nature. In any case, his patch is certainly no worse than all the others, because cap patches always suck — they make the cap look unbalanced and cluttered. At least Gordon’s version had a bit of homespun charm. I hereby nominate him for Uni Watch Player of the Day (a new title that I just made up).

It’s no accident that the Royals chose to wear these patches for a game against the Cardinals, incidentally — that’s the team they defeated in the ’85 series. But instead of the patches, why not have both teams wear throwbacks? Hell, you could even get Don Denkinger to throw out the first pitch. Seems like a missed opportunity.

Meanwhile, up in the Bronx, the Yankees retired Bernie Williams’s number and wore cap and sleeve patches for the occasion:

Can’t say I’m nuts about this one either. For starters, what’s with all the yellow? Not a very Yankees-like color. And since when does a player get a patch for having his number retired? The number retirement is the honor — you don’t need to augment it.

Actually, wearing a patch to go along with a number retirement is common in the NHL, but not in MLB. In fact, as Todd Radom points out, wearing a patch for a living MLB player, in any capacity — number-retirement-related or otherwise — is extremely rare.

(My thanks to Mike Koehler and @cDubya242 for their contributions to this section.)

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T-Shirt Club reminder: The June offering from the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club — the BFBS design — is available here for two more days. (Today would normally have been the last day, but we’re extending the deadline by 24 hours because of the Memorial Day holiday.)

Here’s another look at the design, just in case anyone needs a reminder (click to enlarge):

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Baseball News: According to some research by reader Nolan Brett, 21 of 60 MLB catchers — just over a third — wear the hockey-style mask. The others wear the conventional style. ”¦ Yet another new uniform for Maryland. ”¦ G.I. Joke run amok: The umps for the ACC baseball championship wore camouflage caps (from James Gilbert). ”¦ Shriners-based jerseys in the works for the Brevard County Manatees. But come on, forget the jerseys and let’s see a team wearing Shriner’s hats. ”¦ Latest minor league team to go G.I. Joke: the Toledo Mud Hens (from @netillaman). ”¦ Love the color scheme being used by Taylorsville High in Mississippi (from John Benal). ”¦ Still more G.I. Joke-o-rama, this time for Florida. ”¦ Comically bad stars/stripes jerseys yesterday for the Lexington Legends (from Josh Claywell). ”¦ Batman jerseys the other night for the Louisville Bats (from Josh Claywell). ”¦ Very nice striped stirrups for Columbia, which just won its third straight Ivy League title. ”¦ Douglas Ford’s local grocery is selling a case of beer emblazoned with the Braves’ “A” logo.

Everything Else: Houston Texans RB Arian Foster apparently doesn’t like the way his name is being used by Nike — look here and then here (from Matt Hammond). … Here’s a new sneaker based on the teal carpet at Portland’s airport (from @holycalamity). ”¦ Here’s a slideshow of the top Premier League soccer jerseys for the upcoming season (from Tim Cross). … The Coke 600 is the latest corner of the sports world that doesn’t understand the meaning of Memorial Day (from Matthew Moss). ”¦ Flag-desecration helmet this weekend for Tufts lacrosse. ”¦ Super-bantamweight boxer Rafael Vazquez has an autistic daughter, so he wears “I Love a Child With Autism” on his trunks and also wears autism-awareness socks. ”¦ Someone at the Indy 500 was wearing crocheted checkerboard-patterned shorts (from Jason Mott).

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Today is Memorial Day. If you’re mourning the loss of a fallen service member, please accept my condolences. If you have to work today, thanks for keeping the world spinning while the rest of us get to enjoy a day off. Peace. ”” Paul

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Comments (40)

    Royals won the Series, in 1985, the opening paragraph says 1986. The rest of the article says 1985, though.

    Instead of throwing out the first pitch, Don Denkinger could have been brought back to blow the first call.

    In what way does “Support our Troops” reflect a misunderstanding of “the meaning of Memorial Day”? Just because it’s on a tire? Or because it’s on a Goodyear-branded tire? (is Goodyear not allowed to express support for the U.S. armed forces?) Among all the superficial plastering of stars and stripes regalia, a simple “Support our Troops” seems one of the more tasteful ways to acknowledge the holiday and express both support and gratitude for service and sacrifice, which seems to me to be “the meaning of Memorial Day.”

    Memorial Day is not about supporting the troops. It’s about mourning those who have perished. You may think that’s the same thing, but it’s not.

    We’re not going to re-hash this again, at least not today. Let’s please move on. Thanks.

    NASCAR got it partially right last night. The drivers’ names on the windshields were replaced with the names of fallen soldiers, including The Unknown Soldier on #38.


    I love this website, but we are all fully aware that Mr. Lukas despises all things military!

    I would think if we’re “memorializing” the military, that would imply remembering those that died. In which case, black is more appropriate than camouflage. If we’re simply “honoring” all those that served I think an additional statement is needed: I suggest sewing Bush and Chaney’s faces on both sides of each players buttocks, as a way of saying, “We’re sorry about the bad leadership.”

    NFL Network has been plugging the wrong message all week. One promo mentions a former Green Beret turned long snapper.
    Did the guy die?
    I appreciate the service and dedication to our country, but that’s not what Memorial Day means!

    Checkerboard-patterned shorts at the Indy 500? Nah, checkered FLAG-patterned shorts…

    And something about the Braves, MLB, et al allowing their logo to be used on a12-pack of 420 pale ale makes me chuckle.

    420 is a brewing company based out of Atlanta, so it doesn’t really surprise me to see them allowing the Braves to have their logo on the packaging. Now if only they could make beer worth drinking.

    Paul, I’m guessing you just came up with the Uni-Watch Player of the Day idea on the fly, but I actually think its a cool idea. Could be a way to recognize memorable things that happen in the uni-verse (whether they’re cool, embarrassing, or just plain weird). It could also be a good way to keep track of stuff like Gordon’s homemade patch. Thoughts?

    I’d love to see this as a regular (or semi-regular) feature. Don’t award it if nobody does anything really special, but let’s recognize the athletes who make our uni-world a little more interesting.

    I’ve never been a fan of big clunky uniform patches, but I wonder if the Yankees are finally seeing the light about how they’re forcing today’s players to desecrate their backs after the team has retired so many numbers, and are transitioning to a new tradition where they give a former great a sleeve patch rather than take yet another number out of circulation forever.

    I am really not a fan of all the patches being worn in MLB lately. I know they are marketable, but the uniform is kind of a sacred thing. I am not one for conspiracy theories. But could it possibly be to get fans ready for ads?

    No, more likely just to get them to buy more merchandise. Ads ain’t happening in MLB.

    Lazio and Roma playing a match now with NO shirt sponsors – both teams with sponsor less shirts. And Lazio with a cool design to boot.

    Uni Watch Player of the Day! Add it to the glossary. We can shorten it to UWPD.

    Happy Memorial Day!

    The Bernie Williams patch isn’t “yellow”. It’s clearly metallic gold stitching.

    Not sure if you’re blind or not. Metallic gold. Like the color of a World Series trophy. Not yellow.

    You’re really smug for someone who makes plenty of mistakes.

    Not sure that’s the same thing. On a site like this, small details usually matter. That being said, metallic gold isn’t yellow.

    Although he seems to be a bit too touchy about your sarcasm, Paul, Chris looks to be correct. Metallic gold thread, not yellow.

    There’s just no need for Paul’s sarcastic reply to my OP. If that makes me too touchy, then c’est la vie.

    The link, but the picture Paul posted sure looks yellow.

    And both Paul’s pic and the one I’m linking come from essentially the same source – a company selling the patches. Paul’s pic comes from their Twitter feed, while the pic I’ve linked to comes from their store page. So, go figure.

    @Anthony Nuccio –

    SweetWater is the brewing company. 420 is the name of one of their beers.

    420 is also a reference to something on MLB’s list of banned substances, which is why I find it amusing that MLB/the Braves are (presumably) OK with the co-branding.

    Kudos to the Mets for doing something really neat today. The team had members of the armed forces, representing all four branches, take positions on the field, with the players going out to join them and salute them as part of ceremonies remembering the heroes we have lost.

    People like to pound on the Mets when the team missteps, but I thought this was a very nice gesture.

    I’m surprised that the actual placement of Bernie Williams’ retired number hasn’t been mentioned yet.

    It is on the inside wall of Monument Park, not facing the stands. The only way one can see his retired number (and assuming Posada, Pettitte and Jeter later on) is from inside Monument Park itself.

    There was a lot of criticism about the size and location of Monument Park when the new stadium opened, but the fact that retired numbers are not visible from the stands (outside of the secondary retired number wall in the LF bleachers) is inexcusable.

    The Yankees need to fix this and swap one of the bullpens with a larger Monument Park that does justice to those honored.

    Better yet, how about having monuments that can be viewed and visited throughout the game, rather than having to wait in a long line for more than an hour just to get a few seconds to look at the plaques?

    Orrrrr, just do away with the “look at us!”-ness of Monument Part and do a something more simple and tasteful.

    Orrrrr, stop retiring numbers of Hall of Very Good caliber players.

    Is it just me, or are the numbers on the front of the Dodgers’ jerseys today a bit lower than usual?

    In the part about living players honored with patches, they left off the cheesy patch Clemens wore while with the Yankees while going for win #300: link

    The SweetWater packaging with the Atlanta Braves A on it is the result of the SweetWater’s partnership with the Braves that started last season.


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