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A Unique Uniform Modification

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I always loved watching George Brett hit. The sweet swing, the big chaw of tobacco, the sense that he could wake up at 3am and knock a double into the gap. Okay, so he left a bit to be desired in the stirrup department, but whatever — I was willing cut him some slack on that one. That’s how much I respected his game.

But here’s something I didn’t realize until reader Jim Pericotti recently pointed it out to me: Toward the end of Brett’s career, his uniform featured a unique detail that, to my knowledge, has never been worn by any other MLB player. It’s visible in the photo shown above, which is from 1992. Can you spot it?

In case you’re not seeing it, here’s an isolation shot of the pertinent part of the uniform:

As you can see, Brett’s right pant leg had a zipper running from the mid-thigh area down to the cuff. I’ve never seen anything like that before. When I ran it past my two go-to guys for this sort of thing, Baseball Hall of Fame curator Tom Sheiber and uniform designer/historian Todd Radom, they both said they’d never seen it either.

Brett’s zipper isn’t limited to that one photo. It’s also visible, to varying degrees, in the following shots, which show that the zipper was included on Brett’s home whites and road greys (for the first image, you can click to enlarge):

Most of those shots are from 1992, but the last one is from ’93 (the giveaway is the telltale “EMK” memorial patch for Ewing Kaufman), which means Brett was wearing the zippered pant leg for at least parts of two seasons.

As you can see, Brett was wearing a rather bulky-looking knee brace during this period, so I figured the inseam zipper was designed to make his pants easier to pull on over the brace. I had hoped to discuss this with Brett himself (he still works for the Royals’ front office), but when I called the Royals and asked to do a quick phone interview with him, they checked with Brett and came back to me with the following quote: “I had to wear a big bulky knee brace and it just made it easier to put on and take off the pants.” So there you go.

I also contacted Curt Nelson, director of the Royals Hall of Fame, who said Brett began wearing the zippered pants at some point in 1992 and continued wearing them through the end ’93, after which he retired. Nelson also provided this great Kansas City Star shot of Brett sitting in the dugout before a game (and/or maybe during spring training?) with the pant leg unzipped (click to enlarge):

Nelson said he thinks the zippers were added by the Royals’ staff, not by Russell Athletic (the team’s uniform outfitter at the time), although he isn’t positive about that. He also said Brett had some pants with the zipper on the outside of the right leg, instead of on the inseam, but I couldn’t find any game photos showing that.

So, George Brett: 3,000 hit club member, Hall of Famer, and, as it turns out, the wearer of a very unique uniform. I have to say, this is one of my favorite entries on the site in quite some time — I get totally geeked out over discoveries like this one. Do you folks share my enthusiasm, or is this just a “Yeah, whatever” item for you?

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Theoretical update: The Brooklyn Beefsteak went on the road last weekend and made a stop in Boston. As usual, there was lots of beef, beer, and fun, and I got to thinking, just theoretically speaking, about what sort of T-shirt design might be appropriate for a Boston beefsteak — perhaps something like this.

If you’d like to discuss this situation, feel free to be in touch.

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Father’s Day story, a day late: I’ve told this story before, but once more won’t hurt: In 1973, when I was nine years old, the Mets were running lots of ads that said, “Take Dad to the ballpark for Father’s Day!” So I figured that would be my Father’s Day gift to my dad — we’d go to the ballgame and I’d pay for his ticket.

But my allowance was only 25 ¢ a week, so I didn’t have enough money to pay for my own ticket — only his. He still had to buy mine. And my mom’s. And he had to pay for parking, and buy food/drink, and drive through Father’s Day traffic. Later on I realized my “present” probably wasn’t much of a treat for him, but none of that occurred to me at the time. When I mentioned this to him many years later, he said, “Oh, it was fine. It was always a treat to go to the ballpark with you.”

Here’s my ticket stub from that day. The Mets won, 3-1. I miss you, Pop.

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Culinary Corner: Yesterday was a perfect day for grilling, but I had driven to Boston and back the day/night before, so I was a little wiped out and wanted to keep things very simple. It doesn’t get much simpler than a London broil, so I met my friend Carrie at our local butcher and we picked out a nice piece of top round, a little less than two pounds.

We brought the meat back to my house, seasoned it with salt and pepper, and brought it out to my backyard, where I lit a fire in the grill. I didn’t put a clock or a thermometer to the meat, but I must have had it on the grill for about 10 minutes total, turning it several times (along with a few ears of corn). Just as I was getting ready to remove it from the grill, a thunderstorm broke out, so we scurried back to my apartment and ate inside. Here’s how the meat turned out:

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It was insanely good. I had put salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce on the table, but we didn’t reach for any of them — the meat was super-duper-flavorful on its own. I love it when that happens.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Phil

[Editor’s Note: There was no Ticker yesterday, so today’s Ticker covers two days’ worth of news. Big thanks to Phil for compiling it. ”” PL]

Baseball News: Yesterday was Father’s Day, so all MLB players wore blue ribbons, and many also wore blue wristbands. ”¦ The Braves and Mets wore Negro League throwbacks on Saturday, with the Mets resurrecting their “Royal Giants” unis from last season and the Braves playing as the Atlanta Black Crackers. Interestingly, the Mets gave their fans no advance notice of the throwbacks. Not sure about the Braves. … Richard Paloma notes “Saw this on MLB Shop today. Looks to be the jersey for the 6/27 TBTC game (NOTE Spelling error “Atheltics”).” … Vertical placket lettering alert! “Hey Guys, not a lot of info on this, maybe you’ve seen it before,” says Bill Stewart, “but I snapped a pic of these Houston jerseys (on the wall) at downtown at the Market Square bar.” … Reader Joe Werner was at the Rochester Red Wings “Darth Vader” jersey night and was able to snap a few pics. … Joe Werner was also at that Red Wings game and had this observation: “For one reason or another, there was a set of bases on a special base cart, parked right on the concourse. Since I’ve never been right up close to bases from a professional stadium, I figured I would take a couple of pictures. I also never realized that Schutt manufactures bases.” … “Never seen this before,” says Chris Flinn. “At Yankee Stadium you can buy a base from the current game and they’ll deliver it to your seat later that day!” … From the Charlotte Knights (an affiliate of the Chicago White Sox), check out this vendor jersey (and here is a look at the back). Good shots from Ronnie Covert. … Tyler Kepner notes that Dr. Bobby Brown is “90 years old, rocking the stirrups at (Yankees) Old-Timer’s Day. He gets it!” Too bad the Yanks continue to dress their old-timers in BP caps, though. … This is quite the camo rally cap(s) (from the Florida/Virginia College World Series game) the other evening (thanks to John Ekdahl). … Reader Tony Caliguiri took a tour of the U.S.S. Lexington when he was in Corpus Christi over the weekend and “they had this uni on display from the ships baseball team.” Here is a close-up of the description. … The South Bend Cubs wore Star Wars jerseys on Saturday (via South Bend Cubs). … The Myrtle Beach Pelicans wore Doc Brown Back To The Future jerseys over the weekend. … Oops, looks like Cole Hamels was wearing a throwback cap on a night the Phillies weren’t throwing back (good spot by @09Alum). … Here’s a look at the All-Star Game Futures caps (from Ben Matukewicz). … Here’s a great Father’s Day photo of Babe Ruth and his daughter Dorothy (from Bruce Menard). … Looks like the Braves neglected to include a front uniform number for recent call-up Eury Perez’s jersey (good grab by Matt Campbell). … “Coach Q at the White Sox game,” writes Rich Picek. “I took my one-year-old daughter to the (White Sox) ball game (Sun)day and the Stanley Cup was in attendance. Coach Q was wearing a jersey with ‘Qups’ and the #3 (retired, Harold Baines).” … In what might possibly be the ugliest jersey matchup of MiLB, we had a camo (Everett AquaSox) vs. tie-dye (Eugene Emeralds) game yesterday (thanks, I think to Brandon Sparks). … Dee Gordon of the Marlins was wearing a custom Father’s Day wristband yesterday to honor his dad (nice grab by Dylan Buell). … Here’s an infographic that shows the dimensions of Korean baseball stadiums (thanks to Mike Chamernik). ”¦ Cleveland celebrated the 20th anniversary of its 1995 pennant-winning team on Friday night, with lots of players from that squad in attendance and wearing throwback jerseys (from @JThrock45). ”¦ David Arnott notes that many MLBers are using a bat grip on their bats this season, something rarely if ever seen on big league bats before. ”¦ Not sure what the Fort Wayne TinCaps were doing the other day, but it sure looked, uh, different. ”¦ Check this out: Jerry McGee (currently president of Wingate University) in his college days, pitching for East Carolina while wearing a helmet (from Andrew Fink). ”¦ Brett Lawrie of the A’s doesn’t just go high-cuffed with striped socks — he has different stripe patterns depending on the game. ”¦ “I attended the Florida State League All-Star Game Saturday night in Port St. Lucie,” writes Michael Jaworski. “The teams were essentially orange sleeves (note the cap patch for FSL president Chuck Murphy) vs. blue sleeves. The jerseys had game logo on one sleeve with the FSL logo on the other.”

NFL/Football News: A reader who prefers to remain anonymous (and apologizes if this has already been featured) notes the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs have a new field. … Here’s why The Rock’s new HBO show Ballers can legally use NFL logos without the league’s consent (thanks to Jay Sullivan). … Duke Ihenacho wore ”˜slippers’ to Redskins practice (from Douglas Ford). … “I was grabbing coffee this morning and saw this installation using Nike NFL football jerseys,” says Jason Cimon. “It involves statistics of some sort but math is beyond me. It was at Bleecker and Bowery. The gallery link kinda explains it a bit.” ”¦ Rawlings, which was trying to get back into the helmet marketplace, has decided to abandon that initiative and will discontinue its helmet and shoulder pad operations later this year (from Jeffrey Whitener).

NBA/Basketball News: “Binge-watching all of the 30 for 30s on Netflix,” says Dustin Semore. “This one come from I Hate Christian Laettner. After Duke’s victory over Kansas to win the 1991 NCAA championship, a fan at the postgame celebration showed off a Dodgers-themed Duke Jersey.” … Dustin adds, “A shot of the 1992 ‘Dream Team’ also piqued my interest. It shows the team in front on an American flag that’s displayed incorrectly. According to the US Flag Code Section 7, Point i says that ‘When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union shovel be uppermost and to the flag’s own right, that is, to the observer’s left.’ The Dream Team photo has the union on the wrong side.” … Here is a look at the 2016 Women’s Final Four logo (from Tres Lawless). ”¦ Bizarre-o Superman-themed jerseys for the Nelson Giants, a New Zealand team.

Soccer News: What’s with the bump under the NOB of the Canadian women’s soccer team? (From @ericovalle.) ”¦ “Adidas provided the kit for the Netherlands during the 1974 World Cup Final tournament in West Germany, but Dutch captain Johann Cruyff had his own personal kit contract with Puma, and refused to wear a shirt that featured the three stripes of Adidas,” writes Graham Clayton. “As a compromise, the Dutch FA provided Cruyff with a shirt that only had two stripes on the sleeves, instead of the three stripes that were worn by all of the other members of the Netherlands squad.”

Grab Bag: Reader Alan Borock saw this Washington cap on ebay and notes 202 is the area code for DC, however the state depicted is obviously Maryland. … Wonder Woman has a new costume — it has more of an armor-feel to it. And, there is a reason for that (thanks, Brinke). ”¦ Here’s a good look at how mascots have gotten angrier over the years (from Jay Wright).

Comments (56)

    Brett Lawrie item is duplicated in the ticker.

    David Ortiz and many Red Sox are using bat grips this year and last year:


    Let’s bring George Brett full circle to yesterday’s Father’s Day. The Royals had a memorial patch for Joe R. Burke, but Brett’s dad, J.H. Brett, passed on that year, so Brett sharpie’d in a H on his uniform’s patch to customize his own memorial.

    Now to something different, man it’s so jarring to see basically Green Bay Packers from the Bart Starr era socks on the baseball diamond, if you can get past that, I guess the colors work and striped stirrups are nifty, but as Paul says all the time, it cheapens socks from a piece of the uniform to a piece of bring your own equipment. I’ll give Brett Lawrie’s look a mixed bag.

    The Tin Caps jerseys were saluting Saturday Night Live. That’s the cheerleader skit with Will Ferrell.

    We went to see the South Bend Cubs on Saturday, with their neat Boba Fett jerseys. I’ll send some photos.

    Why not? The team has a bunch of theme nights, from LEGOs to “Celebrate Fort Wayne” to 007.

    Here’s a link: link

    Here’s the full list:

    2015 BIG FUN Theme Nights

    Padres Affiliation Night – Friday, April 17
    Go Green Night – Friday, April 24
    Celebrate Children’s Books Night – Friday, May 8
    Turn the Park Pink – Thursday, May 14
    Beatles Night – Thursday, May 28
    LEGO Night Is Awesome – Friday, May 29
    Celebrate Fort Wayne Night – Wednesday, June 10
    Indianapolis Colts Night – Thursday, June 11
    Best of the 90s Night – Friday, June 12
    Live from Fort Wayne, It’s Saturday Night – Saturday, June 13
    Star Wars Night: BIG FUN Awakens – Friday, June 19
    Salute to Superheroes Night – Saturday, July 4
    What Could Have Been Night – Friday, July 10
    Super Mario Bros. 30th Anniversary – Thursday, July 16
    Princess Fairy Tale Knight – Friday, July 17
    #SocialMediaNight – Thursday, July 30
    DINO-Nite – Friday, July 31
    Pirates of Parrrkview Field Night – Friday, August 14
    Back to the Future Night – Thursday, August 27
    Tribute to 007 Night – Friday, August 28
    Happy 50th Birthday, FW Kids Zoo! – Saturday, August 29

    Bill Veeck would be pleased.

    But why?

    Indeed. I’m surprised minor league teams even bother to have regular uniforms anymore.

    Before I start to sound like a real get-off-my-lawner, I get that the kids and a lot of the adults like the endless parade of goofiness. Let them have it, but I’d like to see this on every team’s promotion schedule:
    (insert dates here): REGULAR UNIFORMS NIGHT
    Come out to the ballpark for an evening of….baseball! No themes, no silly contests…just two teams playing a game in their everyday apparel, just like the old days.

    They’re in the Midwest League, which plays a 140-game schedule. So, take out these 30 games, and you have 110 of the games you desire.

    See? Something for everyone!

    70 games at home, though, so that’s almost half.

    I get your point, though. It hasn’t taken over yet, but in time it might.

    Yep. Dave wins the internets.

    But how about the wild amount of Star Wars jerseys this season? Vader, Rebel pilot, Chewie, Stormtroopers, and now Boba Fett?

    Paul, this deserves its own column!

    Say, I know that butcher shop. A friend used to live right around the corner on President St. Never stopped in as I was never visiting long enough for cooking, but it always caught my eye when I’d go past.

    I think that “Dodgers-themed Duke jersey” is just an actual Duke baseball jersey of the time. link

    Yeah that was the Duke baseball jersey at that time (made by Russell) and for some time. I think the oddest aspect about the jersey is the scarlet red numerals on the front of the jersey (the back has royal blue numbers) as that was not one of Duke’s school colors – so very much a copy of the Dodger
    jersey. Have a couple of these jerseys hanging in my closet – including one that belonged to pitcher Scott Schoeneweis who battled cancer before pitching in the majors (has the most career starts of any Jewish pitcher all-time), was grilled by the Mitchell committee, and whose wife died of an overdose at the age of 39 – too much rough stuff in his life.

    George Brett uni-que alteration was fantastic. It’s stuff like that, that makes the study more than fun. Thanks.

    How awesome is the vertical arching on the back of that grey jersey? I recall being geeked by the level of detail on those KC road uniforms.

    I realize that. He just doesn’t seem very subtle in his shoe numbering. That’s all. It’s like he took an El Marko to every white space and wrote a 5.

    Yes Paul, I share your enthusiasm with stuff like this. I find it fascinating. Great find Jim & research Paul!

    Oops, looks like Cole Hamels was wearing a throwback cap on a night the Phillies weren’t throwing back (good spot by @09Alum)

    Then let’s play “shoulda beens” because Cole’s hat is way nicer than the one the Phils usually wear. The Fat P bugs me, and the white button is regal.

    I’ve noticed the flag with the star field on the wrong side for the Dream Team pic. Read about the proper way to display it over fifteen years ago, and ever since then I’ve always tried to let my friends know whenever I spot one displayed incorrectly at their houses.

    In regards to that 202 Washington cap that features Maryland. If I had to guess, it was the designer(s) way of showing DC (the little square it the bottom-middle area).

    Regardless if that was the motivation or not, it’s not the best way to display DC, especially with the 202 being housed in Maryland.

    Yes, it is bad.

    I bet not too many people would know what this shape is:


    Though I wonder how many recognize the shape of Maryland either!

    As a DC irredentist, I support the movement to recover the District’s lost territory now represented as Arlington County, Virginia. The cession was made by a criminally casual US Congress in the 19th Century, and it will be recovered by any means necessary.

    Once that historical crime is expunged, DC will once again assume the shape of a perfectly equilateral diamond, unique and easily recognized.

    Naturally, all Federal property lying within the boundaries of what is called Arlington County will remain undisturbed and public ways and utilities maintained by the Virginians will revert to District control. All public references to leaders of the Rebellion of 1861-1865 shall be expunged. Private property rights within so-called Arlington County will be respected upon the swearing of a Oath of Loyalty to the District by the putative owners.

    Agreed. I love it when there’s some degree of sleuthing that involves expert testimony and a statement from an actual connected person.

    “Scott Schoeneweis who battled cancer before pitching in the majors (has the most career starts of any Jewish pitcher all-time”

    He might have the most career games (I don’t know) but not starts — just to pick 3 I checked, Ken Holtzman had 410, Sandy Koufax 314, and Steve Stone 269, compared to Schoeneweis’s 93. Schoeneweis did have more total games than any of them, though (577), so maybe that’s what you meant.

    Wikipedia also suggests the original poster meant to say “appearances” for Schoeneweis. Not starts. He started some games with Anaheim, but he eventually proved to be more valuable to his teams as a lefty in the bullpen.

    Yes Paul, I TOTALLY geek out over this kind of entry. This is what Uni-Watch was built on: people watching sports so closely they notice something special in the uniform.

    Bravo on this find, guys!

    I hope that is the A’s TBTC jersey. It’s actually a proper vest, not just a standard jersey with the sleeves removed. Nice to see the attention to period detail.

    I love they debuted it the day after the summer solstice,

    lord Summerisle would approve.

    Wait… the logo is really going to have a misspelled word with a blacked out letter? I can’t decide if that’s stupid or awesome.

    The logo is legit. It’s very much in keeping with the style of David Shrigley, the artist who designed it.


    re: angry mascots

    My high school was using this logo while I was there (um, 30 years ago), so it’s not entirely a new phenomenon…:


    Nice job on the George Brett post. While I do love seeing the oddities found on a daily basis (such as Hamels wearing a throwback hat), I really dig it when something older is uncovered our re-found.

    My alma mater, James Madison University, uses a “mean” looking dog for its athletic logo:


    But uses a “fun” dog as its event mascot:


    I understand sports are a business. and a way for athletes to put bread on the table, but in the end they’re still just games. Fans especially, take note:
    * Games are supposed to be fun.
    * Fun implies at least a bit of smiling will take place.
    Therefore, bring back smiling mascots!
    And if you haven’t done so yet today, smile.

    Nah, man…I love smirking mascots even better. He’s one of my favorites.

    But if they kept the white front panel but went back to the real bird? I could live with that.

    Would it be better or worse if they came out with a new angry version of Chief Wahoo as their logo?


    At least current Wahoo is a big improvement over what they had in the 40s. Still creeps me out though.

    I’d say the hypothetical angry Wahoo would be slightly less undignified than the grinning Wahoo. Not that it’d be any less problematic, but it would be moderately less cartoonish.

    I’m not sure why I read the Soccer section of the ticker, but find it interesting that the Adidas v Puma rivalry was still real in the mid 1970’s! Way before Nike was blacking others out, the companies run and founded by the Dassler brothers were feuding. As the story goes, if a Puma worker ever came to work in Adidas shoes, they’d be given a pair of Pumas to replace them. Pretty cool story of brother v brother. link

    The Guardian had an oral history of the 1990 U.S. World Cup team. There was a disagreement over whether Puma-sponsored players could wear their shoes of choice – Adidas forced everyone to change. This was tough for American players who weren’t getting paid much then and the USSF paid very little, and players were often giving up well-paying jobs for a sport that their country didn’t care about much.

    There are similar stories around the German National team for years right up to around 2006, I believe, and those guys were paid handsomely.


    This has to be the ugliest duo of uniforms ever worn in a College World Series final.

Comments are closed.