By Phil Hecken
A few weeks ago, just after Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame Ceremonies, reader Anthony Giaccone asked if I’d ever written anything regarding the design of MLB’s HOF plaques. I had not (and I don’t think Paul ever covered anything on that, although I know he’s covered several aspects of the HOF before).
Anthony noted that, “With the advent of digital lettering, laser cutting, and computer aided design over the years, I’ve noticed that the plaques of the HOF have changed dramatically (well, to me at least) over the years. This includes both the style of the bas-relief sculpting of the faces and the type-set lettering.”
Additionally, he felt the new plaques (1990’s to present) are “devoid of character and charm due to the coldness of the computer-aided design used.”
Intrigued, I hoped he’d provide some examples, and he was gracious enough to accommodate. Let’s take a look at a few of the older and some of the newer plaques and you’ll see the differences (click any photo to enlarge):
1936 ”” beautiful hand carved face (no background texture) and hand set lettering.
Notice for all of the Babe’s accomplishments, his description is just 5 lines long. (Wait until 2015’s version) Also, the lettering is well-spaced and flush left.
1959 ”” Still done the old-fashioned way it was done in 1936 ”“ hand sculpted face and hand set lettering.
The type is aligned down the center.
1974 ”” the hand sculpting is still quite beautiful, yet the lines are starting to add up ”“ but still seem typeset by hand.
The lettering is centered.
1995 ”” Looks hand sculpted but the lettering is very easily typeset ”” Although Schmidt played for just one team, the number of lines on this one is 11 and each line is compact with the alignment justified with the last line centered.
Notice the background texture behind the portrait.
2015 ”” The image “looks” very computer rendered and the typesetting is as equally computer-aided. We now have 10 lines and the letter spacing is very very tight.
The alignment is justified with the last line flush left.
Great stuff from Anthony there.
On a somewhat unrelated note, despite living within only a couple hours’ drive of Cooperstown, and having gone to an upstate New York State school for four years, I’ve never actually been to the Hall of Fame. On my “Bucket List” for several
years decades now has been a sojourn to the HOF. One of these days…one of these days. Any of you readers (and I’m assuming there are many) been to the Baseball HOF (or any of the sports’ halls-of-fame)? If so, what struck you most — did you ever notice anything like the detail of the plaques? What stood out for you (and hopefully most of it was uniform related, but anything of note)? Let’s hear in the comments below.
Next Up For Oregon:
Glow-in-the-dark Reflective Unis
The uniform above you see was teased in this tweet by GoDucks, with the hashtag “#GlowInTheDarkPoster.” Will this be a new uniform that sees the field this year? Who knows.
Funny thing (as pointed out by numerous folks), the uniform itself likely isn’t “glow-in-the-dark” but rather appears to be made of reflective material. It’s a minor, but important distinction. Reflective material has been used on uniforms before — I’m fairly certain no one has yet put phosphors on a uniform — but I could be wrong. I’m no rocket surgeon, but I believe the uniform being depicted would have reflective properties.
But the “Glow-in-the-dark” hashtag is catchy and the uniforms are being called “glow in the dark” by many who cover such things. Hmmmm…
Did the geniuses at Beaverton really create a uniform that glows in the dark? Or is it just reflective material. Or will it even see the field?
Of course, as far back as 2013, people have been thinking Oregon may have a glow in the dark uniform. Didn’t happen then.
Will it now?
Should be an interesting Duck Tracker this fall.
By Brinke Guthrie
I noticed these vintage 1960s “Dekalb Football Champions” trophies, and thought they looked familiar. Indeed they are familiar. Here’s mine, the exact same guy, from the Louisville 1970 YMCA “Gra-Y” team I played on. (Above. Wonder where they all are now.) I remember being so surprised at the end of the year “team banquet” when I got a trophy with my name on it — a real Charlie Brown moment. Now on with the rest of this week’s Collector’s Corner:
Speaking of trophies, if you’re a Phillies fan, this one is for you!
Luv Ya, Blue! Take a look at this 1967 Houston Oilers pen (in powder blue, natch) from Your Local Piggly Wigglyâ„¢ store.
The Reds uniform patches back in the day were indeed chain-stitched, and if you wanna buy one, here’s your chance. This auction ends tonight.
Just great artwork on this April 1970 game program for the Black Hawks and Canadiens.
I can safely say I’ve never seen this Vikings logo depiction before.
Definitely Anthony DorSETT on this 1970s Dallas Cowboys poster.
Great artwork on this 1970 Atlanta Falcons Fact Book.
Here we have a collection of 1960s to 1990s NHL logos “on thick board cut outs” from Chunky Soupâ„¢.
Still one of the (IMO) greatest sports team logos ever — on this 1970s Atlanta Flames tin coaster.
Follow Brinke on Twitter @brinkeguthrie.
All Ireland Championships
Got a longish e-mail from Robert Brashear which deals with some unis we almost never feature on here: Gaelic football and hurling.
He sent this Sunday, so I didn’t want to hold it any longer (click any photo to enlarge).
The all-Ireland Gaelic football and hurling championships have now reached the quarter and semi-final stages. These games are drawing 45-50,000 a game to Croke park, one of the most iconic stadiums in Europe. The finals will draw 85,000, more than the Super Bowl or World Cup Final…
All teams represent their counties and wear the same jerseys for both sports:
From the Gaelic Athletic Association Shop at Croke Stadium
Uni Watch News Ticker
Compiled by Mike Chamernik
Baseball News: Old Bay Seasoning is honoring the 20th anniversary of Cal Ripken breaking Lou Gehrig’s streak (from Andrew Cosentino). … A Japanese pro baseball player wore triple digits. … Cool video of Japan’s Sapporo Dome transferring from baseball to soccer (from Dustin Semore). … Star Wars Night last night for the Hudson Valley Renegades. … Ken Levine sounds like a fascinating guy: he was both a play-by-play announcer who worked for multiple MLB teams, and he’s a screenwriter that has written for The Simpsons, among others. Basically, he’s living my dream. Anyway, in his “It’s Gone!…No, Wait a Minute…”, Levine mentions that he likes the Tigers’ road uniforms (from Stephen Hayes). … I wrote a short piece on MLB’s partnership with Maytag for a trade magazine. Not really for the Uni Watch audience, but I threw in some uniform tidbits! … Surprised there aren’t more: 40 bad New Era Yankees caps you can buy right now (from Aaron Husul). … This image was Instagrammed by Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard. Submitter Mike Nessen justifiably asks, “What the heck is going on here?”
NFL, College & High School Football News: Maybe it’s an illusion, but the Texans helmet logo seems a little bigger. … The t-shirt designer at Virginia Tech must have skipped work (from Andrew Cosentino). … Also from Andrew and also regarding the Hokies, DE Houshun Gaines has some serious logo creep in his headshot. … Bowling Green blanked out its Adidas patches. … “Looks like the Badgers have done away with the adidas Tech Fit and added the TV numbers back after a year of not having them,” says Alex Bauer. Here are a couple more looks at the jerseys. … Buckeyes QB/WR Braxton Miller switched from No. 5 to No. 1 (from Phil). … Kyle Toler designed the new football uniforms for West Virginia’s Mingo Central High School. I really dig the black and light blue color scheme! … Nike is selling glow in the dark Ohio State shoes.
Hockey News: The Ducks have worn several third jerseys over the years (from Phil). Speaking of Anaheim third sweaters, the Ducks are planning on releasing a new third in October. … A graphic designer created country-themed goalie pad concepts for international competition (from Phil). … Here’s a video clip of the 1938 German hockey championships. About 20 seconds in you can see a goalie that has a symbol and letters on his back (from Will Scheibler).
Soccer News: “Hertha BSC wore a previously unannounced third kit tonight in the German Cup,” says Ed Å»elaski. … Germany’s Euro 2016 kits were leaked (from Conrad Burry). … New soccer (and volleyball) uniforms for Evansville (from Braden Pretzsch).
NBA News: Among the six new uniform reveals this offseason, fans enjoy the Hawks and Raptors’ sets the most (from Phil). … Under Armour will sponsor the NBA Draft Combine and have a greater presence within the league (from Phil). … Clint Eastwood posed for a photo with the Boston Celtics way back in the 1960s (from Phil Lawson). … Bruce Jenner was photographed wearing a four-digit Kansas City Kings jersey back in the day. “Looks like a decathlon score on a Kings jersey,” says Jerry (no last name given). “1976 is an obvious guess for the year.” … Here’s a cool time-lapse video that shows the installation of Stephen F. Austin’s court (from Josh SÃ¡nchez).
Grab Bag: New Zealand is choosing between 40 new designs for its national flag (from Phil). … Nick Symmonds was left off the U.S. track team for the IAAF World Championships in Beijing because he refuses to wear Nike for the event. The team requires that all athletes wear Nike, but Symmonds is sponsored by Brooks (from Phil). … Last year, France’s Mahiedine Mekhissi-Bannabad was disqualified and stripped of his gold medal because he took off his vest before crossing the finish line of a 3,000-meter steeplechase event (from Graham Clayton). … Someone tattooed his foot to look like a Nike high top sneaker (from Phil). … Sales of sport bras are on the rise (from Tommy Turner). … “While watching the Argentina vs South Africa rugby game this weekend, I quickly noticed that the Pumas did not have a sponsor logo on their uniforms,” says Joe Alrvernaz. “Upon a little more inspection, I discovered there was no evidence of logo creep! Nike, the company that made logo creep an art form, designed a uniform with no visible manufacturers logo.” … Converse All Stars are technically classified as slippers. The shoes’ felt soles allow them to be taxed at a lower rate (from Rand Martin).
And that’s a wrap for today — big thanks to Anthony, Brinke, Robert & Mike for their portions, and anyone who tweeted or e-mailed for the ticker. You fine folks have a great Tuesday and I’ll catch you tomorrow.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Phil, I’ve found myself watching more soccer also”¦I watch replays at about 10:30 pm. Beats the heck out of using a sleeping pill to get you to sleep.”