Mike Piazza will likely become a Hall of Famer this evening, which almost certainly means we’ll see a revival of the debate that ensued when he retired: Should his Hall of Fame plaque show him wearing a Dodgers cap or a Mets cap? A case could be made for either one, but here’s a simple solution: Why not avoid the argument altogether and just show Piazza wearing a backwards catcher’s helmet (something like the image shown at right), no team logo required?
That got me thinking: Have any other catchers been shown wearing a backwards cap or helmet, or any other catching gear on their Hall of Fame plaques?
This turns out to be a fairly easy thing to research. There are currently 310 members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Of those, 16 were catchers (or principally catchers, since most of them played other positions here and there, just as Piazza occasionally did). I looked up their Hall plaques and gathered them into this slideshow (if you can’t see images, click here):
As you can see, all 16 players are shown wearing front-facing caps. In fact, none of them appears to be wearing any kind of catching gear except for former Negro Leagues player Louis Santop, whose plaque image shows a hint of a chest protector, and was clearly based on a photo in which he was wearing full gear:
I guess that isn’t so surprising, since Hall of Fame plaque images tend to be head/shoulder portraits, not action shots. And besides, most position players who make it Cooperstown get there because of their hitting, not their position play. Still, I think a shot of Piazza with a backwards helmet would be a nice way to avoid the team logo conundrum, plus it would open new ground in Hall plaque design. I’m hoping they go that route.
PermaRec update: The Hoge Brush Company — a broom and brush manufacturer from Ohio — no longer exists, but I’ve recently been made privy to a bunch of old letters from their files. The letters were typed on gorgeous letterhead, and the letters themselves provide really interesting peeks into a now-bygone industry. I’m using these letters as the basis for a new series of Permanent Record entries. Here’s the first one.
NFL News: Pretty sure we’ve seen this before, but once more won’t hurt: a 1970s ad featuring a helmet shell adorned with mini-helmet shells! Love it (from Randy Adkins). ”¦ Shocker of the day: Former Bears LB Brian Urlacher has hair! Not only that, but he got it via an eight-hour follicle-replacement surgical procedure (thanks, Mike) ”¦ Businesses and teams in and around Seattle are showing their support for the Seahawks in this weekend’s Wild Card game by playing “monkey see, monkey do” on Twitter (from @PleatedFront). ”¦ This is pretty awesome: an article about vintage Chargers pennants (from Jeff Flynn). ”¦ “I’m usually not a fan of ‘funny’ T-shirts,” says Andrew Costentino, “but this one is phenomenal!” ”¦ Sooooo many uni-notable aspects to this old photo of Mike Ditka in short-shorts (from Pat Johnson).
NBA News: I’m usually a fan of color vs. color, but going green vs. grey, as the Bucks and Bulls did last night, is not the way to go. The refs wore white to avoid confusion. Here’s a closer look (thanks, Phil).
College Hoops News: Here’s a piece on the evolution of the Providence Friars’ mascot, Friar Dom, who’s described as America’s creepiest mascot (from Tris Wykes).
Grab Bag: New home soccer kit for Colombia. … New mask design for Milwaukee Admirals goaltender Juuse Saros. … Whoa, check out this artist who makes incredibly intricate cut-paper models of rollercoasters! Incredible stuff. ”¦ The car that Ryan Hunter-Reay drove while winning the 2015 Indy 500 is up for auction. ”¦ Fun art project: A British guy is taking photos of angry notes left on people’s windshields (from Ted Anthony). ”¦ Love this: 10 1950s Brunswick lanes in a church basement in Omaha. And it’s called the Bowlatorium! Might have to make a trip (big thanks to former Uni Watch bench coach Bryan Redemske). ”¦ New 50th-anniversary logo for Penske Racing (from David Firestone). ”¦ “Pro tennis player Tomas Berdych recently switched his apparel sponsor from the fashion-oreinted H&M to the more traditional Adidas,” says Kerry Hudson. “Here’s an article featuring his top 10 H&M outfits.”