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Unusual MLB/NASCAR Partnership for O’Reilly Auto Parts 300

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Interesting cross-sport move on tap tomorrow night, as NASCAR driver Brandon Jones will be driving a car featuring Texas Rangers logos at the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300, taking place at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (further details here). But the cross-pollination goes beyond the car — Jones will also be wearing a Rangers-themed firesuit (click to enlarge):

I had some questions about the firesuit, which Tiffany Stambaugh, communications manager for Richard Childress Racing, was kind enough to answer via email:

Uni Watch: Aside from the Rangers-themed graphics, is there anything new or unusual about this firesuit, or is it pretty much the same thing Jones was already wearing?

Tiffany Stambaugh: The firesuit is the same. The only thing different is the colors and branding.

UW: As I’m sure you know, the Rangers have several other jersey colors besides blue (they also have red, white, and grey). How was the decision made to use blue?

TS: In NASCAR, a majority of the colors associated with paint schemes and firesuits are red and white. Our graphics department thought the blue would stand out against the normal red and white that’s found all around the sport.

UW: Similarly, how was the decision made to use grey for the sleeves and pants? Grey is a baseball team’s color for “away” games, while white is for home games.

TS: Since Brandon is technically “playing” away from the ball field (he’ll be racing at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth), our graphics team decided on the grey uniform design instead of white.

UW: How much involvement, if any, did the Rangers have in the design?

TS: Our graphics people developed the firesuit on a whim once the partnership was announced. They thought it would be really neat to replicate a “jersey-type” firesuit for Brandon to wear. Once they developed the overall look of the firesuit, it was passed on to the Rangers for their approval. They really liked the design and didn’t deviate from the original concept.


And there you have it — good stuff. I’m told that photos of the firesuit (as opposed to just the mock-up) will be available later today, so I’ll show those on the site tomorrow.

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Membership update: I have two slots open on the current membership sheet (which currently includes Andrew Grant’s Syracuse logo treatment, shown at right), which will be going to the printer shortly. So if you sign up today, you’ll get your card very quickly.

As always, you can order your own custom-designed membership card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far (over 1700 of them!) here, and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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Next-to-last call: Larry Torrez’s caricature of me is now available as a T-shirt, but today and tomorrow are the last days to order it. We’re offering it in a variety of colors and styles — grey, black, white, and a white baseball shirt with green sleeves. We’ve also added women’s sizes. Further details here, or just order it here. Thanks.

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: The Giants say they switched to matte helmets because the players think they look cool (from Gilbert Lee). … Here’s the story behind Bryce Harper’s Donald Trump-esque “Make Baseball Fun Again” hat that he wore the other day. Andrew Hoenig notes Harper also wore a D.C.-themed 202 area code T-shirt. … A Utah woman stores, ships and rents out those gigantic U.S. flags teams unfurl during pregame ceremonies. To rent, she charges $6,200 per flag, plus hotel rooms for her staff (from Tommy Turner). … The Delmarva Shorebirds, the O’s single-A team, have some bright pullover jerseys (from Andrew Cosentino). … Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, will wear this road jersey for the Tigers’ home opener on Friday. The backwards E is his stylistic trademark, and the 8 is likely a reference to the movie 8 Mile (from a reader who didn’t give his/her name). … The Trenton Thunder, the Yankees’ Double-A team, will exchange tickets, food vouchers, and team shop discounts for Camden Riversharks merchandise. The Riversharks went defunct last year. Fans can also exchange merch from two other bygone minor league teams, the Newark Bears and Atlantic City Surf, and the promotion runs though the end of the year. The items will be donated to a non-profit. … OF Lorenzo Cain paired an OKC Thunder cap with his Royals uniform. … In January, Los Angeles changed the name of the road leading to Dodger Stadium as Vin Scully Avenue. A new welcome sign reflects the change. I love the retro font. … The other day we saw that Kris Bryant wears his name on his shin guard straps. George Flory informs us that Evoshield, the company that makes the shin and elbow guards, supplies many other MLB players. Here’s how they make the straps. ”¦ The Padres debuted their new blue camouflage last night. That makes three uniforms in the first three games for them. ”¦ Chance the Rapper redesigned the White Sox caps. ”¦ Yesterday Paul wrote about the subtle alterations to the Philles’ and Braves’ jersey scripts. Now the Phillies are saying their change was made to match the script on the new red alternate jerseys. [That makes zero sense and is almost certainly not the real story. ”” PL] (From Phil.)

NFL News: Yesterday we lamented that there’s a corporate ad in the “Important Dates in Bills History” logo. Tim Donovan made a clean version of it ”” much better! … Here’s a close-up of Pittsburgh bicentennial patch that the Steelers wore in 1959 (from Jared Wheeler).

College and High School Football News: Alabama is teasing a 125th season logo, which will be unveiled at the spring game on April 16 (from Matt Lesser). ”¦ “I stumbled across a cool site that makes high-quality Ohio high school football mini-helmets (with a few other states’ schools thrown in),” writes Scott Cummings. “What I noticed was the amount of liberties that schools take with the NFL logos. Some are exactly the same, some are slightly modified, etc. The site also has visor shields, colored zip ties to attach the shield, and award decals to match your helmet, so it can look just as it did (or how you wanted it to) in high school.”

Hockey News: The Oilers played their final game at Rexall Place last night. Chris Mizzoni sends in this program from the 1975 WHA All-Star Game, which was played at the building when it was called the Edmonton Coliseum. The Oilers will move into Rogers Place next year. … Cuteness alert: Small dogs “playing” hockey in mini Canadien and Maple Leaf jerseys, with helmets and sticks! ”¦ Hmmm, will the Penguins be wearing their alternates in the postseason? ”¦ The artist who’s been creating those awesome Blue Jackets game day posters is leaving the team. [When I interviewed him last fall, he mentioned that his girlfriend had recently moved to NYC and that he was looking to find a job here as well, so this move isn’t a huge surprise. Too bad about the poster, though. ”” PL] ”¦ The Manchester Storm is inviting fans to design the team’s warm-up jerseys.

Basketball News: For most of March, Cavs PG Matthew Dellavedova wore a Whoop, a Fitbit-like wrist device that tracks heart rate, body temperature and body movement. The league made him stop because wearable technology is prohibited during games. … Ryan Crisman found an old Dallas Baptist jersey. I dig the block shadow outlined numbers and letters.

Soccer News: New crest for Aston Villa. … Minneapolis City SC depicts a skull formed by a murder of crows on their tickets (from Marc Viquez). … Mikey Traynor examined the garish uniforms worn during the first MLS season in 1996.

Grab Bag: Jewish scholars, rabbis, and students discussed yarmulkes that feature sports and pop culture images (from Anthony Nuccio). … Here’s the ball Rory McIlroy will use for the Masters. RM5 is for his initials and his attempt to win his fifth major championship (from Chris Perrenot). … New academic and athletic logos for Northern Michigan. Here are some of its new logos (from Alex Nye, Peter Schultz, and Jerry Nitzh). … New logo for Bradley University. … New track and field kits for Canada (from Anthony Gonsalves). … Here’s a photo gallery of the cars at the Richard Childress Racing shop in North Carolina (from David Firestone). … The Russian Communist Party is seeking an international copyright on the red star symbol. Heineken, Macy’s and the State of California await the results. … Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena opened last night. The city will use the venue to try to land an NBA or NHL team. ”¦ There’s a push to create a women’s Aussie rules football league, and there’s already some controversy over the proposed uniforms (from James MacNeil).

Comments (44)

    Since the race this car will be appearing in is an Xfinity Series race (basically NASCAR’s AAA), it would have been more appropriate to have it in the colors of the Round Rock Express.

    Not really. A team’s uniforms are unrelated to its roster and performance. And it’s not like front office effort spent on uniform redesign comes at the expense of effort to improve the roster and coaching. Not only do the team execs involved in marketing/merchandising decisions have nothing to do with on-field decisions, no fan would want them to be involved. Even at the top: For the most part, the more directly involved a team’s owner and CEO is in roster decisions, the worse the team performs.

    The Pens have worn their thirds in the playoffs before.. 1996, 1997, 2001.. Wouldn’t surprise me if they wore them for the entire run..

    If they wore them, it would have to be for the entire run; the NHL only allows teams to wear two jerseys for the playoffs (or at least they have in years past.)

    Actually, it was only 1996 and 1997. After the 1997 playoffs, that third jersey replaced the diagonal “Pittsburgh” jersey as their regular road jersey, and that’s what they wore in the 2001 playoffs.

    Thanks for the update on the Phillies change. I’ve emailed the team to express my displeasure with the new blurry script and bogus explaination.

    Paul, just missed a letter. “Lorenzo Cain paired an (O)KC cap with his Royals uniform.”

    There’s a good discussion of sports-themed Nascar designs over at

    Also, there’s this 2013 World Baseball Classic car that won a race in Arizona:

    I could’ve sworn I remembered an MLB Opening Day car but I couldn’t track it down after a good amount of googling.

    That’s an interesting partnership. Do you think we’ll see that happen with other teams/sports tied to home-town races. A “house divided” car at Michigan International Speedway would be cool.

    There’s a push to create a women’s Aussie rules football league, and there’s already some controversy over the proposed uniforms (from James MacNeil).

    So it seems the women’s footy uniforms don’t look all that different from the men’s. Is there a team that doesn’t like the function of its kits? By the same token, is there one that praises its ease of use? Ask the athletes. To this outsider, a women’s uniform that bares as much skin as the men’s would be hauled up on claims of sexism (Yes, I see the oxymoron). The dustup over the manufacturer of said kits appears to be concern about securing a sweet deal of some kind.

    I have to admit I was looking forward to a day where we’d be hashing out the meaning of the lyrics of “Okie From Muskogee”:)

    RE: The Eminem Tigers jersey; 8 Mile besides being a movie, is also the name of the road that separates Detroit from its northern suburbs.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. won Fourth of July race at Daytona with MLB 2001 All-Star Game promo car. Budweiser continued All-Star tie in with the car for 2002 and 2003 Daytona July races.

    Joe Gibbs Racings also had Bobby LaBonte wear racing helmet of various NFL teams (often repping team close to where race held) for much of 1990s.

    DC United had nice kits from the start.

    Will say Columbus Crew logo one of those you suddenly miss once they finally shelved it.

    Agreed on both points. I appreciate how the Crew’s old insignia was a posterized photo instead of springing from a designer’s pen.

    New academic and athletic logos for Northern Michigan.

    REALLY?? “The Wildcats??” How original!! Forget it. You guys are now “The Yoopers.”

    I know for a fact that the Alabama logo is NOT for the 125th Season. That logo is commemorating another program milestone.

    If Alabama goes for “125th Season” in 2016 it will be a change from their celebration of the “100th Anniversary” in 1992. The 125th Anniversary isn’t until 2017.

    Alabama would be celebrating the ordinal if they do something in 2016. Interesting, given Paul’s recent 3/8/16 post.

    Auburn also celebrated the 100th Anniversary in 1992, and there’s no indication they are planning anything in 2016. Perhaps they will stick with the anniversary route for 2017.

    I have seen the logo Bama is teasing, and is to mark Nick Saban’s 10th year as head coach. A logo seems a little unnecessary but it’s for a free poster that will be handed out at the spring game so no big deal. If Bama is doing anything to mark 125 years of football I would assume it would be next season since 100 years was celebrated in 1992

    That looks like Nick Saban’s signature on the bottom of the logo. This upcoming season will be his 10th season as head coach, I think.

    Just had to point out that in the video clip, Gretzky had the right side of his jersey tucked into his pants. Just like he always did when he played link

    Ugh: “The Giants say they switched to matte helmets because the players think they look cool”.

    Players should be able to decide HOW they wear their uniforms, not WHAT they wear.
    Players, especially PLAYERS, should have zero say in a team’s uniform program.



    “Los Angeles changed the name of the road leading to Dodger Stadium as Vin Scully Avenue. A new welcome sign reflects the change. I love the retro font. …”

    With his hair style and cuffs to his jeans (dungarees?) rolled up the worker also looks retro.

    Small editing note:

    “Los Angeles changed the name of the road leading to Dodger Stadium as Vin Scully Avenue.” That “as” should be “to”, I think.

    While Vin Scully’s name is totally appropriate to the address of Dodger Stadium, it is kind of a shame to lose the name “Elysian Park Avenue”, which evoked the Elysian Fields, the Hoboken location where organised baseball was first played.

    I appreciate you saying TMS is in Fort Worth instead of Dallas. Wish more folks understood there is a vast difference.

    Interesting that the “socks” on the firesuit feature stripes and the cap logo.

    Is that something the Rangers are actually doing with their socks nowadays?

    Was there any news that the color of the Road Blue top the Mariners are wearing this year is a lighter shade of navy blue, and/or a different material?

    Appears it may be a color change due to Flexbase?


    2015 CoolBase Jersey (Blue)

    2016 FlexBase Jersey (Blue)

    What you’ve shown may be a correlation (or may just be different lighting, or a variation in dye lots), but it is definitely not causation.

    Official color spec in Style Guide is unchanged.

    Cleveland shifted to the darker shade of navy two years ago, I think. If memory serves, the only team wearing the lighter shade of navy is Milwaukee.

    Why would the suit be any different other than outer design? The suit would still have to be SFI 3-2A 5 which protects the wearer from 2nd degree burn up to 10 seconds in the event of a fire, and would have to be designed to Brandon Jones’ specifications, as well as having the associate sponsors present. It has to be made of Nomex, as no other material provides the fire protection and breathe-ability as Nomex. It’s just a suit with a different design.

    My point is that, like every other sport, driver uniforms have to meet a certain set of criteria…unlike most other sports, the uniform will keep the wearer from being burned alive in a fire, and the requirements need to meet that criteria.

Comments are closed.