A few Fridays ago I wrote a piece about NC State basketball’s infamous 1989 unitards, which were worn for two days before being scrapped. Toward the end of that piece, I wrote, “[T]he NC State unitard never caught on with other schools.”
But it turns out I was wrong.
Shortly after that piece ran, reader Brad Hardy got in touch to tell me that Oklahoma State had also worn unitards in 1989. Frankly, I was skeptical — I’d never heard or seen anything about that, and it had never come up during any of my previous discussions of the NC State design. I asked Brad if he had any photos, figuring he probably couldn’t come up with any.
Shows what I know:
The image quality isn’t great, obviously, but the shots definitely appear to show Oklahoma State wearing a unitard very similar to NC State’s (and without the fig-leaf shorts that the Wolfpack had resorted to!). Brad said the shots were from a 1989 NIT game against Boise State. Several people on Twitter backed up his account; some claimed that they actually attended the game.
I contacted the OSU media relations folks and asked if they had any additional photos or info. After combing through their archives for the better part of a week, they said they’d come up empty, which isn’t so surprising when you consider we’re talking about a single game from more than a quarter-century ago. I also contacted Boise State — no word back from them yet, but I’d say it’s highly unlikely they’ll have anything, especially since they lost that game.
And there’s more — or at least there might be. On the day that my ESPN piece about the NC State unitards ran, reader Dave R. posted the following comment here on this site:
I want to say that three other Nike schools were given the singlets to try that season, one of which was Iowa. Like the Wolfpack, the Hawkeyes wore regular game shorts with them. Also want to say that at least one school changed their mind before gametime and didn’t wear [the singlets] at all. Don’t remember the other schools, though.
Again, this was all news to me, so I contacted the folks at Iowa. The response: “Our equipment manager for basketball, who was here at the time, says Iowa did not wear a unitard.”
So for now, Oklahoma State is the only school we can add to the unitard roster. If anyone has better photos from That OSU/Boise State game, and/or if you have information on any other school having worn the unitards, you know what to do. Thanks.
Big mystery news: An MLB team is going to make history today by doing something with its uniform program that no other team has ever done. It’s a fairly small thing — small enough so that people who don’t care about uniforms will probably say, “Who cares?” But for those of us who Get Itâ„¢, it’s a very interesting move.
I have an exclusive on this story, with good background info from the team and the vendor/supplier on the project. Here it is, with additional info to follow on the blog tomorrow.
Never too old: The Granny Basketball League has occasionally come up here on Uni Watch. The video shown above provides a good look at the sport, including its impressively uniform uniforms. Further info and photos in this article, which ran over the weekend.
(My thanks to Patrick Chippeaux for this one.)
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By Brinke Guthrie
Reds fans! Do you know what time it is? If you have this 1970s Reds watch by the Lafayette Watch Company, you surely will! The ad says the crystal is in good condition. Speaking of time, did anyone else have one of these Team-Mate Alarm Clocks by Westclox? I had a Reds one and surely wish I still had it now.
Now for the rest of the week:
• Fan the (Atlanta) Flames with this 1976-77 bumper sticker c/o Days Inn.
• Check out these 1970s NBA-branded high-tops. Sure look like Chucks, don’t they?
• Seems like this 1970s Buffalo Bills belt buckle would be pretty hefty around your waist, would it not?
• Here’s a set of American League pennants from the 1970s ”” 12 teams included. You can “String ’Em Up,” too.
• Here’s a similar item, a “National League Sports Series Decal Sheet” for “Easy-On decoration.” Note that it lets you know about “Strategic decorating points.”
• Here’s a 1970s Vikings stocking cap and scarf set. Judging from the helmet on the left (pointing to the left, a rare thing), I think that one at least is from Sears.
• Nice cover art on this book about Joe Willie and the Super Bowl III Jets: Count-down to the Super Bowl.
• The listing for this set of NFL Marbles says it’s from the 1970s but it has to be from ’80s due to the Bengals helmet.
• Dust off your turntable and drop the needle on this three-album Miami Dolphins set. Included are “The Dynamic Young Dolphins” and how-to LPs by Griese and Warfield.
• Did your 1970s sets of NFL electric football players from Tudor come in this nifty little box with terrific graphics? Not me, mine were in a plastic bag in a plain box. And I even remember the address: 176 Johnson Street, Brooklyn.
By Mike Chamernik
Baseball News: Paul noted last week that the Braves made an unannounced change to their home jersey. They did the same for their road grays. As you can see, the “A” in particular is a little less pronounced. A few people sent that in, but Robert Kittle also included this note: “I’m pretty sure the Braves are the only Major League team with piping on the belt loop. The new MLB logo looks extra terrible squished in between the piping.” … Yesterday, all umpires wore “EA” patches in honor of Emmett Ashford, the first African-American MLB ump. He made his MLB debut 50 years ago (from Phil). … Orioles 3B Manny Machado’s baggy pajama pants earned him a HBP yesterday. … Fans can see the reverse green side of the Wrigley Field marquee (from Bob Gassel). … Also for the Cubs, they put some classic old logos on a brick wall near the bleachers (from Zach Pearson) … And, the Cubs flew an Ohio flag outside of Wrigley Field yesterday. The Reds were in town (from Dan Pfeifer). … The Cardinals’ scorecards have featured retro cartoon artwork for the last several years. Here’s what they had yesterday for the home opener (from @GMMohr). … A few readers sent in this story on the history of Mississippi State’s uniforms. The article includes the original sketches of the unis from 30 years ago. … The A’s flew back to Oakland from Seattle in a Giants-branded plane (from Brinke). … Paul reported last week that personal logos on bat knob decals are now verboten, but that didn’t stop Bryce Harper from putting “100” emoji decals on his bat knob. Guess he’s testing the limits of the rule (from Brinke). … Also regarding Bryce, he stole a bag yesterday with his batting gloves in his mouth. … Here’s a good piece on the Rangers’ emergency tailor, Aman Li. The Rangers go to him when a player is acquired in a trade or called up to the majors, and Li can sew a name and number on a jersey in under an hour (from Phil). … Eric Juergens found a green-and-black Red Sox jersey. It’s part of the baffling True Fan series. … The Binghamton Mets will wear heartbeat line jerseys for American Heart Night in late May. … Abilene Christian softball will wear throwback jerseys today (from Chris Mycoskie). … Our guy Wafflebored made a neat art deco baseball jersey. …Steve Flack‘s dad recently got a 1939 booklet about baseball’s centennial. It includes a two page spread on the history of baseball uniforms. … A Toronto artist redesigned the Blue Jays logo as a raccoon. ”¦ The Astros are keeping things looseby wearing football helmets during interviews. Isn’t that what Ricky Williams used to do? (From Chris Flinn and Phil.) … A team in Italy will wear Charlie Brown jerseys this year.
NFL News: Bears QB Mike Phipps wore a running back-style facemask in the late 1970s. Neither Peter Fredrickson nor I have seen that before. Through an image search, I found that Phipps typically wore conventional facemasks, but he did wear one with a center vertical bar at least in one other game. … Notre Dame prospects Ronnie Stanley and Jaylon Smith have their pictures in the linings of their jackets for the NFL Draft (from Andrew Cosentino). ”¦ Here’s what might be the earliest rendition ofthe Buccaneers’ creamsicle uniform (from John Turney).
Hockey News: The Penguins will wear their throwback alternate for every home game during the postseason. This is just fueling the rumors that the Penguins will ditch Vegas Gold in favor of the yellower Pittsburgh Gold (from John Muir and Ryan Zundell). … The Flyers will wear a memorial patch for Ed Snider, the team’s co-founder who died on Monday. … Brian Codagnone found a photo of North Stars center Bill Masterton from very early in the franchise’s history. “The crest isn’t even sewn on,” he says. “Must have been an early prototype.” … In February, Oregon’s club hockey team unveiled new uniforms. Here’s more information on Rebirth Sports, the company that outfits them and other America Club Hockey Association teams (from Steve Ceruolo).
NBA News: Here’s how the Bucks equipment manager lays out the key with athletic tape for walk-throughs at the hotel for road games (from Phil). … Someone named the five worst uniforms of the 1990s (from Phil). … After the league intervened in March, Cavs PG Matthew Dellavedova stopped wearing a biometric wristband. Now the device’s manufacturer, Whoop, is meeting with the NBA players’ union in an effort to legalize biotrackers. They are currently prohibited during games, but players can wear them in practices and shootarounds (from Brinke). … Raptors PG Cory Joseph has been wearing a mask.
Grab Bag: Here’s the 15 best club rugby shirts of the 1990s (from Josh Gardner). … Dixie State University will now be known as the Trailblazers (from @BYUAllBlue). … A new book will show the history of cycling jerseys. It comes out in May (from Craig Ackers). … Whitman College, a school in Washington State, will no longer be known as the Fighting Missionaries (from Mike Weston). … Guns N’ Roses is bringing back its bullet logo. ”¦ The National Weather Servicewill stop screaming at us in all caps (from Ted Anthony).
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What Paul did last night: If you’ve been a fan of a certain strain of indie-rock over the past 20-odd years, you’re probably familiar with Chris Brokaw and/or Geoff Farina from their various bands and solo projects. They have a new record and are promoting it by doing a tour of shows in people’s living rooms, and last night that tour came to my friend Liz’s house. So a few dozen of us paid $20 apiece to pile into Liz’s living room and watch them play. They were really, really good.
You might say, “Twenty bucks to sit in a cramped living room in Bed-Stuy? That’s nuts!,” and you’d be right. But I might then counter with, “I got to see two professional musicians in the most intimate setting imaginable, which was really special,” and I’d be right too. (Also, the Mets were getting slaughtered, so it’s just as well that I was doing something else.) An excellent evening.