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Griffins Alternate Jersey Design Contest – Part I

Griffins Design Contest hed

[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site. Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through the end of the month, although Paul is still on the clock over at ESPN and may be popping up here occasionally.]

By Phil Hecken

OK readers — today is the day we begin to show off the designs for the Grand Rapids Griffins Alternate Jersey Design Contest. If you missed it, the contest was announced on August 1, and in total, 86 (eighty-six) submissions were received. Readers will have a chance to vote on each design, broken into eight groups, and spread over four days.

Beginning today and ending next week, we’ll reveal approximately 22 of the entries each day, in alphabetical order, in groups of 11 (or 10). You’ll have the opportunity to vote on every jersey submitted in each group. You can vote on any, some, none or all, but you’ll only be permitted to vote one time, so you’ll have to choose wisely. The top 3 (three) vote-getters each day (we’ll close the voting off after each day) will advance to the “finals” ”” so there will actually be 12 (twelve) finalists instead of the original 10. We’ve decided this is the most fair way to run the voting in light of the tremendous number of entries we’ve received.

Marissa Malson, the Digital Marketing Manager for the Griffins (and who approached Uni Watch with this contest) has seen all the designs and wanted to point out many of the designs include an image or variation of the Calder, the iconic statue with the formal name of La Grande Vitesse, which is a symbol of the city of Grand Rapids. It might be worth mentioning that for anyone unfamiliar with that symbol. This article does a pretty good job of explaining it.

The first two groups (Group A and Group B) are below. A separate poll will follow each groups. After you’ve looked over the designs, you may choose any of the concepts listed in each group (there is no limit to how many designs you can vote upon, but choose wisely). The top three vote-getters will become finalists. We will repeat this format for presenting and voting over the course of three more days (likely tomorrow — Thursday August 18th — and again next week, likely Monday, August 22nd, and Tuesday, August 23rd) and each day the top three vote-getters will advance to the finals — so there will be 12 (twelve) finalists (up from the original 10) from which the Griffins will select one Grand Prize winner.

The next three sets (six more groups in total) will be revealed as sub-ledes over the three days mentioned above, but I will link back to this post for instructions.

My suggestion is to review all 22 submissions before picking your favorites, and then come back and fill out BOTH polls. Make sure to fill out both polls! UPDATE When voting, the “boxes” by the designer’s name don’t exactly line up — but you can click on the name as well, which will put the vote (check mark) in the proper box.

My thanks to all who participated and good luck to all the entrants. Now readers, the rest is up to you. Here are the first 22 submissions (you may click on any design to enlarge):




Andrade, Nick

Nick Andrade


Barrie, David

David Barrie


Blackwell, Zach

Zach Blackwell


Bradburn, Noah

Noah Bradburn


Branch, Rebecca

Rebecca Branch


Bravata, Travis

Travis Bravata


Brunson, Savanah

Savanah Brunson


Byrnes, Ayden

Ayden Byrnes


Cain, Adam

Adam Cain


Carnagie, Lucas

Lucas Carnagie


Clarkson, Tony

Tony Clarkson


Griffins Design Contest – Group A free polls

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +



Clinton, Jake - 1

Jake Clinton

Clinton, Jake


Connelly, Mason

Mason Connelly


Cully, Matt (Matt Medium)

Matt Cully (a/k/a “Matt Medium”)


DeLoof, Sam

Sam DeLoof


DeVries, Scott

Scott DeVries


DiFalco, David

David DiFalco


Dixon, Dave

Dave Dixon



Fabio (no last name given)


Fathers, Courtney

Courtney Fathers


Foss, Jackie

Jackie Foss


Freeman, Brooks

Brooks Freeman


Griffins Design Contest – Group B free polls

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

OK — there you have it — the first set (2 groups) of submissions. Remember, you can vote for as many entries as you’d like (anywhere from 0 to 22), but you can only vote once in this contest, so make sure you have the correct box(es) checked before you hit “Vote.” The top three vote getters (out of the 22 choices) will become finalists. The poll results will be checked after 24 hours and those with the most votes at that time will be the finalists.

What do you think so far, readers? Do you have any favorites? If you have a favorite design, let’s hear about it! Feel free to give your top three choices in the comments below!

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Leo's World 500

Leo’s World
“Leo’s World” is a new, semi-recurring feature here on Uni Watch weekends (and now, weekdays during Paul’s blog-cation), featuring some excellent uni-related finds from Leo Strawn, Jr.. Each installment will feature a new, unique or just very cool collection of related uniform observations and research. You can click the images below to enlarge. — PH

Familiar Players in Unfamiliar Uniforms, v 3.0 PCL Edition
By Leo Strawn, Jr.

We’re all familiar with those odd photos of our favorite players either just starting or finishing out their careers in unfamiliar uniforms. Rather than just post a bunch of photos, I thought it would be fun to let readers guess who these legends are.

I recently purchased a copy of The Grand Minor League by Dick Dobbins. The book is a treasure trove of Pacific Coast League photos. Today’s edition of FPiUU consists of MLB players and managers in their PCL uniforms.

Ready? No Googling…




This LA Angels player has his number retired on two different baseball clubs, but not for playing baseball.




The person on the left in this Oakland Oaks photo, pictured with Jackie Jensen, celebrated five World Series titles, four as a player, and one as a manager.




This Oakland Oaks player became a two-time batting champ and 8-time All Star.




This person played for the Los Angeles Angels of the PCL from 1955-57 and the Los Angeles Angels of the AL from 1961-62.




He is a member of the MLB All-Time team, shown here as manager of the 1951 PCL champion Seattle Rainiers.




This Seattle Rainiers pitcher went on to MLB where he tossed a no-hitter and several seasons later celebrated a World Series title with #2. (Note: this photo did not come from The Grand Minor League but I needed to include this player for the extra point question).


Extra point if you know what these PCL players and managers had in common.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~








Extra point.

How did you do on this PCL Edition?

Till next time…


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A reader request fulfilled…

In Monday’s comments (late), there was some chatter about Jimmy Corcoran’s dad, “King” Corcoran, and one of the readers mentioned an article in which he was extensively mentioned, but didn’t know from where it came.

Jimmy Corcoran happened to have a copy of the article in question, and sent me scans from it. I’m reposting those here for anyone interested (it’s a great read, btw). Click any of the photos to enlarge.

Here’s a quick description from Jimmy:

Hey Phil, someone in the comments section was talking about a Pottstown Firebirds article he thought was from SI, it’s actually from Pro magazine and was written by the great Ray Didinger. I try to help out Uni Watch readers if I can, I know this is a long article but maybe you could provide a link for the guy to read it?


Jimmy Corcoran







Thanks, Jimmy!

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: Here’s a look at the throwback jerseys that will be worn by the Daytona Tortugas, who will be throwing back to the Daytona Beach “Islanders” on August 27 (from MiLB Promos). … Here’s some Cancer Awareness purple jerseys for the Syracuse Chiefs, to be worn this Sunday (from OT Sports). … “For this upcoming show in Skokie, IL, does the TV number on Jackie Robinson’s jersey look too big?” asks Kenneth Traisman. I’d say there are lots of problems with that image, size of the TV numbers just being one. … The Brewers sent their rookies to get 24 Starbucks drinks in full uniform. … Oh my: Look closely at those uniform pants the Greensboro Grasshoppers will wear Saturday night. They’re not blue jeans. But the baseball double-knits certainly look like a pair of Wranglers. … Crossover alert! The Angels wore some Anaheim Ducks-esque jerseys last night (h/t Bruce Menard). Also posted in Hockey. … The Saitama Seibu Lions have a vertical black stripe in honor of Yasumitsu Toyoda, who passed away. Here’s what Yasumitsu Toyoda looked like in the 1950s, Nishitetsu Lions in Fukuoka (both of those from Graveyard Baseball). … It’s a Cubs fez! Here’s the top view (from Berserker). Hey Jimmer Vilk, would you wear that? … Interesting bit of squatchee chatter on last night’s Twins broadcast (thanks to Chad Jorgenson). Apparently the HOF & bobble makers didn’t get that memo (from Paul). However, it appears Blyleven may suffer from selective memory.

NFL News: Cross-advertising alert (also in Grab Bag) Microsoft has emblazoned its Surface Pro Type Covers with giant NFL logos (thanks, Brinke). … Here’s a look at the Detroit Lions newly painted blue end zones at Ford Field this season (h/t Tony Wilson). … Here’s a shock: The Dolphins have changed their stadium name once again (from Brinke). … “Local affiliate had the wrong logo (and sport) for the Vikings upcoming preseason opponent,” says Jimmy Lonetti.

College Football News: OH MY! The Pittsburgh Panthers will be bringing back the Royal and Mustard (although it doesn’t look as mustardy as I remember) unis on October 8, versus Georgia Tech (from Alan Sanders). Still, this is awesome news. Here’s a couple more looks at that (from interst8forty4). Someone get Jimmer Vilk some tissues, STAT! You can read more on those here, here, and here. … Last week, there was a link to an article on all NFL helmets as their color opposites. This week, it’s the Power 5 schools. … Yesterday there was a helmet rankings symposium at Virginia Tech (from James Gilbert). … Another day, another 10 worst uniforms in college football article (from Jim Weber). … Judging from this video, Rutgers is giving a peek at some new black uniforms (h/t SNDPodcast Channel). … Those Air Force “sharktooth” helmets continue to impress. Here’s a bit of a backstory on them. … The New Mexico State Aggies will unveil new UA unis on September 1st.

Hockey News: Are you one of the many still discussing possible names for the NHL’s most recent expansion team in Las Vegas? As last reported, they were down to three possible choices with the ”˜Las Vegas Nighthawks’ being one of those options. … The Bakersfield Condors are set “to make major announcement next Tuesday at 10 a.m.” (h/t Joe Bags). … Crossover alert! The Angels wore some Anaheim Ducks-esque jerseys last night (h/t Bruce Menard). Also posted in Baseball. … Check out these World Cup of Hockey themed Pepsi cans (h/t Liáµ±schitÉ€).

NBA News: Hide that swoosh! James Harden covered up his Nike logo during a summer league game (from Casey McHugh). You can read more about that in this article. … “Cincinnati Gardens is officially closing and there is a full on auction selling everything,” advises Adam Walter. “Cincinnati Royals, Cincinnati Mohawks, Cincinnati Swords, Mighty Ducks, etc. authentics are being sold…some are really cool. Thought some readers may enjoy. Auction at everything but the house ( – search for Cincinnati gardens.” … After the NBA announced the adoption of sponsorship logos on player’s uniforms for the 2017-2018 season, the Los Angeles Lakers made a preemptive move in locking up a sponsorship ad valuation company to aid with their digital and social media sponsors ads.

Soccer News: Check out this very cool cover (and cover art) for the Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club. Submitter Chris Corbaz says, “Second program cover unveiled. Similar to what that designer (Anthony Zych) did for the Blue Jackets.” … New threads for Wisconsin Men’s Soccer (from Chris Sodergren). Here’s some more looks.

Grab Bag: Cross-advertising alert (also in NFL/Football) Microsoft has emblazoned its Surface Pro Type Covers with giant NFL logos (thanks, Brinke).

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And that’s it for today. Thanks to all those who participated in the Griffins Contest, and good luck to the first 22 entrants. Thanks to Leo for “Leo’s World,” and Jimmy Corcoran for the article featuring his pop.

I’ll be back tomorrow with the second set (Group C & D) and we’ll have more voting then. So, until then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“Columbia : Located in New York City, known for higher learning

Colombia : Located in South America, known for Sofia Vergara”

— Dave

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Comments (45)

    Unsolicited evaluation: It’s fine. Don’t particularly like the backpack straps or the white Chang logo. The only thing that ties together the three kits (besides team and sponsor branding) is the striping style on the sleeve edges and on the home and away socks. I wish they’d use similar collars on all three for a more cohesive look.

    Don’t know whats up but the checkboxes don’t quite line-up with the names, so if you’re reading comments before voting please be careful. Some awesome designs in there!

    Good point — but you don’t need to check the box — if you click on the designer’s name, that will put a check in the proper box.

    I’ll edit the text to indicate that in the main article.

    Those Pitt unis are more of the 1990s version which was more yellow than mustard or old gold as it has been called. This is not the Tony Dorsett coloration that Pitt wore a few years back against Youngstown State, which by the way was an awesome change up during the robocat time period.

    Terrific – and wonderfully varied – Griffins designs. Good job, today’s submitters! If I ran a hockey team, I’d be happy to adopt almost all of the entries as an alt. So I based my vote selection more on which ones I’d be happy to have a team I owned wear as a regular uniform.

    Wishin’ I had an extra few hundred bucks laying around for some of that Cincinnati Royals and Cincinnati Swords gear being auctioned off.

    Seeing all that stuff brings back good memories. Aside from being a huge Royals fan, I used to listen to the Swords (along with Columbus Seals/Owls and Dayton Gems) hockey on AM radio back in the day.

    So sad that Cincinnati Gardens is being sold/razed. That place is a gem. I got the grand tour a few years ago:

    I recall seeing that story of yours some time ago (certainly linked on UW). Good stuff!

    Cubs fez: Love it! But if you’re going to wear a fez, and you’re not actually either a Shriner or an Indiana Jones villain, then you need a walking stick made of a baseball bat with tiki faces carved in it to go with your fez. Gotta go the full Grunkle Stan with that thing. link

    I would not wear a Cubs fez, and it’s too late for me to get excited about Pitt’s uniform. Now when the *basketball* team wears royal, mustard and script, then I’ll need a tissue to wipe the tears of joy from my face.

    Should the ticker item about the surface covers be listed twice? (NFL and Grab Bag)

    Probably I’m just thick and the article says but I missed it, yet I’m still not certain what the third Vegas NHL nickname option is. I love the Vegas Knights, I don’t hate the Vegas Nighthawks, but what’s the other choice? Given the modern NHL, I have to assume it’s something both insipidly vague and singular like the Nevada Stealth.

    If the owner wants to go really deep on honoring Nevada’s military history, he should go with the Skunks.

    Nighthawks, Desert Hawks or Red Hawks… Apparently they want the team to look and sound like a high school that had to change their Native American mascot to something else. It seems they always go to a Hawk of some kind.

    And do the Chicago Blackhawks have a problem this?

    I always thought a great name for a Las Vegas sports team would be the Whales. The guy at that website told me Whales was off limits because of gambling and there was a “Whalers” team. I was like, um, Whales and Whalers are two different things, in fact their enemies and Las Vegas wouldn’t even be getting a team, heck it wouldn’t even be a major city WITHOUT gambling, so don’t try to turn your nose up to it. Embrace your reality, man! LOL

    That Nighthawks tweet makes no sense. It’s a B-2, which is the “other” famous stealth aircraft. If they were called the Nighthawks and used an aircraft motif, they would absolutely have to use the F-117, or they would be ridiculed for their inaccuracy.

    Didn’t the San Jose Sharks nearly become the Icehawks, but for the entreaties of the Blackhawks? It’s never good for league nicknames to crib from one another; it’s one of the things I dislike about college and high school athletics.

    Thanks! Nighthawks is OK, but it’s bound to feel derivative of the current Jets logo/unis, and anyway the F-117 Nighthawk was retired from service eight years ago. Best of the options nonetheless.

    Red Hawks: Terrible name for a team at any level, and besides, isn’t it a federal law that you have to give yourself a nickname that disparages Native Americans before you’re allowed to switch to Red Hawks?

    Desert Hawks: Makes me think of nothing other than link As the link, “A Desert Eagle, that’s one great big old pistol / I mean fifty caliber made by bad-ass Hebrews.”

    Great name, but whatever they wear would never be as cool as the New Haven Nighthawks’ uniform/logo.

    Nevada’s known for silver, yes? Comstock Lode and all that?

    So if they’re stuck on birds, why not the Silver Eagles?

    I like the Skunks name. I get it. They would probably go with Ice Skunks though. They seem read set on going with an insipid name.

    I’ve long said that there’s no such thing as a bad night at the beautiful ballpark in Greensboro.

    Looks like Saturday night will be the exception.

    In College Football News, it’s the New Mexico STATE Aggies, not the New Mexico Aggies. The University’s full name is New Mexico STATE University, or NMSU. New Mexico, or the University of New Mexico (UNM), owns the Lobo as its mascot. I know you don’t care about anything west of New Jersey, but those of us who are alumni of either one of these schools would appreciate it if you would do your research.

    It’s been over 10 years since I have read that Pottstown Firebirds article, most of those guys couldn’t stand playing with my father because of his me first personality but they were always great to me. When my father died in 2009 Ray Didinger appeared in an NFL Films Presents episode about my father, I told Ray that this article always made my father crazy because you said he was 5’10 when he was really 6’0.
    Also, in the article and in the movie they said my father was benched for the Championship game, this was done for dramatic purposes for the movie. He actually had a pulled hamstring and was unable to drop back, he was going to try to play in that snow game against Hartford but was unable to set up. And one more side note, in 1973 our house was robbed in Maryland, we had gone to the track to watch my father jog and someone broke in. His Pottstown Firebirds Championship ring was stolen, When the police officer was taking the report my father said can you believe this? everyone is out to get the King! The cop couldn’t keep a straight face.

    That’s really great for the Griffins to come to us uni-nerds to help them out. I think we’ll do much better than the general population and set them up with some tasteful designs.

    Grand Rapids is a nice city to visit. Second biggest city in Michigan, but being on the west side, it has a different feel from the rust belt east of Detroit/Flint. Lots of good breweries.

    Australian Rules Football uni news:

    The Sydney Swans and St. Kilda played an AFL “Pride Game” last Saturday. St. Kilda’s uniform numbers were in the LGBT rainbow. It was said that it was the first game anywhere in the world (although the Rays-Giants game in June – played in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting – could qualify for that honor.)

    “Desert Hawks,” “Nighthawks,” and “Redhawks” are terrible and unoriginal. If they want to pick up something that’s been used before, they need to look to soccer in Las Vegas.


    Duh I somehow missed the part where you can vote for multiple entries at once, despite it being mentioned SEVERAL times. I’m smrt

    Las Vegas was also home to indoor soccer teams in the old CISL and MISL, the Dustdevils and Americans, respectively. The Dustdevils even won the league championship in 1994. Their current indoor squad, the Legends, play in the MASL.

    The ownership group has already stated that they’re not doing anything gambling-related with the name

    Cos, you know, you wouldn’t want Las Vegas to get an unearned connection with gambling

    Love the Grand Rapids concept designs! I live in Grand Rapids and some of the designs really capture the city like the design by Jackie Foss (Calder Plaza! nice touch).
    Everyone has done great work!

Comments are closed.