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Look at All These Nice People

For all photos, click to enlarge

Good times at yesterday’s Uni Watch meet-up in Brooklyn. Two people I really enjoyed meeting were Craig (above left, didn’t get his last name) and his lovely wife (can’t remember her name even though she told me two times, ugh!), who made the trip from Princeton, N.J. — more than an hour’s drive. Thanks so much for coming, guys!

Two other stalwart attendees were Marc Rivlin, who wore an Israel jersey from the World Baseball Classic, and Mike Engle, who wore an Expos St. Paddy’s cap and a green-trimmed polo shirt that was nicely accessorized by a Uni Watch 15th-anniversary patch:

It was great to see everyone, including Alan Kreit, Matt Powers, Anthony Burke, our own Phil Hecken, and a bunch of people whose last names I didn’t get, including Dave, Lou, Archie, Jillian, and probably a few others I’m forgetting — big thanks to everyone who came out. I was very bad about taking photos this time around (it’s hard to document everything when everyone’s talking with you and you just want to enjoy their company), but here are a few more (if you can’t see the slideshow below, click here):

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Big yawn in the Big Easy: The NBA All-Star Game was last night, and the uniforms were a total snooze. We’ll never know how much of this was due to the game having been moved from Charlotte to New Orleans due to North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law (the league presumably had a more Charlotte-themed uni set in the hopper that had to be scrapped), and/or how much of it was due to Adidas mailing it in for their final All-Star event of their lame-duck tenure. Either way, not much in the way of eye candy. Too bad.

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T-Shirt Club update: As I mentioned a few weeks ago, this year we’re going to have a bunch of new T-shirts, with each one designed by a different creative luminary from the Uni Watch family — the Uni Watch Artist’s Series, I’m calling it. Today I’m ready to show you the first one.

We’re kicking off with a shirt by uniform designer/historian Todd Radom, who I’m sure needs no introduction for most of you. After admiring Todd’s work for so many years, and also drawing on his expertise and knowledge countless times, it’s a thrill for me to be working on a creative project with him.

Here’s his design (click to enlarge):

Pretty good, right? The design takes inspiration from the old Abe Stark sign at Ebbets Field, which read, “Hit Sign, Win Suit.”

An important note: We’re using the shirt fabric color to fill in the dark portions of the design — the outfielder’s cap, sleeves, stirrups, and shoes, and also the dark part of the sign behind him. We think it looks best on Teespring’s dark navy shirt, which is the version shown above. But you can also order the shirt in black (yes, go ahead and make all your BFBS jokes), in which case the design will look like this:

The difference is subtle, but it’s there. There’s also an American Apparel short-sleeved version and a long-sleeved version, both of which come in a slightly lighter shade of navy. You’ll be able to see all of this on the ordering page. Just make sure you choose the shirt and color you like best.

The shirt is available here through next Friday, March 3. My thanks, as always, for your consideration.

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KRC update: The latest installment of Key Ring Chronicles is about a ring that was purchased on a beach in France and never worn. Check it out here.

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Click to enlarge

Penny for your thoughts: On Friday night I saw a movie with my friend Shane, and then we had dinner in Chinatown. When the check came, it included something I’d never seen before: a “Round Off 5 Cents” line. They comped us one cent in order to round the total down to an even $31.40 (instead of $31.41). I guess they don’t want to bother with keeping pennies in the cash register.

The funny thing is that two of the three the suggested tip amounts are not rounded off to the nearest five cents. But I suppose they’re figuring that nobody would actually tip in non-five-cent amount (and they’re right!).

Incidentally, the movie we saw was Kedi, a documentary about all the cats that roam around Istanbul. If you’re a cat person, it’s a must-see. Here’s the trailer:

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News:  It appears that the Cubs are moving the bullpens at Wrigley to behind the bleachers (from Andrew Cosentino). …  Many Pirates took team pictures in caps without the New Era logo yesterday. Others were wearing caps with some sort of wording in place of the MLB logo (from  E). …  Damon Hirschensohn spotted a Delta plane with Mariano Rivera’s number and signature in Salt Lake City. More on the Rivera plane here. … Which MLB pitchers are currently wearing a single-digit number? Find out here (from Randall J. Sanders). … Ole Miss wore some super-slick powder blue unis  yesterday against ECU, who wore purple (from  Gnarly Reb  and  Jordan L. Smith). … Looks like Air Force is bringing the Sharktooth to the diamond (from  Adam Henderson). … Maryland broke out the faux-flannel yesterday (from  Matt Shevin).

Hockey News:  The Ducks wore yellow warm-up jerseys in support of the Ronald McDonald House yesterday (from  Josh Hunhoff). … Randy Clement was poking around and found this shot of what appears to be a Minnesota North Stars player wearing sunglasses on the ice during the team’s first-ever preseason game. The player is identified as Les Burton, and it appears that he was cut before the season began. … WGN in Chicago must not have gotten the memo that the Sabres retired the Buffaslug in 2010 (from Rob Daniel). …  The Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL retired No. 91 for former player Colin Chaulk on Saturday night ”” but accidentally raised the banner to the rafters upside-down. The banner was fixed after the first period (from  Tris Wykes). … Staying in the ECHL, the Missouri Mavericks wore baseball-style uniforms to honor the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues on Saturday (from  Adam Fritzen). … The Windsor Spitfires of the OHL wore uniforms honoring former captain  Mickey Renaud, who died suddenly at age 19 in 2008. The chest logo includes Renaud’s No. 18 surrounded by a gold wreath (from  Wade Heidt). … The New York Riveters of the NWHL wore military appreciation unis yesterday (from Zach Pearce). …  A painting company in Virginia is using the Penguins logo. It’s  the second time this week a Uni Watcher has spotted a local business poaching the Penguins logo  (from  Steve B.).

College Hoops News:   Illinois State wore some  wild candy-striped shorts as part of a throwback set yesterday (from  Trey Volk). …  Color-on-color in an  A-10 matchup yesterday between George Washington and Duquesne (from  Rich Donahue). …  Northwestern and Rutgers went color-on-color Saturday night. With the win, the Wildcats are now 3-0 in their black “Gothic” unis (from  Dan Sagerman).

Soccer News:  Lee Hodson of Rangers FC in the Scottish Premier League took the pitch the yesterday without a crest on his jersey. A crest was applied to his jersey at halftime (from  WeeFuse). … Allesandro Florenzi of AS Roma is out at least six months with a knee injury, so his teammates wore his No. 24 on their sleeves yesterday in his honor (from The Rake). …  Seattle Sounders debuted the championship star above their team crest last night against Charleston Battery (from  Will Chitty).

Grab Bag:  Chris Viel found this old Houston Gamblers pennant at an antique store. …   A former Middle Tennessee State football player tracked down his old jersey and got it back after nearly a decade and a half (from  Wade Harder). …  Teams in Australia’s National Rugby League are selling Marvel superhero-themed jerseys (from  Josh Gardner).

Comments (52)

    Had a great time and enjoyed meeting some of you for the first time and seeing others again! May the Expos eventually get to wear a green cap for St. Pat’s, because to my knowledge, it is only a fashion cap that never saw field action.
    For what it’s worth, my Gillian spells her name with a G.

    I don’t believe the Cubs bullpens are moving. That post was from May 2014 and many renderings have been shown since then that don’t include that.

    Yeah there’s a line in that article that says something like “if the Cubs start winning.” I think we’re there…

    As noted below, here’s the link that I meant to send. My bad! I was reading a bunch of articles on the subject, so it looks like I made a copy/paste error.


    So only Tampa Bay, Oakland and San Francisco, among MLB teams, will still have bullpens down the foul lines? Too bad the tradition is ending at Wrigley…


    “WGN in Chicago must not have gotten the memo that the Sabers retired the Buffaslug in 2010”


    That’s the link I meant to send. My bad! I was reading a bunch of articles on the subject, so it looks like I made a copy/paste error.

    The rounding up or down of the 5 cents is a common sight here in Canada if you are paying by cash. We stopped making pennies about 4 years ago.

    Same in Singapore, except they always round down. It amounts to a slight discount for paying cash, since those paying with cards don’t get the price rounded.

    Proofread on my ticker post. Mickey Renaud’s number on the Windsor Spitfires was 18. 18 is the number that is along the bottom of the logo.

    That Uni-Watch T is Awe. Some. “Hit Sign, Win Stirrups” is a nod to “Hit Bull, Win Steak” of Durham Bulls fame. If someone slugs me in that shirt, will I have to cough up my stirrups?

    “Hit Sign, Win Stirrups” is a nod to “Hit Bull, Win Steak” of Durham Bulls fame.

    As noted in the text, it’s actually a nod the old “Hit Sign, Win Suit” ad at Ebbets Field (which in turn was the inspiration for the Durham Bulls’ ad.)

    This is true. It feels like a really old-time element from the movie, and I’m sure the setting in a classic old minor-league ballpark helped to give it the appearance of authenticity, but the original sign was purpose-built for the movie.

    The current version at the “new” Durham Bulls Athletic Park is a totally different sign from the one in the movie.

    A painting company in Virginia is using the Penguins logo. It’s the second time this week a Uni Watcher has spotted a local business poaching the Penguins logo (from Steve B.).

    Wow. At least the Howell company put some effort into redrawing the thing. This latest one? We’ll just mirror it, cut the blade off the stick, put a roller on it instead, and call it good. The penguin still has his ice skates on, for crying out loud!

    I thought the same exact thing. I mean, I’m willing to suspend disbelief that a penguin would be painting a wall, but painting while wearing ice skates? C’mon man!

    I know hockey isn’t big here, but I have to admit that the News 12 spot aired during last year’s Caps-Pens series was pretty cool. The one were Rachel DePompa yelled “Caps” to Megan Wise’s “Pens”. Well, maybe not that cool, but it was a step in the right direction for Richmond hockey fans.

    Has anyone else had an issue with the RSS feed of Uni-Watch lately? It hasn’t shown up in my reader for the last four or five days.

    Proofreading “Penny for your thoughts”:

    “it included somethng I’d never seen before”

    The pirates caps actually seem to have tape over the top of the MLB logo with the size of the cap when zoomed in rather than wording.

    As a kid on an Army Base in Germany, they had $2 bills, but no pennies. Everything was rounded to the nearest nickle – up or down. We thought it was weird, but got used to it. After reading up on the cost of pennies, and how they are used, we may need to give them up.

    Many would be up in arms… or we could simply gather up all of the pennies in the world and donate them to the Sports teams so they DO NOT put ads on unis. I won’t condone violence, so maybe that lame attempt at un-branding the uni ad idea is better than throwing pennies at the upper management screwing up these decisions?

    If i’m paying by card, i will often tip an odd amount in cents to get the bill to an even dollar amount.

    ? but if paying by card, there is no advantage to ending up with an even dollar amount. Or am I missing something?

    It’s easier to keep a running budget in your head with round numbers (it’s bad enough knowing you spent $73 in food at restaurants over the weekend…who wants to add change to that?) and you literally don’t have to fish for exact change when you write out the bill.

    No reason other than I like to. Maybe it says something about my psyche. It’s the only bill where I get to decide what the final amount is.

    I had a guy who worked as a restaurant manager tell me that it’s a way to prevent fraud. Since so few people tip so as to bring the bill to an even dollar, no waitress trying to scam a few dollars extra tip would do it either. If you round as much as possible to an even dollar, it’s easier to scan your credit card bill for odd purchases. Since that conversation I compulsively force all restaurants and gas stops to the the nearest buck, even though I don’t still buy his argument.

    The tipping “cheat sheet” is bothersome to me. People should be able to calculate simple percentages. Also, if they must list the suggested amounts, it should be calculated off of the product total before tax. One is tipping for the service, not tipping the government.

    Although I’m good at math and have no problem figuring out what to tip, there are plenty of folks who aren’t so good at math so it helps them. Even if I pay with a card I usually tip cash so they’re getting an even dollar amount near 20% from me, but with credit/debit cards so heavily used these days having that cheat sheet there makes for a no-brainer tip.

    From link

    Old Man: “Hey, Morty, what’s wrong with these tip calculators?”
    Morty: “What are you talking about?”
    Old Man: “It’s overtipping. I just left five bucks for a BLT.”
    Morty: “This isn’t a Wizard, it’s a Willard.”
    Jerry: “A Willard? Saccamano, Sr. screwed me!”
    Old Man #2: “Mine doesn’t have a seven!”
    Old Man #3: “I’m ruined!”

    I was wanting to say the same thing. You do not tip on tax. Most places where the gratuity is added automatically, it is not figured on the tax. However, I was once somewhere where it was. I made them change it.

    “The NBA All-Star Game was last night, and the uniforms were a total snooze. We’ll never know how much of this was due to the game having been moved from Charlotte to New Orleans…”

    It’s interesting how they still had enough time to make the Rising Stars Game and the D-League ASG jerseys’ theme city-appropriate.



    I am totally from the old school, born in 1975 so I am aware of great ideas for our sports uniform as well as our ballparks and arenas.
    Bullpens in the foul territory was always a pet peeve of mine. Imagine running for a foul ball trying to adjust to a mound and such.
    That’s not baseball

    As someone above commented, I can say that to this day they still don’t use pennies at overseas US military bases. The reason, as told to me by one of my bosses years ago, is that they are too heavy to ship over to be cost effective for the on-base banks. While years ago it was a bigger, with so many transactions being some kind of plastic it’s relatively unnoticed.

    One other problem with out-of-sight bullpens: You need to be told when someone is warming up.

    I worked for FOX Sports in the late 90’s as a broadcast assistant, doing everything from getting snacks for the announcers, to passing out player headshots to the camera positions so they could tell their Jim Thome from their Paul Sorrento, to holding up my blaze-orange-oven-mitted hands to umps would know when we were in a commercial break.

    We’d also have someone keeping an eye on the bullpens so we could inform the truck and get a graphic up on screen. The teams’ press box PA was pretty good at keeping everyone informed but it was always helpful to see when anyone got up or sat down.

    Maybe those video feeds will work both ways.

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