By Phil Hecken
Well, you guys absolutely OUTDID yourselves on this latest contest. When I announced the “Redesign the USA Baseball Jersey” contest last weekend, I expected maybe 20 entries, of varying quality. Boy, was I wrong.
I received more than 100 entries from 54 different contestants. That’s FAR too many to run in one sitting. I was just going to run them, hope you guys made a few comments, and then we’d move on. But, after seeing the effort that went into all these, here’s what we’re gonna do: 54 divided by three equals 18, which is a very solid number to run at a time — so there will be a total of three separate parts to the contest. After speaking to my friend Sarah, she said “you’re going to have voting, right?” I hadn’t planned on it, especially since there are no prizes to be offered. But, then I thought, despite the extra effort (but since the voting will only be for “pride”), I decided, why not…let’s let the readers have some fun with it as well.
So…here’s how it’s gonna work. I’ll run these IN THE ORDER THEY WERE RECEIVED. They will be run in six sets of NINE (two sets today, and then the next four next weekend, in two separate posts). After each set of nine, we’ll vote on the best from that set. The top two vote getters from each set will move on to the finals, so we’ll narrow it down to the top 12 (two from each of the six sets). After all the finalists are chosen, we’ll have one final vote to determine the best redesign.
I was amazed at the breadth and depth of the entries — some of you went with classic, or throwback-ish designs, others of you (as I’d hoped and suspected) went FULL America. Many were in between. But they were all good to excellent, and almost every one of them is decidedly better than what the USA has been wearing (and will continue to wear against Japan on Tuesday, since they won, and defeated defending champs Dominican Republic, last night). Let’s hope someone at USA Baseball takes a good look at this contest and decides to contact one of you for a possible redesign. They couldn’t do any worse.
So, enough of my yakking — here’s the first set of nine, after which there will be voting (you can vote for any number of the entries, but you can only vote once); so write down your favorite(s) and then pick your winner(s) for this bracket. After this set, we’ll repeat the process for the second nine.
If an entrant has sent in more than one design, I’m going to run the entire set below. You’re going to be voting on the ENTIRETY of the set, so keep that in mind. You can click to enlarge the images below. Some folks provided writeups, some did not — but in the interest of keeping this manageable, no writeups are provided. The designs should stand on their own.
OK? OK. Here we go…
AND NOW…VOTING FOR THE FIRST NINE (You may pick as many as you like)
And now…the final nine for today:
Hungry Hungry Hipster
AND NOW…VOTING FOR THE SECOND NINE (You may pick as many as you like)
And that’s it for today. Great stuff, yes? And there’s a lot more of that to come. Make sure you voted in BOTH polls. The top two from each poll will advance to the final round.
Let all the concepters know what you think in the comments below!
In Case You Missed It…Paul’s Latest ESPN Piece
Between assorted makers’ marks and the many iterations of the MLB logo (including the Majestic and MLB logos on the pants, as shown here), today’s ballplayers are wearing more logos than ever before. Paul’s latest ESPN article examines how these logos have spread across the uniform over the past generation, and assesses which ones are relatively harmless and which are more odious.
If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, here ya go. Definitely worth the read if you haven’t already.
OK, it’s a couple days early, but…
As most of you know, tomorrow is the first day of spring (usually it lands on the 21st, but what’re ya gonna do…it’s a day early this year). Now, that’s significant because usually the first day of spring ALSO coincides with the birth of our founder, Paul Lukas. I’ll be sure to check back in on the 21st to wish him a big fat happy on the actual anniversary of his birth, but since I ain’t workin’ that day…I’m also gonna take the time to wish him an early birthday on here.
So, to the best boss a guy could EVER have (and I do mean that sincerely), as well as a great and true friend — Happy Birthday, Paul. I hope it’s the best one you ever had.
And…normally (and especially after the winter we’ve had), I would be rejoycing for a first FULL day of spring forecast like this…
…but I will be sorely disappointed if a little rain doesn’t fall.
Interesting high temp predicted, if you know what I mean.
And if you don’t know why I’m hoping for some rain…be sure to check back Tuesday.
Cheers to you, Paul.
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: Check out Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. in a Baltimore Orioles basketball uniform — wearing Miller Lite branded short shorts Jimmer Vilkanova probably still has a pair of (from Bruce Menard). Also from Bruce, check out the beautiful striped undershirt worn by Casey Stengel in this spring training photo. … Whoops? Buco writes, “Not sure if @MajesticOnField was confused or overly creative with this Rangers baseball jersey.” … A guy is trying to collect every Mike Piazza Florida Marlins trading card. He has 117 of the 124 possible card types. Piazza was a Marlin for 8 days in 1998 (from Mike Chamernik). … The Maryland Terrapins broke out new camopander unis yesterday (from Jake Eisenberg). Here’s another view (from P. Costello). … New combination yesterday for the Florida Gators softball team (from Gators SB EQ). … Those jerseys don’t clean themselves! Check out these HOF Cincy Reds jerseys in a dry cleaners! (from Tim Curry). … Some nice gray roadies for EMU yesterday (from EMU Baseball). … Yesterday, the West Texas Lady A&M Buffaloes declared it a “Beautiful day to break out the new military uniforms, it’s an honor to represent these fallen heroes” (from Tyson Jex). … Here’s a shot of team Japan vs Cubs in spring training. Submitter Steve Sher notes, “this will be the Yankees in a few years.” … Here’s a photo you don’t often see: Rollie Fingers as a member of the Red Sox (from Chris Hamilton via Vintage Baseball). That’s from June 15, 1976 — 1 of the 3 days Rollie Fingers spent w/the Red Sox. A’s owner Charlie Finley’s fire-sale trade of Fingers was nixed by the MLB Commish Bowie Kuhn. … Here’s another photo — check out those black & red Pumas! (from John Turney). … And lest we forget Joe Rudi was part of the fire sale as well (from Gary Pierce).
NFL News: Obsessed with equipment and willing to take some hits along the way, a self-taught tinkerer became the go-to guy for some of the NFL’s biggest stars when it comes to a crucial piece of equipment: shoulder pads (from Jason Hillyer). … We bemoan helmet striping today that covers holes and extends over bumpers, but check out this photo from Steve B. Creations of an old Denver Broncos helmet. Looks like the stripes weren’t cut off back then either! Steve adds, “never seen that done before.” … Tony Jefferson will wear #21 for the Ravens, a number previously occupied by the recently cut Ladarius Webb (from Andrew Cosentino). … Here are some neat USFL pennants (from Dr. Paul Durkee).
College Football News: We all know Jimmer Vilk loves short shorts, so the question must be asked, “would you wear these”? Check out Baylor Football wearing what looks like hemmed version of white game pants to kick off spring practice (from Bear Droppings BU). … Hmmm, should Florida go “Golden State style” with their old logo & unis (from Katherine Miller via WB Young).
Hockey News: Toronto Maple Leaf (St. Pat’s) goalie Frederik Andersen’s green pads were not ready in time for yesterday’s game, “so his pads were modified with @ChameleonSports – #TMLtalk” (from The Goal Net). … Here’s a look at the Red Wings and Avalanche playing at Joe Louis arena for the final time — with the B1G Hockey Championship last night, the B1G logo appeared at center ice (from Jason Yellin). … Check out the Autism Awareness warm-up jerseys that were auctioned off last night by the Cleveland Monsters (from Bring Jimmy Home). … Did you ever wonder what the Hartford Whalers classic logo would look like if it were made into a “Transformers” shape? Me neither, but here you go anyway (from Louise Brooks Fan Club). … The Fargo Force of the USHL appear to be throwing back to the defunct FM Jets of the NAHL (2003-2008) — from Patrick Thomas. … Last night, the Maple Leafs became the Toronto St. Pats and rocked their beautiful unis. You can see some more good photos and very positive Twitter reax here. … Speaking of St. Paddy’s Day sweaters, the Milwaukee Admirals did the wearin’ o’ the green (from Zach Loesl).
NBA/ABA/Basketball News: “Rare photo showing the Baltimore Claws in action (only played 3 pre-season games in franchise history b4 ABA folded)” (from Robert Hayes). If you look at those jerseys, you can tell the “Claws” was (or appeared to be) simply stitched over the uniforms of the Memphis Sounds — you can tell by the distinctive number font. Here’s a bit more information on the short-lived Baltimore Claws. … Cavs fan Justin Bieber played basketball in a full Steph Curry uniform. … The Sioux Falls Skyforce broke out their corn jerseys last night (from Mike Chamernik). Also from Mike, another color vs. color game in Charlotte, with the Hornets taking on the Wizards. … Our daily rundown from Zach Loesl: Color vs color games with the Cavs & Clips and Hornets & Wiz; and white on the road for the Bucks. … Here’s another shot of that Bucks vs. Warriors game (from Mike Chamernik).
College/High School Hoops News: After the first round of games (from 64 down to 32 teams remaining), Conrad Burry posted the logo matchups for the 16 games in round 2. … Alex Gerwitz tracked the color vs white matchups for all of Friday’s games. … Check out this awesome photo of Baseball legend Mickey Mantle with the Commerce H.S. Basketball Team. My OCD is very satisfied seeing all those double numbers! … According to Max Ethridge, Nigel Hayes is wearing Adidas compression shorts (which is notable because Wisconsin’s unis are now supplied by Under Armour). … The Virginia Cavaliers wore these navy jerseys for their NCAA Tourney game last night (from Matthew Althoff).
Soccer News: Brutal color vs. color matches don’t just happen at the pro level. Sometimes (probably oftentimes, due to lack of “alternate” uniforms) they take place on youth soccer fields (from Kevin Crawmer). … Blank (possibly blood?) jersey alert! Montreal Impact player with N#OB against NYCFC yesterday (from Matt Harris). … The Minnesota United are using a different, better kit stripe in promo picture (from Justin Cook).
Grab Bag: This is pretty cool (and shows dedication!): “I designed and had printed t-shirts to commemorate my 200th running race,” says Ken Traisman. … What do Catholic school girls and Joseph Stalin have in common? They’ve worn a uniform to conserve their mental energy for a higher purpose than just fashion — good non-sports, non-military piece on uniforms, from James Gilbert. … Also from James, check out these University of North Carolina singlets on display at the March “Matness” NCAA wrestling championships. … Jimmer Vilkanova has created a new acronym: FOSNOB (Flag Over School Name On Back), as Hawaii volleyball also going with black version of their awesome flag jerseys.
And that’s it for today. Big thanks to ALL the entrants in the Redesign the USA Baseball contest. Good luck to the first 18 today. Make sure you vote (in BOTH sections). I’ll have the final entrants next weekend.
Everyone have a great week — especially a certain fella on Tuesday. I’ll catch you next weekend. But until then…
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“I strongly dislike the Brooklyn Cyclones’ logo. The font of the C clashes badly with the Dodgers B. The act of interlocking these two disparate letters results in an unsightly mess.”
— Ferdinand Cesarano