By Phil Hecken, with Leo Strawn, Jr.
After a long hiatus, I’m pleased to announce that my buddy, Leo Strawn, Jr. is back with a new edition of “Leo’s World”. For those of you not familiar, “Leo’s World” is a semi-recurring feature here on Uni Watch weekends, featuring some excellent uni-related finds from the man himself. Some are good enough to be full-length ledes, others are shorter sub-ledes. 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.
As is his wont, Leo took a ticker item and, microscope in hand, examined it like only he can. So, without further ado, please welcome Leo back, as he brings us this installment called…
By Leo Strawn, Jr.
Quick history: Before Kodachrome, most color film was additive (RGB). The first Kodak product known as Kodachrome, using subtractive process (CYMK), was invented a little over 100 years ago. In 1935, Kodachrome for 16 mm movies was made available for purchase. The following year, 8 mm movie film, along with 35 mm for still photography, was sold to the public.
So, in 1939, Kodachrome home movies were still a very new and exciting thing to see. To see a 1939 Kodachrome home movie is no less exciting in 2017. Especially if that home movie was taken at an NFL game.
There was an amazing link located in the ticker a little more than a week ago. If you didn’t see or click on it, I grabbed a few screen caps to whet your appetite and included the link at the end of this piece. I apologize in advance for the pixelation of the screen grabs, so be sure to check out the video.
It was a beautiful color-on-color game (as nearly every NFL contest was in those days) between the silver-and-blue Detroit Lions and the red-and-white Brooklyn Dodgers, played on September 24, 1939 at Titan Stadium on University of Detroit campus.
(Nearly all Lions home games were played there from 1933-40. The UD Titans also played there until their final football season of 1964. The stadium was razed in 1971.) You can see both college and pro goalposts in the end zone, along with some fans getting a close-up view from bleachers and on the grass just beyond the end line.
I love the diagonal striping in the end zones.
One of the Lions linemen had an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction.
Sadly, I couldn’t get a better shot than this of the sideline sweaters worn by the Lions. Would love to see a clear shot of those beauties!
A few other tidbits I noted include the silver (not grey) helmets of the Lions. I knew that (and you probably did too), but it’s interesting to see their silver headgear reflecting the sun, in color, during that time period.
Side note: I don’t know of any instances of health issues, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there had been. No doubt Detroit’s (most likely) aluminum-based paint flaked off a bit over the course of each game. If you’re familiar with the stories about Buddy Ebsen and Jack Haley playing the Tin Man on the set of The Wizard of Oz from the same era, you know of the possible risks.
One more thing I noticed was that the only numbers on the field were on the 20 and 50 yard lines.
However, for the benefit of the fans, the scoreboard had a slider that kept track of the line of scrimmage after each play.
If you haven’t already done so, go check out this beautiful piece of history! (Detroit won, by the way, 27-7.) [There’s no audio, unfortunately, and the set of color bars at the beginning last a few seconds — then the action starts! — PH]
Paul Simon was right when he said he could see the writing on the wall and begged for his Kodachrome to not be taken away. Production of the film ended in 2009, but, for those of us who love the bright colors brought to us by Kodachrome, there’s still hope…
That’s all for now. Hope you enjoyed!
Till next time…
Thanks, Leo! Awesome insights and observations, as always. Glad to have you back (even if it’s just a temporary return).
A Masters Mystery?
Reader Chris Callan was watching (and screencapping) the Masters yesterday, and he has come across something that’s probably pretty obvious, but yet …
I’ll let Chris explain:
I’ve been watching the Master’s coverage off and on, and noticed something I’ve not seen before. Most of the players are wearing some square (pins?) on their caps. Do you know what these are for? I’ve looked online and seen one source speculate it is a “ranking” pin, and each player gets one. But that doesn’t seem to play out as a few players aren’t wearing the pins. Of course, they may be wearing them elsewhere, or on their bag, etc. Another source thought they could be tracking devices? I thought this was even more far-fetched.
Anyway, most are visible on the caps. But with that, there is still plenty of variety of placement.
First, worn on the LEFT SIDE:
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ROSE (actually covering a sponsor logo):
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MATSUYAMA (maybe because there’s no room??):
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Any thoughts on this? Just found it interesting.
I used to watch a lot of golf, but never much paid attention to the flair, so I’m not 100% sure on this — I think it’s a “player badge” which is (obviously) given to the players of the tourney — although I’m not sure they’re actually required to wear it. I tried to find a close up of the pin, even searching hundreds of Getty photos, and also google. There’s lots of crap out there (although the official Masters shop doesn’t seem to hawk much, which is nice). Failing to find (and confirm) my hunch, I turned to the Twitter:
Hey Golf Twitter — little help? Anyone know what the square pin on Day's cap is for (several players have it). pic.twitter.com/n9zFkjU660
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) April 8, 2017
I still couldn’t find a closeup or actual image of the pin. But it seems likely it is a badge.
Interesting that some of the players don’t wear it (at least not from those photos Chris provided, and the Getty shots also show many without it), and those who do don’t seem to have any preferred location.
If you guys have an image or further info, please post it in the comments below! Thanks!
In Case You Missed It…Paul’s Latest ESPN Piece
Paul actually had TWO pieces on ESPN on Friday:
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman and Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell combined to do something very rare Thursday. Rare, but not unprecedented. Stroman and Bell, who started Thursday night’s game for their respective teams, both wear single-digit uniform numbers — No. 6 for Stroman and No. 4 for Snell. According to ESPN Stats & Information, their pitching matchup at Tropicana Field on Thursday night marked the first time two single-digit starters had faced off since Sept. 14, 1941, when Johnny Hutchings (who wore No. 5) of the Boston Braves opposed Johnny Schmitz (No. 7) of the Chicago Cubs.
If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, here ya go. Definitely worth the read if you haven’t already.
Also on Friday, making a welcome return, was Paul’s Friday Flashback. With the Detroit Lions revealing their new uniform set next Thursday, April 13, some early reports indicate that the design may include chrome face masks. (A chrome grille for Detroit — appropriate, right?). With that as the backdrop, Paul’s piece takes a look at how the Chargers started the colored face mask revolution.
You can check out that article as well. Another highly recommended read.
for the Ticker
Got an e-mail from Ray Hund, whose post on The “Perfect Baseball Card” was recently featured, and who has a ‘somewhat’ related item. I’ll let Ray take it from here. It’s a bit too long (and too good) for the ticker, so I’m running it here. You can click the images below to enlarge Here’s Ray…
Thank you, Phil. You guys are the best in my book.
I’ve attached something else I came across recently — a baseball theme cover for The American Legion Magazine (April 1953). It’s the “perfect” cover (just kidding). I do like it because of its spring training theme & the nice looking Cardinals uniforms. Typical of the day, the kids on front cover are getting autographs and baseball tips from their heroes, while on the back cover 13 big league stars promote smoking Camel cigarettes.
Even weirder — and I hope you don’t judge me here — I came across something I can’t explain on youtube. Take a look, when you get a chance, at TWIPF NFL 1972 week 13 between 17:28 and 19:31. It’s the highlights of a game between San Diego and Denver, in Denver, in the bitter cold. Here’s what I can’t figure out: what’s in the back of John Hadl’s pants. Whatever it is, it’s fairly prominent but not something I have ever seen before this clip. It doesn’t appear to be something players were wearing at the time because no one else on the field has — whatever it is — in their pants, as well. Just curious.
Thanks, Ray. Anyone know that Hadl’s got in his pants?
OK. Now, on to the ticker…
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: Nats P Blake Treinen has been wearing a team-colored Qalo wedding band (h/t David Polakoff) … Check out the “limited edition” 2016 World Champions tickets given out at some of Chicago’s rail station Ventra machines yesterday (from Ryan Wallace). Here’s a bit more on that. … Yesterday, in 1970, the Milwaukee Brewers played their first official game at County Stadium. Things being a bit different back then, they wore unis that had been recycled from the Seattle Pilots (beautiful shot from Bruce Menard). You’ll note the similarities to those Pilots (from Daniel). … Also from Bruce, check out the 1905 Milwaukee Brewers unis (“Check out those classic striped pillbox baseball caps with an ‘M’ on the brim!” adds B). … “I came across this photo on Facebook. Jim Scott (radio personality) from 1973,” says David Sonny. “Radio station number on chest.” … On Thursday, the Albuquerque Isotopes and El Paso Chihuahuas remembered the passing of Nate Jones with a special design behind home plate. … Fitteds and Flannels are asking twitterers which Tampa Tarpons uni is better (with a poll) and also which Tampa Rays fauxback is better (also with a poll), finally, which which St. Pete Saints uni is better (shockingly, with a poll). … You kids who grew up with Donkey Kong (I think, right?) will get a kick out of this creative Cleveland Scene cover (from John Sabol). … Here’s a look at the patch the Phillies will wear in memory of Dallas Green (from Dan Olsheski”). The perma-patch has been placed on the sleeve (h/t Frank McGuigan). … “Angel Stadium of Anaheim (and its iconic ‘Big A’ sign) turned 50 years old last year, and apparently those of us in the Uni Watch community barely noticed,” says Kary Klismet. The only thing I could find here commemorating the occasion was a brief Ticker mention of a 50th anniversary patch the Angels wore last September.” He continues, “While we were busy not paying attention, plenty of good journalism popped up in 2016 about the Angels’ long-time home field. Here’s a great piece from Baseball Digest about the stadium’s design history, and an article from the Orange County Register about its future. For your listening and viewing pleasure, you can also check out this radio spot from KPCC in Pasadena and this Fox Sports video of highlights from the stadium’s first 50 years. Yeah, maybe this is last year’s news, but better late than never I say.” … Air Jordan sneaker-spikes? Sure, why not (from Megan Brown). … The U of Looeyville busted out some pretty interesting flag desecration helmets yesterday (from WolverineInKY). Here’s another look (from Jason The #SoxSider). … If you’re interested in bidding on a Daytona Tortugas jersey, in TMNT style, you have until 9:00 pm on April 15th to do so. Deets here (from Daytona Tortugas). … The WVU Mountaineers
continue to make a mockery of the baseball uniform have a couple new unis (from Josh King). … Every home Friday game this year, the Jackson Generals become the Jackson Hippos (from OT Sports). They’re the double-A affiliate of the Arizona D-Bax. Here’s a look at that jersey in action (from Jackson Generals aka “Hub City Hippos”. … Here’s a look at Stony Brook’s 2017 uni (probably one of many). From Stony Brook Equipment”. … Here’s a good look at the raised/3-D logo on the Nats blue crown/red brim helmets. Submitter bryanwdc think it looks pretty sharp and I’d agree. … They’re hard to see in this pic, but here’s a look at Louisville in flag desecration vs. Wake in digi-camo (from Wes Sparkmon). … This is great: here’s a Bud Selig “business card” from the Seattle Pilots (from Steve Wehmhoff). … Check out these Houston Astros socks (spotted in a local Dick’s in the Houston area by David Staples). He adds, “If I wasn’t in a hurry I would have bought them — and I don’t even like the Astros.” … Several Cleveland players were going high cuffed and sporting new Stance socks during pre-game warmups last night (from Robert Hayes). … Hmmmm, is it possible that the Padres ‘throwback’ caps don’t have the New Era advert? That’s a screenshot from Brendan Wilhide. Even more reason to #BringBackTheBrown, amirite Jimmer Vilk? … Of course, a commitment to bringing back the brown should start with the catcher’s equipment (from Maximiliano). … “Good look here at Mike Fiers’ blue socks under black stirrups” Hans Hassell (actually I think those are midnight navy, but still, quite a contrast between the royal and dark blue). … Cincy Reds’ Pitcher Amir Garrett has “MM” on his cap. “Not sure what the significance is,” says Alex Hider. I checked on Twitter with uber-Reds fan Kasey Leigh Beckham, and received a response from Patrick Muncie, who believes it’s actually “MW” (his grandfather’s initials), while Kasey noted, “there is writing inside his hat that’s in honor of his grandfather,” so it’s possible the writing outside is connected. … WHOA — we’ve seen “wardrobe malfunctions” before, numbers on cold helmets flying off, and assorted other stuff, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a uniform number fly off a jersey like this before! (h/t Bobby). Wow. … Here’s a look at Wellington Castillo with the matte black no-flap catcher’s helmet. “Big fan of the switch for the O’s. Such a clean look” says submitter Wyatt Cross. Also from Wyatt, “the base of Nolan Arenado’s Silver Slugger award appears to be broken.” However, that may not be the case.
NFL/College/Football News: The NFL and NCAA teams will equip players with VICIS high-tech helmets during spring football. … The Washington Valor of the Indoor Football League (?) debuted last evening. Here’s a look at their field (from Victory Cheeseballs). … As you might expect, the Valor uniforms are awful, but this is pretty cool: a guy named Washington plays for Washington (from Douggie Keklak). Too bad the name on the front of his uni isn’t the same as the name on the back. … There are now two preliminary rows of new Carolina Blue individual seats in sections 110-111 in Kenan Stadium, which are “good to go” (h/t James Gilbert).
Hockey News: Tweeter Dan Santa Lucia thinks, “Maybe if Cory Schneider didn’t have the @NJDevils logo upside down on his helmet the team might preform better.” Maybe they won’t shape or fasten beforehand better, but hopefully they spell better.
NBA News: Things that make you go “Hmmmmmm.” Leo Strawn, Jr. “Happened to be looking at the Milwaukee Bucks current logo and the one they replaced and I noticed something. Wondering if anyone else caught this. The old logo was an 8 point buck. The new logo (with the rack forming a basketball in the center) is a 12 pointer. Just thinking there might be a good reason for this. Could it be that the 12 point buck represents the 12-man active roster that NBA teams (thus, the Bucks) have?” … Very interesting (and good) long-form article on Charles Craig, a mentor to Kevin Durant, who was gunned down in 2005. Durant wears jersey No. 35 as a nod to Craig’s age when he died (from Paul). … When Jerry West said he’d prefer to no longer be the NBA’s logo, #TheJump gave him some alternate choices: Kareem, Jordan, and LeBron (from Jorge Cruz.). Here’s a bit more on that.
College Hoops News: Cal Berkeley, as you may have heard, will be switching uni suppliers next season — and you remember those pictures showing the ? Yeah, well, guess what: those won’t be the unis they actually wear.
Soccer News: If you’re a fan of North Carolina FC/North Carolina courage, you could win a t-shirt by making a poster. The deets of the contest are here (from James Gilbert). … “I was browsing reddit and saw this post,” says Ryan Adams. “It shows a Brazilian soccer team that is using the players numbers to advertise prices at a local supermarket. Enjoy.” … The new Barca has been leaked and it’s very blue, but “also pretty damn nice,” according to Mikey Traynor. New
sponsor advertiser too. More here.
Grab Bag: This is kinda cool, and features some neat sports-related entries, from Ray Hund: “In a 1953 diary written by D.T. Turner I found the attached entries” which include shooting at “cow birds”(?), the beginning of the ’53 World Series, and seeing his first hockey game at midnight! … “Wanted a celebratory 1st hit today with my new plastic bat, but we’re still wintering well in Ohio,” says Jimmer Vilk. … Whoa! Check out the unis on the 1972 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Co-Champion Ohio State Buckeyes (via Paul). … Clever use of team logos here to spell out the word “Orlando” (from the Florida Fire Frogs via Harrison Huntley). … Interesting flag desecration chin straps that Furman Lacrosse will wear today (from Furman Equipment”). … Also jumping on the flag desecration bandwagon is Hahvahd, who will have these flag decals on their hats (from Maria Canales). … Our neighbours to the Nourth have a new $10 note (from Mike Chamernik). Noice. … “WWE put together some superstar themed baseball logos,” says Yancy Yeater. “Actually, some of them aren’t bad names and identities. Also, I swear I look at other stuff besides WWE.” … “I don’t think you have ever covered the ‘Brony’ phenomenon on Uni Watch (and believe me, this is NOT a request to do so) – but I just saw a guy wearing this logo on a t shirt, obviously riffing on the MLB logo,” writes Ed Hahn. “BTW, if you want to know about Bronies (and again, I’m not sure you want to).”
And that’s it for today. Big thanks to Leo Strawn, Jr. for another addition of Leo’s world, and everyone who contributed — either by e-mail or Twitter, for the ticker or for stuff that made the sub-ledes. Well done today guys.
I’ll have the final results of the USA Jersey Redesign Contest tomorrow, and some other fun stuff, so make sure you check back then.
You guys have a great Saturday (enjoy Moving Day at the Masters), BASEBALL(!), and whatever other sporting (or non-sporting) pleasures you may fancy. I’ll be back tomorrow, but until then…
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Let’s find a pitching machine and a mannequin, because I’m gonna win a bunch of money from you!”
— Paul Lukas