By Phil Hecken
Our contest to redesign the USA Baseball jersey has now concluded (if you missed it, last weekend’s entry had the 12 finalists), and in a vote that turned out to be very close for second place, Dan Kennedy easily cruised to the “win.” (Sorry, Dan, there’s no prize for your efforts, but it was a great submission). If that name sounds familiar to you, Dan also won the “Griffins Alternate” jersey contest back in August of last year. Clearly Dan is
cheating doing a very good job with his design work! It was a strong field of contestants and (as of 9:00 pm last evening), included 2,205 voters (casting a total of 3,734 votes), and Dan collected 545 of those. Second through fourth place received 468, 462, and 454 votes, so it was that close. But Dan grabbed a lead and held onto it. Here’s the final vote:
A big thanks, once again, to everyone who participated and voted — this was a great contest and I thought we received MANY strong submissions — including several (such as Dan’s, which is pictured above) that not only could but should serve as the basis for a new USA Baseball jersey. They could do a lot worse (and probably will, whenever their next redesign occurs). So if anyone from Majestic (or whoever will have the USA Baseball contract is going forward) is reading this…drop me a line. You can see all of the submissions here.
So, congratulations Dan.
Probably gonna have to ban you from participating in any future contests Keep up the good work!
In Search of…
…the “Perfect” Baseball Card
Earlier this year, I ran a post in which reader Ray Hund described his quest — and “rules” — for a “Perfect” baseball card. I had asked readers to submit their own submissions for what they considered to be their own version of the perfect card. I’ll run these periodically. If you have a submission for your own “Perfect” baseball card, shoot me an email with a short(ish) writeup and of course, an image (or images) of your own perfect card.
We begin today with Brandon Merchant:
Respectfully…. I don’t care what you say. This is the perfect card. 1977 Reggie. Rough around the edges, painted on off-color helmet, satin practice jacket collar creeping out, Reggie gazing off into the distance through rose colored ’70’s shades…
This is what card collecting was for a kid born early in that decade. This was the first year my brother and I started collecting – and mutually our favorite all-time card to this day. First year I played baseball. 3 homers in Game 6. I was hooked. Yankees and Reggie fan for life. Baseball fan for life. Led to me playing as long as I could, then coaching Little League for 17 years (and counting), becoming a youth instructor and now a high school coach. The stars aligned when this card was created and those 3 home runs were hit, and it has affected many people along the way.
I was lucky enough to get it signed by the dad of a friend who knows Reggie well, when he came to town to visit him a couple of years ago. I know it doesn’t meet your criteria, but had to share. Love the site.
And we conclude today with Bob Andrews:
Wow, this is right up my alley. I do a memorabilia/sports card blog. This has been kicked around the blogosphere and I always have the same answer. It’s the 1978 Topps Eddie Murray rookie.
Check out my post on the card at this link.
It’s also the card I used to kick off my blog exactly 5 years ago today.
Great idea for a lede btw. Hope you make it a regular feature. I may get a chance to put up an anniversary post today and I’ll tie it in to UniWatch.
I received a bunch of submissions from you guys already, and I’ll continue to run them — if you’d like to send me your “perfect” card, my e-mail address is above.
Following Up On Leo’s World…
Yesterday’s Uni Watch featured a great, in-depth detail of a 1939 color film featuring the Brooklyn Dodgers vs. Detroit Lions, as analyzed by Leo Strawn, Jr. If you haven’t had a chance to check that out, I’d recommend doing so before reading further.
Anyway, I was contacted by reader Bill Moss — who sent in the original ticker entry — with a really neat follow up (you can click any images below to enlarge) Here’s Bill:
Hi Phil –
I’m the reader who submitted the Brooklyn vs. Detroit color film link last week. I enjoyed reading Leo Strawn’s observations in today’s Uni-Watch.
The Brooklyn Dodger player wearing number 0 is Frank “Bruiser” Kinard, a great two-way tackle and place kicker who was elected to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 1971. I don’t know why he’s wearing that number in this game – he’s usually pictured wearing number 25 or 44. Kinard was the first All-American at Ole Miss in the 1930s, and later became an assistant coach and the university’s athletic director. There was another Frank Kinard who wore #44 at Old Miss in the 1960s, and I believe he was Bruiser Kinard’s son.
In the third quarter of the 1939 game, Kinard made the PAT after the Dodger’s only touchdown, by fellow Hall Of Famer Clarence “Ace” Parker. Not only is Kinard’s uniform number unusual – as seen at the 7:00 mark in the video, he was not wearing his helmet while making the kick.
I took another close look at the Dodgers vs. Lions film. Earlier in the game, Bruiser Kinard, the Dodger player wearing number 0, can be seen wearing number 25. My guess is that his regular jersey may have been damaged during the game and number 0 was the only available replacement.
Here’s a link to the New York Times story on September 35, 1939 which summarizes the game.
Boynton Beach, Florida
Awesome stuff! Thanks so much for the follow up, Bill. This is what I love so much about Uni Watch: something that began as a (admittedly awesome) ticker item has sparked such obsessive study and really given us all quite a great backstory and history lesson. Cheers to Bill & Leo!
The Colorful Curling World(s)
I confess that while I’ve been curling a lot this winter, I haven’t watched (almost) ANY curling this year. Now, some of you may think of watching curling (especially if you don’t actually curl yourself) as about as much fun as watching paint dry. But believe me, when you watch the top echelon curlers, you can appreciate how *good* they are.
Anyway, the Men’s Worlds have been taking place this week and I haven’t watched a second of it (it concludes today), so I was pleasantly surprised when I received an e-mail from Will Scheibler who sent in a bunch of photos that provide a nice rundown of the nations’ involved in this year’s matches. You’ll note that the jackets and sweaters are pretty colorful (and usually representative of that nation’s colors) and not everyone wears the traditional black pants. China has an interesting set, and a couple rinks have what look like “jeans”. Team Norway (looks like they’re a different rink than the one normally skipped by Thomas Ulsrud, which made Loudmouth Golf pants a household name) went traditional (also — their shirt backs say “DANMARK” so I’m guessing the Danes compete for the right to represent Norway — perhaps you guys who follow this more closely than I can fill us in).
You’ll also note that many of the players now wear sneakers (rather than traditional “curling shoes”) which have special sliders and grippers attached to them. Also, be sure to check out the shirts on Netherlands!
Below is a short writeup and many photos from the Championships. You can click on the photos to enlarge. Here’s Will:
World Men’s Curling Championship has been going on in Edmonton’s Northlands Coliseum.
Wrapping up with medal games this Sunday.
Opening ceremonies with some former World Champions and Brier winners from Alberta throwing out the first stone:
Picture of teams with their jackets on.
Tried to find a couple photos of each team showing at least front and back of a team shirt:
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, and 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 yesterday that’s too long (and too good) for just the ticker. It comes from reader Chris Fox and it has to do with “Delaware Valley Rocks.”
I’ll let Chris explain (you can click on the images to enlarge). Here’s Chris:
(A) group of young moms and dads in the Philadelphia area, aka the “Delaware Valley” have started on online campaign to spread joy to young kids simply by painting and hiding rocks at shopping centers, in libraries, schoolyards and little league fields.
The finder posts a picture in a “closed” facebook group that has grown to more than 10,000 members since its inception in January. My wife and kids have been into for months and this weekend, I decided to try my hand. (Friday) night, I went with 1950 cap logos.
(Last) night, Catfish Hunter and Nolan Ryan pullovers and Steve Carlton powder blue zip up. Three iconic 70s baseball jerseys. The results were respectable.
Love the site, and have gotten my 9 year son into it as well.
Thanks, Chris — wonderful stuff and great job!
OK. Now, on to the ticker…
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: A comment about the “worst jerseys in MLB history” led to some interesting replies, featuring some of MLB’s more questionable uni choices. … The Beloit Snappers (single A affiliate of the A’s) have new BP tops (from Zach Loesl). … Reader Alan Miller writes, “Big fans of the site. We bought into the Portland Pickles this week. My partner Jon Ryan got a number 9 jersey to match his seahawks one.” … “Wanted to send you pics of Purdue’s home baseball unis,” says Dave Furry, who adds, “they look pretty good.” … Very cool series opening program cover for the Padres (apparently they’ll have stuff like this all season long!). From LH Griffel. … Check out this pic posted by @GopherHole of Paul Molitor rocking the stirrups and putting the Gold in Golden Gophers (from Former Northeast Kid). … The Daytona Tortugas will hold their own Jackie Robinson Night on April 15 (notice the jersey is NOT #42, the number with which we all associate Robinson. #9 was Robinson’s number with the Montreal Royals, his minor league club). … Here’s a good up close look at the new Stance socks for the White Sox (h/t Matt Bond). … On April 8, 1974, Henry Aaron became baseball’s home run king (from Bruce Menard). As usual, Vin Scully’s call was perfect (h/t Chris Hamilton). … Of course, it hasn’t changed much in almost a century, but here’s an article on the evolution of the New York Yankees uniform. … Tweeter Rob Scanlan notes, “The @Padres team store selling a Tony Gwynn jersey that he never wore.” … Pretty sure we’ve covered this before, but while the Yankees wear a matte helmet on the road, their coaches do not (from Jimmy Hoss). … Completely eschweing their school colors (I know, big shock), the Florida Gators softball team went with a white and anthracite combo yesterday (h/t Adam Lucas). … The Saitama Seibu Lions are wearing fire red uniforms for one month in 2017 (from Graveyard Baseball). … The Lansing Lugnuts debuted their new uniforms just hours before the opening season game on Saturday. … Until the Padres #BringBackTheBrown, I’ll never get tired of those who want to make it so. … It isn’t always easy being green if you’re the Ducks (from Funhouse). … Hopefully the D-bax are trolling Josh Tomlin, otherwise he’s off my holiday card list (h/t, sorta, to Jimmer). … Here’s a pic from yesterday of Buck Showalter wearing a cap sans the New Era advert (from David Feigenbaum). I’ve yet to see a pic of Buck in a logo’ed cap this year. Good for him! (although I wonder if a fine might be coming at some point…either that or a new cap). … Just cuz–check out this beautiful vintage ChiSox uni (from Matt Bond). … Yowsa — check out the Stance socks on Jose Altuve (h/t Denis Costello). Here’s a look at George Springer (also from Denis). Even the coaches have them (from Keenan Soto). … The Cubs broadcasters said Albert Almora Jr. removed the “JR” this year because it required a bigger, more uncomfortable jersey (from Funhouse). … “Several Pawtucket Red Sox with #MLB logo on pants/belt loops,” says George Falkowski. “This is Brian Bogusevic.” (Guessing those are his big club pants.) … This article contains a really good look at the Phillies’ Dallas Green patch (from Arthur Savokinas). … Dartmouth softball is using big ol’ helmet decals this spring notes Tris Wykes. He adds, “The college’s athletic teams have been increasingly emphasizing the institution’s ‘Lone Pine’ logo, given the nebulous nature of its official nickname, the ‘Big Green’.” … The Erie Seawolves (Detroit Tigers AA) have the same extra loop pants the Tigers are famous for (from Matt Brown). Well, the batterman kinda killed that look a bit. … “The Comeback Kim talks about his game-winning RBI and how the high socks look is making him faster” (h/t Jerry Adams). Guys! IT’S “HIGH CUFFS” not HIGH SOCKS. … It was cold at Shea last night (and in New York) but it wasn’t THAT cold. That’s the Marlins’ Dee Gordon (nice screen grab by Niko Goutakolis). As Niko mentioned in his tweet, it’s total uni violation, but hey, at least there’s no New Era advert-creep! … Ben Zobrist didn’t get to wear a special Royals uniform with gold lettering and trim last season because he had departed for the Cubs as a free agent after helping Kansas City win the 2015 title. This time around, he gets to join in the fun for Monday’s home opener and the Wednesday ring ceremony.
NFL/College/Football News: The Washington Valor and Baltimore Brigade both made their Arena Football League debut on Friday at the Verizon Center (we had a bit about that in yesterday’s ticker). Here’s a pretty nice photo from the game (from John Cannon). … “When following Ray Hund’s John Hadl question in the “Too Good… for the Ticker” section (yester)day, I ended up spiraling down the YouTube rabbit hole of TWIPF vidoes,” writes Joe D.. “I came across a wordmark for the New England Patriots on a sideline jacket that I don’t recall. It occurs during “TWIPF NFL 1970 Week 03” at the 11:51 mark. I did a brief search on the Google machine, Patriots website, Uni Watch website, etc. but no luck finding yet. Are the history/details out there somewhere?” … Here’s a great look at John Elway’s handwarmer on display and in action (from DenverBroncos QB Club). Also note the cover shows the St. Louis Cardinals moving to Phoenix. … “I guess in 1951 the choice for NFL players was no face mask or really jacked up face mask,” says SportsPaper.
Hockey News: From the Los Angeles Kings Instagram, check out this cool video of the commemorative ice decal being installed (from The Goal Net). … “Gonna need a magnifying glass to read Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson’s nameplate,” (from kevin). … Interesting “quarter panel” (?) jerseys seen at the Frozen Four (from Michael Alper). … What’s *worse* than a really bad color-on-color game? A really bad non-color-on-non-color game. That’s the AHL’s Charlotte vs. Texas (from Matt Campbell). … Another good spot from The Goal Net who noticed that Hockey Night in Canada is using a current pic of Rick Nash and a 2009 pic of Carey Price — “The patches date the images,” he adds. … Here’s a couple of “interesting” sightings at the Habs/Wings game last night (from Dan Kennedy): a Canadiens/Red Wings frankenjersey, and a Canadiens luchador mask. I’m not sure which is more frightening. … Last evening, all the Carolina Hurricanes wore number 29 on their helmets to honor Bryan Bickell (from James Gilbert).
NBA News: With the news of Tony Romo’s retirement and move to the broadcast booth now official, the Mavericks have opted to give him a “Maverick for a day” treatment that will reportedly include wearing a uniform and sitting on the bench for the team’s home finale against the Nuggets on Tuesday. Here’s more on that. … The LA Lakers’ D-League team, DFenders, will rebrand as the South Bay Lakers after the season, adopting a name and look that further aligns them with the Lakers brand (h/t Jack Nealy).
College Hoops News: “Didn’t know if you had seen this, but somebody (very quickly) put together an awesome Lego animation of the last few seconds of the NCAA title game, complete with tiny UNC and Gonzaga uniforms,” says Dan Tarrant of this fantastic creation. … One more item: here is a close-up of one of the players, showing the amazing attention to detail on the uniforms, down to the Jordan logo and various patches worn.
Soccer News: The USL, the 2nd tier of American soccer, has ranked their top five badges (from Josh Hinton). … Tweeter Josh Dryer notes the “horrific numbering by @USL side OKC @EnergyFC!! Home kits w/ white numbering on green & white stripped… @UnderArmour provider.” … Yesterday North Carolina FC were wearing black armbands in memory of Gary Sikes, a longtime season ticket and Triangle Soccer Fanatic member (from James Gilbert).
Grab Bag: I’m not sure how cricket numbering works (perhaps Jimmer Vilk or one of our cricket readers can fill us in), but here’s a guy wearing #999 (from Mike). … Tweeter Josh Gardner points out Rugby star Sonny Bill Williams is taping over BNZ (NZ bank) sponsor logos on his jersey — possibly for religious reasons (scroll down for comments). Here’s a bit more on that. … Canadian Kirk Stevens was arguably the snappiest dresser in 1980’s professional snooker, due to his all-white tuxedo/dinner suit (from Graham Clayton). … Yesterday, Penn State Lacrosse broke out chrome domes for the first time (from Maria Canales). … Tweeter Nick Curley thinks we should “check out @Stylin_Strings and their YouTube sick paint jobs on lax stick heads and stringing.” … Just Don’t Do It: Nike has been hit with a “wage and hour” lawsuit that among other things says store employees, alleged to be earning minimum wage, are required to buy their own uniforms and do so several times in a year.
And that’s it for today. Congrats (again) to Dan Kennedy and thanks to all who participated and voted. Thanks also to Bill Moss, Will Scheibler and Chris Fox for their submissions, and to those who have submitted for the “Perfect” baseball card segment — keep those comin’
Enjoy your Sunday (and the final round of the Masters — which is shaping up to be a helluva finish based on the Saturday scores and Sunday pairings) and I’ll catch you next weekend.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Look at how wonderful the Phillies patch recreates the ‘baseball’ inside the old, fat P. It’s so unlike how sloppy the throwbacks are when the Phillies rip them out and the P ends with a hollow opening (and improper lettering on the backs).”
— Anthony Verna