By Phil Hecken
A couple weekends ago, I introduced you guys to Bill Hetrick, the ultimate Dolphan, who graced us with a nice “getting to know you” Q&A and a (partial) look at his amazing and extensive collection of sports memorabilia. I told you then we’d only seen a small portion of it, and today, we’re back for a second helping.
I asked Bill (who has sent me dozens of photos of his “phancave”) if he’d give me some writeups on a bunch of the photos he has given me, and he graciously agreed. So today, we’ll get a look at some of the non-Dolphin portion of Bill’s collection (you can click any of the images below to enlarge):
I’ll try to group these by subject, but these shots are really just a small fraction of what Bill maintains. It’s really amazing.
The Favre Stuff
I held onto this unsigned magazine since 1997. Brett signed it for me in 2015; I sent it to a Manning signing in 2016. Was disappointed that for $350 Peyton wasn’t more careful in signing it, given that he could see Brett already had. Regardless, another of my top items simply b/c of who is one it and how long I kept the magazine waiting for the chance to get it signed.
I collect Pro Football Hall of Famer QBs and Super Bowl winning QBs, on mini helmets and on baseballs. I’ve been collecting non-baseball players on baseballs for year, just because it’s unique and different. Favre signed the helmets when he was inducted into the MS Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. From Green Bay and Southern Miss
Signed balls from Sweetness & Eli
Among other collectibles, a signed helmet from Archie Manning
Peyton Manning collectibles
Peyton & Eli jerseys
Manning & Starr
I met Bart Starr and added some nice items, and snapped the last shot here, of Super Bowl I and II MVP with future Super Bowl XLII and XLVI MVP Eli Manning. Took this in 2001 at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.
Old Starter Jackets
Vintage 1980s Starter Jackets. The best!
I collect the 1970s Gatorade lids, and have them placed throughout the collection [Bill has like, the entire set of lids — you can see them sprinkled throughout the pictures in this article –PH]
Love the old AFL
Lighter & Posters
My Dolphins Zippo lighter obsession extends to collecting the Charlie Conerly models too. Also, I have an old retail “poster rack” in my garage. Would love to have room inside for it
Rings, Cards and Balls, lots of balls
I corresponded with Richard Nixon during the NY Mets 1980’s heyday. He seemed to always be sitting behind the dugout. I wrote, explained I had worked with many of the NY players in Jackson and, like him, was a big fan. I sent him a set of 1984 Jackson Mets cards (in which I am included ”“ attached) to prove that I was “legit” and a baseball and asked if he would sign and return it. Now, an interesting postscript. I showed the Nixon ball to Lenny’s Dykstra’s brother-in-law, who is a good friend, and he told me that when Lenny was in the hospital following the car wreck with Darren Daulton, when Lenny was with the Phillies, Lenny got a letter from Nixon, encouraging him on his recuperation, and in the letter was Lenny’s Jackson Mets card. Had to be the one I sent to Nixon, making his way on to Lenny. Small world, huh? In regards to the card and rings, I received Texas League championship rings with the JaxMets from 1981, 1984 and 1985.
19 months later, I got a phone call from my previous employer (I had since changed jobs) and the secretary there said a package had arrived there for me. She had opened it and said “Someone is messing with you, they just sent a baseball to you and signed it Richard Nixon.” I about broke my neck getting there, and sure enough, almost 2 years later, the ball was back, in the same package I had sent it in and the return label I had included. It’s inscribed “To Bill Hetrick, with best wishes from a Mets fan, Richard Nixon.” One of my absolute prized possessions.
Balls signed by Presidents of the United States
I have 110 hall of fame baseballs, 300+ total balls in my collection
Johnny U & Lance
McNair signed these jersey for me 6 weeks before he was killed
Basketball shelf with special homage to Larry Bird. Baseballs signed by Michael Jordan, Bird and Magic.
Football Broadcasters shelf: Note the stretch from Gifford and Meredith signed ball to the Cosell and Ali cards in Dolphin garb. It ties together if you think about it hard enough. Fell into collecting football broadcasters after I met Pat Sumrall; was a huge Celtics fan as a kid–that’s Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson on the stacked baseballs.
Ali & Cosell cards in Dolphin Garb
I amuse myself with offbeat items, like the pairing of Howard Cosell and Muhammad Ali in Miami Dolphins garb.
Earl & Otto & more
Brees signed this helmet for me at an event in Jackson in 2015. Space prohibits me from having many authentic helmets, but I do have Drew Brees, Brett Favre (GB and USM) and Griese, Marino and Shula, which you spotlighted a couple of weeks ago.
And that, my friends, will do it for THIS installment of the Hetrick Collection. There’s still a bunch more, including some absolutely KILLER collectibles. I’ll have those for you on a future weekend. Until then, please thank Bill for sharing with us. It’s a collection I’m sure we’d all aspire to if time, space and money were no object. Great job, Bill!
Uniform Tweaks & Concepts…
…from Uni Watch readers
For years, Uni Watch readers have been sending in their redesigns, concepts and tweaks for current (or future, or past) uniforms for all sports. I have a few new ones to run today — don’t be shy designers — send me your concepts!.
You can click on any images below to enlarge.
First concept today comes from reader Alan Filipczak, who has “Pilots” concept for baseball…and an old “Pilots” (different city even) concept for hockey:
I see that you’re taking concept designs for Uni Watch again, so I thought I’d send this logo concept your way.
With the way Rob Manfred has been talking, it seems that we are likely to see a round of expansion in MLB at some point in the next few years. Cities like Montreal, Las Vegas, Indy, etc. are often tossed around as possibilities, but it’s hard to ignore Charlotte, North Carolina, where the Knights have been the perennial top draw in Triple-A. While thinking about possible identities for a Carolina-based club, I thought immediately of the Wright Brothers/Kitty Hawk and how ‘Pilots’ is my favorite team nickname not currently in use in the Big Four. Heck, I even submitted an Ohio Pilots NHL concept to Uni Watch a few years ago:
For a Charlotte Pilots cap logo, I came up with the idea of an old-style plane propeller made up of the letters C and P. After about a month of doodling during slow times at work, I drew something I felt was worth digitizing. The overall shape of the propeller is as close as I could get the the original Wright Bros. plane propeller while still maintaining the C and P. I chose brown for the logo as a tip of the hat to the original wooden plane and also since (at least until the Padres wise up) it is basically nonexistent in MLB. After toying with white, green, etc. for a primary color, I settled on sky blue for both the sky (of course) and also for thematic connection with some of North Carolina’s other pro and collegiate teams. I’m not sure how I feel about the light blue/brown combo–the same colors as my shower curtain–and I also debated between ‘Charlotte’ and ‘Carolina’ as place names. Both have good assonance with ‘Pilots,’ but Charlotte Pilots was too catchy to ignore. What say you, readers?
And rounding things out today is George Morris who has a bunch of Fantasy League concepts — I’ll run them as a slideshow and give a link to the set for those who can’t see the show. Here’s George:
Paul & Phil,
My Fantasy Baseball league is going into its 15th year and to celebrate my friend, Steve Salayda, created these uniforms for each of the teams in the league. He has been tinkering with these for several months and just this past week has revealed them to our league one day at a time. I thought they looked great and wanted to share his work with not just us in the league but anyone out there that enjoys uniforms.
If you can’t see the show, here’s a link to the set.
Thanks for taking a look at these and I would love to see them possibly on the site and send a link over to my friend to give him the surprise of a lifetime that his work is up on your site!
Thank you guys,
That’s it for today. Keep sending those concepts in to me!
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 Gary Waltrich:
The candidates for best baseball card I’ve seen on your site have all been action photos. I’d like to offer an alternate perspective. A good baseball card (or photo for that matter) gives you an insight into the character of the subject. Ernie Banks’ 1967 card shows him happy to pose for the photographer, handsome smile, in all his “Let’s play two” glory. It’s always been my favorite.
And we conclude today with Bill Gee:
This is one of my favorite hockey cards: Don Cherry as coach of the Bruins from 1974-75. Love the “natural” air-brushed face and the back of the card which lists his coaching experience as “None”.
Love him or hate him, he’s had a damn fine career.
Dig your “perfect” card blogs.
Thank you, Bill G.
I almost ran out of submissions, but a couple of you stepped up to the plate this week with some new ones, but if you guys want to keep this little show & tell going, please send me your “perfect” card, my e-mail address is above.
In Case You Missed It…Paul’s Latest ESPN Piece
At first glance, Chris Paul and David West don’t appear to have much in common. But Paul and West share an unusual uni-related distinction: They are the last two NBA players to have worn a captain’s “C” on their jerseys. It happened in 2011, when they served as co-captains for the New Orleans Hornets.
In case you missed it on Friday, Paul’s latest ESPN column looks back at NBA players who’ve worn the captain’s “C” (including the 10 players who’ve done so for the Bucks, by far the most of any team).
If you didn’t read Paul’s latest piece, here ya go.
Good stuff there!
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: Check this out! David Dinsmore III unearthed this photo of the 1978 Alexandria Mariners farm club with Mariners trident era paired with blue & yellow A’s style caps. … “Watching the Padres game (Friday) night and saw at least Wil Myers is wearing brown and yellow shoes with orange laces along with a brown undershirt to accent the flash back Friday unis,” says Jason Ricles, “where last year most of the players wore the regular blue shoes and undershirt with the unis.” …
The Los Gigantes wore their Spanish-name jerseys on Cinco de Mayo. Submitter Scott Seeger asks, “Does Gigantes on the Giants away grey unis make them one of the teams to break from NAH-COR? Is it SNOR (spanish name on road)?’ The Giants’ opponents, the Los Rojos, also played along with the SNOJ (Spanish Name On Jersey). H/T to Brian Henke. … It doesn’t get more Mets than this: on Friday night, after their great comeback win over the Marlins, the Mets accidentally tweeted a photo showing a sex toy in Kevin Plawecki’s locker (from Douglas Ford). … May the Sixth be with you? The Carolina Mudcats wore these Star Wars-inspired jerseys yesterday (h/t Ron Duany Derksen). … Check out this beautifully designed ticket for Gm”‹ 5 of the 1929 World Series Shibe Park. Alex Cheremeteff” notes the Athletics scored 3 in the bottom of the 9th to beat Cubs, 3-2. … The Tacoma Rainiers “became” the Tacoma Cubs for 24 hours yesterday. Pretty cool powder blue jersey and tri color cap (via Tacoma Rainiers). … I’m sure we’ve seen this before, but here’s a great photo of the 1975 AL ASG Team, featuring several A’s players wearing gold, green and white jerseys! (from Gregg Inkpen). … A winery in Byron, California uses a logo very similar to the SF Giants logo. Rich Paloma adds, winery owner Ric Campos is a huge Giants fan and had the shirt designed as a promotion. … Also from Gregg Inkpen, check out some Mets family day photos, with kids in uniform — very similar to my first uniform! … Ted Ziegler saw that and said “This was my father/son jersey when my dad was the Senators’ trainer.” … Check out Lou Brock circa 1975, with a Cardinals logo on his helmet (from Gregg again). … Colorado Mesa baseball player Ryan Teixeira passed away earlier this year after a long battle with leukemia. So, before their conference matchup, the Metro State Roadrunners honored Mesa with a No. 17 Teixeira jersey. The logos of both teams were on each of the sleeves. … The Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals will play a Negro League Throwback game today as the Buckeyes and Monarchs. Should be a beauty of a game. Here’s a bit more on that. … Chris Young hit 2 home runs and revealed an undershirt supporting Red Sox minor leaguer Kevin Steen, who was injured in a car accident (nice spot by Steve Hayes). … Robert Hayes notes that the Oklahoma State softball team has some sweet stirrups, but that logo creep…ugh! … Here’s an excerpt from an upcoming book about the Durham Bulls, “NO BULL: The Real Story of the Rebirth of a Team and a City” by Ron Morris (h/t James Gilbert). … Great uni for BYU, but those faux stirrups irk me for some reason (from JustinSr). … The Buffalo Bisons (should that be “Bison”???) will be sporting some Blue Jays-esque powder blues on May 20-21 (h/t MiLB Promos). … Yesterday we reported on the sad news that Chris Archer is going pajama’ed — for every bad there is a good: Josh Tomlin had NEVER worn high cuffed pants until yesterday. He pitched 7 strong innings and got the win, coincidence? (h/t Robert Hayes). Apparently the preceding item is not correct. Still, high cuffs is a good look. … Much like the Yankees base coaches still wear shiny hats on the road (the team wears matte), the Mariners ballgirls haven’t switched to matte either (from Ryan Wetstein). … In what I can only surmise is a breast cancer awareness event, the Charlotte Knights had pink batters boxes (from Matt Brown). … “I stumbled upon this artist on Instagram and it doesn’t look like he has a big following but would really appeal to the Uni Watch crowd,” says Tim Forster: Performance art in full Expos uniform! Tim adds, “Judging from his Instagrams it looks like he made the uniform and even chain stitched his own patch! He also does really cool work with his old card collection.”
NFL/NCAA-College/CFL/Football News: Tweeter Chris Howell “Stumbled upon something odd, the CFL sells jerseys with no numbers (and Edmonton has their logo on front).” … Following up on yesterday’s lede about pro football teams that never took the field, Josh Medore notes a semipro team, but FXFL announced Mahoning Valley Brawlers in 2015 and team folded two months later. The teams never revealed unis but had helmets at unveil. Here’s video of introductory press conference with a logo and helmets. … “Don Coryell’s polyester slacks need to be in the Hall of Fame,” says Miles Filbert. “And, I also need a pair.” … Former Virginia Tech WR Isaiah Ford will wear #15 for the Miami Dolphins (from Andrew Cosentino). … “Ever had any previous reports of twin font styles within the same game for the 1972 Bears road games?” asks Jerry Grefenstette. “I was recently viewing some old “This Week in Pro Football” episodes on youtube, and noticed that the 1972 Bears apparently went to a plain block style font for their numerals for their first three road games, different from their traditional rounded numerals. However, my eye caught a few examples of at least two players wearing the other font within the same game vs. St. Louis ”” #21 Cecil Turner and #24 Don Shy. The Bears went back to their rounded numerals just a week later. Maybe these slipped into the locker room a week early?” … Hey Cleveland (and Baltimore?) — wanna hate Art Model even more? No pics, but here’s an observation from reader George Ashburn: “Art Modell also had a huge part in destroying the Bombers. He was quoted in Sports Illustrated as saying ‘The NFL has no business being in Baltimore’. If you look at early 90’s Browns Media Guides, you will see that the mailing address for the Browns Backers Clubs was in Owings Mills Maryland. Modell was planning the move for years. There is even another sign of this that I personally witnessed at a Browns’ Charity Function.” … “Check out this awesome Football Equipment Trunk we picked up at @Ducks_Equipment Surplus Sale today,” says Nevada Wolf Pack student Damon Hirschensohn”.
Hockey News: Some interesting uni tidbits in this article on the new Vegas Golden Knights: “When can you expect to buy a Golden Knights jersey? Team president Kerry Bubolz said it might not be until August. … If that’s the case, what will be presented to the players selected in the expansion draft on June 21? And what about those selected at the entry draft on June 23-24? The NHL’s tradition is to have the player pull on a team sweater and pose for pictures.” … Sweet old Buffalo Bills jacket seen behind the bench at the Rangers/Senators game yesterday (from Sports Funhouse). … NBCSN “needs to get its #ish together as using Two different @Senators logos” opines DHG1984
NBA/College Basketball News: Here’s a pretty interesting NCAA 2017 Mens Final Four tee shirt spotted in a Phoenix area Target on May 6th (from Adam Vitcavage). … Here’s (what I think is) a first look at a Rutgers jersey with a three stripe logo (h/t Steven Durso). … With the Kentucky Derby yesterday, NBA tv made jockey silks for the playoff matchups (from Paul Kos). … “Waaaaariors come out to plaaaaay!” writes Timmy Westside. “Great warm ups for Golden State.”
Soccer News: Most of us have a soft spot for throwbacks (even those awful unis of yesteryear we still want to see again, even if only for a fleeting game), but this article thinks there are five MLS throwback uniforms that do not need to come back. … These are apparently the new kits for Stoke City for 2017-18 (h/t Ron Duany Derksen”). … It was apparently throwback night for the LA Galaxy, so check out that logo on the scoreboard (from Tom Gelehrter).
Grab Bag: Interesting and awesome skywriting at the NOLA Jazz Fest (h/t Wayne Muller). … “Cleaning at home and found this patch from 1984 @Olympics in #Sarajevo. Been w/ me since then,” says Mark Johnson. I’m sure Jimmer Vilk approves. … Here’s a nice article on Candlepin bowling (and it’s “angry” star). From Ran Isaacs. … There is now a Pharrell x Adidas Tennis Hu in Jersey Mesh (This leaked collab debuts a new material for the model.) … The UNC Library exhibit honoring Charles Scott and the integration of varsity sports at UNC has been extended till the end of May. Here’s a preview (h/t James Gilbert). … This chart on sandwiches is interesting but wrong — I doubt anyone but Jimmer Vilk would consider a Pop Tart a sandwich (h/t Kevin Zdancewicz). … This Tequila Sunrise golf cart was spotted in Houston by Mike Klug. … The singlet has been a staple of wrestling for like, forever. But will it soon be extinct? (from TommyTheCPA).
And that’s it for today. Thanks to Bill Hetrick for sharing all that wonderful stuff he has in his fan, er, phancave. Tremendous
Everyone have a great Sunday, and I’ll catch you guys next weekend, but until then…
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“The first rule of the ‘Perfect’ Baseball Card is the card can’t feature a roided up child molester so we are going to have to pass on that Clemens card.”