For all photos, click to enlarge
The NBA commemorated Martin Luther King Jr. Day yesterday, as players throughout the league wore “I Have a Dream” shirts during pregame warm-ups. Naturally, I could have done without the NIke maker’s mark, but whaddaya gonna do.
Here’s how the shirts looked on the back:
The Grizzlies went a step further, debuting their new MLK-themed alternate uniforms, which are based on signage from the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers’ strike. The minimalist design looked great on the court:
TOO STRONG! pic.twitter.com/vsNKLYS8VN
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) January 16, 2018
The NBA relaxes its sneaker regulations on MLK Day, so several players wore special designs and messages for the holiday:
The uni-related tribute to Dr. King went beyond the NBA. Hudson Catholic High School in Massachusetts wore “Equality” warm-up tops:
Meanwhile, in a nice baseball development, the Double-A Birmingham Barons used the holiday to announce that they’ll have a new alternate jersey this season featuring the text of MLK’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”:
— Birmingham Barons (@BhamBarons) January 15, 2018
I’m sure there were other uni-related MLK celebrations that I missed. If so, please feel free to post them in the comments.
(My thanks to Zach Loesl and Phil for their contributions to this section.)
Zebra loses some fur: A ref who was working a high school game in Kentucky last week had an embarrassing moment when the ball hit him in the head and dislodged his toupee!
That got me thinking: Baseball umps and football officials all wear caps; hockey officials all wear helmets. But basketball refs have their heads uncovered. Soccer refs, too. I wonder if they’re more inclined to wear toupees. Hmmmm.
(My thanks to @profjimmyc for this one.)
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By Brinke Guthrie
Paint the teams the way you want to (paints not included!) with this 1967 NFL Aurora model kit. You can even paint them the way this vivid box cover shows, with both teams — obviously the Bears and the Niners — wearing colored jerseys! [As an aside, I’d say this is one of the best-looking CC splash-photo items ever. — PL]
Now for the rest of this week’s picks:
• “Watch the NBA ‘over’ ABC.” That’s the slogan on this drink coaster from Pabst Blue Ribbon.
• From the 1960s: NHL Power-Play Electric Hockey is “the fastest and most realistic hockey game in the world!”. Sounds good enough for me!
• The Falcons weren’t able to advance in the NFL playoffs this past weekend, but their fans can still celebrate their season with this set of promo bumper stickers from Frito-Lay. A total of 16 included in the auction lot.
• Luv Ya Blue! Diehard Oilers fans can watch the Big Game with this vintage Oilers picnic helmet.
• Speaking of the Oilers, here’s a 1960 Kra-Lite RK2 Oilers helmet. Looks pretty bare-bones, right?
• I sincerely doubt that this thin, vinyl 1970s San Francisco Giants giveaway jacket would’ve kept away the Candlestick chill. Your sponsor was “Dubuque Plumpers” (a hot dog brand).
• The Minnesota North Stars had such a simple, clean logo. It’s nicely displayed on this 1970s milk mug, which is still in very good condition.
• Apex made this Super Bowl jacket for the Bills/Cowboys matchup in January of 1994. No teams on this one, just the peach motif since the game was held in Atlanta.
• Ovaltine was part of the 1960s “NFL Training Table” and this 1969 promo folder/package is so labeled, but the cover artwork is as generic as they come.
• Football is a “Thinking Man’s” game, at least according to this 1969 board game.
By Alex Hider
Baseball News: Interesting note about former Cub Juan Pierre from this blog: When asked to sign a 2006 Topps card, Pierre made sure to mention “that this was a spring training photo. (Former Cub Matt) Murton asked, ‘How can you tell?’ Pierre replied, ‘I only wore my socks down in the spring!'” (From Jeff Wilk.) … There’s a bit of an oddity on this 1990 Upper Deck Wade Boggs card: Two players, both in different home uniforms, high-fiving at home plate. That’s because the photo was taken at the 1989 All-Star Game (from Jay Pritchard). … Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III discusses the team’s decision to wear red caps on the road, the Cardinals’ third uniform, special weekend unifroms and his 2012 interview with Uni Watch at 54:40 of this podcast (from @2xAught7). … Matt Ryburn came into possession of some ’80s-era Dodgers tickets (which barely changed from 1984-88) after his parents found them while cleaning out their house, including a 1983 stub commemorating the team’s 25th anniversary in LA and a 1984 stub advertising the Los Angeles Olympics to be held later that year. … Someone in Houston is driving around in a tequila sunrise pickup truck (from Nick Lineback). … Not to be outdone, Gilbert Sarabia sent along a photo of an Astros boat. … A designer put together some hockey sweater concepts for some Major League Baseball teams (from C.J. Burks). … Here are the accessories TCU will be using this season (from Joe Nocella). … South Carolina players also got their new accessories yesterday (from Phil). … Here are the gloves that Oklahoma State players will be wearing this season (from Nick Baril). … Mid-Maryland United, a youth travel team, will have new uniforms next season. … The Blue Jays are the latest team to announce that they’ll be extending the protective netting at their stadium.
NFL News: This thread breaks down the possible end zone designs for Super Bowl LII (from Jeff Flynn). … In 1966, the goal line sign at Busch Stadium pointed the Cardinals toward “Pay Dirt” (from Bill Kellick). … Angus O’Keefe photoshopped the AFC Championship and NFC Championship matchups onto football helmets. … Matthew Wolfram spotted this strange Rob Gronkowski denim jacket at a gym in Los Angeles recently.
College Football News: It looks like Iowa State will have new threads come next season (from Phil and Kary Klismet). … Here are some mockups of proposed changes to North Carolina’s Kenan Memorial Stadium, most of which never happened (from James Gilbert).
Hockey News: The Kings gave away this awesome poster prior to their game with the Sharks yesterday (from Brian Wulff). … Cross-listed from the baseball section: A designer put together some hockey sweater concepts for some Major League Baseball teams (from C.J. Burks). … The San Jose Barracuda went formal for Tuxedo Night yesterday (from Kyle Minogue).
Basketball News: RJ Hunter, newly signed by the Rockets, got into last night’s game against the Clippers but didn’t have his name on his jersey. … Fox Sports Wisconsin was using old Bucks and Nets logos in a graphic yesterday — but the logos were from two completely different eras (from Ryan Ziegler). … This guy has a lot of Blake Griffin jerseys (from Dan Kennedy). … Teams in Australia’s National Basketball League are participating in Heritage Month, which includes teams wearing throwback jerseys to the league’s inaugural season, 1978. But the Perth Wildcats have chosen to wear their throwback design in their modern color scheme of red and white — and include uni ads. The team used to wear black and yellow (from Richard Meloy).
Soccer News: Wales has hired Ryan Giggs as its new manager and introduced him yesterday with a NOF (name on front) jersey (from Thomas Courtman). … The blog post runs down the new clubs that will be joining the USL this season (from Josh Hinton). … Similarly, this piece discusses the rise and fall of the NASL (also from Josh Hinton). … Grimsby Town FC of England’s League Two is asking Luton Town FC supporters to wear retro shirts to raise awareness for Sporting Memories, a charity that deals with dementia, when the two clubs play on Jan. 27 (from The Boot Room). … New official match ball for Poland’s top league, Ekstraklasa (from Ed Zelaski).
Grab Bag: Tennis star Maria Sharapova played Tatjana Maria of Germany in the Australian Open last night, which made for some score bug shenanigans (from Ben and John). … This artist literally paints pictures (many of them sports related) with words (from Jim Brunetti). … John Cronin, a 21-year-old Long Island man with Down syndrome, told his father he wanted to start a business after he graduated high school. Just two years later, he’s built a $1.4 million sock company (from Ted Arnold). … Apparently, Kim Kardashian’s trash cans have a Louis Vuitton pattern (from James Gilbert).