By Phil Hecken
Folks, I’m gonna be honest with you here — this was one of those games I really wanted to see, but I was teaching curling for most of the evening yesterday, and I literally got home in time to see the last minute of play. I was especially curious to see how the Maple Leafs, who were basically clad in an all white uniform, would look on the ice. From the one minute I saw, they looked pretty good.
The game itself had a lot to offer. It was played in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, and featured an “aircraft carrier” motif for the infield:
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 3, 2018
It was a lot of work to transform Navy’s football stadium into a hockey rink:
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 3, 2018
As is the case with these outdoor games, the teams marched into the stadium accompanied by marching bands and all the pomp and circumstance you’d expect. Since the game was played in the Navy’s football stadium, it was also accompanied by a flyover.
All of that set the stage for the game. From what I saw, and the still photos of the game, it seemed like Toronto’s all white uniforms were easily discernable from the ice and the boards, which had been my fear going in.
The uniforms were, in fact, whiter than either the boards or the ice (and it actually didn’t hurt that the dasher boards had ads on them). In the long shots, you can really see the difference:
Still, while the Leafs weren’t camouflaged, that didn’t mean it was the easiest thing to see.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 4, 2018
I really liked the sweater the Leafs wore, but I do hope they retire the pants. As much as I wanted to see them, I’ve come to the conclusion that a one-and-done might be best. But I would LOVE it if the Leafs wear the sweater again, preferably with blue pants. How gorgeous is this?
The Capitals won the visibility battle, for sure, but their uniforms weren’t anything all that special. They weren’t terrible or anything, but I’m just not a fan of mono-navy for the team:
Yes they were red-white-and-blue, but the big red stripe on the hem (repeated on the sleeves and top of the socks) combined with the white yoke on the shoulders and the knees (plus the big honking “W” on the pants) was probably not one of the Caps better looks.
Several of the Capitals came out for the pre game skate in “skull” masks (I don’t think it was that cold, so this was probably more for affect than warmth).
The Leafs all came out wearing beautiful white toques:
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 4, 2018
Of course, due to my own curling, I missed the best part of this game, when the Gold Winning US Men’s Curling team curled the puck to center ice for the start of the game…
— Al N. Kreit (@tierknala) March 4, 2018
… or the next coolest when the US Women’s Hockey Team (who also won the gold medal at the 2018 Olympics) were saluted:
Good as gold.
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) March 4, 2018
Couple more interesting bits: (1) As mentioned, the game was played atop a “mock” aircraft carrier, which was complete with a mock-F18 jet which had the NHL logo in addition to the Leafs and Caps logos:
It’s tough to read, but the yellow writing on the side of the boards carries a warning which reads “Beware of jet blasts, propellers, and flying pucks.” Pretty cool (if you click to enlarge and then enlarge again, you should be able to make it out)!
I hope you fine folks were able to see the game and can fill in any of the little details I may have missed (like the lights going out in the third period). Was this like a 49ers/Ravens blackout or ???
I apologize for not having better coverage of this game (and I am really am pissed I missed it — yes I could have DVR’ed it, but lets be honest, if I didn’t see this one live, I doubt I’d have watched it on delay). Four hours on ice myself teaching 240 (of which about 1/4th that number came thru my station) people to curl in 15 minute segments wiped me out.
For those of you who did see the game, your thoughts?
[My thanks to James Beattie, L.J. Sparvero, and Al N. Kreit for their contributions to this section.]
Old Time Base Ball Photos
Readers will recall I featured Ronnie Bolton (who posts on Twitter as @OTBaseballPhoto and who you should definitely follow) earlier this year with some great football played on baseball field photos and writeups. As his twitter handle implies, Ronnie’s specialty is old baseball photos.
I mentioned in that article I’d have Ronnie back periodically, and he returns today. Now that Major League Baseball’s Spring Training is in full swing (pardon the pun), I asked Ron if he could delve into the archives for some tasty ST bits. As usual, he didn’t disappoint…
Enjoy. Here’s Ronnie:
Dodgers spring training in Cuba
The Brooklyn Dodgers spent three spring training’s in Cuba (1941-42 and 1947) and the last time was historically significant as Jackie Robinson had just joined the club and was the main reason for the third trip to this northern Caribbean island, Dodgers GM Branch Rickey wanted to isolate Robinson from any possible distractions.
The 1942 trip included a raucous night with Ernest Hemingway, who owned an estate in Cuba and invited some of the Dodgers over for some drinks. One of the players was relief pitcher Hugh Casey, who Hemingway, influenced by rum no doubt, challenged to a boxing match, where upon Casey reluctantly pounded the legendary author into the ground.
Jackie Robinson & Leo Durocher
Americans have always been fascinated with Cuba, its beauty and its mystery. This 1947 photo shows famed baseball manager Leo Durocher in Havana with Jackie Robinson. This was the year that Jackie was promoted from Triple-A Montreal to the Brooklyn Dodgers to break the color barrier in baseball.
Dodgers at Stadium LaTropical
One of dozens of Life magazine photos taken by William Vandivert during the Brooklyn Dodgers’ spring training trip to Havana in 1942. Visible are the first-base grandstands at Stadium La Tropical.
Giants Spring training 1912
This photo my partner at Old-Time Baseball Photos, Gary Livacari, posted on our page and blog site, here is an excerpt:
After a little sleuthing we were able to determine it was from Emerson Park in Marlin, Texas where the Giants held spring training from 1908-1918. Besides McGraw, we identified Heine Groh (to the right of McGraw), probably minor leaguer Gus Gardella holding the bat, coach Arlie Latham in the middle, and Jeff Tesseau (without the cap). Not sure who the player on the far right is.
Interesting in how casual spring training was so far away from city eyes, the uniforms while they seem to be from the 1911 season are a mishmash of the road and home uniforms.
Walking on the tracks
Giants players walking the mile along the train tracks from their hotel in Marlin, Texas to Emerson Field.
Thanks, Ronnie. He’ll be back periodically with more wonderful old photos and the backstories that go with them.
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: We know the Iowa Hawkeyes football team pretty much copied the Pittsburgh Steelers look for football, but did you know their baseball team looks a lot like the Pirates? (from Phillip Tutor). … Over in the NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball), the Softbank Hawks wore 80th Anniversary jerseys w/ Nankai Hawks Helmet and Hat Logo. The Chunichi Dragons wore Senichi Hoshino memorial throwbacks with his red #77 on the front (from @MistaMaxG). … Neat old Yanks wire photo from Bruce Menard, who describes it: “How The Yankee Hurlers Throw ‘Em” (March 3, 1936) *Uniform note: the guys are still wearing their pinstriped #Yankees jerseys without the “NY” logo, it would be reintroduced for the ‘36 regular season! … I love MiLB: It’s going to be a fun day when the Rochester Plates (Red Wings) and Syracuse Salt Potatoes (Chiefs) square off in the Duel of the Dishes on Thursday, June 21 at Frontier Field (from MiLB Promos). … Austin Peay broke out some new button front jerseys yesterday (from Austin Peay Baseball). … Here’s a great pic of the St. Looey Cardinals powder blues, from Goat Jerseys. Although he didn’t identify it, we can tell the photo is from 1982 because of the black memorial bands on the left sleeves. On September 7, 1982, former Cardinals third baseman and manager Ken Boyer passed away. In memoriam the Cardinals wore a black armband for the remainder of the 1982 season. … Hmmm, it appears both the Mets and Marlins have new logos, at least according to WABC-7 TV in New York (nice screen cap by Tom Tell). … “A friend sent this from the Braves Spring Training store in Florida,” says David Gadd. “Cacti in Florida?” I am sure some cacti do exist in Florida, but those look like Seguaro which are definitely NOT native to the state. … Interestingly enough, Mike Nessen noticed the exact same thing! … Jimmer Vilk didn’t provide any context for his MLB standings board, but he did a nice job on it (even if he’s waaaaaay off on the final order of finish). … Yesterday Vanderbilt baseball wore an alternate gray crown/black brim cap (from Lee Wilds). … VERY cool timelapse of the creation of Forbes Field on a board (from Jeff Callahan). … JD Martinez is going FNOB with the Red Sox despite no other Martinezes on the team (from our own Anthony Emerson).
NFL News: A follow up from a while ago: “You might recall a couple months ago that I spotted Hornung wearing his kicking shoe while carrying the ball,” says Matt DeMazza. “Here’s another. The caption makes it sound like it was a play from scrimmage. Hmm.” … Reader Joseph A. Bailey was watching “the Timeline” about Peyton Manning’s time in the offseason. “He’s at Tennessee working with the Vols. He’s got a Tennessee hat but it’s got the NFL Equipment shield. Has anyone seen the college/nfl combo before?” … Jon Solomonson sent along this New Yorker cartoon (without context) and simply says “LOL.” Guess no context is needed, right Packerheads? … Tweeter Mike Tocco is “at the Scouting Combine in Indy and I think I can tell who this @Browns fan wants drafted for his favorite team.” … They wouldn’t do badly to keep this pretty much in tact: “While walking through the airport in Las Vegas on my way home to New Orleans, I spotted this interesting shirt repurposing the Raiders shield logo, along with plenty of other official Raiders paraphernalia,” says Christopher Fox. “No doubt Vegas is ready for the Raiders as much as I hate for them to leave their original home in Oakland.” … I have no idea if this mockup is what the Jaguars new uniforms will look like, but it’s surely an improvement (sent by April Medgate).
Hockey News: Unfortunately, I’m not sure of the date for this old press clipping, but check out the Minnesota North Stars logo designs (nice find from Tom O’Grady). The team first began play in the NHL in 1967, so if we assume this is pre-entry, that would date the photo from sometime before the start of the 1967 season. … The Halifax Mooseheads have released a 25th anniversary logo for next season (from @n2balex). … The e-mail to Uni Watching simply read “Worcester Railers” (from Stan Capp), so I’m not sure of the context for these Superhero Costumes, but they looked pretty cool.
College Hoops News: Is nothing sacred? I mean seriously — yesterday, the Clemson Men’s Hoops team broke out black for black’s sake uniforms (thanks, I think, to Brad Darby). … The Charlotte 49ers Men’s Hoops team broke out Gold and Green uniforms yesterday as part of an auction to benefit Levine’s Children’s Hospital (from Ted Chastain). … Even thought the plan was originally for the KSU Wildcats to only wear their lavender throwbacks once, they have broken them out several times this year, including yesterday (a couple people pointed me to this). … Yesterday, Xavier and DePaul played on on the Big East women’s tournament floor in Chicago (from our own Alex Hider). … Someone tracked Alabama’s record by uni for their regular season. Perhaps not surprisingly, they only wore two different combos, much like their much more successful football team (from @ProcessBama). … “Could Bruce Pearl possibly be that sweaty?” asks
Steven Lobejko. “Is he wearing some odd two-tone shirt, or is he that soaked with sweat?”
Grab Bag: “Watching some (Tim Horton’s) Brier curling action on TV,” writes Wade Heidt. “Team British Columbia is wearing their usual logo on the back of the jackets. Worn the same logo for many years. Got me thinking about why it has similarity in design to the logo for the BC Lions. I have tried to research and have no ever found an explanation to this interesting mystery. Shot of the back of the jacket showing the logo (from a previous Brier but still the same this year. The logo for the BC Lions.”