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Leafs and Caps Do It Outside

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:

It was a lot of work to transform Navy’s football stadium into a hockey rink:

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.

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:

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…

… or the next coolest when the US Women’s Hockey Team (who also won the gold medal at the 2018 Olympics) were saluted:

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.]

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Walking on the tracks

Giants players walking the mile along the train tracks from their hotel in Marlin, Texas to Emerson Field.

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Thanks, Ronnie. He’ll be back periodically with more wonderful old photos and the backstories that go with them.

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

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?”

Soccer News: MLS kicked off its season yesterday (if you missed the preview of the unis click here or here). Last night, FC Dallas had Texas State flags as their corner flags (from Greggo).

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.”

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27 comments to Leafs and Caps Do It Outside

  • MJ | March 4, 2018 at 9:01 am |

    Bruce Pearl’s two-tone job is the shadow from the cut of his suit coat. Does anybody sweat in a straight line that coincidentally ends where the jacket does?

    • PL | March 5, 2018 at 3:43 pm |

      To me it’s a pattern on the shirt, if you look closely it’s not straight at the bottom where it’s tucked in. Plus it seems to go over the shoulders as well…

  • Bill Moss | March 4, 2018 at 9:12 am |

    The Caps looked like a hockey team. The Leafs looked like the Indianapolis Colts on skates.

  • Kristopher | March 4, 2018 at 9:19 am |

    I didn’t think there was a way to make Peyton Manning’s head look any bigger, but the angle of that photo does the job.

  • Wade Heidt | March 4, 2018 at 9:20 am |

    Power outage at the outdoor hockey game was about 10 minutes. I missed that part of the game. Some description about it in this story:

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/2018/03/03/lights-temporarily-go-out-navy-stadium-delaying-play-between-capitals-maple-leafs/392928002/

    The aircraft carrier design for the rink area was awesome.

    The Leafs jerseys are excellent. This uniform would look so much better with the blue gloves and blue pants. NHL teams will have 3rd uniforms next season. Maybe this jersey could be an option for the Leafs with blue pants/gloves, though it is a second white jersey.

    Would be happy if this were a one and done look for the Capitals. Could be a base for a new navy 3rd uniform next year but would need a lot of fixing.

  • Ken | March 4, 2018 at 9:21 am |

    Outdoor game observations
    1) windy in spots, face covering needed
    2) good mix of military pomp (each team entered to their military pipe & drum) [Caps came out to the top gun theme]
    3) the cheers for the curlers was just as loud as for the hockey team ~ John Shuster is a very fun guy (chance meet after game) also during the fan fest the women’s team was very approachable for pictures & autograpHs (my daughter got about 10 signatures on her jersey)
    4) Powder outage happen right at 10 minutes in 3rd, when they planned to do a hard break to change ends..during the outage fans turned on their cellphones to add to the light

    Having been to all 3 of the outdoor game the Caps have been involved in this was the most fun

  • Wade Heidt | March 4, 2018 at 9:26 am |

    Further comment about the Team BC logo on the jackets at the Brier and their similarity to the BC Lions logo.

    The letters on the curling team’s logo have even greater similarity to the original version of this BC Lions logo. Original version of this logo was introduced in 1978 back in the Lions’ orange and brown days. Here is a look for comparison:

    http://www.bidami.com/pics/48116_01_lg.jpg

  • Mark in Shiga | March 4, 2018 at 10:33 am |

    Bonus trivia regarding the memorial uniforms that the Chunichi Dragons wore for Sen’ichi Hoshino: they all had #77 (his managing number) on the front, and #20 (his number when he was a pitcher) on the back!

    Also, typo alert: in the 1912 Giants photo, I think it’s Jeff Tesreau, not *Tesseau. No relation to Claude Passeau, of course.

  • Raymond Schaefer | March 4, 2018 at 11:15 am |

    I love the K-State two-tone roadies. That’s what the men’s basketball team wore when I went to school there. As for this year’s throwback, I think ‘we’re undefeated in them. It’s the Power of Purple (or the Allure of Lavender)!

  • Colin | March 4, 2018 at 11:25 am |

    Those Leafs white pants worked surprisingly well. But to me, white hockey pants are one and done.

  • Mangler | March 4, 2018 at 11:53 am |

    First photo of Dodgers spring training in Cuba: That’s not Jackie Robinson (?)

    • Ronnie Bolton | March 4, 2018 at 12:16 pm |

      It’s definitely not Jackie even so I believe the photo to be from 1947. Also Jackie wore #9 with Montreal Royals the year before and no one from the Dodgers wore #42 that year either, so I imagine it’s either a player trying to make the roster (minor leaguer, free agent) or a coach wearing #42 in this photo

  • Dynamic Threads | March 4, 2018 at 12:49 pm |

    This is the one instance where I think mixing sports and military is acceptable, obviously because of the venue. But I think they should be kept separate. Sports is supposed to be a time when we set aside political stuff.

    It’s part of why I thought to Olympics were unwatchable this year. All they talked about was politics. It was disgusting.

  • Steve D | March 4, 2018 at 4:21 pm |

    The Cardinals wore the armband in the 1982 World Series as well. In that series, both teams wore powder blue on the road. That also happened in 1980 (Phillies vs. Royals). Don’t know of any other times…the Cards were in gray in 1985 vs. Royals.

  • Mangler | March 4, 2018 at 5:38 pm |

    The Worcester Railers (NY Islanders affiliate in the ECHL) wore Captain America jerseys on Friday and Saturday, and defeated the Wheeling Nailers in both games. This item from the club’s website mentions several occasions when the Railers will wear special uniforms in conjunction with charities, but there were no charities connected with this particular promotion.

    http://railershc.com/worcester-railers-hc-announce-2017-18-promotional-schedule/

    • Stan Capp | March 5, 2018 at 10:25 am |

      thanks for giving more info. I was in a rush to get the email to Paul and didn’t give him much info ha!

  • EARL WILSON | March 4, 2018 at 6:15 pm |

    Go back to Pearls Tennessee days and he sweated through a light gray suit in a Florida game. It looked like it changed colors.

  • Niel | March 4, 2018 at 7:34 pm |

    How much did the DoD pay the NHL for their 3 hour recruitment video?

  • Bruce Leroy | March 4, 2018 at 7:55 pm |

    Unable to offer visual evidence via my phone but Pacers vs Wizards looks ABA as hell if you overlook the length of the shorts.

  • Scott Mason | March 5, 2018 at 9:41 am |

    I’m in agreement with Steve D about the Cardinals…that was from Game 4 of the 1982 World Series when Doug Bair took the loss. A day game in the World Series (that game started at 12:20)??? Wow, who knew (insert tongue in cheek here)?

  • Derek | March 5, 2018 at 12:40 pm |

    Looks like Austin Peay’s jerseys are faux-button down, two-button pullovers based off the stitching going across above the logo

    • Tres Lawless | March 5, 2018 at 4:52 pm |

      You are correct. I am a manager for the team and was fortunate enough to design the jersey, along with pants and a new black jersey.

  • Munch Suchland | March 5, 2018 at 2:48 pm |

    Love the old baseball photos. I was surprised to see that Giants team walking on the tracks photo. I’m from a very small town in Ohio – New Bremen – and one of the players in that photo is Al Huenke, who played just ONE game with the Giants. A buddy of mine made some “trading cards” of the 2 guys that made the majors from New Bremen. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10209137029087335&set=o.220119264831604&type=3&theater

  • Will | March 5, 2018 at 5:03 pm |

    I liked the Leafs jerseys, as a Leafs fan and a Canadian it was like rubbing salt into the wounds starting with the US Gold Medal winners “Curling” out the first puck, then revisiting the US Women’s Team Gold Medal – followed by a 5-2 loss. Grrr.

  • JR | March 5, 2018 at 9:39 pm |

    I was at the Caps-Leafs game and it WAS cold. High 30s but stiff winds that hammered D.C area all weekend. And Leafs were easy to see against ice and boards. But glare made following the puck a challenge from our upper deck seats. Overall a great venue and USNA did a terrific job.

  • JR | March 5, 2018 at 9:41 pm |

    BTW, Leafs sweaters were great, another in a long line from the best uni set in sports.

  • John McMunn | March 9, 2018 at 12:01 am |

    Personally I am not a fan of the all white unis that the Maple Leafs wore. They look too much like the Pillsbury Doughboy. Prefer some degree of contrast.