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Lucky 13

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Uni Watch girl mascot Caitlin turns 13 today. That’s about 68 in human years, but you’d never know it from watching her — she’s still the same little monkey she’s always been, inquisitively investigating everything, periodically getting ants in her pants and racing back and forth for no apparent reason, and chatterboxing throughout all of it. She’s the best!

One of the many awesome things about Caitlin is that she spends a lot of time upside-down. Sometimes she just falls asleep that way, and at other times she flips back and forth on her back on the floor:

In addition, Caitlin has a really unusual tendency: She likes to straddle things. In particular, she likes to straddle the top cushion of a chair in my apartment. She’ll just climb up there and settle in this weird straddle position, like Snoopy laying down on top of his doghouse. I’ve never seen a cat do anything like this — it’s a Caitlin original, a Caitlin special!

This is Caitlin’s first birthday without Uni Watch boy mascot Tucker, who died last August. We both miss him, but Caitlin seems to enjoy getting all of my attention now that she’s the only cat in the house, and our bond has definitely gotten stronger over the past eight months.

That bond, like all human/pet bonds, strikes me as a bit of a miracle. Imagine if you didn’t already know that people had pets. Then imagine if someone told you, “You’re going to have completely different species living in your home with you, and you’re going to love them, and they’re going to love you back.” It seems like a really dubious proposition — like, how could that work? But the cross-species bond does work, and I think that’s really special.

Caitlin doesn’t know it, but this will also be her last birthday at Uni Watch HQ, at least in its present location. That’s because I have some news to share: The Tugboat Captain and I are shacking up. Later this year, probably on Sept. 1, I’ll be moving into her apartment, which is about five miles away in another part of Brooklyn.

I’ve lived in my current apartment for 18 years, in my current neighborhood for 29 years, and by myself (cats notwithstanding) for 25 years, so this will be a big adjustment, but I’m excited about it. I’m sure it will also be a big adjustment for Caitlin, which I feel bad about, but I figure she’ll settle in eventually.

As you may have gathered from seeing various photos of my apartment over the years, I have a lot of stuff. Not all of it will be coming with me to my new home, so I’ll be having a few moving sales to lighten my load. More details on that later, probably in June.

But enough about me. Today is all about Caitlin. Happy birthday, cutie — you have some major catnip and toys on today’s agenda!

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NBA update: All hopes for an ad-free NBA Finals collapsed yesterday, as the Pacers lost the seventh and deciding game of their first-round playoff series to the Cavs, thereby removing the Eastern Conference’s last hope for an ad-free standard-bearer.

The only remaining ad-free team in the playoffs is Houston, which finished with the best regular season record and remains the top-seeded team in the Western Conference. They are now Uni Watch’s official #NoUniAds rooting favorite. If you don’t already have a strong emotional tie to one of the remaining teams, I hope you’ll join me in cheering for the Rockets to take the championship.

Getting back to the Pacers/Cavs series, two items of note: First, the Pacers wore their yellow alternate uniforms for all seven games of the series. I’m assuming that’s the first time a team has ever worn the same uni throughout a postseason series. And second, neither team wore a white uniform for any game of the series. That’s presumably an NBA first as well.

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A new flap: My recent ESPN article about the C-Flap has led to a lot of people approaching me with their ideas for new safety accessories. One of the more intriguing ones comes from a Seattle firefighter and Little League coach named Eric Peterson, who points out that when batters turn away from an inside pitch, their necks are exposed. So he’s devised a flap attachment that hangs down on the back of a batting helmet to protect this area. It’s sort of a combination of the C-Flap and Steve Yeager’s old catcher’s mask flap. (There’s also a version for lacrosse helmets.)

Peterson doesn’t yet have the backing to bring his concept to market, and I have no idea how viable the accessory really is. But it’s an interesting idea — you can learn more about it here.

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Reminders, raffle results, etc.: In case you missed it last Friday, you can help to support Uni Watch by entering the auction for a full set of 2015 Uni Watch T-Shirt Club shirts in a custom-made box (shown at right). Full details here.

Also: Bobblehead doll restoration artist extraordinaire Chris Callan is willing to make custom Uni Watch bobbles for a limited number of customers. Full details here.

Also-also: The winner of the raffle for the Santurce Cangrejeros T-Shirt from Ebbets Field Flannels is Richard Jurnack. Thanks to all who entered — more raffles coming soon.

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Culinary Corner: Beef shin is usually cut crosswise, so get a small round of bone with the meat surrounding it, like this. But during a recent visit to my local butcher, I was intrigued to see several hunks of beef shin cut lengthwise, with the bone cut open to expose the marrow (a marrowbone style often referred to as “canoed”; for all photos, click to enlarge):

I’d never seen beef shin sold this way before, so I bought a three-pound hunk of it and popped it in the freezer for later.

“Later” turned out to be two nights ago. Shin is super-flavorful but has a lot of tendons and connective tissue, so the most obvious way to cook it would be to braise it. But I decided to slow-roast it instead, because I didn’t want to lose all that marrow. Nothing fancy — just salt, pepper, and some potatoes at the bottom of the roasting pan:

It turned out great. The meat pulled back from the bone, and the marrow roasted within the bone beautifully:

I removed the bone from the meat, so we could slice the meat without disturbing the marrow:

Beef shin can be sinewy and chewy if it’s cooked too fast, but our little roast sliced up beautifully:

We served it with the potatoes and a side salad. That’s a dollop of marrow to the left of the salad — mmmmmm.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: Pitt wore Homestead Grays throwbacks and had a accompanying giveaway yesterday (from multiple readers). … Reader Patrick Karraker wonders if the Giants are the most bespectacled team in baseball history, as they feature three players who wear glasses on the field. … The Triple-A Buffalo Bisons debuted Blue Jays-themed Sunday alternates (from Gabriel Hurl). … In this 1960 photo, five-year-old Pirates mascot/batboy John “Jake” Brown is wearing uni No. 1/2. As I’m sure many of you are aware, we can compare this to the more famous example of the St. Louis Browns’ Eddie Gaedel (from Stephen in DC). … The Pennsylvania Road Warriors, an Atlantic League team that doesn’t have a home ballpark and therefore plays all of its games on the road, have red alternates with a big Rawlings logo on the front. More info on the Road Warriors’ unusual situation here (from Scott Markiewicz). … Musicians Jack White and Ken Bethea Get It (from Michael Raymer). … The Hiroshima Carp are wearing a black memorial ribbon for the late Sachio Kinugasa, the ironman who had more consecutive games played than Lou Gehrig, but fewer than Cal Ripken Jr. (from Graveyard Baseball). … Someone on Reddit was going through his family’s old home movies and found rare color footage of Jackie Robinson (from @NorthwestPurple). … Stanford’s new caps have contrasting eyelets on the front two panels but not on the other panels. “I hate this look,” says John Furstenthal. … Umpire Angel Hernandez, who was working the plate in last night’s Yanks/Angels game, had blue jaw pads in his mask to match his jersey (from Ryan Bower). … Here’s some old footage of country singer Charley Pride taking BP with the Texas Rangers in 1974. “Pride was a former minor and Negro League ballplayer himself,” notes Daren Landers. “What I found interesting is that at the 0:54 mark, you can see that they gave him a jersey that has been renamed and renumbered.”

Football News: Former Iowa linebacker and new Broncos draft pick Josey Jewell had a Broncos helmet as a kid, so he posted a picture of himself now with the same helmet (from Kary Klismet). … It looks like the Giants will continue to use both of their white jerseys next season (from Moe Khan).

Hockey News: At the under-18 world championship in Russia, some of the U.S. jerseys have faint stars on the shoulder yoke and some don’t (from Eprahim Vorzman). … As the top tier of the full world championship starts May 4 in Denmark, the Hockey Hall of Fame now has a uniform-based display for the Danish national team.

Soccer News: New kit roundup: Starting with World Cup teams, here’s Costa Rica’s second shirt. There’s also new looks for Dutch teams Ajax (second kit) and PSV (second), and Scottish teams Celtic (first), Queen of the South (first and second), and Stirling Albion (first). Ed Żelaski sends us Welsh team Wrexham, who play in the fifth-tier English National League, while Tranmere Rovers of the same league have a new outfit as well. … Additionally, what may be Real Madrid’s new first shirt is popping up in stores (from Josh Hinton). … Speaking of Celtic, their right-back Mikael Lustig celebrated a goal yesterday wearing a hat he took off a police officer’s head (he gave it back). … In two games, the home team changed and forced the away team to change as well: Vancouver Whitecaps (grey)/Real Salt Lake (white) in MLS and Motherwell (black)/Dundee (red) in Scotland. … In Germany, VfB Stuttgart goalie Ron-Robert Zieler wore a kit of their red second shirt and socks and the same white shorts as the rest of the team. … Liverpool honored Irish fan Sean Cox, who is in the hospital after being attacked prior to Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final against AS Roma, by hanging in their locker room the shirt from Cox’s Gaelic Athletic Association club, St. Peter’s of Dunboyne. Manager Jürgen Klopp also wore a pin of the team’s logo in the Irish tricolor. … New home kit for Everton (from Will Hughes). … Uruguayan side Peñarol found out on arriving to Sunday’s match against Progreso they had the wrong colored keeper’s shirt, so a fan had to loan out his replica shirt to get the game going (from Andrew Tice).

Grab Bag: Virginia hosted the ACC men’s lacrosse tournament as the lowest seed and therefore wore orange at home for both games against teams in white (NCAA teams wear white at home). … Also posted in soccer: Liverpool honored Irish fan Sean Cox, who is in the hospital after being attacked prior to Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final against AS Roma, by hanging in their locker room the shirt from Cox’s Gaelic Athletic Association club, St. Peter’s of Dunboyne.

59 comments to Lucky 13

  • Deric | April 30, 2018 at 8:10 am |

    Happy Birthday Caitlin and congrats on the next step Paul and Tugboat.

  • Mark in Shiga | April 30, 2018 at 8:21 am |

    Paul, nothing ot do with uniforms, but I see you have the biography of Robert Moses on your bookshelf. I have it too, and I shudder when I think of what he wanted to do to the city.

    • Eric | April 30, 2018 at 10:40 am |

      Forget about what he wanted to do – how about all the damage he actually did? – not just in the city, but out on Long Island, too. He is probably the true villain who chased the Dodgers away, among other disgraces.

      That’s a fantastic book, but a heavy lift – it took me about two continuous months to read it.

  • Wade Heidt | April 30, 2018 at 8:22 am |

    I’m pretty sure that all jerseys for both the white and navy US under-18 hockey championships had stars in the shoulder yokes. It is just that the are faint, so hard to see in some photos depending on the light.

    http://u18worlds2018.iihf.hockey/media/2059640/DSC_9883_UPLOAD.jpg?height=550&width=750

    • Jamie Rathjen | April 30, 2018 at 1:15 pm |

      Thanks. In every game photo I looked at (except the one you linked to) it genuinely looked like they were star-free.

  • MJ | April 30, 2018 at 8:24 am |

    That shin roast looks amazing! I christened our new Dutch oven with homemade osso buco last night, this cut may be next! And congrats on the big impending move!

  • Rob S | April 30, 2018 at 8:34 am |

    And second, neither team wore a white uniform for any game of the series. That’s presumably an NBA first as well.

    I would likely assume that it did happen a few times between the San Francisco/Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers, when they played each other in 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, and 1977, since the Warriors, like the Lakers, wore gold (yellow) at home in that period.

    • Paul Lukas | April 30, 2018 at 9:01 am |

      Ah, good point!

      • Rob S | April 30, 2018 at 9:26 am |

        I had to look that up, too. I thought about the Lakers, given their uni tradition from 1965-2017, and got to thinking, “Are there any other teams who wore non-white at home in that time period that would’ve faced the Lakers in the playoffs?” Then I remembered the Warriors, going back to the classic “The City” unis, and sure enough…

        The only other two teams I could come up with that played without a white jersey for at least an entire season were the Cavaliers (1970-83) and the Pacers (1983-84). The Cavs never got to the Finals in that time, and the Pacers didn’t even qualify for the playoffs in their one year in gold home jerseys.

      • Rob S | April 30, 2018 at 9:44 am |

        Almost forgot another non-white team – the 1981-83 Pistons and their “silvery” home unis. They didn’t qualify for the playoffs in those two seasons, though.

        • Matt Beahan | April 30, 2018 at 1:17 pm |

          Spurs wore silver home unis for the ’76-’77 season, although they lost in the first round that year. The Sonics also used gold home unis for a spell, although they missed the playoffs every year they wore them.

  • Ken Traisman | April 30, 2018 at 8:40 am |

    Is 13-year-old Caitlin going to have at cat mitzvah? I hope she has a purrrrfect day.
    Enjoyed the photos.

    • Paul Lukas | April 30, 2018 at 9:02 am |

      Ha, never thought of a cat mitzvah! One more reason to celebrate.

  • Edward Jacobs | April 30, 2018 at 9:05 am |

    Sorry can’t join you Paul in rooting for the rockets. 76ers are still in it, gotta root for them no matter what!! What would be interesting if they win it, is would the snake bell logo be used next year (or maybe it will anyways)

    • Paul Lukas | April 30, 2018 at 9:07 am |

      You know, I should have included something about how I hope you’ll root for the Rockets *unless your favorite team is still in it.* My bad — I’ll add that now.

      • Jim Vilk | April 30, 2018 at 10:03 am |

        I’m pulling for whoever wins this series.
        Points off for the BFBS, but at least the Rockets are still ad-free. If they stay that way and go back to the ketchup & mustard unis they’d become my new favorite team.

        • Winter | April 30, 2018 at 1:08 pm |

          I give them points for actually wearing a jersey containing the city name.

    • Greg | April 30, 2018 at 11:17 am |

      I was thinking the same regarding the snake logo. Though it might come off as too similar to the Phillies who have owned the bell logo for years, or the Union’s snake logo.
      If not they really should keep it, a nice change compared to nice, but generic, basketball logo.

      • Other Todd | April 30, 2018 at 1:23 pm |

        I would be ok with them holding onto the snake logo just for the playoffs. If #TheProcess is here for good, that will give them the opportunity to use it annually for a little while.

        also, it seems like both the Phillies and the 76ers use an iteration of “Ring the Bell” when they win games. It’s a nice way to incorporate the history of the city into the whole sports scene.

  • Josh | April 30, 2018 at 9:10 am |

    Mazel tov on the news. Happy birthday Caitlin.

    Paul, what kind of chair is Caitlin resting on in the top photograph? Very cool looking.

  • Rick | April 30, 2018 at 9:11 am |

    A Cat in the home makes it a better place. Taking Caitlin to visit the new digs will surely make the transition easier before the final move. Leave a favorite toy/something of yours she lays on/special food in the Captain’s home. Good luck!

  • Jeff | April 30, 2018 at 9:14 am |

    You know you’re getting old when someone gets drafted in the NFL, shows himself wearing a Broncos hat as a little kid, and it’s their current logo…

    • Dumb Guy | April 30, 2018 at 9:41 am |

      I thought the same thing!

      • Joel Manuel | April 30, 2018 at 12:25 pm |

        As did I :)

        • Brent | April 30, 2018 at 1:50 pm |

          Me too.

    • TIm | April 30, 2018 at 12:42 pm |

      OH crap. Didn’t even occur to me… until now.

    • Bob | April 30, 2018 at 5:57 pm |

      Yeah, I clicked it expecting to see the D logo helmet… Damn I feel old.

  • DaveS | April 30, 2018 at 9:25 am |

    Happy Birthday Caitlin! And congratulations to you and the Tugboat Captain.

  • Dumb Guy | April 30, 2018 at 9:43 am |

    Charlie Pride is a class act. Always has been; still is.

    • Bob | April 30, 2018 at 5:58 pm |

      Tennessee Pride is a class sausage.

  • Joe Pitzonka | April 30, 2018 at 10:00 am |

    For the love of cleanliness, please do not take that grimy teapot with you when you move.

    • Paul Lukas | April 30, 2018 at 10:01 am |

      Guilty as charged.

  • Jason | April 30, 2018 at 10:01 am |

    Mazel Tov on the move!

  • david goodfriend | April 30, 2018 at 10:32 am |

    Happy Birthday Caitlin and congrats!

  • Matt L | April 30, 2018 at 10:34 am |

    Paul! I got a food question for you – what’s the advantage of that V rack you put the roast in? I see it in a lot of your food posts. Is it worth getting one?

    • Paul Lukas | April 30, 2018 at 10:35 am |

      Roasting on a rack allows heat to circulate on the meat’s underside. Allows for great drippings, too.

  • DenverGregg | April 30, 2018 at 10:59 am |

    Being the first generation in my family to spend none of my life living and working on a farm, I’m more startled by lack of cross-species interaction than by cross-species interaction.

  • James | April 30, 2018 at 11:08 am |

    Congrats on the next step, Paul!

    And happy birthday to Caitlin

  • Too Tall Paul | April 30, 2018 at 11:08 am |

    Proofreading: First, the Pacers wore their yellow alternate uniforms for all seven games of the season.

    …of the series.

    • Paul Lukas | April 30, 2018 at 11:11 am |

      Thanks. Got it!

  • Ephraim Vorzman | April 30, 2018 at 11:15 am |

    Go Rockets! As a Rockets fan myself, I am happy the Uni-verse is behind us.

  • Joe from Eagle Mills | April 30, 2018 at 11:17 am |

    Happy Birthday, Caitlin; congratulations Paul and Tugboat Captain!

    Going back on-topic: based on what I’ve see of throwbacks and historic photos over the years, the Negro Leagues had some really sharp uniforms.

  • Block "O Canada" | April 30, 2018 at 11:25 am |

    Anyone else see the jersey presented to Mr. Irrelevant at the end of the NFL draft? It was basically a generic red jersey with simple white letters and numbers. Part of me thinks that is befitting of being the very last pick. Part of me thinks it’s a shame that Mr. Irrelevant doesn’t get a unique custom jersey all to himself. Maybe an opportunity for a Uni Watch design contest?

  • Drew Bradshaw | April 30, 2018 at 11:32 am |

    I’m definitely a cat person. They are fun to have around. I hope your cat enjoys her day.

  • Michael Romero | April 30, 2018 at 11:45 am |

    I was at that game yesterday with the Road Warriors and I did not notice the logo. This is most likely because I was busy with my three year old to pay a lot of attention to Uni-details.

    They haven’t gone as the Pennsylvania Road Warriors in many years. The Atlantic League resurrects the Road Warriors as a traveling team when they’re a member short of a full eight. It was a bit of interesting history in the Wiki article though. I remember going to a Patriots game in 1999 when they played the team when they were the Black Diamonds.

  • Robbie | April 30, 2018 at 11:59 am |

    Happy days to Caitlin and family for their futures together! Also, let’s spell CHARLEY Pride’s name correctly. One of the first spellings I learned back in the 70s when I read about how it’s been misspelled his whole life. He is a righteous gentleman and that video of him taking BP is thoroughly delightful!

    Too bad about the uni-free finals possibility …

    • Paul Lukas | April 30, 2018 at 12:21 pm |

      Typo fixed. Thanks!

  • MikeA | April 30, 2018 at 12:25 pm |

    1. Today’s post probably drove off any remaining vegetarians. But the roast looks marvelous.

    2. Another curious thing about Jake Brown’s 1/2 Jersey is that it is sleeved, while the players are wearing the classic vest/sleeveless style of that era’s Pirates.

  • TIm | April 30, 2018 at 12:44 pm |

    Happy Bday Kitty! Paul, is that plate you were eating from as old/vintage as it looks? Really cool!

    • Paul Lukas | April 30, 2018 at 1:19 pm |

      Nah. It’s a reproduction, purchased new in the early 1990s. Looks nice, though. Glad you like!

  • Wafflebored | April 30, 2018 at 1:15 pm |

    Cat content always appreciated! Congrats to Paul and the TBC.

  • Jamie Rathjen | April 30, 2018 at 1:23 pm |

    So, Everton’s new kit. Looks like the PL may continue with sleeve ads only on one sleeve.

    In the vein of us tracking how many NBA teams have ad patches, only three PL teams don’t have sleeve ads this season (Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, and Arsenal). That could increase to as much as six if the three newly promoted teams don’t go with sleeve ads.

    In the Bundesliga, only one team (Freiburg) didn’t have a sleeve ad this season.

  • hugh.c.mcbride | April 30, 2018 at 2:02 pm |

    Happiest of birthdays, Caitlin! And congrats to Mr. Lukas & Ms. Captain on this next step. Hope there are many more wonderful moments in store for you all!

  • Michael Emody | April 30, 2018 at 4:20 pm |

    NC Tar Heels: all stirrup, powder blue, white lettering, button down: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Db-tebMUQAAQe5I.jpg:large

  • Tim Cox | April 30, 2018 at 10:34 pm |

    Paul – we are cat people and greyhound people, and greyhounds are notorious for what you referred to as “ants in the pants” moments – springing from 0-60 for no apparent reason and racing around whatever room they are in. Yours is a perfectly apt description, but you also may be amused to hear that in greyhound-speak it’s called the “zoomies.”

    Happy Birthday Caitlin, and congratulations to the entire household.

    • Paul Lukas | April 30, 2018 at 10:57 pm |

      Zoomies — love it! Thanks, Tim.

  • biged6464 | May 1, 2018 at 12:19 pm |

    aww man, leaving Park Slope after all these years, wow! Just as I make the big move there from Florida! It always looked like you had yourself a nice little building/neighbors setup, which is hard to find!! Will you still be able to enjoy Prospect Park from your new dwelling? Also, maybe I could get the inside track on your apartment!!

    • Paul Lukas | May 1, 2018 at 12:22 pm |

      Prospect Park: I’ll be a bit farther away, but not *too* far. I still plan to bike there every day.

      The apartment: My landlords will likely spend a bit of time/$$$ sprucing it up. I’ll know more later.