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Almost Time for Stars and Stripes Uniforms

With Independence Day coming up on the calendar next week, MLB teams will be wearing stars/stripes uniforms on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. With that in mind, my latest ESPN Friday Flashback piece takes a look back at all of the cap and jersey styles that MLB teams have worn for the Fourth of July for the past 16 seasons (including last year’s sock shenanigans, shown above). Check it out here.

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On a serious note: The pen, as the saying goes, is mightier than the sword. That’s a very romantic notion. As someone who works with the pen — or at least the keyboard — I’ve always liked it.

But of course it isn’t true. A gruesome reminder of that came yesterday, when a gunman entered the newsroom of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Maryland and killed five journalists — apparently the first mass shooting of journalists in American history.

Those fallen reporters were my colleagues and comrades. Not literally, of course — I didn’t know them, nor do I know anyone else at the Capital Gazette — but I feel a kinship with them, as I do with all journalists, because we’re all engaged in the same pursuit of facts, information, and illumination of hidden truths.

As I’ve mentioned previously on the site, this is a tough time to be a journalist. The internet has destroyed the business model that supported our industry in the 20th century, and every week brings news of layoffs and shutterings. In addition,
the president has repeatedly described journalists as the “enemy of the people.” Whatever else one thinks of the president, I hope his fans and foes alike can agree that this is a tremendously irresponsible thing to say — in part because a free and open press is essential for the workings of a functional democracy, and in part because of the signal it potentially sends to vigilante lunatics like the one who carried out yesterday’s killings. (To be clear: I am not blaming yesterday’s events on the president or suggesting that he has blood on his hands. But I am saying that the most powerful man on the planet should consider the effect that his words can potentially have.)

I know many people, perhaps including many Uni Watch readers, have issues with “the media.” I really hate that term — “the media.” It renders us as a faceless, monolithic institution, instead of as living, breathing human beings. We are not “the media”; we are journalists trying to do our jobs. Five of us were murdered yesterday. I mourn those victims today. I hope you will, too.

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• • • • •

The Ticker
By Kris Gross

Baseball News: Rare sight last night, as Angels 1B Albert Pujols went high-cuffed (from @josh_claywell). … Major League Baseball could be relaxing its cleat rules in the near future (from Kary Klismet). … Phillies bat boy Tim has a softball mask on his helmet. Home and road bat boys at Rays games have been doing this since last season (from Frank McGuigan). … The Harrisburg Senators will wear Star Wars jerseys tonight and tomorrow (from Ryan Canfield). … The BlueClaws also getting ready for Star Wars night. … The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders play as the Teddy Bears tomorrow. … Oregon State wore grey, despite being the designated home team, for the College World Series finale last night (from aJw). … We’ve covered this before, but here’s why Arkansas hasn’t been wearing white in Omaha (from Trayton Miller). … Jack White Gets It™ (from Kyle Coons). … Pretty sweet jerseys for Hamlin baseball out of South Dakota (from Chris Lather).

Football News: This is an awesome story: The mystery of the Ed Thorp Memorial Trophy has been solved (from @RayBarrington). … Marshall’s mascot, Marco, is not becoming an equipment manager any time soon (from Brice Wallace). … As this blog explains, Iowa State fans should forget the “Bugles” helmet the team wore last season (from Kary Klismet). … Here’s a photo of a very young Tom Brady in a Michigan practice jersey (from Todd Engle). … The Packers’ pro shop is currently selling game-used pants for $35. Some of them have socks sewn into the pant cuffs. “Unfortunately, the name tags were taken off of all of these before they were put out in the shop, so there’s no way to tell who wore which pair,” says Brent Jensen). … Executives from the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos are currently on a tour of northern-Canada communities to discuss the team’s controversial name (from Ted Arnold).

Hockey News: The Guelph Storm of the OHL have unveiled their new primary logo. … Here’s a very in-depth look at the issue of plagiarism in goalie mask design. … One of the five ECHL All-Star jerseys was unveiled.

NBA News: Arizona put up billboards showing Deandre Ayton’s college jersey apparently melting into a Suns jersey (from Max Rodriguez). … Fantatics’ jersey insurance policy could be put to the test depending on where LeBron James chooses to go this offseason (thanks, Brinke).

College Hoops News: Cross-listed from the NBA section: Arizona put up billboards showing Deandre Ayton’s college jersey apparently melting into a Suns jersey (from Max Rodriguez). … Speaking of Arizona, it sounds like they’ll wear throwbacks at some point this upcoming season (from Kenny Abbey). … Believe it or not, Sinclair Community College used to be called the Satans. The team name was changed in 1973 (from Travis Martin).

Soccer News: Following up on yesterday’s lede about VAR refs wearing uniforms, refs working the Colombia/Senegal wore red because of Colombia’s yellow kits, so the VAR refs did the same (from Cork Gaines). … Spanish club Getafe have released their new kits (from Josh Hinton). … New uniforms for Atalanta BC (from Ed Żelaski). … Pride jerseys today for Minnesota United FC (from Fred Vaughn). … The rest of these are from Josh Hinton: New home kit for Bournemouth. … New home kit for PSV Eindhoven. … New away kit for Cardiff City.

Grab Bag: Here’s a great article on the challenges of designing jerseys (from Gary Chanko).

49 comments to Almost Time for Stars and Stripes Uniforms

  • Abhartach | June 29, 2018 at 8:53 am |

    The ECHL jersey link is broken.

    Thanks as always for the work you do on the site, Paul. I’m looking forward to the impending redesign.

    • Rob S | June 29, 2018 at 8:59 am |

      The link before it, about the mask design plagiarism, returns a 403 error.

      • Paul Lukas | June 29, 2018 at 9:03 am |

        Really? Works for me.

        • Rob S | June 29, 2018 at 9:22 am |

          It’s working for me now… the site may have been down temporarily.

    • Paul Lukas | June 29, 2018 at 9:04 am |

      Fixed.

  • Eddie | June 29, 2018 at 8:53 am |

    I really wish they would just wear the 4th of July uniforms on just 1 day, same with memorial day, I know ideally some would say they none at all (i would get rid of memorial day), but just 1 game wouldn’t be so bad, or just do the flag patch again.

    Also, shame on the cleats, gonna start looking like a joke like an nba game does. I just believe the footwear is still the uniform and everyone should match.

  • Alex Hider | June 29, 2018 at 8:53 am |

    “We are not ‘the media’; we are journalists trying to do our jobs.” Well said, Paul.

    • Jamie Rathjen | June 29, 2018 at 1:17 pm |

      I second this. Well said.

      • Paul Lukas | June 29, 2018 at 1:27 pm |

        Thanks, Jamie and Alex.

        I should add that Jamie and Alex are both young journalists hoping to forge a career in this troubled industry. I’m rooting for them, and I’ll do everything I can to help them, but I also worry about them. It’s a tough business to be in right now, much tougher than when I got started. If I were their age, would I chart the same course they’re charting, knowing what I know about the industry? I can’t honestly say. But J&A are both very smart, talented guys, so I’m hoping they can navigate the tough waters.

        • Jamie Rathjen | June 29, 2018 at 2:31 pm |

          Thanks, Paul.

        • John McMunn | June 30, 2018 at 3:10 am |

          Not to start a political debate but I have never understood why anyone stand for the president calling the media “the enemy of the people”. When Trump was inaugurated he swore under oath to …”preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution…”. The Constitution includes the 1st amendment which among other things grants freedom of the press. So every time Trump utters the enemy of the people phrase or something similar, he is guilty of perjury. Am I the only one who thinks this way?

    • flyergil | June 29, 2018 at 9:44 pm |

      What happened yesterday was awful. I am saddened by senseless acts like these. If I may, I would like to add that there are many federal government officials (on various sides of the aisle) also “trying to do [their] jobs.” In many cases, theirs is a thankless job, as vocal critics — particularly those on social media with unpolished opinions, but no expertise — speak in generalizations, parrot talking points, or offer hate-filled diatribes without civil discourse filters. These officials are people, too… with families and friends. Whether you agree with them or not, many working in any administration are simply trying to do the right thing for the country. Listen more. Talk much less. Just my two cents…

  • Iain | June 29, 2018 at 8:59 am |

    Re. the Edmonton Eskimos: that term hasn’t been acceptable in Canada for a couple of decades but I would be surprised if they were to change their name.
    There’s a competitor on American Ninja Warrior from Alaska who is referred to as the Eskimo Ninja and he seems to be fine with the name. It is always jarring to me hearing the crowd chanting this.

    • mike 2 | June 29, 2018 at 11:49 am |

      Context is everything. If he’s actually Eskimo (Inuit? I don’t know the right term for an Alaskan native person) then great. If not… come on.

      • apk3000 | June 29, 2018 at 12:32 pm |

        I believe Inuit is only one tribe? of Alaskan Eskimos, so I believe they don’t care as much when it comes to them collectively. Canada mostly has Inuit, I think.

    • Wade Heidt | June 29, 2018 at 5:40 pm |

      Iain, your probably right. They likely will not change their name, but they should consider it.

      Someone brought up an excellent alternative for a name. It may have been in the comments on this site some time ago. Why not Edmonton Explorers? Unique name, would not need to change the longstanding logo or uniforms at all.

      If the Ottawa Football Club can strut onto the field looking like the Rough Riders but playing as the Redblacks, then why can’t Edmonton change the name as well.

  • ThatRodneyGuy | June 29, 2018 at 9:03 am |

    Point of order.
    “Arizona put up billboards…” should be “The University of Arizona put up billboards…”

  • Phil Hecken | June 29, 2018 at 9:09 am |

    RIP The Gazette Five.

    Echoing everything Paul said above. Thoughts and prayers (for anyone affected by mass shootings) just don’t cut it anymore. This shit has to stop.

    • The Tribe | June 29, 2018 at 9:44 am |

      Paul, Phil, and everyone else who does good work on this site –

      I sincerely hope that this does not devolve into the kind of vitriolic trolling that is so commonly seen on Twitter. This transcends political party lines, this is about the health and safety of people. Full stop. That a human being could celebrate the slaughter of other humans because of their career choice is just unconscionable to me. We need to come together to find a way to stop the violence, to make workplaces safer, to find common ground with each other because we all have a hell of a lot more in common than we think.

  • Brad Eenhuis | June 29, 2018 at 9:29 am |

    Couldn’t Arkansas save those mis-washed “white” uni’s for Pinktober?

  • Matthew Mosher | June 29, 2018 at 9:52 am |

    Yesterday’s events in Maryland were a tragedy that fact is not in dispute. Saying that President Trump’s statement is dangerous is in correct. When the press takes it on itself to publish in accurate and misleading statements to push a false narrative or agenda then to bury their retractions when they are proven to have made false statements they, being the press, have made themselves an enemy of the people and to a larger extent journalism itself. So in that particular instance Trump is right. I thoroughly enjoy your site it is a mixture of opinion and reporting of facts a combination that you make quite well known. You are one of the good ones. When you make a mistake you publish the corrections at the top of the page or close to a related subject. Instead of calling out the President would it not be more powerful to call out your fellow journalists to hold all journalists to a hire standard the same to which you hold yourself? As a journalist you are not your brothers keeper, however you are a guardian of the sacred trust that exists between the press and the people. That is said nothing but love and respect for you and your work!

    • Paul Lukas | June 29, 2018 at 10:01 am |

      We’re going to have to agree to disagree on the larger issue, Matthew, but thanks for the kind words of support — appreciated.

    • Noel | June 29, 2018 at 1:15 pm |

      I agree with you Matthew on the larger issue. Unfortunately, over the year, we’ve see a lot of personal biases in news reporting. But that’s a result of our human condition.

      I’m sorry for the loss of those in the press, Paul. Many of them choose to put themselves in harm’s way so that we can see and understand some of the horrors of this world and how humans can so poorly treat each other. But they can also show us the beauty, kindness and caring that goes on as well.

    • Brett Alan | June 29, 2018 at 9:43 pm |

      >>>When the press takes it on itself to publish in accurate and misleading statements to push a false narrative or agenda then to bury their retractions when they are proven to have made false statements they, being the press, have made themselves an enemy of the people and to a larger extent journalism itself. So in that particular instance Trump is right.<<<

      Except that he's lying through his teeth. The only press that pushes a false narrative is the right-wing propaganda machine.

      The mainstream media GOT TRUMP ELECTED. A Columbia Journalism Review study shows that the media covered Clinton's scandals over her policies by a 4:1 ratio, while the same ratio for Trump was 2:3 in favor of policy coverage. So, if anything, the media is biased in Trump's favor.

  • Block "O Canada" | June 29, 2018 at 10:12 am |

    Absolutely terrific article regarding the Ed Thorp trophy. That being said, two things related to it bother me. One, the writer asserts that the trophy is in its rightful home because the Packers won it the most times. Hogwash. The trophy belongs in Canton at the pro football hall of fame. The Packers only have it because they put the pieces-parts in boxes and never bothered to pass it on to the next winner. And two, I hate when the NFL/media/fans act as if football began with Super Bowl I. It had been played for many decades before that and they were crowning champions. The number of NFL titles a team has won is the true mark of success, not Super Bowls. Plus, considering only Super Bowls ignores the contributions of small-city teams (e.g. Akron, Canton, Frankford, Pottsville, Providence) that were the foundation for the behemoth that the league has become today.

  • muddlehead dave #26 | June 29, 2018 at 11:07 am |

    Hiya Paul. Can’t think of one issue we disagree on. How do you feel about this one? California voters, like me, will vote this November to end the ridiculous (to be nice about it) daylight savings/standard clock changing ahead and back twice a year. Your thoughts?

    • Paul Lukas | June 29, 2018 at 11:19 am |

      Hi, Dave. Honestly, I haven’t given it much thought. Would have to learn more about the pros/cons. Either way, it’s not really related to anything we’re discussing here. Sorry!

    • Ryan M | June 29, 2018 at 5:09 pm |

      One of the arguments I’ve heard against DST is that it’s antiquated, that it was established with farmers in mind, and we’re very much not a rural/farming society anymore.
      While that’s true, it still seems to make practical sense to me. I’m in the middle third of the Central time zone, roughly equidistant from the Gulf & Canada, it starts getting light out around 5 AM this time of year. As someone who’s awake around 4 for work every day, this doesn’t bother me so much, but I know several people who have enough difficulty with this, let alone if it were 4 AM, if we abolished DST.

      Conversely, if we set our clocks to the DST standard all the time, sunrise wouldn’t be until about a quarter past 8 in late December, meaning it’s not even getting light out until nearly 8:00. Bearing this in mind, I think DST is a necessary evil.

      I’m just glad I don’t live anywhere near the Arctic Circle… I don’t think I could handle the 17+ hours of daylight Moscow’s getting right now (it’s bizarre watching World Cup coverage from Fox Sports’ studio in Red Square and they say it’s after 10 PM there and it’s still light out behind them), let alone the 2 months of constant daylight well north of there.

    • Bert | June 30, 2018 at 1:39 am |

      Wth are u talking about man? Not relevant.

  • jacket18 | June 29, 2018 at 11:55 am |

    Georgia Tech’s contract with Russell Athletic ends Saturday, with the Adidas contract starting Sunday. Apparently Adidas is getting in on the action a day early with the College Baseball Home Run Derby on Saturday.

    https://twitter.com/CollegeHRDerby/status/1012001541241393157?s=19

  • mike 2 | June 29, 2018 at 11:55 am |

    Re. the Phillies bat boy – I don’t know if that’s a softball mask or not. Masks are mandatory on baseball helmets now for younger kids, usually until age 12 or 13 where I live. It looks like a Rawlings RWG mask to me, which is a baseball mask.

    I’m normally the first to complain about overprotecting kids, but the first couple of years of facing live pitching from pre-teens is pretty rough. Masks on kids are OK with me.

  • Michael Emody | June 29, 2018 at 12:14 pm |

    Non-sequitur department: the tweet from Nick de la Torre doesn’t explain the CWS uni situation. First, who’s Georgia? Why was she washing Arkansas unis? And he says Arkansas had grey and cream sets untouched by Georgia’s debauchery. So why didn’t they wear their grey uniforms since they were the road team last night?

    • DJ | June 29, 2018 at 3:01 pm |

      Apparently, Oregon State went with luck — they were 11-3 in gray during the playoffs and as home team, decided to wear gray.

  • Alan T | June 29, 2018 at 12:18 pm |

    Great old school picture of the “Satans”. The guy in the front center of the picture just has a number on the front of his jersey, and it looks like it was done haphazardly with masking tape. I wonder if he was the team manager? Even if he was a player, only 7 guys in uniform…everyone got a lot of playing time I’m guessing. I’m also hoping that no more than two guys fouled out in a game……………

  • Roger | June 29, 2018 at 1:01 pm |
    • Paul Lukas | June 29, 2018 at 1:11 pm |

      Good one! Yes, I should have included that, even though it wasn’t MLB-wide.

    • Richard Paloma | June 29, 2018 at 5:06 pm |

      Good writer there on that White Cleat Beat piece ;)

  • Jamie Rathjen | June 29, 2018 at 1:28 pm |

    Re: the Colombia/Senegal officials wearing red when Colombia wore yellow.

    It really seems like yellow is the first-choice shirt for officials at this World Cup. The Ticker item is even phrased “wore red because of Colombia’s yellow kits.” If one of the teams wears yellow, the officials wear red, and if it’s yellow-vs.-red they wear blue (or at least they did for Brazil-Switzerland).

    If black was first choice for the officials, as it should be, there would be no problem. The entire point of officials wearing black is to minimize clashes with team colors.

    Hopefully things will be relatively normal in the knockout stages.

    • Josh Hinton | June 29, 2018 at 2:17 pm |

      As a ref, I can confirm that yellow is almost always the first choice color.

      • Jamie Rathjen | June 29, 2018 at 2:30 pm |

        Okay. New to me, that, because admittedly I don’t often pay attention to this sort of thing, but it makes sense.

  • Brianna | June 29, 2018 at 1:51 pm |

    Love your site!! But I have to say that the helmet face guards are for baseball and softball. See websites of some of the major equipment makers. I have seen many younger baseball players get hit in the helmet and saved from injury because of it. There was one boy that refused to wear one because someone teased him that it was a “softball” mask. He got hit in the face and it wasn’t pretty. Please revise. Thanks!!

  • Jonathan Sluss | June 29, 2018 at 2:34 pm |

    Tom Brady was probably wearing an old game jersey. The embossed M on the shoulders was used in 1995: http://mwolverine.com/biakabutuka.jpg. I had a replica Tim Biakabatuka jersey way back then and had the same feature. I believe Syracuse used a similar embossing on their jerseys.

  • John | June 29, 2018 at 3:17 pm |

    In a time when the separation of powers becomes blurred, checks and balances a quaint notion from a long ago civics class and truth is relative, a free and independent press is more important than ever. Sure, mistakes are made (and usually corrected) and there is editorial bias but straight news for the most pert does a terrific job. Whatever faults there are, I’ll rely on journalistic ethics over government ethics every time. There is a reason our founding fathers placed the freedom of the press in the first amendment. Any government official who believes that the press is the enemy of the people is the true enemy of democracy.

  • Chuck | June 29, 2018 at 4:09 pm |

    Cleveland Browns email today contained the Brownie with a football. I would love to see this be a part of the team logo.

    https://www.clevelandbrowns.com/tickets/training-camp?utm_source=Browns_Email&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Training_Camp_OnSale

  • Richard Paloma | June 29, 2018 at 5:04 pm |

    I’ve gotten so fed up with all the special Stars & Stripes, blue, pink, cammo that I’ve gotten to the point of looking at my schedule and avoiding those games – HATE IT
    That being said, how about something more subtle- especially for teams without red or blue (Like the A’s, Giants, Orioles, Marlins, White Sox) – where those teams, or if possible all others who wanted, wore their colored alternate with the special graphics on the logo.
    For example, think how the A’s would look in their Alt Green with the Stars & Stripes A’s symbol. Still looking like the Oakland A’s rather than some red and blue combination bullshit.

  • Bison Nation | June 29, 2018 at 8:00 pm |

    Devils Lake (ND) High School used to be called the Satans as well. They changed the team name to Firebirds after concerns were raised.

  • Bert | June 30, 2018 at 1:35 am |

    Echo Paul’s opening statement….this is insane. God bless.

  • Brad Schimmoeller | June 30, 2018 at 7:01 pm |

    5 officers dead in Dallas. Should we hint of blaming the president’s anti police rhetoric or should we blame the crazy individual. I say blame the individual. Shame on you.