[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site. Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through the end of the month, although Paul is still on the clock over at ESPN and may be popping up here occasionally.]
By Phil Hecken, with Derek Smith
Hey folks. I’d hoped today’s lede would be the announcement of a new Grand Rapids Griffins jersey design contest (with what follows as a sub-lede), but unfortunately, that announcement will likely have to wait until tomorrow. I do have some information (scroll down) on the 2018 Contest, but nothing is as yet set in stone. Hopefully I’ll have that information today.
In the meantime, today we have a guest entry from Derek Smith. As the PGA Championship begins this morning (in fact, by the time you read this, several of the threesomes will already be on the course) — and while it may be less well known (or prestigious) as the Masters or Open or US Open, it’s still golf’s Fourth Major. The PGA is actually moving the tournament to the month of May in 2019, and it’s being played on “the people’s course” on the Bethpage Black — which hosted the 2002 and 2009 US Opens, and which is both a mere stones throw from my condo (and a course on which I used to play a LOT in the early 1990s). But I digress.
Derek has a short little piece for us today where he takes a brief look at fashion in the world of golf. It’s come a long way from the Plus-Fours and knickers of yore. But that doesn’t mean the players don’t still dress up (a bit) for the occasion. Here’s Derek with more…
By Derek Smith
The Open Championship, the PGAs most recent major event, has historically displayed some of golf’s more interesting fashion choices due in part to the unpredictable weather. Phil Mickelson prompted some chatter this year with his long-sleeve dress shirt …
… a look he debuted during practice at The Master’s resulting in some teasing from his competitors.
Last year, Justin Thomas donned an undoubtedly sharp, yet questionably practical cardigan and tie combination. Alas, he missed this cut this year or else he would have worn a similar look on Sunday at Carnoustie.
While these sorts of looks are contentious (it doesn’t take much in the golf world), it is certainly refreshing to see some players occasionally revert to more conservative attire. For a game whose appeal is in its grace, class and tradition, its apparel has become anything but in recent years. Golf does not have a uniform per se, besides collared shirts and pants for ritzier country clubs and the PGA. Accordingly, it’s always been a game that allowed amateurs and pros to express some individuality and show their taste (or lack thereof) through their on-course dress. It is one place where navy polos and khakis can coexist with pink and green checkered pants.
Yet, in an attempt to “modernize,” golf apparel companies market their hi-tech fabrics, funky shirt designs and bright colors that are supposedly unique but instead leaving golfers at all levels looking like mannequins in Dick’s Sporting Goods. The beauty of Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus’ aesthetic was, well … most importantly there were no corporate sponsors. But besides that, they were elegant—like serious, competitive men whose clothes looked just as sharp on the tee-box as they would in a bar or restaurant. The clothes themselves didn’t stand out. In fact, they were quite basic.
Black leather dress shoes, V-neck sweaters and cotton polos. But they looked infinitely classier than today’s “golf gear” that resembles those perfectly matching shorts/shirt combos found at GAP Kids.
Like too many other things in fashion and in sport, golf has fallen victim to a branding conquest by the big companies like Nike and Adidas to sell merchandise. No matter how outrageous they look now you can wear jogger pants …
… and henley shirts just like the pros if you spend $59.99 for each item!
Orlando Magic Unveil 30th Anny Throwbacks
The throwback/anniversary craze continues.
Yesterday, the Orlando Magic, who celebrate their 30th anniversary this season, introduced a new uniform set that is a throwback to their 1994-1998 road unis. Except for the annoying advertiser patch and makers mark, they’re pretty spot on:
The team will wear these at various times throughout their 2018-19 season, according to a report from Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel.
If these guys look familiar to you,
you’re old you probably remember that squad made the 1995 NBA Finals. They had guys named Shaq and Penny, and despite losing those finals four games to none versus the Rockets, they did pretty well. So, the uni unveiled yesterday recalls better days from yesteryear.
At the moment, it’s unknown how many times the team will wear the throwback unis. That information will come at a later date.
And of course, no anniversary would be complete without a new logo to commemorate it, so the team also put out one of those as well:
COMING SOON: Grand Rapids Griffins Jersey Design Contest
As noted above, today I’d hoped to announce the THIRD annual Grand Rapids Griffins Jersey Design Contest (past announcements can be found here and here). I’d expect our rules from 2017 will again apply this year. What I don’t yet have is the theme.
Past winners (in 2016 and 2017) had their winning jersey submissions made into game jerseys which were worn on ice, and the winner was a special guest of the Griffins on the night their jersey was worn. I’d expect the team will do the same this year as well.
Just to let you know — anticipating the team would want to again partner with Uni Watch for another design contest, I reached out to the team last month about doing another contest. I didn’t hear back from them until late Tuesday, when they apologized for the delay in responding as the person with whom I had previously worked on the past two contests had taken a new role in the organization. So I’ll be working with a new contact this year. Last night I got an email which stated,
Sorry for not updating you. We are currently in discussions to decide the contest theme and further details. I will let you know as soon as I am notified of more information so we can get the ball rolling.
Thank you for your patience!
I let the team know that the timeframe to do the contest is already short, but we can get it done if I can have it set up by tomorrow (which is my goal). Clearly the team is willing, so it’s just nailing down the deets. Make sure to check back here tomorrow if you’re interested in participating and I’d expect a tentative deadline of August 21st for submissions.
For those who don’t wish to click the links, Graig paints baseball heroes (and regular guys) from the past, and is an immense talent.
Occasionally, I will be featuring his work on Uni Watch.
Here’s today’s offering (click to enlarge):
Title: “Athletic Aider”
Subject: Rube Waddell, 1902
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 26″ x 30″
I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with Rube Waddell. Though often remembered as a bit of a clown – or if nothing else, a loose cannon – he was also one hell of a pitcher. With a blazing fastball and a devastating curve, he won more than twenty games every year between 1902 and 1905, and led the American League in strikeouts from 1902 to 1907. If the latter isn’t impressive enough, in 1904, he fanned 349 batters – 110 more than the runner-up, Jack Chesbro. He won pitching’s Triple Crown the next year, leading the league with 27 wins, 287 strikeouts and a 1.48 ERA.
The opportunity to paint him was one I latched onto quickly. Rube’s face was endless interesting, especially with his pronounced brow, cleft chin and crooked pointy nose. The particular image I was inspired by was extra special, as it dated from his first year with the Athletics, and even pictured him in action, warming up on the sidelines at Huntington Avenue Grounds in Boston. Such photographs are a rarity, especially when it comes to his stint with Philadelphia. So combining that with the fact that this particular image came directly from a clear glass plate negative, I couldn’t say ‘no.’
Immediately I was taken by the quality of light from the sun, especially as those shadows of his swooping arm played against his uniform, and the way the folds of the fabric undulated throughout his body. The aforementioned face was no slouch, as one can really feel the density of that chin as the light streams across it, and also the way that nose sticks out from under that big shadow created by the brim of the cap.
I also had a lot of fun playing with different kinds of textures that I found in the grass. It’s important to remember that back in that era, the fields weren’t manicured in the same way they are today. In addition to the grass not always being mowed, it wasn’t uncommon for there to be dips, valleys and even holes in the ground where these guys were running around chasing the ball. I loved the idea of keeping true to that sentiment, as it’s those little details that help make these paintings more historically accurate – even if something gets a tad embellished.
In the end, it’s just so interesting to be able to see Waddell as a player first, rather than the idiosyncrasies he is known for by most amateur baseball historians today. This painting allows us to see him for what he was: one of the biggest drawing card of his era.
Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.
And now a few words from Paul: Hi there. I’m in the middle of what is basically the Worst Week Ever (don’t ask), but I do have one bit of very good news, namely that the samples for our latest batch of StripeRite socks have arrived, and they look pretty awesome. Dig (click to enlarge):
Not bad, right? These should be available for pre-order in a day or two. I’ll let you know.
Meanwhile, a few friendly reminders:
• The Uni Watch alternate flex-fit cap is available here. Readers have been sharing photos of theirs, and I don’t mind saying they look pretty damn sharp:
— Jacob Gibb (@_jgibbster) August 8, 2018
• While we’re at it, our classic cap is still available from Ebbets Field Flannels, although only in sizes 7, 7-1/8, 7-1/4, and adjustable at the moment. All sold-out sizes should be back in stock toward the end of this month.
• As I mentioned a few days ago, I’ll be having an open house to sell off a bunch of LPs and CDs this Saturday (plus you can make arrangements with me for a private shopping session prior to Saturday if you like). Some of the best stuff is already gone, but there’s still plenty of primo material. Full details here.
I’m on Ticker duty today (covering for Kris Gross, who’s on vacation this week), so I’ll be back with tomorrow’s Ticker. See you then.
By Anthony Emerson
Baseball News: The Great Lakes Loons (Class A affiliates of the Dodgers) are doing a one-off rebrand as the Great Lakes Camels (from Ryan Keberly and Alex Seder). … Glenn Chavez was at last night’s Rockies/Pirates game, and noticed a fan wearing a Todd Helton jersey, sans the “1.” … The Louisville Bats will have a Marvel Superhero Night to fight cancer (thanks, Phil). … The Pulaski Yankees are celebrating Agriculture Night by auctioning off an actual, living cow (thanks again, Phil). … Not uni related but too cool not to include: Fenway Park as a sandcastle! (from Justin Hicks). … Logan Conway of Tulsa was pitching in a Little League World Series qualifier while wearing PF Flyer sneakers. Amazing. … The Buffalo Bisons’ Buffalo Wings cap ships in a box of wings with a wet nap to boot! … @FittedsFlannels noticed that the Twins’ Coordinator of MLB Development was wearing a cap with the New Era logo on the right side, instead of the usual left. … Check out this blood stained uniform being worn by Jim Rice (from Paul Deaver). … “A friend found this book and these incredible uniforms are pictured,” says Mark Smith. He included this school yearbook photo for identification. … Whoops — bit of a score bug SNAFU last evening between the
Brewers and Padres Dodgers and Astros last night (from Alex Bell).
NFL News: The Niners unveiled their memorial decal for Dwight Clark (from Tom Poulson). … The Packers are including their 100th Season logo on the field at Lambeau (from @JohnnyOeleven). … The Dolphins will wear throwbacks twice at home this season (thanks, Phil). … Here’s an excellent story on the Oilers/Titans one-season stint in Memphis (thanks again, Phil). … The Sporting News ranked all 32 NFL uniforms (from @AwesomeStout).
College/High School Football News: Madonna University out of Michigan is starting a football program in 2020. Here is the prototype helmet (from Ryan Keberly and Jerry Kulig). … Boise State is no longer the only blue field in town, now that the University of New England in Maine has added a football program (from James Gilbert). … Athlon Sports ranked the ACC’s football unis (thanks, Phil). … The University of Central Arkansas “teased” their new unis on Twitter, though you can basically make out all the important bits (thanks, Phil).
Hockey News: The Newfoundland Growlers, an ECHL expansion team, has released their unis. Can you tell they’re affiliated with
Vegas Toronto? (from David Augustine). … The Canucks will be throwing it back throughout this season, their 50th (thanks, Phil). … A beer league team loves Phil Kessel, and honored him in their logo (from Jeff Perilman).
NBA & College Hoops News: Something called Fadeaway World has a list of five NBA jerseys that “need to be brought back” (thanks again to Phil). … Temple’s Alani Moore will be wearing No. 0 in honor of his former coach Butch Cherry (from @PhillyPartTwo).
Soccer News: Juventus has sold over half a million Cristiano Ronaldo jerseys in just 24 hours after they went on sale (from Owen Seaton). … Denis Hurley sends along this list of notable keepers who wore a number other than 1. … Telegraph reporter Thom Gibbs was kind enough to send along his ranking of the 2018-19 Premier League kits. … BBC Three has also ranked the new kits in the Premier League (from Ted Arnold). … Serie A has a new logo, just in time for their big new ESPN deal (from @jayappletree). … Insane — Real Madrid is selling Alex Hunter jerseys for 160 euros. For the uninitiated, Alex Hunter is a fictional soccer player from the FIFA video game series. … Real Betis has released their new away kits. … RB Leipzig has released a slick black-and-white third kit. … Parma has released a stunningly gorgeous hooped away kit design. … FC Schalke released their new home, away and third kits yesterday. … Barcelona’s new third kit was leaked, and it might go down among the worst ever worn by the storied club.
Grab Bag: Leinster Rugby released their new, Adidas-provided kits (from Charlie Kranz). … Georgia Tech has new volleyball unis (from Jake W. Patterson). … Lots of sports-related body art in this slideshow (from Kary Klismet). … BYU Women’s volleyball has new unis (thanks, Jim). … Two St. Lucia Stars — that’s franchise cricket — players, Darren Sammy and Andre Fletcher wore “Chocolateman” and “Spiceman” NickNOBs, respectively. … Here’s a look at Justin Thomas’s outfits for the PGA Championship (from Griffin Smith).