[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
For the third consecutive year, I’m pleased to announce what has become our annual design contest, once again in partnership with the Grand Rapids Griffins (a professional hockey team in the American Hockey League, whose primary affiliate is the Detroit Red Wings). The original contest began in 2016 (from which I received 85 submissions), and was held again last year, which resulted in 119 submissions.
I had hoped to kick the contest off on August 1st, but due to some personnel shifting in the Griffins organization, we’re getting the contest off the ground today.
In the past two contests, the winner received a personalized jersey, tickets to the game when the jerseys was worn, and public recognition at the game. An awesome “prize” for the winner. The Griffins have graciously offered this as a prize again for this year’s winner.
This contest will be very similar in set-up to the past two. While last year the team was looking for a “fauxback” design, this year the team is simply looking for a “Third Jersey.” That leaves much to your imagination, designers! As a point of information, back in 2015 the team adopted black, red and white as official colors, with the new logo and unis detailed here. For the contest, the team has NOT specified any particular colors for your jersey design, but the official team colors are (CMYK Colors): Red 12/100/92/3, Gray 31/25/26/0, Gold 43/49/76/21, Black 75/68/67/90, White 0/0/0/0.
• Submissions will be accepted from today through Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 (by 11:00 pm E.D.T.)
• Reader voting will begin Thursday, August 23, and continue on Friday August 24, Monday, August 27 and Tuesday, August 28 (Based on the number of entries in past contests, I will be breaking the submissions into four sets).
• Based on concerns raised in prior contests, rather than breaking the design submissions in to groups alphabetically, I will attempt to do so in a random order. While this will entail more work on my end, this will (hopefully) alleviate the concerns that “the same people always go against each other.” I’m not sure this is any fairer, but I will do my utmost to ensure a totally random spread of submissions.
• The top three vote getters from each set (for a total of 12) will be reviewed by the Griffins on Wednesday, August 29th, and the winner will be announced on Uni Watch and Griffins social media on August 31st.
• Create a brand new design for a Griffins alternate jersey (remember: you are ONLY designing a jersey, not a full uniform).
• While your design work must be original, you MAY use current or previous Grand Rapids Griffins logos.
• Readers will be allowed to vote once per day during the voting period (you will be permitted to vote for more than one design).
• The top 12 designs as voted by readers will be the finalists.
• The Griffins staff and ownership will choose one winning design, which will be worn on ice on
February 15, 2019 UPDATE: December 29, 2018.
• The winning jersey design will become the property of the Grand Rapids Griffins.
• The Griffins reserve the right to make design modifications to the winning design as needed.
• The winner will receive a personalized version of their jersey, tickets to the game that the Griffins will be playing in the jerseys, and public recognition of the winning design.
• LIMIT ONE DESIGN SUBMISSION per reader.
• Designs may be submitted as .jpg, .png or .pdf files.
• E-mail your entry to me (Phil Hecken) as an attachment to: Phil.Hecken@gmail.com; please label your submission “FirstnameLastname-GRGContest”
• It is strongly encouraged that you place your name or some sort of ID on your entry.
• One image ONLY (you may include multiple angles, such as front and back) per submission.
Failure to abide by the rules will result in disqualification. Entries received after the deadline will not be accepted.
Big thanks to the Griffins for again selecting Uni Watch readers to participate in their alternate jersey process. You should know what to do, so get crackin’ — but if you have any questions either post them in the comments below or e-mail me at the above address (phil[dot]hecken[at]gmail[dot]com). OK? OK!
You Knew This Was Coming…
MLB Players Weekend Caps & Jerseys Return
And they’re as bad as they were last time around…
Yesterday, MLB released the newest batch of “MLB Players Weekend” jerseys (the caps had already gone on sale earlier this week), and like last season, they’re pretty much all awful. If you don’t remember, MLB introduced this (ultimate sales) gimmick last year, giving teams new, gaudy caps and jerseys, with players (even the Yankees) permitted to wear NickNOBs as part of the “fun.”
I had my say last year about these, and there’s not much change in my thoughts on this whole joke of a promotion. It was — maybe — fun once (I kinda liked it for the “Little League Classic” game), but this is one promotion that should have been one and done. I mean, seriously, this is just one big excuse for MLB to move more merch.
This year, “Players Weekend” is August 24-26, which means every team will be stuck wearing these clown suits for three games. The Mets and Phillies, who this year were selected to play in the Little League Classic on August 19th, will also wear their special PW caps & jerseys for that game.
Our pal Chris Creamer had the scoop on this one, and his writeup is very good. You should give that a read to get the gist of this year’s offerings.
Here’s the bare bones of it all: Except for the Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants (why? I have no idea — did the Bay Area luck out???), 28 new caps for the remaining teams were introduced — see last year’s caps here. A couple teams (Brewers & Phillies) have different cap logos from last year.
The new caps aren’t too different from the 2017 versions, the main difference being the contrasting color brim and crown.
You can see them all below (graphic by Chris Creamer):
Only half of the teams this time around will get new jerseys (why? I have no idea — did they pay off someone???). Not that wearing last year’s jersey is a good thing. Does this mean MLB will do this promo again in 2019 and give the other half of the teams new jerseys for that? I shudder at the thought. According to Chris Creamer,
As for the jerseys, one-half of the league is wearing the exact same jersey design as last year, the other half going either with a new design or re-coloured from 2017. Those teams with new jerseys are Baltimore, the Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado, Detroit, Houston, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco, St Louis, and Washington.
There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for which teams are getting the new jerseys — they’re a mix of NL and AL teams, from all six divisions — but I’m not sure logic would apply to this promotion anyway.
Something else is new for this year (for sale — but I’m not sure if it will be worn on field) is called an MLB Players “Umpire Hat” — and it’s available for each team.
It’s the PW cap only with a different patch. My guess is this is just for retail sale and won’t actually be worn by umpires.
As for the jerseys, they’re mostly really awful, though some aren’t as awful as others.
— Ted (@tlschwerz) August 9, 2018
Are you kidding me? This is your #Padres jersey and hat combo for Players Weekend. Brown/yellow hat. Grey/Yellow jersey. What manner of pinheadery went into this decision? @gaslampball @SDHatCollectors @PhilHecken pic.twitter.com/T7jncF8OAT
— jeffstanger (@jeffstanger) August 9, 2018
And I gotta admit, this specific player jersey “NOB” is clever:
Brad Boxberger wins Players Weekend pic.twitter.com/HlsukNvsbh
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) August 9, 2018
As in the past few league-wide jersey gimmicks (Memorial Day, Mom’s Day, etc.) the Indians will not have Chief Wahoo on the uniform:
The Indians' uniform combo for Players' Weekend pic.twitter.com/58e62YMuk0
— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) August 9, 2018
The Reds have a particularly awful dark gray jersey, but I do like Joey Votto’s chosen NickNOB — it’s way too long and won’t easily be seen, but I like it nonetheless:
— Liz Roscher (@lizroscher) August 9, 2018
You can see all the Players Weekend jerseys here, or in the Creamer graphic below:
You can read more about this promotion (with some additional details) here.
If you’re curious about all the (announced) NickNOB’s, a list is here.
Last year, following Players Weekend, the boys from the “Hall of Very Good” Podcast interviewed me on the gimmick. If you’re interested in what I had to say, you can give a listen below:
I didn’t like the PW stuff then, and I don’t think I’ll like it again this time around.
Our First On Field Look…
…At The Titans, Jaguars and Dolphins New Uniforms
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) August 9, 2018
As you are aware (or should be), during the off-season, the Titans and Jaguars unveiled completely new uniforms, while the Dolphins “tweaked” theirs. Paul covered all of these:
Here’s the write up on the Titans new unis.
Here’s his ESPN piece on the Jaguars new unis.
And finally, here’s his column on the Dolphins tweaks.
The Titans totally revamped their unis, with the biggest change being the new navy helmet. Last evening they went navy/white/navy/navy, which produced the dreaded unitard pants look:
Derrick Henry looks like a high schooler that snuck onto a Pee Wee team next to the other Titans RBs pic.twitter.com/YbgPgUTWM3
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) August 10, 2018
A couple folks noticed the Titans were wearing what appeared to be plastic wrap over their helmets:
— Randy Wojtasiak (@RandyWojtasiak) August 10, 2018
Indeed, it was plastic:
I've had a lot of questions about plastic on front of Titans helmet. Ok told its just there to protect them during camp and preseason. pic.twitter.com/7t8piuAoyJ
— Cory Curtis (@CoryCurtis2) August 10, 2018
Not every player appeared to have the plastic.
I found the two-tone shoulder yoke annoying when shown up close, but it was almost unnoticeable from any distance.
From a distance, the Titans reminded me of the Texans. Like, a lot.
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) August 10, 2018
You can see more photos here.
The Jags improved their uniforms immensely in the off season, and they went with black/teal/white/black last evening. I could get used to seeing this every Sunday:
The ⛵️ will do it himself!
— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) August 9, 2018
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) August 9, 2018
Teal jersey, white pants, black helmet.
Classic look to start the new year 👌 pic.twitter.com/PKX2MuNaLC
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) August 9, 2018
A non-two-tone helmet, big, legible fonts and numbers, no excess piping…
…except for that little black stripe that doesn’t quite go around the collar:
I love the new helmet and the pants without the ridiculous striping (they have NO striping/piping at all now) just look great:
I’m not in love with the Jaguar patch/logo on the left side of the jersey (and the aforementioned collar piping), but other than that…nice.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) August 9, 2018
It should also be noted that when the Saints go gold/white/gold/black, they look pretty good themselves. You can see more photos here
The Dolphins went white/aqua/white/aqua last night.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) August 9, 2018
If you read Paul’s article on the Dolphins (or follow NFL uni changes), you’ll notice the difference immediately between last year and this year. If not, here’s the gist of the changes:
The Dolphins have maintained their basic look, with no changes to their logo, their primary shade of aqua, or their number font. But they’ve made two small color adjustments: First, they’ve made their shade of orange deeper and more vibrant. And they’ve removed the blue outlining from their jersey numbers, player nameplates, helmet striping and pants striping.
These changes should now be apparent:
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) August 9, 2018
You probably won’t notice much difference from a far, but up close the changes are good. This video gives a good look at the new unis up close:
Our 2018 home uniform schedule has arrived. 😎
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) August 7, 2018
One thing I hadn’t noticed before (which is really annoying): the team has added a wordmark to the waist above the ass. Ugh:
You can see more photos here.
So that’s the first look at the new unis — what do you think?
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, some MLB Opening Day specials, and more recently with some old baseball stadia (here and here). Most recently, Ron took a look back at past All Star games. As his twitter handle implies, Ronnie’s specialty is old baseball photos.
You guys know I love old scoreboards (and used to run a “GTGFTS” [“Guess The Game From The Scoreboard”] section several years ago). Today, Ron has some looks at some games where the scoreboards feature prominently.
Enjoy. Here’s Ronnie:
Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY, May 22, 1963
Bottom of the ninth inning and Yankees slugger Mickey Mantle leads off facing Kansas City A’s reliever Bill Fischer in a 7-7 game. Mick would work out a walk but would get stranded at second base as the game would go into extra frames. But in the 11th inning, he took it upon himself to send Yankees fans home with his ninth homer of the season giving the Yanks an 8-7 win.
This is one of my favorite photos of the Yankee Stadium scoreboard that was installed in 1959. For years it was wrongly passed as fact that the old scoreboard was moved down to Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia, that rumor was most definitely fueled by the similarities in the design of the old Yankee Stadium scoreboard and the new one down the New Jersey Turnpike, starting with the Ballantine ads both scoreboards displayed.
This new Bronx scoreboard was built in Pardeeville, Wisconsin and installed by nine workers, including the designers of the board. It was 73 feet in width and 34 feet in height and required 200,000 feet of wiring.
Fenway Park, Boston, MA, June 8, 1950
Ted Williams can only stare at the Fenway Park scoreboard in awe of the Red Sox impressive show of bats by leading the pitiful St Louis Browns 29-3 score in the top of the ninth inning.
The Browns would add a meaningless run to top the score at 29-4. At the time the 29 runs scored by Boston on 28 hits was a Major League record topping the 28 scored by the St Louis Cardinals against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 6, 1928. To make things worse for the Browns was this drubbing came after the previous day they lost 20-4 to the Red Sox.
The manually-operated scoreboard seen here was built in 1934 after a fire in the winter destroy most of the outfield walls, and today it’s still operated much like it was back in its first year.
Connie Mack Stadium, Philadelphia. September 10, 1964
The Phillies slugger Johnny Callison is in full home run trot after hitting his 26th dinger of the year off St Louis Cardinals starter Ray Sadecki to give his team a 5–1 lead. That score would hold for the first-place Phillies, but a collapse of epic proportions was soon forthcoming. Ten days later the Phillies would beat the Dodgers 3-2 in LA to give themselves a 6.5 game lead in the NL with just 12 games remaining, including the next seven at home. Well, they lost those seven at home and three more in St Louis and inconceivably surrendered the pennant to the
Cinncinati Reds St. Louis Cardinals.
As for the scoreboard in the distance, it was always mistaken to be from Yankee Stadium, but it was built in 1956 by new owner Bob Carpenter and stood 75 feet high and topped with a Longines clock, similar to the one in Yankee Stadium and leading to many urban legends.
Thanks, Ronnie. He’ll be back periodically with more wonderful old photos and the backstories that go with them.
Baseball News: Bosox skipper Alex Cora has been wearing an “AA” cap inscription for at least a week now. It’s a memorial gesture for Ari Arteaga, the son of Cora’s best friend (from Andy Chalifour, Lorne Geller, and Brian Fraser). … With the PGA Championship golf tourney taking place in St. Louis, John Daly was wearing Cardinals pants yesterday (from Noah Kastroll). … Interesting NOB on the back of these LLWS jerseys (from Mike Herrel). … Rochester, NY based Three Heads Brewing has a new beer, Strong Arm IPA. The art on the can features a pitcher wearing a uniform reminiscent of the Astros’ tequila sunrise uniform (from Joe Werner).
NFL/CFL News: Browns coach Hue Jackson, the latest football coach to mistakenly think he’s actually a drill sergeant, announced two months ago that players would have to “earn their stripes,” and he meant that literally, so the Browns went with stripeless helmets for last night’s preseason opener against the Giants. They’ll continue to go stripe-free for the rest of the preseason, and then stripes will be added for the regular season. Doesn’t look terrible (the lack of a helmet logo is arguably less weird-looking when there’s also no striping), and I’m sure the equipment staff appreciates not having to mess with striping tape, although the notion that grown men are going to be motivated by this type of thing is sort of pathetic (screen shots by Bob Moon). … For those who are wondering, there’s plenty of precedent for having a distinct preseason helmet style. In addition to the Steelers, who routinely omit the front helmet number during exhibition games, the Jets didn’t bother with their helmet logos for preseason games throughout much of the 1960s, and a few others teams did likewise. … Dolphins prexy Tom Garfinkel says the team is “working on” having white throwbacks, instead of the longstanding aqua throwbacks, for 2019. … The Vikings have added a memorial decal for recently deceased offensive line coach Tony Sparano (from Mike Chamernik). … Here’s a listing of uni numbers for the Pats’ rookies. … Who was that working out with the Calgary Stampeders in 1990s? None other than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. “They made him wear a used pair of shorts!” says Mike Styczen. … The Packers have diagonal stripes in their end zones this season. “It’s to to commemorate their 100 seasons, just like they did in 2007 during the 50th anniversary of Lambeau Field,” says Ryan Walters. … The Saints are memorializing former owner Tom Benson with a jersey patch and a helmet decal, which seems a bit belt-and-suspenders for my tastes. Trying to think of other examples of NFL teams doing this type of dual memorial and am coming up empty. Anyone..? (From Lenny Vangilder.) … A Naming Wrongs shirt for Mile High Stadium has ended up as part of a very nice Broncos T-shirt quilt (from Aaron Roggensack). … For reasons that aren’t clear, at least to me, some Jags players like to tape currency to their shoulder pads. … Pats DL Danny Shelton had a problem with his nose bumper during last night’s preseason game against Washington. Not sure I’ve ever seen that particular mishap before (from Joey Ellis). … Chiefs’ P Dustin Colquitt had bare ankles last night. I recall Washington RB Clinton Portis doing something similar for a season or two but I can’t find a good photo, and in any case I’m fairly certain Portis never showed as much skin as Colquitt did last night. … Did anyone else notice a ‘noticeably darker’ football last night? (from Fortlandia).
College Football News: Here’s a good look at Rutgers uniforms through the decades (from Starkman55). … New uniforms for Central Arkansas (from Chris Mycoskie). … Instead of an “X” to mark the spot for kickoffs, Air Force is going with a pair of crossed lightning bolts (from Brett Baker).
Hockey News: The Canucks are inviting fans to vote on a throwback uniform for the 2019-20 season. The initiative, which is part of the team’s upcoming 50th-anniversary celebration, inexplicably doesn’t offer the team’s original uniform as a voting option, which can only mean that they already have plans to incorporate that one into the anniversary festivities somehow. … New mask design for Penguins goalie Matt Murray (from Joe Werner).
NBA News: Looks like Carmelo Anthony will wear No. 15 with the Hawks (from Mike Chamernik). … Wow, it turns out that if you sell space on your uniforms to
sponsors advertisers, you end up with more revenue. Go figure (thanks, Anthony). … An Oregon man was assaulted by three other men because he was wearing a red Trail Blazers jersey, which his assailants mistakenly thought was a sign that he belonged to a gang.
Soccer News: “Premier League team Burnley are wearing an ad-free shirt for their Europa League qualifier in Turkey against Istanbul Basaksehir,” says our own Jamie Rathjen. “It’s because Turkey is one of a few countries that doesn’t allow alcohol or gambling ads.” … Also from Jamie: “To help colorblind people, Israel’s soccer league now defines green and red as the same color, so they can’t be worn in the same game.” … Louisville City FC has donated a bunch of kits to an orphanage in Guatemala. “All of these appear to be unsold kits from the 2016 season,” says Josh Hinton.
Grab Bag: Adidas is getting a financial boost from its Ultraboost running shoes. … PSG.LGD — that’s an e-sports team — has a new jersey
sponsor advertiser. … The National Federation of State High School Associations has named Champion as its official apparel provider. … Cross-listed from the baseball section: With the PGA Championship golf tourney taking place in St. Louis, John Daly was wearing St. Louis Cardinals pants yesterday (from Noah Kastroll). … A Trump campaign PAC is asking supporters to help choose a logo to promote the new prospective Space Force (from Bernie Bernstein and Christopher Hickey). … With the school board in Staunton, Va., considering a name for Robert E. Lee High School — part of the movement against public Confederate symbols and honors — a new report says changing the name would incur costs of $200,000 for new athletic uniforms. … United Airlines is considering a new color scheme. … The Central Ozark Conference — that’s a high school conference in southwestern Missouri — has a new logo.