[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. Today we have a very special post from our own Alex Hider, who found there’s one thing he misses about the old Cincy Reds ballpark. Enjoy! — PH]
Retired Jersey Signs at Cinergy Field
By Alex Hider
As a Reds fan, there aren’t many things I miss about Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field — the concourses were cramped, dark and dank; the astroturf was always stained and dirty (thanks Schottzie) and the multipurpose nature of the stadium made for bad sightlines for baseball.
But there is one thing I truly miss about the old ballpark — the retired jersey signs.
Given the Reds’ eclectic uniform history, it was a fitting tribute to honor the best in team history with an extra large, era-appropriate jersey.
The signs weren’t there for long. In fact, they were probably only a feature of Cinergy Field — not Riverfront Stadium.
As you can see, the area above the left field wall was blank as recently as 1995. The stadium was renamed Cinergy Field in 1996.
The earliest photos I could find of the signs come from 1998. Prior to ’98, the Reds had removed three numbers from circulation: No. 1 for manager Fred Hutchinson, No. 5 for Johnny Bench and No. 42 for Jackie Robinson. That number would double by the end of the 1998 season.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume the Reds added the signs to coincide with the numbers retirements for Frank Robinson (No. 20), Joe Morgan (No. 8) and Ted Kluszewski (No. 18).
Both Hutchinson and Robinson were both honored with 1962-1964 vest jerseys. Bench obviously received the Big Red Machine pullover treatment.
I find Morgan’s and Klu’s signs fascinating. Check out the number fonts. I think we can safely say that font has never appeared on a Reds jersey before.
Kluszewski was best known for removing the sleeves from his jersey, so I love that Reds removed the sleeves from his sign. But it’s probably inaccurate that they gave him a red undershirt.
Klu did often wear a sleeveless red undershirt when the Reds adopted vests in 1956 and 1957, but the C-Reds logo on the sign makes it clear that his sign is based on the 1947-1955 era jersey. Every photo I could find of Klu from those years shows him sleeveless without an undershirt.
The 1947-1955 era jerseys also didn’t include a number on the front of the jersey — which is kind of vital to a retired number sign. The Reds probably would have been better off using the 1956 or 1957 home jersey as a basis for Kluszewski’s sign.
Only Cincinnati Reds received the jersey treatment. Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 was displayed on a baseball-shaped sign.
The Reds would add Tony Perez’s No. 24 pullover to the wall in 2000. A season later, the Reds removed the left-field stands to accommodate the construction of Great American Ballpark.
That’s when the signs moved to the exterior of a covered stairway near the left field foul pole. Before the renovation, the jerseys were arranged left to right in the order in which they were retired. Starting in 2001, they were arranged numerically in ascending order from top to bottom.
The signs came down with Cinergy Field in 2002. Since then, the Reds have retired four more numbers: No. 10 for Sparky Anderson, No. 11 for Barry Larkin, No. 13 for Dave Concepcion and No. 14 for Pete Rose.
None of them got the jersey treatment — just a neon number on Great American Ballpark’s facade behind home plate.
Griffins Design Contest
In case you missed it, I’m running the third annual “Grand Rapids Griffins Jersey Design Contest,” in which readers are asked to submit jersey design concepts for a third (or alternate) jersey for the team.
Like past years, the team is asking for a jersey (only) design, but other than that, it’s pretty wide open.
All of the details are here in this post, but the important big detail is the contest submission deadline, which is Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 (by 11:00 pm E.D.T.). Everything else you need to know is in that post.
By Alex Hider
Baseball News: David Wright, who’s currently on a rehab assignment in the Mets’ farm system, is now wearing a C-Flap (from Paul). … Could these be the A’s spring training caps for next season? (From Michael Davie). … Orioles CF Adam Jones wore some multi-colored, bright shoes to the ballpark yesterday (from Andrew Cosentino). … We missed this one — a few months ago, the Washington Post produced a set of illustrated baseball cards (WaPo link) for the All-Star Game. The card for Dodgers’ OF Matt Kemp did not include the team’s signature red front number (from Tom Denne). … Doug Brei notes that in this 1970s Giants defensive playbook, the team used Wrigley Field’s dimensions instead of Candlestick Park’s (note the notches by the foul poles). … In the ’90s, Reds owner Marge Schott tried to market apparel for her (in)famous dog, Schottzie. To boost sales of the merch, she suggested that Reds players wear dog-eared caps for a game. Somehow, that idea got shot down (from @reetae27). … This gallery notes the “forgotten jersey” for every MLB team (from Phil). … The Single-A Lakewood BlueClaws will wear pink jerseys tomorrow for cancer awareness (from John Cerone). … The Wisconsin TimberRattlers will wear these sharp pullovers for Wisconsin night on Aug. 21 (from @wazze100). … Chris Grayson, an outfielder for the Sioux Falls Canaries, suffered a tear in his right pant leg yesterday (from Tony T.). … The Smashing Pumpkins hail from Chicago, and lead singer Billy Corgan is a Cubs fan. The band stopped by Wrigley and threw out the first pitch the other day, and the band all got jerseys when they stopped by Wrigley Field (all except guitarist and LA native Jeff Schroeder). Note they received “authentic” jerseys with the block of non-striped fabric near the butt (from Noah Sidel). … President George H.W. Bush looks sharp in his 1940s Yale baseball jersey (from @wahlbergLines). … The Houston-area team representing the Southwest region in the Little League World Series appropriately wears tequila sunrise jerseys (from Hal M.).
NFL News: The Rams have a banner at their training camp that details every uniform they’ve worn since the franchise began in Cleveland (from Mark Holmes). … The Steelers’ color rash uniforms in Madden NFL 19 has some strange extraneous under-arm striping. (from JJ). … This HBO graphic must not have been updated since last year — the Browns are featured on this new season, not the Bucs (from Nate Neumann). … The NFL is now selling caps in the style of Carhartt workwear (from Jacob Bogage).
College Football News: South Alabama has officially unveiled their new uniforms. … Tulsa also revealed its new set (from @bearphoot). … New uniforms for Lafayette of the FCS’ Patriot League (from Phil).
Hockey News: What will the Kings’ third jersey look like? This blog post investigates (from Phil). … Northeastern unveiled new men’s and women’s hockey jerseys to go along with their new athletic logos yesterday. … Illinois will wear orange, gray and white jerseys this upcoming season (from @mrmichael21).
Basketball News: Could the Knicks be adding a gray outline to the wordmark on their blue jerseys? (From @chillymak). … SportsCenter created a graphic showing new Rockets G Carmelo Anthony in a jersey for every team he’s played for. But the Hawks, who owned Anthony’s contract for five days and later sent him the jersey he never wore, had some fun with ESPN’s graphic on Twitter. … North Carolina will wear these uniforms during their preseason training trip to the Bahamas (from James Gilbert).
Soccer News: Manchester City midfielder İlkay Gündoğan had surgery to fix a deviated septum in the offseason and wore a mask during the team’s opening game this weekend (from Max Weintraub). … Forest Green Rovers of England’s League Two haven’t received their jerseys from manufacturer Hummel, so they’ve been wearing makeshift sky blue jerseys (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Also from Jamie: Arsenal fullback Hector Bellerín switched from No. 24 to No. 2 — the fourth different number he’s worn for the Gunners. But according to Jamie, there’s at least one other player who’s worn more numbers in the past quarter century; he says Andrew Considine of Scottish club Aberdeen has worn seven different numbers since debuting in 2004: 36, 25, 21, 6, 5, 3, and currently 4. … Uni ads outside of the maker’s mark are banned in international soccer. But in the ’80s, before strict rules were put in place, some countries wore ads for international matches (from Rob Carey). … Aston Villa wore their new third jerseys in a Carabao Cup match yesterday (from Scott Whitt). … This is what 3rd Degree‘s MLS tracker looks like through about 25 matches.
Grab Bag: New athletic logos for Northeastern. Here’s the obligatory hype video. … Trent Guyer found a “foot measuring device” — not a Brannock Device — for sale in a store display catalog. … Great story from Atlas Obscura that notes some of the more aesthetic gas stations around the world (from @walbergLines). … North Texas is selling T-shirts with Cherokee language.