Uni Watch Field Trip: A Visit to the Green Diamond Gallery

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The world’s biggest collection of baseball memorabilia, as you might expect, is at Cooperstown. But you might not know that the second-biggest collection is just outside of Cincinnati. It’s the personal collection of a guy named Bob Crotty, who’s spent a lifetime amassing a huge stash of game-used gear, autographs, photos, paintings, and more. In 2007 he opened the Green Diamond Gallery — essentially a museum to house his collection. The space also has a monthly event series featuring guest speakers, many of whom are Hall of Famers.

The one catch is that Crotty’s museum is open only to members, who have to pay $2,000 in annual dues plus a one-time $400 initiation fee. That may sound like gouging, but the Green Diamond Gallery actually loses money. When you consider (a) the hassles that come with running a public museum, which Crotty doesn’t want to deal with, and (b) the fact that many collectors simply keep their stuff to themselves so nobody sees it, it becomes evident that Crotty has struck a reasonable middle ground that allows him to play a limited version of show-and-tell. (He also encourages his members to donate to a charitable foundation that he founded.)

Thanks to Cincy-based Uni Watch reader Frank Bitzer (who seems to know everyone in town), we were able to score a private visit to Green Diamond back on Monday morning — our last stop before heading to the airport and flying home. Crotty couldn’t have been a more gracious host, and the sheer volume of jerseys, bats, balls, photos, autographs, and everything else was dizzying (especially since we only had 90 minutes to take it all in — I could easily have spent three or four times that long).

It wasn’t the easiest place to photograph, because most of the jerseys are hung up high, and everything is behind glass, so there are lots of reflections and glare to deal with. But you can see a bunch of shots I took here.

There was a classic Uni Watch moment when I looked at a 1974 White Sox road jersey worn by pitcher Wilbur Wood and noticed that the “White Sox” lettering in the tail of the script was chain-stitched:

That set off some alarm bells in my head, because reader Gary Moore had worn a 1974 Chisox gamer (worn by one of the team’s coaches, he said, although I don’t recall which one) to our Uni Watch party the day before, and I was pretty sure the tail lettering on that one was sewn fabric, not chain-stitching. So I looked up my photos of Gary, and sure enough:

I mentioned this to Crotty — not as a way of questioning his jersey’s legitimacy, but just as an observation. He immediately started saying things like, “Uh-oh, we better pull the paperwork on that one and make sure it’s the real deal.” Yikes — didn’t mean to worry him! When I got home last night, I looked up this jersey design in Bill Henderson’s guide, which says that the lettering was chain-stitched. That means (or at least suggests) that Crotty’s jersey is legit. But what about Gary Moore’s jersey? I asked Henderson about that, and here’s how he responded:

These vintage White Sox jerseys led hard, hard lives. They were sent to the minor leagues after their tour of service in MLB was done, and many/most were stripped of their front wordmarks. Truthfully, while I have many photos in my files of these, I am sure most if not all were restored in some way. I have one in my own collection where the [tail lettering] has been restored with twill.

GENERALLY, I would say that the ones with the chain-stitch are all original, but were some originally made with twill “White Sox” lettering? I don’t know. This knit jersey style was worn for four years, 1972-1975. Additionally, the same style wordmark appeared on flannels back since 1970 (or before). Could it have been chain-stitched in some years and twill in others? I don’t know.

I tend to rely on game photos for the true test of accuracy, since so many of these vintage jerseys are restored (or at least relettered). But a detail like that is so hard to see in a period photo.

[Gary]’s jersey certainly looks well worn. If I had it in hand, I could probably determine if the lettering on it was original or replaced, but I cannot tell from a photo.

Interesting, if not determinative. Thanks, Bill!

Anyway: A visit to the Green Diamond Gallery was the perfect way to cap off our Cincy trip, and to ring out 2018. You can learn more about the facility here, here, and here. I’ll have more coverage next week about what we did during the rest of our trip.

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• • • • •

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New year, new ’do: Last night we made our first 2019 visit to our regular watering hole and discovered that our favorite bartender, the very excellent Lily, has a new hairdo (old version on left, new on right). A solid upgrade, I say. On the good-to-stupid scale, this rates as very good.

• • • • •

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Yianni Varonis

Baseball News: The Phillies powder blue throwbacks are now an official alternate uni. … Check out this color video of the 1938 Pirates and legendary SS Honus Wagner wearing zip-front jerseys (from Jerry Wolper). … Former Mariners P Hisashi Iwakuma, who left the organization to return to Japan, wore No. 18 when he was with Seattle. But in a nicely counterbalancing move, the Mariners have since signed P Yusei Kikuchi, who is coming from Japan, and will also wear No. 18 (from Tim Dunn). … Speaking of Kikuchi, he wore a necktie in Mariners team colors to his introductory presser (from Ethan Coffey). … Reader Noah Friedman recently discovered some of his father’s old sports keepsakes, including programs from the 1980, 1983, and 2008 World Series. … New uniforms for Louisville, featuring a pullover jersey (from James Gilbert and Joseph Matlock). … As you probably know, the White Sox were the first major pro sports team to wear throwbacks. Here’s some video from that game, which took place on July 11, 1990 (from Gary Moore).

NFL News: Reader Kevin Gallo was watching an old Browns game from 1979 and noticed an oddity: the goalpost was perfectly vertical, without the usual forward-pitched curvature. … Adam Yarnevich puts together a graphic of the Chiefs’ uniform combinations each week, which rarely change. Here’s this season’s graphic, featuring four uniform combinations, which is the most in recent history. … Former Seahawks DB Richard Sherman no longer plays for Seattle, but he’s still wearing neon green in a current pistachios commercial (from Ryan Bower).

College Football News: During the Citrus Bowl, Kentucky RB Benny Snell wore a wristband honoring the victims of the Marshall County (Ky.) High School shooting (from Josh Hinton). … From Phil: A seven-year-old wrote a letter to former Ohio State HC Urban Meyer, asking if the “circles” on the players’ helmets are stickers, and if so, if they can choose how many they want. Here’s Meyer’s response to the little girl. … The “Royal Key” tour of college football facilities and equipment rooms continues with Michigan State (from Griffin Smith). … Iowa beat Mississippi State in this year’s Outback Bowl, but that didn’t stop an Iowa “Citrus Bowl Champions” T-shirt from being made (from Kary Klismet).

Hockey News: From Phil: The Penguins will wear green sweaters during warmups to support the “Sports Matter” program, which works to save youth sports in the United States. The sweaters will be auctioned off with proceeds going to the program. … On Wednesday, Penguins C Sidney Crosby was being heckled by an opposing fan who apparently got in some really good “chirps.” Showing good grace, Crosby gave him a signed hockey stick with a personal message (from Joe Werner). … Here are the reasons that Capitals players chose their uni numbers (paywalled) (from Eric Griffin). … Here’s an interesting photograph of former Red Wings G Normie Smith wearing a baseball hat to block the glare of the arena’s lights. Also interesting that both other players in the shot are wearing helmets, which also was a rarity for the 1930s-40s era (from Mark Wilton). … Reader Stephen Krupin volunteered his talents to the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where speeches were rehearsed in the Flyers’ locker room. It was there that he noticed a message from former Flyers G Bernie Parent — “Never let anyone make you question your abilities as a goaltender” — posted in one of the team’s current goaltenders’ locker. … A 2013 Boston Globe illustration commemorating that year’s Stanley Cup Finals showdown between the Bruins and Blackhawks almost exactly predicted the uniforms of this year’s Winter Classic (from Charles Noerenberg). … Speaking of which, the Blackhawks will wear their Winter Classic uni three more times this season. … In its own outdoor hockey game, Michigan will wear these sweaters against Notre Dame (from Stephen Ceruolo). … The Tulsa Oilers of the East Coast Hockey League will wear these Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-inspired sweaters for Nickelodeon night this week (from Joey Jo Jo Jr). … The rink in White River Junction, Vt., has a seriously old-school standings board. “In this era of composite sticks, iPads on NHL benches, etc., it’s kind of cool to see something like this,” says Tris Wykes. … Senators C Matt Duchene uses a personalized stick inscribed with, among other things, country music lyrics and a Bible verse (from Jason Hillyer).

College Hoops News: For Iowa’s game last night against Purdue, Iowa players wore “#tylerstrong” warmup shirts in remembrance of Purdue fan Tyler Trent, who passed away this week after a fight against cancer that garnered national headlines (from Kary Klismet). … During that game between Iowa and Purdue, the teams went color-vs.-color.

Soccer News: Footy Headlines released what might be a leaked photograph of Toronto FC’s 2019 home jersey (from Josh Hinton). … ST Troy Deeney, of English club Watford, was missing his Premier League sleeve badge (but not the sleeve ad, of course) against Bournemouth (from our own Jamie Rathjen).

Grab Bag: This article and video features an interview with the creator of the iconic Rolling Stones logo. … The online currency Bitcoin SV now has a new logo, which was publicly voted on via Twitter. … Towson University has upgraded its look with a new logo. … Cecil College has a new logo as well. … In an effort to limit truancy, some schools in China are using GPS trackers in uniforms to ensure students attend class. … New Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore white for her swearing-in yesterday to honor previous women in politics who wore white (from Lucan Denfield).

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I have a meeting this morning and then a doctor’s appointment in the early afternoon. Play nice while I’m away, have fun with Phil this weekend, and I’ll see you next week. — Paul

50 comments to Uni Watch Field Trip: A Visit to the Green Diamond Gallery

  • Joel Keller | January 4, 2019 at 8:06 am |

    Japanese pitchers seek out 18 when they come here for a very traditional reason: http://myworldofbaseball.com/wordpress/?p=312

    If 18 isn’t available, they seek out 19, especially if 18 is being worn by another Japanese pitcher; when Tanaka joined the Yankees, for instance, he took 19 because Kuroda was wearing 18.

  • Charles Reynolds | January 4, 2019 at 8:09 am |

    That Browns game is not from 1970. Steve Largent was still in high school-and the Browns didn’t wear orange pants until 1975. Looking at game results it has to be from either 1979 or 1983.

    • Kevin G. | January 4, 2019 at 8:36 am |

      That Browns game was actually from 1979 and not 1970.

    • Rick Porter | January 4, 2019 at 8:46 am |

      I remember the Browns using that goalpost there because of the mound. Remember saying something to my dad back in 1980’s about it.

      • Kevin G. | January 4, 2019 at 9:04 am |

        I believe the goalpost at the other end of the field was the same. I’m not sure if they would have just been keeping it consistent since this one was on the pitchers mound and needed to be vertical.

    • Daniel Tarrant | January 4, 2019 at 8:50 am |

      Here’s the game in question, Kevin G. is correct about it being from 1979.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tcl9ACB8oaE

      I guess as long as we’re piling on, the Seahawks were not even around in 1970…

      • Jim Vilk | January 4, 2019 at 12:52 pm |

        I knew about the goalpost on the mound being vertical, but until I looked at this video I didn’t realize the other end was, too!

        The following season they went with a curved post in the outfield.
        https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c5/9f/6d/c59f6d5a1f714d3d7b9426bc084af58c.jpg

        • timmy b | January 4, 2019 at 7:08 pm |

          in a similar vein, in 1967 when (almost) all of pro football went with the “slingshot” goalposts that are still in use 50+ years later, the lone exception using the double standard posts were the St. Lois Cardinals.

  • Peter | January 4, 2019 at 8:14 am |

    The “neon green” is part of pistachio’s current brand identity

    • Paul Lukas | January 4, 2019 at 8:25 am |

      Right. But it’s a fun coincidence that Sherman, who had previously worn that color, got to wear it again.

    • Jon Duchoviner | January 4, 2019 at 10:56 am |

      Yeah, Clay Mathews also wears that same color green

  • Hank-SJ | January 4, 2019 at 8:17 am |

    Phillies alternate cap does not mean the powder blues will be their alternate uniform. Per the article, only the 70s cap is now an official element of their uniform set as the powders were a one-off type design. Maybe they will use their home 70s pin stripe design?

    • Paul Lukas | January 4, 2019 at 8:25 am |

      I can confirm that the throwbacks are now an alternate uni.

  • Gene Biros | January 4, 2019 at 8:17 am |

    Browns would use the vertical goal post on that end of the stadium due to the pitchers mound. Sometime around 1980, they began to use a “gooseneck” goalpost, but only after the baseball season was over and the pitchers mound was leveled.

    • Jerry | January 4, 2019 at 2:02 pm |

      we always called it a “slingshot” goal post

  • Patrick McGovern | January 4, 2019 at 8:19 am |

    I believe the Cleveland pitcher’s mound was right behind that end zone and that’s why the goalpost had to be erected that way.

  • Mangler | January 4, 2019 at 9:05 am |

    It’s time for the 2019 USBC Team USA Trials in Las Vegas, going on now through Monday. This tournament determines members of Team USA and Junior Team USA for international competitions. Recommended viewing for bowling shirt fans.

    Round 1 men’s action from last night: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFidro-iIgI

  • Matt | January 4, 2019 at 9:23 am |

    I think it’s also worth noting that Tyler Trent was a former student at Purdue as well.

    • Chris Weber | January 4, 2019 at 12:14 pm |

      Thank you for pointing this out, Matt. -C.

  • Jay | January 4, 2019 at 9:30 am |

    Paul, your fixation on Lily’s clothing, hairdos and assorted musings on the Panamanian bar is dangerously on the verge of Cultural Voyeurism.

    I know you probably just think it’s a series of mundane observations, but as a person of color who frequently has people touch my daughter’s hair without permission, as if she’s a pet, please reconsider how/whether you write about the bar and those within it. I get a strong “look at these cool exotic people” vibe from your writing about it, and it makes me a bit uneasy.

    FWIW, Lily’s hair looked great before and it looks great now.

    • Jay is right | January 4, 2019 at 10:09 am |

      …but Jay, they “get it”!
      When they are the only “white people” in the bar and been “signaled” as okay, anything and everything is fine…when you’re Paul from Brooklyn!

      *Heavy sarcasm

      • Jay | January 4, 2019 at 11:37 am |

        They probably only “get it” because they value his patronage.

        “Tolerate it” is probably more apropos.

    • Rico7 | January 4, 2019 at 10:10 am |

      Stated very well, thanks for making a very valid point. No offense to Paul, I am certain his observations have been made with the best of intentions. There is a sweet spot to showcasing the excellent service, atmosphere, and vibe of these places without making it weird.

      • Jay | January 4, 2019 at 11:31 am |

        There’s a very thin line between showing support for a good time and fetishizing people whose culture is a bit different. Paul is on the right side of that line now, but I just want to make sure he’s aware that there is indeed a line.

        In particular, black women’s hair is a very, very touchy subject that you might not even be aware of if you’re not part of our community. “Rating a hairstyle” as if it’s a uniform comes across as a bit patronizing at best, and culturally clueless dickishness at worst.

        I’m not accusing Paul of anything, I’m just letting him know that what he sees as reverence most likely is not being received the same way by those he’s highlighting. They’re probably not gonna tell him this because we’re just naturally welcoming (for lots of reasons too deep to discuss here) but best believe that woman wouldn’t feel too good to see her hairstyle “rated”.

        • Rico7 | January 4, 2019 at 11:47 am |

          Jay, thanks for bringing up these points in a respectful and informative manner. You articulated my gut reactions in the best of ways.

        • Jay | January 4, 2019 at 12:20 pm |

          Thanks for listening. Because that’s the only way we all get better. By sharing experiences, respecting the fact that someone else’s perceptions might differ, and trying to take some small piece of that experience into your interactions moving forward.

    • Greg | January 4, 2019 at 2:34 pm |

      I think Paul in general just likes to report on clothing and various forms of style, though certainly you bring up a load of good points. I think he does this any time he is out and about, I recall him doing similar things in his various travelogues. If anything I think Paul displays cultural voyeurism any time he travels outside his usual routine, and does so in a way to highlight cultural aspects in a positive way. But certainly one should tread carefully for all the reasons everyone has discussed. Certainly without knowing the relationship he has with his bartender it is hard know on what side of the respectful line this is. Best as I can tell Paul is a good guy, so I’ll give him the benefit of doubt.

      And when I saw the pictures my immediate thought was how great Lily pulls off both haircuts, as well as how different she looks when she ditches the glasses and changes her hair. Maybe the Clark Kent disguise wasn’t so unrealistic after all.

    • Daniel E | January 5, 2019 at 9:25 am |

      Obviously Paul has developed a friendly relationship with this woman. To me it just looked like a friend complementing a friend on a new hairstyle. I don’t see any reason to interpret it as anything more than that.

      • Daniel E | January 5, 2019 at 9:26 am |

        Damn. *complimenting

  • Walther | January 4, 2019 at 9:49 am |

    I have never heard of a “good to stupid” scale and i would tread VERY lightly were i to rate any woman’s hair.

    • Perry | January 4, 2019 at 10:45 am |

      You must be new here. Paul’s been using the “good to stupid” scale to rate uniform changes forever. Just a little inside uni-watch joke to apply it to someone’s hairstyle change.

      • Jay | January 4, 2019 at 11:35 am |

        Yeah, but maybe some inside jokes just shouldn’t ever come outside. This particular example, especially given the dearth of women of color featured here, comes across as culturally tone-deaf.

        • Perry | January 4, 2019 at 12:50 pm |

          Jay, I’ll take your word for it. I imagine Paul will address the issue if he reads these comments and I’m interested to see his response.

        • Brent | January 4, 2019 at 2:06 pm |

          That’s how things are rated here. Good to Stupid. He didn’t say her hair was stupid. I don’t see a problem. It’s part of our lingo on here. BFBS, color rash…..we have our own way of talking. It’s not meant to be offensive. Therefore it shouldn’t be taken that way. Please don’t make an issue where there isn’t one.

          Thank you,
          Everybody

        • Lee | January 4, 2019 at 2:58 pm |

          No, not “Everybody”.

          Thank you for your consideration.

          Lee

    • Jay | January 4, 2019 at 11:34 am |

      ESPECIALLY A BLACK WOMAN’S HAIR.

      If you don’t know the cultural minefield you’re traversing, then let me help you: that is strictly a no-no. Do not under any circumstances “rate” a black woman’s hair or touch it without permission.

      • Dan | January 4, 2019 at 6:29 pm |

        Thanks for pointing out that fine line. Like others, I agree that Paul hasn’t yet crossed that line, but it’s a good reminder to everyone what certain boundaries are.

        As for intent, it certainly makes a difference, but good intentions don’t prevent people from being hurt or offended. When white people comment on my wife’s hair, they usually intend to be complimentary, but she has a hard time taking it that way given how misunderstood black hair is to them.

        Also, the “it’s not meant to be offensive and thus shouldn’t be taken that way” argument is just plain narrow and self-serving. You don’t get to decide what should or shouldn’t offend another person, particularly if that person belongs to a traditionally maligned group. While we should give people the benefit of the doubt and not be too quick to take offense, we should also listen to people when they warn that this-or-that may be offensive. That’s how we learn to not be offensive (if that’s really someone’s intent).

        I don’t know Paul personally, but I’ve been reading this site since it went up and I feel OK giving him the benefit of the doubt. I’m grateful to see a (mostly) mature, thoughtful, and informative discussion on the topic.

        And to those folks who think that this is unnecessary or that people are too quick to take offense, don’t be so defensive! Set aside your reaction for a moment, read, listen, and learn!

        • Jay | January 7, 2019 at 11:31 am |

          Glad someone else here gets it. As you noted, Paul has good intentions here, I don’t think he intended this to come across as it did. He and I spoke offline and he confirmed as much.

          Still, a lesson for everyone: listen. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.

  • Rick | January 4, 2019 at 9:49 am |

    Great to see the Pirates color film. Also the White Sox video from the throwback game was nice. Chris Sale probably would give !t a thumbs down.

  • ChrisH | January 4, 2019 at 11:03 am |

    Re: White Sox throwback game footage-

    Dave Parker, in a ‘uniform cameo’, is wearing his ASG jersey from the night before (game at Wrigley Field, Parker did not play).

  • Rich | January 4, 2019 at 11:08 am |

    Is Lily single? Asking for a friend…

    • Jay | January 4, 2019 at 11:32 am |

      Go to the bar and find out yourself.

  • D | January 4, 2019 at 11:25 am |

    That Richard Sherman commercial isn’t new. It’s part of a campaign I worked on a couple years ago. They had all athletes/celebrities wear neon green in their respective spots, in any case.

  • Thomas J | January 4, 2019 at 11:42 am |

    Seahawks are going with blue over grey for their Wild Card game in Dallas.

    • Lee | January 4, 2019 at 3:03 pm |

      Interesting… it must be a playoff thing? Last time they wore that combo was in the 2015 Divisional Playoffs.
      They haven’t worn that combo in any regular season game from at least 2015 thru 2018.

      Lee

  • Joe Hi | January 4, 2019 at 11:55 am |

    I have one of those vintage White Sox jerseys too and mine is chain stitched!

    http://www.jerseynameframe.com/uniwatch/sox.jpg

  • Joe Babik | January 4, 2019 at 11:59 am |

    From the “Hockey News” section – The Tulsa Oilers of the East Coast Hockey League will wear these Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-inspired sweaters for Nickelodeon night this week (from Joey Jo Jo Jr)

    It is just ECHL, no longer East Coast Hockey League.

  • Tim | January 4, 2019 at 2:20 pm |

    The other interesting piece of the Mariners announcement yesterday was that the presser was done in front of a Safeco Backdrop, even though the stadium is no longer Safeco Field, but now T-Mobile Park.

  • Jason | January 4, 2019 at 10:36 pm |

    So, I’m going off topic from today’s posts, but is anyone else finding it difficult to watch an NBA game when home teams are wearing their “road” uni? I must admit that I haven’t watched many games over the past decade or more, but still. Full disclosure, I’m 50, so my sweet spot for the league was in the 80’s. Oh well, that’s what memories are for, I suppose.

    • Ty | January 7, 2019 at 12:10 am |

      Yes. It’s stupid and really confusing at times. I’d honestly just prefer color on color instead of road teams wearing white.