I recently announced a design contest to create a “futuristic” uniform for the Portland Pickles. Today I’m happy to report that the Pickles have chosen a winner, and they’ll be wearing the winning design on July 4.
Before we get to the winning entry, let’s look at some of the runners-up (for all images, you can click to enlarge):
Runner-Up: Colin Eadie
Explanation from the designer: “Concept was to go into the near future where humans and aliens live and love baseball together. Alien typography is featured on the sleeves. A neon line silhouette hugs the frame. The future of pinstripes are waves. And last but not least, stackable numbering.”
Runner-Up: Jason Von Stein
Explanation from the designer: “My idea is to have the jersey depict a Pickle in a pickle!” [This one may not be particularly futuristic, but I love the concept. The Pickles should use it for some other promotion! — PL]
Runner-Up: Jonathan Ehrich
Runner-Up: Sam Stuckey
Runner-Up: Matthew Harvey
Runner-Up: Lee Taylor
So those are the ones that didn’t quite make the cut.
And here’s our winner — and I have to say, it’s pretty spectacular:
Winner: Kevin McLaughlin
Explanation from the designer:
The front of the jersey shows the Pickles’ mascot, Dillion, in orbit! The 2050s will give new meaning to the term “launch angle.” The floating marker is measuring the distance, and by 2050 we’ve finally switched to the metric system.
The “Hit Moon, Win Suit” sign is a homage to the old Abe Stark “Hit Sign, Win Suit” billboard at Ebbets Field.
Back of the jersey: Walker Stadium now has a dome! With a hatch! Launch angle, it’s all about launch angle!
Sleeve: Since it’s the 35 anniversary of the Pickles in 2050, I made a commemorative patch.
Now that’s how it’s done. Great job by Kevin, who’s earned himself a $150 prize. Congrats to him, and thanks to all who entered.
Speaking of design contests, don’t forget that we’re currently running one — with a $375 cash prize — for the Leigh High School girls’ basketball team. Full details here.
Fortunately, the Mets were rained out: Yesterday was Ma’s Day. So in honor of that, MLB players dressed like a bunch of morons who didn’t know how to dress themselves because their moms were busy relaxing. Or maybe they dressed like orphans who never learned how to dress themselves because they never had mothers. Or something like that. Whatever the intended message was, it was basically unwatchable. Memo to MLB: Please just make a donation to the motherhood and/or breast cancer charity of your choice and be done with it. No more pink uniforms, I beg you!
One new wrinkle this year was the advent of message-emblazoned belts (click to enlarge):
Can’t wait (read: I can totally wait) to see what kind of belts they come up with for Armed Forces
Day Weekend and Independence Day Festival.
Also, the Brewers went the extra mile by going with pink logos and brims for their batting helmets, which created the nice parallelism of the helmets looking just as bad as the caps:
Meanwhile, there was a bit of virtual theater when the Padres rechristened themselves the Madres on social media and briefly lost control of their @Padres handle. Full details here.
(My thanks to Chris Rucinski and Jason Piland for their contributions to this section.)
For all photos in this section, click to enlarge
ITEM! Condiment update: As you may recall from my recent interview with A’s vendor Hal the Hot Dog Guy (which was one of the best entries in Uni Watch history, so definitely read it if you didn’t catch it the first time around), Hal promised to add my favorite hot dog topping, capers, to his roster of condiment offerings the next time he was vending. The A’s were on the road for a bit, and then Hal was on beer duty for a few games, but this past weekend he was back on hot dog duty — and as you can see above, he was true to his word!
Hal’s customer in that photo is Uni Watch reader Mike Delia, who writes:
We wanted you to know that Hal is now serving capers by request on hot dogs at the Oakland Coliseum. I tried one for the first time and thought it was surprisingly good!
I go to a lot of Oakland A’s games and got to know Hal last season. He is truly one of a kind. I am also a nine-year card-carrying Uni Watch member, and was delighted to read your interview with him.
The story behind Hal’s custom vest really resonated with me, because I too wear a uniform for my job with the San Francisco Municipal Railway, and am one of the few operators who wear the throwback-style motorman’s cap on the F-Market historical streetcar. Hal even inspired me to order my own “baseball” cards to give out to friends, regular passengers, and tourists. They have been a big hit! Topps is making a killing on both of us.
Great story, Mike. I also received the following photo and note from Uni Watch reader Megan Lehrkamp:
Oakland A’s fan here. I write this email to you from my usual seat at the Coliseum, mid-seventh inning. I want to thank you for your excellent interview with Hal, our beloved hot dog vendor. Because of your article, I appreciate him (and his colleague Jim) even more. I want to also confirm that he is now stocking capers — see attached photo as evidence. I wouldn’t have ever thought of this combination, but now that I’ve had it, I can’t imagine ever having a ballpark hot dog without them (which essentially means that Hal will now get all of my allotted hot dog funds).
So that’s at least two satisfied capers customers! Were there more? I asked Hal for a full report on how the capers were received by his clientele, and he responded with the following:
I advertised capers to a bunch of customers, and there were maybe 10 takers all weekend long, but those who had them seemed really pleased. The most common reaction was people screwing up their face and going, “Capers? What?” So yeah, not everyone was on board, but I’ll keep them around for a bit longer to see if they catch on. Some people who didn’t even want a hot dog but had read the article asked me if I had capers just as a test!
More impressively, I had probably 50 people tell me they read your article and liked it! I tried to give a baseball card to most people who mentioned it, so I’ll have to reorder soon. It was really fun to hear, “Hey, I read your Lukas article! Very cool.” I even served a guy in a Uni Watch t shirt that he wore because of the article. Another of my regulars brought his Uni Watch membership card to show me. That same guy ordered a dog with capers on just one end, but then had a bite and wanted more, so you’re winning, ever so slowly!
In possibly related news, someone up the food chain gave me a white flat cap and told me to wear that from now on. Could be a coincidence, but who knows. Either way, it’s no big deal, but the Uni Watch hat will be retired from vending for the foreseeable future. If the article was responsible for that change, it was definitely worth it. If not, I’m glad I got in the Uni Watch hat before the policy change.
Oh, man — is Hal the best or what? He also included a few more capers photos:
Membership update: A bunch of new designs have been added to the membership card gallery (including Eric E. Cooney’s card, shown at right, which is based on Germany’s 1990 World Cup kit). My continued thanks to everyone who’s been signing up — we have a very vibrant membership scene this year!
Ordering a membership card is a good way to support Uni Watch (which, quite frankly, could use your support these days). And remember, a Uni Watch membership card entitles you to a 15% discount on any of the merchandise in our Teespring shop and our Naming Wrongs shop. (If you’re an existing member and would like to have the discount code, email me.) As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here, and you can see how we produce the cards here.
Speaking of membership cards, remember that this Friday, May 17, is our annual Purple Amnesty Day — the only day of the year when I’ll accept orders for purple-inclusive membership card designs. So if you’re a Northwestern, Ravens, Lakers, Vikings, LSU, or Rockies fan, mark your calendar now and get ready to place your order on Friday. If you miss out, the 24-hour window will slam shut and you’ll have to wait until next year.
We’ll also have a very special piece of purple merch this year. I’ll show you what it is on Thursday, and then it will be available for 24 hours on Friday.
IMPORTANT anniversary update: On Friday I announced the date for the Uni Watch 20th-anniversary party — June 22.
Unfortunately, due to an unforeseen and unavoidable conflict, I’ve had to push the date back by a week. So the party will take place on Saturday, June 29, from 2-6pm. Sorry for the switcheroo, and I hope nobody had already made irrevocable plans based on the previous date.
The venue is unchanged: We will gather at the 773 Lounge. More details soon!
Design contest reminder: In case you missed it on Friday (and didn’t catch the little notice at the end of today’s lede), we’re currently running a design contest to create a set of three uniforms for the girls’ basketball team at Leigh High School in California.
The winning designer will get a cash prize of $375, so this is a good chance to help out a school and make yourself some coin. Full details here.
By Jamie Rathjen
Baseball News: Phillies P Cole Irvin, making his MLB debut yesterday, was missing the uni number on his left sleeve (from Gary Bates) … Rays OF Tommy Pham lost a contact lens while out in left field on Saturday, so it turns out that he keeps a compact in his pocket to help him put it back in (from Michael Rich and Joanna Zweip). … The MLB Network’s logo for the upcoming draft has an apostrophe catastrophe (from Nelson Warwick). … Here’s the cap patch that the Yanks and Red Sox will be wearing for their upcoming games in London (from Jon Rose).
Football News: Canadian college football’s East-West Bowl has new uniforms, but with the red and black color designations switched from last year. The game also has a tradition of players covering their helmets with decals from other schools (from Wade Heidt). … Reader Joseph Bailey saw a pennant with the prototype Jaguars logo signed by executive/former coach Tom Coughlin in a restaurant near Coughlin’s hometown of Waterloo, N.Y. … Many college recruits have Photoshops done involving the logos or uniforms of the schools they’re considering, but DL/LB recruit Quentin Williams had the uniforms of his five choices combined into one (from Andrew Cosentino). … NAIA school Robert Morris University Illinois — not related to the one in Pennsylvania, but named after the same figure — calls its teams the Eagles and has a familar logo (from @bryanwdc). … Someone designed BFBS uniform concepts for every NFL team (from @unavion).
Basketball News: Multiple readers sent us this observation that at one point during yesterday’s game, the Trail Blazers had five players on the court whose numbers only added up to nine — 0, 00, 1, 3, and 5.
Soccer News: Premier League teams revealing and/or wearing next season’s kit yesterday included Leicester City and Crystal Palace (from Josh Hinton). … Manchester City switched to their first kit — with the shirts saying “Champions 19” — for their PL title celebrations after wearing their second kit at Brighton and Hove Albion. Right-back Kyle Walker’s ad/sleeve patch placement was reversed (from Anthony Edwards and @deadendnight). … PL teams usually receive the trophy at a home game if they win the title on the road. It appears that yesterday was the first time that the champions have changed for the presentation, because Manchester United did not in 1996, the previous time the champions won the title in their second kit on the last day. … Huddersfield Town had a giveaway of this season’s third shirt for their contingent of fans traveling to Southampton yesterday (from Josh again). … New first shirt for Juventus. It has a black square for numbers on the back (from multiple readers). … German team Fortuna Düsseldorf and Dutch team AZ also revealed their first kits (more from Josh). … Spain’s La Liga figures out what the best kit matchup for each game is by lining up the choices on a computer (from Steve Flack). … The New England Revolution wore camouflage numbers Saturday (from Brian Henke). … The NWSL’s Washington Spirit got a new white second shirt which somehow is plainer than last year’s effort. … Spirit players also wore wristbands with “GT” written on them in memory of assistant coach Tom Torres’s son Grady. … New
sponsor advertiser for Southampton (from Mark Higgins).
Grab Bag: During Saturday’s European Rugby Champions Cup final, Leinster lock James Ryan had his shirt pulled over his head and off in a brief altercation with a Saracens player, but kept playing, sans shirt, until the next stoppage. … Here are the uniforms for a lacrosse game between Washington-area FBI and Secret Service agents (from Ryan Dye). … Pakistani-South African cricketer Imran Tahir, who is Muslim, played in the Indian Premier League for the Chennai Super Kings this year and taped over one of the team’s ad patches, which Ryan Patton tells us is alcohol-related, for the competition’s final. I can’t find any pictures of him doing it any other time. … Yesterday’s Towson/Maryland game in the NCAA men’s lacrosse tournament was color-vs.-color (from Dan Murtagh). … “West Virginia” was spelled wrong on bibs at the Big 12 track championship (from Troy Ravenscroft). … Seniors on North Carolina’s golf teams get framed pin flags as the equivalent to framed jerseys (from James Gilbert). … A Royal Air Force station in Cosford, England, built a combination field hockey/soccer pitch with the RAF roundel in the center. … Cross-listed from the football section: NAIA school Robert Morris University Illinois — not related to the one in Pennsylvania, but named after the same figure — calls its teams the Eagles and has a familar logo (from @bryanwdc). … New Aussie football indigenous round guernseys for St. Kilda (from @BluesBrother95).
Special shout-out today to Phil. He knows why. Big hugs, buddy. — Paul
could i get the explanation or link to the explanation as to why the number in the magnifying glass changes. I have completely forgot, Thank you
It was originally 7. Five years ago, when we had our 15th anniversary, I had it changed to 15. But somehow the 7 crept back in and now they seem to rotate randomly, which I sort of enjoy.
1. Love the Pickles concept.
2. Oh, Juve… what have you done to yourself?
3. The all-NFL BFBS sets might be proof that End of Days is near. Ick.
Capers are great, especially if you like salt. Poor West Virginia. Still recovering from Kawhi shot – time stood still.
Yankees and Red Sox London caps. Boo. What a snoozer of a cap patch. You don’t need anything there, and nothing would look so much better. But lost opportunity with the batter man logo on the back. I’ve seen star spangled batter men on ‘Murica Fuck Yeah caps, but a Union Jacked batter man logo could have looked cool and special.
Perhaps the cap shown is a commemorative cap and not what’s being worn on the field.
I’m going by what the Ticker says, and reacting accordingly.
Here’s the cap patch that the Yanks and Red Sox will be wearing for their upcoming games in London (from Jon Rose).
The Union Jacked batterman is a great idea. I’d have loved to see that.
The patch is very generic and lazy. If they’re gonna have a patch there, they could at least incorporate imagery that suggests London, like a silhouette of Big Ben or something. Thumbs down.
“Memo to MLB: Please just make a donation to the motherhood and/or breast cancer charity of your choice and be done with it. No more pink uniforms, I beg you!”
Can we swap “motherhood and/or breast cancer” for “fatherhood …, Memorial Day …, July 4, Labor Day, and any other holidays I forgot” and have your statements apply to those, too? Nothing like watching an Astros rookie starting pitcher make his MLB debut yesterday in a God-awful blackish blue cap with a pink bill.
I’m not against any of the causes. I’m against people dressing like idiots.
Yes please! Nothing like Derek Jeter getting his number retired on a May Sunday, and the Yankees marking tribute by wearing pink. True story.
Double Zero should not be allowed in the nba. Is 06 allowed?
09 was allowed in MLB.
09, 06 and 00 should most definitely be allowed in the NBA.
The winning uni design is excellent—love the “Hit Moon win suit” bit. The “pickle in a pickle” design is also quite entertaining.
PROOFREADING: The Robert Morris item says “cross-listed from the football section” IN the football section.
I have a drawing at my desk (I get bored on conference calls) with the “Pickle in a Pickle” concept, but never got around to making it look good or submitting it.
My hesitancy was that I wasn’t sure how to make a futuristic looking pickle…
I am not a follower of the NBA so I was surprised to see this morning that Portland has players numbered zero and double zero?
Has any other team in any sport ever had that? Has Uniwatch mentioned that before? At first I thought that can’t be ‘legal’, but then quickly realized it’s like having a number one and a number eleven.
Has happened a lot in the NBA.
Happened once in MLB (1985 Blue Jays, who had Cliff Johnson wearing 00 and Al Oliver wearing 0).
Not aware of it happening in any other sport.
Instead of going all pink and blue,why not just go with Mom and Dad (respectively) as NOB on a regular game jersey? Direct and to the point (MLB marketing aside).
A Bangladesh-based cricket team actually did just this, though from what I could tell it was just done as a one-off, and not for a holiday.
For what it’s worth, 0 and 00 are considered distinct numbers in motorsport that allows 0 anywhere.
I don’t think I’ve seen this in the NBA, but in racing, numbers like 5 and 05 are also considered different (the most famous Australian racer of all time, Peter Brock, used ’05’ for a good part of his career, as what started as an anti drunk-driving promotion, since 0.05 was the BAC limit in Victoria, Australia at the time).
Of the 32 BFBS concepts, 31 are awful. However, the Falcons version would be an upgrade to what they curretnly have.
Also, the Robert Morris link shows a bowling uniforms, not sure that is supposed to be in the football section.
nvm… its an Eagles logo. I get it.
Well, it refers to a Philly Eagles logo, which is why it’s in the football section (but also in the Grab Bag, because of the bowling content).
Man City changed kits after they won the PL title last year. They were wearing their normal first kit and then changed into their home kits that have “Champions 18” on the back. So slightly different than this year because this year they were wearing a completely different kit during the game.
Yes, the champions do do that every year. By “changed” I mean “changed to a different kit entirely,” beyond just the number/NOB thing.
There was a more embarrassing moment in the Leinster/Saracens game. Winger James Lowe of Leinster had his shorts, er, removed in a tackle.
This image went out on the live broadcast…
That’s a good one!
So like the Padres/Madres rebrand- on Bark at the Park day- the Mets could change their name to “Pets”
Re: Muslim Cricketer
Could he be taping over the logo noe because it’s Ramadan?
Hal is the best. I agree that it was one of the best entries in blog history and I’ve been reading since 2006.
I think Hal needs to be paid tribute to on a Uni Watch t-shirt or other piece of merchandise.
Not really uni-related, but was really hoping for a dramatic fall for Man City and for Liverpool to pull off the title. I’m a fan of the league but don’t have any strong allegiances (although I’ve kind of cheered for Wolves this season because of a strong Portuguese presence between the manager and several players). Heck of a year, looking forward to August and another season.
Regarding the FBI-Secret Service baseball game… John Welter wrote a novel based around the annual event called “Night of the Avenging Blowfish: A Novel of Covert Operations, Love, and Luncheon Meat”
In the 2000 Champions League final, Real Madrid link during the game, then link for the trophy presentation.
Looks like since then AC Milan won the Champions League in 2003 and 2007 wearing white, but didn’t change for the presentation.
Then Real won wearing purple in 2017, but put on white shirts over the purple shirts for the presentation.
So that’s interesting.
This may be a silly question, but regarding Purple Amnesty Day, my favorite jersey color scheme is the old mid-90s era eggplant Mighty Ducks. Does that count as purple? I’ve been holding off on (finally) ordering a membership card just because of that.
Yeah, we consider that purple and have done several Mighty Ducks cards on previous Purple Amnesty Days. So get ready for this Friday!
As an American it still kind of boggles my mind that a champion is crowned without a playoff/head-to-head match up. Yesterday’s PL final day really blew my mind when the announcers at the Man City game mentioned that an identical cup was in Liverpool in the event they won. Which also means medals were struck for the Liverpool players, would they be melted down since they weren’t used? Will they show up with phantom T-Shirts in a developing country?
It’s kind of nice that the PL (and all the other leagues in Europe, at least as far as I’m aware) awards the trophy based on performance over the past 9-10 months, and not a couple of fluky games here and there at the season’s end. It seems pointless to have a playoff when, like last season, the top finisher wraps up the title well before the final weekend. But I do wish there was some way they could play a proper championship game if, say, the race ended up being decided by 3 or fewer points. Logistically, though, I don’t know how it’d work–the only remaining open weekend this month is May 25/26, and while City would have wrapped up their FA Cup plans a week earlier, Liverpool still have the Champions League Final to worry about the following weekend, so you could definitely imagine some hemming and hawing between teams about x is fresher but has to worry about a game next week while y just played last weekend but doesn’t have any competitive matches again until August.
There actually is a provision for a Premier League championship game, or a playoff for European spots or relegation, if two teams are tied on both tiebreakers (goal difference and goals scored).
It was extremely remotely possible yesterday (link), but it’s more an easy subject for what-if articles this time of year than anything.
Though, as that article says, in 1996 the PL actually got as far as deciding on two possible dates and printing tickets.
While I feel for anyone whose plans changed, i’n Personally ecstatic that that Uni-Watch meetup has to be moved. The 22nd I’m helping throw a surprise party for my aunt who’s retiring after 25 years of being a public school teacher, but the 29th I’m free to attend.
Thanks again to Paul for coming on last night! The interview was fantastic and i hope Uni Watch and UTR can work together more soon.
Aargh. After five years of trying I finally get the Brewers to link, and that game is the same as your new party day. I’ll have to raise you a toast from Miller Park.
Fair enough, Chance. I respect your priorities!!
Paul, Are MLB players REQUIRED to participate in the various ‘appreciation days beyond wearing the pink/camo/etc hats/jerseys? can they use their non pink bats, socks/belts?
They have to wear the caps and the ribbon-clad jerseys. The rest is optional, or at least that’s my understanding.
Thanks for the friendly exchange on FB last night, about the hot dog vendor in Oakland. I was surprised to catch you on the platform. Keep up the good work, UW is always interesting.
BTW, I get a big kick out of your cooking adventures.
Thanks, once again.
Mike Delia appears to have a unique method of eating his hot dogs
Bobby Bonds once wore 00 when his preferred 25 was unavailable. When asked why double zero, he said, “If I ain’t 25, I ain’t nuthin.”
What is the most unique, innovative team mascot for the big four US sports plus MLS (altho very soon to be one of those big four)? I feel like it’s gotta be the Trailblazers. What are your thoughts?