By Phil Hecken, with Jimmer Vilk
♫ It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Vilkmas…♫
Readers of Uni Watch know that our own Jimmer Vilk is a very generous hombre; in the past he has gifted some of his most prized possessions to our readership (including shipping!). We thusly had Vilkmas in December in 2015 and again in December 2016. Rather than having a LOT of items to ship during the holiday season, Jimmer broke his Vilkmasses in 2017 into two parts: one in July, and again in December of 2017. Jim’s edition for 2018 actually ran a couple days after 2019 began, but this year he (and I) got our
shit stuff together, and I’m pleased to AGAIN offer Jimmer’s generosity to the Uni Watch readership.
Take it away, Mr. Vilk!
Merry Vilkmas 2019
By Jimmer Vilk
Ho Ho Ho, everyone ! Have you been good this year? I hope so because I have more stuff to get rid of but I don’t have any lumps of coal. What kind of stuff? Well, let’s take a look (for all items, you can click to enlarge)…
(1) For starters we have a Sacramento Kings workout shirt, size XL.
And it’s not even Purple Amnesty Day! I believe these are the shirts the league used at the beginning of this decade for pregame shootarounds. Or maybe the players wore them on the bench. Whenever they wore them, they wore them, and now so can you.
(2) Next we have a game-worn Akron Zips basketball jersey from the 1990-91 season, size 44.
Number 32 was Roy Coleman, whom you can see in these pictures from my ’91 Akron yearbook and from the cover of the ’91-’92 Zips media guide (same shot from two different angles, by the way).
If you look carefully on the front of Coleman’s jersey you can see he’s wearing an American flag patch. I took that off several years ago to put on the sleeve of an astronaut shirt I was making. The shirt is gone now, as is the patch.
(3) Switching to baseball, we have an Evan Longoria Montgomery Biscuits shirsey, size XL.
Since my wiffleball days are pretty much behind me it’s time to set this shirt free.
(4) More baseball, and this gift *literally* just fell into my lap. I didn’t even know my son had a Roberto Clemente shirsey, size L.
Guessing my sister got it for him the time her family took my kids to a Bucs game. Anyway he was making room in his closet and tossed it my way. And I’m tossing it your way.
(5) And finally…they say “Give until it hurts”… well, this hurts. We end with a softball jersey I’m really going to miss, made by the one and only Waffleboard.
Not just any jersey, this is a replica of what Rodney Dangerfield wore in the classic Lite Beer Softball Game commercial.
The size is like an athletic fit XL, meaning it’s a little snug, I wanted it that way, partly because that’s how they wore them in the 80s and because I knew I was going to start running and lose some weight. They weight and the waistline did indeed go down, but I didn’t take into account that I’m barrel-chested and you can’t shrink rib cages. It’s still just a little too snug up top. I can’t let a one-of-a-kind Waffleboard just sit in my closet, though…it needs a good home and where better to find one than here?
That’s it for another Vilkmas. Phil will have the usual details after this one change I’m making: Shipping is still free, however I’m going to limit it to the continental United States. I had a lot of work done on the car lately so I have to watch my expenses for a while. Thanks for understanding and enjoy the holidays!
Thanks, Jimmer! Your generosity never ceases to amaze.
OK, this is very similar to Paul’s once-yearly raffle so here is how you enter:
1) Send an email to Phil.Hecken@gmail.com and put in the SUBJECT “Vilkmas in January”
2) In the BODY of the email, please indicate (a) your name and shipping address and (b) your top 3 prize choices, in order of preference, by description. If you’re only interested in, say, one or two items, then just list your top one or two choices; if you want all 5, you can do that too, but I don’t really expect anyone to go that far. Jim will do his best to accommodate all the winners’ choices.
3) One email per person. Entry deadline is this THURSDAY (December 26), 8:00 pm Eastern. The winners will be announced the following weekend.
And please, everyone please give Jimmer a nice round of thanks in the comments below. Thanks, Jimmer — you’re still the best.
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: “Leon Day, 1939” (color study)
Subject: Leon Day, 1939
Medium: Oil on linen mounted to board
Size: 5” x 7”
Leon Day often has his name placed next to the great Satchel Paige. The reason being is that their personas, physique, charisma, approach and mechanics were all diametrically opposed to one another. But, the results were often the same. Thorough statistics may not have survived, it’s generally thought that Leon won around 300 games on the mound. And the few times in which he faced Satchel, he won the majority. He was never overly colorful, nor did he engage in theatrics or self promotion like Paige did. In fact, his contemporaries believe that this is the reason it took so long for him to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame, which finally occurred in 1995, a mere five days before he passed away at the age of 78.
At 5’8” and around 170 pounds, Day’s trademark was his no windup delivery, which could deal a fastball in the 90s or a devastating curveball. He was also very reliable, going deep into games and still pitching every three days. Day could also play almost every position on the diamond. Though mostly remembered as a pitcher, he was known to start in left field or second base on the days he wasn’t on the mound.
Leon is remembered primarily as a Newark Eagle, who he played with for the majority of his career. One of his best seasons, 1937, came with a 13-0 record and a 3.02 ERA, which also went with a .320 average and eight home runs. In 1946, after returning from his service in WWII, he even threw an Opening Day no-hitter on May 5, beating the Philadelphia Stars, 2-0. That same club went on the win the Negro Word Series that year, besting the Kansas City Monarchs in seven games.
Day also spent many off-seasons in the Latin American Leagues, most notably with the Tiburones de Aguadilla in Puerto Rico and the Rojos del Águila de Veracruz in the Mexican Baseball League.
Here’s Leon with the Tiburones in 1939. This is one of 200+ paintings of mine that will be on display at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the spring of 2020.
Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.
Guess The Game…
from the scoreboard
The game has returned!
Today’s scoreboard comes from reader Pearly Baker-Best.
The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).
Although the scoreboard today is mostly obscured, the biggest clue is found ON the court.
Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):
If you guys like this, please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: Hmmm. Although this “49ers/Giants” scarf is just a mistake, I bet there would be a decent market for reversible scarves (and maybe there is — I don’t wear scarves!). From Joe Farris. … MLB umpires have reached a deal to cooperate with electronic strike-zone testing, the AP reports (from Jimmer Vilk).
NFL News: Here’s a good article from ESPN on how every NFL team gets moved for every road game (from Nicklaus Wallmeyer). … The Oakland Raiders took their 60th season logo and turned it into a holiday card (from RJ Waddell). … My pal Bill Hetrick liked yesterday’s UW piece on the Sears Christmas Wishbook he had to see what NFL items he got through the Wishbook. … “50 years ago, a wide-eyed 8-yr-old went 2 his 1st Saints game, a rare win that ended in a bench-clearing brawl! Found a program on eBay & my daughter made a cool shirt complete w/ the beautiful 50th season emblem the players wore,” writes Russell. … Quick! When you think the Seahawks, and who wore jersey #80, you think of one guy, right? And he had it retired in 1992. But two HOFers who played for the Seahawks wore it. Steve Largent explains how Jerry Rice ended up with jersey No. 80 on Seahawks. … EVERYONE seems to be redesigning the Tampa Bay Bucs unis these days. One solution I didn’t foresee was to make them more like the Bengals.
College Football News: The Tulane Green Wave are replacing the turf on their football field and will be holding a “Design a Field” contest for fans (from Victor Du Frommage). … Behind one of the end zones in the Frisco Bowl was a “beach party” (ironic, since the game was formerly the Miami Beach Bowl) where this masterpiece was created (from College FootBOWL Tracker). Also from FootBOWL: Here’s a look at the Boca Raton Bowl patch on the SMU jerseys — they’ll wear white; Odd NOB suffix for Kent State in the Frisco Bowl; Good look at the Camellia Bowl field design, which will be one of the few bowls to have a standard 50 yard line marker (most are using the CFB150 logo instead); yesterday’s “Celebration Bowl” was color vs. color; Here’s a good look at the Celebration Bowl patch on the North Carolina A&T jerseys; First look at the Gator Bowl patch on the Tennessee jerseys — they’ll wear orange in the bowl game; Not the best photo, but a Georgia Southern player (NaJee Thompson) is wearing a white hoodie underneath his navy jersey; here’s a look at the New Mexico Bowl patch on the Central Michigan jerseys; And here’s a good look at the Celebration Bowl patch on the Alcorn State jerseys; here’s a look at the Camellia Bowl patch on the Florida International jerseys; and the New Orleans Bowl patch on UAB jerseys; and on App State … The amazing Blaise D’Sylva is rapidly coming down to the end of his fantastic helmet countdown, and yesterday he featured University of Louisiana at Lafayette. 112 down, 18 to go! … Apparently the latest trick in college football recruiting is single-digit jerseys for defensive linemen. … Odd spacing on the Sun Belt Conference patch for Arkansas State (from Victor Du Frommage). … Jeff, fan of the Stanley Cup Champions noticed number 87 for FIU had a different wordmark on the back of his helmet (neck bumper) than his teammates did.
Hockey News: The AHL Springfield Thunderbirds will become the Springfield Ice-O-Topes for one game in February, in honor of the 30th anniversary of The Simpsons. … Yesterday, he scoreboard at the Buffalo Sabres vs. LA Kings game showed “Quarter” instead of “Period” (from Jakob Fox). … Check out the awesome sweaters worn by the Iowa Wild yesterday (from Sean Jankowski). … Here’s something you definitely don’t see every day: a clearing pass shot right into the ref’s pocket (from Jerry Wolper). … “My brother Luke and I made an interesting observation at (last) night’s Atlanta Gladiators game,” writes Philip Trandel. “Clint Windsor, Goalie for the Tampa Bay ECHL affiliate Orlando Solar Bears, was wearing Lightning pants (last) night. When he received a game misconduct for fighting, the backup goalie Zachary Fucale came in wearing Lightning pants as well.”
NBA News: There are blowout games in the NBA. And then there are BLOWOUT games in the NBA (from Michael MPH).
College Hoops News: The Gonzaga Bulldogs wore special unis yesterday against Eastern Washington. … On Friday, Georgia wore throwbacks against SMU (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh: Good look at the court design for the 2019 CBS Sports Classic. As the designated home team in the CBS Sports Classic, Kentucky will wear white uniforms against Ohio State. … Still more from Josh: Here’s a look at the floor design for the Chicago Legends Classic. … And here’s a good look at the court design for the Orange Bowl basketball classic (from College FootBOWL tracker). … The 2021 Final Four logo has been released (from Ian Lee). … Yesterday we got the rare script wordmark vs. script wordmark (from James Gilbert). … Ineresting green v. white matchup as Eastern Michigan took on Michigan State in East Lansing last night. EMU with the Ypsilanti skyline on the back of their uniforms (from Timmy Donahue).
Soccer News: Juventus will play Sunday’s Italian Super Cup, hosted by Saudi Arabia, wearing a jersey with traditional Arabic calligraphy. … Liverpool will add a gold badge to their kit, denoting their triumph in the 2019 Club World Cup (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh, yesterday Flamengo midfielder Rafinha wore a Petr Cech-like protective helmet. … More from Josh: Real Madrid President Florentino Perez gifted club captain Sergio Ramos with a commemorative kit, honoring his club-record 43rd appearance in El Clasico (Barcelona vs Real Madrid) … Chelsea has a special edition fauxback, and submitter John Flory notes the Nike mark and sponsor logo are “hidden.”
Grab Bag: America’s newest branch of the Military — the Space Force — will have uniforms, but they’ve yet to be announced. Space — there’s going to be a lot of things happening in space, because space is the world’s newest warfighting domain. … Speaking of the Space Force, Timmy Donahue thinks maybe Brandiose should ‘toss their hat(s) in the ring to design the new unis.
I want to wish each and every reader a Happy Festivus, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa — or none of those if you have a different (or no) celebration. With the hustle and bustle of the holidays in full swing, please take some time out for yourself and be with the people you love this holiday season. Whether you spend it in a bat cave, a man cave or a wine cave, be merry and be safe.
My best to you and yours.