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[Editor’s Note: Today we have another spectacular DIY project from the great Wafflebored. Enjoy! — Paul]
As a maker of custom sports jerseys, I sometimes get a little tired of making vintage replicas or jerseys that combine eras. They’re fun to make, but often I would like to do something different, maybe draw in influences from the outside world or try to push the boundaries a bit in terms of what a sports jersey can be. The jersey you see here is the result of this thinking: It’s a Canucks “V” jersey done from an Art Deco perspective.
The concept is simple: I love the Canucks (especially the V jersey), and I love Art Deco. And there may be more in common between those two things than you might think. Take the Canucks’ “skate” logo, for example: The speed lines and movement show a definite Art Deco influence:
And while Vancouver, where I live, isn’t particularly known for Art Deco, we do have a few nice examples of the Deco style, such as City Hall and the spectacular Marine Building. I’ve visited the Marine Building many times over the years, and while I didn’t consciously decide to include its detailing on the jersey, there is no doubt that it was an influence:
Many of the the themes of the Art Deco movement have some parallels within the 1978 Canucks redesign. The bold embrace of the future certainly is one of the common elements, as there is no other way to explain the V jersey, especially compared to the more subdued and traditional blue/green look the Canucks previously wore.
I used old stock Canucks patches for the sleeves, and embellished them with sun rays, which look similar to the brass osprey doorway design from the Marine Building:
The V motif itself, of course, is also a common element of Art Deco design. After I finished the jersey I visited the Marine Building again to see if I could find an example of it to compare to the jersey. I found this:
One thing I’ve found over the years is if you stray too far from traditional jersey materials, your project can wind up not looking like an actual jersey. I decided to push this a bit, as I wanted the overall effect of the jersey to be very metallic, similar to those gilded relief pieces you often see in Art Deco architecture. While there are plenty of metallic-finish sports fabrics out there, I opted to use an orange lamé material that has a very pronounced chrome-like sheen. The gold parts of the V are a metallic gold satin fabric, a really nice cotton-backed material. For the details, I used old gold and black tackle twill.
The metallic fabrics do take it close to a more costume-like look. But the photos don’t really do justice to the effect these materials provide, and I do think they were necessary to take the jersey away from a standard jersey look to something really ornate and unusual.
I love lace-up collars, and have added them to other V-style jerseys. I love the way they nestle into the V, plus in this case it felt appropriate for a vintage-inspired design. In addition, I designed a stand-up collar with added sun ray embellishments, as I thought an Art Deco jersey surely would have some kind of intricate collar design. I’m happy with the way it looks when worn:
Overall, this was a fun and challenging project. It didn’t wind up quite as I envisioned it, mainly because I had to go through a lot of experimentation to get the Deco details to look correct. I went through a number of revisions to finally get a look that I was happy with. As usual, I went with a goalie’s name and number on the back, in this case popular left-handed goalie Glen Hanlon, who did wear the V for the Canucks. (The name/number font I chose also reminds me of Art Deco revival, such as its use during the disco era, which is certainly appropriate for the disco-era V jerseys. The old Studio 54 logo reminds me of the font I picked.)
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that we’ve just entered the ’20s — 100 years since the decade of Art Deco’s rise. I made this jersey around New Year’s, and I noticed many people were referencing this decade as the new roaring ’20s. Unintentional on my part, but the jersey would have been great to wear to a New Year’s Eve party. As usual, though, I was in bed by 10:30pm.
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Somewhere, Billy Ripken is smiling: Gonzaga pitcher Keaton Knueppell had an interesting message inscribed on his glove yesterday. Quite the vulgar hurler!
It’s worth noting that Knueppell’s white glove is an apparent violation of the NCAA rulebook, which states, “The pitcher’s glove may not be white or gray.” But maybe his response to that objection is written right there on the glove!
(My thanks to the many readers who sent this one in.)
Calling all Astros fans: Another Little League chapter announced yesterday that it will no longer call any of its teams the Astros. This is at least the third Little League to do this, and I have a feeling there will be a lot more to come, as “Astros” becomes something of tainted word.
That raises a question I’ve been curious about: What’s it like to be a ’Stros fan these days? Has the cheating scandal made you reconsider your fandom, or changed your feelings about any specific players? Have your happy memories of recent seasons become problematic? If you own Astros apparel, are you thinking twice about wearing it?
Just to be clear, I’m not saying you should be reconsidering your fandom or anything like that. But as I’ve written many times, sports loyalties are essentially very strong and completely irrational forms of brand loyalty — that’s why we root for a uniform, no matter who’s wearing it. Generally speaking, a team and its players, management, and ownership can often do almost anything and fans will still remain loyal. (As a Mets fan myself, I know this all too well.) But I’m wondering if the Astros have crossed into uncharted territory in that regard.
I know many of you out there are Astros fans. Would you care to tell us how you’re feeling about all of this? Again, just to be clear, I don’t think there’s any right or wrong here regarding your feelings — I’m just curious (okay, nosy) to hear what those feelings are. Feel free to share your thoughts in today’s comments, and thanks in advance.
ITEM! Another membership raffle: Reader William Beebe recently won one of our raffles and has paid it forward by purchasing a membership for me to raffle off, so that’s what we’re going to do today.
This will be a one-day raffle. To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern today. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner on Monday. My thanks to William for sponsoring this one.
Cap surgery tutorial: Lots of people have told me that they’re interested in removing the maker’s marks from their caps but would feel better about trying it if they could watch a video tutorial first. Reader Wes Muniz, who’s performed successful surgery on a dozen of his caps, has now made such a video. Big thanks to him for sharing his expertise!
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Coasters reminder: In case you missed it on Thursday, I have a small supply of these great-looking Uni Watch coasters. I’m selling them in groups of three coasters for $9 with free shipping. I sold through about half of them yesterday, so get ’em while they last!
By Anthony Emerson
Baseball News: Confirmed: The Nats are going with a matte helmet (from Johnny Garfield and @bignatsnut). … Rangers OF Joey Gallo posted a photo of himself in the team’s new powder blue alternate jersey and white pants, a combination we hadn’t previously seen (from Chris Mycoskie). … New Red Sox OF Alex Verdugo will wear No. 99 in honor of Manny Ramirez. Verdugo was originally assigned No. 12. Ramirez wore 99 with Verdugo’s previous team, the Dodgers, but famously wore 24 with the Red Sox. … Dodgers OF Cody Bellinger now has a gold Rawlings logo on his glove because he won the Gold Glove last year (from Mike Chamernik). … Oh man, check out this gorgeous 1915 schedule for the Philadelphia A’s and Philadelphia Phillies. “The pitcher depicted is the great Rube Waddell, who died a year earlier. Waddell last pitched for the A’s in 1907 — never wore that uniform,” tweets Alex Cheremeteff. … The Sioux Fall Sunfish, a new expansion team in the Expedition League which is a collegiate summer league, have unveiled their logo (from Kary Klismet). … Cal State Northridge wore 1970 throwbacks the other day, from when the university was San Fernando Valley State College (from Mike Cooperman).
Pro Football News News: The Patriots have published an article on their uniform and logo history (from Jacob Ventura). … Hamilton Tiger-Cats CB Frankie Williams is changing his uni number from 37 to 1. The TiCats teased the change on Twitter earlier in the day (from Wade Heidt).
College Football News: In 1983, Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers wore a full Huskers uniform on the floor of the legislature to advocate for college players to earn a wage. Chambers’s fellow State Senator Megan Hunt noticed our conversation on Twitter and chimed in to say that a player gave the uniform to Chambers for him to wear. Chambers hasn’t worn a Huskers uniform on the floor again. Instead, he often opts for T-shirts, sweatshirts, and jeans on the floor of the legislature, instead of the more typical suit (from Brett Baker). … Jason Hillyer spotted this baseball cap designed to look like an Ohio State helmet — complete with Buckeye honor decals — at a Goodwill yesterday.
Hockey News: Also posted in the soccer section: The Kings had their LA Galaxy promotion last night, and wore these sweaters during pregame skate. Note the captain’s armband for the alternate captain. The Kings had new Galaxy ST Javier “Chicharito” Hernández drop the opening puck, but it appeared some of his NOB lettering was peeling off his sweater (from Jakob Fox). … The AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins are wearing Jurassic Park-inspired sweaters for ’90s night on Sunday. … The AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms are wearing 1980 Miracle on Ice-inspired sweaters next weekend. Note that they’re keeping their usual black/orange color scheme; other teams have usually adopted Team USA’s red, white, and blue color scheme (from Robert Caplette). … Bowling Green will wear some gorgeous throwbacks soon (from Matthew Daley). … Also posted in the NBA section: The NBL’s Sudbury Five and OHL’s Sudbury Wolves had a jersey swap on Wednesday night — the Wolves wore a hockey version of Five’s jersey, and vice-versa. The teams will do it again tonight (from Wade Heidt). … Rare sight here: Photos of the Capitals’ short-lived white pants.
NBA News: A Reddit user has published a scathing critique of the Rockets’ uni advertiser, ROKiT (from Mike Chamernik and @_ynnhoJ). … Cross-posted from the hockey section: The NBL’s Sudbury Five and OHL’s Sudbury Wolves had a jersey swap on Wednesday night — the Wolves wore a hockey version of Five’s jersey, and vice-versa. The teams will do it again tonight (from Wade Heidt). … New Rockets F Jeff Green will wear No. 32.
College Hoops News: Remember Paul’s lede a few days ago about Jacksonville’s throwbacks? … They wore those uniforms last night — you can see a bunch of game photos here. … Wichita State and USF went pink vs. green last night (from Nick Abbott). … Oregon and Arizona State men went green vs. yellow last night (from Josh Hinton). … South Dakota women wore pink-trimmed unis last night (from Kary Klismet). … Wake Forest gave away these nice replica 1995 ACC Champions T-shirts with a nice touch — no big ad on the back! Rare for giveaway shirts (from David Kilduff). … San Francisco’s uniforms are missing a period.
Soccer News: Here’s a depressing development: German side Borussia Dortmund is splitting their main shirt ad by competition. 1und1 is getting Bundesliga games, while in cup games the club will stick with current ad Evonik. Here’s a look at BVB’s Bundesliga kit with the new ad (from @ArztohneDr). … Spanish side Sevilla went ad-less during their UEFA Europa League match against CFR Cluj in Romania yesterday. Sevilla’s shirt ad is for MarathonBet, but Romania does not prohibit gambling advertisements, as Cluj wore their betting ad during the match. … A Twitter user found this hilarious c. 1996 image of Marco Etcheverry in a training top with a normal-sized Umbro logo and a huge Umbro logo. Talk about logo creep (from Oleg Kvasha). … The Major Arena Soccer League’s Dallas Sidekicks were forced to wear the defunct Stockton Rush’s old kits for a match in southern California against the Ontario Fury after the Sidekicks had all of their equipment stolen out of their locker room (from @bryant_rf). … Cross-posted from the hockey section: The NHL’s Los Angeles Kings had their LA Galaxy promotion last night, and wore these sweaters during pre-game skate. Note the captain’s armband for the alternate captain. The Kings had new Galaxy ST Javier “Chicharito” Hernández drop the opening puck, but it appeared some of his NOB letters were peeling off his sweater (from Jakob Fox).
Grab Bag: K-Swiss is introducing an entire line of Breaking Bad-inspired sneakers (from @walbergLines). … The Verge has an article about the design process going into Microsoft’s new icons (thanks, Brinke). … New York City’s health department has introduced a new package design for NYC-themed condoms (from Timmy Donahue). … A house in Michigan completely covered in University of Michigan memorabilia is up for sale (from Jorge Cruz).
I know some of you have been having trouble with the site’s mobile version. One of our plug-ins is acting up. We’re aware of it and trying to fix it. Thanks for your patience. — Paul
I feel disappointment in the people who did this. I certainly don’t condone what they did. I think the owner is a bad person, but I thought the previous GM was a bad person. I also think there’s a lot of piling on, and I also think there are some players and teams that better hope MLB doesn’t show any more interest in digging deeper to find more stuff. I don’t think the Astros were the only team to cheat, they just took it further and also were dumb enough to get caught. Again, I don’t excuse it. I do think the leagues dropping “Astros” want attention because they could have done that and not publicized it.
Ultimately, I root for the laundry. I could not stand Dusty Baker for years because he played for the Dodgers and managed other teams I loathe. I root for him now because he’s an Astro. I could not stand Roger Clemens, but I rooted for him in the three years he wore Astros uniforms. I root for the laundry. With the exception of Jose Cruz, I don’t have favorite Astros players, though I liked most of them. But I have a favorite team.
I do think the leagues dropping “Astros” want attention because they could have done that and not publicized it.
Since they’re doing it to set an example for their youth, calling public attention to it seems like a key aspect of what they’re doing.
It’s pretty stupid for them to ban Astros. I mean the Red Sox were penalized for using technology already and these organizations didn’t get rid of Red Sox or make a big deal out of it.
They are hypocrites and looking for attention.
Just curious: Why do you think these Little Leagues, which so far have been based in California and Pennsylvania, have singled out the Astros instead of the Red Sox?
Also: If they were really “looking for attention” in the way that you mean, wouldn’t they ban the Red Sox too?
As an Astros fan since I was five in 1973, I am thoroughly disgusted by the whole thing. Like the Patriots, I am sure other teams were doing similar things, but it is obvious the Astros took it to a ridiculous level – and the cockiness of the players in addressing the situation really makes it hard for me to root for them anymore. I have no idea what I will do this season.
I have not worn any of my Astros merchandise since the news broke, and in fact threw out all of my 2017 championship merchandise.
Of course, I am equally annoyed we hired a former Dodger as manager. Talk about ownership having no concern for the fanbase.
I’m going to guess that the link about D*rtmund’s ad is not supposed to go to that article on Windows 10.
Also, a funny side note: 1 and 1’s logo is actually blue and white, the colors of my Schalke – their archrival – so D*rtmund asked them to change the colors to black and yellow.
Also Etcheverry is not just a rando, he’s a D.C. United legend.
Link fixed. Here’s the proper link, so you don’t have to scroll back up:
To clarify about the Sudbury Wolves and Sudbury Five uniform swap. Each team is only wearing the uniform once, not both on Wednesday and Friday. Sudbury Five wore it on Wednesday. Sudbury Wolves are wearing theirs tonight.
Sudbury Five in action on Wed looking like the Wolves:
I have a design blog for the Astros uniforms from the 1970s.
As I write for next week’s blog entry, “… [I]s this blog joining the cancel culture?
“This is a design blog. It does not serve to judge the actual sport of baseball.
“All we do here is commentate on the use of a certain motif adopted by the Astros in 1974, and has spread to all manner of sports and entertainment since.
Thanks! But that’s your blog — what about you personally?
Personally? Go, Nats!
But seriously, I do not like the application of “cancel culture” in this situation. I mean, will these same Little League barons still allow Braves and Indians as names of their teams?
(Besides, in many places, the names of the teams are the sponsors — I remember in my newspaper days having to write Little League briefs for teams named “Greenwood Cemetery” and “White Horse Mold”. We had a field day with those.)
“Cancel culture,” much like “political correctness,” is a meaningless buzz term designed to delegitimize certain opinions instead of actually engaging with and responding to those opinions.
If someone wants to stop supporting the Astros, that is a legitimate position; if someone wants to keep supporting the Astros, that too is a legitimate position. There’s not “cancel culture” — it’s just a difference of opinion.
I’ll disagree with you only because of a situation I ran across in November.
A promoter of music and partner dance in the Northwest U.S. was accused of MeToo wrongdoing and was summarily banned from doing business with a group of affiliated regional dance promotions and arts organizations.
Only recently has it come to light that the promoter was innocent. And the organizations have had to come out with multiple apologies, statements, and “make goods” for this promoter.
I believe “cancel culture” is real. It is straight out of the book “1984,” and the object is to make targeted figures into “unpersons.”
That being said, if one doesn’t want to support the baseball team from Houston, that’s free speech. And I’m cool with that.
We’ll have to agree to disagree on that term, which will find no purchase here on Uni Watch. Thanks.
“Little League barons”??
Sounds a tad dramatic.
“Little League barons” – you know, the billionaires who run Big Little League.
I say the following as a proud multi-season veteran of a little league Astros team (rocked the rainbow guts for two mid-1980s summers at Flying Cloud Field):
The purpose of youth sports isn’t to teach kids to play any particular sport, or to win games, or to develop future professional players. All of those things are side benefits. The purpose of youth sports is to develop the character and values of children. As such, it’s scandalous when any youth league does not cease using the name of any team with a reputation for cheating. At least for as long as the cheating is an ongoing public concern. We have youth sports leagues to help teach children sportsmanship, integrity, hard work, loyalty, fidelity – all of which are contradicted by any celebration of cheating. At least for the 2020 season, the Astros are a team best known as a team of recidivist cheaters. It doesn’t matter whether that’s a fair characterization of the Astros. What matters is that above t-ball, every kid on the field will know of the Astros reputation and identify the pro team name “Astros” with cheating. As long as that’s true, the name Astros doesn’t belong on any little league field. Very few youth leagues have 30 teams, so just pick one of the other MLB nicknames your league isn’t using. Or pick any of the dozens of great MiLB team names that are available for youth league use. There is no principled argument for Astros, or any pro team nickname, in a youth league. But there is an overwhelmingly strong principled argument against Astros, at least this year. By 2022, it will probably be ancient history, and the Astros can return to your neighborhood park.
The expansion Sioux Fall Sunfish logo has laces going in the wrong direction:
Erik Spoonmore, are you seeing this?
Apologies if this has already been said, but for me from now on, “Astro” is short for “asterisk”
I saw a woman in my local supermarket wearing an Astros throwback last night and I just smiled. Being a Nats fan, I’ve shrugged off the whole controversy for the most part – thank you Howie Kendrick.
I’ll admit to a little bit of smugness, being a Nationals fan in Los Angeles. Seems for all the hype about how great the Dodgers teams of the past few years have been, it took the lowly Nationals to beat a team of cheaters.
I consider myself an Astros fan thanks to a year of study abroad in Houston, where I saw a few games when they were in full-on tank mode. They’re the only reason I care about baseball (besides the uni aspects of the sport).
In a perverse way, the cheating scandal has given me more of a reason to wear an Astros jersey or logo – very few people in the UK (and especially the part of it where I live) are likely to know what the logo/jersey is, and even fewer are likely to know about the scandal. I enjoy low-level subversion and things that are very (excuse the pun) inside baseball, and the Astros gear now serves that purpose.
As for the cheating itself, it’s not a great look for any sport, any team, or any player. And yet, it solidifies my bonds to the team even more. Sometimes it’s fun to root for the bad guy.
Truly original, fun, and gorgeous project. Great idea, great execution. Actually elevated the concept of hockey sweater.
I’ve been an Astros fan since Scipio Spinks played for them, and my father has been a fan since the Colt .45s’ first opening day (he was at the infamous doubleheader against the Dodgers when first aid was inundated with overheated fans). I really wish they hadn’t done this. They knew it was expressly forbidden, and they just didn’t need to (well, maybe a couple of guys needed to). I think what made me most upset initially was the arrogance of the brainiacs in the front office finally coming back and biting them in the butt. That has shifted to anger at the hypocrisy of the rest of MLB, being singled out by Manfred (he’ll slap the Red Sox on the wrist), and the press acting like this is the unpardonable sin. I join a lot of other Astros fans in feeling that it’s us against the world now. Sure, it’s ultimately self-inflicted, but the reaction just seems way out of proportion.
I’m an Astros season ticket holder and I’m sticking by my team. Look, we live in a society that is outrage first, rational behaviour last. I’m not condoning what the team did at all, it was wrong. Carlos Correa has been the right face for apologizing. He admitted what he did and defended players like Kemp, Reddick and Altuve. Based off of the sign stealing scandal website, the Astros banged on the trash can for only 13.8% of the pitches tracked. Again, while wrong, it wasn’t a constant, excessive occurrence. It was dumb and unnecessary.
The thing is, the Astros were and still are a very talented team. They won in ’17 and their regular season records only improved in ’18 and ’19. I find it highly absurd that all these outraged players keep saying the Astros cheated the past three years. They treat the report’s claims about 2017 like the gospel, but call BS on the no trash can and termination of the system in ’18 and the clean bill of health in ’19 when they made it to the World Series. You can’t have it both ways.
The Yankees want to cry foul and crap about integrity, but they sure are proud of their Winstrol (STEROID) aided world championships around the turn of the century. Also, there was a game between the Yankees and Blue Jays where Alex Rodriguez (STEROIDS) screamed “HA!” at a Blue Jay while he was trying to catch a pop up and caused him to misplay the ball. Integrity? Really?
The Dodgers also had their fair share of players in the Mitchell Report, too, so I don’t need to hear their gripes about always playing the game clean.
To the little leagues dropping the Astros name, do whatever you want. I’m a little league manager and we still have the Astros in just about all our leagues with the exception of the age group that uses college teams. We even joked that the team that wins the bid for the Astros name gets a free trash can. Joking aside, we teach our kids to play the game right and represent themselves in the best way. All leagues should be teaching forgiveness and learning how to redeem yourself when you make a mistake. We’re all error prone by nature and we should strive for a society that works to not tear each other down, but make each other better.
Who created that H* mark? Please credit the artist if it isn’t your original creation.
It’s one of several similar marks that went viral. I do not know the original source. If you do, please advise. Thanks!
Let’s call that an “Astrosk”. Or, “Asterosk”? Not sure which term I like better.
The Gonzaga pitcher’s glove is, for me, a flashback to the early ’80s. We chose a photo of Brewers pitcher Pete Vuckovich holding his glove for the front page of the Wisconsin State Journal sports section. Vuke had drawn a hand on his glove. When he held up the glove, the batter saw Vuke giving him the finger. We didn’t see the finger when we looked at the small color slide. When the paper came up, there it was! It was the only time in 37 years in the news biz that I ever had to say “Stop the press!” This was well before Photoshop, so one of our camera room techs had to etch the finger from the glove.
He should be expelled from the university. That is just uncalled for!
My greatest wish for the Astros is that Tampa Bay tries to take a pitcher who’s already been thrown out for beanballs and sneak him back on the mound for another one on Jackie Robinson Day when everybody’s wearing 42/Robinson jerseys and nobody can tell who anybody is.
That art deco Canucks sweater is so fantastically weird…I especially dig the totally impractical lettering! Amazing work as usual, Wafflebored!
Longtime Astro supporter who identifies as an agnostic baseball fan but definitely Astros 1st. Fandom can bring out the absolute worst in everyone and that is certainly highlighted with the juvenile twitter fights circulating around this situation. I personally am more disappointed in the response than the act itself which should not have been surprising considering all of the reports of the front office culture over the past years.
15 year old me would probably be on the front line with the rest of the trolls turning heel and embracing the fight. To the Astros fans throwing mud at other people on the internet..stop it. There is no “US vs the world” you are not on the team, a team is an inanimate object that cannot love you back. Grow up.
I live in Houston so its not a big deal wear apparel but outside of town I would not simply to avoid the situation. I have plenty of other team apparel to choose from.
I live in Houston, but I grew up in Fort Worth. So the Rangers are my first team. I moved to Houston in 2005 when they were in the NL and they became my favorite NL team. When they moved to the AL I just stayed a fan, since it’s my local team despite the conflict of interest with the Rangers. I consider my self an Astros fan. But first and foremost, I am a Houston resident, my family is here now and my children were born here.
2017 was very hard. Hurricane Harvey was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to go through and I did it with an 18-month old that didn’t understand what was happening. The 2017 championship was a beautiful moment of release for me and my family. It allowed us to focus on something other than drywall and black mold for a change and it means a lot to me.
But it’s meaningful in a personal way. Not in a sports fan way. if that makes sense. The Astros aren’t my favorite team (that’s the Rangers) and I didn’t grow up idolizing Mike Scott or Jeff Bagwell. (funnily enough, I DID grow up idolizing Nolan Ryan ….just in a different uniform).
So, all of that said, when this scandal broke I honestly can say I didn’t (and don’t) feel particulalry bothered by it. For two reasons. First, 2017 means something to me, but more because it is reflective of a trying period that I overcame than because my favorite laundry won.
Second, as Jeff Passan said in 2017 after the Red Sox got caught, “[b]ecause cheating is not just part of baseball. It’s woven into the game’s DNA. Bats loaded with cork and superballs. Balls filed down with emery boards or loaded with Vaseline. Perhaps the most famous hit in baseball history, Bobby Thomson’s Shot Heard Round the World, came off a stolen sign. One scout, asked about the gravity of the Red Sox’s offense, quoted “Days of Thunder” and said: “Rubbing is racing.” Inside the game, that is the belief. It’s why when pitchers mix Bullfrog sunscreen and rosin to create a tacky substance that helps them attain a better grip on the ball, nobody blinks. And it’s why when the Red Sox narc’d on Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda for wearing pine tar on his neck, players shrugged.”
If it isn’t using trashcans to tip pitches then its PEDs, or guys with telescopes, or Gaylord Perry (former Ranger great!) having an entire pharmacy’s worth of creams hidden in his jersey to juice the ball. When I was in high school there was a rumor that ARod had a guy in center flash a flashlight at the Ballpark. It’s part of the history of the game, and usually in retrospect, it’s pretty funny. Banging trashcans is objectively funny! Getting caught with an apple watch buzzer, like a dork, is funny!
I also feel like that anger directed as the Astros is less about the scheme and more about the fact that their front office was full of loathsome I-Banker types and several of their stars are arrogant pricks. Sort of an “its not what they did, it who did it” If Mike Fiers had outted the Mariners, I doubt anyone would’ve made much of a fuss.
My two cents anyway
Even if the Mariners stole signs, they would still stink like low tide.
Totally agree here. “Second, as Jeff Passan said in 2017 after the Red Sox got caught, “[b]ecause cheating is not just part of baseball. It’s woven into the game’s DNA. Bats loaded with cork and superballs. Balls filed down with emery boards or loaded with Vaseline.”
That kinda thing is part of the game’s history and fabric, just like the “unwritten rules,” IE you hit my guy, your guy is gonna get it.
I think the problem with the Astros is how they got all hi-tech and complex with it. If you’re trying to steal signs the way they did back in the 40s, who cares? This got a little too pre-meditated and calculating (IMO)
I like the Rangers light blue hats. Still as an occasional alternate hat this IMHO doesn’t qualify as a hat that doesn’t fall into the boring MLB Primary hats of black, blue (navy or royal), or red hats for t. Only the A’s green and now the Padres brown break from this boring limited color palette.
I like the script “Rangers” much better than the block “TEXAS.”
Ernie Chambers, state legislator dating back to 1971, ‘Defender of the Downtrodden’, deserves a stick tap.
“What’s it like to be a ’Stros fan these days?”
At this point, I echo the sentiments of others that, overall, it feels kind of “us against the world”. It’s a frustrating existence, though. I feel like the Astros are being made an example of by Major League Baseball and the sports media are happy to pile on. It hurts to see that asterisk version of the Astros logo when it feels like there are plenty of other teams and titles that could be asterisked, too. When all of this started coming out a few months ago, I would have said that, yes, what the Astros did crosses my line of what’s “okay” to do (in terms of stealing signs). The more I learn about how pervasive a scheme of this sort seems to have been throughout the league, though, the more I find myself drifting away from that and thinking more along the lines of, “At some point, you’re being left behind by the competition, aren’t you?” I’m not trying to talk about right or wrong here; I say this only to establish that I feel my personal thoughts on the situation shifting as the offseason goes on.
“Has the cheating scandal made you reconsider your fandom, or changed your feelings about any specific players?”
Not one bit. The Brandon Taubman scandal did way more to remind me that being a fan of any sports team is an exercise in not holding one’s self personally accountable for the actions of others. Separately, though not unrelated, losing the last two games of the World Series at home bummed me out in a way that really made me think about dialing down my fandom for a year. If anything, I feel like the sign-stealing story has roped me back in, making me more interested in seeing this team win this year. I suppose I’ve come away with a sour taste in my mouth regarding Jeff Luhnow but that has less to do with stealing signs than it does with the general workplace culture he seems to have presided over. “In Luhnow we trust” sounds worse now than it did a few years ago.
“Have your happy memories of recent seasons become problematic?”
“Problematic” might be going a little far here but, yes, at a fundamental level, it does suck to think that the first taste of championship glory that Houston got will have this “yeah, but…” clause attached to it. Maybe it won’t, the way that so many other “yeah, buts…” have been lost throughout the ages, but I’m not optimistic. As a buddy of mine noted, this is the first (non-injury-related) “yeah, but…” of the Twitter era, which makes it feel permanent. I don’t know, though! Our prevailing takeaway from the steroid era is that “everyone was doing it”; in time, it’s possible that that’ll be our takeaway from this era. Too bad it seems like the Astros will surely have been punished much more than anyone else. Put another way, this has been an exceedingly Houstonian way of winning a World Series.
(I should add, though, that, Houston-wise, I’m only an Astros fan. If I were also a Rockets fan, I think I’d be even more frustrated by the “yeah, but…”-ness of the situation. The Rockets won two championships fair and square in the ’90s and, yet, the first thing that comes to mind when you think about them is, “yeah, but Jordan was gone both of those years.”)
“If you own Astros apparel, are you thinking twice about wearing it?”
No, this hasn’t changed my habits at all. Apparel-wise, I only have a cap and a shirt: I typically wear the cap out of the house and I wear the shirt whenever I deem the day special enough for it (think Opening Day). I’m not ashamed to be an Astros fan (well, no more than I’m ashamed to be an anything fan) or publicly announce myself as same. In the actual real world, I still love seeing and meeting baseball fans, so I’m happy to identify myself as one.
The item about the Patriots’ logo history begs an interesting question… Most fans (Pats fans and NFL fans in general) would agree that Pat Patriot is a fantastic logo that has really aged well, better than the Flying Elvis logo in so many ways. But with the overwhelming success of the team wearing the latter look and the futilty of those earlier days, could they ever go back permanently? What other teams have a similar “it’s ugly but it works” ethos around their logos like that? The Denver Broncos come to mind, as everyone agrees the Orange Crush look is classic, but the Flaming Horsehead has been there for all their titles. Anyone else, in any sport?
Los Angeles Kings for their Stanley Cups have a look, in my opinion, that is well below average. I think even the Gretzky era Kings look is nothing to right home about.
The original look in the “forum blue” and gold was their best.
Apparently there is speculation (though no statement from the team) on if the Braves will alter their plans for a Brian McCann bobblehead giveaway on April 6. (McCann was of course a major part of the 2017 Astros and is a beloved Braves player.) Being a lifelong Braves fan, this isn’t something I’d given much thought to until I read this yesterday. Obviously McCann was a big part of the Braves for nearly a decade, and is from the area as well. I’m really not sure how (or if) this affects my perception of him or his time in Atlanta.
(McCann note is a little over halfway down the article.)
I became an Astros fan in December 1985, the day I proposed to a girl from Houston. We got engaged on a Friday night. On Saturday morning, I went to the University Mall in Orem, Utah, and bought my first Astros cap. I’ve been a loyal, sometimes obsessive Astros fan ever since. I’m typing this in my office, which features a display of 9 Astros caps (including that first cap from 1985), a “We Believe” placard from the 2005 World Series, two vintage Astros pennants, Bagwell, Biggio, and Berkman bobbleheads, a couple of books about the 1986 season, a bulb from the original Astrodome scoreboard, and two seats from the Dome. And I’m pretty sure I’ll never go to another Astros game.
It’s deeper than the cheating. It’s the toxic environment established by Luhnow, the sexism, the snarky self-confidence, the way the Astros have been at the forefront of gutting the minor league system, which would have terrible economic consequences for small towns all over the country.
We got hit by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. I nearly lost my business in that storm, and more than two years later, we are still struggling. I’ve been through a lot of bad weather, both in Texas and growing up in Buffalo, but nothing came close to Harvey. It was surreal, hellish. And the Astros became an emotional refuge. I’ve never felt more connected to a team, not in my life. I’ve never loved a team the way I loved that one.
Baseball has never grabbed my kids. My wife is more a basketball fan. I sat in the living room, alone, watching Game 7. When it was over, I cried. It felt so hopeful, so joyous. And now it feels like a lie.
Apologists keep arguing that the stats don’t lie, and that it doesn’t appear that the sign stealing had much impact on the season’s outcome. It still feels like a lie.
I haven’t worn so much as an Astros t-shirt for months. Pitchers and catchers reported, a day that used to be one of the happiest of the year, and I haven’t paid any attention. The whole thing has left me discouraged, and sad.
Sorry to go on. I really loved that team.
The Astros went from zero to Patriots in record time. I’m just learning to live with it and doing my best to pivot towards rooting for the villain. I’m not switching to the Rangers.
We all know cheating wasn’t invented in 2017 and we also know sports media is over represented by the coasts and embittered Yankees & Dodgers fans – so the Astros will be the scapegoats. It’s a children’s game played by men; a glorified, professionalized beer league, so cheating is going to happen. Are we vacating any wins or records tied to steroids? Are we slapping asterisks an all pre-integration World Series?
Sports is just entertainment and rooting for the villain doesn’t necessarily reflect personal values. It’s ok to root for a bad guy now and then. Breaking Bad was a huge hit. Star Wars fans wear Darth Vader shirts or cosplay as Stormtroopers, are they endorsing fictional genocide?
Also, Yu Darvish was totally tipping pitches, everyone knows this.
Totally unrelated aside: Do my UTEP Miners get a pass on the blue collar fetishism since they already had hardhats incorporated into their look?
I’m going on my daughters’ class trip next month to Washington DC and I have a feeling one of my Astros shirts will end up making the trip after all. I think I’m obligated to say something like “Don’t Mess with Texas”.
Slight correction about the Oregon-Arizona State item as Oregon wore black uniforms, not green.
RE: 1915 Philadelphia Schedule
It uses some flowers, on the left side, to represent the team now called the Phillies. Anyone have any information on that logo/symbol? I can’t seem to find anything searching around.
I did not see this comment before mine the first time I skimmed the comments.
I’ve been a casual Astros fan since I was a kid and wore rainbow guts for two seasons of youth ball in Minnesota. (I casually root for the Padres for the same reason.) I now don’t think I’ll be comfortable openly rooting for the Astros in the playoffs this year, or maybe for a few years. I don’t really have a strong second-place favorite in the AL West, but I think I might have to start pulling for the Angels or the Mariners in that division.
For me, as a very casual fan, I wish that MLB had done a better and more decisive job of investigating and making public the misbehavior, and applying meaningful penalties to everyone involved, including players. I’m not one of the Astros haters who wants lifetime bans for everyone, but something like a miltiweek suspension or even a season-long suspension for participating players would have been just, and would have sort of lanced the boil for me. I would have an easy time continuing to cheer for the Astros if individual wrongdoers had been clearly named and punished. Like, in the real world, I’m a big believer in criminal justice reform and in post-incarceration reintegration. We sentence perpetrators of most crimes much too harshly, but once people have served their sentence, everyone deserves a second chance. That’s sort of how I feel about the Astros – they did wrong, but I can forgive that if they had received just punishment.
And if the players union wants to go to the mat or threaten a strike action to defend cheaters? Let them. As a tactical matter, the situation could be pure gold for the commissioner’s office ahead of the next round of contract negotiations.
Nats matte helmets: No thanks. I love matte helmets in general, but they’re not for everyone. Some teams are better served by the brightness of glossy helmets, and the Nats are high on my list of teams that should have bright chapeaux. Cardinals, Cubs, Rays, Marlins, Royals, Mets, Mariners, would all be on my list of teams that look better in glossy helmets.
Add to that pretty much any team whose helmets have different-colored bills–the adjoining mattes just don’t work.
Lifelong Astros fan.
I grew up in Houston and have rooted for the ‘Stros since the days of Mike Scott, Kevin Bass, Alan Ashby, Glenn Davis, etc. I cried the day they won the World Series.
It’s embarrassing. It sucks to root for the bad guys. I have a couple of Astros things (a cap, a polo) but I don’t want to wear them right now. To me, it doesn’t take too much of the joy of ’17 away. Would they have won if they hadn’t cheated? Maybe, maybe not. Would they have still been a good team? Yes, they’re still top-notch baseball players, and it’s not like they swept every team in the playoffs.
As someone else says, I root for laundry. The Astros will always be my team, win lose or draw, but I don’t have to happy with them.
TLDR; it’s complex and I’m not in love with being an Astros fan right now.
Some really fantastic stuff packed into that 1915 schedule. One thing I don’t think I’ve ever seen before is the Phillies being represented by three white daisies.
Anyone have any additional info on that???
RE: Philly schedule.
So, the A’s played at Shibe Park, and the Phillies at the Baker Bowl right?
That said, I find it interesting the schedules were so coordinated – by different leagues – that they weren’t both home at the same time.
And, the Phillies were on the road from May 28-June 24? And the A’s were on the road from May 9-29, and then June 25-July 26?
They weren’t going anything past St. Louis. Which I get at the time wasn’t “close,” but to be gone that long?
Lots of ‘wow’
So that 1915 Philadelphia schedule (which a thing of BEAUTY btw) shows the elephant at the top of the A’s games, which all know as a mascot for the team.
So what is the significants of the daisies at the top of the Phillies games?
Loving the new project Wafflebored! Super creative idea that turned out really well. Love font for the numbers and lettering.
Marine Building is a fantastic building. Many readers may have seen the Marine Building a lot without knowing it. It has appeared in many movies and TV shows shot here in Vancouver.
Thoughtful response from a Pennsylvania youth league administrator on why his organization decided to recommend not using the Astros nickname this year – and why bringing the Astros nickname back in a season or two will probably also be good for the kids:
He notes that his association’s usual uniform supplier has already notified him that it won’t be carrying Astros merchandise this year anyway.
I’ve called them the Houston A-Holes for years. Here’s why. In the 70’s I attended a game at Dodger Stadium in the low Dougout Boxes that Chavez Ravine had back then. Sat right next to the Astros dougout. Cesar Cedeno is on second, a single is hit and Cedeno comes to the plate and body blocks the catcher (I think it was Steve Yeager) to score.
Out of the Astros dougout you hear “Oh my God, what an a$$hole.” Followed by clapping for Cedeno after he got up. From that point forward they’ve been the Houston A-Holes to me.
By the way, that same game, was the first time I noticed Houston using 2 in ones for socks rather than sanitaries/stirrups.
I’m going to vastly increase my wearing of Astros gear. I’m a lifelong Astros fan. I’m angry with the team about the cheating. Not only was it completely wrong, but it was completely unnecessary, and I believe they would’ve still won the WS that year had they never done it. The players batted better on the road and had a better record on the road without cheating. I don’t believe they cheated in the playoffs, and the breakdowns of how they won those playoff series in 2017 show that cheating had nothing to do with those wins. All the cheating did was to taint everything, and I hate it. However, the fact that the Astros are taking 99.9% of the heat for something that was a much wider problem (Yankees, Red Sox, etc.) has only galvanized my support for the team even more than before. I feel like every other fan base and players from the other teams are all piling on against the Astros right now, and it makes me even more of an Astros supporter. All the haters are ignoring the facts. Yes, the team illegally stole signs during the 2017 regular season and deserve all the criticism anyone wants to give for that. But the facts show that everything they accomplished since then was done without cheating. And some hitters (like Altuve and Reddick) didn’t cheat. They would get angry when the guy banged the can, and told him to stop doing it. There’s a site that has tracked all of the banging, and the facts show that those guys didn’t use the banging system. There is zero evidence and zero witnesses to support the rumors/lies that anyone ever used buzzers. If Altuve refused to use the trash can system in 2017 and was still the best hitter in the league, why would he suddenly start using a buzzer in the following years? When players like Bellinger and Judge accuse Altuve of stealing the MVP award and stealing a championship it makes me very upset. I’ve got no problem with attacking the Astros for what they actually did, but I do have a problem for attacking them for things they didn’t do. I haven’t bought much Astros merchandise in recent years, not even in 2017. But now, I recently ordered various Astros caps that I’m going to start wearing often just because of all the hate. I want the Astros to embrace the “pro wrestling villain” role and to have fun with it. Everyone other than their supporters already hate them anyway and no one is going to be satisfied with their apologies, so I want them to celebrate even more when they win and to be even more cocky about it (in a fun way like a pro wrestler would).
Reference “Cap surgery tutorial”.
As a human surgeon, I would recommend not stabbing the seam ripper toward your opposite hand as it is liable to result in a penetrating injury. Always aim sharp objects away from the body and hands.
Have been, still am and will be an Astros fan. I don’t think any reasonable person believes the Astros was the only team guilty or using the in dugout camera to steal signs. perhaps they were the only ones whos Manager asked them to stop and they did not.
But the reason I am still an Astros fan and will remain one is the same reason I still think Barry Bonds and Roger Clemons belong in the HoF. They were the best of their time. The HoF is full of players, big names that used “greenies” Going back further than that there are players that earned their HoF enshrinement while not having to face players of color. If in hindsight we can fault one set of players for “crimes” that werean accepted ( at least in private) part of the game at least be consistent and fault all of them with equal disdain.
And to top it off I have no doubt that the yankees, dodgers red sox and cubs also used electronics to steal signs. But will never find fault on a big market team. Go ‘stros
I must admit I’m concerned about wearing my beloved orange Astros’ cap this season. It has to do with a couple of incidents which occurred in Portsmouth, New Hampshire a few years ago. The conversation piece was not a Houston hat, but a Redskins’ cap. On a Monday, I was crossing Congress Street when a tattooed, dreadlocked teenager yelled at me, “Hey!! Fuck you and your Redskins!!!” The next day, I was walking down High Street when a burly, bearded man and his wife greeted me: He said, “Are you a Redskins’ fan?” Stung by Monday’s rebuke, I cautiously answered in the affirmative. He warmly said, “I’m from Delaware. Put ‘er there, man.” He informed me that Blue Hen Staters are torn between the Eagles, ‘Skins and Ravens.
The lesson I took away from this is to expect emphasized comments when wearing hot-button team apparel. I wouldn’t want to stumble across an aggrieved (and possibly inebriated) fan wearing the apparel of a team he thought had wronged him. At the same time, enjoy those unexpected moments of grace.
God Bless Wafflebored! For years I’d labored with the belief I was the only person who liked Vancouver’s Flying V uniforms. His flights of “How It Shoulda Been Done” fancy make me proud to root for laundry!
In NHL related news, in Seattle, a local news outlet published photos of the interior of what the new Hockey Arena will look like. What was interesting is the color scheme throughout the photos. Red. Teal. Black. The very same colors that were leaked in the “Seattle Kraken” story that went around the web in January.
Reading these reflections from Astros fans has been outstanding. As a life-long fan of the game, I try to take my kids to the ballpark as often as possible. For our family, “the ballpark” is the nearest ballpark- Angel Stadium. Baseball is a wonderful sport and I maintain that much of its beauty lies in its imperfections.
Here in Southern California, the Astros might as well be the object that did them in- nothing more than a can for trash. But my memories actually aren’t all that bad. My fondest memories of the Astros are from times I’ve seen them at Angel Stadium. In September last year, we went to see Gerrit Cole defeat the Halos during his last start of the season. There was never a really a hope that the Angels would win- and yes, the Astros did score 8 runs in the first four innings- but sort of felt like what I was watching was pretty close to perfection.
Just as great storytellers convince their audience to suspend their disbelief, baseball calls its fans to believe it is more than a game. But the world is imperfect, and baseball is no exception. The outfield is different at every park. Two identical pitches might be called a strike the first time but a ball the next. Mark McGwire set record while on PEDs. Pete Rose played the game better than most but is still not famous enough for Cooperstown. Shoeless Joe Jackson has a great nickname but a terrible reputation. And the Astros win games with excellent pitching, a still-not-terrible offense and a television screen in the tunnel.
This post is taking longer to read than I first intended to write, but that’s what happens when people engage in open and honest communication. You share with me your struggles and I’ll share with you mine. The hardest thing for me about being an Angels fan? Confrontations with mortality. My 6 year old son recently drew a picture of Angel Stadium and on the back wrote “For Tyler Skaggs.” Through all of baseball’s imperfections, I hadn’t imagined that baseball would spark a conversation about death with a kindergartner. Is this bad? In a way, no. It’s part of my responsibilities as a parent. Is it ideal? Not in any stretch of the imagination. But that’s just life. That’s just baseball.
When I saw the Astros play in 2019, Skaggs had already succumbed to the results of his decisions. The last time I saw Houston play in Anaheim, he was on the mound. Baseball is a wonderful sport, but baseball isn’t perfect. Baseball is a wonderful sport because baseball isn’t perfect.
An interesting sight during the preseason of Australian Rules football.
In a game between Geelong Cats and the Gold Coast Suns, Geelong’s guernsey (which we North Americans would call a “jersey”) has short sleeves. Usually, Aussie Rules players wear either long sleeves or no sleeves. Never seen this before.