By Phil Hecken, with Tom Juettner
With all sports on hiatus due to COVID-19, and after seeing my recent articles about Dave Pinto “creating” Jim Vilk’s uniform designs, reader Tom Juettner recently sent me this:
With sports on lock down, I thought I could over some baseball concepts to help pass the time until some real sports comes back.
I can start by forwarding complete copies or the MLB City Edition that Dave Pinto, Victor, Matt, Archie, and myself produced a couple years ago which Dave referenced in his Q&A with Phil.
I can also get going on a new full MLB tweaks series. I did one on CCSLN in the summer but I can revise and give new takes easily enough.
The Pinch Designer crowd also has an MLB Statement series which we did over the fall that I can send along as well.
Let me know any other content that might interest you.
Thanks, Tom — of course I took him up on the offer, and today we’ll look at the gang’s “City” uniforms (loosely based on the NBA’s “City” uniform series). The series actually began in 2018 and continued on the Creamer Boards for many months. I’ll post Tom’s brief intro to the series and then today we’ll look at his and his collaborator’s AL designs. I expect over the next few weekends we’ll get to look at more of these, including the NL editions which I’ll run next. You can click any image below to enlarge.
MLB City Edition Series by Pinch Designer (AL Edition)
By Tom Juettner
This is the product of a collaboration among @Carolingian Steamroller, @Paul Lucas, @coco1997, @Victormrey, and @MJD7. We are calling our little group “Pinch Designer.” We were looking for idea for a project that we could pool our collective minds on and found it in an MLB City Edition.
With the NBA and Nike debuting City Edition uniforms that are designed to reflect the particular spirit and aesthetic of their individual cities we thought that applying the same principle to baseball would yield interesting and colorful results. So we held a draft for divide up Major League Baseball and got cracking on designs. Each uniform in this series seeks to reflect some aspect of the city as a fun digression from the normal MLB rhythm.
Everyone knows the Maryland flag but the Baltimore flag is interesting in its own right. The vertical stripes are offset on a diagonal which creates a slash. For the Orioles we took that concept, translated it into Oriole colors and used to house the diagonal “Baltimore” script that has been on the road uniforms for a few years. The sleeves stay white as a way of adding some non-striped negative space. The sleeve patch is the crest from the center of the flag and the cap uses the captial “B” from the jersey.
Boston Red Sox
Having visited Boston a few years ago, I can safely say it’s one of my favorite cities I’ve been to, with its abundance of history, attractions, and beautiful summer weather. With Fenway Park having such a large presence in the city, I decided to base this design off of the Green Monster. This time I used the lighter green (as opposed to forest from my past designs) and lots of white much like the Monster itself. An early concept used the pattern of the Monster’s wall sort of like the Celtics, but that was a bit too much. The sleeve stripe is inspired by @SFGiants58‘s wonderful Red Sox set.
New York Yankees
New York is called the Empire State and combined with the epithet of the Yankees as the “Evil Empire” we came up with idea for “EMPIRE” to be the front of the jersey. The font is taken from the finer version of the “NEW YORK” script of 1918-1926. Subtle pinstripes are present on the midnight blue uniform with grey outlined in white as the main color for the cap, jersey, and numbers. The sleeves feature a Yankee Stadium facade motif. The sleeve patch is a version of the terracotta medallions that adorned the original Yankee Stadium.
Tampa Bay Rays
Continuing the series with Tampa. Another flag-inspired design. This time, the uniform is heavily inspired by the St. Petersburg flag. I decided to go for a sleeveless jersey, trying to reflect the warm weather of Florida. As for the script, I decided to use only “Tampa”, since I’ve never been a fan of the “Tampa Bay” wordmark. Oh, and thanks to @MJD7 for helping me out with the cap design!
Toronto Blue Jays
From @Paul Lucas: Ô Canada!!! That was the idea behind this concept for “Canada’s Team.” Actually, it’s pretty much the Toronto city flag. This design features a zippered front and the ‘Toronto’ script reminiscent of the 1952 Toronto Maple Leafs road uniform, thanks to @Discrimihater.
Chicago White Sox
Red and black are used as team colors to celebrate the long history of that scheme to both the White Sox and Chicago residents the Bulls and Blackhawks. The dark jersey with contrasting pinstripes is a combination of the Chicago American Giants (who also played in Sox Park) with the famous 1996 Bulls alternates that every kid in Chicago fell immediately in love with when they debuted. The theme continues with a three stripe belt with the pattern repeating on the stirrups. The sleeve patch and cap logo use the 1936 S-o-x overlaid over the crossed-socks “W” logo creating a W-S monogram. For the jersey, I’ve incorporated the script from White Sox ambassador Chance the Rapper’s Social Experiment which was used in cross promotional caps in 2016. “South Side” is used as the moniker.
Let’s continue the series with Cleveland. This design is the result of the collaboration of the whole group. We wanted to combine the classy look of the Hope Memorial Bridge and its Guardians of Transportations with a colourful scheme, inspired by the Cuyahoga River and its tendency to catch fire.
Special thanks to @SFGiants58 for letting us use his amazing Guardian logo for the cap!
Time for Detroit. This city is known for two of my favourite hobbies: cars and Rock ‘n’ Roll, so I definitely had to choose it. Given the first theme was used by the Pistons, I decided to go for the second one. I completely changed the font, using a script inspired by neon signs. As for the logos, I added a quarter note to the Old English D, and a Strat to the 60’s Batting Cat logo.
Kansas City Royals
The Royals honor the most storied franchise in Negro National League history with a uniform style and colors echoing those of the Kansas City Monarchs. As KC is often referred to as the “Heart of America,” (the city is located near the geographic center of the U.S. mainland) a crowned version of the popular heart logo appears on both the cap and uniform sleeve. Many thanks to @BigRed618 for allowing me to use his KC heart logo from his Royals redesign.
With this being a City Edition Series, that naturally sets up a predicament for the Twin Cities of Minnesota. To reflect this sort of contrast between the two cities, I split the jersey into two different colors, with the red representing Minneapolis, and the navy representing St. Paul. The logos come from Minnie and Paul’s jerseys in the Twins’ famous logo. The light blue running through both sides represents the Mississippi River, and how it ultimately unites the two very different cities as they support one team. Thanks for following!
For the Astros we went with a Saturn V rocket theme with vertical navy stripes with “HOUSTON” running vertically in a gap. We found that spaceman design for the sleeve patch someone online but I’m sure where.
Los Angeles Angels
The symbolism from this set comes mostly from the colors. The periwinkle base comes from Disneyland being a main attraction in Anaheim, the orange comes from Orange County, and pastel yellow is used as an accent. Overall the combo creates a very angelic scheme, inspired by @Bruins‘ set for the Angels. The sleeves have the PCL Angels’ unique striping, the jersey reads “Anaheim” across the front to accommodate for the removal of it from the official name. The cap has @SFGiants58‘s Orange County logo, and the sleeves have the classic California logo.
The Athletics must’ve known they were going to Oakland when they changed to their iconic color scheme in 1963 because they ended up looking like the Oakland city flag. This concept makes almost too much sense for them. It’s an idea so good, I can’t believe no one’s thought of it before. The A’s are all about “the Town” in this one; even the cap was changed to pay homage to the Oakland Oaks, while the sleeves honor “the Swingin’ A’s” in a more modern application.
I decided to use “Emerald City”, which is the city’s main nickname. Using this as a main colour, I added brown, inspired by the famous coffee industry of coffee shops of the city, and off-white, to create a more balanced look. Also, I added the base of the Space Needle on the sleeves, using its top as cap crown.
The Ballpark at Arlington is roughly halfway between Dallas and Ft. Worth while being just a stone’s throw away from the Jerry-Dome. So for the Rangers we went with a Cowboys theme based on their “Little Giants” uniforms which they’ve used for Thanksgiving games and as the base of their Color Rush uniforms. Silver and navy replace royal blue and red and a three stripe 1-2-1 pattern. The script and numbers use an outlined 3D effect based on the old Washington Senators.
Thanks Tom (and collaborators)! Very interesting project — I’m not sure too many of us would actually want MLB to mimic the way Nike has ruined the aesthetic of the NBA, but it’s a very cool concept. Thanks for helping out during the uni-hiatus brought upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Readers? What say you?
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: “Smoky Joe”
Subject: Joe Wood, 1909
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 16″ x 20″
I’d put this painting in the T206 gallery show category, mainly because I feel that it would have been part of the set had it come out a few years later. As it stands, like many of the other cards from the set, it’s based on a classic Carl Horner portrait. However, probably as a result of Wood being a rookie who only got into 6 games in 1908, and with the set coming out in 1909, he was excluded.
It’s a shame, as in the next few years, he became one of Boston’s aces, and in turn one of the best pitchers in the game. He managed to have a monster season in 1912, going 34-5, with 35 complete games and 10 shutouts. In that span he won 16 in a row, tying a mark set by Walter Johnson. To top things off, he struck out 258, had an ERA of 1.91, and his Red Sox won the World Series (with Wood winning three of those games).
But here we have him as a young 18-year-old in a crisp new road jersey, looking off somewhere into the ether like his other T206 brethren.
Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.
Guess The Game…
from the scoreboard
Today’s scoreboard comes from ojai67.
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).
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!):
Please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.
I’m Still Praying For Rain…
As most of you are probably aware, today is the birthday of one of my best friends, and the guy who founded this place, brought together a “family,” and is just one of the best people there is in the crazy, mixed-up world. That is of course, the one and only Paul Lukas.
Words alone cannot express how grateful I am to Paul today, recently, and for more than a decade, for all his great friendship and support (more on that at the end), and he’s particularly been our steady friend and spiritual guru since our mutual worlds were turned upside-down during this whole COVID-19 pandemic. Allowing us all this collective space to not just share our love for uniforms, but to interact — as a family — has been one of the most enjoyable diversions of late, but also over the years.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
Please join me in wishing Paul a most HAPPY BIRTHDAY which is certainly taking place during the worst of times. I’m never one to wish to rain on someone’s parade, but for this one day…I’m praying for rain. You know why.
Thanks, Paul. for everything.
And now a few words from Paul
Hi there. In case you missed it on Thursday, I’m now taking submissions for another round of Question Time, where you get to ask me anything and I do my best to answer.
So if you have a question for me about uniforms, sports, design, or literally anything else, send it to the Question Time address (please note that this is not the usual Uni Watch email address). One question per person, please. No topic is out of bounds, but I reserve the right to not answer questions that are too personal. I’ll post the questions and answers to the site sometime soon.
As long as I have you here: I’m honored and humbled that so many people are choosing to keep Uni Watch as part of their daily routine during this stressful time, and the entire Uni Watch team is doing its best to be here for you and to make Uni Watch a positive factor in your lives. But we could really use your support right about now. If you value the site’s presence and you have the means, please consider making a donation or a purchase. As a gesture of solidarity, I’ve lowered a lot of our prices until further notice, as follows:
• Membership cards, which usually sell for $25, are now $20 — a 20% cut.
• Seam rippers, which normally cost $6, are now $4 — a 33% cut.
My thanks, as always, for your consideration.
And now back to Phil. Please join me in thanking him for remaining at his post and doing his usual excellent job during this crisis. We’re all lucky to have him on board.
By Anthony Emerson
Baseball News: The Giants have nixed the best uni in their set, the road grey with the interlocking SF (thanks, Phil). … The Akron RubberDucks, Double-A affiliates of Cleveland, are going to be wearing the unis of the Akron Black Tyrites, an old Negro Leagues team, on July 31 (@AIPphoto). … If anyone knows the owner of this amazing ’70s Padres van, please let them know I will pay them any amount of money for it (from Adam Franz). … Here’s an excellent article about Old Comiskey Park and the planning of New Comiskey (from Akul Nishawala). … Also posted in the soccer section: The Midland RockHounds, Double-A affiliates of A’s, and the Midland-Odessa Sockers of the NPSL are giving kids a chance to design their own jerseys (from Matt Rashford). … It’s always good to revisit the story of how the Yankees got their pinstripes (thanks, Phil).
NFL News: The Rams will formally unveil their long-awaited new logo and colors on Monday at noon pacific, three eastern (from Moe Khan and Ben Josephson). … The Falcons gave a very subtle tease to their new unis by tweeting this image last night (from multiple readers). … Many have pointed out that Tom Brady’s trademark — literally — No. 12 is technically already occupied by a Bucs player, WR Chris Godwin. Apparently, Godwin is and Brady are “working things out” (from Kary Klismet and Mike Chamernik). … At the same time, the Bucs still haven’t officially assigned Brady a uni number nor have they revealed their new uni sets, so NFLShop.com is using a blank jersey with the number zero and a Brady NOB as a placeholder for the weirdos who preordered Brady’s jersey. Like I did (from Nick Jones, Mike Wagner and Joe Dobrowski). … According to Fanatics, Tom Brady jerseys sales were up 900% yesterday, and the Bucs became the No. 1 selling team — all merchandise — in the NFL. … Like many a Tom Brady photoshop this week, the NFL photoshopped Todd Gurley into a Falcons uni he’ll never wear, and then MMQB doubled it up by posting an image of both Brady and Gurley in unis they’ll never wear (from @RickyH174 and Nicklaus Wallmeyer).
NBA News: Apparently, Rasheed Wallace used to use a black Sharpie to color-in the Jerry West figure on his socks. When asked why, he would allegedly say “It’s a black man’s league.” (from Patrick Reynolds).
Soccer News: Columbus Crew’s old crest is the perfect for a social distancing redesign (from John Flory). … Embarrassing day for UEFA, who initially tweeted that next year’s European Championships — rescheduled from this year because of coronavirus — would be called “EURO 2021,” but ended up walking that back a few hours later (from multiple readers). … Cross-posted in the soccer section: The Midland RockHounds, Double-A affiliates of A’s, and the Midland-Odessa Sockers of the NPSL are giving kids a chance to design their own jerseys (from Matt Rashford).
Grab Bag: Why get a shirt with one Nike logo on it when you can get a shirt that has two Nike logos on it? Maybe coming to an MLB jersey near you someday! (from @thanksalotTodd). … The National Lacrosse League has redesigned its logo to “honor fans, players, teams, coaches and staff” during the COVID-19 outbreak (from Wade Heidt). … Pretty much the only sport going on in the world right now is the Australian Football League, playing fanless games and doing feet-touches after goals instead of high-fives. Collingwood — the team that scored — was wearing a throwback guernsey for that game (from Jeremy Brahm). … Akul Nishawala sends along this excellent YouTube video about how the suit colors of the X-Men are important to the characters, and why changing them to black leather for the movie upset fans. The entire YouTube channel is worth checking out.
On A Personal Note
What a week it’s been. I hope and pray everyone is doing OK and surviving this pandemic as best as possible. Most importantly, for anyone who’s basically been told to work from home (or just stay home) and limit your social contact — DO IT! I cannot stress enough how important it is to follow the edicts, recommendations, orders, suggestions, etc. you’re getting from your state or local government. We found out on Thursday that 4 out of 5 COVID infections have come from someone who is “healthy” and not showing any signs of having the disease. This could be you, it could be your friend or significant other, it could be me. PLEASE try to limit your contact with others so that we can keep this from overwhelming our health care system.
I say this because yesterday started out as “normally” as any day these days does. I try to limit my “outside” activities to several brisk walks, and to get food or other necessities, as warranted. On Thursday, I went for take out to my favorite local burrito place, and after I’d gotten my order, my buddy behind the counter said, almost nonchalantly, “We’re closing at 5:00 tomorrow.” No biggie, I thought to myself, but for some reason I sensed something deeper. “Tomorrow at 5:00 for the day, or …” I replied, my voice trailing off. “Well, maybe forever. At least two weeks, if not longer. I can’t stay in business like this, so I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
It’s amazing how quickly shit gets real. One of my favorite places, a local, neighborhood store owned by a fellow resident who came to America to make his dreams come true, may be out of business for good.
Anyway, I decided I’d make sure I got one more meal there yesterday, and to leave as big a tip as I could (being unemployed, this is unfortunately, a luxury) but I knew it would be important. As fate would have it, on my way there, I met a lady from my curling league who also happens to work as a nurse at the hospital that is 3 blocks away (she was patronizing another local business). Almost instinctually, she gave me a hug — as we were embracing, I said, “I don’t know if we should be doing this,” but she shrugged it off, saying, “Oh, it’s OK.” We quickly broke the hug and I said, “Sorry, we should really keep our distance during this ‘thing’.” I quickly closed with, “hope to see you on the ice this summer” and was off. Now, she’s one of the front-line fighters (and REAL heroes) in this fight against COVID-19, and not only wasn’t she wearing a mask or gloves (granted, she was on the street and not in the hospital) but I question her judgment. What if I’m carrying the disease? Did I just infect her (and by extension, anyone with whom she might come into contact in the hospital)? Or, did maybe she infect me, as she’s bound to have come into contact with COVID patients in the hospital?
I say this all because of what happened next. About an hour later, I got a call from my Aunt, who informed me that my mom (who I think you know had knee surgery last fall, and this past January, fell and broke her hip, so she’s been in hospitals and rehabs for at least 50% of the past 6 months) recently developed an open, infected wound where her hip was repaired. My aunt let me know she spoke with my mom’s PCP and was told she needs to get to the ER immediately. So I drove over to mom’s house (she lives one town over) but she was too weak to walk to the car, so we needed to call 9-1-1 for an ambulance. Within minutes, three technicians basically dressed in Haz-Mat suits arrived and after collecting the requisite information (DOB, health insurance, etc.), took her away to the same hospital as my curling friend works in.
I asked the EMT’s if we could visit mom when she got admitted, knowing hospitals are (for good reason) limiting close contact with patients, even for immediate family. The EMT’s thought that either my aunt, or me (but not both together) could visit. So my aunt followed the ambulance to the hospital. Shortly thereafter, my aunt let me know that NEITHER of us would be allowed in the hospital. This is both a blessing and a curse — I want my mom to be safe, but she’s clearly scared about this latest health backstep, and now she’s “alone” in the hospital since I’m not allowed to visit. My biggest fear is not the immediate one — the open wound which can probably be closed and she can be made healthy and released, hopefully soon — but that she might somehow be exposed to COVID while she’s there. She’s 86 and in very poor health now. COVID would be a death sentence.
I write this as of Friday evening. All I know at this moment is the hospital has done cultures and some bloodwork and we’re waiting for the results. The open wound is probably a complication from the hip surgery, but fortunately her physician doesn’t think this is life-threatening. However, when you’re 86, and in relatively poor health, any trip to the hospital, where COVID may be rampant, is scary.
But all I can think about is the chance meeting with a curling friend where we (however briefly) broke social distancing protocol. I’m worried that I (and she) may be carriers (particularly her, working in a soon-to-be-overwhelmed hospital) and how that translates to others. I’m SURE she has a proper mask and scrubs up and wears gloves in the hospital, but jeez. I hope I am just worrying too much.
I’m sorry to have droned on about this (stream of consciousness isn’t my forte). I try to keep my personal stuff off the boards, but I’m very worried now (as I am sure you all are) how this will all play out. I pray for each and every one of you to get through all this (and we will!) but please pleasepleaseplease be VERY careful and listen to the experts on how to stay as safe as possible. I don’t need to tell you it will get a LOT worse before it gets better, and better will be a relative term. Nothing will ever be the same now. It’s bad everywhere, but New York State (and NYC in particular) seem to be becoming ground zero now, with the number of cases doubling every day for the past week. I’m not sleeping well these days, and I’m genuinely getting scared. I hope you guys are all handling this as well as you can.
Anyway, as soon as I got to mom’s house yesterday, I gave Paul a head’s up that I might not be able to do a post today, and Paul’s immediate reply was “DON’T WORRY ABOUT UNI WATCH Take care of your family (and yourself, of course).” That’s a true friend. We all need those these days. I’m glad I didn’t need to take the birthday boy up on it.
Please, everyone, I beg you: PLEASE take care of yourselves and your families. We will get by. We will survive.