By Phil Hecken, with Matthew Drake
I hope everyone is hanging in there as we continue to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Over the past couple weeks, a few designers have reached out to me to share their concepts, and in light of the dearth of much uni news, I’m going to be running a bunch of these concepts over the next several weeks, so long as there’s no action on the field (obviously if there is any new or breaking uni news, I’ll either lede with that, or have it as a sub-lede — and of course, minor uni news will always be found in the ticker). One of several designers to contact me was Matthew Drake, whose designs will be featured today and also in the future. Here’s a portion of the e-mail he sent:
I understand you have been in correspondence with both Tom Juettner and Dave Pinto recently about their respective MLB concept designs. I am the “Matt” they spoke of when referring to the MLB City Edition Series we all collaborated on a few years ago.
I just wanted to take the opportunity to show you what I’ve been working on recently in regards to my own personal MLB designs, in case you or Paul Lukas would be interested in showing them on the Uni Watch site.
I have the entire league pretty much finished, so feel free to let me know if you and Paul would be interested in showing them on the site, and I can send you the rest of the designs as we go along!
Thanks, and stay safe,
I was intrigued, as Matt actually sent me an example of the Arizona Diamondbacks (which we’ll get to another time). What particularly piqued my interest was his creation of “the “Cooperstown Collection” uniform, a faux-back for each team that includes elements from their past identities.” Matt also included new spring training/batting practice designs for every MLB team as well. Matt ended up sending me a shit-ton of designs for every MLB team, and while almost every concept differed slightly from what the teams currently wear, there were some very interesting alternates in some cases. But what I liked best was the “Cooperstown Collection” and ST/BP concepts. I considered just running those, but in many cases the tweaks to (or additions to) the standard home/roads and alternates are certainly worth a look-see.
With all the designs and writups, it’s probably too lengthy and unwieldy to include every concept from each league, as I usually do when showing off league-wide redesigns. What I’ve decided to do, then, is to break these out into the six different divisions, and I’ll run two divisions each time. Today we’ll check out the AL East and NL Central.
Starting off with the AL East designs:
There aren’t too big of changes to the main Orioles set, beyond an updated Clarendon number font from the old Expos, to fit in with the old-timey feel the Orioles have. The sock pattern is also adjusted slightly.
The Cooperstown Collection uniform is based on the 1901 Baltimore Orioles (which I believe would later become the Yankees.) The Spring Training jersey features the iconic cartoon bird, along with an orange front-panel cap.
Boston Red Sox
Similarly, not too many changes for classic Red Sox, other than added piping on the sleeves reminiscent of the earlier uniforms. The road uniform’s wordmark colors are flipped, with piping brought back in to imitate the 1936 uniform.
The Cooperstown Collection brings back the 1975 set, probably my favorite uniform in Red Sox history. The Spring Training set is based on the famous sock pattern from that set, inspired by @SFGiants58’s take in his Project 32 Series on the SportsLogos.Net forums.
New York Yankees
The Cooperstown Collection is based on the 1912 uniform, which the team threw back to a few years ago. The Spring Training jersey brings back the BP design from the late 90’s/early 2000’s which I love.
Tampa Bay Rays
Since I don’t really love any uniforms from their history, I decided to go for the faux-back look the Rays showcased a few years ago as a full-time set. An embrace of columbia blue, raglan sleeves, and paneled caps gives the Rays an old-school identity that would hopefully still feel cool in the modern day.
Toronto Blue Jays
And now the NL Central:
The Reds go back to the basics and drop black, and go back to a striping style similar to the Big Red Machine uniforms. The away uniform uses a modified block font that matches well with the number font I’m using, designed by @SFGiants58, based off of UNC’s number font.
I honestly love the Brewers’ most recent redesign, so not many changes to be seen here. The home uniform just matches to the sleeve striping style of the away now. The socks also have a Packers-style striping pattern that is once again inspired by @SFGiants58.
The pinstripe alternate goes back to royal blue to embrace its roots a little bit more. The navy alternate now has sleeve stripes that mimic the socks, as well as a yellow brim on the cap to add some flair.
The Cooperstown Collection gives the Brew Crew a powder blue away option, complete with a yellow front-panel cap, and the Spring Training goes a bit further with the yellow, along with a Barrel Man cap.
I loved the road uniform with the “Pittsburgh” wordmark to match the home, but it seems like about the right time to go back to the script, so I kept it. Other than that, the only thing is the pirate’s bandanna is recolored yellow.
St. Louis Cardinals
Thanks, Matt! Some of those “Cooperstown Collection” (and BP/SP uniforms) are pretty interesting. Readers? What do you think?
I’ll be back with Matt again, when we look at the AL Central and West, and NL East and West.
More Rams Uni Concepts
We’ve seen a bunch of “guesses” at what the Los Angeles Rams would wear since their logo was unveiled a couple weeks ago, and we’re all (or most of us are) waiting with bated breath for the actual unveiling, which should be some time this month.
Yesterday, UW pal Conrad Burry tweeted out his proposed unis, based off of the newly released logo, and let me tell you, I’d be pretty OK if the team were to go with something along these lines.
I can’t say I love the alternate, but it certainly beats the mono-banana unis they’ve trotted out for CR. Interesting use of the rams horn “twisty” striping on the pants too!
What do you guys think?
The “BEST OF” Kreindler’s Korner
Hey guys & gals. You’ve enjoyed Kreindler’s Korner for several years now, mostly on the weekends, on Uni Watch, but with the recent coronavirus outbreak, Graig’s time is just too precious and he needs to tend to other things besides coming up with a new writeup each weekend.
So, going forward, for as long as the COVID-19 situation is bad in New York, I’m going to run a few “Best of’s” until Graig returns. This one appeared in 2018…
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: “Birds Sweep Series”
Subject: Brooks Robinson, Dave McNally and Andy Etchebarren, 1966
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 32″ x 40″
From the outset of the 1966 World Series, it was fair to say that not too many people gave the Baltimore Orioles much of a fighting chance. Though they carried the American League MVP and Triple Crown winner Frank Robinson, they had a very young pitching staff inexperienced in October baseball. Additionally, facing the premiere National League dynasty of the 1960s in the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Baltimore underdogs had quite the mountain range to surmount – stalwart hurlers Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax being the most daunting of those peaks. Having swept the Yankees in an improbable performance in 1963 and winning a hard-fought battle against the Twins in 1965, The Dodgers proved that their two great pitchers and stellar staff could silence any line-up, as both opposing American League teams were held to an anemic total of 14 runs in eleven World Series games.
For the first two games at Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles, the Orioles took this ideal to heart, winning both contests with spirited performances from 23-year old Dave McNally in the former and 20-year old Jim Palmer in the latter. After a day off, coming home to Baltimore for the third game provided the blueprint from which they would hope to emerge victorious in the series, with the young Wally Bunker shutting out the Dodgers on a six hit performance.
Returning to the mound in Game 4 was opening game winner McNally. With only one run scored by a solo home run from World Series MVP Frank Robinson, the contest was a pitcher’s duel from start to finish. In the hopes of redeeming himself for a poor Game 1 start, Dodger pitcher Don Drysdale gave up only one run; though unfortunately for Los Angeles fans, it was the only one that mattered in the 1-0 Oriole victory. Pitching brilliant ball, McNally allowed a measly four hits and no runs against the boys in blue. The lefty’s performance was indicative of that of the entire Baltimore pitching staff during the postseason, as the Dodgers were held without a run for the last 33 innings of the World Series.
Pictured is the precise moment after the last out of the series – a catch by Oriole centerfielder Paul Blair – which spread jubilation across the field in Memorial Stadium, as well as all of Baltimore. With the ecstatic crowd beginning to rush their heroes to join in the celebration, Brooks Robinson is shown emphatically jumping into the arms of winning pitcher McNally, and the Bird’s rookie catcher, Andy Etchebarren.
Baltimore would see their team reach the top of the American League standings every year from 1969 to 1971, capturing the title again in 1970. The Orioles talented pitching staff and smooth defense would come to define their era, the likes of which had not been seen in the American League since the New York Yankees. Certainly, this dynasty was a far cry from the woeful performances of the hapless St. Louis Browns, the team which in 1954, was embraced by Maryland when they became the Baltimore Orioles.
Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.
Guess The Game…
from the scoreboard
Today’s scoreboard comes from Alex Cheremeteff (although he didn’t submit it as such).
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.
In Case You Missed It…
A couple days ago Paul posted a video created by my buddy, Andy Brown, with whom I’ve done several posts over the years, and whom I met last September at a Mets game at
Shea CitiField (at *some* point, I’ll have another in-depth look at Andy’s work, as he not only painted every MLB Stadium in 2019, but many MiLB ones, in addition to stadia in the Far East). He’re we are at that game…
I had the pleasure of watching Andy create the CitiField painting (shown above) from scratch, and he’s just an immense talent. As I said, as some point, I’ll have a lot more on that for you fine readers.
Anyhoo, more recently, Andy has been creating some MLB player mashups, and he recently completed an incredible piece made entirely from suggestions of twitter users — evolving from one player/day to the next.
'Dream Team'. A painting created over 2 weeks during the #COVID19 #lockdown. Made entirely from suggestions of twitter users – evolving from one player/day to the next. More here: https://t.co/zXGhI1Tu3n #timelapse @PhilHecken @UniWatch @thorn_john @baseballhall @BoogSciambi pic.twitter.com/y5fgDY21ws
— Andy Brown (@andybisanartist) April 4, 2020
As I write this, Andy’s at work creating another painting of the Yankees “dream team” (again, using players suggested by Twitter users) and so far it’s looking great. Do yourself a favor and follow Andy on the Twitter! You won’t be disappointed.
And now a few words from Paul
Hi there. In case you missed it last week, the Uni Watch Pin Club’s April design is now available. As you can see, it’s based on an official Rawlings/MLB baseball, complete with my signature as the “Commissioner.”
This is a numbered edition of 250 pins and there are now fewer than 65 remaining. So if you want one, I suggest that you move fast.
If you need to get caught up, here are the January, February, and March designs, all of which will remain available until they sell out (no reprints!). You can get a 15% on all of these pins, and on everything in the Uni Watch Shop and the Naming Wrongs Shop, by using the checkout code COMMUNITY.
And while we’re at it, several other discounts are in effect until further notice:
• The Uni Watch Classic Cap, usually priced at $39.99, is now $35.99.
• Uni Watch seam rippers, usually $6, are now $4.
• And custom-designed Uni Watch membership cards, usually $25, are now $20.
If you’d rather support Uni Watch via a donation, here’s now to do that.
My thanks, as always, for your consideration and support. Stay healthy, safe, and sane. Now back to Phil.
More Signs…of the times
My physical contact with others is non-existent these days, and I try to practice social isolation/distancing as much as possible, but I also need to get outside and walk around (particularly when the weather cooperates) or I’ll go stir-crazy. I also recently began running again (
4 times in 8 days 5 of 9), which is good. It only took me 3 runs to get well under 9 minutes per mile (yesterday was 8:40/mi. with almost no wind), which is about as fast as this old body can run anymore.
During a morning walk, I noticed this yesterday:
Anyhoo, I’ve begun noticing signs popping up around my neighborhood, thanking those who are going above and beyond in fighting the coronavirus these days. I also occasionally walk by my local hospital, which is about three blocks away, and not only have they recently erected two giant “tents” (for lack of a better word) to increase capacity, I will also notice the doctors, nurses and other health care employees outside the hospital, taking much-needed breaks. I feel silly, but from a safe distance I either raise an arm and extend a big “thumbs up” or voice a “THANK YOU” in their direction. Seems like the least I can do. When I run, I pass the hospital as well, and the other day I stopped my gait and kind of hop/skipped sideways (crab style) and clapped at the small gathering of workers (spaced six feet apart!). To a person, they waved back — I think they probably smiled too, but I couldn’t tell since all were wearing PPEs.
It warms my heart to know that at least in this (very affected) part of the country, everyone is doing their part — whether it be the front line workers (all of whom are too numerous to name and thank) or those who social distance when they must be outside. I’ve taken to wearing a bandanna when outside now, and almost everyone I see is wearing gloves and a mask of some sort — whether store-bought or homemade.
All these signs have sprung up organically in the past few weeks, but have become more numerous of late. This one, which I would assume was created by a youngster, really encapsulates the feelings of my neighborhood.
Yep. These are the signs of the times.
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: Brian Weingartz noticed these different number fonts on ‘79 Astro’s tequila sunrise uniforms. Cesar Cedeno with the wrong font and Craig Reynolds with what appears to be the correct font. … “It was mentioned back in February that Arizona Diamondback officials visited Vancouver to look into the city being an contingency spot for them,”: writes Wade Heidt. “This article just written delves into the situation in more detail. including indication there was broader discussion about the viability for the city long-term for Major League Baseball.” … Matthew Algeo was doing a little research on the Phillies 1970s uniforms; When they were unveiled in Dec. 1969, the placement of the numbers on the front was lower than when the uniforms actually debuted on the field in 1970. … A Chicago architect is making a cool 3D rendering of what Comiskey Park looked like when it closed in 1990 (from Mike Chamernik). … Las Mayores Instagram posted a picture of Bartolo Colon in front of a home jersey from all of the teams he played for. But the expos jersey is white with the “Montreal” script from the grey road jerseys (from Billy King). … Ugh. The Mets’ Pete Alonso has become the latest NY Met player who wants the team to bring back the black jerseys. Those are the worst jerseys the Mets have ever worn, with the sole exception being the even worse camopander jerseys the team sported for a spell in the early 2010s. … “MLB Cathedrals did an interesting study of flipped MLB ballparks,” says Andrew Cosentino. BTW, that account is run by the great Mark Anderson, who I have profiled on UW a few times, and most recently we did an article on his proposal for a new A’s stadium. He’s a great follow! … Check out this awesome “doodle” of Earl Weaver from Squatchee on Top.
NFL & College Football News: We still don’t yet have a date for the Cleveland Browns new uniform unveiling (or whether it will be done “live,” or virtually, or … however?), but this article thinks the reaction will be polarizing. … Also no dates for an Atlanta Falcons uni unveiling, but this article does have some juicy nuggets, including why it took so long to come up with a new uni and how they’ll unveil the new unis (hint: it won’t be at a live event). … The Rams’ Kevin Demoff read “mean tweets” on air because the Rams raised over $2.3m for the LA United Way & the LA Food Bank during their recent ABC7 telethon (from Jerry). … Ever wonder how the LV Raiders would look with Buccaneers helmets? Me neither, but this Madden glitch does just that (from Joe Abraham). … “Feels like a whole new theme for Uni Watch to enjoy while have a lack of uniforms in games to look at — ticket concepts!” says bryanwdc. … What if every NFL team wore soccer uniforms? (from Andy Connelly). … UW Stalwart Gene Sanny observes, “Came across a pic of the old North Texas helmet design, and after disregarding the tail and foot area, and focusing on the head and wings, with the gap between forehead and beak working its way back to an eye, and the three wing lines going back until a little upturned point, I think the designer of the Washington Federals logo was pretty heavily influenced by their logo.” … Brinke says, “nice looking 75 reds unis” in this Reds tweet. … Which Phillies uniform is your favorite? … You know the Stillers “batman” jerseys? Here’s the story behind them (from John Turney).
Hockey News: Another organization stepping up to combat the coronavirus: the Syracuse Crunch have lent their disinfectant machine to an upstate New York hospital. … Former NHL goalie and NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes selected his 4 choices for best NHL jersey of all-time (from Wade Heidt). … Also from Wade Heidt, there is a report the sources within the New Jersey Devils organization that a green alternate jersey is in the works. … “Here’s a couple screen grabs I took while watching a you tube recording of the 1985 Stanley Cup Quarter Final, Game 7 between the Montreal Canadiens and the Quebec Nordiques,” writes Fred Teigen. “The player in question is Canadien Mario Tremblay wearing a helmet with an unusual single-bar face mask which I had never seen before. I hope you find this interesting.”
NBA/College/HS Hoops News: “Congrats to Rudy Tomjanovich on being elected to the Naismith Hall of Fame. I wonder — which mask will he wear on his plaque?” asks Ron Ruelle. He adds, “All kidding aside…is this as good a time as any for a retrospective of protective masks in the NBA?” … Check out the interesting number placement on the 1957-58 South Dakota Coyotes (from Matt Campbell). … “My favorite feature of the (Girls) state basketball tournament was not the uniforms, but the scoreboard map that hung in old Vets Auditorium in Des Moines,” writes Zac Christensen. “All 99 countries have two lights. At the start of the tournament, the 8 teams in a class would be lighted in accordance with their home county. As teams lost, their lights were turned off until only one team, and one light remained. The link is a ‘where are they now’ about the venerable sign.”
Soccer News: West Ham United’s sleeve advertiser — Basset & Gold — have gone into administration. Coincidentally, they are the third WHU sponsor to go under in recent years (XL and Alpari suffered the same fate). From Josh Hinton. … Also from Josh, further images of the 2020/21 Tottenham Hotspur home and away kits have leaked. … Ed Żelaski writrs, “a uni anomaly I’ve always thought about. Soccer clubs generally don’t wear numbers on the front, except in Asia. I’ve never seen a reason for that. MLS used to 10-15 years ago, but went away from it. Pic is from (yester)day’s Tajik Super Cup.”
Grab Bag: So, uh…what kind of uniform is this? According to Inside Hook (who as you know host a number of Paul’s uni previews and design contests, it’s the uni of the Renaissance Plague Doctor. … Don’t have a bandanna? Or a mask? Well, you can always use a t-shirt (from Jimmer Vilk). … Apparently the Fox Sports guys sales guys still don’t have a donut advertiser for virtual post race burnouts (from James Gilbert).
Once again, I hope everyone is safe and making it through this most difficult time. My best to everyone out there — please Stay Home and Stay Safe! New York (which as you all probably know is still ground zero for the coronavirus in the States) is expected to hit the “apex” in the next four to eight days, and we’re still waaaaaaay short of ventilators, our hospital staffs, doctors, nurses and all personnel are in desperate need of PPE’s and other vital equipment, many of our hospital staffs are desperately short due to sickness — many of those on the front lines have already contracted COVID-19. It’s bad. And scary. But I have faith we’ll all get through this together, somehow.
I also want to offer my thanks to the many out-of-state volunteers who have come to New York hospitals to help us in this time of need, as well as Jack Ma, Joseph and Clara Tsai, and the Great State of Oregon for sending us just over 1,000 ventilators — if you’re not aware, ventilators help people continue to breathe if their lungs fail, and are crucial for treating patients suffering from extreme symptoms of COVID-19. I lived through 9/11 and Superstorm Sandy, and this is way way worse.
To anyone who is directly affected by the pandemic, my prayers are with you and your families. To everyone else, please be well. #AloneTogether.