By Phil Hecken
Hey guys and gals — well, this has been some week, eh? Hope everyone is staying safe. I’m coming to you “live” from the family summer place for the first time this year. It’s about 100 miles east of my home-home — got out here on Thursday, and I may have done more driving in that 2 hour time frame than I’d done the prior two-plus months! Usually I open the place up in early-mid May, but with the COVID, everything’s delayed this year.
Now then, you’ll recall over a couple weekends a short while back, I featured the “NBA/MLB crossover concepts” of reader Eric Steplitus (if you missed it, you can click here or here). In those posts, Eric asked, “what if teams in the NBA actually played baseball? What would their uniforms look like? All looks, fonts, color scheme from a franchise’s history was on the table.” He then put NBA designs and logos onto MLB uniform (jersey & cap) templates.
Last weekend Eric returned, this time working from the reverse angle — how would MLB teams’ uniforms look if they were rendered onto hoops unis? If you missed that post, you can click here. Today, we have the remaining teams…
MLB/NBA Crossover Project
By Eric Steplitus
Unlike my first project, I tried to have the alternate jerseys be inspired by anything, as that seems to be the current trend with NBA alternates (the Timberwolves purple Prince inspired alts immediately come to mind). So some of these ideas are way out of left field (pun intended). I’ll do my best to explain.
I thought Milwaukee did such a fantastic job with their new unis, I didn’t want to do anything different with the home and away sets. Alt is based off the Brew Crew nickname in their just retired word mark.
I used the “Win” tail to create a descending trail toward the numbers. Alt based off their new baby blue alternate that will debut on the field this year.
New York Mets:
The “City that never sleeps” midnight alternate is their skyline and bridge taken from their primary logo.
New York Yankees:
I created a psuedo pinstripe look around the yankee script on the home and inside the letters and numbers of the away jersey. The alt is the red font of their primary logo.
I wanted to use a template to let their colors do the talking. I prefer the Kelly green to the forest green. The alternate is a nod to the football team Oakland just lost to Vegas, the raiders. Hence the black and silver.
Their current look is nice now, but being a fan of bold, distinct looks, I had to go back to their baby blue and maroon days. I used the Atlanta Hawks jersey template to further push the colors. The white jagged line in the alternate is to represent the crack in the liberty bell.
The triple stripe toward the top of the jersey is in reference to their pillbox cap their wore in the 70s. The alternate is an ode to their red and yellow days. The polka dots on the side panels is reflective of the bandana the pirate wore in the main logo.
San Diego Padres:
The side panels curve in and out to represent their famous taco bell hat their wore in the first go round of yellow and brown. The alternate is burgundy, an ode to “Anchorman”, complete with a cartoon bust of Ron Burgundy on the shorts. “You stay classy, San Diego”.
San Francisco Giants:
The golden gate of the side panels is taken from their primary logo. The alternate is a gradient blue to represent McCovey Cove beyond right field.
St. Louis Cardinals:
I took the birds off the bat and put them on the numbers instead. The alternate is an ode to the Spirits of St. Louis, the area’s ABA team of yesteryear.
Tampa Bay Rays:
My favorite design I made, this uses the fauxback font the team introduced in 2012, coupled with a the gradient font of their inception on a black jersey for the alternate.
I used their current word mark to introduce vertical striping. The alternate is a take on their baby blue jerseys in the 70s, topped off with the cowboy hat from their logo during that time.
Toronto Blue Jays:
I went with a clean approach to let the distinguishable font do the talking. The red jersey is something they have done on Canada Day for years.
I used the team’s first font to work better in the template. An obvious choice for their alternate, I made an ode to the expos in the same template.
Thanks, Eric! Very cool concept (although I think some of our readers felt the NBA team->MLB jersey may work better than the inverse). I like ’em both!
OK readers? What do you 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.
Here’s today’s offering (click to enlarge):
Title: “Far From Albuquerque”
Subject: Ernie Banks, 1969
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 24″ x 38″
Ernie Banks will forever be remembered as one of the best baseball players to never get into postseason play. However, he will forever be remembered as one of the game’s most gentle souls, as the good natured man from Dallas always wanted to “play two” in the “friendly confines” of Chicago’s Wrigley Field. Grateful for the ability to play baseball for a living, Banks had no interest in changing the world – especially one that was still going through integration on and off the field of play. His ideas on the word ‘race’ were reflected in how it affected his own life: the run to beat the throw.
Banks was picked up by the legendary Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues in 1950. At the advice of Cool Papa Bell, Monarchs manager Buck O’Neil had signed him from an amateur team in Texas. After an average first season with the Monarchs, 1953 saw a young Ernie Banks return from two years of duty in the armed forces. It was then that he began to show wonderful promise, batting in 47 runs in just 46 games. After Banks hit a homerun in the East-West Game at Comiskey Park that same year, Buck was sure that the kid was something special. When he left his job with the Negro Leagues to join the Chicago Cubs, O’Neil took remembered what had seen in Comiskey that day, and signed Banks for the second time, making him the first African-American to play for the National League ballclub in the Chicago.
Coming into the majors as a young shortstop near the end of the 1953 season, Banks did not look much like the power hitter he came to be known as. On September 20 of that year, Banks gave Cub fans a glimpse of what to expect, as he hit the first homerun of his career. Slim, tall and wiggling his bat nervously while waiting for an incoming pitch, one would never guess how much power was generated from his quick and strong wrists. A scout later touted that the thin-framed rook had “wrists right up to his armpits”. It was two years later, in 1955, that he set the record for most homeruns by a shortstop, with 44. He broke that same record four years later, with 47 round trippers. In a five year period, he had slammed more homers than anyone in baseball – more than guys named Mantle, Mays and Aaron. And, though erratic at the beginning of his career, Ernie became a hard working, dependable shortstop, making only 12 errors in over 500 tries in the last year of the decade. Such accolades earned him back-to-back league MVP awards in 1958 and 1959.
Quickly becoming a fan favorite in the mid-1950s, Banks became just as known for his interactions with fans and his jubilant spirit, as he did his marvelous craft. His modesty was also legendary, as he had declined the Cubs’ offer to give him a day at Wrigley, as he felt he had not been around long enough to deserve such an honor.
Banks continued his dominance into the 1960s, with remarkable performances in the 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1965 seasons. Though, the Chicago Cubs, who had managed but one .500 season in the 1950s, seemed destined to suffer the same fate in the early 1960s. Due to a string of injuries, Banks began to show his age as well, moving to regular duty as a first baseman in 1963. It was in 1966, with the hiring of Manager Leo Durocher, that the Cubbies began to show life. That season saw young pitching talent, such as Ken Holtzman, Bill Hands and Ferguson Jenkins. Rich Nye and Joe Niekro came to the team the year after, and helped Chicago reach third place, the highest the club had finished since 1946. In 1968, amid many injuries and setbacks, they strengthened their team with the additions of Phil Regan, Al Spangler, Jim Hickman and Willie, and again finished third. It was thought that all of the pieces of the puzzle were in place. 1969 would finally be their year.
Pictured is Ernie sitting on the dugout steps, signing autographs for his adoring fans on April 9, the first game of the 1969 season. The familiar bricked wall dugout of Wrigley provides a backdrop for equally delighted members of the Cubs grounds crew. In the twilight of his career, the then-38 year old Ernie Banks was playing in his last great season, a season that saw him drive in over 100 runs, a season that saw the Cubs rise to the top of the class in the National League by holding first place for 143 games out of 163.
And then, just as dramatically, the Cubs fell to second place on September 9th. All of the Cubs overworked regulars, faired poorly as the long season dragged on. Ron Santo, Randy Hundley and Glenn Beckert all slumped, and Ernie Banks hit a measly .186 with 1 homer in 86 at bats during the month of September. Try as they may, the Cubbies failed to regain their lead, and missed the playoffs for yet another season.
Though, no matter how historic their team’s collapse, Cub fans could never hold ill will towards their boys, most especially Ernie Banks. For so many years during his career, and years after, when his number was retired and he was elected to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, to them, Banks was the symbol of all that was good in baseball – he was about the sport, plain and simple.
Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.
Guess The Game…
from the scoreboard
Today’s scoreboard comes from Ron Bolton, 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.
After being dormant for a while, the Uni Tweaks/Concepts have returned!
I hope you guys like this feature and will want to continue to submit your concepts and tweaks to me. If you do, Shoot me an E-mail (Phil (dot) Hecken (at) gmail (dot) com).
Occasionally I’ll have some concepts tweeted at me. Have a few in the pipeline from Anthony Gee who has a concept for the Angels…
…and the Reds:
And finally we have Ryan Bowman with some Bills concepts. He writes:
So, we can all agree that the Buffalo Bills would look better with a Levy-Kelly-Thomas-Reed era red helmet, right?
This might just be an indication of my age, but I think the same unis look much better with the red helmet.
Thanks. OK readers, tweeters (and concepters). If you have some tweaks or concepts, shoot ’em my way with a brief description of your creation and I’ll run ’em here.
By Anthony Emerson
Baseball News: Daniel Carroll built the Mariners’ alternate jerseys in Animal Crossing, and notes that the default baseball jersey in the game has a “TN” logo that appears to be taken from the Twins’ “TC” logo. The TN likely comes from the series’ main character, Tom Nook. … The Portland Sea Dogs, Double-A affiliates of the Red Sox, have terminated their long-term ice cream deal with Shain’s of Maine after Shain’s owner Jeff Shain used a racial slur in front of employees. … @LevityNYC had these “NJ” hats made with the same font and colors as the Yankees’ caps. Lids manufactured them before getting spooked by the copyright implications.
NFL News: Steelers coach Mike Tomlin wore all black for his return to the office after months away due to the pandemic. Not sure if the all-black outfit is a specific reference to the George Floyd protests, as many organizers have asked demonstrators to wear all black (from @MeanJoFranco). … The Ravens have a fairly comprehensive uniform history on their website (from David Cline). … Some Falcons cheerleaders — perhaps cheer captains — wore stars on their chest logos in the 1970s (from Matt Dunn). … The Rams wished former WR Torry Holt a happy birthday with pics of him in No. 88 — Holt wore No. 81 for the vast majority of his career, but he did win a Super Bowl in No. 88 (from Mark Morgan).
NBA News: Baron Davis is the only player in NBA history to wear No. 85, wearing it for his final two seasons with the Cavaliers and Knicks. This USA Today piece tells us why — Davis was honoring his grandparents, who raised him on 85th St. in Los Angeles.
Soccer News: Scottish Premiership side Kilmarnock have unveiled their new home kit (thanks, Jamie and Ed Żelaski). … Also from Jamie: Scottish second division side Inverness Caledonian Thistle have launched their new home kit. … AC Milan will donate 600 special home shirts to hospital workers in Milan. The shirts are inscribed with “AC Milan Together” on the front and “andrà tutto bene” or “everything will be fine” with a rainbow on the sleeve.
Grab Bag: Atlanta Motor Speedway is naming one of its grandstands after Jimmie Johnson (thanks, Jamie). … Yesterday marked the 18th anniversary of Kobe Bryant wearing different throwback jerseys to each game of the NBA Finals, which Darren Rovell cites as the the point of no return for retro jerseys in fashion and on the field. … Not uni related, but definitely related to the encroachment of ads: here’s a great video about how the Transformers movies were basically two-hour-long ads that you paid to watch (from Nick Meihak).
And finally… big thanks to Eric for sharing the NBA/MLB Crossovers — again, please let him know your thoughts down below.
Everyone, please stay safe out there!