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Auction Action

As you may have noticed in the left-hand sidebar, our friends at Grey Flannel Auctions are running another catalog auction. Let’s look at some of the highlights:

• We’ll begin with the item shown above. Can you believe NBA players actually wore these? That’s a 1976 New Orleans Jazz warm-up top. This one actually belonged to Pistol Pete himself!

• I think we may have seen one this in a previous Grey Flannel auction catalog, but taking another look definitely won’t hurt when it comes to this spectacular Syracuse Nationals warm-up jacket!

• Oh man, if this were in my size (and if I had a lot more disposable income than I actually do), I’d be all over this magnificent green/yellow 1968 San Diego Rockets shooting shirt. Right up my alley!

• Can never get enough of the San Francisco Warrors’ classic “The City” design, with the massive cable car numbers on the back.

• Ooooh, even with some moth holes, this 1934 Chicago Bears jacket is a beauty. Love that chenille logo and lettering!

• Speaking of football jacket, check out this Texas Longhorns model, worn by coach Darrell Royal himself.

• As a young Mets fan in the early 1970s, I pored over all the fine print in the team’s yearbooks and programs, so I know that their equipment manager in those days was a guy named Herb Norman. But I didn’t know that he also had the equipment gig for the Jets until I saw this auction listing for his Super Bowl III championship ring. I was like, “Herb Norman — I know that name!” (The auction catalog also has Norman’s 1973 Mets 1973 N.L. championship ring.)

• Speaking of championship rings, I love how this 1944 Cardinals World Series ring shows the birds on the bat on the side of the ring.

• And speaking of the birds on the bat, here’s a jersey from the one season when the birds were AWOL — the (in)famous 1956 one-year style, complete with Slugger Bird on the left sleeve. This one was worn by Stan the Man!’

• And speaking of the Cardinals’ sleeves, I always thought it was weird that they wore sleeve numbers on both sleeves in 1979 and ’80, as seen on this 1979 Lou Brock gamer.

• This is really a listing for an autographed scorecard from the 1951 Baseball Hall of Fame Game, but what I like is the little pin that comes with it!

• I’ve known for many years that the Cubs had handwritten uni numbers inside their raised helmet logos in the 1960s and early ’70s. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an up-close view as the one provided by this 1969 Ernie Banks helmet.

• Here’s an Ichiro jersey from his days in Japan, with massive “Ichiro” NOB lettering.

• Has any word on a uniform ever been more jarringly interrupted than the word “Louis” on this 1944 St. Louis Browns jersey? Nice stars/stripes shield for World War II, too.

• And we conclude with one of the strangest jersey designs in MLB history: Baseball chest insignias are usually either straight, arched, or sloped “uphill,” but the 1928 Tigers wore their team name sloping downhill. Bizarre!

Want to see more? Here’s the full online catalog.

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ITEM! Contest results: My latest Uni Watch design challenge was to come up with patches, decals, or other signifiers that teams and leagues could wear to acknowledge this year’s racial justice uprising.

We got some good submissions. You can see the best and most interesting one (including Brandon Pararas’s Josh Gibson-themed patch for MLB teams to wear) over at InsideHook.

Speaking of InsideHook: As you may recall, about two months ago I did my Uni Watch MLB Power Rankings for them. Next up: the NFL Power Rankings, which should come later this month.

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Branch update: After a brief holiday-weekend delay, I’m happy to report that things are proceeding nicely on the Brooklyn Branches prototype jersey that was conceived last week by reader Ron Ruelle. Ron and DIYer Waffledbored have been been talking about how to bring the jersey to life in the real world (there may be a few design adjustments from Ron’s original concept), and yesterday I packed up several branch pieces and sent them Wafflebored-ward. The branch pieces will be used to make wooden buttons for the jersey.

When the one-of-a-kind jersey is done, we’ll auction it off and donate the proceeds to a tree-based environmental group (I’m leaning toward the Arbor Day Foundation). I’ll keep you posted as things develop!

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Membership update: Yesterday I showcased Bill Emigh’s St. Louis Hawks card. Bill emailed to let me know that he appreciated the shout-out but that the guy who really deserves the attention is his buddy and fellow new enrollee Chris Hart, because Chris is the one who turned him on to Uni Watch in the first place.

“Chris went to UNC on a baseball scholarship during the time Michael Jordan was there,” says Bill. “Chris’s claim to fame was meeting Michael on campus and Michael gave his dog, Taj Majal, a pat on his head that Chris swore gave the dog special powers!”

So there you go: Chris Hart — a special guy with a special dog who got head-patted by MJ himself! I’m happy to showcase his UNC-themed membership card today.

Even if Michael Jordan has never made contact with your dog, ordering a membership card is a good way to support Uni Watch (which, frankly, could use your support these days). And remember, as a gesture of comm-uni-ty solidarity, the price of a membership has been reduced from $25 to $20 until further notice.

As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here (now more than 2,800 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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KRC update: The latest installment of Key Ring Chronicles is about a length of pink ribbon. You can check it out here.

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The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball News: We’ve seen MLB players with their uni numbers printed onto their belts, but Mets P Marcus Stroman has been wearing his number — No. 0 — on his belt’s built-in loop (from @UntillTheNight). … The Pirates are hanging banners outside their ballpark honoring medical workers.

Football News: In 1972, Bears DL Willie Holman had some interesting additions to his facemask. It looks like he stuffed athletic tape and gauze between his facemask and helmet. He also had a great-looking leather chinstrap (from Bill Kellick). … LSU released a time lapse video showing the formation of their national champions logo (from Benji King). … Alabama will sell digital-only tickets in response to the pandemic (from Griffin Smith).

Basketball News: Some NBA players have announced the social justice messages that they’ll be wearing in place of their NOBs (from Mike Chamernik). … Here are some of the new shoes that NBA players will be wearing when the season resumes. … U.S. Senator and WNBA Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler spoke out against the WNBA’s Black Lives Matter initiative yesterday. Ironically, she said, “The truth is, we need less — not more politics in sports,” despite being a politician who co-owns a pro sports team.

Soccer News: MLS is allowing players to wear social activism messages or names on the lower back of their game jerseys (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … More pictures of Manchester City’s new shirts have leaked (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh: Nike has accidentally leaked Tottenham Hotspur’s new shirt. … Chivas’s new home and third shirts have leaked. … Borussia Dortmund’s new away kit has leaked. … New shirts for Porto (from Charles George). … New shirt for Loch Ness FC (from Mark Coale). … Club America and Pumas went navy vs. navy (from Mauricio Montoya). … Brazil’s famous yellow shirts have been adopted as a symbol by the country’s far right over the past few years, so some on the left want the national team to return to the white and blue worn until 1950, while others want to wear yellow themselves (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … New shirts for EPL team Southampton (from Ed Zelaski). … Also from Ed: Spanish side Real Socidead has extended its kit-outfitting deal with Macron through 2026.

Grab Bag: New alternate logo for Russian men’s volleyball club Fakel Novy Urengoy (from Jeremy Brahm). … Curling Canada has revealed its guidelines for curling to return during the pandemic. Only one sweeper per rock will be allowed. … The NFHS, which makes the rules for most high school sports in the country, is scrapping its rule requiring field hockey players to wear goggles, since requiring them means that players who wear glasses need a waiver, and also that nobody can wear masks when defending penalty corners. In the rest of the sport, goggles aren’t allowed except for medical reasons (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Parkwood High School (NC) will no longer call its teams the Rebels (from Duncan Wilson). … Check it out: a guy at the beach with a literal NOB (from @ccbiii2000). … A restaurant in Medford, Ore., has bar chairs whose seatbacks feature the logos of assorted pro sports teams (from James Brooks).

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Click to enlarge

What Paul did last night: When we started doing Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ back in March, we both partook of alcohol every evening. At some point — I’m not sure exactly when — the Tugboat Captain decided she’d imbibe only on the weekends and have seltzer or some other non-intoxicant on weekday evenings. Every now and then, though, she makes an exception. Last night was such an occasion, because she’d had a good virtual remote job interview during the afternoon and decided to celebrate with some sort of vodka concoction. A good day.

On the far sidewalk, you can see Marley (or maybe Marlie — we’re not sure how it’s spelled), a beautiful collie that lives across the street from us and has a very regal bearing, although you can’t tell that from this photo. Always makes me happy to see him (her?) out for a walk.

As always, you can see the full set of daily Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ photos, dating back to mid-March, here.

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Our latest raffle winner is Dan Schneeman, who’s won himself a membership card. Congrats to him, and thanks to Kevin Cearfoss for sponsoring this one.

21 comments to Auction Action

  • Dumb Guy | July 8, 2020 at 8:19 am |

    “Bears DL Willie Holman had some interesting additions to his facemask.”

    It looks like the clips are to big for the facemask. It was probably rattling around so they stuffed stuff in there to make it stop.

  • MJ | July 8, 2020 at 8:23 am |

    1. Color v color is not major news in European soccer, where teams used to wear their primary kit unless they were the visiting side and it was too similar to what the home team primarily wore, in which case they had a “clash kit”.
    1a. What is interesting about Watford/Norwich is that both teams wear yellow as their primary (Norwich is usually yellow/green, Watford is yellow/black). They are 2 of the 3 teams (Wolves) that don’t wear red/claret, blue (any shade), black or white as their primary color.
    1b. The Norwich clash kit doesn’t provide that much contrast, considering they would only have to wear it at Wolves and at Watford, had the influence of merchandise sales not affected European soccer uniform tradition.
    2. The Jazz need to bring back those shooting shirts this minute.

  • Dave Fisher | July 8, 2020 at 8:28 am |

    The NBA social justice NOBs link has an extra “J” at the end of the URL.

  • Greg | July 8, 2020 at 8:42 am |

    July pins still not available for sale yet? Did I miss the boat or are they still somewhere on the journey from manufacturer to uni watch hq to teespring?

    • Paul Lukas | July 8, 2020 at 8:44 am |

      Later today or tomorrow.

      They’re at the Teespring warehouse but are still being logged into their inventory system. I’m at their mercy.

  • iain | July 8, 2020 at 10:15 am |

    I agree that Tim Batzinger’s Black Lives Matter patches are very well done. I believe the MLS patch is actually designed to mimic the look of the existing MLS sleeve patch and not a team crest

  • Greg Brown | July 8, 2020 at 11:27 am |

    I had no idea the lettering on the San Francisco Warriors “The City” jersey was all chenille chain stitching. Wow.

  • walter | July 8, 2020 at 11:49 am |

    Brazil’s famous yellow shirts have been adopted as a symbol by the country’s far right over the past few years, so some on the left want the national team to return to the white and blue worn until 1950, while others want to wear yellow themselves (from our own Jamie Rathjen).

    Another depressing insult for the Brazilian people at the hands of a selfish, feckless leader. What can you do when bad actors steal the symbols you hold near and dear? I feel this way about the Gadsden flag.

  • kris kolob | July 8, 2020 at 12:07 pm |

    Those Jazz warmups are my FAVORITE warmups of all-time. It’s such a shame that everything is templated these days.

    • walter | July 8, 2020 at 12:32 pm |

      ^^^THIS^^^

      I used to love warmups when the designs were bespoke.

  • Mike Engle | July 8, 2020 at 12:18 pm |

    Love Tim Batzinger’s cross-sport approach. The hockey sticks version looks “fine, I guess,” but yeah I can see how the others are more inspired. If I had to take a stab at punching that up, I’d ask him to work with the shape of the goalie crease and see what that would look like.

  • TIm | July 8, 2020 at 12:18 pm |

    Paul, thanks so much for today’s Key Ring Chronicle. My mom passed away a little more than a year ago; still processing it. What a wonderful story and message from the author. Btw, I’m not crying, you’re crying!

  • JDHokie | July 8, 2020 at 12:46 pm |

    For the “literal NOB” in the ticket, I was expecting a jersey with “NOB” on the back.

    • JDHokie | July 8, 2020 at 12:47 pm |

      ticker*

  • Jo | July 8, 2020 at 3:54 pm |

    The Grey Flannel Auction has a Larry “Chipper” Jones jersey with “L. Jones” as the NOB. Never seen that before. Was it just a rookie year Spring Training thing or did he ever wear that in the regular season?

    https://www.greyflannelauctions.com/1993_Chipper_Jones_Atlanta_Braves_Rookie_Debut_Gam-LOT43136.aspx

    • Paul Lukas | July 8, 2020 at 4:12 pm |

      Good catch — never seen that before!

      To my knowledge, he never wore that NOB (or that uni number, for that matter) in the regular season.

  • Michael Emody | July 8, 2020 at 6:44 pm |

    As far as I’m concerned, Gray Flannel Auctions is the best on-line auction house for those who get it®, simply because they don’t take down their old auction pages like the others do. If you want to study a hi-res pic of a jersey that sold ten years ago, after a little searching you can find it. Btw, signing up (it’s free) gives you the high-res version on the auction pages.
    I checked the baseball jerseys in the upcoming auction and found a 63 Eddie Mathews road Braves jersey which features a White Sox-style NOB in the small numbers/tall letters format. Mathews name has been removed – minor league use – but the Braves only wore NOBs in this style in 63 and 64. Larger numbers and shorter name letters became the norm as teams added NOBs in the 60’s. The Braves went back to giant block numbers in 65.
    Also of note: 63 was the first year the Braves dropped the tomahawk from their jerseys – so if the owner of the Mathews jersey was waiting for the right time to sell… well, the stars have aligned in their favor!

  • Humberto Sanchez | July 9, 2020 at 12:09 am |

    Shot at the senator from Georgia was unneccessary. Dont let the messenger cloud the message. She is right.

    • PaulS | July 11, 2020 at 8:29 am |

      As in, one of the senators that attended a closed-door session on COVID19, used the information obtained to cash in her portfolio, then told the rest of the country that the virus was nothing to worry about? Yeah, she’s the very epitome of integrity and virtue.