Gold Standard: Nats Players Reveal Championship Uniform

Just as the world was about to go kablooey back in early March, people were starting to ask me if the Nationals, like most other defending World Series champs in recent years, would wear gold-trimmed uniforms for their home opener. I assumed the answer would be yes (teams have tended not to make the official announcement until just a few days before the regular season starts), and they hinted at it, but we never got to find out for sure.

But the cat pretty much came out of the bag yesterday, as several Nats players Instagrammed photos or videos showing the gold threads, along with their newly received World Series rings.

That’s outfielder Adam Eaton in the shot at the top of today post, which provides a good look at the back of the jersey. Can’t say I’m a big fan of the gold number, which looks a bit garish to me. But the gold-trimmed front script, as shown in this shot from pitcher Javy Guerra, is really nice:

That’s the thing about gold, at least for me: It works way better as a trim color (think original Jacksonville Jaguars unis, for example) than as a main color.

Catcher Raudy Read showed the two sleeve patches (the gold star above the team logo patch apparently signifies the team’s first championship), along with a good view of the cap patch:

Regarding that championship patch, is reporting that the Nats will wear that all season long (but in their standard color scheme, not in gold).

And here’s a video clip from pitcher Erick Fedde, providing a good look at the cap’s gold squatchee (!) and gold front logo:

While the Nats haven’t yet officially announced or even acknowledged these uniforms, it seems fairly obvious that they’ll be wearing them for their season opener on July 23, when they host the Yankees (assuming that game actually takes place, which still isn’t a certainty). And that seems like a good thing — Opening Day is still Opening Day, after all, even if it takes place in late July, and maintaining an annual uniform ritual is a good way to re-establish some sense of normalcy.

Speaking of that annual ritual: Want to learn more about MLB’s recent tradition of reigning champs opening the season in gold? I provided a good backgrounder on that in this 2016 ESPN piece.

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Too good for the Ticker: The Cubs held an intrasquad scrimmage yesterday at Wrigley, with the plate umpiring chores handled by the team’s mental skills coordinator, John Baker. Baker, who’s a former MLB catcher, suited up in the standard tools of ignorance but also added an odd accessory: a pillow taken from a chair.

I wanted to know more, so I contacted Baker. He wrote back: “The arms were the only exposed part I was worried about, so we made a shield out of the pillow from the chair in the cage and kept my hands and fingers behind it.” Creative!

(Big thanks to Phillip Santos for letting me know about this one.)

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Pin reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, the Uni Watch Pin Club’s July design — a bobblehead pin whose head actually bobbles! — is now available.

This one is a limited/numbered edition of 500. Here’s a closer look:

Again, the July pin is available here. Need to get caught up? Here are our January, February, March, May, and June pins. (Sorry, April sold out!) If you order multiple pins and get hit with multiple shipping charges, contact me and I should be able to arrange a partial shipping refund for you.

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ITEM! Masks available again: The new batch of 300 Uni Watch masks also went on sale yesterday. As of this morning, a bit less than half of them are left. Just like with the first batch, the price is only $6. Teespring will keep $2 as a warehousing/fulfillment fee, and I’ll donate the remaining $4 to charity — this time to Feeding America.

You can order here. Since these are very popular and we have a limited number of them, please try to order no more than one or two, so other people can have a chance. Thanks!

Update: Masks now sold out!

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Caps reminder: After a long period of cap-benightedness, we’re now suddenly cap-plentiful. All fitted sizes of the Uni Watch Classic Cap (shown at left in the photo above) are once again available, and our cotton “gold circle” strapback cap is back for another round of orders as well.

My thanks, as always, for your consideration!

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Short work break results in new form of abstract expressionism: We’ve both been working our asses off lately, so we decided to take yesterday afternoon off and head to the beach. Among the things we brought:

• A few beers
• Paper towels to hide the beers
• M&M’s

If only the galleries and museums were still open, I feel like this could be the start of something big.

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The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: Reader Chris Hollman’s father played in the 1957 Hearst Sandlot Classic, so Chris shared photos of his flannel, zippered jersey and stirrups, which include, according to Chris, “a piece of a dish rag sewn in. My Dad thought the stirrups sat too low, so he had one of the guys from the clubhouse cut them and sew in the dish rag so more of his socks were showing, as seen in the picture with DiMaggio and Mantle.” That’s Chris’s dad, second from the left. … Check this out: a 1905 patent for a two-handed catcher’s mitt, with a glove on one side and a strap on the other for the throwing hand (from Jimmy Lonetti). … Red Sox P Chris Mazza really Gets It™ (from multiple readers). … Someone in the Cubs dugout c. 2002 had “BC” on his back instead of a number. I’m guessing “bullpen catcher”? (From @DatDudeStu.) … Asics is selling a new bat with an inflatable core! (From Jeremy Brahm.)

NFL News: Postgame jersey swaps, which have gained popularity in the NFL over the last few years, will be prohibited during the 2020 NFL season (from Mike Chamernik and Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: CBS Sports has published a list of the best players to wear each uniform number. … Pats WR N’Keal Harry wore a logo-less Pats helmet while working out with new QB Cam Newton (from Kevin Rice).

NBA News: All Mavericks players will wear “Equality” as their social justice NOB when the NBA season resumes, and players Luka Dončić, Kristaps Porziņģis, JJ Barea, Maxi Kleber, and Boban Marjanović will wear “Equality” spelled out in their respective native languages of Slovene, Latvian, Spanish, German, and Serbian. Marjanović’s could be rendered in Cyrillic, as Serbian uses both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets (from Timmy Donahue and Mike Chamernik). … Also from Mike: Sixers C Joel Embiid wore a full protective suit during the team’s flight to Orlando. … NBA players are receiving team-branded fast-pass bracelets in Orlando. … The uniforms for the expansion Ottawa BlackJacks of the Canadian Elite Basketball League have been unveiled (from Wade Heidt).

College/High School Hoops News: New court for Central Michigan (from Shane Brown). … Alabama also has a new court (from Griffin T. Smith).

Soccer News: Instead of their usual NOBs, Philadelphia Union players each wore the name of a Black person killed by police during their first match in the MLS Is Back tournament yesterday. They also wore shin pads depicting raised fists, along with the hashtag “#EndRacism,” and entered the pitch wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts. Captain Alejandro Bedoya will also be wearing a new captain’s armband for the tournament, designed by the players and featuring the names of Black people killed by police. … Union also have a new sleeve advertisement. … DC United has added an extra shorts ad (thanks, Jamie). … Also from Jamie: the NWSL’s OL Reign are making their final Challenge Cup group stage game into a pride game and wearing rainbow numbers. … The Charlotte MLS expansion team will unveil its name and colors on July 22 (from Griffin T. Smith). … English third tier Ipswich Town has unveiled their new away kit, which uses Primeblue technology and is made from Parley Ocean plastic (from Gabriel Hurl). … Here’s a hugely entertaining BBC article about the United States’ “fictitious” soccer clubs (from Ryan Keberly and Scott Rogers). … Celtic’s new home kit, which had previoiusly leaked, has now been unveiled (from Ed Zelaski).

Grab Bag: The Australian Football League’s Brisbane Lions have unveiled their indigenous-designed guernsey, to be worn sometime in the future. The AFL is only scheduling games week-by-week at this point, so the game where the Lions will wear it hasn’t been announced yet (thanks, Jamie and @JeffChrz). … The European Union’s space program is soliciting public submissions for a new logo (from Kary Klismet). … Kansas City’s multi-purpose downtown arena has changed cell carriers and gotten a new advertised name. Hopefully Vegas isn’t jealous (from @TwinsFan54321). … Delaware County Community College has unveiled its new athletics logo (from Stephen William Babb). … ESPN included the black, red, and white camo pattern from boxer Fred Wilson Jr.’s trunks on the scorebug. … Central Clarion, a co-op team involving three high schools from Clarion, Pa., has unveiled its logo and team name, the Wildcats (from Kary Klismet).

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What Paul did last night: After hanging out at the beach (see earlier note in today’s post), we made a stop on our way home at one of our favorite eateries: the venerable Brennan & Carr, which has been serving hot roast beef sandwiches to Brooklynites since 1938. They’re not serving indoors, of course (no restaurants in NYC are, and we wouldn’t partake even if they were), but they have a takeout window, so we got some sandwiches. It was another half-hour drive or so to get back home, and we figured the hot, jus-soaked sandwiches might not travel so well, so we enjoyed them in the comfortably shady parking lot of the bank located next to the restaurant:

I can honestly say it was one of the best meals I’ve had since the pandemic hit. A much-needed taste of Brooklyn.

Afterward, we drove home and had a quick nightcap on the porch, where we discussed how weird it is that people spend so much time and money covering their bodies in clothing, jewelry, clothing, makeup, clothing, accessories, and clothing, and then basically go naked at the beach. Bodies are so fascinating.

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

63 comments to Gold Standard: Nats Players Reveal Championship Uniform

  • WFY | July 10, 2020 at 9:04 am |

    The original Nats uniforms had gold trim of course. It looks like this new trim is a different shade of gold.

  • Kevin | July 10, 2020 at 9:04 am |

    The player in the Cubs dugout with the “BC” on his back was Sandy Martínez. He played for the Cubs in 1998 and 1999. He’s probably best known for having been the catcher for Kerry Wood’s 20 strikeout game in 1998.

    • mike 2 | July 10, 2020 at 11:54 am |

      Also known for changing his name mid-career from Angel (his given name) to Sandy (his second name). I remember watching the Kerry Wood game and not realizing it was the same catcher who’d been kicking around for a few years.

    • Kasey Ignarski | July 10, 2020 at 3:51 pm |

      Nope. This was the bullpen catcher in 2002, Julian Martinez

  • Greg | July 10, 2020 at 9:05 am |

    After seeing you use a paper towel to hide the beer my first thought is “why isn’t there a uni watch koozie?”

    • Tom | July 10, 2020 at 9:46 am |

      Exactly! Thinner folding koozies are essential for disguising a beverage out in the open. The bonus is they help to keep the cans from slipping due to condensation and sweaty hands.

      • HamBone | July 10, 2020 at 10:05 am |

        I too was going to comment about this gap in useful uni-swag. I never leave the house without a folding koozie.

        • Paul Lukas | July 10, 2020 at 10:10 am |

          Fun fact: I have literally never used a koozie. Ever. Not sure why, since I’m a big fan of furtive/transgressive beers. Not opposed to them, but they just never felt like “my kinda thing.” Hmmmmmm.

        • Tom | July 10, 2020 at 10:29 am |

          Paul, a quick search on “collapsible koozie” will get you going. They’re less about keeping the drink cold, more about making it easier to hold a can when out in the hot daylight. They fold flat to easily slide into a pocket and have that bonus of disguising a Bud label out in public.


        • Paul Lukas | July 10, 2020 at 10:38 am |

          Thanks! As I look at them, I realize what I instinctively dislike about koozies: the synthetic foam material. Just doesn’t seem … appetizing.

          Not knocking it, but I don’t think it’s for me.

        • Wafflebored | July 10, 2020 at 10:51 am |

          Sounds like someone needs to DIY one of these things, in an aesthetically pleasing vintage sports design. Maybe wool felt with pinstripes and….?

        • Dumb Guy | July 10, 2020 at 11:05 am |

          Paul, I too do not care for the feel of a koozie in my hand. It’s just a good feel or fit for me.

          Besides, a cold beer isn’t in my hand very long anyway!

        • mike 2 | July 10, 2020 at 11:59 am |

          I understand hating the foam ones. I have a decent leather one (something like these)

        • Greg | July 10, 2020 at 1:24 pm |

          Same here, and keep several backups in my car. Even in the days of hard yeti koozies, which work wonders at summer bbqs, I still find myself with an old fashioned flimsy koozie always at the ready.
          Solution to no uni watch koozies is plastering a uni watch sticker on your yeti koozies.

    • Jim Vilk | July 10, 2020 at 12:21 pm |

      If there were a foam UW koozie, I’d drink out of that.

    • Patrick in MI | July 10, 2020 at 5:32 pm |
  • Austin Ledley | July 10, 2020 at 9:08 am |

    You’re right gold looks better as a trim color… except for when the Saints use gold. I think the gold numbers look better than the black ones.

  • Tyler Bohlman | July 10, 2020 at 9:22 am |

    Not to be pedantic (but hey, this website is all about details,no?), but as an Orlando resident and Disney fan, the “fast pass bracelets” are actually called “magic bands”

    • Dumb Guy | July 10, 2020 at 11:07 am |

      Tyler, are you headed to WDW anytime soon? The wife and I are going to refrain for a bit.

      • Tyler | July 10, 2020 at 4:27 pm |

        Wow, sorry so late on this. My wife actually went yesterday for a preview. It wasn’t too bad… just hot. We’ve done universal and SeaWorld with masks and it was fine though. If you need help, feel free to look at my own blog and Instagram, always happy to help

    • Tom V. | July 10, 2020 at 1:55 pm |

      Also an Orlando area resident, and former passholder to WDW, we decided not to renew our passes when they expired this past January for budgetary reasons, but man are we ever glad we did. It’ll even be a while before we go back to the Springs as well.

      I guess the players get magic bands for rooms, charges, etc? I am guessing they are not letting them in the parks right?

  • Jerg | July 10, 2020 at 9:29 am |

    Those sandwiches look wonderful, but I would miss the awesomeness that a weck roll brings.

    • MJ | July 10, 2020 at 10:15 am |

      This! Get one every time I see the in-laws in Buffalo.

    • Paul Lukas | July 10, 2020 at 10:17 am |

      I’m a huge beef-on-weck fan — preferably at Schwabl’s in West Seneca. One of my favorite places.

      I wouldn’t say Brennan & Carr is better; just different.

      • Dballer | July 10, 2020 at 11:15 am |

        Repost from yesterday’s comments because I ws late to the game, but I always love a CMOB, and I could have sworn Paul was the one who made me realize it.
        I did some sleuthing (ok 5 seconds of googling) and found this article from 8 years ago, when you seemed to embrace the CNN name. . I knew this felt like deja vu.

      • Scott | July 10, 2020 at 12:40 pm |


        If you’re ever back in WNY Bar Bill in East Aurora is a must for beef on weck. It’s got all the charm of the places you typically frequent and the beef on weck there is second to none.

  • Clarybird | July 10, 2020 at 9:48 am |

    In that Cubs intrasquad scrimmage photo, it looks like the batter (Kyle Schwarber?) has his shin guard on upside down.

  • Mainspark | July 10, 2020 at 9:56 am |

    The home plate umpire’s DIY pillow device worn in the Cubs’ intrasquad game reminds me of the balloon chest protectors worn by AL umpires until the early 80s.

  • teenchy | July 10, 2020 at 10:00 am |

    Nats finally getting the details right. Gold squatchee is a nice touch.

    Getting a definite Elvis Costello vibe from your pic next to the bank.

  • MJ | July 10, 2020 at 10:16 am |

    I might be reading too much into this, but the Mavericks BLM NOBs are conspicuously vertically-arched instead of radially arched. Which would be a welcome change, in addition to more diacritical marks.

  • Phil Santos | July 10, 2020 at 10:21 am |

    You’re welcome Paul! Thanks for the shout-out. It was a pleasant surprise to see my contribution in the Too good for the Ticker.

  • Karim Mourad | July 10, 2020 at 10:25 am |

    I wonder if the star indicating the Nat’s WS is going to be a permanent fixture on their unis, or if it’s just for the season/as long as they wear the gold-trimmed unis.

    On a related note, I really like how European/Spanish (?) soccer teams have a star above their crest indicating a league title. I wish the major sports leagues in the US did similar (I know the NBA kind of did that with the tab on the back of the jersey, but stars look cooler).

    • Tom | July 10, 2020 at 10:32 am |

      Major League Soccer teams use the star system. I think once they get to five, they put on a single gold star to keep from star overload.

      The English Premier League teams don’t use stars. The previous year’s Premier League champ gets the league sleeve patch rendered in gold.

      I think the Bundesliga uses a five titles = 1 star system, hence Bayern Munich’s four stars.

      • Chris Cruz | July 10, 2020 at 2:48 pm |

        That’s not quite right re the Bundesliga rules. Here’s an explanation:

        Key points from the article:

        The attribution is not linear but follows rather a irregular gradation – German titles won between 1903 and 1963 do not count (e.g Bayern’s triumph in 1932), nor the titles obtained by the former East-Germany clubs, e.g. Dynamo Berlin and Dynamo Dresden.

        1 star for 3 titles won (Hamburg, VfB Stuttgart, Bremen)
        2 stars for 5 titles won (Mönchengladbach and Dortmund)
        3 stars for 10 titles won (no clubs)
        4 stars for 20 titles won (FC Bayern)

  • StLMarty | July 10, 2020 at 10:33 am |

    As a BFL man (Bearded For Life), I love the full beard. Is that new, or have I not noticed.

    • StLMarty’s editor | July 10, 2020 at 10:35 am |


    • Paul Lukas | July 10, 2020 at 10:37 am |

      Haven’t shaved since late March. It’s shown up in a few previous photos, although there probably hasn’t been such a direct side view until now.

      • Lee | July 10, 2020 at 11:44 am |

        Whoa, that was YOU?! Hah, thats great, lookin’ good.

        What are your thoughts about having a beard in general, good and bad?


        • Paul Lukas | July 10, 2020 at 11:51 am |

          I love not having to shave as much. I also like how I look.

          Down sides: None. I thought it might be too hot when summer arrived, but that hasn’t been the case!

        • Lee | July 10, 2020 at 12:04 pm |

          I’ve had my beard for close to 3 years now, the definite downside I’ve found is whiskers EVERYWHERE.
          But I love that people remember my face when I go into various bars.


        • John F. | July 10, 2020 at 12:36 pm |

          I last had a beard 33 years ago, grew one during the pandemic and discovered that a gray beard is much more coarse (and itchy under a mask) but I kind of like the Ken Stabler look.

  • Michael Fudge | July 10, 2020 at 10:46 am |


    Back in the late 80s / early 90s, my friends and I had these clingable thin plastic wraps sized to fit a 12 oz. beer can, meant to disguise the fact that you were drinking a beer in public. These were the type of thing one might have found at Spencer’s in the mall at the time, or at beach shops on the boardwalk (in our case, Ocean City, MD). These clingable wraps looked like a soda label, but they were slightly different… “Coocy Cola” and “Dr. Pecker” were two I remember; there was also a 7-Up version. These always worked quite nicely on the beach.

  • Lee | July 10, 2020 at 11:40 am |

    On your trips to the beach, what are you hiding your beers from?

    • Paul Lukas | July 10, 2020 at 11:52 am |

      Lifeguards or other beach/park authorities who might enforce the “No alcohol” rule.

  • Mike Engle | July 10, 2020 at 11:52 am |

    Those Nationals in navy/red/gold look like the Minnesota Twins now! Funny because the Twins always seem to be chasing somebody else’s old trend.
    Beveling usually looks dated, but I oddly preferred the Nationals’ old beveled numbers over their current number font. Without the bevels, the numbers look flat and too thick. That’s a long way of leading up to…I would have preferred some gold bevels on those red numbers as opposed to flat, thick, shimmery gold numbers.

  • JT | July 10, 2020 at 12:01 pm |

    Random quirk: I’ve never been able to drink beer out of a can. Give me a mug, bottle, or a good old fashioned red cup.

  • Trevor Lytle | July 10, 2020 at 12:07 pm |

    Wasn’t missing the mask this time around. Ordered!

  • wittnesss | July 10, 2020 at 12:09 pm |

    Is “standard tools of ignorance” a term I should’ve been familiar with? I’ve never heard it before. What’s the background?

    • Paul Lukas | July 10, 2020 at 12:12 pm |

      Catcher’s equipment has long been known as “the tools of ignorance.” Basically saying only a fool would choose to play a position where you get battered by foul tips, balls bouncing off the plate, etc.

      Referenced in a very early Uni Watch Blog headline:

  • Scott | July 10, 2020 at 12:42 pm |

    I know it’s a cash grab but I hope the Nats release a blue version of the World Series hat. I just can’t bring myself to wear a red hat in recent years.

  • Chris P | July 10, 2020 at 1:46 pm |

    2002 had “BC” on his back instead of a number. I’m guessing “bullpen catcher” Maybe Davey Martinez BENCH COACH?

    • Paul Lukas | July 10, 2020 at 1:55 pm |

      I’ve never heard of a bench coach who didn’t have a legit uni number.

      • Mike Engle | July 10, 2020 at 2:05 pm |

        Same. Similarly, in the dugout, I’ve only seen legit numbers, BB for Bat Boy, and street clothes for the trainers.

      • Tim | July 10, 2020 at 2:20 pm |

        Connie Mack? John McGraw?


  • Rydell | July 10, 2020 at 9:32 pm |

    After seeing today’s post about the Washington Nationals I was thinking of new names for the Washington NFL team, we have Senators and Capitals in the NHL which are great names already so those are out, Generals pop out at me but I’m not sure what the Globetrotters franchise will allow it. So back to square one.
    I think it needs to be a name to recognize this historic time in Washington and the unrest of the United States something generic, neutral and historical.
    Something our future will look at in research and say “Wow” in a way that we made a better life for the future.