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From Cold Case to Case Closed: The 1977 All-Star Mystery Man Has Been Found!

If not for the world going kablooey, the 2020 MLB All-Star Game would have been played today. That won’t be happening, of course, but it would be nice if we could have some sort of All-Star-related story for the occasion, right?

I happen to have just such a story, and it’s a doozy, because today I’m happy to report that the coldest of Uni Watch cold cases has finally been solved: I now know the identity of — and have spoken with! — the 1977 All-Star Game Mystery Man.

It’s a good story with a good resolution, and I’m going to take my time telling it to you, so sit back and settle in.

The All-Star Mystery Man made his Uni Watch debut on Sept. 2, 2008 — nearly 12 years ago! — when I wrote a blog post about two snapshots that had shown up on a now-defunct discussion board. The snapshots showed a guy in a Yankees road uniform who inexplicably appeared amidst the home-uniformed 1977 American League All-Stars as they set up for their team portrait at Yankee Stadium (click to enlarge):

That guy did not appear, however, in the official American League team portrait that was eventually used in various media settings:

So who was that guy in the Yankees road uni, and why was he there during the setup for the team photo but not in the final photo? There was a lot of discussion, a lot of conjecture, a lot of theorizing about who he might be, but none of it panned out. The following summer, on July 14, 2009, I wrote an ESPN column about the ongoing mystery, in the hopes that someone might help us solve it, but nothing came of it and the mystery remained unsolved. (If you haven’t already read that original 2008 blog post or the ESPN follow-up — or if you just need a refresher course — I strongly suggest that you read them now before going further with this blog entry.)

And that was about it. Every so often I’d get an email from someone asking, “Hey, whatever happened with the mystery of that guy at the All-Star Game?” In theory, the mystery was still there on the back burner, waiting to be solved. In practice, though, as the years passed by, I confess that I kinda checked out and moved on. I just didn’t feel that emotionally invested in the story anymore.

Fast-forward to last summer. On July 31, the Tugboat Captain and I flew to Ireland for a vacation. During our first day there, I received an email from a Uni Watch reader named Roger Faso. He reminded me that he’d sent me a potential lead regarding the Mystery Man a few years earlier (that lead hadn’t panned out) and then said he’d been researching the case again and had found someone who claimed to know who the Mystery Man was. He offered to introduce me to this source he’d discovered.

I appreciated Roger’s diligence, but I didn’t really want to think about work while I was on vacation, and I especially didn’t want to be dragged back into this particular storyline while I was jet-lagged in Dublin. So I pretty much ignored Roger’s email and went back to drinking ale, looking at castles, eating toffee, and so on.

In mid-August, after I was back in NYC, Roger sent me another note: “Welcome back, Paul. Did you see my email about the 1977 All-Star Game Mystery Man? I found someone who knew the guy.” I told him that I had indeed received his email and that I’d get to it when I got caught up on some other stuff.

I didn’t delete Roger’s email, or even put it in a “To do” folder. I just left it there in my in-box as a reminder that I should deal with it. Every day, for the better part of a year, I saw it there. And every day I found ways to ignore it and work on other stuff. I felt increasingly guilty about it, but for some reason I just couldn’t motivate myself to crank up the particular corner of my brain that would be needed to care about this story again.

Nearly another whole year went by. Then, a little over a month ago, on June 3, Roger got in touch again: “Hi Paul. We’re almost a month away from what would’ve been the MLB All Star game. Would you like the intro to the guy I found, who knows the 1977 All-Star Game Mystery Man?” At this point I was embarrassed not to have responded sooner, so I apologized to Roger for that. “No problem,” he said. “I figured you were waiting for the [2020] All-Star Game to come around.”

In fact, I had not been waiting for that at all. But at this point Roger had worn me down, and I figured it was finally time to get back on the Mystery Man horse. I told him to put me in touch with the source he’d located.

I then went back and re-read the original 2008 blog post that introduced the Mystery Man and the 2009 ESPN follow-up. I noticed two things right away: Roger Faso had posted three comments on the original blog post, and I actually quoted him in the ESPN piece. So he’d been all in on this story right from the get-go, and he was still as obsessed with it as he’d ever been. I liked that.

The next day, June 4, Roger e-introduced me to a guy named Joe D’Ambrosio, who was a Yankees batboy back in the 1970s. The backstory was that Roger had gotten in touch with D’Ambrosio last summer after stumbling across a blog post that D’Ambrosio had written about his time with the Yanks. Roger showed D’Ambroiso the Mystery Man photos, and D’Ambrosio said, “Oh yeah — I know that guy.” That’s what prompted Roger to write to me when I was in Ireland. That’s what I had stupidly refused to deal with for nearly a year.

The following afternoon, June 5, I was on the phone with D’Ambrosio, who’s now 63. After telling me all sorts of stories about his time with the Yankees, he confirmed that he did indeed recognize our Mystery Man. “That was the visiting clubhouse batboy,” he told me. “His name was either Roy or Ray — but not Ray Negron [yet another former batboy who had already told me years ago that he was not the Mystery Man — PL]. He was a little bit bold, and he would work himself into certain situations.”

So that explained why the Mystery Man was wearing a road uniform: Since the 1977 All-Star Game was being played at Yankee Stadium, he was going to be the road batboy for the National League team. (I had actually identified this in the ESPN piece as the most likely explanation for the Mystery Man’s presence.) But that still didn’t explain why he was posing with the American League team, or why he was part of the photo setup but not in the final photo.

D’Ambrosio couldn’t remember Roy/Ray’s last name. But he said Yankees clubhouse manager Lou Cucuzza would probably know. His father, Lou Sr., had been the visiting clubhouse manager back in ’77, and D’Ambrosio said the younger Lou, who was a kid in those days, was always hanging around the ballpark and would probably remember Ray/Roy.

As soon as I got off the phone with D’Ambrosio, I emailed Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo and asked if he could either put me in touch with Lou Jr. or at least show him the Mystery Man photos. This seemed like the kind of request that makes PR people roll their eyes (“Yeah, hi, can you please get in touch with one of your employees in the middle of a global pandemic and ask him to identify a batboy who appears in a blurry photo from 43 years ago?”), so I wasn’t optimistic about hearing back from him.

Exactly 18 minutes later, I received a response from Zillo: “Lou says the person’s name is Ray Santiago.” Wow — paydirt! Any idea where Ray might be located these days? “Lou says he does not know.”

So now I had a name. Unfortunately, it was a very common name — there are lots of Ray Santiagos out there. So I went to Twitter and asked if anyone had any leads:

Exactly 16 minutes later, I received an email from a guy named Josh Kagavi, who I remembered because he made some sports themed blankets a while back. “For a project I’m working on, I constantly track down people from back in the day and am getting pretty good at it,” he said. Josh said the Ray Santiago I was seeking appeared to be living in California. He included what he believed to be Ray’s phone number.

Was it really that easy?

I dialed the number. It went to voicemail, where someone who identified himself as Ray Santiago invited me to leave a message. After the beep, I explained that I was looking for the Ray Santiago who had once been a Yankees batboy, encouraged Ray to call me back, and hung up.

Five-ish hours later, the phone rang. It was Ray Santiago.

I asked him if he was the Ray Santiago I was looking for. He confirmed that he was, and asked what he could do for me.

Here’s how our conversation went from there:

Uni Watch: The reason I’ve been searching for you is that I have some photos from the 1977 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium. They were taken before the game, when the American League All-Star team was getting set up for its team portrait. They’re snapshots that were taken by someone who must have been standing nearby — not by the official team portrait photographer. And there’s someone in the photo wearing a Yankees road uniform, which seemed sort of weird. I’ve been trying for a long time to figure out who that person was, and now I have reason to believe that it was you.

Ray Santiago: I have that photo, or one like it. I’m right there in the middle, next to Wayne Gross and, uh…

UW: I think it was Dennis Eckersley.

RS: Yeah, that’s right. [After we spoke, Ray sent me the photo shown below, which is the one he’s kept for all these years.]

UW: Could you tell me more about that? Why were you in the photo?

RS: I was the visiting batboy for that game. I was in the picture originally, but when it came down to taking the actual [official] picture, they just asked me to step out of the final picture.

UW: Were you asked or invited to be in the earlier version, or did you just go ahead and join the photo on your own?

RS: No, they put me in the picture.

UW: So they asked you to set up for the photo with the players, and then ultimately asked you to leave when they were set to take the official shot?

RS: Yeah.

UW: Did you also pose with the National League team, since you were their batboy?

RS: I don’t think I did.

UW: Huh, that’s interesting. But of course the American League team had several Yankees players who you were presumably familiar with, along with players from other American League teams who you may have worked with as the visiting batboy at Yankee Stadium, so maybe it makes sense that they called you over..?

RS: Yeah. I wasn’t just the batboy — I was sort of the assistant clubhouse guy too, so there was a lot of interaction with the players. That was one nice thing about being the visiting batboy — you get to meet players from all the different teams. A lot of those guys are in the Hall of Fame now, and I kept up relationships with some of them, like Brooks Robinson. He was my idol growing up.

———

And that was about it. Cold case is now case closed! It feels a bit anti-climactic that the explanation was so straightforward and non-dramatic (no imposter, no placeholder standing in for someone else, etc.), but it still feels good to have solved the mystery.

Ray was nice enough to send me a few photos of himself. Here’s one showing him as a batboy on a day that the Royals were visiting Yankees Stadium (visiting batboys get to wear the uni of the road team):

And here’s a current shot of Ray, who still keeps the Yankees close to his heart:

It bears repeating that once I finally let Roger Faso tell me that he’d found someone who recognized the Mystery Man — something he’d been trying to tell me for nearly a year — the whole thing fell into place in about a day. It was so stupid of me to let the story sit for so long.

Roger, in fact, is clearly the hero of this entire saga. He’s been engaged with it literally since Day One and never gave up on either the mystery or me. I decided to interview him about that:

Uni Watch: When I went back and looked at my first blog post about the Mystery Man in 2008, I saw that you posted three comments that day, and you were also mentioned in the ESPN follow-up piece I did a year later. So you were clearly intrigued by this story right from the start. What was it about this storyline that you found so interesting?

Roger Faso (shown at right): It just seemed interesting and fun, like when you were trying to find the blue horse on the side of the Broncos’ helmet. Like, “I could find that!” It triggers something in my head. It’s just pure fun.

UW: I confess that at some point I kind of gave up on this particular mystery, and even stopped caring. What about you — were you diligently plugging away the entire time, sort of circling back every so often?

RF: I kind of gave up on it, I think when I found Ray Negron, who I figured was the guy, and then it turned out that he wasn’t. That was pretty much it for me. And then I think I stumbled upon a 1977 Yankees photo that listed Joe D’Ambrosio’s name as a batboy, so I thought, you know, why not?

So I went looking for him, and it turned out that he recognized the guy. That definitely rekindled my interest. So I reached out to you, and I knew you were on vacation, but I worried that if I waited, I might forget.

UW: That seems highly unlikely! Did I even respond?

RF: No, I don’t think you did.

UW: Yeah, I didn’t think so. I feel really bad about that, Roger!

RF: Don’t — I’ve been to Dublin, I know what it’s like!

UW: As weeks and months went by, were you getting annoyed or impatient with me?

RF: No, not at all, Paul. I work in video game production — I flag things all the time that I mean to get back to later, and then time goes by. It happens. We all have only so much bandwidth — I totally understand. But with the [2020] All-Star Game date coming up, I thought it might be a good time to check in.

UW: That was really smart of you, that you chose to poke me then.

RF: Now that the mystery has been solved, how do you feel about that? One reason I ask is that sometimes it’s fun to have an unsolvable mystery. Sometimes the questions are more fun than the answers, you know? So now that we’ve finally caught the car, how do you feel?

UW: I understand what you’re saying, but I feel satisfied to finally have the answer. It’s not a familiar satisfaction, either — like, okay, so this is what it feels like to get to the bottom of something!

———

And there we are. After nearly 12 years, the mystery has been solved!

I want to thank everyone who contributed to the cracking of this case, including Roger Faso, Joe D’Ambrosio, Jason Zillo, Lou Cucuzza Jr., Josh Kagavi, and the countless other people who sent suggestions and tips over the years. Extra bonus thanks to Ray Santiago, who’s been our unwitting white whale for all these years and couldn’t have been nicer once I finally found him.

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Patchwork: The Cowboys revealed their 60th-anniversary logo way back in January. Frankly, I’d forgotten about it until last night, when this photo of rookie cornerback Trevon Diggs in his new uniform began circulating. As you can see, they’re apparently wearing the logo as a patch — looks good!

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The latest in pandemic-wear: Last month I wrote about a new full-face football visor shield that Schutt had developed. Now Oakley, working with the NFL and the players’ union, has come up with its own version.

Unlike the Schutt shield, Oakley’s design calls for a cloth filter, as you can see in this diagram:

For more details, I strongly recommend reading this well-reported article.

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Too good for the Ticker: By now we’ve all seen dozens or even hundreds or team logos modified to encourage social distancing and/or mask use. But this one, which appeared yesterday in the Twitter feed for the Single-A South Bend Cubs, is by far my favorite. Look at that cute Cubbie!

The design is based on, of course, the famous “Be Alert for Foul Balls” signage at Wrigley. But it’s so much better in full color — and with a mask!

(Big thanks to Phillip Santos and Kasey Ignarski for this one.)

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Going back to 1967 today. The image shown above might just be my favorite Collector’s Corner showcase photo ever. It’s for The Cardinals ’67, a record album documenting the “highlights and heartbreaks” of the Cards’ World Series-winning 1967 season (although there couldn’t have been too many “heartbreaks” if they went 101-60 and won the championship). Look at the expressions of the ump and the runner — fantastic artwork by the late, great Bob Peak, the Father of the Modern Hollywood Movie Poster.

Oh, but there’s more from the 1967 Fall Classic. How about the cover artwork on this World Series program? Wow:

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• Couple of more Boston Red Sox items for you: The ’67 Sox lost that World Series to the Cardinals, but they issued a commemorative record album too, called The Impossible Dream. And for the discriminating Bosox fan, here’s a piece of the Green Monstah from 1976!

• Still more from ’67: Look at the box artwork for this 1967 NFL model kit by Aurora! I had not yet discovered pro sports by that year, otherwise this one would’ve been on my shelf next to my Apollo Saturn V rockets and exceedingly delicate Lunar Modules.

• Check out this 1968 National League schedule booklet, compliments of the “National League of Professional Baseball Clubs.”

• Any Seattle Pilots fans out there? Well, maybe there are a few Milwaukee Brewers fans interested in this item judging by the number of bids so far — it’s a display board with 24 Pilots patches from 1969, still in the original wrapping!

• Here’s a 1977 Yankees/Dodgers World Series press release detailing financial facts and figures, among other data. This was issued after the Yankees’ Series-clinching Game Six win on Oct. 18, 1977. That was the famous game when Reggie Jackson earned the nickname Mr. October by hitting three home runs on three consecutive pitches — yet his feat is barely mentioned in the press release!

• We have a selection of Montreal Expos items today, starting with a pocket AM radio sponsored by Coke in blanc or bleu. Not into radios? How about these blue and white duffle bags.

• This is a Topps Sports Talk Player from 1989. I have no clue how it works, but the box says you can “listen to the real voices of your favorite sports superstars!”

• From the “Land of Sky Blue Waters” come these 1960s Hamm’s Beer/Minnesota Twins coasters.

• Here’s a New Orleans Saints gumball helmet buggy styled after with the team’s short-lived black helmets.

• You can cycle in style with these New York Jets bicycle “hub caps.”

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: A handful of MLB players plan to wear masks on the field when the season opens later this month. … The Blue Jays announced yesterday that they will wear a memorial patch this season for longtime IF Tony Fernández, who died earlier this year. They had previously worn a black armband for him during spring training games (from Andreas Papadopoulos). … According to this nugget in a Brewers-related post, MLB has provided teams with “crowd effects” that can be played in stadiums during games without fans (from Michael James). … Three longtime Atlanta-based sports marketing folks — including former Braves PR man Bob Hope, who came up with the idea for the Braves’ 1970s nickNOBs and was interviewed here on Uni Watch back in 2012 — think the Braves should change their name to the Atlanta Brave. One of them, former Braves team photographer Pouya Dianat, has even created a full branding proposal, complete with jersey mock-ups. As you may recall, Paul had a similar idea a few years ago, when he proposed changing the name to Bravest. … During a scrimmage yesterday, one of the Tigers teams on the field in Detroit was wearing orange-trimmed “road” BP jerseys with white-logoed home caps (from  @ryankbowman). … In the White Sox scrimmage, whoever was acting as the home plate umpire was wearing a strange-looking helmet (from Steve Johnston). … Jake Buj mocked up a logo and a cap for a potential Portland-based MLB franchise. … Two notes from Kary Klismet: Names and logos have been released for three teams that will compete against the host Joliet Slammers of the independent Frontier League in the “City of Champions Cup” starting this week. Also, a couple’s quest to visit every minor league ballpark has stalled out due to the pandemic. … Oh man, look at these sensational 1970s Giants jackets!

Pro Football News: Here’s a good piece, with lots of quotes from Uni Watch pal Todd Radom, about the next steps coming in the Washington brand makeover (from Brinke). … Speaking of Washington, ESPN published a list of every logo they’ve ever used (from Mike Chamernik). … Saskatchewan Roughriders blog Rider Prophet is continuing to count up the best players in franchise history to wear each uniform number. Here’s the list for Nos. 80 to 89 (from Wade Heidt). … Also from Wade: The BC Lions are holding a team poll to determine the best player to wear No. 9 in team history.

College Football News: Most readers probably remember Michigan QB Devin Gardner wearing No. 98 for a few games in 2013. But what I didn’t know was that he continued to wear No. 98 in the CFL and while playing professionally in Japan (from Heath Hendricks). … Ever wondered who holds the record for longest last name in Georgia Tech history? Wonder no more — the record belongs to 1949 QB William Scharfschwerdt (from Jason Scherer). … Per this video, Florida State doesn’t seem to have a uniform mask color for players — but coaches appear to have been issued plastic face shields (from @VictoryCB). … The field at Texas’s Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium — formerly named after donor Joe Jamail — will be renamed Campbell-Williams Field after former Longhorns greats Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams. The Jamail family requested the change as a nod to the current racial justice movement and because of “a president who supports white supremacists” (from Ignacio and Timmy Donahue).

Hockey News: The Athletic (hard paywall) reports that a logo change is coming in Ottawa, with the new logo marking a return to the old two-dimensional/profile logo style (from Wade Heidt and Kary Klismet). … Canucks G Jacob Markstrom will have a new mask when play resumes (also from Wade Heidt). … When in Minnesota, you canoe on a lake — preferably in a North Stars canoe (from @btxj). … The Kalamazoo Wings are auctioning off a one-of-a-kind Bell’s Brewery sweater commemorating the brewery’s famed Two Hearted Ale (from Brandon Weir).

Basketball News: The Heat plan to wear their blue “Vice” alternates multiple times during the NBA restart “seeding” games. … Speaking of the restart, the Mavs will be sticking with navy and white uniforms (from @MavsTracker). … The Nuggets also announced their uniform schedule — they’re sticking with their white unis and the “Mile High City” alternates (from @davefarmaryoga). … The @UniMockups Twitter account put together Knicks/Nets  and Hornets/Magic mashup jerseys. … This video recaps the Heat’s entire uniform history in about 150 seconds (from Kary Klismet). … Here are the messages that some Thunder players will be wearing in place of their NOBs (from our own Anthony Emerson).

Soccer News: Looks like Charlotte’s yet-to-be named expansion franchise is a bit closer to picking a team name (from @CLTMLSKits). … Both Arsenal’s and Man City’s 2020-2021 home jerseys have reportedly leaked (from Josh Hinton). … New badge for second-tier Ukrainian club Ahrobiznes Volochysk. This was the club’s old logo (from Ed Żelaski). … Premier League teams playing Sunday wore black armbands in memory of Jack Charlton, who died on Friday. Charlton was a center-back on England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team who also was well known as the Republic of Ireland’s manager in the ’80s and ’90s (from Mark Coale and our own Jamie Rathjen). … Also from Jamie: NWSL teams were allowed to have “pride games” on Sunday and Monday. Not every team did something uni-related, but several wore pride warm-up shirts, Houston Dash striker Rachel Daly wore a rainbow captain’s armband, and OL Reign wore rainbow numbers. … We’ve got more leaks of Bayern Munich’s new away jersey (from Josh Hinton). … Couple of notes from Kary Klismet: We have a first look at Louisville City FC’s newly-completed stadium — it opened on Sunday. Also, a fan of English Championship club Coventry City F.C. created a scale model of a concept stadium for the team, complete with working lights. … One more from Jamie: “The USL Championship’s Sacramento Republic filled one of their grandstands with artwork to be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to organizations supporting Black youths.”

Grab Bag: New logo for the International Handball Federation (from Chris Corbaz and Jeremy Brahm). … NASCAR legends Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham are teaming up to create a new racing circuit, reminiscent of the old IROC Racing Series (from Chris H.). … Never knew this: The Miami headquarters for Royal Caribbean Cruises is shaped like the company’s anchor logo (from James Gilbert). … Evan Stewart noticed that ESPN+ was using an old logo for the Western Force, an Australian rugby union club. … In an effort to provide a more professional appearance, Naval and Marines service members are now prohibited from wearing flight suits and camouflage in the Pentagon and other areas around D.C. (from Timmy Donahue). … Also from Timmy: U.S. Forces Japan has banned the Confederate flag. … One more from Timmy: A 94-year-old woman who built bombers in World War II is putting herself to work again, this time to make masks. … The title of Donald Trump Jr.’s new book contains an apostrophe catastrophe. … Capital University in Ohio will no longer call its teams the Crusaders (from Patrick O’Neill). … Two notes from Kary Klismet: New logo for the Indian Olympic Association, and North Carolina State blog Backing the Pack published a comprehensive retrospective of the school’s 2010s uniforms in football, basketball, and baseball.

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What Paul did last night: Although you can’t see it in this photo, the fireflies have been out in force over the past few weeks. Even after a lifetime of seeing them, they still seem completely amazing and impossible and otherworldly.

Last night I was thinking about how the fireflies’ fluorescent glow is a color that’s normally not found in nature. And then it hit me: That neon-green fluorescence is exactly the same color that we’ve been seeing in recent years in the uni-verse. Nike calls it “volt,” the Seahawks call it “action green,” Adidas calls it whatever the fuck they call it, many of us simply call it neon — but we should really be calling it firefly! And from now on that’s what I’ll be doing.

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

66 comments to Case Closed: 1977 All-Star Mystery Man Has Been Found!

  • Joseph Gerard | July 14, 2020 at 7:47 am |

    I see you used an image from the anime series Case Closed in your header. It’s about a detective who de-aged back into a kid and his girlfriend (who unknowingly doesn’t realize the kid and her boyfriend are the same person) help solve cases together. It aired here on Adult Swim years ago.

    • Paul Lukas | July 14, 2020 at 7:49 am |

      Yes, I am familiar with the show.

    • Mark in Shiga | July 14, 2020 at 9:13 pm |

      I had had no idea that “Detective Conan” had such a different name in its English translation!

      There are about 100 volumes of the manga out in Japan now. Does he ever return to an adult body?

  • Ian P | July 14, 2020 at 8:13 am |

    I owned a Sports Talk player as a kid. It was a mini record player (turntable). But instead of the record spinning, the needle would rotate and follow the record. The cards had a plastic “record” on the back of them maybe 3 inches across. The needle that would line up with the record and play an interview or some other audio related to the person.

  • Dave R | July 14, 2020 at 8:34 am |

    The Portland Pines name and logo are perfect! Great idea Jake Buj. If for not other reason, we need to get a team in Portland.

    • AlMaFi | July 14, 2020 at 10:02 am |

      Yes, that is an outstanding and simple design. If an MLB team came to Portland and they used any color but green, it would be a tragedy.

  • Nestor Chylak | July 14, 2020 at 8:41 am |

    Ray Santiago had some stones, working his way into a line of players in those photos. Sitting on the ground would be one thing, but nosing in front of Dennis Eckersley and standing on a riser is another.

  • BvK | July 14, 2020 at 8:46 am |

    Wow! To talk about a Herculean effort to track down the Mystery Man! Very cool story, Paul!

    • BvK | July 14, 2020 at 8:55 am |

      *Talk about

    • Chance Michaels | July 14, 2020 at 10:08 am |

      I didn’t know what to expect after yesterday’s teaser, but this is a good one. Well done, Roger!

    • JOHN KORBOL | July 14, 2020 at 12:25 pm |

      “They put me in the picture.” That’s the mystery solved??!? Really? Who are”they”? Why did they put him in the picture? For what reason? Why not somebody else who was not a MLB All-Star?

      • Paul Lukas | July 14, 2020 at 1:14 pm |

        Because, as I discussed with him, he knew many of the players, so they encouraged him to join the photo shoot.

        I agree that it wasn’t the most satisfying wording — Ray is a fairly reticent interviewee. But I think the storyline is clear enough.

  • BvK | July 14, 2020 at 8:52 am |

    For those who don’t have a subscription to The Athletic, here’s a story from an Ottawa Senators blog with information about the team’s plans to change uniforms and revert to their old 2D logo:

    https://www.silversevensens.com/2020/7/13/21323076/report-ottawa-senators-rebranding-to-2d-uniforms-for-2020-2021-season-vintage-jerseys-nhl-draft

    • Wade Heidt | July 14, 2020 at 9:17 am |

      They are saying a return to “a” 2-D logo. I wonder if it is the excellent 2-D logo they have in their arsenal that does not appear on the uniforms as opposed to the original logo.

      https://d1yjjnpx0p53s8.cloudfront.net/styles/logo-thumbnail/s3/042012/senators_alternate_logo.png?itok=VRWrg5UI

      Happy they are likely going back to black uniforms and something close to the 1990s originals. A uniform change by the Senators has been long overdue.

      • Greg | July 14, 2020 at 10:10 am |

        Agree, the 2007 update of the 2-D / profile logo is the best logo they’ve had.

  • RS Rogers | July 14, 2020 at 9:13 am |

    Chris Creamer covers the Ottawa logo and jersey change without a paywall: https://news.sportslogos.net/2020/07/13/report-ottawa-senators-to-bring-back-old-logo-in-2021/

    Is it really an apostrophe catastrophe if the mark points the right direction?

    • Paul Lukas | July 14, 2020 at 9:16 am |

      I’ve given up trying to police the boundaries of the term “apostrophe catastrophe.” Although I coined the term for a very specific usage, people quickly adopted it as an all-purpose term for any apostrophic misuse.

      • Chance Michaels | July 14, 2020 at 10:13 am |

        So much catastrophe out there.

    • Graf Zeppelin | July 14, 2020 at 10:18 am |

      That’s good news on the Senators; I’ve always like the original “2D” logo better than the later versions.

      • RS Rogers | July 14, 2020 at 10:49 am |

        They currently have a slightly simplified 2D logo as a secondary – which I literally didn’t know about until this month! – that I think is even better than the old one. But either way, the 2D logo is a much stronger mark, especially for a jersey logo.

        The 3D logo reminds me of the post-2005 nickel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_nickel#/media/File:US_Nickel_2013_Obv.png), which isn’t a good thing.

  • iain | July 14, 2020 at 9:24 am |

    Excellent decision to include the backstory to this investigation. I think we can all relate to an email sitting in the inbox for months and months.

    • Chance Michaels | July 14, 2020 at 10:14 am |

      I doubt that any of my ignored emails will ever come to such fruition.

    • Christopher Falvey | July 14, 2020 at 3:10 pm |

      I actually appreciated the backstory for the same reason.

  • Pat Karasek | July 14, 2020 at 9:51 am |

    My dad had that Cardinals ’67 highlight record (as well as one for their 1964 championship). Harry Caray and Jack Buck — a Hall of Fame broadcasting duo for sure!

  • ChrisH | July 14, 2020 at 9:55 am |

    Great sleuthing, Roger!
    Wonderful writing, Paul!

  • Rick M. | July 14, 2020 at 9:58 am |

    Paul, you mentioned fireflies in your Pandemic Porch Cocktails section, which made me think of something. Last year, my sister moved back to Brooklyn, and I went with her to drive the truck. I remember on the night we got there seeing fireflies, and my being totally amazed by them. The other times I’d been in NYC had been earlier in the season, when there weren’t many around, or in the winter. Here in Denver, we don’t really have fireflies as the snowy season lasts until May, and can pick back up again after Labor Day. It’s nice to know that someone who sees them all the time still has that little sense of wonder for them. Thanks for that!

    • BvK | July 14, 2020 at 2:23 pm |

      As a fellow Denverite, I had the same reaction to Paul’s mention of fireflies. As a child, my family moved from California to Iowa, and marveling at the fireflies in my neighborhood in the humid August evenings was one of the things that helped ease the transition for me. Having lived in Denver for over 18 years, I can’t remember the last time I saw one. Even on several trips back to Iowa in the summer, they don’t seem to be around anymore like they used to be when I was a kid. I miss them.

  • Chance Michaels | July 14, 2020 at 10:06 am |

    The Columbia Fireflies minor league baseball team should use that neon green/volt whatever, but they use a more sickly-yellow color. At least in print.

  • LK | July 14, 2020 at 10:12 am |

    if you want to get technical about fireflies it’s actually a chemiluminescent glow!

    Sorry, I study fluorescence for a living… fluorescence is caused by bluer light (photons) causing a redder emission of light, while fireflies have a chemical reaction occur to cause the emission of light.

    But I’m all on-board for calling the color on uniforms “firefly.” One of my favorite parts of the summer :)

    • Paul Lukas | July 14, 2020 at 10:23 am |

      No need to apologize. Thanks for schooling me on the difference between fluorescence and chemiluminescence!

    • Greg | July 14, 2020 at 11:36 am |

      So fireflies use chemicals in the body to create their own light. Whereas fluorescence and phospholuminescence has to do with absorbing, reflecting, and or storing light that is received?
      That makes a lot of senses given the often pulsating glow of fireflies, they are essentially turning the chemical process on and off I suppose? Whereas creatures with fluorescence and phospholuminescence would not be able to control the light the emit in that way?

      • LK | July 16, 2020 at 3:45 pm |

        Yup. Fluorescence vs. phosphorescence are similar processes of absorbing and then emitting the “glowing” light color. Just they have different time scales – fluorescence is faster while phosphorescence is much slower (I’ll spare you the quantum mechanics behind it).

        Other creatures can use scattering and reflection of light (like cuttlefish, octopus or the genetically-modified dinosaur in Jurassic World) for camouflage. They have control of what colored molecules they present in their skin to absorb certain colors and reflect/scatter other colors to the eyes of the predators around them.

  • GTV | July 14, 2020 at 10:20 am |

    Just as fascinating as the story to me is the back story and what it says about 21st etiquette and expectations. I still work in a largely face-to-face business but of course use email and social media all the time. Don’t know if I’ll ever get to the point of not taking ignored emails (at least important ones) personally, even though I am as guilty of ignoring (“forgetting about”) emails as anyone.

  • Steve | July 14, 2020 at 10:22 am |

    I still call them lightning bugs.

    But really, I think firefly vs. lightning bug is a regional thing, right? I live in Chicago and they’ve always been “lightning bugs,” but my wife is from Oregon, and she calls them “fireflies”.

  • Jim Vilk | July 14, 2020 at 10:35 am |

    the Braves should change their name to the Atlanta Brave

    Disagree.

    I say, go back to when the franchise was in Boston and went by the Bees for a few years.* They now share the same city as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, so it would be a cool unifying kind of thing.

    *Actually, I prefer one of their other early nicknames, the Beaneaters, even more. But I’d love to see the Red Sox use that name.

    Great story today. I love a good Mystery Solved!

    • Mike Engle | July 14, 2020 at 11:28 am |

      Not sure how “unifying” the Atlanta Bees would be. Yes it’s true that Georgia Tech is in Atlanta, but Georgia residents largely go for the UGA Bulldogs. By comparison, a pro team in New Orleans would never intentionally call themselves the Green [Anything], because for every one random Tulane fan in the city who might find it cute and funny, you’d turn off hundreds or thousands of LSU fans.
      So I won’t sign off on “unifying,” but I’ll concur that a throwback name is almost always a good idea, to go back in history to avoid racism imagery. And then, with a name like “Bees,” you’re probably gonna go yellow-forward on a color change, and that would coincidentally break up some red-and-blueness in the MLB. So in those parameters, sure, bring on the Atlanta Bees!

    • walter | July 14, 2020 at 11:35 am |

      “Bees” would be a great name! So many graphic possibilities. “Beaneaters”, not so much, reminds me of a scene from Blazing Saddles. (Although they could play up a jet-propulsion angle for their baserunners, or hits flying out of the park.)

      • Jim Vilk | July 14, 2020 at 12:06 pm |

        Are green beans popular in Georgia? They could go that route, instead of baked beans.

        I’m picturing a cream home uniform…very green bean cassarole-ish. Even though I don’t add the fried onions when I make the dish, I admit it would be a nice accent color on the uni.

      • Baggataway | July 14, 2020 at 1:04 pm |

        Bees is pretty much taken by Salt Lake City.

        +1 for Atlanta Brave. Perfect name. Makes the last line of the National Anthem even greater!

        And yes, the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League came up with it first …

    • David Murphy | July 14, 2020 at 3:10 pm |

      The old team name the Braves should go back to, that is perfect for this age, is the Doves.

  • RICKAZ | July 14, 2020 at 10:59 am |

    Interesting that the Oakley shield has holes in it. I’m sure this works with the filter put in it, but I wonder how many players will skip the filter and just use the shield. If that happens, they’d obviously be more protected, and of course the players around them would be more protected, with shields without holes.

  • Matt D | July 14, 2020 at 11:47 am |

    Meant to post this yesterday. Your photo capturing of your plaid shirts reminded me of the intervention my college gf and friends deemed necessary after I wore some version of a gray shirt with no accent colors or graphic for 26 straight days. Not different shirts for all 26 days but plain gray for the whole stretch.

    I just really liked knowing what I was going to wear every day and not having commitment to any brands or teams. Felt like my own uniform to myself.

  • Wade Heidt | July 14, 2020 at 12:29 pm |

    Further to the BC Lions’ poll for who was the best to wear #9.

    What is of interest from a uni watch perspective is the photo they used for Barron Miles. That orange helmet, orange jersey, white pants combo was used just one game in 2006 IIRC (2007?). Rare to see photos of that uni combo.

    The Lions wore white helmets at the time. The orange helmet was only worn with the third uniform featuring black jerseys and black pants. Orange helmet had vintage paw logo.

    For one game, they subbed in the orange helmet with the primary dark uniform. They did put primary logo decal on the side of the orange helmet for that game and it was barely visible. It was not meant to be on an orange helmet. White helmet was way better with this uniform.

    https://d3ham790trbkqy.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2018/03/BarronMiles_CFHOF-800×800.jpg

  • Dwayne Stern | July 14, 2020 at 12:57 pm |

    The firefly article brought back a great memory of seeing them for the first and only time many years ago. It is still vivid in my mind and one of the few instances that I clearly remember of a trip across Canada and the United States to watch baseball. We were in Ohio when I saw them, probably just after or just before we went to a game at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. It was 1978, we didn’t go to Cleveland, if memory serves there was a police strike at the time, so we stayed away.

  • Kenneth Pilpel | July 14, 2020 at 2:13 pm |

    My cousin, Anthony Sarandrea, also was visiting team bellboy & batboy for the Yankees around that time. The stories he tells and some of the memorabilia he has is amazing. He can be seen handing Bucky Dent the bat before his `78 Home Run vs Boston.

  • Ray Santiago | July 14, 2020 at 2:13 pm |

    Hi Paul,
    Thank you so very much for a wonderful article. It brought back lot’s of fond memories of the privilege it was to be in that position. I had no idea I was being sought after. I am glad you found me, that the mystery is solved, and I am happy to share any stories from those great times anytime. Be well!

    • Paul Lukas | July 14, 2020 at 2:40 pm |

      Ladies and gentlemen, meet the All-Star Mystery Man himself — Ray Santiago!

      Thanks so much, Ray. After all the years of trying to track you down, it was a pleasure to finally connect. Stay well!

    • Justin Black | July 14, 2020 at 2:46 pm |

      Mystery man Ray, I have a few questions for you: How did you end up getting the job with the Yankees? Was it handed down to you in some way? Did your father know someone with the Yanks? Were you required to live near the stadium in the South Bronx? Were you paid by the game?
      It just sounds like an awesome job for anyone who’s into baseball.
      Tyvm!

  • Norm Caudell-Lopez | July 14, 2020 at 2:27 pm |

    The thing that I find unusual about the All Star photo are the three Cleveland Indians. Jeff Torborg and Eckersley are wearing blue jerseys while Jim Kern dons the red. Can’t recall seeing anything like this mix and match before

    • Paul Lukas | July 14, 2020 at 2:38 pm |

      It wasn’t so unusual in those days. Sometimes the A’s all-stars would do a mix of white, green, and yellow!

  • Oakville Celery Root | July 14, 2020 at 2:31 pm |

    I was intrigued by the comment on fireflies. From time to time I have the same “wow” moments. The one that always amazes me is the caterpillar to butterfly metamorphosis.

  • wittnesss | July 14, 2020 at 2:52 pm |

    Is makers mark missing from the Cowboys jersey, or is it hidden behind his arm?? It looks really slick. Too slick.

    • Paul Lukas | July 14, 2020 at 2:55 pm |

      It’s on the sleeve, above the stripes, like it always is.

    • Munch Suchland | July 14, 2020 at 3:23 pm |

      It’s on the shoulders in the NFL, not the chest. You can see it peaking just below the right should number.

      • wittnesss | July 14, 2020 at 6:52 pm |

        Dang, I knew it was too good to be true. Thanks guys.

  • Herb | July 14, 2020 at 3:25 pm |

    You guys should do a story on the fan cut-outs in the various ballparks.

    It was free to all season ticket holders- $69 for everyone else. I wouldn’t pay for it though. Curious how many will.

  • Ray Santiago | July 14, 2020 at 3:56 pm |

    Hi Justin,
    To answer your questions about how I got the job, etc.
    I grew up within walking distance of Yankee Stadium until I was 11. I attended many Yankee games. It was my dream like many boy’s to become a MLB Player. At 11 we moved upstate to the Catskills. At about age 14 I started writing to the Yankees about how to apply to be a Yankee Batboy . They would always answer politely.Yes, they had some requirements. This could be a long story, maybe Paul could cover some time. Anyhow, 6 Batboys get selected and interviewed and selected out of 100’s of applicants. No I didn’t have an influential Parent. Just good ol tenacity, although, you are correct; there is a lot of politics for most to get there.
    We got paid 25.00 a game for about 10-12 hours a day, but we didn’t care. We were in heaven! I am extremely grateful to have experienced one of the greatest times in not only Yankee History, but baseball History. Thank you again Paul, and thank’s for asking Justin.

  • John F Weiss Jr | July 14, 2020 at 4:21 pm |

    What happened to the daily plaid shirt reveal?

  • Derek | July 15, 2020 at 5:27 am |

    The unusual helmet worn by the umpire appears to be an older All-Star SC500 catchers skull cap with most of the bill cut off, presumably so the umpires face mask fits over it when worn forward. I say older since the newer model apparently has a side vent not found on the older model.

    https://calprosports.com/product/all-star-universal-skull-cap-sc500/