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Yanks Do Really Simple Thing They’ve Never Done Before

2021 continues to be a banner year for MLB memorial patches, as a social media photo of pitcher Gerrit Cole revealed the team’s new “16” memorial for Whitey Ford.

As you may recall, Ford died on Oct. 8. The Yanks added a “16” sleeve memorial for him the following day and then were promptly eliminated from the playoffs by the Rays that night, so they only got to wear the “16” for one game. I predicted at the time that the memorial would almost certainly carry over to this season (there’s precedent for that, as they added an “8” for Yogi Berra during the last week of the 2015 season and carried it over for all of 2016), so it’s no surprise that they’ve chosen to do that.

What is surprising, however, is the design of the patch. The Yankees’ usual protocol is that players whose numbers have been retired are memorialized with their uniform number (rendered in black numerals, with no circle), while mere mortals get a black armband. Ford’s number has been retired, so they gave him the standard numerical treatment last October for that one-game memorial (which shared space with the “HGS” patch they were already wearing for Hank Steinbrenner):

I assumed they’d repeat that same treatment this season. But instead, they’re going with the black circle with the white “16.” That would be a fairly standard and unremarkable memorial design for any other team, but it’s an interesting deviation from the Yanks’ usual protocol. In fact, according to Bill Henderson’s jersey guide, this appears to be the first time the Yanks have ever used the black circle/number format. Who says they’re stuck in their ways? They’re branching out, getting all wild and crazy on us!

Meanwhile, does anyone else think the new patch is sitting too low on Cole’s sleeve? Personally, I’d like to see a bit more clearance between the patch and the sleeve cuff.

(My thanks to @sumohuggs for spotting the Cole photo.)

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ITEM! New podcast episode: For this week’s episode of Unified, the recent scenario in which the Mets’ starting rotation could have featured both a No. 0 and a No. 00, which I wrote about on Monday, led us to explore various situations featuring zero and double-zero (including, as shown above, such famously zero-clad players as Benito Santiago, Jim Otto, and John Davidson). It was a really fun discussion, in part because Chris isn’t usually that into uniform numbers, but he still ended up having a lot to say!

We also talked about the Jags’ new emphasis on teal, the news that the Washington Football Team’s placeholder identity will be extended for another year, the ЯR uniforms that we think deserve to be upgraded to full-time status, and more.

You can listen to this episode, and subscribe to future ones, on Apple, Google, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Spotify, or just use the player below:

The show notes from this episode, which include photos of most of the things we discussed, are here. Those photos also appear in the video version of this episode, which you can watch here:

Enjoy the episode, and thanks for all the enthusiasm and positive feedback on this project.

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Click to enlarge

Put a cork in it: I recently received a note from reader Jared Adkins, as follows:

I’m toying with the idea of upgrading my Uni Watch Pin Club display. I was thinking of seeing if an artist on Etsy (I haven’t sought anyone out in particular, this is early territory for this project) would make a cork board in the shape of the Uni Watch logo.

Before I did that though, I wanted to see if that was okay with you — and if so, if you had any artists you’d prefer me to get in touch with for said project.

Obviously, I was more than okay with it. And I knew just the man for the job: Kevin Cearfoss, whose 3D wood logos have been featured on Uni Watch a few times. I didn’t know how cork-savvy he was, but I figured it was worth a shot, so I suggested that Jared get in touch with him. “And tell him I sent you!,” I added. (I always love being able to say that.)

Kevin had never worked before with cork, but he was game for the challenge. He even produced two different designs for Jared to choose from — a flat version and a 3D version:

It was a tough call! Personally, I think I would’ve gone with flat, but Jared chose 3D. Here’s how it looks with his pin collection (click to enlarge):

It’s great that Jared has a cool new display for his pins, but it’s even better that two members of the Uni Watch comm-uni-ty have connected on this project — I love that! Thanks for all the enthusiasm and support, guys.

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The Ticker
By Paul

’Skins Watch: Nike has apparently stopped using the team name “Indians” on its website (from @spiders_six). … Unfortunately, however, that isn’t stopping other parties from selling a remarkably tone-deaf Indians shirt (from Shannon Shark). … In a related item, The Athletic is holding a bracket competition for a new name for the Indians (from Kary Klismet). … The 25 Colorado high schools that still use Native-based iconography would have to make changes by June of next year or face a $25,000 monthly fine under a bill that’s been introduced in the state legislature (from Glenn Chavez). … The state of Wisconsin may provide funding to help schools finance the change from Native American team names (from Ray Barrington). … Also from Ray: Weyauwega-Fremont High School in Wisconsin has changed its team name from “Indians” to “Warhawks.” … D3 Carthage College’s teams will now be called the Firebirds, instead of the Red Men and Lady Reds (from @shwrth and Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: The Port Clinton (Ohio) school board is refusing to act on a petition signed by over 3,000 students and alumni calling for the high school to drop its “Redmen” team name. … One more from Kary: The chief of the Cherokee Nation has asked car maker Jeep to discontinue its use of the name “Cherokee” for its line of SUVs. … Saugatuck Public Schools in Michigan are changing their team name from “Indians” to “Trailblazers.” “Another win for sensible mascots,” says John Chapman. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: The school district in Marion, Iowa, has changed the local team name from “Indians” to “Mavericks” (from the pseudonymous Another JT). … The board of William S. Hart High School in California, which has been soliciting community input on whether to change the school’s team name from “Indians,” recently heard from a local Indian tribal president who said the team’s current mascot “gives an inaccurate representation of local Native American culture and tradition” (from Tim Dunn). … A California driver was pulling the old trick of using a mannequin in the passenger seat so he could drive in the car pool lane. Interestingly, the mannequin was wearing a Chief Wahoo cap (from Dante Centuori).

Baseball News: The Royals and Tigers will wear Negro Leagues throwbacks on May 23. Let’s hope the jerseys don’t have the maker’s marks shown in those mock-ups (from Ryan Atkinson). … Check out this old photo of Forbes Field. Look at that sort of heart-shaped infield cutout behind second base — don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like that before (from BSmile and Joe Bonavita). … The latest team to join the Atlantic League is the West Virginia Power. Additional info here. … Number switcheroo for the Dodgers, as P Tony Gonsolin has given up No. 46 so newly acquired teammate Corey Knebel can wear it. Gonsolin will now wear No. 26. … A fan in Cleveland has digitally recreated League Park, where the Indians played up through 1946 (from Jonthan Dies). … Former Yankees P Masahiro Tanaka is now with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan. Here’s how he looks in their uniform. … Mets SS Francisco Lindor showed up at spring training with blue hair (from Ryan Mallon). … Speaking of Lindor, he’s also one of several Mets who’ve been wearing mesh-backed caps this week. Others include P Jacob deGrom and P David Peterson (thanks to all who shared). … Here’s the story behind the Phillie Phanatic bat that Phils OF Bryce Harper has been seen with lately (from Michael Hochman). … Louisville has worn four different uniforms in their first four games of the season, and they have another one coming on Saturday (from M. Brinston Barry). … New mono-black uniforms for D3 Pacific Lutheran. As you might imagine, that “PLU” abbreviation speaks to me a bit! … Fun article about an Ontario couple that has every Blue Jays bobblehead ever issued (from Andreas Papadopoulos).

Football News: Here’s a good post about how you can trace evolution of football shoes through old sporting goods catalogs. … UCF now has a series of icons and logos that coordinate to specific players and coaches (from ,@TdashTill).

Hockey News: The Athletic has a paywalled article about two guys who are trying to bring the Air Jordan aesthetic to hockey skates (from Mike Chamernik). … Former Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau’s new USPHL junior hockey team will be called the Hershey Cubs. If that logo looks familiar, it’s because it’s a riff on the old Minnesota Fighting Saints logo (from Ted Taylor). … The AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights have a town crier who announces goals (from Mike Chamernik). … You don’t often see overhead photos of NHL games, but there are some really good-looking ones here and here (from Andreas Papadopoulos). … The Capitals have worn four different uniforms in the space of a week (from @1995hoo).

NBA News: The latest NBA Earned leak is for the Heat. … Nets PG Kyrie Irving thinks the NBA logo should be redesigned to be based on Kobe Bryant instead of Jerry West (thanks to all who shared).

College and High School Hoops News: Purple alternates last night for Clemson (from Scott Trembly). … Indiana F Race Thompson wore a clear facemask last night after possibly breaking his nose in Tuesday’s practice

Soccer News: New “community kit” for the LA Galaxy (from Jakob Fox). … The Museum of Jerseys site has a new post on Scotland’s tartan-patterned or -accented shirts (thanks, Jamie). … Atlanta United FC’s new kit will apparently be unveiled tomorrow (from @asa_m_d). … New match ball for the Georgian top tier Erovnuli Liga (from Ed Zelaski). … The new USWNT shirt may have leaked.

Grab Bag: Organizers of a beach volleyball tournament in Qatar will allow players to wear bikinis after all. Two German players had planned to boycott the event due to a ban on bikinis. … McDonald’s has a new ad campaign featuring a modified verison of its famous golden arches. … New logo for bicycle tire brand Panaracer. … The new Batman Unburied podcast now has its own logo. … New logo for the Indiana city of West Lafayette. … Over 160 Confederate symbols were removed from public spaces in 2020 (NYT link) — more than in the previous four years combined. … Some new uniform items from the U.S. Army: new gloves, and also new nursing and maternity shirts for female soldiers (from Timmy Donahue). … New helmets tomorrow night for Maryland lacrosse (from Wes Brown). … Oh for fuck’s sake: A Virginia Senate budget amendment would block the D.C. region’s Metro system from receiving at least $166 million in state funding unless it renames a rail station after a bank. Seriously gross (from @VictoryCB). … With Valparaiso University no longer calling its teams the Crusaders, here are five possible replacement names (from @R_LMN). … New IndyCar livery for Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 car (from Tim Dunn). … Reprinted from last night’s comments: Here’s a complete rundown of AFLW Indigenous Round guernseys (from Graham Clayton). … Yesterday’s Ticker mentioned that the National Lacrosse League’s New England Black Wolves were relocating to Albany, N.Y. Now the franchise is holding a contest to rename the team (from Wade Heidt). … Unusual and interesting design for some new U.S. Postal Service trucks (from R. Scott Rogers). … New line of tennis attire for Roger Federer (thanks, Brinke). … The U.S. presidential seal usually includes the words “Seal of the President of the United States.” But during a recent appearance by President Biden, his lectern had the image from the center of the seal but didn’t have the wording (good spot by Devin Driscoll). … Here’s one writer’s take on why Red Bull Racing’s F1 livery doesn’t need changing (from Ephraim Vorzman).

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Comments (47)

    Hi Paul – about that DC Metro station item – it’s a little more nuanced than what it might seem, although still somewhat distasteful: the county (where I happen to live) had approved the name change as the bank has built a public-use auditorium at that stop. There was not going to be any money changing hands, but the bank was going to kick in money to update signs, etc. (I would agree this is still somewhat distasteful).

    What then happened was the WMATA (operators of the Metro, which covers VA, MD, and DC) decided that they were going to overrule the county and instead *charge* for naming rights to the station – which is obviously much more skeevy. WMATA is suggesting they need the revenue, etc. – the usual BS to justify naming rights.

    The state senator stepped in to try to ensure that WMATA couldn’t charge for naming rights by putting in a financial penalty to WMATA funding.

    So, obviously not great, but more nuanced than on the face of it.


    Finally, as of now, the situation is resolved, and the amendment is now dead – but the possibility of naming rights is still not dead.


    The update dropping the amendment is an improvement to the situation – putting directional signage up instead of renaming the station itself.

    I’m reminded of how Detroit treated the People Mover station for the downtown convention center formerly named after a racist mayor and now currently named for a bank. They dropped the mayor’s name from the stop (which is INSIDE the center) and just call the stop “Convention Center” now. Amusingly, they have not changed the name of the Joe Louis Arena station, despite the Joe closing in 2017 and its demolition being completed last year.

    That Cleveland Indians New Era tshirt isn’t surprising considering the number of New Era Chief Wahoo caps still available. While scrubbed from MLB’s online team shop and from the New Era site, outlets who sell New Era caps continue to sell variations of caps with the Wahoo logo. I’m not sure what the arrangement between the club, MLB and New Era is regarding the production and sale of these caps.

    I’m a Yankees fan and I generally liked how they “look.” For example, I like how the Steinbrenner and Bob Shepard patches “don’t fit.” If this black circle 16 is the new format going forward instead of bare digits, I say it’s a slight upgrade…and by slight I mean the smallest tick above pleading indifference.

    But I still wonder what spurred the change. Are they trying to make it idiot proof for the seamstress? As best I can recall, the only double digit retired number memorial is Phil Rizzuto’s #10, but the 0 digit cannot be upside down. Meanwhile, Ford’s #16 could be a 19, 91, or 61 by mistake, and maybe a digit falls off and it looks disrespectful by accident?

    These volleyball players in protest earn a hard eye roll. For one thing, most major organized sports have dress codes/uniform rules. Right off the top of my head, Wimbledon requires pure white attire for all athletes on the court. It’s not a tennis rule, it’s specific to that tournament and the hosts’ preferred aesthetic so it’s actually an apples to apples comparison. Secondly, why is it disrespectful for the host to ask that guests respect their religion? I personally think it’s more disrespectful to protest until the host feels compelled to waver in their own religious/philosophical/spiritual doctrine just so you don’t have to wear a different outfit once in your life.

    I know you can say that even within the religion specifically this is unnecessary control but it’s a rule that millions of people agree to.

    Simply put, if your host asks you to take your shoes off in the house, do it or don’t go in the house. Don’t protest until you are allowed to track dirt on the carpet.

    Who thought a beach volleyball tournament in Qatar was a good idea?!? Has anyone in Qatar ever *watched* beach volleyball? Maybe there are people who think the bikinis are pandering, but the players have a right to wear what they think is comfortable, and I defer to the professionals. Ask Chris Sale what he thinks of putting on an unusual uniform in a competitive setting.

    Ask Chris Sale what he thinks of putting on an unusual uniform in a competitive setting.

    Counter-argument: Ask all of Sale’s teammates who wore that same “unusual uniform” the season before (or the many White Sox who wore the original version of that uniform in the 1970s) with no problem.

    Seems odd that you’d try to bolster your position by aligning yourself with the one outlier instead of many non-outliers.

    I certainly don’t take as strong of a stance as Paul and others when it comes to the use of Native American terms and imagery in sports… but wow, the Indians shirt certainly deserves a prize for a complete lack of awareness. It is almost intentionally culturally insensitive.

    You can actually hear the gears grinding in their heads: no Chief Wahoo, check. No “Indians” name, check. Let’s roll!

    Part of me thinks that UCF stuff is way over the top, the other part of me wishes I could work on projects like that for a living!

    “The Yankees’ usual protocol is that Hall of Famers are memorialized with their uniform number”
    This isn’t entirely accurate. The Yankees did this for Billy Martin and Roger Maris who aren’t in the Hall of Fame. The protocol is just that the player’s number is retired, so it makes sense that the Yankees would memorialize that player with their number. Here is the Martin memorial:
    I couldn’t find Maris’s but I seem to remember it.

    Look forward to zeroing in on that podcast later.

    Have a couple 00 jerseys I wear in goal (pair of San Diego Samurai – old roller hockey team) and a couple for wearing out as a player (Nordiques and the mascot jersey from the Lakehead Thunderwolves).

    Here’s the auction link to Biron’s game worn 00 jersey:

    Not a Yankees hater by any means, but the laughable idea their uniforms are somehow iconic ended the second they started wearing matte helmets and letting someone wear number 99.

    Not to mention participating in Players Weekend…

    They are no longer different than any other team, and as far as I am concerned, they can just honor past players any way they want at this point.

    If you’ve maintained this standard look and haven’t given in to alternates, but then cash in on holiday or other gimmick stuff, you’ve lost your ability to claim to be above the fray.
    HOWEVER, none of those things take away from their pinstripes being iconic. If anything does make the pinstripes less iconic its the giant honking swoosh on the chest.

    Do they have a choice with players weekend/mothers day/July 4th etc. stuff that is leaguewide? All those sorts of things strike me as league-mandated things that every team has to do. A couple of years ago, Aaron Boone was (rightly) lamenting that since Yankees-Dodgers was taking place on players weekend they couldn’t wear their normal uniforms and give us a classic matchup. link

    Of course, Dodgers and Yankees shouldn’t be playing in the regular season anyway because they are in different leagues.

    I’m a little disappointed that the Yankees are using a circular patch for the Ford memorial. That’s very similar to what most other teams do as memorials for former players whose numbers have been retired. I’m not a Yankees fan, but I do appreciate it when a franchise does something a specific way.

    Just a quick story about Kevin Cearfoss (or Gashouse ILM on IG).
    First and foremost, he does AMAZING work!
    For Christmas I asked my fiance, Charleen, for a throwback Michigan logo wall piece from Kevin. I sent her a picture of the exact logo I wanted, and how to get a hold of him.
    Two weeks later Kevin posted a couple shots of that exact logo being started for “Uncle Charlie”. I was ecstatic. Obviously “Uncle Charlie” was referencing Charleen without being obvious.
    So I cleared of a space on my office wall for the 20″x20″ piece, right above my laptop station.
    On Christmas morning I didn’t end up getting the piece, and when I opened Instagram that morning, I saw that it actually WAS for someone named Charlie.
    I told my fiance the whole story, and how I was SURE that she was the Uncle Charlie he was talking about. We both laughed til we cried.
    My birthday was a couple weeks ago, and no logo art still. So Kevin, if you’re reading this, be ready for another throwback Michi-bear logo some time soon! haha

    For the podcast:

    I think I’ve mentioned this before, but 0 and 00 are relatively common on goalies in college soccer, including both on the same team (UVa’s men’s team has had both for the last two seasons). The rules don’t specifically limit players to 1 to 99, which is what football did before it allowed 0.

    The 25 Colorado high schools that still use Native-based iconography would have to make changes by June of next year or face a $25,000 monthly fine under a bill that’s been introduced in the state legislature (from Glenn Chavez). … The state of Wisconsin may provide funding to help schools finance the change from Native American team names (from Ray Barrington)

    A perfect encapsulation of a worthwhile question: What is more effective? A stick or a carrot?

    I guess those guys making the Jordan hockey skates never saw what Nike tried doing in the 90s and early 2000s. I owned a pair of those first Nike skates and they were without a doubt the most uncomfortable pair of skates I’ve ever owned in the 25+ years of playing hockey. Performance > aesthetic.

    One more from Kary: The chief of the Cherokee Nation has asked car maker Jeep to discontinue its use of the name “Cherokee” for its line of SUVs.

    My Dad rode an Indian Chief motorcycle in the early 1950s. I have read Polaris Industries, the parent company Indian Motorcycles, had a division called Victory Motorcycles, which eventually petered out. So there is empirical evidence for them that a product named “Indian” would succeed where one named “Victory” would not. Not to mention motorcycles are marketed to a segment of society that tends to glorify the antihero, so surrendering the name is a bug, not a feature.

    So there is empirical evidence for them that a product named “Indian” would succeed where one named “Victory” would not.

    This is a textbook example of “correlation, not causation.” There is no evidence (at least that you’ve cited) that the respective names are *why* one produced succeeded while the other did not.

    Come on, Walter — I expect better from you.

    “It is my understanding, however, that Indian has worked with local Native American tribes to try to ensure that what it does is respectful. It’s worth noting, also, that outside of particularly iconic models, Indian has chosen to avoid Native American allusions in the naming of its bikes: eg, Springfield, Roadmaster, FTR 1200 and Challenger. ¶ But, yeah. There’s still the issue of the name. Indian’s corporate parent, Polaris, has solid empirical evidence to argue against changing the brand’s name. For a number of years, financial reports proved to the company that a well-made motorcycle called Victory will lose money, while a well-made motorcycle called Indian will grow in sales each quarter. So, probably don’t expect a name change without there first being a huge uproar.” -The Motorcycle Obsession, by Chris Cope, September 10, 2020: What’s In a Name.

    You may not accept the validity of his argument, and that is your right.

    This, again, seems much more like correlation than causation, at least as presented here.

    But even if it could somehow be demonstrated to be causation, that’s not the issue at hand. The issue at hand is whether calling your product “Indian” is the right thing to do, irrespective of market performance.

    While I wholeheartedly agree that the New Era Indians shirt is hideously tone-deaf, on an aesthetic level I find the typeface they chose to be pretty brutal to look at. That inward-pointing chevron on the curve of the D is particularly jarring.

    The podcast discussed 3-digit numbers briefly, but I didn’t hear any mention of the prediction/joke from “Futurama” that, by the year 3000, pro athletes will be wearing fractional uni numbers because “all the whole numbers are retired.”

    Re: the awful Indians shirt, there’s a response from the team in Craig Calcaterra’s newsletter today: link

    They claim the shirt was not designed by them and has been pulled.

    If you go to the website for the new galaxy kit, there is a video with people’s reactions. at 0:20 there’s man who says, “that’s what I’m fucking talking about.” Usually don’t hear cursing in an official video!

    On the podcast, you asked whether or not a player and a mascot had worn the same number at the same time. The Rays currently have that situation, as DJ Kitty wears #10, and so does catcher Mike Zunino. In fact, the team store used to sell DJ Kitty shirseys, but they’ve stopped selling them since Zunino joined the team in 2018.

    Jeffrey Leonard wore 00 for the Mariners in 1990, which was the same year the Mariner Moose debuted (who also wears 00). I don’t know if the Moose wore 00 when he started out, however.


    The Moose wearing 00 may be why Taijuan has worn 44/99 during his Ms stints.

    I can’t say whether or not this is the definitive reason, but DJ Kitty was introduced as the Rays’ second mascot in 2010, so it could be that.

    Raymond, for reference, has always worn 00, as far as I know. Maybe DJ Kitty would’ve worn 00 if Raymond didn’t exist.

    In regards to the podcast discussion today, I was hoping a MLB player named Day would wear the pi symbol on March 14 this year. Alas, there are no current players with that surname. Would have been a fun spring training quirk.

    Today it seems a few of my opinions have gone off the rails, so let me offer an idea that seeks to right a wrong.
    It appears a few of yesterday’s heroes (Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson), names we’ve become accustomed to seeing on schools, are coming up short upon re-examination.
    So, allow me to suggest naming our institutions of learning after American Indian heroes: Jim Thorpe, Thomas Sloan, Sarah Winnemucca, William Potter Ross, and James McDonald, to name five. (Op. cit. “Four American Indian Heroes You’ve Never Heard Of”, by Frederick E. Hoxie, American Indian Magazine, 2013)

    Not surprising Bruce Boudreau based his new team’s logo on the Fighting Saints logo, as the Fighting Saints were the first professional team he played for in 1975.

    Port Clinton high school are the redskins. I graduated in 2001.

    We always joked that they should change the name to the fighting walleye

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