By Phil Hecken
Good Saturday morning, Uni Watchers, and please let me be the first to wish you a Happy Armed Forces Day! According to MLB, it’s actually “Armed Forces Weekend,” so I hope all of you who have returned to in-person working all have a nice long weekend. I’m pretty sure this weekend is also the unofficial start of summer too. No? And please let me know if anyone else wishes you a Happy Armed Forces Day today. It’s such an important holiday!
Of course I kid. But let me also add that my grandfather was gassed by the Germans in the Great War, my dad served in Korea, and both my uncles were in the service (one in the Navy and one in the Air Force). I can tell you the date of D-Day, V-E Day, V-J Day, of course the end of WWI (which we do actually recognize with a federal holiday), and a few other assorted important dates in the military history of the United States. But if you had asked me recently the date of Armed Forces Day (it’s actually today), I’d have been hard pressed to give you that particular date (it’s actually a moveable date). And I’m pretty sure that most Americans couldn’t tell you the date either. Because it’s not really a big deal.
Except to MLB. And only since 2019. Prior to that year, I’m pretty sure not too many folks involved in baseball could have told you what month Armed Forces Day even was, much less the specific date. So why are we “celebrating” Armed Forces Day with a three-day camo-cap and olive/tan sock extravaganza? Two words: Memorial Day.
It’s not that MLB doesn’t love camo — hell, a bunch of MLB teams love camo (including the Mets, Padres, Reds, and Pirates). And for several years, MLB decided to make Memorial Day the official camo day for all teams. There was only one problem — MLB was incredibly tone deaf to the true spirit of Memorial Day (a solemn day to remember those who perished defending America), and NOT to glorify the military. That all changed (thanks to people like Paul, among others) who fought to STOP the fellating of the Military on a holiday on which that was completely inappropriate. So, in 2019, MLB refocused its camo-fatuation on Armed Forces “weekend” and gave us a much more appropriate treatment for Memorial Day itself. The simple poppy patch (and separate cap patch) replaced the camo-fest that had defined baseball on Memorial Day weekend.
But there was still the great need to bust out the camo, so MLB searched for a different
day weekend to peddle camo, and lo and behold, the incredibly important Armed Forces weekend was born. After all, what better way to honor our soldiers, airmen, space men, and seamen than with camo right? Right! Did I mention the caps are for retail sale (socks too, which we’ll get to in a minute)? After all, what good is all the goodwill Armed Forces weekend generates without some way to show-and-sell, er, show and tell about it.
So, yesterday, today (which is actually Armed Forces Day — celebrated on the third Saturday in May, if you didn’t know) and tomorrow, teams will wear camo caps and olive/tan socks, with umps wearing camo caps, and some catchers adopting beige/tan/olive gear. It’s not quite the pink fest that Mother’s Day is, but it’s also going to be worn for three full days.
I wasn’t sure of the origins of Armed Forces Day, but as far as holidays(?) go, it’s actually somewhat recent. According to Wikipedia,
First observed on 20 May 1950, the day was created on 31 August 1949, to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches – the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard – following the consolidation of the military services in the U.S. Department of Defense. It was intended to replace the separate Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Days, but the separate days are still observed, especially within the respective services.
So, for 2021, each team wore (last night) a camo cap and Stance socks that don’t quite go with the cap.
As always, neither element matched anything to do with the team color scheme (isn’t camo supposed to blend in rather than stand out?).
For those who chose to wear high cuffs, the socks actually had more of a “blending” effect than the cap — and for those teams wearing gray pants, the socks almost looked as though they weren’t even being shown…
…compare that to a gray-pants player who didn’t go high-cuffed (but wore camo cleats):
Some catchers did choose to wear gear that “matched” the camo caps/olive-tan socks…
…but since almost no catchers go high-cuffed, and, like batters, wore their regular helmets, this looked mismatched as well.
Our pal Chris Creamer, who had the scoop on the Armed Forces Weekend look, came up with the following graphic showing the patches each cap has (5 stars for USA-based teams, 4 Maple Leaves for the Canadian-based club):
It’s not quite the same cap patch worn in 2019. But the five stars representing the five U.S. military branches remained in 2021. But there’s even a problem with that. On December 20, 2019, the US added a sixth branch of the Armed Forces (Space Force) — so, at least technically, the cap should bear six stars instead of five, right? I’m not 100% sure on the protocol here, so the five stars may still be correct, but if a sixth star should be added, then MLB has dropped the ball here, much like they did when they screwed up the Independence Day caps back in 2018. If anyone out there knows whether five or six stars is correct, please let us know in the comments below. It’d be a shame if MLB botched this one too.
With today actually being the third Saturday in May (and the actual Armed Forces Day), all teams will for today only add a special patch to the left breast of the uniform, noting that today is, in fact, Armed Forces Day:
Unfortunately, that’s the best view I can find of the patch — but it looks to be the same one worn in 2019.
So, if you weren’t up to speed on Armed Forces weekend — hopefully now you are. MLB certainly won’t let us forget ever again.
Happy Armed Forces Day!
Guess The Game…
from the scoreboard
Today’s scoreboard comes from George Howard Skub.
The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).
Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):
Please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.
Uni Concepts & Tweaks
Time for more Uni Tweaks from the UW readership.
I hope you guys like this feature and will want to continue to submit your concepts and tweaks to me. If you do, Shoot me an E-mail (Phil (dot) Hecken (at) gmail (dot) com).
Today’s concept comes from Dan Bodurtha:
Another Minnesota concept. This time it’s a “City Edition” based on the state bird, the Common Loon. The back of the uniform would transition to black with white spots.
Hope you enjoy!
And here is his concept:
OK readers (and concepters). If you have some tweaks or concepts, shoot ’em my way with a brief description of your creation and I’ll run ’em here.
Fit For The King?
What you see above is one of the newest releases from the great Ebbets Field Flannels, and it’s a 1966 Boston Patriots jersey. Beauty, ain’t it?
UW reader, and my pal, Jimmy Corcoran (son of QB “King” Corcoran), saw that jersey, and it brought back some memories for him. I’ll let him take it from here:
Did you see the new Patriots jersey Ebbets just came out with? They did an amazing job on this. But I think they made a mistake Phil, isn’t this a King Corcoran 1968 jersey? he did play two games for the Patriots that season and lost both of them😄 Actually when the Patriots signed him he asked for 15 because he wore it at Maryland. They gave him a used Parilli jersey and he was mad he didn’t get a new one?
Jimmy included the following photos of his dad from that season, and indeed the jersey looks very much like the one King was wearing in 1968 (with shorter sleeves, obviously):
He also appeared in a game wearing the gorgeous red jersey worn by the Pats that season:
He closed with this:
This picture of me is from 2010, this was one of the prop jerseys that NFL Films used for a movie about my father. Boy, after seeing Ebbets Field Flannels Patriots jersey, I’m glad I sold this one, yikes! not even close!
Just goes to show you the quality of the craftsmanship that goes into EFF products!
Thanks for sharing, Jimmy!
And I know Jimmer Vilk will have something to say about those Oilers unis…
More HOVG Cribs: Tim Jenkins
I’ve featured video a couple times on here from pal Shawn Anderson, who runs the Hall of Very Good website, and which has a “cribs” spinoff, as it were. These highlight sports memorabilia collections. Words cannot sufficiently explain the collection below. It’s just mind boggling — Tim resides in the Northwest and while he has an incredible amount of Pilots and Mariners memorabilia, it goes way way WAY beyond that. While it’s mostly baseball related, there are other sports featured as well. It’s probably more of a museum than some museums, and possibly the most impressive collection I’ve ever seen. He’s got everything from caps and pennants to bobbleheads, baseball cards, collectors items galore, and more. If you’re into this sort of thing, then this is for you. You will be blown away…
Purp Walk reminder: Paul here. May 17 — that’s Monday, two days from now — is the (15th!) anniversary of the very first post on this blog. By longstanding tradition, that means it will also be Purple Amnesty Day. A few things about that:
• Monday’s post will go live at (or about) midnight Eastern on Sunday night. It will include some special purple-centric content.
• As soon as the post goes live, the usual ban on purple-inclusive Uni Watch membership card orders will be lifted for 24 hours, so get those Vikings, Ravens, Rockies, and LSU orders ready!
• The post will include links where you’ll be able to order this year’s Purp Walk merchandise items. Those too will be available for 24 hours.
It’ll be excruciatingly loathsome! See you then.
Now back to Phil.
By Anthony Emerson
Baseball News: We may have seen this before, but just in case, here’s an advertisement featuring Luis Tiant in a pullover Yankees jersey, that of course was never worn on-field (from Steven Dodell). … The Athletic ranked each MLB team’s primary cap (from Nicklaus Wallmeyer). … The Atlantic League’s Southern Maryland Blue Crabs will wear these “Healthcare Heroes” unis during Opening Weekend (from Timmy Donahue). … The American Association’s Gary SouthShore RailCats will wear these…interesting jerseys on May 31 (thanks, Phil). … Looks like Yadi Molina changed gear (from camo to “regular” catchers gear) between innings last night (from JL and Eric Spoonmore).
NFL News: KC has revealed their rookie uni numbers (from David Streeter).
NBA News: New Heat C Ömer Yurtseven will wear No. 77 (from Etienne Catalan). … The Washington Mystics have announced their jersey schedule for this season (thanks, Phil).
Soccer News: Paris Saint-Germain have unveiled some pretty nice new home kits. Note that PSG’s kits are now carrying the Jordan logo, not Nike (from multiple readers). … Arsenal’s away kits have been unveiled (from multiple readers). … Italian side Parma have a special Black Lives Matter kit that will be worn for their next home game (from multiple readers). … Ligue 1’s Olympique de Marseille have unveiled their new home kits (from multiple readers). … German club Borussia Mönchengladbach have revealed their new home kits (from multiple readers). … Tottenham’s kit man put together an auction of over 100 shirts, including all the Premier League and EFL clubs and some from other sports, to raise money for charity and in memory of his father (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … New kits for FC BATE Borisov of Belarus (from Ed Żelaski). … Also from Ed: 2.Bundesliga side FC St. Pauli has unveiled their new road kits, which will make its on-field debut tomorrow. Instead of an advert, the kit will have the slogan “Kein Fussball den Faschisten” or “No Football for Fascists.” St. Pauli is world famous for their left-wing and antifascist club culture. … Former MMA fighter Connor McGregor shared an old photo of himself in a semblance of a Manchester United kit as a kid. “We hadn’t got the money for the real jersey and kit but that was never going to stop me!” he tweeted (from Artimus Naugin). … Some branding experts have thoughts on the Crew’s controversial new look (from Kary Klismet).
Grab Bag: Great Britain’s field hockey team has added two patches, one an NHS patch similar to the Premier League one, and the other the logo of the Stick it to Racism initiative (thanks, Jamie). … Gaming chat service Discord has updated its logo and colors (from @Bobb_O). … The Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s highway division in British Columbia has rebranded as the BC Highway Patrol (from Wade Heidt). … The Pensacola, Fl., Police Department has decided to remove the Confederate flag from their patch (from Kary Klismet). … The logo for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s first congressional campaign has served as an inspiration (NYT link) for other political logos throughout the country, and indeed the world (from our own Brinke Guthrie and Jason Criss). … New logo for Middlesex College (from Timmy Donahue).
Uni Tweet of the Day
Great look at the one-year wonder “Blue Jays” logo for the Phillies:
An press photo of the proposed new Phillies uniform had they incorporated the Blue Jays name officially. Either that or this is a very rare online concept from the design community of 1948 #phillies @ToddRadom pic.twitter.com/gfSbDjDNXf
— Phanatic (@19802008CHAMPS) May 14, 2021
And finally… that’s all for today. I hope everyone has had a good week! Have a great Saturday (and once again, Happy Armed Forces Day!), and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow.
GTGFTS: October 11, 1969. Game 1 of the World Series
For what it’s worth, the official White House Proclamation for Armed Forced Day listed the Space Force.
THERE! ARE! SIX! FORCES!
Comment of the day? Make it so!
Although the former president created the space force, branches of the
Military can only be Officially created by an act of Congress so we officially still only have 5 branches
Congress authorized the creation of Space Force as a sixth armed force on December 11, 2019. The then-president signed the bill creating Space Force on December 20. Space Force is exactly as fully established by law as the Air Force. Alas.
As a Timberwolves fan I love Dan Bodurtha’s uni concept! For those who don’t know, the loon it is based on has a red eye, so using red for the swoosh is clever.
Thanks Juian! Glad you saw that swoosh detail! Wasn’t sure how many would pick up on that.
My calendar says it is Peace Officers Memorial Day. Strange to be on the same day. “War” and Peace?
And I know Jimmer Vilk will have something to say about those Oilers unis…
2nd best Oilers era ever…right behind the glory days of ’72-’74.
Uni-wise, of course. Please don’t remind me of their win/loss percentage….
Absolutely love those Pats unis as well (aaaahhhh…sleeves…), BUT, I’d prefer that look with blue replacing red. Ever since someone here pointed out that red was more appropriate for a team called the Tories, I can’t justify going back to those. It would be almost as bad as giving the Chicago AL team a pass on their grossly inappropriate hosiery.
Reminds me…with the camo crap going on this weekend, shouldn’t Boston and Chicago rename themselves as the Camo Sox?
I don’t accept the idea that the Pats’ uniforms are skeuomorphs of anybody’s military uniform. It’s just a good-looking uniform, and a reaction to the overuse of blue in the AFL and NFL.
11 Oct 1969.
Memorial Stadium, Baltimore.
Orioles 4, Mets 1.
World Series Game 1.
Cuellar over Seaver.
Who are the Pats playing in that first photo?
Houston Oilers…wearing, as mentioned above, their 2nd best uni.
According to the U.S. Dept. of Defense, “The Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force and Coast Guard are the armed forces of the United States. The Army National Guard and the Air National Guard are reserve components of their services and operate in part under state authority.(defense.gov).”
That should clear things up.
I forgot that the Coast Guard was part of the military, having been part of the Department of Transportation. However from this description it sounds like they always were part of the military. The Coast Guard does not fall under the Defense Department. Until recently, the Coast Guard was under the Department of Transportation. Recent legislation has moved the Coast Guard to the Department of Homeland Security.
However, the Coast Guard is considered a military service, because, during times of war or conflict, the president of the United States can transfer any or all assets of the Coast Guard to the Department of the Navy.”
It would be more interesting if for Armed Forces weekend, instead of using camouflage they created baseball-ready versions of the various dress uniforms worn by service members. A game with one team wearing the Navy whites vs the Marine Corp dress blues would be pretty cool. Maybe throw in some historical versions for variety.
Might be more *interesting*, but it might be more *appropriate* if they just wore their regular unis with a patch on them instead.
Which their doing on Memorial Day.
Agreed, I wasn’t been serious but I figured as long as MLB was going to muck up their uniforms with camo they might as well take it a step further.
Although *comical* might be the ultimate result.
I like the Camo.
I hate the camo uniforms, I hate the camouflage caps.
Well, in MLB’s defense, they’ve moved away from actual camo on the unis (at least for Armed Forces Weekend). But the caps and socks persist.
I understand. To me it’s just a cash grab. MLB owners should give the money from the gate ( tax write off) for the weekend
I showed this article to my Mother and she filled me in a little more. My father signed with the Patriots in late 1968, and they gave him a Parilli jersey from 1967 and just sewed Corcoran on the back. He was unhappy about this because he wanted a brand new jersey, he said the ones they gave him were beat up and the stitching was coming apart. I know this sounds ridiculous considering the game is what is important, but my father always had a chip on his shoulder and it would come of in ways you wouldn’t expect like with his football jerseys. He fought with the Jets about 7, with the Patriots about Parilli’s hand me down, with the Eagles about getting 7 and had a big blowout with the Montreal Allouetts about getting number 10? I’m not sure it was really about the jerseys or the number he got, and was more about he thought they saw him as a minor league QB.
Major, minor…either way, he was a professional quarterback.
Very few people can say that.
The King would have liked you Mr Vilk! Just like in the movie Bull Durham, Crash Davis was a career minor leaguer. On a bus ride he would tell the other guys he made it to the show once, and that you hit white balls in batting practice and some one else carries your luggage.
That was the expectation my father had when he got to the AFL and the NFL. He thought he would get a brand new jersey with those teams and he would pick the number because this was the big time. And when he got a used jersey he felt like he was still a minor leaguer. Out of all the teams he played on in a ten year career I can only think of two teams where he got a brand new jersey, the Norfolk Neptunes in 1971 and the Philadelphia Bell in 1974 and he loved both jerseys. He thought it was the greatest thing in the world when they were issued to him.
GTGFTS–Great photo! I grew up just down the street from Memorial Stadium and was a kid during this Series. If you look beyond the parking lot you see the chain-link fence that surrounded the parking lot. If you stood at the base of that fence (even as a little kid) you could see from 2nd base in. If you climbed up and sat at the top of the fence you could see about half of the outfield in.
Please don’t forget….
Peace Officers Memorial Day
In 1962, President Kennedy issued the first proclamation for Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week to remember and honor law enforcement officers for their service and sacrifices. Peace Officers Memorial Day, which every year falls on May 15, specifically honors law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty.