Skip to content

Some Excellent Uni-Related Flea Market Finds

For all photos, click to enlarge

Some friends and I spent our Saturday at a New Jersey flea market, where I saw some cool uni-related items, a few of which I purchased. Let’s start with this December 1946 issue of Sport magazine, which I snapped up simply because I love that cover photo of Rams halfback Tom Harmon and also love how the blue drop shadow on the yellow magazine title mimics Harmon’s uniform. Very, very nice.

You’d never know it from the photo, but Harmon was only 27 when that issue of Sport came out. But as we’ve discussed before, this was during the period when athletes looked like your next-door neighbor’s dad.

The cover article provides another image from the same photo shoot. Turns out that NFL halfbacks were allowed to wear numbers in the 90s in those days:

I love that yellow jersey with the blue yoke. Interestingly, the Gridiron Uniform Database says the Rams wore that jersey in 1944 and ’45, but not in ’46 — but Harmon didn’t join the Rams until ’46, so something doesn’t add up here. Obviously, this isn’t a game photo and thus isn’t dispositive, but I alerted GUD research Bill Schaefer, just in case. He responded, “Pretty typical to keep old jerseys/pants around for practice and whatnot. This is likely a case of ‘whatnot.’”

Meanwhile, wondering why Harmon’s helmet didn’t have any horns? The Rams wouldn’t start wearing those until 1948.

That issue of Sport had tons of other cool pics. For example:

• I love this shot of Oregon State’s two-tone hoops uni:

• That same article had some shots of a sleeved UNC jersey (attention James Gilbert!) and two-tone uniforms for NYU and Kentucky (although I think the latter is probably just a practice uni):

• Love this montage featuring Eagles running back Steve Van Buren, especially the texture in the collar and the numerals. Also, note that the main photo is described as a “SPORTrait”:

• Sport routinely ran at least one article per issue about women’s sports during this era. It was mainly just cringe-inducing eye candy, but this shot of a women’s hockey game shows some outstanding sweaters, despite the caption’s unfortunate reference to “ice-lovelies”:

• Speaking of hockey, this shot of a color-vs.-color Canadiens/Rangers game (part of an article about goons, although they’re more politely described as “policemen” and “bouncers”) shows how little those two teams’ uniforms have changed over the past 75 years:

• I’ve seen this photo of Packers wideout Don Hutson and coach Curly Lambeau before (among other things, it’s the header image for Chance Michaels’s wonderful The Wearing of the Green (and Gold) site), but it’s fun to see it in a magazine:

• Here’s a nice little showcase on the Bears. I love how the top two pics are clearly identifiable as the inspiration for the team’s “Monsters of the Midway” throwbacks, and how the multi-colored sleeve stripes on the lower photo feel so Bears-like because they still wear that striping on their white jerseys today:

• Interestingly, this issue came out shortly before Jackie Robinson’s first spring training. The editors had some things to say about that at the end of the issue:

• I also purchased a copy of the March 1947 issue. The cover wasn’t as spectacular, but I figured there’d be some fun stuff inside:

• Here’s a photo from the cover article about Kentucky basketball. I like the uni numbers on the shorts:

• Speaking of numbers in unusual places, check out the sleeves of these Arkansas warm-up jackets:

• Oh man, I love this old Montreal Canadiens shot. Check out the texture in those socks! This is from the brief period — 1944-47 — when their white jerseys had the blue stripe, just like the red jersey:

• Here’s another hockey shot, this time of two AHL teams. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tape job quite like the one worn by the guy in the white uni:

• Here’s the requisite eye candy shot, this time for a table tennis player. I’m including it because her belt appears to have two buckles! Dig:

• Sport also published fiction from time to time. I’m including a shot of this golf story mainly because I like the title so much — “Gooseflesh ’Round the Heart” (note the proper apostrophe!). Cool illustration, too:

• We’ve all seen NOBs, but these Long Island University cheerleaders have NOFs:


That’s a lot of content from two old magazines, right? Not bad!

Here are a few other uni-related items I saw but didn’t purchase:

• Love the jerseys, striped socks, and “C” inconsistencies in this basketball team portrait from 1913:

• Here’s one of the more puzzling magazine cover-photo choices you’ll ever see, but it does offer the rare sight of Henry Aaron with FIOB:

• Love this 1968 offer in which fans could send proofs of purchase from frozen vegetables in order to get personal checks, in very small amounts, from NFL players Roman Gabriel, Gale Sayers, and Jim Grabowski. Did people actually cash these checks? Does anyone still have them after all these years? Also of note: “Birds Eye Vegetables are the official Training Table Vegetables of the National Football League”:


Finally, I also purchased one non-uni-related item: an unopened, fairly pristine can of Wizard Dri-Cube — essentially a can of water (although I think there may be some other chemical mixed in):

This was an early version of a freezer pack — you’d keep it in your deep freeze and then take it out and put it in your cooler (or picnic basket, or whatever) when going on an outing. Then you’d put it back in the freezer.

What a gorgeous package design! And I particularly love the first thing listed under “Directions”:

This fine item is already on display among the other attractive consumer curiosities here at Uni Watch HQ. Some quick research reveals that there was also a smaller, lower-priced size, as well as at least two competing products:

Hmmmm — this may necessitate the start of a new collection.

• • • • •

• • • • •

MLB expands Clemente Day plans: Today is the 2021 edition of Roberto Clemente Day. Last year, for the first time, MLB allowed Clemente’s No. 21 to be worn by players of Puerto Rican descent, by some of that year’s Clemente Award nominees, and by the entire Pirates team (plus there were memorial patches, Clemente-themed footwear, and more — full details here). All of that will be repeated this year, plus they’ve expanded the celebration a bit, as follows:

• All 30 of the 2021 Clemente Award nominees — not just some of them, like last year — will wear No. 21. You can see the 30 nominees listed here. (In some cases, this will lead to some uni-numerical oddities. For example, no Red Sox player has worn No. 21 since Roger Clemens in 1996.)

• In addition, the seven past Clemente Award winners who are still active — Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright, Mets pitcher Carlos Carrasco, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo, Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen, Dodgers first baseman Albert Pujols, and Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw — will also wear No. 21. (Molina would have been wearing No. 21 anyway, as he is from Puerto Rico.)

• In addition, any player can request to wear No. 21 this year, as long as the request was submitted early enough for the team to create a jersey for him. (It’s not clear, at least to me, when players were informed of this option.)

• In the past, Clemente Day has been an annual September celebration but has not had a fixed date. (Last year, for example, it was Sept. 9.) Going forward, however, it will always be on Sept. 15 — which, whether by coincidence or design, is exactly five months after Jackie Robinson Day, which takes place annual on April 15. (Uni Watch proofreader Jerry Wolper points out that it’s also the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month.)

• • • • •

• • • • •

“What’s It Worth?” reminder: In case you missed it on Tuesday: Over the past few years I’ve run a few promotions in which Uni Watch readers were invited to submit items of memorabilia for appraisal by Grey Flannel Auctions at no charge and with no obligation, sort of like an online version of Antiques Roadshow. Lots of readers submitted photos and descriptions of their items, and some took the extra step of consigning their items with GFA and selling them for a pretty penny. Items from Uni Watch readers included this Aaron Rodgers jersey (which sold for over $25,000!), this Tom Glavine jersey ($3,723), this Rick Honeycutt jersey ($1,504), and this Jose Cruz jersey ($722).

So now we’re going to do it again. Here’s some quick background: Over the years I’ve developed a good relationship with GFA’s director of operations, Michael Russek (that’s him at right), who periodically advertises here on Uni Watch. In an industry that can sometimes be a bit sketchy, Michael has always impressed me as a stand-up guy. Back in 2017, when my friends Sonya and Tony acquired an amazing 1905 Princeton football jersey at a flea market and asked me if I had any suggestions on how they could sell it, I sent them to Michael because I knew he’d treat them right, plus I knew GFA would reach the right audience to bring the best price for the jersey. (It ended up selling for over $50,000.)

Do you have some sports or pop culture memorabilia that you think might be valuable? Have you ever wondered how much it might actually be worth? Now’s your chance to find out. Here are the details:

1. Items that can be reviewed for appraisal include game-used and game-worn jerseys, bats, and equipment; vintage sports and historical autographs; championship jewelry, trophies, and awards; pre-1960 trading cards (for any sports); and entertainment, rock ’n’ roll, political, Americana, and historical memorabilia.

2. For each item, please provide several photos (front, back, tagging, maker’s mark) and a detailed description regarding the item’s condition and provenance.

3. Also include your name, phone number, and email address.

4. GFA only handles items with a perceived value of at least $250. If your item doesn’t meet that threshold, you may get a response indicating that the item doesn’t fit the parameters for a GFA appraisal.

5. Full disclosure: If you end up consigning an item to GFA and the item sells, Uni Watch will get a cut of GFA’s fee. (And in case you’re wondering, I did not receive anything for the 1905 Princeton jersey. That referral was just a favor I did for my friends.)

Okay, ready to see what your treasures are worth? Email your photos and descriptions to GFA. You’ll get a response within a week.

Have fun with it, people. We’re excited to see the treasures you share with us.

• • • • •

• • • • •

ITEM! Bobble-pin flash sale: By now you probably know that our September pin is a football bobblehead design — and it really bobbles!

I don’t mind saying that this is one of my three favorite pins we’ve ever done (the other two being last year’s baseball bobblehead design and this year’s table hockey pin), and I’d like to see the sales pick up a bit more. So for the rest of this week, you can save 20% on this pin — and on everything else I sell on Teespring — by using the checkout code BOBBLE20.

This pin was produced in a numbered edition of 300; as of this morning, there were fewer than 140 remaining. It’s available here.

My thanks, as always, for considering our products.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Uni Watch Screening Room: If you enjoyed my recent account of how I briefly was led to believe that the one valuable piece of art that I own might actually be a fake, then you’ll definitely enjoy The Lost Leonardo, a documentary that explores how a painting purchased from a New Orleans warehouse for $1,175 ended up taking the art world by storm and ultimately selling for $445 million — by far the highest price ever paid for a painting — because it may (or may not) have been painted by Leonardo da Vinci. I saw it last night and it’s really, really good — funny, engrossing, absurdist, full of twists and turns, and ultimately a sad commentary on the state of, well, everything. (I’m apparently not the only one who likes it.)

The good news is that it’s currently playing here in NYC at Film Forum; the bad news is that it’s only showing at 6:10pm, and only for two more days, and I’ve read that it won’t hit streaming services until next April. See it if you can — highly recommended.

• • • • •

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball News: New logo for the Quad City River Bandits, affiliate of the Royals (from Brett Ommen). … Blue Jays P Robbie Ray doesn’t like the club’s powder blues (from our own Phil Hecken). … Speaking of the Blue Jays, they’re the latest MLB team to keep game balls in a humidor. … Padres P Ross Detwiler will wear No. 45 with his new club (from Josh Claywell). … Philadelphia’s ABC affiliate confused the Phillies with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles (from @PhillyPartTwo). … Cleveland exec Chris Antonetti provided a detailed account of how “Guardians” was chosen as the team’s new name.

NFL News: Cross-listed from the baseball section: Philadelphia’s ABC affiliate confused the Eagles with MLB’s Philadelphia Phillies (from @PhillyPartTwo). … A sportswriter thinks single-digit numbers should be reserved for the most prestigious players. … Remember this UConn helmet? A California high school is using that design template but with the Ravens’ alternate logo (from Ethan Kassel).

College/High School Football News: The following three items are from our own Phil Hecken: The Coast Guard revealed uniforms honoring the Pea Island Life-Saving Station. … With Mississippi State and Memphis facing off this weekend, here’s a look at the uni matchup history between them. … BFBS, including a neon chrome helmet, for USF this week. … Tulane teased a rear helmet decal commemorating the school’s three SEC championships. … Michigan’s mono-blue look last weekend had lots of critics (from Jojo Girard). … Cross-listed from the NFL section: Remember this UConn helmet? A California high school is using that design template but with the Baltimore Ravens’ alternate logo (from Ethan Kassel).

Hockey News: The Golden Knights will wear their gold alternates for about a third of their home games this seaosn (from our own Phil Hecken). … That same article also confirms that the Reverse Retro uniforms will not be worn this season. … The Avalanche’s road sweaters now have blue numbers (thanks to all who shared). … New masks for Kraken G Joey Daccord and Maple Leafs G Petr Mrazek (both from Wade Heidt). … Kraken F Calle Jarnkrok is still practicing in his Predators gloves (from Taylor Crabtree).

Basketball News: Celtics PG Dennis Schroder is letting fans pick his jersey number (from our own Phil Hecken). … Reader Etienne Catalan has the latest NBA uni number developments. … Californians who voted in Tuesday’s gubernatorial recall at the Warriors’ home arena received an “I Voted” sticker inspired by the Warriors’ original Golden State logo (from Chelsea Poe).

Soccer News: Inter Miami will unveil their shirt ad today (from our own Phil Hecken). … Ajax was forced to remove the “three little birds” on their Bob Marley-inspired kit as it breaks UEFA regulations, which stipulate that there can be no other symbols on a shirt except ads and official club logos (from Mark Coale). … New crest for Motherwell FC of the Scottish Premiership. … Virginia’s men’s team wore their new grey shirts with white shorts and socks last night (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … With the FIFA Futsal World Cup kicking off last Sunday, Germán Cabrejo notes that Joma outfits Spain’s national futsal team, despite Adidas outfitting the country’s national soccer teams.

Grab Bag: Boston College field hockey wore red bandana sock-bands last weekend (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Adidas has released a James Bond collection (from our own Brinke Guthrie). … In honor of an Apple-related event yesterday, Twitter turned its “Like” icon into an Apple logo. … NASCAR is planning a 2022 event at the LA Coliseum (from Trevor Williams). … A NYC firefighter who was a first responder on 9/11 is distraught because a dry cleaner has lost his uniform. … Paint it black: The Rolling Stones will memorialize drummer Charlie Watts during their upcoming tour by changing their familiar lips/tongue logo from red to black.

• • • • •

Signal Flare: Mackenzie Woodard, if you’re reading this, please drop me a line. Thanks.

Happy Birthday to Baseball Hall of Fame curator and longtime Uni Watch pal Tom Shieber. Enjoy your special day, buddy!

Tzom kal to all who are observing Yom Kippur tonight. — Paul

Comments (39)

    Assuming H. Aaron was on the same team at the same time as his brother Tommie Aaron.

    Greatest stat ever: Greatest home run hitting brothers: Aarons, 768. Henry 755, Tommie 13.

    The Bengals are going white/white/black on Sunday (from our own Phil Hecken

    The tweet suggests white/black/black, as in white jerseys, black pants, black socks. I suppose considering the NFL does not allow different colored helmets from week to week, one can ignore the helmet color (as opposed to a college football uniform, where, um, you must add the helmet and can sort of ignore the sock color).

    “ For example, no Red Sox player has worn No. 21 since Roger Clemens in 1996.)”

    Unfortunately, the Sox nominee is starting pitcher Nate Eovaldi, who isn’t pitching tonight.

    CORRECTION: judging by the picture and text, the Bengals are going white (jersey), black (pants), black (socks). I always thought that the first slash was for helmet color, but in the 1-shell NFL, I guess that’s moot. For now.

    “I love this old Montreal Canadiens shot. Check out the texture in those socks! This is from the brief period — 1944-47 — when their white jerseys had the blue stripe, just like the red jersey”

    This uniform really should be the Canadiens’ regular alternate today.

    I am kind of disappointed in the Roberto Clemente number rules. I was really hoping to see all players wearing 21.

    I’m 41 from Miami, and I’ve heard of Steve Van Buren, but I had no idea what he looked like; now I know Steve Van Buren was a PoC.

    The logic hoops people had to jump through to convince themselves otherwise, for him to star at LSU, to be so accepted at that time. Convenient blindness.

    If a Clemente Award Nominee is currently in AAA, as is the case with Phillies’ nominee Alec Bohm, would he still wear #21 in the minors?

    I don’t know if anyone can confirm without a close-up of a toe pick, but it sure looks like the women’s hockey players are wearing figure skates. Also no shin guards (or any other pads except gloves, it would seem), even though it looks like #12 is about to give a nice tap to her opponent’s knee.

    I find it a bit amusing that Mrazek has the Hockey Hall of Fame on his mask. A little presumptuous, maybe?

    The Avs’ blue numbers are just jarring. I think if they had transitioned their black elements to navy blue instead, it would have been less jarring. But, as someone suggested on Twitter last night, maybe they’re putting a greater emphasis on their lighter Avs blue due to the similarity to the old Nordiques blue as a way of tying back to their Quebec roots. Given their Reverse Retro uniform last season, that would seem to make sense.

    Did anyone else notice that in the second photo of Tom Harmon and his wife, he is wearing his wedding ring while in uniform? Wonder if he really wore it of if this was just something for the photo shoot?

    The Clemente tribute is very cool, especially the Pirates photo. I’ve always wondered why Cleveland hasn’t done something like this for Larry Doby – everyone on the team in #14 on the anniversary of his debut.

    Amen. Does anyone believe that is was easier for Larry Doby in the American League because three months earlier Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Dodgers in the National League?

    I think it would make sense for everyone in the AL to do it, but not the NL, too. Using the same logic, how easy was it for the 3rd person of color to play in major league baseball? If our standard for determining who should get such a notable celebration is based on how much difficulty they faced, then you get into some really subjective territory. Something objective like being the first Black player in the league is worthy of official recognition.

    Love everything about today’s post, especially the graphics on that can of water. Being able to visit vintage shops and thrift shops again has been the closest thing to feeling back to normal for me.

    Sad about Inter Miami and their jersey advertisement. They had the cleanest look in all of soccer without it. I knew it wouldn’t last, which was why I tuned in so much. Great logo, great colors, now they’re essentially just like all the rest.

    Love the pictures, interesting to see how many of the football uniforms have yokes. Hockey and football uniforms appear to have shared that design element in that era. It generally got dropped from football uniforms over the years, but has stayed as a rather common design element with hockey.

    I’m no scientician, but I have a theory why young people looked old back in the day. Two reasons: 1) young people spent a lot more time outdoors, playing and working in the sun without wearing any sort of protection 2) many younger people smoked, which may have started premature aging.

    Combined with less refined diets, and health care – particularly preventative – which may not have been on par with what is available today.


    They may have looked older, and they certainly dressed better. I get a kick out of looking at the crowd of the AHL game Pittsburgh/St.Louis, all the men dressed in suit and tie, the women well dressed as well.

    Hard to believe Tom Harmon is 27 in that cover shot? I would guess late 30’s. If you watch the NFL Films Super Bowl 3 highlights some of the Colts look like they are in their mid 40’s. In 1972 I went to a Colts-Chargers game, my Father’s old coach Ron Waller was special teams coach with the Chargers. Before the game Ron Waller took me to John Hadl’s hotel room to meet him. When he opened the door I thought Ron was pulling a prank on me? I didn’t really know what Hadl looked like, but I pictured a young guy in the powder blue Chargers uniform throwing TD’s in the golden California sun light to Lance Alworth.
    When Hadl shook my hand he was balding, much shorter than I expected and had a bit of a beer belly? When we left the hotel I asked my father why he didn’t have any muscles. My Father said most QB’s don’t lift weights like I do Jimbo, The King had to because I was small in high school. Hadl was only two years older than my Father at the time.

    “NASCAR is planning a 2022 event at the LA Coliseum”

    On this one, Stupid outweighs Good by a lot.
    I don’t think bringing brand-spanking-new/unproven cars to race at slow speeds on a brand new flat surface at a gimmick venue will attract new fans or increase in-person attendance for NASCAR in Southern California. Oh, wait…that’s not the goal anymore, is it?

    Re BC wearing red bandanas. It’s in honor of Welles Crowther. A BC alumni, Crowther lost his life on 9/11 while rescuing people stuck in the south tower of the World Trade Center. He was remembered as the man in the “red bandana,” which Crowther used to help him breathe in the smoke. In the end he saved 18 people from the tower. More here:

    Speaking of MLS kits, Atlanta United wore their away kits at home tonight againdt FC Cincinnati, who wore orange shorts.

Comments are closed.