Hello! As many of you are already aware, today is the 16th anniversary of the very first post on this website (not to be confused with the very first Uni Watch column, the 23rd anniversary of which is coming up next week). By longstanding tradition, that means today is also Purple Amnesty Day — the one day of the year when I grudgingly acknowledge the world’s most accursed color.
The usual ban on purple-inclusive Uni Watch membership cards has been lifted until midnight Eastern tonight (you can order yours here), plus we have some special purple content and merchandise today (I’ll get to those in a minute). Meanwhile, if you’re posting any purple content on social media today, feel free to use the hashtag #PurpWalk2022 so we can all see what you’re up to.
Some quick historical background: The idea for Purple Amnesty Day came from reader Tim Cox, who lives in Denver and is a big Rockies fan. On the blog’s fourth birthday — May 17, 2010, 12 years ago today — Tim posted the following comment:
Congrats on 4 entertaining years, Paul & company. I’m a daily reader but not a member because I can’t do a Rockies membership card without purple. The 4th anniversary seems like the perfect occasion to grant amnesty to all the Rockies, Vikings, LSU, Northwestern, etc. fans out there.
I then responded:
[Y]our idea for a one-day purple amnesty program is a good one. If anyone wants to sign up for a purple-inclusive membership card, today — and only today — I will honor all such requests!
And just like that — very informally — Purple Amnesty Day was born. It has continued to evolve since then:
• A few years later, in 2015, membership card designer Scott M.X. Turner came up with the ingenious slang term “Purp Walk.”
• 2015 is also when designer Bryan Molloy and I began collaborating on Purple Amnesty Day merchandise (all available for only 24 hours, of course).
• I believe 2015 was also the first year that I changed all of the website’s green elements to purple for the momentous day.
• In 2020, reader Kary Klismet — who, like Tim Cox, is a Denver-based Rockies fan — began what has become his annual habit of writing about teams that have worn mismatched shades of purple. (We’ll get to this year’s installment in a moment.)
• And today, for the first time, we will have a live Purp Walk event in Denver, featuring a gathering at the Blake Street Tavern and attending the Giants/Rockies game, where we’ll sit in the famous mile-high purple row of seats. I myself will be dressed in purple, from head to toe, for the festivities.
I love how the culture of the annual tradition has continued to grow and take on a life of its own. It’s now one of my favorite days on the Uni Watch calendar, even though I hate looking at all that purple!
Speaking of which: People sometimes say I have “purplephobia.” But as I always explain, that’s not accurate, because “phobia” means fear. Folks, I don’t fear purple; I loathe purple. If anything, purple should fear me.
People often ask why I detest purple so much. As I always explain, I think purple in nature is quite nice — violets, plums, eggplants, etc. But purple as a human-imposed design element almost always strikes me as tasteless and tacky. It’s the diva of colors, the Celine Dion of colors — loud, grandiose, never content to do just enough when it can do way too much. There’s a darn good reason why you rarely see a purple house or purple car. Now if we could just eradicate purple from the rest of the built environment. Grrrrr.
And what’s worse than a team wearing purple? A team wearing more than one shade of purple. Kary Klismet is here with his latest report on that unfortunate phenomenon. Take it away, Kary!
Rockies Horror Picture Show: Colorado’s History of Mismatched Purples
By Kary Klismet
For the previous two Purple Amnesty Days, I’ve looked at the Los Angeles Lakers’ notorious mismatched purple uniforms and how it was a fairly common phenomenon — not only for the Lakers, but around the NBA. With Paul attending a Colorado Rockies game for Purp Walk 2022, this seemed the perfect time to ask the key question: Has scourge of mismatched purples also affected the visual history of our national pastime? I see you shiver with antici… pation, so follow along to learn the answer.
Let’s start here: Only four MLB teams have worn purple as a main color. One of them, the 1998-2001 Tampa Bay Devil Rays, appears to have worn a consistent shade of purple across their various uni elements. Another, the 1913-17 New York Giants, is hard to assess because we have nothing to go by except Marc Okkonen’s mock-ups, so we’ll have to back-burner them for this discussion.
Moving on, let’s examine the 1998-2006 Arizona Diamondbacks. This was definitely a team that had a hard time maintaining the same shade of purple. You can see a small sampling of their violet violations here [for all photos, you can click to enlarge]:
But MLB’s undisputed champions of mismatched purple are the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies’ chromatic calamities have been so profound that they rival those of the Lakers.
The Rockies’ differing shades of purple date to the franchise’s earliest days. Photos from their debut season in 1993 show distinct shades being used on their pinstripes and cap logo [to be fair, I think many teams may have slightly mismatched pinstripes — Paul]:
The discrepancies became even more apparent when the team incorporated greater amounts of purple into its visual program in 2000. The cap logo was often visibly lighter than other purple elements:
Perhaps the most obvious mismatches involved the purple-brimmed road caps. The brim often didn’t match the cap logo and/or the alternate jersey:
And there’s more. For example, the purple of the sleeve patch hasn’t always matched the rest of the uniform:
Similarly, the MLB logo on the back of the jersey has sometimes appeared in a distinct shade of purple:
And we can all be thankful that these batting practice eyesores never saw game action:
The Rockies tried to address all these problems by brightening and standardizing their shade of purple. The move has largely been successful, with the cap now matching the jersey:
With this newfound commitment to color consistency, one would think the Rockies’ days as perpetrators of a plethora of purples would be behind them. But old habits die hard, as we saw with the team’s Players Weekend uniforms in 2017 and ’18:
Finally, there’s one last bit of mismatched purple yet to be corrected: the famous row of mile-high purple seats at the Rockies’ ballpark. When last I checked, the armrests had a different shade of purple than the seats:
Does this mismatch still exist? I intend to check on that tonight when Purp Walk makes the scene at the Rockies/Giants game. Stay tuned!
Click to enlarge
ITEM! 24-hour merch offerings: Designer Bryan Molloy has created a doozy of a T-shirt (shown above) for this year’s Purp Walk. As usual, it’s available for only 24 hours — you can order it here.
In addition, the great Pillbox Bat Co. has partnered with us to create a sensational purple Uni Watch baseball bat. Check this out:
The bat, like the T-shirt, is available for only 24 hours. You can order it here.
And of course, today is the one day of the year that you can order a purple-inclusive Uni Watch membership card. You can do that here.
Important: I usually try to acknowledge membership orders as they come in (“Got it — thanks for your order!”). But I’ll be very busy with Purp Walk activities in Denver today, and I also have a complicated day shaping up on Wednesday, which means I may not get back to everyone until Thursday or Friday. So if you place a membership order today and don’t hear back from me right away, please be patient — I promise that I will acknowledge every order (and will also go over any details that need to be confirmed, etc.), but I’m going to need a few days to get caught up. Thanks for understanding.
Sorry, no purple Uni Watch cap this year — supply-chain issues. We’ll bring it back next year.
Click to enlarge
By Brinke Guthrie
Today is Purple Amnesty Day, so Collectors Corner is on board with a full slate of purple items, beginning with this Vikings Sand Knit jersey for running back Dave Osborn. A beauty!
Now for the rest of this week’s purple picks:
• Another great Vikes player from the 1960s was defensive back Karl Kassulke. Such a terrific name, period-immortalized on this “Karl Kassulke Kickoff” button.
• Minnesota fans will always know how long it it ’til kickoff with this great Vikings helmet clock.
• You just don’t get more purple than this Colorado Rockies windbreaker from DeLong.
• And for the Colorado fan who wants to get a bit more formal, we offer this Rockies necktie.
• Got a nice-looking Los Angeles Lakers Starter sweater here. What I particularly like about this is the NBA logo matched with the Starter logo on the cuff.
• More Lakers! How about these quarter-length purple socks?
• The great Pete Maravich sported this purple New Orleans Jazz jersey.
• Kids, before the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings went with the silver/black in the late 1980s, they wore purple/yellow, as shown on this 1970s jersey for Don Kozak, No. 24.
• If you think the Toronto Raptors’ original “Barney” uniform was garish, check out these shorts with the dinosaur sublimated across the entire garment!
• And finally, we have one non-purple item on the menu today: this Blake Street Tavern cap, because that’s the location for today’s Uni Watch event!
IMPORTANT Father’s Day deadline: Sorry to intrude with some non-purple news, but the folks at the Pillbox Bat Co. tell me that if you want one of the custom-painted Uni Watch bats in time for Father’s Day, you must get your order in by next Monday, May 23, so I wanted to pass that info along.
By Alex Hider
Baseball News: It seems like the Cardinals are using a strange version of their alternate logo on their press conference backdrop. Instead of using their normal solo bird-on-bat alt logo, the version on the backdrop appears to be a wordmark version but with the lettering removed (from @Cards_PINdejo). … With the White Sox calling up P Johnny Cueto, 3B coach Joe McEwing is switching to No. 99 so Cueto can have his longtime number, 47 (from Cameron). … Speaking of Cueto, he cut his hair! … Pirates P Bryse Wilson faced off with Cubs C Willson Contreras yesterday, meaning Contreras’s full name was allllmost visible on the scorebug during his at bat (from @JeepinBen). … This tweet from the Diamondbacks raised eyebrows yesterday, as it appeared that the team was planning to wear white pants on the road in LA this week. The team later clarified that they would be wearing grey and the inclusion of white pants was an issue with the team’s graphics template (from @aetk28). … This blog offers a look at Rockies uniforms that have since been mothballed (from Kary Klismet). … With Pennsylvania holding its primary elections today, CNN anchor and noted Philly sports fan Jake Tapper ran through an election night rehearsal yesterday while wearing a Phillies Pete Rose throwback jersey (from John Muir). … Both the Frisco RoughRiders and the Tulsa Drillers wore Negro Leagues throwbacks over the weekend (from @txmitch_). … In an apparent reference to the fantastic Netflix sketch show I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, a Yale baseball player was recently spotted celebrating on the field in a fedora with safari flaps (it’s not a distraction).
Football News: The 49ers have unveiled the number assignments for their new rookie players (from Brinke). … The CFL’s Edmonton Elks will unveil new uniforms on Friday (thanks to all who shared). … Here’s a look at Iowa’s helmet designs through the years (from Phil). … Here’s a blog that digs into football’s early days, when coaches wore the same style pants as their players (from @FoFStrife).
Hockey News: Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’amour’s son, Skyler, plays college hockey at Quinnipiac University, which explains why the elder Brind’amour was spotted the wearing Quinnipiac skate guards the other day (from Jerry Pemberton). … Michigan has unveiled a 100th-anniversary center-ice logo (thanks to all who shared).
Basketball News: After the Suns lost in Game 7 Sunday, the team tweeted out a letter to fans. But they quickly had to delete and re-issue the letter because they misspelled an advertiser’s name (from Timmy Donahue).
Soccer News: When PSG MF Idrissa Gueye missed Saturday’s match, coach Mauricio Pochettino said it was for “personal reasons.” Now it turns out that he didn’t want to wear the rainbow numbers that the team was wearing to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (from Phil). … Three Burnley fans were arrested on Sunday after allegedly displaying a Nazi salute during the team’s match against Tottenham (from @walbergLines). … Top-level Dutch club SBV Vitesse will have new home kits in 2022-23 (from Kary Klismet). … New match ball for the J-League (from Ed Zelaski).
Grab Bag: Tiger Woods missed a belt loop yesterday and had to fix his mistake while playing a practice round (from Ted Taylor). … A new gadget called CapSpot turns a car’s sun visor into a place to store a ball cap (from Jon Vieira). … Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver featured an appearance by Reddy Killowatt, the mascot Paul featured in a post a few years ago. … Pennant-philes will sure have a ball checking out the College Sailing Team Race National Championship scoreboard website (from Shawn Hairston). … A rugby fan went all-out on this deep dive into the numbers behind player sock height in Australia and New Zealand’s National Rugby League (from @LeagueEyeTest). … Here’s an article about Italian cycling team Drone Hopper–Androni Giocattoli and the 38(!) companies that have purchased ads on their uniforms (from Mark Smith).
By the time most of you read this, I’ll be on my way to Denver. If the WiFi on my flight is good, I’ll try to process membership orders as they come in. (Again, if I don’t acknowledge your order today, don’t worry — I’ll get to it later this week, promise!)
Our party at the Blake Street Tavern will begin at 4:30pm. If you pre-ordered a shirt and/or won free tickets to the Rockies game, you can claim your shirts/tix at the party. I’m excited to meet all of you!
Because of the time difference, tomorrow’s post may be published a bit later than usual. Also, considering how busy I’m going to be today and tonight, I’m not sure how much of a Purp Walk party report I’ll be able to put together for tomorrow morning. But I’ll definitely have at least few photos to share with you (assuming I survive the ordeal of being dressed in all-purple), and then I’ll try to put together a more complete report later in the week.
One last thing: The unsung hero of all of this is reader Tim Cox. As noted at the top of today’s entry, he’s the one who came up with the idea for Purple Amnesty Day back in 2010, and he’s also the one who urged me to do a Purp Walk event connected to a Rockies game in Denver. He’s also done all sorts of behind-the-scenes work and been extremely generous in various other ways. Thanks so much, Tim — you’re the best.
That’s it. Happy Purp Walk 2022! — Paul