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Vintage Wallpaper Story Has Very Happy Ending for All Concerned

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Before we get started, I want to mention right up top that today is the last day before I begin my annual August break from the blog. I’ll still be publishing over on Bulletin (I have something really good planned for next week!), and I may pop up here on the blog occasionally (I’ll be pinch-Tickering for birthday boy Alex Hider next Tuesday, for example), but for the most part Uni Watch will be in Phil’s capable hands. Also: We won’t have weekend content for the next month or so. Think of it as summer hours.

Now then: Last October I ran an item about how reader Kenton Bontrager was auctioning off a section of beautiful late-1970s MLB wallpaper that his father had found. He could have put it on eBay, but he wanted it to go to a Uni Watch reader, so I promoted a simple blind auction for him. (If you don’t recall the details — I didn’t recall all of them myself — you can refresh your memory here.)

Today we have a fantastic update on that story from reader Aaron Telecky. I’ll pass the baton to him now.

The Best Wallpaper Story Ever

By Aaron Telecky

I literally gasped when I saw that post about the wallpaper, as my brother, Kyle, and I had that same wallpaper in our bedroom while growing up (in a house my parents moved out of years ago). I’d actually searched the internet a couple of times to see if I could still find it anywhere, but I always came up empty.

The wallpaper was expensive enough back in the day that my parents put it on only one wall in our room. Despite the limited exposure, I’m certain that the wallpaper is was where my love for uni-watching began. As a kid growing up in Iowa in the early 1980s (and without cable TV), my awareness of team logos was mostly limited to a few minutes’ worth of highlights on the local news or in the newspaper, which was almost always limited to Cubs and Cardinals coverage. The wallpaper opened up a new visual world to me.

So when I saw your post, I immediately forwarded it to my brother, whose reaction was just like mine. I told him that I was going to bid on the wallpaper, as I just had to have it. But after a bit of back and forth with Kenton (the guy who was running the auction), he told me I had been outbid. I was bummed but figured I’d given it a shot and that was that.

Or that’s what I thought. But when my 50th birthday rolled around about a month later, the final gift I opened was a long cardboard box from my brother — containing that roll of Kenton’s wallpaper! Turns out my brother was the winning bidder, something that he and Kenton had kept to themselves until my birthday. A great gift, and an even better story!

Fast forward to last week: My brother’s birthday came up, and my wife and I presented him with a section of that wallpaper mounted on canvas to display in his home. (We also made one for our own home.) The mounting wasn’t perfect, but that doesn’t really matter to either of us. We’re just thrilled to have this memorable, uni-centric piece of our childhood to keep, thanks to you, Kenton, and the Uni Watch comm-uni-ty!

Uni Watch reader Aaron Telecky (left) and his brother, Kyle, with their respective sections of canvas-mounted vintage MLB wallpaper.


Paul here. Is that an awesome story or what? I love so many things about it. Thanks so much to Aaron for sharing it with us.


Bulletin Reminder

In case you missed it on Thursday, my latest Bulletin article is an in-depth interview with Giants creative services director Doug Murphy, who handles the team’s uniforms, field and stadium graphics, ticket design, patch/decal design, and more.

I don’t mind saying that this is one of the best, most informative interviews I’ve ever done (mainly because of Murphy, not because of anything I did). If you’re a Giants fan, it’s essential reading; for everyone else, well, it’s still essential reading, because Murphy provides so much great info. I really think everyone will like this one.

My Premium Subscribers can read the article here. If you haven’t yet subscribed, you can do that here (you’ll need a Facebook account in order to pay). Don’t have or want a Facebook account? Email me for workaround info. Thanks!


Thank You, and Looking Ahead

I want to thank everyone in our comm-uni-ty for your feedback on the new site design. Our goal was to get it rolled out in mid-July so we could all get used to it for a few weeks before I hand off the site to Phil in August, and that has worked out nicely. Most of the feedback from you folks has been very positive and enthusiastic, but you’ve also made some good suggestions, so we have a to-do list that we’ll be working on in August.

When I come back on Sept. 1, we hope to roll out Uni Watch Plus, the program where you’ll be able to view the site without ads, along with other benefits (including access to a member-exclusive discussion forum), in return for a set fee. Many of you have asked if UW+ can be bundled with a Bulletin subscription, and we hope to be able to offer that as well. Good timing, too, as my annual NFL Season Preview will be running on Bulletin on Sept. 5 — two days before the start of the season.

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Today’s Ticker is available here.

I may have more content today, or maybe not. Either way, today will be my last blogging day until September (and, just to repeat, we won’t have weekend content until September either). Have a great August, and enjoy Phil’s content while I’m away! Peace. — Paul

Comments (22)

    Awesome stuff! Just looking at logo history it looks like that wallpaper is from the 1978 season. The Mariners debuted in ’77, the Brewers switched to their iconic ball in glove logo in ’78, and the Indians switched up their logo in ’79

    Upon closer look, might be a hybrid ’78-’79, since the wallpaper has the new ’79 Cubs logo.

    Aaron here… Right before we mounted it on the canvas I found a date stamp on the back of the wallpaper saying it was from 1979. Good detective work out of you!

    Fantastic story, and pretty decent brother.

    I don’t see a Blue Jays logo in any of the photos. Curious if they’re the only team missing, or are there others?

    The Blue Jays are the only missing logo. Why? I could never figure that out. It’s not a Canadian team issue because the Expos logo is shown. Perhaps is was a licensing issue with just the Jays.

    What a nice series of events to read about this morning!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Especially like the custom(?) Uni Watch T shirt Aaron is wearing…dig the Flourished W.
    Enjoy your summertime sabbatical, Paul!

    Great story! A Festivus Miracle.

    PL, what’s on the vacay docket?

    One of the things I love about this new format, is being able to send someone an article without it being lost, or having to explain the what and where. Kudos on the site redesign.

    Have a great UNI-vacation, Paul. Looking forward to some travelogs on Facebook if you happen to do them. Thanks for all you do

    Very cool story! I hope the canvases are enjoyed for many years to come!

    Love the site redesign. So clean. And I like multiple shorter posts a day.

    Very much looking forward to Uni Watch Plus, especially the forum.

    What a great story. Cool that it ended up this way.
    When the initial article & auction came out I was interested because I also actually remembered this wallpaper. I’m roughly the same age as Aaron & I too remember getting to choose my bedroom wallpaper at about the age of 8. I had viewed this design, I believe I had a sample (along with a similar design for the NBA logos). While I really liked the 2 official league logo options, to go along with my NFL logo bedsheets. Ultimately we went with a more generic sports print. I’m sure partially because the licensed options were more expensive.
    Aaron & Kyle were luckier than me twice :)

    Found ‘em, holy crap good eye!
    Their logo looks like a yellow poker chip.
    I’m so used to the Mariners having dark colors. Makes this so puzzling why the Blue Jays were not included

    I mentioned this once in a ticker.

    The new design is great, my only suggestion is to put the time each new story is published / posted. Most news services do it.

    Not sure if anyone is monitoring the comments over the weekend, but I’ve been trying to catch up from the last month or so (lots more clicks with the new design) and when I’m on the home page and try to get to the older posts, I can’t get everything.

    Currently, the last post (before Tickers) on the homepage is GTGFTS from the 24th. I click on the “All Posts” button below the tickers and see a page that shows me everything up until the Spurs Alternate post on the 25th. Clicking on “Older Posts” from there takes me to Page 2, as indicated in the url, but the first post I see is the Giants Throwback unveiling post on the 20th. I’m missing everything in between.

    With the redesign, I know there were a bunch of posts while I was away and I’d like to read them at some point. Overall I like the new design, other than this small hiccup.

Comments are closed.