When we started showcasing these “best player by uni number” graphics, I immediately thought of reader Loren Southard, who in 2019 created a set of uni-themed building blocks for his baby son (which later inspired readers Eric Wall and Judy Adams to create building block sets for their own children). The square-grid “best number” graphics looked a lot like sets of blocks!
So I wasn’t surprised when Loren — our original block-head — decided to get in on the “best number” fun. He’s an L.A. guy, so that’s the city he’s chosen for his graphic. He sent along the following note:
My choices for each number reflect my biases: Dodgers, Lakers, Rams, and UCLA first, other L.A. teams only when I had to. I also found that it was difficult to fill out the higher numbers because we didn’t have a football team here for 20 years, which created quite a gap.
- I love the variety of colors. Definitely one of the most attractive “best number” graphics we’ve had so far!
- Gotta love the double-decker FNOB for No. 85.
- At first I was confused by the No. 68 “Chicken Strip” choice. Then I realized that it’s a Dodgers jersey from Players Weekend.
- Is Kobe Bryant the first player to be represented twice in the same “best number” graphic? I think so!
- If you enlarge the graphic and look closely, you can see that Loren included nameplate outlines for the NFL jerseys. I think he’s the first “best number” designer to include that detail.
- I’m still a bit uncomfortable with the use of NOBs for players from the pre-NOB era, but it seems to be the choice that most of the designers are making.
- The Vin Scully square is a nice touch.
Speaking of a nice touch, Loren made a printout of his graphic, framed it, and hung it in his son’s room. “It’s already helping him learn his numbers,” he says.
As for the player choices, I’ll let the rest of you quibble about that. Have fun!