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Yesterday was Roberto Clemente Day across Major League Baseball — exactly five months after Jackie Robinson Day. But unlike Jackie Day, when everyone wears No. 42, only some uniformed personnel wore No. 21 and went NNOB yesterday: Puerto Rican players and some other Latin American players; past winners of the annual Roberto Clemente Award (those players have been wearing 21 on the back of their caps this season); this year’s Clemente Award nominees (you can see the list by scrolling down a bit on this page); and all members of the Pirates (which makes sense) and Mets (which doesn’t, but I’ll get to that in a minute).
Here are some notes from yesterday’s games:
The Rays made news by fielding the first all-Latino starting lineup in MLB history. All nine of those players, as well as the first and third base coaches, wore No. 21 (but other players, including starting pitcher Shane McLanahan, did not).
Most players wore a “21” patch in Pirates colors, as seen here on a Blue Jays player (the Mets and Pirates didn’t wear the patch, and a few random players didn’t seem to have it, but I couldn’t discern a rhyme or reason to it):
This year’s Clemente Award nominees wore a modified version of the patch (this photo is actually from a previous season, but I saw players wearing it yesterday as well):
Just like on 42ers on Jackie Day, 21ers had a mismatch between their jersey numbers and the numbers on their helmets and other gear.
The umpires also wore the 21 sleeve patches (and this photo also shows how the Astros’ Clemente patch had to share space with the team’s 60th anniversary patch):
Some teams put “21” on the back of the mound, as seen here in Miami:
It’s really weird that the Pirates, who were facing the Mets in New York, chose to wear their black road alternate jerseys for this game. I mean, you don’t have to break out a throwback vest, but you could at least wear your standard road greys, right? Nope:
It’s even weirder that MLB scheduled the Pirates for a road game on this date. That’s like scheduling the Blue Jays on the road for Canada Day. Seems really disrespectful.
Also seems kinda bogus that the Mets — the Pirates’ opponents last night — all wore No. 21. I don’t think any other team aside from Pittsburgh did that. This was a nationally televised game, so MLB clearly wanted to make a positive impression, but why let TV coverage drive a change in uniform protocol? Another “tail wagging the dog” situation. Also feels like yet another way to disrespect the Pirates, since the team-wide 21 treatment should be theirs and theirs alone.
Speaking of the Mets, shortstop Francisco Lindor, who is Puerto Rican, wore a Clemente message on his footwear:
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina went with a Clemente-themed mask:
I wouldn’t have predicted this, but that big, NNOB “21” trimmed in gold looked really solid on the Twins’ navy alternate jersey:
Were there any Clemente Day details I missed? If so, feel free to post them in today’s comments.
Very Easy on the Eyes
Gorgeous NFL game last night, as KC and Chargers squared off on KC’s new throwback field. Kinda wish KC had gone with throwback grey facemasks, but that’s a minor quibble. Lots of additional photos here.
ITEM! Another Bulletin Raffle
Reader Jim Flagg has generously donated funds for a one-year email subscription to my Bulletin articles, so I’m going to raffle that off today.
This will be a one-day raffle. No entry restrictions. To enter, send an email to the raffle in-box by 9pm Eastern tonight. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner on Monday. Big thanks to Jim for sponsoring this one!
ITEM! Tri-Blend Tees Now Available
I’ve always made our Uni Watch T-shirts available in 100% cotton, because I figured that’s what people prefer. But longtime reader/contributor Andrew Cosentino (he specializes in Ticker items about Virginia Tech and Baltimore) recently asked about getting some of our shirts in a tri-blend fabric, which he prefers. I was able to make those shirts available for him, and he says he’s very happy with the results (as shown above).
Does anyone else out there prefer tri-blend tees? If so, I can make them available, with one catch: Teespring’s tri-blend shirts come in only five colors — black, white, heathered grey, navy (which doesn’t apply to most of our shirts), and Carolina blue (ditto). So if you want one of our green shirts in tri-blend, there’s no way for me to do that — sorry.
But if you want one of our shirts in one those five tri-blend colors I just listed, I can set that up for you. Feel free to browse our shirt selection and then let me know which designs and colors you’d like to see in tri-blend and I’ll get crackin’.
We now have 290something Uni Watch Plus enrollees (thank you!). I’d like to get to at least 300 today, so I’m offering an enticement. Our 300th UW+ sign-up will receive the following prize package from me:
Four Uni Watch pins of your choice
A Uni Watch koozie
A Uni Watch trading card
A Uni Watch magnet
A set of four Uni Watch coasters
A small sheet of Uni Watch stickers
Prizes notwithstanding, we’d really like to keep growing the UW+ comm-uni-ty. So if you enjoy Uni Watch and have the means to help support it, I respectfully ask that you please consider joining UW+. (Want to learn more about UW+? Look here.)
Thanks for listening, and for your support of Uni Watch — it’s greatly appreciated.
Ask Me Anything’ Reminder
In case you missed it yesterday, this week’s Bulletin article is the latest installment in my “Ask Me Anything” series, where readers submit questions and I do my best to respond. This edition includes questions about squatchee colors on caps with contrasting front panels, NFL sleeves, how leaks can ruin a team’s marketing plans, the player I’d rep if I were forced to wear a jersey to a ballgame, the differences between the sports we do and don’t “play,” my least favorite foods, and more.
My Premium Subscribers can read the piece here. If you haven’t yet subscribed, you now have three ways to get on board:
In case you missed it on Wednesday, I’ve partnered with the cap brand Official League on a contest to design an unofficial USMNT cap for the upcoming World Cup. Full details here.
• • • • •
This is the part where I was going to say, “I’m visiting my mom today, so play nice while I’m away.” But it turns out I won’t be seeing her after all, because last night I tested positive — again. Can you fucking believe it?
Just like last time, my symptoms are very mild, thankfully. And Mary is testing negative so far, although we suspect that won’t last. This is actually way more stressful for her than for me, because she’s busy making preparations to move out in a few weeks, so being sick, or even being quarantined, would really complicate things for her. Sigh — life sure can be inconvenient sometimes.
Anyway: I’ll have at least one more blog post this morning (lots of NBA news), and of course I’ll get the Ticker published, and then I’ll probably knock off for the day. Stay safe, enjoy Phil’s weekend content, and I’ll see you back here on Monday. — Paul