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Uni Watch Gets Nice Shout-Out During White Sox Broadcast

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Uni Watch got a nice shout-out from White Sox play-by-play broadcaster Jason Benetti during the team’s game in Houston on Sunday. It occurred during the bottom of the sixth, when the camera lingered on a fan wearing a space helmet (shown above), prompting Benetti and color commentator Steve Stone to engage in the following discussion:

Jason Benetti: Well, the space program is well-represented here today. That looks conspicuously like a logo that never happened for the Astros. Our friend Paul Lukas over at Uni Watch — he runs a website called Uni Watch, it’s all about uniforms, [White Sox radio broadcaster] Len Kasper loves it — Paul’s a great guy, studies uniforms and uniform history.

So the Astros, when they first got the name after [being] the Colt .45s, had a couple of logos that were left on the drawing board that are actually pretty cool and might have stuck with the opportunity to see the light of day. And somehow Paul got his hands on these logos, and one of them actually looks like the fan in the in the space helmet over there. There’s also one that’s got a guy that looks quite like Mr. Spacely from The Jetsons.

Steve Stone: Spacely Sprockets?

Benetti: Yeah. And Cogswell Cogs. Always have to have a rival in the script. Now here are those logo renderings. This is courtesy of [Screen shows two of the prototype Astros logos that I wrote about in 2021.]

Benetti: The one on the left, it looks very Hanna-Barbera-ish.

Stone: Very much so.

Benetti: The one on the right I think probably would have stuck, don’t you?

Stone: No.

Benetti:  Really?

Stone: Uh-uh.

Benetti: But there are people wearing space helmets at the game!

Stone: Well, that’s true.


And that’s where it ended.

A bit of backstory here: Benetti and Kasper have a podcast called Sox Degrees (or at least they used to — there hasn’t been a new episode since last August). I appeared as the featured guest for an episode in July 2021, and it was one of the most enjoyable media appearances I’ve ever done. Benetti and Kasper really know their stuff, and they’re super-enthusiastic about uniforms. Anyway, that episode was recorded just a few weeks after I wrote that blog post about the prototype Astros logos, so I guess that made an impression on Benetti. Nice that he gave Uni Watch an on-air shout-out — thanks, Jason!

(Big thanks to reader Clint Wrede for letting me know about this.)



And Barbara Feldon Was the Umpire!

Fun uni-numerical matchup last night, as Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge stepped into the box against Phillies pitcher Taijuan Walker. This isn’t a new thing — they faced each other last year, when Walker was wearing No. 99 with the Mets — but the novelty factor hasn’t worn off, at least for me.

(My thanks to Steve Dodell for this one.)




Fun baseball-related cover art by illustrator Mark Ulriksen for this week’s issue of The New Yorker. Yeah, you could quibble with some of the details (the ump is looking over the catcher’s wrong shoulder, the Red Sox catcher should have an NOB), but it still has a good sense of spectacle, which is nicely undercut by the absurdity of all the watches. There’s a short interview with Ulriksen here.



Cans of the Day

As most of you know by now, I love catalogs and salesman samples, so of course I love this colorful set of sample cans! Here’s how they look from the back:

I almost bid on this set. But (a) it was pricey, and (b) it bugged me that some of the cans have a catalog number (No. 300, No. 303, No. 2½) while the others list their capacity (46 oz., 8 oz.) — an irksome inconsistency! Similarly, it bugged me that the blue can has a different rear design than all the others.

So I didn’t bid. And now, of course, I’m second-guessing that choice. Hmmmmm.

Comments (17)

    Good catch on the New Yorker cover. The ump also has the wrong foot forward. He’s set up for a lefty with a right-handed batter.

    But if the ump were properly positioned, the catcher would be obscured and the artist would be unable to complete the visual joke of the piece. It’s a cartoon, not a photograph. We can just hope that future anthropologists will have more realistic images to rely on when they’re reconstructing how the game of baseball worked.

    Yeah, he’s in prime concussion territory out there. Artistic license.

    That isn’t what Yankee Stadium (original, refurbished or new) ever looked like. It’s called artistic license.

    Pitcher on the New Yorker cover doing his best Craig Kimbrel …

    Dare I say Craig’s motion was “ahead of his time”?


    Paul, not surprised by Jason’s, Steve’s, and Len’s interest in Uni Watch.

    Len and Steve are long time broadcasters for both the Cubs and White Sox and Jason succeeded Ken Harrelson as the lead TV broadcaster, so Chicagoans are very familiar with their work. Steve Stone played in the MLB (including one stint with the Cubs and two with the White Sox) for 10 seasons as was the AL Cy Young Award winner for the 1980 season with the Orioles

    They are quality broadcasters and love the game and aura of “baseball.”

    The New Yorker cover is beautiful despite its’ imperfections. Obviously, it would have been very cluttered and ineffective if the ump was rendered looking over the catcher’s inside shoulder.

    Think long, think wrong.

    “Similarly, it bugged me that the blue can is has a different rear design than all the others.” *the blue can is has

    Ulriksen presumably exerted artistic license, but all the analog clock faces in the art shocked me. It’s 2023 — all these new countdowns in baseball are done in digital. He said it himself: “Baseball fans like numbers!”

    Speaking of baseball fans and the pitch clock, Mariners crowds in the stadium for last weekend’s Guardians series borrowed an old trick from college basketball; they were trying to rattle loitering Cleveland relievers by yelling the seconds ahead of the actual clock running out. I don’t know if this practice will spread or even last.

    Jason is not only a wonderful commentator, but also a great guy. I’m sure there are plenty of examples online, but the one that I’m most familiar with is his appearance on Chris Rose/Jomboy Media’s Baseball Today: link

    Thanks for tipping us wise to the New Yorker cover and story. I never would have seen it otherwise.

    I’ve noticed a pattern. Every time Uni Watch (or uniform minutiae in general) is mentioned on a live sports broadcast, one announcer is super excited to talk about it… and the other acts uninterested and dismissive.

    I like Steve Stone, but that’s the sense I get through the transcript.

    You’re 100% correct, both in terms of the larger pattern and the specifics of this instance.

    I’ll go further: Usually it’s the play-by-play guy who’s into it, and the color guy who’s not.

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