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Let’s Talk About NFL Bicycle Hubcaps!

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Are these vintage NFL helmet plaques? Nope — they’re vintage NFL helmet bicycle hubcaps. Individual ones occasionally show up on eBay (Brinke Guthrie would occasionally feature one or two of them in his “Collector’s Corner” column), but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a full set of them like this one, which reader/pal Kevin “Gashouse” Cearfoss recently spotted. Yes, several of the decals are mispositioned (the Rams one is particularly amusing), but that’s kind of endearing in a gumball sort of way. And hey, a black Saints helmet!

But here’s the thing: I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of these bike hubcaps on an actual bike. Not in real life, not in a photo, not in a video, not ever. The closest thing I’ve been able to find is this little illustration:

What does it mean when they say that the hubcaps “consist of right and left halves”? I found this photo:

Interesting, right? The little peg would apparently go through the center of the bike’s axle.

Did any of you ever use this product on your childhood bikes? Do you have any old photos? I’d love to see how they looked in action!

(Big thanks to Kevin “Gashouse” Cearfoss for sharing this one with me.)




ITEM! New Premium Article

A uni-related story that kind of got lost in the Opening Day shuffle last week was the Yankees’ proposal to stop issuing uniform numbers to coaches and managers (like Rob Thomson and Dusty Baker, shown above). MLB said no to that idea, at least for now, but they’re apparently giving the idea some additional consideration, and the Yanks intend to revisit the topic this winter.

Is that a good idea? Is it time to have skippers and coaches stop wearing numbers, or maybe have them stop wearing regular uniforms altogether? For this week’s Uni Watch Premium article on Substack, I took an in-depth look at that topic and weighed in with my own very detailed thoughts on the matter.

You can read the start of the article here. In order to read the entire thing, you’ll have to subscribe to my Substack (which will also give you access to my full Substack/Bulletin archives). My thanks, as always, for your support!




Can of the Day

Love the compressed typography on this one. Also love this little note on the side. Nice!

Comments (26)

    I bet the sales of the helmet hubcaps were down for certain fans of certain teams – Falcons logo taking a total nosedive, Lions logo running downhill, Rams logo backwards/wrong side of helmet.

    Enjoyed today’s Substack article. Seriously, people, if you’re not subscribed, you’re missing out.
    Personally, I’m all for scrapping the jerseys and numbers for coaches and managers in baseball. While I agree that the numberless jerseys on base coaches would look weird, the majority of other coaches are A, not on the field much, and B, where pullovers and/or hoodies. Not that I’d want to wear a pullover or hoodie during a day game in August pretty much anywhere except maybe San Francisco.
    I don’t have a definitive solution, but i wouldn’t be surprised to see that change in the next few years.

    *wear pullovers and/hoodies.
    It’s way to early to be thumbing out responses on my phone.

    I was trying to explain to my kids the disc covers that were on bikes when I was a kid, but I’d never seen helmets like these before! What a good collection of great looking helmets too!

    Gotta admit, clicked on the link scrolling through Twitter just because of the Falcons logo.

    You could tell me that Ohtani controls the PitchCom keypad by telepathy and I’d believe it at this point.

    I’m fairly certain the PitchCom device would be on his glove arm, not his pitching arm as indicated in the graphic.

    I’m more surprised that Ohtani wears the pitchcom on his *pitching hand*.

    I’m always slow on learning things, but what happened to Collector’s Corner? Don’t recall seeing it in several weeks.

    Brinke retired from Uni Watch at the end of 2022. It was announced here on the site, but of course it’s hard to catch every single thing we print here, so it’s understandable if you missed it.

    Gonna call “BS” on that photo of Ohtani — I don’t think he’s got Pitchcom on his pitching wrist. The device (for both catchers and pitchers) is rather large, and it doesn’t appear he is wearing it in that photo. (That’s not to say he doesn’t wear it, but I don’t think he’s wearing it on his right wrist).

    Here’s how it looks on Mad Max — who wears it on his glove. Note the size: link

    Here are some other views of the device: link



    According to this article (link), Ohtani is “calling his own pitches through a PitchCom device hidden underneath his jersey near his left shoulder. The new look, with Ohtani appearing to jab at his armpit before each pitch, was the only departure from his usual dominance.”

    So the part about him doing it without looking at the device is probably true…he’s just not wearing it on his pitching wrist!

    Baseball coaches should only wear uniforms if they are playing coaches, so if they may substitute into a game. Otherwise, wear a team jacket, sweatshirt, hoodie or dungarees, like a good farmer does. With Wellington boots in matching team colors. Ofcourse they still wear the team hat.

    i understand the history and tradition of the “player coach” style of wearing a uniform, but here are some of my alternative thoughts:

    football coaches, work in the same climate/evironmental context (plus all weather and no dugout to retreat to), and their fashion can often add to a team’s personality and give spectators and players some insight into the coaches personality. that bill belichick is (was?) the greatest football mind of an era but chooses to dress like a hobo is a great little quirk of his legacy. and kyle shanahan dressing like a SoCal dudebro i think makes him more relatable to an increasingly young wealthy fanbase in silicon valley.

    i say let baseball coaches wear whatever they want (like football coaches) save for base coaches who should maybe be restricted to outfits that befit a person running up and down a baseline waving their arms like a maniac (maybe a coach specific “warm up” style outfit that was to designed around the need for a giant number on the back or a large number on the front, and offered long and short sleeve options as well as pants and shorts, that would be required for base coaches but also be available to other coaches if they wanted)

    Folks: If we could please keep this discussion over on Substack, where the article was published, that would be great. Thanks!

    Looking forward to reading the Substack article when I get a minute. Maybe the Yankees wouldn’t be in this predicament if they hadn’t turned Monument Park into their own Hall of Very Good. Guidry, O’Neill and Mattingly do not belong in the same company as Gehrig, Ruth and DiMaggio. Even Phil Rizzuto is a borderline case, he gave a lifetime to the club on and off the field but he was a good shortstop with a great TV persona.

    Master Lubricants Company was based in South Philly.
    Sure, Lubriko holds up in the heat and cold…but how does it work on poles?

    My eye started twitching when I saw the Falcons, Rams, Lions and Eagles. It bugs me when people put sports logo stickers on their cars and they aren’t the correct orientation. I see that all the time with Cardinals logos here in AZ

    The correct orientation of a cardinals logo on a car here in AZ is to put it on the underside of it somewhere so it can’t be seen!

    I am hereby petitioning the Falcons, Rams, and Eagles to have throwback helmets this year with the logos positioned EXACTLY as they are on this hubcaps.

    Great piece on the bicycle hubcaps. I had the hubcaps in about 1971 (Chiefs) and in that case the logos were self-applied (instructions included). I still have one of the logos today, adorning a collectibles box, and it is made of a thick plastic and was very accurate. A bit later I thought of converting one of the hubcaps into a wall display, a mini version of the helmet wall plaques common at the time, but never got around to it.

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