Greetings once again from Greenville, N.C., where last night’s Purp Walk festivities were highly enjoyable. I’ll have more to say about that in a separate post either later today or tomorrow.
Meanwhile: Uni Watch reader Stephen Krupin attended a Giants/Nats game in San Francisco the other day and sent photos of a really sensational exhibit in the Giants’ ballpark. His photos have a fair amount of glare, but you can still get the idea (and I’ll transcribe some of the text the glare interferes with). Let’s start with this shot, which shows a Luis González road jersey and some accompanying text that’s easy enough to read:
The text continues in this next photo (the glare is a bit challenging, so I’m putting a transcription below the photo):
Here’s an easier-to-read version of the text (plus I did a bit of very minor copy editing for grammar and clarity):
Unfortunately, the seamstress at National Park didn’t realize that the drop-shadows on the Giants’ letters give each letter a top and a bottom, and Luis González wore a jersey with with two of the letters (the N and the first Z) upside-down when he took the field at the 1,000th player in SF history.
We are very lucky to have Alison Drake as our seamstress at Oracle Park.
She makes sure the Giants’ letters have the drop-shadows dropping.
Sure enough, if you look closely at the jersey’s NOB, you can see that the gold layer on most of the letters goes down and to the right — except on the N and the first Z, where it goes up and to the left:
Those two letters were positioned upside-down — an easy mistake to make for someone who doesn’t normally work on the Giants’ uniforms, especially because the gold shadow is so thin and subtle.
In case you’re wondering, this all happened on April 22, 2022, which really should have been mentioned in the exhibit text. It also would’ve been nice if they’d used “stitcher” instead of the gendered term “seamstress,” especially since some teams have male stitchers (like Russ Gompers here in New York). But aside from those two nitpicks, it’s pretty awesome that the Giants have this display in their concourse. It teaches people about how call-ups’ jerseys get lettered when the team is on the road, about drop-shadows, and about the team’s own stitcher — a win-win-win! Nicely done, Giants.
I couldn’t resist going a bit deeper on this. First, here’s a digital version of the Giants’ NOB font, so you can see how the gold layer is supposed to look:
Obviously, the drop-shadow mistake would only be possible with letters that are rotational ambigrams, meaning they look the same (except for the shadow) right-side up and upside down (i.e., if they’re rotated 180 degrees). In the Giants’ font, that would be the H, I, N, O, S, X, and Z.
As it happens, those particular letters also appear a total of five times, in the same font, on the front of the Giants’ road jersey, which would seem to be ripe for the upside-down mistake (I bet it’s happened before and we just haven’t noticed):
While we’re at it, three of the six letters of the front of the Giants’ home jersey are also potentially vulnerable to this mistake, but the drop-shadow is much thicker on those letters, so it seems less likely that a stitcher would accidentally make that error:
Meanwhile, in a related item:
New @NHL fan here… ordered a @SeattleKraken hoodie from @Fanatics and the logo is UPSIDE DOWN.
Would like some help here… @FanaticsSupport. SMH 🤦🏼♂️ pic.twitter.com/0Y0vaSaE9K
— brett (@Rennermbrett) May 10, 2023
(Huge thanks to Stephen Krupin for the concourse pics and thanks also to Chris Dougherty for the Kraken item.)
Wow, I had no idea those road uniforms even had a gold drop shadow. The similarity to both orange and gray just sort of blends it between the orange outline and gray jersey.
I’ve never ordered any merch from fanatics, but given the way everyone on this site talks about them, that Kraken merch is both hilarious and predictable. Hope Brett got more than just a replacement or refund out of it. Also the hoodie pouch covering up the bottom stripe makes that look hideous.
Like you, I had no idea the Giants even had a gold shadow. This is one of many examples of stuff that makes me love this site and those that participate.
Re the Kraken thing, I’d almost be inclined to wear it that way. I find it really funny. Agree about the pouch placement though. I like those sweatshirts, but would never buy one solely because that stupid pouch totally screws up the stripes.
And to make matters even more confusing, the Giants *didn’t* have gold drop shadow on their road jerseys from 2000-2004. Front or back. They added the gold drop shadow, I guess to match the home jerseys, in 2005.
Same. I’m sitting here in my office with face an inch away from my old HP monitor trying to see the issue clearly, it took me forever to figure out there was a gold drop shadow in addition to the orange outline
Is there any indicator whether that paint is made by a relatively known paint supplier? If not, it would be a very weird endorsement. Although it’s only slightly less weird if it is made by a recognizable brand.
I’m awestruck by Denny’s pitching motion depicted in the orange roundel.
The gold is unnecessary. They have a great look w black, orange, grey and white.
It may be unnecessary, but it is ornamental. It complements the orange of the lettering and the cream-colored home uniforms. No one is clamoring for a gold Giants jersey; it is perfectly fine as an accent color.
I like the gold accents on the pre-2021 home uniforms which don’t have NOBs. Nice big numbers with a little extra flavor. Shadows usually look terrible on NOB lettering (see: 2000s Mets), but look great on numbers.
More info on the Denny McClain paint can. link
I wonder if the McClain branding had anything to do with the concept of a pitcher “painting the corners” of the strike zone, or somesuch.
I just hope the employees of the paint company received their full pensions. Denny McClain was a dirty dog post-MLB.
Not just after his career ended; some folks will remember that McLain was not only suspended for illegal gambling activity during his career (though not on baseball), it’s widely believed that one or two injuries that sidelined him during the season – and possibly the one that eventually ended his career – were inflicted by mob enforcers after he welched on a bet.
As for the paint, it’s likely that one of the automotive suppliers – who had retail operations as well – could have put the label on their product. Denny never saw an endorsement deal he didn’t like.
The H, N, S, and Z are not perfect rotational ambigrams in the Giants font. They’re close, though.
This applies to the NOB font. Not sure if it applies to the Giants’ other fonts.
Maybe we could call it the Giant New Zealand Easter Egg.
What a cool deep dive. I’m a lifelong Giants fan, and I’m not sure I’d ever have caught that. The Giants also have multiple jersey displays around the park that chronicle some different looks in their history. It’s really cool.
Right in the Uni Watch wheelhouse!
OT: This pic from last night’s ECU-Campbell ballgame is a doozy.
Mono-lavender vs. mono-black? Yowza…
What a great display and every team should have this. Even if it was just in photographic form.
“It also would’ve been nice if they’d used “stitcher” instead of the gendered term “seamstress,”
But Alison Drake is a seamstress, correct?
I wonder if that might be her preferred term for it, and that’s why they used it
I love the Denny McLain paint…which other athlete has a paint endorsement deal???
But given his extracurricular activities, I also know there’s a joke there somewhere….
If memory serves, didn’t something similar happen with the Carolina Hurricanes on a player’s sweater? Like the Kraken’s logo, the orientation might be overlooked by a careless employee. Right now I’m racking my brain for other ambigram insignias.
Yes. Great memory.
Happened last December
The Portland Trailblazers have an insignia that’s easy to invert.
Happy Birthday, Uni-Watch! It is appropriately on the same birthday as the late MLB player Lee May, who wore number 17. Ernie Harwell told us all years ago he was the only MLB player who had his name and his birthday on the back of his jersey.
My niece has the last name of Twentey and was due to be born on June 20. I was hoping she would be named June, so she could wear her full name and her birthday on the back of her jersey. Alas, no one else thought it was a good idea. She was born on the 21st, and her name is Kaitlyn.
Carlos May. link
Whoops! How did I screw that up? Thanks!
Great stuff by the Giants, other teams should follow suit I think. Put the people who add names and numbers on MLB jerseys in the spotlight.