Good morning! It was 24 years ago today — May 26, 1999 — that the very first Uni Watch column (shown above) was published in The Village Voice. It was what we now think of as the annual MLB season “preview” column, even though it appeared in late May. Hard to believe that this project has been around for two dozen years! That’s a great achievement for our entire comm-uni-ty, because I couldn’t have done this for all these years without you folks.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “Wait a minute, didn’t we just celebrate a Uni Watch anniversary last week?,” you’re right. Nine days ago — May 17 — was the 17th anniversary of the very first post on this blog, which was conceived as a supplement to the Uni Watch column. Since the two dates are just nine days apart, there’s often a bit of confusion each year around this time. In retrospect, I should have launched the blog on May 26 so the two uni-versary dates would match up, but that didn’t occur to me at the time and it’s too late to change it now!
Since today marks 24 years, that means one year from today will be a major milestone — 25 years, a full quarter-century of Uni Watch! Who’da thunk?
And that leads me to an idea that I’d like to discuss with you: I think it’s a pretty safe bet that I will not still be writing about uniforms in 2029, when Uni Watch turns 30. (By that point I’ll be 65 and will hopefully have moved on to another chapter of my life.) So next year — the 25th uni-versary, the silver uni-versary — will likely be this project’s last “milestone” date for me.
I’m therefore thinking that we should probably have a real blowout of a party — not just a gathering at a bar, but something where I’d rent a space (I’m thinking the Bell House here in Brooklyn), have a live band (definitely the Zambonis), the whole nine yards. But in order to cover the costs of renting the space and hiring a band, we’d have to charge admission (probably about $10-$15) and have a fairly large crowd — more than just our local NYC readers. In other words, we’d need people to come in from out of town.
Just to be clear: I wouldn’t be looking to make money on this event. I just want to cover my costs, pay the band a fair fee, and not lose my shirt (or jersey, as the case might be).
As it happens, May 26 falls on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend next year. If you’ve always wanted to visit New York on a holiday weekend, this could be the perfect time for you to do that.
I’m not asking anyone to buy a plane ticket or book a hotel room today. But I would like to get a general sense of how many of you out-of-towners might be interested in making the trip for this event. If that sounds like you, please drop me a line. Thanks! (If the response is underwhelming, I’ll still have some sort of uni-versary event, but it’ll probably just be the usual bar gathering.)
Okay, thanks for listening, and thanks for making it possible for me to cover this unusual niche beat for so long. No matter what kind of party we end up having next year, I’m grateful to all of you!