Skip to content

Your Full Purp Walk ’24 Report!

Posted in:

Good morning! Greetings from Minneapolis, where I’ll soon be heading to the airport to fly to Los Angeles. This Uni Watch Tour ’24 is a whirlwind!

Now then: The photo shown above was taken last Friday evening in Baltimore, where lots of Uni Watch readers gathered for the latest and final observance of Purple Amnesty Day. As you can see, I dressed for the occasion! The gent standing next to me in that shot is reader Andrew Cosentino, who went above and beyond in helping to arrange the day’s events and then went even further by acting as my chauffeur for the entire day. I can’t thank him enough.

Andrew and I began the day by having breakfast at the Papermoon Diner, where my all-purple attire fit right in with the colorfully eccentric décor:

Here’s a quick rundown of the rest of the day’s events. Because I’m currently on the road, I don’t have time to list everyone’s name or explain what’s going on in every photo, but I think you’ll still get the gist! Thanks for understanding.

Stop No. 1: The Babe

Purp Walk activities began with a visit to the excellent Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum, where external affairs director Katie Dick (shown above) prepared a little exhibit for us and gave us some background on the museum’s history. The museum covers all Maryland sports, not just the Babe, so there were lots of Orioles and Colts artifacts to go along with the Ruthian items. Here are some photos I took:

As we left, I posed for this shot with Andrew and Katie:

All in all, a very good start to the day!

Stop No. 2: Frazier’s and the Salt Box

After checking out the museum, we convened at the excellent Frazier’s on the Avenue for eats, drinks, and plenty of uni-centric discussion.

The blonde woman at the far end of the table is the great Juliet Ames, also known as the Salt Box Lady, who agreed to create a Purp Walk-themed salt box for us. After we all kibitzed for a bit, it was time to go outside and check out her handiwork. I made a few preliminary remarks, and then Juliet unveiled the design:

Oh man, is that great or what? I love it! Here are some additional pics:

I am so stoked that Juliet has made our thing part of her thing. A genuine thrill for me, because I admire her work so much.

Speaking of which: Juliet sells little plastic salt box replicas. I have one at home (and keep salt in it, of course). As part of Friday’s festivities, she gave me a rare purple version, which I then asked her to autograph:

After the salt box unveiling, we went back to Frazier’s. I was really struck by David Hayes (on the left) and Don Schafer, who were wearing very rare Uni Watch T-shirts, both designed by Scott M.X. Turner:

David’s shirt is from the very first Uni Watch live event in March of 2006. About two months later, it became the basis for this blog’s original design. I don’t even have one of those shirts myself! Don’s shirt was a premium offering that we made available to the first round of people who ordered membership cards in 2007. So cool to see this old Uni Watch apparel!

Stop No. 3: Duckpins!

I love this photo of longtime reader Marcus Hall and me, taken at Stoneleigh Lanes, where a bunch of us gathered for a bit of pin-bashing (and which, as you can see, actually has a purple design motif!). I also enjoyed meeting Marcus’s son Xavier, who clearly loves his dad a lot.

For whatever reason, I didn’t get many photos at this stop, but here’s a shot of me flashing some stirrup on the lanes:

Bryan Martin Firvida showed up, appropriately attired in our old Uni Watch bowling-inspired T-shirt, designed back in 2017 by Scott M.X. Turner:

Stop No. 4: Union Brewing

Sadly, a lot of people had already left by the time we took this group photo toward the end of the gathering at Union Craft Brewing, so the photo doesn’t quite capture the quantity or quality of the crowd that showed up. One person I want to single out, because I didn’t get any non-group shots of her, is the woman standing next to me. That’s Judy Adams, a longtime reader and really strong Uni Watch supporter. She attended all of the day’s events and wore a different Purp Walk T-shirt for each one!

One of my best moments of the day came when I got to meet Bob Sullivan of Sullivan Press, who’s been printing all of our membership cards since 2019. He’s located outside of Philly, so I hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting him in person until this event. He plays goalie on a rec hockey team, so his Uni Watch jersey has lots of wear marks and dings from game action:

Some real Uni Watch all-stars in this next photo. On the left is Ed Zelaski, who flew in from Cleveland and whose name will be familiar to you if you read the soccer section of the Ticker, and on the right is Loren Southard, who started a Uni Watch trend in 2019 by DIYing his own uni-themed building blocks for his infant son (a move that inspired several other readers to do the same for their own children):

If you look closely, you can see that Bud Parks was wearing something very special — an O’s cap with a properly oriented apostrophe! Check it out:

It’s always good to have friends in high places, so I like knowing that reader Nick Allen is actually an elected member of the Maryland House of Delegates (!):

On the left in this next shot is the great Bryan Molloy, who designed the winged stirrup and also designed every one of our Purp Walk T-shirts over the years. Or to put it another way, he’s had a huge impact on Uni Watch’s look. He’s wearing a purple jersey that he DIY’d with a heat-pressed logo (and on the right is a really nice guy who I enjoyed talking with but whose name I can’t recall, sorry):

Speaking of names I can’t recall, here are two more guys who I very much enjoyed talking with but whose names I didn’t write down, dang:

Here I am in this next shot with Rex Henry, who college football fans may know as ACC Tracker:

And here’s one more shot of Andrew C., who went through a few wardrobe changes during the day:

There were lots of other people I didn’t get photos of, including two guys named Justin, one guy named Jared, Dan the bowler/mixologist, and several more. It was great to meet all of them!


It was a really special day, and so many people said so many wonderful things about Uni Watch — it was all very touching and humbling. Thanks, purple people!

Two other attendees at Union Brewing were Jack Krabbe and Rich Frank, both of whom used to work in the Orioles’ front office and are longtime friends of Uni Watch. I met up with them again the next morning for breakfast, and we ended up eating at a place just a half-block from the salt box, so I had them pose for this photo (note how Jack wore green, to help mend my psychic scars from the previous day’s purple-palooza):

And then I headed off to the airport. Thanks to everyone who came out and made this such a special day!

Meanwhile: We had another Uni Watch gathering yesterday in Minneapolis, as the Uni Watch Tour ’24 rolled on. I’ll have more to say about that party tomorrow morning, but for now I’m off to the airport and flying to L.A.!

(Extra-special thanks to Katie Dick, Juliet Ames, and especially Andrew Cosentino for their key roles in this year’s Purp Walk. Thanks also to Tim Cox for coming up with the idea for Purple Amnesty Day, to Scott M.X. Turner for coming up with the slang term “Purp Walk,” to Bryan Molloy for all the great Purp Walk T-shirts, to Kary Klismet for his annual article about teams wearing mismatched shades of purple, and to Mary Bakija for giving me the purple jacket I wore in many of these photos.)


Membership Update

A big batch of new designs has been added to the membership card gallery. That includes Miles Seligman’s card, rendered in the standard Uni Watch colors.

Miles was the sports editor of The Village Voice in 1999, when I was pitching the idea of a sports column about uniforms. After other outlets turned me down, Miles said yes (so I suppose you can say Uni Watch is his fault). We became fast friends, but then he moved away for a few years. He then came back to NYC, but we never quite recaptured the social momentum of our early friendship. That’s nobody’s fault — just one of those things.

Anyway: I happen to know that Miles is extremely passionate about certain teams, so I was surprised when he ordered a card with the Uni Watch colors. Perhaps anticipating that, he provided this explanation:

I’m finally pulling the trigger on procuring a Uni Watch membership, something I’ve been on the verge of for many, many years.

I should have done this long ago but, much like the reason I never got a tattoo (could never quite find the precise thing I wanted to etch permanently into my flesh), I didn’t do it because I couldn’t decide which team design I wanted to go with.

The Yankees are the team my life is most entwined with [Miles was a bleacher creature for many years — Paul], but the no-NOB thing seemed to defeat the purpose of having a membership card. Plus, my go-to/favorite number is 3, so it’d be like, “Why are you carrying around a Babe Ruth ID card?”

I thought about doing a card based on one of my other favorite teams (Knicks, Rangers, Tottenham Hotspur). But then there are all those really cool unique Uni Watch cards. Some of the back-of-the-football-helmet ones stand out. Some field/court design ones are awesome, too. My fave among the ones I saw while recently scrolling through the Flickr gallery was the Clapton CFC antifascist kit that is an homage to the International Brigades of the Spanish Civil War. I actually own that jersey, and I love that card, so I really wanted to come up with a similarly cool and unique card design. But none of the teams I root for have anything so singularly cool.

So I could never decide.

Then I saw your latest Substack about Uni Watch “What if”s, and I saw your own membership card. That helped me decide: That’s the design I want. You’re the Uni Watch Grand Poobah; your card is the OG card. I want that guy’s card design.

Also: a dignified and elegant plainness always appealed to me.

I love all of this so much. Welcome aboard, Miles — you got this thing started, and now you’re gonna help close it out!

Also: Thanks to everyone who ordered purple cards on Friday. It was our biggest Purple Amnesty Day ever for the membership program! Some of the purple cards have already been designed and are shown in the card gallery, and we’ll be adding the rest of them over the next week or two.

The membership program will end at midnight on May 26 (that’s this Sunday), so move fast if you want to join the party. As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here (now more than 3,400 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.



And Speaking of Membership Cards...

Reader Jon Dies ordered two cards for himself on Purple Amnesty Day and, on top of that, provided additional funds for me to raffle off three cards, so that’s what we’re going to do today.

This will be a one-day raffle. No entry restrictions. To enter, send an email to the raffle in-box by 10pm Eastern. One entry per person. I’ll announce the three winners tomorrow. Big thanks to Jon for sponsoring this one!

• • • • •

After today, I’ll have six days remaining at Uni Watch. — Paul

Comments (39)

    What a great day! I’m so happy that you chose Baltimore for your final Purp Walk location. It was my pleasure to host/chauffeur you!

    Looks like a great time and it is always nice to see the comm-uni-ty come together in these events.
    What a small world it is, one of the people in these photos is a business contact of mine.

    Looks like a great time! That salt box is just pure perfection. What a way to go out, Paul. I hope you’re proud of what you’re leaving behind here. Pretty special.

    It was phenomenal to meet you Paul! The kid and I had a blast! I wish I could have made it to the other events. I’m glad you got to visit Papermoon. You would have to visit multiple times to really take in everything that’s on display.

    Andrew you did an outstanding job! it was great to meet you and chat it up about life, our city, and our families. I enjoyed conversing with Judy as well!

    Great day in Baltimore, had a blast meeting everyone and wished I could have stayed longer at the brewery. Paul, congrats on your retirement, and let me know when you want to come on by to try that purple cocktail, or rematch in duckpins up in Danbury CT!

    Intentional or not, I love that you were wearing mismatched purple.

    It was a fantastic day. So glad I could make the trip down and meet everyone.

    “On the left is Ed Zelaski, who came down from Cleveland”

    – Directions are a small pet peeve of mine. Baltimore is north of Cleveland. So Ed actually came UP from Cleveland.

    Don’t fix!

    There’s no way Baltimore is north of Cleveland.

    No. Way.

    I know because I live near Cleveland, and when we travel to the Baltimore area we head SOUTH.

    Where’d you get that one. CLE is at 41 degrees N latitude and Baltimore is at 39

    Maybe you swapped Cleveland and Cincinnati, but Cleveland is most definitely north of Baltimore.

    So jealous.
    And, Paul… I mean this with the utmost respect… you look terrible.

    I’m happy you get to have a farewell tour like many great athletes have had over the years leading into their retirement. And I know the people who can make it to the live events are hopefully expressing the gratitude of all of us who can’t make it for the daily impact you’ve had on our lives over many years. Enjoy your tour and I look forward to your future non-uni work, because as much as we love Uni-Watch, you know by now that you personally are very beloved by this comm-uni-ty.

    Aw, thanks, Andrew! Yes, there’s been a lot of love in the air during this trip. I’ll have more to say about that in my final posts this weekend.

    Paul…thanks for including Baltimore in the tour. Was really glad to meet in person!..So great to get to meet everyone at Union with my good friend Suvo in the German hockey jersey. Also, a real treat to meet you Judy and see the photos of the blocks you made. They are awesome.

    Such a pleasure to meet you as well, Loren. Thank you for the inspiration!

    Many of my favorite Uni Watch stories over the years have been about DIY projects. It’s amazing and so inspiring to see how incredibly creative this comm-uni-ty is.

    I hope after your retirement, you look back upon your days as a cultural influencer (small “i”) with fondness. You have certainly changed a lot of things about me. Thank you, Paul!

    I’m the guy in the Isotopes UltraStripe jersey (the one which was a sponsored giveaway and never saw the field). I was glad to meet you several years ago in Philadelphia, as well as last night.

    I also have a thing for noticing Rainbow Guts uniforms as well as Extremely Ugly Uniforms (Colorado Caribous and the like).

    Thanks for tapping into the uniform aesthetic! And thanks, UniWatch Nation, for supporting Paul’s efforts all these years.

    Would have loved to have joined you at any of the gatherings but it was not meant to be. Really great to see the comm-uni-ty coming together to celebrate everything Paul means to us. Hope the rest of the trip goes as well as this.

    From Miles Seligman’s quotes: “I should have done this long ago but, much like the reason I never got a tattoo (could never quite find the precise thing I wanted to etch permanently into my flesh), I didn’t do it because I couldn’t decide which team design I wanted to go with.”

    Same here. Took the pressure of the membership card program ending to get me to finally pull the trigger after so much time. None of the uniform designs for teams I love felt like me. Almost felt I would be cheating on one if I chose the other. I didn’t want multiple cards as that didn’t feel right about that either. Glad I finally figured out an idea (a seat design from the old Orange Bowl Stadium) that worked for me and most importantly felt like me. I miss that place like crazy even if it was falling apart and now I have a reminder of both the stadium and UniWatch all in one.

    Great to finally meet in person, Paul! I could’ve picked Rich’s brain for another week about his time with the O’s.

    Looks like an absolutely wonderful time! Congrats, Paul, you deserve all of the love you have been receiving.

    Long time follower first time commenter.

    So incredible to read about the tour and see all the wonderful people. Thanks for the multiple pics and tidbits for those of us following the last stops here.


    Katie is an excellent host. How I love the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum! Walking distance from The Yards. A memorable gathering with my fellow Uni Watch fellowship which I will treasure always. Capping my internet journey over the many decades from Brooklyn to Baltimore. Thank you Paul, we look forward to your next journalistic effort. How lucky we are all!

    Wow, what a great celebration. Paul also looks very happy which is putting a smile on my face as well.

    So cool to see everyone having a great time and giving Paul the send off he deserves! Part of me is also sad because it’s really real now that Paul’s Uni Watch time is almost over.

    Paul, it was great meeting and talking with you on Friday, it was a lot of fun and you are the nicest person. Likewise it was great talking to all of the comm-uni-ty that was there, met some great people, great conversations and memories. Thank you and all involved in setting this up.

    As disappointed as I was not to be able to make it, I was privledged to perform a wedding for family members, so I’m glad it was a great weekend for everyone.

Comments are closed.