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Uni Watch Tour ’24 Report: Minneapolis!

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Greetings from L.A., where I arrived yesterday. Had dinner with some friends and am looking forward to today’s Uni Watch Tour ’24 activities!

But first I want to tell you about the wonderful Sunday I had in Minneapolis. The day began with a pre-party gathering at Jimmy Lonetti’s great D&J Glove Repair shop. That’s him posing with me in the photo above. As you can see, he went the extra mile by ordering a banner for the occasion (and went the extra mile by wearing Uni Watch stirrups and one of our 2016 T-shirts).

Jim’s shop, in addition to being a working leather-repair business, is an incredible memorabilia museum. It leans heavily on Twins stuff, but there’s plenty of other material sprinkled throughout (including some Uni Watch items, I’m proud to say). These photos should give you an idea of how much fun the place is:

A bunch of readers came by to check out the scene, including Mike Menner, who wore a Nicollet Park groundskeeper’s jacket from Ebbets Field Flannels:

Jason Tierney lives in Boston but happened to be in Minneapolis for a family event — perfect timing! I really enjoyed talking with him and am hoping he’ll also come down to our NYC event this Sunday:

Clint Wrede has been a reader and active commenter on the blog since 2006! Not only that, but he works as a librarian at the University of Northern Iowa — UNI! It was great to meet him after all these years:

And here’s a group shot of some of the folks who were on hand:

From left: Eric (whose surname I didn’t get, sorry), Clint Wrede, Jimmy Lonetti, Jim Wagner, Ron Ruelle, and Jason Tierney.

Soon it was time to leave for Gluek’s (pronounced “Glick’s”), where Jimmy had arranged for us to have the place all to ourselves:

Much like Jimmy’s shop, Gluek’s is something of a museum, devoted primarily to itself. Here are some pics I took:

Some of the people who showed up earlier at Jimmy’s shop also came to Gluek’s, plus a bunch of additional people showed up. Here are some of them:

I loved Jim Wagner’s vintage baseball jersey. Check out this chain-stitching:

I also loved this vintage 1960s Kentucky baseball warm-up shirt that Andy (didn’t get his last name) wore. It had previously belonged to his father, who played for the Wildcats:

It’s always a pleasure to see Ron Ruelle (creator of the Brooklyn Branches, don’tcha know — note the official Branch Rickety pin on his jersey!), who came in from North Carolina:

Incredibly, there was an attendee whose first name is Lukas and another named Luke (which was my nickname throughout high school). Crazy, right? I didn’t get their last names, but here they are — Lukas followed by Luke (who wore an awesome St. Paul Saints “pig logo” cap):

Speaking of names, it was so great to see my old zine pal Yoonie Helbig, who I’ve known for nearly 30 years but hadn’t seen in nearly a decade. Yes, her name is Yoonie — so now you can Yoonie-watch:

I was super-stoked to see Matt Heitkamp wearing the original Uni Watch tequila sunrise T-shirt, which was part of our Uni Watch T-shirt Club in 2015:

I very much enjoyed meeting brothers Jacob and Sam Rosenbaum. That’s Sam with the stirrups, although his high-top sneakers obscured the cutouts, grrrr:

I started a spirited discussion by noting that lack of a space after the “J.” on Jacob’s NOB. What do you think — acceptable or not?

I feel bad that I don’t recall this guy’s name, but I liked his T-shirt:

I know there were a few folks I didn’t get photos of, including Ray and Debbie, and probably a few others I’m forgetting. Sorry, people!

And get this: Gluek’s had the Twins game playing on the TV, and who should be pitching for Minnesota that day but MLB’s premier hosiery hero himself, Chris Paddack! It was the perfect backdrop for our event:

Before we wrapped up, Jimmy Lonetti gave me the perfect parting gift — a pair of tube socks with striping in Uni Watch colors (thanks to Jim Wagner for this photo):

Eventually it was time to go, and I was amused by this procession of Uni Watchers walking to their cars:


All in all, a very good day!

Before I wrap this up, I want to take a minute to salute Jimmy Lonetti — not just for his key role in putting this day together, but also for the dedication, creativity, and fun that he brings to just about everything he touches (including his day job as a mailman, where he dresses in vintage postal uniforms). Like me, he recently turned 60, but he’s retained a boyish twinkle in his eye that we can all learn from. I know we’re going to remain friends, and that makes me very happy. Thanks for everything, buddy — hope to see you again soon.




Membership Update

Membership card designer Scott M.X. Turner has been hard at work on all the orders we received on Purple Amnesty Day. He did a particularly spectacular job on Benjamin Gray’s card, which is based on NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Blaney’s Kobe Bryant tribute paint job. Hideous car, magnificent card!

You can see the other newly designed cards in the membership gallery, where we’ve now surpassed the 3,500-card mark. Amazing!

Remember, the membership program will shut down at the end of Sunday so move fast if you want to get on board. 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, and you can see how we produce the cards here.



25 Years and I've Somehow Never Made This Joke Before

Last night’s dinner: uni watch.

• • • • •

Our latest raffle winners are Achilles Three, Clarke Hall, and Zevi Lowenberg, each of whom has won a complimentary Uni Watch membership card. Congrats to them, and thanks again to Jon Dies for sponsoring this one.

After today, I will have five days remaining at Uni Watch. — Paul

Comments (42)

    Paul wearing a soccer shirt! I thought I’d never see the day.

    Both D&J and the bar seem like relentlessly fun places.

    As a huge fan of uni (the sushi kind), as well as of this site, I had to let you know that it was worth waiting 25 years for that joke.

    Big ups to Jim Wagner’s and Jimmy Lonetti’s amazing baseball jerseys! I’ll weigh in on the J. Rosenbaum jersey: I think the period after “J” creates the space so I’m okay with it.

    Agreed regarding the spacing. In body text on a page, no way. But in the context, maybe even in display type in print, the period with no space is just fine.

    Anyone know the story behind Jimmy’s beautiful Lakers jersey?

    First name Lukas here — yes, that was a splendid time at Gluek’s (I’ve walked by it many times on my way to/from Twins games, but never been in there until the meet-up on Sunday).

    Also, a follow-up on the jerseys. So, I was wearing that 2000 Norwegian soccer jersey that was worn in Euro 2000…I asked the other Luke about his jersey, and, it turns out, it’s what Germany wore in the prior tournament: Euro 96! What are the odds jerseys from consecutive Euro tournaments would be amongst our small group of gatherers here in the Upper Midwest (well, as someone pointed out, probably not that long considering we’re Uni Watchers :-) ).

    Tough call on the Rosenbaum jersey. The NOB is kinda long, but I think a half-space between the period and last name would look a tad better.

    Was Gluecks where you, me, Ricko, Jimbo, Comrade and Teebz had supper during the 2010 Minnie gathering? Looks familiar

    I was thinking Gluek’s was the place we had the actual Uni Watch party 14 (!) years ago but it was at Grumpy’s

    I agree with Phil, though. Gluek’s seems very familiar.

    Terrific fun in MPLS! Great to meet everyone! As a bonus, amongst the memorabilia at D&J Glove Repair, Jimmy had a few original Hot Wheels items from the late 1960s. Since my job is writing about model cars, I had to add this to my “Collective Memories” series at the Model Car Hall of Fame. Here’s the link. Enjoy! link

    Thanks to Paul and everyone who came out to the Minneapolis events. It was great meeting everyone and it was a treat to hang out with Paul for most of the day.
    I did have a couple requests to share the playlist I created that was playing at Gluek’s. It includes most of Paul’s “Hit Parade” selections from the past plus plenty of my personal favorites.


    I sure was happy to see The Replacements and Husker Du. I was hoping Atmosphere would make the Minneapolis cut, but I understand.

    What about a link as to where the Daniel Johnston rug came from….That is awesome!!

    Great pics from MN! I have been to Minneapolis for a Vikings game each of the last two years. Wish I had known about Gluek’s, what a great looking bar! Next time!

    In Jimmy’s memorabilia, the Corn Flakes All-Stars identify the player’s name and team (Jim Palmer, Orioles) except Mike Schmidt which doesn’t list his team, but rather his position (Mike Schmidt, 3rd Base) as if he was an unsigned free agent that year who still made the all-star team without a team affiliation.

    and if you zoom in, it looks like some other players have their position sublimated behind their team name. Most noticeable are Seaver and Stargell.

    It looks like those are “3D” cards that shift the view from side to side. The position & team probably appear/disappear depending on the angle that you’re looking at (or taking a picture of) the card.

    So great to be amongst the Uni Watchers on Sunday! Cheers to the comm-UNI-ty that made Paul’s coast-to-coast travel possible! Now to find my glove for Jimmy to repair it!

    Always love seeing the gathering photos, it is a reminder of what the internet should be; a place where people with common interests meet and build friendships from that.
    That’s a nice looking Lakers vest. Does anyone know when about the placard outlining (for lack of the correct term) went from that format to the ugly spoonhead we get now?

    Looks like a great time was had by all. I wish I could have made the drive from Winnipeg to join you. Jimmy’s shop is amazing! I still have my collection of Mattel electronic sports games.

    I had a grand time meeting and talking with all of you in attendance. Fun conversations about lots of topics. I truly appreciate all the hard work you put in, Jimmy, to make it special and worth the drive up.

    Glad you had a great time in Minneapolis! I wanted to make it but wasn’t able to. Ah well. My best to you in all your future endeavors, good sir.

    Pearl Jam missed out on the Purp walk by a couple of days…still, nice to see them be in tune with the Forum!


    Glad to see everybody had a grand old time! This farewell tour turns out to be a wonderful road trip to follow as a reader. Sad I cannot be there to join in on all the fun.

    I was so disappointed that I couldn’t make it from Milwaukee… But I had just gotten back from a week in Las Vegas for a bowling tournament and not only was I too pooped to pop, but my wife “suggested” that I spend some time at home (I am going to be in the Twin Cities this weekend for my daughter’s graduation party).

    Congratulations on a great party and enjoy your Uni-Retirement, Paul.

    Excellent to meet everyone at D&J. Jim, what a special place you have! Part shop, part maker space, part museum. You should make a candle of that smell!

    An immense pleasure. Another huge congrats to Paul on his imminent retirement!

    I wish I could’ve made it to this one (or any of them, really), but ’twas not in the cards. It would have been great to talk baseball gloves with Mr. Lonetti. In the past year or so, I’ve started fixing up gloves myself. I’ll seek out his shop the next time in in the area. Cheers!

    Looks like a great time was had by all. What a great send-off for Paul! Jimmy’s shop looks like the sort of place I could wander around for hours. I especially like the Thom McAn volvelle. And Jimmy must have been in a time machine for the last 21 years, no way he is 60! Gluek’s looked like a fun place too. A lot of character for a lot of characters.

    I gotta say, you’re selling me on the jeans and stirrups look. It looks pretty cool.

    thank you Paul for sharing. it was a tough day of work so it brought a smile to my face. also love the original lake show shirt :)

    Thank you, Paul for coming to the Twin Cities and Jimmy for hosting the pre-party! It was great to meet you both!

Comments are closed.