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Uni Watch Tour ’24 Report: Los Angeles!

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Good morning, and greetings from New Orleans, where I arrived yesterday afternoon. I’m looking forward to tonight’s Uni Watch gathering at Avenue Pub, but first I want to tell you about the excellent time we had in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Activities began with a visit to Game Changing Gear, the premier (only?) outlet for uniforms used in movies, TV shows, and commercials. They’re not open to the public, but they agreed to give us a private viewing of their facility, which was, frankly, mind-blowing — a huge warehouse space filled with uniforms and accessories for every conceivable sport, and from nearly every conceivable time period. If you have a favorite sports movie from the past 30 or 40 years, chance are the uniforms for that movie are stashed here.

The photo above shows only about half of GCG’s inventory. Here’s the other half:

The photos don’t really capture the immensity of the collection. Imagine the final scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark and you’ll get a sense of how much stuff they have on hand.

We were permitted to inspect and touch anything we wanted. They even let us use their ladders to look at things on high racks:

Honestly, it was all a bit overwhelming. There was so much stuff that it was hard to know where to start or what to look at. So I just walked around with this awestruck look on my face, shooting some video and taking lots of photos:

As you may have noticed in a couple of the photos, GCG even made T-shirts for our visit, with their logo on the front and the Uni Watch 25th-anniversary logo on the back:

The guy on the left in that photo is Dodgers design director and longtime friend of Uni Watch Ross Yoshida (wearing one of our old “Uni Cat” T-shirts, designed by Todd Radom in 2018). On the right is GCG manager Gus Noguera. I can’t even begin to describe how gracious he and the GCG staffers were. Super-welcoming, super-friendly — they made it seem like we were the ones doing them a favor by visiting! Wonderful, wonderful people.

Speaking of wonderful folks, this visit wouldn’t have happened without the great Bob Halfacre of Bobcat Athletic, which does sewing work for the Dodgers, Kings, and lots of other teams. Bob first began emailing me in 2007. I interviewed him for the blog in 2011, when his company made 1944 throwbacks for a Dodgers/Cubs game, and shortly after that I wrote about how he designed the Mets’ black uniforms (grrr). He’s also on the L.A. Kings equipment staff, so I interviewed him about his NHL work in 2022.

Despite all of that, we had never met in person until two days ago. It was an absolute treat

Yours truly and Bob Halfacre.

So that was Game Changing Gear. But that was just a warm-up for the Uni Watch gathering we were having at Tony P’s Dockside Grill. Unfortunately, the lighting at Tony P’s wasn’t ideal, but here are some pics, beginning with some group shots:

Aside from myself, only one attendee — John, whose last name I can’t remember — had the gumption to wear stirrups. And he wore the same design that I wore! Check it out:

I was especially happy to see Jeremy Brahm, who’s been emailing uni-related contributions to me since 2005 (!) and is the rare Ticker contributor who merited his own Uni Watch interview. I hadn’t seen him since a 2008 Uni Watch gathering in Portland, so it was great to see him one more time:

This next gent is also named Jeremy (but I didn’t get his surname, sorry). I liked his custom 1913 Dodgers jersey, made by Ebbets:

I was hoping that great DIYer Wafflebored might come down from Vancouver to join us, but alas, it was not to be. Still, he was there in spirit because reader Chuck Eldridge was wearing these magnificent Wafflebored-made hockey jerseys:

Alex Kantarelis and I had dueling vertical stripes:

The guy standing next to Alex in this next shot is the irrepressible Ben Fortney, who said some extremely nice things to me about the effect that my work has had on him. Thanks, Ben — really enjoyed talking with you!

One guy (again, can’t recall his name, ugh) was a couple of days late for Purp Walk:

My apologies to everyone I didn’t get a photo of, and doubleplus apologies for forgetting so many people’s names.

I should add here that quite a few of the attendees brought nice little gifts for me, which was very sweet. Thanks, people — hope you enjoyed the proceedings as much as I did!

(Special thanks to Bob Halfacre for making the GCG visit possible and being one of my chauffeurs; to GCG owner Mike Fox for being so enthusiastic and making the great T-shirts for us; to Gus Noguera and the rest of the GCG staff for their incredible hospitality; to Ross Yoshida for being my other chauffeur; and to all the readers who came out to GCG and/or Tony P’s.)


Membership Update

Lots of readers over the years have asked for a membership card in the basic Uni Watch colors. In recent years we’ve also had people who’ve asked us to change the green type to purple when ordering a card on Purple Amnesty Day. But Jefferson McClure had a different request for this year’s Purp Walk: He wanted to keep the green type but replace the gold outlining with purple. A membership program first (and last!).

Jefferson’s card is one of many that have been added to the membership card gallery in the past 24 hours. We will continue taking card orders until midnight Eastern on Sunday, so feel free 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 3,500 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.



Inconspicuous Consumption Preview Reminder

In case you missed it on Wednesday, I’m giving everyone a taste of what my Substack will be like after it gets a makeover and returns this summer as Inconspicuous Consumption. I’ve provided several examples of the type of content I’ll be featuring, plus there’s a Q&A section that should address some of the questions you may have.

You can read the article here, and this piece is not paywalled, so it’s available to everyone. I hope you’ll check it out!





Too Good for the Ticker

I’m just gonna leave this here. Trust me when I say it’s worth your time.

(Thanks to Chris Falvey for this one.)



NYC Party Reminder

Remember, Uni Watch’s 25th-anniversary party is coming up this Sunday, May 26, 1-5pm, at the Bowery Electric in Manhattan. The Zambonis will be playing (and will be wearing Uni Watch hockey jerseys), and there should be other fun surprises as well. Tickets are available here, and all proceeds go to the band, not to Uni Watch. Hope to see you there!

• • • • •

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

Comments (44)

    That must have been an amazing experience, whether it was gear for real teams featured in movies or the fictional teams, so much to enjoy. The shot with all the Cubs jerseys immediately had my mind go to Rookie of the Year as the source.

    One of the great joys of reading the comments here has always been the “it’s not just me!” factor. That’s the reaction I had to the Cubs jerseys too.

    I am glad you’re getting to meet some of your many readers on this tour, Paul!

    What a treat to tour that warehouse! AMAZING! As a gearhead sports junkie, I could’ve spent hours in there without tiring. Wow! Are they under contract to house/distribute those items?

    First thing I would have looked for was the Worst Ever Baseball Jerseys on a TV Show: the “Oakland Mets” from The Greatest American Hero.
    After that I would have looked for Gus the field goal kicking mule’s jersey from the movie “Gus.”

    I had completely forgotten how terrible the caps were…I was so focused on how the numbers were peeling off of some of the “Mets” jerseys!

    Holy smokes, that’s amazing. Uniform and gear nirvana. I could spend hours there. Paul, did they mention if they are creating and making replicas to be used or do teams provide them with licensed gear once shelf life expires?

    What a warehouse and an adventure you’re having! Can’t wait to see the picks from NOLA.

    The people at Game Changing Gear were great on Tuesday. It was impressive just to see what they had just as you entered, which is the main office space. All NFL team helmets, the KFC bucket helmet, the original drawing for Mystery, Alaska hockey jerseys, Famed Any Given Sunday signed by Jamie Foxx. Just ridiculous.
    Then you go in back and look at all of the teams, real and fake. Or hockey jerseys with the same logo on the shoulder, but different names on the front.
    Let alone I pick something, and it is the Bel-Air High School uniforms from the series on Peacock. Could not tell from the aisle, but it is an amazing trove of things.

    Rick Vaughn’s jersey. Awesome, amongst all the other awesomeness. I would have felt like a kid in a candy story in that place!

    That is unbelievable. I think my favorite detail is the piles of color-sorted facemasks and the rainbow of piping colors.

    Once again, the comm-UNI-ty is amazing! Paul, I’m loving even more this travelogue of uniforms AND people!! Continued cheers and safe travels!

    Hey, that’s me holding the Puppy Bowl jersey! Huge thanks to Game Changing Gear, they are awesome! Does anyone want my Game Changing Gear t-shirt? It’s too big for me, size XL. Shipping’s on me…

    Interested if still available.
    Will make a donation to your favorite charity to show appreciation.

    I will forever regret not being able to make it out for the rare LA visit, had to work late. Glad everyone had a good time.

    The whole tour must be a real treat for you! Thanks for chronicling and good luck with new ventures!

    Wow, what a place CGC is! And I absolutely loved the video about the ball. Shows you how shortsighted government sometimes can be. There will be elections in the UK (during the Euro 24 competition) and hopefully a new government will fix the signs with an accurate depiction. Have fun in NOLA, Paul!

    Whether it’s dark hexagons or dark pentagons, I’ll take either one on a soccer ball.

    Nothing. Else.

    Had such a great time on Tuesday Night! I’m in the black Serpientes jersey. It was so great to meet everyone and join this comm-UNI-ty. It was really the first time I got to meet other people who Get It.

    Looks like it was a great time! Very regretful that I couldn’t make it up for one last visit with you, Paul. Thanks for the decades(!!) of entertaining and informative writing! You will be missed, enjoy your retirement!


    You put faces on the names of many of the people you’ve talked about over the years! Many thanks for giving credit to those for whom credit is due!

    Jerry Reuss

    Thanks! All credit to Wafflebored for taking my suggested idea and running with it. I wear it in games and have so many players and referees stop and ask about it.

    One time I wore it to the historic California State Park for Citrus in Riverside and the Park Rangers went nuts over it.

    I’m the guy in the “Think Purple” T-shirt (and the Rays City Connect cap) – I’ll admit that I wore the shirt solely to troll Paul (gently). It’s swag from when I worked at Yahoo years ago.

    Also visible in one of the group shots is my friend Jason, wearing a Fairfield Stags cap – I’ve known him since we lived in the same dorm at Northwestern (more purple).

    It was nice to meet Paul and chat with a few other Uni Watch denizens!

    It was a great night and a great send off for Paul. And I got to show off 3 of my Drew Bledsoe jerseys. Thanks for everything Paul, and it was very nice meeting some fellow uni nerds.

    Given the Bledsoe Pats jersey, are you the same Alex who was in the band I Rise from Worcester by chance? That was one of my first shows, and I still jam Down all the time.

    If so, what a small word, haha. Us uni nerds are everywhere.

    That is indeed me. Very cool that you we were one of your first shows! We’re getting Down up on streaming this summer, and we currently do a new band called New Death. Also, I don’t know how much of a leak this is, but there may be some new I Rise stuff coming out next year. Shhhhh

    What a wonderful evening! Thank you to all who coordinated to make it so.

    The OJAI jersey I’m wearing at the GCG warehouse is also a Wafflebored design. It’s not a “Tequilla Sunrise” but rather a “Pink Moment Sunset” of the famous pink moment when Ojai’s mountain range is lit up each evening.

    Talk about an overabundance of stimuli! So many cool things you all saw at GCG that I wouldn’t know where to start. Plus there are so many items that make me wonder where/when they were used. That would be a deep dive on YouTube that could last a good while. Amazing you got to see that.

    An overabundance of stimuli is on the nose. I think everybody there was in awe, throwing around words like overwhelming and mind blowing. It was hard not to be irrepressible. ;)

    Aside from a Mets World Series championship or the Rockies completely re-branding, I can’t think of a better sendoff for Captain Lukas.

    IWhat a fabulous afternoon, and great evening hanging out with the commUNIty. Good times gentlemen!

    That GCG warehouse is truly overwhelming, in a pleasurable way. The warehousing/cataloging nerd in me wants to know how they find anything in that place. I noticed they have uniforms sorted by color in each sport instead of by team name/city. The KFC bucket helmet was a true LOL moment. The facemasks lined up in Skittles fashion. OMG…I want to work there when I retire!

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