How Is the Coronavirus Affecting Athletics Aesthetics?

The photo shown above is from a recent preseason Japanese baseball game at the Tokyo Dome between the Yomiuri Giants and the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. The men wearing masks are the stadium’s grounds crew. (Also, it’s interesting that their attire is so heavily Under Armour-branded, right?)

That shot is one of several powerful images showing how the coronavirus pademic has been reshaping athletics aesthetics in recent days. Here’s another shot of a mask-clad groundskeeper from that same game (click to enlarge):

So far I haven’t seen any players wearing masks. If that happens, it wouldn’t be unprecedented, as you can see in these shots from the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic (click first photo to enlarge):

Moreover, all Japanese preseason ballgames are being played in empty stadiums. Fans are barred from the games, to help decrease the risk of spreading the contagion. This has resulted in the odd sight of games being played in front of huge expanses of empty seats:

There’s talk that the start of the regular season may have to be postponed. But it’s not just baseball that’s been affected in Japan. Horse racing (yes, they have that in Japan) has likewise taken place in front of empty grandstands. And Sunday’s Tokyo marathon, which was slated to have about 38,000 participants running through streets lined with cheering fans, was limited to 200 elite runners. The public was urged to stay home, so only a smattering of fans appeared along the route (click to enlarge):

Empty stadiums have also become the norm for Serie A soccer in Italy, another country that’s been hit hard by the pandemic. Here’s a shot taken prior to last Thursday’s match between Inter Milan and Ludogorets (click to enlarge):

So far I’m not aware of any pandemic-related impacts on athletics aesthetics here in the United States, but that may be coming. Yesterday ESPN reported that the NBA is recommending that players use fist-bumps instead of high-fives. (This reminded Twitter-er @ManzellBeezy of former NBAer Marcus Camby’s “reverse high-five,” which he utilized because “not everyone washes their hands.”)

The NBA is also recommending that players avoid having fans hand them items like balls, jerseys, and pens for autographs. At least one player, Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, has announced that he’s no longer signing autographs until further notice, while Celtics guard Kemba Walker said yesterday that he’ll keep signing but will probably start carrying his own pen:

Also: With the NCAA gearing up for the start of March Madness in a few weeks, there have been calls for the tournament games to take place in empty arenas.

(In addition, lots of sports events around the world have been postponed or cancelled (NYT link), but that’s not really an aesthetic issue, so I won’t get into that here.)

Meanwhile, given the amount of licensed sports merch that’s made in China, it seems likely that the retail pipeline will also be affected.

Obviously, none of this is any fun, and I certainly don’t mean to underplay the seriousness of the pandemic by focusing on how it’s affecting something as trivial as athletics aesthetics. But I do think it’s interesting to see that even our little niche corner of the world isn’t immune, so to speak, from the coronavirus. Let’s hope these examples turn out to be the worst of it.

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie
   

I have a real affinity for Funko POPS!, which are these cute little figurine collectibles. (There’s a short documentary about them here.) I have the entire James Bond line, plus Mulder and Scully from The X Files, and I just ordered the brand-new Roger Federer and Bjorn Borg figures. I happened across this Pat Mahomes Funko POP! this past weekend and was intrigued by the level of uni detail. Being a Niners fan, it pains me to say this, but look at the logos, the striping, the league badges — all perfect. Funko has the license for all the major sports leagues, and collectors are going to expect that level of authenticity. (Especially if they Get It™.) 

POP! faces are pretty much the same, with the big round eyes, (rendered in two different colors for Max Scherzer, of course), but what sets ’em apart is the hair, maybe a raised eyebrow or two, the body’s outfit (or uniform as it were, and the presentation box (which I don’t even keep). Maybe the cost factor, too — usually no more than about $15 a pop (ahem). They’re also small, which is handy if space is a concern. They seem to be a polarizing category — you either love ’em or hate ’em. Which camp are you in?

And look — I made mock-ups (POP!-ups?) of myself and Paul:

Okay, that’s enough about Funko POPS! Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• Be well-groomed with “The Pro’s Choice of Comb, Brush and Dryer!” This version of “The Major League Baseball Comb” is adorned with the 1970s Pittsburgh Pirates logo.

• Wanna hang out with Shaq? Okay, maybe this is closest thing — a life-sized Shaquille O’Neal stand-up, complete with Reebok Pumps. 

• If you don’t recall the Michigan Stags, that’s okay. They were briefly in the World Hockey Association, for part of the 1974-1975 season. That’s a pretty good logo on the front of their first and only media guide. Halfway through the season, they moved to Baltimore to become the Blades.

• Don’t know how old this item is, I just know I’ve never seen one: a St. Louis Blues hockey stick ice scraper for those cold St. Louis winter mornings.

• This 1976 American League Red Book is decorated with the then-current AL team logos. The Red Book (and its NL counterpart, the Green Book) was a very comprehensive media guide. They were phased out a few years ago, another Internet casualty. (Query: Anyone know why red and green were the designated colors?)

• When you’re the Greatest, you get your own doll: This is a 1970s Muhammad Ali action figure. Floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee, complete with the appropriate Everlast trunks.

• OK, so this 1970s  Cleveland Browns button looks to be rather beat up (or maybe it’s the bad photo). What I noticed here was that they decorated it with what resembles a Cowboys star — a solid star with a thin outline.

This button (probably 1970s) proclaims Sears to be “Your Headquarters for N.F.L. Merchandise.” Darn right it was!

• This is your standard 1970s IHOP gumball helmet for the New York Football Giants. But what caught my eye was the font and slogan on the tag: “Helmets on Parade.” Just 24 cents each!

• Here we have a pair of 1970s kids’ size New England Patriots mittens. Take a close look at the logo on the one mitten — see how they wrapped the team name around the circle. A tight fit!

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Hmmmm: As the #NoEra remove-ment has been growing, some people have asked me if I think New Era will respond in some way (by making their maker’s mark harder to remove, for example). I figured that was unlikely for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that we’re talking about a very small cadre of seam ripper-wielding obsessives, so it seems like something that New Era could safely ignore.

Then again, maybe not. Anthony DiNunzio was in a Lids store the other day and noticed this Celtics cap with a wordmark added below the New Era logo. “Looks like they’re trying a new tactic to make us earn it,” he tweeted. I followed up with him and he said, “First time I’ve seen it. From the stuff I was looking at, it was only on a couple of the NBA snapbacks.”

Interesting.

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rafflet ticket by ben thoma.jpg

Raffle reminder: The folks at our longtime advertiser Vintage Brand are doing another giveaway. The winner will get to choose any item from the VB site (including the groovy Cardinals canvas shown above).

To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern this Wednesday, March 4. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner on Thursday. My continued thanks to Vintage Brand for sponsoring these giveaways.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball NewsCardinals 2B Kolten Wong has been pairing a red-and-powder blue glove with bright yellow cleats during spring training (from Brinke Guthrie). … Cubs 3B Kris Bryant was wearing the team’s traditional game cap instead of a spring/BP cap for at least part of yesterday’s game (thanks to all who shared). … Lots of good stuff in this listicle of White Sox items at the Hall of Fame. …  Never seen this before: While returning home from a west coast trip, some Rutgers equipment and luggage was ruined when it got sprayed with jet fuel. (from Kurt Esposito). … Not exactly uni-related, but this man’s baseball hobby is fascinating: He visits the graves of dead ballplayers (from Sean Clancy). … This Little League has some teams outfitted in some great Padres throwbacks (from Dan Berman). … Check out this vintage Spitball Magazine warmup jacket available on Etsy. Pretty slick (from  @CLERallyChicken). … The great Wafflebored found this vintage tequila sunrise jersey with a unique wordmark. … Here’s a commercial that MLB and New Era have been running to promote the new spring/BP logo-mashup caps. It includes a brief glimpse of the Padres’ cap, which was shelved after the swastika issue (from @chargersfan_73).

Pro Football News: The 2020 NFL Draft caps have reportedly leaked. Of course, take these leaks with a grain of salt, but it’s worth noting that none of the none teams due for uniform redesigns next month — the Browns, Bucs, Falcons, and Rams — are shown with new logos (from Drew Winthrop). … Pats WR Julian Edelman wore a throwback Syracuse jersey to the Orange’s game against North Carolina on Saturday (from Max Weintraub). … Bryan Beban notes that a 1983 Saints/Washington game at the Superdome included the 1983 Sugar Bowl logo at midfield, Penn State markings in one end zone, and Saints markings in the other end zone. … Here’s a list of 20 NFL QBs in uniforms they’re not usually associated with (from Timmy Donahue). … The XFL’s DC Defenders wore white jerseys over red pants for the first time on Sunday (from Wade Heidt). … Also from Wade: A Winnipeg Blue Bombers fan celebrated the team’s recent championship by getting a tattoo of RB Andrew Harris hoisting the Grey Cup.

College Football NewsReader Chad Fields has completed the Vols Uniform Tracker — a database that tracks Tennessee’s record by every uniform combination they’ve ever worn since 1960.

Hockey NewsThe Athletic asked all the Blackhawks why they chose the number they wear (paywalled) (from Kenneth Traisman). … It appears Pens C Patrick Marleau used his Sharks gloves for at least one of the three games he’s played with his new team (from Jared). … Hockey is a big deal at Adrian College in Michigan. Even though they only have about 1,700 students, they have seven (!) hockey teams: NCAA DIII for men and women, ACHA DI-III for men, and ACHA DI-II for women. According to Ted Arnold, whose daughter attends the school, each of the seven teams has a unique uniform style. … The Hamilton Steelhawks of Allan Cup Hockey are auctioning off the jerseys they wore during their Youngblood night earlier this season. … The great Wafflebored was wondering what a white “Flying V” Canucks jersey might look like, so he DIY’d one for himself. Great work! … In 1985, Minnesota’s Goldy Gopher mascot wore a “G,” instead of a “C” or “A,” on his jersey (from Snowdan13).

NBA NewsOf course, you can look up NBA uniform matchups for every game on LockerVision. But the Thunder tweeted their uniform schedule for the entire month yesterday (from Devon Kuckenbecker). … New Grizzlies F Anthony Tolliver will wear No. 44.

College Hoops NewsCross-listed from the pro football section: Julian Edelman, who plays for the NFL’s New England Patriots, wore a throwback Syracuse John Wallace jersey to the Orange’s game against North Carolina on Saturday (from Max Weintraub). … Loyola Marymount unveiled a statue of former player Hank Gathers and wore 1989-90 throwbacks against San Francisco on Saturday. Gathers collapsed during a game that season and later died (from Timmy Donahue). … According to his daughter, Northwestern women’s coach Joe McKeown forgot his shoes before the team’s second game of the year against Marquette. His daughter and wife found a replacement pair at a Milwaukee shoe store at the last minute. He’s worn them for every game since, and the Wildcats have won the Big Ten, and McKeown was named conference coach of the year. Talk about lucky shoes! (From Philip Brown.)

Soccer News: Las Vegas Lights FC of the USL Championship announced yesterday that they will wear 17 different uniforms — a new one for every home match in the 2020 season (from @JoseAItuve). … New Mexico United of the USL Championship is selling retail versions of the team’s road jersey with a different ad than the ones featured on the field (from @fakinginsanity). … Staying in the USL Championship, Sacramento Republic unveiled new uniforms yesterday (from Josh Hinton). … Scotland’s 2020 away shirt has reportedly leaked (from @jayappletree).

Grab Bag: Of course, NASCAR doesn’t retire car numbers — they’d run out of numbers pretty quickly. But there’s a bit more to it than that (from Timmy Donahue). … ESPN mistakenly referred to Virginia Tech’s women’s track team as the Cavaliers in a graphic — a big no-no, given the school’s rivalry with Virginia (from Andrew Cosentino). … New Mexico State’s women’s golf team uses a logo based on the New Mexican state flag (from James G.). … Not every day we get a Harry Potter note in the Ticker: A Redditor got a homemade Quidditch uniform for his birthday (from Holden McComb). … On last night’s episode of Antiques Roadshow from Portland, someone brought in a set of vintage wooden Pac-8 mascot figurines (from Andrew Muccigrosso). … The Washington Post has a recap of all the merchandise 2020 presidential candidates are selling. … Notre Dame’s fencing team uses gold masks, similar to the football team’s gold helmets.

Tales from the Dream Shop: Restoring a Joe Torre Jersey

For all phtoos, click to enlarge

[Editor’s Note: Back in January we had a guest entry from Bill Henderson about his restoration of an old Mickey Mantle jersey. That post was extremely popular, so today Bill is sharing the story of another fascinating project from his jersey-restoration business, the Dream Shop. Enjoy. — PL]

By Bill Henderson

I was recently asked by a collector to restore the player name on back of Joe Torre’s Cardinals road jersey from 1971, the year he was named the National League’s MVP.

This type of project is why I started doing this work. A job like this will take me four hours or so to do correctly, but I’m willing to invest the time for collectors who care about the results.

The finished product is shown above. Notice the rounded crew-neck, instead of a v neck; this style was used in only 1971 and ’72. The early nylon fabric was susceptible to staining from other fabrics, as you can see from the sweat stains under the arms that have transferred the red color from the player’s undershirt.

As was the practice at the time, after Torre wore this jersey in 1971, it was stripped of its player name and sent to the minors to be used and reused, probably for multiple seasons. It seems unbelievable now, but jerseys were not considered collectable at the time. They were treated like balls, bases, and other team equipment that were basically considered practical commodities.

Here’s the page from my book on this jersey style (note the entry at lower-right — that’s definitely not the jersey I was working on in this restoration project!):

When I received the jersey, it showed lots of weear and had ghosts of what had been sewn onto it during Torre’s MVP season:

The Rawlings manufacturer tag and washing instructions are sewn inside the front-left hemline. 1971 was the final year that Rawlings used this style of tag, which is more closely identified with the flannel era. There is no sign of a year tag ever having been present. Another player’s name is written in marker next to the tag, another clue that this jersey received extracurricular use.

Look at the inside of the hand-embroidered Cardinals logo. Following a pattern, a worker at a chain-stitching machine sewed each of these by hand. The white strings are what remains of a piece of backing fabric, or “interfacing,” that had been sewn there originally to stiffen the fabric during embroidery and was then torn away when the stitching was done.

Remember, what the client wanted here was to have the player’s name restored to the jersey. So here are my hand-created patterns for the Cardinals’ lettering, all based on the many dozens of game-worn jerseys I’ve seen and handled over the years:

Notice there are two distinctly different alphabet patterns. The Cardinals’ lettering is close but not identical to what’s used by other teams. I know what sets it apart and what to look for when I’m authenticating original examples.

If we put the jersey on the light table and look very closely, we can see the faint ghosts of the lettering that was once there. These ghosts tell me which of the two alphabets was used on Torre’s jersey originally. Not surprisingly, the ghosts are a fraction of an inch smaller than the stock pattern, because the jersey has shrunk after being washed hundreds of times in hot water:

Using a scan of the light table’s image at 100% of actual size, I modify the patterns of the lettering’s size very slightly to get an exact match. Now we are ready to cut fabric using this pattern:

I have a computer-driven cutter that’s like a plotter with a knife. I create digital patterns and then send the result to the cutter (here’s a video of the process, from a different project). Here are the resulting letters:

The next step is to create a proof for the customer’s approval. This step is essential to customer satisfaction, and I would never skip it. The time to catch errors or make changes is here, not when the job is done.

Here are three slightly different variants of the same lettering design. One is a scant 1/8″ larger than the others, because I intend to “age” it by boiling it in an organic dye and then steaming it to make it wrinkle and shrink. Another one of these uses slightly different shades of red and blue, from dye lots that are are slightly faded to match the well-worn numbers:

I chose the individual letters that best matched the color of the old “9.” New lettering on an old jersey looks jarringly bad, so I use an industrial sand blaster with baking soda as the abrasive to sand-blast the lettering. This removes the sheen from the fabric, to simulate years of use and washing. I also dye the lettering with organic materials to make it match the rest of the garment. “White” is never really white after it’s been washed 100 times.

Here are the letters on the light table ready for their initial placement, and then in their proper placement, ready for final stitching:

Here’s a shot of the letters stitched in place, next to the original number. The newly forced-faded colors match, the stitching has been done using bleached thread, the edges are slightly frayed from the media blasting — all done not to deceive, but to create a harmonious presentation for display:

From the back, notice how puckered the fabric is beneath the original number. Also notice how the fabric under the number is clearly stained red. Meanwhile, the fabric underneath the newly stitched NOB lettering is unstained and unpuckered:

This would indicate to an authenticator that the NOB has been replaced.

Here’s the final result, ready to enjoy and display:

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Paul here. Was that awesome or what? Big thanks to Bill for sharing his expertise. We’ll continue to have more of his jersey-restoration projects on a semi-regular basis.

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ITEM! Topps card update: As I’ve discussed a few times now, I will soon be featured on my very own Topps trading card. In my last update, I mentioned that I’d given the Topps folks a Uni Watch tequila sunrise shirt — the same one I wore in the photo shoot for my card — so they could chop it up into little pieces for my “relic” cards.

On Saturday, Topps tweeted a photo of some relic items that were being shipped to the factory to be processed — and sure enough, my shirt was included! So funny to see it being included in this phase of the process.

(My thanks to eagle-eyed John Okray and @heythereitsWill for spotting my shirt in the Topps tweet and letting me know about it.)

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ITEM! Naming Wrongs update: We have some new Naming Wrongs shirts to share with you. First, for the USF Sun Dome, we have shirts available in green and grey:

And for you Albuquerque Isotopes fans who are disappointed by your ballpark’s new corporate-advertised name, we have shirts for the Lab in red, black, and grey:

All of these designs are now available in the Naming Wrongs Shop. As always, card-carrying Uni Watch members are eligible for a 15% discount. If you’re a member and need the discount code, get in touch and I’ll hook you up. My thanks, as always, for considering our products.

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rafflet ticket by ben thoma.jpg

ITEM! Another Vintage Brand raffle: The folks at our longtime advertiser Vintage Brand are doing another giveaway. The winner will get to choose any item from the VB site (including the groovy Cardinals canvas shown above).

To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern this Wednesday, March 4. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner on Thursday. My continued thanks to Vintage Brand for sponsoring these giveaways.

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Membership update: Two new designs have been added to the membership card gallery. That includes Chris Spisak’s card — he’s the recent membership raffle winner who, as I mentioned the other day, wanted his cased to be based on this 1970s Cleveland Force jersey. As I hope you’ll agree, it turned out great!

Ordering a membership card is a good way to support Uni Watch (which, frankly, could use your support these days). And remember, a Uni Watch membership card entitles you to a 15% discount on any of the merchandise in our Teespring shop and our Naming Wrongs shop. (If you’re an existing member and would like to have the discount code, email me and I’ll hook you up.)

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 2,400 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: In Japan, Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles P Sung Chia-hao had a cherry blossom-themed glove during a spring training game (from Jeremy Brahm). … Brewers 1B Logan Morrison was wearing a headband of the team’s racing sausages yesterday (from multiple readers). … Grand Rapids Community College sent us their new baseball and softball uniforms. … NC State’s jerseys have some serious kerning issues (from Matthew Schmuck). … “Nationals C Welington Castillo wore a NNOB No. 92 jersey in Thursday’s spring training game, causing Mets broadcasters to have trouble identifying him,” says Joanna Zwiep.

Football News: An unidentified player on the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks was wearing an Apple Watch on the field (from Curtis Galvin). … Here are the uniforms for a game played last night between a team representing The Spring League, a developmental league that mostly serves to get players in front of scouts, and Japan’s national team (from Timmy Donahue).

Hockey News: With the Islanders retiring No. 91 for Butch Goring two days ago, they posted this video featuring the one helmet that Goring wore for his entire career (from @OlegKvasha). … RPI goalie Owen Savory appeared to have slits cut into the back of his pants on Saturday (from Tris Wykes). … Two junior hockey items from Wade Heidt: the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos wore Hockey Night in Canada blazer-themed jerseys as part of the WHL Suits Up promotion, and the team’s permanent shoulder-patch memorial to four players killed in a 1986 bus crash became the jersey’s “lapel pin.” … The WHL’s Spokane Chiefs wore cancer-awareness jerseys.

Basketball News: Ohio State’s men’s team wore red alternates at home to create a color-vs.-color matchup with Michigan (from multiple readers). … Louisville’s men’s team also wore red at home against Virginia Tech, who wore white on the road (from Andrew Cosentino). … Xavier’s men’s team wore throwbacks (from @MoSokhane). … The D-League’s Long Island Nets wore cancer-awareness uniforms yesterday (from @CJSFFLCommish).

Soccer News: With MLS’s season starting, there’s now a Nashville SC Kit Tracker that plans to track the new team’s record by combo, as well as by specific elements, such as yellow shirts or yellow socks. … A team-logoed goalie cap made an appearance on the New York Red Bulls’ David Jensen (from multiple readers). … The USL Championship’s Birmingham Legion apparently changed the crest on their white second shirt so it’s true-color instead of gold and white (from Josh Hinton). … Two more from Josh: Wales’s Euro 2020 second shirt, which I imagine is to be released soon, has started appearing in stores. … Inter Miami didn’t wear an ad for their first game, and wore the normal MLS logo instead of the 25th-anniversary logo. … You can see more on Josh‘s Twitter feed. … The Vancouver Whitecaps wore their new second kit at home, but with dark blue shorts instead of the light blue originally revealed. Wade Heidt also points out that the Whitecaps now seem to have two pairs of dark blue shorts, because the ones worn with their first kit have Adidas stripes down the sides. … Los Angeles FC’s captain’s armband was a Kobe Bryant tribute (from Moe Khan). … Chicago Fire fans brought a banner protesting their team’s new color scheme. I think it says “You can’t buy our history; we are red and white” (from @_scott_g_). … Fans of several Bundesliga teams attracted controversy with vulgar banners this weekend protesting Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp’s majority ownership of the team — something that isn’t ordinarily allowed to be held by one person in Germany — most notably Bayern Munich, who played Hoffenheim, and Union Berlin.

Grab Bag: Virginia’s men’s lacrosse wore orange alternate jerseys at home yesterday, creating a color-vs.-color matchup with Air Force (from @Ace95Boiler16). … Wade Heidt tells us that a third of the NLL wore alternate uniforms this weekend: the Rochester Knighthawks wore black “military appreciation” jerseys, the Colorado Mammoth wore grey camouflage-accented jerseys, and both the Buffalo Bandits and Halifax Thunderbirds wore variants of the same lymphoma-awareness theme. … Wade also says that the uniforms for all the teams at the Brier, the Canadian men’s curling championship, feature the city hall of the host city, Kingston, Ont. … Adding to the Kobe Bryant tributes at yesterday’s NASCAR Cup race in Fontana, Calif., driver Daniel Suárez wore a Bryant jersey before the race (from Jakob Fox). … Australia’s field hockey teams are to wear an Aboriginal-themed kit next weekend of a red shirt with black shorts and socks, the color scheme of the Aboriginal flag, which works wonderfully well on a uniform. Hockey Australia also interviewed the designer, Nova Peris, who as part of the 1996 women’s field hockey team was the first Aboriginal Australian to win an Olympic gold medal. … Australian Football League team Sydney wore a pride guernsey this weekend. … Two high school bands weren’t allowed to march in Staten Island’s St. Patrick’s Day parade yesterday because they wouldn’t remove rainbow pride stickers from their uniforms (from Timmy Donahue). … Also from Timmy: The police department in Braintree, Mass., is selling puzzle-piece police patches for Autism Awareness Month.

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Click to enlarge

What Paul did last night: In the recent Martin Scorsese film The Irishman, there’s a scene that takes place in a bowling alley. I immediately recognized the location as Van Nest Lanes, the old-school bowling center in the Bronx where I’ve been bowling for the past few years. My friend Michael celebrated his birthday party there last night.

Since it was a birthday party, someone brought balloons, and that led to a completely mind-blowing phenomenon. You know how there’s usually a fan at the end of the ball return, so bowlers can dry their hands? Check this out:

Is that amazing or what? It just hung there, suspended in the air stream — like, permanently! (As an aside from indie-rock fans: The woman in the black sweater with green heart in that video clip is the great singer-songwriter Amy Rigby, who’s the birthday boy’s sister.)

And it wasn’t just that one time. Check this out:

I was completely mesmerized by it. As you can hear in the background of that last clip, some folks theorized that the confetti inside the balloon provided extra weight to keep it in place, but I still don’t understand why it didn’t just, you know, blow away. How did it stay so perfectly within the fan’s air stream? Can any physicists out there explain this?

Here’s one more, with another guest rock star: The grey-haired gentleman bowling on left side of the frame is Amy’s husband, the great British new wave artist Wreckless Eric:

Okay, so that’s enough balloons and rock stars. There was also a nice uni-related moment when I noticed that a woman bowling in the lane adjacent to ours had this excellent Rockford Peaches tattoo (click to enlarge):

The woman, whose name was Amanda, told me she had the player depicted in orange socks and black shoes because she’s a San Francisco Giants fan. Bonus uni content!

Hope your Sunday was as enjoyable as mine! Thanks for listening.

Your Annual MLS Preview — 2020 Edition — Western Conference

By Phil Hecken, with Kyle Evans & CJ Fleck

Hey everyone — it’s day two of the annual MLS Preview, and I’m back once again (for their fifth season!) with soccer guys Kyle Evans and CJ Fleck, who’ve not only previewed and reviewed the MLS kits and jerseys for five straight years, but have also reviewed other leagues plus the Olympics and World Cup. If you missed yesterday’s p/review of the Eastern Conference, click here.

I’m going to include yesterday’s introduction along with this, before the lads review the Western Conference kit tops. Here’s Kyle & CJ:

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2020 MLS Preview – Western Conference
By Kyle Evans & CJ Fleck

Thanks Phil! We’re back for another season of MLS with another two new teams (Inter Miami and Nashville SC) and at least one new kit for each of the now 26 teams in the league. To begin, here are the league-wide uniform updates:

• As usual there’s a new Adidas template which supplies all of the league’s uniforms and this time with 3 stripes are asymmetric as they are only located on the right shoulder. This is meant to evoke a “90s-retro” look as it is the league’s 25th anniversary.

• There is a new number and name font appearing on all uniforms that was also “retro but modern” inspired.

• For the first time, sleeve advertisements are allowed and so far four teams (Atlanta, DC, LAFC, and Toronto) have announced a second jersey ad.

• We recently learned that some teams will have third kits next season which haven’t been in the league for a couple of years now. This, along with the decision to sell long-sleeved versions of uniforms, are completely based on business and their profitability (or lack thereof).

The season kicked off yesterday and we’ll showcase the new jerseys for the Western Conference teams today. Enjoy!

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Western Conference

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Nashville SC
Primary: all-yellow with navy accents
Secondary: all-navy with yellow shoulder stripes

Kyle: Both expansion teams seem to have taken the “safe” route in their initial kits, hoping to gain attention from their style of play rather than their uniforms.

CJ: They look like training tops, as many others have said. And I’m sure somewhere in corporate speak, it’s not the same shade of yellow as Columbus, but I have my doubts.

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Colorado Rapids (primary)
All-maroon with light blue shoulder stripes, sublimated diagonal stripes

Kyle: A great color combination which looks especially good when paired with light blue shorts.

CJ: It’s not offensive, but it’s not brilliant either. Hopefully that isn’t a descriptor of the Rapids season.

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FC Dallas (primary)
Red with blue “hoops” increasing in width

Kyle: Given that this will be paired with blue shorts, I like it because the jersey stripes will transition well.

CJ: One of the few kits where the garish adidas stripes don’t feel like a massive negative.

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Houston Dynamo (secondary)
Black with orange/black graphic print and orange shoulder stripes

Kyle: This screams “90’s” to me and not in a good way – for me this is an example where the design takes over the jersey as opposed to a more subtle design that would have been easier on the eyes.

CJ: I doubt this will be noticeable on TV or in person, but it is quite garish. Houston’s use of orange and black is usually pretty well done, but this is an exception.

• • •

LAFC (primary)
Subtle black and dark grey vertical stripes, effectively all-black with gold accents

Kyle: This is effectively an uninspired repeat of their initial primary kit with no need for the dark grey elements.

CJ: At least the ad is less terrible? Baby steps towards progress.

• • •

LA Galaxy (primary)
White with silver gradient sash and silver shoulder stripes

Kyle: The Galaxy are known for using the sash design, but the lack of their yellow and navy colors doesn’t help to distinguish them from the many all-white kits in the league.

CJ: Kyle is completely right here. A lost opportunity for sure.

• • •

Minnesota United (primary)
Return of wing design from NASL days, dark gray with light blue shoulder stripes

Kyle: The clear winner of this year’s new jerseys to me with a beautiful return of their classic pre-MLS wing design.

CJ: Fantastic. Finally something the league can be proud to trot out on gamedays.

• • •

Portland Timbers (secondary)
White with thin green horizontal stripes, gold shoulder stripes

Kyle: I’m not a fan of the asymmetric shoulder stripes on this template in general, and I think it looks the worst on this particular jersey. Take away those gold stripes and you have one of the best white jerseys in the league!

CJ: I disagree with Kyle a little here. I think the gold is an okay accent choice, I just wish it wasn’t an obscene adidas advertisement.

• • •

Real Salt Lake (primary)
Dark red with red/blue wavy graphic print and blue shoulder stripes

Kyle: Apparently inspired by their local landscape and definitely “90’s-esque,” this is the jersey I most want to see on the field before fully making a judgment.

CJ: I don’t need to see it on the field, it’s horrid regardless. No thank you.

• • •

San Jose Earthquakes (secondary)
White with a blue and yellow horizontal stripe based on San Jose city flag, blue shoulder stripes

Kyle: I don’t mind them throwing in some yellow as a nod to the city flag, but it’s strange seeing the front ad forced to be lower due to the blue stripe location.

CJ: I like flag-based designs, and I like that the ad looks terrible. A nice reminder that ads don’t belong.

• • •

Seattle Sounders (primary)
“Rave” green with wave-like horizontal stripe print, blue accents, white shoulder stripes
• Includes gold star above the logo as defending MLS Cup champions

Kyle: The wave-like design will be subtle enough on the field to not take over, which makes this a perfectly fine version of their classic primary look.

CJ: Simple, not offensive. Works for me.

• • •

Sporting Kansas City (secondary)
Navy with light blue dot pattern and silver accents

Kyle: Feels very similar to the new NYCFC jersey (not the first time this has happened), but I do like the dot pattern.

CJ: They tried? I’m not sure, I find this boring. It certainly could be worse.

• • •

Vancouver Whitecaps (secondary)
Navy with horizontal wave design based on Vancouver city flag, light blue accents and shoulder stripes

Kyle: The Whitecaps continue to be one of the best looking teams in the league and I think this is a beautiful combination of colors, design, and city (drawing from their flag).

CJ: While I’m not sure they’re one of the best, they are consistently good. This is definitely good. Not too busy, good mix of colors, I like it.

• • • • •

Thanks, guys! As always, a great p/review! Looking forward to your next reviews — and it’s an Olympic year (hopefully — if the coronavirus doesn’t explode and cause a postponement/cancellation), so we can expect a full rundown of all the participating nations’ kits!


Uni Concepts & Tweaks

After being dormant for a while, the Uni Tweaks/Concepts have returned!

I hope you guys like this feature and will want to continue to submit your concepts and tweaks to me. If you do, Shoot me an E-mail (Phil (dot) Hecken (at) gmail (dot) com).

• • •

I received an e-mail from Jimmer Vilk who (unbeknownst to me) has been working with a man named David Pinto on some MLB uniform tweaks. They’d been exchanging e-mails and concepts for several months, dating back to last summer! That original e-mail contained a whole league’s worth of concepts, and I’ll probably be running those as a lede at some point in the near future. But Jimmer sent me a follow up with just a few concepts, which I’ll run in this section today (which will go under the heading “Jim Vilk Alts 2020”).

Jim,

Following your requests, here’s what I’ve come up with. A few notes:

• I’ve converted both the Giants and Indians alternates into traditional button-down jerseys to better suit their respective primary uniforms.

• The Giants alts use the Red Sox/McAuliffe style numbers also used on the home and road uniforms.

• I also paired each Giants alt with solid colored pants as the orange and black tops with plaid pants looked absurd.

• The pinstriped Angels set is based on the late ’90s uniform you mentioned but uses the logo and numbers from the ’60s Angels, which makes for a fun combination of eras type design. I imagine it could be designated as a Sunday/Saturday home alt or something like that.

And with that, enjoy! Let me know if you’d change anything.

-Dave

And here are the “Jim Vilk Alts 2020”

__________

Angels Home Alternate

__________

Giants Home Alternate

__________

Giants Road Alternate

__________

Indians Home Alternate

__________

Indians Road Alternate

• • •

Thanks Jimmer. That’s just a taste of what Jim & David have come up with in terms of reimagining MLB. More to come!

OK readers (and concepters). If you have some tweaks or concepts, shoot ’em my way with a brief description of your creation and I’ll run ’em here.

Guess The Game…

from the scoreboard

Today’s scoreboard comes from ojai67.

The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).

Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):

Please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.

And new a few words from Paul

Hi there. In case you missed it a few days ago, Thursday was National Chili Day. Of course, for many of us, every day is National Chili Day. So I had this design mocked up. Just hypothetically speaking, wouldn’t it make a great shirt — you know, theoretically? If you agree, feel free to tell me.

Meanwhile: The results of our “Redesign the Patriots” contest are now available over on InsideHook. Enjoy!

Okay — back to you, Phil!

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: From Clemson Uniform Tracker: Credit to
@ACCNetwork for applying the color vs color matchup to the scorebug Red circle They even used the South Carolina’s baseball logo, but not Clemson’s ‘C’. … Pretty cool field mowing pattern in this preseason game between KC and Chicago (from Lee Wilds). … It’s not exactly a new phenomenon for spring training, but there are times when color vs. color is really brutal (from 8/24). … Ooops! The Cubs broadcast somehow forgot there’s supposed to be a baseball in the Brewers logo (from Eric Schmitz). … “Appears that all teams in the Shriners College Classic are wearing event patches,” writes Chris Mycoskie. If you look closely, you can see that Mizzou baseball was wearing the patch on the back of the uni. … Kyle Mc tweets, “I’m pretty sure this is new, looks like Twins are finally recognizing the history of the original Senators, which is part of our franchise. Hopefully they retire Walter Johnson’s non number next,” (via Paul). … New road grays for Mississippi State baseball (from Timmy Donahue). … Check out this “pretty unusual” purple vs green color matchup in LSU vs Baylor (from Evan Saacks). Wonder who Paul would be rooting for. … This weekend, ECU baseball is wearing #23 for Coach LeClair (from Michael Grubb). … (Also posted in NBA): LeBron James was celebrating BHM last night by wearing a Jackie Robinson jersey and some kind of custom Brooklyn Dodgers cap (from Jakob Fox). … What’s worse than a “Los Rojos” (Reds) jersey with a Mr. Met patch? I’m guessing not much (from Brandon Ramõn). … Here’s a cool concept for the Washington team that moved from Montreal (from Timmy Donahue).

NFL/XFL News: You know things are getting out of hand when Garth Brooks’ wore a Detroit Lions Barry Sanders jersey, and it was mistaken for Bernie Sanders endorsement (not that he’s wrong though). Yeah, I mean things can get out of hand. … In the XFL (yes, they’re still in business), the Guardians have shortened shoulder stripes to make room for a longer NOB (from Donovan Shartswell). … Running back Johnny Davis was missing a helmet logo during the 49ers 1981 NFC West division clincher vs the Giants (from Jess).

College Football News: Running out of numbers? Why not add one: College football players set to be allowed to wear No. 0 in package of newly proposed rules. The rule still needs to clear one more hurdle before it is fully approved.

Hockey News: The Tri-City Americans wore special pink trimmed uniforms for Breast Cancer Awareness Night (from Wade Heidt). … Also from Wade, the ice was painted pink for the game. … More from Wade: QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders wore special uniforms on Player’s Night. He explains, “These uniforms were designed to honour the history of hockey on Prince Edward Island. The crest, colours and number font all represent different teams from the past on Prince Edward Island. Had nicknames on back in the nameplates. Here is an explanation of the different sources of inspiration found in this article.” Here are the uniforms, including matching goalie equipment in green for Matthew Welsh. Also notable during this game Friday night, the visiting Cape Breton Eagles wore a white jersey paired with their black helmets and black socks. They are on a 2 game road trip and road teams usually wear their dark uniforms. … Here’s some Boston Bruins pregame video which includes a discussion about how retail dictates what teams wear on the ice (from Justin Hicks). Apologies if this doesn’t open (you may be able to watch it via download). … “Governor Cuomo with team-appropriate orange tie as he announces Islanders will play home games at the Coliseum for the playoffs and future home games,” says Matt Shevin). … And speaking of the Isles (and as God intended), the team was wearing white at home and a 91 patch for Butch Goring number retirement from USA USA USA). … And a few Isles legends were in attendance (from James Beattie). And here’s the number being raised (also from James). … Also from James, “It’s (sorta) color vs color in LA” (yesterday). … Louis Domingue was traded to the Canucks from the Devils at the trade deadline. His Vancouver Canucks mask is now ready. Here it is. He had a mask wrap done by Mario Design in Barrie, ON. (from Wade Heidt). … Stars representing BC Hockey National championships positioned too far below collar resulting in oddly positioned nameplate and number (from Jonathan Fox).

NBA News: Pretty cool story here of a company that takes old NBA jerseys and turns them into “upcycled” merchandise. … “Allen Iverson wearing number 6?” asks Luke McCarnan. “Apparently to honor Dr. J at the 2002 All Star Game.” … (Also posted in Baseball): LeBron James was celebrating BHM last night by wearing a Jackie Robinson jersey and some kind of custom Brooklyn Dodgers cap (from Jakob Fox). … Noah Castroll notes on the side of the Big Z Bobblehead box yesterday evening, the Cavaliers featured all of their logos in a timeline as they celebrate 50 years.

College/High School Hoops News: Yesterday, former Syracuse Orange player Big John Wallace had his jersey retired by the team. … Wake Forest’s Brandon Childress with his dad’s #22 WFU jersey number on his warm-up shirt. Dad is also a WFU assistant coach (from James Gilbert). … ESPN’s score tracking has included striped referee jerseys for TV Timeouts (from Jeremy Brahm). … Timmy Donahue observes, “Marquette in BFBS so the score bug is accurate. It’s just too bad that the floor at Marquette matches Seton Hall’s unis.” … Color on Color for DII final regular season conference game between Coker University v. UVa Wise (from Coach Greene). … Oops! Watch the score reversal on bottom of screen (from ChiTown Tiger). … LSU retired Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf’s (fka Chris Jackson) #35 jersey during halftime of the TX A&M game on SAT, Feb. 29. Abdul-Rauf still holds college basketball’s freshman scoring record (from Timmy Donahue). … UNI & Drake with a color vs color matchup yesterday (from Adam Nilles). … Peep the warmup jerseys for Keenan HS! (from Chitty2Bang2). … “Color v. Color as Arizona State takes on USC. Good luck figuring out who is who,” says Timmy Donahue. … Also from Timmy, the Canton Central (NY) High School Golden Bears going GFGS in the Section X tournament at SUNY Potsdam. The look was not well received by all. … Here’s a look at the Strickland pins Portland State coaches wore last night (from Brett Hein).

Soccer News: Here’s a look at this week’s Premier League kits (from Josh Hinton). … XFL lines and markings were visible on the pitch at Audi Field for yesterday’s MLS opener between DC United and Colorado Rapids (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh, Chelsea changed into their all-white away strip at Bournemouth yesterday. When the two sides met earlier this season in December, both wore their home kits w/o any issue. … The New Mexico United Away jersey was released. Tweeter Brendan Kearns says, “Looks like they’ll pair the all-yellow outfield player kit with an all-blue keeper kit.” More on that in this thread.

Grab Bag: American Airlines employees are getting new uniforms. Those will, in theory, replace the old unis that were blamed for rashes and headaches. … A man and his flag collection: Interesting video of a gentlemen collecting flags (from Jon Vieira). … The subject of the e-mail from Trent Guyer read: Royal City Roundup Major – World Champions Rodeo Alliance. He writes, “Using the crown from the Royals alternate logo. With permission? Not sure.” … It’s not really logo theft (image appropriation?) but here’s an interesting name and logo for a local Plumbing Company (from K-Dill). … The OKC Nat’l Memorial & Museum honored OKC’s 1st responders. Heads of OKC PD, Fire, & EMSA recieved specialty 25th anniversary badges honoring “those who were killed, those who survived & those changed forever.” (from Timmy Donahue). … BRA-GRE 2004 Olympics Women’s Volleyball, white vs white. Both teams with accent colors, but could have been really confusing in a major international event (from Jeremy Brahm). … The Louisiana State Univ at Alexandria Generals introduced their new mascot “Tank.” The white bull terrier w/ a military helmet represents the Generals nickname & the connection of LSUA Athletics to the military (from Timmy Donahue).

Your Annual MLS Preview — 2020 Edition — Eastern Conference

By Phil Hecken, with Kyle Evans & CJ Fleck

Hey everyone — it’s time for the annual MLS Preview, and I’m back once again (for their fifth season!) with soccer guys Kyle Evans and CJ Fleck, who’ve not only previewed and reviewed the MLS kits and jerseys for five straight years, but have also reviewed other leagues plus the Olympics and World Cup. As always, we break this into two days, with the Eastern Conference today and the Western Conference tomorrow.

There’s a lot to get to — so let me turn this over now to the lads as they bring you their…

• • • • • •

2020 MLS Preview – Eastern Conference
By Kyle Evans & CJ Fleck

Thanks Phil! We’re back for another season of MLS with another two new teams (Inter Miami and Nashville SC) and at least one new kit for each of the now 26 teams in the league. To begin, here are the league-wide uniform updates:

• As usual there’s a new Adidas template which supplies all of the league’s uniforms and this time with 3 stripes are asymmetric as they are only located on the right shoulder. This is meant to evoke a “90s-retro” look as it is the league’s 25th anniversary.

• There is a new number and name font appearing on all uniforms that was also “retro but modern” inspired.

• For the first time, sleeve advertisements are allowed and so far four teams (Atlanta, DC, LAFC, and Toronto) have announced a second jersey ad.

• We recently learned that some teams will have third kits next season which haven’t been in the league for a couple of years now. This, along with the decision to sell long-sleeved versions of uniforms, are completely based on business and their profitability (or lack thereof).

The season kicks off today and we’ll showcase the new jerseys for the Eastern Conference teams today and the Western Conference teams tomorrow. Enjoy!

+ + + + + + + + + +

Eastern Conference

• • •

Inter Miami
Primary: all-white with subtle light pink accents
Secondary: all-black with pink shoulder stripes
(Both have subtle printed flamingo pattern from crest on chest)

Kyle: Their unique color scheme isn’t quite realized in this set, especially in the plain-as-can-be all-white primary kit. I would expect more pink on future kits, and Miami fans are simply hoping that the team’s performance makes a splash this season.

CJ: So much wasted potential; Kyle was being polite. An interesting color scheme is now just a simple template design.

• • •

Atlanta United (secondary)
All-white with gold accents

Kyle: Yet another addition to the boring “all-white kit” club in MLS. The gold is nice though and I do like that all of the logos and ads match.

CJ: I second Kyle on the matching logos and ads. But, the white change kit will not go away, so I guess we must accept it.

• • •

Chicago Fire
The Fire have an almost universally disliked new logo and are moving back to the city and playing in Soldier Field again.
Primary: Navy with thin red diagonal stripes
Secondary: all-white

Kyle: First and foremost I can’t stand the new logo which looks like someone accidently stretched a circle. The navy look is perfectly fine, just don’t get me started on the white.

CJ: I’m not against the new logo, but it isn’t good, either. I actually like the navy design. However, that may be because it’s essentially what the Union’s affiliate team, Bethlehem Steel, wore in 2018.

• • •

FC Cincinnati (both)
Primary: halved blue/dark blue with orange shoulder stripes
Secondary: all-white with blue/orange accents, sublimated pattern matching Bayern Munich from last season (to acknowledge the German heritage and Munich – a sister city of Cincinnati)

Kyle: I know it’s a classic design but I’ve never been a fan of the halved look. I guess the nod to Bayern is nice, but it’s interesting given that Bayern has an official partnership with FC Dallas, not Cincinnati.

CJ: The shoulder design mars the halves design so badly. It’s jumbled in a bad way.

• • •

Columbus Crew (secondary)
Black with grey/black checkerboard design

Kyle: The checkerboard pattern has always been a part of the Crew’s design and I actually don’t mind this look – the pattern isn’t too bold and the yellow pops nicely.

CJ: I’m sure this will not be noticeable on the field, but I do like the design and agree with Kyle/

• • •

DC United (primary)
All-black with white shoulder stripes and thick red on sleeves

Kyle: A standard and classic look for DC which is a good thing because it works.

CJ: Yup, that’s DC. Brand recognition!

• • •

Montreal Impact (secondary)
Grey with black shoulder stripes, thin white vertical stripes

Kyle: Only grey and black? This is far too generic and unfortunate given that Montreal has one of the best primary looks in the league.

CJ: I have to disagree with Kyle here. I like the greyscale, in that it’s something different. Maybe not an A+ for execution but definitely an A for effort.

• • •

New England Revolution (primary)
Navy with white horizontal stripe and red shorts

Kyle: This “whooshed stripe” design for the Revs nicely matches their logo and the red shorts (which they haven’t worn since the 90’s) will create a nice contrast.

CJ: I’m not sure I like this. The stark contrast of the paintbrush design next to the sharp sleeve stripe silliness doesn’t sit well with me. Then again, could be worse.

• • •

NYCFC (secondary)
Navy with diagonal pattern, white shoulder stripes

Kyle: I’m not really seeing the “Brooklyn Bridge inspiration” but again the not-too-loud design works here.

CJ: This reminds me of those “fashion inspired” alternates some other major leagues make for public consumption. Count me out.

• • •

New York Red Bulls (secondary)
All-black with red accents / shoulder stripes

Kyle: Not much to add here other than this being a clear example of BFBS.

CJ: So many colors to choose from for RBNY, and they do this. Boo.

• • •

Orlando City (secondary)
White with purple “starburst” sublimated design, purple shoulder stripes

Kyle: You may have noticed how this template separates the shoulders from the front and this has the most negative impact on this particular design in my opinion.

CJ: Kyle has a good point. I get 90s vibes from this design, which seems to be a common theme.

• • •

Philadelphia Union (primary)
All-navy with gold shoulder stripes, subtle sublimated snake design

Kyle: The Union are missing the boat by not returning to their original gold center vertical stripe design and the snake may be the subtlest of all sublimated designs.

CJ: Year after year my team comes up with boring designs that both annoy me as a fan and an amateur critic. I don’t care about sublimated snakes, and why is the advertising still a different color? Why would I ever buy this?

• • •

Toronto FC (secondary)
Light grey with sublimated diagonal thick and thin stripes

Kyle: I like this, and the pattern I’m recognizing is that “non-standard” designs seem to work well when they don’t take over the jersey.

CJ: I feel like this is an old wild goalkeeper kit that someone dialed down from an 11 to a 3 and put into the adidas template. Which is to say, I think I like it?

• • • • • •

Thanks, guys! As always, a great p/review! Looking forward to seeing what new kit tops the Western Conference has in store tomorrow.


Kreindler’s Korner

I had the distinct pleasure of featuring the wonderful artwork of artist Graig Kriendler on two occasions over the summer and fall of 2017, and more recently, in August of 2018.

For those who don’t wish to click the links, Graig paints baseball heroes (and regular guys) from the past, and is an immense talent.

Occasionally, I will be featuring his work on Uni Watch.

Here’s today’s offering (click to enlarge):

• • •

Title: “Alejandro Oms, 1924” (color study)
Subject: Alejandro Oms, 1924
Medium: Oil on linen mounted to board
Size: 5” x 7”

One of the greatest center fielders of the era, Alejandro Oms spent most of his career – one that stretched from the early 1920s to the mid 1940s – playing in the various Cuban Leagues on the island. He also found himself in the United States on Alex Pompez’ Cuban Stars, a ballclub based in New York.

In 1922, he supposedly hit 40 home runs with the Stars, which prompted writers to call him the “Cuban Babe Ruth”. The next year, with the club now joining the Eastern Colored League, they found themselves as contenders – the Stars wound up in second place to Hilldale. Oms himself was said to have batted .357 in 20 league games. Though the Stars declined as they marched further into the 1920s, Alejandro continued to play well.

In the years of the mid-1920s, he also found himself on the Leopardos de Santa Clara – the 1923-24 team being one of the best to ever play on the island. Here’s Oms with the Leopardos a year later – still one of my favorite uniforms of the Cuban Leagues. This is one of 200+ paintings of mine that is on display at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum until May 31.

• • •

Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.

Guess The Game…

from the scoreboard

Today’s scoreboard comes from August West.

The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).

Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):

Please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.

And new a few words from Paul

Hi there. In case you missed it a few days ago, Thursday was National Chili Day. Of course, for many of us, every day is National Chili Day. So I had this design mocked up. Just hypothetically speaking, wouldn’t it make a great shirt — you know, theoretically? If you agree, feel free to tell me.

Meanwhile: The results of our “Redesign the Patriots” contest are now available over on InsideHook. Enjoy!

Okay — onto the ticker!

The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: The Brewers have added an “MC” patch to their jersey’s chest, in remembrance of the victims of this week’s shooting at the Molson Coors brewery in the city. Unsure if it will be worn all season (from multiple readers). … Yankees 3B Gio Urshela accidentally had his uniform left behind before a road Grapefruit League game, and so was forced to wear unassigned No. 68 during the game (from our own John Ekdahl). … SNY has been using a mash-up Mets logo for their Grapefruit League broadcasts, taking the skyline from the primary logo and the cap logo. It’s actually kinda nice (from A.J., who didn’t give their last name). … Jerry Wolper noticed that Gaylord Perry’s FIOB makes his entire NOB off-center in this highlight. Gaylord’s brother Jim also pitched for Cleveland that year, making me think that it was an old jersey with the “G” added after the acquisition of Jim. … Angels manager Joe Maddon wore a Disney-era Anaheim Angels jersey in honor of former coach Bob Clear, whom Maddon called “the greatest coach in the history of this organization” (from Jakob Fox). … East Carolina are wearing late-1990s throwbacks in memory of former coach Keith LeClair, who coached the team from 1998 to 2002 before passing away from ALS in 2006.

Pro & College Football News: Not often you see WLAF gear in the wild. That jacket is at least 28 years old (spotted by Jonathan Millican). … Among the proposed rule changes for college football next year is a limit on how many players can wear the same uni number (from James Gilbert).

Hockey News: When the Blues wore their Gretzky-era throwbacks on Thursday night, the team’s athletic trainer broke out an era-appropriate Chalk Line jacket (from @GoatJerseys). … It appears that the Islanders’ Brooklyn experience is over, as the club has announced all playoff games this year and all home games next year will be played at the Nassau Coliseum (from Wade Heidt). … Also from Wade: The Seattle NHL team has broken ground on their training facility (from Wade Heidt). … One more from Wade: here’s a good article on how goalies update their gear after they’re traded.

NBA News: NASCAR driver Ryan Blaney will debut his car’s Kobe memorial livery at Fontana (from our own John Ekdahl). … Uni number updates from Etienne Catalan: Grizzlies PF Jarrod Uthoff will wear No. 19 and Warriors SG Mychal Mulder will wear No. 15.

College Hoops News: Iowa and Minnesota women went color-vs-color Thursday night (thanks Jamie).
.

Soccer News: The Canadian Premier League published a power ranking of the league’s 2020 kits (from Wade Heidt). … English side Sunderland are moving to Nike kits next season.

Grab Bag: The Connecticut Hammerheads, the newest team in Major League Lacrosse, have unveiled their inaugural unis. Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell the details from the photo (from Timmy Donahue).