Vintage NFL Highlight Film Offers a Trove of Uni Goodness

A few months ago, a guy named Dave Volsky posted a two-hour video to YouTube (see above). The video, which is apparently a slightly adjusted/edited version of a video he originally posted in 2017, is a compilation of 1960s NFL and AFL highlight footage, all set to classic NFL Films-style music. There’s no Voice of God voiceover, just a music soundtrack (although a 13-minute segment toward the end of the video augments the music with lots of “sounds of the game” audio — grunting, yelling, etc.).

If you’re into this period of NFL mythmaking (looking at you, Brinke Guthrie!), the video is nothing short of a masterpiece. It perfectly captures the feel of the NFL during the first years of the Super Bowl era. Fans of a certain age will no doubt get a big, nostalgia-induced high from watching it.

But even if you don’t care about any of that, the video has all sorts of uni-notable moments. Many of those moments have been chronicled in recent weeks by Twitter-er @unavion, who’s become the video’s biggest online booster. Here are some of the bits he’s called out:

I haven’t watched the entire two-hour video yet, but I’ve jumped around and sampled various sections to get a feel for it. Here are some things I spotted (for all of these, you can click to enlarge):

• If your primary experience with the NFL 50th-anniversary patch comes from seeing it on the Vikings’ white jerseys in Super Bowl IV, you’ll have fun spotting it on lots of other jerseys:

• I can never get enough of the Steelers’ Batman uniforms:

• At one point the Chargers had yellow yard-marker numbers, and at another point they had blue numbers in a diamond shape with yellow sideline hashmarks:

• Similarly, at one point the Raiders had shield-shaped yard markers:

• In recent years, the Broncos have sometimes used a diamond-themed throwback/retro end zone pattern, which I love. But the original pattern on which it’s apparently based was even better. Here’s the throwback, followed by the original:

I like that throwback, but I love the original pattern from the video. So good!

And there’s more. The Oilers’ silver helmets! Actual jersey sleeves! And mud — sooooooo much mud.

The video is cleverly arranged, too. There’s a whole section of interceptions, a section of cheerleaders, a section of field goal attempts, a section of injuries — it’s all been put together with a mind toward sequencing and progression, not just a haphazard assortment of highlights.

Have I convinced you yet? Watch this video already!

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

First up is this 1976-1977 NFL calendar from Pizza Hut. The 50th anniversary was in 1969, right? So why does it say “53 years of professional football” in 1976? The big thing here, though, is the cover photo. This one shows Mean Joe Greene unscrewing the head of Roger Staubach as if it were the cap on a ketchup bottle.

It looks like the calendar came out in the fall of 1976, so we’ll assume Greene and Staubach were chosen because they competed in the previous Super Bowl. But there are lots of giveaways: No red stripe on Roger’s helmet, no bicentennial patches, and the Steelers logo decal is on the wrong side. And all of that is because Staubach and Greene were not the players that the artwork was based on. Here’s the original photo, which shows Mike Curtis trying to decapitate Roman Gabriel:

Yep, you’ve got to get up pretty early in the morning to sneak one past your Collector’s Corner columnist!

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• Notice the face of this 1970s New York Jets watch made by Lafayette. There’s a small football player running around on the second hand! The seller says it used to belong to a member of the front office.

• This 1970s Detroit Tigers bumper sticker says, “Go for It,” and the tiger has a baseball bat in his mouth. First time I’ve ever see it done that way.

• They missed the red on Mr. Red’s cap for this 1970s embroidered patch.

• Take a look at the helmet art on the back of this 1970s Steelers soap on a rope set.

• Leroy Kelly of the Browns was the featured player on this set of 1970s collector’s cups from Burger King.

• Here’s a 1970s Rams varsity jacket from Sears. The seller says it has been worn, but the tags and patch look remarkably free of fading, given the age.

• One more for the Rams: This 1970s coffee mug has a nice little gold trim along the rim.

• How about these 1970s NHL team cards? (We’ve seen these before as posters, like this one for the Rangers.)

• Check out the modern ’70s vibe on this 1974 ALCS program cover for the A’s and the O’s.

• This set of nine NFL helmet stickers dates back to the early 1970s, prior to the Chargers changing to blue lids in 1974.

Seen an item on eBay that would be good for Collector’s Corner? Send any submissions here.

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ITEM! Hebrew Nationals update: Remember my recent-ish post about the all-Jewish softball team in Albuquerque, N.M., called the Hebrew Nationals? Their story has gotten so much attention that they were actually honored at Albuquerque Civic Plaza yesterday. The guy holding up the jersey is Conagra rep Dan Skinner, who’s really the mastermind behind all of this; the guy wearing the jersey next to him is the softball team’s manager, Scott Fliegel, who I interviewed for that recent-ish blog entry; and the guy holding the bat is Albuquerque mayor Tim Keller (who you’d think would have more important things to do, but maybe he’s a big fan of softball and/or uniforms and/or hot dogs, and who can blame him for any of that?).

Dan Skinner, the Conagra guy, reports that the Hebrew Nationals had a game last night against a team called — get this — the Chicharrones. An epic battle of kosher vs. treif! No word on which one won.

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Membership update — and so it begins: As I mentioned yesterday, we had a hugely successful 2019 Purp Walk, with over 40 new membership enrollments, so now membership card designer Scott M.X. Turner and I are processing them all — which means I’m dealing with a lot of purple, ugh. Some of the new cards (including Raymond Chen’s beautiful Nuggets treatment, shown at right — click to enlarge, it’s worth it to see the fine detail) have already been added to the membership card gallery, and we’ll continue to add more in the coming days as we work our way through the pile of purple orders.

Speaking of which: One of the trickier requests came from reader Mark Malazarte, who wanted his card to be based on the Lakers’ pinstriped City alternates. The tricky part is that the pinstripes are actually typography:

I wasn’t sure Scott would be able to execute that — but he did! Check it out (click to enlarge to get the full effect):

I doubt that the lettering will be visible on the printed card (maybe with a magnifying glass?), but I love that Scott was able to be true to the original design, right down to the stupidest gimmick!

Ordering a membership card is a good way to support Uni Watch (which, quite 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.) 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.

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ITEM! Anniversary countdown in final stages: Don’t look now, but we’re only five days away from Sunday, May 26. That will be exactly 20 years after the very first Uni Watch column was published in The Village Voice. That will kick off a series of celebrations that I hope to keep going through most of this year. The celebrations will include the following:

• Although the anniversary falls on a Sunday, I’ll be taking over for Phil and handling that day’s content. I’ll have some thoughts on Uni Watch’s 20th birthday and will also unveil our new anniversary logo.

• We’ll be having an anniversary party at the 773 Lounge on Saturday, June 29, from 2-6pm.

• We will have a special piece of anniversary merchandise. It’s going to be sort of ridiculous and I don’t actually expect anyone to purchase it, but I’m having fun putting it together.

• We will also have a special 20th-anniversary shirt, which will tie in with something else that’s celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. It’s going to be awesome — you’ll see.

And there will be more — hopefully a lot more. Stay tuned.

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KRC update: The latest installment of Key Ring Chronicles is about a brass thimble. Check it out here.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball NewsLast season, the Phillies briefly experimented with 3D helmet logos on their red helmets before ditching them due to poor quality. Well, it looks like the Phils are bringing them back, as they reappeared last night. Additional info here (from Tim Kelly). … Speaking of the Cubs/Phils game, the Ball/Strike/Out counter on the Wrigley scoreboard wasn’t working last night (from @CubbieBlue74). … Nats SS Trea Turner still had a pink Mother’s Day ribbon on his gray jersey last night. It was Washington’s first road game since Mother’s Day, so I’m sure Turner’s jersey from last week got accidentally recycled (from Sam Yarnell). … Astros P Lance McCullers Jr. has been wearing jerseys of old ’Stros players to the ballpark this year. Yesterday, he wore an ’80s Craig Biggio jersey (from Ignacio). … Reader Michael Brantner points out that the Padres wore their typical Sunday alts — desert camo — the other day along with their Armed Forces weekend caps, resulting in clashing camos. …  Mariners IF/OF Dee Gordon wore blue and yellow two-in-ones on Sunday. We’re usually opposed to two-in-ones, but this was arguably an improvement over the camo legwear (from Tim Dunn). … Reds blog Redleg Nation (highly recommended to all Reds fans in the uni-verse) has been publishing blog posts about each team the Reds are honoring with throwbacks this season. Here’s the post they published for the 1912 uniforms the Reds wore on Sunday (from Tyler Nees). … Justin Barrientos was playing MLB’s Home Run Derby mobile game and noted that former Twins great Rod Carew is wearing a jersey Minnesota has never worn before — note the jersey script and the sleeve patch. … The Hall of Fame holds 5K and 10K runs in Cooperstown over Memorial Day weekend, and Nate Tweedie notes that the medals are made to look like Hall of Fame plaques. … The Salt Lake Bees wore uniforms commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad last night (from Neymar Garciaparra). … Tim Tebow’s Syracuse Mets “Paw Patrol” jersey sold for $890 at auction, a team record over the last six seasons (from Phil). … The Fresno Grizzlies have started wearing their “Taco” jerseys every Tuesday, and this year’s uniform is a nice mix of green, red and cream (from Paul Braverman). … This story about the first woman to play in Puerto Rico’s top baseball league makes it clear that the amount of ads teams wear on their uniforms is staggering (from Marcus Hall). … Xavier wore some nice X-emblazoned stirrups over the weekend (from Robby Margason). … The plate umpire during last night’s Georgia 7A state championship game was wearing a cap that did not match the rest of his crew’s (from Paul Grigg). … We may have had this before, but it’s worth repeating: The Astros use a tequila sunrise bat weight in their on-deck circle (from Ignacio Salazar). … Phillies 2B César Hernández was wearing a Philadelphia 76ers “Phila Unite” T-shirt under his jersey last night. Here’s the full shirt design (from many readers). … Impressive job last night by Fox, which posted a graphic with era-appropriate team-logos, some of which dated back more than a century. … Twins P Martín Pérez wore the wrong cap last night (good spot by Nate Burbeck). … Mason County High School in Kentucky has poached the Royals’ chest script (from Josh Claywell). … Rookie New York Congresswoman Alexandia Ocasio-Cortez joked about mistaking the Nats’ logo for a Walgreens logo (from Dan Carr).

NFL NewsAnother voice of reason: Pro Football Talk thinks the Dolphins should switch to wearing their throwbacks full-time (from Phil). … This photo was taken last year and tweeted again yesterday, but the Eagles and members of German soccer team Bayern Munich swapped jerseys (from Sam McKinley). … Wichita Heights High School in Kansas has poached the Falcons’ logo on their basketball court (from Matt Newbery).

Hockey News: The Sabres have unveiled two 50th-anniversary logos. Many fans have have noted that the primary version, which will be worn as a jersey patch, does not have the motion lines above and below the team’s familiar buffalo silhouette, which makes it look like the buffalo is lying down or even dead, instead of charging. … Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the WHA’s final game. In that game, Oilers captain Paul Shmyr celebrated his Ukrainian heritage by wearing a captain’s “K” instead of a “C” (from Moe Khan).

Basketball NewsCross-listed from the baseball section: César Hernández of MLB’s Philadelphia Phillies was wearing a 76ers “Phila Unite” T-shirt under his jersey last night. Here’s the full shirt design (from many readers). … We’ve had this before, but here’s more info on how the National Federation of State High School Associations has instituted a number of rule changes for next season — the most significant of which bans uniforms where the number is the same color as the rest of the jersey. New rules also allow players to roll the waistbands on their shorts, change headband-width requirements, and eliminate rules about the color of hair ties (from Phil). … Cross-listed from the NFL section: Wichita Heights High School in Kansas has poached the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons’ logo on their basketball court (from Matt Newbery).

Soccer NewsLots of items from soccer guru Josh Hinton: Spain is pulling out of its apparel deal with Adidas, which was supposed to run through 2026; Chelsea’s goaltender uniforms for next season have leaked; Macron will make Guinea’s and Kenya’s uniforms for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations; English side Aston Villa has agreed to a new apparel deal with Kappa (also from Ed Zelaski); German club RB Leipzig will wear this patch during the DFB Pokal final this weekend. … This note from Chelsea indicates that Premier League jersey numbers and NOBs will look a little different next season (from Mike Murphy). … Cross-listed from the NFL section: This photo was taken last year and tweeted again yesterday, but the Philadelphia Eagles and members of Bayern Munich swapped jerseys (from Sam McKinley). … Apparel company Hummel is now the “preferred apparel partner” (?) of the fourth-tier National Premier Soccer League (from Ed Zelaski). … “Juventus’s new shirts are halved, with one white sleeve and one black,” says Denis Hurley. The base layers don’t reflect that, but they will wear white or black base layers depending on which shorts and socks are being used.”

Grab BagIf you didn’t get enough purple from last week’s Purple Amnesty Day, you should check out this old 99% Invisible podcast about the Purple Hotel in Chicago (from Egon Schiele). … Speaking of purple, this piece shares some highlights and lowlights of Nike’s work with the University of Washington (from Phil). … This blog gives a grade to every uniform that will be worn during the upcoming Cricket World Cup (from @jerrypemberton). … The Black Hills State Yellow Jackets in South Dakota had quite the logo back in the day (from David Petroff).‏ … Tennis player Simona Halep will wear this bee-printed Nike dress during the French Open — a pattern that straddles the line between paying homage and copying a Gucci pattern (from Stephanie Suarez). … Shoney’s, the southern restaurant chain, has a new logo (from Griffin Smith). … Round Table Pizza, a chain located in the western US, has a new logo as well (from Jacob Neville).

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Our latest raffle winners are Jim Cardinal and Todd Herzog, each of whom has won a Uni Watch membership card. Congrats to them, and big thanks to reader Jay Bryson for sponsoring this raffle. We’ll have another raffle tomorrow. — Paul

Oh! Sweet Nuthin’: Reds Wear Minimalist 1912 Throwbacks

The Reds played the third of their 15 throwback games yesterday, turning back the clock to 1912. As you can see above, this uniform had a minimalist design, with nothing on the front of the jersey (although the cadet collar, which I really like, adds a bit of visual interest). The original 1912 version was even more minimalist, because uniform numbers hadn’t yet been invented, so the jerseys were blank on both the front and back. But that wasn’t the case yesterday, as the Reds used an old-timey number font:

I really liked this one — no-frills, sure, but handsome.

A few other notes from yesterday’s game:

• If you look again at the header photo, you can see that the two caps don’t match. That’s because pitcher Amir Garrett, on the left, mistakenly wore the cap from the 1902 throwbacks, which the Reds wore on May 4. Garrett didn’t appear in yesterday’s game, so it didn’t really matter.

This jersey, like the Reds’ two previous throwbacks, was a henley pullover, not a full button-front:

• Another weird thing about this jersey is that it had matching left and right sleeve emblems:

That’s pretty rare. I know there have been a few other examples, but I couldn’t think of any off the top of my head, and it’s not an easy thing to research on Dressed to the Nines because the mock-up template doesn’t show the right sleeve, so I asked uni designer/historian Todd Radom, who said, “That was a Washington Senators hallmark for many years, long after anyone else still did it. Dodgers and Pirates did this too, I believe.” Sure enough, here are some Sens examples from the 1920s and ’30s. I haven’t had time to look for the Dodgers and Pirates examples that Todd was referring to. Anyone..? (Update: Todd just sent me examples of the early-1930s Dodgers and the late-1920s Pirates.)

• The good news is that most players wore stirrups; the bad news is that the stirrups’ foot openings were much too large, resulting in an era-inappropriate amount of white showing through (click to enlarge):

• The worst news is that shortstop Jose Iglesias wore some absolutely brutal two-in-ones that should never have been allowed on the field for a throwback game (or, really, for any game, but especially yesterday; click to enlarge):

• While everyone else wore the godawful G.I. Joke caps yesterday, the Reds avoided that nonsense by wearing their throwbacks — brilliant! Looking ahead, they’ll catch a similar break on July 6, when they’ll be wearing their 1939 throwbacks while everyone else will be stuck wearing the flag-desecration caps for Independence Day Independence Four-Day Festival. So the Reds have shown how to game MLB’s holiday-creep merch-dump system: Just schedule a throwback game — problem solved!

Next up: The Reds will wear 1919 World Series throwbacks — including pinstriped caps, complete with pinstriped brims — on Sunday, June 2.

(My thanks to Hunter Childress, Jakob Fox, Steve Polce, and our own Alex Hider for their contributions to this section.)

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Entertainingly confusing situation in the making: Interesting development yesterday in Detroit, where the A’s/Tigers game was suspended due to rain after seven innings. It was later announced that the game will be resumed on Sept. 6 — but in Oakland, where the two teams already have a game scheduled for that date. They’ll finish the suspended game first, and then play the regular game. So for the resumption of the suspended game, the Tigers will be the “home” team (i.e., batting last) and the A’s will be the “road” team, even though the remainder of the game will be taking place in Oakland.

Now, it’s possible that the Tigers will pack their home unis for that September road trip, and that they’ll suit up in their home unis for the resumption of the suspended game and then switch to their road unis for the regularly scheduled game. But I think it’s much more likely that they’ll just wear their road unis for both games (especially since there are only two innings to go in the suspended game), which means the Tigers will be wearing their road design as the home team, with the A’s doing the opposite. Crazy! I’ve asked both teams for clarification and will report back if I get more info from them.

Whichever uniforms the teams wear, I’m assuming they won’t wear the G.I. Joke caps for the resumption of the suspended game. So there you go, another way to avoid the holiday nonsense: Get rained out, problem solved!

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ITEM! Purp Walk recap: Purple Amnesty Day, which took place on Friday, was a hoot. We got 45 membership orders (an all-time record) and sold nearly 100 of the spectacularly hideous purple sunrise shirts. Fun!

But the most interesting thing was the way people started posting their favorite purple uniforms over on Twitter. This seemed to happen pretty organically, without any help from me, and it was really fun to see. For next year’s Purp Walk post, I’ll post a ranking of my own favorite purple uniforms (yes, I do have some!), instead of just trotting out my boilerplate explanation for why I dislike purple.

The funniest moment of the day came when the Evansville athletics department, whose teams are called the Purple Aces, posted this:

So cool. Thanks, guys, and thanks to everyone else for a very enjoyable 2019 Purp Walk!

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And speaking of purple…: I’m not the only one who’s professionally opposed to the world’s most accursed color. I got a note over the weekend from reader John Harvatine, who runs an animation shop in Los Angeles, as follows:

I’m lucky enough to direct the stop-motion Goldfish commercials for a wonderful client who’s so much fun to work with. My job on those spots is to make these already good-looking crackers look even better, which I achieve through story, design, and color. All the colors of the rainbow help paint the picture in these spots — except purple. Purple has no place for the hero of the story, and only works, sparingly, for bad guys or things you shouldn’t trust. So the subtle Easter egg in these spots is purple, or the lack thereof.

Thanks again for promoting purple on only one day of the year, and honestly even that seems a bit much.

Ha! To see what John means regarding his Goldfish work, here’s a spot where three of the Goldfish are wearing colored winter hats — green, pink, and blue, but no purple:

You can see more of John’s Goldfish commercials here.

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Membership update: It’s always fun to meet Uni Watch readers “in the wild,” and even more fun when they’re card-carrying members. That’s what happened on Saturday afternoon, when I was out at an event in Queens (more on that at the end of today’s post) and a guy approached me and asked, “Are you Paul Lukas?” It was reader Garrett Kramer, who promptly reached into his wallet and produced his card (based on the Nets’ black uniform) to prove that he Gets It™.

If you want to be like Garrett, ordering a membership card is a good way to support Uni Watch (which, quite 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.) 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.

rafflet ticket by ben thoma.jpg

And speaking of memberships, today I’m raffling off two complimentary membership cards that were purchased and donated by longtime reader Jay Palmer. Thanks, Jay!

I’ll pick two separate winners for this one. To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern tonight. I’ll announce the winners tomorrow.

I have several more reader-sponsored raffles in the pipeline, along with a reader-sponsored auction. I very much appreciate all the generous people who’ve chosen to support Uni Watch in this way (thank you!), but for now let’s please hold off on more of these until I can work my way through the raffle backlog, okay? I’ll let you know when I’m ready for more raffle donations. Thanks!

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ITEM! Cap update: After a brief period when we were sold out of two sizes, I’m happy to report that all fitted sizes of the Uni Watch Classic Cap are once again back in stock and available for ordering.

We also have adjustable caps with a handsome leather strap and burnished metal buckle, but we only have one of those available at the moment. So if you want an adjustable, grab it fast! (We should have new inventory on the adjustables by mid-June.)

(My continued thanks to reader Mark LaFountain for serving as Uni Watch’s cap fulfillment manager, an arrangement that’s worked out ridiculously well.)

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ITEM! Collection Agency update: What you see above is a very small portion of a collection of baseball-themed postage stamps from around the world. That collection is one of many, many collections (most of them not sports-themed) owned by an extremely interesting guy named Mitch Blank, who lives in Manhattan. He’s one of the world’s foremost collectors of Bob Dylan memorabilia, but that’s actually the least interesting thing about his collecting habits. I’ve written a profile of him and his collections for Gothamist. I really, really enjoyed getting to know Mitch and writing about him, and I’m very happy with how this piece turned out, so I hope you’ll check it out.

As you may recall, earlier this spring I wrote for Gothamist about a guy who collects vintage police mug shots, so this new piece is the next article in that series (which I’m continuing to call “Collection Agency,” even though Gothamist hasn’t yet adopted that rubric). I’ll be doing more of these, so if you live in the NYC area and have an interesting collection, or if you know of such a person, Collection Agency would like to hear from you. Thanks.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: The White Sox wore their 1983 throwbacks this weekend, but still wore their Armed Forces Day Weekend caps. The difference between their situation and the Reds’ appears to be that the Reds’ throwbacks were a one-off, while the Sox’s throwbacks are their usual Sunday home uni (from Matt Linder). … Both starting pitchers in yesterday’s Nationals/Cubs game, Jeremy Hellickson and Kyle Hendricks, had belt problems (from Mike Davidson). … The Nats’ racing presidents were replaced with members of the ESPN broadcast crew (from William F. Yurasko). … Dodgers OF Joc Pederson was wearing two pairs of sunglasses on Saturday (from Max Wagner). … The next two are from Mike Chamernik: Braves players created an impromptu shrine to OF Ronald Acuña Jr.’s broken bat. … Dodgers 3B Justin Turner ran into a baserunner and had his glove fall off while he was trying to make a catch. … Paul Friedmann happened upon a vintage 1880s-style base ball game in his neighborhood in Boston. … Alabama softball players apparently wear the SEC graduate patch over the number on the back — a very odd placement (from Griffin Smith). … Two Single-A teams, the Bowling Green (Ky.) Hot Rods and the Lake County (Ohio) Captains, both emerged wearing blue yesterday, so Bowling Green changed to orange (from Joe Brand). … Another Single-A team, the Clinton (Iowa) LumberKings, wore local fire department-themed jerseys with the NOB of a firefighter who was killed while responding to a fire in January (from @istudytrees). .. The Orix Buffaloes wore 1990s throwbacks over the weekend.

Football News: Eagles DE Chris Long announced his retirement this weekend. Sam McKinley points out that Long won the Walter Payton Man of the Year award last season but will never wear the patch unless he unretires. … In yesterday’s Ticker we had a sighting of a Chargers basketball jersey with RB Melvin Gordon’s name/old No. 28 on it. Here’s Gordon himself wearing it, although he wears No. 25 now and it’s unclear when that picture is from (from Matt Shevin). … The Calgary Stampeders received their 2018 Grey Cup rings (from Wade Heidt). … Brazilian soccer club Atlético Mineiro (see below) has its own football team, who revealed uniforms for this season along with the soccer team.

Hockey News: The OHL’s Erie Otters have new logos and uniforms (from Wade Heidt). … The QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads are wearing the Memorial Cup patch below and to the side of the crest because they have a maker’s mark and the QMJHL 50th-anniversary patch on the chest and a team 25th-anniversary patch on the shoulders (from Stephen Badger). … The photo of Bruins D Bobby Orr’s flight through the air as he scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal in 1970 is legendary, but here’s a picture of Orr afterwards wearing what Mike Malcinof says must be one of the first championship shirts.

Basketball News: Here are some Virginia uniform concepts, including orange alternates, which are now only worn by the women’s team, but the men last wore something similar to the one shown in about 2011. Yes please to that and the throwback and hard pass on the BFBS (from my brother Nate Rathjen). … Reader Christopher Jones sent us some more college concepts that he made when he was a kid, and it appears he is raising a uni-watcher as well. … Great story: It took a Knicks fan 47 years to get all the members of the 1969-70 championship team to autograph a Knicks placemat that he got from IHOP as a kid. … Cross-listed from the football section: In yesterday’s Ticker we had a sighting of a Chargers basketball jersey with RB Melvin Gordon’s name/old No. 28 on it. Here’s Gordon himself wearing it, although he wears No. 25 now and it’s unclear when that picture is from (from Matt Shevin). … The WNBA’s Dallas Wings have two players with hyphenated McNOBs, one that’s double-decker and one that isn’t (from @TheSkyShowCHI). … The Brunson League, a Baltimore summer pro-am league, has new uniforms for this season.

Soccer News: New kits for Italian team AC Milan (first), German 2. Bundesliga teams Dynamo Dresden (first) and Greuther Fürth (first) Austrian team Sturm Graz (first, second, third, and GK), and Brazilian team Atlético Mineiro (first, second, and third). … In Scotland, Hibernian midfielder Marvin Bartley entered yesterday’s game without a front-of-shirt ad, but changed to a corrected shirt after about 15 minutes. … The NWSL’s Washington Spirit have let me down by introducing an ad five games into the season. … A graphic designer in Brechin, Scotland, is attempting to illustrate every club stadium in the world. Some of his work is already used by several leagues in the country, including the top two women’s tiers. … The Polish soccer season wrapped up yesterday. This graphic shows the shirts for all the title-winning sides in the 21st century (from Ed Zelaski).

Grab Bag: Officials in Major League Rugby, the North American rugby union competition, wear ads on their backs (from @bryanwdc). … For this year’s 100th anniversary of the Tour de France’s yellow jersey, there is to be a different version of the jersey for each stage (except the first) showing famous people or places from the Tour’s history. … Let no surface go without a maker’s mark: Players on Great Britain’s field hockey teams now have team-specific mouthguards with a manufacturer’s logo smack in the middle.

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What Paul did last night on Saturday: St. Michael’s Cemetery in Queens is the final resting place for a bunch of notable people (including Baseball Hall of Famer Cool Papa Bell’s daughter), and arguably the most notable one of all is the great ragtime composer Scott Joplin, whose gravestone is shown above. The area near his grave is marked by a large maple leaf, because Joplin wrote “The Maple Leaf Rag.” Every year the cemetery honors him by holding a free ragtime concert, which I’ve sometimes attended. This year’s edition was on Saturday, which was also the nicest day of the year so far, so a bunch of friends and I decided to make a picnic out of it.

It was a great time, in part because of this elderly couple that was dancing through many of the numbers (the guy also had a cigar at one point, but someone made him put it out):

The concert lasted about two hours. When it was over, the band walked down from the bandstand and down a hill to Joplin’s grave site, where they played an unamplified version of “Maple Leaf Rag.” It was pretty perfect (click photo to enlarge):

Incidentally, this event is where card-carrying Uni Watch member Garrett Kramer approached me, as referenced earlier in today’s entry, which just made the proceedings even nicer.

Another Beauty (of a Game): The Art and Artistry of Jack Davis

By Phil Hecken, with Jimmy Parker

If the art in today’s splash photo looks familiar — it should. It was done by John Burton Davis, Jr., better known as Jack Davis. While Davis is known for his advertising art, magazine covers, film posters, record album art and numerous comic book stories, he also was prolific in his sports art. He may best be known as one of founding cartoonists for Mad Magazine when it premiered in 1952.

I’m back today with my buddy Jimmy Parker (follow him on Twitter here), who you may remember worked with me recently on the Neil Leifer book, Ballet In The Dirt. Today Jimmy is back with a look at the art and artistry of another legend, Jack Davis. You’ll enjoy this one! Here’s Jimmy!

• • • •

The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad (Sports) World of Jack Davis
By Jimmy Parker

If you happened to grow up in America in the 1960s, 70s or 80s, you’ve no doubt seen the work of artist Jack Davis. Best known for his work on MAD Magazine, Davis’ art permeated American pop culture in so many ways, it’s arguable that he was at one point the country’s most well-known artist. Over the course of a more than 60 year career, Davis’ illustrations appeared on or in countless magazines, comic books, movie posters, ads – even on the backs of baseball cards.

Davis grew up drawing, contributing illustrations to his high school newspaper and yearbook. Following 3 years in the US Navy, Davis attended the University of Georgia on the GI Bill, becoming a Bulldog for life. After working briefly in Atlanta, Davis set his sights on New York City, moving there in 1949.

In New York, Davis’ work caught the attention of editors at EC Comics, then publishers of a large roster of horror comic books, with titles such as Tales From the Crypt, The Vault of Horror and The Haunt of Fear. Davis’ style fit perfectly in the horror comics and the artist’s unusual speed made him a go-to for EC editors.

Throughout the early 1950s Davis contributed artwork to virtually the entire line of horror comics, including the classic “Foul Play”, a story depicting a baseball game played with a human head as a ball and arms and legs used as bats. Following public backlash and Senate hearings on comics’ role in juvenile delinquency, the comic book industry instituted strict publishing guidelines that ended EC’s line of profitable comics. The only book left was a relatively new comic that parodied all aspects of American life – MAD.

Davis had worked on every issue of MAD since its inception, using a looser, more caricature-like artwork style for parodies of movies, tv shows and even Ernest Thayer’s famous poem, “Casey at the Bat”.

In 1955, after 23 issues, the comic book was converted to a full sized magazine. The move gave its contributors more room for artwork and placed its content outside the strict guidelines of the Comics Code Authority. The result was soaring readership as MAD Magazine became a rite of passage for postwar American youth. Davis remained a regular contributor, known affectionately as “the usual gang of idiots”, for most of the next 5 decades.

With the increased popularity of MAD Magazine, Davis’ work caught the eye of Woody Gelman, art director at Brooklyn-based Topps Chewing Gum. Over the next several years, Gelman would assign Davis work on several sets of non-sports cards distributed with Topps gum. Needing illustrations for some 500 cards in each years’ baseball and football card sets, Gelman also tapped Davis to contribute artwork used on the backs of sports cards. In the late 1950s and early ‘60s countless kids unwittingly viewed Davis illustrations while chewing gum and reading statistics of their diamond and gridiron heroes.


By the mid-1960s, as early fans of MAD had started joining the professional ranks, art directors began assigning Davis freelance work illustrating everything from magazine and album covers to movie posters and advertising campaigns.

Two of his biggest regular magazine clients were TV Guide, then the most popular publication in America, and TIME, for which he contributed covers for several sports stories.

In the early 1970s Davis and fellow MAD contributor Nick Meglin created SuperFan, a comic strip that ran in Pro Quarterback magazine for several years. The comic gave Davis and Meglin a platform to parody the world of professional football, both on and off the field, at a time when the NFL was beginning to overtake MLB as America’s most popular spectator sport. The strip was later compiled into two paperback publications, with a forward by legendary sportscaster Howard Cosell.

Beginning in the 1960s Davis did artwork for several movie posters, including It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Kelly’s Heroes and The Long Goodbye. But perhaps his greatest accomplishment in the world of cinema was his poster for the 1976 Walter Matthau film The Bad News Bears. Davis’ depiction of Morris Buttermaker and his chaotic band of batsmen is the perfect visual representation of the film.

Davis also had a prolific career in advertising, contributing artwork to ad campaigns for everything from RAID insect spray to Slim Jim beef snacks. Davis had a long relationship with sporting goods manufacturer Spalding, illustrating ads for several of their sports equipment lines. Perhaps best remembered is his 1977 “Streetball” ad for
Spalding basketball, featuring Dr. J and Rick Barry, which ran on the backs of comic books for several years in the late ‘70s and early ’80s.

In the mid 1980’s, Davis illustrated the covers of the popular book series, The Baseball Hall of Shame. The series initially comprised 4 books, each with different cover art that is typical Davis. The “Hall of Shame” franchise eventually spun off to include other sports including football and basketball, with most volumes sporting Davis artwork. Almost 1,000,000 copies of the books were sold and in 2012 the authors returned with “The Baseball Hall of Hame 5”, once again with Davis providing the cover art.

In the late 1980’s, with merchandising revenues climbing for virtually all sports, Davis did a series of team “mascots” posters. However, these weren’t illustrations of the Phillie Phanatic or San Diego Chicken. Instead Davis illustrated a caricature, either at bat or on the pitching mound, for each team’s namesake, drawing an astronaut pitching for Houston, an actual angel with wings pitching for
California…

… and a pirate, clenching a sword in his teeth, taking a swing for Pittsburgh. The series was so successful that later versions were created with NFL, NBA and even college football teams.

Through it all, no matter where he was or what he was working on, Davis was always a University of Georgia Bulldog at heart. He rarely missed Georgia – Florida college football games and was a faithful supporter of the school since his days on campus. Davis’ professional relationship with the university’s athletic department began in 1948 when he illustrated the front and back covers of that
year’s football media guide.

Over the next 7 decades, Davis’ work graced countless programs, guides, posters, t-shirts, buttons and other items in support of a variety of UGA athletic programs.

In the 1990’s Davis and his wife moved from New York to St. Simon’s Island, GA. The move gave Davis a slower pace of life but was by no means a retirement. Thanks to his stature in the world of illustration Davis remained an in-demand artist, continuing to work in a wide variety of media.

During these years Davis began to receive awards and accolades befitting such a lengthy and diverse career. In 1996 he received the National Cartoonists Society’s Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2002 Davis had a career retrospective exhibit at New York’s Society of Illustrators and in 2005 was inducted into the Society’s Hall of Fame.

On July 27, 2016 Davis passed away at age 91 due to complications from a stroke. Americans had lost a friend who helped them laugh at themselves for over half a century. But sports fans had lost a fellow fan whose unique visual perspective captured and reflected a variety of sports throughout popular culture.

• • •

Nice job with that Jimmy! Thanks for the in-depth look at Jack Davis.

Dolphins To Wear White Throwbacks

Great uniform news yesterday!

The Miami Dolphins will wear throwback white uniforms for their Week 2 game against the New England Patriots, according Tom Garfinkel, the vice-chairman, president and chief executive officer of the Dolphins.

The past several years, the Dolphins have worn their beautiful aqua throwbacks, with everyone from their fans to players to (pretty much everyone on) Uni Watch calling for them to be made their permanent primary uniform. While yesterday’s news on the white throwback is indeed welcome, there were no other announcements made, such as whether the new throwback will replace the aqua throwback, be worn in conjunction with it, or whether the aqua throwback will become the teams primary home uni.

Here’s the Dolphins tweet, which shows a bit more of the uni:

Note the lack of any “NFL 100” logo or patch on the uniform (which means it’s probably just a mock up at this point). For those of you who living in a cave may have missed it, all NFL teams (except da Bears, who will wear a jersey patch) will wear NFL 100 Logo on the jersey collar this year.

According to the Dolphins, the team last wore the white throwback jerseys on Thanksgiving Day in 2003 when they faced the Dallas Cowboys and won 40-21 that day. This jersey looks slightly different (aside from being a different cut and manufacturer), with different stripes, but they’re both pretty similar.

With this being the NFL’s 100th Anniversary Season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see lots of throwbacks being brought out, especially for teams who won’t have an issue with helmet shell colors. This could simply be a one-off throwback (worn to commemorate the 100th Anniversary) or it might be a replacement for the current throwback (lets hope not); the best of all worlds, of course, would be to have this new jersey be a new alternate, with the current aqua throwback being moved to “primary” status (but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that). Either way, we should all be pretty excited at this development, even if there were many hints this would be happening over the past several months.

Stay tuned. The NFL could be good looking with celebratory throwbacks this fall!


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: “New Blood”
Subject: Lou Gehrig, 1925
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 16″ x 20″

The Yankees were in trouble. Their 1925 season was only two months old, and the team seemed to be giving up already. By June 1, they were 15-26, good for seventh place in the American League. A year prior, at that time, their record was almost exactly reversed, with the team holding strongly onto the top spot of the league.

Their problems seemed to focus around their top drawing card and all-around greatest asset, Babe Ruth. During that time, the slugger’s private life was in shambles. With his womanizing becoming the stuff of legend, his marriage to Helen Woodford was falling apart. Ruth was seeing a woman who would later become his second wife, though it is possible that he had many more relationships going on at that same time. Towards the beginning of spring training, with his habitual drinking adding to the mix, the Babe began suffering from horrible stomach cramps and high fevers. During an April 7 stop in Asheville, North Carolina, he completely collapsed in a bathroom. Newspapers in London reported that he had died. His diet being the main culprit in his illness, writers referred to his episode as “the bellyache heard ‘round the world.”

It was discovered that the Babe was suffering from an intestinal abscess, and on the 17th of that month, he went into surgery. Upon his return to the team, Babe was still feeling the effects of his spring training ailment, as he was 30 pounds lighter, and appeared gaunt and wobbly-legged. Many writers felt that the Yankee slugger was through. At thirty years of age, and as a result of his life of consumption and over-indulgence, many felt that he seemed older than Ty Cobb and Walter Johnson did at that same age. They feared he was no longer able to continue being the same kind of player he was in the late 1910s and early 1920s.

The rest of the team fared no better. Their regular third baseman, Joe Dugan, was playing on a bad knee. Everett Scott, who had recently broken his consecutive game streak of 1307 games, seemed to be completely sapped of his strength. Both Catcher Wally Schang and second baseman Aaron Ward were having poor years, and were at the end of their tenure with the club. Wally Pipp, the first-sacker, was batting .244 with only three homers and twenty-three runs batted in. In fact, his average over the last three weeks of May was an anemic .181. Manager Miller Huggins thought it was time for a shakeup, possibly hoping that the threat of the regular starters losing their jobs would encourage better play and more hustle.

Facing the Washington Senators on Tuesday, June 2, he saw his opportunity. Ward’s second base was surrendered to Howard Shanks, while Benny Bengough took the mask and chest protector to behind home plate. And, with lefthander George Mogridge on the mound, Huggins put in the young Columbia University fence-buster Lou Gehrig to play first. Contrary to popular belief that Pipp was benched due to a headache, it was actually because of his ineffectiveness against lefties throughout that season.

It was the first starting job for Gehrig, though up to that point he had been under the club’s wing for two years. On April 18 of 1923, the same day that the Yankees opened their brand-new stadium, Gehrig was pitching for his university team against Williams College. Despite registering a loss, he struck out seventeen – setting a school record – and hit both a single and double. During that season of nineteen games, he hit .444, with six doubles, two triples and seven home runs. The tale of his homers became somewhat legendary at the school, where people said one of his blasts broke a window in Hartley Hall, while another flew 450 feet to smash a sundial dedicated by the class of 1885. He was thought of as “The Babe Ruth of the Colleges.” Yankee scout Paul Krichell had been interested in Gehrig’s bat and was the man responsible for the young man’s signing with the Yankees midway into that season. With Babe Ruth’s power driving New York, finding someone who could augment that was a no brainer. Such an offensive tandem could only mean better draws to the stadium.

Over the next two years, he flourished in the eastern league with the Hartford Senators, hitting .369, with thirty seven homers, thirteen triples and forty doubles in 1924. However, in September when he was called up to New York, he saw very limited playing time as a pinch-hitter. Huggins still had a very reliable veteran in Pipp. And, as long as he felt that the Yankees had a shot at the pennant – which they most certainly did in 1924 – he would play it safe. Very early during the 1925 season, there were even talks of Gehrig being traded to Boston for Phil Todt, another veteran first sacker.

But on that afternoon in June, because of Huggins’ need to shake things up, Gehrig finally seemed to get his chance to become more of a regular in the Yankee lineup. That day, he had two singles and a double in five chances, and was one of the main reasons the Yankees snapped their losing streak with a 8-5 win. Only three regulars from the prior year – Dugan, Ruth and Bob Meusel – started the game.

Pipp worked with Gehrig before each game there-after, helping him improve his technique around first base. He held out that he would win his job back eventually, but almost a month after sitting out, his hope was gone for good. On July 2, he was hit in the head by a Charley Caldwell high and inside fastball during batting practice. He spent a week at St. Vincent’s Hospital with a fractured skull and played very little for the rest of the season.

The Yankees finished the season with one of the worst records their franchise would ever produce, good for second to last place. Attendance at the stadium also fell off to 697,000 – over 30 percent off from the prior season. With all of his injuries and squabbles with Huggins, Babe Ruth only played in 98 games. He batted .290 and hit twenty-five home runs, and though those numbers would be aberrations for any mortal, it was Babe’s worst season in the majors.

Lou Gehrig, soon to be twenty-two years old, continued to play, and began to flourish as a starter. He played in each of the next 113 games, hit twenty home runs, hit .295, and batted in 68 runs.

Wally Pipp, now thirty-two years old, was traded to the Cincinnati Reds before the start of the 1926 season.

The Yankees had their new first baseman.

• • •

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


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 the following e-mail from Ian Lee, who has some NHL “Stadium Series” concepts to share:

Hi Phil,

I was thinking that it would be cool to design concepts for the 2020 Stadium Series game between LA and Colorado at the Air Force Stadium. They both have some subtle military references- the Avs have their uniform based on the hockey alternate jerseys of the Air Force Academy (at least according to Wikipedia, so take that with a grain of salt) and the LA Kings logo is based off the emblem of a local Air Force Base and has five sleeve stripes (3 heathered grey with 2 silver in the middle) to symbolize five branches of the American Military. Have a great Saturday!

Thanks,
Ian Lee

Colorado:

Los Angeles:

• • •

Thanks Ian. 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

Well … that was quick. Got a lot of positive response to returning the Guess The Game (From The Scoreboard), and even got a couple of new submissions. Today’s comes from Gary (Blue Hen).

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).

I’d say this one is fairly easy as well — probably a 2 on a scale of 1-10 difficulty.

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!):

If you guys like this, and want to have this as a weekly feature, let me know in the comments below. And if anyone wants to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), I’ll keep running them.

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: “I am sure this has already been addressed,” writes Steve Haynes, “but Nigel Tufnel, in the last scene of Spinal Tap, is wearing a Sadaharu Oh jersey. A move well ahead of its time. Apologies if repetitive, but made my evening.” Now, I’ve seen Tap more than 100 times and can quote it by heart, so I can never get enough of this, but for you younger kids — this is one of the 10 best movies ever made. I cannot recommend it highly enough. … The Richmond Times Dispatch ran an article yesterday about the seamstress who takes care of the double A Richmond Flying Squirrels jerseys, especially talking about putting on nameplates (a first submission[!] from Adam). … Reds players wore 3 different caps during warm-ups for Saturday’s game, notes Joanna Zwiep. For those scoring at home, Pitcher Sonny Gray in the road game cap (even though it’s a home game), Pitcher Michael Lorenzen in the Armed Forces Day game cap, and Coach Caleb Cotham wore the pre-game/batting practice cap. … Not just color vs. color in the Greenwood Little League Single-A division Saturday. Navy tops and gray pants for both the Tigers and Braves (from Blaine Williams). So cute tho. … Maybe this isn’t so cute: “In our league, every team wears the EXACT same uniform,” says Josh Sandin. … Fortunately, Johnny Memphis has the solution: “We had this in one of our little league games, so we broke out our Braves red jerseys.” … You guys know I love a vertical team name down placket right? RIGHT! (from Jim Nicar). … Check out these photos of John Candy as Babe Ruth on SCTV in 1981 wearing a zipper front #4 Yankees uniform (from Michael Berry). No doubt Jimmer Vilk approves. (And Ruth wore #3 — that’s a Gehrig — although Candy has Ruthian physique, sort of). … A German Tourist gave a very humorous reply when asked about his Orioles cap on a train in Japan (from our own Anthony Emerson). … Not a big deal (in college or pros) but Alabama and Georgia went color vs. color in their season finale (from Griffin Smith). … Same thing for LSU vs. Auburn (from DG). … Tweeter Craig W has ranked his top 5 MLB caps. … Of course, that prompted Jimmer Vilk to tweet out his own top 5 MLB caps list. … Tip of the uni aesthetic cap to the Washington 3A State baseball playoffs teams, all of whom (apparently) wore high cuffs and stirrups (from Morten Orren). … Yesterday, Texas A&M softball was wearing 1980s throwbacks for elimination game vs. Texas. Tweeter Chris Mycoskie adds, “While more accurate this way (since they likely didn’t wear SWC mark back then), surprised they don’t have SEC patches.” … I wasn’t gonna give the camopander (Armed Forces Weekend) stuff any mention at all, but yesterday teams not only wore the camo caps, they also wore a special jersey patch (h/t Gershon Rabinowitz), and of course, the Brewers added olive colored helmets with camo BiG stickers, making that a wretched looking combo. … And then there is this, FFS (thanks, I think, to Adam Vitcavage). … Um. So, did you ever want to see a picture of Garth Brooks wearing a Ben Roethlisberger Pirates jersey? Yeah, me neither, but there you have it (from Noah Castroll and Matthew Farrier).

NFL News: Yesterday, the NFLPA held its 25th Annual “Rookie Premiere” (ugh, I hate the sound of that, but at least it’s not the Tostito’s Rookie Premiere or something like that) — and as such we saw a bunch of players in jerseys, looking somewhat happy (flashing signs?), and of course, that meant some up close and personal looks at the new NFL 100 logo which will be worn by all NFL teams (except da Bears) this upcoming season. … Da Bears, of course, are celebrating their own 100th Anniversary and have their own special logo they’ll wear on their chest (from Chris Jolly). … Several readers/tweeters pointed out that Ravens rookies were wearing the black alternate and wondering if that will be moved up to the primary. … Fans of the New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers and other NFL franchises should keep an eye out for nods to Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, Venom, X-Men and a ton more, as Marvel has created NFL helmets for every “team” (from Vicious Sid). That article’s dated February, but I don’t recall seeing it — apologies if it’s a repeat. … Would a powder blue and white, pillbox-style, Houston Oilers hat be one of the more random things come across in an antique store? Kade Witten thinks so.

College Football News: With the NFL’s “Color Rush Rash” being such a success (TFPIC), you know it would be great if all the college teams decided to go the rash route too, right? No? Well, just in case you’re one of the few who might, here are some Color Rash concepts for a bunch of College teams. … “Although NCAA rules state that FBS/FCS teams aren’t required to wear the #CFB150 patch,” writes James Gilbert, “this [article] indicates that all those teams ordered them and it is assumed all D-I teams will wear the patch.” … The Nebraska Cornhuskers are “going with the super-sized anniversary patch as well,” says Brett Baker, who adds. “That jersey is busier than Paul’s laminate machine on Purple Amnesty Day.”

Hockey News: When players from the First Nations Elite hockey program take took the ice in Pierrefonds this weekend for the AAA Montreal Meltdown Hockey Tournament, they are making a fashion statement — all to fight racism. Their brand new red jerseys were made just for this tournament. They have the slogan “#ItsNotOK” written across the back. The bottom of the jersey has a bold, red bar across the word “racism.” … The Charlotte Checkers were wearing Calder Cup helmet decals last evening (and during the playoffs). From Mark Grainda. Sure looks a lot like the Leafs vs. Canes too!

NBA News: OK, here’s a real random jersey sighting: “Disneyland, land of all jerseys, has a guy in a L.A. Chargers Melvin Gordon basketball jersey,” says Mandy Lopez. Yeah, it’s gonna be hard to unsee that. … Good spot by Jakob Fox who notes the “Curry-Parents Watch continues for Game 3. Split logo hat as well as both Golden State Warriors and Portland Trailblazers logos on their jackets.”

Soccer News: In yesterday’s FA Cup Final, Man City wore “Choose Etihad” rather than “Etihad Airways” as the kit sponsor/advertiser. Submitter Josh Hinton adds “Also, the club are not wearing an FA Cup patch on their sleeve, which is consistent with what they’ve done throughout this cup run. This is because the FA Cup title sponsor, Emirates Airlines, is a direct competitor to the club’s chief kit sponsor, Etihad Airlines.” … Manchester United’s new away kit leaked and fans say ‘disgusting’ design is ‘tribute to snakes in dressing room.’ It is a beige color with a black trim that is reminiscent of a snake skin design. … Manchester City, on the other hand, paid homage to their 1969 FA Cup winners (and 50th Anniversary) with a beautiful jersey they sported for warmups. … FC Schalke 04 in Germany’s Bundesliga with the black armband to remember two former players who recently passed (from Wayne Jones). … The San Francisco Glens (a USL League Two team) have new kits, including a BFBS third kit (from San Francisco Glens). … Now that the Premier League’s season has ended, planet football has compiled a list of new kits, leaks and announcements for next season’s uniforms.

Grab Bag: Apologies if this has been run before, but Daniel Schwanger writes, “As a Duquesne University alum I was shocked to see a different Duquesne “D” logo show up on my ESPN favorites (yesterday) morning. As it turns out, this is part of a complete “rebranding” that seems senseless to me. I find it interesting that Nike had something to do with this, though I’m not surprised.” He continues, “There is even a new custom “Bluff” font for the lettering, named after the location of the university in the city, which students and alumni endearingly call “the Bluff” overlooking the Monongahela river. Seems to me to be a bit of a stretch.” Here’s an shot of the original D that is still used for official university business but has since been replaced in the athletics program with something more angular. … Do we have any “Survivor” (the TV show) fans here? Well, you’re in luck: here’s a look at the logos for all 38 ‘seasons’ of the show (via Paul). … We don’t seem to get much tennis coverage on UW (unless it’s from my doubles partner, Brinke), but Blake Fox notes that Spiderman did the coin toss at the Italian Open. … Not quite uni-related, but “St Mary Parish in Hudson has had the longest streak of parish sons becoming priests. It’s been 7 straight years! They even made shirts!” (from Jimmer Vilk).

On Purple Amnesty Day, Uni Aesthetics Take A Hit

By Phil Hecken

We all have our good days and our bad days. Uniforms? Yep, they work that way too.

Yesterday was (as you should all be aware) the infamous “Purple Amnesty Day” on Uni Watch, and (coincidentally?) the whole uni-verse, or at least my universe, went just a little haywire. And it has nothing to do, per se, with Paul’s favorite day to honor his least favorite color.

First, the Purple Amnesty (PA) t-shirt offering:

I don’t hate purple like Paul does, but it’s far from my favorite color — I have to say, however, that this year’s PA shirt is awesome. Purple is a rough color to have as a primary team color, and in my opinion, very few teams who sport the color wear the “correct” shade. By correct, I mean to me — and that shade would be any of the three “smaller” stripes shown on the shirt above — the larger (and bottom/base) shade contains too much blue (to my eye). More white and/or red in the purple is a much more aesthetically pleasing shade. In the words of Jimmer Vilk, “I’d Wear That!” — unfortunately, with finances at a bit of a premium due to well, lack of a full-time job, I had to pass on purchasing it this year. Hopefully that one is available again.

But it says something when I consider the PA shirt to be the best “uni” offering of the day.

Now, at this point, you may be saying, “What has this got to do with the splash photo … or anything really???” I hear you. But what does John Daly (pictured in the upper left of today’s splash) have to do with anything? Well, this one’s personal.

First, I love John Daly. I think he and I have traveled some of the same life roads. He was the original “Grip It and Rip It” guy, and before Tiger Woods came along, was one of the more entertaining players on the PGA Tour. He was also pretty good at golf (he won the 1991 PGA and the 1995 Open, both of which I watched) but was undoubtedly more famous for his off-course antics than any abilities on it. Because he’s a former PGA Champ, he gets an exemption to play the tournament (he’s ranked like one million or something now) and a shell of his former self (not literally, as he’s still larger than life in many ways). I also love JD because he wears Loudmouth Pants — which you may recall were the sartorial choice of the Norwegian Curling team. I happen to own a few pairs, and many in the curling world now sport Loudmouth Pants due to the Norsemen. The Long Island Curling Club, which counts me among the membership, have not one but TWO custom pairs of curling pants. Our most recent set feature our distinctive 10th Anniversary logo.

So why am I telling you about curling and John Daly when talking aesthetics. Here’s why. Or rather, here’s what JD wore yesterday, during his final round of the PGA (I say his final round because, shockingly, he missed the cut).

If you can’t quite make out the design on the pants, here’s a closer look:

Yes, those say “Folds of Honor” and that’s a nice charity n’all and today is Armed Forces Day, etc. I have no problem with him wearing those pants. But here’s the thing: back last summer when the LICC were having our special 10th Anniversary pants designed by Loudmouth, our order was delayed for about a week, as Loudmouth received a last minute request to produce one more pair. That pair wasn’t for any club member, though. Can you guess who ordered them?

That’s right, JD was so “impressed” with our design he asked for a pair to be made custom for him — with the rationale being he’d wear them for the PGA, since it’s being played at the Bethpage Black (a course I have played many times) and which is right in our backyard. It would have been perfect. Only he didn’t wear them yesterday. He also didn’t wear them the first day of the tourney, when he went with another NY theme, wearing Yankee logoed pants. He also didn’t wear them for any of the practice rounds. So, after all that hope — at least for myself and many members of my curling club — JD whiffed.

I still love him, but I was really expecting/hoping/praying he’d bust out “our” pants yesterday. Alas…it didn’t happen.

Sadly, these days JD is more of a caricature than a golfer.

• • •

Next up: an MLB Player’s Poll on Best Uniforms was unveiled yesterday. It got a bit of mileage on Twitter, mostly for the teams either not chosen (like the Tigers) or the teams selected by the players. OK, if you read that, you’ll see that yes, a couple of the classically attired teams (Dodgers, Yankees) received the most votes, with the Braves in second and the Cardinals tied for 5th. All well and good, I’d put each of those in the top 5 (I’d add the Tigers and A’s in there for a solid top 6).

Before I get to the surprises, a quick codicil: only 85 players voted and they weren’t allowed to select their own team. Now, I thought MLBers would display as fine a sense of aesthetic as we here at Uni Watch do, but I was wrong. The mere fact that the D-backs received ANY votes, much less five, is disconcerting at best. Do approximately 6% of ALL MLBers think the D-Backs have the best uni in the bigs? Seriously? With the exception of their throwbacks (which aren’t great) every single uni set the D-Backs have is awful. At least to me (and I’m sure many of you). Yet, in the very limited sample size, 5 of 85 polled players picked it as the best uniform. Not top 10, not top 5, but the best. I mean, c’mon man…

…is that seriously a better uni than this or this or this? No.

• • •

But the worst news of all yesterday wasn’t unexpected. Yep, MLB has decided to move it’s military love-fest from Memorial Day (when it was completely inappropriate) to Armed Forces Day, which is today, when it is more appropriate. The problem, of course, is in an effort to show it really wants to sell camo shit how much it loves America, it has turned AF Day into Armed Forces weekend, which means not only did teams bust out the camopander caps yesterday, they’ll be wearing them today AND tomorrow as well.

We all knew this was coming (just another specialty cap sale for MLB), and yet, every year, camo caps (or camo unis or camo accented uniforms) look like shit when worn with … well, anything. They certainly don’t belong on a baseball diamond. Yes, that ship has long since sailed and yes, I must hate America because I dislike MLB teams wearing camo.

I won’t waste (much) more space on this blight on the uni-verse, because, of course, the camopandering wasn’t restricted solely to the caps. No, we got the usual (and not so usual):

Normally the Brewers EQ guys go above and beyond on throwback/specialty uniforms — but when it comes to stuff like putting a pink brim & BiG logo on helmets worn on Mother’s Day, they sometimes go a little too crazy. This weekend, as you can see above, the team has a camo BiG logo on an olive helmet. Enough.

Other teams simply wear their regular helmets, which look much better (especially when the uniform is, mercifully, camo-free):

In addition to the camo caps, footwear, socks and more all get the treatment.

From the ridiculous…

…to the sublime:

You get the idea — I needn’t show any more.

But (un)fortunately, since the wearin’ o’ the camo is new for Armed Forces day weekend, some folks mistakenly thought teams were still doing the camo thing over Memorial Day weekend:

Ignorance is bliss, right? Fortunately, Paul set them straight:

I’ll give MLB credit for ONE thing: at least they moved the camo to Armed Forces “Day” as opposed to Memorial Day, but that’s all. There’s no need for ANY of these theme weekends (Mom’s Day, AF Day, Pop’s Day, Mem Day, Independence Week, Players Weekend) — and it’s all too much.

Another thing: at least ONE team won’t be wearing the camo caps all weekend: the Cincinnati Reds. They’re scheduled to wear their 1912 Throwback Uniform this Sunday (May 19). Yeah, that’s gonna be a real shit-show matchup with the Dodgers, who I imagine will be wearing CAMO caps that day. Thanks, MLB.

Sorry for the rant folks. I just had to get those few things off my chest — I don’t want to say PA day had anything to do with anything else that happened yesterday — but rare is the day when the best looking garment is worn by the guy who is damn near made physically ill by the sight of it!


Colorize This! Returns…

…with George Chilvers

Long time readers know that for years I’ve run a feature on Uni Watch called “Colorize This!” which feature the colorization efforts of Uni Watch readers, most often run as a sub-lede. Lately I haven’t had any submissions for this, although I have done a few ledes with new colorizers being featured.

Today, long time friend and colorizer (colouriser) extraordinaire George Chilvers is back with a few fantastic colorizations. Great to hear from George and pleased he’s made a triumphant return! Click to enlarge both the colorized photo as well as the original that is beneath it!

Here’s George:

• • • •

Hi Phil

Haven’t been in touch for a while, so I thought I’d give you a little melange of some of my recent work. I have spread across different sports and subject matter taking in action, team group and individual.

• • •

We have the 1948 Olympics 5000m final. In the lead is the great athlete Emil Zatopek of Czechoslovakia, followed by Erik Ahlden of Sweden, Gaston Reiff of Belgium and Willem Slijkhuis of Holland. I was surprised to discover that Zatopek didn’t actually win this – Reiff took the gold medal with Zatopek and Slijkhuis also gathering medals. Reiff’s winning time was a new Olympic record of 14:17.6. For reference the current world record is 12:37.35. Of note is how ageing was the life they led (and remember three of these were from countries that had been under German occupation). At the time of the race Zatopek was 25, Ahlden was 24, Reiff 27 and Slijkhuis also 25.

• • •

In the early 1960s Rochdale Hornets rugby league team recruited a number of Fijians to play for them, an amazing leap at the time. Imagine the absolute shock they would have had coming from Fiji to a wet and dismal town to the north of Manchester. This picture that I have colourised shows the team on 28 May 1963 with Joe Levula, Voate Drui and Laitia Ravouvou. I think I have perfected the technique of colourising mud though :)

• • •

And finally and very different is one that your readers will probably know more about than I will; George ‘Win’ Mercer, Washington pitcher about 1896.

• • •

Hope you’re all keeping well.

Best wishes from a rather confused UK ;)

George

Thanks George! Great stuff as always. PLEASE let him know if you enjoyed this so he graces us with more of these beauts in the future!


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 the following e-mail from Thomas Juettner, who has four San Diego Padres tweaks. With the Padres “bringing back the brown” (although we don’t know in what capacity) for 2020, I’m sure we’ll have a bunch of Padres concepts in the coming weeks and months:

Hi Phil,

Here’s a version of the soon to be brown and gold Padres. The “Padres” script is hand drawn and the “SAN DIEGO” is a modified version of the 90’s road look.

Cheers,

Tom Juettner

Home & Road:

Alternate 1 & Alternate 2:

• • •

Thanks Tom. 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

Hey. Remember when we used to play this game? It’s been a long time (maybe five or six years?). Anyway, I am not sure I’ll be bringing it back, but during the week, reader Mike Engle sent this in to me.

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), and I’d rank this one as probably a 2 or 3 on a 1 to 10 difficulty score.

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!):

If you guys like this, and want to have this as a weekly feature, let me know in the comments below. And if anyone wants to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), I’ll keep running them.

The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: Red Sox IF Michael Chavis infuriatingly wore camo socks for Armed Forces Day Weekend yesterday. You play for the Red Sox, Michael! It’s in the name! (from @CherryGarcia92). … Dodgers P Rich Hill appears to be wearing a knee brace on his left knee during last night’s game, which he sprained in Spring Training (from Jakob Fox and Max Wagner). … The Bowie Baysox, Double-A affiliates of the Orioles, wore jerseys designed by a fourth-grader last night, and will again tonight (from Marcus Hall). … The Orix Buffaloes threw back to their era as the Kinetsu Buffaloes yesterday (from @GraveyardBall). … The Atlantic League’s newest team, the High Point Rockers, appear to have “Inaugural Season” lettering beneath their wordmark (from Michael Harris). … An OU baseball fan at yesterday’s game had beer cans as hair rollers (from Sam McKinley). … Both teams in this Oklahoma high school baseball tournament Get It™ (from Jason Wood). … Atasocita (Tx.) High also Gets It™ (from Dwight Ternes). … Gorgeous baseball sweaters from the Peacock School for Boys. Picture is from 1898 (from Bud Brooks). … The Massanutten Military Academy in Virginia has poached the Brewers’ ‘M’ logo (from Chris Gellner). … The Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber had a rather visible rip in his pants last evening (from Matt Shepardson). … Here’s another look (from JD).

NFL News: Comedy site Cracked poked fun at the NFL’s logo — among other corporate logos — in this piece (from Marcus Hall). … US Bank Stadium was undergoing a turf removal yesterday, with the new turf to be installed today (from James Gilbert). … Back in April, something called Fanjuicer asked 5,065 NFL fans from around the world to rank every NFL uniform. The Saints came out on top, and the Bucs are last (thanks, Phil).

Hockey News: Hurricanes captain Justin Williams wore a Whalers cap during his post-game interviews following the Canes’ sweep by the Bruins (from James Beattie). … Our clearest sign yet that a Canucks redesign is coming is the official team store offering huge discounts on current merchandise (thanks, Phil). … Yesterday, we ticked an item about how the Halifax Mooseheads were teasing what their commemorative unis would be for the opening game of the Memorial Cup. Today, Wayne Donner sends along this clip from Coach’s Corner of Don Cherry revealing the sweater the Mooseheads will be wearing at around the six minute mark, and Wade Heidt sends along the Mooseheads’ formal announcement of the unis. … Woah, check out these awesome Ross Taylor-designed pads for Daniel Svedin of the — you guessed it — Hamilton Steelhawks.

NBA News: We haven’t seen this year’s NBA Draft caps, but Ja Morant appears to be holding a bunch in this promotional shot (from Chris Dougherty). … Infinite regression on the newest cover of SLAM (from Mike Casey). … Don Schauf sends along some great shots of the Bucks’ first ever game, from October 1968.
.

Soccer News: Celtic FC will wear a patch to honor the National Famine Memorial Day, commemorating the victims of the Great Irish Famine (from Ed Żelaski). … Also from Ed: Hertha Berlin won’t wear their specially-designed ‘Diversity Shirt,’ dropping it for their regular home kit with a rainbow advertisement. It should be noted that Hertha fans were not upset that the club was including a rainbow motif on the kits, but the fact that the original Diversity Shirts looked nothing like the blue-and-white stripes of Hertha Berlin (also from Josh Hinton). … Ajax defender Matthijs De Ligt  has slits cut in his shorts because his thighs are so big (from Adam Yarnevich). … Also from Adam: Then-captain of Italy Andrea Pirlo has his captain’s armband upside down in this c. 2004 photo. … Check out the various Australian-Croatian elements of this jersey up for auction (from Lucan Denfield). … The following are all from Josh Hinton: Manchester United’s new road kit has been leaked, and supporters — myself included — are not happy. The two different shades of gold for the Chevy advert and the kit itself make the Chevy advert look even worse, if that was possible. … Inter Milan’s away kit has been leaked. … All of Southampton’s kits have been launched, with a cheeky Fyre Festival parody as the launch video, which is relevant as those kits are almost as big a disaster as the Fyre Festival itself (also from Mike MillerGabriel Hurl and Samuel C. Williams).

Grab Bag: New jerseys for the Bulgarian national volleyball teams (from Jeremy Brahm). … If you can’t tell the teams apart in this Super Rugby match, I don’t blame you. One of the worst kit clashes I’ve ever seen (from Mick Del).

That Will Do It For Today… but a word of caution. Today I open up the family summer place — which means a lot of busy work AND waiting/hoping the cable/internet guy shows up, AND making sure it all works. As such, I’ll have a post tomorrow, but we may be ticker-less or possibly just have a much smaller ticker than usual. Hopefully, everything will go smoothly, and you won’t even notice the difference, but just letting everyone know. Thanks, in advance, for your patience.