Letter-Imperfect: Giants Botch New Uni Element

We’ve known for several months now that the Giants would be wearing NOBs on their home jerseys in 2021 — the first time they’ve done so since moving into their current ballpark in 2000. Yesterday they gave us our first peek at how that will look by posting a promotional video on their social media channels (see above).

Ordinarily, this would merit a Ticker mention or, at most, a sub-lede. But as I watched the video yesterday afternoon, I was struck by something: The radial arching on the NOBs shown in the video is bad. Like, really bad.

Some quick background: The idea behind radial arching is that the base of the letters should form a curve, like this (for this and all photos that follow, you can click to enlarge):

Sporting goods shops and professional stitchers often achieve that curvature by using a template, like so:

Simple enough, right? Here are some video clips showing this type of template in use:

I don’t know if the NOBs in the Giants’ video were sewn on by Nike or by someone connected to the team. Either way, it’s fairly obvious that they didn’t use a template like the ones in those videos, or any other method that might achieve a pleasing radial arch. Check out, for example, what they did to poor Buster Posey’s name:

Ugh — what a disaster. The “P” is much higher than the “O,” the “Y” is higher than the “E,” the letters are more flared than arched, and the whole thing feels clunky. It would be easy to make various jokes here (“Hey, of course they don’t know how to do NOBs, they’re way out of practice!”), but the Giants have had NOBs on their road uniforms all along, so it’s not as though this is something new for them.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are 16 NOBs crammed into that Giants video besides Posey’s. Most of them fly by too quickly to get a good look at them, but some screen shots reveal that most of them are astonishingly shoddy.

Just to be fair, let’s start with one that’s actually pretty good:

That’s not bad, right? Nice curvature, decent treatment of a lengthy, challenging name.

Here’s another one that’s pretty decent, or at least acceptable:

Unfortunately, it’s mostly downhill from there. Consider, for example, this one, for second baseman Donavan Solano:

Yikes! Just try to draw a consistent curve along the bottoms of those letters. What a mess!

And if you think that’s bad (which you most assuredly do!), check out this one, for catcher Curt Casali:

You’d think a four-letter name would be simple enough. But you’d be wrong, at least judging by the NOB for pitcher Logan Webb:

Look at that second “B” — are you fucking kidding me?

You might also think that “Bart” would be a simple name for a San Francisco team, since it’s also the name of the city’s mass transit system. But again, you’d be wrong:

Kevin Gausman’s treatment starts out promisingly, but then it goes off the rails at the end:

Similarly, Brandon Crawford’s is okay, or at least okay-ish, until the final letter ruins everything:

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And so on. I don’t mean to pick on the Giants (a team I generally like, and whose uniforms I’ve long admired). I’m just puzzled by how an MLB team could go public with such slipshod work. And it’s not as though the NOBs are just a background element here — they’re the whole
point of the video!

I wasn’t aware of this being a chronic Giants issue until now. Has the problem been hiding in plain sight all along and we all just missed it? In an attempt to answer that question, I looked up some photos from a September 2020 road game. While the curvature isn’t as steep as I might prefer, the letters generally look fine:

Embed from Getty Images

So the problem appears to have been unique to yesterday’s video, not a larger systemic issue.

I was going to conclude by saying something like, “The Giants should know as well as anyone that it’s not that hard to get a pleasing radial arch — all they have to do is look at the front of the jersey.” But the video concludes with a front-view shot that’s almost as bad as the NOBs:

Ay yi yi — look at that “N”!

Well, it’s still spring training. Let’s hope the Giants whip their lettering game into shape in time for Opening Day.

(My thanks to Bill Henderson for the template photo, and to Bryan Redemske, Andy Davis, and @ayyyynick for the template videos.)

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Speaking of NOBs: Meet Nancy Panagiotopoulou, a forward on the Illinois women’s basketball team. As you can probably guess from her surname, she’s from Greece. And as you can see, they’ve gone with some seriously compressed typography (and some very nice radial arching!) for her 15-letter NOB.

But wait! It could’ve been even worse — or better, depending on your point of view — because her full name is actually Nancy Panagiotopoulou Andritsopoulou! But they’ve omitted the “Andritsopoulou” from of her jersey. (Perhaps someone familiar with Greek naming protocols could tell us more about this..?)

Wondering how to pronounce “Panagiotopoulou”? Watch this video.

Still more NOB news: As you may recall, Mariners infielder Dee Gordon announced last September that he was changing his NOB to Strange-Gordon, in honor of his late mother. (His legal surname has always been “Strange-Gordon,” but he initially decided to go with “Gordon” as his professional name after a minor league P.A. announcer botched his name.) The 14-letter NOB, plus the hyphen, plus-plus the Mariners’ three-color NOB lettering, plus-plus-plus Strange-Gordon’s slender frame, combined to create one of history’s all-time clunkiest-looking NOB treatments:

The good news is that Strange-Gordon became a free agent after the 2020 season, so we won’t have to see that Mariners treatment of his NOB anymore. The bad news is that he signed with the Reds, whose NOB lettering isn’t much better than Seattle’s:

Maybe the Mariners and Reds could learn something from Illinois, eh?

(My thanks to Josh Claywell, Mike Nessen, and Jason Scherer for their contributions to this section.)

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Finally, something that isn’t about NOBs: Check out the video clip above, which shows Vanderbilt wearing mono-black a few days ago. Since the backstop is also black, pitcher Kumar Rocker and his catcher were hard to discern. It all gives new meaning to the term “camouflage uniform.”

A similar situation unfolded yesterday for Texas State, which also went mono-black against a dark backdrop. There’s presumably a batter in there somewhere:

(My thanks to Trevor Lytle and Colton McWilliams for these two items.)

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The remove-ment expands to knitwear As you can see above, Uni Watch reader Brian Pidgeon really likes Stargell stars. What he does not like, however, is the annoying New Era maker’s mark, especially the one on his new Stargell-style knit winter hat. But he knew just what to do:

“It’s the first time I’ve tried it on a knit hat,” says Brian. “The fabric is tough to work with without getting snags, and I ended up with a few holes. But since it’s dark fabric, you can’t really see it even when I put it on. Even with the holes, it looks much better now!”

Nicely done, Brian. Congrats on breaking this new ground in the remove-ment. #NoEra

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The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball News: Mets P Taijuan Walker confirmed that he’s wearing No. 99, instead of his preferred double-zero, because the Mets’ mascot, Mr. Met, wears No. 00 (from multiple readers). … Some cap inconsistencies in Cubs camp (from Phillip Tutor). … Phillies RF Bryce Harper showed up to practice yesterday in very Philadelphia-themed attire. His shirt says “Clearwooder,” a reference — in a Philly accent — to the city of Clearwater, Fla., where the Phils spend spring training. His toque says “Jawn,” which is a placeholder word for anyone or anything in Philly slang (from @PhillyPartTwo). … Blue Jays SS Bo Bichette wore custom cleats with “BO FLOW” on them for practice yesterday (from Ryan, who didn’t give his last name). … Twins DH/RF Nelson Cruz wore teammate Miguel Sanó’s pants at practice yesterday. Sanó is much taller and bigger than Cruz, which made for some entertaining photos (from @bivlo). … A priest in St. Paul, Minn., is auctioning off his baseball card collection — valued at an estimated $25,000 — for charity (from Anthony Nuccio).

Football News: UNC freshmen have received their uni numbers (from James Gilbert). … @PaperStadiums’s latest creation is a model of Notre Dame Stadium, complete with Touchdown Jesus (from our own Brinke Guthrie). … Mark Whipple made smartphone wallpapers showing every helmet Pitt has ever worn (from Sebastian Smelko).

Hockey News: With the debut of the Capitals’ ЯR uniforms last night, F Alex Ovechkin has now worn 10 different Caps uniforms in his career (from Casey, who didn’t give his last name). … Lightning G Andrei Vasilevskiy’s new mask changes colors based on the temperature (from John Muir). … This is very cool: A Hurricanes fan is keeping track of the team’s record by knitting a scarf with different colors based on different game outcomes (from @Benji_91).

Basketball News: Although next month’s NBA All-Star Game is taking place in Atlanta, rather than in Indiana as was originally planned, the league is still selling Pacers-themed All-Star merch, presumably because there wasn’t enough time to get new merch in the retail pipeline (from Alex Ladd). … Syracuse women’s is going mono-pink on Sunday (from Jakob Fox). … Color vs. color for St. John’s and Villanova men’s last night (from James Ballow). … K-State wore their mismatched purple/lavender throwbacks last night.

Soccer News: Everton cleared an initial hurdle of government approval to build a new stadium over the next few years. Here are some renderings. Their current home, Goodison Park, has one of the last surviving stands designed by Archibald Leitch, who worked on several English and Scottish stadiums in the early 1900s (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Also from Jamie: The Portland Thorns and Timbers have a new ad deal. … Speaking of the Timbers, here’s a detailed look at their new kit (from @ThatRodneyGuy). … The logo for Chicago House AC of the National Independent Soccer Association has been revealed (from multiple readers). … Broadcaster beIN Sports is taking legal action against Turkish side Fenerbahçe after the club wore shirts that disparaged the network. Here’s a closer look at the shirts (from Greg Franklin).

Grab Bag: Here’s a piece on religious headwear and sports (from @mikeobs). … The New England Black Wolves of the National Lacrosse League are relocating to Albany, N.Y. (from Wade Heidt). … Also from WadeCalgary’s curling bubble has a logo. … The Ottawa police chief has banned officers from wearing “thin blue line” and other patches (from Timmy Donahue). … Here are the newest AFL Women’s Indigenous designs: This picture shows all eight Victorian teams. The two on the far left (Western Bulldogs and North Melbourne) and the far right (St. Kilda and Richmond) are new, the four in the center have already been revealed. Separately, here’s Gold Coast (from our own Jamie Rathjen).

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1967 Grey Cup Film Is Filled with CFL Uni Goodness

Reader Jeff Ingalls recently came across a 10-minute film called Oskee Wee Wee, which is about the local frenzy surrounding the 1967 Grey Cup game between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The film is fun and worth watching (see embed above), and it’s loaded with interesting visuals. Here are some highlights I singled out:

• it was a good-looking game, with both teams wearing excellent uniforms. Naturally, I’m partial to the Ti-Cats’ excellent color combo, hoop-striped long sleeves, and gigantic rear helmet numbers, but the Roughriders were no slouches either with their green jerseys, double-striped shoulders and sleeves, and Northwestern-striped socks:

• The Ti-Cats were also celebrating Canada’s centennial that season with a special helmet logo. Oddly, they were the only CFL team to do so:

• The officials, unlike their NFL counterparts at the time, did not have exposed stirrups. Also, note that CFL penalty flags are red, not yellow:

• Another detail about the officials: Their black cap brims featured a curved line of white trim. I love this detail — looks so sharp:

• The CFL ball had odd striping at the time — or at least it seems odd to me:

• Rare sight in the crowd, at least for 1967 — a fan wearing a jersey:

• There’s a brief glimpse of the Roughriders’ cheerleaders, who mainly looked cold:

• The movie also provides some footage of a Miss Grey Cup beauty pageant that took place before the game (emceed, I’m pretty sure, by a young Peter Jennings, who isn’t identified by name but his voice is easy to recognize). Each CFL team had an entrant:

• The CFL was still marking the end of the game by having a guy fire a gun (shooting blanks, obviously). Not sure if the NFL was still doing this in 1967:

Update: Reader/commenter Tim Brown says the NFL didn’t discontinue marking the end of each half with a pistol until 1994. I had no idea the ritual persisted that long!

• Finally, I’m not sure what was going on here, but it’s from the Tiger-Cats’ postgame victory celebration in their locker room:

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And there’s a lot more. I definitely recommend watching the film — it’s a fun diversion.

(Big thanks to Jeff Ingalls, who deserves all the credit for this one.)

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Placeholder to stay in place, apparently: The Washington Football Team, like any other NFL team, has its own website. But it also has a separate site devoted to the team’s post-’Skins rebranding. A statement recently added to the home page of that site indicates that the team’s new identity will not be ready to go until 2022, and the same statement was emailed to fans over the weekend.

So the Washington Football Team will apparently be with us for at least one more season.

(My thanks to Nate Rathjen for bringing this to attention of his brother, Jamie, and to Jamie for then alerting me.)

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Oops and double-oops: The Undefeated yesterday published a big illustrated timeline showing notable moments in the history of the integration of sports. As you’d expect, it includes an entry for Willie O’Ree, the first Black player in the NHL. As you can see above, that entry mentions that O’Ree’s No. 22 was retired by the Bruins last week.

Just one problem: The Bruins announced nearly two weeks ago that O’Ree’s number retirement was being postponed to next year, so fans could be on hand for the occasion.

For good measure, this item about the retirement of O’Ree’s No. 22 is accompanied by a photo of him wearing No. 25 (one of three numbers O’Ree wore during his time with the Bruins). In fact, the timeline includes three photos of O’Ree in which his uni number is visible, and they all show him wearing 25, not 22.

That said, the timeline feature is filled with great photos and good info — worth checking out.

(My thanks to Geoff Poole for this one.)

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

This is a 63-page booklet called The 1959 Chicago Cubs Story. But what’s with that Reds cap on the cover? True, the Cubs did wear the wishbone-C at one point in their history, but not in the late 1950s. How did they get that wrong? And then there’s that Phillies cigar logo at the bottom — yet another National League team! What, no Dodgers or Giants references?

Here are the rest of this week’s picks:

• Tommy McDonald was the last NFL non-kicker to play without a facemask. Was he also the last to appear maskless on the cover of Sports Illustrated, as shown on this October 1962 issue?

• Got some nice Cincinnati Stingers glassware here. First, this set of four with the team logo and WHA skater logo in team colors, plus another glass that includes the WLW logo — that’s the radio station that carried the games.

• Speaking of WLW, they also carried the Reds (and still do). With that in mind, here are some 1970s Nu-Maid cups that include the Reds Running Man listening to a radio.

• One more glass here, but this one is for Yogi Berra’s restaurant. The glass includes the famous Yogi-ism “It’s Not Over ‘Til It’s Over,” and the inside bottom of the glass reads, “It’s Over!” 

• Here’s a 1974-75 Buffalo Sabres color pictorial calendar. I like that font a lot — so typical of the mid-1970s.

• Check out the artwork (both teams wearing colored jerseys?) for this October 1942 edition of The Open Road for Boys magazine (more on them here). This issue included “Winning Plays Diagrammed by Big-Time Coaches,” and “Army-Spy-Mystery Stories.” Just 15 cents at your neighborhood newsstand!

• This is a framed Dizzy Dean kite that the seller considers a “Holy Grail” item. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Pretty pricey, in any case, but interesting!

This card certifies that the bearer is a charter member (No. 7!) of the new 1967-1968 Philadelphia Flyers Fan Club, with all rights and privileges, etc.

• Frank Mahovlich was voted one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players, and is obviously in the hockey Hall of Fame. So when he put his name to this 1970s promo booklet, Hockey Tips: How to Improve Your Game, it’s a sure bet he knew what he was talking about.

• Here we have a 1940 hockey game called “Hockey Game.” The game maker, Somerville, put a lot of thought into that one!

• Snoopy and Woodstock are featured on this 1970s Denver Broncos sweatshirt. But rather than “Joe Cool,” Snoopy’s known here as “Joe Bronco.”
 
Got an item to include on Collector’s Corner? Tweet submissions to @brinkeguthrie

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Culinary Corner: I like pasta fine, but I’ve never been a pasta expert or connoisseur. So I had never heard of bucatini — essentially spaghetti-like tubes with a hole down the middle, like a drinking straw — until two months ago, when I came across a brilliant and highly entertaining article about the “great bucatini shortage of 2020.” (I linked to that article here on Uni Watch when it came out. If you haven’t already read it, it’s the best thing you’ll read today — trust me.)

After reading the article, which basically said bucatini was the most awesome pasta ever (assuming you could find any, which was tricky, what with the great bucatini shortage of 2020 and all), Mary and I figured we’d better try it.

After weeks of fruitless searching, we recently located a few boxes of Barilla bucatini (very pleasing to say), which we were excited to try a few nights ago. We didn’t want to overpower the highly touted pasta, so Mary made a very nice, very simple tomato sauce, which we figured would allow the bucatini’s virtues to shine through.

And it was … fine. Like, there was certainly nothing wrong with it — a very nice pasta dinner! But there was also nothing particularly special about it. The article suggested that the holes running through the pasta tubes allowed the bucatini to achieve great sauce saturation, or something like that, but we didn’t perceive that at all.

Are we missing something? Is Barilla an inferior brand of bucatini? Anyone..?

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: New number assignments for the Mariners. Of note, P James Paxton, now in his second stint with the team, is wearing No. 44, as the No. 65 he used to wear is assigned to P Casey Sadler. Oddly, coach Jarret DeHart is also currently assigned No. 44 (from Tim Dunn). … Chipper Jones is working with Atlanta this year as a hitting consultant and will wear his retired No. 10. … Reader Mark Lackinger found these White Sox jersey napkins on eBay. … Ian Frost notes that during the 1998 game where the Diamondbacks famously walked Barry Bonds with the bases loaded, the TV graphics included a misspelling of Mark McGwire’s name. … This MLB.com piece has a detailed list of bobblehead promotion suggestions for every team (from Brinke). … New uniforms for NC State (from Kary Klismet). … This FanGraphs podcast opens with a rant on college baseball uniforms and an interesting discussion about the effect of bullpen visibility (from Rob Krosley). … Couple of good-looking color-on-color college matchups yesterday featuring powder blue unis: Ole Miss/Texas and Louisiana Tech/LSU (from Griffin T. Smith and Chris Mycoskie).

NFL News: Reader Luke Larson sent in this hand-drawn mockup for a new Bengals look. … Colts WR Michael Pittman says he won’t give up his No. 11 for newly acquired QB Carson Wentz, who previously wore that number with the Eagles (from Mike Chamernik). … Also from Mike: ESPN’s Mina Kimes has an opinion on which QB numbers are the best. … Peter King’s column yesterday included a photograph that showed a Rams player with what appears to be a cross on the back of his helmet (from Jerry Wolper). … Check out this nice-looking Browns ice sculpture. Big fan of the old wordmark (from  @tonsoffun57).

College Football News: Notre Dame won’t be included in the revitalized version of EA Sports’s college football game. AD Jack Swarbrick says the school will skip the game until the NCAA establishes ground rules for how players will be compensated for their name, image and likeness. … College football reporter Matt Brown talked about name changes regarding Dixie State University and the Valparaiso Crusaders in his newsletter (from Mike Chamernik). … Deion Sanders, now the head coach at Jackson State, has a bunch of uniform rules for his players (from Ted Taylor).

Hockey News: The Blackhawks have released the days they’ll be wearing their ЯR uniforms (thanks to all who shared). … The logo on Golden Knights coach Pete DeBoer’s hat was upside down during Saturday night’s outdoor game (from Danny Forrest). … The Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL will play as the Sioux Falls Fighting Wiener Dogs on Saturday in honor of the team’s annual wiener dog race promotion. But what’s with all the head-on views? If you’re going to call yourself the wiener dogs, you gotta show a side view so people can see how long they are! (From Mike Miller.) … Newly acquired Devils G Aaron Dell will temporarily wear this mask design — a vinyl wrap — while his regular mask is being painted (from John Muir).

Basketball News: The Jazz’s Earned design has leaked. … Here are the NBA uniforms that are still undefeated thus far this season (from @SacKings_Unis). … This video recaps some of the attire and pieces of equipment the NBA has banned through the years (from Don Martinez). … Hector Cendejas notes that at one point the Lakers’ retired number for Gail Goodrich had a vertically arched NOB — a style the Lakers never used on the court. That photo is from 2000, and the Lakers have updated their retired numbers since then. … Rockets C Justin Patton will wear No. 26.

College and High School Hoops: Oregon debuted new green uniforms last night (from Jakob Fox). … During the 2019 NCAA tournament, Fairleigh Dickinson’s mascot gained viral infamy when he lost his head during a dance contest. Since then, the student who was portraying the mascot that day has earned a walk-on spot on the basketball team (from Kary Klismet). … Check out the striped socks for the 1946 Lakota High School (Kansas) basketball team! In the front row at far right are reader Richard Catalano’s twin great-uncles!

Soccer News: Here’s an article that explores why MLS clubs change their team names and badges so often (from John Flory). … Speaking of MLS, FC Dallas has a new jersey advertiser (from Wade Heidt and @profjimmyc). … Also from Wade, Galaxy D Julian Araujo is switching from No. 22 to No. 2 to honor a friend who died in 2018. … Speaking of the Galaxy, they have a new sleeve ad (from Jakob Fox). … FC Cincinnati teased their 2021 home jersey, which will be unveiled on Thursday (from @EvantheGman). … This might be the Timbers’ 2021 home jersey (from @bryant_rf).

Grab Bag: The Scotties, the women’s Canadian Curling Championship, had some pandemic-related supply chain issues when trying to order stones for this year’s tournament (from Mark). … More AFL Women’s Indigenous designs, for Melbourne and Brisbane (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Jamie also sends along something he noticed at work: The French organization that collects social security taxes, Urssaf, has a new logo. This is the new one and this is the old one. … The next three submissions are from Kary Klismet: German beach volleyball duo Karla Borger and Julia Sude will boycott a tournament in Qatar because of the country’s ban on athletes wearing bikinis. … The student newspaper for Everett Community College in Washington has celebrated the 79th birthday of the school’s Trojan mascot with an infographic showing its evolution over the years. … The city of Bath, Maine, is planning for a new logo and slogan. … Just as Uni Watch covers athletics aesthetics, RT Foote says Liturgical Arts Journal covers the aesthetics of Catholicism. “There’s a daily dive into a new, newly discovered, or obscure topic with lots of great pictures and explanations, and links to related pieces.” … New F1 livery — barely changed from last season — for Red Bull Racing. … Some Black American troops in World War I were temporarily assigned to fight with the French army and wore a combination of American and French uniforms (from Phillip Tutor).

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Our latest raffle winner is John Horn, who’s won himself a Uni Watch membership card. Congrats to him, and thanks again to Zach Spencer for sponsoring this one. — Paul

Potential Zero-O-Rama Scenario Prompts Blogger Spat

An interesting scenario played out over the weekend, which led to a fun uni-related spat between me and my favorite blogger. Give me a minute to set up the backstory.

So: On Friday it was reported that the Mets were signing free agent pitcher Taijuan Walker (wasn’t official yet, pending a physical, you know how that works). Walker had worn No. 00 for his previous team, the Blue Jays (above right). Since the Mets already have pitcher Marcus Stroman wearing No. 0 (above left), that meant the Mets were potentially poised to become only the second team in MLB history to have 0 and 00 on the roster simultaneously (the first was the 1985 Blue Jays, who had Al Oliver and Cliff Johnson), and the first to have both of those numbers in the same starting rotation! (As a side note, I didn’t realize until choosing those two photos that Stroman and Walker also both wear blue gloves!)

But that would come to pass only if Walker stuck with double-zero. Late Friday night he posted a Twitter poll, asking fans if he should wear 00 or 99 (the latter of which he wore with the Mariners and D-backs, making him the only player in MLB history to wear 99 and 00). Double-zero ended up winning the poll, although somewhat narrowly:

On Saturday, evening, Walker tweeted a Photoshopped image of himself (presumably created by the Mets) wearing No. 00, which seemed to settle the issue. But when a fan responded to that tweet by asking, “So we’re going with 00?,” Walker said he still wasn’t sure:

Hmmmm.

A few hours later, Walker said he will actually be wearing No. 99. So that was the end of the potential 0/00 situation — it won’t be happening after all. (And yes, I realize Mets first baseman Tony Clark had to stop wearing No. 00 back in 2003 because Mr. Met wears that number, blah-blah-blah. We don’t know whether that had anything to do with Walker not going with double-zero.)

Among the many interested observers watching this situation unfold on Saturday was my friend Shannon Shark. He runs the excellent Mets Police site, which is the only sports blog I follow on a regular basis. I don’t recall when I first started reading his stuff, but my Gmail archive indicates that I’ve been emailing with him since at least 2009. In that time, we’ve become mutual fans and allies, and my respect for him has grown steadily. We have lots of things in common — we love the Mets, hate the Mets’ BFBS uniforms, hold Matt Harvey in fairly low regard, think Dom Smith is a better baseball player than Pete Alonso, and and tend to get impatient and cranky with things we regard as bullshit. But when it came to Taijuan Walker and the potential 0/00 situation, well, it would be fair to say that we weren’t on the same page:

So, basically, Shannon was opposed to the potential 0/00 situation (because he thinks those aren’t proper baseball uni numbers), and I was rooting for it to happen (because it would be a fun anomaly and I enjoy uni-numerical aberrations).

Okay, no biggie — agree to disagree and all that. But Shannon decided to take it a step further. First, he turned his Twitter avatar purple (which, unfortunately, I didn’t think to take a screen shot of). When someone asked him why, here’s how he responded:

I genuinely laughed out loud when I read that. A Cold War — bring it! Shannon went ahead and trolled me by posting a few more pro-purple tweets but then called a truce when Walker announced that he’d be wearing 99 instead of 00:

I found all of this hilarious. I also thought it might make for a good conversation, so I asked Shannon if we could discuss the situation either over the phone or via DM. He chose the latter. Here’s a transcript, edited for length and clarity:

Uni Watch: Okay, so you were opposed to Taijuan Walker wearing No. 00. Why?

Mets Police: When I look at a baseball game, I feel it should look a certain way. The pitcher should have a number between 11 and 59 (excepting 42). The position players should be between 1 and 51. Why? I dunno — that’s what baseball looks like. For the same reason your goaltender should have a number in the 30s and your QB looks best with a two-digit number between 10 and 19.

Mathematically, some feel that 0 is not a number. I will let the mathematicians debate that — to me, 0 is clearly a number. But aren’t 0 and 00 the same thing? If Stroman is 0 (I am also against 0 as a baseball number), how could someone else be 00? Why not issue 05 or 041? [Cue the Benito Santiago references. — PL]

In my mind’s eye is a perfect baseball game. It’s a sunny day game and the Mets are wearing their home pinstripes, NNOB, and blue caps. When you start to deviate — a swoosh jersey, a black drop shadow, 0 and 00 — that all starts to move away from the connections I have with the team. You add enough things and suddenly you start to wonder how else you could spend your three hours on a nice day. Be the New York Mets. Don’t be an arena league football team.

UW: So, just to clarify, you didn’t just object to the possibility of Stroman and Walker doubling up on zero and double-zero — you also would have objected to Walker wearing 00 even if Stroman wore a “normal” number, and you also objected to Stroman wearing 0 even before the Mets acquired Walker (and presumably also objected to Stroman wearing No. 7 in 2019, because it’s a single-digit number). Is that all accurate?

MP: Yes, although I’m okay with a pitcher wearing a single digit. I just think it looks weird. So no issue on the 7, but I am not in favor of 0 being worn on baseball jerseys.

UW: Is 0 any better or more acceptable if the player’s name begins with the letter O, as was briefly the case with Rey Ordoñez, and also with Omar Quintanilla?

MP: No! I hated when Ordoñez did it. It looked so much better when he wore 10!

———

I’m going to stop the transcript here to add some context. The day before we engaged in this discussion, Shannon published a blog post entitled “My plan to fix baseball: Introducing the Premier League of Baseball.” It’s his not-so-modest proposal to fix what he views as baseball’s various ailments (games are too long, too many relievers, too many teams nobody really cares about, not enough star power, etc.). Among his proposed fixes: a “premier league” whose eight teams will play only three seven-inning games per week, thus maximizing front-line starting pitchers. Maybe that’s a good idea, or maybe it’s not — but either way, it seems like it’s somewhat in conflict with the “baseball should look a certain way” mindset. I was intrigued by that seeming inconsistency, so I pointed it out:

UW: One thing I’m finding interesting here is that you’re taking a very traditionalist stance about the uniforms (which is fine, of course), but you just published a proposal with all sorts of radically non-traditional ideas about remaking the sport! In fact, I cracked up when I was reading that post and got to the paragraph that says, “My league will play seven-inning games and have a DH. There will be fully normal extra innings as God intended.” I mean, a lot of people might say that God also intended nine innings and no DH, right?

I’m not trying to play “gotcha.” Rather, I’m saying that we all tend to be rather conveniently selective about the areas where we’re old-school (like, say, which uni numbers look “right” and which ones don’t) vs. the areas where we’re willing to push the envelope. Any thoughts on that?

MP: Fair point. I think baseball does need to evolve to survive. I don’t think there are many people not directly or indirectly employed by baseball who think the game — the actual game, the pure fun of watching the game, not some billionaire’s financials — is in good shape. The record book was destroyed in 1998 [by steroids], so let’s let it go. I’ve written before about baseball’s ages or eras, which come in roughly 25-year installments. We’re starting a new age now, so let’s make some changes to the game — seven-inning games, universal DH, and so on.

Stepping off that soapbox, I think you and I agree that teams can and should look sharp while playing the game. For me, that includes a nice, proper number and NNOB (you can’t read a uniform name from the upper deck, and on TV you don’t need it).

UW: Turk Wendell wore No. 99 for the Mets (and also for two other teams), and Mitch Williams also wore 99 for three teams. So is 99 more of a reliever’s number, and is it therefore not much better than 00 for Walker?

MP: 99 is a much better choice than 00. It’s true that we have come to associate it with relievers since Major League, but I can bend on that one.

Let me add: As dug in as I am on uniforms, I have long been an advocate of what I call “Anything Goes Sunday.” I think there is a kernel of an idea in what MLB has done with Players Choice Weekend or whatever it’s called. It the Mets want to wear Hawaiian shirts and shorts once a week with nicknames and crazy numbers, okay — I like fun. But come World Series time, slap on those pinstripes and have a proper number!

UW: Last question: When Walker announced that he would wear 99, you called off the Cold War. What if he had gone with 00? How might the Cold War have developed??

MP: I like a good Cold War. I planned on finding as many purple Mets things as I could, and would have passively-aggressively posted them. I would also have advocated for a purple Mets alt (which, ya know, with a 00 on the back might look cool on Anything Goes Sunday). Then we could hit a game together and both be annoyed!

———

A really fun discussion! What I find so interesting is that Shannon is clearly a traditionalist when it comes to visual aesthetics but is willing (nay, eager) to break long-established norms when it comes to other aspects of the game — many of which, while not strictly visual, could also be considered aesthetic, at least in terms of the larger spirit of the sport. An impressive bit of compartmentalization!

What about you folks? Discuss!

• • • • •

• • • • •

ITEM! Show about logos now has official logo: I’m happy to announce that Unified, my new podcast project with Chris Creamer, now has a primary logo (which you can click to enlarge), created by the great Brian Gundell. I love how it turned out!

Let’s shift into FAQ mode:

Why did you choose these colors?

We went with green for Uni Watch, blue for SportsLogos.net, and orange trim because it goes well with both green and blue.

What about the fonts?

We went with a classic block font for the show name and a classic NOB font for our personal names.

What’s with those concentric circles?

They’re sound waves, and/or radio waves, and/or a speaker cone. You know, because it’s a podcast!

What about the stars?

They’re just a uniform-y detail. There’s no particular significance to the fact that there’s six of them — not everything has to be about “storytelling.”

The little bullet in between your names is off-center.

Yeah. That was unavoidable due to the differing lengths of our names. We played around with various ways to solve that issue and ultimately decided that it’s fine as is.

Wouldn’t a microphone be more appropriate than headphones?

Mic-based podcast logos are a visual cliché that we wanted to avoid. Also, a mic would be about us, while the headphones are more about you, the listeners — we thought it was a more comm-uni-ty-minded way to go.

It would look extra-cool if the radio waves could be animated.

You mean like this?

Pretty cool, right? Longtime Uni Watch reader/pal Michael Princip created that for us. We’ll use it at the start of our video episodes. Thanks so much, Michael!

The underbill of the cap looks like a Nike logo!

Indeed. That wasn’t intentional — Brian just included that shadowing/highlighting because it made sense. Once we realized it looked swoosh-ish, we played around with various ways of tweaking it, but it looks best this way, so we decided to leave it as is. An unintentional uni-related Easter egg!

Are there any secondary logos?

The cap can function on its own as a stand-alone mark (as shown at left), and there may also be a version showing the “U” logo wearing headphones.

Also — and I’m really excited about this — there will be additional versions based on other sports. So instead of the baseball cap, there’ll be a version featuring a football helmet, another one featuring a goalie mask, and so on. So we’ll have a whole suite of interrelated uni-themed logos! But the version I’m showing you today will be the primary mark, or at least that’s the current plan.

Will there be Unified merchandise?

Probably. I imagine we’ll do T-shirts, stickers, maybe patches. We might also make a batch of caps like the one shown in the logo. Stand by for all of that.

What about that other logo you were using?

Longtime Uni Watch reader/pal Joe Hilseberg took it upon himself to create a logo for us (shown at right) when I announced the podcast’s existence. He didn’t tell me he was doing it — he just did it and sent it to me. So nice of him! We had already hired Brian to create our official graphics by that point, but Joe’s design was good, so we used it as a placeholder.

When I shared the new logo on social media over this past weekend, a few people said, “Nice, but I liked that other design better” or “I like this, but I like the vertically arched one too!” We like Joe’s design as well, so we’re going to include it in our merchandise offerings, and of course we’ll split the profits with him.

———

I think that’s it for now. If you haven’t caught our latest episode, you can listen to it on Apple, Google, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Spotify, or just use the player below:

Photos of things we discussed in this episode are available on the Unified website, and those photos also appear in the video version of the episode:

Thanks for listening/watching! I’m really pleased with how this project is developing.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Too good for the Ticker: Damn, is that a gorgeous photo or what? It’s from last night’s Bruins/Flyers outdoor game at Lake Tahoe, with both teams wearing their ЯR uniforms (which in the Bruins’ case should really become their primary look, no?). Love the trees in the background! Lots of additional photos here.

Meanwhile, reader Michael Raskin notes that the red line in Tahoe did not run through the center-ice logo:

That’s notable, because NHL red lines normally run through the logo. What do we think of this change? Is it better to leave the logo pristine (as long as there’s a center dot for faceoffs, of course), or is it better to maintain the full-length integrity of the red line?

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Salt box update: As you may recall, last week I wrote about the amazing phenomenon of Baltimore salt boxes being redecorated around the city. Reader Will Shoken liked the story so much that he contacted Juliet Ames — the artist who’s responsible for most of the new salt box designs — and suggested that she do one based on Brooks Robinson. As you can see above, she took the suggestion and ran with it!

Can the Frank Robinsalt version be far behind?

• • • • •

• • • • •

ITEM! New membership raffle: Reader Zach Spencer bought himself a Uni Watch membership the other day and, in a generous gesture, purchased an additional membership for me to raffle off, so that’s what we’re going to do today.

This will be a one-day raffle. To enter, send an email to the raffle in-box by 8pm Eastern tonight. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow. Big thanks to Zach for sponsoring this one!

• • • • •

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: Royals P Danny Duffy is changing to No. 30, becoming the first Royals player to wear that number since the previous Royal to wear it, Yordano Ventura, died in 2017 (thanks, Brinke). … Also from Brinke: Brewers OF Christian Yelich has new city skyline-themed cleats. … This video of the Cardinals’ 1954 spring training features a segment with the team’s equipment manager starting at the linked point (from Scott Unes). … There is at least one new jersey for Wichita State (from Blake Cripps). … LSU and Air Force went purple vs. blue yesterday. “Tough for some of us colorboind folks,” says Ernie Ballard.

Football News: FCS school Jackson State played their first game of the season yesterday. The helmet design they wore had a logo on only one side (from Chris Mycoskie).
 

Hockey News: Blues G Jordan Binnington changed pants in the middle of Saturday’s game (from John Heiligstein). … Devils C Travis Zajac received a T-shirt for his 1,000th game with the team (from Jakob Fox). … This picture of the 1953 Warroad (Minn.) HS team has among other things one of the captains apparently wearing an armband (from Brandon Weir). … Avs G Philipp Grubauer wore sunglasses under his mask during Satuday’s pregame warm-ups (from Mike Chamernik).

Basketball News: The Raptors’ Earned design has leaked. … Lakers PF Kyle Kuzma changed his shorts and jersey at the side of the court on Saturday after bleeding on them (from Mike Chamernik). … Women’s college teams that wore pink or pink accents this weekend included N.C. State (from Timmy Donahue and Jennifer Hayden); Northwestern, in which Wisconsin also wore white on the road; both Michigan and Ohio State; both Purdue and Michigan State; Belmont; and San Diego State. Syracuse, who we mentioned here yesterday, participated by wearing white for an away game. … Color-vs.-color men’s college games this weekend included Iowa State/Oklahoma (from Sam McKinley) and Michigan/Ohio State.

Soccer News: A kit based on the Premier League’s No Room for Racism campaign is coming back to FIFA Ultimate Team for a second year in a row. … New kits or shirts for Sweden’s Djurgårdens IF and midseason for Ukraine’s Metalist Kharkiv (the latter from Ed Żelaski). … Mexico’s Tijuana started taping over one of their shirt ads roughly a month ago, presumably because it’s not supposed to be there anymore (from @bryant_rf). … The postponed Women’s Euro 2022 now has a new logo. The tournament was supposed to be this year and initially used a similar logo to most of the previous editions. The also-postponed men’s version not only still has its original logo, it’s still called Euro 2020 (from Germán Cabrejo). … Northwestern’s teams played their games this weekend indoors at the football team’s practice facility. … USWNT and Orlando Pride striker Alex Morgan’s daughter Charlie already has a shirt with “Mom” as the NOB (from Kary Klismet). … The current incarnation of the indoor San Diego Sockers are wearing throwbacks to the first NASL version this week.

Grab Bag: AFL Women’s is holding its first Indigenous round next weekend, which likely means new designs for every team, though some have already been wearing theirs regularly for all away games. Besides those teams, Carlton and Geelong were the first to reveal their designs. … Australia’s Super Netball’s Queensland Firebirds have a 25th-season logo. … Here are some renderings of the planned new field hockey stadium in the Indian state of Odisha, which is to host the 2023 men’s World Cup. … A blog called Impersonal Finances has some ideas on who could replace the people depicted on U.S. currency designs. … A new African low-cost airline revealed its first crew uniforms (from Kary Klismet). … New F1 livery for Alfa Romeo (from Ephraim Vorzman). … Some pro bowlers are masking up on the lanes.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Jimmer Vilk's Paper Football Helmet Project

By Phil Hecken, with Jim Vilk

Good Sunday morning, Uni Watch gang. Hope everyone had a good Saturday and you’re all still staying safe and well. Today’s my mom’s 87th Birthday, so I won’t be around too much on the boards, or online in general. I’ll be spending most of the day with mom, taking her out for a nice early dinner and generally celebrating her multi-decadal trip(s) around the sun. We’ll probably end the day with a cake and playing her favorite board game, Clue, which she got me when I was but a wee lad, and which she saved all these years.

Like many of you, I very much enjoy when the very creative UWers share their DIY projects with us. What’s even better is when you have DIYers who inspire others with their craft, and that’s the genesis for today’s main article. Back in August, Paul pinch-hit for me one day, and featured the art of paper football, and my pal Jim Vilk was so taken by it — he (like many of us) had been playing paper football for years, but loved the new techniques explored in that piece. So that got Jimmer to thinking…and I’ll let him take it from here:

• • •

Paper Football Project
by Jim Vilk

After seeing Kevin Cerafoss’ DIY NFL paper footballs last August, I said to myself, “Why didn’t I think of that as a kid?” Then I said, “And why didn’t I think of it again when I was a bigger kid and the USFL was playing?” Making up for lost time, I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I started folding paper but I kept thinking. Why just make footballs for existing or past teams? Why not make up your own teams and start a paper football league? The wheels were turning when I remembered…oh yeah…I’m not exactly an artist. I did come up with a list of team names, then I put it off to the side as I kept making footballs. I’ll get back to it in time but first I went online and looked for USFL helmets. Thanks to usflsite.com, I got them.

Then I started thinking of CFL helmets from the 80s. Lo and behold, FromEquestria2LA on DeviantArt had those.

Hoping to find them in single-bar facemasks, but the double-bar is my third favorite, so I was pleased anyway.

At this point I was in a football-making frenzy, and while looking for more helmets I came across the cover for the 1988 Arena Football League season (probably the best looking year, in my opinion). And they had my second-favorite facemask!

I was going to stop there when I found worldleagueofamericanfootball.com who shared a graphic with the inaugural WLAF helmets. Always loved those brown lids from the San Antonio Riders.

Finally (for the pros, that is), I went to the Gridiron Uniform Database to find The Best Looking NFL Helmet Ever.

I also loved the old AFC/NFC helmets from the 70s Pro Bowls, so I made a variety of those.

Now it really seemed like a good place to stop. I couldn’t completely ignore the college game, especially the one I like the most now, the Army/Navy game. Thanks to the Helmet Project, I was able to make a ball for my favorite matchup, the 1971 game,

along with 1993

and 2019.

To finish, I added the Air Force Academy so I could play for a paper version of the Commander In Chief’s trophy. I chose an early 70s Air Force/Army matchup

and made an 80s Air Force/Navy ball.

Did I say I was finished? Yes, for now. I have to make fields, and I have a different idea for more footballs. That will have to wait for another time, though.

• • •

Thanks, Jimmer! Knowing how much you love to create football fields, I’ll be very interested to see how you combine paper football and those fields. Anyone else out there play paper football (or was inspired by Kevin’s article from this past August? Love to hear your thoughts on it.

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Knights vs. ‘diques Avalanche in Tahoe…

There was an absolutely gorgeous (in all ways — but one) looking outdoor hockey game yesterday between the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights, and both teams were outfitted in their “Reverse Retro” (RR) uniforms. The unis were crisp, and the views were spectacular. The Knights wore their red RR unis (which they had debuted before), but the Avs broke out their Quebec Fauxdique RR’s, and the two made for a spectacular match up.

The bright sun and the pine trees surrounding the rink made for an almost surreal setting.

The Avalanche were given Quebec Nordique uniforms, which were rendered in Av’s colors of burgundy and blue, and they were real…and they spectacular:

The bright sun and lack of a stadium (to cast shadows) showed how fantastic outdoor hockey can look.

The bright sun cast shadows just so on the ice, making for a beautiful palette upon which to play.

I mentioned above how the game was perfect in every way but one. Unfortunately, that was a pretty big one. The bright sun and temperatures hovering around freezing led to poor ice conditions that had players and officials repeatedly falling because of holes on the ice. After the first period, there was an extended delay while crews worked on the ice, trying to get it into playing shape. They finally decided to suspend the game, only to restart at 9:00 Pacific time, or midnight in the east. This was to allow for the ice to cure for better playing conditions. That’s a real shame — I’m betting a good number of readers (and myself) weren’t able to see the full game due to the lateness of the hour.

In an unusual (?) move, it appeared neither team wore ads on their helmets, making it even better!

Regrettably (but understandably), the dasher boards, which had been “clean” in the days leading up to the game, were plastered with ads. But that didn’t majorly detract from the otherwise splendiferous game.

I LOVE LOVE LOVED the Avs/Diques unis. I mean, how gotdamn gorgeous are these?

This is surely one of the better RR uniforms.

Unfortunately (again), the resumed, night-time game wasn’t nearly as pleasing to the eye.

You can see LOTS of additional photos here. You can read more about the poor ice conditions that led to the longest intermission in NHL history.

Today, the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers will play the second of two games at Lake Tahoe. That game, originally scheduled to be played at 3:00 pm Eastern, was first rescheduled for 2:00 pm, and then to 7:30 pm Eastern (4:30 PT), to try to avoid a repeat of the conditions that caused the poor ice in yesterday’s first period. It’s a shame that one will start nearer to sunset (5:45 pm, Lake Tahoe time), and will mostly be played after the sun has set, but it’s also completely understandable. Let’s hope it’s close to as visually appealing as yesterday’s Vegas/Colorado game was.

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Guess The Game…

from the scoreboard

Today’s scoreboard comes from our own Jamie Rathjen.

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.

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The “BEST OF” Kreindler’s Korner

Hey guys & gals. You’ve enjoyed Kreindler’s Korner for several years now, mostly on the weekends, on Uni Watch, but with the recent coronavirus outbreak, Graig’s time is just too precious and he needs to tend to other things besides coming up with a new writeup each weekend.

So, going forward, for as long as the COVID-19 situation is bad in New York, I’m going to run a few “Best of’s” until Graig returns.

Here’s today’s offering:

• • •

Title: “Barney”
Subject: Walter Johnson, 1907
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 16″ x 22″

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve always been fascinated with the T-206 baseball cards. For those of you new to the game, it’s a card set that was dispersed by means of cigarette and loose tobacco packs, circulating between 1909 and 1911. Consisting of 524 cards through 16 different brands that were owned by the American Tobacco Company, the set is best known for including a card of Honus Wagner, which to this day is widely considered the Holy Grail of the card collecting industry. Yes, that one. The rarity (and story behind that rarity) of the card accounts for its desirability, which was a hot item among early collectors of the set merely a decade or two after its release. The most expensive example to ever sell fetched almost three million dollars, still the most ever paid for a baseball card.

So, the hope was always that someday I’d be able to have some sort of gallery show depicting the paintings I had done that were inspired by the lithographs on the card set (which came from the lens of the Swedish-born Carl Horner, a photographer who was based out of Boston, MA). Though still not anywhere near achieving that goal, I still try to paint at least one or two of these portraits a year.

This past one allowed me the opportunity to paint the great Walter Johnson. The biggest challenge in the creation of the painting came from his jersey, which in the card, is very different from what appears in the original photo – which required a good amount of research to get historically accurate. And as I was going for with the other paintings in this set, I went after a more true realism than what was seen on those cards. It was my goal to try and mimic what Horner probably saw in his viewfinder when he himself took these portraits: polished faces of tough men in their clean uniforms, lit by a northern skylight and backed by a simple muslin curtain, seemingly gazing into the ether.

In this case, we have a 19-year-old kid at the beginning of a career that would see him become perhaps the greatest pitcher of all time.

• • •

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

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Uni Concepts & Tweaks

Time for more Uni Tweaks from the UW readership.

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).

• • •

Today’s concept come from Mike Cahalan, with a fun graphic to make the Titans look a bit more like the Oilers:

Concept for the Titans incorporating some aspects of the Oilers unis.

Thanks,
Mike Cahalan

• • •

Thanks Mike!

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.

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Podcast reminder: Paul here. In case you missed it over the past few days, the new episode of Unified is now available for your listening and viewing pleasure. With pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training this week, we talked about this year’s upcoming MLB uniform uni changes, plus we each listed some MLB changes we’d like to see, plus-plus there’s some chatter about the Golden Knights’ new gold helmets and, in the first installment of what we hope will be a regular feature, we answered a question submitted by a listener.

You can listen to this episode, and subscribe to future installments, on Apple, Google, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Spotify, or just use the player below:

Photos of things we discussed in this episode are available on the Unified website, and those photos also appear in the video version of the episode:

Thanks for listening/watching. Now back to Phil.

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: Reader Rob Bobich was wondering if anyone knows the years the Los Angeles Dodgers wore these gray roadies with thin soutache stripes. Unfortunately Dressed to the Nines isn’t conclusive, so I checked the Henderson guide. Turns out this was a one year wonder worn only in 1971. … Speaking of the Dodgers, when they planned their move to Los Angeles in the late ’50s, they initially considered playing in an expanded Wrigley Field (the longtime home of the Pacific Coast League’s Los Angeles Angels, that is) while they awaited the construction of Dodger Stadium. Plenty more background information about the Dodgers’ flirtation with playing at Wrigley Field can be found here. And for more great photos of the old stadium and its original PCL inhabitants (which make it clear where the Dodgers got the idea for their interlocking “LA” logo) check out this link (great work by Kary Klismet). … Due both to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, and the ‘symmetry’ of his #22, the Giants will retire Will Clark’s #22 in 2022 (thanks, Brinke). … New Mets P Taijuan Walker asking fans if he should wear 00 or 99. Marcus Stroman already wears 0 for the Mets, so if Walker goes with 00, Mets could have zero and double-zero in the same starting rotation. (And no, there’s no rule against it.) Thanks Paul. … Tweeter The Trojan Wall seems to think there are a few similar styles for adidas-outfitted college teams. … Black vs black jerseys in yesterday’s TX Southern vs Houston game (from Reid Cure). … Looks like the Tar Heels gave out a #1 jersey for the new UNC baseball coach’s first win (from James Gilbert).

NFL/College/Football News: Got an extra four grand laying around? If so, you can be the proud owner of Tom Brady’s Super Bowl helmet. And it’s signed by the GOAT himself. … Check out these wacky field covers for Tudor electric football. Submitter Jimmer Vilk notes, “‘Merica…And camo…And some other really weird fields. Hope this doesn’t give some schools ideas for their real fields.” … If you’ve been looking for a comprehensive visual guide to Rose Bowl ticket stubs and event staff and press ribbons through the years, the excellent Fields of Friendly Strife blog has you covered! And while you’re at it, check out their latest entry tracking college football history through equipment catalogs (from Kary Klismet). … Jim Perricotti drove by this sign twice yesterday in Revere, Mass. He stresses, “(picture is NOT from today)…appropriation from USFL Boston Breakers.” … The great Blaise D’Sylva has completed his helmet history of the Ivy League.

Hockey News: In celebration of Black History Month, Nick Suzuki wore special Willie O’Ree-themed skates during warmups on Saturday (from Mike Engle). If you’re not familiar with O’Ree, he is the first Black player in the National Hockey League. … The Vancouver Canucks wore their Reverse Retro unis on Friday, and jinxed themselves by promising to give away a jersey for every goal scored (The Athletic link). They lost 2-0. Also, I’d not heard the new RR’s referred to as “Sprite can” jerseys before. … A new hockey arena has been approved for Connecticut’s Sacred Heart University, and here’s what it will look like (from Kary Klismet). … I agree with the author of this article in that the Carolina Hurricanes/Whalers unis looked good on ice, but they should have been worn against a “dark” jersey, not a white one. … Yesterday, in honor of his 1,000th game, Sidney Crosby’s teammates, all wearing his No. 87 jersey, knelt down and did his routine of retying his skates alongside of him (from Mike Chamernik). Here’s a bit more on that. And more pics (from Wade Heidt). … The coaches also got into the Crosby tributes (from Jerry Wolper). … Here’s a list of all the teams against which Crosby has played (fromAnakin Forrest). … Will Scheibler writes, “Found some interesting jersey history of a Finnish team — Kräpät Oulu or Oulun Kärpät. While Wikipedia is far from authoritative here is some basic team information in English.” He adds, “on Finnish umlauts. Apropos of little, here’s an Ermine video.” … Here’s another new mask option created for Flames G Jacob Markstrom (from Wade Heidt).

NBA News: Check out this mismatched number font on Maurice Cheeks 12/25/78 vs. Knicks. Submitter Steven Dodell says, “Looks like he had a rounded zero from the prior year.”

College Hoops News: Despite not getting to play for a national championship last year because of the pandemic, Division III Hope College has presented its women’s team with rings for its undefeated season (from Kary Klismet). … Palestra Back asks, “Anyone know what this black thing sticking out of every Duke player’s shorts is?” Paul notes it’s a tracking device. … Syracuse women did the pink for breast cancer thing yesterday (from Jakob Fox). … Villanova wore 1971 throwbacks yesterday (from James Gilbert).

Soccer News: Recently renamed MLS side CF Montréal have unveiled their new jerseys (from Kary Klismet). … Here are the final results in 2021 J-League mascot election, Nagoya’s Grampus-kun 3rd, Marinosuke of Yokohama F.Marinos 2nd, and ViVi-kun of V-Varen Nagasaki taking the title. The head are mandarin ducks, which are in the team logo & prefectural bird (from Jeremy Brahm).

Grab Bag: From (formerly) frozen-in Craig Ward: “During our power blackouts here in Texas, I grabbed one of my C&H (Calvin & Hobbes) books to pass the time. I came across a few strips that immediately turned my mind to Uni-Watch.” … “I bought a cap from my favorite Australian Football League team several years ago,” says Max Weintraub. “And I never noticed this label: “earns cash for your team. Everybody wins!”. Like… teams need my cash?!” … New helmet designs for F1 drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo have been unveiled (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: The Bren Esports team has unveiled its new uniforms. … ICYMI: Russia’s team name, flag and national anthem were banned from this year’s Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, so the country’s team and athletes will be officially branded as “ROC,” the International Olympic Committee said Friday. … The New Zealand cricket team has unveiled a new ‘retro’ jersey for its upcoming Australia series. … Speaking of cricket, Craig King notes, “colour on colour is normal in cricket, but this is blue on blue in the Pakistan Super League between Karachi Kings (with red) vs Quetta Gladiators (with gold) makes it a little confusing from a distance.” … The Fairfield CT Police Department have unveiled a new patch for their uniforms (from Timmy Donahue).

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And finally… thanks to Jimmer for sharing his paper football helmet project. Fun stuff!

As I mentioned in the open, today’s my mom’s 87th birthday, so I’ll be spending most of the day with her (hopefully I can catch some/most of the Lake Tahoe game later in the evening — for once I’m grateful the NFL moved the start time back, even if it means it might not be aesthetically pleasing as yesterday’s first period was). I think I’ll let her win at Clue.

Everyone have a good week and stay safe, and I’ll catch you guys back here next Saturday.

Peace,

PH