Colts Go Retro with 1956 Throwback Uniform

In a surprise move yesterday (or at least it was a surprise to me), the Colts unveiled a new 1956 throwback uniform, which will be worn for the team’s home game against the Buccaneers on Nov. 28. As you can see above, it looks fairly similar to the team’s current look (that’s what happens when you have a franchise that’s largely maintained its aesthetic approach over several generations), but with the following distinctions:

• Instead of the UCLA-style shoulder striping, the sleeves have three stripes.

• To make room for the sleeve stripes, the TV numbers have been moved from the sleeves to the shoulders (which is era-inappropriate for the throwback, but that’s the reality now that NFL jerseys don’t have real sleeves anymore).

• The socks also get the triple-striped treatment (something I wish they’d do as their primary look).

• The pants have a single stripe down each leg, instead of the current double-stripe design.

• The nose bumper is blank.

• Although you can’t see it in the top photo, the helmets are blank on the sides and have two small horseshoes on the back (click to enlarge):

This will be the first throwback the Colts have worn since 2010, when they wore this 1955 design (click to enlarge, and you can see video of this game here):

This means there will be at least four NFL teams with new throwbacks this season: the Colts, 49ers, Packers (not yet released), and Browns (ditto). Am I missing anyone?

As a nice bonus, the Colts posted some photos of the original 1956 uniform, along with some throwback cell phone wallpaper and — my favorite touch — a PDF of their 1956 media guide. Well done.

One final note: If you look closely at the throwback jersey, you can see that the Colts are still still using the old Elite 51 tailoring template:

I believe the Colts and Ravens were the only teams still using this template last year (and of course the Packers were still using the Reebok template). Looks like the Colts are sticking with it for another season. Surprising!

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ITEM! New podcast episode: For our latest episode of Unified, Chris and I talked about the MLB All-Star uniforms and the larger issue of uni designs specifically geared to appeal to younger fans. Or to put it another way: Did the All-Star unis suck, or are we just too old and crotchety to appreciate them?

Plus we had a really good listener-submitted question about which teams should get to wear certain throwbacks. When we recorded the episode, we didn’t know that the Indianapolis Colts would be releasing a throwback from the franchise’s Baltimore days, but that’s exactly the sort of situation we discussed.

As always, the audio is avaialble on Apple, Google, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Spotify (it may not have propagated to all of those platforms yet, but it will definitely do so during the course of the day), or just use the player below:

The show notes for this episode are here but very sparse this time around, sorry. Plenty of photos in the video version of the episode, however, which you can see here:

Enjoy the episode, and thanks for listening.

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Click to enlarge

Olympics Preview reminder: In case you missed it on Wednesday, my latest piece for InsideHook is a rundown of Olympics uniform storylines to keep an eye on during the Tokyo Games (including the Team USA hoops unis, shown above). Check it out here.

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The Ticker
By Paul

Indigenous Appropriation News: Schools in North Haven, Conn., will no longer call their teams the Indians (from John Dankosky). … The swim and dive teams at Dominion Hills Pool in Arlington, Va., will no longer be called the Warriors (from William Yurasko). … A bill introduced in the Massachusetts state legislature would prohibit Native American mascots and team names for public schools (thanks, Phil). … Colorado has banned racist mascots and team names, but one school, which uses Native-themed images and calls its teams the Savages, would rather fight the restrictions in court than make a change (from Austin White). … In a related item, here’s more info on the Colorado law and how schools are dealing with it (from Tyler Maun). … Lemont High School in Illinois will no longer call its teams the Indians (from Griffin Smith). … The TBSA Wahoos — a girls’ softball team in Springfield, Ill. — uses a ponytailed and apparently female version of Chief Wahoo while also poaching the Washington Nationals’ script “W” for good measure (from David Craske). … The rest of these are from Kary Klismet: Algonquin Regional High School in Massachusetts, whose teams are known as the Thunderhawks, is asking for public input on a new athletics logo after retiring its tomahawk-themed logo. … The Native American Heritage Fund is providing Saugatuck (Mich.) High School with $43,000 in grants to cover costs associated with changing the school’s team name from “Indians” to “Trailblazers.”

Baseball News: The Red Sox are giving away a Sox jersey in “Puerto Rican colors” for Puerto Rican Heritage night on July 27. No indication that the team will wear this jersey on-field, however (from Daniel Robinson). … Remember how Reds OF Nick Castellanos showed up at the All-Star Game wearing a T-shirt designed by his seven-year-old son? A Cincy apparel company is now creating a retail version of that shirt (from John Cerone). … I don’t know if Orioles C Austin Wynns cut himself shaving or what, but he had a very Nelly-esque face bandage yesterday (from Andrew Cosentino). … Red Sox P Chris Sale has been wearing No. 3 while on a minor league rehab assignment with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs (from Ariel Shoshan).

Football News: Here are some photos from the Dolphins’ new training complex (thanks, Brinke). … New uniforms for East Carolina (from Chad Smith and Phil). … Southmoreland High School in Pennsylvania is adding a memorial decal for a teammate who was killed in a traffic accident last winter (from Joe Werner). … New helmets for Jackson State (from Bill Hetrick). … New uniforms for Hawaii, which is now being outfitted by Adidas (from Rob DeMello). … New helmets for Louisiana Tech (from Chris Mycoskie). … Iowa wants to name the field at Kinnick Stadium after Duke Slater, a player from 1918-21 who was later the first Black NFL lineman (thanks, Jamie). … Here’s a good look at UCLA’s new Jordan uniforms. Video footage here (thanks, Phil).

Hockey News: Here’s a nice side-by-side view of the Kraken’s home and road sweaters, which were showcased during last night’s NHL expansion draft. … New logo for the USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks (from Wade Heidt). … The WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings will wear this fan-designed jersey for a home game next season (from Steven Schapansky).

Basketball News: New uniforms for the Harlem Globetrotters (from @HawkeyeOnAir). … Did you know that the Bulls used to wear team-branded socks? (From @NFL_Journal.)

Soccer News: New advertiser for Inter Milan (from Germán Cabrejo). … English club Bedale AFC has a bizarre see-through kit to help raise prostate cancer awareness (thanks to all who shared). … New away kit for PSG (thanks to all who shared). … Nashville SC striker Aké Loba went FNOB — complete with the accent — in his debut with the team last night. … The Mexican flag patch on Mexico FB/MF Érick Aguirre’s shirt was upside-down in yesterday’s Olympic match against France. Additional info here (thanks to all who shared).

Olympics News: Here’s an assessment of the best Olympic logos according to various design experts. … In a related item, here’s an interesting analysis of why creating an Olympic logo is so challenging in an increasingly diverse world (from James Gilbert). … Netherlands women’s soccer goalie Sari van Veenendaal held up injured teammate Sherida Spitse’s shirt for yesterday’s team photo. “Spitse had a knee injury in training on Monday,” explains our own Jamie Rathjen. … Also from Jamie: The Great Britain women’s soccer team had previously revealed their white kit, but here’s the blue one. … Here’s one columnist’s picks for the most stylish uniforms at the Tokyo Games (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: Here’s an article about how the official mascots for the Tokyo Games must compete for attention in Japan’s mascot-driven culture, where cartoon-style characters are ubiquitous in promotions and advertising. … Cross-listed from the soccer section: The Mexican flag patch on Mexico soccer player Érick Aguirre’s shirt was upside-down in yesterday’s match against France. Additional info here (thanks to all who shared).

Grab Bag: New logo for Green Bay’s tourism bureau. … Here’s the logo for the Major Series Lacrosse Classic, which is MSL’s return-to-play tourney (from Wade Heidt). … Something I missed from last week: Dennis Murphy, who founded or co-founded the ABA, the WHA, World Team Tennis, and the International Women’s Professional Softball League, has died. … New logo for the NCAA’s Big West Conference (from Sy Hart). … American gymnast Simone Biles now has her own Twitter emoji (from Ignacio Salazar).

Uni Watch Partners with New Content Platform Bulletin

Hello! Today I have an important announcement about a new platform where Uni Watch is now appearing.

So: You may have heard some chatter lately about Bulletin, a new content platform launched a few weeks ago by Facebook. Bulletin content includes coverage of niche topics in sports, local news, science/tech, home/family, business, food, travel, and lots of other areas — pretty much everything except partisan politics. (You can see a good article about Bulletin, published back in early June, here, and there have been lots of additional articles since then.)

Bulletin launched on June 29 with a dozen big-name writers, including Malcolm Gladwell, Mitch Albom, Erin Andrews, and Dorie Greenspan. Another 31 writers went live yesterday, and I’m excited to announce that one of them was me! Here’s my new Uni Watch page on Bulletin, where you can see that my first Bulletin piece (mostly an FAQ-style intro/explainer article) is already up. I’ll have another piece on Bulletin on Friday, and then I’ll be doing Uni Watch pieces for Bulletin on a weekly basis after that.

Let’s shift into FAQ mode:

How long has this been in the works?

I don’t know when Facebook started planning to develop Bulletin, but they first got in touch with me in mid-March.

So they approached you, not the other way around?

Yes. All Bulletin writers have been recruited by Facebook. My understanding is that there will be more of those writers launching in the weeks and months to come.

Who are these other writers?

The 12 big names who were part of Bulletin’s launch in late June are listed at the bottom of this Facebook article. The 31 additional writers whose pages went live yesterday, including me, are listed here. Again, there are more writers to come, but I’m not privy to their identities.

You just said you’ll be writing for Bulletin once a week. Will it be the same day each week?

The first entry was posted in advance so there’d already be some content ready to go for the rollout. Going forward, though, my Bulletin articles will usually be on either Thursday or Friday (although that could occasionally change due to breaking news or other scheduling issues).

How long will the Bulletin pieces be?

About the same as a blog post, not counting the Ticker.

What will happen here on the blog on a day when you have a Bulletin post?

It’ll be similar to when I used to have an ESPN column running, or nowadays when I have an InsideHook piece. There’ll still be a blog post, but it won’t have a full-length lede item and might not have sub-ledes either. Instead, it’ll say, “I have a new Bulletin post today about [x]” (with a link to the Bulletin piece, of course), and then it will proceed directly to any sub-ledes and the Ticker.

Will there be any theme or unifying through-line for the Bulletin content?

I’m hoping to use the Bulletin column for a lot of interviews. That’s not to say that every Bulletin piece will be an interview, but most interview transcripts I publish for the foreseeable future will probably end up on Bulletin. “Question Time” will move to Bulletin as well, and maybe a few other things.

But some of my other Bulletin posts may be very much like Uni Watch blog posts. Basically, it will be a lot like the content you’ve come to expect here on this website, except it’ll be on Bulletin.

What about non-uni content like travelogues, recipes, and so on?

That will continue to appear here on this website, not on Bulletin.

What about your InsideHook columns?

I’m still under contract to do one IH piece per month for the rest of 2021, including all the season previews that I do every fall. The Bulletin gig doesn’t change any of that. (In fact, I have a new InsideHook piece today!)

What about your annual August break from the blog?

That will still happen. Phil will run the site next month, just as he’s done in previous years. But I’ll still be doing my weekly Bulletin pieces during August. (I’m also taking a vacation in early August — my first in two years — but I’ll post that week’s Bulletin piece from the road.)

Will this affect the Unified podcast in any way?

Whenever we do a new episode, a link and an audio player will automatically be posted to my Bulletin page. But this new gig won’t have any effect on the podcast itself. (Speaking of the podcast: New episode tomorrow!)

Will your Bulletin posts also link back to the blog, and to your other work?

Yes.

Why are the hyperlinked text passages in your first Bulletin article colored grey, instead of something more contrast-y? It looks weird.

One of the hassles of being part of a new platform launch is that you’re essentially a guinea pig for the tech glitches that inevitably arise. In this case, the text links are supposed to be my theme color (green, of course), but instead they’re showing up as grey. I’ve been told that this will be fixed soon. Fingers crossed!

Is Bulletin paying you?

Yes.

What about health insurance, 401(k), a free laptop, and all that other good stuff?

Bulletin writers are independent contractors, not employees, so I don’t get any benefits. Or to put it another way: I still have to pay for my own health insurance (which currently costs me $793/month, grrrr).

I’m confused, because I’ve heard Bulletin described as a newsletter platform. Are you writing a web column or a newsletter?

Both. My Bulletin posts will appear on my Bulletin page, where you can access them like anything else on the web, plus you can subscribe to receive them as an emailed newsletter if you like. The sign-up/subscription link is on the Bulletin page.

Will there be any difference between the emailed and web versions of a Bulletin piece?

You can’t post a comment on the emailed version (obviously). Aside from that, there should be no difference.

Does it cost anything to subscribe to the newsletter (or to read the web version, for that matter)?

No — at least for now. Bulletin writers are allowed to charge a subscription fee, or to create premium paywalled content, but I’ve decided to make all my Bulletin content free for at least a few months, and probably through the end of 2021. After that, I might charge a small fee — a couple of bucks a month, say — or I might not. We’ll see.

I don’t have a Facebook account. Will I still be able to read this content?

Yes, at least for now — you can access Bulletin pages like any other links on the web, and you can sign up for the emailed version regardless of whether you have a Facebook account. If I decide to charge a small amount for the content at some point, you’d have to establish a Facebook account just to process the payment. And you’ll need a Facebook account if you want to post comments on the web version of the Bulletin content.

Are you working with an editor?

No. I have a Bulletin contact person/overseer and access to various types of support staff, but nobody has to approve my story topics in advance, nobody edits my copy, and there’s nobody between me and the “Publish” button. In that regard, it’s basically the same as blogging (even though more people seem to be calling it newslettering).

This all sounds a lot like Substack.

Yes, Bulletin is clearly Facebook’s attempt to compete with Substack. Again, to me it just feels like blogging.

So this is all part of the new “creator economy” that I keep hearing about?

That’s how it’s being framed by Facebook and by media analysts, although I have to laugh at that, because the “creator economy” is basically what I’ve already been doing for most of my career. (Of course, I’m not unique in that regard. Lots of people in the Uni Watch orbit also fit that description.)

If there’s nobody editing your copy, won’t it be full of typos?

Most people don’t realize this, but for years now longtime Uni Watch reader Jerry Wolper has generously proofread my weekday blog posts after they’re published each morning, so most of my typos get fixed shortly after each piece goes up. He’s done this on a volunteer basis, but now I’m using some of my Bulletin pay to hire him in a more official capacity. He’ll continue proofreading here on the blog and will also proof my Bulletin content in advance (so the typos will be fixed before the emailed version goes out).

Will the the Bulletin posts feature the Facebook logo, or big banner that says, “Bulletin, by Facebook,” or anything like that?

No. There’s no Facebook branding on Bulletin posts except at the very bottom of the page, where there’s small type that says, “Facebook Bulletin.”

Will there be advertising on the Bulletin pages?

No. I’m thrilled that my Bulletin work will be appearing in an uncluttered, ad-free setting.

Wait a minute — if Facebook/Bulletin is paying you, and the content is free, and there are no ads, then how do they make money on this venture? What’s in it for them?

They’re paying me for a limited period of time. After that term is up, the direct payments will stop but I can keep generating revenue via subscription fees. If I choose to do that, they will skim a percentage of those fees, so that’s the business model from their end. Again, this is similar to how Substack works.

Anyone can sign up to create a Substack. Can anyone sign up to start writing for Bulletin too?

I think that’s the plan for some point down the road. But for now, Bulletin is only for the writers who were recruited to be part of the initial rollout, as I was.

Will Facebook use its social media muscle to help drive more eyeballs to your Bulletin work?

That’s the idea, yes. Bulletin posts (not just mine) will start showing up in Facebook news feeds, which I hope will help connect Uni Watch with a new audience.

A few weeks ago you said you had some “big news” that you were about to announce, and then it never happened. Was that about Bulletin?

Yes. There were some last-minute changes regarding when my page was scheduled to go live. Sorry about that earlier false alarm.

If your Bulletin rollout was yesterday, why did you wait until today to run this announcement post?

My Bulletin page didn’t go live yesterday until 11am Eastern. I wasn’t allowed to talk about it until then, and my policy is to publish each day’s blog post at least two hours earlier than that, so I decided to publish a regular blog post yesterday and save the announcement for today.

I refuse to have anything to do with Facebook because of [insert assorted objections to Facebook here], so I’m not going to read this new content of yours.

I understand people’s concerns about Facebook, just as I understood people’s concerns when I wrote for ESPN (in bed with the leagues they cover), Sports Illustrated (the annual swim-porn issue), and other venues with potentially troubling circumstances.

The reality is that there are few if any perfect media platforms out there. That doesn’t mean we should just throw up our hands and give up on ethical and moral standards, but it means we all have to decide for ourselves where we draw the line regarding media outlets we refuse to engage with. I’ve said before, for example, that I won’t have anything to do with Barstool Sports or Fox News under any circumstances. But Facebook? Again, I understand the concerns about them, but I enjoy using their product (it’s helped me reconnect with lots of childhood friends who I’d long ago lost touch with, for example), and I’m willing to work with them.

If you feel differently, I respect that position, and of course I also respect whatever decisions you make about what you choose to read or not read. That’s up to you.

———

If you have any additional questions that I didn’t address here, feel free to post them in today’s comments and I’ll do my best to answer.

Personally, I’m pretty excited about all of this. For starters, the extra coin will give me some financial stability and security. And if Facebook’s algorithmic muscle really does help connect Uni Watch with new readers, at least some of those readers would presumably find their way back to this website, so that could help grow our comm-uni-ty.

Also, I have to say, it’s nice to have some positive news to report. 2019 was a rough year for Uni Watch, and 2020 was a rough year for all of us. As we emerge from the pandemic (I hope), this new Bulletin development feels like a nice symbol of things looking brighter on multiple fronts.

Again, my Bulletin page is here, my first Bulletin post is here, and both of those pages have a link where you can sign up to receive all of my future Bulletin content via email. Thanks for listening.

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Click to enlarge

ITEM! Olympics Preview now available: With the Tokyo Olympics set to open this Friday — well, assuming they aren’t cancelled instead — my latest piece for InsideHook is a rundown of Olympics uniform storylines to keep an eye on during the games (including the Team USA hoops unis, shown above). Check it out here.

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Two (or more) for the price of one: Mets catcher James McCann pulled off a rare feat during Monday night’s game against the Reds when he hit the ball twice with one swing, as seen above.

I was looking for more info on that and discovered something really wonderful: MLB.com writer Shanthi Sepe-Chepuru is so obsessed with the multiple-contact phenomenon that she’s kept a running list of players who’ve done it — with accompanying video! Now that’s a serious niche fixation, and one that I can totally get behind.

Naturally, Sepe-Chepuru added McCann to her list following his double-contact swing on Monday night. You can see her full rundown — including one video clip that shows Giants outfielder Hunter Pence hitting the ball three times on one swing! — here. Enjoy!

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Good triumphs over evil: Congrats to the Bucks and their fans on last night’s NBA championship win. I’m a bit disappointed that they wore so little green for the clinching game, but the fact remains: Green has defeated Purple, and thus all is right in the uni-verse.

Meanwhile, here’s something to consider: The reigning champs in the NFL and NBA are now the Bucs and the Bucks. Now we just need the Pirates (nicknamed the Bucs) to win the World Series, but that seems highly unlikely. As for the NHL, perhaps the Ducks would suffice — at least it would rhyme, right?

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Seam ripper update: I just replenished my supply of Uni Watch seam rippers, so all colors are now back in stock. If you want to join the remove-ment, the rippers are available here.

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The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball News: Padres 3B coach Bobby Dickerson had some unusual spacing on his NOB last night (from David Murphy). … From that same game: Padres 1B Eric Hosmer suffered a batting helmet decal mishap last night (from multiple readers). … Also from that game: A video board in Atlanta’s ballpark showed the Padres’ old wordmark. … A Bay Area graphic designer’s two-year-old mock-ups of uniforms and logos for a then-hypothetical move by the A’s to Las Vegas have resurfaced and created a stir on social media (from Kary Klismet). … Blue Jays P Adam Cimber wore his pants over his knees, and social media had some things to say about it (from @realRosebud). … Angels P/DH Shohei Ohtani has signed an exclusive memorabilia/merch deal with Fanatics (from multiple readers). … Red vs. red last night for the Fredricksburg Nationals and Salem Red Sox (from Clark Ruhland). … Plate ump Tom Hallion punched a punch-out so hard during last night’s Marlins/Nationals game that his mask went a bit off-kilter (from Max Weintraub). … Have the Red Sox already revised their City Connect cap? Sure looks that way.

Football News: New unis for Western Michigan University (from Joseph Zurek). … Here’s a retro helmet display at West Virginia’s newly-remodeled practice facility (from Alan Saunders). … President Biden hosted the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers yesterday and received a No. 46 jersey with his NOB, while Vice President Harris received a No. 49 jersey (from multiple readers).

Soccer News: New shirts for Atalanta (from multiple readers). … Atlanta United fired coach Gabriel Heinze on Sunday for numerous infractions, including not letting the players or equipment staff know who was in the lineup until late in the evening on the day before the game, which created a late-night scramble to get the game jerseys ready (from Michael Rich). … Romanian club Dinamo București will wear shirts with the names of 2,000 supporters who donated at least 490 Euros when the club was struggling financially (from our own Anthony Emerson). … New shirts for Mexican sides Alibrejes and Club Puebla (both from Trevor Williams). … The rest of these are from Ed Zelaski: New shirt for Portuguese side Santa Clara. … New kits for Polish clubs New shirtsRadomiak Radom and Wisła Płock.

Olympics News: Argentina’s men’s and women’s field hockey teams have released their Olympic kits (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … With softball back in the Games this year and competition getting underway last night, Australia became the first softball team in Olympic history to wear standard baseball-style pants. Their opponents, Japan, wore shorts, which used to be compulsory (from Cork Gaines and Chris Hockman). … Nigeria’s track and field athletes will wear AFA kits instead of Puma (from our own Phil Hecken). … The 2032 Summer Games will be held in Brisbane, Australia.

Grab Bag: The Norway women’s beach handball team was fined 1,500 Euros for what the European Handball Federation says is improper shorts (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Fans aren’t liking English rugby union and netball team Wasps RFC’s new logo (from our own Brinke Guthrie). … The Upstate Collegiate Box Lacrosse League unveiled its championship trophy, which is named the Mearns Cup (from Wade Heidt). … New uniforms for Japanese men’s volleyball team Panasonic Panthers (from Jeremy Brahm).

Vintage ‘Ed-U-Card’ Game Delivers Big-League Fun

For all photos, click to enlarge

[Editor’s Note: Today we have a guest entry from membership card designer Scott M.X. Turner, who’s going to tell us about a vintage sports collectible that he recently acquired after seeing it listed in our own “Collector’s Corner” column. Enjoy! — PL]

By Scott M.X. Turner

Brinke Guthrie’s “Collector’s Corner” is a repository of eBay goodness. I usually manage to resist the enticing offerings he features, but recently he linked to something that was just too good and too inexpensive, so I snapped it up.

The item in question was a card-based baseball game called — wait for it — Baseball. It appeared to date back to the 1960s. Some of the cards shown in the eBay listing featured basic baseball scenes, like these:

The rest of the cards — and this was the real selling point for me — featured Mr. Met. I figured maybe I’d frame the Mr. Met cards, or possibly give them away to fellow Mets fans:

Now that I’ve received the cards from the eBay seller, I’ve learned that the game was manufactured by a New York-based company called Ed-U-Cards. That’s about as classic a mid-century company name as you’ll ever find, and they had a classic mid-century logo to go with it:

It turns out that the batch of cards I received is made up of two separate Baseball decks: The generic cards were the standard set, and Ed-U also released a special Mr. Met edition. According to this useful Wiki page, the original game debuted in the late 1940s, while the Mets edition looks to date from the early 1960s. (There were also versions for at least three other teams: the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Red Sox.)
 
My collection is missing some cards from each version (the one wayward Mr. Met card, sadly, is the Home Run card). On the plus side, if you scroll back up and look at the Mr. Met cards, you’ll see that the expressions on his face when things go wrong are priceless. For example:

• The oddly-named “hit-by-pitcher” card (who else would hit the batter?): Can Mr. Met even get hit anywhere other than his giant noggin?

• The strike card: Mr. Met’s frustrated resignation is so, so on-brand.

• The stolen base card: He’s oversliding that sack. Classic Amazin’s.

• And the best is the balk card’s utterly sheepish expression. Mr. Met is praying hard that if only everyone in the stadium didn’t see him balk, then he’ll do whatever God wants of him for the rest of his days.

The big treat for the standard set is on the back of the cards, which feature a flipbook-style animation of a pitcher tossing a pitch and then fielding a ball hit back to him:

Unfortunately, several cards from my standard set are missing, so the flip-motion is a bit choppy, but you can still get the idea:

And how does the game itself play? Enjoyably, hypnotically, unrealistically, at least for this participant. It wasn’t exciting, but it was also hard to stop playing. And if you like shuffling cards, this is the game for you.
 
The game is 100% chance. There’s no opportunity to choose different approaches, to announce an attempted steal and then see if the next card determines you’re out. Instead, you might draw a stolen-base card whether you entertained that notion or not. It’s a baseball version of the card game War.
 
A player keeps drawing cards until an at-bat is completed. Could be a single card with a base hit or a fly out, could be several cards involving a full count. After each at-bat, the player on offense shuffles the cards.

So … much … shuffling.

Also, Ed-U-Cards may not have fully vetted the game’s appeal when they insisted it’s for one to nine players.
 
The game was originally sold with a fold-out sheet of paper printed with rules and a baseball diamond (as shown in the photo at the top of this page). This wasn’t included with my cards, so I drew one myself, giving it a dopey, non-corporate name to celebrate Uni Watch and New Orleans, where I live:

If you draw a single, you place that card on first base. Draw a stolen-base card, you slide your base-hit card to second. This alters your card-draw chances because those cards are taken out of the deck for that inning’s subsequent at-bats, or until they come around the bases and score.

For a test drive, my wife and I played a game. We discovered after a few innings that using the entire batch of cards I received, mixed from two separate sets, resulted in an artificially high-scoring slugfest. (After I removed the excess cards, the game played much truer to life.) Here’s the scorecard for our one-game series between the Lyin’ Cheatin’ Astros and the Climate Chaos Mets. I made a few modifications to how I usually score a ballgame:

Ed-U-Cards Baseball is no Strat-O-Matic or Sports Illustrated Baseball. (The 1972 version of the latter, with team sheets based on the 1971 season, is the best baseball board game ever. Come play me when you’re in New Orleans.) Ed-U-Cards is, however, a fun, undemanding pastime. Good for playing with kids who are just starting to like the game. And much like attending a real baseball game, it leaves plenty of room for conversation, which is one of the real pleasures of baseball, in any form.

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Click to enlarge

Collector’s Corner    
By Brinke Guthrie
    

Leading off with this 1960s Brownies item, a helmet bottle opener. Never seen one of these before — and with the phantom “CB” logo to boot!

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• Here’s an “extremely rare” 1960s San Francisco Giants ashtray. Wish they’d bring that logo back!

• This Big-Time Baseball book is from 1961 and includes “thrilling diamond episodes,” “greatest all-time records,” and “pictures of today’s stars.” Beat that with a stick!

• I can promise you that this is the first time I’ve ever included Avon Sure Winner Baseball Hair Trainer in Collector’s Corner. Train your hair? To do what, exactly? “This listing is an exclusive item from the collection of sports author Billy Staples.” Well then!

• Tube socks were alive and well in the 1980s, and here’s a pair featuring the Los Angeles Dodgers logo.

• Staying with the Dodgers — but from their Brooklyn era — here’s a 1955 Golden Stamp Book featuring “32 picture stamps of baseball players in full color, plus their batting averages and life stories, team history, seating plan of the ballpark, and 32 black-and-white drawings.” All for 50 cents!

• How ’bout dem (crocheted) Cowboys! Here we have DIY crocheted versions of Roger Staubach and an NFL referee. Another Collector’s Corner first!

• Artist extraordinaire Nick Volpe painted this 1970 “Pro Star Portrait” of ABA Kentucky Colonels star Cincy Powell. (I had the thermal cup collection and probably the poster too, from your neighborhood Marathon Oil dealer! I also had Cincy’s autograph from when my dad sat next to him on a plane.)

• Take a look at this Green Bay Packers lighter. It says “World’s Champion” on it, with a rather odd-looking helmet depiction as well.

• Very nice helmet logos shown on this 1983 NFL Sticker Album.

• If you’re an Atlanta Falcons fan looking for an undrilled bowling ball with the Falcons and NFL logos, I have just what you’re looking for.

Got an item to include on Collector’s Corner? Tweet submissions to @brinkeguthrie.

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Question Time reminder In case you missed it on Monday, I’m now taking queries for the next round of Question Time, the “Ask Me Anything”-style series where I respond to your questions.

As always, the ground rules are as follows:

• One question per person.

• You can ask me about uniforms, about Uni Watch, about sports in general, or just about me.

• No question is out of bounds, but I reserve the right to ignore questions that I think are too personal.

• I usually receive more questions than I have the time or resources to answer, so apologies in advance if I don’t get to yours.

With all that in mind, email your question — again, just one per person — to the Question Time address. (Please note that this is not the usual Uni Watch email address.) I’ll respond to them in a new Question Time installment soon. Thanks!

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: Reader Derick Sears points out that the Nationals pulled off the unlikely trick of wearing four different uniform combinations in the span of three games over the weekend. That’s because they switched uniforms Sunday when they resumed Saturday night’s game after a shooting near the ballpark. … Todd Frazier may not be on an MLB roster at the moment, but he was well represented on fan jerseys during last night’s Mets/Reds game in Cincinnati. … Staying in Cincy: I couldn’t grab a photo, but Reds C Tyler Stephenson suffered a serious pants tear early in last night’s game. … Twins C Mitch Garver, who took a foul ball to the groin in June, was activated from the IL yesterday. A Twins beat writer quoted him as wearing a new cup “made of Kevlar and epoxy that can ‘stop a bullet.'” (From @LeSabot). … The Hartford Yard Goats, the Rockies’ Double-A affiliate, wore hockey sweater-inspired jerseys on Sunday for Hartford Whalers Alumni Day (from Jeff Schleicher). … Here’s something you don’t often see: Angels P Shohei Ohtani wore grey sleeves under his grey road jersey last night, instead of the team’s usual red base layer. That photo also gives a good view of how the umps’ new ads look on one of their windbreaker tops (from Alex Gleitz).

NFL News: A Browns blog has a deep dive on the team’s new potential alternate uniform design, which will likely be unveiled on July 24 (from Phil). … Interesting move by Pro Football Magazine, which chose to use an old photo of Titans RB Derrick Henry in an outdated uniform design for the cover of its 2021 season preview issue (from Sam McAnally). … Back in March, KC announced they were selling the naming rights to Arrowhead Stadium. Yesterday, they removed the exterior “Arrowhead” sign from the stadium’s scoreboard to prepare for the renaming (from Timmy Donahue). … Also from Timmy: Falcons K Younghoe Koo had his car stolen and asked the thief to return his cleats. … With the U.S. pulling out of Afghanistan, military personnel have been scrambling to save mementos and historical artifacts, including a framed Pat Tillman Cardinals jersey that was displayed at Bagram Airfield. According to that linked article, “The Tillman jersey is now at USO headquarters in Arlington, Va. It may be sent later to Arizona, where [Tillman’s] family and foundation are based, the USO said” (from Timmy Donahue).

College Football News: Quite the name for the first (D-III) bowl game to be held in Wisconsin: the Culver’s Isthmus Bowl (from Joel Mathwig). … We have our first look at Akron’s new uniforms, which will be manufactured by Nike. They’ve been wearing Adidas uniforms for the past several seasons (from Jacob Farrar). … Milford High School in Ohio has sold the naming rights to its football stadium (from Timmy Donahue). … The MAC has a new 75th-anniversary logo.

Hockey News: The Allen Americans of the ECHL are holding a jersey design contest (from @StarsAsylum). … Cross-listed from the baseball section: Hartford’s minor league baseball team, the Yard Goats, wore hockey sweater-inspired jerseys on Sunday for Hartford Whalers Alumni Day (from Jeff Schleicher).

Basketball News: A Bucks fan has designed player prayer cards in the style of old Catholic icons in advance of tonight’s Game Six of the NBA Finals (from Jeff Ash).

Soccer News: Italian side Sassuolo has a new second shirt (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Staying in Italy, Serie C has a new ball design (from Jeremy Brahm). … Also from Jeremy: New shirts for FC Tokyo. … The Athletic (hard paywall) has a deep dive on why the world loves soccer shirts (from John Flory). … New jerseys for Russian Premier League club Akhmat Grozny (from Ed Żelaski). … Also from Ed: New badge for Ukrainian side FC Lviv. … Adidas printed the wrong ad on the away jerseys for second-tier German club Hamburger SV, meaning the shirts will be unavailable for the beginning of next season, so the team will have to wear this year’s shirts for the first few games (from Greg Phillips). … All-Stars from MLS and Mexico’s Liga MX will face off in an exhibition next month. Here’s what the Liga MX All-Stars will wear (from @Link73). … Two more from Ed Zelaski: New home shirts for Dynamo Moscow and new kits for Polish club Korona Kielce, which is now being outfitted by 4F.

Olympics News: U.S. flag bearers at the Opening Ceremonies on Friday will have a “cooling device” built into their jackets to battle the expected scorching temperatures. “How about — I dunno, stay with me here — just don’t wear the jackets when it’s 90 degrees?” says Akul Nishawala  (also from Brinke). … Olympic torchbearers have been wearing shirts and shorts made from recycled plastic bottles (from Phil). … English para-athlete Olivia Breen says she was admonished by officials at a meet on Sunday for wearing shorts that were “too revealing.” Jamie Rathjen finds this “ironic,” given that, as we Ticked on Sunday and Monday, Norway’s women’s beach handball club was recently admonished for wearing shorts that weren’t revealing enough. … Here’s what Japanese athletes competing in the modern pentathlon will wear at the Olympics (from Jeremy Brahm).

Grab Bag: New home uniforms for Japanese men’s volleyball club team Sakai Blazers (from Jeremy Brahm). … Pittsburgh plans to paint its fire engines grey to match the new paint scheme for its police cruisers (from Dane Drutis). … The SEC came up with a Band-Aid-style logo as part of a campaign to encourage Covid vaccinations (from James Gilbert). … Dell Michaels found a bunch of great sports photos from the 1942 West Virginia University yearbook. … At a Kentucky state legislative hearing earlier this month, a state lawmaker voiced concerns about the U. of Kentucky’s continued use of checkerboard in its athletics uniforms (from Josh Claywell). … A Tennessee WWII veteran was presented with a new uniform and medals after he lost all of his possessions in a house fire (from Timmy Donahue). … Uni Watchers, how well did everyone do on this BuzzFeed car logo quiz? … This story investigates how CNN managed to render a plus sign in its familiar inlined font for the branding of its new CNN+ streaming service.

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I’ll be announcing some big Uni Watch news around 11am Eastern today. I’ll tweet about it (here’s my Twitter feed, in case you want to keep an eye on it), and here it is. I realize you may have many questions about this — I promise to answer them here on the blog tomorrow. See you then. — Paul

My Uni-Obsessive Vintage-Shopping Weekend

For all photos, click to enlarge

Good morning! Greetings from Uni Watch HQ, where I am back after spending a weekend with friends upstate. We spent a lot of Saturday poking around in various vintage shops, where I spotted an unusual number of uni-related items of interest. It’s not like I went into these shops with the goal of finding uni- or sports-related items (on the contrary, I was looking for other things), but I ended up finding a bunch of them anyway, so I want to talk about that today.

Let’s start with this football-themed novelty decanter for Lionstone bourbon (shown above). I’m familiar with novelty bourbon bottles made by Jim Beam, but I hadn’t heard of Lionstone until now. According to various online listings (like this one), the football design is from 1974, although it depicts a more old-timey scene.

The same shop also had a Lionstone basketball decanter:

And there was also a hockey decanter, although one player’s head, which functioned as the cap, was missing (here’s how it looks fully intact):

A bit of research reveals that Lionstone also made baseball-, boxing-, and golf-themed decanters. Fun stuff!

I also came across a pair of bizarre lithographs that showed hoboes bowling. The first one is particularly uni-notable, because the character appears to be wearing a Harvard football sweater and a Yale cap:

The first one is signed “Bernhardt Wall” and the second one has the initials “BW,” so they’re clearly by the same artist. I’d never heard of Bernhardt Wall before, but it turns out he was born in Buffalo and illustrated so many postcards that he became known as the “Postcard King.” I found an eBay listing for a bowling-themed postcard that he designed, but so far I haven’t found any info on the hobo prints.

(As an aside: Hoboes used to be fairly common subjects — usually in “humorous” settings — for advertising, artwork, and pop culture. I certainly grew up seeing countless depictions of hoboes with bindles slung over their shoulders — it was practically a visual cliché. All of that now seems like it’s in really bad taste. Like, would you put a “humorous” illustration of a homeless person on on your magazine cover now? I hadn’t really thought of that until I saw Bernhardt’s prints of the bowling hoboes.)

Moving on: In another shop, I saw this swell tray with a photo of a leatherhead-era football team huddling up:

No idea what team that was, but I do like that rear pants striping!

That same shop also had this (ash?)tray with a nice illustration of a female golfer:

My default hunch for a woman golfer of that era is that it must be Babe Didrikson, but I don’t really know. Anyone..? (Update: Several reader/commenters say it’s actually Patty Berg, first president of the LPGA. Thanks for that info, guys!)

I didn’t buy any of these things. But I did buy the next thing I’m going to show you — a copy of the 1975-76 UNC hoops yearbook, called the Bluebook. The cover alone, featuring three seniors for that season’s UNC team, is worth the $1 I paid:

I’m not sure what’s better — the clothing, the haircuts, or the double apostrophe catastrophe.

Here’s the table of contents, the credits, and so on:

As you’d probably expect, the Bluebook’s 72 pages feature lots of color photos from the previous season, 1974-75 (nonchalantly referred to as “Another Championship Season”). Looking at those photos, two very uni-notable things become apparent. First, UNC was still wearing their uni-numbered socks that year. I knew about these socks, of course (they served as the basis for one of our Stripe-Rite sock designs a few years back), but I thought they were more of a late-’60s thing. I didn’t realize they were still being worn in the mid-’70s:

I love those numbered socks, man. Can’t get enough photos of those!

The second thing worth noting (well, other than all those players wearing Carolina blue Chucks) is evident in the photo shown above — the guy on the left, wearing No. 45. He’s wearing belted shorts. So are all the other players (although it’s hard to see in most of the photos, but it’s consistent throughout all the photos in the Bluebook). Again, I realized UNC’s shorts once had belts — so did many, many basketball teams during the 1950s and ’60s. It was a fairly common thing at the time. But I’m really surprised to learn that a top-level team like UNC was still using belts in 1975.

A few other interesting details from the Bluebook:

• Check out the primitive-looking script that Boston College was using:

• I have no idea if numbers and NOBs on warm-up tops were common in the mid-’70s, but UNC had them:

• The center of the Bluebook has a page devoted to each player on the UNC team, each featuring a sort of faded-looking illustration:

According to the credits, the illustrations were done by “a Carolina alumnus from Atlanta” named Gwyn Raker. Some quick googling reveals that Raker would go on to create Home Depot’s “Homer” mascot character. (The company is based in Atlanta.)

• UNC coach Dean Smith did not escape the era’s prevailing fashions:

———

Fun little publication. I bought it because I plan to send it to Uni Watch reader James Gilbert, who’s sent me soooooo many UNC-related Ticker contributions over the years. Well, assuming he doesn’t already have a copy of it himself, which he very well might! Let me know, James.

My weekend also entailed some grilling, some hiking, and one very excellent strawberry-rhubarb pie. Hope your weekend was just as enjoyable!

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ITEM! Another Uni Watch on-air shout-out: ESPN broadcaster Jason Benetti, who was doing the play-by-play for the Statcast/ESPN2 version of last night’s Yanks/Bosox game, gave a nice shout-out to my recent InsideHook article about MLB’s TATC uniforms. Nice!

(Big thanks to everyone who alerted me to Benetti’s Uni Watch reference, and doubleplusthanks to Dylan Kanner for capturing the video for me.)

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ITEM! It’s time for Question Time It’s been more than a year (!) since the last installment of Question Time, the “Ask Me Anything”-style series where I respond to your questions. So I’m hereby putting out a call for questions.

As always, the ground rules are as follows:

• One question per person.

• You can ask me about uniforms, about Uni Watch, about sports in general, or just about me.

• No question is out of bounds, but I reserve the right to ignore questions that I think are too personal.

• I usually receive more questions than I have the time or resources to answer, so apologies in advance if I don’t get to yours.

With all that in mind, send your question — again, just one per person — here. (Please note that this is not the usual Uni Watch email address.) I’ll respond to them in a new Question Time installment soon. Thanks!

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Click to enlarge

Should this be the new Uni Watch cap? In case you missed it last Friday, I’ve mocked up a new cap design we could do with Ebbets Field Flannels (see above). What do you think?

Before you answer that question, here are some details:

• This would be an eight-panel cap (not the more common six-panel) with green piping as shown in the mock-up.

• Just like the Classic Cap, this one would be 100% wool and made in the USA by Ebbets.

• That green brim is a Kelly green. As I recently explained, Ebbets no longer has the shade of green we were using for the Classic Cap. I don’t want to do a solid-Kelly cap, but I think the combination of Kelly, grey, and piping works really well.

• Speaking of the brim: The photo that I used for the mock-up showed a cap with a short, soft visor. But if I go ahead with this product, it will have a conventional-length stiff visor.

• No visible maker’s mark, of course.

• It would be available in fitted sizes. If enough people expressed interest in an adjustable version, I’d do that as well.

• It would be available to ship around the end of September.

• It would not be cheap — based on the quote Ebbets has given me, the price would be something like $43 plus $6 shipping.

I will not go ahead with this product unless I’m certain that a significant number of you are willing to purchase it. I might even require pre-orders, or at least deposits. But for now, I’m just trying to gauge how many people are interested, based on the details and pricing I’ve just spelled out. If that’s you, please send me a note indicating that you’d be on board. If you want to list your preferred size (or if you’d prefer an adjustable instead of fitted), that would also be helpful.

Thanks in advance for your feedback — much appreciated.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: Here is this year’s summer event uniform for Japan’s Central League’s Yokohama DeNA BayStars. It marks the 10th anniversary of DeNA buying the team (from @bigdaddy45_1969 and Jeremy Brahm). … Brewers P Josh Hader now has his personal logo on his glove (from Jason Collins). … No pictures for either one, but reader David Dahl tells us that the Cubs’ radio broadcast mentioned recently that the team plans to wear the City Connect uniforms for Friday home games. Also, the Cardinals and Giants, who faced each other over the weekend, both currently have relief pitchers named García who wear No. 66, and both appeared in Friday’s game. … The American Association’s Milwaukee Milkmen wore gold accents to commemorate last season’s championship (from @phoenixfire8282). … Youngstown, Ohio, has a new statue of city native George Shuba shaking Jackie Robinson’s hand after Robinson hit his first home run for the International League’s Montréal Royals (from Kary Klismet). … Tomorrow night’s Rays/Orioles game will make MLB history by having an all-female broadcasting crew.

College Football News: UCLA is to reveal new uniforms Aug. 7 (from Kary Klismet). … New Vanderbilt coach Clark Lea wants players to earn their numbers — which of course sounds familiar to me — so they’re now listed on the team website’s roster number-free.

Hockey News: An Ohio high school got its championship rings for winning the boys’ state championship this year (from Kary Klismet).
 
 

Basketball News: These two are from Kary Klismet: The Bucks didn’t get a parade when they won the NBA championship in 1971, just because nobody thought of it. … Some Indiana sportswriters were asked to name their favorite high school arenas.

Soccer News: Two new shirts for Germany’s Werder Bremen. … Others with new releases include England’s Bristol Rovers, Derby County, and Doncaster Rovers, Poland’s Górnik Zabrze, and Spain’s Rayo Vallecano (the last two from Ed Żelaski). … FC Buffalo Women in United Women’s Soccer, the de facto U.S./Canada second tier, have the goalies and outfield players wear two different ads, or maybe have two different ones in general, though I’m unclear on why they have five very different shirts (from @BirtMC). … New kits for top-tier Portuguese clubs Boavista and Moreirense (from @MikeDfromCT).

Olympics News: The first two are from Kary Klismet: China’s opening ceremony uniforms — at least, that’s what they seem to be — received a lot of public criticism. … Meanwhile, the South China Morning Post also ranked some of the most “stylish” countries. … Here are Japan’s boxing and weightlifting uniforms (from Jeremy Brahm). … The blog Impersonal Finances has a piece on how much Olympic medals are actually worth.

Grab Bag: Yesterday’s Ticker mentioned Norway’s women’s beach handball team wanting to wear shorts at the European championships, but the sport’s rules are written such that they have to wear bikini bottoms. At yesterday’s bronze medal game they did wear the shorts apparently without incident, but still expected potential fines. More on their adventure last week here. … In the Australian Football League, Greater Western Sydney forward Jesse Hogan has made four appearances in his first season with GWS and managed to wear all four of their designs (from @Sportrepreneur). … Cycling’s UAE Team Emirates, the team of Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar, wore a commemorative kit for yesterday’s final stage, as other winners’ teams have done recently. … Japan’s men’s rugby union competition recently renamed itself to Japan Rugby League One — but it’s an odd name because rugby league exists, so union competitions usually don’t have “league” in their name and aren’t referred to as leagues. One of its teams, Yamaha Júbilo, also rebranded as Shizuoka BlueRevs, and another, Kobelco Kobe Steelers, got a new logo (all from Jeremy Brahm). … Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is getting a new formula and can design (from Max Weintraub). … The next three are from Kary Klismet: N.C. State got a new live puppy mascot last week. … High school track and field and cross country now allow religious head coverings and larger maker’s marks on shorts. … A youth rugby sevens team in Guam got new shirts. … English rugby union and netball club Wasps has a new logo (from Sy Hart). … Speaking of rugby union: During the recent match between South Africa “A” and British & Irish Lions, the Springboks wore their 2019 World Cup socks. “Their current kit has a blueish shade of green, so the socks stood out,” notes Hunter Sewell. Here’s how the socks looked with the 2019 World Cup kit. … New home uniforms for Japanese men’s volleyball club team Sakai Blazers (from Jeremy Brahm). … The Frick Pittsburgh museum currently has an exhibit devoted to women’s sports attire from 1800 through 1960 (from Steve Silverstein).