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Uni Watch News Ticker for Feb. 14, 2023

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In today’s Ticker: Lots of follow-up notes from Super Bowl LVII, an English soccer coach’s quest for hosiery uniformity, and more.



  • Blue Jays OF George Springer reported to Spring Training yesterday wearing a Hartford Whalers cap, which should further endear him to hockey-loving Canadian baseball fans. (From Andreas Papadopoulos)
  • Spotted during a rewatch of a 1990 Yanks/Mets “spring training” game at Yankee Stadium: Yanks P Dave Righetti in the rarely seen winter jacket. That same game featured Yanks OF Mel Hall in a jersey with mismatched number fonts. (From Ferdinand Cesarano)
  • MLB reportedly plans to make the extra-inning “ghost runner” rule a permanent thing going forward. Uni Watch proofreader Jerry Wolper reports that longtime Pittsburgh-area baseball writer John Perrotto refers to this runner as the “Manfred Man,” which is definitely a term worth adopting.


  • Here are some photos of the ongoing renovations to Hinchliffe Stadium, a former Negro Leagues ballpark and the current home of the New Jersey Jackals of the Frontier League. Paul wrote about Hinchliffe for ESPN way back in 2010. (From Kary Klismet)


  • Following up on an item from yestserday’s Ticker, here are some more looks at the newly released logo for Super Bowl LVIII, which will take place next February in Las Vegas. (Thanks to all who shared)
  • Here’s a profile of the designer who made the Frankenjacket that Donna Kelce — the mother of KC TE Travis and Eagles C Jason — wore to the Super Bowl on Sunday. (From Bryan Martin Firvida)
  • The toss coins used in both Super Bowl LVII and last week’s Pro Bowl game are now up for auction. (From David Firestone)
  • I never knew this: Teams who lose the Super Bowl still end up with a conference championship ring. (From Kary Klismet)
  • Speaking of rings, this blog tracks the evolution of Super Bowl rings through the years. (From Kary Klismet)
  • Who designed the uniforms worn by the Eagles’ cheerleaders? None other than renowned bridal designer Vera Wang.
  • Former North Carolina basketball player and NBA star Rasheed Wallace was spotted catching a game at his alma mater last night in a KC jersey. Despite being a Philadelphia native, Wallace is a noted KC fan. (From James Gilbert)
  • Several Lions players had inconsistent numbering on their jerseys in the 1963 Playoff Bowl — the third-place game the NFL held between 1960 and 1969. (From Tom Pachuta)
  • Here’s what will happen to the Eagles’ “Super Bowl Champions” merch.


  • The Canadiens will wear Black History Month pregame sweaters tonight. (From Moe Khan)
  • Repost from baseball: Toronto Blue Jays OF George Springer reported to Spring Training yesterday wearing a Whalers cap, which should further endear him to hockey-loving Canadian baseball fans. (From Andreas Papadopoulos)


  • Here’s why newly acquired Celtics C Mike Muscala wears No. 57.



  • Sequoyah High School in Oklahoma has renamed its basketball court to honor Butch Rhine, who has been a custodian at the school for more than 30 years. (From Kary Klismet)
  • Speaking of Oklahoma high school hoops, a recent boys’ game that had a final score of 4-2 has reignited debates over whether high school basketball should have a shot clock.


  • England: Everton’s new men’s manager, Sean Dyche, is a bit of a stickler when it comes to practice apparel. He’s instituted full-contact practices, and as a result, is requiring players to wear shinpads to training sessions. That means players need to wear longer socks to cover the pads, and to ensure there were enough socks to go around, Dyche asked the team’s kitman to buy all remaining pairs of longer socks from a local sporting goods store. The same story also notes that Dyche has banned players from wearing hoodies and snoods during practice. (From Brent Wilson)
  • “England”: New AFC Richmond shirt for the third season of Ted Lasso.
Grab Bag
  • Italian Paralympic fencing champion Bebe Vio was part of a committee that helped select the two finalists for the mascots for the 2026 Paralympic Winter Games in Italy. (From Kary Klismet)
  • Several high schools in upstate New York are pushing back after a mandate from the state education board directed schools to drop Native American team names and logos. (From Kary Klismet)
  • This blog tells the origin story behind the naval-inspired burgundy Starfleet uniforms worn in the early Star Trek movies.
  • Check out this excellent vintage 1980s sports card locker. Great artwork. (Thanks for sharing, @MBDChicago)
  • Awesome detail: Cafeteria chairs at rest stops on the Pennsylvania Turnpike have little keystone cutouts. (From Michael Hochman)
Comments (34)

    I was aware of the Conference Championship rings. Actually, I keep imagining in my head a recreation of the cover of Green Lantern Vol. 3 #49 link but instead of Hal Jordan and the rings he took from other members of the Corps, I picture Tom Brady and all of his rings (including his Michigan 1997 AP National Champions ring).

    Cubs Broadcasters, Boog Sciambi & Jim Deshaies have been referring to the Ghost Runner as the Manfred Man for several years now so it isn’t just a Pittsburgh thing.

    A quick Google search reveals it’s a rather prevalent term. I find it odd that this particular writer is being given credit.

    Agreed. I’ve been hearing (and using) this term almost since the “ghost” runner was implemented during the pandemic. But like another commenter said, I hope it becomes the de facto term for the automatic runner in extras.

    John is the first person I saw use it, and I didn’t want to come across as having coined it. I have no idea who might have used it first, or whether multiple people came up with it independently.

    Regardless, Manfred Man is a great term that should achieve wide usage, and it’s exactly the kind of thing that Rob Manfred should be remembered for.

    Ghost runner or whatever you want to call it sucks. The less I have to be reminded of the atrocities Manfred has unleashed on the game, the better: the abomination of the DH, the pitch clock, expanded interplague, ads on uniforms. No need to give him any extra publicity.

    I’ll definitely be using “Manfred Man” from now on. “Ghost runner” never really made sense to me. The runner is a physical body occupying second base in our temporal realm and is subject to the regular rules of our world (as well as Major League Baseball). The only difference is that he has returned to offensive duties despite his spot in the batting order already being passed which at best – if we’re going with a horror analogy – better describes the undead properties of a zombie.

    I like the term “Manfred Man” vs. “Ghost Runner” since the runners is, quite literally, standing on second base and no by any means ghostly or invisible. Only problem with the term is that it harkens back to a little English Band from the 1960’s named after their Keyboardist:


    I like “ghost runner” because ghost runners are specifically something you associate with informal or bush league games, which some might say is apt for the “automatic runner” as well. At the same time, I hope “Manfred man” or “Manfred runner” ultimately sticks so that his name can be said with derision for the rest of time.

    “Ghost runner” makes sense in those informal settings as (in my experience at least) it is generally actually used to describe a runner that is implied, but not physically there because you don’t have enough guys or aren’t bothered running or whatever. It’s there “in spirit” if you will. In the majors however, there IS a runner actually physically present, so nothing like a ghost about it.

    I basically agree, and I personally never refer to the Manfred Man as a ghost runner, but I can see a reasonable argument that because the Manfred Man is mostly invisible to normal baseball box-score scorekeeping, he is a ghostly figure in the game. A runner on base with no AB and no hit or error credited to explain his presence on second? That’s a statistical ghost, even if he does wind up entering the record books by scoring the winning run. His presence in the box score then is little more than ectoplasmic residue.

    The GUD does note that the Lions had the same-game inconsistencies with the numbers in the 1960, 1961, and 1962 seasons. The Playoff Bowl (which was also the first appearance of the Steelers’ black helmets) was, as far as we know, the last game with that particular Lions uniform idiosyncrasy.

    Dyche’s decision to buy socks from a local store is certainly an interesting one. Castore is not exactly a major kit maker in the soccer world, so I have a hard time believing that a local shop would carry Castore socks. Unless of course they were Everton specific socks.

    Potential contract violation?

    Thanks to Paul and Alex for using the pictures I sent in.

    Alex calls that coat “rarely seen”. I must admit that I don’t remember ever seeing it.

    The numbering mistake seen on Mel Hall’s jersey is only one of several that occurred around that time, a period during which the Yankees suffered from very poor quality control on the production of their uniforms.

    Regarding the phantom punner (the “Manfred man”), what really makes me sick about that is the possibility that a pitcher can throw a perfect game and lose, as the runner on second base could score on two sacrifice flies — or, if it’s a runner the calibre of Willie Wilson, even on one sacrifice fly. I know that complete games are rare nowadays; but this will happen eventually.

    I am constantly reminded why I retired from following current baseball (except the uniforms) after the 1996 season. I am perfectly content with grooving on the 1000+ old games that can be found on my YouTube channel.

    I retired from the game after 2016. Cubs World Series brought the curtain down for me. I’m sure I’ve grooved on many of the games you have on Youtube!

    I hope that you have indeed watched or listened to games in my YouTube channel! You can always do a search in YouTube on my name, the word “baseball”, and any year through 1996, and you will find a playlist or playlists containing usually more than a hundred games. I didn’t upload these games; I merely organised them.

    I’m sure that it was satisfying that the Cubs won in your final season. Similarly, the Yankees were nice enough to play me out in 1996 by winning their first World Series since when I was a kid. I knew going into that season that it would be my last; I had held my nose for the wild card, but I really hated it. Indeed, I wasn’t sad at all at the Yankees’ loss of the 1995 ALDS to Seattle. Even though that was the team’s first playoff appearance since 1981, I understood that the Yankees really didn’t belong in the postseason that year because they hadn’t won their division. This was in dramatic contrast to the despair that I felt when the Yankees lost the ALCS in 1980 to that fiend George Brett and his Royals. (Side note: I feared no opposing player as much as Brett, whom I now acknowledge as the greatest player of his generation.)

    So 1996, with interleague play looming for the following year, was certainly going to be the end for me. The way I see it, I didn’t leave baseball; rather, it left me, by abandoning something essential, and in the process breaking the emotional bond. (It’s for the best, because I don’t really like today’s Yankee fans, who have a goon-like quality. In my day, a Yankee fan’s arrogance tended to be expressed in the manner of a university professor; in our smug superiority we considered ourselves the smartest fans, the Keepers of the Knowledge. Whereas the decades since I left have seen a pronounced turn amongst Yankee fans towards an ugly boorishness.)

    Anyway, the truth is that I didn’t really leave *baseball*; I just stopped following the current events in the Majors (except for uniforms). I became purely a historical fan. Since 1996 I have read many, many books about the rich history of the sport; I am currently reading two! And my knowledge of history has only become stronger. I recently took the 100-Team Challenge; this is where you attempt to name every divisional champion for the 25 seasons of the four-division alignment. I got them all right, despite the people who were giving me this challenge deciding to make it harder by not letting me list the years in chronological order, but by giving me the years in a random order.

    So may you, too, experience the joy of delving into baseball history. I always learn something by listening to or watching one of those games. And I would be very pleased to facilitate your grooving.

    My idea for limiting extra innings:

    * play 10th and 11th as normal
    * if tied after 11, game goes to HR derby
    * derby will be best of 3 frames; each frame will consist of one player from each team with 2 minutes to hit as many HR as they can.
    * whomever leads at the end of the frame, that team wins the frame.
    * best 2 of 3 frames
    * if a frame is tied, the winner is whomever hit the fewest “outs.” Non homer hits.

    Ghost runner sucks.

    (Note: both of those instances of “whomever” should be “whoever”.)

    If there needs to be a way of avoiding long extra-inning games, then the best idea is to do as in Japan: let games end in a tie. One thing that I have come to understand from watching soccer is that a draw is a perfectly valid result.

    In Japan, a game ends in a tie after the 12th inning. Calling it a tie even after the 9th inning would be just fine; no extra innings at all in the regular season. Only in a postseason game, which absolutely must have a winner, would there be extra innings (with no phantom runner).

    After first being annoyed by a grammar check, I realized I didn’t actually know the rules on those words. I thought I did. I looked them up and yeah, I should’ve said whoever. Been using whomever too aggressively my entire life.


    You’d think when they post a picture of a Super Bowl coin for auction, they’d clean it first. That thing is lousy with fingerprints.

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