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Uni Watch News Ticker for Feb. 3, 2023

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In today’s Ticker, we’ve got over 31,000 Expos cards for sale and, sadly, more MLB ad patch news.



  • Baseball-Reference is basically the bible for any stat geek. However, writer Mitchell Barbee discovered that they erroneously listed one of John Smoltz’s uni numbers.
  • NBC Sports Philadelphia has a breakdown of just what is packed in the Phillies’ truck heading to Clearwater, Fla., for spring training. (From Kurt Esposito)
  • A Canadian man is selling over 31,000 Expos baseball cards. There are no duplicates, according to the article. (From Ted Arnold)
  • The Reds and Astros are reportedly set to announce their uni advertisers and the Angels will announce their ad tomorrow. (From our Alex Hider and James Brooks, respectively)
  • Really interesting article/analysis of the 2023 MLB schedule, which for the first time will have each team playing every other team.
  • Derek Jeter confirmed the rumor that he once wore a golden thong to help break a slump.


  • The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, High A affiliates of the Brewers, and the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders of the Northwoods League will both do one-game renamings as the Lake Winnebago Shantymen during the 2023 season. (From multiple readers)
  • Plans for a new stadium for the Chattanooga Lookouts, the Reds’ Double-A affiliate, will incorporate a 128-year-old foundry building into the design. More pics here. (From Kary Klismet)


  • New logo set for the Sanford Spinners of the collegiate wood bat Old North State League. (From Kary Klismet)
  • On the same note, here’s a look at 13 clubs across various leagues that have changed their logo for the upcoming season.


  • Based on photos posted yesterday by the team, KC will be wearing red pants in the Super Bowl.
  • New Era, perhaps sensing an opportunity to get rid of old stock, has evidently placed the Super Bowl logo onto hats with the Eagles’ old wordmark. (From Michael Paolucci)
  • DeMeco Ryans was introduced as the new Texans head coach yesterday and was given a No. 59 jersey — his number when he played with the team — with “Coach” as the NOB. (From Arnold Colunga)


G League

  • The Wisconsin Herd, affiliates of the Bucks, will honor 13 different Black leaders on their jerseys in celebration of Black History Month. (From Mike Chamernik)


  • Eleven Western Hockey League teams will participate in the Orange Jersey Project throughout February to raise awareness of oppression of Indigenous peoples. WHL clubs will sport orange pregame jerseys with the WHL Truth and Reconciliation logo all month long. (From Wade Heidt)


  • The Washington Spirit have a new training shirt ad. (Thanks, Jamie)
  • New unis have been unveiled for MLS refs. (From Jeremy Brahm)


  • England: A smoke shop in Nashville has poached the Premier League’s logo. (From Julia LaFleur)
  • England: New Manchester United MF Marcel Sabitzer will wear No. 15.
  • Morocco: New kits for Wydad AC, which it will debut at this month’s FIFA Club World Cup. (From Kary Klismet)
  • Saudi Arabia: The Saudi Football Federation has unveiled renderings of several proposed new and renovated stadiums as part of its plan for hosting the 2027 men’s Asian Cup. (From Kary Klismet)
  • A blog has ranked the team kits of the men’s and women’s 2023 WorldTour. (From Ken Wineke)
Grab Bag
  • The Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets’ home arena was lit up in red, green, and yellow on Wednesday night to commemorate the start of Black History Month. (From Kary Klismet)
  • The University of West Virginia has released a coloring sheet depicting a female Mountaineer in recognition of the women who have served as the school’s costumed mascot. (From Kary Klismet)
  • New logo for Rapid City, S.D. (From Kary Klismet)
  • A Twitter-er says his son was DQ’d from a high school swimming race because his swim cap had an American flag symbol that was slightly larger than allowed by the regulations. (Thanks to all who shared)
Comments (23)

    The Sanford Spinners are just the latest team whose logo has laces on the baseball facing the wrong direction. How does this keep happening?


    Just the kind of design laziness that infects all aspects of the craft these days: downloading an image of “baseball stitches” without actually looking at a baseball.

    That Blackwell Flycatchers logo is downright elegant (truly); the rest have that childish stroke that continues to infect the minor leagues … kudos to Blackwell’s designer(s) for breaking free! -C.

    Chiefs in red pants for the SB: glad to hear. Not a fan of the red/white/white combo. With the Iggles green/green/white and the Chiefs red/white/red, this will be a good looking game, uni-wise.

    Somebody inform Mr. Lefton the difference between a sponsor and an advertiser.

    Geez, the laziness in sports journalism continues.

    Help this man. Please!


    Very good reporter, but he’s part of the “Anything that drives revenue is good” establishment, so it’s not surprising to see him using the standard newspeak verbiage.

    “Terry Lefton has worked for years building high-level industry contacts and sources, which pays off when it comes to breaking exclusive news on sponsorship, licensing, advertising and marketing deals.”

    Reinforcing the messaging regarding advertising is one way he maintains his good standing with his contacts, integrity be damned.


    To be clear: Lefton is a v-e-r-y good reporter. That’s something he’s proven again and again over the years.

    But sports biz journalism generally doesn’t exist to apply critical thinking to capitalism, or to larger cultural issues. It exists mainly to rubber-stamp and promote anything that boosts revenue and promotes growth. Basically, if it’s good for business, then it’s good — period. (This is generally true of trade journalism in most industries, of course.)

    In fact, in Lefton’s SBJ article that we’re all commenting on here, he writes, “[An industry source] estimated there will be 11 or 12 patches sold by the time spring training opens. That would be a nice valentine.” In other words, he’s actively cheerleading for the uni ad deals, because what’s good for the industry is good — period.

    I’m not saying that Lefton’s job description somehow exempts him from critique; I’m just saying that his obvious biases and blind spots are a feature, not a bug, of who he is and what he does, and that complaining about them is sort of like complaining about water for being wet. He’s part of the machine that he covers. Better to focus on non-trade, non-biz writers — they’re the ones who are persuadable, and who have larger audiences than Lefton does.

    When does a person cross the line from very good reporter to industry shill?
    I don’t know.


    Apparently a men’s ball *wasn’t* used for the first half of the Duke-FSU game, according to the article….

    If I accept that uni advertising is an inescapable trend and it will likely only get more prevalent, then I pose a design thought experiment that perhaps walks a diplomatic line between two evils: do away with standard uni providers (by that I mean Nike or Reebok or whoever providing unis for the entire league) and make it so teams must barter deals with any maker they choose, allow that maker to use a much larger makers mark than is currently in practice if they fit certain locality parameters, but it will be the only advertising or branding allowed on the jersey outside of team and league related stuff. Then make a rule that in order to get the larger ad space, the brand must be localized or based in the state where the team hails from (or perhaps within a certain mile radius for teams from small states or states with limited options), otherwise the makers mark must remain very small and no other “ad partners” will be allowed on the jersey.

    I think of this with the angels: basically their city connect is an homage to surf shop branding, I would be fine with seeing a SoCal surf shop logo on the sleeve as opposed to probably Safeway or Disney or whatever, particularly knowing that that shop or designer was also responsible for the design of the uni. That’s not to say every team needs a full rebrand – the Yankees would never – but Best Made Co would probably honor that tradition by changing nothing other than returning to a more simple jersey fabrication structure and then slapping their X logo on the uni somewhere.

    I’m sure you already realize this, but this will never happen. Why? Because the whole point of having a league-wide uni supplier is to streamline the merch operation.

    Tail, dog, etc.

    Teams are fine with desecrating their uniforms with ads because they know there will be no significant long-term ramifications. Fans like us will grumble. Bloggers and columnists will pen some critical content. And then we’ll all move on. Teams will simply ride out the small storm and collect the cash.

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