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Uni Watch News Ticker for Oct. 14, 2022

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In today’s Ticker: Some subtle tweaks to a Celtics alternate uni, how a belt changed how Rickey Henderson played, and more!



  • A reader named Peter N. shares this excerpt from Howard Bryant’s new biography on Rickey Henderson, in which the Yankees’ button-down jersey and belt forced Rickey into sliding feet first more often, due to fears of a cut from the belt and buttons. “Are there other instances of players changing their playing style due to a uniform? There are the obvious examples of how equipment changed gameplay (e.g., helmets and protective gear enabling players to crowd home plate) but I don’t recall an instance when a uniform changed the game,” writes Peter.
  • Astros P Framber Valdez changed his glove from black to tan at the start of the fourth inning yesterday. Makes me wonder if the umpires requested he change, due to the black glove blending in with the navy jersey. (From Mike Chamernik)





  • I’m not sure we’ve covered this before: WHA refs in 1972 wore all-navy uniforms (or at least that’s what it looks like in that admittedly blown-out video clip). Makes for a bizarre scene on the ice! (From Ed Kozak)
  • Jon Ledecky, owner of the Islanders, thinks fans should be “excited” about helmet and jersey ads. In a related note, pollster Morning Consult asked NHL fans if they minded, and found that 43% support adding ads, and only 17% opposed it in all cases. (Thanks, Phil)


  • Tennessee has new BFBS unis. (From Dave Forder)


  • The Celtics have made some subtle updates to their Statement uni heading into this season.
  • Yahoo listed the best player at each uni number ahead of this season. (Thanks, Phil)


  • NBC has ranked every team’s World Cup kits. Outside of the top handful, it’s going to be a brutal tournament this year. (Thanks, Phil)
  • India is not in the World Cup, but they have released their 2022-23 kits. (From Ed Zelaski)
Grab Bag
  • Modern high school athletes are eschewing the once-iconic letterman jacket. (From William F. Yurasko)
Comments (23)

    I didn’t realize the Oilers started their history with orange sweaters instead of blue. Wonder if that was part of the “storytelling” when they went back to orange in recent years.

    Also started their first season as the Alberta Oilers. First two seasons wore orange sweaters.
    Besides the NHL uniform database, there is also the WHA one:


    Story was, the Calgary Broncos were supposed to be one of the original teams in the Association, but relocated before they even hit the ice. The Oilers took Alberta as the name, and planned on home games in both cities, but never played a home game in Calgary.

    Love that website. 1978-79 WHA. If you count the Nordiques as well for the red in the logo, 4 of the 7 surviving WHA teams in blue uniforms trimmed in red.

    The simultaneous appearance of the articles concerning ads on hockey uniforms and the ebbing popularity of the letterman’s jacket hammered a point home: I’m old. Contemplate the existence of another Uni-Watch, only for this one the Paul Lukas stand-in is a twenty-something. What do you think HIS attitude toward uniform ads is? I’d posit he associates ads with success. And letterman jackets were typically worn by the chiselheads who pushed us geeks into our lockers in every John Hughes movie. Not a good look in 2022.

    I’m old too, and I’ll admit that John Hughes movies are almost as dated a cultural touchstone as letterman jackets. I’d guess that it’s just something that went out of style, much like class rings. The youth are notorious for rejecting the things their elder generations did, particularly at that age. That being said, the “athletic jacket”, “baseball jacket”, and “letterman jacket” (being essentially the same article of clothing: a waist length full button-up jacket with ribbed elastic collar, cuffs, and hem, a placket front closure, slit hip pockets, and contrast color sleeve/body style) has popped up as a trendy thing to wear every couple of years for as long as I can remember. Fashion tends to alternate between smart/business, relaxed/sporty, daring/sexy, and rugged/bulky on a pretty regular basis. As someone who studied journalism, this letterman jacket article reminds me of a journalism 101 assignment: the trend article. You get 30 people all having to write about a current trend, a lot of them are going to be reaching pretty far for that “trend”. Guy’s kids might not want letterman jackets, trend confirmed?

    You see old pictures of baseball players wearing their belt buckle to the side all the time. I guess it was to prevent sliding injuries.

    Did anyone actually slide headfirst when belt buckles were worn in that style? First guy I can remember sliding head-first (and I don’t know if he was the first, just the first I remember) was Pete Rose. But I don’t think the head-first slide became de rigueur until long after that buckle-to-the-side style was long gone.

    I remember Luis Aparicio and few others sliding head first before pete rose.
    I would imagine it’s been going on as long as baseball has.

    The flip side of this entry is, would Henderson have gotten the all-time steals record if his best years hadn’t mostly been with pullover teams? (Note: 2nd-place Lou Brock played for the Cards, which became a pullover team in 1971.)

    But that’s just like saying that artificial turf and multipurpose stadiums altered career stats.

    Then there was the time the NBA at large couldn’t shoot from the outside the key because some dope had the bright idea to introduce rash guard style t-shirts to the league. LeBron straight up ripped his sleeves off.

    As mentioned, the quality of the video makes it hard to be sure but one closeup on the faceoff seems to show a navy and red striped jersey and black pants. WHA refs would later don red and white stripes


    Uhhh… their favorite brands creating corporate synergy with their favorite teams in the form of wearable merch? My heart is all aflutter. What young fan out there doesn’t long to root for their favorite radial tire manufacturer, or mutual insurance provider, or online bulk wholesaler in the same way that they root for their favorite mega-profitable non-profit conglomerate getting rich off kids throwing balls around?

    The romance of sport is not dead, sir.

    I had some dealings with ledecky when he was a minority owner of the Caps. Just a complete tool.
    Had a small share of the team, but strutted around like he was the head cheese.
    Fortunately, his niece, swimmer Katie Ledecky, is very nice and down to earth.

    Helmet and Jersey ads are not bothering me one bit. In fact, I find it interesting to see which team is sponsored by which company. The thing that is bothering me this season in the NHL is the constant switching the ads on the boards during play, very distracting.
    I noticed it was when the Rangers were playing the Lightning on opening night and then I watched the Leafs and Capitals last night, same thing.
    This is new this year.

    I can’t recall any but I’m sure a uniform failure must have caused a problem sometime, blow out in a shoe, rip in pants, etc.

    As a former NY Ranger ticket holder I still get surveys from the team, filled one out this week regarding corporate sponsorship. In the past I made it clear I would not purchase a product advertised on the uniform. I know they don’t care, but its my opinion.

    I still have my varsity jacket, 40 years, packed up in the basement. My two boys recently purchased theirs. Maybe the decline in popularity has something to do with the price. $400! for the latest one. The article didn’t even mention the cost as a reason for popularity decline.

    For tomorrow’s Ticker, interesting story from Australia where the national Netball team is refusing to wear their new uniforms, because one of the advertisers is a company with a history of climate change denial and racism.


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