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Please Mr. Postman — Send More Stuff Like This


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Most of you probably know that Benito Santiago wore No. 09 during parts of his career. Reader Joe Owen was apparently curious about this back in 1991, when Santiago was with the Padres, so he wrote to the team and asked about it. What you see above is the completely charming handwritten response he received. How awesome is that?! Might’ve been nicer on company letterhead, and/or if the Padres staffer had signed his or her name, but it’s still pretty adorable.

The Padres weren’t the only team that Joe wrote to in 1991. He and his brother and sister sent letters to all 26 MLB teams, and most of them wrote back. “They mostly included team photos, schedules, and stickers,” says Joe, who was 11 at the time.

Stickers and skeds are nice, but that letter with the little drawing — that’s pure gold. I bet it made Joe’s day. It just made mine. Yours too, I hope.

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Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

Here’s one of those “Never seen these before” auctions, submitted by reader Michael Clary: a set of MLB cap plaques, anyone? Has anyone ever seen these little plastic 3-D gems? I’m not clear what you got with these packs, though — did they come baseball cards and gum too? Here’s another 1969 item from Fleer: iron-on strips!

Let’s say Mr. Clary was rather prolific this week. He also pointed us toward a 1962 Kansas City A’s jersey, a 1970s Japanese baseball jersey, and pair of 1939 Brooklyn Dodgers game pants.

As for the rest of this week’s eBay finds:

• Reader Adam Brodsky let us know about these NFL blue jeans. [This definitely fits the “Never seen that before” profile for me. Anyone else know more about these? ”” PL]

• If I wasn’t saving my money to buy some 007/Skyfall goodies, I’d surely look seriously at this lot of 1970s NFL gumball-style helmet buggies. They all look to be in great condition except for the Bills.

• Very cool cover design on this 1972 Dolphins yearbook.

• This 1970s NFL Lunchbox has seen better days, but the graphics are still cool.

• The KC Chiefs could use some help from these guys this season. Notice the ad says “Black Shoes,” presumably because the Chiefs actually wore white shoes and red shoes throughout most of the ’70s.

• Finally, some guy wants to sell a 1972 TV Guide article on NFL teams changing their logos. Key quote you can see in the ad, “I’ll wear that when you change the name to the Cleveland Fairies.” [This actually looks really interesting. Maybe I’ll bid on it. ”” PL]

Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here, and you can follow Brinke on Twitter and Facebook.

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Fun with pumpkins: Working on a sports-themed jack-o-lantern? From now through Halloween, I’ll happily post photos of any uni-related pumpkin carvings you folks come up with. We begin today with the following three examples:

• Christopher Falvey tried his hand at making a Chisox jack-o-lantern. “Didn’t work out perfectly, but I tried,” he says. Kinda sums up the team’s late-season collapse, no?

• Dustin Lepla had more success with this Tigers design, just in time for the start of the World Series.

• And Brian Watts did a nice job on these Utah State and Oregon pumpkins, although purists might object to him etching the artwork into the pumpkins with his Dremel instead of carving a hollowed-out jack.

Got more? Send them my way. Sports-related only, this year’s projects only, things you’ve worked on yourself only. Thanks.

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PermaRec update: The Permanent Record project is all about using artifacts and objects as the springboard for investigating family histories. But I actually have very little interest in my own family history. I discuss that in the latest entry on the Permanent Record Blog.

Party reminder: The next Uni Watch party will take place on Saturday, Nov. 3, 3pm, at Sheep Station in Brooklyn. I’ll be there, Phil will be there, Catherine “Five and One” Ryan will be there, Ryan Connelly’s coming in from Pittsburgh to be there, a few other out-of-towner readers will be there, and there’s a chance that a fairly important figure in the uni-verse will be there. And for those of you who’ll be running the NYC Marathon the following day, I’ve asked Sheep Station’s managers to have pasta available, so you’ll be able to carbo-load. Hope to see you there.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Really interesting article about a legal challenge to a law that forbids wearing masks in public. No word on whether it would apply to goalie masks or tinted visors. ”¦ Late-breaking item from Saturday: Toledo wore throwback-ish helmets with their new gray alternates against Cincinnati. According to this article, the helmet logo was originally used in the 1980s and ’90s. “But it doesn’t match anything from that period on the Helmet Project site, but it’s similar to what’s shown for 1967-72,” says Drew Van Ness. … We’ve seen NFL players wearing white crew socks over colored leggings, we’ve seen leg warmers, we’ve seen socks sewn into the pant cuff, and more. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen this particular lower-leg format before. That’s Vincent Rey of the Bengals, from Sunday night’s game against the Steelers (screen shot by Gabe Ortiz). … In a related item, check out the awesome program cover from that game (big thanks to Matthew Wolfram). … Yale has started using merit decals. … Hey, you drew that swoosh backwards! (Good spot by Ben Marciniak.) … This article about Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson includes an interesting uni-related passage: “On campaign finance: Johnson says he is for unlimited spending but 100 percent transparency. ‘I like the idea of me having to wear like a NASCAR jacket with logos commensurate with the size of the contributions of the companies that back me,’ he said.” “As a libertarian and supporter of Johnson, I hope he’s speaking metaphorically,” says Gregory Koch. … Deron Williams of the Nets may wear a temporary tattoo of Betty White for the season opener against the Knicks (from Leo Thornton). … New women’s basketball uniforms for St. John’s (from Dylan Jenkins). … Preston Feiler notes that UNC’s football uni combo on Saturday was one we haven’t seen before. “Judging by some message board chatter, this combo was not enjoyed by the Tar Heel faithful,” he says. … Another late-breaking college football item from last weekend: South Dakota and North Dakota State went color vs. color (from Nate Heinrich)…. We’ve all seen NFL games played on a baseball infield. But look at this shot of the Colts warming up before a 1978 game in Baltimore — home plate is still there! “I’m sure that wouldn’t happen today,” says Robert Jordan. … The NFL’s latest “Evolution of the Colors” video about the Vikings (from Kawika Asuncion). … Also from yesterday: UConn has forced a Connecticut high school to change its logo (from Dan Madigan). … Here’s a story from last week that we missed: A Kentucky high school football player has been punished for wearing pink gloves (from Matt Mitchell). ”¦ Very interesting article about the color blue. ”¦ The 49ers recently donated some gear to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including a pair of Frank Gore’s shoes. Note that they have no maker’s marks, plus they have slits cut all along the front (from Josh Hunsucker). ”¦ The prexydential candidates went back to party-appropriate necktie colors for last night’s debate. I’m now convinced that this is a coordinated thing — no way they just happen to wear different colors each time. Must be one of those things that the campaigns arrange beforehand. ”¦ Also, Phil noticed President Obama wearing a pink cancer bracelet. It spent most of the debate tucked inside his shirt cuff. ”¦ “I noticed that the ‘Staples’ on the Lakers’ new Staples Center floor now uses the company’s logo,” says Paul Lee. “In other words, the ‘L’ is now a half-open staple. Prior to this season, it was just a regular ‘L.’ The Clippers switched to the stylized ‘L’ last season; they used a regular ‘L’ two seasons ago.” ”¦ Make sure you’re viewing this photo at its maximum size — i.e., don’t let your browser reduce it to fit the size of your window — and then look at how the stripes on the right sleeve are flaking off. “How many times do you think a jersey needs to go through the wash for that to start happening?” asks Phil. “And it’s only Week 7!” ”¦ Rocky Lum came across an absolutely killer highlight video from the Broncos’ 1964 season (and there’s more where that came from, because the guy who posted it on YouTube has tons of great old NFL and AFL content). Enjoy:

Comments (80)

    If the Bears and just about every other NFL team can get stripes on their sleeves, why can’t the 49ers get it right. It looks SOOOOO BAD!

    TV Guide….

    The Colts logo upside-down? Really?

    I also see uni-history-legend Fred Gehrke’s name in the comments about the Broncos’ “D” logo.

    making Politicians wear sponsor patches to know who funds.. what an original idea.. /s

    ever election year, we hear someone make this suggestion..

    Love the 1964 highlight film! It’s great to hear Bob Martin narrate again and quaint touches like the trip to the worlds fair (though no other mention of that Jets game) make this a real hoot.

    I like trying to identify the college fight songs used for the Denver highlight video: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Ohio State and Notre Dame. The last one is bugging me! I know I have heard it before!

    I thought I heard Texas Fight, but my neighbor plays that enough it might just be echoing around the neighborhood.

    In regards to the NFL jeans, G-III Apparel Company has been doing Team Licensed jeans for several years now. They started through the Alyssa Milano, ‘Touch’ brand. I worked for an interenet retailer, as a buyer, and the jeans were popular on the Women’s line several years ago. Over the course of probably the last 3 or 4 years, G-III has decided to branch out, and get into the Men’s jeans game too.

    Notice how the crowd at Memorial Stadium was dressed in regular street clothes (mainly flannel). Well before Team apparel had become readily available. Now when you go to a game if you are NOT wearing team apparel you are looked at as an outcast or a visiting fan in disguise.

    Final 2012 Debate Power Rankings, Tie Division:

    Romney (I)
    Obama (II)
    Obama (III)
    Obama (I)
    Romney (II)
    Romney (III)

    That was one craptacular tie Romney wore last night. Very similar to Ryan’s necktastrophe two weeks ago. While I’m sure Paul’s right that there’s some kind of coordination, it must not include the moderator, since Bob Schieffer wore a tie that was in basic elements identical to Romney’s – red with narrow light blue stripes – but a thousand times better with the white bands separating the otherwise vibraty colors. Speaks poorly to how the Romney administration will be run that nobody on his staff noticed the unflattering similarity and swapped out Mitt’s tie during Schieffer’s seemingly hour-long intro. Obama disappointed with a bad-luck tie that wasn’t bad, but also wasn’t good.

    Given that Lehrer spent the entire debate asleep with his head down on the desk, we never saw his tie, so we can’t rank it. It’d rank poorly, though. The 1980s are going to have to hold for a moment, because the 1970s are on call waiting asking for their burgundy medallion tie back. Probably right around Romney III, either just above or just below.

    Schieffer gets special mention for having a really good tie.

    The NY mask ban used to extend to wrestlers competing/performing at MSG. When workers fromnaround the country came to MSG, they either changed their gimmick or just worked maskless.

    Its wasnt until the mid 1970s when the rule was amended and Mil Mascaras was the first guy to work with a hood there.

    The high school player that was punished for wearing pink gloves was from Corbin, Kentucky, not Tennessee.

    Don’t let them Bluegrassers hear about that mistake!

    World Series prediction: It goes six games, ends on Halloween, and the team with an orange logo on its cap wins.

    Which is to say, it goes six games.

    Considering Game 6 will be here in SF on Halloween…and both teams will have an orange logo on its caps..not sure which one you mean.

    Me, I’ll go with the Giants in 6..winning it on Halloween.
    Man will it be cold @ AT&T.

    North Dakota State NEEDS green hats if they are going wear the yellow tops. Your hat should always match your britches.

    “Indeed. If we want to go all zoological, a tiger is an orange and white cat with black stripes. Just gotta look a photo of one to see that.”

    An interesting footnote to the history of Yale football helmets via the Helmet Project website.

    “In 1962 only, additional stripes were added to some players’ helmets (or perhaps to all of them); the stripes were worn on either side of the middle blue stripe, and were colored according to each player’s role on the team: green for the offensive unit, red for the defense, and yellow for “all-purpose” players. A Yale game program from this era lists a set of nicknames for these three units: “Commandos”, “Apaches”, and “Bulldogs”, respectively.”

    On the enlarged picture of Brandon Marshall, it looks like the orange outline is layered on top on the white numeral, instead of vice-versa, which is how I’ve seen every other number sewn with two different colors.
    Anyone know anything about it? Is this standard protocol for the Bears?

    New nike innovation. Instead of two layers, the outline is just an outline sewn on top of the base layer. They even do this for the name on back for 2 colour names. Makes the layers thinner since the new numbers are 4 way stretch.

    You can see close ups on the Elite jerseys on the football fanatics retail site. I own the new Seahawks jersey with this feature.

    Surprised this hasn’t been mentioned before but the “party-appropriate” ties & thus colors weren’t always that way. As recently as 1996, there was no rule on which party was red, or blue. I remember reading that before being associated with the Dems, blue was used for the incumbent, regardless of party affiliation. More info here:

    One other item of note: In his public appearances, I’m almost certain President Obama wears a red tie. Of course, I think this is just to complete the outfit with a blue suit and white tie.


    There was a thread a few days or week ago that discussed red vs blue, at least in terms of the election night “big boards” used by the then big three tv networks.

    There was no hard-and-fast rule, but in general, that’s what most networks did most elections.

    On ties, even in this day and age it remains a personal thing for the candidates. You just don’t see (successful) candidates adopting a color of tie as a “team color” signal. What you do see, rather, is that presidential candidates usually confine their neckwear to flag colors of red and blue. Obama and Romney have both been running for president since 2007, and they both wear red and blue ties interchangeably.

    After the Reagan-Bush years of preppy stripe ties – and occasional brown pattern ties from the Gipper and solid grays from Bush the Elder – Clinton kind of shook up political fashion for a while by mostly wearing solid light blue or non-striped pattern ties. It was a bold look at the time, but now is so common among politicians that I attribute Romney and Ryan’s bad striped ties this year to an attempt at a fresh look. But that’s not about the color, it’s about the pendulum swinging back away from solids and subtle geometric patterns to stripes.

    Pretty sure Reagan was the last president to wear a bolo tie in office. (Carter did so occasionally, too.)–e1345585602518.jpeg

    Thanks for setting up the thing at Sheep Station. I’ll be in for the marathon from Calgary and joining in the festivities.

    Still debating what to wear – probably my favourite race shirt from a previous race. Vancouver Marathon 2004?

    Maybe that could be a thing for those of us who are racing – wear your favourite old race shirt.

    I was thinking about that. Running shorts and a singlet (sleeveless T) might leave me a little underdressed.

    Besides, vintage race shirts are awesome.

    Awesome to see all the responses Joe got from teams. I wrote to a bunch of athletes when I was a kid, mostly to see if I could get their card signed. The only one that ever responded was Patrick Roy.

    The card got mangled and bent to shit somehow, but he threw a signed postcard inside the envelope.

    The Padres letter is pretty fascinating. Why wasn’t it on official letterhead? Why did the person not sign his or her name? I would say the person was just quickly trying to respond – except there was obviously some thought and effort put into it, otherwise there wouldn’t have been an illustration. Plus, it’s in cursive. CURSIVE! I sometimes think I’m the only person that still writes things in cursive.

    Thanks for sharing it Paul.

    The free and equal presidential debate is tonight featuring Johnson, mentioned in the article, Jill Stein of the Green Party, Rocky Anderson of the justice party and Virgil Goode of the constitution party.
    The libertarian party main color is yellow, the Green Party green, the justice party red, and the Constitution Party royal blue. It will be interesting to see if the candidates will follow Obama and Romney and wear their parties colors although Stein obviously will not wear a tie. If they do, I’ll send in a photo.

    You mean the person running for president under the “Peace and Freedom” ticket won’t be there?

    The old Whig Party’s colors were buff and blue. Shame that Henry Clay isn’t running this time around; his Whig-colored tie would be the best of the lot. Assuming that he wore a modern necktie instead of a cravat.

    Ah, the perks of not being an ex-pat anymore. I plan on attending. The personal question: What to wear? Definitely something Montreal-related, but I probably won’t wear any Habs stuff in solidarity with the lockout. Unless I decide to dust off the mothballs for the special occasion…

    That is a retail authentic as pictured, thank you very much. ;-) (And also written “aboot” in Jeff Barak’s blog, don’t you know.)
    I also own a replica of this, and literally every other Habs centennial jersey, including the barberpole.
    If not a Habs jersey, then it would probably be my Wanderers sweater over a Mike Babcock lucky tie.

    That was our last day of skating this winter. The ice stuck around for a while after that, there was lots of icefishing, but it was too soft for skating.

    Maybe so, but I kinda get a kick out of reading the “You might like” suggestions at the end of the ticker.

    Shall we check out the ones I’ve got up there now?

    You might like:

    Kim Kardashian’s Not a Fan of Underwear, Shows Off Crack (The Daily Beast)
    Teen oral sex rates reflect a ‘hierarchical reordering’ (USATODAY.COM in Life)
    Natalie Portman Shows Cleavage at UT Game & the Web Comes Unhinged (PHOTO) (CafeMom)
    80 Years Ago Today, The Michigan Marching Band Did the First Ever “Script Ohio” Formation (Midwest Sports Fans)
    An Ever-Widening Cupspiracy (this site)

    (Selected for you by our sponsor )

    With Nike jerseys, I’ll tell you how many times it takes going through the wash: 1. I bought an authentic Ohio State jersey in 2004 and one wash was all it took for the ink to crack. I was a screen printer years ago and the problem is their curing quality just plain sucks; especially with lighter inks on darker fabric, which has to be printed, flash cured, reprinted, and cured through the dryer. They don’t do it well enough and it’s inexcusable for what they charge.

    I don’t know if we can trust such a small sample size. Personally, I’ve had the exact opposite experience with Nike jerseys.

    In the interest of not writing a novel, I kept my post short. But it also left an incomplete opinion. When you do something professionally, you tend to look at products more closely than most and my opinion of the quality I’ve seen on many of Nike’s screen printed products isn’t too high. On the other hand, your print quality means a lot more when you’re a mom & pop shop trying to survive. It is what it is, I suppose.

    I’m not an expert, but from what I know, nike is using some type of silicon for the graphics. Very different and inferior to the old Russell Athletic stuff which lasts forever. In my opinion, a major fail.

    This stuff has to be so cheap to produce that they’ve gone to the trouble of inverting the fabrics (mesh on the side panels on game/limited retail versions) and marketing it as jersey innovation. There is no way that silicon could adhere to mesh like the old stuff.

    Read the product reviews on nflshop; major complaint. I’ve personally folded one of these jerseys in the store and it cracked with no effort on my part.

    I understand. In my professional opinion, their jerseys are of a very good quality. Then again, I’m only speaking of the jerseys I’ve had the opportunity to issue/launder/use. I can’t speak to the quality of the jerseys they claim “authentic” and sale to the public though.

    Back in the day, nothing said pro football to me more than seeing the infield dirt in the early part of the season…

    We kids equated it so much with the NFL that we would try to find baseball fields to play our pickup football games on. In fact, we’d pretend to be in different NFL cities and set up our field with the same orientation — straight up north-south like in Baltimore/Shea, right to left field was Atlanta, cockeyed along the foul line was Candlestick, etc.

    That’s really sort of cool. And if if was wet dirt (mud) there was no better feeling then looking like you’d been battling Merlin Olson in the trenches all afternoon.

    I imagine you could get that TV Guide article from you local library–probably on microfilm. (Mine appears to have it.) Save yourself the money.

    This isn’t uni-related. An iconic landmark in my city will receive a new paint job (on the roof). Funny that only birds and airplanes will get to enjoy it. This whole thing reminded me of some recent uni type happenings. One, Seattle chose the design after running a contest. And two, at least to me, it remotely reminds me of that floor Oregon (maybe OSU) put down in their basketball gym. Another funny thing is that they said they’ll start painting when weather permits. As a native to the area, I’m betting it may take awhile. Maybe next summer!


    Do you have any control regarding these pop up ads? They are becoming a little much…my firefox blocks the first one, but then a 2nd one always gets through…can you please do something about it?


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