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One of the most interesting visual moments in last night’s MLB season opener between the Rangers and the Astros took place before the game actually started. This being Opening Day Night, the players were introduced one at a time and lined up on the field. But as you can see above, instead of lining up on the first and third baselines, as is customary, they lined up between the bases on the infield. I remember seeing this once at an All-Star Game, but I think that’s the only other time I’ve seen it. But hey, maybe I’ve just missed the boat on this — is this format more common than I realize?

As you can also see, the American flag was accompanied onto the field by a state flag, which is something you don’t see every day. Ah, Texas.

Other notes from the game:

• As most of you know, all 30 MLB teams are wearing a Sandy Hook memorial patch on Opening Day. Interestingly, both teams last night wore the patch on their chests, not on their sleeves, even though both teams had space available on their right sleeves. Not sure if the chest placement will be MLB-wide, but we’ll find out soon enough. (It’s hard to see in this photo, but the umps were wearing the patch as well.)

• Rangers starter Matt Harrison was wearing the Sandy Hook patch at the start of the game, but it must have either fallen off or been removed, or maybe Harrison changed jerseys, because the patch was gone by the time he was removed from the game in the 6th inning.

• When Ronny Cedeño was on the Mets last year, he routinely wore orange shoelaces. Looks like he’s doing that again with the ’Stros.

Meanwhile, reader Kris Hunt was following the game on his iPad with the MLB At Bat app. “As soon as the game ended, this popped up,” he says. “Note the wrong Astros logo — but they have the correct logo in the line score. Guess they need a few more days to clear out the 2012 assets folder!”

A few other MLB-related notes from the weekend:

• Just in time for Opening Day, new bat knob decals for the Braves.

• Louisville Slugger chose yesterday to announce the unveiling of a new logo, and boy is it a stinker. Feels sooooo suburban — like, this is the logo Applebee’s would use if they were in the bat biz. Disappointing.

• The famously no-nonsense Yankees played an exhibition game at West Point on Saturday and wore a sleeve patch and a cap patch for the occasion. For an exhibition game! Well, at least it wasn’t camo. (My thanks to reader Kyle Kalkwarf for the pics.)

As for me, I’m stoked for the Mets’ home opener, which I’ll be watching this afternoon. I know it’s gonna be a long season for my team, but I still get all goosebumpy for Opening Day. Hope you’re all feeling similarly.

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Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

All baseball today kids, since it’s Opening Day in MLB (yesterday was Opening Night). Without further ado:

• This is just a terrific-looking MLB logo varsity jacket from DeLong.

• Check out this 1989 Bay Bridge World Series shirt. This was the series with the earthquake! I remember precisely where I was — I had just made a personal appearance at a DARE function with Reds pitcher Rob Dibble, and we watched the game on my tiny Sony Watchman in the station van.

• Let’s also add this nice-looking set of 1960s Giants glasses!

• Check out this vintage 1950s baseball statue from Blatz Beer.

• Now all you need is some clam digger pants to go with this 1970s Chicago White Sox team-issued collar jersey. Then jump ahead to the 1980s for this White Sox satin jacket.

• Thought PL might be interested in this one: a 1950s-’60s Baltimore Orioles bolo. First bolo ever on Collector’s Corner. [For the record, I have never worn a bolo, and I plan on keeping it that way. ”” PL]

• This is for sure the first ever kite on Collector’s Corner, too. This 1940s Top Flite Kite is Big League all the way.

• Always liked the Hollywood look of these 1980s Dodgers jackets — high-profile collars with the stripes.

• Love this: a 1960s Cooperstown Hall Of Fame snowglobe.
Speaking of snowglobes, here’s a 1960s globe of the Astrodome.

• The Reds had a great poster promotion in the 1970s. Every year, a huge full-color player poster was given out at a game…or you could buy it and lots of other items at the team’s downtown gift store, the “580 Building.” Here’s one for Tom Terrific.

• There’s a story behind this one: a photo of Babe Ruth autographing baseballs in the 1920s. All my life, I’ve had a 1920s ball signed by Ruth, Gehrig, and several more Yankees. My great-grandfather had it signed or something. I got the idea (a good idea at the time, or so I thought) to get Hank Aaron to sign it. He did so at a Cincinnati department store gig in April 1974, right before he broke the record. I’ve had it all these years and decided to sell it. Got in touch with Jeremy Brown of Pawn Stars fame, and we got it checked out. Ruth signature could not be authenticated, but all the others are legit, and it goes up for auction on the 10th. So I’m pretty sure my ball is not the one in that photo!

Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.

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Seattle party reminder: Remember, Uni Watch party a week from tonight, Monday, April 8, 7:30pm, in the back room of the College Inn Pub. Yes, I know that’s the night of the Mariners’ home opener; yes, I know that’s also the night of the NCAA tourney final. But that evening is my only window of available time during this trip, so it was either Monday night or nothin’.

And remember, hand-drawn membership cards will be available, executed by Scott M.X. Turner while you watch. If you missed the scoop on that, look here. Two additional notes on that, however:

1) Several readers have pointed out that it would be cruel to do a membership promotion in Washington State and not allow U. of Washington-themed cards (which would be purple-inclusive and therefore run afoul of our usual chromatic policy). I agree. So the purple ban will be lifted on April 8, but only for people signing up at the party, and only for U. of Washington-themed cards.

2) If you’re planning to have Scott hand-draw a card for you at the party, you’d better bring really good photo reference for him. Just bring a printout of a rear-view photo of the jersey design you want, okay? Okay.

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Vikings redesign reminder: In case you missed it on Friday, I’m running an ESPN contest to redesign the Vikings. Details here.

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PermaRec radio interview: On Wednesday I’ll be doing an hour-long radio interview about the Permanent Record report cards. It will air live from 10-11am eastern (you can get the live stream here), with a rebroadcast that evening at 9pm eastern here. Further details on the PermaRec blog.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: New chrome helmet for WKU. … Kudos to Brian odagnone, who used a Uni Watch decal to make a Uni Watch puck! … A Philadelphia restaurant called Chink’s Steaks is changing its name. I don’t see what all the fuss was about — it was obviously a tribute (from Adam Brodsky). … Check out this shot from the 1941 NCAA tourney final. “What are the strange court markings under the basket?” asks David Petroff. “At first I thought it was an arrow, but now I think it’s an H and a V. I assume it refers to ‘Home’ and ‘Visitor,’ but why?” Anyone..? … Tom Juettner notes that the color sequence of the striping pattern on Marquette’s jersey side panels doesn’t match the sequence on the shorts. This is true for all of their uniforms, as you can see here, here, and here. “This is in sharp contrast to the previous uniform, which had the same color sequence on both the shorts and jersey. It’s as though the designers decided to have the stripes be mirror images of each other. That might make sense, given the similarly shaped horn-shaped blocks at the hem of the shorts and armholes of the jersey, creating a flipped look.” … Clemson football is planning a purple-out for Nov. 23. “To my knowledge, this is the first ‘-out’ game promoted by our athletic department,” says Benji Boyter. “In fact, the slogan of our athletic department is ‘Solid Orange: It’s About Pride.’ But since it’s a Purple Out for the fans, I’m assuming the team will be in purple as well. If so, and provided they don’t wear either of the purple elements of the jersey prior to then, it will be the first time in at least two seasons that they’ve worn either a purple jersey or purple pants. In 2011, head coach Dabo Swinney told the team they couldn’t wear purple at all until they won a conference championship, which they did that same year. The last two seasons, the uniform has been either all-white on the road and either orange/white or orange/orange at home.” … Remember when Russell Martin added a “J.” initial to his NOB back when he was with the Dodgers, as a shout-out to his mom? Obviously, he didn’t have an NOB during his recent seasons with the Yankees. Now that he’s with the Pirates, he’s just going with his surname. Interestingly, the “J” initial is shown — without a period — in MLB 13 The Show (screen shot by Matt DeMazza). … Speaking of MLB 13 The Show, it originally showed the Braves’ Indian-head BP cap, but several readers report that a software patch has now been issued to replace it with the current BP cap. … The new pro soccer team in Sacramento is having a contest to pick the team’s name, colors, badge design, and so on. “Or as I call it, a ‘working on spec’ contest,” says Chris Chaussee. “I think these types of contests are cool, but on a smaller scale, like having a contest for one element of the team’s brand. There’s something about this one that rubs me the wrong way. I just get a vibe that they’re too cheap to hire someone to do this work, which in turn makes me feel like they don’t think graphic design an important job. It’s not like they are having a ‘fans pick the roster’ contest where I get to make the starting lineup for the games. No, they’ll hire someone to do that. Why not hire someone for this?” … As I’ve mentioned a few times, the Reds are switching their shade of red this season, from Pantone 200 to Pantone 199. That has led to this rather amusing T-shirt (from Kurt Schweitzer). … You know what the richest sports league in America needs, especially when lots of people are out of work? Free labor. … Sweet stirrups for Florida Southern (Benji Boyter again). … New basketball uniforms on the way this fall, with a “mountain theme,” for Utah. “Here’s hoping they don’t look anything like this,” says Taylor Berthelson. … The Phillies are still using the Blue Jays’ old logo on their scoreboard (from Jude S.). … When Tony Romo signed his new contract the other day, there was a chrome Cowboys helmet on the table next to him (from Jason Henke). … Excellent spot by Geoff Poole, who was watching Friday’s Reds/Diamondbacks spring training game and noticed Socrates Brito wearing a jersey with what appears to have been a Rawlings maker’s mark. “All the other Diamondbacks players I could see had the Majestic logo,” he says. … Excellent Northwestern-striped stirrups for Akron (from Rob Lynn). … Late-breaking MLB note that didn’t make my season-preview column: The Phillies and Diamondbacks will wear 1990s throwbacks on Aug. 23 (from Bernie Perlman). … The Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL are changing their logo and uniforms after a complaint by the Washington Capitals, who felt that Lethbridge was poaching (from Anthony Nuccio). … Interesting note from Darren Rovell about Wichita State’s uniforms (thanks Brinke). … New soccer kits for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL (from Paul Mordente). … Here’s a time-lapse video of the Alamodome being changed over from football to baseball for a Rangers spring training game. If you want to see more, the video on this page shows a homer going over the Metrodome-esque “baggie” in right field. “Apparently, it was only 285 feet down the RF line,” says Kyle Peicher. … Leo Strawn Jr. found this listing for a 1964 NFL handbook. Note the orange stripes on the Bears helmet and the improperly colored logo on the Packers helmet. ”¦ The good news: Maryland baseball is wearing some very nice Northwestern-striped stirrups, worn just the way I like ’em; the bad news is that they went G.I. Joe yesterday (from Richard Musterer).

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I did something really stupid: Back in mid-February, my brother offered to take me to a NY Rangers game for my birthday. He tossed out a couple of possible dates that worked for him, and I chose today — not realizing at the time that today is Opening Day for the MLB season. So while I’ll be watching the Mets this afternoon (and toggling over to the Yankees during commercial breaks), I won’t be watching baseball all day and all night like I usually do on Opening Day. Instead, I’ll be spending the first full day of the baseball season attending a hockey game. It feels almost like an infidelity, like I’m cheating on baseball.

Such neuroses aside, this also means I won’t be home to chronicle any uni-related MLB surprises that pop up tonight. I know you’ll all be watching, though, so please send those MLB items my way, and I’ll do my best to include them in tomorrow’s entry when I get home from the Rangers game. Thanks.

Comments (153)

    “… As I’ve mentioned a few times, the Reds are switching their shade of red this season, from Pantone 200 to Pantone 199. That has led to this rather amusing T-shirt (from Kurt Schweitzer). …”

    Right on, name redacted. As the boss would say, this is a rather amusing tribe we have around here. Great shirt!

    “As I’ve mentioned a few times, the Reds are switching their shade of red this season, from Pantone 200 to Pantone 199. That has led to this rather amusing T-shirt…”

    something is WRONG here…

    if they changed from 200 to 199, the shirts would say ‘bring back 200’…

    it took 9 hours, and no one besides me noticed this…?

    you’re all either slipping or slacking…

    That Yankee patch from yesterday caught my attention…it seems to be a generic patch that can be worn anytime…odd that they would go to the expense of designing that just for an exhibition game…I think we may that patch again.

    That yankee patch is hard to miss! For as elegant as their uniforms are, sleeve patches are rarely small and graceful.

    I’ll try to post the screen cap I took on a different device, but next to that portion of UW today for me was an ad for Yankees merchandise with two different “Yankees” logos: Basically identical, except one ended in a lower-case cursive S, while the other ended in a small-cap S. Has this been covered on UW before?

    The new Louisville Slugger logo may be strange. But after Sunday’s hoops wins and their Sugar Bowl win, Louisville is on a streak.

    Re: Louisville Slugger logo: they need to go the extra mile, and center the “Louisville” between the capitalized “S” and “R” of “Slugger”:

    S l u g g e R


    That, and choose a font that’s not so ITC Garamond-y.

    If they’re going to the trouble of redesigning a logo, why not update the typeface so it doesn’t look like a 1980s wine cooler ad?

    I get what Paul’s saying in comparing the new Louisville Slugger logo to an Applebee’s logo. But it looks like a 2010s-era chain restaurant logo. The old Louisville Slugger logo looked like a 1980s-era chain restaurant logo. So, you know, the new one is generally an improvement.

    My main gripe is that the new logo loses the ligatures that made the old one a pretty effective bit of typography, even if as a logo it was pretty poor. The way the “S” in Louisville got swallowed in the old type was particularly brilliant, and it’s a shame to have lost it. (It’s a victory for the language when you can typeset words to de-emphasize silent letters, without calling attention to what you’re doing.)

    That belt buckle plus the gaudy number/NOB font somehow work perfectly together.

    Update! It’s a standard buckle. But the leather on his belt is all worn. Here’s a larger version of that same photo:

    Here are some other shots showing that Kinsler often wears a very worn-looking belt:

    Does he have a “lucky belt” that he’s loyal to? I’ll try to find out.

    I’m pretty sure he went to one of those abusive schools where lefty kids were forced to write right-handed. Isn’t that one of the reasons poor young George H. Ruth was called “incorrigible”?

    When Gehrig signed a ball that Ruth had already signed, he typically did so as far away from Ruth as possible. I once had the distinct pleasure of spending a couple of hours with this 1926 Yankees ball before it was donated to the Smithsonian,

    and that was one of the authentication points. In addition to the abundance of HOFers who signed it, I was astounded to se Fred Merkle’s signature as well – winds up he was one of Miller Huggins’ base coaches. The irony…..

    Tom Ricketts should have attended the rangers exhibition in san antonio and sent a video to alderman Tom Tunney. Texas doesn’t have a National League team. IM sure Gov. Perry would make an offer. Actually, if 6 teams were willing to move their camps, the area from Georgetown south to San Antonio would be a good spring training area.

    Paul, don’t feel bad I’m a Devils STH and I will be attending the Mets game this afternoon and then taking the train over to Newark to see the Devils tonight. The interesting part will be switching between my Mets and Devils attire

    And the Jets are in town, Paul! You may not get the chance to the Southeast-leading Winnipeg Jets for a long time!

    FYI – I love writing “Southeast-leading Winnipeg Jets”. Try explaining that to your kids and grandkids in 30 years.

    What’s so weird about South-East Winnipeg in the world of sports?

    Professional sports leagues have always been really bad at geography.

    ^1. milwaukee, 2. st. louis, 3. houston, 4. minnesota, 5. mets, 6. nationals. basically it would be the end of spring training on the east coast of florida.

    I’m not a designer, but as someone who works in a communication field, I agree with Chris Chaussee – design competitions are bad news for everyone concerned.

    I won’t give the long version of my argument (Google ‘design competitions are bad’ and the first page of results pretty much summarizes my point) but how can you expect anything good if an organization won’t put in the time and the expense for explorations and review-revision rounds to really articulate what it stands for? Too many people conflate “design” with “make this look good”.

    For the record:

    1) Roughly once a month, I receive a note from someone asking if my readers could design a logo/uniform/etc. for his team/company/etc. My response is always the same: “Uni Watch is not a place where you can come for free design services. If you want to hold a contest with a reasonable fee for the winning design, we can talk, although I’ll need to know more before I decide to go ahead with it. Otherwise, I can’t help you.” That’s usually the end of it.

    2) As you know, I periodically run design contests on ESPN. Obviously, those designs aren’t intended for commercial use — they’re just a fun way for people to explore some team design concepts. I think that’s fine. If any designers disagree, I’m listenin’.

    No disagreements from me – my complaints are only about companies that hold design contests for their own identity, not the kind you do just for fun.

    I am with you (and with Chris Chaussee).

    The motivation here is that said club IS really too cheap to pay for this service – as many third-division US clubs are.

    They can couch it in letting fans have input (you can do that with a vote after finalists are designed), but it’s basically trying to get something for free by noting what great experience and portfolio-worthy work it will be for you! (Note, another third-division team tried to do this with its broadcasts recently, same deal.)

    Darren Rovell creates an apostrophe catastrophe, as noted by one of the responses:

    “@darrenrovell you were 1 for 3 in correct usage of “its” there.”

    So you’re not even trying to top the Seahawks joke by now? I came here expecting some kind of a prank.

    Phillies are wearing “1990’s throwbacks?” Unless it is EARLY 1990’s, their 1990’s “throwbacks” are the same as their current uniform. In any case, they haven’t changed their uniforms (aside from adding the cream-colored throwback as an alt) for as long as the Diamondbacks have been around. Any clairification?

    OK, nice to have some clarification. Thanks!

    Unless a throwback is part of a team’s regular uniform rotation as an alt–for instance, the Pirates have Sunday home games this year against the Rockies, Diamondbacks, and Nationals while wearing their 1971 throwbacks (yes, I understand that the Nats were technically around in 1971 as the Expos, but that’s another story)–should teams be wearing a throwback against a team that didn’t even exist when said throwback was originally worn?

    I think the opposing team should wear the uniform of the minor league team that existed before the subject expansion team (in this case Denver Bears/Zephyrs, Phoenix Firebirds) In the case of the Nationals, the Senators were still in DC in 1971-albeit in the AL, so that might be the way to go.

    If you’re going to celebrate that specific year as a ‘famous last’, why not have the opposition play along in appropriate fashion?
    Wasn’t 1991 the last year both the Royals and the Expos wore powder blue road uniforms? Both franchises are coming to town. While there’s no chance the Washington Nationals would acknowledge their Montreal roots in such an obvious way(helping themselves to left-over DC baseball history is more to their liking), KC might have been willing to play along. Hasn’t enough time gone by since the last time they wore the blues in Philly?

    There’s also the Pirates, although they didn’t make any uniform changes in 1992. I know a few people on this side of the state that would like to see those two teams play each other more often. From what I could gather, after the Marlins and Rockies joined the NL in 1993 and the league was realigned the following year, the Marlins were originally going to go to the NL Central while the Pirates stayed in the NL East, but the Braves saw a potential “rivalry” with the Marlins and the Bucs thought that the NL Central was a weaker division (remember, this was just as the Pirates were starting their 20-year losing drought, something I don’t think ANYONE expected to still be going today), so they went with the Central instead. Yes, as much as Pirates fans want the Phillies on a more regular basis, it was the Pirates who initiated the break-up.

    Of course, if you look at it 20 years later: the Braves stayed dominant through the mid-2000’s, the Pirates are still losing (though they do appear to finally be on the upswing), and the Marlins have no rivalry with anyone. You could make a case that if not for the new stadium, you could move the Marlins to, say, Louisville (which screams instant rivalry with the Reds) and have the Bucs move back to the NL East and back with the Phillies and Mets, as well as an instant geographic rivalry with the Nationals. But to be honest, the NL Central is weaker, and the Pirates have developed a rivalry of sorts with the Brewers, plus Cincinnati is closer to Pittsburgh than Philly or DC. (As to how those two teams were in different divisions from 1969-1993 is beyond me, though it made for some great NLCS’s in the 1970’s between the Buccos and the Big Red Machine.) Basically, the Marlins are the odd ones out. I find it funny that they got a new stadium while the A’s–a much more deserving franchise and fanbase–still can’t get one.

    While it’s pretty obvious you’re joking, those unis were awesome and I hope the Cubs bring them back.

    OH, YEAH! The sooner the better! Those are the best uniforms in Cubs history. Both home and road. Put some numbers on the back in the standard Eurostile-like Cubs font — absolutely no names — and you’ve got baseball uniform perfection.

    Now, Jim, you’re going to repeat this info on April 2 just so we know it’s not a scam, right? Right?

    I’m not joking … and since my source told me so yesterday, I don’t *think* it was an AFD joke.

    Now that is some fantastic news. I have been singing the praises of those uniforms (particularly the road versions) ever since I first started coming to Uni Watch.

    They are timeless, they are beautiful, and they are awesome.

    And the Cubs’ number font works perfectly on them. (I wonder why they didn’t use it when making the 1912 throwbacks last season.)

    Please tell me that the ugly NOBs are coming back off as well!

    I somehow don’t imagine navy blue tops and bottoms being all that comfortable come July and August, but I suppose anything is possible!

    Jim, you’re channeling my ideas for a Cubs tweak-concept that’s half-done on my computer. In my design, we ditch the “Sunday alternate” idea and go with “winter” and “summer” uniforms. The all-blue is for the non-summer road games (but has detachable sleeves for the warmer days), with a 1941/42-style vest for the summer.

    This seasonal variation is incorporated into the small ivy leaves that appear on the sleeves (for Wrigley Field’s 100th anniversary): they’re red in the winter and green in the summer.

    The difference is that I’ve replaced the “bear-holding-bat” logo inside the C with today’s “walking bear” logo.

    Of course I’ll scrap this if the Cubs really do go back to uniform perfection. There will no longer be a need for my tweaks — or anyone else’s!

    I tell you what, if you look at some of the Buccos uniforms from the 1930’s and 1940’s, they actually had some pretty good designs. Too bad with the switch to black & gold in 1948, they likely won’t be back for even a one-off.

    And if the pirate on the chest of the 1940-41 uniforms look familiar, it should: the Pirates reused it for their National League centennial in 1987 and was the inspiration behind their 1987-1996 logo.

    The new Louisville Slugger logo looks awful, but I’m even more distressed about the updating of their “Powerized” logo. I always thought that logo was such a fun bit of retro weirdness and I wished they sold T-shirts with it on them. But now it looks generic and bad as well. For reference here’s how it used to look:

    The key in the 1941 final was that way, because they used to have 1 member from each team under the bucket on a free throw, giving each team an equal opportunity for a rebound. They would then alternate up to the circle. Instead of fighting over which side of the basket they were under, the home and visitor designations were made on the court.

    When I played junior high and high-school basketball in the late 1970s, some small town schools in Nebraska often used their old gyms for junior-varsity basketball. Some of them had the old H/V marking and the old “key” inside the newer, wider lane markings.

    I’m in the same boat as you, Paul. The wife and I are headed to our first ever Blackhawks game tonight, even though both her Cubs and my Brewers are opening today. We’ll watch as much as we can on TV before having to leave to hop on the train to the United Center. (Of course, we’re making up for it by going to the Brewers-Rockies game tomorrow!)

    I’m in your boat too….my girlfriend is a Brewers fan and I’m a Cubs fan. We won’t be the UC tonight, but we’ll be downtown somewhere to catch the Hawks game. We had no way of getting tickets for today’s game at a reasonable price.

    1964 NFL handbook-Those are MacGregor EG 9 replica children’s helmets.Notice the gray instead of silver and lack of red at the top of the Redskin’ s feather. I have 7 of those helmets.

    thanks for that…i had never seen those before…predecessor to our beloved “gumball helmets” of the late ’60s…?

    was thinking about this…”replica children’s helmets”…does that mean the kind kids wore out in the back yard to play in…?

    those would be cool…i had a browns helmet (probably from 1967 or ’68), but i don’t think it was macgregor…i don’t recall those exaggerated earflaps on it…

    That’s not a chrome Cowboys helmet. Tony and Jerrah are obviously sitting in Jerrah’s office. That helmet is probably the only known thing actually made of Adamantium, and is filled with jelly beans and cocaine.

    Before you mock Texas and the state flag, you have to realize that this Texas pride comes from the fact that Texas was an independent country for about ten years in the mide 1800s.

    This isn’t just a Rick Perry separatist invention, the Republic of Texas. There’s an awful lot of pride and recognition in that state flag, unlike most states (like my home state of Michigan).

    Plus, it’s a pretty (purty) flag.

    Texas was barely an independent country. It was only recognized by a handful of foreign countries and this was a period when the American west was largely borderless and lawless. This supposedly fiercely proud and independent “republic” voted to join the United States in a huge landslide. Texas pride doesn’t “come from” the fact that it was once sort of an independent country, the fact that it was an independent country once 160 years ago has been trumped up by modern state-jingoists into something much bigger than it really was.


    While more of a light piece of comedic satire than actual scholarly research, I am currently about 2/3rds of the way through Gail Collins’ As Texas Goes, which is not only great reading, but devotes a fair amount of time to investigating Texas and Texans fascination (and infatuation) with their former status as an independent country. Lets just say that if you’re not a Texan, or a Texas-sympathizer, it’s hysterical.

    Vermont was actually an independent republic for longer than Texas. They don’t fetishize it either.


    And so was Vermont, Hawaii, and to a lesser extent, the predecessor to Tennessee.

    And of course, let’s not forget this. Never got international recognition, but for four years eleven states (including Texas) as well as future Oklahoma and an Arizona Teritory that looks a little different than what we recognize as Arizona today. In fact, when New Mexico Territory was divided in 1863 to create the U.S. equivalent of Arizona Territory, the U.S. used the now-current boundaries so that it would divide the claimed Arizona Territory up.

    In any case, despite popular belief, there are several examples of places other than Texas that at one point were independent countries–recognized or unrecognized–before becoming part of the Union.

    A current craze is t-shirts and other clothing that says “Cali or California Republic” with elements and colors of the Bear Flag Republic flag.

    You know that scene in “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure”, where Pee Wee Herman is calling home from San Antonio, and to prove where he is, he leans out of the telephone booth, sings at the top of his lungs, “The stars at night are big and bright” and every single person on the street shouts back, “deep in the heart of Texas!” That’s pretty much how it is here.

    Maybe it is jingoism, but I prefer to think of it as ecstatic boosterism.

    My favorite state flag is one that I’m currently not living in: Ohio. PA’s isn’t uninspiring, but Ohio? You would have to go to Nepal to find another flag in the WORLD that isn’t rectangular-shaped.

    This topic is why I stopped reading this site on a regular basis. Snide ass remarks thinly veiled as humor.

    OK, so Paul, I know its not Question Time right now, but you did cover it in the regular articles last year when you decided to go on a “break” from Diet Coke. Are you still on it? Just wondering, because I quit drinking ALL pop for Lent (I’m actually not Catholic–I’m non-denominational Church of Christ, to be exact–but I did it anyways.), and I actually lost five pounds from not drinking pop and making NO OTHER DIETARY CHANGES. I’m thinking about continuing it.

    I actually addressed this in a previous Question Time (not the last one, but an earlier one). I went cold turkey for several weeks last April, which was surprisingly easy. Now I’d say I have a healthy relationship with the stuff. I’ll occasionally order it at a restaurant, or treat myself to a can after a sweaty workout or bike ride. But I no longer keep it in the house.

    The Daily Scampus, the April Fools edition of Uconn’s newspaper the Daily Campus, contained an article describing the new husky logo.

    Instead of a red tongue coming out of his mouth, there will be “fangs covered in red hot blood.” He will also be “chewing on the flesh of a college student” and he will have fire instead of fur. His eyes will be filled with darkness.

    His whole body will be shown. He wl have an ak47 in each arm and grenades strapped to his chest.

    The background will show Jonathan the Husky rising from the gates of hell as the
    devil tries to stop him.

    This article was an April Fools joke meant to satirize the need for a “meaner” logo.

    I have one of those Blatz baseball statues featured in today’s Collector’s Corner. But mine is broken. It fell years ago, and the bottle man broke in half. I’ve never found a way to repair pot metal. Sigh.

    (Yes, I know there’s a YouTube tutorial on soldering pot metal. I lack those mad skills.)

    I didn’t realize Metrodome had been naming rights’d. How strange that one enormous structure is named after another enormous structure.

    Re: Lethbridge Hurricanes.

    A serious pet peeve of mine is logos that have a superfluous wordmark on the sweater. The Capitals, Oilers or Rangers are fine because it’s incorporated inside the overall design, but so many minorleague designs have a graphic that works with the wordmark added to the jersey/helmet just in case the person is too thick to realize what the graphic is.

    Milwaukee Bucks
    Boise State Broncos
    Oregon State Beavers
    Hermosillio Naranjeros
    3/4rs of every Minor/Junior hockey league.

    Capitals did Lethbridge a big favour. Replacement logo with the Hawker Hurricane plane is worlds better than the Capitals-like (and the Capitals) logo. It would have looked even better if they went with the striping pattern of Joshua’s design.

    I agree with you Will. I love their “Hawker” logo far more than the joke that was a Capitals copy.

    I don’t have a photo, but Nats GM Mike Rizzo is on the field at Nationals Park right now as part of the pre-game award ceremony for 2012 award winners, and he’s wearing the Newtown patch on his suit lapel. Appears to be the same uniform patch the players are wearing, though it looks like Rizzo has pinned, rather than stitched, the patch in place.

    Ah, Opening Day. My Habs are doing great this year *knock on wood*, so there’s a lot less of an emphatic page turn this year. Especially when I’d otherwise find myself rooting for Vernon Wells in the middle of the order. Cripes.
    Anyway, to celebrate, I wrote two articles last year, highlighting unique MLB food items. Thank you everybody on this board who made contributions–that was more fun than I normally would have as a writer, and I couldn’t have done it without y’all. In case you missed it, links are here 1: and here 2:

    AJ is pitching for the Buccos at the I’m still calling it the new Three Rivers so we’re starting our quest for Season 21 in the black alts. I don’t share the hatred of the softball tops or pajama pants for that matter with most so I don’t mind the black alts. The number on the front always bugged me but otherwise I don’t mind it. I’d rather see that be rolled out over that 70’s retro Sunday look. But of course I despise all things retro/fauxbacks and the Buccos regular look is already “fauxback” enough for me.

    But that’s an argument for another day. I say Opening Day. Today, the real Opening Day, should be a national holiday.

    One thing I’ve noticed already this season is since the park was built there was a spot in the back wall behind the plate that had an indentation in it that always drove me crazy because it was concave to the rest of the wall. It was seen mostly when a lefty pitcher was throwing to a batter because it was on the 3B side of the wall. I’m probably the only person ever that’s noticed this or been bugged by it. It’s no longer there this season. I’d be happy with this but the reason it’s no longer there is because there’s now an ad sign covering the spot where it was located. I want the wall indentation back!!

    Scratch that. Ad sign isn’t new. It was there at least part of last season as well. I must’ve just blocked out the end of last year from my memories which is probably for the best. But I do believe it covers the indentation in the wall.

    Those Strikers uniforms look like what they have been wearing. I am not seeing the new-ness.

    Seriously. I don’t think NASL fans are exactly the “new kit every year” crowd.

    But hey, if it works for Manchester United and Real Madrid, why not Fort Lauderdale Strikers?

    Hope this is not a stupid question that has been answered many times…but watching Volquez on the Padres and Sabathia, they wear their hats crooked and with a flat brim…are these caps specially made this way for them? Seems that if you just took a standard cap and twisted it, it would be uncomfortable?

    Wilson Ramos of the Nationals has been missing his Sandy Hook memorial patch since I tuned in in the 4th inning, FWIW.

    The Utah article just reinforces a pet peeve of the overuse of “brand”/”branding”/”branded”. One quote had it used three times in two sentences. Every English teacher I’ve ever had (and a few more teachers in other subjects) would chastise me for such redundancy. Am I the last person with a thesaurus?

    Am I correct in remembering that there are no more “Cool Flo” helmets in MLB? Or am I misremembering?

    Good news is no more Cool Flo helmets. Bad news is the Rockies new batting helmets are all purple.

    While many, including our Fearless Leader, don’t like purple… I’d rather see the Rockies wearing more purple than black. They’ve long looked like the Colorado White Sox to me, with their de-emphasis on the purple. They should either redesign their uniforms entirely, or really start using their base color more.

    Re: DBacks rawlings jersey –
    That player was a player called up from minor league camp. While MLB teams must use majestic, there is no standard for minor league camps – teams can do whatever they want.
    Because minor league teams don’t wear their MiLB team specific jerseys in spring training, they wear a version of the big league club’s uniforms.

    Many times the teams wear old recycled BP tops from the big club, other teams have minor league specific jerseys. In this case, they can use any manufacturer – I’ve seen Rawlings, Russell Athletic, and Majestic depending on the team. Usually the minor league camp jerseys look similar to the MLB jerseys with a few difference in striping or number fonts.
    Sometimes when a player from minor league camp gets called up for a game (usually split squads) they will just wear their minor league camp jersey, creating some situations where players in the same game will have duplicate numbers.

    Mets win, Yanks lose, all is right the world. Or at least my world.

    Now I’m off the meet my brother and the New Girl at MSG. Go Rangers!

    have fun at the garden…

    can’t comment on our b-ball team’s win or loss yet…13th inning, reds 1 – angels 1…

    we used to go every opening day until they went on strike in the ’90s and i haven’t gone to a mlb game since…but, i feel bad for those in attendance…it’s about 40 degrees outside…13 innings (or more?)…brrr…

    Michal Handzus just got traded from San Jose to Chicago. Which led to a Puck Daddy article with this picture–/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NQ–/
    Anybody see the Uni Watching nugget? He wears #26, but his gloves are marked with an “upside down” 38 so that Handzus sees the 38 right side up when he looks at his hands. Almost assuredly a tribute to his countryman Pavol Demitra, who was on the fateful Yaroslavl Lokomotiv team plane.

    Slightly new logo for Boise State, which is in the process of rebranding the whole school:

    The primary logo no longer includes the words “Boise State” and the mouth has been changed from white to orange.

    I have a question that some of you may be able to answer. I’m trying to put together a DIY 1940s Washington Senators jersey (not that they were really any good, but it’s the easiest to replicate). I’m struggling, however, with what to make the chest logo “W” out of. Does anyone know if it should be felt, or tackle twill?

    I’ve put together a small image gallery of pictures I’ve collected for reference:

    Some of them look like tackle twill, others like a felt material. Does it depend on the year? Thank you kindly for any responses!

    I guess the Newtown patches were glued on shoddily, because Billy Butler’s peeled off during the 8th inning. He noticed it falling off and put it in his pocket.

    Even as a passive baseball fan, I have always loved opening day. When thinking about baseball, it’s hard not to realize how much baseball is woven into the “fabric” of our nation. Baseball may not be “America’s Game” anymore, but it’s still a big part of any American sport fan’s world.

    I had that thought as I was watching my Rockies play the Brewers (as one of the announcers made a similar thought to open the broadcast). It got me thinking about the whole “flag desecration” thing.

    I pose this question to anyone that cares to opine. Since baseball is such a big part of the American sports scene, what other way is there to show the connection between the country and the sport than a “flag desecration” hat? I know it’s done to sell more products, but if you were charged with designing a hat to show the correlation, what would you come up with?

    This isn’t an attempt to argue whether or not the “flag desecration” hats are in bad taste, or not. It’s a challenge to see how others would do it (if you are or aren’t a proponent of the current method, and how it affect the way you would design).

    On another note:

    Watching the Rockies today, there jerseys are NOT purple. They are more of a navy blue. I went back and looked at some old photos from the early seasons (1993, 94, etc.), and noticed the jerseys were much more of a purpleish color.

    The batting gloves look decidedly purpler, though. I don’t know if it’s a different shade of purple or it’s the material?

    I was at the Astros/Rangers opener last night, and thought it was cool that the teams lined up on the other two baselines. They did have some assistance lining up in a straight line, as there were two orange lines on the dirt between first and second base and second and third.

    The Stars’ Twitter account is making it seem like they are unveiling next year’s redesign during the third period of tonight’s game.

    Happy April Fool’s Day! It was some guy in a Mooterus jersey. Would have been way funnier had Dallas not been losing tonight.

    Yeah I took a look down at my calender right after I posted that and realized I’d been taken!

    Mmmmmmmmm…Cardinals look good in their red caps on the road.

    BTW, if anyone is reading this, make sure you check out the MLB extra innings free preview. Cards v. D-bags and A’s v. M’s

    The red caps on the road looks terrible. It just blends in too much with the grey. Go back to the navy ASAP!

    Agreed with the Angels. They should go back to navy. I really liked their split personality look of the 90’s. Much better than the red. But the Cards just don’t look right wearing the red caps on the road. Major downgrade IMO.

    Watching Cardinals first look at Cards patch, nice. Arizona’s caps would look a bit better with their “db” sleeve patch on them and moving “D” to sleeves IMO.

    The Cardinals did a lot of tweaking to their uniform as Paul discovered in his interview…but whoever letters the jersey is now putting the NOB and number too high…Wainwright looks especially ridiculous given his height.

    Geez, another team lying about their caps, just like the Braves did with the laughing Indian logo. What a surprise.

    Aaaaaand here’s why you don’t make decisions through an online poll.

    If they were trying to pull a fast one, they didn’t think it through and forgot that anyone with the time and knowhow can count hashtags.
    If they weren’t trying to pull a fast one and it was actually a software glitch, they still come off like a jackass.

    Paul is right – “let the fans decide” is such a chickenshit move. People who get paid good money to make decisions need to man the hell up and stand by their choices.

    Just a note about the Wichita State Unis… all of the away Jerseys for all thier tournament games had the “NCAA” patch on the left shoulder, just under the American flag, and the “Jumpman” logo in white on the right shoulder and the shorts had the jumpman logo on the left upper of the pants with the conference logo on the right…
    Conversely, their home uniforms had the “NCAA” logo patch on the right shoulder, with seemingly no maker’s mark on the jersey at all… the home shorts carry the jumpman & conference logos in the same location as the roadies… interesting…

    Confused by the Alamodome football-to-baseball conversion vid. About halfway through, we see a football game being played, but wow, that doesn’t look like it’s 53 1/3 yards wide, does it? Anyone know what’s up?

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