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A Day at the MLB All-Star FanFest


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On Friday I attended the MLB All-Star FanFest at the Javits Center in Manhattan. A big chunk of it consisted of overpriced food and overpriced merch (they should call it FanFoist); another big chunk of it consisted of cringe-inducing silliness (see above). But lurking amidst all the nonsense was some legitimately cool stuff, much of it at the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s exhibit space. Today’s entry will focus on some of the stuff that caught my eye.

The Hall of Fame had a bunch of jerseys on display, including one worn by former Giants manager John McGraw in 1915. The interesting thing about it is that there are belt loops on the jersey (for all of these, you can click to enlarge):



I’ve never seen that before, and I’m not even sure how it would work. Like, did McGraw have a separate belt on the inside of his pants? Or did he not tuck in his jersey? Hall of Fame curator Tom Shieber says the inside of the jersey has some sort of tag indicating that the design is patented, and he’s promised to provide me more info on that later on. (A few hours after I took these photos, reader Carlos Borge sent me nearly identical photos of his own. Turns out he had been at the FanFest around the same I’d been there.)

The Hall of Fame also displayed one of those 1933 National League All-Star jerseys. I’ve seen these before, but I’m not sure I’d ever seen the really unusual number font used on the back:



Pretty stylized, eh? Anyone know what font that is? Tom Shieber says the Hall has several of these 1933 All-Star jerseys, and he’s promised to send me rear-view photos of all of them so we can get a better look at this number set.

The Hall also had an old Nap Lajoie jersey with a broken “C” logo. The interesting thing is that the broken edges of the “C” were both sewn back onto the jersey:



I was intrigued to see the program cover from the 1935 All-Star Game, which for some reason had an umpire on the cover. Seriously, when’s the last time an ump was featured on a program cover, especially for a showcase event like an All-Star Game? Check it out:


Moving away from the Hall of Fame exhibit space, there was a small exhibitor’s table devoted to women’s baseball, and they had a beautiful 1949 uniform worn by Isabel “Lefty” Alvarez of the Chicago Colleens (although I’m pretty sure the cap is a reproduction):


Over in another area — I no longer recall exactly where — I see a full Braves satin night-game uni:


There was also plenty of silly stuff. Lots and lots of silly stuff. Just about every MLB licensee you can think of had an exhibit space (I resisted the urge to ask the Phiten folks if they could cite a single medical or scientific study demonstrating the beneficial effects of their titanium Tooth Fairy accessories), plus they slapped an All-Star logo on pretty much everything you can imagine. My favorite example of this was a table hawking All-Star Game wine, whatever that is, along with a rather unique wine bottle holder:



The bottle holder might actually be cool, if not for two things: The number on the guy’s back is double-zero, and there’s that highly annoying “TM” mark on next to the batting helmet logo.

Unfortunately, there was one aspect of FanFest that went beyond silly and crossed the line into offensive. I wouldn’t have known about it if not for reader Harrison Tishler, who sent me the following note yesterday: “Today I attended MLB FanFest. We had Poland Spring water bottles. The security guard told us that we had to peel off the label because Aquafina is an MLB sponsor. Here is a picture of the garbage can with all of the different labels from ‘the competition'”:

“And that’s not all,” says Harrison. “Certain events weren’t accessible unless you had Bank of America or T-Mobile. It’s horrible how corporate everything is.”

Holy bejeezus. You know, it’s bad enough that they’re imposing this corporate conformity crap at all, but there’s something particularly onerous about imposing it on water. I mean, come on — it’s water, not a wristband or a bat or even a can of soda. Water is just, you know, water. On some level, I suppose it’s kind of cool that Harrison and some other FanFest attendees had to strip the labels from their water bottles, since the very notion of branded water is absurd to begin with. But still — corporate conformity is crap, and MLB should be ashamed of itself for policing this kind of stuff.

On a personal note: If you’ve been reading Uni Watch for any length of time, you’re probably familiar with the name of Hall of Fame curator Tom Shieber, who I’ve mentioned several times in today’s piece. I refer to Tom on a pretty regular basis, in part because he’s an invaluable resource, an extremely knowledgeable historian, the guy who built “Dressed to the Nines,” and so on. But it’s worth mentioning here that Tom is also a terrific guy and a good friend. It was great seeing him at FanFest, and I’m looking forward to watching the All-Star Game with him tomorrow evening at his hotel. Take a bow, Tom:


One final thing: Tom introduced me to a photographer (didn’t get his name, alas) who passed along some really good info he said he’d gotten from the Dodgers’ equipment manager. Goes like this: You know how the Dodgers used white outlining on all their jersey graphics from the late ’70s through the mid-2000s? Here’s why: The Dodgers, like most teams at that time, recycled most of their big league jerseys — sometimes in their minor league system and sometimes in the bigs. But when they had previously used blue lettering and numbering, with no outlining, the tackle twill would often leave a blue stain or shadow on the jersey, which would cause problems when they re-used the jersey. This wasn’t a problem in the days of flannel jerseys and felt lettering, but it became a problem in the doubleknit era. The white outlining solved the problem, because the white layer, not the blue layer, was flush against the jersey. They eventually scrapped the white outlining after improvements in fabrics and dyes eliminated the problem. Never heard that before! This story alone made my trip to FanFest worth it.

There was one other very interesting section of the FanFest that’s worth discussing, but I’m going to save that for its own lead entry, probably tomorrow.

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Tasty treat: As Phil mentioned yesterday — and as you can see above in a series of screen shots provided by reader Nick Bove — several A’s players wore killer striped stirrups on Saturday, and again yesterday. I asked A’s equipment manager Steve Vucinich for the backstory. Here’s his response:

I was wondering how long (not if) it would take for you to email me! Those socks are for a throwback on July 27th (1969 A’s). Chris Young, who goes old-school on weekends, coincidentally asked if we had any (he noticed an old photo).

Wait till you see how I corrected the 69 jerseys — sleeveless, but not straight down from the shoulder. Cut in.

Only problem/difference is that the gold is brighter than 1969 (double-knit vs. cotton).

Very cool. I think I speak for everyone here when I say I can’t wait for that July 27 game!

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Ads on fields: With the Blue Jays’ TV network projecting ads onto the field, reader Bernd Wilms has a really good story about soccer field advertising. Dig:

Back in 1987, the West German government was attempting to hold the first general national census since 1970, prompting a widespread uproar centering around privacy concerns. On the morning of the May 15 match between Borussia Dortmund and Hamburg, protesters had sprayed the words “Boycott and Sabotage the Census” onto the Westfalenstadion field. Even worse, they had placed their slogan near midfield in large letters, facing the main camera positions, essentially ensuring that viewers would see the boycott message every time play moved across midfield.

Public calls for a boycott in public were being classed as felonies at the time, so the field obviously needed to be cleaned immediately. But every attempt to remove the lacquer spray paint failed, and by the afternoon it was looking like the match would have to be canceled.

With only a few hours until kickoff and radio reports already indicating that the match was in doubt, an employee in the city of Dortmund’s sports department came up with a plan: Instead of removing the slogan, it could simply be altered.

And so it came to pass that Dortmund and Hamburg played out a 4-3 scorcher over soccer’s first-ever on-field ad: “The President: Don’t Boycott and Sabotage the Census”

The head of the city’s sports department later reported that he had run the plan by the office of the President of the Federal Republic, where it was presented to the President himself. Richard von Weizsäcker’s approval came within an hour, the President passing on that he had been “very amused” by the idea.

Highlights of the match are available here [if you can’t see the embedded video, use this link]:

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’Skins Watch: Just one ’Skins Watch item today — a good article on Native American sports imagery from a Canadian newspaper. Recommended. Reader Stephen Coulter, who submitted that link, offers some interesting commentary:

Interesting how this has been raised as an issue up here in provincial Edmonton. Of particular note is the brief discussion on the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos (although that name has also been used for the city’s hockey and baseball teams in the past). It is interesting how that name is a near non-issue here, even though “eskimo” is a term that has long since passed to the pejorative. “Inuit” is now the preferred term in Canada for northern indigenous peoples.

There are probably several reasons why the Eskimos’ name isn’t controversial up here. One, they don’t use any native imagery (their mascot is actually a polar bear). Two, I would wager that less than 1% of the Canadian population has actually encountered an Inuit person. Unless you work in or visit the three northern territories, you don’t really deal with that segment of the population. Three, Edmonton is the northernmost city in North America with a population over one million, so they are proud of that identity and see being associated with the Eskimo image as a prideful thing, even though it is a bit of a misnomer because Inuit people live much much, much farther north in Canada, not anywhere near Edmonton.

Anyways, just saw the story and thought it would be of interest. Keep up the good fight.

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Research request: If you have nothing to do today, have access to a library, and want to do a good deed involving uni research, give me a shout. Thanks.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Subtle change for Florida football, which has apparently changed from an embroidered chest patch to a rubber/plastic thingie (great catch by Dan Wunderlich). … Phil had this on Saturday, but in case you missed it: Here’s a teaser video for the Sabres’ third jersey (from Jeff Link). ”¦ New football uniforms for Georgia State. … The “intimidating” facemask thing is getting out of hand. … Tris Wykes has written a good article about a guy who re-laces baseball gloves. I’ll have a full entry on this topic (but not about this same guy) shortly. … New logos for Richard Stockton College (from Kurt Esposito). … Here’s an article about the new Yale football uniforms (from Jason Criss). … Someone at Nike needs geography lessons. … New kit for Roma, and get this — it’s sponsor-free (from Andrew Rosti. … While looking for something else, I came across this day-by-day timeline of the 1956 baseball season and noticed the entry for April 22: “When the Phillies bat in the bottom of the 9th [of a game they are losing]”š fans start throwing bottles and cans on the field. RF Whitey Lockman calls time”š and returns with a helmet. ‘I wouldn’t mind getting hit by a regular bottle but when they break off the tops and throw them at you”š that’s too much”š’ he says later.” That’s a pretty early example of a player wearing a helmet in the field. … Here are the uniforms that the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters are wearing for their “We Love Hokkaido Series” this year. For the July 17 game in Hakodate, they have added a Hakodate City sleeve patch (from Jeremy Brahm). ”¦ Two great submissions from Roger Faso: First, check out this great 1977 Medalist uniform ad. And then dig this shot from the 1987 MLB All-Star Game, which was played in Oakland. The batboy has a yellow cap! Where we could get a closer look at it. ”¦ Chris Wondolowski, the USA soccer player who recently scored three goals with an extra “W” on his NOB, wants to have it both ways: He wants to have his name spelled correctly, but he’s also superstitious and therefore wants to retain the extra “W.” The solution? They putting a “W” on the inner front collar. We’ve seen lots of things put on the inner back collar before — slogans, flags, etc. — but this is the first time I can think of that something’s been put on the inner front collar (from Sam Jurgens). ”¦ The Brewers will be wearing Negro Leagues throwbacks on July 20. They haven’t revealed the uniform yet, but this will apparently be the cap (from Chance Michaels). ”¦ Phil mentioned this yesterday, but in case you missed it: You know the G.I. Joe thing has gotten out of hand when the Yankees — the New York freakin’ Yankees! — play dress-up soldier on a non-holiday. I’m trying to decide if this was a joke or a disgrace, but what the hell, let’s just say it was both. I’ve said this before but it bears repeating: Not all soldiers are heroes, and not all heroes are soldiers. When teams start wearing special uniforms for firemen, teachers, social workers, Peace Corps volunteers, home health aids, and other deserving honorees, we can talk. Until then, this camo nonsense is just another piece of bogus kneejerk faux-patriotism. … The only photo I’ve ever seen of Johnny Callison of the Phillies wearing a Mets helmet in the 1964 All-Star Game is this one — or at least that was the case until I saw this shot. Not only that, but the player at far left is Johnny Edwards of the Reds — wearing what appears to be a Cardinals helmet! It’s definitely not a Reds helmet, because Cincy’s 1964 headwear was white. I’ll include this new helmet mix-up discovery, along with several others, in a follow-up ESPN piece tomorrow. … Bill Nye the Science Guy threw out the first pitch in Seattle the other night and got a custom jersey for the occasion (from Norm Johnson). ”¦ Marty Hick’s nephew just turned six years old, so Marty made him two jersey-themed birthday cakes based on famous players who wore No. 6 — Musial and Russell. “Making cakes based on old-timers is easier, because they’re NNOB,” says Marty. ”¦ This is pretty funny: Auburn’s SID printed and distributed game notes for his wedding (from Josh Claywell). ”¦ The Rays had “Disco Night” on Saturday, which provided the latest reason to love Joe Maddon (from Mike Edgerley). … Mariners prospect Taijuan Walker wore stirrups in the Futures Game. Apparently his Twitter followers told him to do it (from Mike McLaughlin). ”¦ This is odd: a 1934 photo of Tulane RB Barney Mintz with one long sleeve and one short sleeve. “I checked a few game stories and there was no mention of it,” says Ryan Dowgin. “I have to imagine it got ripped at some point during the game, as other photos I have found of him from different games show two full sleeves.” ”¦ The ECHL’s Ontario Reign are having a jersey design contest. Bonus point to anyone who can come up with a design that changes the team’s name to something that ends in “s” (thanks, Phil). ”¦ According to a comment posted yesterday by The Jeff, the Buccaneers’ uniforms were originally supposed to look like this. Pretty nice! ”¦ Rob Holecko notes that the Cubs appear to be using the McAuliffe font — aka the Red Sox font — for their batting helmet numbers. ”¦ Really interesting slideshow on the design process for the posters for the Broadway show Venus in Fur. ”¦ Brutal color-on-color combo in yesterday’s Astros/Rays game.

Comments (112)

    I have a ton of work to do this morning, so I better avoid it quickly. Monday mornings at Uni Watch.

    1. PL, a significant fraction of your fanbase needs to know: What do you think of Derek Lannabry’s Washington Americans design featured here on Saturday?

    2. That Tom Schieber is friendly and generous in addition to having provided us all with the greatest of all uniform galleries is not fair.

    3. Der MBL water bottle label prohibition gefuchen ist.

    4. I had a good Hibernian cry over those adorable Colleen outfits.

    5. The new unis for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters are total eyesores, but you have to do admit that Nippon Ham Fighters remains the best team name in baseball. Cienfuegos Elefantes a distant second.

    6. It is good that New Haven Community College has returned to its institutional senses and removed that ridiculous bulldog cartoon from its football helmets. Their new road unis are actually pretty good looking now: as the link-to feature reminds us, the new outfit looks very much like the one worn by Calvin Hill in 1968 when the Bulldogs were whipped 28-28 by the Alston-Brighton Vocational Institute.

    I don’t know, Con, I recently came across a New Jersey newspaper reference to the 1887 Goosetown Anarchists. (Say what you will about the tenets of Ham Fighters, but at least it’s an ethos.)

    The Anarchists of Goosetown and Sluggers of Little Silver melon the base ball field hut Saturday, when the Sluggers
    defeated the friends of dynamite by a score of 25 to 13.

    Given that anarchism at the time was an actual, often violent, political movement, calling a baseball team that, and then referring to them as the “friends of dynamite” is pretty awesome. Maybe not Nippon Ham Fighters awesome, but surely Goosetown Anarchists is up there with the Cienfuegos Elefantes or the Cangrejeros de Santurce.

    That should read “met on,” not “melon.” Bad OCR that I failed to correct.

    Der MBL water bottle label prohibition gefuchen ist.

    Ja! Wunderbar, Herr Connie!

    Seeing it repeated, I can’t resist. Pretty sure the proper form would be gefickt. /pedant mode

    It is good that New Haven Community College has returned to its institutional senses and removed that ridiculous bulldog cartoon from its football helmets. Their new road unis are actually pretty good looking now: as the link-to feature reminds us, the new outfit looks very much like the one worn by Calvin Hill in 1968 when the Bulldogs were whipped 28-28 by the Alston-Brighton Vocational Institute.

    Wasn’t it 29-29? /pedant mode

    I believe the Dodgers used that white outline up to the late 90’s, maybe even a few years into the 2000’s.

    I’m pretty sure they ditched it the same year that they returned the NOBs to their jerseys in 2007. The road jerseys in 2005-06 (a golden era for NNOB partisans; the Cubs, Dodgers, and Giants all went NNOB at home) also had a gray layer in the middle; before that they’d had two layers and after they put the names on, they were down to a single layer.

    Maybe that change was the impetus for scrapping the double-layer. Must have been inertia keeping that practice alive, because I can’t believe the Dodgers were recycling jerseys in the minors as late as 2006.

    I absolutely love this new Richard Stockton College logo:

    Great use of line and shape, and upon seeing it and having never heard of the college before, literally the first thing that came to mind for me was, “Are they the Ospreys?” They are. Bonus: It’s designed by an alumnus of the school.

    Ospreys are also known as Seahawks. In my mind I morphed their logo into the Seattle one.

    I know the Yankees’ unis are classic and such, but I’ve never been wowed by them…..until I see how hideous they look with camo!!!!

    Some crazy olde tyme photo manipulation (etching) in the Barney Mintz (one sleeve) photo!

    The Dodgers away jerseys from ’77-86 with the white outline on “Dodgers” has always been one of my favorite jerseys. The white outline in general on road grays makes the primary color really pop out. I’m not a fan of the current Dodger jerseys.

    I’m in the other camp – a white outline is distracting, fussy and needless detail.

    The Dodgers’ roads look so much better to my eye without it. Now if those boys in the Bronx would get with the times.

    I agree with your thoughts on the Yankees. A darker gray uniform — perhaps a heather gray — with plain navy lettering and numbering would look very nice.


    I’m with you on the white outline. Just made the numbers and letters pop.

    Those All-Star game wines are… uh… interesting. You have to let those age. Certain vintages: 1984 (nicknamed “Candlestick”), 1979 (“Kingdome”), and 1999 (“Fenway”) are particularly good. The 2002 vintage is just bitter.

    The wine they had this year..gotta admit it was outstanding. I’m not an expert but it sure was good. Plus for an usual’s not a bad way to go.

    Re: on-field/ice projected advertising. I’ve been highly annoyed with Comcast for projecting ads onto the glass behind the nets during Flyers home telecasts. It is very distracting and very bush league. How much money do behemoths like Comcast need? (I know silly question but it is Monday and it’s already pushing 80 deg in Philly with un-Godly humidity.)

    Flyers fan down in DC – they must be doing the same thing on all CSN broadcasts – I noticed that this year when the Flyers were playing the Caps.

    It’s also terribly humid here, too. I just love getting into the office at 7am and looking like I just ran a 5k.

    I’d rather see virtual ads on television than real ones right on the ice/field/court/pitch.

    Watch a hockey game from the ’80s and enjoy how easy it is to see the puck against the boards. No longer possible these days.

    I believe all CSN broadcasts showcase ads on the glass behind the nets, I see them at nearly every Blackhawks game.

    Good to see that Yale removed the Y-dog, but I’m not pleased they removed the double-stripe. I do like the contrasting jersey trim though, something my alma mater removed two years ago for no good reason.

    I really do like the old-time Yale look, especially the skinnier serif’d Y, and there are few places better than the Yale Bowl to watch a football game. Great venue. Kinda sad that the Elis have lost 10 of 11 of their last season-ending football games, but the hockey team was pretty good last year.

    Is it my imagination or the I in Nicht of the German soccer advertising was added after? It seems they were about to mispellthe word and added and I.
    PS, Mexico has on field advertising at the end and half time. Our league starts this week so I’ll try to grab a couple of screeshots.

    It looks to me like it was always there; the I just looks a little longer than the other letters because the ball is right on the end of it.

    I have zoomed in as best I can, and the cap does have a round logo on the front. You can see a circular outline of what is there. Color-wise, even pixilated, there is a slight collor differance between the cinter of the circle and the yellow cap.

    Damn, I wish I had better image enhancement abilities on my phone or my work computer…

    I can confirm (without proof, but as a ridiculously rabid A’s fan who remembers these caps very well) that the batboy’s cap is the same as the ebay one, but with a green bill (and green button).

    They also sold these reversed, in the traditional A’s cap colors, and in white with either a gold bill or a green bill.

    I regret to this day not buying one of each.

    I haven’t seen anything else like this cap. Oddly enough, I had been seeing it on eBay for a few weeks, so as soon I saw you pondering what yellow cap the A’s ballboy was wearing at the 87 ASG, I had a feeling it was this.

    Couple of fixes needed:

    1. The link code on the Chris Wondolowski item;
    2. According to a comment posted yesterday by The Jeff, the Buccaneers’ uniforms were originally support to look like this. Should be “supposed” instead of “support”.

    That actually wasn’t a bad combination. Like I said before, baseball is probably the one sport where the color of the uniform really doesn’t matter as far as telling the teams apart is concerned.

    To my mind, “brutal color-on-color” means either very low-contrast – both teams in red, or one in navy, the other in black – or any color-on-color game involving the Rockies.

    Had a fantastic weekend getting sunburned as I coached a women’s slo-pitch team to a provincial title. I went to the tourney in full gear to be the “official” coach on the bench for them, and that turned into what I hope will be a ton of sales for Mr. Robert “Comrade-in-Chief” Marshall.

    My Wilmington Blue Rocks ‘rups got some chatter on Saturday, but the TCK “oops” ‘rups (black with red/white striping) were a massive hit. Lots of people asked where I got them, and I handed out Robert’s info.

    Hopefully this gets you a few new sales, Rob! Thanks for the great ‘rups again, Robert!

    How do you park the monster truck so that the “Firestone” name on both tires is aligned perfectly? Assume the same is true on the other side as well.

    Monster trucks are transported without the monster tires on, so they simply parked the truck in that location and then installed the big tires in that orientation.

    Some other notes – that truck, Bigfoot 20, is actually electric powered and uses a collection of Odyssey batteries and a big electric motor to get around. The MLB body was originally installed on another Bigfoot chassis (10, I believe), and is the first Chevy bodied Bigfoot truck. Bigfoot has traditionally been a Ford and was sponsored by Ford for a long period of time, but since MLB is sponsored by Chevrolet, they used the appropriate brand body when creating this look. When they ran it on 10, they switched 10’s engine from a Ford to a Chevy block so that it matched, something that is actually a bit unusual in the sport (the Monster Jam truck Blue Thunder, which was also Ford sponsored, actually ran a “Merlin” engine, based on a Chevrolet block).

    Speaking of German soccer and advertising, here’s a slightly old, but still good article about how Bundesliga became the first major league to allow on-shirt advertising after Eintracht Braunschweig tried to put Jägermeister on their jerseys, even changing their badge to the Jägermeister logo:

    I was the Oakland Coliseum yesterday, and it was great to see Reddick, Sogard, and Young all wear those lovely striped stirrups. Here’s hoping they continue after the All-Star break. (Friday’s A’s in green vs. Red Sox in blue was another matter.)

    Lucky you! I’m salivating just looking at the pics!

    Imagine, the A’s looking like the A’s are SUPPOSED to look!


    Those stirrups are great, but they didn’t look as good when the A’s wore their green jerseys, as the greens don’t match (forest green jerseys v. kelly green stirrups.

    Still love the stirrups, and hope they get those players stirrups that match the darker green.

    Can’t wait to see the 69 throwbacks, that is a great uniform.

    If they’re specifically throwbacks of the ’69 uniform (as opposed to the nearly identical ’70-’71 uniforms), does that mean that the MLB logo will be placed on the front under the team logo? And I’m curious as to whether it will be the uniform with green lettering, gold lettering, or their mono-gold uniform.

    Additionally, about McGraw’s jersey, he had extra fabric added to the bottom. You can see in news reel footage that in his later years as manager, he got to be a little larger in the mid-section, so those belt-loops were to probably hold the jersey in his pants better.

    As for the Chicago Colleens cap, yeah, that looks to be a reproduction that is sold by a AAGPBL group:


    Wondolowski’s extra W is actually on the inside of the jersey under the US Soccer patch, not on the collar. This placement is something nike has done before on various occasions

    Roma dropped Kappa as their kit manufacturer last year because of quality issues, and signed with Nike.

    But with one year left on the Kappa contract, they’re not allowed to wear a maker’s mark this season.

    Also, the collar on their new shirt is freaking gorgeous.

    I can’t find any visual evidence, but I seem to recall an all-star game from the early 90’s where Frank Thomas forgot his helmet. They replaced it with a black helmet with a hand painted/drawn S-O-X on it. Can anybody back me up on this?

    Making attendees de-label their beverages is a joke, we deal with the same thing at the local convention center.

    But, I have no problem with the “customer only” events hosted by Bank of America and T-Mobile. Companies have every right to offer such perks to their customers.

    If you pay for a ticket to the MLB All-Star FanFest, you expect to get to do/see everything there.

    What if you paid for Disneyland and then, once you were inside, discovered that only T-Mobile customers could ride Space Mountain?

    Companies have every right to offer such perks to their customers.

    Duh. Of course they have “the right” — nobody ever claimed otherwise.

    But creating stratified levels of exclusivity at something called a “FanFest” kinda defeats the whole point. The idea is to be fan-friendly, not to cater to customers of certain corporations so that everyone else feels like they’re in steerage. It’s crap.

    A lot of popular culture conventions these days have “vip only” events and that requires a premium ticket or the like.

    But you know that ahead of time.

    Since the McGraw jersey was patented, I wonder if the belt loops were for sliding pads, which in those days were just pads of sheep skin attached to a belt. Obviously McGraw would have had no reason to wear them, but the players would.

    That Sand-Knit ad is all kinds of weird… First, the Cavs jersey has the lettering colours reversed, but secondly, I can’t work out if those are real people or dummies – something about the blank, staring eyes is really freaking me out.

    One interesting anecdote regarding the Redskins: As Paul linked in the ticker last week, the Diamondbacks had a Native American Appreciation night at the ballpark on Saturday. One interesting aspect of it was the game was broadcasted on the radio in the Navajo language throughout the state. Anyway, during the TV pregame show they had several videos talking about what the dbacks are doing to as far as getting youth involved in the sport, etc. etc. In one of the videos they showed some interviews with h.s. native american kids talking about getting involved in a baseball league and whatnot. One of the kids they showed being interviewed was wearing a Washington Redskins cap. When I saw that I wondered what he thought about this whole debate. Many people, many important people, are debating this issue up on the national level, yet it seemed that someone the issue may truly affect, some random native American teen in northern Arizona, seemed oblivious to it all. (Or maybe he was making a statement? Or maybe he actually liked what he thought was a team innocently named after his people? We’ll never know, but I thought it was interesting).

    *“And that’s not all,” says Harrison. “Certain events weren’t accessible unless you had Bank of America or T-Mobile. It’s horrible how corporate everything is.”*

    But what about non-American visitors. There are several Toronto Blue Jays in the all star game, and judging by the last player vote, one would imagine plenty of them might be excited about this year’s All Star Game. The likelyhood that any of those fans would have an account with either BofA or T-Mobile is… about nil. So, they get shut out of these sections based on citizenship? That’s not nice.

    And secondly…

    I have watched the Blue Jays on Sportsnet a bunch of times this year, and have noticed the ads on the field, but I didn’t find it especially strange. Though to be honest I didn’t notice that they were “fake” either. I think maybe the first time I thought “boy, an Orange Julius ad on the field? That’s kind of ugly. And didn’t there stop being Orange Juliuses in the late 80’s?”

    But perhaps it doesn’t seem as odd to me because I’m used to minor league baseball, which does have actual ads on field there. Here’s a picture, from yesterday, of ads on the field in Buffalo during a Bisons (AAA) game. In fact, the ads ARE the coach’s box.

    On that Brewers Negro Leagues hat link, there was another link to an absolutely atrocious abomination of a Brewers “Cooperstown” hat:

    It has the mid-90’s logo with the pre-mid-90’s colors, then it has a patch on the side celebrating the 1982 AL title team, but the patch looks like it says the team won the title in … 1987? 1983? The last digit is so unclear, even when you zoom in, it’s ridiculous.


    Does it make me a terrible person that I think both the Brewers and Expos caps linked above look terrific? Probably, yes, so I’ll just have to learn to live with the shame.

    Yes, it is terrible in the sense that it’s trying to be a reference to the 1982 team. However, that is the best interpretation of the very generic mid-90’s cap I think I’ve seen, if you take away the patch on the side.

    In that same vein, this one always kind of bugged me (even though I’ve had the hat for damn near 10 years now) –

    It’s the Phils 70’s-early 90’s logo hat, with ‘1979’ on the back. Why not put 1980, considering that was the year they won the WS with that cap…

    RE: “Until then, this camo nonsense is just another piece of bogus kneejerk faux-patriotism.”

    Is there any chance that the patriotism involved here isn’t “faux-” but perhaps “misguided”? Or is there a chance there was some other reason for wearing the camouflage? Has anyone heard anything? Did you check in with contacts you might have in the organization, Paul? Just curious.

    It was Military Appreciation Day. Not to be confused with Memorial Day. Or Armed Forces Day. Or Veterans Day. Or July 4th. Or September 11th. Because it’s now the law that at least one team, somewhere, must be saluting the military every single day of the year.

    At first I thought you were saying Military Appreciation Day was an actual holiday. Or, rather, another… official day. Observance? For some reason “holiday” doesn’t seem appropriate for days like September 11th.

    But no. It’s just a random date the Yankees chose to “appreciate” the military. “Let’s Make Another Jersey To Sell Day.”

    I tuned into the Padres game yesterday and coming back from commercial, they were playing the Marine Corps Hymn at petco park since one of the local units was in the stands.

    Is Dick McAuliffe of the 74-75 Red Sox the only MLB player to wear a namesake font? Just wondering- his name to my Tigers fan mind as soon as I read the item toward the bottom of the ticker…

    Good question. If anybody can find a player, last name Wilson, who played for the Yankees, Braves, Tigers, or the 90’s-or-later Expos, there would be another one.

    OK, found at least one! Craig Wilson, probably most notable for being a Kevin Greene doppelganger and a Pittsburgh Pirate, was a New York Yankee for 40 games in 2006. The Yankees, of course, use Wilson Sporting Goods’s number font.

    Interesting nugget from the Canadian newspaper article about Native American sports team names that Paul linked to above:

    With the Braves, it is the well-known “Tomahawk Chop” gesture that offends many people. Ironically, it is the Seminole people who make the prop tomahawks used at Braves games.

    That’s quite the eye-opening revelation if it’s true. However, I have found nothing on the interwebs that corroborates this statement. I can’t find anything to indicate that the Seminole people are manufacturing tomahawks (replica, toy, prop, foam, or otherwise) for commercial sale. I’ve also checked the websites of the three federally-recognized Seminole tribes (one in Oklahoma, two in Florida). Not a single word about tomahawks.

    These stories, dating back to 1991, indicate that Paul Braddy, a foam rubber salesman from suburban Atlanta, made the Braves’ original prop tomahawks. Nowhere in these articles does it suggest that Braddy is of Seminole heritage, or Native American heritage of any kind.

    Granted, none of this necessarily means that some organization affiliated with one of the Seminole tribes isn’t making prop tomahawks for the Atlanta Braves now. But if that were the case, you’d think the Atlanta Braves front office would be all over the story from a public relations standpoint. Until I see some evidence that actually supports the author’s claim, I’m not buying it.

    It’s well-known amongst MLB employees that the Commissioner prefers Diet Coke – so at FanFest and other public events, he (or one of his handlers) simply pours it into a Pepsi cup. A win-win!

    Not sure if you’re being serious or not. But here’s a story about Selig: Last night I attended the MLB All-Star Gala (basically a big corporate party with lousy food that would have been unbearable except (a) I went with good people and (b) it was held on the Intrepid, which was pretty cool). Selig was there, of course. The person I was with said, “Bud’s a nice enough guy, but he just has zero social skills. A few years ago, at this same party, I saw him pick up a piece of food from one of the buffet tables, put it up to his nose, sniff it, make a face, and put it back. In front of everyone!”

    I don’t know if that story is true. But that’s how it was told to me last night.

    Maybe that’s a baseball-owner thing. I heard from two independent sources in the period around his first election as president that George W. Bush, as owner of the Rangers, regularly dined in the club dining room for top-dollar season ticket holders and was famous for his terrible table manners. Both claimed to have witnessed Bush lean his head sideways down to table level in order to shovel food from the edge of his plate. Not a dig at George Dubya – why, I personally hold the fork with my left hand while cutting and raise it straight to my mouth without switching hands, which would have me exiled to Siberia if Emily Post were emperor – but perhaps bad table manners is just a thing with baseball owners, as Selig was back when our most recent President Bush was shocking the good millionaires of Dallas.

    Slightly embarrassed I don’t know this answer since I am a golf pro, but what is the relationship between Under Armour and Ping on the PGA Tour? It had to have been pretty recent because I have not noticed the collaboration until not too long ago.

    Obviously not all Ping staff members wear Under Armour (see Bubba Watson) but almost all the others do.

    I also consider myself a decent google searcher, and couldn’t find any information on this. Any help would be great.

    Many golf brands own other subsidiaries, i.e. Callaway/Odyssey, TaylorMade/Adidas, and Titleist/Footjoy. However, I have not heard anything about Ping/Under Armour.

    A garbage can lined with a plastic bag to collect plastic labels which have been peeled off of plastc water bottles which do not meet specific corporate plastic water bottle guidelines. At the end of the event, these bags will be loaded onto a truck and driven to a landfill where they will be buried underground.

    This is getting really, really weird.

    Drink up……

    Oooh, I know what that is. That’s the thing I set my bottled water down on when I go in to the bathroom! /sarcasm

    He’s been wearing “wacky” socks for a while now. It kinda makes me uncomfy — like, “Yeah, it’s not very Presidential, but he’s old and dottering so just let him do it.”

    It’s not very presidential…

    And that’s the great thing: He’s not the president! He can get away with wearing whatever socks he wants, so he does.

    Good find Ryan with the Tulane and 1 short sleeve. One of the things I always wonder about old uniforms is how or why players wore long sleeves so long in the summer and for football in the south or California. Short sleeves in football jerseys did not come around until the 50s for the most part.

    Actually, my comments on the corporate aspect of the FanFest were limited to the very end of today’s main entry. As for whether that’s “shocking,” you appear to be accusing me of being consistent. I’ll take that as a compliment, thanks.

    But instead of trying to make this about me, perhaps you’d like to defend the water bottle label nonsense? Because that’s what it’s about. We’re all eager to hear your well-reasoned defense of corporate conformity — please don’t hold back.

    “I thought that was a European thing”.

    All Star uni’s have been ripped apart on here but tonight’s are representing The Old Shea as well as Mets colors very nicely.
    Chris Berman is the best along side Rich Eisen for pre-game analysis, but recently I saw a program showing top 10 voices on sports TV, Berman didn’t make the list, again, Berman is the best at pre-game but not at game time, jus sayin..

    Anyone know the hat Bryce Harper’s brother Bryan was wearing tonight at the homerun Derby?

    I was at Fan Fest in 2008 and this past weekend. The older event was really executed well..lots of great auction items very heavy on the Yankees but historically significant. The Hall of Fame had a great exhibit..and the vendors had tons of collectibles. My favorite was a special set that could be purchased from Topps of Yankee did not have to mortgage your future buying packs just to get one they do now! You even got a really sweet heavy weight bag when you walked could put all your goodies in there and re used it. Not this time..very corporate. My buddy and eye could not enter through the front..why? T Mobile controlled the gate! Unless you presented a T mobile device..fuck you..take the back way! And I need a cane to get around too..the fuckers. All Star batting jersey..sure..for $180..what most people don’t realize is you can get one for about $’s not a player issue type jersey..but it’s a good affordable replica..found it at Champs just today. Almost all the AS Game merch was insanely pricey. I bit the bullet on a new Yankee cap which I need anyway..with an All Star patch and cost…$45..I remember getting New Era caps for $16 at Gerry Cosby’s when they were located at MSG..All Star baseballs.. for $30..just crazy. But I did get a photo with the wonderful Vera Clemente..some things you can’t put a dollar value on.

    I’m late to the party on this, but the John McGraw belt loops on the jersey could be pretty functional. I don’t know if this was the intent, but to go with the jersey, imagine pants with slits instead of loops. Then the jersey loops go through the slits before putting on the belt. You then have a jersey that can’t be untucked!

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