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Adios, Mr. Padre

Tony Gwynn, who passed away yesterday at the absurdly young age of 54, was the greatest pure hitter I ever saw. Watching him play, it always seemed like he could get a base hit almost anytime he wanted to. Of course, that wasn’t true — his lifetime batting average was “only” .338, meaning he failed roughly two times out of every three — which just underscores how difficult hitting is, and how much better at it Gwynn was than all of his contemporaries.

Gwynn gained a fair amount of weight toward the end of his career. If your mental image of him is of the pudgy doughboy he evolved into, consider this: Gwynn was a great college basketball player and was picked by the Clippers in the 1981 NBA Draft. He also won five Gold Glove awards. In other words, Gwynn wasn’t some one-trick pony who happened to be unusually good at the mechanics of hitting a baseball — he was a great athlete.

Have you ever heard anyone say anything negative about Gwynn? Right, me neither. He appears to have been one of those rare guys who are universally admired. One measure of that is the swiftness and breadth of the on-field tributes that came his way yesterday.

We’ll start, obviously, with the Padres, who opened a series against the Mariners in Seattle last night. Even though they were on the road, they managed to get black armbands sewn onto their jerseys in time for last night’s game. They also hung Gwynn’s jersey in their dugout:

The Padres’ opponents last night, the Mariners, had their own tribute to Gwynn: They inscribed his uniform number onto “the 5.5 hole” on the infield — the spot between shortstop and third base where Gwynn sent so many of his 3,141 hits:

Even the fans in Seattle joined in the tribute, as you can see from these two fellows:

Meanwhile, over in Detroit, where the Tigers and Royals were playing, the Tigers saluted Gwynn by putting his initials in the 5.5 hole:

Pretty impressive to see a tribute from a team with no connection to Gwynn or to the Padres, right?

In Atlanta, where the Braves were hosting the Phillies, the Phils had a Gwynn jersey hanging in their dugout. But that wasn’t for the deceased — that was Tony Gwynn Jr.’s jersey. He went on the MLB bereavement list after his dad’s death yesterday:

Meanwhile, Gywnn’s death may have its own positive legacy. He died from mouth cancer that was likely due to his use of chewing tobacco, and now there’s already some discussion as to whether his death may lead to tobacco being banned in the bigs. (It’s already outlawed in the minors.) Several Dodgers and Angels players discussed the issue yesterday, and Mets pitcher Josh Edgin says he now plans to quit, or at least try to.

Finally, Uni Watch intern Garrett McGrath points out that Gwynn defined himself in uni-centric terms during his Baseball Hall of Fame induction speech in 2007: “I wore brown, I wore the brown and gold, I wore the blue and orange. I’m proud as heck to be a San Diego Padre.”

RIP, Tony — you’ll be missed.

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NHL old-timers follow-up: Yesterday’s main entry was about an amazing 1979 photo showing NHL old-timers wearing softball uniforms. I asked if readers could help identify the players in the photo, and many of you responded. Here’s what people have said so far (I make no claims as to the accuracy of any of this):

First row: The guy at far left (No. 14) is Claude Provost; two guys down from him (No. 1) is Gerry McNeil; at far right (No. 11) may be Bob Turner.

The guys who are standing are sort of intermingled, so I’m going to treat them as one row, from left to right: Second from left (with the silver belt buckle) is Bernie ”Boom Boom” Geoffrion; three guys father down (with the sweep of dark hair and the long sideburn) is Phil Goyette; four guys down from him (No. 9) is Maurice Richard; three more guys over (wearing the baseball glove) is Gump Worsley; directly behind Worsley (in the black hat with his face partially obscured by Worsley’s head) is referee Red Storey; the next guy (with the big smile and the white turtleneck) is Dickie Moore.

Big thanks to everyone who contributed information on this.

But wait — there’s more! In yesterday’s post I noted how funny and cool it was that they used hockey-style jerseys for a softball game. But reader Allison Ambrous found an auction listing for one of the jerseys, and the listing says the jersey was used for old-timers hockey games. I had assumed that they made hockey-style jerseys specifically for the softball game, but maybe they just repurposed some old jerseys that these players had been using on the ice. Interesting!

And finally, as long as we’re taking about the intersection of hockey and softball, check out this fantastic 1980 Canadiens softball team portrait that reader Matt Diguer posted in yesterday’s comments (click to enlarge):

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Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

The Bengals have drafted several QBs who never made it. Before Smith, before Klingler, there was … Greg Cook. Dude had it all, and Bill Walsh said he coulda been the greatest (which is saying something), but got injured early on and never made it. There was one thing about his career I always found curious: He played in the same stadium for his college and pro career! He was a megastar at the University of Cincinnati and played on Nippert Field, which is smack in the middle of the campus. Then he got drafted by the Bengals and played for them on the same field. People forget this now, but Nippert was the Bengals’ home for their first two years, prior to a 1970 move to Riverfront Stadium. Anyway, here’s Cook in a 1970 Sports Illustrated poster. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 65.

Okay, enough of my Cincinnati reminiscing. Here’s the rest of this week’s eBay haul:

• You see those 1960s/1970s NFL helmet plaques on eBay all the time, but this is the first white/green Eagles one I’ve seen. Wonder why some teams are rare and others aren’t?

• Check out these vintage Pistol Pete Keds sneakers — still in the box, baby. (Oops: He’s wearing the three stripes of you-know-who in the photo, but Keds have just two.)

• Here’s a 1960s Expos pennant with a Canadian maple leaf — no team logo!

• Great buy here — a 1960s MLB mini-helmet and bat stadium set. Fifteen bucks! Looks like one bat is missing, but so what.

• Arizona Cardinals fans will never miss kickoff with this 1970s St. Louis Cardinals wristwatch.

• Take a look at this 1969 “Pitt Steelers” glass sponsored by WTAE Radio.

• Drink your YooHoo! The New York Yankees did!

• Dave Boss Alert! First time seeing the Boston Patriots get the The Master’s treatment.

• Look closely at this 1960s Cowboys mini-helmet. Even back then, I had an eye for detail: “The outline of the star is ALL WRONG.” Then you look at this photo — and maybe it wasn’t. Love the short-term three stripes, too.

Finally, a personal note: Is anyone going to the San Diego Comic Con July 24-27? Need a favor. Let me know.

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

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Culinary Corner: Thanks to jet planes, flash freezing, and modern food-storage and animal husbandry techniques, there are relatively few seasonal foods left anymore. We can get most produce virtually year-’round; people on the east coast can enjoy fresh west coast oysters (and vicey-versey); every chicken is a spring chicken.

One exception: soft-shell crabs. Available from roughly May through September, they’re a genuinely seasonal food. They also happen to be one of my very favorite things about summer, and last night I turned two of them into the best sandwich I’d eaten since, uh, the last time I made soft-shell crabs last summer.

Here’s the deal: On my way home from my late-afternoon bike ride, I stopped off at my fishmonger and bought two soft-shells ($6 each) and a pound of mussels ($3). Once I got home and showered, I went to my backyard, had a beer or two while listening to an old Verlaines tape (I had donated blood earlier in the day, so the beer gave me a little more bang for the buck, so to speak), and waited for my upstairs neighbor Sam to get home from work.

Once Sam joined me, I lit some coals for our grill. When the coals were hot, I put a few ears of corn on the grill. While they were cooking, I put the mussels in a grill basket (not exactly like that one, but similar), removed the mussels’ beards, put the basket on the grill, and covered the basket with an aluminum pan. After a few minutes, the musels and corn were both done. Sam and I ate the mussels as an appetizer while the corn cooled off a bit. (Sorry, I neglected to photograph the mussels portion of the meal.)

After we finished the mussels, I used a knife to strip the kernels off of one of the ears of corn and collected the kernels in a bowl. Then I sprayed the crabs on both sides with some olive oil cooking spray (for all of these photos, you can click to enlarge):

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Next, I put some maybe two-thirds of a stick of butter in a small saucepan and added the juice of one lemon and some capers. I put the saucepan on the edge of the grill so the butter could melt and also started grilling the crabs, shell side down. After about a minute I began toasting a Portuguese roll:

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I basted the crabs with some of the lemon-butter sauce. Brushed some of the sauce onto the roll, too. After another minute or so, I flipped the crabs and the roll:

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After two or three more minutes and some more basting, I removed everything from the grill. I took the corn that I’d removed from the cob earlier and used it to create a bed of kernels on the bottom half of the roll. Then I added a crab, some more corn, the other crab, and some more corn. Then I drizzled the whole thing with a bit more of the sauce:

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As for Sam, he’s not really a crab guy, so he grilled some beef and sausages. I’m sure they were good, but I was very happy with my sandwich.

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Vacation countdown: It’s been four years since I took a bona fide vacation — i.e., not a long weekend, not my annual summer blogcation when I take a break from the site but end up staying home and working on ESPN stuff, but a genuine getaway lasting at least a week. That will change this Saturday morning, when the New Girl and I fly off to Nova Scotia, where we’ll spend a little more than a week. Looking forward to lots of road-tripping, hiking, whale watching, kayaking, and eating as much seafood as possible. My thanks to many of you who provided advice and travel tips when I first mentioned this trip last month. (No more tips, please — we’re set.)

Phil will be in charge of the site while I’m gone. I’ll have several main entries stockpiled for him to run, plus he’ll have coverage of breaking news as needed. Garrett and Mike will be on Ticker duty on their usual days, and webmaster John Ekdahl will handle the Ticker for the rest of the time that I’m gone. Brinke will have Collector’s Corner as usual, and Mike will have his Question of the Week. In short: Things will run reasonably close to normal.

I’m fairly determined not to wait another four years for my next vacation, so we’ll go through this again soon-ish. Thanks in advance for dealing with the inevitable hiccups that will likely occur along the way.

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Tick-Tock: Today’s Ticker was compiled and written by Garrett McGrath.

Baseball News: Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz was still wearing his throwback helmet last night (from Tim Golden). … Question: Reader Eric Schmidt shared an article from Baseball Hall of Fame’s magazine Memories and Dreams on the 1939 Baseball Centennial patch and its mysterious designer Marjori Bennett. Todd Radom confirmed a few months ago that she was a New York artist, but does anyone else have any background on who she was or any other design work she did? … Reader Paul Taylor noticed that the Baltimore Orioles are giving away 1954-style caps on Sunday, June 29, against the Rays. … The New Britain Rock Cats, a Twins farm team, wore Twins light-blue throwback jerseys (but not not throwback pants) for Father’s Day (thanks, Paul).

NFL News: Yesterday, reader Allison Ambrous asked about the old English ‘B’ hat that AFL Bills coach Buster Ramsey was wearing in a documentary. Mako Mameli found that Ramsey’s whole coaching staff was wearing that cap. In yesterday’s comments, Terry Proctor surmised that it might have been a Buffalo Bisons minor league baseball cap. The Bisons were a Tigers farm team at the time and used the old English “B” to mimic the Tigers’ “D.” … Every NFL team could be using head impact sensors as soon as the 2015 season (from Tommy the CPA).

Soccer News: WORLD CUP FEVER! GOOAAAAAL! The New York Times has anti-fever and shared a video from a maximum security prison in Brazil, where inmates make soccer balls in exchange for reduced sentences. … The social media campaign for the US World Cup team had them sending custom jerseys with THOBs to famous athletic Americans like Aaron Rodgers, Michael Phelps, and Bill de Blasio (thanks, Phil). … Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo traded shirts at halftime with his Real Madrid teammate and Germany star Sami Khedira (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Inventive diagram of all the different countries World Cup players could have played for given FIFA’s rules for choosing a national team (from Ross Hazlett). … A look inside equipment operations for the US Men’s National Team in Brazil (from Matt Dowell). … On the subject of equipment, the Toronto Star is looking into the apparel maker battle of Nike vs. Adidas vs. everyone else at the World Cup (thanks, Phil). … A Ghana player was spotted wearing a Toronto Raptors cap before the game yesterday. … The rest are from Trevor Williams. Made to be broken: Despite rules against swapping shirts, at least one Iranian player traded jerseys to with a Nigerian player. … Brazilian league soccer is normally played on taller grass, which interfered with a player’s shoe contract. … A US/Mexico World Cup mashup jersey is making the rounds on eBay.

NBA News: On the most recent NBA Mean Tweets video on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where NBA players read mean tweets about themselves, Nate Robinson is wearing a Denver Nuggets hat with the logo upside down (from Niklas Streng).

College Hoops News: On Twitter, Maryland Athletics shared how the Big Ten Conference logo will look on their hardwood (from Matt Shevin).

Grab Bag: Article on an organization called Commons 4 Kids that collects sports cards and donates them to children in need (from Jonathan Daniel).

Comments (129)

    Paul, thanks for your thoughts on Tony Gwynn. It helps this native San Diegan through the grieving process to know he had such a profound impact on people all the way on the other side of the country. In his Hall of Fame speech, he called his fans “my family, my adopted family” which is why I’ve been heartbroken for almost 24 hours now. We lost a family member yesterday. I never wanted to say goodbye to my favorite baseball player, but now sadly I must. RIP Tony Gwynn, eternally Mr. Padre.

    I didn’t really start following sports outside of my hometown teams until the early 1990s, so it wasn’t until he was regularly chasing .400 that I really became aware of Tony Gwynn. I grew to like him as a player, and I was genuinely disappointed when the Padres were swept by the Yankees in the 1998 World Series.

    And, of course, his first World Series was in 1984 against the Tigers… maybe that’s why Detroit had their little memorial.

    Lots of athletes are respected, but there are very few who are loved.
    Tony Gwynn was loved.

    Also from Collector’s Corner: The “1960s MLB mini-helmet and bat stadium set” can’t be from the 1960s as it shows a Braves helmet with the lower case “a” which wasn’t used until 1972.

    Interestingly, the typeface on that Expos pennant looks like Optima, the same font used for Expo 67’s wordmark.

    I’m guessing it’s something whipped up after the team was announced in 1968, but obviously before they had their final logo. Kind of like the Ottawa Senators’ pre-expansion logo.

    Exactly my thought when I saw the pennant; it was something that was made up between Expo67 and the point where the official logo was created.

    For the record, I love that Ottawa wordmark (the ‘Senators’ part, no), and thought that it should have been the primary logo, not some soldier (and yes, I know it’s supposed to be a Roman senator, but if so, why are they wearing a warrior’s headdress?). I think it works just as well without the flag, but it’s not a deal breaker. Paired with the original sweaters they rolled out (four or five alternating stripes of red and black or red and white), it looked like a classic NHL sweater.

    I did not see the words “old bay” in the crab, article, so my interest immediatly dissipated. ;)


    according to anyone in Maryland, you can put Old Bay on ANYTHING.

    I have lived here 8 yrs and I have not yet acquired a taste for soft-shells. I can pick blue crabs for hours, but soft-shells just don’t appeal to me.

    However, I grew up eating them “NJ Style” in south Jersey. No Old Bay!

    Never seen them grilled before…would worry that the shell would harden. My first job out of HS was on a crab boat and one of the first things I had to learn to look for the pink lines on the back. That told you a molt was soon and those crabs would be put in brack water back at the crab house. It is a tricky thing…you almost never catch a soft shell. They are always caught with the pink lines and left to molt. Oh and yea…Old Bay or J.O. in the breading.

    I was looking at the US kit yesterday, and was realizing, maybe it makes sense. Think about the layout of the flag, the blue field is kind of the first thing you notice, and then the stripes (at least my eyes do). So maybe the blue on top is the right way to go. Maybe the red and white could be flipped, since the red stripe precedes the white, so I think it makes sense to not go strictly red, white and blue in that order


    The only thing that could make it more American is if they looked like Budweiser cans and had a bald eagle on each shoulder.

    Padday, I don’t like the “USGA” either, but Phil P brought up how he thought “yUgoSlaviA” fit the flag theme. I thought the fan rendering did it better. I then added that “Hoops” should be the primary and all-navy should be secondary- which was a quiet commentary what I thought of the “USGA”.

    Also, I’m not being incendiary. Look at North Korea’s flag. With the right socks, it would be perfect kit for them. It would also be a good Costa Rican kit- which,in our CONCACAF context,is worse.

    It’s not bad, but I’m thinking it has too much white to be “predominantly dark” and too much color to be “predominantly light” (not that most manufacturers care about those regulations too much).

    Also, navy shorts and navy socks would give it a bottom-heavy look.

    I like the current Bomb Pop combo because the bright red gives it a lighter look, fitting for a World Cup held in Brazil.

    Navy is just the ideal shading; however, I still think this fan rendering would work with the current light shading.

    I don’t hate the “yUgoSlaviA” design in an exoteric sense, but I don’t like it in an esoteric sense. Esoterics are very important in uniforms/kits because it strongly correlates with identity. If North Korea wore this kit in 2010 with opposing socks, it would be one the all-time greatest kits.

    It’s been a while since somebody’s indulged the “it looks like something [insert geopolitical bogeyman here] would wear” fallacy.

    But as for the argument on esotericiness, we’ve got to remember that, firstly, this is the alternate kit. As the alternate kits of many of the nations at the world cup demonstrate, the degree to which they correspond to identity is minimal. By your standards I’d say at least half the teams in Brazil would fail to satisfy you in this regard.

    Secondly, surely the home kit is the worse offender in regard to adequately communicating identity. There are nine teams at this world cup with an all white primary kit. Teams dressed like bomb pops? Just the one. Out of the last three or four World Cups, the bomb pop kit is probably going to be the most recognisable look the US has worn. And this is the thing, regardless of whether you think it adequately captures American identity, if the US end up doing very well at this World Cup then those jerseys are going to become a symbol of American identity in themselves.

    I grew up in an American League market so I didn’t get to see Tony Gwynn a lot. But I remember him at a lot of All-Star games. I did catch him on a few WGN Cubs broadcasts (I think it was WGN “back in the day”). He always seemed to be a humble professional.
    If the game had more Tony Gwynn’s, it would be a much much better sport to watch.

    Kind of same here growing up in an AL town. But in the mid-1980s, I played two seasons of youth ball for teams named the Padres. Brown v-neck shirts and caps, the lower-case lettering. Gwynn was pretty much the only actual Padre I can remember any of us kids knowing or identifying with, even that early in his career. My dad was more of an NL guy, having grown up something of a Cardinals fan due to Iowa’s radio coverage, and his work schedule often allowed him to watch Cubs games on WGN in the afternoon. Gwynn was a player he respected and talked about, so maybe that’s how I knew about this young guy on my team’s big-league counterpart named Tony.

    Also, I’m pretty sure our brown Padres uniforms were several years old. We had to return them to the league at the end of each season.

    Similar to Cook, Jake Plummer began his NFL career on the same home field as he played in college. I’m sure there are more but unless Temple, UMass, South Florida, Tulane, or San Diego St. produces a top-notch QB, may not happen again (Miami and Pitt are the best hopes).

    Of course this year and next, Matt Cassel, Teddy Bridgewater or Christian Ponder can finish their degree at Minnesota and accomplish the feat in reverse.

    I just can’t bring myself to do the whole soft-shell crab thing. It freaks me out.

    with the current state of the crab population in the Bay, you better eat them while you can. Surprised you got them for such a cheap price to be honest. Bushels are going for a ridiculous price down here these days.

    Fishermen in the Hudson Valley claim the so-called Maryland Blue Crabs are more abundant in the river than in the Chesapeake. No idea if that’s true or not, but something about the Indian Point nuclear power plant and the warm water.

    Blue crab populations in the Chesapeake region vary wildly from year to year, but it’s a lead-pipe cinch that with the winter we just experienced, they’ll be at or near record lows this summer. Hence the outrageous prices – hopefully it’ll depress demand sufficiently that they’re able to replenish somewhat…

    and nuclear opponents want to close down Indian Point! They must hate blue crabs! (I know the fishing on the discharge of Calvert Cliffs on the Chesapeake is very good due to the higher temps)

    I was surprised to hear about what happened to Tony Gwynn yesterday, but I do agree that banning chewing tobacco in the clubhouse is something that isn’t talked about enough. I know too many high school baseball players (mainly in rural schools) who already use chewing tobacco to mimic the MLB players.

    The Steelers mug is sad, since WTAE Radio is now a Disney Radio station WDDZ.

    And I didn’t get to chime in yesterday due to me oversleeping and not getting to post it in time for any comments, but the Pittsburgh Power of the AFL are partially owned by Lynn Swann, hence why they might be doing a Chuck Noll tribute.

    In the rural town I grew up in and played ball in, guys chewed to mimic their peers and fathers more so than pro ball players.

    I played baseball for many years as a kid in school. I had virtually zero power but could take a walk or put the bat on the ball quite well. I liked Tony Gwynn cuz he was a hitter.

    I can’t find a direct link, but for awhile, there was a very comfortable “trading pipeline” between the Padres and Tigers, so I think there was some synergy between the front offices.

    Ausmus was both a Tiger and Padre… Randy Smith was GM for both clubs too. I imagine that’s a big part of where the affinity (and the tribute) between the 2 clubs comes from.

    I remember Randy Smith being a frequent target on Detroit sports radio because of all the deals with the Padres (and the Astros, where his father was in the front office). That, and his supposed “five-year plan”.

    I’ve never been able to get into softshell crab. I think a lot of it has to do with being raised in the Chesapeake Bay area and eating hardshell crabs from a young age. After learning how to pick them apart and what parts should and shouldn’t be eaten, it just seems like eating the whole thing isn’t right.

    You realize that certain parts of the soft-shell are removed upon purchase, right? The fishmonger “cleans” them, which involves cutting off the face (that’s what kills them) and removing the lungs. So when you refer to the parts that you’ve learned not to eat, you don’t eat those when you’re eating a soft-shell.

    I sort of thought that was the case, but wasn’t 100% sure. I had always heard that eating the lungs can make you sick, but looking at your pictures, it didn’t look to me like anything had been cleaned out. I guess that makes it a little better. Maybe I’ve just had bad experiences with softshells. I’ve only ever had them breaded and fried to where you can barely taste the meat, and I feel like I inevitably get a piece of not-so-soft shell stuck in my teeth.

    Crabs have lungs? I thought they were underwater animals with gills.

    You learn something every day.

    Tony Gwynn was the only one of the four Padres who participated in both their World Series to stay with the organization. Bochy and Flannery went on to great success up the coast and Greg Booker (reliever in ’84, bullpen coach in ’98 and the son-in-law whom Trader Jack McKeon once traded away) is apparently now a scout for the Dodgers.

    Though both died too young, what a contrast between Gwynn and his ’98 teammate Ken Caminiti. Requiescat in pacem.

    The way the cycle tends to work is, the US debuts new uniforms just before the men’s World Cup, which the women’s team goes on to wear the following year at the Women’s World Cup. So the women may simply have not been issued actual game jerseys in the new design yet. Whereas the replica version of the women’s jersey, complete with the championship stars, is already available at retail:

    So most likely, the women are just wearing retail replica jerseys, thus no names on back.

    The women played this weekend wearing the Bomb Pops this weekend, so every player at that watch party (except the keepers) presumably have her own printed jerseys.

    Though I’m guessing the equipment manager handles all the game jerseys, and the players got the blank jerseys on their own.

    Gwynn’s induction speech was in 2007, I believe.

    It’s certainly true that young ballplayers mimic their idols, though I never remember Gwynn having big chaws in his mouth, at least not in the way Rod Carew did. I remember some clever kids would use Big League Chew gum and Tootsie Rolls to recreate what looked like tobacco juice.

    Which was the point of Big League Chew, actually. Invented by Yankees pitcher, author, and serial inventor Jim Bouton, Big League Chew was meant to be shredded like tobacco, but not be tobacco, thinking that it would be healthier for kids to emulate.

    They also had Big League Plug: a wad of Tootsie-Roll chocolate meant to resemble plug tobacco.

    “Oakland has Rickey Henderson, Dennis Eckersley and Rollie Fingers.”

    How is it conceivable that Rickey Henderson doesn’t win every single race?

    I’m an oral cancer survivor. Seeing the TG story gave me one of those moments that any cancer survivor can understand.

    Oral cancer is one of the fastest growing cancers in the population, with kids as young as 14 starting to develop it.

    While tobacco products are a big contributor, currently it looks as though the HPV is driving the climb in oral cancer rates. Make sure your dentist is trained to screen for oral cancer – and if he/she isn’t, find someone who is. The Head and Neck Cancer Alliance ( offers free screenings in April of every year.

    Please enjoy this Yul Brynner smoking PSA

    I started rooting for the Bengals (from afar) around the time Greg Cook’s injuries prevented him from achieving what most thought would be certain stardom, so to me he was just a quarterback on injured reserve–who happened to be featured on that really cool looking poster–which I ordered (thanks, Mom) and hung in my room.

    What a perfect display of that most excellent uniform.

    I believe the scoreboard in the Montreal old timers’ photo shows the Cubs -vs- Expos line up. A few I made out:
    The Expos lead off batter looks like 49 – Cromartie, Warren Cromartie.
    Batting third looks like 10 – Dawson, Andre Dawson.
    Batting fifth, 8 – Carter, Gary Carter
    Last up is 36 – Schatzeder, pitcher Dan Schatzeder

    There was a link yesterday to the game (I think it was a doubleheader) from baseball reference

    Hey Paul, did you do a uni-thing (and that’s a good thing) on the College World Series this year. And if you did, how and where did I miss it? Thanks for your column. By the way, I’m presently wearing a Millsaps College baseball jersey.

    Enjoy your trip to Nova Scotia! Make sure to grab an Alexander Keith’s IPA while you’re up there

    Gunnison and/or Propeller if you want to go true microbrewery. Keith’s is classic Nova Scotia but since it’s owned by Labatt’s, technically it’s made in New Brunswick now.

    I know Paul has a lot of tips already but for anyone else, the Keith’s brewery tour is more a re-enactment that’s a lot of fun but not super technical. That said, there are a couple tiny mashtuns in Halifax where limited seasonal brews are made. The old Keith’s Brown was lights out amazing; not sure what they’ll have this time.

    Uh, it’s Garrison, not Gunnison. And Keith’s isn’t made in New Brunswick (that’s Moosehead); it’s still made at the old Oland Brewery on Agricola st in Halifax.

    Keith’s never made a brown to my knowledge. They are currently brewing a “hop series”; the Galaxy is pretty good. But Paul strikes me as more of a true microbrewery man, which means he likely will gravitate to stuff from North Brewing, found at Gus’ Pub and Agricola Street Brasserie among other spots, or some of the products from small local microbrewers like Hell Bay, Boxing Rock, or Sea Level Brewing.

    Enjoy your trip to New Scotland, Paul! Recap and photos upon your return, please!

    As a Padre fan growing up north of the 49th, it was a rare treat to get a chance to see my favourite player, Tony Gwynn, on TV – especially in the pre-cable days… They were rarely on the NBC game of the week in the 80’s so I was left with All-Star games, a handful of Expos games (many were televised nationally back then), a handful of Pirates games (channel 35 with the rabbit ears) and a handful of Cubs, Braves and Mets games (friend had a satellite dish). Other than that, it was combing through box scores in the paper each morning (sometimes two mornings later because the West coast games rarely made it into the newspaper in the Eastern time zone).

    I’ll never forget the 1984 and 1988 playoff runs… Did you know, Gwynn singled and was on base when Garvey homered off Lee Smith to win game 4 vs. the Cubs 7-5? Also, Gwynn fouled out to Larry Herndon down the LF line for the final out in Tiger Stadium in the WS. My favourite moment was probably his WS upper deck HR off of David Wells in Yankee Stadium in game 1…

    What I loved about Gwynn the most was probably how adaptable he was in his career – he was a great pure hitter but also worked on his craft in other areas – he became an elite right fielder and also a base stealer (check out his stats from 1987!). Later in his career he put up some lofty HR and RBI totals (for him) when the team needed the power in the lineup… What a class act.

    RIP, Mr. Padre.

    Right on, Dave! Tony Gwynn may have (unfortunately) worn the blue and orange, but I’m glad he had many good years in the proper brown and gold, the way I will always remember him.


    Compromise to honor the full sweep of Gwynn’s tenure (and has any team ever had a single player who so individually represents the franchise as a whole?): Brown and sky blue. True, it’s not navy, but it’s blue, and a bright blue really pops next to a dark brown. (And helps define the brown as brown, instead of just generically dark, as brown can sometimes appear.) It’d be unique in MLB, and it would offer a fusion of the team’s historic visual identities of using brown to signify the nickname and using blue to signify the city.

    Like the color suggestion. Very much. Completely disagree that sky blue signifies that city where I aged a few decades in the mid-nineties. Seemed like it was always hazy.

    I like the feature. but feel bad for the bun. Scorched! To each their own of course.

    On the Old English “B” for the Bills’ staff – maybe Ralph Wilson wanted another subtle nod to his Detroit roots?

    Baltimore seems to want to claim the Old English “B”… remember Buck Showalter’s cap?

    The 1984 Series, in retrospect, represented the pinnacle of both the Tigers’ and the Padres’ histories. The ’84 Tigers were one of the greatest single-season clubs; how I wish they could have faced the 1986 Mets! The Padres of that year shook off their second-division straitjacket and beat the favored Cubs in the playoffs. Sure, they were the bug to Detroit’s windshield, but at least they won a game, a feat they couldn’t duplicate in 1998. And yes, they flew the brown flag!

    That 84 Tigers team was great. I believe Jack Morris no-hit the White Sox on the first Saturday of the season that year, they started out 35-5 and they were off to the races. Living in Southwestern Ontario, I was able to watch Tiger games on WDIV (George Kell/Al Kaline) and they just steamrolled everyone that year.

    From a uni-centric standpoint, that 1984 WS was such a contrast – especially for the games in Tiger Stadium – those classic Tiger home uniforms vs. the harsh (garish to some), Padre brown softball tops, yellow sani’s, etc. I was more partial to the 1985-1990 brown pinstripe Padre uniforms, which would have created a more ‘cohesive’ looking WS – if you’re into that…

    But yeah, I became a fan of the Padres in 1982-83 when as an artistic kid, I loved the uniqueness of the friar logo/brown unforms. There are many, many ways in which they can bring back the brown in a tasteful, even classic, way – if they do, the Padres can have my 100% fandom back :) Until then, go Blue Jays!

    At least the Padres wore white at home in 1984, and Garvey, I think, insisted that the team bring back buttons on the jerseys and belts for the pants. So it could have been worse…

    A US/Mexico World Cup mashup jersey is making the rounds on eBay.

    Just add a maple leaf, and it’s the uniform of CAPTAIN NAFTA!

    Re: Softball picture, while I can see while people are coming to the conclusion that the individual left of the Rocket is his brother Henri, I’m not convinced. Henri was younger than Maurice and I doubt he had aged that much by 1979. He also wore #16, whereas the player in the picture appears to be wearing #5 (the numbers are matching up to what they wore as players for obvious reasons). In addition Henri was only 5’7″ and never looked happy.

    Note in terms of the Expos line-up, believe it or not, batting 4th I think is Rusty Staub, who ended his career as an Expos.

    I misspoke, Staub played another 4-5 seasons after this temporary return to Montreal (he really dragged out his career).

    Note – it’s Dickie Moore, as opposed to Dicky.

    Enjoy Nova Scotia.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Mets are wearing the blue jerseys way, way, way too often.

    Paul (and the rest of you who’ve made such kind remarks) . . thanks for the tributes to Tony. As someone who grew up in San Diego, I feel very fortunate that I had the opportunity to actually get to know him on some level personally. And this tremendous loss has hit me like a ton of bricks.

    I was about 12 when I saw Tony play hoops and baseball at San Diego State (saw him go head to head against Danny Ainge in one of the best mano-a-mano point guard battles you’ll ever see on the hardwood), and I instantly became a fan. Naturally, watching his fast rise to the Bigs was a big thrill. No one has mentioned that, upon his initial promotion to the Padres, he hit safely in his first 16 major league games. It was obvious from the beginning, we had something special.

    I first met him personally in the fall of ’84, right after the World Series (and his 1st of 8 batting titles). I was working at a batting cage facility called the San Diego School of Baseball. That fall, Tony started coming down routinely to work out during the off-season, and I had the fantastic opportunity to get to know him. Imagine what a thrill it was for a high school baseball player to get to sit for hours at a time and pick the brain of the reigning NL batting champion! During those nights, sometimes I would just watch him hit, mesmerized, trying to pick out what I could to learn how to be better. And so many times, we just sat and b.s’d about anything. He had an amazing knack for making anyone feel like his buddy.

    As the years went on and I went to play ball in college, I still had many chances to catch up with him, either getting down to the dugout at a Padre game, or running into him here and there whenever I happened to be back in SD, and each time I would see him, we just picked up right where we left off.

    Eventually, I moved away to start my professional life and the opportunities to see Tony personally became few and far between, but whenever the chance to see him came up and we got to talk, again, it was like no time had passed.

    When my father passed away in 1997, Tony came out and participated in a couple golf tournaments that we put on in my Dad’s honor. Tony had met my Dad a few times through our baseball connections, and I was always grateful that Tony took the time to come out for those occasions. One of my post prized possessions is a little snapshot I have with Tony, myself, and my two children (who were very little at the time) at the golf course. In fact, I’m looking at it on my desk right now, and, damn, this is tough!

    The last time I got to see Tony was a little over a year ago. He made the trip up here with his Aztecs as they travelled up to play against Fresno State. I caught up with him for a few minutes after the Sunday game, and, again, even though we hadn’t spoken in about 6 years, he stuck his hand out again and, in that familiar voice, squeeked out, “Hey Ty, how’s in going?” Inwardly, I was taken aback at his appearance — the ravages of his illness were obvious, the nerve problems in his face, and he didn’t sound quite as boisterous as he always did before. After speaking for a few minutes, and finally parting ways, I couldn’t help but wonder if that was going to be the last time we spoke. Sadly, it was.

    There are thousands, perhaps millions, of other people who have their own stories about Tony. Many of them may have been fans who just had one chance meeting at a ballpark 20 years ago, and, obviously, there are the many peers who had the opportunity to play with, or against, him. This loss has affected all of us tremendously. But for my own reasons, I am taking this rather hard. I think it may have something to do, not just with my own personal connection to Tony, but also that of my father. The last conversation I had with my Dad a week before he died was actually about Tony closing in on 3000 hits. We had wondered for a while, with all the injuries, whether Tony would be able to stay healthy enough to get there. But after having a huge ’97 season, it became obvious that he would. And Dad and I talked about that . . a week later, he was gone. And I remember watching on TV when Tony served #3000 into centerfield in Montreal in ’99 and then just breaking down as I remembered that talk with my Dad.

    I’m sorry this has run on so long, but this is just an example, as Paul put it so well, of the kind of impact that Tony had on people. It was truly a privilege to watch him play, and an even greater one to be able to say that I knew him.

    RIP Tony. Few will be missed as much as you.

    I never met the man, but the accounts of him on this site and elsewhere speak eloquently.

    Thanks for sharing that, Ty. I never got any closer to Tony than watching him from the stands, but it sounds like he was as good a guy as he was a hitter.

    “Thanks to jet planes, flash freezing, and modern food-storage and animal husbandry techniques, there are relatively few seasonal foods left anymore. We can get most produce virtually year-’round;”

    Just because something is available doesn’t make it a good idea.

    We can get cherries and peaches and sweet corn and watermelon 12 months of the year, but 11 months of the year they taste like shit. There’s still a lot to be said for eating things in season when they taste like they’re supposed to.

    I know you didn’t. I just wanted to comment on eating seasonally because its a topic that’s somewhat important to me.

    The black armband on the Padres jersey is perfect. I hope they stick with that, maybe even make it bigger. It looks like honest mournnig. I’m a big fan of memorial patches, but a little logo patch feels more like a tribute to me. For the Padres, I would think that it’s not about paying tribute to Gwynn, but more about actually mourning him. A tribute patch demonstrates one’s esteem. A black armband demonstrates one’s grief. Subtle, but important difference, at least to me.

    Mexico is wearing its red/black alt against Brazil, Brazil in its proper yellow/blue/white.

    Which is supposed to be Mexico’s “light” – the green or the red? Either way, it’s a shame El Tri isn’t wearing, well, the three colors.

    I don’t see any reason Mexico shouldn’t be in their traditional green/white/red. Why wear the change kit here?

    One thing that I can think of is that the Mexican federation/Adidas requested it. I know England/Nike asked to wear the red away shirt but was denied.

    Obviously, the maximum contrast thing FIFA talks about is BS here, since green vs yellow or red vs blue would have worked better.

    Paul, I’m sure you’ll enjoy Nova Scotia. I live in Dartmouth, grew up across the harbour in Halifax, and just retired from working for the provincial liquor board, so I have both some time on my hands and some knowledge of the local beer/wine/food scene. If you need to get bailed out of jail or some other on-site aid, reach out. I’ll drop you an email with coordinates.

    Canadiens softball team. Looking at photo – Mark Napier back row third from left. Guy Lafleur front row second from right.

    The Buffalo Bisons were never a Tigers affiliate. When Ramsey was the Bills coach, the Bisons were affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    I don’t think that Big Ten logo is on the Maryland basketball court; the style guide directs the schools to put the logo inside the three-second lanes.

    Instead, I think that’s a photo of Maryland’s volleyball court.

    I’m thinking #8 is Bill Hicke, the #25 on the attached link, is referring to the hockey card # as opposed to the sweater number he wore # 8

    It’s amazing how one picture can cause memories to come back

    One other story, I shared one yesterday concerning Dickie Moore living on our street in St. Laurent. As my father, who was an immigrant to Canada, moved up the corporate ladder, we ended up in Beaconsfield Quebec. Our neighbourhood, was an almost finished, but not quite. Political uncertainty hit and development stopped. There were a couple of houses set off by themselves surrounded by fields. I delivered a weekly newspaper to one, who happens to be lived in one of the players named in the picture. At the time, as he was retired, and played prior to my existence, it barely registered as anything special. In my several years of delivering that paper, when I would come by and collect money, he never came to the door, (I wasn’t able to identify him) he always remained at the back, a grouchy unseen presence, of what seemed like a lonely dark house. His daughter was a beautiful girl both on the outside and in, we were in the same grade, so I was happy it was her. I only found out many years later, I wasn’t worldly enough to clue into this when I was young, that it was widely thought in the neighbourhood he had a drinking problem. I wonder how many of those players fell into that category.

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