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It Wasn’t Broke but They Fixed It Anyway, Part 739

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When I was 10 or 11 years old, I made the all-star team of my local youth football league, and I remember being really excited about how the game would look. “It’ll be so neat to see the players from all the different teams wearing their regular uniforms,” I told my father. “Just like in the baseball All-Star Game!”

That’s one of the things I’ve always loved about the MLB All-Star Game. The players wear their regular uniforms, creating a crazy quilt of colors and designs. It’s so much better than the one-off all-star uniforms trotted out each year by the NFL, NBA, and NHL, which are always terrible. (Remember when the NBA briefly experimented with having the all-stars wear their regular team uniforms in the late 1990s? Wish they’d stuck with that.)

But now MLB is chipping away at the game’s unique look. When the all-stars take the field on July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis, they’ll all be wearing caps modeled after the Twins’ late-1970s batting helmets (see above). The party line is that this is a way of honoring the host team, but we all know it’s just about foisting yet another line of merch.

And how do they look? A mixed bag. Some of the designs are pretty nice (A’s, Angels, Mariners, Blue Jays), others are awful (Rockies, Braves, Phillies, Yankees). Most would be okay as BP caps, although that assumes that there’s anything okay about BP caps to begin with, which there isn’t.

Here’s a closer look at all 30 designs (if you can’t see the slideshow below, click here):

But leaving aside the merits of the individual designs, I think forcing all the game caps into the same template is a huge mistake. In recent years, MLB has used the host team as inspiration for the Home Run Derby jerseys and caps, and that’s fine — a nice nod to the home club. But templating the game caps is different. For one thing, it makes everything feel too generic, too undifferentiated. For another, it creates contextual problems — for example, why would you want to impose a 1970s template on teams like the Marlins, D-backs, Rockies, and Rays, which didn’t even exist in the 1970s?

And yeah, I realize the All-Star Game is just an exhibition, but not all exhibitions are created equal. Think about the other Big Four all-star games — the players dress like clowns and generally play like clowns. There’s no defense and it’s just a showboater’s showcase. The MLB All-Star Game is still, for the most part, a competitive enterprise. Part of that is because the game of baseball still boils down to the one-on-one match-up of batter vs. pitcher, and people in one-on-one match-ups tend to stay competitive, even in exhibitions. But part of it is also, I would argue, because MLB’s all-stars are wearing their regular team uniforms instead of ridiculous costumes. If you start to dress them in a way that sends the subliminal message that the game shouldn’t be taken seriously (which I think is the message being sent by these caps), then they may very well receive and act upon that message.

Meanwhile, if you’re, say, a Mets fan, is this really the cap you want to see David Wright wearing (or Jon Niese, or whomever) when he represents the team? Is this really the cap anyone wants to see Derek Jeter wearing in his final ASG? And if they’re coming up with new caps for the ASG, can new jerseys be far behind?

All in all, disappointing.

A few other thoughts:

1a. The Orioles’ ASG cap is almost the same as their regular game cap, but the front panels have slightly different shapes (click to enlarge):

I’m pretty sure some of the other ASG caps are very similar to their respective teams’ BP caps (Tigers? Padres?), but I just can’t make myself look up BP cap designs to check.

1b. Another distinction between those two Orioles caps is that the squatchees don’t match. The regular season cap follows the basic protocol that if an MLB cap has a contrast-colored brim, the squatchee color usually matches the brim, not the crown. But that’s not the case with these ASG caps.

2. The Bosox design is similar to that alternate cap they had back in 1974:

3. Will there be Twins-themed batting helmets to match the caps? I’m trying to find out — stay tuned.

4. Next year’s MLB ASG is in Cincinnati. What aspect of the Reds’ headwear history will they base the template on — the 1990s pinstripes, perhaps?

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Putting the “White” in “White Sox”: Mike gets credit for this one, as he originally had it slated for today’s Ticker, but I thought it was too good for Ticker status. So: It was cold and drizzly last night in Chicago, so the White Sox gave out white hooded ponchos for the game against the Angels — a nice gesture that had the inadvertent effect of making U.S. Cellular Field look like the site of a Klan rally. Yikes.

When I posted that photo on Twitter this morning, one person wrote, “I just keep cringing when I think that, at some point, there were three strikeouts and some very unfortunate signage.”

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ESPN update: It took a while, but my ESPN column on uni-related news that took place while I was away on vacation is finally up.

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Motown classics: Got a note yesterday from reader Steve Vibert, as follows:

I wrote you a few months ago about my baseball teammate, Tony Cocchi. As you know, he’s a huge memorabilia collector and investor.

He knows I love the Detroit Tigers, so after our game on Saturday, he showed me a few of his Tigers jerseys, one of which was a Charlie Gehringer 1939 road. Of course, I had to try it on”¦so I did. He also had a restored Al Kaline 1969 road and an original Kaline 1974 road. I attached several images of them:

It was a dream come true that I could get my all-time favorite Detroit Tiger road uniforms in one place, lined up before me for a photograph. It was an awesome treat, and I thank Tony for putting it all together for me!

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Mike’s Question of the Week

By Mike Chamernik

In fourth grade, I did a book report on Willie Stargell (his 1974 biography was in our library, for some reason), so I dressed up as Pops for my presentation. I carried a mini baseball bat and wore baseball pants, a Pirates shirt, and a Pirates cap. Everyone in my class was impressed. I didn’t go all-out in my costume, but the fact that I had Pirates gear as a kid in Illinois is semi-remarkable. I’m telling you, I’ve always loved sports merchandise.

So here’s this week’s question: Have you ever dressed up as a pro athlete or anyone sports related for Halloween, a costume party, a game you attended, or any type of function? If so, what did you do?

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Tick-Tock: Today’s Ticker was compiled and edited by Mike Chamernik.

Baseball News: Mets reliever Carlos Torres wore a Day-Glo undershirt two nights ago. ”¦ Nationals reliever Drew Storen designed an elevated bench that allows the bullpen to see the field better at Nationals Park (from Marty Langley). ”¦ The Harrisburg Senators wore flag desecration uniforms last night, and the Binghamton Mets will do likewise this Friday (from Mike Wissman and Phil, respectively). ”¦ A pitching arm sleeve is being developed in hopes of lessening the frequency of arm injuries (from Jason Hillyer). ”¦ The Yankees jumped the gun on the Lou Gehrig “Luckiest man” speech 75-anniversary patch by wearing it yesterday. All MLB teams will wear it tomorrow. ”¦ On Friday the Mets will add a Frank Cashen memorial patch. It will just feature his initials, but Phil came up with a much better design. ”¦ Here’s one of the all-time great sleeve patches. It’s from this vintage U. of Iowa jersey. ”¦ Check this out: American flag camo jerseys. So patriotic. ”¦ Michael Krashes went to see a Cape Cod League game and saw that everyone on the Harwich Mariners wore stirrups. ”¦ Syracuse Chiefs fans who get a tattoo of the team logo are rewarded with free tickets for life (from Kevin Kleinhans). ”¦ Also from Kevin: Red Sox color man Jerry Remy lost his tooth mid-broadcast and tried to reinsert it into his mouth.

NFL News: Look at this cool Jaguars winter coat that Jared Pike has owned since 1994. “My grandparents lived in Jacksonville, so when the Jaguars came into existence, I became a fan and got my hands on every piece of apparel or merchandise with the logo,” he says. “When I found this ski-style winter coat, I was overjoyed — partly because I was a fan, and partly because I love the irony that no one actually living in Florida would ever need a coat like this.” ”¦ Here’s the inaugural season logo for Levi’s Stadium (from Phil). ”¦ Hmmm, do the Buccaneers’ practice jerseys have numbers on the numbers? (From Kevin Kleinhans.)

College Football News: Louisville will wear all-black uniforms for its season opener against Miami (from Phil). ”¦ Here’s a nice gallery of Oklahoma uniforms from over the years (from Phil). ”¦ Mississippi State will wear maroon tops and helmets with white pants for its season opener against Southern Miss (from Phil). ”¦ rated the best uniforms in college football (from Chris Flinn). ”¦ Ohio State has a 125th season logo. “I thought it was pretty interesting because it includes the helmet stripe which Nike has made Ohio State Football’s identity and numbers from the 1940s uniforms, which Nike used for the 2nd Pro Combats Ohio State wore against That Team Up North in 2007,” says Ryan Robey. “Interesting logo to celebrate the 125th season.”

Hockey News: While searching for a new Twitter banner background, I came across a bunch of pics of the rapper-producer Lil Jon posing with the Stanley Cup. ”¦ New number assignments for the Canadiens (from Mike Engle).

NBA News: Are the Sixers tweaking their logo? It reminds me of what the Clippers did a few years ago. … The Bucks’ retired number banner for Bob Lanier lists the wrong first season for his tenure with the team (from Tom Farley).

Soccer News: This year’s World Cup has been great, though it’s been missing vuvuzelas. Luckily, you can enjoy Uni Watch (or any site) with the rhythmic hum of the melodic plastic horn in the background. ”¦ Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon has new jerseys, switching from Puma to Macron (from Joey Bertao). ”¦ New kits for Fulham FC (from Phil). ”¦ New kits for Liverpool, Queens Park Rangers, FC St. Pauli and Benfica (from Phil). ”¦ The Chicago Fire will wear American flag-patterned numbers (from Phil). ”¦ Here’s an article on how goalie gloves have gotten huge over the years (from Yusuke Toyoda). ”¦ Also from Yusuke: Luis Suarez was banned from even entering the stadium but Uruguay still laid out his uniform before Saturday’s game against Colombia.

Grab Bag: The maple leaf is a popular element in Canadian sports logos. ”¦ Jerry Kulig went to the Vatican and saw some guards in fantastic uniforms. ”¦ Folks in Ireland are making Game of Thrones thrones out of old hurleys (from Michael Clary). ”¦ Mike Hall was watching The Leftovers and noticed the police chief’s flag patch is facing the wrong direction. ”¦ The Melbourne Rebels wore some loud jumpers against the Queensland Reds last weekend (from Eric Bangeman).

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Uni Watch Hit Parade: Paul here. The current Eels album, The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett, is uneven and won’t go down as one of their best efforts. But it has several excellent songs, one of which — an austere, doomy lament called “Agatha Chang” — sounds like an instant classic. Dig:

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Happy Independence Day to all who’ll be observing the holiday tomorrow. If you have to work, thanks for keeping the world spinning along while the rest of us enjoy the day off. The site will be open throughout the weekend, but content will be light. Enjoy your weekends!

Comments (167)

    My answer to the question of the week – I dressed as John Riggins for Halloween 1985. Still one of my favorite players to this day.

    I wish I had examples from my grade school years, but I LOVED using white undershirts as canvases to turn into “shirseys” via magic markers. I definitely made a John Elway shirsey (complete with a Super Bowl patch!) when I gave a book report similar to what Chamernik is talking about.

    made one with markers when i was a kid and the astros had just started using their rainbow jerseys…the marker stayed on pretty well, which surprised me, but the colors did bleed under the armpits… :(

    The template cap thing is definitely dumb. Like I said yesterday, if they’re going to do that, they might as well just put the players in AL and NL uniforms. The Rays cap would look pretty good with their “1979” uniform though.

    For the question of the day, I was Hulk Hogan for Halloween when I was 7 or 8, does that count?

    The hats are a lame gimmick, but I think they could’ve been executed a bit better. I wouldn’t have put Cincinnati in a black hat with a red front panel, for one thing.

    Primary cap color on the crown, secondary team color (where applicable) on the visor, and white (AL) or gray (NL) on the front. That’s how I would’ve done it, if I’d had to do it.

    Template cap is a really dumb idea that will get worse over time. Wait until this gets paired with camo, stars-and-stripes, disease-of-the-week, political campaigns . . .

    The only ones that look half decent to me are Rays, Pirates and Astros. Booby prize goes to the Cubs.

    My mom made a Paul Warfield jersey out of a white T. I still have the Dolphins helmet with the 42 on the back that I wore during neighborhood ball games.

    The Bucs numbers look like a number on the undershirt being seen through the large mesh of the practice jerseys.

    Are you talking about 14? I think he actually gives the undershirt idea some credence, because the 1 is missing from inside the number, and the 4 is to the left of the larger numeral.

    On top of the, the smaller numerals are exact matches for the numbers on the shorts, style-wise. rated the best uniforms in college football

    What the hell was that guy smoking when he made that list? Penn State at number 1, and UCLA in freakin black? Someone needs to take this guy’s keyboard away from him.

    Wow, horrid list. Worst of all my alma mater’s “Pack in Back” helmet…shameful.

    Love that they also chose a yet-to-be released Notre Dame uni (or couldn’t even provide a pic of the new uni if it has been)

    This isn’t quite the same as dressing up as a particular athlete, but still:

    When I was eight or nine years old, I had a pale-yellow sweatshirt with a red “87” on the front and back. I paged through my “NFL Action” stamp album and determined that the most color- and number-appropriate player to match the sweatshirt was ’Skins tight end Jerry Smith.

    So I had my mother sew an NOB onto the back of the sweatshirt. But the idea of having just “Smith” didn’t seem very exciting, so I had her do “J. Smith.”

    It came out great. I wore the sweatshirt whenever my friends and I played football in the yard and always insisted that I was playing tight end (even when we were just playing two-on-two).

    One (of many) problems i had with the asg hats is consistency. Why not have all the AL teams with a white front panel (since they are the home team) and NL teams with dark front panel?

    QOTW: I wear an Orioles themed “Macho Man” Randy Savage costume to big event games; got me on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball last season.

    When I was six or so, I got a full kid-size Mets uni (that was actually the basis for my first ever lede on Uni Watch!).

    Used to wear that to school (maybe once or twice), “playing” ball in the neighborhood, or having a catch with my pop, and of course, I wore it to Shea. Still have that in my closet.

    I dressed as a Seattle Mariner (away) a couple of years ago for Halloween. In truth, it was mostly out of laziness since I generally find Halloween dress up to be a chore and this was as easy as just wearing my usual gameday gear except with a Seattle Mariners jersey and cap instead of my team’s jersey and cap. My favourite detail though was that I had a pair of running shoes that were mostly white with navy accents which I pretended were my special All-Star Game cleats.

    I honestly did not see the white rain ponchos at the White Sox game as “KKK” robes when I first looked at the picture. I just saw them as white ponchos.

    But I do know that at Cincinnati Reds games they keep a running strikeout tally for Reds pitchers by means of a hand-operated scoreboard in the left-field bleachers. In typical scoring manner, swinging strikeouts are scored with a forward facing “K”, and caught-looking strikeouts with a backward facing “K”. In games where the first three strikeouts are swinging strikes, the operators will not put the third swinging strikeout “K” on the board unless and until there is a fourth strikeout. This is apparently done to avoid having “KKK” plastered on the left field wall.

    The Pirates would leave a space between the second and third K at Three Rivers, but have abandoned that practice at the new ballpark. (The K board has always been sponsored.)

    When Dwight Gooden was pitching, the Shea Stadium signs went “K-K-3” after the third strikeout, and “K-K-K-K” after the fourth. But again, I’m relying on my sketchy memory.

    I assume Cincinnati’s policy of not putting three K’s in a row on the scoreboard didn’t take effect until after Marge Schott sold the team.

    Count me in a one who hopes the ASG never goes to League uniforms. As a kid I loved the cornucopia of the various home uniforms for those of the league of the hosting teams and the away uniforms of the visiting league teams. Also, as a Reds fan in the 70’s-80’s, I would really like it when the Reds’ all-stars would “tweak” their conservative appearance by wearing white or red shoes (Dave Concepcion and Mario Soto come to mind), instead of the solid black w/out brand markings as the Reds then required. So you got a little of the traditional and little of the new. Kids this is what we thought of as entertainment in the days before cable, internet, direct, etc. . .

    Happy 4th.

    It would be more accurate if the Bucks’ retired jersey years used the two-year format (e.g. 1979-80 – 1983-84). While Lanier may not have played for them until 1980, it was still the 1979-80 season, so the year on the jersey isn’t meant to represent the wrong season per se, but it is still inaccurate as to when he actually joined the team.

    Of course, using the two-year format introduces clutter, particularly if the player in question had multiple stints with that team.

    Missed the most important point of comparison between the O’s game cap and their ASG cap: On the ASG cap, the stitching in the white panel is either white or clear, as it should be. On the game cap, the white panel has the same black thread as the rest of the cap, so it looks like shit.

    Now it’s all I can see and I hate it. White or clear stitching looks MUCH better.

    To get really granular with this (since that’s what we do around here), the stitching on the base of the ASG cap appears to have been done with clear thread, but the stitching on the outside edges of the front two panels is done in black. If you look at the portion of the ASG cap where the white panel, the black side, and the orange bill converge, you can see one or two black stitches creeping onto the bottom corner of the white paneling.

    A big project for every 6th grader at my school was “Historic Probe.” You had to research, dress up, and talk about your character’s to a meeting of the entire 4-6 grade classes. I chose to be Lou Gerhrig. I remember shopping with my mom for some material that had blue pinstripes (all we could find was a light heather grey) and she made my “jersey.” I wore my dark blue stirrups and spikes from my Little League team.

    I grew up in central PA, am a Pirate fan, and I hate the Yankees, so thinking back, The Iron Horse was a strange choice.

    Referring to Eels with the plural pronoun is kind of adorable. Yes, it’s a “band,” wink wink. But isn’t inconsistency kind of the hallmark of an Eels album? He – er, I mean, they – craft extraordinary songs all right, but never ten or a dozen at once. More like four or six per album.

    Disagree. Electro-Shock Bluges, Daisies of the Galaxy, and Shootenany are all very strong records, and Blinking Lights is minor but still worthwhile.

    This here. I also really like Beautiful Freak. I think the core Mark Oliver Everett experience is Freak through Blinking Lights. His solo work before, and Eels output after, is very much for hardcore fans only.

    Seconded. If that droning had been there during USA’s matches, I’d have never watched or listened. I couldn’t last a whole minute listening to that noise in 2010.

    I am joking… but I do find it funny how much everybody loathes them. And I find it funny that like 60,000 people would blow them in unison, just to make an annoying noise. Forget chanting or cheering!

    My office’s network security is blocking the vuvuzela website. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.

    Slight typo with the “Sryacuse Chiefs” in the baseball section of the ticker.

    It’d be amusing if someone did get a tattoo with that particular typo… one reason not to get a tat in the first place.

    Answer to question of the week… This last Halloween my 5 year old some dressed up as Rick ” Wild Thing” Vaughn.. In my unbiased opinion greatest Halloween costume ever..

    For next years ASG in Cinny, I hope all players wear the plain-Jane black spikes that the Big Red Machine wore in the ’70’s.
    Imagine….all black, logo-less spikes on everyone…..not gonna happen, but it would be nice.

    I was watching the LAA-CHA game last night and definitely was occasionally baffled at a bunch of people in white ponchos. I got that it was raining, of course, but yeah, next time go with trash bag look over symbol of hatred look.

    The new caps really do vary, and for once I think more white into some of those designs would have helped. The Mets and Phillies needed more contrast than they ended up getting. And of course the Orioles barely look any different at all. I do like the Angels cap, though.

    I never dressed up as an athlete, but my baby brother did dress up as a zombie Laker one year when I was visiting home and took him around the neighborhood with the purple uniform and lots of gross face makeup.

    If only he’d known how prophetic it would be come the 2013/2014 season. Talk about the walking dead.

    I’m a big Eels fan but have fallen off starting with this album. I looked at my growing music library and asked myself how many more austere, sad, but kind of hopeful songs I needed, and the answer was none as of about three albums ago. I think most could’ve stopped at Blinking Lights and honestly not missed out much.

    I think most could’ve stopped at Blinking Lights and honestly not missed out much.

    I generally agree. But Everett is one of those artists I’m always interested in, even though his work now yields diminishing returns. Like I said, the new record isn’t great, but a few of the songs rank among his best.

    CHA? CHI or WSX or CWS but i’ve never seen CHA being used for the White Sox.

    I remember seeing CHA, CHN, NYA, NYN all the time when they had to specify which league the team was in, and before interleague play became standard. Then suddenly they were working the first letter of the nickname in, so you saw CWS, CHC, NYY, NYM. Somehow it looks less dignified with the nickname’s first letter getting involved.

    Thanks for clarifying, Mark. I guess I’m stuck in old school baseball terms on this one. I just like the abbreviation to be the city name and, if needed, league, to differentiate. The Angels have it easiest, of course, since LAA works for both. I don’t know what I would ahve said for the Dodgers, though.

    What happened to yesterdays column on things that occured when you were out?

    The white panel fronts look better than the colored ones for the ASG caps, in the same line as the Twins and Orioles. Anything other than white is just ugly looks like you found it at a truck stop, like the Padres’ orange-front panels from the 1970’s.

    I’m liking the Pittsburgh, Miami, and Houston caps.
    The Indians cap would look much better if they used Chief Wahoo (it is their primary home cap logo); there’s too much empty white space, although that makes the “C” easier to see.

    I like some of the All-Star Game hats. As someone who grew up in the 1970s, I’ve always had a soft spot for those triangle-panel caps and wondered how the Mets would look if they had a design like that.

    I think the Pirates version looks pretty sharp.

    I do think that adding the patch to the cap might have been overkill, since I’m sure the jerseys all will have patches, too.

    “… Nationals reliever Drew Storen designed an elevated bench that allows the bullpen to see the field better at Nationals Park (from Marty Langley). …”

    Cool story. Go Nats!

    PS Love that cute little Tiger-at-the-plate cartoon.

    The 125th OSU logo looks like the normal helmut stripe pattern worn by the Buckeyes.

    For next year’s ASG, they should make the players wear a double-knit sansabelt version of their teams present-day uniform. The Reds along with Pirates were the final 2 teams to let go of the waistband pants circa 1992 or so.

    I dressed as the Reds’ mascot (1980s edition, clean shaven and no crazy eyes). My mom made the head out of papier-mâché from an old Spider-Man Hippity Hop. I was a Reds fan because a guy from my hometown pitched for them back in the day.

    Question of the Week answer: I dressed up as Michael Phelps for Halloween after he set the record for most medals in an Olympics. I wore a swim cap all night(which was a terrible idea, because it is extremely uncomfortable when it isn’t wet so I had to keep putting water on it all night) I had a bunch of medals from my Track days so I wore 8 gold metals but they were Track & Field related, then I just wore warm up gear.
    Here is a picture of the eventful night.

    In 6th grade English class, I did a presentation as Johnny Bench. The outfit was makeshift–-a road Reds Bench jersey with white baseball pants and a plastic souvenir Reds batting helmet. I didn’t play Little League, so no stirrups or cleats.

    I cut a home plate out of white construction paper and delivered the speech standing next to it with my (wiffle) bat resting on my shoulder. I taped my outline on the plate. Then, if I needed to refer to it, I turned, went into my batting stance and tapped the plate to take a quick peek.

    At the end, I had a plant in the front row throw me a pitch (with a small, spongy orange Nerf Hoop ball, in case it hit someone). I remember making contact. Don’t remember the grade I got.

    Some of those ASG caps could work as a decent alternate for the team. Some are abominations that should be collected up and burned, with one saved and put in a vault so that when someone in the future thinks of it, they can say, “no, we tried that once, and it was very stupid.”

    And yes on everything Paul says about why the ASG “uniform”s are always cool, and that not being so anymore. Bummer it had to happen in my town.

    Please let MLB relent and make these the warm-up caps for the ASG (yes, that’s stupid when they also have HR Derby caps, but it’s much less stupid).

    I think with the two full front panels as the color would be ok, with the Twins weird arching of the panels, doesn’t work.

    QotW: I never used to dress for Halloween but last year I dressed as the NY Yankees/Highlanders by wearing the uniform they had in their throwback game at Fenway Park in 2012. I had the jersey and the cap, purchased a pair of grey baseball pants, purchased Comrade Marshall’s 1909 Yankees stirrups (they matched closest), and wore black sneakers with it all.

    I would actually prefer if the ASG were played in league uniforms, at least in theory. That is, I really like the idea of league uniforms for the game. Though in practice, I pretty much hate all of the league uniforms other leagues use in their all-star games, and I really love watching minor-league baseball all-star games with their cacophony of farm uniforms.

    But if they’re gonna play the ASG with each player wearing his own team’s regular uniform, then it should darn well be his team’s actual regular uniform. Including the regular cap. League uniforms or team uniforms. Not this bastardized wishy-washy middle ground.

    Then again, horrible person that I am, I’m probably gonna wind up with one of the Nats versions, since man that’s a sweet looking Nats cap. Apologies in advance if I give in and reward the bastards for this uni-crime.

    “Then again, horrible person that I am, I’m probably gonna wind up with one of the Nats versions, since man that’s a sweet looking Nats cap. Apologies in advance if I give in and reward the bastards for this uni-crime.”

    Too bad they didn’t make a version with the front panel in camouflage instead of white.

    “I would actually prefer if the ASG were played in league uniforms, at least in theory.”

    Out of curiosity, what would make league uniforms preferable to the long-standing tradition of players wearing their regular team uniforms in the MLB All-Star Game? And how could it be pulled off such that the uniforms don’t look like crap?

    OTTOMH, rendering the graphics of the player’s team in the colors of the host team.

    Los Angeles Dodgers logos, rendered on a uniform in San Francisco Giants black and orange? Sacrilege!

    As a kid, one of the best things about the ASG was seeing all the unis of the teams that you didn’t see a lot. I grew up in an AL city, and cheered for an AL team. Before interleague play and ESPN and the internet you had the playoffs, and an occasional national game of the week, but there were teams that weren’t popular or weren’t very good, and you never saw them except for your baseball cards and the ASG, and that made the mid-summer classic even more special. I realize that today we have more tv coverage, and internet access to anything we want, but it still feels like needlessly destroying a part of what makes the ASG important.
    That said, those Blue Jays hats are magnificent. I’d love to see them break out the old white panel “home” hat a few times a year, and as they’ll be in white in Minnesota, that’s going to look really tasty. I know it’s hypocritical, but MLB can come and take my money for that one.

    “Representing the San Diego Padres: Dave Winfield! Representing the San Francisco Giants: Duane Kuiper!”

    QotW: On the Saturday before Halloween in 1986 was at a bowling alley bar with friends looking for ideas for a costume for the Halloween party the following week. Was getting pretty desperate when up on the TV I saw Mookie Wilson’s ground ball go through Bill Buckner’s legs in World Series Game 6. It was like a vision from on high . . .was Buckner for the party. Though I live in Chicago I had a Red Sox hat and a souvenir baseball shirt that said “Boston”. Wore those, my softball pants, work boots that looked like Buckner’s high top shoes, and black makeup under the eyes and enhancing my mustache. Taped a ball to my foot and kept flicking it between my feet all night.

    Got so caught in Jays hats, I forgot my Halloween anecdotes. Thinking about it, I’ve used sports uniforms a lot in dressing up. When I was probably 11, I went as a Blue Jay, with hat and jersey, some dark blue sweatpants, and a lightsaber as a bat. No stirrups, but I have a picture and I absolutely wore my socks high. In my twenties, I showed up for work a few times on Halloween with a rubber demon mask and a NJ Devils jersey. And last year, I didn’t want to wear my steampunk stuff because it was raining here, but I had to take my kids out, so I grabbed a wig I use for Doctor Who conventions and my Manchester United shirt, and told people I was Marouane Fellaini, who you might remember from the Belgium/USA match.

    When I was about 6 or so years old I dressed up in a full Redskins uniform (#7 of course), presumably because my Dad was, at the time, a die-hard fan. I know I have a pic of it here somewhere, but not so sure I want to advertise it anymore ;)

    Never dressed up in a costume for a book report, but I do remember my elementary school library having plenty of sports books. I’d like to tell Mike from Illinois there’s nothing odd about having biographies of Hall of Fame players from other states. Willie Stargell was also a famous player nationally who didn’t have to wait long for Cooperstown to call.

    You’re right, Stargell was a first-ballot hall of famer, so he was known nationally. It was a little disappointing that the book was from 1974 – it didn’t even get to cover some of his best years!

    Do coaches count?
    I was a loose interpretation of Gene Stallings as coach of the NFL Cardinals in 1994. That would have been my fifth year at university.

    I realize it’s hard to keep the tracker items straight, but the new kits for Liverpool, Queens Park Rangers, FC St. Pauli and Benfica have all appeared before (at least two other times, in the case of Benfica and Liverpool).

    And as a Liverpool fan, the less I see of the yellow away kit, the better.

    Paul in your little league did they have home and away uniforms? In mine they didn’t (1980 give or take a few years), each team only had one T-shirt jersey. Most were colors and generally matched major league team colors, although I know one year I was on the Indians and we were black text on orange. There ended up being a few teams with white shirts, Cubs were blue on white, and red sox were red on white I remember. So many times it was color on color matchup but also some white on white matchups. (Lower leagues you supplied your own pants (6-7 year olds?) But older leagues they gave you white pants.)

    Just bringing this up because an all star game in our league would have looked just like a huge mishmash of shirt jerseys with no rhyme or reason.

    My little league teams were all color-on-color, and the colors were opposingly-paired (?) so that there were no monotone uniforms; e. g. one team had yellow jerseys and green pants, another team had green jerseys and yellow pants. Same for the blue/red pair, the orange/black pair, the gray/white pair, and the light blue/navy blue pair.

    This was more than 20 years ago and I’m sure it has changed!

    Apparently it varies quite a bit depending on the area you’re playing in. I played little league for 4 years… 1st year we literally wore sweat pants and numbered white t-shirts, and we didn’t even all have the same color pants, 2 years with gray uniforms, and the last year we had a red pinstriped white uniform. Most of the teams we played against were usually either solid gray or solid white, with the occasional colored jersey over gray pants.

    In my years as a kid in hockey there was only 1 jersey for each team. Jerseys were generally kept by the team and worn until they were worn out. Grade school & high school sports the same (though I did get to keep my high school hockey jersey). Even half of my Beer League hockey teams were an odd enough colour (orange, green) that most of my teams could get away with one set.

    Started out hockey with the purple and gold durene (cotton & nylon? or rayon?) jerseys and switched to a red polyester a few year in.

    Never played baseball. Closest thing is Slo-pitch as an adult.

    QotW: This may be a bit of a stretch, but at least it is “sports related.” A former colleague of mine in Chicago throws a themed Halloween party every year. One year’s theme was to dress up as your favorite Saturday Night Live character. As a fan of “a certain football team, which has carved out a special place in da pantheon of professional football greats… da team, which is known da world over, as… “Da Bears!” — her party gave me a chance to dress up as one of Bill Swerski’s Super Fans.

    Bill Swerski: Alright, alright! Now, let me shift gears here for a moment. What is God’s role in this? Obviously, he’s rooting for Da Bears.

    Pat Arnold: Otherwise, he wouldn’t have put ’em in Chicago.

    Carl Wollarski: That’s right.

    Bill Swerski: That’s right. Da question is: Now, did God create Da Bears, and make them superior to all teams? Or is he simply a huge fan, and Ditka made them superior to all other teams?

    Carl Wollarski: That’s a tough one…


    I dressed up as Jeff Gordon once for a costume party in the 90’s (#24 cap, a old red Members’ Only jacket to which I taped some paper-made sponsor logos, and a pair of royal blue sweatpants…not great, but party-goers got it); I remember seeing more than ‘OJ Simpson’ in attendance.

    Pity about the templated ASG caps. Perfect opportunity to put the Nats in an Expos pinwheel cap.

    QotW answer: In 1984 I dressed for Halloween as Duane Kuiper as a San Francisco Giant. Got an authentic jersey from the team store at Candlestick, lettered and numbered correctly, and added the ’84 ASG sleeve patch.

    As someone who never gave up wearing my pinwheel Expos cap to games of their ex-farm teams, I can’t agree more.

    QOTW: The closest I came to dressing up as a pro athlete for Halloween was 2003, when I went to a costume party as Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was in the midst of Schwarzenegger’s campaign to win the 2003 California gubernatorial recall election.

    In order to approximate Schwarzenegger’s look in the Terminator movies, I wore black slacks, a plain black t-shirt, a black leather coat, and sunglasses. I spiked up my hair with some heavy hair gel and carried a very obviously toy gun I picked up at a dollar store. To complete the costume, I printed out a Schwarzenegger campaign logo from the Internet and DIY’ed it into a large button that I wore on the lapel of the jacket.

    Because I already owned most of the pieces that I wore for the costume, the whole thing (including props and accessories) cost me about $5. Almost everyone picked up on the reference and got a good laugh out of it.


    One year as a kid, I dressed as Dion Sanders for Halloween. Didn’t get too elaborate or anything, but I wore a Falcon’s T-Shirt under a Braves jersey (unbuttoned–so you could see both). I had a punctured football at home, so I cut it lengthwise, removed the bladder, and used it as my candy bag. I think I may have worn a baseball glove as well, but can’t remember for sure.

    QOTD: In 2010, I dressed up as Steven Strausburg for Halloween. Jersey, pants, red socks (as Strausburg goes high-cuffed), and an arm sling, as that was the year the he had Tommy John surgery.


    I have done the athlete halloween costume twice legitimately and twice tangetially:
    1) Early 2000s: I get told I look like John Elway on occassion so I went to a halloween party at a buddy’s sports bar as SuperBowl award ceremony John Elway (b/c I wasn’t going to invest in a helmet but roommate had his jersey). Tussled hair and Lombardi trophy. I think I got 3rd place and a free beer. This look but with 1999 blue jersey.
    2) 2009ish: As a soccer player myself, I went to the Halloween party at my local soccer pub as David Beckham, but no tats or $500 haircut (last minute costume).
    Not so much:
    3) 2004ish: I combined my NC State Philip Rivers jersey, a werewolf mask, and the football pants and cleats from the John Elway costume to go to an apartment complex Halloween party as a “Wolfpack” football player.
    4) 2008: I visited my brother and sis-in-law in Austin for Halloween prior to the election. We had a group costume as the Palins. Myself: I was Todd Palin snowmobiler extraordinaire for Maverick Motorsports, sis-in-law was hunter/beauty queen/VP candidate Sarah Palin, and my brother was the moose/dead moose.

    Is anyone else not having luck with the link to the NBA all star game where they are wearing their regular team unis?

    Does anyone know if Toronto has a subliminal “T” or “BJ” in their logo, or are they the only team without a letter?

    There’s no subliminal T or BJ.

    But they aren’t the only team without a letter (Baltimore).

    Hadn’t thought of it that way.

    My thought was that of the 30 teams, 28 logos are primarily a letter. But you’re right, one of the other 2 has a letter on the cap on the bird on the cap.

    Which like the old Dolphins logo is a missed opportunity for recursion, but whatever.

    The fact that 28 teams are represented by a letter kinda irks me. It’s the same problem I have with college sports. We don’t see a lot of fun logos any more. Or at least, a lot of the older logos have been shelved for generic block or script letters (again, especially in college sports). I would like to see some more variety on that front.

    The rule of thumb is to go with a monogram (a distinctive one, hopefully); a mascot or graphic element is fine as long as it isn’t too fussy. I’ll bet teams take the approach of doodling on scrap paper. The idea that seems the “punchiest” gets the okay. In the ’90s, economy was out of fashion, resulting in the Blue Jay with the tattoo and the rainbow-hued “TB” with the skate.

    Being old, I generally prefer letters to other graphics on a big-league cap. Other graphics seem more suited to minor leagues, even though they’ve become quite routine for bp caps. It’s inconvenient for those who like graphics on caps that the longest running such graphic is Chief Wahoo, who is on the way out.

    How do you account for Marlins or Astros who have both a letter and a graphic element?

    I am partial to the more distinctive letters/monograms for college teams, like Arizona, Auburn, North Carolina, Virginia . . .

    Today’s rant:

    1. All-Star caps? Yeah, just another merchandising ploy. The only MLB truly honors is $$$. Doesn’t matter much to me, though, as I haven’t watched a single pitch of an All-Star game in years. Too complicated to go into explanations here, but it is my position that in the age of all-pervasive television, All-Star games (that goes for Pro Bowls, NHL and NBA as well) have long since become obsolete.

    2. That White Sox screen grab creeps me out. KKK indeed. Surprised nobody in marketing considered how that many people in white hoodies would look. On the other hand, it’s been my experience that marketing types get so enamored of their ideas that they become convinced no one will notice the obvious flaw in their plan. And of course, EVERYONE does.

    3. Detroit road unis: The gray with the arched “DETROIT” across the front and a sleeve number were always my favorites, although the current incarnation is a nice, classy look, too. I also like the fact that the Tigers are one of the few MLB teams that don’t do alternate jerseys.

    4. Halloween costume. Back in the 1980s (when I was much, much younger), I went as Ryne Sandberg, with an authentic (no replicas here) No. 23 blue NOB road jersey, white pants, high stirrups, fitted cap, eye black, batting gloves. GF at the time kept referring to him as “Carl” Sandberg, even though Ryno was from her hometown (Spokane, Wash.) and they were about the same age. It was over before Christmas.

    5. Oklahoma football uniforms. I notice the duds from the John Blake/Howard Schnellenberger era (sleeve stripes, shoulder numberals) have been erased from history. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    6. Sixers logo. Subtle change, not really significant, although I do like the PHILA idea for the wordmark. Takes one back to the days of Wilt and Chet Walker, Hal Greer and Billy Cunningham. Clippers, on the other hand, have NEVER had a great uniform, the mid-80s one on the Sports Logos page is about the best they’ve ever done. And I would rate that one as merely passable.

    7. Vatican Swiss Guards: Makes you wonder what they wear on Halloween.

    Buck, I get the sentiment of MLB and the almighty dollar, but I think that making a new design and putting the patch on it and asking $35 or whatever is way better than simply slapping the patch no the regular issue cap.

    I like some of them, but I won’t be purchasing… the event patch date sort of limits the run of wearing it in my opinion.

    QOTD: in the 1970s paired up my Toronto Maple Leafs jersey (27 for Daryl Sittler, same as on my UniWatch card) with a pair of white longjohns and blue shorts and wore that for Hallowe’en. And then, because I live in Canada, I wore a parka and snow pants over the whole thing and nobody but my Mom and Dad saw it.

    Cool stuff, people! I also went as a various NBA players for several Halloweens. I wore a jersey of whoever (LeBron, Jason Kidd, D-Wade, whatever I had) along with shorts, a headband and wristbands. Kind of lame, but whatever, I got candy.

    For a 80s themed party a couple years back I showed up as Spicoli. Blond wig, cargo shorts with sex wax tucked in the waist, opened Hawaiian shirt, and my checkerboard vans. I know he is a fictional character and not a pro, but it counts in my book.

    Other than that I dressed up as a Steeler & Bucco for Halloween a time or two as a kid.

    QotW: I did Phil Garner one year, complete with plastic mustache and proper bumblebee era yellow jersey! I’ll find a pic.

    Yes, these ASG caps are so stupid I won’t watch the game because of it.

    BUT, two things about the Orioles ASG hat.
    1) It looks better than their regular hat because it doesn’t have the brown stitching on the white panels like their regular hats – their regular hats look like shite because of it. If the regular Orioles hats had white stitching on the white panels they’d look fine but instead it looks like either New Era is lazy or the Orioles are cheap (or both)

    2) The Orioles should use the ASG template for their batting helmets. This 1986 helmet looks so much better than their current one because the white space is curved.

    The most interesting thing about those ASG caps is how the vent holes on the front panels are crammed in to the little strip between the front panels and the middle panels.

    Once for Halloween I dressed up as Manny Ramirez. For his dreadlocks I glued pieces of yarn to the back on a Sox cap. It worked great!

    ? Of the week. 1998 8th grade jackie robinson for book report or famous person report. I had a blank grey button up jersey that is really old and had orange and black stripes on sleeve and armpit holes to help breath i guess. I wrote dodgers on computer paper and taped it to jersey and wore my grey baseball pants and blue socks and taped over my hat the “B” logo. It looked bad and last minute. Heres the kicker my teacher who was old at time said i would got more points if i blacked faced haha. I live in LA area too. I have jersey still.

    The NHL actually had great all-star uniforms all the way through the early 1990s. The 1994 version with the big star design, later adapted by the Dallas Stars, was kinda cool even if the color choices were odd (teal/purple, but they were hot colors then). But everything the NHL all-stars have worn since then has been utterly awful.

    Loved the album of Lil Jon with the Cup. He was a legit Thrashers fan and I hadn’t seen those photos in years. RIP Thrashers

    Yeah! I remember that he said he went to Atlanta Flames games back in the day, too.

    I like sites such as those Oklahoma timeline. But too often they skip many of the early uniforms and jump to more recent one.

    Also the letter sweater was not used as a uniform as many think.

    The lede picture … first, it took me a minute to figure out the order (reverse alphabetical by location name).

    Originally, I thought they were going for a light/dark/light/dark front panel pattern, which worked for all but four occurrences (within each row, anyway … and could have worked for all but two occurrences if NY and NY had been flip-flopped).

    I love love love love the idea of Yankee players having to wear something other than their regular caps for one night, given their superiority complex when it comes to never changing anything.

    You won’t find me defending the Yankees on much (if anything), but I’m not sure that forcing whatever players they have in the event to wear a new cap (which they’ve actually already done several times already — the camo, 4th of July in years’ past, the “rivalry” caps with white brims for the Mets’ games) sticks it to them (or their “superiority complex”). If they’d not “caved” to wearing special caps before, then your point is well-taken. Otherwise, it’s just MLB being MLB. And forcing these stupid new caps on all teams is just ridiculous.

    Re: The Anaheim Ducks’ sweaters

    If the team wants more orange on the uni, isn’t the duck’s foot logo the most obvious thing to change from gold to orange rather than number trim? I don’t know of any ducks with gold feet, yellow maybe. Btu everybody knows Mallards have orange feet.

    (And why isn’t this team doing an affiliation with the Quad City Mallards???)

    What about the great commemorative patches on Belgium’s uniforms featuring both the Belgium and U.S. flags?

    Typical these days. Flag of each nation and match date embroidered onto jerseys has become pretty commonplace in upper level soccer.

    As to the question of the week, in 1986, I dressed as Jim McMahon. I had his Bears jersey, sunglasses, and a white headband on which I wrote “Rozelle” in permanent marker, as he had once done. I thought that it was pretty clever for a 16 year old!

    You do realize that these professional sports now exist almost solely for the profit of the league and it’s owners right?

    Creating new product that can be sold through all channels just pads the coffers of said parties. There’s no real reason other than people are willing to plop down an additional $29-$35 for a new hat that looks different than the one they already have.

    Professional sports lost their so-called “traditional values” (save from gamblers, cheaters, etc) long ago, quit holding onto the past and embrace the consumerist future.

    “You do realize that these professional sports now exist almost solely for the profit of the league and it’s owners right?”

    And the players.

    Sorry if I am late to the game on this as I will search the back comments. But the new Arizona Coyotes patch, does anyone else see the redundancy of have a patch in the shape of the state and the need to put the state name/abbreviation “AZ” in it?

    Just seems like a poor use of space and with the colors of the flag they really missed the boat of incorporating a secondary logo.

    Especially since their crescent moon insignias seem custom-made to use as shoulder patches.

    I read a Lou Gehrig biography for a book report on 4th grade. We could dress up as someone from our books for our report. My mom bought me NY Yankees pajamas from Sears and my dad had recently brought me a Yankees cap from a trip to New York. This was in New Orleans in the late seventies. I wonder if the pajamas has to be ordered through the catalog?

    The party line is that this is a way of honoring the host team, but we all know it’s just about foisting yet another line of merch.

    This is the premise here at Uni Watch that I disagree with. You always seem to frame the discussion as “It’s not about A (the stated reason), it’s about B.” (the money-making reason)

    Why can’t it be both? Maybe sometimes it’s a way to do “A”, while doing “B” also. Or if you prefer, a way to “B” while doing “A” also.) Just because, yes, an idea will make them money, doesn’t they don’t also still have the good intentions.

    In this example, yes, selling (another) new line of merchandise will serve to make them money. But maybe they do want to honor the Twins as well.

    Late on this but in my college years I was invited to a “Come as Your Favorite Barbarian” costume/birthday party and I dress up a hockey player. In addition to the Jersey, Shorts etc., I also got some tooth black to “knock out” my front two teeth and gave myself a shiner with stage makeup (The secret to a great looking black eye is a little bit of green makeup with the black and purple; it makes the shiner look sickly awful). I put some stage blood on my knuckles and stick and told everyone that I might have looked bad, but they should’ve seen the other guy.


    My brother and I dressed up as a Jaguars and Titans players a good 10 years ago for Halloween. We borrowed the helmets and pads from some friends that played rec-ball.

    For every home Auburn football game, I wear my white #99 game worn jersey I bought on campus two years ago. I just recently finished my custom helmet and have a blue jersey I need to get sewn up, so I may be adding to the game day get-up.

    272 Words
    Spoken by a son of New York City
    Himself a Son of Immigrants
    July 4, 1939

    Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.

    I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans. Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day?

    Sure I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy?

    Sure I’m lucky.

    When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift – that’s something.

    When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies – that’s something.

    When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter – that’s something.

    When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body – it’s a blessing.

    When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed – that’s the finest I know.

    So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.

    In regards to the question-

    I dressed up one year as my favorite Detroit Tiger at the time, Bobby Higginson when I was in 3rd grade. I had his jersey with the ceremonial patch they wore for their last season at Tiger Stadium and my mom even drew on a goatee for me to look just like him.

    Heck ya! You grew up in a tough time to be a Tiger fan, but that is great that as young as you were you got to know Tiger stadium. Just in time!

    All Star Unis –
    When I was 10 years old in my towns little baseball all-star game I stole second. Seemed like a good idea, but the different uniforms confused me and I stole with bases loaded! Someone (idk) threw to second and I was out like an idiot. Then the 3rd base coach apologized to ME (?!?) for not sending the guy on third home, like a sacrifice double steal for the run. I was thinking, “man,good spin, but I am a fool who embarrassed myself in front of everyone.”

    All Star Caps –
    I wish they colored the full front panel, the triangle looks like ladies undies (upside down). If these all-star custom caps become a thing I want the game to go back to PNC park and pill box everyone.

    In 1985 my mom made all the Chicago Bears jerseys for my little brother and his 3rd grade class’ entry in the school’s talent show. They lip synced the “Super Bowl Shuffle”. LOL. The “jerseys” were nothing more than t-shirts dyed navy blue, with white and orange stitched on sleeve stripes and over-sized white iron on numerals. My brother was #4, Steve Fuller the back-up QB. LOL His best friend, who played the Fridge, wore his “jersey” for years, literally until all the dye had washed out of the shirt!

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