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On Authentic Historic Jersey Reproductions

1986 Carman 42

By Morris Levin

The Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Co. in 2014 is the official licensee of NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB authentic reproduction jerseys. Mitchell & Ness was solely an MLB licensee from 1985 to 1998. Last Friday I wrote on this page, “The 1990 Mitchell & Ness catalog” about the company’s beautifully designed and printed first catalog.

In the comments section of last Friday’s post, a few folks lamented a decline in the company’s attention to historic detail and asked that I speak to the company’s evolution.

Steve D wrote in praise of his 1969 Mets home jersey purchased approximately ten years ago but added, “That said, I would hate myself for not bringing to light what many of you know”¦the current M&N line is so inauthentic, … Many Yankee jerseys have inaccuracies from poor number fonts to inaccurate NY logo.” A few minutes later, HextallRules wrote of his disappointment with a Mitchell & Ness line of Flyers jerseys. Mike Wissman wrote,

Morris, to Steve D’s point, could you provide an overview of what has gone wrong at M&N since the early days? The quality control around what’s touted as authentic is appalling, especially given the roots of the company focused on a level of accuracy and detail that was unparalleled. … I think many of us would value and appreciate your inside perspective.

Much has gone right at Mitchell & Ness since the early days. The company does continue to make many outstanding historically loyal reproductions. (I like this Mitchell & Ness 1983 Phillies road Gary Mathews jersey. It has the proper metal [not plastic] zipper. It has vertical arch name on back on nameplate. It is a solid reproduction.)

What has gone right at Mitchell & Ness is that we now in 2014 have a professional sports world rich with historic uniform consciousness. Throwbacks are sports world mainstream. We now have so many resources that we can identify with even greater precision and certainty what is and is not historically accurate.

What has significantly changed in the company’s growth in the past fifteen years is the loss in the company’s the capacity to make as many adjustments incrementally over a long period of time to improve its accuracy.

I have long been fascinated with Mitchell & Ness as a company in that it was at one and the same time an organization with a social history research mission, the accurate reproduction of historic game jerseys, and a business goal, the generation of revenues in excess of expenditures to enable the ongoing research, production, and distribution of historic jerseys.

In service of the former, Mitchell & Ness in the 1980s and 1990s invested an inordinate number of work-hours researching nearly every baseball uniform in Major League Baseball between 1890 and 1973.

Some of the best research came from the customers who wrote long letters to Mitchell & Ness with copies of newspaper articles and photographs documenting their research and conclusions. There were pictures of game worn uniforms with rulers and yardsticks laid across the torso or sleeve, across patches, and down numbers.

Many of these came in response to Mitchell & Ness selling jerseys with inaccuracies. As Mitchell & Ness received these letters, and pictures, the company tweaked patterns and logos with its suppliers. This was the feedback and correction loop, enabled by the economics of producing jerseys and jackets one and six at a time. These small orders enabled Mitchell & Ness capacity to adjust and alter patterns.

At its current size, Mitchell & Ness is not organized to manage multiple single piece orders for the general public. Mitchell & Ness manufacturers many of its poly-knit reproductions overseas. Orders are of dozens or hundreds rather one or six. Mitchell & Ness does strive for accuracy, and there are fewer opportunities to adjust and correct when details may be off.

One of the first national articles about Mitchell & Ness in the baseball flannel business was in Sports Illustrated in the 1987 issue with the Wrigley scoreboard on the cover. 1987 was the third year Mitchell & Ness was making jerseys.

This is the picture.

Peter is wearing the 1942 Cardinals home jersey. Fran is wearing the 1957 Milwaukee Braves road jersey.

Look at the space between the Braves word mark and the tomahawk. That is a lot of space! That is a lot of historically inaccurate space.

This is the home version of #21’s 1957 Braves jersey. This is #21 on the road at the Polo Grounds. The tomahawk cradles the word mark. And in time, Mitchell & Ness corrected it and the word mark and tomahawk have drawn closer.

This is a game worn 1945 Cardinals home jersey and this is a game worn 1946 Cardinals home jersey. Mitchell & Ness’ 1987 version of the 1942 jersey is beautiful with its embroidered Cardinals, black bat, and birds. But the proportions of the word mark and logo are not quite right.

In time, Mitchell & Ness adjusted and the current versions are very good.

There is another comment from later in the day from Rad asking about improving the economics of producing and retailing authentic jerseys. Most current authentic and authentic historical reproductions sell at retail today for between $250 and $300.

What we do have today which we did not have in the 1980s and most of the 1990s was the internet and widespread access to powerful graphic design software.

On March 29, 2013, Bill Henderson posted on this page “Uni Watch DIY Project: A Phillies Fanatic” about his precise recreations of 1930s and 1940s Phillies jerseys. By returning to images of original images, Bill could by his own direct research obtain the precise lettering and number patterns.

It happens that one of my own personal points of divergence from Mitchell & Ness’ current production of baseball double-knits is the cut of the jersey. I am taller and leaner, and I find the narrower cuts of original 1980s jerseys fit me better than the wider patterns which Mitchell & Ness uses today.

I had in mind that the jersey I wanted was a 1980s Phillies batting practice double-knit jersey. This would be before the team switched to mesh in the late 1980s. I keep an eye on eBay for interesting vintage Phillies items. In 2012 found a 1986 Phillies batting practice jersey. The lettering and sleeve trim were perfect. It had a Phillies Dream Week patch on the sleeve and a MacGregor label.

I bought it for twenty dollars.

I found pictures of representative numbers and letters. A friend from this Uni Wtach community helped me with cutting and application. We distinguished the difference between the back number two and sleeve number two. It is the lead photo on this post; I love how it came out. For about $60 in materials I had my 1986 Phillies #42 Don Carman batting practice jersey.

Not all DIY jersey projects cost so little, and many can be completed for the cost or less than the cost of an authentic. Actual game worn jerseys can be purchased for less than $200 and letters and numbers changed up for your favorite player.

This web site has many stories and models and examples and links to Do It Yourself jersey and uniform projects. Being part of this wider community inspired me to find and put together the jersey that I wanted.

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Navy Summer White 11

Navy Introduces New “Summer Whites” for Saturday’s Kick-Off Game vs THE OSU

Click to Enlarge

UnderArmour, who now outfits the Middies, has introduced a special “Summer White” uniform for the Navy as they open their 2014 season against the Ohio State University Buckeyes this Saturday. I gotta admit, it’s a beaut.

But here’s the UA corporate speak describing the uni:

This special Under Armour-designed uniform the Navy Midshipmen will take the field in, on August 30, was directly inspired by the iconic Navy Summer Whites. From a helmet directly inspired by the Mid’s cover to a gold belt buckle and solid white cleats, no detail was left out. For the first time, uniforms will slightly vary from player to player, with each athlete wearing their specific rank on the field, depicted in the shoulder and pant leg design of each uniform.

Navy itself had a different description:

From a helmet directly inspired by the covers that the Mids wear to a gold belt buckle, no detail was left out. Additionally, the Mids will be wearing solid white cleats that represent the all-white dress shoes of the Summer Whites military uniform, as well as all-white gloves.

Navy Summer White - Navy image

They provided an image showing the similarities:

I love the “different rank” for different players, although the OCDist in me recoils that each player’s uniform won’t be well, uniform. Still it’s a pretty cool feature. Much like when Nike created special uniforms for Navy over the years, these too are being designed to emulate the officers’ uniforms. Below are some hi-res pics of the new unis. Click on any to enlarge.

Navy Summer White 1

Navy Summer White 7

Navy Summer White 3 Navy Summer White 8

Navy Summer White 6 Navy Summer White 4

Navy Summer White 5

Pretty nice, eh? Putting aside the wisdom of needing a “special” uniform for opening day, I think this one is rather well done — after seeing what Nike did with Navy for the past half-dozen years, I’m sure we can expect UA to introduce more of these special edition uniforms going forward. May they all be as tastefully done as this one.

UA also released some hi-res photos of Navy’s “Standard” uniforms (which we’d seen before, but not in such brilliant detail). Those are below. Click to enlarge:

Navy Standard 7

Navy Standard 5

Navy Standard 2 Navy Standard 4

Not as big a fan of these, as they contain the stripes across the chest, the tramp-stamp of “Don’t Give Up The Ship” on the back of the pants, and a crazy belt buckle that almost looks like it belongs in a 1975 Dart. Still, they’re neat and clean for the most part, and pretty much stick with what Navy had traditionally been wearing. A gold helmet with navy blue top over gold pants for the home games, and gold/white/navy for the road games.

Here’s what UA had to say about them:

Under Armour’s unique design ethos celebrates and pays homage to the rich history of the Naval Academy Athletic Association. Each aspect of the team’s new football uniform was designed with a purpose and was inspired by aspects of Navy’s deep-rooted tradition. The uniform not only represents the over 4,400 Midshipmen but the more than 300,000 active duty Navy personnel.

The 6 Stripes: The six stripes across the front of the represent the original six frigates, which signified the formation of the US Navy. Currently, there are six naval fleets in operation around the world. And finally, to tie the design directly back to Navy, six stripes represent the highest rank a Midshipman can achieve, Brigade Commander. This stripe detail will be present across all Navy athletic uniforms as a theme that unites the entire athletic department.

“Don’t Give Up the Ship:” The naval battle cry “don’t give up the ship” is embroidered on the hem of each jersey and back of each pant as a reminder to the athletes that when they take the field, they are representing and playing for the pride, honor and tradition of Navy.

Readers? What say you?

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U.W.F.F.L. Spring League

UWFFL Developmental League – Weekday Edition
By Rob Holecko

It’s our final Friday appearance here in Uni Watch, next week we’ll be back on the weekends as the UWFFL fall season gets into full swing.

UWFFL 8-29 1

First we’d like to congratulate the Charleston Navigators who won the first UWFFL Spring Developmental League Championship last week. The 11-1 Navigators got into the playoffs as a Wild Card team after winning a tiebreaker game, and then ran off three consecutive upset victories against undefeated oppponents Yellowknife, Little Rock and Greenville in the playoffs to take the title. They will begin their Division II fall schedule this week in the Metro South Conference.

But the big game this week is the “Kickoff Classic” as the UWFFL Premier League begins their second season with the San Francisco Reign Fire, sporting a new look for 2014 which harkens back to their classic look, taking on the Vancouver Seawolves, who were promoted from the minors after winning the Pacific Coast Conference last year. San Francisco is apparently kicking off the season in a new stadium, although we’re not sure since this is all fictional anyway.

UWFFL 8-29 2

. . . . . free polls

. . . . .

Next week the other ten teams in UWFFL Premier league will kick off their seasons, but the minor leagues are already in full swing, so head on over to to vote on more of this week’s games.

If you’d like to design a team for future inclusion in the UWFFL, go to our Prospective 2015 Expansion Teams G+ Community and post your ideas and concepts today!

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Texans Mock - Contest Reminder

Design Contest Reminder

In case you missed it, I’m hosting a WFL Design Contest. All the rules and instrux are in the link…

…but if you don’t want to click there it’s pretty basic: If the World Football League hadn’t folded in 1975, and the League were still active today, what would the teams’ uniforms look like in 2014? Click the link for more details.

So far I’ve received a good number of submissions, but only from a few people, and we’d like to get some more people involved. Hopefully you design/concepters will participate.

The deadline is going to be extended to September 8, and you can send all your submissions to me:

Should be a fun contest, so if you are a concepter or designer, give it a whirl!


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skins watch - 50 wide

‘skins Watch: Not especially new news, but on August 24, ESPN released the following statement: “Our consistent company policy will continue: using official names and marks as presented by the teams, leagues and conferences we cover. We do, however, recognize the debate over the use of ‘Washington Redskins’ and have afforded individuals the opportunity to decide how they will use those words when reporting on the team.” (thanks Paul). … Michael Paul Williams, who writes for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, feels the city of Richmond, where the Washington Football team has training came, should drop ”˜Redskins’ from name (from TommytheCPA). … An organization of former Washington Redskins players and fans, Redskins Facts, has compiled this video of Native American Redskins fans, including descendants of the Native American who designed the logo, explaining why they are in fact honored by the title, “Redskins.” (h/t Michael Bochum). … The Washington Football Team was number 1 on “The Punch List” in GQ this month. Here are some suggestions from the writer as well (from Coleman Mullins).

. . . . . . . . . .

Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Jorge Soler is the most recent Cuban-born Major League player to wear an atypical number (thanks to Randall Sanders and @NumbersMLB). … Here’s our first look at the 2014 World Series patch (via The Emblem Source). … “Was never much of a baseball card collector but I would have liked to think that I would have remembered this very strange 1974 Topps card of Tito Fuentes,” writes Patrick O’Neill.

NFL News: A current cover of Sports Illustrated features Tony Romo and Nick Foles, with Foles in a midnight green jersey, which of course is in the 2013 style (good spot by Kyle Caffrey). ICYMI, the Eagles have switched to the Nike Elite 51 uniform, and won’t be wearing midnight green for the foreseeable future. … NFL Superstar Dez Bryant Launches Apparel And Lifestyle Brand, ‘ThrowUpTheX’ (via TommytheCPA). Also from Tommy, Hublot Enters Swiss Luxury Watch Industry Into The NFL. … The Buffalo Bills will be wearing their “standing buffalo” throwbacks on 9/14 versus the Miami Dolphins (thanks to Tony Zarak). … Have you guys seen the new Johnny Football Snicker ad? Check out the old school/nu skool uni discrepancies (h/t Tim Cross). … The Bears had two #72’s on the field last night (nice spot by Max Florestano). … On last night’s Chargers/Cardinals broadcast, the Chargers were using the old Cardinals logo (h/t S Jacobs). … “Oh, good lord…please no” says Susan Freeman.

College Football News: Here’s a look at the 2014 Pitt Panther helmets being prepped for their Week 1 game (h/t Rich Maniskas). … Kennesaw State just got their first ever football unis. Here’s what they look like (h/t C.B. Schmelter). … The new Akron Zips’ helmets were all shiny and ready to go (via Clint Richardson). And here they are. … The UGa Bulldogs will wear a helmet decal to honor Dan Magill, who recently passed away. … The Utah Utes have new visor stickers (via Dom Lewis). … “An item I saw in the Marshall bookstore caught my eye,” says Coleman Mullins. “It’s a program called Operation Hat Trick, and there’s a pic of the details that are on the hat bill. Not sure what percentage goes to the foundation, but there you have it.” Oh, and because it’s West Virginia, the cap also comes in camo. … There is a uniform-related tidbit towards the end of this UCLA team travel/equipment truck article: “To be safe, Burger decided to bring helmets and uniforms on the plane. That still left a long packing list for the truck.” (via Chris Cruz). … Sources indicate that FSU will wear white on white on Saturday (h/t Ben Waivol). … USC will honor Louis Zamperini by putting a Z decal on the back of their helmet (h/t Andrew Lind). … Ugh. The ULM Warhawks gave ‘sneak peak’ at their camo unis (thanks, I think, to Clint Richardson), which they wore last night against Wake Forest. … The Illinois Fighting Illini will debut their white helmets this Saturday vs. Youngstown State. … Meanwhile, the Minnesota Golden Gophers will wear gold jerseys with “MINNESOTA” for their season opener (thanks to Tyler Mason). … Iowa is honoring former defensive coordinator Norm Parker with helmet decal (h/t Andrew Lind). … Vanderbilt broke out new uniforms last evening (thanks to Will Edge). Here’s another view (via Max Herz). Apparently that “ANCHOR DOWN” SlOB is a no-no, because the team was given a penalty (team time out loss) for having it. And then that was overturned — since Vandy produced an e-mail stating the jerseys were approved by the SEC. What in the wide, wide world of sports is a-goin’ on here? … Maryland will wear red tops and white pants for their game against James Madison. … NIU wore their “cornfest” jerseys last night. Here is pregame and in action. … Dan Bly thinks the “3” on SC’s “30” yard line was upside down. … New helmets for the LaSalle Falcons (from Aaron Hazel). … Boise State wore their new orange helmets last night vs. Ole Miss. … McNeese State will wear these camo uniforms on Sept. 13 vs. Prairie View A&M (h/t Chris Mycoskie). … Here’s the helmet Louisville will wear on Monday vs. The U. …Temple will honor the memory of Lewis Katz this season with “Lew” patches on their helmets (via Kami Mattioli). … Major uni issues for Eastern Illinois last night: this torn jersey, and another one and then this this armpit tear too (screen grabs by Alex Bending). Also, in that first shot, what’s blacked out on Manley’s helmet? … Whoops! The SEC network used a picture of Vandy backup QB Stephen Rivers (Philip Rivers’ brother) for running back Dallas Rivers (who is African American).

NBA & College Hoops News: Check out this 1971 Baltimore Bullets pin, that Bruce Menard is pretty sure “wouldn’t pass muster these days.” … According to NBA Live 15, the Hawks will put the pac-man logo at center court (h/t Conrad Burry). … A user on reddit (/u/cowmastermind) started a petition to get the retro-blue jerseys back, writes Alex Bending. “Interesting-not much response yet.”

Hockey News: Reader Alan Kreit spotted this error at the the NHL store on 6th ave in NYC. John Moore of the Rangers has his first initial on back “J. Moore”. For $200 I would think they would get it right. (Note: That’s because Dominic Moore, number 28, just has “MOORE,” but John Moore, #17, has J MOORE). … Here’s a great photo of Wayne Gretzky with the Indianapolis Racers (h/t Sully).

Soccer News: Big Brother adidas? The company has equipped its bestselling German national team soccer jersey with RFID tags. adidas says it can’t track customers via the tag, but potential privacy and transparency issues remain. … New soccer unis for the University of Dayton. Submitter Patrick O’Neill loves them. How ’bout dem stripes!

Grab Bag: 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of Melbourne University’s last season in the Victorian Football League. Here is a contemporary news picture showing Albert Hartkopf wearing the black and navy blue uniform (from Graham Clayton). … Corporate Douchebaggery, Vol. 238, from a reader (anonymous): “I am at a major Nike university and just got an internship with the equipment managing team that came with two interesting tidbits for uni watch. One, they give all equipment managers Under Armour compression shorts for under the shorts, even though they are a Nike school. Two, the head equipment manager made me change socks today because I did not have the correct plain white Nike socks on.” … This is pretty interesting: Leftover Boeing 787 parts are becoming football shoulder pads (from Kevin Mueller).

Green Line


that, folks, is a wrap. I am now gladly returning the keys to the UW vehicle to Paul — thanks for letting me drive! It’s all filled up with a full tank of hi-test, I put in new wiper blades, and topped off the fluids.

I again want to thank everyone for making my monthly run of weekdays go so smoothly — and a big thanks to Morris for today’s (and the past three Fridays’) lede. Great stuff.

Everyone have a great Laborious Day weekend — Johnny Ek will take you thru till Monday, and then Paul will be back in the saddle. I’ll catch you all next weekend with lots and lots of college football.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“The Wampus Cat is a half-woman, half-mountain lion beast, who eats truculent children. Three high schools ”” one in Arkansas, one in Louisiana, and one in Texas ”” use the Wampus Cat as their mascot.”

— Cort McMurray

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Comments (92)

    I think Navy should just wear that “summer white” uniform as their standard road uniform, and then they should design a blue home version. Then they’d actually have a good looking uniform set and stop looking like a lame Notre Dame clone.


    Although I wish they would have used the other helmet designed like their caps. The slanted design is better than the horizontal.

    So… why is Minnesota allowed to have “Minnesota” as a NOB, but that other team whose name escapes me at the moment can’t use “The Team”? There’s no functional difference.

    Minnesota is not “a slogan” (or something like that). You apparently, unless you’re a service academy, cannot have a “slogan” on the back of the jersey.

    And THE TEAM was USF.

    Check out some of the other baseball cards featuring Tito Fuentes. Both his 1976 and 1978 cards show him wearing a “TITO” sweatband (?) over his Padres and Tigers cap, respectively. And his 1977 card shows him with the sweatband below the Padres cap in what appears to be game action. Does anyone know if Fuentes wore the sweatband over his cap during actual games?

    No, I think that’s Tito Puente… I grew up a Tigers’ fan, and I don’t ever remember him wearing a sweatband, or whatever you want to call it, over his cap. I didn’t remember it until someone mentioned it in the comments on that link, but he was the one that used to flip his bat when he would swing at a pitch and miss it or foul it off: swing, miss, bat would come to a stop, and he would give it a wrist flip so that he would catch the barrel of the bat in his hands. And he would swing and miss. A lot.

    LaSalle Falcons are a HS team. LaSalle at the collegiate level (1) are the Explorers, (2) don’t field a football team, and (3) have a cool logo:

    EAGLES “new” Elite jerseys:


    It seems the Eagles head logo on the sleeve is now just black and white (previously, the eagle head was outlined in black and green and there was green in the pupil of the eagles’ eyeball):


    I was certain the “non-uniform uniform” comment was going to show up. Military uniforms are not uniform: rank, units, honors, etc. And sports uniforms have not been uniform since they started putting numbers on the jerseys, then names, then you’ve got performance decals (helmet stickers)…

    I like the Navy “Summer Whites”. I hope they don’t wear them vs Army in Winter.

    Morris, thanks for the follow up submission. I agree that M&N’s best work is demonstrated on their baseball jerseys. Where I still struggle is their NFL offerings, particularly the Eagles, and I’m talking jerseys they wore as recently as the mid 90’s. They use tackle twill numbers for their Reggie White and Randall Cunningham jerseys when they were screen print (except for 1995). I consider that a pretty easy detail to catch, but suspect that it does not fit the current factory production model. I guess in reality it doesn’t matter much–people buy the jerseys and appear happy with them and M&N is as a result happy as well with a sale. It’s just uni geeks like me that get all up in arms about it (my friends are sick of me calling out all of the fake jerseys in the Wells Fargo Center lot before the games).

    “… Check out this 1971 Baltimore Bullets pin, that Bruce Menard is pretty sure ‘wouldn’t pass muster these days.’ …”

    Bruce is undoubtedly correct and/but it’s a terrific design.

    All teams have multiple players with the same number this time of year, they just can’t be on the field playing at the same time.

    But that’s 72 for the Bears. Add ’em up and they still aren’t as big as the Fridge!

    An organization of former Washington Redskins players and fans, Redskins Facts…

    Isn’t that a little inaccurate, if not intellectually dishonest? I know the team created a couple of layers of plausible deniability, but let’s not go around pretending it’s an organization independent or autonomous of the team front office, or that fans were somehow involved in creating the website.

    Those Navy helmets almost look like Ponch and Jon should be wearing them.

    (google it you youngsters)

    I looked through the Facebook comments on that Tito Fuentes card, and someone posted another one of his cards, this time on the Tigers. He’s still wearing a headband over his cap, but he wrote “TITO” on the headband!


    Check out #4 regarding Ryan Mundy’s head laceration in a Schutt helmet. Apparently Schutt has already made modifications….


    That Vanderbilt scene is ridiculous. We’ve now got emails being run to the sideline to prove that a team doesn’t get a penalty? I went to a “fashion show” and a football game broke out…

    The ridiculous part is that the NCAA feels the need to have rules about it at all. It’d be one thing if they actually required a NOB for every player or something, but there are teams without them and that’s fine. If you’re allowed to have no NOB, then what difference can it possibly make if you have a slogan or nickname or whatever? STOP MAKING STUPID RULES!

    Setting a dangerous precedent. So now if a coach pulls out an email from the league office defining what pass interference is supposed to be, he can expect a ref to overturn a penalty?

    I’m still not used to the Bears in white cleats.

    Just looks wrong for a founding franchise to wear white.

    Just doesn’t look right.

    Besides the 85 title is just one out of 9 and the only one they wore white. If they’d had a prolonged run of success in the white cleat era like the Steelers or Cowboys maybe I’d feel like that look was iconic, but most of the time the Bears have worn white cleats they’ve stunk.

    I noticed that “redskins facts” not only have a twitter account, but they do a promoted tweets, so you cant avoid them, even though i block it everytime i see it.

    They buy a lot of banner placements too, and I can’t install AdBlock on my work computer.

    I’m trying to digest explanation on why Mitchel & Ness struggles with accuracy. What ever happened to “getting it right the first time”?

    If the effort is made to do the research and verification, then there will be no need to make incremental corrections.

    “NFL Superstar” Dez Bryant? Sez who? Remember last year in the Cowboys/Lions game Calvin Johnson so out-produced Dez that Bryant had a hissy fit on the sidelines? Bryant may be good, but he’s no superstar.

    I would hope that false advertising rules apply to “Marketingville.” Dez Bryant is simply a Superidiot, not a Superstar.

    Midnight Train, er Green, delayed. Bit of wordy blog post on the difficulties Nike is or has faced in duplicating this color:

    Of course going back to Kelly Green and White (or Silver) would solve this issue.

    Do we really know that? With the general darkening of sports team colors… how many teams are left that actually wear Kelly green? Is it even considered a standard color any more? Do any Nike-outfitted teams actually wear it? (serious question) Nike might be just as unable to match that as they are the Midnight green.

    The Minnesota Gophers played their season opener last night. Gold “Minnesota” jerseys, maroon helmets, maroon pants.

    Actual game worn jerseys can be purchased for less than $200 and letters and numbers changed up for your favorite player.

    Just curious, does this bother anyone else besides me? And I don’t mean “bother” as in like I mean it’s a cut-and-dried blasphemy or counterfeiting or anything, and I’m certainly not criticizing, but merely stating a personal opinion.

    If you buy a game-worn jersey, say a cheaper one worn by a bench coach or a September call up, and you strip off the #78 & “Hernandez” of the unknown player and then customize it with a famous name & number say (#20 Schmidt), isn’t that kinda ‘fradulent’ – and I mean that from the standpoint of it being “game-worn”?

    I’d say wear it with the #78 with pride… Mike Schmidt never actually wore that jersey on the field, but if you can look at a picture of the long forgotten #78 wearing that jersey, then it’s actually that very game-used jersey of that exact player in an MLB game that you hold in your hands… now if you don’t care about the “game-worn-ness” of the jersey that’s another thing, but if you want a game-worn jersey, wouldn’t you want it to be “of” the player who actually wore it? If you just want a Mike Schmidt jersey, and don’t care about it being ‘game-worn’, then just get a replica or a blank and have one made. Otherwise shell out the big bucks for an actual Mike Schmidt game-worn jersey.

    What if down the road someone else comes in possesion of it, and trys to sell it as a “game worn Mike Schmidt jersey?” I’m certainly not saying that’s the intention of this suggestion, but an unscrupulus person could try to sell it on eBay as such, only to have a disappointed buyer wind up with a “geniune Mike Schmidt game-worn jersey” only to be disappointed to find #78 Hernandez on the tagging on the inside. (Or worse yet, the tagging is removed and they’re duped into thinking they do have an authetic Schmidt.)

    Again, you can do whatever you want with a jersey you own, you can cut up a $200K Babe Ruth jersey into tiny pieces and sell them in baseball cards if you want, I just think the special-ness of a “game-worn” jersey is tied to who wore it in the game and to customize it like that kind of ruins the “game-wornness” of it.

    I have no problem with customizing a jersey like that, I’d just be careful about someone misleadingly referring to or thinking of it as a “game worn Mike Schmidt” jersey. True it’s a “game worn” jersey and it’s a “Mike Schmidt” jersey, but it’s not a “game worn Mike Schmidt” jersey.

    Just my opinion.

    So I’m going to the game between Penn State and UCF in Dublin tomorrow. Here’s to hoping it’s handled tastefully and isn’t turned into some kind of awful exhibition of cheap stereotypes and lazy paddywhackery.


    So much for that.

    Jim Y.- It is an issue to me of one’s goal with purchasing the jersey. I purchased, stripped, and re-lettered mine because I wanted to wear it. I have zero illusion that it was game worn. Bill Henderson wears his game worn jerseys as they are of whichever player it happened to be. Those who wish to collect specifically game worn jerseys do just that and have learned what to look for to confirm it was game worn.

    So tell me, Puckboy, when exactly is the cut-off age for it no longer being OK to wear a sports jersey? What completely bullshit arbitrary number do you have in mind?

    True, true… and I have no problem at all with that if that’s the goal and in no way is it ever going to be an issue that someone could be “defrauded” if it is to remain in your private collection…

    But I do think that it is a sad comment on the economics of this that Joe Unknown’s career insignificance is such that “Joe Unknown’s Game Worn Jersey” is of so little relative economic value as an actual MLB game-worn jersey that it is more feasibile to be purchased to be essentially destroyed as a “game-worn artifact” in order to be repurposed essentially as a “Mike Schmidt” replica, i.e. that Mike Schmidt replicas are so expensive that it makes more economic sense for people to buy Joe Unknowns Game-Worns and repurpose them as such.

    There are only a finite amount of MLB game-worn jerseys in existence (no matter how many of them may flood the market) and to lose one because it’s cheaper to do as you describe than it would be to get an authentic re-creation seems wrong.

    Again, I agree there is nothing wrong with you doing that if that’s your purpose in buying it, but just imagine 100 years from now, a hypothetical great-great-granddaughter of a person who played in only one major league game in his career, hiring a private investiagtor to track down the only existing jersey her ancestor wore in a MLB game, only to find out that it was bought by someone who purchased, stripped, and re-lettered it.

    Of course that’s an extremely hyperbolic and unlikely scenario, but it illustrates my point nicely that (I feel) there is something sacred about a game-worn MLB jersey that shouldn’t be messed with.

    Again, not trying to be a “hater” just stating my opinion on the matter. I suppose if Mr. “only a Cup-of-coffee in the majors” wanted his game-worns to not be bought and repurposed, he should either have bought them all up himself or had a more prolific career.

    Look at it like this way Jim Y, for every game-used jersey that gets “repurposed”, that’s one less game used jersey left and the ones that do exist should be worth more!

    Today at DB ChSmpionship PGA tourney, caddies wearing black csps with orange ribbon to pay respects to Matt Kuchar’s caddy’s wife who passed away this week. All except Stevie Williams who tepresents the one percent to wear white imstead.

    Wondering if there is a precedent to Williams choosing not to wear black or if someone chose to uniquely honor someone differently than the rest of the team.

    Not uniform related, but I just started watching the Seahawks/Raiders game and after the coin toss Ed Hochuli referred to the Raiders as Los Angeles. Either he knows something we don’t, or it may be time he retired.

    Phil, I just want to say a HUGE thank you for doing such a great job on the site the past month. You have maintained the quality that Paul established, you have given us fascinating and informative topics, and overall, maintained and built on the standard of excellence for which Uni Watch is well-known and respected. Major huzzah to you and the gang – in addition to putting hi-test in the UW vehicle, you also washed and waxed it, and it looks phenomenal!

    Paul, welcome back! Phil, thank you for a fantastic month!

    *kicks imaginary stone on ground…blushes*

    Thanks guys! My pleasure to do it, but it is a tremendous amount of work (even if I don’t do the lede) — it amazes me how Paul does it day in and day out!

    A University of Iowa professor is organizing a protest against the pink visitor’s locker room at Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium.


    The entire NFL wears pink accessories for a month. Whatever supposed psychological effects that locker room is supposed to have are long gone. No one fucking cares what color the damn wall in the locker room is.

    I think I’d be okay with it if the color pink and football just took a break from each other for a very long time. It seems like it might be best for everyone that way.

    Heh, the comments about that guy on TOTALLY confirmed the impression I’d gotten of him by reading that article.

    His protest comes at a bad time anyway. Iowa’s AD is already embattled for shitcanning the long-time, highly-regarded coach of the most successful women’s sports team there less than a month before the start of the fall season under dubious circumstances.

    To correct my esrlier post: A few caddies other than Williams are not wearing plain black issued caps.

    Being an Air Force Academy grad hate to say I like anything from Navy that looks good, but have to say I do like the Summer Whites…except for those “motorcycle helmets”. Really good tie in with their “cadet” unis and the rank idea is pretty cool. Those helmets though try to hard to look menacing. Have to agree with a previous post, Jon and Ponch want their helmets back!

    Not a big fan of the “standard” unis. Those stripes don’t seem to work that well and the tramp stamp is corniest of all cornies. That being said, wasn’t a big fan of my Falcon unis a few years back with the novelty nameplates they had either. Overall like the look, but still can’t beat the Air Force helmets this year!

    I noticed something I have never caught before, and wasn’t able to get a pic. On the Cleveland Browns’ brown pants, there is a different ‘shiny’ material on the sides where a stripe would be. Don’t know if it’s just for stretch or what. I noticed it on a close up on the new (beautiful) scoreboards at the stadium last night.

    Looks like a stretch panel.


    And, yet, when I see a picture from 1983 of the Phillies’ jerseys, the logo has a filled-in-P with the baseball-esque stitching.


    Yet, I never seem to see that anymore. Am I the only one going crazy over that detail?

    Today’s rant:

    1) Mitchell & Ness. Yeah, they improved the spacing between the tomahawk and the wordmark, but the placket piping is way too wide.

    Another commenter asked why they don’t just do the research at the get-go and make it right the first time. I suspect the answer to that is that the jerseys are made overseas, the company figures most people won’t notice the errors, and only makes the fixes when they discover the reason sales are not as juicy as they expected.

    One sidenote: On the Aaron tomahawk jersey, is that the right font for the numbers? I don’t recall the Braves using that particular sans-serif block font. But I could be as wrong as Mitchell & Ness.

    2) Summer whites: Excellent idea and execution by Navy. Having ranks on the jerseys is especially clever (in a good way). But with the ranks of the players displayed so overtly, will military protocols and courtesies be required? One can picture a huddle in which the underclassmen stand at attention.

    3) Brown pants: Hate ’em. Hate ’em. Hate ’em. Hate ’em. Hate ’em.

    The Browns’ ensemble of white jerseys, white pants, white socks (on which the striping mirrors the sleeves) have been among the cleanest, sleekest, best looking uniform designs in NFL history. The brown jersey with matching socks is an acceptable alternative, but the team should wear the all-white uniform as often as possible — much like the Cowboys and their white-at-home, blue-if-we-must-elsewhere. The brown pants are god-awful, much like the orange pants the team wore back in the Sam Rutigliano/Brian Sipe era.

    4) Phil. Big thanks to Phil for keeping it fresh and interesting. If Paul is the king of uni reportage, Phil is definitely the crown prince..

    Thank you Morris! I am happy to have been able to contribute a valid point to a guy who has worked in the business first-hand.

    I’d like to add to your comment on the M&N cuts. I agree they are increasingly more retail generic on NFL jerseys. I can understand why, but it is also worth noting that when a jersey is almost sold out, the last size available is 56+. I’d love to know which end of the size spectrum sells more units: 40 or 56.

    As the throwbacks go further into the 90’s and up, the sleeve shapes will be interesting to see. I’d prefer a smaller sleeve! M&N has yet to make one; have a chat with Pasquale’s shop in Philly!

    To add to my jersey economics point: What if all production shifted back to the US?

    I get frustrated looking on eBay, seeing fakes selling fluidly (with cheap to free shipping) while a game worn jersey is subjected to obscenely high eBay GSP shipping rates to Canada (I’ve seen up to 68% of the jersey value!). The playing field isn’t level, and Chinese bootleggers are at a huge advantage. Back to my point: would US production allow better enforcement of counterfeiting? Would giants like The Adidas Group lower the price if bootlegging were reigned in?

    Mike Wiseman above was discussing Eagles throwbacks and tackle twill. I’ve seen the same throwbacks in Philly, and boy are those pretty close. M&N DOESN’T make them with tackle twill (as incorrectly stated by Mike). It doesn’t help that I pointed out to M&N 2 years ago that the Eagles website incorrectly listed the Cunningham as having tackle twill – nobody bothered to fix the description. It was repeated on NFL Shop, and elsewhere. M&N recently released replica throwbacks. I mentioned to them that the white Cunningham graphic is incorrectly photoshopped with a green collar (that was months ago) and nobody has bothered to fix it, as of today). What is that, a couple of mouse clicks?

    Over the past couple of years, I’ve seen so many players that signed an exclusivity contract with M&N signing bootleg jerseys at shows, which are sold with photo verification on eBay. Really fellas? Current players are doing the same thing. They also retweet/like fan photos of bootlegs. You get a cut of the sales, so why should I excuse your ignorance? Terrible practice, and a bad example to fans who respect the fact that you get paid a piece of that $250 – $300.

    Those Cunningham bootlegs look so good, the Eagles used a fan photo on a banner ad directly on their website, as of a few days ago. If you’d pay attention to the product description, maybe you would’ve caught this detail. If I can see it on a Macbook Pro 13″ screen then so can you.

    This all reminds me of the Simpsons, when Lionel Hutz talks about the truth, and the truth! That $300 is harder to swallow, when the brand is being cheapened by those in charge of it.

    Since you mentioned GSP, I felt I had to chime in as it is one of my bigger pet peeves with Ebay.

    Ebay’s Global Shipping Program is one big money grab.
    Here’s one of many threads on Ebay Canada to show how enthralled Canadians buyers are with the program:

    Anyone from the U.S. selling items on Ebay that they will ship to Canada, opt out of the Global Shipping Program. Offer USPS first class for cheap items; other USPS shipping with tracking for medium to higher priced items. Import charges and taxes are rarely charged to Canadian on USPS shipped items of a moderate value; those that are charged are almost always a lower dollar amount than what the Global Shipping Program will charge.

    eBay isn’t the only culprit of this. I’ve ordered on US company websites directly and had the driver ask me to pay obscene amounts on the spot. Now they send me a bill in the mail, and if I don’t pay they will send a collection agency after me. I had no idea what the fee would be at the time of purchase.

    Most large companies’ answer to this is to put a disclaimer similar to eBay about “additional fees may apply…” blah blah. That makes it better.

    Just to summarize everything I said above, there are a lot of grubby hands that aren’t helping US & Canadian businesses continue to win. Meanwhile, Chinese bootleggers and flea markets selling them do as they please. I don’t fully blame the corporations; I see it as an overall problem and incorrect viewpoint to doing business, and also a national security issue.

    A corporation like Burger King can just waltz in to Canada for tax reasons, but the little or medium guy takes the burden on both sides of the border. The two borders should be working together a little better than this by now. Thanks for reading!

    And regarding the Vanderbilt “fiasco” of course we wouldn’t want to encourage anything that could permit a possibly team-unifying slogan that all players would wear. Instead let’s only permit these “me-first” prima donnas to only wear their own name.

    The Navy summer white helmet is simply awesome. Too many of these special uniforms just plain suck, I wish they would put the thought into them that they must have with the Navy jersey.

    As you praised m&n for their accuracy on the Gary Matthews jersey you only put one T in his last name on the link.

    I still don’t understand how M&N could use a link several years ago and switch it to a link today. That is not lack of investment in research…they did the research years ago and had it right. It can’t be a cost savings to re-tool this design to get the font wrong. If I’m paying $300, I want the correct font…I guess they can survive if people pay that and don’t care about accuracy.

    Just noticed the correct font version is missing the headspoon…so that one is not really accurate either.

    Your offer is the reason why your prospects wake up everyday and do what they do.
    After hearing about George’s success we all agreed using a landing
    page along with direct mail marketing was something we are
    all going to try in the future. Customers have come to
    expect full color, so make sure to incorporate colors.

    I just realized that the Rams Greatest Show on Turf throwbacks are going to be worn during Pinktoberfest. So that will be fun. At least they’re going to wear them again in December.

    I love the Mitchell and Ness brand, have been a big fan ever since I first heard about them. I have 2 Yankees jerseys from them, a 1929 Babe Ruth, and a 1952 Mickey Mantle. I have noticed that the NY on the Mantle jersey is not quite accurate compared to the real jerseys from that time. But if you look at the 1990 Catalog, they have a 1952 Yankees jersey featured in one of the pictures. Apparently they have been making this NY error since the early days because the catalog has the wrong logo also.

    I am glad to see an article on the Mitchell and Ness brand. To be honest, probably 75% of what I’ve seen when I’ve looked for items of there’s has been a huge disappointment. It is so rare to see anything they produce even faintly resemble the article they claim to be reproducing that I don’t take them seriously any longer. In fact, I just saw something from the 80’s of there’s for the Rams and it was a very nice jersey and reasonably priced. I was shocked because it was so unexpected. This isn’t or should not be that hard, so hopefully they will start taking this a lot more seriously because many of us are looking for the real deal.

    Speaking of which, if I could ever find an authentic powder blue Chargers jersey in my size (something akin to a medium) I would be a real happy camper. Everything I’ve ever seen has been XL which is of no interest.

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