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Tomahawk Swap

The Blackhawks have two different tomahawk shoulder patches — green-topped for the white jerseys and white-topped for the red jerseys. That leads us to a communiqué from reader Charles Noerenberg, who writes:

My friend recently got me some packs of old hockey cards ranging from 1988-1991, and I opened I noticed something off about this Dave Manson card. That’s the wrong tomahawk, the one from the white jersey! I had never seen this glitch on a ’Hawks uniform before, so I tried to see if I could find another shot of the jersey.

I ended up finding several other examples of the wrong tomahawks on the red jersey, all worn by guys who played for the ’Hawks between 1987 and 1989.

Finally, I hit the jackpot: an auction listing for a game-used 1987-88 Rik Wilson jersey, labeled “reverse tomahawks.” Here’s the key part of the auction listing:

“Best of all are the ‘Reverse Tomahawks’ that reside high atop both shoulders. The 1987-88 season saw the Hawks mistakenly wear home white Tomahawks on both their home white and road red game jerseys. This mistake has made these “error” jerseys highly desirable among Blackhawks and type style collectors alike.”

So apparently this was a thing. I had no idea!

Neither did I. Fascinating! Did everyone (or anyone) else know about this? Big thanks to Charles for sharing this one.

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Click to enlarge

Oh. My. God. What have we here? It’s a uniform from a World War II military baseball team called the Muleskinners. According to this page, which has additional photos and info, the team name was based on the following: “The three artillery battalions attached to the 10th [Mountain Division] — 604th, 605th and 616th — were all designated ‘pack.’ Each gun could be broken down and transported by mule. It required twelve mules per gun, three guns per battery and a dozen per battalion. So each battalion had something like 150 mules.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: If baseball really wants to honor the military, they’d be sooooo much better off wearing throwback designs based on old military baseball uniforms like this one. That way you’re telling a story about baseball’s very real and very honorable connection to the military, instead of playing dress-up soldier and pandering to the U!S!A! crowd. Plus it looks a fuck of a lot better than camouflage.

(Big thanks to Jay Sullivan for letting me know about this one.)

• • • • •

Still going strong: If you have a spare 39 minutes, you could do much, much worse than to watch this promotional video for Ripon Athletic, the uniform manufacturer based in Berlin, Wisconsin. The video tells the story the company’s roots (it’s a hybrid of two earlier companies: Sand Knit and Ripon Award Jackets) and also provides a good overview of Ripon’s uniform factory, with focuses on sublimation, cutting, sewing, knitting, and a lot more. A good document of how an American company is still doing its thing in an industry where most of the business have moved overseas. Recommended.

• • • • •

And now a quick word from Garrett: Uni Watch intern Garrett McGrath (that’s him at right) is a frequent contributor to the excellent website Narratively, and he has some cool stuff going on there this week. I’ll let him explain:

Last June, Isaiah Austin was expecting to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. Days before the event, however, he found out that he had Marfan syndrome — a genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue — ending his NBA career before it even began. I interviewed Isaiah about what he’s doing now and what his plans for the future are. Please check it out and share.

That piece is part of a week’s worth of basketball stories that I helped produce as a collaboration between SLAM and Narratively. Yesterday, we covered the FIBA ban of hijabs worn by Muslim women basketball players, and on Monday we covered Toni Kukoc and his current obsession with golf. Tomorrow we have several NBA players (including José Juan Barea, Dante Exum, Brandon Jennings, and Shaun Livingston) talking about what they miss most about the simple life.

• • • • •

T-Shirt Club Update: Thanks to everyone who voted yesterday on the St. Paddy’s Day design choices for the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club. The orange script was the clear winner, so that’s the design that will be made available for sale starting next Tuesday.

• • • • •

Baseball News: I think we’ve linked to this before, but once more won’t hurt: Ballplayers’ faces as old-school scoreboard art (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Powder blues apparently in the works for Tulane. ”¦ The Braves unveiled their “feather” uniforms 43 years ago this week, to decidedly mixed reviews (from Todd Radom). ”¦ Mr. and Mrs. Met are still wearing the snow whites, even though that uni has been removed from the team’s uniform program. I suspect that will be rectified by the start of the season (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Here’s another writer, this time from USA Today, calling for the Padres to bring back the brown. ”¦ Solons in shorts! That’s the Sacramento Solons from 1975. A bit of additional info here (from Gregg Tiernan). ”¦ I knew that the three NYC teams all wore the trylon and perisphere logo patch in 1938 to promote the 1939 New York World’s Fair. What I didn’t know was that it was the first time anything other than a team logo had appeared on a big league uniform (characteristically awesome find by Todd Radom). ”¦ This has always bugged me, but for some reason I’ve never written about it before: Why did the Mets’ original 1973 N.L. championship banner, which flew over Shea Stadium for years, have oranged-filled negative space on the “e” and “s”? They later swapped it out for a new banner with white negative space. ”¦ New 125th-anniversary caps for Luther College. ”¦ Check out Tommy Lasorda on an old episode of CHiPs, in full uniform and a Fernando Valenzuela jacket. ”¦ Very cool 1969 Mets press passes here and here. They were used by Frank McGuigan’s grandfather back in the day (thanks for the tip, Phil). ”¦ Buried within this Nats article is the following: “[T]he Nats will be providing a Nationals jersey to every Little Leaguer in the District of Columbia this Spring, providing Nats gear in different themes and colors for different local teams. [Team exec Mike] Camillo also committed to doing the same for Little Leagues in Northern Virginia in 2016, and those parts of Maryland that wish to participate in 2017. The program appears to be very similar to the one in San Diego conducted by the Padres, which has won the Padres some additional fans in a crowded Southern California market” (from William Yurasko).

NFL News: I think we’ve seen this before, but just in case: Check out the Eagles’ basketball team, which plays during the summer. Saw that in an article about which Eagles would be good on the Sixers. ”¦ Speaking of the Iggles, Steve Cook came across this cool Eagles sweater at a shop in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Here’s a close-up of the chest logo. ”¦ The NFL Network used an outdated Chargers jersey, with the plain white NOB lettering, on their “Locker Room” set yesterday (screen shot by Charles Noerenberg).

College Football News: “It appears that Upper Deck was very cautious in trying to avoid any sense of ‘sponsorship’ with collegiate teams,” says Andrew McKillop, “to the point that they changed the numbers on Alonzo Spellman’s Ohio State jersey from red to blue.” ”¦ Players at Oregon State’s offseason conditioning program are wearing T-shirts that say, “Respect the Process.” ”¦ An old West Point jersey once worn by Vince Lombardi was recently purchased at a thrift shop for 58 ¢ and might be worth $20,000 (from Chris Flinn).

Hockey News: A 1938 Blackhawks jersey was recently appraised on Antiques Roadshow (from John Annino). ”¦ Lots of great hockey uniforms shown in this slideshow of old photos from the Hershey Sports Arena (from Matthew Scher). ”¦ New uniforms for the Mid-Ice Crisis. ”¦ New Stadium Series mask design for Sharks goalie Antti Niemi. ”¦ Predators players are wearing their uni numbers as part of the team’s “guitar pick” logo on their caps. ”¦ Small note within this article about last night’s Rangers/Leafs game: “Last week, [Toronto coach Peter] Horachek took [Phil] Kessel, Tyler Bozak, and James van Riemsdyk out of their traditional white practice jerseys that denoted the first line and put them in red to take them out of their comfort zone.” ”¦ Pink uniforms upcoming this Friday for the Hamilton Bulldogs.

NBA News: Hawks F Al Horford has been wearing a black compression shirt under his white jersey. “I think this look is terrible,” says Allan Chandler. “Black isn’t part of their color scheme. Couldn’t he get one in another color? I’m pretty surprised the NBA hasn’t forbidden this.” ”¦ The Canadian media outlet TSN has tried its hand at some Raptors redesign concepts (from Marc Hammill). ”¦ Knicks and Heat went blue vs. black two nights ago (from Pete Carges). ”¦ Also from two nights ago: With the Jazz in New Orleans to play the Pelicans, Utah wore their old colors for Mardi Gras (from Trevor Wilson Patton). ”¦ NBA commish Adam Silver was on David Letterman’s show the other night and explained why he allowed players to wear the “I Can’t Breathe” tees (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Also from Phil: Mouthguard use in the NBA is increasing. ”¦ The Bucks have a new sponsorship arrangement with the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin, which will include ads on the team’s practice jerseys. ”¦ Very inconsistent all-star patch placement for the 1997 East team (from Jeff Shirley). ”¦ Jordi Kodrinky, who we’ve featured before for his NBA court renderings, is now working on some really detailed NBA uni database renderings (thanks, Mike).

College and High School Hoops News: From this article: “Air Force had been playing short-handed this season not only when it comes to injured players, but also in uniform options. The Falcons had ordered white and blue jerseys before the season, but for whatever reason they had not arrived until prior to last week’s game against New Mexico.” And which company is it that, “for whatever reason,” couldn’t fill Air Force’s uniform order? The same one that couldn’t produce the Eagles’ green jerseys for most of the recent NFL season. … “In Monday’s game versus Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams started the game in a traditional dress shirt and tie,” says Andrew Cosentino. “But by halftime he was sweating so much that he had to change into this argyle sweater. It was a custom design by menswear design Scott Barber, who’s a friend of Buzz’s. It was such a hit that it’s now being offered for sale.” ”¦ Boston College’s throwbacks for tonight’s game against Syracuse are endearingly clunky. ”¦ Xavier and Marquette went black and blue last night (from Jim Clair and Phil). ”¦ Key quote from this article about Michigan State’s game last night against Northwestern: “Michigan State wore white for the second straight road game as Northwestern donned alternate black uniforms for the game. The Spartans also wore white last week in their game at Rutgers.” ”¦ Small note in this article: “The [Huntland High School] Hornets [in Tennessee] have played their past five games in their home uniforms after the school’s road uniforms and basketball shoes were stolen from the team bus in Manchester prior to a game with MTCS. The TSSAA gave the school permission to play the rest of the season in their home white uniforms.” ”¦ The Fresno State women’s team will be wearing bright pink uniforms for tonight’s game against UNLV. ”¦ Pink-trimmed uniforms for Superior High School in Wisconsin. ”¦ Here’s a new one: grey vs. grey. That’s Dominican vs. Notre Dame de Namur (from@dominicansports). ”¦ I know some of you don’t think it counts as color-vs.-color if one team is wearing yellow, but I say it still counts if yellow isn’t the team’s normal home color. That’s Kentucky and LSU from last night (from @RebelNutt18).

Soccer News: The USL Pro league is dropping the “Pro” from its name (from Phillip Foose). ”¦ Interesting historical discovery by George Chilvers, who writes: “At the 1904 Football League Annual Meeting, there was a proposal from Liverpool FC (which had only been in existence 12 years) that home teams should wear red — Liverpool’s colors! — and visitors should wear white.” ”¦ Look at the inconsistently placed jersey striping and shorts logos in this shot (thanks, Phil). ”¦ One-time uni yesterday for Liverpool, to promote a charity supported by Standard Chartered (Liverpool’s shirt sponsor). ”¦ New uniforms for Grand Rapids FC (from PK Richardson). ”¦ New Champions League name and logo for CONCACAF. ”¦ Here’s our first photo — not mock-up — of the new Columbus Crew uni. Further info here.

Grab Bag: Latest sighting of neon green: big-time skiing. That’s Tina Maze, who won the alpine combined at the recent World Ski Championships. ”¦ Bit of a controversy surrounding Urban Outfitters, which is selling a tapestry that looks a lot like the uniforms worn by gay Holocaust victims. ”¦ Great interview with longtime Uni Watch pal Todd Radom. Highly recommended. ”¦ Cool feature on custom-painted lacrosse gloves (from Connor Wilson). ”¦ Post-release restrictions being imposed on a sex offender in Surrey, British Columbia, include a stipulation that he not wear any uniforms, “including but not limited to firemen’s uniforms, corrections uniforms, search/rescue uniforms, police uniforms, security guard uniforms, or scrubs.” ”¦ The “energy” drink Red Bull is claiming that a Virginia brewery is infringing on its trademark. ”¦ A Russian airport’s new logo is a pretty adorable flying bear. ”¦ Dodge County, Wisconsin, is getting new logos on its police squad cars. ”¦ In the past week, there have been two great articles Chinese food condiments: one on soy sauce packet design and another on what exactly qualifies as duck sauce. Both highly recommended. ”¦ What would it be like if Nike sold fruit and Apple sold milk? Maybe something like this (from Mike Engle). ”¦ A new logo may be in the works for Sprint (from Jason Johnson). ”¦ An Ohio school district is the latest one to face a controversy over the question of school uniforms. ”¦ During the 1950 and ’51 NASCAR seasons, driver Bill Blair sometimes raced in a No. 41-1/2 car (from Graham Clayton). ”¦ Here’s a ranking of Super Rugby jerseys. ”¦ Indonesia is being accused of misusing the Olympic logo.

Comments (62)

    Ditto. I was going to say “What the F on the sleeve”, but it’s nicely explained at the linky.

    As noted, the reverse tomahawks are well known by game worn collectors, and I was aware of it from the Game Worn jersey forum. I have a game worn BC Lions jersey with one shoulder patch from the home jersey and one from the road one, so I guess it does happen.

    If it wasn’t for all of the rich additional colours in the Blackhawks patches, would their jersey be just another boring red and black design?

    That Muleskinners jersey is so amazing words fail me. Lots of great vintage content on the site recently!

    Finally, that Niemi mask looks like the one Mike Palmateer wore with the Leafs.

    or Wayne Thomas?


    That article was frustrating – it says that the mask is the same mask that Niemi’s goalie coach had when he was a goalie BUT NEVER NAMES THE COACH.

    My first guess was Wayne Thomas (who has been on the Sharks staff) but it could be Palmateer. Who knows?

    Really? The Mule jersey looks ‘amazing’? It looks like something either a kindergartner would draw or maybe something the ancient Egyptians would have scrawled on the inside of a pyramid. It’s crude at best. It seems to me that a great many Uniwatchers’ idea of aesthetic greatness equates merely with the antiquity of the item in question. It’s quaint, and it’s of historic interest to be sure, and I realize that taste is subjective, but on what basis can this be judged as anything but primitive and amateurish?

    Whether we’re talking the Biblical awe-inspiring usage or the modern colloquial version of the word, I’m not seeing anything remotely amazing about it, unless it’s “amazingly bad.”

    With regard to the Trylon and Perisphere patch worn in 1938, the Braves wore a Pilgrim Hat patch in 1930 to celebrate Boston’s 300th anniversary. That seems to predate the New York teams by a bit. Would that have been a mistake by the editors of the Daily Eagle, or just a New York publication focusing on New York teams?

    Exactly, the article is incorrect on that front. What grabbed me was the commercial aspect of advertising the Fair. And the explicit message that this is advertising, as opposed to a civic celebration. There are several examples of clubs wearing flags to support the US effort during WWI, as well as the aforementioned 1930 patches for the Braves and Red Sox.

    the link for the Dolphins “Fanatical” jersey on the knockoff site redirects you to the main page. might just want to link a photo

    the most interesting thing i found were the NFL jerseys that were made to look like hockey unis

    the link for the Dolphins “Fanatical” jersey on the knockoff site redirects you to the main page. might just want to link a photo

    the most interesting thing i found were the NFL jerseys that were made to look like hockey unis

    I love those throwback Jazz uniforms. The Mardi Gras color scheme is just fantastic. Really wish the Pelicans would have went with that instead of boring red and blue.

    slight correction to the ticker item on the one-off uni for Liverpool. Seeing is Believing is not a Tottenham charity. It is a charity supported by Standard Chartered (Liverpool’s shirt sponsor)

    Correction on the soccer ticker item about Liverpool – it was to promote “Seeing Is Believing”, its sponsor Standard Chartered’s charity and worn yesterday against Tottenham.

    Enjoyed the articles on the Chinese food condiments. Never heard of duck sauce here on the west coast – it’s always been plum sauce. Maybe the ones labelled duck sauce are just made with something different?

    I don’t often get take out but if those fish soy sauce packages become more common I could be persuaded. Fun design.

    It’s 5:30am and I’m hungry for some chow mein.

    I’m fascinated by how much of what we call “Chinese food” is distinctly American. There are so many things – takeout container, fortune cookie, the “Asian” typeface, not to mention menu items – that would be unrecognizable in the west.
    So it’s kinda cool to see that the duck sauce isn’t just American, it’s limited to specific parts of America.

    BTW, one of the great things about Japanese food is what’s known as “western food” in Japan. It’s basically Japanese food with more breading, meat and Worcestershire Sauce.

    I’ve had the pleasure of eating that type of Japanese food here – I basically had a hamburger patty (no bun) with the Worcestershire/bulldog sauce and frozen vegetables. Very odd but enjoyable. Restaurant was packed with Japanese students.

    This also reminds me of how important familiarity and brand labeling can be in food. For many years, there was a Chinese food counter and Japanese food counter in adjacent stalls in my office building’s food court. The offerings at both restaurants were largely Americanized and actually quite similar to one another – lots of steamed rice, diced chicken, soy sauce, and vegetable blends with broccoli, snow peas and watercress.

    I tried both lunch counters a number of times, and in my mind, the Japanese place was the slightly better of the two in terms of taste and quality. But the Chinese place always had about a fifteen-minute line in front of it during the lunch rush, while you could almost hear crickets chirping in front of the Japanese place. I frequently asked colleagues who were regulars at the Chinese place why they tolerated the long lines when they could have already had food in hand from the Japanese place. Unfailingly, they said it was because they didn’t like Japanese food.

    Duck sauce is usually made with apricots and is a condiment used with egg rolls. Plum sauce is a thicker mixture used with Peking duck or with Moo Shoo.

    In other condiment news, I learned this week that the popular hot sauce called sriracha is actually a Thai concoction rather than Vietnamese in origin, according to the Washington Post:


    The Marquette – Xavier game actually had Xavier in navy. The cameras were definitely distorting the color.

    Also, it was the second-straight game that Marquette wore the baby blues in coordination with the coaches wearing ‘Autism Speaks’ pins.

    I heard rumblings before the season that Marquette was going to drop its baby blues because new head coach Steve Wojciechowski, a Duke man, didn’t want to coach a team that wore something so close to Carolina blue. However, they’re very popular with the fans. That’s the third time they’ve worn them this year and last night was the only one of those three they’ve lost.

    Regarding MLB teams wearing the Muleskinner jerseys – there are also currently military sports teams in existence (not just the Academies – large bases have teams too). The older uniforms are far more interesting, but most sports leagues don’t have to look that far or hard to find a uniform that isn’t camo and still says “support our troops” in a locally branded way

    Agreed. And the 10th Mountain Division still exists and is based out of Fort Drum, New York. So this would be a perfect military tribute jersey for the Yankees or Mets.

    I’m well, Phil, thanks.

    And how ’bout those Islanders? (I watched that ’30 for 30′ the other night about what’s his name who tried to “buy” them in the ’90’s. Man. I can understand how you may have become disenchanted.)

    John Spano.

    Just a regular guy who wanted to be a sports-team owner. And wasn’t going to let a minor detail like “he couldn’t afford it” get in his way.

    “I know some of you don’t think it counts as color-vs.-color if one team is wearing yellow, but I say it still counts if yellow isn’t the team’s normal home color. That’s Kentucky and LSU from last night (from @RebelNutt18)”

    LSU has worn yellow jerseys at home on a semi-regular basis for 40 years or so. In fact, for a couple of years in the mid ’70s, they wore gold for every home game, a la the Lakers in the pre-Sunday white uniform era. So I’d say yellow is a “normal home color.” And yes, I think “color-vs.-color” should be reclassified as “dark-vs.-dark.”

    Well, Chinese food condiment from Japan. But yay, rule of threes.

    Anyway, as iconic as that bottle shape is, you rarely see it outside of restaurants, much like the similarly iconic bottles for Heinz ketchup and Coca-Cola.

    Anyway, as iconic as that bottle shape is, you rarely see it outside of restaurants

    True! A few years back, I saw a gold-topped “50th Anniversary” Kikkoman bottle at the grocery store. Bought it, and for a while thereafter I refilled it every time it was empty, precisely because it felt sort of luxurious to have that restaurant-y bottle on the table. Then the seal on the gold plastic topper broke, so I replaced it with a regular red-topped bottle. Which, like many a restaurant, I refill from large bottles of store-brand soy sauce. Still feels restaurant-y to pour soy sauce from that kind of bottle.

    While it gets spelled with a capital S a lot, I believe Tommy Lasorda’s name does not contain a capital S.

    Also, I love the scoreboard ballplayer faces, but they misspelled Burt Hooton’s name.


    Further to yesterday’s discussion on Brian Williams and the fluidity of memory, there was a long piece on CBC radio this morning on the creation of memory and how stories are not “fixed” in our memories but can change over time.


    The interview with Christopher Chabris (who’s written some great books on the topic) is the highlight.

    The “Mid Ice Crisis” uni news might be the lowest level of uniform news ever reported in the Ticker. I say that merely as an observation, not a criticism or anything.

    Perani Arena in Flint, MI is getting a new OHL team and asked for suggestinons for names. They had over 1200 with my favorites being “Buick City Bombers” and “Flint Fear”. The more local to me team Saginaw Spirit have pretty awkward uniforms (to me) as seen here link and here link . I hope they do better with the Flint team.

    Interesting to see a couple of pics from Wilt’s 100-point game in with the Hershey Sports Arena pics. That’s something you don’t see much of nowadays – major-league teams scheduling regular-season “home” games at alternate regional venues. The Bills’ now-ended Toronto Series may be the last of such team-initiated ventures.

    Hard to tell whether it’s real or an artifact of manipulation of the photo for print, but the link image seems to show a different variant of the patch, with a red rather than a black bottom layer/outline.

    Niemi’s mask is a take-off of the Gerry Cheevers-inspired mask Steve Shields wore back in 2002-2003 for the Bruins.


    For whoever’s interested, here is Air Force basketball’s link, worn over the last two home games, compared link two uniforms link so far this year. I do like the new ones, but they sure don’t look so difficult to produce that it should have taken Nike two-thirds of the season to deliver them to Colorado Springs.

    Couple of basketball-related observations:

    It’s downright disturbing – more aptly, it’s an indictment of Baylor’s athletic department – that it took until a pre-draft physical for Isaiah Austin to be diagnosed with Marfan’s syndrome. Quite frankly it was negligence for Baylor NOT to test for it – UMD and a good many other schools have been doing so for some 40 years.

    Mouthguards: Really, players don’t know where to put their mouthguards? A case runs all of $4.
    Or if that’s too much effort, why not take a page out of a field hockey player’s book:

    Great piece on Isaiah Austin, Garrett. A thoroughly engaging read about an imminently fascinating young man.

    I think the Boston College throwbacks are technically illegal, aren’t they? The B and the n are below the top edge of the numerals, although a referee should clearly be able to see what the front number is.

    Help me out here.

    When my now 9 yr old daughter was 4 and 5, she often asked me why the “Face Team” has alarm clocks on their shoulders. It took me a long time to figure that one out.

    The Blackhawks’ (one word, but more on that in a minute) wrong-color tomahawks has made an appearance on this site before, I am sure of it. And it was something I remember from one of Dave Manson’s Upper Deck cards of the early 90s, which used an old closeup photo of the reversed tomahawks jersey. But since it’s my team and its kit the finest in the NHL, I gladly always let it slide.

    Like the Detroit Tigers’ cap and home jersey have mismatched D’s, the tomahawks themselves is another case of a team using one version on its jerseys and one for everything else. I’ve always preferred the thinner, serif C used on the gameday wear (link) to the ubiquitous, chunkier C (link).

    Regarding Blackhawks vs. Black Hawks, before the 1985 season a team historian uncovered the team’s founding documents that showed the team name as ‘Blackhawks’, with the two-word spelling used from the team’s beginnings until that time all from a sportswriter’s misspelling.

    The “cool Eagles sweater” is an abomination. It has the old (better) flying Eagle logo on a background of the new midnight green and silver color scheme. It should be on Kelly green. Many are of the opinion that the Eagles should go back to the old colors, as the Mrs. Lurie who was thought to recommend the new color is out of the picture.

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