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GFGS may be silly, but sometimes it doesn’t look so bad. Take those new Baylor football unis from yesterday’s Ticker, for example — ridiculous but not unattractive.
But there’s no way — or at least no way I’m aware of — to make gray and orange look good together. I didn’t like it when the Suns came out with this uniform in 2003, and I didn’t like it when they unveiled their new sleeved alternate yesterday — no sir.
And really, why would a team called the Suns wear gray? The official answer is that the grey represents the ashes from which a phoenix rises, but come on. Anyway, the uniform will make its on-court debut tonight, and you can learn more about it in this ESPN newser that I wrote yesterday afternoon. (Also: The Suns have also added a new interactive uni-centric page to their website — good stuff.)
Meanwhile: The Uni Watch Power Rankings return today, with top-to-bottom rankings for MLB — enjoy.
Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik
We’ve talked a bit about buying or receiving game-used memorabilia, but have you ever snagged an item yourself? I’m talking about, have you ever caught a foul ball? Any player ever give you a shoe, stick, or headband before, during, or after a game? Ever take something from a soon-to-be-demolished stadium? Anything along those lines.
If nothing like this has ever happened to you, what is your dream scenario? I always wished that I could’ve caught a Gilbert Arenas jersey.
When I was nine, I went with my aunt to County Stadium in Milwaukee to see the Mets vs. Brewers. We got there early for batting practice, and we were the only people in a section of the bleachers. Not only did I catch a BP home run ball (on a bounce, because my God are those balls hit hard), but Mets outfielder Darryl Hamilton tossed me a ball as well. Also, in 2007, I caught a Ken Griffey Jr. BP homer at Miller Park.
Patch reminder: Uni Watch 15th-anniversary patches are in stock and available for ordering. Full details here.
Uni Watch News Ticker
By Mike Chamernik
Baseball News: The Pirates have logo and ballpark history graphics painted on the walls near their home clubhouse at spring training (from Bill Monti). … Here’s a weekly feature where you can rate college baseball’s most unique uni sets. … The Visalia Rawhide have a new secondary logo (from Phil). … This softball team has a lime green and camo uni set (from Phil). … “I saw the Astros rocking this Star Trek-like font, I thought that looked pretty cool,” says Christopher LaHaye. “Works for them, I wish that was their uni font. Then I saw it on the BoSox… ugh not so much.” … New black jerseys for Lipscomb (from Phil). … Louisville has tequila sunrise uniforms (from Phil). … Here’s a good side-by-side comparison of the new (on the left) and old Mariners jersey lettering (from Andrew Kaplan). … The Reds have added an accent mark for Kristopher NegrÃ³n’s NOB. Also, here’s a look at the Reds’ All-Star Game patches on their jerseys. … Reggie Jackson has his own brand of sunflower seeds. … In 1975, a bunch of famous photographers posed for their own baseball cards (from Aram Gyan). ”¦ When Boston College plays an exhibition game against the Red Sox next week, BC will be wearing jerseys that honor Pete Frates, the former BC captain who’s now battling Lou Gehrig’s Disease (thanks, Phil).
NFL News: People are speculating that the Packers might have a new alternate uniform in 2015. Of course, Uni Watch readers already knew that. … Remember the NFL team logo necktie worn by disgraced Toronto mayor Rob Ford when he confessed to smoking crack? That “game-used” tie, so to speak, is now available on eBay. ”¦ Adidas said they’d give $100,000 to whoever ran the fastest 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Wide receiver JJ Nelson ran the fastest 40 at 4.28-seconds, but even though he wore Adidas shoes he didn’t get the prize because the stipulation was that the winner had to have already signed an endorsement with deal Adidas (from Brinke). … Here’s a good feature story on how Madden ratings are determined. … Steve Smith wore No. 89 in Carolina to help erase the memory of the Panther to wear the number before him: Rae Carruth (thanks, Ethan Hagen). … Scroll down to the comments on this post to read some of the designer’s thoughts on the Browns’ new Dawg Pound logo (from Jon Dies).
College Football News: New uniforms for Southern Mississippi football next year. ”¦ SMU coach Chad Morris tweeted a photo of a new flag-desecration helmet with a chrome facemask yesterday, although it’s not clear whether it’ll actually be worn in a game (from Jordan Rogers).
Hockey News: Thanks to a Boston-area researcher working in Kenya, Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask got a species of wasp named after him (from Ted Arnold). … The Barclays Center, which will become the home of the Islanders next season has trademarked two “Brooklyn Hockey” logos that look very Nets-like, although Chris Creamer says the Isles won’t be using them (from John Muir). … The Coyotes’ equipment manager is fairly busy with the trade deadline approaching (from Phil).
Soccer News: Dunkin Donuts put its own spin on Liverpool’s crest and the results were of bad taste (from Patrick Walsh). … Sponsors pay close to $1 billion to put their names on the shirts of the world’s top soccer clubs. “It’s amazing how much money the top clubs get to splash ads on the front of soccer jerseys,” says Phil. “And the rich get richer. People bitch about (or used to) the goddamn Yankees, but this is just…”
NBA News: The Celtics have retired 21 uniform numbers, so perhaps the team should end that practice. Though not mentioned in that article, the Yankees have the same issues. Ah, the cost of winning (thanks, Phil Lawson). … The Timberwolves broadcast has a KG cam, but the graphic has his number in the team’s old font. … The Rockets wore their sleeved Chinese New Year alts and the Clippers wore white on the road last night. … Tayshaun Prince, who played for the Pistons until 2013, was reacquired last week. Jeffrey Sak noticed the the Pistons have spaced out their jersey numbers over Prince’s absence.
College Hoops News: Kentucky wore white on the road again last night. … Marquette’s Steve Taylor, Jr. has a White Sox tattoo. He grew up in Chicago. … Duke and Virginia Tech went color vs. color last night, as did UNC-Pembroke and Frances Marion (from Phil). … It seems that UCLA had a black jersey in the 1950s or 1960s, if this eBay post is to be believed (from a reader named KJ) ”¦ Pink zubaz-style striping this Saturday for the UC Irvine women’s team.
Grab Bag: Nike and the University of Florida extended their agreement (from Phil). … It’s not just injured Mets players who receive commemorative coins. So do bartenders, as Pete Tognetti, a cocktail bartender in Denver, explains: “The only difference is that we cherish our coins and that we don’t receive ours due to injury, but rather from the United States Bartenders’ Guild or some proxy. I’m somewhat unclear on how they are to be used, some people have told me that they are for trading with other bartenders, other people have told me they are to be used as a bargaining chip to get free drinks. I’d not part with mine for a drink but it would be fun to trade with other bartenders.”
Wow, that Mariners lettering turned out to be quite the upgrade, didn’t it? I didn’t realize it just how crisp it would look on the jerseys.
Totally agree that it looks great standing 4 feet away. I still need to see how the lettering looks from distance before I’ll call it a complete success — but so far, so good.
I think that the old lettering looks better by itself but at a distance, and for certain on TV, the new lettering does have a much better pop.
The idea is that the new DP is no longer a place, it’s a state of mind. This is the reason that the logo is no longer contained by a shape, the orange pride floods behind it, unifying players, fans, and the city.
Give me a break.
Btw, I uploaded a new Browns uniform concept to my dev-art page, so anyone who wants to check it out can click on my name.
I’d still prefer a white facemask, but I like the striping and outlines on that concept. Why no stripes on the brown socks, though?
On an unrelated note, that Rainbow Dash helmet is pretty badass.
The best thing i read about soccer kit sponsors is that, in spain, companies will sponsor a team just for the couple times a year they play Madrid and Barca and all the publicity they will get around the world.
And the TV deal payout is structured to reflect that ridiculousness – link, with the rest of the league fighting for scraps.
Also, not mentioned in the article, but GM stopped selling Chevrolet cars in Europe right after the Manchester United deal was announced. Not that it matters – they only care about the global audience.
I will never understand the global fascination with La Liga. As you say, it is systematically set up to be as uncompetitive as possible and yet, in the face of this, people still uphold it as the greatest league on the planet. I know why this is – it has the biggest celebrities in football (Ronaldo and Messi) – but it seems to me like this is equivalent to saying that you are a film fan, but you don’t really watch any movies, you just like watching red carpet shows. If anything, it’s one of the greatest tragedies in world sport that you have a situation where some of its greatest stars are very rarely actually playing against the best opposition.
No, it’s more like saying you’re a film buff but you only watch the movies of one or two mega-stars…say, George Clooney or Meryl Streep.
La Liga is a rather unbalanced league — superpowers such as Real Madrid and Barcelona, and strong teams like AtlÃ©tico Madrid, combined with weak teams at the bottom. Sort of like Scotland, but no one will pick Celtic to win the Champions League again. But all the top leagues have some lack of balance. The gap between the top and bottom fours in England is growing; Bayern Munich is becoming a team apart from the Bundesliga.
I don’t know – Bayern dominates the Bundesliga way more than the Big Two of La Liga, but the quality of the middle class in Germany is way better than Spain. Dortmund isn’t a bad team, but until a couple of weeks ago, they couldn’t get out of relegation zone. With La Liga, the weak teams aren’t at the bottom – they’re basically every team from about 6th place down.
Or in England, it’s not entirely shocking when Burnley earns a draw against Chelsea. While it’s a two-horse race, there’s a six-team peloton fighting for third and fourth places, and then there’s a middle class that extends into relegation zone.
Which is to say, every league is top-heavy, but none as ridiculously as La Liga.
So, the Suns are gray and the Thunder are a sky blue. Makes sense.
I agree, makes no sense.
Line of the day, Jason!
Maybe the Suns will only wear them when they’re in cities that tend to be cloudy a lot, like Seatlle, and well Cleveland ;)
I caught (on the bounce) two balls. 1982 off the bat of Johnny Ray from an Expos-Pirates game. 2004 when Tyke Redman threw a between innings ball into the stands at a Cubs-Pirates game. The ’82 ball is long gone. The ’04 ball I still have.
Tyke Redman! Take me back. Loved that guy.
QotW: Not during a game, but back in the early 1980s I worked at the WCCO booth at the Minnesota State Fair every summer. Circa 1985, when I was 11, Sid Hartman arranged for a buddy to display a bunch of Twins memorabilia at the booth. As a reward for helping with the load-out, they gave me a brick from Metropolitan Stadium’s outfield wall. It’s a beautiful old red brick, with one side thick with faded, glossy blue paint with a couple of divots from, I’m assuming, hard-hit line drives. One of a very few artifacts from my childhood that I still keep.
QOTW: In 2007, our High School baseball team played a scrimmage at the Metrodome. The turf near the dugouts was very worn out and ripping apart in many places. A few of us decided to rip off some small pieces of the turf and keep it. I still have mine hanging on the wall in my room.
QOTW: As a Giants fan in New England, my only chance to see them is usually at Citi Field.
Went down last August, and caught a foul ball off Pablo Sandoval’s bat. He hit a ground rule double on the next pitch to score the game winning run.
QOTW: For my 8th b-day in April of 2000, I went to a Texas Rangers home game with my family and friends. We sat right next to the opposing team’s bullpen. My friends convinced Arthur Rhodes (then with the Mariners) to throw me a ball for my birthday!
Rusty Greer threw a ball up into the stands at The Ballpark in Arlington after making the third out of the inning and the man who caught it gave it to me (I was probably 6-7 at the time.) Later on at a players meet and greet, I had Rusty Greer sign the same ball.
Last year in August, I was watching the Rangers at Minutemaid Park in Houston with my girlfriend. I had shared my plans to propose to her during the seventh inning stretch with the fans sitting around me so they could help me get pictures of the moment. Sometime in the 5th or 6th inning a ball was thrown our way after an outfielder made the last out of the inning. A man sitting near us who knew of my plans caught the ball and gave it to my gf to “help me out.” She said yes of course and we put the date on the ball to keep it as a momento!
Just last week I caught a foul ball at Texas A&M’s opening day at Olsen Field!
QotD: I caught a couple foul balls at Mud Hens games in my youth, but I didn’t exactly worry about keeping any of them.
The dream scenario, of course, would be replicating that old commercial and trading a coke for a jersey.
I caught a puck from Danny Briere during warm-ups when he played for the Flyers. I turned and gave it to a kid that was sitting up on the glass next to me. After warm-ups, the kid and his folks got up and left to go back to their real seats, the kid had like 3 pucks. I was close to asking for my puck back; that’s more rare than a ball! I wasn’t even trying to impress a girl, not sure why I gave up my puck…I will never give up a prize like that again
I was at Akron’s Canal Park for the debut of phenom C.C. Sabathia. I caught a foul ball off one of his pitches.
I haven’t caught anything, but I did get a concussion from an Adrian Beltre line drive during batting practice at Fenway several years back–this was when he still was on the Mariners.
They couldn’t even give you the ball? It’s a cold world.
I was at a Brewers game once in 2002 with my friends and my grandpa. We were sitting down the left field line at Miller Park. During the game, my friends and I moved down a few seats, for whatever reason. Of course, a screaming liner was hit our way. It whizzed right past my grandpa’s face (he wasn’t looking) and it smacked the seat I had just left. The ball was no joke; the guy who tried to catch it (sitting behind my seat) got his hand bruised up pretty badly. My grandpa or I easy could’ve had a concussion or facial fractures.
That is why I’m not opposed to adult fans bringing gloves to ball games. It would be insane for a fielder to make a barehanded catch, right? Why are fans, who definitely aren’t as hand-eye coordinated, expected to be glove-less?
Always take a glove to the ballgame. For those of you who have a problem with adults taking one, find another sport.
QOTW. At the University of New Orleans baseball stadium (Ron Maestri Field at Privateer Park), if you return a foul ball, they used to give you a free cheeseburger. I used to hang out in the right field general admission (it was a ghost town), keep one or two for future catches with my dad, and eat cheeseburgers on the rest.
Also, the Suns alt looks like crap. If they were the Arizona Phoenixes it might be ok, but they’re not.
QOTW: As a college pep band member, the Women’s team had Gatorade towels on the chairs. After the game, as we packed up, I borrowed one. I washed it, and thought it was a great keepsake/reminder of the game experience. Then I grew up, and years later my daughter had found it and decided to use it to dry off after a shower. Too bad it has no university branding, but the orange bolt still looks good!
link regularly makes gray and orange link together.
Disagree. Hate that look.
Totally fair. I like that, the new Suns alts (hate the sleeves, what w/e) and the ASU copper look.
We’ll agree to disagree.
yes, my thoughts exactly, really go well together for their identity.
Pete Frates isn’t just the former BC captain suffering from ALS, he was also the impetus for the Ice Bucket Challenge last year that raised ridiculous money to fight the disease
So when I was a kid, my dad took me to a Worcester IceCats (AHL) game; this was the late ’90s when the Bruins were pretty mediocre, so there were some weekends where the IceCats would actually outdraw the big club, even though they weren’t even affiliated (I think they were part of the Blues’ organization at the time).
Anyway, so we wind up getting lower-bowl seats, maybe just a row or two above the top of the glass, on one of the blue lines. About halfway through the game, a puck gets cleared around the boards behind the net, comes flying up over the board, and nails my dad square in the side of the neck and landed in my lap. The damned thing probably came within 6 inches of nailing me in the temple, and I remember hearing it whistle past me and the dull “thudsmack” when it hit my dad. He was fine–a little stunned, and he wound up with a gorgeous bruise a couple days later, but the team comped us our food for the rest of the night, plus a pair of tickets to an upcoming game. And, of course, I got to keep the puck.
Bonus swag: the Gatorade towel that the EMTs used to wrap the ice pack in went on to become my “lucky towel” during my athletic endeavors in high school and college (because I’m a New England sports fan, which by default makes me a superstitious knucklehead).
James- went to quite a few IceCats games back in the day. I think toward their beginning they didn’t have enough netting around the ice. I was at a game during the first season and saw a shot deflect into the stands and hit a woman directly in the mouth. She lost most of her front teeth and the trail of blood up the stairs was like in a horror movie. You are right they were affiliated with the St Louis Blues but were unaffiliated during their first season.
Eddie Perez of the Braves has tossed a baseball to my daughter on two occasions. He took the time to sign the second one before he tossed it.
She also manages to get baseballs from random minor-leaguers at every game we attend.
I was fortunate enough to get one of Ryan Newman’s pit crew members’ shirts when I won the trip to Dover last September.
Regarding that Astros tee:
That is part of Nike’s 2015 line of workout t-shirts issued to teams. Every MLB team is wearing them for their spring training workouts.
For this year’s offering, Nike has added their shade of neon yellow to every shirt (it’s near the bottom). Also every team has a grey t-shirt that has the MLB logo rendered in the same shade of “volt.”
The Nash-era Suns’ orange alt was pretty darn good, IMO. I always liked it much better than the standard road purples of the time.
Gray and orange can be a nice combo, given the right shades of both. The new Suns’ alt looks straight up terrible.
QOTW: Not sure if this counts since it was not a sporting event, but I took my then girlfriend , now wife, to a Blink 182 concert in Mexico and at the end of the show I was able to grab one of Travis’ drumsticks. I almost lost my glasses but eventually found them on the floor. Also, I’m 5’9″ so not the tallest guy in the room.
If concerts count, then I should mention that I managed to catch (and still have) one of Dimebag’s guitar picks at a Pantera show back in 2000.
Whoa, that’s huge. Great guitarist.
Nice. I’ve come close to catching a few picks, but that’s about it.
– 2000: Caught a foul ball at a Dodgers-Angels game. It was liner that skimmed a seat a few rows in front of me. I reached up and over the shoulder/head of the guy in front of me to grab it. The guy was slightly peeved, but the ball might’ve hit him in the head if I hadn’t grabbed it.
– 2003: Caught a foul ball at a New Orleans Zephyr game. The ball ricocheted off the wall behind the seating bowl and came right to me.
– I’ve also caught various balls tossed by MLB and MiLB players, the most notable being from Matt Kemp at a Dodgers practice during spring training after yelling and waving to him. These days I try to get players to toss balls to me for my daughter.
– Wish: Shawn Green used to toss a batting glove to a kid in the crowd whenever he hit a home run at Dodger Stadium. I wasn’t a kid at the time, and never sat in the first row near the dugout, but always thought getting one of these would be cool. link
My thought on the Suns alt – did the SF Giants ever use Phoenix as relocation leverage (entirely plausible in the post-Mays pre-Bonds era)?
I think Tampa Bay was always the likely candidate (link).
Though their minor league affiliate was once known as the link.
Correct. St. Pete had the perceived “baseball ready” stadium. The White Sox had used it as their leverage to get New Comiskey paid for by the Illinois General Assembly. Plus, the team would have been the first MLB team in Florida, which was seen as a big deal back then.
QOTW: I worked at a rehab center in NC. Josh Hamilton ended up in there for 2 different stints in 2003. Being that he was 6-4/240 he tended to eat a LOT. After dinner service the only food they had access to was healthy items yogurt, fruit, granola etc…I would leave him full plates of leftovers in their fridge so he could maintain his size while there. We ended up becoming pretty friendly (even worked out together in the on campus gym a few times) and he told me about how his Nike contract gave him all baseball related items for free & a 10K limit on other items. Before he left the first time he asked for my phone #, address and shoe size. 2 weeks later I received a package with a brand new pair of Nike basketball sneakers, a signed bat, and a personal thank you letter for being supportive during his recovery.
Fast forward to 2006 after I had moved back to NY. He was reinstated and his first games were on my local Minor League team. I decided to check it out and see if he remembered me. During warm ups there was a pretty big line of people waiting by the dugout to get autographs so I just got in the back and waited. When I finally reached the front he just looked up and let out a hearty laugh, pulled me in for a hug and brought me down to the dugout. Sat there catching up for about 15 minutes and he gave me a couple of autographed balls (I was at the game with some friends).
Can’t say enough nice things about how he treated me. Makes today’s news about him even more troubling. Cocaine is a hell of a drug…
It’s sad that he seems to be relapsing, but this is an awesome story.
Agreed on both counts.
Yes and yes.
Great story. Though relapsing is a normal part of recovery and I think it’s encouraging that he apparently fessed up to the league without being prompted.
One thing I learned there was that recovery is an ongoing battle. I believe this is now his 3rd slip up since being reinstated but hes been nothing but honest about them. Its a damn shame because he was a genuinely good kid.
Additional story- I used to carry a football around in my car and the smoking patio was right next to the employee parking lot. He saw it and asked if he could borrow it to play some catch with the other patients. He ended up breaking someones finger and it became a huge deal as to why he had my football. He said my windows were down and took it without asking just to cover my ass. I was on the verge of losing my job otherwise.
And yes, he really did throw that hard. I was never able to actually catch it any time he threw to me. Freakish athlete.
QOTW – In September 2014, a buddy and I decided to travel to NYC to catch a Yankee/Giants game on Friday Night and then go to West Point on Saturday for the Army/Wake Forest football game. Anyway at the Yankee game I caught a foul ball off the bat of Robinson Cano; Tim Linsecum was the pitcher. Got a nice round of applause from the fans. Later in the game, A-Rod hit his 24th career grand slam passing Lou Gehrig.
The whole “Steve Smith wore 89 to erase the memory of Rae Carruth” story sounds like baloney to me. When I think of Carruth, 83 is the first thing that comes to mind. And when I look on Google Images, you can find him in 83, 84, 86, and 89, although 89 is probably the least common.
Giancarlo Stanton’s link.
I hope Paul and the crew talk more about that tomorrow. I like it. I think it’s a good blend of function and fashion. It definitely looks different.
– 1999 Game 3 of the ALCS Red Sox 3B John Valentin flipped me a BP ball (I was in early, my friend was in media) I then got Billy Crystal to sign the ball.
*** ALERT ***
“… In 1975, a bunch of famous photographers posed for their own baseball cards (from Aram Gyan). …”
One of the funniest damn things I’ve seen in ages…
On the back of the Todd Walker card it says “…someday, with lots of luck you can get your PITCHER on a baseball card.…”; especially egregious because he had inserted a few photographic quips in the rest of his card write-up. (Unlesssss, it was done on purpose just to f*ck with OCD knuckleheads, like me, in which case it was brilliant.)
That eBay listing for the vintage UCLA jersey describes the colors as “link“. It’s looks like super-dark Yankees-style navy blue blue, not black.
Exactly when did UCLA adopt it’s current popular Light Blue & Gold?
The early 1940s “Jackie Robinson-era” football teams wore the same Navy Blue & Gold of the flagship university at California – Berkeley. The “Bruins” mascot is an off-shoot of the “Bears” mascot of the flagship university.
It makes sense for UCLA to have had Navy Blue jerseys in the early 1950s. the larger question is when exactly did UCLA move away from Cal=Berkeley’s Navy Blue to there own Lighter Blue more identified with the school today?
1949, when football coach Red Sanders adopted what he called “powderkeg blue.”
You do NOT want to fuck with Liverpool fans when it comes to anything related to Hillsborough. They drove Steven Cohen right out of soccer journalism. Be very afraid, Dunkin’ Donuts.
FWIW, Cohen lied about Hillsborough on more than one occasion, not to speak truth to power, but to troll. He then proceeded to napalm every bridge in his vicinity. To say Liverpool supporters drove him out of soccer journalism isn’t quite right – the disgust was universal and he basically did it to himself.
The DD thing is dumb, but I’m not seeing any malice.
Nobody does righteous indignation quite like Liverpool fans when Hillsborough is mentioned. Historically selective, infused with unearned martyrdom, hyperbolic in the extreme – it has transformed Hillsborough from tragedy into pseudo-propagandistic religiosity. The reality of the tragedy is that it was depressingly banal given the context and Liverpool has no more a right to special victim status than anyone else. Football culture in England during the eighties was quite frankly awful and as the Heysel disaster in 1985 demonstrates Liverpool fans are as complicit as anyone else in that.
So, in other words, the damage to the memories of those who died at Hillsborough was already done well before the corporate doofuses at Duncan Donuts said anything. Specifically, the damage was done when they were co-opted by Liverpool as just yet more abstract figures in the glorious Liverpool F.C. mythology.
Thank you for saying that, and much more articulately than I could have. The seeming enthusiasm for wallowing in their own martyrdom that Liverpool F.C displays is disgusting AFAIC.
So do you find Machester United’s annual memorial of the Munich disaster to be — to use scottrj’ phrase — “wallowing?” Or Torino’s annual memorial of the Superga disaster?
Ah, but they were truly victims, some might say. But so were those poor people at Hillsborough. But unlike them, the Man Utd and Torino players weren’t libelled by their governments and national press for 25-plus years. If I was on the receiving end of that inhuman behavior for that long, I imagine the ferocity of my feeling would match that of everyone in Liverpool — red AND blue sides.
I have to respectfully disagree.
Yes, English football culture was awful (though until Heysel, it was looked at with amused condescension and was encouraged on the continent) and Liverpool fans were responsible for Heysel.
But the Hillsborough fight is one worth fighting because it became less about football and supporter culture, and more about Tory disregard for working class lives, and it’s relevant today as wealth inequality grows in the UK and the poor are being displaced in stadiums.
I don’t remember the publication, but there’s a parallel in how the press and government responded to Katrina and Hillsborough.
Who said the people who died at Hillsborough weren’t “truly victims”? Answer: nobody. Of course they were victims.
But when any talk about Hillsborough comes with the inevitable “but let’s not forget Heysel” caveat, or when the pro-victim advocacy is framed as “martyrdom”, it’s hard not to infer the “not truly victims” message.
Fair enough. But by the same token, self-righteous whinging indignation about an innocuous corporate promotion that makes tweaks to your team’s crest certainly smacks of martyrdom.
I think there would’ve been less outrage if the flames hadn’t been modified.
But we’re confusing the tragedy itself with the clusterfuck which came after. The 96 were very much victims but they were victims of a football culture which made Hillsborough all but inevitable and in which Heysel and the numerous smaller scale incidents during the decade are more than relevant. What Liverpool have opportunistically done is use one (hardly reputable anyway) newspaper’s slanderous reporting and the rather poorly managed government response as the basis for shifting the narrative from one which necessarily acknowledges the more complex reasons to one in which the victimhood of the individuals is abstracted and subsumed beneath the self-aggrandizing and self-insulating victimhood of Liverpool F.C.
Thereby proving Padday’s point, one could say…
Cohen did not lie about Hillsborough; he repeated in good faith several commonly-held ideas that have since been proven false by documentation which was not publicly available at the time. If he had limited his anti-Liverpool-fan comments to Heysel, for which Liverpool fans were entirely at fault, then he would have been fine.
In the end, Cohen was hounded out of football journalism by the bullying and thuggery of Liverpool fans; and the rest of us lost a very entertaining and intelligent analyst on account of this.
And there is nothing wrong with riffing on that team’s crest, or on any other logo.
Cohen made the statement in 2009. His claims were dismissed in the initial Taylor Report in 1989.
It wasn’t until 2012 that the latest government panel found conclusively that Liverpool fans were not at fault.
Until then, the suspicion that Liverpool-fan hooliganism was part of the cause was an entirely reasonable stance.
While the 2012 panel truly put hooliganism as a cause to bed, by 2009, Cohen’s position was as reasonable as birtherism or Climate Change denial. The 2012 conclusion was basically a confirmation that there hadn’t been any credible evidence disproving the conclusions of the original Taylor Report. Even if he believed what he was saying, he was spouting things he didn’t know to be true to an audience that may not be familiar with the facts of the case.
And the “innocent mistake” angle ignores the fact that he got himself in trouble and apologized 3 years earlier for similar remarks.
Occam’s Razor tells me he either lied or allowed himself to irresponsibly repeat unsubstantiated claims, and thought he could get away with it because he was talking to an American audience. And he did it in a way that was insensitive, and when told he was wrong, he lashed out rather than engaging his critics.
Not many people came out looking good out of this and I know many fans miss him, but if the last few years have shown us anything, you can be interesting and informative about soccer without being a dick.
Similarly, Rupert Murdoch’s Sun to this day has almost non-existent circulation in Liverpool due to it’s long-standing deceitful reporting on Hillsborough.
QOTW: While I ended up getting the ball, I have to do the
shout-out to my Uncle Ric for literally diving head first over a row of seats at Oakland County Coliseum for a foul ball. This was late 70’s/early 80’s. It’s the only ball I’ve
ever gotten despite regular attendance at games each year to this day.
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like all the shorts for the NBA’s sleeved uniforms are worn higher on the waist than the traditional uniform shorts.
I am pretty sure that the tequila sunrise look is going to be a thing for at least for Adidas schools, the softball team at my school (Adidas) has a very similar away jersey that just came out this year but have not publicly released it ye.t
“This softball team has a lime green and camo uni set (from Phil)”
Anybody else see casting these ladies as the modern versionof the Baseball Furies if they ever do a remake of “The Warriors”?
Oh definitely. Haha. They should wear Bryce Harper-esque eyeblack with it to complete the look.
If there’s one thing I can appreciate about the Toronto Maple Leafs, it’s their policy of honoring player numbers. The Leafs only retire jersey numbers under extraordinary circumstances; they themselves have only retired 5 for Bill Barilko and 6 for Ace Bailey, who both suffered career-ending incidents while on the Leafs roster (Barilko was lost in a plane crash in 1951, while Bailey suffered a career-ending head injury in 1933). In the meantime, they’ve also hung sixteen banners (covering ten numbers) for their other greats, while those numbers remain in circulation.
If the Celtics and Yankees applied the Leafs’ policy specifically (a player has to have significantly contributed to the franchise and have suffered a career-ending incident while a member of the team), they’d have a lot less retired numbers between them. The Celtics would only have 35 retired for Reggie Lewis, while the Yankees would only have retired two numbers themselves – 4 for Lou Gehrig and 15 for Thurman Munson. Mariano Rivera would still be listed with the honored players, though the MLB-wide retirement of 42 for Jackie Robinson would still have that number out of normal circulation.
I don’t mind gray and orange together, just hate the sleeves. As a life-long Suns fan (pre-Barkley even!) I’m most intrigued by the “Phoenix” lettering and the sunburst on the shorts. Those, as Paul mentions in his piece, harken back to the old, old, old unis, which I love. I really think the new actual Suns unis should have the sunburst on the shorts, I have no clue why they’d put the “phoenix wings”, which look nothing like anything (not like the phoenix bird logo, not like the City’s phoenix logo, nothing I can tell).
In 2007 my friend and I went to a D-backs game together and we both caught foul balls a couple innings apart. His basically landed in his lap, and I was sitting on the aisle seat and snagged mine one-handed in the aisle.
QOTW: I’ve always wanted to catch a homerun ball. Foul balls? Pffft. However, there’s one foul ball I will always treasure. Back when the Akron RubberDucks were the Aeros, we were sitting in foul territory. A bunch of kids (who had seats elsewhere) were standing in front of us for most of the game, begging for a ball. Not just foul balls…they’d yell for the left fielder to throw them the ball when he caught a one-out popup with men on base. Completely clueless about the game. My son wanted to get up and join them, but I calmly told him, “Just sit and watch the game. If you’re meant to get a foul ball you’ll get one.” Several innings later I’m in full “get off my lawn” mode when a foul grounder comes our way. The left fielder picks it up, the kids go nuts, and he tosses the ball right over their heads and into my hand. I didn’t even have to stand up, just reached a little and caught it. Then I handed it to my son and said, “See? you were meant to get one. Thanks for sitting still.” Somehow I resisted the urge to tell the other kids, “Suck it, punks. Now go sit with your parents.”
Ever take something from a soon-to-be-demolished stadium?
(Sorry, all the links are bad, but the story isn’t)
Notice how on that baseball uni-rating site they refer to the feature is referred to as “Uni Watch” in the portion about New Mexico? Weak.
Actually, the whole article was headlined “UniWatch” at first. But a bunch of people on Twitter saw it and told him to change it, so he did. I didn’t find out until after it had already happened. DIdn’t realize there was still a mention floating around in the text.
Paul, I’m usually right in alignment with your assessment on color and style, but I couldn’t be farther away from your take on orange and gray (or grey).
The right tonal combinations of those two colors are in my estimation, nothing less than awesome. A bright orange with a mid-to-dark gray, or a dark orange with a lighter gray make for a dynamic combination.
A very contemporary combination if done correctly. Remember the Orioles script on the road grays? I just think that’s a real sharp combination.
QotW: Never been so lucky as to snag anything myself. I think it’d be pretty cool to snag a foul / home run ball one day, albeit without knocking over any children to do so.
Hmmm…looks like the Crowncap Collectors will be in Harrisburg, PA at the same time as the 25th Harrisburg Sked Collector Show. :-)
QOTW: I caught a practice puck at the Capitals rookie camp back in 2000. Still have it in my collection.
Also have four Rick Nielsen picks from their recent concert at the Charlestown (WV) Casino. I’d purchased front row tickets figuring “now’s my chance to finally get a pick!”
Turns out it was pretty much the equivalent of sitting in the bleachers waiting for a foul ball. Rick flings the picks in all directions, usually a few rows back into the crowd. However, near the end of the show one of the roadies handed him a small container full of them and he was throwing handfulls into the crowd. Managed to grab six or seven, handed out a a couple to the people sitting next to us and sent another to a friend for Christmas.
This isn’t a ‘game-related memorabilia’ story, but I think it’s somewhat appropriate, since I’ve mentioned it here before.
Probably last year, I mentioned that I had a replica Charlie Manuel Kintetsu Buffaloes, and that I had been trying to get him to sign it for years, while he was still the Phillies skipper.
Flash forward to earlier this month, he was the keynote speaker at a Virginia Tech baseball event, so my whole family attended. We brought all sorts of items – posters, hats, a picture my brother got with him the night before, my signed Brad Lidge 2008 WS jersey – pretty much anything we could think of. He signed everything. Just a total class act. Anyway, I also brought the Kintetsu jersey.
I mentioned to him that I just wanted to show it to him, as it was my favorite shirt to wear. He absolutely lit up when I pulled it out, and then insisted he sign it. There was no way I could say no, so he did. He not only signed it, but then wrote his name in Japanese as well.
Aside from the Phils actually winning the WS, this might have been the highlight of my baseball life.
Great stories as always, everyone! I’m really surprised that so many of you have caught a ball or puck, considering how low the odds are of that.
Further to the Rob Ford story, the tie is up to $C2400.
Also on eBay, a customized “Mayor Ford” Saskatchewan Roughriders jersey.
For all the time I spent in the left field grandstand at Exhibition Stadium, never had a BP or game ball hit anywhere near me. Never got anywhere close to one.
My dad caught a foul ball off Omar Vizquel at Skydome in about 1993. He bought a little plastic souvenir display thing at the stadium, he had it in his office for years and now its in mine.
QOTW: I was in Minneapolis in July 2011, when the Metrodome roof was under repair from its winter collapse. We were going over towards the Stadium to pick up the train and happened to see the stadium’s electronic sign advertising stadium tours, with one starting in about 15 minutes! I had no idea they were offered, much less during the repair process. So we went over for the tour. At the start of the tour we got a Metrodome pencil, a pin, and (here’s the QOTW part) a piece of the old roof fabric! All that and the tour cost three dollars! Meanwhile my hometown Yankees would charge 25 bucks for a tour and would make you pay for a piece of whatever they might be getting rid of. Gotta love that midwest vibe.
QOTW: I must have been four years old. It was one of my first-ever professional baseball games. My dad and grandpa took me to a Denver Bears AAA baseball game at Mile High Stadium.
I remember almost nothing about the game except that Mile High Stadium looked gigantic to me and I asked my dad if they called it “Mile High” because that’s show tall it was. (He patiently explained to me what altitude was and that that’s where the name came from.)
At some point, one of the opposing team’s batters hit a foul ball into an unoccupied section of the seats that had been rolled back to reconfigure the shape of the field from football to baseball. My grandpa was dead set that he was going to retrieve that foul ball for me, so the three of us trekked to those bleachers and my grandpa crossed the restricted access barriers to snoop around for it. My grandpa had to sweet talk his way past the scrutiny of some security guard, whose demeanor softened when he saw my saucer-wide eyes and hopeful expression.
Eventually, Grandpa scrounged the ball out from underneath a seat and triumphantly presented it to me like a prized hunting trophy. When we got home, he wrote the date, the score of the game, and “Foul Ball Caught – Mile High Stadium” on the ball. It’s one of my fondest memories of my grandfather, who passed away when I was 12. I still have the ball to this day, although it’s stayed in a storage box over my most recent couple of moves in the last several years.
My wife was hit just above the ankle with a line drive foul ball hit by Cardinals’ catcher Chris Snyder in Houston a couple of years ago. The ball ricocheted off an arm rest and went right past me. The Astros rep insisted a med tech come down and then had us sign a waiver of some sort. Then he gave us Denny’s breakfast coupons. I thought we were getting free tickets.
I gave the ball to a kid behind us.
A long time ago my younger brothers pestered Mike Cuellar into tossing us a baseball as he did his running along the warning track. I still have the ball.
MLB Power Rankings are up:
I have to admit, I’m surprised that Cleveland wasn’t automatically stuck in last place because of the Chief Wahoo logo.
(Seriously, It’s just a smiling cartoon logo, because baseball is supposed to be fun, it’s not fucking racist. The logo represents a baseball team, not an entire race of people.)
The Indians gray road jerseys are sweet!
because baseball is supposed to be fun, it’s not fucking racist
Fun and racist are not mutually exclusive. Some fun things are also racist!
The logo represents a baseball team, not an entire race of people
The logo represents a baseball team that takes its identity from an race of people.
What I don’t get is that the Indians uni ranking is based solely on their caps. I’d be interested to hear Paul’s take on the rest of the uniform.
Also, if you think the Orioles white panel looks dated, the crooked C would certainly look out of place. Would they need to bring back the full Caveman font too? That just screams 70’s.
The Chief Wahoo logo is offensive. Straight up/flat out.
It needs to go.
I realize the Blue Jays uniform is well-liked, but I’ve never understood the appeal. I think the logo is terrible, the in-line numbers are ugly, and there’s just too much royal blue.
I also think the Marlins colour scheme is nice, and when I first saw a hat in a store before they wore it I thought the look had some promise. But on the field it looks too black and you can’t see the colours. But I still think there’s some hope if it was reworked.
One thing about the Marlins uniforms that I like is their use of metallic silver thread for the trim on their letters and numbers. I’d like to see the White Sox try it, as opposed to the matte gray tackle twill they currently use.
Regarding the Tigers, it’s basically the same strategy that Mike Ilitch has with the Red Wings. Both teams have long resisted adding permanent alternate jerseys into the mix, and as for their regular uniforms, the Tigers haven’t made any adjustments since 1998, and the only tweak the Red Wings have undergone since 1986 was to accommodate the transition to the Edge template in 2007.
Interesting that the Royals’ thumbnail is of their old logo.
Re: the Orioles’ white-panel lids. Is it just me, or does it work just fine on the batting helmet but look low-rent on the cap?
It looks great on both!
Wouldn’t want that look for every team, but it’s SO Baltimore to me. Don’t get rid of them, O’s!
The massive problem is that the white front panels look horrible on high-crown caps. They look great on casual ’47 Brand-style caps but stupid on regular-crown 5950s. I don’t like them on the helmet, but the caps down’t work at all.
I hate the Dodgers road alts and hope they have not done away with the script LA jerseys. They abandoned them after the all star break last season.
I expected the Nats to be higher, but I get it.
There’s some serious identity crisis, and the primary look, which isn’t awful if unoriginal, repeats the curly ‘W’ too many times.
Cubs remain insanely high given that their primary road jersey is one of the worst non-alts in pro sports, the alternate is below average and worn way too often and the road alt–while a massive improvement on the regular alt–is completely stupid, right down to the number typeface which is inexplicably different from the regular one.
QOTW: I was lucky enough to catch a Ryan Ludwick home run…on the fly…without a glove…but in batting practice. I still have it. I caught it like a football and had bruises running up my arm and on my belly for a week. This was when he was with the Cardinals so he was an up and coming potential star in the making. That fizzled but still enough people know who he is.
I have a piece of the original Comiskey, when they were demolishing it a family friend that is a nun jumped the fence and got me a piece. I also have a sleeve patch from back when the Ranger had their spring training in Charlotte, FL that I found in a dugout during a American Legion game I was in.
Early 2000’s, was invited to a Flyers game by a buddy. Randomly decided to wear my Eric Desjardins jersey that night. Little did I know the seats were directly behind the Flyers bench. As soon as the game ended, with the team still congratulating each other on the ice, Desjardins makes a beeline to the bench, looks up at me, and hands me his stick over the glass and continues down the tunnel. I was shocked enough that I didn’t even think to say thank you. A security guard standing in the area looked over to me and said “wow! I have never seen him do that!”.
re: almost $1 billion spent on kit sponsorship
Besides the sheer amount of money and the gap between the haves/have-nots, there’s some low-quality sponsorship for the lesser teams – online casinos, predatory lenders and their ilk.
Plus, there’s the practice of using sponsorship as image laundering, like Azerbaijan does with Atletico Madrid, Qatar with Barcelona and Gazprom with Zenit and Schalke. Qatar advertising itself on the same shirt as UNICEF feels especially dissonant.
RE: Steve Smith wearing #89 because of Rae Carruth:
I guess it is progress when you go from a sociopath killer of a girlfriend and near-killer of an unborn child to a guy who just beats the hell out of teammates who anger him.
Caught a foul ball at “The Cell” in Chicago.
David Wells gave me his batting gloves on a cold day in Chicago when he was with the Yankees.
Danny Wuerffel gave me his crotch towel and signed it at Saints training camp in La Crosse, Wi.
Rick Mirer gave me his wristband and signed it at Bears training camp in Platteville, Wi.
I won an Edwin Jackson game worn signed hat from UBER in Chicago. The only cool part of the whole thing is that it had the Wrigley Field 100 patch. Huge head by the way 7 5/8.
I bought a Julio Franco game used bat from a White Sox garage sale.
7 5/8 is large… not huge. I was thrilled when places like Lids started carrying size 8’s. I was told they do it for people with dreadlocks, but they fit me just fine.
Like a lot of people(?)I’ve never caught, been handed or helped myself to any game-used/stadium memorabilia, but I sorta wish I could have been in this guy’s spot at the 2006 Food City 500:
QOTW: In 1988 (I think), a friend and I went to an NJ Devils game. We entered during pregame warm-ups. As we were walking to our seats, a stray puck landed right at my feet. Couldn’t have been simpler — I just bent down and picked it up. Almost seemed too easy.
I have no idea what happened to the puck, which is now bugging me…..
QotW: It was 1994. I was 10 years old, and my dad was taking to my very first professional sporting event. We lived in Central Wisconsin, and the friends we were going with were from Minnesota and big Twins fans. I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep at night. Even if the game was in Minnesota, and not involving my Brewers.
The Metrodome was gigantic to me. I was in total awe. We got there early to watch BP. We had nose bleed seats but I didn’t care. I was there. Right before the game started, our family friend’s son (I think we was 20 years old) came to our seats. He handed me a scuffed up ball. He said Dave Stewart (Twins were playing the A’s that day) threw it to him after his warm up. He said I could keep it. I couldn’t believe it. A ball from the field! It was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. I still have the ball, and have not come remotely close to getting any other memorabilia from a sporting event ever again.
QOTW: I was in Chicago for a function with local affiliates in the fall of 1932. After a day of glad-handling the locals, I found myself at Wrigley field for game 3 of the world series! In the 5th inning, I made my way to the bleachers for a few Stroh’s with the “bums”. Suddenly, I noticed Babe Ruth making a pointing gesture, which existing film confirms, pointing RIGHT AT ME! Although neither fully confirmed nor refuted, the story goes that Ruth pointed to the center-field bleachers during the at-bat – WELL LET ME CONFIRM IT FOR YOU BECAUSE I WAS THER! On the next pitch, Ruth hit a home run to center field which I caught but then threw back onto the field, thus starting the tradition of throwing homerun balls by the opposition back onto the field of play.
Brian F Williams
Have the Packers ever had a yellow jersey? That seems to be the logical alternate if not a throwback
8/23/80 Pee Wee Reese threw me a ball at Shea during an Old Timers game when the Mets were helping honor Duke Snider.
My son was quite the ballhawk in his 12-14 years. We’d go on minor league trips and he got 2-3 balls a game… sometimes fouls, sometimes handouts, and one trip to Princeton , WV where he got 6 balls during BP that were hit into the parking lot where we tailgated.
Just a heads up, it’s Francis Marion. Not Frances Marion.
In the Phoenix Suns’ new interactive uni-centric page at their website, shouldn’t “seraphs” be “serifs” in the second paragraph?
I was wondering why they felt the need to point out the lack of angelic beings on the uniforms.
QotW- When I was in high school, I worked as an usher at Comiskey Park (now U.S. Cellular) during the 2000 season in which the White Sox made the Playoffs. I had a position in between the visitors dugout and home plate. During the top of 9th of the final game, I was sitting in the second row segment that was close to the on-deck circle (it was protocol to stay down during the 9th so you can promptly clear the area after the game) and a Mariner fouled a ball back and it rolled towards my area. The Mariner on deck, Rickey Henderson, moved from the circle, picked up the ball, turned to the crowd, spotted me, gave me a nod, and tossed me the ball, then went back to the circle. Unfortunately, I gave the ball away to a kid who was begging for it. It was inappropriate for me to hold on to something like that being employee in game.
However, I had many a BP ball that I kep (played with and lost) due to the fact I would often help out putting chairs in the disabled area before games. The next year, a lot of the BP balls were the surplus form the Subway Series:
I caught about six of those. I lost many of them because I played hardball with my pals while I was at the University of Missouri. So collectors beware! If someone from central Missouri is selling you Subway Series balls that looked used, it may be “true” but it isn’t TRUE.
Have a foul ball from a Border Cats game. Narrowly missed get hit with it while ordering at the concession stand on the 1st base side.
I went to the 2010 UEFA Champions League final in Madrid and saw my favorite club Inter win the treble. The day after, I went back to the stadium Santiago Bernabeu and took the tour. The tour took us through the bench and near where they presented the trophy. I picked up my own pieces of gold confetti which I still have as keepsakes. There was a British crew tearing down all the posters and trimmings and they had already sliced off the vinyl awning from the top of the dugout/bench. I asked if I could have the slice that had the Inter club logo and the ‘2010’ section of the final logo. They were happy to oblige! It is huuuge and I had a helluva time travelling internationally with it. Worth it.
QOTW: In 1989 my older brother outreached me and caught a Ken Griffey Jr foul ball when the Mariners were visiting the Angels. A lady one row over offered him $100 cash on the spot for the ball. Surprisingly, my 10 year old brother refused and put the ball and ticket in his childhood room where it remains on display.
Personally, I have an assortment of in-game memorabilia.
First, a game-used puck from the Anaheim Ducks game vs the Panthers on Dec 2, 2010 – a locally famous night as enforcer George Parros scored twice and was the 1st Star for the only time in his career. The puck popped over the boards into our seats. My friend made me promise that only George Parros would sign that puck…and he did when I met him during the off-season.
Second, a game-used Anaheim Bullfrogs puck from Roller Hockey International during the mid-’90s. There was a whistle stoppage and defenseman Joe Cook made eye contact with me and flipped the over the boards to me at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim. Side Note: I ran into old Bullfrog B.J. MacPherson at Sunday’s AHL San Diego Gulls event and had him sign it.
Third, I have a game used goalie stick from Rob Laurie during another mid-’90s Roller Hockey International game for the Anaheim Bullfrogs. He gave me his stick after the game as it was slightly cracked and not able to be used again. Rob Laurie would gain some recent notoriety for being an emergency call-up for the Anaheim Ducks (twice) and Vancouver Canucks over the past three years. The stick is still hanging on the wall in my childhood bedroom at my parents’ home.
Lastly, I attended a Lexington Legends (High Class-A Kansas City) in Spring of 2013. I struck up a conversation with a player pre-game and asked if I could have a ball for my infant daughter. He said he’d hook me up after the game…and he did. The last out in the top of the 9th was a pop-up to left field. Terrance Gore caught it and ran straight to me, tossing me the ball and saying “For your daughter!”. Terrance Gore would go from the signle-A South Atlantic in ’13 League to being an integral speedster in the ’14 World Series for the Royals.
Bonus: I caught a batting practice home run from Jose Canseco when he was in his swan song with the visiting Chicago White Sox in Anaheim.
QOTW: I caught a Bryce Harper foul ball in 2013, against the Orioles. The man sitting behind me tried to snatch it, but he gave it back to me. Also, when I was 5 or 6, my dad, my uncle, my cousin, and I went on a tour of MLB agent Steve Boras’ offices. Boras gave me and my cousin signed Mark Texiera baseballs. I also have autographed memorabilia from Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Austin Carr, Daniel “Booby” Gibson, and Indians prospect Francisco Lindor!
The Frisco Roughriders have new unis
Another subliminal Nike swoosh in an NFL logo. Check out the “B” in the Baltimore Ravens helmet logo.
I’ve got several dugout lineup cards from the Oakland A’s and their opponents during 1973 and 1974 including ones from the A World Series in 73 and 74. In 1999, I donated the World Series ones to Copperstown
I am a huge Angels fan and in 2002 I was attending a mid-September game against the Texas Rangers. I had great seats along with 3 of my friends, right on the corner of the Angels’ dugout where Mike Scioscia sits. In fact, we were so close to the dugout that we could look over and see the notebook he keeps that tells him what each of the opposing pitchers throws and how fast.
Flash forward to the bottom of the 7th inning…Texas makes a pitching change and David Eckstein and Adam Kennedy as the next two hitters up to bat come over and look at Scioscia’s notebook. At this point I noticed that Eckstein’s bat is extremely small, like something a kid would use. I yelled out to him “Hey Eck! I used that same bat in Little League 30 years ago!” Everyone around me laughed but of course there was no reply from Eck nor did I expect one…
So it’s the end of the game and me and my friends are standing applauding the Angels win. The team is slapping hands on the field and filing into the dugout. I’m standing there absent-mindedly clapping when all of a sudden, Eckstein pops-up out of the dugout with a bat in his hand and walks right over to me. I’m staring at him and he has this big smile on his face, winks at me and hands me the bat! Everyone around me was in disbelief and I was in shock! I got mobbed by people I didn’t even know….I guess he heard me after all!
It’s a great piece of memorabilia to have especially since it came in the year they won their only championship. It now hangs on the wall in my office and I never get tired of seeing the look on people’s faces as I tell the story to them. It always reminds me of that great baseball season and what a great guy and good sport David Eckstein was….