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Scipio Spinks: The Lone White-Shod Cardinal

[Editor’s Note: Today we have a guest entry from Wally Campbell, who’s written an excellent piece about the one St. Louis Cardinals player to wear white shoes in 1972. Wally sent his piece already laid out in a PDF, so I’ve chosen to present it as he formatted it. For each “page,” you can click to enlarge. ”” PL]

By Wally Campbell


Paul here. Big thanks to Wally for this superb bit of reportage. Wally, incidentally, is a bit of a white-footwear specialist — you can see his extensive report on the A’s shoe history here.

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ESPN contest reminder: I’m currently accepting entries for an ESPN contest to name and design a team for a prospective NHL expansion franchise in Las Vegas. Details here.

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’Skins Watch: A bill advancing through the Colorado state legislature would require schools to get local tribes’ permission to use Native American names or imagery (from John Romero). … The U.S. Justice Department is defending the government’s move to strip the ’Skins of their trademark protection, and opposing the team’s claim that the trademark is justified on First Amendment grounds (thanks, Phil). ”¦ “Last week I caught some spring training baseball at the Reds/Indians shared facility in Goodyear, Arizona,” writes Patrick O’Neill. In the main entrance concourse there are exhibits about the Reds’ and Indians’ previous spring training presences in Arizona and Florida. I never paid much attention to this stuff before, but this time the display for the Indians caught my eye. It featured a 1949 flyer showing Chief Wahoo leading an entire caricatured family, along with Wahoo’s head atop a totem pole.” But hey, it’s a tribute!

Baseball News: Here’s a photographer who clearly understood the most important part of the uniform (from BSmile). ”¦ Nats 1B Ryan Zimmerman’s wife is trying to get him to go high-cuffed (from Matthew Gallagher). ”¦ One of the Brandiose guys was recently interviewed on a Padres-centric podcast (from @RJsFro). ”¦ Stirrups and sidearming: two great tastes that taste great together. ”¦ The A’s will be giving away rainbow-patterned wristbands for LGBT Pride Night on June 17 (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Eric Sogard of the A’s was wearing what appears to be throwback striped socks yesterday (from Domenico Delgado).

NFL News: More gold digging: When Roger Goodell spoke at the NFL owners’ meetings the other day, he stood in front of a backdrop of gold NFL logos. ”¦ Three men who’d been sought by the police for taking part in a Manhattan brawl while wearing Jets jerseys have turned themselves in. ”¦ 49ers TE Vernon Davis went curling the other day (from @makatski). ”¦ Major fuck-up by New Era, which mistakenly put the Miami skyline on the underbrim of the Jags’ draft cap. ”¦ Good story on Greg Pruitt and his tearaway jerseys (thanks, Phil). ”¦ A new Bills shirt being sold in Buffalo is based on faulty meteorology.

College Football News: Whoa, check out the first-ever Baylor football team! Just doesn’t look right without an illegible custom typeface, am I right?

Hockey News: The Hurricanes wore white at home last night against the Penguins. ”¦ The Canucks wore their awesome Vancouver Millionaires throwbacks last night. Here’s a good shot of some of the players suiting up ”¦ A fan at last night’s Rangers/Sens game in Ottawa was wearing a very cool Hoboken Fire Dept. hockey jersey (screen shot by Alan Kreit). ”¦ An ad came loose and fell onto the ice during last night’s Isles/Kings game.

NBA News: We’ve previously noted that some NBA players have been wearing gloves while sitting on the bench. Here’s an article about why Piston G Reggie Jackson does it (from Jeffrey Sak). ”¦ Here’s more about how Adidas passed on signing Michael Jordan to an endorsement deal because he wasn’t tall enough. ”¦ DeMar DeRozan of the Raptors mistakenly threw a pass to Joakim Noah of the Bulls while Noah stood on the sideline wearing a white shooting shirt — the same color as the Raptors’ uniforms in that game. “Might we see a rule change requiring sideline apparel to match the team’s uni color in the near future?” asks Kary Klismet. ”¦ Whoa, check out this crazy old Bullets/Celtics color vs. color game, with Boston in white shorts! After I tweeted that photo yesterday, Todd Radom explained that it was a St. Paddy’s Day stunt by Red Auerbach (original photo from Joe Kuras). ”¦ Cavs C Timofey Mozgov wore a backwards jersey for a local Cleveland TV commercial (thanks, Mike). ”¦ This is pretty good: a historical gallery of NBA warm-up gear (from Mark Roberts).

College and High School Hoops News: The 1954-55 Perkinston Jr. College women’s team wore really interesting sleeved/collared jerseys. ”¦ The Ohio high school basketball championship featured the Tuscarawas Central Catholic Saints vs. the Tri-Village Patriots, both of which poached their logos from NFL teams (from Justin Kellough). ”¦ Some harsh words for Notre Dame’s uniforms (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Some UNC players wore this sneaker design last night.

Soccer News: West Brom will honor Jeff Astle next month by wearing 1968 throwbacks. “This is only the second time the Premier League has given permission for a retro kit to be worn in a league game, the other being in 2008, when Manchester United marked the 50th anniversary of the 1958 Munich Air Disaster,” says Neil MacLeod. “What’s particularly pleasing about this is that the West Brom kit will be completely clear of branding and sponsorship, and there will be no names on the back of the shirts.T he shirts of the outfield players will be numbered 2 through 11 rather than the squad numbers in use today, and the goalkeeper jersey will be numberless.” ”¦ The new Man U away jersey has leaked. ”¦ New uniforms for Louisville City FC (thanks, Phil).

Grab Bag: F1 driver Nico Rosberg wears a women’s sanitary towel inside his helmet to absorb sweat. ”¦ New athletics logo for King’s College. ”¦ New logo for Billy Casper Golf. ”¦ LL Bean boots are a hot commodity at the moment (from Tommy Turner).

Comments (46)

    the Jaguars draft hat tidbit was so good that it had to be in the ticker on consecutive days!

    I love how Wally managed to sneak in a picture of the 1974 Red Sox paneled hat in the article. :-) I have always loved that hat.

    Wonderful piece. Way to be, Scipio.

    Little footnote. The article describes how:Scipio bequeathed Mighty Joe Young (the 3′ tall gorilla he carried with him) to Bernie Carbo on the occasion of Carbo’s being traded to the Red Sox in 1974.

    [I was lucky enough to be at Fenway for Games 6 and 7 of the 1975 World Series. Game 6 was the one that Fisk won his body-English homer, but it was Bernie Carbo’s 3-run blast earlier on that set the stage. It was a terrible at-bat until he hit the homer.]

    Anyway, ten years later I’m doing a where-are-they-now interview article on old Red Sox, Dom DiMaggio through Bill Lee. Bernie Carbo was one the friendliest, self-awarest, funniest guys I have ever met. Scipio had a good feel for able custodians.

    Those all-white West Brom throwback jerseys are the epitome of simple elegance… except that, as you might expect, the number is positioned too low. It’s as if they took a NOB-designed jersey and just left the name area blank.

    And, watching the video, some of the original 1968 jerseys have the numbers positioned a bit too high compared to their opponents. The long-sleeved ones seen at 1:22 are a little better positioned.

    Also, has the number font been changed to generic Arial straight off a Windows computer?

    I’m curious to see how many players will complete the retro look by tucking their shirts in and wearing black boots.

    If they go untucked with neon footwear, it’s not going to look all that different from the current England ensemble.

    In the video they show a guy tucking his shirt in, but his shoes are some kind of blue-and-red patterned hodgepodge.

    I don’t mind the exotic footwear; it’s more than made up for by the simple, classy rest of the kit.

    From the hockey ticker: “The Hurricanes wore white at home last nigh against the Penguint”

    Someone needs some coffee…

    hey… the Bills logo on the cold front shirt…. the front legs….. not the normal “standing buffalo” …… i like this version. looks like it’s a bull getting ready to stir up some dirt. that would be a sweet update. maybe it’s been out there and i just didn’t know, but i like it.

    I love how pitchers posed back “in the day,” with their arms overhead in full wind-up mode, with no ball in their hand or mitt. Classic!

    The NBA warm-ups gallery is the best thing I’ve seen on the internet in quite some time.

    Regarding that Indians flyer: it’s too bad we don’t have a time machine to go back to 1949 and inform everyone about how much they should be offended by the mascot of the Cleveland Indians.

    Starting, I suppose, with then-Indians president Bill Veeck, the man who introduced the Smiling Indian to Cleveland. Who also integrated the American League. Who moved the Indians spring training to Arizona to protest Jim Crow laws in Florida. Who wrote in his autobiography that one of his unfulfilled goals was to become an attorney and work for the civil rights of American Indians.

    re: The photo of the first Baylor football team, I can’t quite tell, but does the guy holding the ball and the guy to his left have their nose guards tied to their belts? Was that a thing or did they maybe just tie them there for the photo? Two players in front have them around their necks – which seems to be a common occurrence – and a couple in back apparently do as well. Just curious.

    Regarding the tearaway football jerseys:

    The article states the jerseys were cotton, does this mean the whole jersey was made of a thinner material? I was never sure how these were constructed and would love more info if anyone knows.

    I also wonder who made the jersey? The regular manufacturer or custom made by a tailor/seamstress?

    I know in hockey when fighters used to have tearaway sleeves, they would sometimes open up the seams and then re-stitch it closed by hand so the threads would tear open (this was before Velcro).

    A small request: please stop using Man U when talking about Manchester United. The use was particularly bad in today’s soccer section.

    The phrase “Man U” is historically considered (in England) as a fairly offensive insult. Manchester United fans historically shorten it to “Man United”. The term “Man U” was first used in song by West Brom fans but then adopted by Liverpool fans. They used it in song celebrating the death of Duncan Edwards in the Munich air disaster. (“Man U got on a plane, Man U never came back again, etc.).

    The use in the offensive song seems simply incidental – “Man U” fits in the lyrics better than “Man United” or “United” or any other variation of the club name. There seems to be disagreement over the offensiveness of the term among United fans themselves, and I’ve seen the abbreviation used on TV graphics. Not to say it justifies using a slur, but it’s not a clear cut a case as more obvious insults.

    A more plausible reason for not using “Man U” is because it sounds like “manure”.

    Both of those. My friend who is a United fan emphatically let me know not to use “Man U.” In speech, I’ll use “United.” In writing, I’ll use “Man Utd.” IIRC, that’s what IMG used on the Premier League telecasts on their scoreboard bugs before last year, when they went to three-letter abbreviations (they now refer to them as “MUN.”)

    terrible human,

    It was not incidental. They were using the double interpretation of U as united and you. Older fans find it offensive. It is also not “the song” but songs.

    If you try to type “Man U” on the Manchester United website, it autocorrects to “Man Utd”. This seems to suggest that the club itself dislikes the phrase.

    At anyrate, I stand by my request not to use a phrase that many consider disrespectful to the dead and to current fans.

    Fair enough. I’m not going to go out of my way to use a term that people don’t want to hear.

    Not much there except a baseball stadium, a soccer stadium and an IKEA.

    You’re talkng about the one on Texas, right?

    If they promise to stop using “Man U” can the other dude go back to using “Tot. Spurs”?

    Apropos of the DeMar DeRozan – Joakim Noah story: once when I was a catcher in little league, I was playing in a game in which the other team had a man on third base. The hitter hit a ball that dribbled a short way up the third-base line, so I jumped out and fielded the ball.

    As I did this, I saw a player in green socks — the colour of the opposing team — running down the third-base line towards the plate. I’d had no time to get the heavy helmet-mask combo off my head; so I could see him only from the knee down. I grabbed the ball, blocked the plate, and laid a tag on…my third baseman. Our socks were also green.

    I never paid much attention to this stuff before, but this time the display for the Indians caught my eye. It featured a 1949 flyer showing Chief Wahoo leading an entire caricatured family, along with Wahoo’s head atop a totem pole.” But hey, it’s a tribute!

    But hey, it’s a teachable moment! Nobody behaves the way they did in “Holiday Inn”, either, but that shouldn’t prevent you from appreciating the movie.

    Re: the Vancouver Millionaires jerseys – the Denman Arena where the team played burned down in 1936, and it’s assumed all of the jerseys were lost in the fire. I have also heard Cyclone Taylor (star player) let his kids use his jerseys to play in, and once they were worn out they were thrown away.

    As it stands, no original jersey is known to exist, but it would be wonderful if one somehow turned up – it would be a great treasure from Vancouver’s hockey history.

    Why would a parent complain about an undeserving kid wearing a letter jacket? Every adult knows that letter jackets are monumentally uncool the moment you graduate high school.

    After reading this story about the student with Down Syndrome being barred from wearing his letterman jacket and the story about link for refusing to print a team nickname she considered a racial slur, I am convinced that the only qualification necessary to be a high school principal nowadays is to be as big of a jackass as possible.

    wouldn’t that photo have to be spring training? cards in home uni, long after they moved into Busch, stadium clearly not Busch. . . in any event, love the aura of mystery from examining unclear, background images

    Probably old Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg. The stadium was apparently rebuilt in 1976. A short distance from the Trop.

    The 1976 rebuild changed the seats to a Cardinal red – a good deal of the player cards in the 1984 Topps set (1983) featured batting poses with this stadium in the backdrop.

    Watching ESPN Classic channel at the moment Dodgers vs Mets 1988 NLCS game 4 (yes I have spring fever bad, there is snow on the ground outside here in Cleveland) and both teams have the players last names on their dugout Starter jackets. I do not recall these. Wondering if these were playoff jackets or were these worn all season? Either way they look pretty good!

    The Mets wore those Starter jackets year-round between 1984 and the early 90s…Starter embroidered the names on the back. Several other teams wore similar jackets with the same font. I recreated the font to embroider my own vintage jacket, as Uni Watch featured in this piece:


    I really didn’t mind Notre Dame’s uniforms last night. Much better than those Shamrock Shake colored ones.

    Watching the UND – Quinnipiac game from Fargo. Virtually everybody in the stands wearing North Dakota gear was wearing something with ‘Sioux’, the Indian head mascot, or both on it.

    Regarding L.L. Bean’s boot shortage:

    I was able to get one at a Bean store in northern Virginia without any problem. Of course, it helps that my shoe size is 13 (I wound up getting a size 14 because my ankle is tall). Was in and out in less than 20 minutes.

    It’s not a shortage a la Cabbage Patch Kids in the 80s, people. You can still buy boots at the Bean stores.

Comments are closed.