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Uni Watch Fan Appreciation Day, 2015 Edition


Greetings from Wisconsin, where I’m taking part in a panel discussion this morning and then flying home later in the day. Please join me in thanking Phil and Mike for keeping everything running in my absence.

Now then: It’s that time of year again — the time when I give something back to you folks, literally. Or, if you prefer to be more cynical, the time when I clear out all the uni-related stuff that’s accumulated in my apartment over the past year. Either way, it’s the day I run a big raffle that all of you can enter.

As in past years, some of you may recognize a few of these items as gifts that you thoughtfully sent my way over the past 12 months. I realize regifting may seem tacky, but sometimes I have duplicates on certain things, or I don’t have room for everything, or something is too big or too small for me to wear, or I’ve gotten some enjoyment out of an item and am now ready to let someone else enjoy it. No offense intended, and I hope none taken. Thanks for understanding.

The listings that follow are pretty self-explanatory, except for this: For T-shirts, you’ll see a size followed by two measurements (like this, for example: L, 21″, 29″). In each case, that’s the tagged size followed by the the pit-to-pit measurement and the length from the back collar to the bottom hem. All of the T-shirts this year are 100% cotton.

Ready? Here we go:

1. A complimentary Uni Watch membership card with your choice of design.

2. A Steve Pearce bobblehead, still in the box.

3. An Orioles snap-back cap. Faux-distressed detailing. Front two panels are cloth, remaining panels are mesh.

4. An Orioles 2015 media guide.

5. A Zach Britton “Rock the Yard” T-shirt. XL, 23″, 28.5″.

6. A Miguel Gonzalez “El Mariachi” T-shirt. M, 18.5″, 24.5″.

7. Another “El Mariachi” tee, same as above but L, 21″, 28″.

8. A puck bottle opener, made from a real hockey puck. Cool goalie illustration on the other side.

9. A baseball bottle opener, made from a real baseball.

10. A golf ball bottle opener, made from a real golf ball.

11. A personalized Paul Lukas football. That one panel is off-white; the other panels are brown. Big Game logo on the opposite side. I might deflate the ball to make it easier to pack and ship, in which case you’ll have to re-inflate it.

12. A “Uni of the Year” football. That one panel is blue; the others are brown. Big Game logo on the opposite side. I might deflate the ball to make it easier to pack and ship, in which case you’ll have to re-inflate it.

13. A T-shirt showing diagrams of Reggie Jackson’s home runs in Game 5 of the 1977 World Series. Shirt is slightly darker than it appears in the photo — think Yankees midnight blue. M, 19.5″, 27″.

14. A T-shirt with a diagram of a notable (or so I assume) USA soccer goal. M, 20″, 29″.

15. Two prints — one showing a diagram of the Immaculate Reception and the other showing a diagram of a John Starks dunk. These are being given away as a set, because I only have one tube to ship them in. Both are 18″ x 24″.

16. A copy of the children’s book We’ll Call You Mr. Met. 38 pages.

17. A Mets rally towel, given away at Game 3 of the NLDS on Oct. 12, 2015.

18. A lace-up collar conversion kit from DIY genius Wafflebored. Green felt in center is lighter/brighter than it appears in the photo.

19. Another great Wafflebored project: a squatchee lapel pin.

20. A New York Rangers belt. Real leather. Adjustable, so one size fits most.

21. Same as above, but for the Brooklyn Nets.

22. Same as above, but for Syracuse athletics.

23. A Mets wristwatch. Band is rubbery, feels kinda like a toy. Keeps good time, though.

24. A Mr. Met wristwatch. Same rubbery band as the above-listed item. Crystal is not cracked — that’s just a reflection.

25. A pack of Notre Dame logo drinking straws. Paper, bendable.

26. Same as above, but for the New York Giants.

27. Same as above, but for the San Francisco 49ers.

28. Same as above, but for the Green Bay Packers.

29. A free pair of sneakers from Skicks — your choice from any of the designs shown on this page.

30. A pair of New York football Yankees shorts (that’s the old 1930s AFL team). Includes pockets. Size medium.

31. A pair of Boston Shamrocks shorts. Includes pockets. Size medium. Caitlin not included.

32. An NHL onesie from HockeySockey — your choice of size and design from any of the options listed on this page.

33, 34, and 35. Three pairs of authentic Cleveland Browns socks, from the pre-makeover era. Size large. Each pair is a separate prize.

36. A Brooklyn Cyclones pom-pom hat. Annoying corporate beverage logo on the other side.

37. I don’t remember who sent me this warm-up jacket, or why, but it’s a perfectly nice jacket. Some sort of crest on the chest, “Ted” script on the left cuff, “Perez” on the back. No tagged size, but it’s 22″ pit to pit and 27″ from top to bottom, so it’s basically a medium.

38. A T-shirt for the fictitious Great Britain Olympic croquet team. Fun creative project. M, 19.5″, 28.5″.

39. Another T-shirt for a fictitious Olympic team, this time for the 1974 Swedish chess team, or something like that. Intentionally opaque explanation on the hang tag. Whatever — it’s a nice shirt. M, 19.5″, 28.5″.

40. A vintage baseball jersey from Elk Mound High School in Wisconsin (which, as you may recall, is the school that stole the new Bucks logo before the Bucks even got to use it themselves). Found in a Nebraska thrift store by reader Greg Mays and donated to the cause. Nice NOB/number treatment on the back. 100% polyester. L, 23.5″, 32″.

41. An “I passed uniform inspection” patch. Dime, shown for scale, not included.

42. A Detroit Tigers season ticketholder metal tag. Dime, shown for scale, not included.

43. A Shea Stadium final-season lapel pin, modeled after the sleeve patch that the Mets wore in 2008. Dime, shown for scale, not included.

44. A CD copy of Five Minute Major (in D Minor) by the Zambonis. Fiften songs, including “Fight on the Ice,” “Hockey Mom,” and “I’m a Puck,” among other near-classics.

45. My press pass from the Milwaukee Bucks’ logo unveiling last April. Bonus irony points for having the old logo for an event that showcased the new logo.

46. Saved the best for last: DIY dynamo Wafflebored has donated one of his amazing, one-of-a-kind jerseys to this raffle. It’s a goalie jersey for a fictitious 1950s team called Common Minke Whales (for all of these photos, you can click to enlarge):

Wafflebored even created his own hang tag, which explains the story behind the jersey and the team:

The sleeves feature patches on the top and a cool “Button-Eeze” button-thru design on the underside:

And instead of a lace-up collar, there’s a lace-up shoulder:

This is an amazing piece of craftsmanship, and easily the coolest item ever offered in a Uni Watch year-end raffle. Whoever wins it is gonna be one exceedingly lucky motherfucker. It measures 23.5″ from pit to pit, and 29.5″ from top to bottom, which means it’s basically a large. Please join me in thanking Wafflebored for donating it — his talents are matched only by his generosity of spirit.


That’s it. Not bad, right? To enter the raffle for these items, here’s whatcha do:

1) Send an email to the raffle address.

2) In the body of the email, please indicate (a) your name and shipping address and (b) your top 10 prize choices, in order of preference, by number. If you’re only interested in, say, seven items, then just list your top seven choices; if you want to list more than 10, you can do that too, but I don’t really expect anyone to go that far. I’ll do my best to accommodate all the winners’ choices.

3) One email per person. Entry deadline is next Monday, Dec. 21, 7pm Eastern. The winners will be announced on Christmas Day.

Again, my thanks to all of you who contribute in various ways to Uni Watch. I wish I could provide gifts for all of you ”” honest.

• • • • •

Maple Leafs contest: With the Maple Leafs reportedly having a makeover in the works, I’m running a Leafs-redesign contest over on ESPN. The deadline is next Wednesday, Dec. 23. Full details here.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: The Rays apparently still have Devil Rays chairs lying around. Marshall’s football equipment account tweeted that photo, as the Herd are in St. Petersburg for a bowl game on Dec. 26 (from Chris Workman).

NFL News: The Dolphins wore throwbacks last night and also played on a throwback field. Kenny Kaplan photographed the game. … The Dolphins gave out white hankies to their fans, too. … Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. wore Joker cleats and gloves in warmups before last night’s game (from Phil). … Packers RB James Starks had a small jersey tear on Sunday (from @TheDapperPacker). … William Gay wore mismatched Steelers gloves on Sunday (from Riley Danford). … The Eagles will wear all black this Sunday against the Cardinals. … Joe Namath had a very 1980s swimsuit line (from David Firestone). … Benjamin Pickett found a 1976 NFL lunchbox at an antique shop in Wisconsin.

Hockey News: The Sarnia Sting wore Christmas sweater jerseys this weekend. The coaches also wore Christmas sweaters on the bench. … The Penguins revealed when they’ll wear their gold jerseys. … Patrick Thomas coaches high school hockey in North Dakota. He and the staff traditionally wear ugly sweaters (and jackets) during an annual holiday tournament. Patrick is aware his double collar leather jacket is a women’s coat.

NBA News: The Sixers wore a black memorial band, presumably for Dolph Schayes (from Brandon Alberts). … The Raptors and Pacers went red-vs.-yellow last night (from Chris Scramlin). … Russell Westbrook donated a lot of money to UCLA, so the Bruins will name their practice court in his honor. … The Bucks are giving away the game ball from their win over the Warriors on Saturday night. How about that game, huh? I was ecstatic. … The Kobe 11s have been unveiled. … Michael Schlesinger did a nice job refurbishing a work table to look like the Cavs court.

Soccer News: New home and away jerseys for Hungary. … New home jerseys for Mexico. … Here’s a slideshow of 10 of the best club logos in soccer (from Phil). … The J-League will have two official balls in 2016. “The one on the left is for the regular season, while the one on the right is only for use during the J-League Nabisco Cup,” explains Jeremy Brahm.

Grab Bag: Rome revealed its logo for the city’s 2024 Olympic bid. … Adidas unveiled a 3D-printed shoe. According to the article, the shoe is made from ocean plastic, recycled polyester and gill net content (from Tommy Turner). … The company MadeLoyal produces Christmas sweater apparel.

Comments (55)

    The Penguins revealed when they’ll wear their gold jerseys.

    That schedule, which has been out for months and includes some games that have already been played, is for the early ’90s black throwbacks, with “Pittsburgh gold” trim (as opposed to Vegas gold). The Penguins haven’t worn gold jerseys since 1984.

    To be fair, the Pens’ own site (link) refers to them as: “‘Pittsburgh gold’ third jerseys”, “alternate sweaters”, and “gold jerseys” in that order. So it’s their own fault. :P

    NFL Lunchbox:

    1. Always odd to my eye to see helmets facing left (NFC)
    2. Odd to see Bucs and ‘Hawks in the “wrong” conference.

    Funny, isn’t it, the esteem expansion teams get nowadays vs. the ’60s and ’70s. They didn’t get done kicking the Seahawks around until ten years ago. But the Texans, Browns, Jags and Panthers have been stuck firm in their original conferences, realignment notwithstanding.

    To be fair, 2002 was when the last realignment happened, and that’s also when the Texans joined the league, so they didn’t exactly get any special treatment. They were never “in” either the AFC or NFC, so there was no movement to be had.

    And all the teams you mentioned got moved about in terms of divisional play (to keep old “rivalries” in tact — but screwing with geography).

    Also, legally, three teams from the AFC Central (Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh) were required to be in the same division (and conference) as part of any realignment proposals (part of the Browns/Ravens controversy). So they all moved to the new North.

    Also, the Jags and Panthers DID move divisions (as did a number of teams) — the Jags went from the AFC Central to the South, and the Panthers moved from the NFC West to the the South.

    So, while all of those teams remained in the same conferences, they were moved about in divisional play, which ‘screwed’ any nascent rivalries they may have developed.

    No, they didn’t move conferences like the Seahawks did (twice), but it is really that big a deal, being that it’s one NFL now and teams are playing inter-conference games all the time? I’d think divisional rivalries would have been more important to keep in tact.

    And…did the Stillers, Colts (the Baltimore version, then) and Browns get “screwed” when the NFL & AFL merged and those teams “moved”?

    Screwed? Hardly. The only team who might have balked would have been Baltimore, and I guess they lost a coin toss with Washington. Pittsburgh must have jumped at the opportunity, in light of their streak of bad luck in the NFL. The Browns created an intrastate rivalry with Paul Brown’s new team, the Bengals.

    My original point is that expansion teams (in every sport) were once looked upon as embarrassments, not opportunities. Yes, as far as marketing is concerned, teams of the past were not operating in the same paradigm.

    The Colts were content to move to the AFC, not only b/c top-to-bottom the competition was weaker than in the AFC, but b/c they’d been playing in a bi-coastal conference that included the LA Rams and SF 49ers for the past few years. Winning the first post-merger Super Bowl merely cemented their assimilation into the AFC firmament.

    “My original point is that expansion teams (in every sport) were once looked upon as embarrassments, not opportunities. Yes, as far as marketing is concerned, teams of the past were not operating in the same paradigm.”


    I disagree to an extent — ownership, not expansion teams per se, is the new pecking order.

    If you’re a new owner, your team is now screwed. It’s all about the pecking order and if you’re new to the most exclusive club in sports, you’re getting the scraps.

    Just witness baseball — when the league went from a 16-team NL and 14-team AL, which team got switched out of their league? The Astros, who’d been in the NL for 50 years. Not the D-bax, Rays, Marlins or Rockies — the newest “members” or the Brewers, who’d switched leagues (thanks Bud) in the 1990s ‘realignment’. Not that I’m saying the Astros move to the AL West (and their “new” rivalry with the Rangers) was a bad thing…but it shows to go you that pecking order is paramount.

    Most of the expansion franchises in both sports over the past several decades have had “new” owners, so they are as subject to the whims of their current co-owners as anything; now it’s switching over solely to seniority, as conferences, divisions and leagues are becoming less and less important.

    It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see (within a decade or two) major realignments in the NFL and MLB so that you have all eastern teams, regardless of AL or NL (or NFC/AFC), in the same divisions, with that happening geographically across the board. You could (possibly) see a MLB “Eastern” Division featuring the Yanks, Red Sox, Mets, Phillies, Nationals, Orioles, Braves and Blue Jays, for example.

    Once the separations between the leagues become less and less, movements will become more commonplace and the teams with the newest owners (like many NFL post-merger expansion teams in 2002) will be the ones moving.

    It wasn’t about pecking order or about an owner’s seniority. It was about MLB’s ability to make realignment a condition of the sale, so the change in franchise value could be factored into the purchase price.

    If the Rockies had been up for sale at the time, they would have been the ones to move. Or the Nationals, or Marlins, or Padres, or pretty much any team founded in the 20th Century.

    I may have worded it poorly, but yes — we’re in agreement here.

    Perhaps “seniority” wasn’t the proper word — but since the Astros were going to be the “youngest” team in terms of ownership seniority, they were the ones to go; as you mention, any of those other teams, had they been the ones on sale, would have moved — but that all goes to Seniority, no? Newest ownership = other 29 owners call shots.

    Hmm. Still can’t agree with you.

    The Astros moved because the move could be tied into the sale. If there were no teams up for sale at the time, I do not believe that the newest owner would have been tabbed to move.

    Let’s look at the only other league switch, 1996. The owners decided to move one team from the AL Central into the NL. First choice was given to the Kansas City Royals, who declined. Second choice went to the Brewers, who (eagerly) accepted. If the Brewers had elected to stay put, it would have gone to the Twins. Only the White Sox and Indians, charter members of the league, were exepmt.

    I don’t know how they chose that order, but it wasn’t seniority. Although the Royals’ owner was the newest of the three, the Brewers’ had the longest tenure at the time.

    As far as the Seahawks and Bucs moving, that was the plan from the very start. Each team was to play one season in the other conference then settle into their permanent conference. A welcoming tour of all NFL cities, if you will.

    I don’t know how they chose that order, but it wasn’t seniority.

    I suspect it was because they knew the Royals would decline, making Selig’s interest in having a National League team less obvious.

    ” I don’t know how they chose that order, but it wasn’t seniority.”


    Well, it may have been *seniority* — technically the Brewers and the Royals were the youngest teams in the division, both having been born in 1969 (Royals nee Royals, Brewers nee Pilots), the Twins were “older” (technically, since they were originally founded in 1901 as the Washington team, but obviously moved in 1961 to Minnesota). Both The ChiSox and Cleveland were charter members of the AL.

    I won’t deny KC was given right of first refusal…but I’m kind of surprised given that they’d have had a *natural* rivalry with the Cards had they chosen to go. They sucked in 1996, so it wasn’t like they were leaving a division they were dominating. Unless they viewed themselves as an AL city (having been born there) AND having had the A’s previously.

    The Crew, OTOH, of course jumped at the chance, being they saw the Cubs and many Cubs fans packing County Stadium, plus a decent rivalry possibility. And they had NL history with the Braves. I’d have moved too — but I almost think it was more of a “You wouldn’t want to have to move to the NL would you?” type of quick question from the Brewers to the Royals; once the Royals said, “um, no, why would we?” the Brewers were like, “Oh, no reason…”

    Boom, done.

    Still think Tampa would have been a better NL fit, and leave Milwaukee in the AL, but that’s just me. Or maybe put both Arizona and Tampa in the AL, but the split never made sense to me. Expansion teams to that point had always joined one league together (except 1969 when you had four teams, and they split 2 and 2).

    You may disagree, but I’m pretty sure Bud had his sights on the NL since he got the Pilots in that fire sale.

    I think hell would freeze over before we ever see MLB go to an East-West realignment of leagues. So, in other words, I think it’s likelihood is nil. Ads on uniforms, on the other hand…

    And…did the Stillers, Colts (the Baltimore version, then) and Browns get “screwed” when the NFL & AFL merged and those teams “moved”?

    They were well-compensated by their fellow owners for agreeing to move to the “lesser” conference.

    “I think hell would freeze over before we ever see MLB go to an East-West realignment of leagues.”


    Just out of curiosity, why don’t you think so?

    I love the NL, but I like seeing AL teams/games sometimes. Big cities with two teams or close teams let fans see games from each league. I like going to Tampa Bay to see an AL game instead of my usual NL game in Miami. That way we get all of it without combining leagues.

    Going fully geographic would eliminate league histories and blur traditions. I say no!

    Jersey malfunction in the Oklahoma Class 3A State Championship game as a Heritage Hall RB had half of his jersey pulled off.


    And with the lunch box, all these teams would do well to go back to the uni’s from this time.
    The Bengals did actually improve their look, but ruined it by changing again. I dare say they defined ruin.

    I would think the Rays could sell those chairs to fans and make enough money to buy new ones from that alone. No reason to keep those old chairs, is there? Colleges, yes. Pro teams? No.

    Last night’s Dolphins uniforms and throwback field were absolutely awesome! It hit me in a huge way. Maybe it’s because this is the worst NFL uniform year in decades, if not ever. But those throwbacks, combined with the amazing field and Giants’ “classic” uni made for an incredibly good-looking game. I was in aesthetic awe. Sports teams just don’t look that good anymore. I loved it and grieved for what we see on the field today. It was refreshing.

    Totally agree with you on the Dolphins uniforms: I’m a Jets fan but have always thought those uniforms were great… Great aqua, orange outline of the white numerals, good logo.
    Have to disagree on the Giants uniforms – Look dated and drab. If the Giants had stuck with the uniforms they wore in the 80’s, they would still have the classic elements but with some flair: white facemasks, uppercase ‘GIANTS’ on the helmets, white pants, red borders around white numerals on blue jersey/blue numerals on white jersey. There was a program on the NFL Network recently called “Jersey Guys” focusing on the move to New Jersey and the first Super Bowl-winning team, and I can’t believe Giants ownership or fans can think the current uniforms are better than than ones LT and Phil and Harry wore.

    while looking at the Dolphins throwback photos I stumbled onto the Dolphins Cheerleaders page.

    they have their own sunburst logo.


    Doing a Google image search of “NFL cheerleaders logo”, the Miami squad is the only one I saw with their own unique image. All others seem to have the team logo and the word “cheerleaders”in some form or another.

    I am dumbfounded at how the Dolphins are not wearing this throwback as a full-time uniform. It is pure beauty. The original helmet logo with the big sun is a little rough, particularly the strokes within the dolphin, but can easily be smoothed and updated with today’s graphic tools. But OMG, what a uniform! I just don’t understand how the $hi+ they’re wearing now can compete.

    Really surprised myself by not liking the Dolphins throwbacks as much as I thought I would. I seem to like the modern teal colour better than this greenish hue, and I do like the white facemask. Weird. End zones were phenomenal, though.

    I completely agree. Just wish they would wear the white/white/aqua set more often.

    They should only/always wear white/white/aqua on the road. I’m so sick of all white all the time (especially at home). More old aqua please!

    I’ve got to be totally honest…this upcoming Maple Leaf redesign has got me concerned.

    Original Six unis should be off limits.

    Meh. The Bruins bring their suits in for tuneups all the time, but they always come out looking like the Bruins.

    About that “Immaculate Reception” graphic:
    Assuming the ball hit off The Guy Who Ended Daryl Stingley’s Career instead of Frenchy Fuqua, shouldn’t there be a silver circle with #31 as well? As hard as the ball bounced back, that leads me to believe it hit an oncoming body as opposed to one heading in the same direction.

    You are correct, good sir. In fact, as diagrammed on that t-shirt the play is an incomplete pass per the rules then in effect. What’s more, the video evidence is fairly compelling that the ball in fact struck Tatum directly, between the numbers in fact, but that he was so preoccupied with decapitating Fuqua that he never even made a move on it.

    So question about the Leafs contest: for the throwback do we just copy and paste one of the Leafs past jerseys, or are we actually designing a new fauxback?

    The soccer t-shirt in the raffle is from the 2010 World Cup where Landon Donovan scored this winning goal to advance the U.S. Team to the knockout stage. And I want it.

    Number 39 is a reference to the lawn game kubb. There are world championships for it, however it hasn’t been added as an Olympic sport yet. link

    Those throwback Dolphin uniforms look a whole lot better then the ones the Dolphins went to. They should have left their uniform alone.

    I probably missed the boat on this one, but I’ll post it anyway because I found it interesting. I just finished watching the most recent ESPN 30 for 30 about the Buffalo Bills and noticed something that I found interesting. Every Bills player that I could see, only had stripe on each of his sleeves, except Scott Norwood, who had two.


    That’s all you have as far as a breakdown of the Dolphins Throwbacks? It’s almost like a newspaper or TV mentioning in passing that there a Gulf War we were involved with….”Sorry, we didn’t have time to fit in this news item in but…..”

    Where did the fake olympic shirts come from? Because they are both awesome and I am struggling to find them on Google.

Comments are closed.