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North Stars Go Wild, If Just For One Day

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By Phil Hecken

Yesterday afternoon, as part of the festivities surrounding today’s Stadium Series outdoor game (at TCF Bank Stadium, in Minneapolis) between the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks, fans were treated to an “Alumni Game” featuring former players from the Minnesota North Stars and Wild, and the Chicago Blackhawks. Even though the Minnesota North Stars franchise moved to Dallas following the 1993 season (has it really been over 20 years?), and the franchise that plays in Dallas bears no bloodline to the Minnesota Wild (who were founded in 1997, but didn’t begin play until 2000-01), the players making up the “Alumni” team were comprised of former players of both the Wild and the North Stars, and were wearing the uniforms of the North Stars (with a Wild patch on the shoulder).

This was a first for the NHL — and the old wounds from the North Stars departure to Dallas may not still be fresh, but they’re still there. But, just for one day, all that was forgotten. And in what was both a genius marketing move (the ability to showcase and sell more North Stars jerseys to legions of fans, both old and new) AND a treat for everyone, a uniform not worn on NHL ice for more than 20 years was again seen and enjoyed. First, lets take a look at some of the game shots (you can click any photos below to enlarge):

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One of the first things you’ll notice is that the players seem to be smiling a lot, (they didn’t always get along in the old days), and everyone is wearing a helmet — I’m not 100% sure if all of those guys wore helmets when they played, but it’s possible some did not. You’ll also notice the Wild patch on the left shoulder of the North Stars jersey — somewhat visually jarring, but understandable, considering the circumstances. Finally, you’ll also notice the “old time” brown *leather* gloves. With a number of uniforms to choose from, the Wild/North Stars alumni wore the home uniform worn from 1981 through 1991. That style was worn longer than any other North Stars jersey, so it makes sense, although I had hoped they would have worn an earlier style that featured no black. But I won’t complain — what a joy it was to see those on the ice one more time! If you missed it, Paul’s Friday Flashback took a look at the North Stars logos & uniforms over the years — great read if you haven’t yet checked it out.

The players weren’t the only ones who got into the throwback spirit — the goalies did as well (by the way, how great is Gilles Meloche’s old school face mask?):

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And of course, as we often see at these outdoor games, the coaches eschewed the traditional suits for team jackets (always a treat)! Also notice the fake snow, which also seems to be a feature of the outdoor games.

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While I really enjoyed the outdoor games for the Winter Classic and Stadium Series that were played in baseball stadia, those sometimes proved not the best for fan viewing and sightlines. Games played in football stadia seem to be a much more logical (and better) fit, as is the case with Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium. Sure, most of the seats are really far from the action, but the shape of a football stadium seems much more logical than shoehorning a rink into a baseball park. And there is nothing like seeing a game ourdoors as the sun sets:

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In the end, the North Stars/Wild alumni beat the Blackhawks alumni 6-4, but I’m sure not many really cared about the score — it was a chance to see one of the NHL’s great uniforms worn on the ice, one more time. And,of course, there was an actual hockey game played, and it even featured former rivals Denis Savard and Dino Ciccarelli dropping the gloves and faux-fighting, to the delight of the crowd:

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All in all, a tremendous treat. You can read more about the game in this really nice writeup, and I have a bunch more photos saved in this album. Be sure to check both out.

Clearly, the Wild are not the North Stars, but both franchises hail from Minnesota. The Dallas Stars, while the same franchise, clearly want nothing to do with their roots (and there are probably many a Minnesotan/St. Paulite who feel the same way). And, obviously the Wild franchise isn’t wearing North Stars uniforms (having alumni of both teams was a nice way around that). But…

…I’d love to know how you guys feel about this. We’ve discussed this a bit before (but not in some time) — should a franchise that still exists (and as far as I know, the Dallas Stars own all the records, colors, logos, etc. of the old North Stars) but which basically refuses to acknowledge its history in another city “relinquish” that history (or at least uniforms) to a team that now resides in that city? Or does that belong to the franchise? Some teams have at least acknowledged their former existence in another city (as the Rangers have done by throwing back to the Senators’ unis), even though there are probably few Texans who have any physical or emotional attachment to the Washington Senators. Not that the current Washington franchise or city has much attachment to them either, but should the Nationals be able to wear those unis (or really any unis from the former Nats/Senators — the original franchise moved to Minnesota in 1961, and were replaced with an expansion team that moved to Texas in 1971)?

There are plenty of examples, especially in hockey. Should the current Winnipeg Jets (born as the expansion Atlanta Thrashers) be able to sport the uniforms of the original Winnipeg Jets (now the Arizona Coyotes)? Do those colors and uniforms belong to the current franchise (legally, yes), or to the fans from the city that lost a franchise? Even if it were just for one game, if both teams were willing to play along, should those beautiful North Stars uniforms see another game in Minnesota (since they probably never will in Dallas)? I used to think, “No. The franchise belongs to its owners,” but after seeing those unis on the ice yesterday, I’d love to see them again. The fans clearly love them, and the NHL could certainly market the shit out of them (possibly even giving a percentage of sales to both clubs). It would be a win-win for all. But it would especially be a big win for uniform watchers, who got to see the North Stars go Wild, if just for one day.

What say you?

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(Monster) Mash Ups

As is often the case on Twitter, a simple tweet can lead to a giant response (which isn’t necessarily a good thing), can lead us down a rabbit hole, or can simply aggregate a great amount of information in a relatively short period of time. Such is the case with this simple tweet…

I retweeted that, as it looked to be one of those City/Team logo mashups (some of which we’ve featured on Uni Watch, and some with which I’m sure you’re all familiar). That unleashed a torrent of City/Team mashups into my thread — many of which I’d seen, but some I most certainly had not. More than one soul has actually tattooed these mashups onto his back (now that’s dedication…or insanity…or perhaps a bit of both). Anyway, I thought it might be cool to post (just some) of the mashups sent my way, in case you’re interested or haven’t seen. Enjoy.

There were actually a few more, but you get the idea. There were even a few clever folks who sent in the OKC Thunder logo. It took me a second to realize what they were doing.

Anyway — what do you guys think of these City/Team mashups? I think some of them are actually clever, but in general, I’m not a fan. I think they also work better if your city has at least three major teams. If I missed any, I apologize. But I think this was a more than representative sample of just how many of these mashups are out there. And to the guys who got them inked…well, I hope none of your teams ever moves. Well, I guess it’s better than getting one of these…

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Who’s the Pirate?

Vilk Baseball Card front

Click here for the answer.

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Uni Watch News Ticker

Baseball News: “I was just shopping on Fanatics and came across this cap,” writes Jeremy Edom. “Not sure if it’s part of an alternate or anything the Cubs may have upcoming, but it’s definitely a Cubs cap I’ve not seen before””at least not one that’s considered an on-field cap. Thought I’d pass it along!” … There is no bat contract for the University of Texas. “Usually whole team uses same brand of bat with contract with bat manufacturer,” adds submitter John Furstenthal. See here, and here, and also here. … Reader Andrew Cosentino ran across this ranking of every baseball uniform number. … This might just be the coolest thing you’ll see all day (from J. Daniel). Yes, an artist designed baseball bats that feature Jackie Robinson’s face on the top. … Henry Lansing asks, “when did the Orioles ever use the 1981 logo?” Here’s one answer. … We know that adidas college teams have been using “tequila sunrise” type jerseys for many of their schools, but now it looks like Northwestern, a UA school is going that route (h/t Mike Knapp). … Here’s a closeup of the new Mariners spring training jersey (kudos to Mike Dahlstrom). … Here’s an up close look at the new Pirates pillbox caps. They don’t look like true pillboxes to me. Disappointing. … Davidson and Buffalo played a black top vs. black top game yesterday (from Ethan Faust). … In yesterday’s “Colorize This!” Bruce Menard colorized a beautiful photo of Babe Ruth and Al Devormer. Baseball HOF Curator Tom Shieber provided this wonderful background as followup. … Here’s a look at the dark gray alternate road uniform for the Diamondbacks. It’s not as awful as the home primary with the bloody pant bottoms. … Here’s the sequel to OU and Northeastern’s epic stirrup battle Friday (h/t Trayton Miller). … New jerseys and stirrups for Troy Baseball (from Judson Ricks).

NFL/College/Football News: Just cuz: Here’s a picture of Franco Harris in a Seahawks uni (from Super 70s Sports), who adds, “Still feels weird that this actually happened.” … This is a photo of Penn State Dance Marathon families touring the football facilities. Submitter Chris Flinn adds, “I can’t even count all the Nike logos in this pic.” … Oooohhh, check out this old color pic of kids football with the chinstrap facepiece and one with clear plastic mask (from Larry Bodnovich, who adds, “I forget where I found this. Just a neat old color pic. Note the kid in orange with a plastic clear facemask.” … Also from Larry, check out this article on the Jack Trice 1920s era jersey, with a color study and good info about old b&w pics. … “Bizarre hat spotted in Pittsburgh,” tweeted Ajon Barksdale. “Steelers lost in the divisional round this season to Titans.”

Hockey News: The University of Oregon has a club hockey team. They happen to have pretty damn awesome unis (h/t NHL on NBC). … Oooohhh – check out these Cleveland Hockey History socks (from Jimmer Vilk). I’d wear those (not at $20 a pop, but I’d wear them). … The Charlotte Checkers did a pink-in-the-rink thingy, and went with pink breezers! … OK, I’m just gonna leave this here. … The Arizona hockey team wore their throwback peyote coyote unis last night. … Also last night, the Lake Erie Monsters become the Cleveland Barons (h/t HueGottaBelieve). Here’s a look at the sweaters up close. … Here is the mask that Devan Dubnyk will wear during today’s Stadium Series game between the Wild & Blackhawks. And here’s some video. And here’s some more on that.

NBA News: Thanks to the indispensable Conrad Burry we already knew this, but the Philadelphia 76ers will debut ‘hardwood classic’ alt unis in 2016-17. … Jae Crowder’s dad, Corey, used to play for the Jazz. So when Jae’s team, the Celtics, played in Utah on Friday, the Jazz gave Jae a pair of Corey’s game-worn LA Gear shoes (thanks to Mike Chamernik). … Tweeter Chaz Thomas asks, “Have the NBA refs been wearing these BHM (Black History Month) pullovers all month?” I don’t watch any much NBA hoops, so I’m not sure — anyone know?

College Hoops News: Sir Charles Barkley’s birthday was yesterday, and one of the more interesting photos of him floating about the interwebs was this: War Damn Eagle (pic via Super 70s Sports). … Beautiful throwbacks worn by Western Kentucky University yesterday (via Josh Claywell). … Oops — wrong logo for St. Joseph’s yesterday — that’s the logo of the Johnnies (h/t #3BLESTG). … The Hokies went BFBS vs Florida State for their Blackout game today, with some pink in there too (from Andrew Cosentino). Here’s another shot. … The Tennessee Vols wore their smokey gray unis yesterday vs. Louisiana State University (from Chad Fields). … If you like to look at Notre Dame UA sneakers, then this link is for you. … “Marcus Lee of Kentucky has been wearing #00 since he arrived in 2013,” notes Brian Tracy. “However with this year’s special Hyper Elite Disruption alternate uniform they wore last weekend vs South Carolina, he switched to #0. I saw him do this and figured he had switched permanently, but when they played Tennessee he was wearing #00 again. Yet (yester)day, they wore the alternates and he’s back at #0.”

Soccer News: “I know shirt sponsorship isn’t a particularly palatable topic on Uni Watch, but Italian football (soccer) club Inter has just signed a 5-year deal to continue having Pirelli as their main kit (shirt) sponsor,” says Rich King. “Pirelli has been Inter’s shirt sponsor for 20 years and this contract will extend it to at least a quarter century, which is substantial. Deals of this length between a club and a company usually are based in ownership (PSV Eindhoven was once owned by shirt sponsor Philips, Wolfsburg are owned by shirt sponsor Volkswagen), however Inter and Pirelli are very much separate entities.” … The Brazil Men’s Football team stayed at a rural English hotel in preparation for the 1966 World Cup in London. Now there’s an exhibition about their time there (from Zac Neubauer). The article features Pele’s 1966 World Cup Warm up Kit and there is a bunch of uni-related stuff regarding Pele giving his to the hotel laundryman. … FC Cincinnati broke out the new white jerseys yesterday (via Nickzingis).

Grab Bag: Race car driver Danica Patrick has a new sponsor and new colors for the 2016 season (from Mike Chamernik). … “OSU men’s lacrosse has been using its Instagram account to highlight the entire game day kit this season most games,” says Kevin Mueller. “I think they did last year, as well. Interesting that it’s not just pads and uniform, but also their warmup/post game stuff too. You can’t see it in the photos, but the helmet stripes are similar to the football helmets, and are continued through the face mask. Note also the different sleeves (or lack thereof) for home and away.” … Is nothing sacred? ” I’m at a volleyball tournament for one of my daughters,” explains Joseph Bailey. “All of the nets in this complex have the Nike swoosh. I’ve never seen these before and it’s fu#king distracting.” … Yesterday’s ticker included an item mentioning Team Canada Curling would be outfitted by Goldline. Here’s the ladies Scottish Team, recently crowned champs, also wearing Goldline. … Here’s a look at the Michigan lacrosse unis worn yesterday vs. Penn State (from UMich Lax Managers).

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And that will do it for today. Today’s my Mom’s 82nd birthday, so I’ll be off the boards and spending a good chunk of the afternoon with her — so you guys play nice. Enjoy the Stadium Series game between the Wild (wearing this special uni) and the Blackhawks (who’ll be in these) and anything else that’s on your agenda today. I’ll be back next weekend. Until then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“I know Kentucky isn’t exactly a football school (we haven’t had a winning season since 2009, but who’s counting) but they know how to look good while losing.”

— Josh

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Comments (46)

    Generally speaking, I’m a proponent of sports heritage being location-based, rather than corporate. For example, Walter Johnson’s name belongs in Nationals Park, Gary Carter’s does not.

    Couldn’t agree more, because sports franchises are unique from other corporate entities. There’s a reason why the McDonald’s in Seattle is virtually identical to the counterpart in Atlanta.

    Warren Spahn’s statue belongs in Milwaukee, not Atlanta.

    When a pro franchise leaves a city, and takes the name,they should own the history of it. When they leave and change the name i.e.-St Louis Browns/Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Supersonics/OKC Thunder, Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens, they should forfeit the right to history since they left the name. Rams, Colts, A’s,Jazz, etc. have rights to the team history. When the Brewers throwback to Pilots, I find that rather weird.

    If it were up to me, the Wild would become the North Stars again too, but I’ll defer to the wishes of Minnesotans on that one. If baseball can have two Sox, why not two Stars?

    That depends on how much black you want to count as being an addition. The green, silver & white Philadelphia Eagles added black number outlines and pant stripes all the way back in 1971.

    Yeah, but I guess what I’m getting at is, are they the uni’s that started the BFBS craze ?

    I’d say no. No one else really followed their lead.

    I’d give credit/blame to the LA Kings. They switched from Laker colors to Raider colors in 1988, Jerry Glanville infamously wore black on the sidelines in Houston around the same time, then was responsible for the Falcons going to black in 1990 (and the Jets added black trim that year as well), the White Sox switched to black in 91, and by that point you can call it a trend.

    Thanks, guys !

    Re those Canucks uni’s : Back in the early/mid 60s, I had a reversable ski jacket in black with a red & white “V” similar to that nightmare uniform.

    Yeah, the Kings were the first “BFBS” team. Amazing how many hockey jerseys wound up in rap videos (and, frankly, Bloods members) afterwards.

    I’d say that if the team that moved changes it’s name… then it should probably be OK for a new team in the same city to trot out the old uniforms for a game here and there. But the history and championship records and all that stuff stays with the original team. The Cleveland Situation should not be allowed to happen again.

    I’m a Stars fan. If the Wild wanted the North Stars name I say have at it. Wild sounds stupid anyway. They can have the history too. But my team is the Stars. We aren’t changing that. Not Lone Stars either. That’s asinine. They’ve been here almost as long as Minnesota.

    I think team histories should stay where the teams played. And though it could be profitable for both teams, I wonder if they could really reach an agreement where both the Stars would give the Wild the right to use and promote throwback gear and both teams share in the profits.

    As a Minnesotan, I enjoy our MN Wild, but I wish we were allowed to keep the North Stars for our throwbacks. I hate the Dallas Stars. It is disappointing to see them play. I hate that LA gets to wear baby blue throwbacks that say MPLS on them. The Timberwolves should be able to wear those. Yes, pro sports are a business that an individual owns…but the history belongs to the location. The Nationals can have the Senators throwbacks. The MN Twins don’t need that. Just my thoughts.

    When it comes to a uniform belonging to either the franchise or the city of origin, I say : do whatever it takes to get the uni onto the ice, or field, or court. These things most likely aren’t coming back, so whatever accommodations have to be made – make them. Fun for all.

    I think when a team moves, they have to declare right off the bat, yes we are going to visually recognize our heritage, or no we are starting fresh. If yes, the old city should be able to share it, but in a limited fashion. If no, then the old city can do whatever. Heritage should be like copyright – use it or lose it.

    Phil, seems I made a spelling error about the Marcus Lee thing. It should be spelt Hyper Elite “Disruption” (only one T)

    Another fun detail was that the “North Stars” as the home team wore white, just like it was back in the 80’s.

    Cue white at home hockey debate!

    I used to be a big North Stars fan and their move to Dallas signaled a break with the NHL for me that has never been and likely never will be mended. However, the Wild changing to the North Stars name, logo, and colors while retroactively being given their 1967-93 history would be a big plus in my book.

    Chris Creamer site had at least one long thread with a lot of city/team mashups in 2010:

    Ross Taylor did a few combining old teams (or logos) with new: Colorado Rockalanche, California Golden Sharks, Minnesota Wild Stars , etc.

    As much as I like the North Stars jersey, his Wild Stars one or a similar idea for a mashup would have been a good choice for a game when you have both North Stars and Wild alumni playing on the same team.

    The Dallas Stars do acknowledge their Minnesota history, to some extent – they continue to recognize their team records and retired numbers from 1967 onward (even three of the four banners have the “N” logo, and of those three, only Neil Broten played any time in Dallas).

    Still, I’d have rather they never moved. I will always hold it against Gary Bettman, and Norm Green’s name is mud for all eternity.

    As for the game itself… I actually prefer the black pants from 1988-91, with the stars where the stripes would be, than the green pants. But it was still a good-looking game. Amusingly, I couldn’t help but notice Dino Ciccarelli’s Red Wings pants peeking out from his North Stars shell.

    It bothers me in some cases but not others.

    I associate Spahn, Matthews & Aaron with the Milwaukee Braves, not Atlanta. Partially because they won a title there. But they played in ATL, so hard to begrudge them that. I am glad Milwaukee embraces the Braves past.

    At the same time, I doubt the Orioles care much about being the Browns or Brewers. Or that the Atlanta Hawks care about previosuly being in Stl or Milwaukee. I don’t think Milw cares about the Hawks as it does the Braves. Does KC really care about the Athletics?

    It would be better if teams that moved started anew. Plus, that would avoid nonsensical nicknames such as LA Dodgers, LA Lakers or Utah Jazz.

    One more thing – even the teams find it hard to deal with. IIRC, Milwaukee Brewers marked the franchise’s 25th anniversary including the Seattle Pilots year, but didn’t do that for the 40th. Those celebrations were 16 years apart, I believe.

    The New York mashup is pretty bad, to be honest. First of all, any New York mashup that doesn’t include the Nets or NYCFC (especially while including the Red Bulls) is highly defective. Also, the addition of the Yankee and Met NYs is gratuitous and unnecessary, considering the presence of the Yankee bat-in-hat and the Mets’ ball.

    If they are going to do the mashup, then include all of the teams. Leaving out NYCFC is not what they should’ve done.

    I think teams should be forced to change their nickname, logos, etc. upon relocation. That way, if an expansion team is later awarded to the city losing its franchise, they can feel free to re-use the old nickname and such if they feel a particular attachment to it.

    However, I find it silly when the history, records, stats are transferred, as well. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think an actual NFL expansion team (Baltimore) won the Super Bowl in its fifth season.

    I prefer how, in baseball, identities are kept separate. So the Washington Senators’ history that departed DC for Minnesota in 1961 is distinct from the expansion franchise awarded to the city for the ’61 season (though it does make you wonder why baseball couldn’t “simply” award Griffith the expansion franchise & find a new owner in DC to keep the team there in tact).

    Perhaps the most unusual circumstance is surrounding Charlotte. The original Hornets left for New Orleans, and kept the nickname. Charlotte was later awarded the expansion Bobcats. After the New Orleans Hornets later changed their nickname to the Pelicans, Charlotte was permitted to change theirs back to the Hornets.

    So the way the franchise’s history looks, they played from ’88 to ’02 as the Hornets, took a season off, came back as the Bobcats for about a decade, then changed back to Hornets. The Pelicans, meanwhile, started off as the NO Hornets, spent a couple of post-Katrina as the NO/OKC Hornets, reverted back to NO Hornets, then changed again to the Pelicans.

    It would be a lot simpler if NO had been forced to choose a different nickname in the first place. Then, as others have pointed out, you don’t end up with Jazz in Utah, Lakers and (Trolley) Dodgers in LA, and Grizzlies in Memphis. The NHL, in fact, seems to have done a better job figuring this out. It’s just a coincidence, I suppose, that part of Minnesota’s old nickname fit well in the franchise’s new home. Otherwise we’d have the Colorado Nordiques, Carolina Whalers, Phoenix/Arizona Jets, Winnipeg Thrashers, Calgary Flames (okay, maybe not that so much…).

    Rob S, the North Stars move to Dallas in 1993 was a done deal for all intents and purposes by the time Gary Bettman took over as commissioner. The real blame goes to his predecessor Gil Stein who, along with then Kings owner Bruce McNall, arranged for Norm Green to have any open market minus a relocation fee as long as he stayed away from Anaheim where the league and McNall wanted Disney to have a team. McNall especially wanted a territorial invasion rights fee to keep his financial house of cards from blowing over and Disney could pay more than Norm could possibly hope to fork over. Bettman rubber stamped what had been previously arranged. He had no mandate or support from other owners or the league’s hierarchy to keep the North Stars in Minnesota.

    I certainly feel that the previous city has some right to honor their old team. While some franchises tend to hearken back (Titans as Oilers), the sentimental value often stays at “home.”
    Perfect example, I distinctly recall watching the Ravens in the playoffs years ago with Unitas, etc. on the sidelines rooting them on. They are yoked to the city rather than the franchise. I also remember Eric Dickerson stating that he felt funny being honored by St. Louis fans as he played his entire Ram career in Los Angeles.

    “How great is Gilles Meloche’s old school face mask?”

    It’s as great as the look of the leg pads, trapper and blocker is jarring with it. The synthetic leather while not the worst I’ve seen still isn’t that close looking to the real thing; if you can’t get close then just use real leather.

    The closer it looks to the vintage style the better – more vintage (curves with prominent rolls)/less new style (robot/transformer robot). If the goalie is more comfortable with the newer style of the new pads at least make an effort to try to make it look more retro looking. The choice of striping style was particularly poor; even hearkening back to a slightly later period than that of the natural leather pads by individually colouring the individual rolls of the pads would have been much better.

    For the all the other things done for this event they should have got CCM (Adidas) to do a better job with the goalie equipment.

    I say the uniforms, logos, colors and records should stay with the city and not be carried along when the franchise bails out to greener pastures. I don’t think anybody in San Francisco ever cared the least little bit about the exploits of John McGraw, Christy Mathewson or Mel Ott, nor did anybody in Los Angeles ever give a damn about George Mikan and the “MPLS Lakers”, at least not until they made an after the fact claim on Mikan’s Lakers’ championships in an effort to match the Boston Celtics’ number of titles. When the team never developed any history in the old home town there is no real harm in letting it go to the new home(ie Rochester/Cincinnati/KC-Omaha/Sacramento Kings) or when the roving franchise come home ( Cleveland/Los Angeles/Anaheim/St Louis/Los Angeles Rams) but otherwise I say the name colors records should stay behind when the team moves.

    Good to see Tom McCarthy #11, gracing the top picture of uni-watch. My first job out of university was with a firm in Mississauga ON. The degree of separation was 1, with McCarthy, so I had heard there was a chance he was going to blow his career with some personal demons. I had long since forgotten about him, until this alumni game, while he’s definitely had an up and down life, it must have been a thrill to play in front of that crowd. Good for him.

    I have always thought that when a team relocates they should basically be considered an expansion, meaning they relinquish all rights to the former team’s colors, logo and branding. Especially since none of the relocated teams even acknowledge the team they used to be. Can you imagine the Avalanche donning Nordique throwbacks? Oh god. Or New Jersey wearing Colorado throwbacks?

    Yeah. How about the Coyotes in Jets uniforms facing the Jets in Thrashers uniforms?

    The legal argument about franchises holding on to their old logos is murky. Many remember that Cleveland sued to hold on the their franchise stats, logos, and history. Hartford’s logo didn’t go along to Carolina and its current rights are in dispute. While Dallas’ ownership over the North Stars’ logo seems obvious at face value methinks that there is more of a story there.

    The NBA Referees have been wearing the BHM pullovers for the entire month of February. They have even been wearing them while working in the Replay Center in NJ during games. There have been multiple pictures posted on the @OfficialNBARefs twitter page.

    Who made the aforementioned N’Stars/Blackhawks “old time” jerseys? Was it Reebok? Pedersons? Anybody know?

    The “sweaters” were freakin’ awesome don’t chya know?

    When you move a team, that’s bad enough for a city and it’s fans. But when you keep the history, or worse – keep using the name (Dodgers, Giants, Lakers, Hornets, etc), that’s another level of disregard for the fans you’ve left behind.

    When you move, part of the deal should be giving up all legal rights to your old name and stats/history. The league should take control of it and it should be available to any subsequent team returning to the city.

    On the issue of franchises vs. cities, I have pretty clear feelings. “Franchises” have no hearts, cities do. And “franchises” break cities’ hearts.

    Retiring numbers, throwback days, etc are about memory and identity. Players…and the championships they win or lose, and the symbols of those teams, ultimately belong to the people who live and die with and for them day in and day out, year in and year out.

    Like Eric Dickerson, it is meaningless to honor someone where there is no emotional connection. Johnny Unitas will always belong to Baltimore and never Indianapolis. The 1955 world series pennant belongs in Brooklyn and no place else.

    This is perhaps most evident in hockey where many franchises have had long circuitous routes to their current location even including consolidations.

    A current team should be allowed to throwback and honor any previous team that played in that city, just like teams throw back to negro, minor league or other league teams with no organic connection to the current franchise.

    There are of course nuances. I love how the current Brooklyn Cyclones team honors former Dodgers with retired numbers, nights, etc. And of course the Pee Wee- Jackie statue outside. It’s cool that the Barclay center has the Ebbets Field flag pole and that the Nets have a Dodger blue alt uni.

    While the Dodgers have an ongoing life in NewYork, what’s missing is a real memory of the New York Giants. As the claimant to the heritage of both Dodgers and Giants, the Mets should make a space for an NL museum at Citifield.

    I will give the current Giants credit for respecting their history. In each of their last two Series victories, they’ve included a stop in New York City with the trophy, including Harlem schools and old shops like Barney Greengrass where there were family relationships.

    Names should stay where they are. I like the Browns solution. The next Seattle basketball team should be the Super Sonics.

    As a minor note, the next time the Lake Erie Monsters throw back to Barons, they should move past the short lived NHL entry and pick up the old
    iconic blue Baron from the uni that decades of devoted Cleveland fans followed passionately.

    If you take away our teams, at least leave us with access to our heroes’ legacies, our signs and symbols, our memories. We’ve paid for them many times over.

Comments are closed.