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A moment for the ages during yesterday’s Yanks/Cards Grapefruit League game, as Yankees catcher Eddy Rodriguez stepped in the box against Cardinals pitcher Tyler Lyons, creating a rare (first-ever?) No. 70 vs. No. 70 match-up.
Lyons has made the Cardinals’ 25-man roster but Rodriguez is ticketed to the minors when the final roster cut-downs are made (plus he’d probably be issued lower numbers if he made the cut), so this match-up couldn’t happen in a regular season game. But it raises an interesting question: What’s the highest uni number that’s ever been represented on the mound and in the batter’s box at the same time? Did So Taguchi ever come to bat against Turk Wendell? And at the other end of the scale, has Adam Ottavino ever stared down Omar Quintanilla? Get on this one, all you number-crunchers out there!
Update: It didn’t take long for reader Jacob Resnick to inform us that Rudy Owens of the Astros and James Jones of the Mariners, both of whom wore No. 99, faced off four times in 2014. Here’s video of their first encounter:
(Big thanks to @RNs_Funhouse for the screen shot.)
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The best Uni Watch day of the year: My 18th annual MLB season preview column, with all of the changes for the coming season, is up now on ESPN. This is always my favorite column of the year to work on, and many of you have told me it’s your favorite one to read. Enjoy!
No Friday Flashback today — just the MLB preview. The Flashback will return next week.
Membership update: Membership orders continue to trickle in very slowly these days (including Paul Weisner’s Steelers treatment, shown at right). We have a few spots open on the current sheet, so if you order now you’ll get your card very quickly.
Caricature T-shirt reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, Larry Torrez’s caricature of me is now available as a T-shirt. We’re offering it in a variety of colors and styles — grey, black, white, and a white baseball shirt with green sleeves. We’ve also added women’s sizes. Further details here, or just order it here. Thanks.
’Skins Watch: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders thinks the ’Skins should change their name (thanks, Phil). … The Arizona Diamondbacks’ 2016 promo schedule includes “Native American Recognition Day” on June 11. The team will be giving away a “tribal hat” for the occasion. … Longtime 49ers TE Vernon Davis reportedly signed with the ’Skins yesterday. An NBC website avoided using the team’s name while delivering that news (from @mt_vern).
Baseball News: A slew of MLB mascots will be featured on Good Morning America today. … Anchor Brewing — the people who make Anchor Steam beer — have a new lager with a Giants theme (from @LindysBrews). … Geez, ya think the lettering on the El Paso Angels’ jersey was big enough? … Here’s an old shot of pro wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin wearing a Mets jersey with No. 3:16 (from @JayJayDean). … The Royals’ gold-trimmed championship uniforms for the first two games of the season will include gold-logo batting helmets. Interestingly, the gold helmet logo doesn’t have a white outline, while the cap logo does. Seems odd that they wouldn’t match. … Check it out: Then-prexy Richard Nixon trying on a 1969 Mets championship ring (great one from @BSmile). … Interesting note from Richard Paloma, who writes: “I was just informed that the Oakland Coliseum will no longer have the rotating-arm turnstiles anymore due to them being obsolete.” One could argue that the entire Oakland Coliseum is obsolete, but it’s still an intriguing development. … Reds 3B Seth Mejias-Brean is another player with HNOB (from Tom Denne). … Matte helmets continue to appear on some of the Orioles. No word yet on whether these will be used in the regular season (thanks, Phil). … 1940s throwbacks this season for the PawSox (from @peskeys_pole). … The Mets and Cubs played an exhibition game in Las Vegas yesterday. The Mets still had their “FL” sleeve patches and the Cubs still had their “AZ” patches, even though the game wasn’t played in either of those states (from Shannon Shark).
Pro and College Football News: Here’s the latest on what the Lions have planned regarding new uniforms in 2017. … Oklahoma is letting fans choose the end zone design for the team’s spring game (from Mickel Yantz).
Hockey News: Justin Bieber wore a Coyotes jersey onstage for a show in Glendale the other day (from A.Dub Miranda). … All sorts of cool Maple Leafs cards, stickers, and so on showcased here. … Fun article about a beer league team with a John Stamos-themed jersey design (from @hail2chimp). … Whoa, check out this shot from the 1957 IIHF World Championship. “The Tre Kronor never changes, the Russians loved stripes, and Czechoslovakia looked solid,” says John Muir. … Also from John: Don and Tony Granato were introduced as new members of the Wisconsin hockey team’s coaching staff and were given jerseys with FIOB. … This will be the first season since 1970 that no Canadian teams have made the NHL playoffs, as shown in this infographic (from Mike Styczen). … The Syracuse Crunch will wear their orange alts tomorrow in support of the Syracuse basketball team, and fans who wear orange will get a $5 ticket discount. … Jack Connell was looking through his closet and found this rather bold Flyers jersey. … The Stars wore white at home last night against the Coyotes.
NBA News: Good, thorough article about the Warriors’ “The City” uniform. Recommended. … What’s worse than the Clippers’ road unis? The Clippers road unis and the Thunder’s sleeved white alts in the same game. “Practice uniform battle,” says Phil Hamilton).
College and High School Hoops News: “Here’s a 1993 photo my old high school, Jewish Day, playing against a team simply called I-270, referring to a nearby Interstate,” says Mike Rosenberg. “Not sure if it’s a local all-star team or a school that no longer exists. Either way, I thought it was a cool team name on front.” … Can’t fit “East Texas” on your jersey? Just use “Etex.” That school is now Texas A&M-Commerce (from Ryan Sprayberry). … Very good story on UNC’s shade of Carolina blue, with an accompanying trickier-than-it-seems quiz on college school colors (from @Jason Smith). … Buick has made a Cascada convertible for each of the Final Four schools (from Alex Dewitt). … Here are the “National Champions” shirts for each of the Final Four teams (from Zach Shaben).
Soccer News: Buried toward the end of this story is the news that Barcelona will add a “Thanks, Johan” jersey memorial for Johan Cruyff. … The Wales women’s team is stuck wearing men’s-tailored jerseys (from Yellow Away Kit). … New uniforms for the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (from David Selig). … New kits for Rayo OKC. Here’s an answer key for the rainbow-striped design (from @tvaughn7). … A Coca-Cola sign at a soccer stadium in Uruguay was printed in black and white, instead of the soda’s traditional red and white, because the team’s biggest rival wears red. Hmmm, is that an April Fool’s joke?
Grab Bag: Good piece on the design of London’s manhole covers (from Gil Neumann). … I just won this completely amazing-looking aluminum siding salesman sample catalog on eBay. Further details to come when I receive it from the seller. … Oh man, this has gotta be one of the best Olympic sweaters you’ll ever see (great find by David Firestone). … The U.S. Navy has just approved more permissive guidelines regarding tattoos. … Virgin America got out in front of April Fool’s Day by floating a not-very-funny prank about redesigning their logo. … New logo for Dubai Expo 2020. … New logos in the works for WCBS-TV in New York.