By Phil Hecken
Several years ago, I featured the talented Danny Finocchio in two columns for Uni Watch: a set of baseball concepts (which included a Q&A interview), and he followed that shortly thereafter with a set of World Cup Soccer concepts. Both were great, but I hadn’t heard much from Danny since then. Until this week. I got the following e-mail from Mr. Finocchio (six years older and wiser), which said the following:
My name is Danny Finocchio. I’m an Apparel Designer & Graphic Designer based in Philadelphia. About 5 years ago I worked with Phil in getting some uniform concepts for MLB & the 2010 World Cup. It was a great experience and it was so much fun. I recently finished a new set of identity & uniform concepts based my favorite musicians leading up to Opening Day 2016. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for quite a long time, and I really wanted to do it in a detailed way by creating logos, scripts and special details into a full identity concept as the primary focus and then using the uniform concepts as a way to flesh it all out.
I hope you guys can take the time to check them out. I’d love to be able to work with Uni Watch again. I love Uni Watch. I’m not a member, but I’m a daily reader for the past 7 years.
Be in touch! Thanks!
Artist & Designer
Danny showed me the concepts, and I’m once again very impressed. What he’s done this time (and as he alludes to above), Danny has based his latest creations on his favorite musicians, and the work is great. For each of the nine teams, he’s created a sort of “album cover” and then created logos (with detailed descriptions) as well as a full set of uniforms (also with full descriptions). I’ll have Danny intro the set and then you can check out the concepts below. For any image, you can click to enlarge. Here’s Danny:
Music & Baseball Identity Concepts
By Danny Finocchio
Music & Baseball are two major interests that are very near and dear to my heart. This personal project is a reflection of those interests combining to form baseball team identities & uniform concepts for my nine favorite musical acts ranging from classic rock to funk to soul to blues to hip-hop & pop. These identities are a combination of original thought as well as trading on some existing baseball identities from Major League Baseball, Negro Leagues, minor league baseball & defunct teams spanning across the multiple eras in the history of baseball in America. These concepts, which include original hand-drawn scripts & patches and multiple jersey silhouettes, are the result of an incredible amount of time & effort during a 2-week span in March leading up to MLB’s 2016 Opening Day. Click through the slide shows below to reveal each team’s style guide & jersey, headwear & jacket concepts with notes detailing the thinking behind each design. These concepts are in no way affiliated with these individual artists. This is merely a fun, personal project.
BRIXTON SPIDERS / David Bowie
CAMBRIDGE ECLIPSES / Pink Floyd
GEORGIA SOULS / James Brown, Bobby Byrd, The Famous Flames, The J.B.’s
LINDEN BOULEVARD TRIBE / A Tribe Called Quest
NEW YORK DRIFTERS / Beastie Boys
NEW YORK CITY PROPHETS / Nas
PAISLEY PARK BASEBALL CLUB / Prince
STATEN ISLAND KILLER BEES / Cuban Lynx
TEXAS FLOODS / Stevie Ray Vaughan
Thanks Danny! Great way to kick off opening day of the 2016 Baseball Season.
With the NCAA’s 68 team tournament now down to just two teams (can you guess who Jim Vilk will be rooting for on Monday?), I’m back with the original (and still the best) Jimmer Vilk, who will give us one of his famous “5 & 1’s” — as he has done for umpteen straight years, Jimmer is back this year with his roundup for the top five, and one bad, uniforms for the NCAA Tournament.
It’s almost as good as well…waking up in the morning.
One Dimly Lit Schmoement
By Jim Vilk
Let me get this straight…not only is the Final Four not on free TV, but neither is the title game? And no Luther Vandross singing goodbye to the season?? Well, you’re gonna hear him on this schmoe’s list! Alright, let’s get going.
Honorable Mentions to Holy Cross/Oregon — Not sure if I’m more excited for getting a Patriot League team on here, or for those Ducky throwbacks.
And to Maryland/Kansas — Two very different looks that go well together.
5. Syracuse/North Carolina — One team shouldn’t be here at all, the other *probably* shouldn’t, but they are here and to not include them would be cheating.
4. Temple/Iowa — Both teams have nice stuff happening on the sides of their unis.
3. Gonzaga/Seton Hall — Love the contrast in lettering, and the Pirates earned extra points with the throwbacks.
2. Indiana/Kentucky — Classic vs. funky.
Hope you’re sitting down, Phil…
1. Oklahoma/Oregon — Well what do you know…thanks to Boomer’s great look Phil gets two Duck sightings!
And the bad one: Michigan/Notre Dame — I think the tiny lettering for the Irish bugs me more than UM’s treadmarks.
Enjoy tomorrow night’s game, those of you who paid for it.
You know I’m not really an Oregon basketball fan, right Jim? No matter, I’ll take a Ducks mention or two ANY TIME I can get them.
Thanks, Jim. Enjoy the game tomorrow night! (And, since you can’t watch the game at Chez Vilk, I hope you can find a bar where the game will be on…wait, that will be every bar. You better party like it’s 1985, my friend. I’ll even add this: GO NOVA!!!!)
Usually this space is reserved for a look back at Paul’s most recent “Friday Flashback,” but that column didn’t run this week. Instead, this Friday featured my mostest favoritest column of the year: Paul’s annual Major League Baseball Uniform Preview.
Needless to say, this has been a staple for most of us for the past decade-and-a-half, and personally it’s always the column I most eagerly await.
If you haven’t yet had a chance to read, by all means, do. so. now.
for the Ticker
Got a note earlier this week from Leo Strawn, Jr., who always has some great tidbits and stories. It deals with 1947 NCAA, NFL and AAFC photos, and is tremendous — a MUST read.
It’s also a bit…Too Long For The Ticker…
I have a 1948 Street & Smith’s Football Yearbook. I’ve been meaning to get scans for some time and finally got around to it. Great shots of NCAA, NFL and AAFC from 1947.
The cover features Jack Cloud of William & Mary. If you look closely, you can see the crossed striping on the helmet.
There were other 1947 NCAA teams with crossed striping; Tennessee, Duke and Cornell.
The Big Red are taking on the Princeton Tigers, sporting some cool full length sleeve stripes, in that last photo. Ditto for Chuck Bednarik and the Penn Quakers.
The Duke photo shows an early facemask worn by a Navy Midshipmen defender, as does this photo of the Missouri Tigers (#75, on right).
A Yale player (on right) in this photo is also sporting an early facemask, in this game against Columbia, who have a logo on front of their helmets. Other teams with logos on front of their helmets include Colorado, Michigan State, Niagara and the St. Mary’s Gaels.
Padding on the helmets was popular. Other photos that showed schools with added padding included Iowa, Minnesota and Michigan.
Purdue stitched some striping on their leather hats.
Pacific had some unusual striping on their jerseys, as seen in this shot against Wichita in the January 1, 1948 Raisin Bowl.
Check out the two-tone pants on the Navy Midshipmen in this photo.
Great shot of Wayne “Bulldog” Barrow of Oklahoma A&M (n.k.a. Oklahoma State) Cowboys.
The magazine had some interesting pro photos, too:
Thankfully the world isn’t black & white, otherwise the officials in this Cards/Lions matchup would have been even more confused.
Here’s a great shot of Steve Van Buren being manhandled by Frank Wydo of the Steelers, with a nice view of the Eagles helmet.
Not many people saw this AAFC game between the Niners and Brooklyn Dodgers.
Here are two AAFC photos featuring the Browns and Marion Motley playing the Yankees. Motley carrying the ball and chasing down a New York back at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees are also featured in this photo of Frankie Sinkwich collaring a Buffalo Bills ball carrier.
With all of the talk about head injuries, one might think this tackle would have drawn a flag but there’s no comment about it one way or the other. All we know is 49ers John Strzykalski is about to be dropped on his head by Yankees’ Lou Sossamon. And check out the goal post!
Hope you enjoyed this visit to the world of football from 1947!
— Leo Strawn Jr
Thanks, Leo! TREMENDOUS stuff. As a side note, my pop went to Cornell from 1945-49; I wish he were alive today, as I’m sure he’d have loved not only the Cornell photo, but the whole writeup/pics. Great job, buddy.
OK. Now, onto the ticker…
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: Ball State baseball was using an old logo behind home plate yesterday (from Adam Maxwell). … If you check out this Vine, which shows what looks to be the Pirate (fan giveaway?) caps for 2016, you’ll see the Stars & Stripes cap (which should basically be the same for all MLB teams this year). Nice spot by Justin Wagner). … The Maryland Terrapins had some predictably brutal military appreciation uniforms (via Johnny Carroll). … 100 years ago, Baseball Magazine featured this nice portrait of Fritz Maisel on the cover (from Bruce Menard). … Would you like to win an autographed Nolan Ryan baseball (and help out a cause while you’re at it)? From Dan Mallon. … If nothing else, the Cleveland Indians sock game is going to be strong this year (from #KeepTheChief 54-22). … No one can say that MLB:The Show (a video game) isn’t accurate — even this year’s new logo’ed belt loops made it into the game (from Zack Bennett). … The San Antonio Missions will wear this Autism Awareness shirt on April 9th (via Sal in the 210). … Here’s “Another great Pepsi display at Pavilions in Burbank” (from Joe Nocella). … Check out the Cincinnati Reds basketball team (from Bruce Menard), and also the Philadelphia Phillies basketball team (from Phanatic). … Here’s a look at 100 years of baseball uniforms by the numbers. … Speaking of uni numbers on jerseys, this article doesn’t specifically mention the 1916 Cleveland Indians — but this is going to be the 100th Anniversary of uniform numbers appearing on a baseball uniform. Here’s a look at those first uni numbers. … Reader John Furstenthal notes the odd style of this USC Baseball jersey: “Their lettering is broken up like it would be on button down but it’s on a pullover.” Can’t say I’m a fan. … “In an interview with the Cleveland paper, Indians owner Paul Dolan says the team is keeping Chief Wahoo, but not as the main logo,” writes Mike McLaughlin. Not sure this is actual news, since Paul has been saying this since last year. … Chris Flinn asks, “Any idea why Madame Toussaud’s changed the bat David Wright was holding? It used to be a wooden Louisville slugger and a David Wright model, but now it is a black bat with electrical tape around the logo?” … We may not have Sean Gilmartin and his gorgeous hosiery in the bigs (yet) this year, but north of the border there is Shane Dawson. Dave Feigenbaum writes, “SN in Canada was nice enough to show a closeup of Shane Dawson’s stirrups. Note that Dawson is wearing #38, their roster says he’s #52.” … Here is a couple from Mike Chamernik: “Good shot of the White Sox in shorts. I don’t think we’ve seen this one before.” Also from Mike: The Blue Jays bring back white panel caps. … “Disgusting site out of Starkville,” writes Dustin Semore. “GFGS softball jerseys for Mississippi State softball. It’s one thing to be grey with a primary color somewhere–it’s another thing to be grey and white with NO school colors. Also of note: nice stirrups for the Ole Miss Rebels, and team-slogan-on-back with ‘Hail State for the Bulldogs.”
NFL News: It’s no great secret that the remaining NFL teams (who didn’t wear color rash uniforms last year) will all do so this year, including (it looks like) on Thanksgiving, which will feature the Vikings and Lions. Although the Vikes haven’t revealed what they will wear, this article speculates it will be all purple. Since they’ve worn all purple both with their previous uniform set, as well as the current set, I’m wondering if they’d go all gold for their color rash (or, possibly like the Jets did — use a different shade of purple). Doesn’t make much sense to do a color rash using basically a combo that’s already been worn (although the Titans did just that this past season). Either way, we can probably safely assume it’s going to look like shit. … Is Mile High Stadium going to pot? It just might literally, as a legal marijuana dispensary wants to buy the naming rights, since Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy last month, and the Broncos began hearing from other companies that wanted to purchase the naming rights (Groovy, Brinke).
College Football News: Are the University of Hawai’i going to be wearing new white helmets for the 2016 season? (h/t logan y for the photo). On a related note, check out the history of Hawai’i helmets through the years. Man, they’ve had some good ones. … This graphic for “2016 Prospect Days” from Southern Methodist University features seven different helmets (good spot by Samuel Stowers).
NBA News: NBA coaches are now wearing blue ‘puzzle’ pieces for Autism Awareness Day now (from Zach). … The Chicago Bulls were wearing their gray alternates last night (h/t Nathan Bryson). … According to Andrew Lind, the Detroit Pistons may have leaked their new primary logo in their player introduction montage.
College Hoops News: Prior to last evening’s Final Four games, Conrad Burry released his updated NCAA Playoff circle. You can see the full-size playoff circle here. … If you were a UNC Tar Heels fan and couldn’t get a ticket to the Final Four, you could attend a watch party, the first 10,000 of whom received this shirt (from James Gilbert). … Portable chairs featured stickers with seat numbers complete with fake screws at last night’s Final Four (great spot by Doak Hensley). … I HATE slideshows, but here is one worth clicking through: Final Four Logos through the years (thanks Brinke).
Soccer News: The San Jose Earthquakes (nee the “Clash”), celebrated 20th year festivities last evening. Lots of uni related things were happening (fromYellow Away Shirt).
Grab Bag: Check out these Women’s Navy Lacrosse head dyes which feature slogans that look like “Full Speed Ahead” and “We Give A Ship” (from Coleman Mullins). … Here is some good lax information from Jared Buccola: “Lacrosse is a very ‘customizable’ sport. Programs have almost as many helmet options as some NCAA football programs. A new one surfaced (Fri)day (4/1/16) for North Carolina. Big fan of the argyle stripe, which is consistent with their other designs this year. The script logo on the side is new. Also seen in this picture, Duke has a chrome image of their on-campus chapel on the back of their helmets, and a patch on the back, which I believe is a memorial patch for Alumni, Jimmy Regan, was an Army Ranger and passed away.” … Aww, this is a shame: The Oakland Athletics’ and Raiders’ home stadium will no longer be called the O.co Coliseum, as Overstock.com has opted out of naming rights. The stadium will, until further notice, be known as the Coliseum, Oakland Coliseum or Oakland””Alameda County Coliseum. My guess is it won’t go without a corporate sponsor…er, advertiser for long (thanks Brinke).
And that’s it for today. Big thanks to Danny, Jimmer and Leo, and anyone who tweeted or sent an e-mail for the ticker. Baseball starts today, for real, including a World Series rematch between the Mets and Royals (don’t forget, the Royals will be wearing a special jersey and patch and cap). You guys have a great week, and I’ll catch you next weekend. Until then…
“Seriously, anyone who is so severely colorblind that they only see in gray just shouldn’t be a sports fan. Yeah, I said it.”
–THE Jeff Provo
Actually, the uniform number article does mention the 1969 Indians.
Actual text from that article:
The first uniform numbers in a major league game were worn by the Cleveland Indians on their left sleeves in 1916, but that ended up being just a temporary experiment. It wasn’t until 1929 that teams started wearing numbers permanently.
“Baseball starts tonight, for real”
Actually, it starts at noon and runs through the day. Cards-Pirates at noon, Blue Jays-Rays and Cubs-Angels after that and before Mets-Royals.
Cards-Pirates is at 1 p.m. EDT, noon CDT.
Yeah, thanks. Had been told by a co-worker those were still pre-season games earlier this week (and I said no, I’m pretty sure those are regular season games, to which he said, “no, Sunday night is the first game”); my bad for not triple-checking. Now fixed.
The middle game is Blue Jays-Rays.
”Doesn’t make much sense to do a color rash unsing basically a combo…”
The Cubs-Angels game today is a preseason game. Their first regular season game is tomorrow night. Kinda weird to have preseason and regular season games on the same day. Also interesting that their opener is a rematch of their final preseason game.
Wow, tremendous work from Danny Finocchio, very impressive!!!
Hey, I’m the one reader who really shouldn’t have skipped yesterday’s WNBA column.
The one thing Adidas didn’t change: I still don’t like the “backpack straps” or “sports bra” color contrasts on every single team. And the one TV broadcast factor I predict won’t change: Non-action semi-closeups of players from the back will not show their complete numbers or any of the name (below the number).
PS I remember the late, unlamented UFL. Didn’t each team have only one uni there?
The bullpen jackets created for today’s entry were my favorite part of each concept. Each were unique and overall stayed true to traditional jacket styling! Too bad they aren’t for sale!!!
Those facemasks shown in the S&S guide were known as “nose guards”, and were usually worn only by players who had had nose injuries.
Leo, thanks for taking time to share those old football pics
Note to Jim Vilk: you’re supposed to wait until AFTER your squad gets beat to accuse the other guys of “cheating”.
Don’t know if it’s been mentioned but the Penguins are wearing white at home against the Flyers today. Would’ve been interesting if the Pens could’ve worn their throwbacks with the Flyers wearing their orange sweaters. Anyone know why the Pens are wearing white? Maybe to match the Pirates who their home whites today for opening day?
It’s no great secret that the remaining NFL teams (who didn’t wear color rash uniforms last year) will all do so this year,
including (it looks like) on Thanksgiving, which will feature the Vikings and Lions. Although the Vikes haven’t revealed what they will wear, this article speculates it will be all purple. Since they’ve worn all purple both with their previous uniform set, as well as the current set, I’m wondering if they’d go all gold for their color rash (or, possibly like the Jets did – use a different shade of purple). Doesn’t make much sense to do a color rash using basically a combo that’s already been worn (although the Titans did just that this past season). Either way,and we can probably safely assume it’s going to look like shit.
Edinson Volquez of the Royals not wearing the gold-script KC cap tonight.
He wore the Spring Training hat the first inning, now has the gold KC.
In the Hawaii helmet video the 1999 helmet and logo featured is on a Riddell revolution, a helmet that wasn’t even released until 2002. Did they throw back to ’99 for some reason at some point?