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Not the End of the World After All

Ageless Mets pitcher Bartolo Colón tossed eight scoreless frames last night. Toward the end of the game, Phil emailed me the photo shown above, with the subject line, “Now THAT is a side panel.” And yeah, a plus-sized jersey definitely makes for a plus-sized mesh insert.

But that led me to mention something to Phil that’s been on my mind — something that has, frankly, been a very pleasant surprise. And here it is:

The mesh side panels — they’re not so bad. Not even on pinstriped jerseys.

They looked awful in the still photos we saw before the start of the season, and they still look pretty awful in still photos now, like the one of Colón. But I have to admit that they haven’t bothered me at all during game action. And keep in mind, I follow a team that usually wears pinstripes at home, so I’ve had plenty of opportunity to see how the panels look during a game.

Part of it, I think, is that the players’ arms are often obscuring their sides. And another part is that the players are usually in motion, so even if the panels are revealed, it’s usually only for a moment. It’s pretty much been a non-issue for me, and that’s about the last thing I expected to be saying after a month’s worth of games.

I ran all of this by Phil, just to see if he agreed, and said he pretty much did (although he pointed out, accurately, that the side panels are still brutal on patterned jerseys).

So let’s give Majestic and MLB some credit. I’m sure they did some video testing of the Flex Base template to see how it looked on TV, so maybe they had already figured out what I’ve now concluded: The mesh panels just aren’t that big a deal, at least on pinstripes. Imagine that.

Could it be that the people in this industry — the ones who, you know, actually work with the players, with the fabrics, with the designs, etc. — knew better than the rest of us?

Stranger things have happened.

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A coincidence, or something more?: The screen shot you see above shows Mariners closer Steve Cishek during last night’s game against the A’s. As you can see, he committed the old Little League faux pas of having one of his stirrups untucked.

The thing is, this is the second consecutive game in which this has happened to him, as you can see in this shot from his previous appearance, which was last Friday against the Royals (click to enlarge):

Hmmm — mere coincidence, or was there something more significant at work here? Although I don’t like the untucked-stirrup look (who would?), I loved the idea that maybe Cishek had come up with a new superstition. The cult of the untucked left stirrup!

But then I checked the game video and discovered that Cishek’s stirrups had been perfectly shipshape when he entered last night’s game. Then I check Friday’s game — same thing. In each case, his left stirrup came loose in the middle of the inning, apparently because he was landing fairly violently on his left foot and the stirrup became dislodged by the impacts, little by little.

Not as much fun as the superstition idea, alas.

(Big thanks to @RNs_Funhouse for the screen shot from last night’s game.)

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Look at the great artwork on these 1960s pro football prints by the amazing artist Lou Feck. Definitely check out that last link — this guy’s work is sensational!

Now on to the rest of the week:

•  Take a look at these two ads, submitted by reader and Collector’s Corner fan Chris Markham. Glad you like, CC, Chris. These two Sand Knit print ads are from 1976. Looks like they kinda mucked up that Vikings jersey, though — it has No. 10 on the sleeve, but No. 14 on the chest!

• One more Vikings item: a vintage tote bag showing the Vikes helmet with a yellow facemask (which would have looked nice, I think).

•  Here’s a pair of 1980s Converse sneakers with the Chicago Bulls logo on the side, rather than the usual star/chevron branding.

•  Ah, I remember these 1970s-era NFL guides! I did have the NFL Report ’75 and ’76. I had forgotten about those until now. [But ugh, those apostrophe catastrophes. ”” PL]

•  I’ll say early 1970s for this Coca-Cola NFL helmet display sign. This looks like something you’d put stickers on, doesn’t it?

•  Need to polish up your hockey skates? Look no further than this unopened 1970s can of official Phil Esposito Hockey Boot Wax! (Espo’s got your laces, too.)

•  Ever seen one of these? A 1969 Hasbro/NBC Game of the Week MLB board game.

•  Here’s an NBA Starter jacket. This one has no team on it, though — just a large NBA logo on the front. Listing says it belonged to an NBA ref. Don’t care for silver? Try red instead.

•  One more NBA jacket to take a look at: this white 1980s Celtics half-zip made by DeLong.

•  Great logos on this 1970s ABA Carolina Cougars ashtray.

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Advertiser shout-out: As you may have noticed in the right-hand sidebar, our friends at are now featuring a new baseball template. Granted, I don’t create mock-ups, so I’m not the best person to assess how good or easy this template is to use. I do, however, look at lots and lots of mock-ups when judging design contests, and the templates at are a lot better-looking than most of the stuff I receive.

Ultimately, of course, the design is more important than the template on which it’s executed. But a good presentation doesn’t hurt, and I definitely like the presentation style of these models. Please consider them for your designing needs. Thanks.

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: The Phillies will wear 1976 throwbacks in early June. The Bicentennial patches are nice, but the pillbox cap design is slightly inaccurate (from Daniel Ulrich). … The Pirates’ John Jaso wore American flag socks last night (from Zach Pearson). … A group of Cubs fans watched Sunday’s game dressed in early-1900s garb (from Phillip Santos). … Here’s a close-up shot of the Brewers grounds crew applying the ball-in-glove logo to the mound. … Red-vs.-red game between Trinity High and Bedford High in New Hampshire. “Only saving grace for the fans was white pants vs. grey pants,” says Geoff Hudson. … We’ve seen lots of soda displays based on team logos, but here’s a good one of the MLB logo in Florence, Ky. The ball is definitely not to scale (from Jeremy Brahm). … One more from Jeremy: This year’s Frontier League All-Star Game will be known as the Y’All-Star Game. The name and logo are based on this water tower in Florence, Ky., the host city. ”¦ Here’s what the SEC teams have been wearing this year (from Jeff Boogaart).

NFL News: Marshawn Lynch retired in February. The Seahawks say that no player will wear his No. 24 this year. … A few people sent this: Nebraska made a poor Photoshop of the Cornhuskers draftees in their new NFL uniforms. The Cowboys helmet in the image looks white, and the Patriots wore the MHK memorial patch in 2011. … The Buccaneers announced their rookies’ uni numbers (from Phil). … Someone chose the best helmet in every team’s history (from Joshua Tretakoff). … Very neat collection of early-1960s AFL and NFL letterheads (from Brendan McGann). … Lawmakers in Colorado trying to pass a law requiring the Broncos’ stadium to have “Mile High” in its name. “Obviously they cannot prevent a corporate company from buying naming rights but it would have to be ‘X company at Mile High,'” explains Charles Atwell. The stadium is currently called Sports Authority Field at Mile High, but a name change may be forthcoming because Sports Authority has filed for bankruptcy and may soon close most or all of its stores. … Here’s a very cool 1960 Lions-Rams program cover (from @leapinlions).

College and High School Football News: West Virginia unveiled a logo for 125 years of football (from David Cline). … An Arizona high school football player is in trouble for ever so slightly exposing himself in the team photo, while in full uniform. The prank brought him 69 counts of indecent exposure.

Hockey News: A hockey fan broke his leg so he painted his cast to look like a skate (from @GKG_77). … Penguins LW Carl Hagelin wears all-black gloves when the Pens are in their alternates or regular black unis. The rest of the team has white accents on their gloves when they wear alts, and gold accents in the standards. Hagelin does have gold accents on his gloves when the Pens wear white, though (from Mike Engle). … The Lightning’s sales office displays mini sticks that recognize team members’ achievements (from James Gilbert).

NBA News: The Thunder have worn their sleeved alternates for every home game since mid-March. The team has worn them at Russell Westbrook’s preference, but he isn’t going to explain why he likes them (from Phil). … Someone picked the best uniform in every team’s history. Click if you want, but beware the awful slideshow format and the, uh, unconventional picks. For instance, the author named this late-1990s home set the best uniform in Cavs history (from Michael Candelmo). … Candace Parker was left off Team USA and there’s some (mostly baseless) speculation that she didn’t make the cut because she wears Adidas. Nike supplies the team’s apparel (from Griffin Smith).

College Hoops News: It took 33 years, but next Monday the remaining members of the NC State team that won the 1983 title will meet the President at the White House. The Wolfpack will present Obama with this jersey (from Ben Davis).

Soccer News: Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal said that hair pulling in his club’s match against Leicester was reminiscent of “sex masochism.”

Grab Bag: Churchill Downs is asking spectators to wear pink for the Kentucky Oaks race on Friday (from Patrick O’Neill). … The University of Illinois is looking for a mascot. The school retired Chief Illiniwek in 2007 (from @mingiweirddays). … Multiple readers sent this: A copyright battle between two cheerleading uniform manufacturers has reached the Supreme Court. … Penn State track and field wore 1985 throwbacks. They honor the the 4×8 team that has the Penn Relays record (from j_canales87). ”¦ A swimmer in the Paralyimpics was disqualified because organizers decided that his tattoo of the Oympic rings constituted an advertisement, which is not allowed (from @GKG_77). ”¦ New Balance, whose shoes are made in the USA, has been lobbying Congress to require that new military recruits spend their sneaker allowance only on domestically made footwear (@GKG_77 again).

Comments (56)

    So maybe I just don’t remember it, but why is it the Pens seem to have only worn the throwback alts at home with the original yellow? I’m perfectly ok with it but seems odd to have dirty gold on the road and bright yellow at home.

    I don’t think they did a white sweater version of the throwback for the road, so they would only be able to wear the black on the road if the home team chose to wear white (which, IMHO, is what I think the NHL should go back to anyway, but that’s a different topic!).

    These are the playoffs. In the NHL playoffs, you get one white set and one non-white set. You can elevate an alternate if you want, but only two jersey sets in the playoffs. For the Penguins, in the regular season, the throwbacks were the alternate, but now they are basically the playoff home jerseys. There is a set of black with Vegas gold jerseys that haven’t been worn since the regular season home finale.

    Thanks both for the clarification. It’s awkward to have two different color/graphic schemes in the playoffs I think but that works for me!

    I believe the Vikings jersey DOES have 10 on the chest. It is just oddly wrinkled.

    I mean, who would put 10 on the sleeve and 14 on the chest, and then put that guy front and center in the ad?

    no one.

    Small quibble: it isn’t the city of Denver, but rather the state of Colorado that is proposing a law mandating the use of “Mile High” in the stadium name.

    NFL Coca Cola board…..

    On the bottom of Frozen Coke drinks (can’t remember if they were at 7-11 or where) there was a round on the bottom of the cup you could collect. I think I am correct. Maybe I just dreamed the whole thing.

    Huskers draftees PS jobs……

    Q: How wrong is that Denver number font?
    A: Completely.

    A few people sent this: Nebraska made a poor Photoshop of the Cornhuskers draftees in their new NFL uniforms. The Cowboys helmet in the image looks white, and the Patriots wore the MHK memorial patch in 2011.

    The number fonts for New England and Denver are also wrong. They definitely should’ve put a bit more effort into it.

    That high school kid pulled that prank in the infamous Sherriff Joe’s county. Poor guy is probably going to have his life ruined. link

    Meh. Somehow I made it to 54 years old without flashing anybody. For all the things I may have done wrong in this world, I was able to curtail any laddish thoughts of mine. But, yeah, the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.

    I can’t take any credit for this, but I found this on Reddit this morning. Simply beautiful.


    Also, something of possible uniform relation, the Browns have let go the VP of Fan Engagement Kevin Griffin. It’s widely thought that he and Alec Scheiner (also let go) were the driving force behind the new uniforms. Is it possible we can see a tweak? Maybe change the awful pants? Please?

    The article on Tampa Bay jersey numbers makes no reference to Keyshawn Johnson having worn 19 during his time there. He did have an unceremonious departure, but it’s hard to leave him out when mentioning the best players to wear certain numbers.

    ” … (although he pointed out, accurately, that the side panels are still brutal on patterned jerseys).”

    To be fair, camo jerseys look brutal so what’s one more out-of-place design element among friends.

    I think the side panels actually do a nice job of breaking up the pattern and if anything makes the camo design slightly more tolerable.

    The only thing that makes the camo design more tolerable is not wearing it.

    It’s not just that Candace Parker wears Adidas, it’s that all the players who were chosen for Team USA wear Nike

    The good thing about the side panels is that they are narrower than the old arm pit cutouts. So at most a player is losing two or three potential pins. The pit stains not only seemed to take up more space but also tended not to match the surrounding fabric.

    The pits also used to be cut out at an angle, severing the pinstripes in an obvious way. The vertical side panels have turned out to be a better compromise.

    The “Make NFL Helmets Great Again” article was kind of disappointing. With only three exceptions (Bills, Jets, and Chargers), these are the helmets that each franchise was wearing in 1989 or, in the case of the Panthers/Jaguars/Texans, in their inaugural seasons.

    I’m guessing the author started watching football in the late 80s and has a soft spot for that era. Because the alternate explanation – that the late 80s was the pinnacle of uniform design – is completely implausible.

    I love the oil derrick on the white helmet as much as anybody, but even I’d have a hard time making a case for restoring it to the Tennessee uniform. (Setting aside the legal complications, it makes more sense to rename the Texans the Oilers.) Whenever someone says to make things great again, you’re indulging their rearward vision through rose-colored glasses.

    I agree.

    We tend to confuse good design with nostalgia for better days. Not that there wasn’t good design back in the day, there was, but I do not think that the helmet designs or for that matter the other equipment of that period (I hated strapping on the ginormous shoulder pads of that era) were “better” than what is out there today.

    We are living in a Golden Age of Uni-design and equipment. Most of the designs are horrific of course but you get that when you have “competition” in the industry. I am not a big fan of Under-Armor designs, but I like that they are in the game going toe to toe with the swooshkateers.

    I will say this about what is coming in the future… One of the big dogs, Under Armor or NIKE will “reinvent” the shoulder pad. You can count on it.

    I see it being more of a pull over, with high tech rigid shoulder protection and super soft padding that eats up less space and breathes. Less bulky, more protection…

    Crickey, this sounds like ad copy. I’ll stop now.

    The pattern is already there for this design… an umpire chest protector called Force 3 Unequal has hard plastic shoulders but a soft, low-profile body design that greatly diminishes the bulk. I would be greatly surprised if this didn’t have a knock-on effect in football eventually.

    Hello Uniwatchers. I like to dabble in concepts here and there, but I have found that baseball concepts are the most difficult to do. Have any of you tried that concept template website? Is it worth the 45 dollars???

    I’m having a little problem with the description of Cishek’s stirrup being “untucked.” I have never heard anyone who ever pulled up a stirrup call the process “tucking” or having a properly worn stirrup as being “tucked.” I would just go with “loose” but I am interested how you decided on the description of “untucked” for a loose stirrup. Maybe a regional thing?

    I don’t know if I’ve ever called it that before; just the term I used today.

    I was tucked into his shoe, tucked under his sock, and then it came untucked.

    While shopping at Big Lots, I found a portable sun shade that rips off the 2012 World Series logo on its box:


    I pitched for a baseball program that required stirrups, sanis, and knee-high pants. The tighter the stirrup is, the more susceptible it is to sliding around the heel since the sanitary socks have little friction. I’m a relatively tall guy (6’7″) so I had to stretch the stirrup to get every inch out of it. Combine this with your heel sliding even a little do to the force of pitching and the stirrup coming “unpicked” is an easier phenomenon that you’d think.

    It’s not really that easy for a stirrup to come out if it is being worn properly or effectively. First, it’s correct that the farther you stretch it the more tension there is on it and it may spring up if it comes off your heel. But the farther you stretch it, the easier it is to pull the stirrup around your foot nearer the instep from which it will never come out past your heel. That comes from 13 years of wearing stirrups back in the high stirrup era. The way Cishek is wearing his stirrups so low, he must be tucking in the stirrup between his heel and his shoe for it to come out so easily.

    I wasn’t trying to say that the issue I had is the only issue or what Cishek’s having problems with. I was just trying to give an example of the problems I had. The more I needed my stirrup to stretch the closer the tension was toward my heel. My stirrups/pants weren’t designed for someone my size so it was a forced issue, unlike a pro such as Cishek who can get the necessary equipment.

    A tiny strip of athletic tape and that sucker ain’t going anywhere.

    To the Cub fans in the 1908ish “garb”: if you are going to take the time to wear it, wear it right.

    The SportsTemplates site looks pretty neat, but the adjustable ball cap they use for the baseball uniform template is a little disappointing. I would rather they offered a fitted cap look.

    Re: side panels. Is it good or is it stupid? Clearly is does not meet “good” criteria. Especially since any performance arguments get tossed based on what the Yankees are wearing this year.

    Actually, given the Yanks’ on-field performance so far this season, that might be the best possible validation of the side panels….

    Seriously: I never said it passed the “Good vs. Stupid” test; I said it doesn’t look so bad. Which it doesn’t.

    Baseball has way too many superstitions as it is. Please don’t encourage another one.

    And thanks for the warning about the “best” NBA uniforms. Steering clear of that mess.

    You can tell we live in a era in which baseball is low on the list of awareness for people. Baseball teams have been wearing uniforms on fields for decades that are very nearly the same color. There is virtually no danger of mistaking one team’s players for another simply because of their positioning on the field. Those who claim “the only saving grace” are the gray vs. white pants are living in their football/basketball/hockey/soccer world while watching baseball.

    Many, if not most, high school baseball teams have one uniform. The occasions when similar colors are on the two teams are plentiful. The only reason this site isn’t inundated with 20 uni-related high school baseball photos every day is likely because so many people understand a same color jersey game isn’t rare or novel.

    The only reason this site isn’t inundated with 20 uni-related high school baseball photos every day is likely because so many people understand a same color jersey game isn’t rare or novel.

    Actually, I think the main reason we don’t get many high school photos is that not that many people watch high school sports.

    Geez, I’m a huge baseball fan and I think it’s completely stupid for two teams to wear dark-colored jerseys in the same game. How come those teams can spring for different sets of pants but not different sets of jerseys? I have no idea what Tom is talking about the “football/basketball/hockey/soccer world.”

    Agree with The Sportster’s pick of best uniforms from each NBA team except for Atlanta, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Utah and Washington.

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