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Win This Jersey!

DK jersey 550

By Phil Hecken

Remember when I announced the redesign the USA baseball jersey contest and I said there’d be no prize for the winner? Yeah, well — due to some wonderful generosity, that’s no longer the case. And one of you readers is going to get a chance to have Dan Kennedy’s winning design custom made for you, all courtesy of Steve Rosenbeck, who has graciously offered to custom-make a jersey for one of Uni Watch’s readers. I’ll have the raffle details at the end of this section, but first I wanted to let you know how this all transpired.

A couple days ago, Steve reached out to me via e-mail with the following:


I love the contest that you and Paul do…

My idea was that Garb Athletics would partner with Uni Watch for the design contest, and then bring the winning uniform design to life and give it to them as a prize. I was thinking we could even retroactively do it with this recent contest of the USA redesigns.

After some back and forth, Steve has offered to custom create a jersey for the winner of our NEXT contest (keep reading for more on that), and also to give away a jersey for the USA contest. Steve will make the road design of Dan’s winning design (look here for both his home and road designs) and give that one to Dan, and he’ll make and customize the HOME jersey (shown in the splash) for one lucky reader.

In addition, whenever we have our *next* jersey contest, Dan will ALSO create a jersey based on the winning design! So, in the comments below, I’ll need you guys to come up with some suggestions for our next contest (which I will hopefully be able to announce soon, possibly as early as next weekend). So that’s a nice award for you guys who love to submit your designs, right?

Before we get to the raffle rules, I wanted you guys to get to know Steve a little bit, and how we got to this point.

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Uni Watch: Steve, thanks for your generous offer. Dan Kennedy won the most recent contest, so his is the design you loved. As you saw, he did both a home and a road.

Steve Rosenbeck: Since he did 2 designs, what if we gave one to Dan Kennedy and did a raffle with the other one?

UW: That’s great! If I announce it this weekend, can you create one quickly? I’m pumped!

SR: I am also very excited to get going with this, and would love to be able to introduce my work to your readers, and offer a custom jerseys based on future contests. If you can, your idea about running something on Sunday would be great. Then we can have the NOB, number, and size sometime next week and it wouldn’t slow us down.

UW: That would be great. First off, is there somewhere we can see your work?

SR: Here is where you/they can see our work, and follow us:

The company website is

UW: Wow — some nice stuff there (and some crazy designs too!). I guess you’ll create whatever your client wants. Can you tell me a bit about Garb? Do you do everything, like numbers and NOB and such?

SR: Garb Athletics is a custom team uniform company that specializes in All-Inclusive team uniforms. We create the exact uniform you want. You can choose or create any style of uniform, with any color combination. Unlimited tackle twill, unlimited embroidery, sublimation, and even player names are included. Our goal is to create the exact uniform you want for one set price. We have no upcharges, or hidden fees.

UW: How did Garb get started?

SR: Garb Athletics has very humble beginnings. I started the company in 2005 after living in the Philippines for 2 years serving a mission for my church. Living and working with the people there really opened my eyes and made me appreciate the financial struggles and trials they have to meet each day. I was determined that when I returned home, I was going to create opportunities for the people.

UW: A missionary? Wow (again). So that’s where you got your idea. Were you influenced by any designers or clothing manufacturers over there?

SR: From my first day in the Philippines to the last, I was always amazed at the attention to detail they put into their clothing.

UW: How so?

SR: For example, if a Filipino buys a T-Shirt at the mall, it’s standard practice to have the shirt tailored to fit your body. As a result, the country is filled with skilled craftsmen running their own tailoring shops.

UW: Have you always been a uni aficionado, like those who love Uni Watch?

SR: I have always been a uniform enthusiast, so in 2005 Garb Athletics — Custom Team Uniforms was born.

UW: And it grew from there?

SR: Not having any money myself, and sleeping on the floor of my brother’s apartment, I started working 2 jobs to keep a modest 3 man factory in the Philippines running. The following year I thankfully found an investor, Ken Money, who shared my dream and helped me build our infrastructure. We now have over 300+ employees dedicated to creating the very best custom uniforms in the market today.

UW: Awesome. And now you’re offering our readers a chance to win some custom jerseys! That’s great. Thanks so much. I’ll announce the first raffle Sunday!

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So — how great is that. And now, here are the raffle rules. If you’d like a free, customized (whatever size you like, whatever number you want, your name on back, etc.) USA Jersey based on Dan Kennedy’s home design, here’s what you do:

You’ll be Sending an e-mail to me (my usual g-mail address). In the SUBJECT line, write “USA JERSEY RAFFLE”. In the body of the e-mail, please specify the following:

Size (S/M/L/XL — basically whatever t-shirt size you wear would be the size to submit)
NOB (Name on Back)
Uni Number

That’s it! The DEADLINE for the raffle is going to be THIS WEDNESDAY (April 20) at NOON EDT. This way, Steve can get to work right away on the jersey. I’ll announce the winner next weekend (and who knows, Steve may even have a photo of the winner’s jersey at that time). Also, I may be ready to announce our next contest.

So, dear readers, below, please throw out some suggestions for our next design contest — it doesn’t need to be baseball, but we’re in baseball season now and it looks like the majority of Garb’s jerseys are for baseball teams, but they also do softball, football & basketball. And (and Steve didn’t ask me to do this), if you’re a coach and you’re interested in outfitting your team — why not give Garb a look-see? OK? OK!

Thanks to Steve and Garb for the nice prize(s)! Remember — Raffle Deadline this Wednesday and the winner announced next weekend!

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JRR Day 2017 splash

“Honoring” Jack Roosevelt Robinson

Yesterday was, of course, April 15th — it was also the seventieth anniversary of Jackie Roosevelt making his major league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, a seminal moment in not just baseball history, but American history as well. Robinson broke the modern “color barrier” that had existed in Major League Baseball since the earliest days.

It’s hard to believe it’s been twenty years since Major League Baseball retired Robinson’s #42 leaguewide and declared April 15th “Jackie Robinson Day.” I was fortunate enough to be at that 1997 Mets/Dodgers game at Shea with my pop, and it was an incredible night. From the time he took over as Commissioner until he finally retired, I was never much of a Bud Selig fan, but his decision to retire Jack’s number league-wide on that night will always be, to me, his greatest achievement as Commissioner. Back in 1997, all those players wearing #42 (at the time, there were 13 of them) were “grandfathered” and allowed to keep their #42s — today, there are no more (although it seemed like the Yankees’ Mariano Rivera would keep playing forever, as he was the last to wear it up until 2013). JRR Day officially became a reality in 2004.

Originally, after the retirement of #42, no players were allowed to wear the number. After several years, for the 60th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson Day in 2007, Ken Griffey, Jr. asked Selig if he could wear #42 on JRR Day, and he received permission, and several others followed suit. By 2008, more than 330 players were wearing #42 for JRR Day; and by 2009, ALL players began wearing #42 on April 15th. It’s been that way ever since. And it’s wonderful. Every ballpark has a #42 among it’s retired numbers today — a way of showing fans that Robinson will never be forgotten. The wearing of #42 on April 15th is another strong reminder of the impact that Robinson had on both baseball AND history. Twenty, thirty, forty years from now, when a youngster attends his or her first game and sees a team’s retired numbers, he or she will (hopefully) ask why the #42 is rendered in a different color/font from all the other numbers up there — and it will provide another chance for a parent or sibling or friend to tell the story of a remarkable pioneer.

You see, #42 is more than a number. And thanks to MLB and Commissioner Bud Selig, it will live on forever.

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Now then — much has been said and written (including my several words above) about Jackie, and we’ve had enough games in the past we don’t need to show every player wearing #42 (as cool as it is). Players have taken to “honoring” Robinson in several ways over the years, including wearing their pants like he did (baggy and cuffed), but most of today’s tributes are in the form of footwear or some other item they can wear. The following is just a sampling of some of the JRR tributes from yesterday’s games (I like how MiLB and College teams get into it as well):

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[Special thanks to Megan Brown, Zach and SportsFunhouse for some of the tweets used above]

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Lukas b&w

In Case You Missed It…Paul’s Latest ESPN Piece

You’ve probably heard by now the Detroit Lions have unveiled new uniforms (a new home, road, color rash and beautiful throwback). It was the subject of Friday’s Uni Watch as well as Paul’s ESPN column. He seems to be a bigger fan of the new unis than I, but I’ll add my $.02. It’s addition by subtraction: the removal of black is a nice plus, but the new “LIONS” wordmark placed inside the northwestern sleeve stripe is brutal. This is a trend begun by the Bucs that needs to die, quickly. I could also do without the chrome facemask but (“chrome grille” = “Detroit” — get it?) it’s not a dealbreaker. I like the blue pants option for the roads, but will this give them more chance at a mono-blue uni? And of course the color rash is just awful. I’m VERY glad they’re bringing back the “circa 1932” throwbacks though. Not a terrible redesign, but it could have been better. Anyway, enough of my yakkin’.

If you didn’t read Paul’s latest piece, here ya go. Definitely worth the read if you haven’t already.

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: At a pottery painting shop, Eric Stangel noticed this Yankees cap complete with ’47 Brand logo. Quite the attention to detail there. … If you’re going to try to sell a bootleg jersey, spelling is probably pretty important (from Darryl Dawson). … In a MiLB tribute to the great Jackie Robinson, for the first time in the history of professional baseball, the entire Daytona Tortugas team wore the #9 yesterday. Why number 9? Read about it here. … Check out this Brooklyn Dodgers program & ticket stub from Jackie Robinson’s 1st MLB game (Ebbets Field – April 15, 1947); from Bruce Menard. … “Painted Gloves” designed this awesome JRR glove (from Megan Brown). … Interesting — the Penguins and Braves helmets both feature a similar carbon fiber pattern (from Tom O’Grady). Also posted in the hockey ticker. … What made Chicago Cubs fans so loyal? A UNC professor takes a look (from James Gilbert). … Along with Buck Showalter, the Yankees Tyler Clippard has been one of those whose cap has been New Era advert-free for some games this year (from Eric Trager). … The Kentucky Wildcats softball team went BFBS yesterday (I gotta admit, while I hate the concept, I love the execution). From Josh Claywell. … Manny Machado has an image of himself on his elbow guard. Submitter Adam Vitcavage asks how long he’s had it. Anyone? … “Matt Harvey seems to be going to extreme lengths to distance from Nike. Rawlings glove, cleats, covered logo on collar,” writes Wes. … Following up on an item in yesterday’s ticker is Dave Holland, who has a color photo of the 1954 Orioles. Dave also notes that not only did the Orioles wear their black BP cap Friday night, they also wore them twice in 2016: once at home and once on the road. … Looks like Miguel Cabrera’s Old English “D” is ‘slipping’ (from Zuckys). … The Iowa Hawkeyes baseball team broke out digital camo caps yesterday (from Kary Klismet). … The West Virginia Power wore some kind of crazy jerseys yesterday (from Zach). … The Orioles and Blue Jays went color vs. color on JRR Day (from Will Shoken). … There’s been another spotting of an IMPEACH 45 jersey. Guy must either know someone who can customize it for him or it’s a knockoff, because the MLB shop won’t let you do an “IMPEACH 45” custom jersey. … The New York Yankees commemorative cup this year is jersey themed, complete with buttons and their 9 most recent WS patches (from B Dilly). … In honor of the Southern Negro League’s Biloxi Dodgers, the Biloxi Shuckers dressed out in gold and blue throwback jerseys yesterday (from Zach). … The Princeton University trainer was wearing this belt today during the Tigers’ game at Dartmouth (from Tris Wykes). … Cleveland will have a new alt in 2018(!) — or at least, they’ve applied for a new one: “Interesting that the Indians scrapped the cream uniforms because ‘several players didn’t like them’,” notes Robert Hayes (From Indians beat writer). … Mizzou baseball now has matte helmets with raised logos (from William Lynch).

NFL/CFL/College/High School Football News: Here’s a few nice pics of Karl Mecklenburg’s Denver Broncos’ ’94 throwback game helmet (from Broncos QB Club). … Remember those NFL/NHL uni crossovers (in the ticker the past couple days)? Well, here’s the CFL teams designed as hockey sweaters (from Tim Hodge). Also posted in the Hockey ticker. … For Minnesota’s Spring Game, you can clearly see “ROW” on raised nose bumpers (from Jeremy Formo). New Minnesota Coach C.J. Fleck has brought that over from WMU. … Here is an article about a small company in Waldwick NJ that is producing & changing the shoulder pad industry (from Dave Rakowski). … As mentioned in yesterday’s ticker, for their spring game today, Pitt Football wore a helmet with the Steelers’ logo, as a tribute to the memory of Dan Rooney (from Alan Saunders). Along those lines, Ben Greiner asks, “Have there been other instances where a helmet sports both college and pro logos?” … Hmmm, looks like some LeBron logos were creeping onto Ohio State football sideline gear for their spring game (from Brandon Schwartz). … The Michigan football team is taking a trip to Italy later this year, so at their Spring Game, they had Italian & USA flag stickers on their helmets (thanks to Pj Kuzdal”). Here’s a bit more on that. … Check out this beautiful old single far facemask on a Denver Broncos helmet (from DenverBroncos QBClub”). … From the “how much shit many stickers can we put on a helmet” files comes this little number from a Franklin County (KY) school (from Josh Claywell). At least one of those logos is “borrowed”. … Dates haven’t been announced yet (those *should* come next week when the schedules are released), but the Lions’ Ron Wood said that all four new Lions unis ‘should’ be worn this season. … Have you ever wondered how bad a purple vs. black color on color game would look? Wonder no more (from Pat).

Hockey News: Not quite hockey but: Remember those NFL/NHL uni crossovers (in the ticker the past couple days)? Well, here’s the CFL teams designed as hockey sweaters (from Tim Hodge). Also posted in the football ticker. … Interesting — the Penguins and Braves helmets both feature a similar carbon fiber pattern (from Tom O’Grady). Also posted in the hockey ticker. … Tweeter Mike McCormack writes, “my old man has these unopened package of (Boston Bruins) coasters from the 70’s.” … Because, why not? Here are all 30 NHL goal horn songs, ranked (from Zach). … Reader Will Scheibler ran across this 2011 blog article on great Winnipeg stadium moments. The larger picture of the model of the stadium is a dead link.
here’s a link that works. … There are frankenjerseys and then there are Capitals/Maple Leafs frankenjerseys. Dear God. … Of course if a frankenjersey isn’t your bag, you could always wear a jersey sports coat.

NBA News: Our pal Conrad Burry couldn’t resist putting together a quick refresh of the @iowaenergy logo to reflect the new Minnesota Timberwolves look. … The Raptors have some, uh, interesting playoff shirts for fans (from James Gilbert). … This man is wearing an Alex Ovechkin Wizards jersey (from Michael Alper). … The Milwaukee Bucks were wearing new “Fear The Deer” shooting shirts last night (from Zach).

Soccer News: I don’t watch much Premier League football, but James Beattie noticed that NBC is now putting the logo of the kit maker on their chyron. Anyone know if this is something new, or have they always had uni manufacturers’ logos? … Apparently “IMPEACH 45” as a jersey NOB & #OB aren’t just limited to baseball. That was seen at a Portland Timbers game recently (h/t Tanner Karp).

Grab Bag: Nice all-gold look yesterday for Michigan lacrosse — love how they use the flying wing design on their helmet (from UMichLaxManagers). … Here’s a nice graphic on the logo evolution of the Rice Owls (from Brad Blunt). … With health concerns increasingly being raised by the use of old auto tires being crushed up and sprinkled onto artificial playing fields, one school decided to use organic material, composed of ground coconut husks, as infill instead (from Tris Wykes). … “We are four rounds into the 2017 AFL Season and the backs of the Dees’ and Suns’ guernseys are screaming out with their lack of advertising (a staple under the number since 1994)!” says James MacNeil. “Turns out their sponsors declined to renew their deals with the clubs. Very collectible!” … Pretty cool time-lapse here: The Verizon Center going from hockey to concert to football to basketball back to hockey. From William Yurasko. “Just last week, the Caps played a Wednesday night home game, which was followed by a John Mayer concert Thursday night, the first-ever Valor game Friday evening, the Capitol Classic Saturday afternoon, a Wizards game Saturday night, and finally, another Caps game Sunday.”

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And that’s it for today. Big thanks to Steve Rosenbeck & Garb for the raffle (don’t forget — deadline is this Wednesday). Let’s have your thoughts on our NEXT contest too! The USA jersey redesign was a big hit so let’s think about what needs to be fixed next!

Happy Passover and for all those celebrating today, Happy Easter.

Everyone have a great week and I’ll catch ya next weekend. But until then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“The ludicrous Manatees nickname also received the most votes in a fan contest to name the Florida Marlins. So as silly as ‘Marlins’ is, it could have been Manatees.”

— Brett Ballantini

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Comments (28)

    Those jerseys that the WV Power are wearing are special Hatfield vs. McCoy jerseys that the Power and the Lexington Legends are wearing for certain matchups this season, as UW pointed out within the past few weeks.

    I would like to see a redesign your hometown team pro or college. Another would be a redesign any uniform over 20 years old, ex. Atlanta Braves, Green Bay Packers, New York Yankees. I read your article everyday.

    What do folks think about the “42” fashion stuff? All of the lifestyle brands have made thrifty advertising out of JR’s memory, and I don’t see how it comes off as anything but crass and a gradual sterilization of the history.

    That said, it’s not nearly as bad as all of the awkward attempts at discussing race made by all of the old white guy broadcasters yesterday.

    While I am not in favour of having everyone wear no. 42, these uniforms illustrate how good the uniforms would look without the players’ names on the back. The Braves’ uniforms show this most clearly.

    I also don’t go for the league-wide retirement of the number. It feels uncomfortably like baseball congratulating itself for being so progressive, giving the impression that the baseball establishment welcomed Jackie Robinson.

    This papers over the real history, the fact that there were many in baseball who resented Branch Rickey for bringing in Robinson and other black players, and the fact that the other National League owners complained that visits by the Dodgers attracted black fans to the ballpark.

    It was better when individual players could take the number 42 in tribute. When Mo Vaughn and Butch Huskey wore the number, this constituted a more natural and honest tribute. Also, it promoted more awareness of Jackie Robinson, as Robinson was mentioned during just about every game in which these players appeared.

    We could still have a yearly Jackie Robinson Day commemoration without the league-wide number retirement.

    Great points. I was about to post something similar.

    It seems to me that the Robinson tributes of today are totally over-the-top and are designed to distract the public from the fact that African-American participation in the game is at a low point and that baseball is still considered “the white man’s sport”. Especially in the college game…whenever I stumble upon one on ESPN the rosters for both teams are nearly always 100% white, no Blacks, Hispanics, or Asians in sight.

    And you are right that MLB is trying to make us forget how unwelcome Robinson was at the time.

    And while we’re at it…there’s no doubt that Jackie Robinson was a brave man, a great ballplayer, and an inspiration to millions. But the guy didn’t cure cancer…at some point a dignified tribute becomes an overblown circus.

    my problem is Robinson wasn’t the first person of color in baseball let alone sports,but the way most tell the story is that he was and that he went through it all alone. yet Dolby was in the league 3 months later. plus there were people of native american, cuban and other descents before Jackie in MLB. plus there were lighter skinned african americans in the league at that time but they were just not “open” about their nationality.

    then you have your other leagues such has football and basketball that had been integrated years before.

    lol that carbon fiber pattern are inserts on the CCM helmet which used to be branded Reebok. They all have carbon fiber inserts and it was the trend for a bit to have high schools wear different colored inserts then the helmet itself. That is in no way whatsoever associated with the Penguins.

    Yeah, was going to post this. Those helmets have had the carbon fiber insert ever since Reebok introduced them in 2007.

    All three times the Orioles have worn their BP caps in place of the O’s cap, they have won the game. I think that should be a valid reason for them to dump that terrible O’s cap and just wear the BP cap every Friday with the black jersey.

    Went to the Yanks/Cards game yesterday (I’m the one who sent the tweet about the Yankees cup) which was a dream uniform watch former anyway since it was the first time I’ve ever seen the Cards in person, and I’ll be honest I actually enjoyed all the 42s.

    Also, before anyone nit-picks me

    The sponsors on NBC’s chyron are probably part of the contract with the Premier League, those are Tottenham Hotspur’s club sponsors. Usually the interviews that NBC conducted pitchside would usually be done in the “mixed zone” where a wall of those logos would be present behind the player/official.

    Well, even though I said it in the first comment yesterday and got ignored, I’m going to say it again since the error got copied and pasted today…

    The Lions throwbacks are circa 1935, not 1932. They can’t be “circa 1932” because they were the Portsmouth Spartans from 1930 through 1933, and the Spartans wore purple and gold, not blue and silver.

    The following year I thankfully found an investor, Ken Money, who shared my dream and helped me build our infrastructure

    With a name like that, he was destined to be an investor!

    Very generous raffle! Kudos to all involved.

    Maybe the next contest could be design a jersey for whoever you want, then sort it out by sports, have the winners of each sport go head to head and then the winner is whoever wins the final round, where all the winners of all the sports go head to head like I described earlier!

    Proofreading: The Broncos have a single bar facemask.

    BTW, Mets and Marlins are blue vs. orange today.

    My USA jersey only received 412 votes but if I ever want to get it made into a jersey I now know Steve is the guy to call!

    How about a redesign jersey contest from sports movies? Most of my favorite sports movies had fictional uniforms that had a Hollywood made up look to them. I know from past contests that the Uni Watch readers can do a much better job at redesigning some of these jerseys from classic movies.I remember watching Semi Tough with my father as a kid and the cheap uniforms ruined the film for him, he kept saying our practice uniforms with the Bell are better than what they are wearing, no pro team would wear that crap. And in North Dallas Forty they didn’t have a second jersey, only the light one.
    Imagine a redesign of the 1976 Bad News Bears jersey in the style of a 1969 MLB jersey or the the 1974 Longest Yard jersey redone as a durene with stripes and a sleeve patch? Uni Watch goes Hollywood would be my choice for a jersey contest.

    One jersey redesign contest that would be really cool would be a better set for the MLB to use over Memorial Day weekend. The camo pattern they are using this year is atrocious. It just doesnt look like a tribute to sevice-men and women with how they designed it this year.

    It’s not a redesign but I’d like to see a design contest for a Uni-Watch BP jersey in the 1980s mesh pullover style.

    1. Rebrand a team who’s name makes no sense. (e.g. Utah Jazz)
    2. Redesign of the failed Turn Ahead The Clocks idea
    3. Drop the BFBS from a design (similar to what the Lions just did.)

    1. Redesign another a different country of your choice in the World Baseball Classic

    2. Redesign a Pro Football team that never took the field (from yesterday)

    3. Redesign a defunct team

    Been going on for at least the last several years.

    I still think it’s weird that umps wear numbers at all. Can anyone out there name a single umpire, past or current, by number?

    I’d go with the Oakland Athletics Redesign Contest. There were rumblings they would relocate to San Jose over the last year and the team has many options. They have a memorable logo and color scheme. Plus, they’re from the same town (Oakland) as the Raiders, who recently moved to Las Vegas and were subject of a recent redesign contest.

    I think a Montreal Expos baseball team redesign contest would work too. The contest could focus around updating the Expos jerseys and logo when they closed to a more modern look — as if the team returned to Montreal in an expansion draft.

Comments are closed.