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Because Of Course They Did

Unless you’ve been under a very large rock for the past month or three, you’re probably aware of fidget spinners, a line of toys that were conceived as a stress-relievers for special needs kids but have exploded as the latest nationwide fad. They were actually invented 20 years ago, but the patent on them just expired and now the market is being flooded with knockoffs, resulting in a craze that’s been a boon for crafters and YouTubers (including, as seen above, the large subset of YouTubers who have cats), a bane for teachers, school administrators, and cranky parents, and a merchandizing bonanza for anyone producing and/or selling the things.

And now that bonanza includes — of course — fidget spinners with officially licensed sports team logos. They’ve available on this site. Or, rather, they will be available. Right now they’re only taking pre-orders, with the product slated to ship in late May (for the MLB and NFL designs) and mid-June (for the NBA, NHL, and NCAA). Although the listings say the designs are “subject to change,” I’ve been told that they’re basically 99.99% final.

I haven’t yet played with a fidget spinner myself, but they look fun, and I can relate to the notion of obsessive behavior with small gizmos (which I guess means I have a lot in common with special needs kids and cats, both of which I pretty much knew already). Still, with fidget spinners widely available for as little as a buck apiece, do I really want to spend $10 plus shipping just to have my favorite team’s logo printed in the center? Eh, probably not. They’d probably make a fun stocking stuffer, though, so I’m bookmarking the site as possible fodder for my annual holiday gift guide. Only problem is that the fad may have run its course by then.

One side note: The guy selling the team logo spinners is Phil Sklar, who happens to be the same guy behind the Bobblehead Hall of Fame (which for now is just online, although Sklar hopes to open a brick-and-mortar location in Milwaukee toward the end of this year). Can a combination bobble-fidget spinner be far behind?

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“Mmmm, Flushing Meadows”: As you are no doubt aware, the Mets play in the Queens neighborhood of Flushing. So perhaps it’s appropriate that there’s a guy in Queens who recently went to a Mets game and flushed the ashes of his deceased friend down one of the stadium’s toilets.

Yes, really. The guy’s been flushing small bits of his friend’s ashes down ballpark crappers — 16 of them so far — for years now. The deceased was a plumber and a big baseball fan, so it all sorta-kinda makes sense. It’s a great story, entertainingly written. Highly recommended.

As longtime readers may recall, I have my own little history with the Mets’ toilets. But while I did a lot of flushing in Flushing that day, I didn’t send anything special down the pipes.

Would you want your ashes to get the royal flush at your favorite team’s stadium? Would I? Hmmmmmm.

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Membership update: Two new designs have been added to the membership card gallery (including David Watterson’s early Miami Heat design, shown at right). I have three open slots in the current batch and plan to send this batch to the printer tomorrow. So if you sign up today, you’ll get your card with very little waiting.

As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed membership card here, you can see all the designs we’ve created so far here, and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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NEXT-TO-LAST DAY for the bowling shirt tee: Tomorrow is the final day to order our latest limited-edition T-shirt in the Uni Watch Artist’s Series, designed by the great Scott M.X. Turner. It’s basically a T-shirt version of a classic bowling shirt, with a simple “Uni Watch” insignia faux-chain-stitched on the front-left chest and a spectacular design faux-chain-stitched on the back (for all of these images, you can click to enlarge):

The anthropomorphized magnifying glass wearing a ballcap and stirrups is completely awesome, and the design works well in a wide variety of shirt colors. Here are some of the ones we’re offering (there are several more on the sales listing page):

Like all of our Artist’s Series shirts, this one is a limited edition, available through 11pm Eastern tomorrow. You can order it here. My thanks, as always, for your consideration.

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New merch store reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, we now have a bunch of T-shirts, coffee mugs, and a few other things available in a new Teespring online shop. The selection includes a bunch of new stuff and several old designs that were originally part of the 2015 and ’16 T-Shirt Club lineups (like the tequila sunrise design, shown at right).

Most of the shirts are available in a variety of styles (long-sleeved, hoodies, etc.) and colors, and most of the mugs come in a wide range of colors, so don’t feel constrained by the thumbnail images in the shop — click around and explore the possibilities. Thanks.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News:  The Braves will wear “Los Bravos” jerseys on Sept. 17. Further info here (from Keyvon). … Pirates P Tyler Glasnow was wearing the wrong cap during last night’s game. The rest of the team was wearing the cap with the white outlined P. …  Khris Davis of the A’s was wearing team-branded eye black over the weekend (from Ned Hull). …  Cardinals P Carlos Martinez won’t wear  silver hair extensions  on the mound anymore (from  Mike). …Orioles OF Adam Jones had some trouble getting the donut off his bat on Monday (also from  Mike). … Rockies player Alexi Amarista has his nickname, “Little Ninja,” written  on his shoes (from Joey Campbell). … Facebook often reminds its users when their favorite teams are playing. Brock Haggard  spotted one such message featuring  Ryan Howard in a Phillies jersey. Howard is now in the Braves’ system. …  MLB: The Show has Mariners wearing the  wrong helmet  with their Sunday alts (from  Conway). … The Charlotte Knights wore ’90s throwback jerseys last night (from Jamie Lightsey). …  The Toledo Mud Hens will celebrate Beatles Night by wearing Sgt. Pepper’s-themed jerseys for on June 16 (from Chris Zadorozny). … The Portland Sea Dogs, a Red Sox affiliate, are giving away three bobbleheads that, when put together, play out the “Win, Dance, Repeat” routine of Bosox players Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and Jackie Bradley Jr. (from Shawn Humphrey). … The Texas Longhorns wore black memorial patches on their caps yesterday to honor the victims of a series of stabbings that occurred on campus on Monday (from Brett Baker). …  Johnny V.  found some MLB fashion caps in a Superman motif that were curiously labeled as part of the “Cooperstown Collection” line of throwback jerseys and caps. …  Peter Golkin swung by the Jim “Catfish” Hunter Museum in Hertford, N.C. (he says it’s “worth the detour”), which includes  checks from his then-record salary  with the Yankees. … Target Field in Minnesota has a statue of Kirby Puckett. It’s based on his walk-off homer in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series and shows him with an NOB. The thing is, the Twins didn’t have NOBs in 1991 (from Ken Chia). … It’s not clear if this photo is from a game, or spring training, or what, but check out Tim Raines, during his Expos days, in a powder blue turtleneck (from @tjcttr). … The Fresno Grizzlies’ include a uniform style guide in their program (from David Taub). … The White Sox beat the Royals last night, and someone from WGN’s social media team celebrated the Sox victory by posting a graphic using part of the Royals’ logo. “Their graphics team does this all the time now,” says Jen Hayden. “Whenever the White Sox beat a team, someone alters the opponent’s logo.”

NFL News:  Giants draft pick Evan Engram will wear No. 88 (from  Scott Turney). … These are the numbers that Browns draft picks will wear next season. … Titans players wore jerseys with NNOB during a caravan tour stop at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. They wore similar jerseys last year (from Eric Wright). … The Colts posted a video clip showing how their helmets — and helmets in general — have evolved over the years (from @TheWhiteSandman). … The NFL has released a new infographic ranking the best-performing helmets based on laboratory safety tests. The design is a bit odd, because the shorter horizontal bars actually indicate the best-performing helmets, which seems counterintuitive. The top-ranked helmet is the Vicis Zero1, a new model not yet worn in the league.

College Football News:  Air Force presented President Trump with  a “Sharktooth” helmet and a traditional blue jersey  at the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy ceremony at the White House yesterday. Note that the jersey is No. 1. The team had previously told President Obama that they couldn’t give him a No. 1 jersey because “there’s no No. 1 on the Air Force football team, because there’s only one 1, and that’s Air Force One [the airplane].” Over the years they gave Obama many different numbers, including 18, 19, and 23 (from  Mike Wagner). … Fixer Upper is a home improvement show that takes place in Waco, Texas. A recent episode featured the home of the Baylor’s equipment manager. At one point, one of the hosts put on a helmet and shoulder pads, and even busted off the decal (from  Jonathan Safron).

NBA News:  New court design for the 76ers (from Jawnes). …  Here’s  a lengthy interview with menswear designer Alexander Julian, who created the Charlotte Hornets’ original uniforms in the late ’80s and North Carolina’s iconic argyle-trimmed unis (from  James Gilbert). … After Warriors players said Utah had no nightlife, the Jazz have responded with a new Jazz-style “Nightlife” T-shirt (with Daniel Mouritsen). … Wizards C Marcin Gortat had some trouble with one of his jersey numerals last night.

Grab Bag:  Some people think retired numbers have gotten out of hand, especially for teams like the Celtics and Yankees. Not so, says this column (from  Phil). … England’s cricket teams have new kits (from Jason Reid). …  New logo for the Ohio News Media Association (from  Jim Vilk). …  Arizona State women’s hockey will wear  camo jerseys for Military Apperciation night next season (from  Brad Denny).

Comments (85)

    Well, then, I must be under that rock, because this is the first time I’ve ever heard of a “fidget spinner”, and it certainly doesn’t look familiar at all.

    I just saw them on the counter at my local gas station for the first time this past week, so it’s funny to read about it now being a craze. Wondered what the heck they were and why someone would buy one.

    The 9 year old friends of my son had some they got from the local 7-11, and said “everyone at school” had them. Also, they apparently can break if dropped on a hard surface.

    Saturday my wife and I saw a sign advertising fidget spinners for sale at a nearby store, which is the first either of us had heard of them.

    We’re under that rock here, because I never heard of them and my kids haven’t mentioned or begged for them yet.

    Yeah, I need to get out from under my rock more often too. Never heard of them. I really hate that expression.

    Wow I didn’t know I was living under a rock as well!! Ummm no special needs children or cats in my house…stupid me better get my head outta the sand and start living!! Fidget spinners wtf

    As a sixth grade teacher, I have most definitely heard of them. They are all over my school. I have seen ONE student benefit from one. They are too much of a distraction for everyone else.

    It seems that these fidget spinners have broken out in the past week. The first I heard of them was from someone making a derisive comment about them on Twitter. Before that, I saw ads for cubes with different dials, switches, etc., on each side of the cube, for people with ADHD-related issues. Those things remind me of boards you would hang over a crib for a baby to do different activities for stimulation.

    Paul did mention clicking retractable pens in the piece he linked to, right near the end.

    “(As an aside: We can’t talk about Paper Mate and clicks without mentioning retractable pens – the ones with the clickable button at the top, which some people find so irresistible that the term “Habitual pen-clicking” has its own Wikipedia subheading. But these pens operate via a ratchet mechanism and, strictly speaking, are not snap-fits. Consider them a topic for further study at a later date.)”

    I know I used to do that all the time. Haven’t had a clicky pen in a long time, though.

    That Boston Herald piece on retired numbers is impressively poorly written. It’s been a while since I worked in daily journalism: Do big papers still have editors?

    But it led me to wonder if we think about uni numbers backwards. Instead of worrying that teams are retiring so many numbers that it’s getting hard to give low numbers to active players, perhaps we should instead wonder why active players get numbers at all. If every player on every team can wear the same number to play a regulation game, then clearly numbers don’t matter, functionally, for players, coaches, officials, and broadcasters. So instead of retired numbers being the exception that only great or beloved players earn, maybe a number on your uniform should be an exceptional honor that only great or beloved players earn. Why does some double-A farmhand called up for an injury fill-in get a number at all for his two-week stint? Heck, why does a journeyman player who nobody will remember in 10 years get a number?

    Why numbers at all? Their names are on the back. Just put them on the front too.

    If every player on every team can wear the same number to play a regulation game, then clearly numbers don’t matter

    Just because they can, doesn’t mean they should. Numbers matter.

    And so do copy editors.
    It’s not just the newspapers, Scott…I work at a radio reading service and one of my jobs is to read Forbes magazine articles. Used to be you couldn’t find a typo at all, now they pop up with alarming regularity. The website articles? Pffft…poorly self-edited (or maybe computer-edited or even unedited) ‘I’m paid by the word’ pieces of cringe-worthy filler. Don’t skimp on the copy editors!

    As a father of 3 boys I have been through six fidget spinners so far & one tv. My older son took my middle sons and flung it at him like a chinese star, missed and it went right through the tv. These things are at every candy store & 7/11 by me. Its just a fad so I wouldn’t pay up for team branded ones.

    Its just a fad so I wouldn’t pay up for team branded ones.

    So if you thought it was more than a fad, then you *would* pay more for a team-logo version?

    No b/c kids have zero patience when it comes to waiting for something (at least my kids & Im sure a few others). They need instant gratification and wont wait a few days or weeks for the team branded ones to arrive.

    If my kids broke the TV with one, that’d be the last fidget spinner they could bring in the house. :)

    What if they broke the TV with, say, a glass of milk? No more beverage glasses? No more milk? No more kids?


    Oh for Pete’s sake, it was a joke. And nobody throws glasses of milk around the house.

    I know I wouldn’t want my ashes flushed down anything. It’s one thing to be scattered to the winds, but the thought of getting mixed in with sewage… yeah, no.

    I saw that story yesterday and my first thought was “If it were me, I’d rather be scattered on the field.” One could do that rather surreptitiously – show up at batting practice and dump a spoonful or so over the wall in an inconspicuous place. But then common sense took over and I realized some folks may not be comfortable having to play on a dead guy.

    Or someone notices a guy spreading a mysterious powder in a high-profile public place, and suddenly you’re being whisked away to an undisclosed location.

    That actually happened at the Metropolitan Opera: link The dude from Queens told the CBC in an interview last night that he was aware of the Met incident and that avoiding that sort of public scene is in part why he went with the flush thing.

    Fortunately for Yankees fans, the site of the real Yankee Stadium is public ball fields now, so I’d guess an ash dump on the down low would be reasonably easy.

    They can toss me in a dumpster or dump me in a porta potty for all I care. I believe remains are just that. Remains. Whatever made me me will be gone. You know, like the Klingons believe. Qua’plaa!

    Not me, man. Bury me, and give me the biggest, scariest, most gothic marble headstone imaginable with gargoyles, weeping angels, and something intimidating from the Vulgate. I want to be the grave you least want to walk past on a stormy night.

    Maybe hide a Braves “A” somewhere in the detail.

    My wife and children will stand over me and howl to let the dead in Sto-ko-vor know that another warrior is on the way. Then they will drink bloodwine.

    Perhaps today is a good day to die.

    My wife and children must wear black for the rest of their lives. My family and acquaintances must beat their breasts and lament the cruel, uncaring planet that allowed me to pass from their presence; and they must curse the cruel God who permitted the breath of my very existence to be snuffed out.
    (Just kidding: I have no wife or children.)

    we put my father’s ashes in the cups of a couple holes at his golf course where he had hole in ones, as well as a couple other local courses at his request. I think one of his buddies put some in a hole at Pebble Beach. A couple of his friends carry old Kodak film canisters (see link) in their bags with a small amount of his ashes just in case or for their own keeping.

    PL: that Miami Heat membership card is wrong. The original Heat used a 2 with a diagonal bar, not a horizontal one. Just FYI.

    I believe the Tim Raines turtleneck is Penman’s brand.

    Its one of those brands that you still see everywhere on labels (they make lots of shirts that get imprinted with other peoples designs and logos, like Gildan) but I don’t think I’ve ever seen something with the Penman logo before.

    “Rockies player Alexi Amarista has his nickname, “Little Ninja,” written on on his shoes”
    – Drop an “on”

    “MLB the Show has Mariners wearing the wrong helmet with their Sunday alts”
    – Should be “MLB: The Show”

    “Target Field in Minnesota has a statue of Kirby Pucket”
    – Kirby Puckett

    I only know about the fidget spinners and their ilk because I’m dating a college girl :) and she said half the students in her computer science class have them. I agree, just click a pen.

    How much noise does a fidget spinner make?
    Because for me, the sound of someone besides myself clicking a pen is quite annoying.


    They’re silent, which makes them a better choice than clicking pens, drumming, whistling, humming, tapping or anything involving making needless noise.

    They are not silent. When one is spun in my classroom, everyone else knows it. They are more of a distraction than anything.

    I can deal with pen clicking. What drives me absolutely crazy is when I’m playing in a poker game and two or three players sit there and riffle their chips for hours.

    The only problem I see with retiring too many numbers is at some point the team might not have enough numbers to hand out. I like the way the Lakers do it, with only all-time greats. Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic, Kareem, Shaq. Honestly Goodrich and Worthy seem like borderline retired numbers where on other teams they’d be for sure retired. And what number do they retire for Kobe? Do they retire both numbers he wore, 8 & 24?

    Honestly Goodrich and Worthy seem like borderline retired numbers…

    They’re both in the Hall of Fame, ya know!

    I kid…Of course they deserve. Just that before them you had the best of the best. You could argue when each of these others retired they were the best at their position or at least in the discussion. I remember as a kid the all time starting five was West, Robertson, Wilt or Russell, Baylor, and either start both Wilt and Russell or maybe Bill Pettit. Then Magic and Jordan displaced West and Robertson for many, and Bird took Baylor’s spot. Shaw

    Kobe does present a bit of a predicament. He spent exactly ten seasons in each number. He played in 68 more regular-season games and 32 more playoff games in #8 than in #24, and he also won one more NBA title, but almost all of his individual awards (league MVP, Finals MVP, three of his four ASG MVPs) came in the #24 era.

    Other than the breaking of considerable convention, is there any practical reason why triple digits couldn’t be used by professional sports teams in the United States?


    Well, triple digits would have to be smaller to fill the same space, so I’m sure there’d be some people that would complain about being able to read them.

    If teams really do start running out of numbers, they can always add letters. I think fans would eventually get used to players wearing F9 or 2B or whatever.


    Actually, that could solve the “which Kobe number to retire” question. Just slap the poop emoji on his banner and be done with it.

    Yeah, but people are not getting smaller, so there’s more space on the jersey. An NFL lineman could easily wear 502 in most typefaces.

    I find it funny that you paint people with a broad stroke “living under a rock” if they haven’t heard of these items (or any fad…I haven’t heard of these until this site) that are originally likely only familiar to a specific target audience, but now since they are now growing in popularity with kids we’re all expected to know this kitschy item (not all of us have kids / follow fads).

    Though several weeks ago, when your samurai shirt came out and someone alluded to Mario & Luigi…you admitted to not getting the reference yourself and they have been around for over 30 years and are way more popular than these toys will be.

    Some would say at the time you were the one under the rock at the time.

    Aren’t most sports brands going to slap their logos on anything that may sell…just go to the clearance section of a sporting goods web site and all the tchotchke items that come up are insane!

    I don’t “expect” anyone to know about anything, Peter, at least not as an imperative. There was no judgment implied — I hadn’t heard of fidget spinners myself until about a week ago, and that’s because, yes, *I* live under a pretty big rock when it comes to certain trends, especially trends involving children. I also watch very little television, which means I’m under a huge rock involving all sorts of things. I’m neither proud nor ashamed of this. It is simply a fact.

    And here’s another fact: Fidget spinners are a big phenomenon, lots of people are talking about them, etc. Google “fidget spinner” — you’ll see. That doesn’t mean I’m endorsing them as a good thing, nor am I making any value judgment about whether you know or don’t know about them. Being under a rock isn’t necessarily bad; it can insulate you from a lot of bullshit. The flip side is that you’re ignorant about certain things. That’s a trade-off.

    Frankly, given the size of the various rocks I live under, I figured that if I know about fidget spinners by now, everyone else probably did too. My point was only that these things are phenomenon that a lot of people are talking about. Which they are.

    For what it’s worth, I googled “fidget spinner” and got 2 million results. I googled “Mario and luigi” and got 16.8 million results.

    1) Not surprising, given that one has been popular for decades and the other has been popular for a few months.

    2) I never claimed the Mario and Luigi weren’t a big deal, nor did I ever claim that my ignorance of them was anything other than a reflection on me, not on them. Yes, I was under a rock. Never suggested otherwise.

    Membership card looks awesome! Thanks – can’t wait for it to come in the mail.

    Fidgeting in general is finally getting the respect it deserves. A recent study supports what many of us who fidget (and who have children who fidget) already know: Fidgeting can help concentration. link

    In addition, another study found that fidgeting is good for your health. link

    Does it irritate anyone else that the Celts don’t use the correct font for their retired numbers?

    A lot of teams have retired-jersey banners (or signs, depending on the sport/venue) that don’t use the actual jersey font.

    “Would you want your ashes to get the royal flush at your favorite team’s stadium?”

    If I HAD to go down the sewer, the only way would be through the old troughs at the Metrodome. Weather you loved or hated the Metrodome, nobody could forget those troughs.

    Thank you any helpful site Krijg. Wherever in addition may I buy of which form of information and facts printed in this type of perfect usually means? I own a assignment that I’m basically currently working on, so i have already been at the glimpse out there for these information.

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