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You Can Take the Team Out of the City…

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Reader D.P. McIntire sent in this photo of a Raiders bumper sticker yesterday. Sure, it’s a funny riff on the whole “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim” thing, but underneath the humor is the larger and more intriguing issue of how sometimes you can take the team out of the city but you can’t take the city out of the team. Consider the possibilities:

•  The Indianapolis Colts of Baltimore
•  The Utah Jazz of New Orleans
•  The Los Angeles Dodgers of Brooklyn

And so on. I don’t think it works for every relocated franchise (and let’s please not go down the road of teams that also changed their names — “Oklahoma City Thunder of Seattle” doesn’t work) , but it’s an interesting trope.

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Meanwhile, out at the ballpark…: This was the scene last night in Flushing, as Phil and I met up to watch the Mets and Padres (a real barn burner right there, eh?). Matt Fratboy was on the hill for the home team, so we worried that they’d be wearing his preferred blue softball tops, but they wore their standard home pinstripes — nice. Even better, they scored seven runs in the first inning, giving the home fans a much-needed laugher.

An interesting groundskeeping note from the game: Years ago I wrote about the differences between the Mets’ two scripts — I call them the Classic Script and the Wilpon Script — and how there’s no rhyme or reason to which one gets used in a given situation. Just as a quick refresher, here are the two scripts — Classic on top, Wilpon on bottom:

The Wilpon Script is a really bad piece of design, which is annoying. But it’s arguably even more annoying that the team uses the two scripts interchangeably, with no rhyme or reason. The latest example of that is that the Mets mowed the Classic Script into the outfield grass a few days ago, but they routinely paint the Wilpon Script onto the grass behind home plate, so now they have both versions displayed on the field at the same time. Here’s a photo I took last night:

It’s hard to see in that photo, but the outfield version is definitely the Classic Script. It’s easier to see here.

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StripeRite update: I’m happy to show you the four designs that will be featured in our third batch of StripeRite socks (see above). I think you’ll agree that they’re all extremely handsome. As usual, we’re at the mercy of the knitting mill schedule-wise, but we hope to have these in stock and available for sale soon — possibly by mid-June, and definitely by the end of June. No pre-orders this time, but I’ll give you the heads-up when everything’s ready to go.

Meanwhile, the first and second batches of StripeRites are still available for your shopping pleasure. My thanks, as always, for your consideration.

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Naming Wrongs reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, I’m about to reactivate the Naming Wrongs T-shirt project. Get the full scoop here.

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: Red Sox Nation travels well, particularly for road games against AL East rivals. The team is hosting a Red Sox in Baltimore Party for a road game against the Orioles on June 3. The ticket package includes this Maryland flag-themed BoSox shirt. I wouldn’t be surprised if things aren’t quite civil between O’s and Sox fans, especially considering the turmoil from a few weeks ago (from Adam Vitcavage). … Two notes on Yankee Stadium: The team added a Judge’s Chambers section to its outfield seating in honor of phenom Aaron Judge, and Yogi Berra’s No. 8 is still upside-down in Monument Park (from Adam Lazer). … The Buffalo Bisons will wear Jabba the Hut jerseys for Star Wars Night X on June 3 (from Matt Wilcott). … The first Washington franchise alternated between being called the Senators and Nationals over its first 60 years. Back in the 1910s, team owner Clark Griffith said he preferred “Senators,” and even liked “Washingtons” (from William Yurasko). … The Astros’ Mike Fiers wore a University of Houston helmet when crashing Tigers outfielder JD Martinez’s MLB Network interview the other day. … Robin Yount is a partial owner of the Lakeshore Chinooks collegiate summer team, and he showed off the team’s new alternate jersey the other night (from Zachary Loesl).

NFL News: Due to construction delays for the new Rams/Chargers stadium, the NFL voted to push back Los Angeles’s Super Bowl one year to 2022. Tampa will host Super Bowl LV in 2021. … The NFL also voted to relax penalties for end zone celebrations. Players will now be able to go to the ground, use the ball as a prop, and make snow angels after scoring a touchdown. … Odell Beckham Jr. signed a footwear and apparel deal with Nike worth $5 million a year over five years. It’s the largest contract Nike has ever given an NFL player (from Brinke).

College Football News: To counter NC State players in white shoes, Clemson players wore orange cleats for a game against the Wolfpack in 1967 (from Scott Trembly). … Boise State pushed back its uniform unveiling event, which had been scheduled for yesterday, to next Tuesday (from Phil).

Hockey News: The Swedish team wore gold helmets during the celebration of their World Title (from A.J. Frey). … Jack Lynch of the Capitals wore a lacrosse helmet with a facemask to protect a broken cheekbone for a game against the Blackhawks in 1975 (from Russ Levine).

Basketball News: The TBT Jamboree is being held in Philadelphia in June, so teams will wear Rocky-themed uniforms. … The D-League’s Iowa Energy will get new a name and design package after becoming an affiliate of the Timberwolves (from Travis Hines). … New logo for the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship.

Soccer News: The newest episode of the 99 Percent Invisible podcast discusses the history of Brazil’s iconic soccer jersey. After suffering a crushing defeat in the 1950 World Cup final, Brazilians blamed everything for the loss, including the team’s white jerseys. So the country’s soccer authorities held a new jersey contest, with the stipulation that entries had to work in the colors of the country’s flag. The winner was Aldyr Garcia Schlee, a 19-year-old illustrator from a small town near the Uruguay border. Schlee is still alive, and he actually has a secret that many Brazilians would consider blasphemous (I don’t want to spoil the podcast, it’s a good one).

Grab Bag: PayPal is suing Pandora over its similar blue P logo (from Brinke). … Also from Brinke: A man stole 800 pairs of shoes from a Nike Factory Store in Portland. It’s unclear how he was able to do so. It’s also unclear how 800 pairs of shoes were only worth $5,000. … A recent high school graduate designed the logo for 30th annual International Horseradish Festival, which will be held in Collinsville, Ill., a city known as the “Horseradish Capital of the World.”

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Paul here. I’m going to be off the grid for a good chunk of today. Play nice while I’m away, yes? Thanks, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

Comments (81)

    In keeping with the Angels example though, it should be “Oakland Raiders of Las Vegas” since “of Anaheim” is where the team is actually located.

    Actually, apk, you have it backwards. “Las Vegas Raiders of Oakland” makes perfect sense – the team at least for now plays in Oakland, but is committed to the Las Vegas market, just as the Angels play in Anaheim, but have committed to Los Angeles. I think it’s funny as hell.

    “Las Vegas Raiders of Oakland” makes perfect sense…

    …yes, for now, as long as they’re still playing in Oakland. Once they move, “Oakland Raiders of Las Vegas” would make sense, and be technically correct, to the extent the phrase “Oakland Raiders” may be read as a standalone noun (as opposed to the city name functioning as an adjective).

    Likewise, I think that makes more sense and is more accurate for the other relocated teams as well, viz.:

    Baltimore Colts of Indianapolis
    Brooklyn Dodgers of Los Angeles
    New Orleans Jazz of Utah
    Atlanta Flames of Calgary

    …and so forth. These essentially match “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim” in structure.

    Okay, then I guess Paul’s extension to other relocated teams is what doesn’t make sense. Indianapolis Colts of Baltimore doesn’t sound right at all.

    You’re right, it doesn’t make sense. The bumper sticker is playing on the fact that the Raiders have already committed to moving to Vegas but will be playing in Oakland for up to 3 more seasons. Those other franchises relocated but didn’t play in their old city after plans for relocation were already public (that I’m aware of). The Sonics or Houston Oilers or Montreal Explos would work insofar as relocation was public knowledge before the teams moved, but they all changed their names, so they don’t work in that sense.

    Exactly: the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders play in Oakland. So the Las Vegas Raiders of Oakland.

    Upside down “8” – This may be a local thing, but on I-684 south, the sign on the exit 8 off-ramp, the 8 is upside down.

    *Apologies for not having any pictures

    *just google map it…North Salem, NY. This has always driven me crazy…just like Yogi’s number…all the money spent, you would think someone would have caught / fixed it by now.

    Part of it is the occasional inapposite quality of the new name/place combination. Utah Jazz? Really?

    Los Angeles Lakers of Minneapolis…

    No. Same shirt as I wore last year with Todd & Paul.

    I’m actually pumped about yesterday’s announcement of the Naming Wrong t-shirts, b/c I’ve been wanting to get a new one for some time now.

    Weird! I thought it was maybe a tribute to Darryl Strawberry, and then I found this baseball card which reminded me of the other discussion about teams changing cities…”the New York Mets of Darryl Strawberry.” It doesn’t make sense. Don’t worry about it. link

    With the dual city name thing, shouldn’t the current city come last? Baltimore Colts of Indianapolis makes more sense because 1). It’s where they are, and 2). To many folks they’re still the “Baltimore Colts” at heart.

    The Raiders thing makes sense because they’re still in Oakland (though everyone knows where they want to be). When they move, it’d make sense to flip it, because they’ll still be the “Oakland Raiders” at heart.

    Unfortunately, once a team leaves a city, you’ve already removed the city from the team. The Oakland Raiders started losing fans once the move was announced, and once action begins in Las Vegas, more of those Oakland fans will lose interest.

    Don’t think many folks consider the Indy Colts to be the Baltimore Colts at heart. That relocation happened in 1984, before millions of NFL fans were even born. The Jazz bolted from New Orleans before that, and the LA Dodgers had established a new identity by the early 60s. In just a few years, nearly all the old Brooklyn Dodgers were either gone, or at the end of the line once they arrived in Los Angeles.

    the first name should be the market they are trying to grab and the second name should be where they are actually located.

    I disagree, it’s different with the Raiders. I live in L.A. and I can tell you that us Raider fans stayed Raider fans, and they moved from here 20 years ago. So although I think Oakland fans might be hurt for a while, they’ll get over it. If anything newish, bandwagon fans might switch allegiances, but that’s expected anyway.

    so you are playing it like a “naming wrongs” kind of thing and your fandom is planning on following the team to their new digs, then that makes sense. I get you now.

    Yeah, the “Naming Wrongs” are a good comparison. Especially when the team nickname is part & parcel with the city name, like Brooklyn Dodgers or New Orleans Jazz. Sure, newer/younger fans won’t have that same attachment, but I think the whole point of the stickers is for old fans who had poured their heart into a team.

    I agree, as explicated above, if one concedes that the phrase “Oakland Raiders” (or “Baltimore Colts,” &c.) may be read as a standalone noun as opposed to the city name functioning as an adjective to the team name.

    I agree with Bobby’s original post. The “original” name should come first – Oakland Raiders of Las Vegas. Because to those fans, the team will always be the Oakland Raiders, even though they play in Las Vegas.

    Glad I’m not the only one who cannot stand the Wilpon script Mets logo. I remember the first time I saw it on the Mets’ website, I thought the way the “M” is anchored, it looked like the “M” is holding a balloon made up of the “E-T-S” and its about to fly away. Horrible design just like those horrible black uni’s – thank god those are gone!

    800 pairs of shoes can be worth $5000.

    Could be raw materials (or insurance) price, not considering the outrageous markups that are taken each step along the way.

    Maybe it’s just what Nike actually has invested in them? Har-de-har-har. They can’t claim the retail price, because their insurance company considers it a fraud, and really doesn’t believe people would be stupid enough to pay it.

    Right. Otherwise they can claim that these were supposed to go up against Big Baller brand shoes, so at 500 dollars per pair = 400,000 dollars.

    The look like (L to R) Go-Go White Sox, ?, recent Rays, Seattle Pilots. Can anyone confirm?

    Let’s just let them have Santa Clara 49ers.
    The 49ers have nothing to do with San Francisco anymore.


    The Kansas City Chief-Texans of Dallas.

    I also would like to know the origin of the latest StripeRite sock package. Amazing looking

    Paul, great detail on the Mets script. We’ve been talking about this in some great detail over on the Creamer boards, and I’m trying to figure out why they think they need a special version of the script just for jerseys. What’s wrong with link, exactly?

    There is one thing that bothers me about the classic script, though (at least the version we see today); the white interior tops of the M strokes are link. It’s almost as though they traced the logo off link. I personally think that the modern primary logo was most likely created in link, when the MLB official digital files were created.

    The Mets are infuriating, because they’re so close to a perfect set. They just need to fix that wordmark. And while we’re at it, maybe we can get the Mets to go back to link? Come on, link.

    There is one thing that bothers me about the classic script, though (at least the version we see today); the white interior tops of the M strokes are rounded off, not pointed.

    Wasn’t like that originally, Chance, as I’m sure you know:

    Regarding the team/city thing, in this age of all games being televised nationally, and with 99% of NFL fans watching games on TV, often in cities far away, does it really matter any more where teams play? I mean, if I’m a Raiders fan living in North Carolina, do I care that they will be playing in Vegas in a couple of years?

    Good point. It seems to me that the NFL has a disproportionately high percentage of fans who have no geographic ties to their team whatsoever.

    It doesn’t matter as much in the grand scheme, and won’t hurt the NFL (or they wouldn’t do it), but it obviously matters to the people who live there.

    The owners of the bars and restaurants around the stadium definitely care (not that that’s the case with Oakland and the coliseum’s scenic location on 880, but you get my drift)

    For years, until the arena in Cleveland was built, many of us referred to the team as the Richfield Cavaliers or the Akron Cavs. (They played in the Richfield Colosseum, which was closer to Akron than Cleveland.)

    I’m completely not consistent with this, but most of the time a team should leave the name with the city they left. Baltimore should be the Colts, the Rams should have left their name in LA when they moved to St. Louis (I know Cleveland but nobody remembers that), and New Orleans should be the Jazz. Obviously too late now, but I wish more would do this in the future.

    I agree – especially when the name is regionally relevant. It doesn’t make any sense to have the Lakers in LA, Jazz in Utah, or Cardinals in the desserts of Arizona.

    When I was a kid, I had no idea the Lakers had once called Minneapolis home. I thought “Lakers” had something to do with Los Angeles — “LA-kers.”

    Funny when I first moved to AZ in 1990 I heard the owner of the Cardinals Bill Bidwell on the radio. First and last time, since he wasn’t very outgoing. The Cardinals had been in Arizona for a couple of years then. I asked why he didn’t change the name to something associated with Arizona. He said the were one of the original NFL teams with a rich tradition, and also mentioned that cardinals are in the Arizona desert. I told him they had won anything was in the 1940s in Chicago, and they should have named the team something like the “Firebirds”. A couple of days later in my backyard I had two of the most beautiful cardinals land on my tree.

    It’s great to see you guys enjoying yourselves at the ballgame last night, and great to see that the Shea Stadium commemorative patch has a permanent place in the new ballpark, albeit underfoot. And even thought it’s essentially the parking lot for the new place, I’m still calling it Shea.

    The San Francisco, California, Oakland Seals of the Cleveland Barons.

    The Kansas City Scouts and Colorado Rockies of the New Jersey Devils.

    The New York Yankees of Baltimore
    The Washington Nationals of Montreal (le Washington Nationals d’Montréal)
    The Calgary Flames of Atlanta

    Re: Baltimore Orioles (I): Technically and Officially, The Orioles never moved to New York. After John McGraw left the Orioles for the Giants in 1902, he stripped the team of most of the players of any worth, leaving only a few . So Ban Johnson dissolved what was left of the Orioles, and essentially sold to Farrell and Devery what would be called today an expansion franchise to be located in NY. Virtually no 1902 Orioles were on the 1903 Highlanders – this is why the Yankees celebrated their Centennial in 2003, not 2001.

    When the Winnipeg Jets left us for Phoenix I no longer followed or cared about them. I love the new Jets and my forever team, the Bruins. I also don’t care about my Montreal Expos since they went to DC. If my Minnesota Vikings ever moved, which won’t happen, I would not root for them or any NFL team.

    It seems to me that the current Mets script on the home pinstriped jerseys is an improvement on the Wilpon script, in that the base of the “M” appears to be aligned with the plane of the other three letters. The script is too large to match the original 1962 jersey script.

    The original was the “Homestead Grays of Washington”. They still called them the Homestead Grays even though they played in DC. Said by someone born and raised in Homestead, PA.

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