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Home Run Derby Unis Surprising, All-Star Unis Confusing

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I don’t care even one teeny bit about the Home Run Derby, but it is kinda interesting that they had the participants wear their regular team jerseys instead of the All-Star BP jerseys last night — a major departure from the longstanding protocol, and apparently the first time the Derby has featured standard team jerseys since 1996. (I also don’t care even one teeny bit about All-Star BP jerseys, so I fully approve of this move.)

I have no idea why they chose to do it this way. Maybe they sold out of retail BP jerseys and didn’t have to push the product..?

Also of interest: Seven of this year’s eight Derby dudes — all except Houston’s Alex Bregman — were from National League teams, but all eight of them, including Bregman, wore their home whites. Just to confuse the issue a bit more, the American League is the designated home team in this year’s All-Star Game, even though the game is being played at Nationals Park. So I guess you could say Bregman was actually the only player wearing a league-appropriate uni. (Or then again, maybe not — I’ll have more to say about this in a minute.)

Other Derby data:

•  As you can see in the photo at the top of today’s page, five of the eight contestants — all except Bregman, Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman and Max Muncy of the Dodgers — went high-cuffed, exposing the rather ridiculous sock design.

• Left-sleeve patches (and Rhys Hoskins’s left-sleeve TV number) were removed to make room for a Home Run Derby patch — which, unfortunately, included a corporate advertisement (click to enlarge):

• Speaking of Hoskins, I was kinda hoping he’d wear a helmet with C-Flap — or maybe even his awesome double-C-Flap — but he just wore a cap like everyone else.

• Actually, one player didn’t wear a cap: Bryce Harper, who wore a headband. At first glance, it looked like your basic American flag-patterned accessory (especially since he was wearing so much other stars/stripes bling). But upon closer inspection, it was actually based on the DC flag (click to enlarge):

Okay, now let’s get back to the issue of home and road uniforms. As I mentioned earlier, the AL is the designated home team for tonight’s game, even though the game is taking place at an NL ballpark. That’s because there’s been a run of All-Star Games at NL stadiums but they alternate the home and road designations every year, regardless of the location. As you may recall, they did the same thing two years ago, when the AL was the designated home team even though the game was played in San Diego.

But here’s the thing: At yesterday’s Media Day gathering, NL players wore their home whites and AL players wore their road greys:

So the NL will apparently be wearing white tonight, even though they’re the road team, and vicey-versey for the AL. (And as you can also see, the Mets’ Rusty Staub memorial patch, which normally appears on the right sleeve, has been moved to the upper chest of Jacob deGrom’s jersey to make room for the All-Star Game patch.)

Looking back at the 2016 All-Star Game — the one where the AL was the home team even though the game was in San Diego — the AL wore white and the NL wore grey. In other words, the uniforms matched the home/road designations but did not match the stadium location. This time they’re apparently doing it the other way around. Weird!

Update: Upon further review, I’m not sure the AL is the home team tonight. I’ve actually seen conflicting indicators on this, but I’m now inclined to believe that the NL is the home team, so the Media Day uniforms make sense (but it’s still odd that Bregman wore his home uni in the Derby).

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Posting up: Yesterday’s entry about a 1970 Bears/Eagles game with two sets of goalposts in each end zone prompted a note from reader Keith Grinde, who said he recalled seeing a photo of Kezar Stadium — former home to the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, the NCAA’s San Francisco Dons, and, briefly, the AFL’s Oakland Raiders — with two sets of goalposts.

A quick Google image search revealed that he was correct (click to enlarge):

The date of the photo is uncertain, but it’s obviously from the era when pro and college football were both using the old-style “H”-shaped goalposts. It’s also not clear whether the game in progress is a pro or college game, although the wider-set hashmarks would seem to indicate the latter.

Did any other stadiums ever have two sets of goalposts?

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Tonight’s the night for the annual MLB All-Star Game, so in honor of that, may we present your 1974 National League All Stars. Take a look at the white cleats on the Reds! (Except for Johnny Bench.) This auction is for the team photo and a game DVD.

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• Kids, back in the day, this is how we used to vote for the All-Star players in the pre-internet era: You’d get a ballot at your local MLB ballpark (and I think, at Gillette POP retail outlets, right?), punch out the holes, and put your 6¢ stamp on it. This one is for the 1970 All-Star Game, which was played at the then-new Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. (The stadium opened on June 30 and the game was on July 14. That’s cutting it close!)

• Staying with Cincinnati in 1970, here’s a CD called The Big Red Machine, a narration of their NL-pennant winning 1970 season. Though it was introduced in 1969, the name “Big Red Machine” became popular with the 1970 season. They did a New Red Machine album two years later, and I wore that baby out.

• Had one of these Atlanta Braves batting helmets in the 1970s. Even though I was in Cincinnati, I just loved the Braves’ lowercase-a logo. Even then, I Got It™ .

• Check out the artwork on the cover of this 1943 New York Rangers game program.

• Now, who here doesn’t love them some 1980s Mariners trident-M logo, as seen on this Majestic pullover?

• Stars like Griese, Butkus, Podolak, Namath, Jerrel Wilson, and Floyd Little all easily identifiable on this 1970s Mead NFL school folder, though they are missing the team logos. I am positive I would have toted this around Mariemont Middle School.

• How about this 1970s KC Chiefs sideline jacket?

• This “Nolan Ryan” rain jacket looks like some type of giveaway at the stadium. Just the MLB logo, though — no team mark.

• This is a very nice-looking Tony Gwynn-era San Diego Padres sweater from Starter.

Seen an item on eBay that would be good for Collector’s Corner? Send any submissions here.

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Assorted reminders: In case you missed it yesterday, we’re now accepting pre-orders for the XXL size of the upcoming Uni Watch “alternate” cap, which is shown at right. If we get enough XXL pre-orders, we’ll go ahead and have the cap made in that size (in addition to the S/M and L/XL sizes, which should be in stock and available for purchase in about 10 days). Full details here.

In addition:

• Fitted sizes of the Uni Watch “classic” cap, available exclusively from Ebbets Field Flannels, are back in stock (although some of the sizes have already sold out again). Order yours here.

• My epic stoop/open-house sale, which will feature a ton of uni-related books, dozens of pairs of stirrups, and more cool collectibles than you can shake a C-Flap at, will take place this Saturday. Full details here.

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Let’s see those Norwegians beat this: Me, I only curl during the late fall and winter. But plenty of other people — people who are more dedicated than I am — curl all year long. One such person is Uni Watch deputy editor Phil Hecken, who had his regular Monday-night curling session yesterday. His curling club had a baseball theme going on, so check out how Phil dressed for the occasion (click to enlarge):

That is one gloriously mismatched outfit — I like! And bonus points for the kid in the background in the Céspedes getup, complete with neon compression sleeve (which is closer to game action than the real Céspedes has been in the last few months).

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: Good news, Padres fans — it sounds like the team could be on track to bring back brown in 2020. According to this podcast with broadcaster Jesse Agler and Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler, the team is running market tests this summer, and Fowler expects brown to win out. … This may have been Ticked last week, but just in case: In honor of the All-Star Game, The Washington Post has a baseball card interactive (WaPo link) that includes some awesome artwork (from Ted). … Whoops: The Nats fired manager Dusty Baker in the offseason, but his banner still hangs near Nationals Park (from John). … Phillies P Pat Neshek is the first player ever to wear No. 93. Rhys Hoskins had taken No. 17, his old number, so he decided to take the “weirdest number possible.” Former Phils manager Charlie Manuel did wear No. 93 when he was a special assistant with during spring training in 2004 — and, as you can see there, liked his jersey tailored extra-long (from Scott). … Coors Field has a corporate-branded bar that’s apparently a challenge for the team’s sign-makers to spell (from Kary Klismet). … Rockies manager Bud Black was wearing a No. 19 jersey — the number worn by CF Charlie Blackmon — in a photo with Blackmon yesterday. Black usually wears No. 10 (from Adrian Marquez). … MLP spotted this commemorative bat with the Astros’ old tequila sunrise prototype logo at a pop-up shop in DC yesterday. … The Charleston RiverDogs will wear “Boiled Peanuts” jerseys and caps on July 28 (from Taylor Wall). … The Vermont Lake Monsters will wear “Maple Kings” jerseys and caps on Aug. 4. … The Greensboro Grasshoppers, the Class-A affiliate of the Marlins, wore “Hound Dog” jerseys yesterday in honor of $1 hot dog night (from Scott M. Trembly). … The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp wore Scrabble jerseys and caps last weekend (from John McMunn). … The Iowa Cubs took the field in Iowa Oaks throwback uniforms on Saturday to mark 50 years of AAA baseball in Des Moines (from Jordan Oster). … The Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball will wear Star Wars jerseys on Aug. 6 (from John Cerone). … Blake Pass found this Chattahoochee Valley Community College jersey at a thrift store in Georgia. Anyone know which season it might be from? … In 1867, Detroit hosted the World Base Ball Tournament. The club wearing the “finest uniform” was presented with a set of red silk field flags (from Ryan Paquin). … Cardinals C Yadier Molina will be wearing a gold chest protector and mustard shinguards in tonight’s All-Star Game.

Football NewsSchool Field in South Bend, Indiana has hosted South Bend public school football games since 1928. Yesterday, the South Bend Community School Corporation board sold naming rights to the stadium to a local credit union (from Tony Miller).

NFL News: Artist Nate James broke down which NFL teams need uni makeovers (from Phil). … Speaking of teams that need a makeover, the Bucs’ SB Nation blog wants fans to vote what needs to be changed about their current set (also from Phil). … NASCAR driver Alex Bowman will sport an Eagles paint scheme at Gander Outdoors 400 at Pocono Raceway on July 29 (from Chris H.). … Per yesterday’s post, Jace D. McKeighan noticed that 1970 Cowboys flanker Lance Rentzel (No. 19) appears to have a white facemask in the video Paul linked to yesterday. … Players on both the Browns and Giants wore sneakers during an especially cold playoff game in 1950 (from Pro Football Journal).

College Football NewsIndiana unveiled its new red uniforms yesterday. Notable changes include changing the wordmark from “Hoosiers” to “Indiana” and removing pants stripes. … Iowa State’s old jerseys were on display at Big XII media days yesterday (from @notthefakeCasey).

Hockey News: Blackhawks players at development camp wore “30” helmet decals in memory of former G Ray Emery, who died yesterday (from Griffin Smith). … Martin Hick drew a good-looking concept for the Anaheim Ducks.

Basketball NewsHall of Famer Oscar Robertson is auctioning off a ton of memorabilia, including jerseys, warmup tops, and championship rings. … The Hardin County (Tennessee) Sports Hall of Fame had a lot of classic memorabilia on display at its induction ceremony last night, including this 1967 basketball uniform.

Soccer NewsBleacher Report published a video that shows how to repurpose a Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid jersey into a new Juventus jersey, though you could probably skip the corporate logos (from Hit The Glass). … We’ve got some links from reader Josh Hinton: New Jordan-branded third and fourth alts for PSG; look at all of Liverpool’s away and third kits from over the past few years; new away and third kits for Hoffenheim; and the Kaizer Chiefs’ new home and away jerseys. … New uniforms for Pumas of Mexico’s Liga MX (from Ed Zelaski). … In this graphic France’s Antoine Griezmann (top left) appears to be already wearing a jersey with two stars representing France’s two World Cup wins. Everyone else in the photo appears to be wearing one-star jerseys (from @True2Atlanta). … Kosovo’s soccer federation is a member of FIFA, but its flag was banned from flying at the World Cup. … MLS’s Portland Timbers have partnered with a Portland boot company to create Timbers-branded hiking boots.

Grab BagUniqlo is now taking preorders for the apparel Roger Federer wore during this year’s Wimbledon tournament (from Brinke). … Clint Richardson put together a side-by-side comparison of Auburn uniforms from 1998 and 2018 over at this Auburn Uniform Database. … Cleanup at the Tulsa convention center found dozens of interesting files, including a reported bomb threat against the Jackson 5 and the riders for bands like Kansas and Meatloaf (from Ryan Atkinson).

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For those who’ve been asking or wondering, my mom is due to leave the hospital today after a nine-day stay. She has a lot of physical therapy ahead of her — no fun for anyone, much less for a 94-year-old — but we seem to have gotten through this crisis, or at least this phase of it. Major thanks to the many, many Uni Watch readers who expressed kind and supportive thoughts over the past week — means a lot, really. — Paul

Comments (63)

    “• This Packers helmet plaque from Sears Roebuck and Co. is in great shape. ”

    “A Football?” ~Ralphie

    The plaque listing has been removed.

    Physical ballots existed well into the internet era: link
    I also don’t recall mailing them. Just put them in a box at the ballpark.

    What needs to be changed about the Bucs uniforms? Ha! Everything? Or simply enough, go back to the previous iteration? Or, if not that, the design of the previous iteration and logo but color swap it to original color scheme, white helmets and pants with orange jersey?
    I don’t know why teams make this so hard, stick with what works and what the fans like. The Bucs are a classic example of what happens when you make changes for the sake of changes.

    I really would be behind the idea in your 3rd sentence. Keep the flag on the sword logo, but go with orange jersey/white helmets/white pants. Similar idea to the prototype helmet in the top right corner of this photo of prior Bucs helmet prototypes that did not make the cut.


    There’s a Bucs helmet that is metallic orange (I believe it is referred to as the “Blaze” style). Could be a neat alternative if Tampa ever decides to go back to the orange unis. It also keeps the Bucs flag.

    Wait what? A 1970 Big Red Machine CD??

    Compact Discs were first released in 1982, so it must be a reprint from vinyl, reel to reel, or wax cylinder. And you can’t wear out a CD.

    The “Savannah” basketball uni is from the Hardin County (TN) Sports Hall of Fame, not GA.

    An odd uniform quirk I noticed watching the Legends and Celebrities Softball game last night…

    All legends/celebrities were wearing caps with a team that was either their favorite or they played for along with the same team as a sleeve patch (ie Cliff Floyd wore a Marlins logo on his hat and sleeve).

    Tim Raines was the odd man out. He wore an Expos logo on his hat, but no logo on his sleeve. Funny thinking that New Era could sew a Expos logo on a hat in 2018 but Majestic couldn’t do it on a jersey.

    i wonder if it something stupid like New Era owns the rights to retired logos for caps but majestic does not.

    Glad to hear your mom is leaving the hospital. I tend to think most people don’t make it to 94 without a strong will and healthy habits. So hopefully that will help her get through PT as well!

    I think the Derby contestants wore their regular jerseys because seven of the eight of them were from the National League; it would have looked strange to see Alex Bergman in a different uniform than all of the others.

    That would make sense. Other plausible hypotheses:

    – The host club is called the Nationals, so the visual of a bunch of players from other teams wearing jerseys that say “National” inside Nationals Park might have struck someone in MLB marketing as a bit off.

    – Home Run Derby makes for impactful photos, short video clips, and B-roll, and such visuals will be more useful for teams’ marketing efforts if their players wear team uniforms rather than generic league smocks.

    – The commissioner, or someone in his office, suddenly developed a sense of taste and class and decided that star players look best when wearing their real actual team uniforms. Oh, wait, I said “plausible” hypotheses. Never mind.

    With respect to the AL/NL “home team” in the All-Star game, the American League was the home team and hosted the game on odd years, and National League on even years. This alternating pattern also carried over to the World Series when on odd years, the American League team was the home team for four games (games 1,2,6 & 7), until Bud Selig (worst MLB president), screwed up the pattern (and also introduced inter league play… UGH).

    With respect to the Nolan Ryan, it looks like it was more of product giveaway rather than a stadium giveaway as the company who made them did not have rights to the team names.

    As a follow up to Bud Selig screwing up baseball patterns, the alternating home field was screwed up in 2007 when San Francisco hosted the game and the NL was the home team, though in AL “odd year”.

    Truth be told, there aren’t that many new AL ballparks. Of the current MLB parks, 4 haven to hosted the All Star Game. SunTrust Park (NL), New Yankees Stadium (AL), Tropicanica Field (AL), and Citizens Bank Park (NL). The good news is that Progressive Field (AL) is hosting next year. And with the Rays getting a new stadium soon. They might host it twice within the next 10-20 years. New Rangers and A’s stadiums are in the planning stages as well. We could see more AL ballparks soon.

    With the ASG uniforms: Everybody wear there Home uniform. For simplicity’s sake.

    Wrong on the uniforms.. Home and away uniforms are used. It is only of late that modifications were made to those uniforms (such as the game patch and a designation of how many all star games).

    Rentzel just had one of those plastic masks that were a little whitish from the 60’s, like what gale sayers wore for a time, not a true colored white mask… true colored masks didn’t appear until 1974.

    I agree that Phil looked great in his “gloriously mismatched outfit,” though the question popped in my head: Why the mismatch? Is there a purpose to the color conundrum with the maroon/gold stirrup and the green/gold cap?

    But the jersey is inspired by the Astros’ classic rainbow-guts, so ambiguity with regard to home/road pants is spot on.

    Those are the “original” Uni Watch stirrups commissioned by the great Comrade Robert Marshall, and while I have several pairs with green (including a beautiful pair of A’s rups that would have worked better with the jersey & cap), I began the outfit with the rups and pants. I was thinking of going with a burgundy or green top, which would have matched either cap or rups, but I don’t get much chance to bust out the tequila unirise jersey. So, the whole thing was actually rather cobbled together. I don’t actually own a pair of white baseball pants, so the gray (roadies) were my only choice.

    All of which makes me think that possibly a maroon UW alt cap and/or a Uni Watch buttonfront jersey might be products worth looking into…

    Thanks for the update on the situation with your mom. Best wishes to her and to you.

    Thanks for the update on your Mom. So glad to hear she’s on the mend.

    My guess, Kyle Schwarber is not on the All-Star team. So he could not wear an All-Star BP jersey. Instead of having everyone but him in an All-Star BP jersey they went w/ the uniformity of putting everyone in their home jersey.

    Neither is Muncy. Plus they’ve had past participants in the HR Derby be non-participants in the All Star game, and they still wore the BP jerseys.

    I could be dead wrong, but I think the NL is still the home team tonight. The AL got to be the home team in 2016 because home-field for the WS was still at stake. Now, it’s truly an exhibition game again so it doesn’t matter. The MLB app lists the NL as the home team. Of course, I could be wrong.

    Someone else emailed to tell me that this morning. But I just looked it up (again — I also looked it up last night, while writing today’s entry) and I’ve actually seen several conflicting indicators. I’ll add an “I’m not sure” note to today’s entry.

    Yesterday at the HR Derby, the Nationals League used the Nats (home) dugout and the American League used the visitors dugout. They could always switch it before the All Star Game tonight, but I think that would be unlikely.

    Vague indeed. The press release announcing starting lineups and pitchers listed the AL first, NL second which typically would indicate the NL is home. We shall see.

    Scrolled down here to say the same thing: home/away designation doesn’t matter since there’s no WS home-field advantage on the line anymore, and MLB actually took the common sense approach to just let the league “hosting” the game be the home team.

    Home/away designation matters for the same reason it always did: Because there needs to be a home team and a road team, so we know which team bats first and which bats last.

    Right, but the fact that the home team has a slight advantage doesn’t matter, since the outcome of the game now has no effect on anything outside of the game. Alternating home/road between the leagues used to matter as an issue of fairness when advantage in the World Series was on the line. It would have been unfair for either league to get “extra” home-field opportunities in the All Star Game when the ASG determined World Series home-field status. Now that it is again a meaningless exhibition game, it wouldn’t matter if either league always batted in the bottom of the innings.

    Right, but the fact that the home team has a slight advantage doesn’t matter, since the outcome of the game now has no effect on anything outside of the game.

    Right, but the game was an exhibition for most of its history, and they still adhered to an alternating home/road protocol. The World Series determinant will go down as a small blip on the radar. Still gotta have a home and road team; how much that matters to you (or to anyone) basically boils down to how much you (or whomever) care about the game. If you care enough to be discussing it in the first place, then I’d say it matters.

    With regard to this item in Soccer: “In this graphic France’s Antoine Griezmann (top left) appears to be already wearing a jersey with two stars representing France’s two World Cup wins. Everyone else in the photo appears to be wearing one-star jerseys”

    Griezmann has on the top they handed to the players after the game was over. Notice it has two buttons and no number. The other players are wearing the uni tops from the game. They have the uni numbers and no buttons.

    I really like that they did not hand them some graphic blasted champions jersey like all the US leagues foist onto the players two seconds after the game ends. It looks so good when a team celebrates in the uni they won in. This French shirt with the two stars blends in well for the celebration, even if it isn’t the game worn one.

    Oops. Correction — They all have buttons. But Greizmann’s does not have a number. It’s the top they were handing players after the second Cup was secured, so it has the two stars over the FFF badge.

    Correction: They all have buttons. Greizmann is wearing the fresh top with two stars they handed players on field after the game. So two stars, but no number.

    I may be late to the party, but no one has commented on Shaq having a “Washington Football Team” t-shirt with the cursed logo emblazoned on the front.

    Reminds me of when the NBA invited Craig Hodges back to the 3 Point contest when he wasn’t an All-Star. :)

    Re the Kezar Stadium photo is probably a pre-1967 NFL game:
    1) The single-standard (sling shot) goal post was not used until 1967 (link)
    2) The NFL hash marks were 40-ft apart until the 1972 season.
    3) The college hash marks divided the field into thirds until the 1993 season, when they were moved to 40-ft apart.

    I assume this photo, link, is from the 1970 Conference Championship and last 49ers game at Kezar.

    I have lived in San Francisco for 20 years now, so I have gone past, or been in the neighborhood, or been inside of Kezar hundreds of times. But of course its been long gone in terms of what it used to be.
    I am amazed that Kezar (!) was home to an NFL team.
    I sure wish I had been able to go when it was NFL size for a 49er game, I can’t imagine another NFL stadium being in a cooler spot.


    Probably the most obvious reason it’s an NFL game is that the NFL goal posts are there. Why that didn’t occur to me first I don’t know, but one would assume that the NFL goal posts were taken down for college games. I would be interested to know if that was not the case.

    Oh — good point. It’s fine to have college posts in an NFL game, but not the other way around. I should have thought of that!

    All Star team photos from the mid-70’s were usually half-assed, almost horrific.

    The bench for players on the front row was never long enough. Reggie Smith is getting absolutely crushed between Steve Garvey and Joe Morgan.

    Even the batboys are a disaster. One kid has a beautiful Pirate uniform but the other is a wreck from head to toe (no hat, lousy jersey, random stirrups).

    The one thing they did get ALMOST right is that the players appear to be in numerical order starting from Johnny Grubb and #2 on the bottom left, over to #14 Rose, then serpentine to #15 Grote middle right, etc. Only one that seems off is Hank Aaron between the 23s and 24s, instead of most of the way to the right in the top row.

    RE: The Mead folder in Collectors’ Corner:

    I think the guy in the center of the image is Ed Podolak.

    Next year’s ASG is in Cleveland and 2020 in LA. Looks like the league is trying to get back on the alternating, AL-odd/NL-even cadence. I truly hope so because it would be a travesty to see Dodgers All-Stars not in their classic whites at home in 2020!

    Last year at Pocono Dale, Jr. was going to run his car with Eagles paint scheme but got the kibosh by the NFL. Turns out that Goodell apologized to the sponsor admitting a bit of over-reach on the NFL’s part. Scroll half way for the story: link

    Thanks for that link Hank!
    I thought Jr. himself resisted driving that Eagles scheme since he’s a big fan of the Redskins.

    I still have problems calling the Brewers and NL team and the Astros an AL Team. Can we go back to how it was before?

    What’s the difference between partnerships, sponsorship and advertising? Is it some sort of financial level? I note that T-Mobile and MLB seem to alternate between those terms.

    Note that there were charitable donations associated with each home run hit.

    It’s all advertising.

    “Presented by,” “Brought to you by,” “In partnership with,” “Sponsored by,” etc. — all just bullshit ways of saying “advertising.”

    Here, read this: link

    I absolutely hate all the MLB special uniforms for Memorial Day, July 4th, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. However I have to admit I didn’t mind the AL and NL colored jerseys last night. I still think having special team caps for the actual game sucks though. Anything to sell more merchandise.

    Thought. Was there a last time when the ASG logo took all the background colors? Just like the Dior batter man on the cap and back neck change. No clashing on the hat. Like a rare sip of ointment that doesn’t have a fly in it, or something.

    Ok I’ve watched very little of the ASG, but the caps appear to be paying homage to the Nationals predecessor ..My beloved Montreal Expos.

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