By Phil Hecken
Who’s that good lookin’ (and happy) fella in today’s splash? Why, of course, it’s the one and only Paul Lukas — the guy who (a bit more than) 20 years ago brought Uni Watch into this world, changing the lives of many, and turning what many of us felt was a solitary and almost odd-ball habit of noticing uniforms and uniform-related minutia, into a mainstream (well, almost) and full-fledged community, and happily taking us all on an incredible ride in the process. While the official 20th Anniversary was about a month ago, the official CELEBRATIONS kicked off yesterday.
You can’t see it (because it’s covered up), but inside that aluminum container was one of the MOST DELICIOUS cakes I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating (and those who know me know I’m most assuredly not a cake kinda guy):
— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) June 29, 2019
I am sure Paul will grace us with full party reports as the week progresses, but I wanted to share a few of the photos (group photos) wherever possible for some of the UW parties that took place. I am sure there some I’m missing (apologies) and I won’t have any names to go with the pics, but below is just a sampling of the amazing show of both support and love for Uni Watch (and of course, the founder and CEO, Paul) … beginning with the Brooklyn Party, where Paul, myself and many others were in attendance. From there, just quick shots from elsewhere (and in no particular order).
There’s a BIG set of sub ledes to follow this portion, so be sure to stick around after the UW party pics!
I’m sure there are many more and many folks I’m missing (apologies in advance). There’s also a gathering which took place Friday night down in Mississippi (more on that below). Thanks to everyone who was able to attend and enjoy and celebrate the UW 20th! Like I said (probably more than once) — I’m sure Paul will have full coverage later this week, but I wanted to try to give a sprinkling of the wonderful support and love you guys all showed for our leader (and my good friend) Paul Lukas and his amazing journey so far. Happy Universary, buddy!
Ad Clad Yanks (and Sawx) Right at Home, On the Road
Although I was at the Brooklyn Uni Watch 20th Anniversary Party yesterday, the Red Sox/Yankees tilt from London was nonetheless on several of the big flat screens, so watching it was unavoidable. You know the drill, by now:
As has been the custom for more than a decade, when MLB teams play outside of the US of A, they turn into walking billboards. It’s not new territory for the Yanks, who wore ads on their jerseys and helmets back in 2001 when they played the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in Tokyo. Earlier this year, the As and Mariners both wore ads on their jerseys and helmets to open the season in Tokyo, and later the Reds, Angels, Cardinals, and Astros all wore ads on their helmets during a series of games played in Mexico.
For sleeve ad patches this time around, the Yanks and Red Sox both wore ads for “Biofreeze” on their left sleeves, with special “London Series” patches on their right sleeves:
The teams also wore the London Series patches on their caps:
Both teams wore “Mitel” ads on their helmets:
Baseball is now soccer pic.twitter.com/r0b5wb4vuu
— Nick D 🍝 (@ndimichino) June 29, 2019
If you weren’t already aware, and it wasn’t apparent from any of the above photos, a uniform anomaly also took place: both teams wore their home uniforms:
I must say, this was actually jarring to be in a bar, with no sound coming out of the tv sets, and to occasionally glance up from a conversation and see two white uniformed teams facing each other. Once or twice I momentarily forgot it was the “London” game, and was actually confused — we’re so trained to see (usually) white jerseys vs. (usually) gray jerseys, but even then, if teams wear softball tops, they are wearing white or gray pants, easily identifying the home and road teams. This is certainly not the first time this has happened, and in fact, during the 1970s (and I’m sure other decades as well), several teams did not have “road” pants, opting to wear colored tops on the road. Occasionally both teams would wear colored tops with white pants, making it difficult to tell the home team. And of course, you had the Pirates wearing white pinstripes on the road. But now teams are required to wear gray pants on the road.
Why did both teams wear home uniforms? And which team was the home team? Well, the Red Sox are the designated home team for yesterday (and also today’s) game, but the decision was made by baseball months ago that the fans in London should see the Yankees in their iconic pinstripes. Fair enough. But the purist in me doesn’t like this. My (admittedly not as simple-as-it-sounds) solution would have been for both the Yanks and Red Sox to give up one “home” gate and let the Sox play as the home team one game, and the Yankees the other. That way, fans would get to see both teams play in both their home and road unis. The Sox, as mentioned above, will be the designated home team again today, and will actually wear their red alternate tops (and the Yanks will still be attired in pins).
The other uniform anomaly, for those paying attention, was the Yankees wearing their matte batting helmets (which they ONLY wear on the road). So, this was an unique situation and a first for the team.
Oh, one last thing. Prince Harry & Princess Meghan (the Duke & Dutchess of Sussex) were in attendance and both teams gave them gifts. The Yanks chose to give them a “onesie” for their infant son, and (in another breach of protocol), it had NOB:
— Brad Serton (@BradSerton) June 29, 2019
Yeah, I know — it’s not an official, on-field jersey, but it still makes my skin crawl every time I see a Yankees jersey with NOB (and we see them A LOT here in NY). Sigh.
With Wimbledon — The Championship — starting tomorrow, I’m once again joined by my doubles partner, Brinke Guthrie, who will give us a rundown of
everyone wears white, so who cares the major uni companies and what they’re outfitting their clients in.
By Brinke Guthrie
The third major of the tennis calendar is here. Wimbledon starts tomorrow, with all the veddy British tradition associated with it. (Strawberries and cream, no play on the middle Sunday, predominantly white attire, etc.) Let’s see what some of the big brands will be outfitting their players in.
Never heard of this high-end British brand? Neither had I until Andy Murray’s ill-managed UA deal lapsed. (Don’t get me started. They never had his stuff for sale, and his UA shoes were rumored to be reverse-engineered Adidas, which he is still wearing, for some reason.) He’ll be wearing Castore’s “kit” for his Wimbledon comeback in doubles only. I like this brand a lot– lots of clean, minimalist, high-tech unfussy designs. Pricey, though.
Here’s a bit more on Murray’s Castore deal.
This is the look The GOAT will wear. The trim on the polo is brown/beige like they used at the French. They just released this to the US market and at this writing, all they have left is XS. Right. Either way, IMO, Forest Green would’ve been better in keeping with the Wimbledon color scheme. Fed is also still wearing his RF-monogrammed Nike sneakers, which he may or may not have a deal for, and we may or may not ever know. Interestingly, he’s been wearing plain, unmarked sneakers for the trophy presentations of the recent events he’s won. One tennis board speculated they are called the “Achilles Low” from a really expensive Italian boutique company called Common Projects. These are for fashion, not performance. Start saving your pennies, they’re over $400 a pop. But you get two shoes for that price, so there you are.
And the Fed still can cause a stir whenever he makes an appearance.
For the first time, designer Stella McCartney will provide the designs for both women and men. According to The Standard, “The outfits were created using material made from plastic waste intercepted from beaches before reaching the ocean — and with a synthetic fibre made from plastic bottles and old clothes.” Angelique Kerber said, “I’m ready to return to London and defend my title at Wimbledon, I just love the tradition of it. I am proud to be wearing the new adidas by Stella McCartney Tennis Collection on court this year, it was created using technology which saves water waste and features fabrics which keep me cool and comfortable, really delivering on my dynamic performance needs.”
French Open champion Ashleigh Barty is shown in the new Match Play collection, that “seamlessly blends signature all-white styles with a playful, eye-catching orange color pop.” Not too much orange, though; remember, this is Wimbledon we’re talking about. Rising US star Sofia Kenin wears the Lawn collection, and men’s players like big-serving John Isner will be “dressed in a range of Core and Fundamentals pieces on court in London, sporting a mix of high-quality, high-performance, timeless essentials.” That’s their way of saying “all white.”
ZZZZZ. (And why are your models and pros like Madison Keyes and Denis Shapovalov wearing black? Not at Wimbledon; not now, not ever. “We’re challenged to dimensionalize white here,” says Abby Swancutt, Global Design Director for NikeCourt. Does that mean…I don’t know what that means. But hey, this site includes “dimensionalize” on a list of completely pointless corporate words, so there ya go. Just do it.
And One More UW Gathering
Not every Uni Watch 20th Anniversary satellite party took place yesterday. On Friday evening, my pal (and several-time contributor) Bill Hetrick joined several readers for a Uni-Watch pre-anniversary party at Jackson Generals (MS Braves throwback night) vs. Jackson (TN) Generals on June 28 at Trustmark Park in Pearl, MS.
Bill got me this writeup very late Friday night, so I was unable to include it in yesterday’s posting, but I promised I’d run it today. Here’s Bill:
Several things happening here:
Me in originals Jackson (MS) Generals jersey with Uni-Watch helmet
Several former NFL players were signing at the game. They were educated on Uni-Watch. Pictured are former Oiler and Saint Vernon Perry, “Swamp People” star Ashley Jones; Uni-watch fans William Perkins, Bill Hetrick and Paul Letlow. Seated: former Falcon and Buccaneer Sylvester Stamps, former Seahawk “Porkchop” Womack and former Chief Thomas Leonard.
More Uni-watch fans with the helmet; David Hampton, Stuart Rockoff, Charlie Blount and David Blount
And by the way, the Throwback Generals had a pair of pitchers combine to no-hit the real Generals in a 2-0 win. It was the 3rd no-hitter in Mississippi Braves history.
Thanks, Bill! He also included some game action photos which I put into this album.
Uni Concepts & Tweaks
After being dormant for a while, the Uni Tweaks/Concepts have returned!
I hope you guys like this feature and will want to continue to submit your concepts and tweaks to me. If you do, Shoot me an E-mail (Phil (dot) Hecken (at) gmail (dot) com).
Occasionally I’ll have some concepts tweeted at me. This one comes from Jeff Tasca, who has created some Chicago Blackhawks throwbacks concepts:
Here’s a throwback to the Chicago concept I did for #UniformMadness Always hard redesigning an original 6 team. I looked back in their history to get some inspiration & got some of their old stripping & tried to put a new spin on it. I felt it still had a ‘Blackhawks’ feel to it.
Thanks. OK readers, tweeters (and concepters). If you have some tweaks or concepts, shoot ’em my way with a brief description of your creation and I’ll run ’em here.
Guess The Game…
from the scoreboard
The game has returned! At least for a trial basis, but I got a lot of positive response to its return, so we’ll see how long we keep this one going.
Today’s scoreboard comes from Will Shoken.
The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).
This one probably rates a 2 out of 10 on the difficulty scale. Beautiful photo of a long ago game.
Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):
If you guys like this, and want to continue this as a weekly feature, let me know in the comments below. You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.
And now a few words from Paul: Hi there. In case you missed it earlier this week, I’m teaming up with Sports Illustrated for a Bengals-redesign contest. Full details here.
Okay, handing the baton back to Phil now.
Uni Watch News Ticker
(Sorry for the smaller-than-normal ticker — was a busy day and there just wasn’t that much uni news, I guess…and hopefully many of the regular submitters were pre-disposed at UW Universary Parties.)
Baseball News: On Friday night, the Ft. Wayne Tin Caps wore “The Office” jerseys, which were a tribute to Dwight Shrute (via Jff Dmrly). … The Carolina Mudcats wore their “Copa” uniforms the other night, playing as Los Pescados de Carolina. … Check out this fantastic photo of Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Apr 17, 1968, before Mount Davis ruined it (from Ronnie Bolton). … “In watching the Padres (Friday) night, my son noticed that Wil Myers might be wearing the first ‘franken-belt’,” writes Mark Miller. “He appears to have the standard Padres Friday night brown belt in the front and a yellow belt in the back. I could not get pictures from last night, but here are a couple of pictures we found. I wonder if he is wearing his ‘all-star’ year yellow belt when he made the “all-star” team and Padres switched to blue and yellow for that year sewn to a brown belt?” … Yesterday the Orioles broke out their 2019 edition of their Maryland Day uniforms, which featured the Maryland flag-motif on the brims of their caps and sleeves (from Mike Chamernik). Fans took to social media to express their dislike. But hey, at least they didn’t take it this far (from Mark de Socio). Or this (hopefully) — from Marcus Hall. … The Detroit Tigers honored their 1984 World Series winning team, and did it with a rather awesome uni related detail (from Michael Dornbos). … Yesterday, Chris Mazza made his MLB debut for the Mets wearing striped stirrups (or at least they *appear* to be — they could be fauxrups-PH) from Sam Blakey. This epic hosiery matchup shows they look more like real rups to me (from Christina Dodson).
Football News: The BC Lions are playing their second road game with their new uniforms. They were wearing orange pants for the first time with the new road uniforms. They wore black pants last road game (from Wade Heidt).
Hockey News: This is interesting: apparently back in the day, the Toronto Maple Leafs played truncated national anthems. Submitter Marc Gilbert says, “Ever seen or heard anything like this before? I know I haven’t!”
Soccer News: Our soccer guys never disappoint, and from Ed Żelaski we see that there are new shirts for Swiss club Lugano. … It’s always interesting when we see matchups between teams whose colors are completely different from their national flag colors (from Guillermo Estuarto). … “Odd that Adidas makes new kits for the (German) women but give them the typeface from last year’s men’s World Cup but the new men’s kits use a new typeface when they’re both released this year,” writes For The Culture. … Adding to the leaks we’ve already seen, we now have a leak of the Chelsea goalkeeper kit.