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What Would a Uni Watch Hall of Fame Look Like?

Toward the end of Monday’s installment of the Okkonen Files, I wrote, “[I]f there were a Uni Watch Hall of Fame, [Marc Okkonen] would definitely be in the inaugural induction class. Hell, he might be the inaugural induction class.”

I was mostly joking, but several people got in touch to say that they really liked the idea of a Uni Watch Hall of Fame. I agree that it’s a fun notion, so let’s explore that idea today.

We can start with some quick background: The very first hall of fame in America was established in 1900 here in NYC, on the campus of what is now Bronx Community College (at the time it was part of NYU). It’s called the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, and its inductees include statesmen, soldiers, artists, businessmen, and more. In The Wizard of Oz, when the Munchkins sing to Dorothy, “We will glorify your name, you will be a bust, be a bust, be a bust, in the Hall of Fame,” this was almost certainly the hall they were referring to, because it was America’s only hall of fame of any note at the time the movie was being made. (By the time the movie was released in August of 1939, the Baseball Hall of Fame had opened a few months earlier.)

I’ve read that the Hall of Fame for Great Americans was somewhat controversial when it opened, because some people felt it reinforced the idea of a de facto aristocracy that ran counter to America’s more egalitarian ideals (a notion that seems quaint in light of our current cultural obsession with celebrity). The Hall is largely forgotten now, but you can still check it out. It’s been about 15 years since my last visit, so maybe I’m due for another field trip soon.

There are now countless halls of fame, from the National Softball Hall of Fame in Oklahoma to the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Wisconsin (both of which I’ve visited). So a Uni Watch Hall of Fame would be in good company.

The most obvious question we’d face, of course, is who would be inducted. But before we can answer that, I think we have to sort out which categories of people would be inducted. For example:

• Historians, researchers, and documentarians: These are people who, like Okkonen, have added to our understanding of uniforms by researching and documenting uni history. In addition to Okkonen, I would nominate uni historian Todd Radom; Baseball Hall of Fame curator Tom Shieber; the three principals behind the Gridiron Uniform Database; Andrew Greenstein, who runs; honcho Chris Creamer; the guy who runs The Helmet Project; MLB jersey historian Bill Henderson; Craig Brown of Threads of Our Game; and probably a bunch of other worthy folks I’m overlooking.

I think we could also put Jerry Cohen of Ebbets Field Flannels and Peter Capolino of Mitchell & Ness in this category, in part for their contributions to documenting uniform history and also for sparking a greater interest in uni history.

• Designers and pioneers: These are people who’ve had a tangible and lasting impact on the uni-verse via their designs and/or design innovations. Todd Radom would fit into this category as well. In addition to him, I’d nominate A’s owner Charles Finley, for pioneering the bold use of color in baseball uniforms; White Sox owner Bill Veeck, for pioneering the use of NOBs, along with disco collars and shorts; Rams running back Fred Gehrke, for painting the ram horns that essentially created the first team-themed football helmet; Canadiens goalie Jacques Plante, for wearing the first NHL goalie mask; Cubs art director Otis Shepard, for pioneering MLB vests, zippers, and powder blues; designer Jack Amuny, for designing the Astros’ tequila sunrise uniforms; sporting goods magnate Tim McAuliffe, for the eponymous McAuliffe number font; designer Tom O’Grady, for changing the look of the NBA in the 1990s; Branch Rickey, for introducing batting helmets to baseball; Dr. Robert Crow, for inventing the C-Flap; designer Jerry Dior, for creating the MLB silhouetted-batter logo; Braves PR man Bob Hope, for coming up with the idea for the Braves’ 1976 nickNOBs; Mariners marketing exec Kevin Martinez, for creating futuristic uniforms; Nike creative director Todd Van Horne, for his huge impact on the uni-verse, for better or worse; Buccaneers equipment manager Frank Pupello, for creating the Pupello pouch; Marquette basketball coach Al McGuire, for all the crazy uniforms he brought to the court; whoever invented Cooperalls; and probably tons more.

Some players might also fit into this category. Just last week, for example, I mentioned how Orel Hershiser, Steve Yeager, and Charlie O’Brien all pioneered lasting equipment innovations. And that leads us to…

• Players: I think this category is a bit trickier. If our theoretical Uni Watch Hall of Fame had a museum, we would no doubt want to display one (or all!) of Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s jerseys because of his record-length NOB. But would Salty himself merit induction simply by virtue of having a long name? Personally, I’d say no. His NOB seems more like a quirk of circumstance than a Hall-worthy achievement.

On the other hand, I think you could make a case for Dave Parker because of all those crazy facemasks he wore in 1978. And definitely the Fab Five, for their longer/baggier shorts and black socks.

Frank Robinson, for lengthening his stirrups? Rod Smart, for wearing “He Hate Me”? Earl Weaver, for his inner-jersey cigarette pocket? Lou Gehrig, for being the first to have his number retired? Greg Pruitt, for his tearaway jerseys? George Hendrick, for helping to create the pajama look? Anne White, for her Wimbledon bodysuit? Archie Manning, for his wide array of facemask styles? I can see arguments for and against all of these, depending on what sorts of standards we want to apply.

And that’s why I’m posting this today — to help start a discussion about standards for induction, not just about specific inductees. What would we want a Uni Watch Hall of Fame to stand for? What would we want people to learn when they visit our our Hall (either on a website or, in a perfect world, in an actual physical location)?

There are lots of additional questions: Would our inductees have plaques? Busts? A commemorative winged stirrup? Other? What would the Hall’s logo look like? And so on.

This is all good food for thought. Feel free to post your feedback in today’s comments.

I’m certain of at least one thing: It would be easy for our Hall to have a better jersey than the one that the Baseball Hall of Fame uses.

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Click to enlarge

New MLB prototype cap discovered: Got a note last night from reader Alex Posani, as follows:

I made a trip to the Ballpark in Arlington tonight for Rangers vs. D-Backs and found myself at the authentics stand. They always have cool stuff, and I found something very interesting: Diamond Era-style version of the current Rangers blue cap.

The Rangers have previously used three styles as Diamond Era: a red T; a red T with a Texas flag; and a white T with a red state of Texas outline. Never before have they worn one that is the same style of the home cap.

The cap includes an authentication hologram. I looked it up online and saw that it had been recently added, too recently to access.

Here’s a look at the interior tagging.

Good find by Alex! If anyone knows more, feel free to speak up in today’s comments.

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Bouton/Ball Four reminder: In case you missed the announcement on Monday, I’ll be participating in a tribute to Jim Bouton and his seminal 1970 book, Ball Four (which changed my life and so many others), this Thursday evening, 7:30pm, at Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan. Other participants will include the great Jay Jaffe of FanGraphs; Villanova professor and longtime baseball author Mitchell Nathanson, who’s working on a Bouton biography (and who tells me he’s a big Uni Watch fan); and Field of Schemes honcho Neil deMause (who, like myself, is an alum of the Village Voice sports section and has also been my editor for the recent pieces on collectors that I’ve written for Gothamist). There may be other writers added to the bill later this week.

We’ll each be talking about what what made Bouton and Ball Four so special to us and reading a few of our favorite passages from the book. Doors open at 7pm. Admission is free. It would be great to see a bunch of Uni Watch readers there — please join us!

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Uni-versary patch reminder: I’m still sitting on a ton of these Uni Watch 20th-anniversary embroidered patches (which, quite honestly, haven’t been selling at anything close to the rate I had hope for). The patch was made for us by Stitches, the same shop that does all the sewing for the Mets, Yankees, and Islanders. It measures four inches across and is suitable for sewing onto a jersey or jacket, or just for displaying.

The price is $9.99, plus $1 for shipping (or $2 for shipping outside the USA). To order, send payment to me via Venmo (use @Paul-Lukas-2 as the payee), Zelle (, or Cash App ( If you want to use Apple Pay or a paper check, or if you’re outside the USA and can only use PayPal, shoot me a note and I’ll fill you in.

Once you send payment, be sure to send me your shipping address so I can send the patch on its way to you. Thanks!

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The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball News: The Cubs wore 1969 throwbacks last night against the Reds. Their throwbacks don’t have the MLB logo on the back (from multiple readers). … The Astros will wear this Apollo 11 tribute cap on July 22. … Indians P Zach Plesac took the mound last night wearing shin-cuffed pants and white shoes (from multiple readers). … The Reds will wear their 1961 throwbacks on Sunday. … Yahoo!’s search page used outdated logos for the Indians, Padres, and Marlins yesterday (from Joel Hooper). … The Buffalo Bisons, Triple-A affiliate of the Blue Jays, will be wearing NHL Buffalo Sabres-inspired uniforms for a game in August. … The University of Evansville has a new advertiser attached to its ballpark (from Ryan Bowman). … The Rockies were being pummeled by the Giants 13-0 in the fourth inning of Monday’s game, so the Rockies announcers took it upon themselves to cover up the score bug (from Willard Kovacs). … Former Yankees P Mariano Rivera — the last MLB player to wear No. 42 on a regular basis — had Gate 42 at JFK International Airport in New York dedicated to him. Delta also dedicated one of their Boeing 757s to him, complete with a decal using the wrong number font (from Steven Dodell). … The Orioles will be giving out condiment-themed T-shirts tonight (from Patrick Stevens). … Here are the uniforms the Chicago Police Department baseball team wore for the city’s annual Police-Fire Department game (from Dan Campana).

College Football News: Under Armour has made some tweaks to their jersey template. Here’s what those tweaks look like on Auburn’s uniforms (from Clint Richardson). … Iowa State has tweaked its home jersey to remove the black collar (from multiple readers). … New uniforms for Wyoming. … New uniforms for Samford. … New jerseys for Alcorn State and Mississippi Valley State (from Tom Schuster). … Iowa is installing new turf at Kinnick Stadium (from Kary Klismet). … Notre Dame has temporarily placed natural grass on top of their artificial turf at Notre Dame Stadium in preparation for the Liverpool vs. Borussia Dortmund soccer match on Friday (from Warren Junium). … Here are all the ACC uniforms for this season (from James Gilbert).

Hockey News: According to a display at a retail store in Chicago, the Blackhawks have the best uniforms in NHL history (from Jerry Kulig). … According to the Jets’ PR account, a few number changes for the team: D Anthony Bitetto will wear No. 2, F Mark Letestu will wear No. 22, and D Sami Niku has changed his number to No. 8. … Cross-listed from the baseball section: The Buffalo Bisons, Triple-A affiliate of MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays, will be wearing Sabres-inspired uniforms for a game in August. … The Chicago Steel of the USHL released their 20th anniversary logo. You can see it on the bottom right corner of this season calendar (from Steve Johnston).

Basketball News: You can see lots of new and changed NBA numbers on Etienne Catalan’s Twitter feed. … Here are the uniforms the Greece men’s national team will be wearing for the FIBA World Cup (from Christos Daglis). … New unis for Wisconsin men’s. They’ll be wearing NOBs for the first time since Dick Bennett’s tenure as head coach.

Soccer News: A few things from Josh Hinton: Here are more pictures of Juventus’s away kit. … Bayern Munich’s third kit has leaked. … Hamburger SV has officially released their new home kit after numerous leaks. … West Ham has new third shirts. … New kits for English Championship club Charlton Athletic (from @TheKitManUK). … New kits for FC Lokomotiv Moscow. … For a roundup of more kit unveilings from smaller clubs and leagues, check out the Twitter feeds from Josh Hinton and Ed Zelaski. … The president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) is currently the subject of corruption investigations by both FIFA and French authorities. One of his suspect dealings was the cancellation of an equipment deal with Puma for balls and kits and its replacement with a small French manufacturer of exercise equipment that does not appear to make anything soccer-related (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Also from Jamie: Queens Park FC wore their 150th-anniversary kit again last week, meaning it has now appeared at least once for four seasons in a row. It was first worn in August 2016. It was first choice in the first two seasons (2016-17 and 2017-18) and third choice in the most recent two seasons. The actual 150th anniversary was slightly over two years ago (July 9, 2017). … Cross-listed from the college football section: Notre Dame has temporarily placed natural grass on top of their artificial turf at Notre Dame Stadium in preparation for Liverpool vs. Borussia Dortmund on Friday (from Warren Junium).

Grab Bag: The Jumbo Visma team — winners of four of the first 10 stages in this year’s Tour de France — has each rider’s first name printed in large lettering on the front of their helmets. “It’s a huge help when watching the race,” says James Harvey. … Reader John Muir recently went to the Museum of the United States Navy in DC and snapped a photo of Navy camouflage schemes. … Here are the neckerchiefs, or “neckers” the Boy Scouts will be wearing at next week’s Scout Jamboree in West Virginia (from @bryanwdc). … A Target in South Dakota has the wrong SDSU caps on their shelves. Instead of selling South Dakota State caps, they have San Diego State caps (from Michael Manker).

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Bow arts: Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens died yesterday at the age of 99. He served on the high court for 35 years — the third-longest tenure in history — and was known throughout that time for wearing a bow tie.

When you think about it, it arguably makes more sense for a male judge to wear a bow tie, because a conventional necktie will be covered up by his robe. In any case, I suspect we won’t see another bow-tied Supreme Court justice for a long time, if ever. R.I.P.

Comments (99)

    I heard a few years ago while in the sports retail business that NE/MLB were planning to switch standard hats to the Diamond Era material, but from my understanding the idea was scrapped. I’d be curious to know the manufacturer date on that Rangers hat.

    It’s from this year as it uses the new “HexTech” material vs the previous “DiamondEra” stuff (sorry I hate branded materials but not sure what else to use as a term of reference). Also the grey sweatband is a relatively recent occurrence.

    The more curious thing is the size as New Era traditionally sends all samples in 7 1/2.

    More than likely this was part of a couple designs the term considered that were then not selected. When Diamond Era was introduced around 2013 there was a promo video for the launch that had some Blue Jays prototypes in it that were never used.

    I confirm, being in the retail business, New Era’s samples are always 7 1/2.

    Love the idea for the HoF, and sounds like you’ve got all the important people covered!


    But I would not be inclined to include players as players. If a player makes a lasting innovation, then she would qualify as a Pioneer. As a third category, I would have something like Milestones to honor significant events rather than people. So Salty’s jersey, but not Jerrod Saltalamacchia himself, would be in the Hall of Fame.

    In that spirit I nominate Ken Griffey Jr. for starting the practice of wearing “42” on April 15th.

    Well, this just may be me, but what if we inducted specific uniforms into the hall of fame? Either for being aesthetically pleasing classics (such as the Yankees or the Celtics or other ones like that) or we could induct uniforms that are otherwise *ahem* notable.

    No need to apologize! Inducting uniforms instead of people is certainly one approach to take. I just don’t think it’s the route I want to take.

    How about a uniform category, not as an indicia of “best uniforms,” but rather because of the significance of those uniforms in the history of uniform development?

    For example, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ original synthetic-fiber, pullover jersey uniform that effectively launched the double-knit era in baseball. Or the Chicago White Sox 1960 uniforms with the first NOBs. Or the 1964 Dallas Cowboys uniforms for popularizing the concept of wearing white jerseys at home.

    Perhaps the idea could use some refinement. But it seems only logical that a Uni watch Hall of Fame *should* have uniforms in it, in one capacity or another.

    Bow ties are quite fashionable among segments of the activist and legal political right, so as long as we keep electing Republican presidents, there’s a good chance we’ll see another bowtied justice.

    It would be a nice gesture for the current justices to wear bow ties on October 7, when their next term begins.

    a few nominations from the peanut gallery

    Connie Mack and Ted Turner – the former for wearing street clothes as manager and the latter for wearing uniform as owner

    Bear Bryant, Tom Landry, and Bum Philips for their distinctive sideline headwear

    Mack and Turner are easy gut-level “of course” nominations for me. But the more I think about both, the less enthused I am on a non-gut level. Turner stands out precisely because he was the only one, since it didn’t catch on. That makes Turner a loner, not a leader, and I think that’s sort of the opposite of what qualifies one for the Hall of Fame. We don’t want to get mixed up with a guy like Ted. He’s a loner, Dottie, a rebel.

    In that light, Mack is sort of Turner plus time. The longevity of his lonely suit-wearing is significant enough that perhaps it justifies his inclusion. But Mack’s uni-notability is ultimately based on his exceptionality, not his influence.

    clearly botched location for other comment

    what was meant to go here was i recall reading once that these days bowtie was the equivalent to a tattoo just for a different demographic

    As a non-tatooed bowtie wearer, I can at least agree that a bowtie is easier to remove than a tattoo if one has second thoughts.

    Love the start-of-term bow tie idea. The Court is known for its collegiality and I imagine they’d be all for it. Get this idea to them!

    I really appreciate being mentioned…for the most part I feel that what I do seems to remain in a vacuum, but I keep plugging along at it…

    The Greek uniforms have “ONCE A CHAMPION, ALWAYS A CHAMPION” written within the pinstripes. Are they really going to wear 4 different sets?

    If the Uni Watch Hall of Fame doesn’t include Larry Walker in a Rockies Turn Ahead The Clock jersey, then the whole thing is a sham.

    Last night, the Cubs honored the 1969 Cubs, not the moon landing. Was interesting seeing the Reds wear their 150 year patch, while the Cubs wore the throwback 100 year patch.

    I love the HoF idea! However, I think the qualifier question for entry as a HoF member would be, “Did they make/have a significant or lasting contribution/effect on uniform style/design or the documentation of the history of sports uniforms?”

    Under that, you would have to enshrine the Fab Five since they changed the style of basketball shorts from then until now when players have started to go back to shorted shorts. However, we would exclude Archie Manning, Dave Parker, and other players who had quarks that were fun/interesting to note. There would have to be a exhibit in the physical Hall of Fame to give these folks their due, but we shouldn’t them up like we should Branch Rickey or Bill Veeck for their contributions.

    I mean, should Jared Saltalamacchia be a HoF just because he had a long last name? No. Should it be pointed out somewhere? I’m fine with that.

    All the historians deserve their due too. Who knows how their histories have been used to make decisions on new designs for uniforms and logos.

    Paul, if you want to nominate the Cooperalls inventor, you would give the nod to Brian Heaton. Heaton worked for Cooper Canada at the time and he later became known for goalie equipment.


    As for players, Allen Iverson can get in for popularizing the elbow sleeve in basketball.

    And for bringing the baggy shorts to the NBA, and for popularizing cornrows in the NBA…

    According to a display at a retail store in Chicago, the Blackhawks have the best uniforms in NHL history

    Said Store is the Blackhawks’ own, on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago.

    I think the Fab Five should be in EVERY HoF in the World for popularizing long shorts so I don’t ever have to look at another man’s thighs.

    If you’re putting Salty in the HOF, I think you also need to add former Celtic and Hull (amongst others) forward Jan Vennegoor Of Hesselink.

    It’s funny. The first thing I thought when I saw the Under Armour “File Tab” template in store was, “Those look like locations tailored to fit jersey patches.” Seeing it in the Auburn graphics essentially confirms that suspicion. They basically created a home for a maker’s mark to fit better visually. Maybe it also makes you .03% faster. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Uni Watch Hall of Fame should be for innovators and/or rebels and/or conservationists who took their own actions!
    Jarrod Saltalamacchia definitely isn’t a HOF just for a long name! He didn’t invent the nameplate and he didn’t even give himself his own name. Sure it’s a record and let an artifact reflect that, but that’s it! Roger Maris didn’t get in off a 61 HR year…heck he’s still not in! Frankly, I’d give Benito Santiago more of a UW HOF case for taking #09 to be compatible with the chest protector back strap!
    Conservationist: I’m thinking David Stern. Legitimately a last guardian against maker’s marks and ads on the uniforms.
    Also, we’re talking Michigan Fab Five for baggy shorts, but the real OG basketball Uni Watch Hall of Famer is Michael Jordan. Wore slightly longer pro shorts to go over UNC short shorts, and debuted Air Jordans in white black and red…clearly not your grandfather’s black Chuck Taylors!

    Agreed. Jordan was the first to wear longer shorts in the mid- late 80’s and the Fab Five exaggerated the look in the early- mid 90’s. The Air Jordan’s impact went far beyond the way it radically changed athletic shoe aesthetics.

    That’s not just any retail store. That’s the Blackhawks organization’s official team store on Michigan Ave. in Chicago making that claim.

    Can I just tell you how much I appreciate that you only charge $1 for the shipping on the patches? I realize that you fulfill all the orders yourself, and as such, it’s easier to put a stamp on an envelope than it would be to oversee some big metered mail process…but there’ve been SO many times that I’ve wanted to purchase something small and cheap to mail…a sticker, a patch… and the price DOUBLES because of some BS shipping charge. So thanks!

    You’re welcome!

    I have a very small, very lightweight item in the pipeline for which, unfortunately, I’ll have to charge about $4 for shipping, because it will not ship flat and will therefore qualify as a package/parcel — hence the higher shipping, regardless of weight.

    But for the patch, I can just pop it in an envelope and use a basic Forever stamp!

    Love the idea of a Hall of Fame.

    I’d like to put in a pitch for 1956-77 Packers equipment manager Gerald “Dad” Braisher. He not only helped design Lombardi’s “G” logo, he also introduced “Braisher stripes” (the color/white/color striping pattern) to the NFL, a look that came to define the league.

    But you be the top pick for the “Writers’ Wing”.

    My nominee: Bill Veeck, (who not only owner the drop shadow St. Louis Browns) who as owner of the a White a Sox, basically invented the Turn Back the Clock concept, with the 1990 make-up game just after the All Star game.

    I would nominate baseball pitcher Bill Voiselle. He was a pitcher for three teams in the Forties, but his claim to unifame was that he wore his hometown on his jersey. He was from Ninrtysix, SC, and wore no. 96.

    If you include him, then you also have to include Carlos May (for wearing his birthday), Eddie Gaedel (for wearing a fraction), Johnny Neves (for wearing a backwards 7), Curtis Pride (for wearing the same name on the front and back of his Nashua Pride jersey), etc.

    I’d say these are all novelties that are worth mentioning, but not induction-worthy.

    How about Bill “Spaceman” Lee, for wearing his name upside-down by choosing 337?

    I know that it used to happen a lot more, but San Diego Padres jersey number 09 always stood out for me.

    I would like to nominate Jacques Plante for the UWHOF as an Innovator & Pioneer. Since he is generally credited with inventing/pioneering the use of the goalie mask which all players now wear & adorn with customized paint jobs…

    He very much changed the game of professional hockey. :)

    Goalies add such an interesting wrinkle with the designs of their masks. How much input does a player have in the process today verse previous eras when custom designs weren’t the norm. That said I think Gary Cheevers and his “stitch” mask have to be included in the Pioneer section.

    Loved seeing the 1969 Cubs’ throwbacks yesterday. From my understanding, that was the first time the Cubs appeared in that uniform in an evening game at Wrigley Field (as lights were not installed until 1988). As far as I remember, the throwbacks were accurate. Looks like they “hit a home run” with them.

    Another year of Florida State looking like Boston College. Need to bring back the white numbers.

    This is ridiculous.
    An esoteric group of hobbyists taking their “elite” and putting them on an invisible pedestal. You’ve gone off the rails.

    I love this comment! Seriously, I do, just for its contrarian value.


    I think the idea is that we’d make the pedestal *visible.*

    And the idea of any HoF is to make the field/industry/etc. less esoteric — to make it more accessible to the larger general public and serve to educate, not just honor.

    What’s so ridiculous about that?

    Wikipedia’s not-exhaustive list of halls of fame: link

    Couple of observations:

    1) Most Halls of Fame are for esoteric fields or interests.

    2) Aside from Uni Watching, there also seems to be no Hall of Fame Hall of Fame. That is, no honor for outstanding achievement in the field of honoring outstanding achievement.

    *Forgive the lateness of my reply.

    Granted it would be popular amongst those who visit the site (as I do daily), but to bring it to a mainstream and make it visible it vastly difficult when you don’t have a physical presence.

    I love hockey and I even call out my own hardcore brethren when they don’t know about the AHL Hall of Fame.

    Why? It has no physical presence and only exists online. I find it truly ironic that you want to honor contributors to such a physical medium (uniforms and graphics) in a non-existant format.

    I do understand it may reach the widest audience, but text goes so far.

    In the soccer section – it should read ‘Queens Park’ not ‘Queens Park Rangers’. They are two different teams – one based in Glasgow, Scotland and the other in London, England

    Since the White Sox are on the road until the 22nd, it looks like the Chicago Police vs. Fire Department game (which featured the firemen in “Bravest” uniforms!) was the first game at Sox Park with foul pole to foul pole netting

    You’re probably right. They also have the Double Duty Classic this afternoon – link.

    It’s a high school game celebrating the legacy of the Negro Leagues and supports inner city efforts. And this year’s uniforms look sharp.

    For players in the UWHOF, I would nominate Wayne Gretzgy. He always tucked in the left side of the back of his jersey. This look became so associated with him that your players would tuck in their jersey to emulate him.

    One historical tidbit: The Giants retired #1 in honor of Ray Flaherty in 1935, four years prior to the Yankees retiring Lou Gehrig’s #3.

    “It would be easy for our Hall to have a better jersey than the one that the Baseball Hall of Fame uses.” Yes, and I sense a new design contest coming.
    I just wonder what would be an appropriate vessel: you can’t induct the Gridiron Uniform Database “wearing” a baseball jersey. You need something all sports have in common, perhaps a starter jacket?

    Here’s a polarizing figure for the Uni Watch H.O.F—

    Allen Iverson. Even if you don’t like his work ethic as a player, he did pioneer an entirely new basketball aesthetic that lasts even to this day in streetball leagues. Because of him, a whole generation of kids grew up with baggy basketball shorts that covered their knees.

    Oh, one more NBA player.

    Jerry West (or just the jersey), as I believe he’s the first player to wear his surname on both the front and back of the jersey (for the All-Star Game, representing the West). Oh, and it was even in the colors of the team he played for at the time (being the Lakers, and the All-Star game being in Los Angeles at that time.)

    Man, so much stuff…!

    I think Allen Iverson is a good candidate for discussion, for the reasons you mention. I don’t think of him so much as the pioneer of long, baggy shorts, however, since Michael Jordan and the Fab Five helped usher in that trend before him. Granted, he may have taken it to further extremes, but he didn’t originate it.

    Where I think of Iverson as a real pioneer is in popularizing baggy, oversized basketball jerseys with the ultra-wide shoulder loops, like so:


    It’s a look that still lingers at various levels of basketball even now:


    I posted this above, but then realized it might get lost in earlier thread in which the conversation appears to have ceased:

    How about a uniform category, not as an indicia of “best uniforms,” but rather because of the significance of those uniforms in the history of uniform development?

    For example, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ original synthetic-fiber, pullover jersey uniform that effectively launched the double-knit era in baseball. Or the Chicago White Sox 1960 uniforms with the first NOBs. Or the 1964 Dallas Cowboys uniforms for popularizing the concept of wearing white jerseys at home.

    Perhaps the idea could use some refinement. But it seems only logical that a Uni watch Hall of Fame *should* have uniforms in it, in one capacity or another.

    Is there a way to make this work, or is it better left to the other categories discussed above? Perhaps most of the ground is covered by the Designers and Pioneers category, but some uniform innovations are harder to track down to a single person.

    I’m curious to know if Adidas came up with a ‘story’ for the release of the new Wyoming uniforms, and, if so, was there a mention of the ‘Black 14’? Those of us familiar with Cowboy football history are keenly aware that the 2019 season marks 50 years since the Black 14 incident. Perhaps a symbolic jersey stripe or helmet decal that acknowledges that consequential 1969 season might go some way toward healing some pretty deep old wounds.

    I agree that some sort of remembrance is warranted for this unfortunate but significant moment in the history of not only the Wyoming football program, but also the University and the state as a whole. My impression, however, is that this is an event a fairly substantial portion of the fan base would just as soon forget or pretend didn’t happen. What’s the likelihood of a formal acknowledgment in the midst of that climate?

    Completely agree with your assessment of the attitude of the fan base. I’ve heard that some type of commemoration is planned for the September 14 home game.

    Instead of calling the category, “Players,” how about “Aesthetic Icons” or “Visual Icons”? This could include any sports figure – players or otherwise – for the way they stood out sartorially, especially when it became part of the sport’s visual lore.

    The category might apply to influential figures like Michael Jordan and the Fab Five, as noted above. But it could also apply to less influential, more quirky characters like Archie Manning and his assortment of facemasks, Earl Weaver and his cigarette pocket, or the sleeveless Ted Kluzewski. My criteria for inclusion under this category might be, “is this individual’s aesthetic peculiarity something that has become a well-remembered part of the sport’s visual history”?

    I think you ought to consider Tex Schram. Cowboys first GM. Designing the uniform to look good on TV, white at home, the cheerleaders and their uniforms. The red helmet stripe in ’76. Just to name a few.

    Love the Uni Watch Hall of Fame idea. It’s cool to recognize something other than players (with a few exceptions) for something sports related.

    Also, I had no idea there was a Hall of Fame of Great Americans. I have enough things I always want to do when I visit New York City but I’m putting this near the top. Seems something different than we normally do.

    I think the emblem of induction for Uni Watch Hall of Famers should be a painting or drawing similar to the old link link displayed alongside the busts of Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees (sometimes referred to as link). Sadly, it appears the Hall of Fame has discontinued them in favor of simply displaying the inductees’ link.

    Why a portrait rather than a plaque or bust? Because the inductees’ uni-notable features should be a prominent part of the display, and they aren’t always limited to what can be shown from the shoulders up. And I advocate for a color display because a Uni Watch Hall of Fame is necessarily all about the visual details, many of which can only be meaningfully portrayed in color.

    I think the portraits should be framed with the border used on Uni Watch link. And inductees should be given link.

    In 1990 the White Sox did a Turn Back the Clock game, wearing their 1917 World Series uni’s to celebrate the last year at Comiskey Park. If I’m not wrong, this was the beginning of teams breaking out throwback uniforms from past eras. Whoever came up with this idea belongs in the HOF.

    Think this Hall of Fame should have 2 areas.

    One for the inductees – the innovators/inventors.

    Another display area for the notable uniforms and quirks (such as the longest name you mentioned).

    How about the Minnesota North Stars unis when they added the black stripe? I think it has been argued on here that was the genesis of BFBS.

    I just love Peter’s comment. So very true. Kind of reminds me about the old description of an expert. “One who knows more and more about less and less.”

    I hope James Harvey is reading this … but do you notice, James (Since we might be one of only a few UniWatchers actually watching cycling) that Jumbo-Visma doesn’t ALWAYS have that helmet with the names on it? Today’s stage, they did not have them. Wonder why that is. Welp, I assume nobody will read this comment but I’ll drop it anyway.

    If there was ever an actual HOF it would be cool to have a display with a Broncos helmet with the brown horse and a plain silver Seahawks helmet from 1976.

    I think Dick Allen should be in the Uni Hall of Fame. First Base helmet and Wampum NNOB.

    If I am not mistaken Paul you wrote a while Dick Allen post a few years back and kind of called him a Uni Hall if Faner then (or something close) after I sent a pick of the Wampum pic.

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