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Uni Watch Makes the Scene with MLB Radio Guys

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It was a hot time at the old ballyard last night, as I hand-delivered Uni Watch membership cards to (from left) Mets radio broadcaster Wayne Randazzo, Padres radio broadcaster Jesse Agler, and longtime Mets radio voice Howie Rose, all of whom totally Get It™, prior to last night’s Padres/Mets game.

Here’s a closer look at their card designs:

I knew I was going to be seeing them last night, so I contacted them recently and asked for their favorite numbers. Didn’t tell them why, although I imagine they could have guessed. Howie chose No. 14 for Gil Hodges; Wayne chose No. 17 for his daughter’s birthday; and Jesse chose No. 8 because he grew up as a Gary Carter fan.

As you may recall, Phil and I had met Wayne about two months ago, but this was my first time meeting Howie (although I’ve been emailing with him for about a dozen years now, often when uni-related stuff comes up during games) and Jesse (a longtime Uni Watch fan, going back to the Village Voice days). Great guys, one and all. We had fun kibitzing for a bit — the highlight was Jesse revealing that his Little League team was sponsored by a Jewish funeral home — and then they ran back to their respective radio booths to get ready for the game.

Speaking of the game, there were some noteworthy developments:

• It was great to see Padres pitcher Chris Paddack’s magnificent striped stirrups in person:

Embed from Getty Images

• The Mets’ foul poles are now fowl poles, or maybe fouler-than-usual poles, because they’ve just added chicken sandwich advertising to them. The Mets aren’t the first team to do this, but I sure hope they’re the last — it’s pretty gross (click to enlarge):

This move is particularly disappointing given that the Mets are the only MLB team with orange foul poles — a unique team-colored design touch that’s now cheapened by the ads. The ads also obstruct the views for fans sitting behind them:

• Speaking of ad creep: One of the Mets’ between-innings stunts is a Geico promotion that involves having a kid sprint down the left field foul line to “steal” a base and then bring it back within a certain number of seconds. They always give the kid a Mets jersey to wear, which is nice — except that the jersey has a “Geico” NOB:

There’s something really gross about turning a child into a billboard — especially for something like car insurance. Ugh.

• Maybe they’ve been doing this for a long time and I just never noticed, but it seems odd that the Mets use their “NY” logo for the home and visiting on-deck circles, which creates the odd-seeming juxtaposition of the visiting players and the Mets’ logo (click to enlarge):

I realize many players don’t even stand in or near the on-deck circle anymore, but it still seems weird to impose your own logo on the visiting team.

Still: The weather was nice and cool, the Mets won a meaningless game, and we had very good subway connections on the way home. A win-win-win! Thanks again to Howie, Jesse, and Wayne for the pregame activities.

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For all photos, click to enlarge

ITEM! New Uni Watch pins: Everything looks more official when it’s stamped into enamel. So we’re pleased to offer our classic winged stirrup logo as a super-cool enamel lapel pin with gold trim. Looks great on a lapel, a denim jacket, a tie, a cap (including a Uni Watch cap!), or wherever:

Each pin has the traditional butterfly clutch (that’s what it’s called in the biz) on the back side:

The price for these is $8.49 per pin, plus $4.50 for shipping for the first two pins and $1 for each two additional pins. (I realize that may sound like a high shipping charge for such a small, lightweight item, but the pins are just thick enough to make the bubble mailer qualify for the parcel rate — sorry.)

To order, send the appropriate amount to me via Venmo (use @Paul-Lukas-2 as the payee), Zelle (, or Cash App ( If you’d like to use Apple Pay or send me a paper check, shoot me a note and I’ll give you the info for that.

After sending payment, be sure to email me with your shipping address. Thanks!

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IMPORTANT plate reminder: Remember, I’m taking pre-orders on the Uni Watch 20th-Anniversary Plate up through the end of this week. We’ll probably have a very small supply of additional plates available, but not many. So if you want to get in on this one, move fast. Full details here.

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The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball News: Red Sox P Chris Sale tucked a cheat sheet into his cap last night (from Mike Barnes). … The Reading Fightin Phils, Double-A affiliate of the Phillies, are giving away a bizarre 1B Ryan Howard bobblehead with Howard depicted as a pagoda (from Andrew Cosentino). … Babe Ruth’s granddaughter, Linda Ruth Tosetti, wore a Red Sox-Yankees Frankenjersey during a recent visit to the Hutton Settlement Children’s Home in Spokane, Wash. (from Will Shoken). … MLB has unveiled the 2020 All-Star Game logo. The game will be held at Dodger Stadium (from multiple readers). … In a related item, Dodger Stadium will undergo a $100 million renovation in the off-season (from Kary Klismet). … Some current and former Cleveland players talked about how they decided on their jersey numbers (from @ajenkinsCLE). … Blue vs. blue for the Trenton Thunder (Double-A affiliate of the Yankees) and the Akron RubberDucks (Double-A affiliate of the Indians) (from multiple readers). … The Rochester Red Wings, Triple-A affiliate of the Twins, painted a Buffalo Bills-inspired logo behind home plate (from Mike Weston). … Brooklyn Cyclones — a Mets affiliate — 3B Chandler Avant was missing his team decal on his helmet last night (from @ChrisRiz).

Football News: Cross-listed from the baseball section: The Rochester Red Wings, Triple-A affiliate of MLB’s Minnesota Twins, painted a Bills-inspired logo behind home plate (from Mike Weston). … Here’s a possible leak of South Carolina’s new jerseys (from @Zodacious). … Here’s a close look at Alabama’s 3D nose bumpers (from Dakota Brian Hill). … There are a lot of fake stand-in football team logos in this American Airlines tweet (from Andrew Cosentino). … A Troy University football fan compiled a visual history of the school’s different helmets (from Daniel Axtell). … Notre Dame has a job listing for a football art director (from Nicklaus Wallmeyer).

Hockey News: Possible third jersey leaks for the Sabres and Ducks (from Drew C). … New uniforms for the Bismarck Bobcats of the NAHL. Full uniform pics here (from Kary Klismet). … Here is the logo for the new Battle Creek Rumble Bees of the Federal Prospects Hockey League. The reflection in the eye is in the shape of Michigan. The team also released yellow and black sweaters (from John Cerone and Marc Viquez). … A recent episode of CW show iZombie had a mascot for a fictional Seattle Sockeyes team named, apparently, “Socky.” Sadly, no closeup of the jersey logo (from Sara, who didn’t give her last name).

Basketball News: For yesterday’s NBA jersey number updates, check out Etienne Catalan’s Twitter feed. … The only basketball court located in the city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, is built into the city’s walls (from James Gilbert). … Here’s an unusual find: Reader Kristian Nicosia found this Bucks SG/SF Pat Connaughton jersey on the shopping website Mercari. It features the Bucks’ home template and colors but has “Brooklyn” stitched across the front in the Nets’ font. Connaughton was drafted by the Nets, but was traded away to the Blazers before he ever wore a Brooklyn uniform. The listing says the manufacturer of the jersey is Majestic. … Lakers SF LeBron James was on the set of Space Jam 2 yesterday. He can be seen in this screenshot wearing a light blue jersey, which may give a hint on what the jerseys in the film will look like (from multiple readers).

Soccer News: New first shirt for Scottish League Two’s Edinburgh City. Unusually, they released their second kit a few weeks ago and have been wearing it for all games so far this season up to today (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … New 75th anniversary kit for Club Puebla (from multiple readers). … Here’s a chart showing which companies make which clubs’ uniforms in Liga MX (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh: In a follow-up to yesterday’s lede about teams with ad-free “unsponsored” shirts, English League One’s Southend United has become the latest team to join the “Save Our Shirts” campaign. … New kits for Everton (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … For updates on other kit unveilings, check out Josh’s Twitter feed.

Grab Bag: The medal designs for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have just been released (from multiple readers). … Former Daytona 500 winner Ernie Irvan revealed his throwback Kodak livery ahead of this weekend’s CARS Tour Throwback 276 at Hickory, NC (from David Firestone). … Here’s a brief visual history of professional beach volleyball attire (from Jeremy Brahm). … New logo for the National Federation of State High School Associations (from Jason Hillyer). … New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has an unusual fashion style (NYT link) for a national leader. … If you’ve got a big noggin, here’s a shop that specializes in plus-sized caps (from Tris Wykes).

Comments (50)

    all it needs is a hex sign and him eating a pretzel for it to be the most berks county thing ever


    Are you disappointed that the Sabres are commemorating their 50th year, instead of their 50th Anniversary, which would be 2020-21? And while this will be their 50th season in existence, it will only be their 49th season of play due to the cancelled 2004-05 season.

    “There are a lot of fake stand-in football team logos in this American Airlines tweet ”

    Now I’m not the biggest college football fan so forgive me, but what is the logo for the “College Station” team supposed to be?

    this is going to be the third major renovation to Dodger Stadium (2005 and 2013) since the opening of the third oldest stadium in the NL, Coors Field.

    Interesting! Weird to think the 3rd oldest ballpark in the NL was built in 1995. I occasionally help our American Legion with Trivia in the winter. I added this to the list of trivia questions.

    When Tim Howard was playing in England, I became an Everton fan. I figured I’d pick a Premier League team and root for them.

    As much as I do not like jersey ads, I can live with them in Soccer because it was pretty much the norm when I started paying attention to the Premier League, and the ads were a bit more restrained than some other leagues. (The Mexican pro league has about 5 different ads on each jersey — yuck!)

    In the last couple years, Premier League sides have started running ads on their jersey sleeves in addition to the chest ads. I tried to adopt the same twisted logic as the NBA– that if the ads were reasonably restrained it would not matter. It was a foolish thought. Everton signed a deal with the phone game “Angry Birds” as a sleeve advertiser. It’s absolutely awful! It ruins the whole jersey. I will never buy a shirt with Angry Birds on the sleeve.

    I do not hold up much hope for the MLB. Get your jerseys now gang, or we all better come up with strategies on how to take them off without ruining the garment.

    I agree with this sentiment. Advertising on soccer/football kits doesn’t bother me for the most part. It irks me when a sponsor changes from year to year, but kits change so much anymore that I try to not get too attached to one design.

    Angry Birds is a little silly but I’d rather have them, or whatever embarrassing logo you can think of than yet another gambling website

    Their primary advertiser IS a betting site, so I guess it is a natural progression to the Angry Birds.

    Kind of a tangent, but it just seemed so weird to me the the Premier League always insisted on having patches on both sleeves. Before the ads, it was the league patch on both sleeves. I get the symmetry thing, but I can’t think of any other sports league that insists on having both of its sleeves patched at all times.

    Patches on both sleeves is the norm in soccer (or was the norm in leagues with sleeve ads) at both club and national team level.

    A few PL teams (which, besides Tottenham, changes from year to year) still don’t have sleeve ads.

    I was referring more to league patches. As in PL teams have (or used to have anyway) PL patches on both sleeves. Like the logo of the league. Is that the norm in other leagues too?

    Yes, leagues/countries such as MLS, the English Football League, Scotland, and Portugal do.

    Guitars by Fender and Louisville Slugger have an interesting cross promotion with custom painted team/player guitars for auction available on


    Does it really make sense to talk about clubs “joining” the Save Our Shirts thing? All of them are being sponsored by Paddy Power, who have done an excellent job at distracting from yet another lower tier English club being sponsored by bookmakers.

    I don’t understand the objection. It seems to me that we have two options here: A bookmaker running a self-serving marketing campaign by advertising on soccer shirts, or a bookmaker running a self-serving marketing campaign by NOT advertising on soccer shirts. It seems pretty obvious to me that the latter option is preferable.

    Sorry, but I’m unsure as to why we are to just accept the inevitability that a betting company has to be involved at all. It’s a false dichotomy which feeds right into their hands. What I (and I suspect a lot of the other dissenters) are objecting to is the idea that the only option we have to fight against ads on jerseys is enter into some faustian pact.

    I’m unsure as to why we are to just accept the inevitability that a betting company has to be involved at all.

    Aren’t they *already* involved with a lot of teams?

    I’m not a fan of betting sites, nor am I a fan of betting advertising. But the sites exist and they’re going to advertise. That much *is* an inevitability. If they advertise somewhere other than on soccer shirts, I’m all for that.

    Also, nobody that I’m aware of has said that this is “the only option we have to fight against ads on jerseys.” It’s just one option — a start.

    A “Faustian pact” implies a compromise of some sort. But I fail to see the compromise here. If Paddy Power weren’t “unsponsoring” the shirts, they’d be plastering their ad on the shirts instead, like so many other betting companies. What exactly has been compromised in order to gain the “unsponsorship”?

    How about a hypothetical where Chic-Fil-A announced that they had worked out a deal where MLB would not put ads on uniforms but instead they’d put those stupid foul pole ads put up in every park.

    In that situation, would you be inclined to say, ‘well those stupid poles are *already* in a bunch of parks’?

    Or would you say ‘I would rather neither and the idea that it’s one or the other is a stupid false dichotomy’?

    Now factor in that as questionable the morals of Chick-Fil-A are, and as annoying as their presence in sport is, that it pales in comparison to the betting industry.

    How about a hypothetical where Chic-Fil-A announced that they had worked out a deal where MLB would not put ads on uniforms but instead they’d put those stupid foul pole ads put up in every park.

    In that situation, would you be inclined to say, ‘well those stupid poles are *already* in a bunch of parks’?

    In that hypothetical, I would not be OK with it.

    Here’s why: My gripe about uniform advertising (and stadium naming rights, etc) is that while I accept that advertising itself is a necessary evil of capitalism, there are certain places where advertising does not belong. One such place is on a team uniform. Another such place is on a foul pole. Both are unacceptable, so trading one for the other, as spelled out in your hypothetical, doesn’t get us anywhere.

    Let’s try a different hypothetical: Paddy Power trades its uniform ads for, say, a radio ad campaign. I could definitely live with that. While betting commercials on radio are annoying, radio advertising itself is a reasonable form of advertising (i.e., radio gives away its content for free, so that content must be subsidized by ads). That’s not a “false dichotomy” — that seems like a reasonable (if hypothetical) trade-off.

    I have no specific info on how Paddy Power is planning to advertise or market itself in non-uni ways. If you have such info, please share it with us so we can evaluate the trade-off. But suggesting that the trade-off is *necessarily* as bad as the one in your Chick-Fil-A hypothetical is a specious argument, because we don’t know if it will be that bad. My radio hypothetical is just as plausible.

    IMO the foul pole ad as executed in this example is even worse than the uniform ad as it obstructs some paying customers’ view of the game.

    Just give it up already.
    “I don’t want ads on uniforms”
    “Those Ads are okay because they are sponsors”
    “Advertisers paying not to have ads on uniforms is not okay”
    “It’s a makers mark”

    You don’t pay for it…you criticize people who do…you look it at…
    Everyday it’s something else…the madness shouldn’t define the logic…

    This is worse than sports radio…

    I feel like you’re being incredibly naïve about this Paul. Do I really need to start talking about the dangers of suspiciously cost free meals out? I almost can’t believe that anybody could accept at face value that this campaign is just about declining to advertise on jerseys. The trade off isn’t between jersey ads or some other form of advertising, it’s between jersey ads (which could be for any company or organisation and indeed there is precedence for the idea that you simply ban gambling companies from doing jersey advertising) and a betting company laying claim to some completely unearned moral high ground.

    The thing is, Paddy Power actually *hasn’t* ever had much presence as a jersey advertiser. I may be mistaken on this, but I cannot recall any instance of them appearing on a jersey – or at least not for any major teams. This is because they pretty well recognise that their main marketing obstacle isn’t visibility, but perception. Paddy Power do most of their marketing through stupid stunts, viral campaigns and generally doing things that make them seem matey and cool.

    The SaveOurShirts campaign is that in a nutshell. It isn’t just some ad campaign on the radio or something like that. You’ve spoken a lot about how the encroachment of advertising into civic spaces disturbs you. Well how about encroachment into our civic discourse? I mean we’re essentially talking about the discussion about uniform ads (in these isles at least) becoming “A discussion about advertising on jerseys Sponsored by Paddy Power”. I emphasise this especially because it reflects a larger colonisation of the betting industry over sporting culture. It seems like especially in the last ten years or so, you can’t watch a game without being bombarded by betting ads, you can’t have a conversation about sports without gambling coming up, you can’t even watch certain games anymore because they’re exclusive to some betting company’s streaming service and now betting companies even get to be discussion leaders on hot button issues with our sports.

    It seems like your primary concern here is the identity or category of the advertiser (i.e., a betting site), while my primary concern is the category of advertising.

    I think both concerns are valid and we’re going to have to agree to disagree. Thanks for the good back-and-forth!

    One betting company (which I will leave unnamed) has, with far less publicity, stopped all their advertising in football matches (shirt, television, or otherwise), and donated their sponsorships of several English teams to charities. The actual ethics of this are only slightly less good- most seem to agree that given the rise of press noting the rise of gambling companies in football, the big bookkeepers are starting to engage in self-regulation before the government gets involved- but at the very least, this company is giving to causes far more worthy than whatever the hell Paddy Power is doing.

    And “encroachment into civic discourse” is the perfect way to put this. Any campaign about removing advertisements from football shirts is now tainted with a bookkeeper’s publicity campaign. I can’t possibly see this as a positive. And I think the category of the advertiser is important – gambling is a social ill, and has nearly killed sports leagues several times, including in this country.

    This may seem harsh to say, but I’m getting the impression that you’re letting aesthetic concerns get in the way of ethical ones.

    (this isn’t getting into how advertising on club sport uniforms has a different history to US leagues, which is part of why the MLB campaign is so odious- but that’s another story- suffice it to say that the reason club teams have sponsored shirts isn’t just because the shirts are historically blank)

    Just to elaborate on the above, club sport teams are (in theory, and certainly, as far as the lower-tier teams go, in fact) far more financially independent than walled-garden franchise teams, which exist as a cartel of owners with shared financial interests- they sink or swim independently of each other. Especially in lower leagues, this means they have to scrap for the money they need to pay their players, maintain their grounds, and run any associated overhead costs they need.*

    This is why I find the NBA and MLB campaigns so odious- NBA and MLB teams are exclusive (you can’t just *start* a pro basketball team- the pro leagues have a de-facto monopoly on them), and don’t actually need the money that club teams sometimes do- it’s just a blatant money grab for the team owners, whereas a team in the second tier French league might actually go bankrupt without a shirt sponsor.

    It’s not a coincidence that the rise of shirt sponsorship in football coincided with football players suddenly making big money salaries, where ticket prices couldn’t cover labor costs anymore.

    *this is somewhat less true in the upper tier of European football- in fact, the owners of the established big clubs (Juventus, Barcelona, PSG, etc) have been making moves to actually emulate the US franchise model- hence the “European Super League” idea that keeps getting floated. Quite a few of the top European clubs actually don’t have de-facto sponsorship anymore- Juventus’s Jeep sponsorship is actually them being owned by the billionaire family who own FIAT- See also- Manchester City being “sponsored” by Ethiad (both are owned by the same government), and a few other examples

    All well-stated, SYH.

    It’s true that gambling is a social ill, but so is the spread of advertising itself. When you say that you’re “getting the impression that [I’m] letting aesthetic concerns get in the way of ethical ones,” you’re assuming that my objections to uni ads are based solely on aesthetic grounds. That is false. Aesthetic considerations notwithstanding, I object to the pernicious spread of advertising into places where it doesn’t belong, thereby transforming us from a consumer economy to a consumer *society,* which is something that troubles me quite a bit. As you may know, I have advocated against the spread of advertising on a number of fronts, not just on uniforms.

    I fully acknowledge the ethical/societal concerns that you’re advancing here. I wish you could please return the favor. As I noted earlier in response to Paddy, I think both sets of concerns are valid.

    I get what you mean, but I still think you’re failing to grasp the extent to which what Paddy Power are doing *is* the advertising. Sure it’s not ads on jerseys or in the naming of a civic venue but it’s advertising nonetheless. In fact, if anything it’s more pernicious because it isn’t spelled out (and judging by your reaction concealed enough to miss), it is geared towards directing the very idea of a public discourse to it’s marketing ends and it sneaks it all in under the guise of false altruism. I’m not sure why out of everything you’ve felt has been advertising overstepping the bounds of what’s proper, you don’t object to the idea of a metaphorical ad patch being plastered *right onto* what is pretty much your main pet issue – or at least an offshoot of it.

    I don’t think it’s “false altruism” or any other kind of altruism. I’ve said all along that what they’re doing is self-serving, and I never once suggested that they’re curing cancer, rescuing puppies, or helping old ladies cross the street. I fully acknowledge that they’re engaged in a self-serving marketing campaign that happens to remove advertising from public view. You may not like that trade-off, but I do.

    Your notion of a “metaphorical ad patch” doesn’t register with me at all, sorry.

    You’re also conveniently ignoring certain spin-off effects. As I noted in yesterday’s posts, fans are starting to imagine what an ad-free soccer uni-verse could look like. Young fans who grew up seeing nothing but ad-plastered kits (like our own Ticker stalwart Josh Hinton) are realizing that kits look better if they’re ad-free. All of this is a plus.

    I’m not dismissing your concerns; I’m simply saying they don’t outweigh my own concerns. We appear to be at loggerheads here, so I’m afraid we’ll have to agree to disagree. Let’s please move on. Thanks for the good back-and-forth.

    Gil Hodges was a great manager, but it would seem to me that someone who loves baseball and has the last name Rose would just naturally choose number 14.

    FWIW, the Rochester Red Wings’ crossover “Bills-esque” logo last night was because Thurman Thomas was at the game making an appearance. Super nice guy, very personable, and looks like he could still play!

    Was the early-’80s-style Padres jersey on the back of Jesse Agler’s membership card his decision, or was it an executive decision made at Uni Watch HQ?

    While I associate that #4 car more so with Sterling Marlin than with Ernie Irvan, that’s one solid paint scheme!
    Irvan is the last Cup driver to win races for 2 different teams in one season (1993: he won in both Morgan-McClure’s #4 Chevy and Robert Yates’ #28 Ford).

    Does anyone know if the Mariners at the end of the strike-shortened 1994 season, when unable to play at the Kingdome, donned their home uniforms while playing on an extended road trip. Supposedly it was 25 years ago this week when the Red Sox wore their road grays at Fenway to accommodate the temporarily homeless Seattle squad.

    Poking through the newspaper archive, the photo I saw looked like the Sox were wearing their home whites. And Boston batted second.

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