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Merry Vilkmas 2019 – The Lucky Ones

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By Phil Hecken, with Jimmer Vilk

Ho Ho Ho…Merry Vilkmas

Last Sunday, right before the holidays, Jimmer Vilk offered up his wonderful assortment of gently used clothing to the Uni-verse, and today we name the lucky winners.

My inbox exploded all last week, as many of you hoped to be bequeathed some of Jimmer’s finest jerseys, including a game worn Akron Zips hoops jersey, and a custom Wafflebored “Less Filling” (Rodney Dangerfield) jersey. You guys were very appreciative of Jim’s offerings and I’m grateful for all the responses.

As you can see below, Jim uses an extremely scientific method to determine the winners:

I’ll turn it over to Jimmer here…

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Merry Vilkmas 2019 – The Winners
By Jim Vilk

That’s a lot of names! More than 100, so thanks for all the Vilkmas interest. I went a little modern this year, printing the names from the computer and using the paper slicer. Then after some vigorous shaking and stirring in my generic coffee can I pulled out the following winners (actually you’re all winners, but only five of you get prizes). Congratulations to…

Matt SandersonSacramento Kings shirt

Logan BannonAkron Zips jersey

Brandon GrimmMontgomery Biscuits shirsey

Davis SwiftRoberto Clemente shirsey

Tony MorrowLess Filling softball jersey

Thanks again and have a peaceful, safe and Happy New Year!

All the gear will go out to the winners in early January!

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Thanks, Jimmer! Great stuff as always — thanks (again) for your generosity, congrats to all the winners, and thanks to everyone who partook of the raffle.

Kreindler’s Korner

I had the distinct pleasure of featuring the wonderful artwork of artist Graig Kriendler on two occasions over the summer and fall of 2017, and more recently, in August of 2018.

For those who don’t wish to click the links, Graig paints baseball heroes (and regular guys) from the past, and is an immense talent.

Occasionally, I will be featuring his work on Uni Watch.

Here’s today’s offering (click to enlarge):

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Title: “George Williams, 1890” (color study)
Subject: George Williams, 1890
Medium: Oil on linen mounted to board
Size: 5” x 7”

Although George Williams was a standout player in the late 19th century, he’s one of the many black players from the era whose name has been forgotten or unknown, even by many scholars of the game.

Primarily an infielder, Williams was recruited from the Philadelphia Orions (a top amateur club) by Frank P. Thompson, to join other hired guns on a fledgling team for the Argyle Hotel in Babylon, NY. Originally formed to entertain the summer guests of the establishment, the team continued on after the tourist season and became known as the Cuban Giants. There were no actual Cuban players on the ballclub, but it was said by Sol White that they passed as foreigners – a role they were willing to play rather than being ‘exposed’ as African American hotel workers. They would even speak to each other in gibberish while on the field, which was often mistaken for Spanish.

Joining the likes of other luminaries Ben Boyd, William Seldon, Art Thomas and Clarence Williams, George became captain of the club in those first years of the team’s existence. Crowned the “world colored champions” in both 1887 and 1888, the Cuban Giants are still considered one of – if not THE – first professional African American ballclubs.

Here’s George with the York Colored Monarchs in 1890. This is one of 200+ paintings of mine that will be on display at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the spring of 2020.

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Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.

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).

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Occasionally I’ll have some concepts tweeted at me. This one comes from Angus O’Keefe, who has over the past couple months, occasionally shared his tweaks via the Twitter — I hope to have Angus featured on UW in a lede article soon, but here are a couple he’s done:

Tampa Bay Bucs

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Arizona Cardinals

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Here’s a sneak peek at an Oregon Ducks concept

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And check out these Uni Watch Baseball & Football concepts [yes, the Baseball model will have proper stirrups in the future – PH]

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Gus has more college tweaks (which I hope to bring to you in a much larger post — including a full Oregon Ducks mock). Stay tuned!

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!

Today’s scoreboard comes from reader Ronnie Bolton (although he didn’t submit it as such).

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).

Now THIS one might stump you, but I doubt it. There are clues on the basepaths, the scoreboard itself and just above the scoreboard as well. Give it your best!

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, please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.

The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: Lots of great tidbits in this interview with the Rangers’ new uni designers Chad Hargrove and Reuben Miller, but one of the main takeaways is that MLB designed the Rangers’ 2020 unis in house, and the club didn’t like them, so they brought in Hargrove and Miller (from Neal Dorfman). … Back in May, Paul interviewed A’s hot dog vendor, Cal-Berkley student and Uni Watch fan Hal Gordon. Yesterday, @the_casserole found a meme on LinkedIn featuring none other than Hal. Hope Mr. Gordon got royalties. … New Blue Jays P Hyun-jin Ryu will wear No. 99 (from Sara Klein). Also, the Jays did a photo-op with Ryu in the SkyDome clubhouse, and gave Ryu a Majestic jersey — one he’ll never wear during a game — but for the press conference, had swapped it out for a Nike jersey (from Brad Crouter).

NFL News: We might’ve covered this before, but just in case: Dennis McArthur found some shots of the Oilers’ prototype helmet, featuring what I imagine is supposed to be oil gushing from the top of the derrick. … Been awhile since we checked in on the ongoing saga that is Antonio Brown. Yesterday, he had a workout with the Saints, but the bigger news is that he signed a free agency waiver from the Saints with a pre-2007 NFL logo on it. How long have they been holding onto those documents?! (from many readers). … This pic from 1969 reveals that the Vikings were at least considering moving to purple unis with both UCLA stripes and sleeve stripes (from Luc Anthony). … The Buffalo News’ Jay Skurski went inside the NFL trend of swapping jerseys post-game (from Jerry Wolper). … Sales of Marshawn Lynch’s Beast Mode Apparel — which includes new gear commemorating his Seahawks comeback — have spiked since the running back re-signed with the team Monday night (thanks, Brinke).

College Football News: Like yesterday, all your college football bowl game updates can be found on the @CFBowlWatch Twitter account. … The College Football Playoff logo will be back on the field — in full color — this year, at least for the Peach Bowl (from Gabe Njoku). … Minnesota will have nice gold chrome helmets for the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day (from JJ Sledge).

Hockey News: Here’s a close-up look at Stars G Ben Bishop’s Winter Classic mask (from Clint Dickinson). … Speaking of new masks, the Rangers Henrik Lundqvist debuted a new helmet last night.

College/High School Hoops News: Lots of entertaining bits about the hurdles Clearwater (Neb.) High had to overcome in order to win their fourth-straight state title in 1987 — including stolen and forgotten unis (from @SuitUpVarsity).

Soccer News: Manchester City WB Kyle Walker appeared to suffer a torn shirt during yesterday’s match against Wolves.

Grab Bag: Super Rugby, a rugby union competition with teams in New Zealand, South Africa, Japan, Australia and Argentina, will have “Super Hero Sunday” on January 19. Four teams — the Sharks, Bulls, Stormers and Lions — will wear kits made to look like Black Panther, Captain America, Thor and Spider-Man (from Oleg Kvasha).

Coming Tomorrow: The SMUW crew returns with a rundown of all the bowl action so far, including today’s two big playoff games between LSU/Oklahoma and THEosu/Clemson, so be sure to check back in then!

Comments (19)

    Yes, that’s it. First game of a Monday doubleheader(which is why none of the other games had started). Red Sox beat the Indians 4-0, handing Johnny Allen just his second loss of the season:

    The Oilers helmet decals are mirror images! Both gushers go toward the front. Have we had an NFL/NCAA helmet breakdown of decals that are the same on both sides and which are mirror images?

    In the Carl Eller photo I think he is wearing a Northwestern striped jersey with long sleeves as a long-sleeved undershirt and the UCLA striped jersey over the pads.

    If my memory is correct back in the day it was common practice for Vikings to double up on jerseys in cold weather practices. And maybe even in games. But I’d never seen a UCLA stripe on a purple Vikes jersey. In the early 60’s their white jerseys had the same sleeve stripes the purple jerseys did.

    Replying to the bit about the CFP logo on the Peach Bowl field, if you look at closely at the fourth picture of this tweet from the Fiesta Bowl’s official Twitter, you’ll see that the Fiesta Bowl field is much the same.


    Also, good luck to LSU, Clemson, and Oklahoma tonight! Even though I am a staunch Buckeye who bleeds scarlet and grey, I just sincerely hope that the best team wins.

    I’d love to know what software the uni concept people use . I’d love to take a swing at that

    Sorry but not a fan of the Cardinals uni concept. They need to have an old-school uniform look, instead of adding new colors, gray, and modern striping. I would love to see something like the Colts uniforms in red, but with their current helmet logo and no helmet stripe.

    I agree, and I’m the guy who did them! My thought process was how they may be “Nike-fied” if the swoosh got their hands on a full redesign. I wanted to consider how to really alter up a look that has stayed really similar for a long time.

    I think instead of saying those guys designed the new Rangers uniform it’s more accurate to say they created a new line of leisureware for the Rangers fan.

    Seeing all six of those mannequins lined up semi-nauseated me. A marketing overdose victim.

    Look at that “guess the game” photo again: Never saw Fenway Park in this period, and I have to wonder if those bullhorn-style loudspeakers over the GEM sign are in play.

    That could make for incredible bounces, or controversial calls if the HR line is at the top of the wall the speakers are hanging partially in front of.

    Does anyone know the contemporary ground rule?

    Paul/Phil — any chance of updating the introon “guess the game”? It’s a small detail, for sure ,but has been running long enough that the “the game is back … Keep sending them and maybe we will run them” cut-and-paste is just a little, well, how about we go with stale. The work you do is terrific, literally my favorite blog, but with all the effort put into the rest, that is a glaring standout.
    Of course, if you don’t change it, I will still be here everyday.

Comments are closed.