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Cheers! The Perfect Baseball Uni for Cocktails and Military History

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Remember when the Tugboat Captain and I were having daily cocktail sessions on our porch? This jersey would have been perfect for that project — we could drink gimlets while wearing a Gimlets jersey!

I spotted that uniform on eBay. It’s part of a uniform that’s unusual in several respects. First, there’s the sort of fisheye effect on the chest lettering (which I love). Second, the uni number is rendered in a font I’m not sure I’ve ever seen before. Check out the “1”:

Third, the number on the sleeve doesn’t match the one on the back:

Fourth, the pinstriping on the front and back belt tunnels runs horizontally (something I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen before), while the single belt loop near the button has a vertical pinstripe:

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So what’s the story behind this uniform? The U.S. Army’s 21st Infantry Regiment is known by the nickname “Gimlet” (there’s even a Gimlet Association for the regiment’s veterans), so this uniform is probably connected to them in some way. That would explain the “21” on the sleeve, even though it doesn’t match the number on the back.

I did a bit of Googling and turned up a publication called Wartime Baseball in Hawaii: 1941 —Calm Before the Storm, which has a few photos of a 21st Infantry Regiment baseball team with “Gimlets” on the jersey chest — but not in the same design as the eBay uniform:

I also contacted the Gimlet Association to see if they knew more about the eBay uniform. No response yet.

(The eBay listing says the uniform may also be connected in some way to Alaska, apparently because there was once an Alaskan team called the Roaring Gimlets. But the mismatched “21” on the sleeve makes me pretty confident that this uni is from the 21st Infantry Regiment, not the Last Frontier.)

I love this uni so much — the chest lettering, number font, all of it! (Well, not the horizontally striped belt tunnels, but at least that detail is interesting.) If anyone knows more, please speak up. Thanks!

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A different kind of uniform: I received a note yesterday from reader Tim Bangert, as follows:

My daughter was selected to sing last week in the Illinois Music Education Association All-State Chorus in Peoria. The chorale was a feast for the eyes, as singers from all over the state donned their school robes. It reminded me of a proper MLB All-Star game and made it much easier to pick out the singers from our high school.

I love that. Thanks so much for sharing, Tim, and congrats to your daughter on her achievement!

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Congratulations to the Cincinnati Bengals, who will face the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl. To commemorate the big Bengals win, check out this 1970s vinyl tote bag and thermos set

As for the Rams, how about this late 1960s-early 1970s Topps foldout mini-poster of Rams tackle Bob Brown. No team logos on these, though!

And now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• Here’s a menu from Larry Bird’s Boston Connection hotel-restaurant-lounge of Terre Haute, Indiana. 

• A 1994 Baltimore Colts CFL T-shirt? Yep! The “Baltimore CFL Colts” were also referred to as the “Baltimore Football Club” (sounds familiar) before settling on  Stallions as their team name.

• Speaking of the Colts, whether you’re from Indy or Baltimore you’ll like this two-pack of 14 vintage Colts helmet push-pins.

• This eBay seller offers a variety of 1971 NFL team belt buckles from Lee Jeans.

• As you probably know, Detroit Red Wings fans like to toss octopi on the ice, so this mid-1990s hockey puck shows the team’s unofficial octopus, Al the Octopus, saying “I want Stanley (Cup).”  

• Check out how they did the wings on the helmet of this Philadelphia Eagles bobblehead. Contrary to the seller’s listing, this probably isn’t from 1962, since the Eagles didn’t start wearing white helmets until 1969 (but only on the road, alternating with green for home, which I never knew).

• Take a look at the Detroit Tigers logo on the side of this set of three original seats from Briggs/Tiger Stadium.

• Notice the three different helmets portrayed on this Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame patch.

• This bumper sticker commemorates the closing of Philadelphia’s old Connie Mack Stadium Oct. 1, 1970, after a 61-year run. 

• And one more for the Phils: This seller is offering a large grab bag of merch that includes a promotional radio.

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ITEM! New raffle: Reader Zach Hoover won one of last week’s raffles and is paying it forward by letting me raffle off this Pirates batboy jersey. “It was a gift years ago, purported to be team-issued and game-used, although I’ve never confirmed that,” he says.

This will be a one-day raffle. USA mailing addresses only. To enter, send an email with your mailing address to the raffle in-box by 8pm Eastern tonight. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow. Big thanks to Zach for doing this!

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Too good for the Ticker: Love this 1936 photo of Naval Academy midshipmen modeling a new set of uniforms. Man, look how high off the floor those football cleats are! But ugh, someone get that baseball player to center his placket.

This one might be a fun candidate for colorization, no?

(My thanks to L.J. Sparvero for this one.)

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The Ticker
By Paul, pinch-hitting today for Alex Hider

Indigenous Appropriation News: UK rugby union club Exeter Chiefs are scrapping their Native American iconography (thanks to all who shared). … Here’s a detailed look at the back-and-forth fight to scrap or retain the “Indians” team name in one upstate New York town.

Baseball News: The Orioles have unveiled their promotional schedule (from Andrew Cosentino). … A plaque outside Jackie Robinson’s birthplace that was recently vandalized with gunfire will be displayed at the Negro Leagues Museum in KC. … Dallas brewery Vector Brewing just came out with some baseball-themed cans for their Bullpen Lager (from Chris Patterson). … Some A’s fans have created a T-shirt congratulating longtime equipment manager Steve Vucinich on his retirement (from Mike Ortman).

Football News: Remember Bucs WR Antonio Brown’s recent sideline tantrum when he pulled off his jersey, threw his gloves into the stands, and then walked off the field? One of the gloves is now up for auction — and it has a blacked-out Raiders logo, so it’s apparently an old glove that Brown kept from his time with the Raiders.. … Syracuse tweeted a graphic for their 2022 home tickets going on sale with an apostrophe catastrophe (from James Gilbert).

Hockey News: Canisius College is bringing back its old-school griffin crest (from @scaryfriar). … Capitals players and coaches wore hoodies supporting a local youth program, Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club, during yesterday’s practice (thanks, Jamie). … The AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals will be wearing Special Olympics jerseys on Friday and Saturday (thanks, Brinke).

College Hoops News: Wyoming’s colors are brown and yellow, but their men’s team wore a new red/white/blue design, with “One Wyoming” as the team-wide NOB, for last night’s “Border War” game against Colorado State. The “One Wyoming” phrase also appeared on T-shirts (from Gabe Cornwall). … Wichita State men’s will wear throwbacks tonight (from J. Paul Walker).

Soccer News: The Philadelphia Union’s new home kit has leaked (from Trevor Williams). … And so has Charlotte FC’s second shirt (from Scott Trembly).

Grab Bag: The Smithsonian has a new exhibit on uniformed women in World War I (from Max Weintraub). … Lucknow Super Giants, a new Twenty20 cricket team in the Indian Premier League, have unveiled their new logo. … New uniforms for police officers in Northern Ireland. … D2 school Florida Southern is now being outfitted by Under Armour. … Lots of mass transit systems all over the world are called the Metro, which creates a design challenge: What’s the best way to do an “M”-based logo? (Big thanks to Mardi Davie.)

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What Paul did last night: Sometimes NYC can still deliver the good for a unique cultural experience. That was the case last night at the Rockefeller Center skating rink, as the performance artist Laurie Anderson hosted and DJ’d an ice skating birthday party for the avant-garde composer Philip Glass’s 85th birthday.

Honestly, I’ve never been a huge Glass fan, but I’ve always been a big Laurie fan (and an avid skater), so it was a total hoot to go to one of the city’s most tourist-y spots and skate to very un-tourist-y music being DJ’d by one of my heroes.

Laurie was a completely charming host, peppering her music selections with fun DJ patter, bopping her head to the tunes, and basically being very enthusiastic. At one point she gave me a thumbs-up as I skated by! (I returned the gesture.) Here is likely the only photo of me that will ever include her in the background:

Laurie was also joined by various singers and musicians for brief live performances, most of which were either Philip Glass compositions or some variation on “Happy Birthday”:

Oh, and we each got a birthday cupcake:

It was all silly and wonderful and special, which is what birthdays should be — and what NYC can still be, sometimes, even during the pandemic. I really needed a night like this.

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Happy Lunar New Year to all who are observing!

Tomorrow: I usually try to publish each day’s blog post before 9am Eastern, but the Washington Football Team is going to announce its new identity on the Today show around 9am tomorrow morning, so I’ll wait until they do that before publishing. You can all have fun discussing the new team name and uniforms tomorrow, and then I’ll have my say on Thursday over on Bulletin. — Paul

Comments (46)

    If reports are true and the WFT’s new name is the “Washington Commanders” it would absolutely kill Snyder if the team was called the “Commies”.

    So nice you said it twice (in the football ticker): “— and it has a blacked-out Raiders logo, so it’s apparently an old glove the Brown kept from his time with the Raiders — and it has a blacked-out Raiders logo, so it’s apparently an old glove that Brown kept from his time with the Raiders..”

    The Baltimore CFL team was originally the Colts, but they and the NFL sued each other and the team was enjoined from using the name Colts before they ever took the field.

    They went without a name for a year or so, then adopted Stallions.

    Fun fact: the team was spotlighted in a weird intro scene (entirely unrelated to the episode) of the show Homicide. One old-school character laments that Canadian football just isn’t the same.

    Yep. Baltimore was the “Horse With No Name” during 1994 season. Any Baltimore CFL Colts merchandise is a good score for collectors.

    Baltimore was the US team that did it right during the brief CFL US expansion experiment. Hiring established CFL coaches and management aware of the nuances of the Canadian game. Can’t say the other US teams did the same regarding head coaches and they were not as successful.

    Absolutely true.

    Don Matthews in Baltimore knew how to play the Canadian game.

    There was one team in particular (I can’t remember which one) that had all American coaches and assistants and they tried to play an American game. The 12th man had nothing to do, they didn’t design plays to use the wider field, they didn’t have guys in motion on offence.

    (the last one was particularly egregious because their defence had no idea what to do with five receivers coming straight at the line pre-snap)

    Was living in Regina at the time. Matthews was Public Enemy No. 1 there in 1994 after leaving the Saskatchewan Roughriders for the Baltimore job.

    I think it might have taken coach Pepper Rodgers in Memphis a few weeks before he found out there was no such thing as 4th down. Or at least he didn’t want to believe it.

    As long as we’re dropping fun facts…

    A US team has won the Grey Cup more recently than a Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup

    I just noticed in the skating picture today, so many of the pictures Paul posts that include him have him wearing some variation of green and yellow. It reminds me of the characters in kids shows who they assign a color palette to, and all their clothing selections are in that color(s), so they are easily identifiable.
    Obviously Paul has other colors in his wardrobe, but there is something enjoyable about the idea of a real life person having a constant color palette.

    You should go back and see the posts where Paul shared all of his green & yellow plaid shirts – organized by sleeve length. I love that he has a color palette that isn’t black/white/grey.

    Very cool lede today. What a neat bit of history and a very cool uni. First thing I thought when I saw the back was: is that 8 upside down? Maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me. Interested to hear other’s opinions on the matter.

    Paul – do you have information that the WFT announcement will be around nine, or you think before that and that gives you time to write? I live near DC and trying to find the time it should air. On my guide it looks like they treat 7am-9am as a different show than the 9am-10am version of the Today show, and it is labeled as part of that first two hours (so before 9, matching your posting schedule but I hoped you could narrow it down for me).

    Paul: where precisely is the delineation between a belt loop and a belt tunnel? Is there a width cutoff, or is it a ‘you know it when you see it’ sort of thing?

    I’d say I know it when a see it. But “if it measures wider horizontally than vertically, then it’s a tunnel” seems like a fair standard.

    link

    Sent this to Paul this morning, and thought I’d share with the rest of the class. The whole NFT thing bugs me to no end, not the least of which because of the new-age marketing gibberish spewed by the writer and the quotes of “added value.”

    Added value for whom? If I can’t hold it in my hands, or frame it for posterity, or hand it down to someone else to enjoy, it’s not real in my book.

    Give me paper, not pixelated pixie dust.

    -C.

    I’ve been saddened by the slow death of paper tickets. Fortunately the Phillies won their WS in 2008 before all this happened, my framed ticket stubs and newspaper headline from that season is something I really love having on display in my house.
    What does one do with an NTF ticket from a game other than sell it, or sit on it to sell later? And who buys it, other than someone who plans to resell it later?
    It is weird to think that you soon have generations who can’t understand the keepsake value of a ticket stub from a memorable event, because ticket stubs are even a thing.

    RE: Collectors’ Corner – “I Want Stanley” was the Red Wings’ official 1995-96 playoff slogan. They had a song to go with it to the tune of “I Want Candy”. And, if I recall correctly, when the Wings won the next year, they had a variation of the song for their victory, “We Got Stanley”.

    I spent way too much time looking at that Larry Bird Boston Connection menu. Some of the Bird trivia is odd, though: “Larry is very interested in the Terre Haute Boys Club” sounds a lot different now than I imagine it did 40+ years ago. Also I’ve never heard “surf and turf” referred to as “beef and reef.”

    Now that I’m finished with the menu, I’ll probably spend the rest of my morning going down the Metro design rabbit hole.

    Fun stuff today!

    Paul, in case you’re interested, there’s a new scholarly book about Laurie Anderson and Big Science. I haven’t read it yet, but I saw the author give a talk about the album a few years ago, and it was super interesting.

    link

    Ref the new Exeter Chiefs

    link

    Exeter is in the area of Cornwall around where the Dumnonni existed.

    Exeter are using GS Warriors method of solving the issue. Change the mascot from Native American iconography to something else.

    The Vegas Golden Knights will be wearing Lunar New Year jerseys during pre-game warmups tonight. Has anyone seen a preview of what this year’s jerseys will look like?

    First the Gimlets, now the Giltinis.

    link

    How about the Bloody Marys? The Screwdrivers? The Manhattans? The Fuzzy Navels? The Sloe Gin Fizzies?

    I really like the Wichita State uniform. I’ve seen a picture of Antoine Carr & Cliff Levingston wearing tonight’s design in maybe 1980
    The team slogan thing is often overplayed, especially in recent years, but sometimes they are great & do actually become an identity of a team or program. The MTXE slogan is fantastic in it’s simplicity & I think the longevity of their use of it is proof. I love that they have had it on the warmups & uniforms in some way for so many years.

    Between the Jackie Robinson plaque being shot up in Georgia and 17 bomb threats received by HBCUs, Black History Month sure must be threatening to some folks.

    In that Naval Academy picture, I’d hazard a guess the baseball player likely isn’t going to be a marine. No way a marine would let his gig line be off by that much.

    Would’ve loved to be on that ice last night; not a big Philip Glass fan (I think he phoned it in way too often, many of his ‘compositions’ sound like he turned the synthesizer on repeat and only occasionally came over to add a few notes), but you gotta hand it to a guy that made a living at it and is still kicking at 85 years old.

    I’ve reflected on the issue of being able to make a unique “M” when the clients are Maine, Milwaukee, Michigan, Mississippi, Minnesota, Miami of Ohio, Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, the Mets, the Expos, and the Marlins (three times).

    I’ve rarely been as jealous as I am of you getting to hang with Laurie at Glass’s birthday party! Did you get to see her “Lou Reed Guitars” installation a few years back when it was in the city? I saw her perform it at Mass MoCa in North Adams, MA and it was mind-altering and totally memorable (on my birthday, no less)

    My grandfather was at Schofield Barracks on Oahu in 1941. He was shaving on the morning of December 7. He wasn’t a baseball player but maybe he watched those Gimlets play.

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