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Battle of the Bays: New ‘Best Player by Uni Number’ Graphics for Tampa Bay and the SF Bay Area

First we had Chicago. Then we had Denver, Detroit, and Phoenix. Today we have the battle of the bays — Tampa Bay and the San Francisco Bay Area — as we continue to explore city-specific “Best Player by Uni Number” graphics.

Once again, I’m not concerned about the individual player choices — other people can debate that. I’m more interested in the aesthetic aspects of the two graphics. Let’s look at them one at a time.

Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay graphic was posted earlier this week by Twitter-er @OCPDesigns. Nice mix of colors, the fonts all seem to be accurate, and the typography has enough room to breathe in each of the squares. A few notes, though:

  • As we’ve seen before, these graphics inevitably end up disproportionately weighted toward football, especially for the higher numbers, so I think it would be more aesthetically pleasing to show some of the Bucs squares in white (especially since the Bucs often do wear white at home).
  • Speaking of the Bucs: Gerald McCoy is a nice choice for No. 93, but his NOB should have had a small “c.”
  • One more thing about the Bucs: Surely at least one player could have been rendered in the alarm clock numbers, just for more visual interest, no?
  • Similarly: Not a single square from the Devil Rays’ green period?

San Francisco Bay Area

This graphic was created by Uni Watch reader Jason Lauborough (who, despite his Instagram handle shown at bottom right, is originally from the Bay Area). A few notes on this one:

  • The green for the A’s squares doesn’t seem green enough.
  • Again, waaaaaaay too many red 49ers squares. They do wear white sometimes, you know!
  • Clever move to avoid the Giants home jersey motif, so as to avoid the NNOB problem.
  • Glad he included a double-zero square for Jim Otto. I mean, how could you not, right?


Now that this is clearly a thing, I’m going to point out something very picky that I’ve resisted saying until now: If you’re making one of these graphics, you should really include the outlines of the nameplates where appropriate. We do that for the Uni Watch membership cards, and it really makes everything look more authentic. Sure, it’s more work, but it’s worth it!

That’s easy for me to say, of course — I’m just assessing these graphics, not creating them. I love how they’re catching on. Keep ’em coming, people!

(Special thanks to Susan Freeman for bringing the Tampa graphic to my attention.)

Comments (48)

    Once I saw that, I assumed the author leaned much more 49ers than Raiders. I didn’t really scan to see if this happened elsewhere but that one was extremely glaring!

    I will openly admit that I completely forgot about the Raiders until after I completed my first draft of number choices. I was looking at the list and thought “it would be so nice if there was another football team to mix it up…. oh wait”. So I went through and pulled in Raiders that were obviously better choices but didn’t do a ton of research on them where they weren’t clear upgrades… except for Stabler. Because I forgot that Brodie WASN’T a hall of famer. So that one’s on me for sure. If I revised this I would definitely put Stabler in. But hey, Brodie apparently has a PGA senior tour title to his name…

    That said, too many Raiders stalwarts were most prominent in LA. I had somebody on Instragram tell me that it was a massive disrespect to pick Zito over Howie Long. Um…

    #21 Frank Gore over Cliff Branch…hmmm
    #33 Jimmy Johnson over Lester Hayes
    #87 Dwight Clark over Dave Casper

    Yeah, very clearly a Niners fan :D

    #77 Bubba Paris over Lyle Alzado?
    Re: #25 – if it is Barry Bonds, the font is wrong. If it is Bobby Bonds, why would you choose Bobby over Barry?

    Stabler also won a Super Bowl. Brodie never got there-and never won an NFL Championship prior to the Super Bowl. Terrible choice.

    It would have been a nice aesthetic touch to find one Golden Seal for the graphic (Gilles Meloche?) but I guess that’s not realistic.

    I tried to look for one! It was hard to figure out who was a stalwart from an era I honestly know very little about.

    Came here to say that. Also, Brent Gretzky at 49? Maybe there’s no one better at that number but either way, it’s the wrong font (see, e.g., link).

    Would be more fitting to put Martin St. Louis in the black jersey that the Lightning won the ’04 Cop wearing rather than him in the blue jersey.

    I don’t know who Irbe was, but he must have been really really good, because I do know who Jack Tatum was — not to mention Marcus Allen.

    Marcus Allen never played for the Oakland Raiders.

    Tatum I blanked on because I got hung up on Allen existing at 32 and never looked up who else played for the Raiders. :|

    Arturs Irbe, the goalie who led the San Jose Sharks into their first playoff appearances and got some 1st-round upsets.

    Marcus Allen never played for the Oakland Raiders. Too bad since he misses out on being the LA by the numbers.

    Although, Marcus Allen probably makes it on the Kansas City by the numbers.

    Larry Gura deserves strong consideration once that one’s in the design phase.

    A few typos in the Tampa Bay image on both Kiermaier (39) and Peralta (62).

    As far as there not being any Bucs alarm clock uniforms, those were some dark years, and any standout players from that era lasted until at least 2020 when the classic red and pewter uniforms returned. And for there being no green Devil Rays uniforms, those were even darker times, and I can’t think of any players who would be on this list who weren’t still around after the 2008 navy and Columbia blue rebrand.

    Howie Long was drafted in 1981, the last season the Raiders played in Oakland prior to the move to LA (in 1982).

    Totally forgot Ton Heller played for the Bucs…always an Eagle in my mind.
    Show me Walt Weiss at 7 in the West Coast Bay graphic.

    Are these being made by hand or can you grab the graphics at Chris Creamer’s site or somewhere else? I want NY in phone wallpaper size…

    It’s a shame these neglect soccer in most cities. Not only do the player choices feel incomplete, it lacks sufficient variety in jersies. The Rowdies green and yellow would have made a big difference.

    Paul: can I get an amen?

    Can’t believe Wade Boggs didn’t get #12 for Tampa

    Fred Mcgriff would’ve been the only player worthy to mention in the green era but only wore them for one season

    For the SF Bay (specifically the 3 Sharks):

    Nolan – Correct number font.
    Thornton – Correct number font.
    Irbe – Incorrect #2 number font (never used that style during his tenure)

    About the nameplate outline, and having done the Detroit one, unless you are rendering a massive graphic, the nameplate is going to either be invisible, blend into the name and look like an underline, or just take away valuable pixel space from the name or number.

    Hm. Guess they forgot the mighty Tampa Bay Bandits of the original USFL. No. 7, John Reaves. No. 9, Zenon Andrusyshyn, No. 43, Gary Anderson, No. 84, Eric Truvillion.

    Geez, Soccer gets no love in these charts, does it? No Earthquakes (NASL or MLS), Rowdies, or Mutiny? Let’s see Landon Donovan at #10 and George Best at #11 for SF (Sorry Tim Hardaway and Owen Nolan), Carlos (El Pibe) Valderrama or Rodney Marsh at #10, for TB (sorry Mike Zunino).

    If you put the Bucs in white, you would have a much harder time differentiating the orange and red/pewter eras. Maybe orange for the orange and white for the red/pewter years?

    Should have separated the Oakland sidle from the SF side – too many players/teams to choose from.
    34- Dave Stewart over Rollie Fingers?
    6- Robbie Thompson over Sal Bando?
    26- Matt Chapman over Joe Rudi?
    29- Keith Foulk over Curt Young or Phil Garner?
    49- So many more than little known Brett Anderson – Mike Siani (Raiders)

    I may have missed it, but is there a how-to about creating these graphics? Or is that just the sort of thing that UW readers already know? I came up with a list for my town, but I don’t know how to do any more than create an (admittedly crappy-looking) Excel sheet.

    I’d have gone Darcy Tucker or Teddy Purcell for #16 vs Gooden’s 8 starts for the Rays.

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