Reader Steven Schapansky has had a really awesome DIY project running for the past eight years, and this year he enhanced it with a very special Uni Watch detail that I can’t wait to share with you.
But before I can do that, let me hand the mic to Steven so he can fill you in on his long-running project:
In 2014 I designed and built a Lego baseball stadium. Around that same time, Lego came out with baseball minifigures wearing uniforms of a fictitious team called the Clutchers. Soon after that came another team, called the Stackers.
During the 2014 World Series between the Royals and Giants, I live-tweeted the games with amusing recreations of notable plays throughout the games, with the visiting team being represented by the Stackers and the home team by the Clutchers. I did the same thing in 2016, but things really took off in 2018, when I redesigned my stadium’s outfield bleachers and unveiled the new design. Here’s the Twitter thread showing all the new features in Clutchers Field:
Renovations are complete! Presenting the revamped Clutchers Field LEGO Baseball Park! Let’s look at some of the changes. #legobaseball pic.twitter.com/tzK8JPFhjv
— Steven Schapansky (@Legopolis) July 5, 2018
Local news came by to do a story on it. MLB, too — here’s the story that Cut4 did at the time.
Last year, I also did a short movie about Clutchers Field in the style of Ken Burns’s Baseball:
The project has included occasional uniform-related references over the the years, like when I sprung for Clutchers caps to replace the generic red caps I had:
Paul here. Okay, so those are the basics. Pretty awesome, right? I’m sure we’ve featured Steven’s work in the Ticker a few times, but we really should have showcased him long before now.
Anyway: As you’d imagine, once the final out of a given World Series is recorded, Steven creates a Lego version of the winning team (the Clutchers, in this case) celebrating on the field. Here’s a photo that he tweeted on Saturday night — see if you can spot anything unusual amidst the celebration:
Here’s another photo. Again, do you see anything that sticks out in a particularly Uni Watch way?
I wouldn’t have spotted it myself, except that Steven basically spoon-fed it to me:
Now do you see? Steven had a little Lego umpire walking off with a Clutchers cap — a reference to my recent Substack article about umps who collect World Series caps! How cool is that?
“I already wanted to show the umpire walking off the field,” says Steven, “and then it just struck me — why not show him holding a Clutchers hat? I loved your recent article about the weird trend of souvenir-hunting umpires, and thought it would be the perfect tribute to such a unique quirk in World Series history.”
I’m tickled that Steven took my story and ran with it, and I’m honored that Uni Watch had an impact, however slight, on his World Series project this year. Thanks so much, Steven!
In case you can’t already tell, Steven is pretty much a creative genius. Check out more of his great work on his Twitter feed.
One final note: I would have missed Steven’s tweet to me, because I was on mini-vacation in Virginia and wasn’t looking at Twitter, but Phil saw it and knew I’d want to check it out, so he emailed the link to me. If not for him, I would have missed the whole thing and this post wouldn’t have happened. Thanks, buddy!
Check out the Star Wars fan sections at the stadium. Is that because of an abundance of Star Wars figures, or a shoutout to the Astros and Space City?
Interesting. I assume he does that on May the 4th when a lot of teams have Star Wars themed games but I’m guessing you’re right that it’s a nod to the Astros.
Wow. so much to love about this post. Kudos to Steven for making this.
1. Love that the stadium is to scale, to the degree it can be. It always bugged me as a kid that lego rendered things like vehicles, buildings, etc enough to fit like one figure, but not actual be big enough to function like they would in real life. This stadium actually holds loads of figures, which is awesome.
2. Echoing another comment about the group of stormtroopers in the crowd. Whether it was just because he needed lots of figures to fill the seats or not, it is a fun detail.
3. Love the shot of the players being issued their new hats. Feels like a fun outtake from the Lego Movie where we see little mundane details of life in lego world.
4. The article a few days ago about umpires and WS hat collecting was one of my favorite random fact uni watch features, great that it was included here.
5. The TV crew coming on the field to record the celebration is a great little nuance.
Love it! I noticed the ump with the cap but didn’t connect it to the article.
CU has a Lego model of its campus featuring Folsom Field. They missed a great uni chance by having actual buffalos (American bison) on the field instead of football players. The opponents are wolves- Nevada? NC State?
Sorry- using my phone, not proficient in copying links. Here is the direct link to the photo.
You have the ump walking off with the Clutches cap – but I don’t see any Clutchers players missing their cap.
The Uni-Watch DIY bar is set very high, but this has to rank near the top. With apologies for a lame Lego movies reference, all I can say about this is everything is awesome.
But where is the player with no cap because the umpire has his?
I was pretty impressed by the Fenway replica at Legoland in Cambridge, but this is significantly better.
Boy, we don’t use the word “mushrooming” the way we used to back in 1967 …
LOVE the bullpen cart on the LEGO field!!
This is so good in many many ways. LEGO and MLB should team up to let him recreate historic games in actual team uniforms. I love the Ken Burns set up of the video as well.
Amazing post. What a great read.
I thought you were going to say something about the batter’s box being cockeyed, but this is pretty cool.
Thank you for sharing this today. Clutchers stadium is awesome! What a great job done. I love the detail of the stadium and how all the fans are from different sets.
That stadium is amazing. Is there a Lego metal detector there? I’m concerned the stormtroopers could sneak blasters into the game. My birthday is May 4th, I watch Star Wars every year on that day.
Wow, I follow Stephen on Instagram and always love seeing updates on the baseball stadium. Nice to see a fellow AFOL on here!