SLOPPY ID WORK
One thing I always shake my head at is wishful thinking identifications for game worn jerseys. MEARS readers recently were made aware of the Braves jacket that was pegged as a Hank Aaron through incomplete research, when several players wore the number 5 in the early/mid-1950s.
Such examples of assigning items to the biggest name possible, either through malfeasance or sloppy research, are nothing new, however. For many years, 1971 White Sox flannels of cup-of-coffee pitcher Dick Moloney were wrongly identified by sellers as Jim Maloney, the longtime Reds mound ace. Problem is, Maloney the Red never donned a White Sox uniform, as his only active season outside of Cincinnati was 1971, when he played for the Angels.
Then, there is a dealer LOA from a few years back in which a 1989 Brewers road knit of OF Edgar Diaz was certified by the seller as a Bo Diaz shirt. Bo never played for the Brewers, for starters, and a size 42 Tapered jersey wouldn’t have been likely to fit for the game action of a player who was 5-11 and 190 (Bo), although the 6-foot, 155 lb. frame of Edgar Diaz would have been about right. At least, on this one, the recent eBay listing for the Milwaukee gamer saw the current owner take more time to properly identify the jersey than the dealer who sold it. Willful fraud isn’t the only stumbling block in the hobby…it can also be sellers and authenticators who can’t be bothered to do proper research, on low and high value items.
MORE ON THE 10,000 CUBS FLAG
Updating the mention of the Cubs 10,000 win flag, flown on the Wrigley scoreboard for several days and since taken down and autographed by the entire 2008 Cubs team: this 1 of 1 piece of stadium memorabilia is up for auction now on www.cubs.com. The current bid, as i write this, is $10,100, and bidding continues until 9:59 PM CST on May 11.
PISTONS MEMORIAM TRIBUTE
Beginning in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, the Detroit Pistons, for the duration of their playoff run, are wearing a black band on their left shoulder strap for former Pistons coach and Division 1A college pioneer Will Robinson.
MISC. UNIFORM NEWS
The West Michigan Whitecaps of the Midwest League wore retro jerseys based on the 1968 jerseys of their parent club (Detroit0 during the May 2nd game in which they hosted the Swing of the Quad Cities. The Swing was supposed to wear 1968-style Cardinals jerseys (they are a St. Louis affiliate), but a communications snafu between Swing officials and the parent club caused that plan to fall through. The eventual disposition of the Whitecaps’ unies has not been announced yet, but, when it is, it will be announced on the team’s website, www.whitecapsbaseball.com.
Also interesting to note: while both the NBA and the WNBA are contracted to Adidas for uniforms, the men don’t wear a supplier logo on their game jerseys, but the women do. NBA garb with an Adidas logo is limited to warmups, pregame apparel, and practice garb.
MAY 2ND HISTORY
The second of May had a few interesting moments over MLB history. The date in 1917 featured the nine-inning double no-hitter between Fred Toney of the Reds and Hippo Vaughn of the Cubs. The Reds finally got two hits and a run in the 10th inning. Bonus points to you if you can name which Red got the GWRBI. (Answer at column’s end)
Also, 5/2/1994 was the night the Cubs wore their 1994 BP jerseys in their game hosting Cincinnati, in an effort to end a 10-game home losing streak to begin the season. The Cubs still lost in the BP blue, 9-0, although the memory most prominent in my mind was catching (on the fly) Bret Boone’s home run off Willie Banks, and the subsequent by-name mention on ESPN SportsCenter by Keith Olbermann as the homer highlight and my catch were replayed.
Mother’s Day (May 11th) will again find hundreds of players swinging pink bats in the annual tribute to fighting breast cancer. After that day’s games, the bats will be auctioned off on www.mlb.com.
Longtime MLB executive Buzzie Bavasi passed away on Wednesday as a result of natural causes following an illness. He was 93. I’m curious if the Dodgers, with whom he was employed for a substantial time, will add any sort of memoriam patch to their jerseys in his honor?
Also, former Patriots punter Mike Patrick died of unannounced causes a week ago today at age 55 in his hometown of Biloxi, MS. No word was given as to the cause of death for the four-year (1975-78) Pats punter
ANSWER TO TRIVIA QUESTION
Jim Thorpe, the Native American who later became a star in the early years of the NFL.