1997 was a season with several diamond memories. It was the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s historic MLB debut. It was the year the 5-year old Florida Marlins won their first World Championship. And, it was also the year of the Cincinnati Reds odd-sleeved road jerseys.

The normal Reds road greys started their life as standard short-sleeved gamers, like those most teams wear…with one exception. The jerseys worn by Neon Deion Sanders carried specially tailored mini-sleeves…not short enough to be a vest, but far shorter than the standard fare.

Of course, it was only a matter of time before the MLB Fashion Police entered the scene. Sanders was told, in no uncertain terms, that his jerseys had to be the same in design as those of his teammates. To them, that meant making Deion wear standard short sleeves. To his Reds teammates, though, it meant something else.

Since the official edict was that Deion’s jersey had to conform in design to the other Reds, the other Reds decided to have their jersey sleeves tailored in like manner to Prime Time’s. After all, they were now all alike.

The alterations meant that the Reds logo on the left sleeve and the Jackie Robinson patch on the right were now located as much or more on the shoulder top as the mini-sleeve. It also sent a message to MLB’s grand poobahs, that being the Reds were “all for one and one for all”.


A number of Texas Rangers BPs have hit eBay recently. All are team-issued, player worn items…but all are misidentified as to year and player identity. The seller offers them as all 2001-03 Texas blue BPs, and all of them are advertised as stars (A-Rod, Teixeira, and the like). Problem is, all are pre-2000 in nature, as evidenced by the absence of an MLB logo patch on the back of the neck. Based on that, and the style of Majestic tagging and type of logo, all appear to be from 1996-99. I actually bought the alleged Teixeira, knowing it to be a 1996-97 Benji Gil, instead, and happy with it as Gil was a favorite of mine from my trips to the Rangers’ old spring camp in Port Charlotte, Florida for ballhawking… he was the source of several grabs in those years.
Hopefully, the misidentifications are just wishful thinking and poor research, which they may well be.


The Montreal Canadiens have announced their schedule for wearing four of the six Throwback styles they plan to wear in 2008-09. Each style will be worn twice. The two oldest retro unies, the 1909-10 and 1910-11 versions, will be worn on as yet undetermined dates during the 2009-10 season.

The list:
1970-71: October 20, February 21
1945-46: November 15, March 14
1915-16: December 4, March 21
1912-13; February 1, March 31

In addition, the Ontario Hockey League Oshawa Generals will hold a November 27 ceremony to retire the #2 sweater worn by Bobby Orr. Orr joined the Generals at age 14 in 1962, and helped his team to the league championship in 1966. Orr, as most hockey lovers know, wore #4 during his pro career with the Bruins and (briefly) the Blackhawks.


Today, October5, will find the NFL 49ers holding jersey retirement honors for 1990’s QB and HoFer Steve Young.


The D-Backs’ team charity has four items up on eBay right now, the highlights of which are a red game-worn autographed Chris Young batting helmet, as well as a black helmet, cracked bat and signed baseball of Orlando Hudson. Check eBay seller diamondbacksfoundation for the lots.


Ed Brinkman, a good-field, no-hit shortstop who spent 14 years in the Majors, mainly in the employ of the Washington Senators and Detroit Tigers, died at age 66. Brinkman spent 17 post-career years as a coach and scout for the White Sox. He is survived by, among others, his younger brother Chuck, a former White Sox catcher.

Also, Plato Gus Andros, a guard/tackle who played for the Chicago Cardinals from 1947-50, died at age 86. Alzheimer’s disease was the cause. Andros, a graduate of Oklahoma, also served in World War 2.