MORE ON NOW-YOU-SEE-‘EM, NOW-YOU-DON’T STYLES
Part two begins:
Cubs Blue Alternates: This color/style has had a rocky history at times at the Unfriendly Confines. Twice, blue game jerseys were ordered, but never worn (1994 by Russell, due to the strike, and 2007 Majestic, due to orders from John McDonough of the front office). The 1997 season found blue alternates worn…but only twice. They were broken out in Florida for a game the Cubs won, worn again the next day for a Cubs loss, and then retired. Unlike most Cubs jerseys by Russell, there was no collar strip tagging in most of these…just a blue 1 or 2 written on the Russell label to identify a set number.
Blue Jays Canada Day: I recall these going back to 1997, although it’s possible these were used before that. Basically, the jersey design is akin to the normal Toronto attire, but colored bright red as opposed to the standard white, gray, or blue. The backs feature a nameplate of CANADA as opposed to the player name. They’re nice, and not terribly easy to find.
Hispanic Heritage Jerseys: The San Francisco Giants opened this door in 2005, wearing a home white jersey with the front reading the Spanish “GIGANTES” as part of a tribute weekend to former Giant superstar and HoFer Juan Marichal. The theme was picked up by several other clubs since then for Hispanic Night promotions, including the Mets (Los Mets), Arizona (Los D-Backs), Seattle (Marineros) and Milwaukee (Cerveceros).
Military jerseys: The camouflage look was first worn by The Padres circa 2000-01, and has become an annual tradition in Padre Land. Other teams, such as the White Sox, have copied the idea once or twice, but not on a regular basis.
Opening Day Gold: In 2007, the previous year’s World Champions (St. Louis) wore a home opener jersey that was the same as the standard home whites, except for gold trim outlining the logos, names and numbers on the jersey. I think the Red Sox may have done this last year, as well, but cannot recall…Justin, can you confirm this for me?
Red Sox Auerbach Tribute: While Boston used the normal green BPs teams employ for St. Patrick’s Day, a night in April at Fenway Park found green BP-style jerseys being worn again, this time with a tribute patch for legendary Celtics great Red Auerbach, who had died some weeks before.
If I missed any non-TBTC jerseys that fit this description in MLB, please email me at email@example.com for inclusion next week. In
part three will employ some of the unique designs worn in other sports. Be there!
IN THE BEGINNING, LASTINGS MILLEDGE WORE #44…
…but then he decided to give it, no strings attached, to new Nationals acquisition Adam Dunn, who wore #44 with the Reds. The transaction was basically a gift, with no details of a monetary or merchandise reward being given to the young former Met, unlike many occasions when a new player wants a number already spoken for by a new teammate. Milledge is taking the unusual number 85, as a remembrance of his year of birth.
NHL/NBA/NCAA NUMBERS GAME
Several uniform retirements have been made or announced to be made in the past couple of weeks. For a recap, read on…
In NCAA hoops, the Texas Longhorns will retire the #35 jersey worn by Kevin Durant in ceremonies at the February 28th game.
In the NHL, meanwhile, Glen Wesley, the last original Carolina Hurricane (after the team headed south from Hartford) had his #2 sweater retired on February 17.
NBA activities saw a number retirement ceremony in Sacramento on February 6 (Chris Webber), and a missing logo on Allan Iverson’s NBA All-Star Game jersey, based on an action photo for the game on NBA.com. The Adidas insignia did not appear on his shirt in the photo, although I’m not certain if the All-Stars wore more than one jersey in that event. No reason given as to why, so it’s one of three possibilities as to why: 1) A boo-boo by Adidas; 2)
No Adidas logo because his jersey was ordered from another supplier (not likely, though, as the Adidas emblem is visible on his trunks in the same photo); or 3) A very poorly publicized missing logo contest along the lines of the Reebok promotion for the NHL Winter Classic. Personally, I’ll take Door Number One.
OF STEELERS AND STARS
Hey…once in a while I want to title this section with something other than “Auction Action”. First off, the final tally on Santonio Holmes’ Super Bowl-winning TD catch for the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation ended up at $7,020.
In the NBA, the league website auction is now carrying game-worn jerseys from the All-Star Game and the Rookies/Sophomores Game recently completed. All have MeiGray registration and tagging, and bidding ends on March 5th.
The Mets have announced, after the uniform sleeve patch boondoggle, that a different Citi Field Inaugural Year patch will be added to the left side of all Mets game caps in the 2009 regular season. The logo will feature the arches of the stadium’s rotunda.
Ted Uhlaender, an outfielder for Minnesota, Cleveland and Cincinnati from the mid-60’s until 1972, died of a heart attack earlier this past week. He was 68. Another one of my memorabilia swapping pals while he was an Indians coach in 2001, Uhlaender was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer over a year ago. I’ll miss this guy.
Linebacker Brad Van Pelt, a New York Giants star for 11 seasons with subsequent stints in Los Angeles with the Raiders (2 years) and his final season being in Cleveland, also fell victim to a heart attack. Age 57 when he passed away, Van Pelt may well have been the last player in the NFL to get away with snubbing the league’s strict rules regarding jersey numbers and player positions. Having also been a kicker in college, Van Pelt sought for a way to allow him to keep his jersey #10 in the NFL, where linebackers are only allowed numbers in the 50s and 60s. The Giants submitted their roster to the NFL citing Van Pelt as a kicker “who also happened to play linebacker”.
Mike Whitemarsh, a silver medalist in men’s beach volleyball at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, took his own life at age 46. He was found in a neighbor’s garage, having taken his own life via carbon monoxide poisoning.
Closing this section, Larry H. Miller, the owner of the NBA Utah Jazz, died Friday as a result of complications from type 2 diabetes. The 64-year old Ute also owned the PCL Salt Lake Bees. Word of any memoriam to be added to either team’s uniform will be reported in the next edition of the Shirt.
MAN UP, A-ROD…YOU’VE GOT A LOT MORE EXPLAINING TO DO!!