Here’s some more single game jerseys, as well as corrections to one of last week’s entries.
NBA: This season’s addition to the one-game genre were the Christmas Day gamers worn during all but one December 25th game. Special tagging and a snowflake design behind the NBA logo mark this gamer’s uniqueness. This inaugural event was not employed, however, during the Cavs-Wizards game, as the Cavs unies were not properly color-matched to a shoe design Lebron James wore for the game; hence, these were never worn.
Of course, there have been Valentine’s Day uniforms worn by a few teams on or around February 14th (though not in 2009, as that was the All-Star break). The Bulls, Knicks, and one or two others have worn St. Patrick’s Day green uniforms for games on or near March 17th, taking a page from the MLB playbook.
Adding a special patch to a game jersey has been done in other sports, as well. Baseball has gone that route with MDA (Mets), AIDS ribbons (Giants), RICOH and other Japanese-themed logos for Opening Day games in Japan (Yankees and Devil Rays and others), and the Salvation Army patches worn by the Yankees after Hurricane Katrina struck the gulf coast in 2005..
NFL and NBA unies for games in Europe, Canada and Mexico, both preseason and regular season, have marked the attire worn in those events for a number of years, and in the NHL, special sweaters featuring tribute patches to ex-players having special ceremonies before or during a given game have been popping up in the past couple of years, with examples being for Adam Graces (Rangers) and Wendel Clark (Maple Leafs)
Jeff Scott, well-known Cardinals bat expert and collector, mentions a 1999 Rawlings-made red game jersey worn for a MDA promotion. The Cards had an in-park event regarding muscular dystrophy on April 11 of that year, and Jeff has been trying to confirm that as the exact date through team contacts. The date is an oddity, given that the Mets MDA events always centered on Labor Day, in tandem with Jerry Lewis’ TV telethons.
Nick DiSalvo reminded me of the end-of-spring training Civil Rights Game unies of 2007 (Cardinals and Indians) and 2008 (Mets and White Sox). The 2009 game is in June between the Chisox and Cincinnati.
Finally, some corrections and clarifications on Red Sox items mentioned last time out, courtesy of Eric Atkinson. The gold-trimmed Red Sox unies, with a 2004 World Champs sleeve patch, were worn for the Opening Day pregame ring ceremony. The game itself had a different run of threads; patch intact but gold trim not present. Both were shelved after the home opener. Thanks Eric.
The green Bosox BPs were worn in both 2007 and 2008. The 2007 version (Majestic 0062) were, indeed, worn for a Red Auerbach tribute, but not with an Auerbach memoriam emblem. Instead, these bore a VT patch for the recent Virginia Tech shooting tragedy. The greens were also used in 2008 (Majestic 0068) for a tribute to the 2007-08 NBA Champion Celtics. Thanks to all three of these hobbyists/gentlemen for their input.
As expected, the Utah Jazz have, indeed, added a jersey patch to remember recently deceased team owner Larry H. Miller. The patch is in the form of the original Jazz logo (song note), purple with white trim and small swatches of green and orange on the basketball panels in the bottom of the song note. The top, horizontal portion of the logo has his initials, LHM, added in white.
Krypto-Nate? One of the items associated with Nate Robertson’s Slam Dunk Contest victory on All-Star Weekend is off the hobby market, but another is in play. Robertson wore a St. Patrick’s Day Knicks jersey, which, after he won, was given to spectator, actor, and huge hoops fan Will Ferrell. However, the green Spalding basketball he used is up for bids on www.nba.com . The green-hued game sphere is up for bids until 5PM CST on March 12.
DID YOU KNOW?…
…that, although Russell’s stint as an official MLB uniform supplier began in 1992, that Russell supplied some BP jerseys to the Braves in 1991? Or that a handful of test/tryout uniforms were also made in 1991 for a small group of players, such as Bobby Bonilla (Pirates) and Jack Morris (Twins)?
NEW DUDS FOR NEW YORK
Pictures from 2009 Spring Training in Florida show a new road BP jersey design for the New York Yankees. The new design has a white with grey trim NEW YORK on the front, and a larger, thicker, similarly colored number on the back.
This past Thursday, the NBA Chicago Bulls, in a span of under 12 hours, lost two of their most popular team figures in the club’s history; one to prostate cancer, the other to still undetermined causes.
Early afternoon saw the passing of Norm Van Lier, who spent nearly 7 of his 10 NBA playing seasons with the Bulls. Van Lier, who also spent time with the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks in his career, was found in his apartment early Thursday afternoon, not responding to efforts to revive him. He was 61.
Before the stroke of midnight, death also claimed the cancer-stricken Kerr, who was age 76. Kerr played 12 seasons inn the Association, 11 of which were with the Syracuse Nats/Philadelphia 76ers, with his final go-round in 1965-66 with the Baltimore Bullets. He immediately turned to coaching, taking the reins of Chicago’s first year expansion team, and guiding it to the playoffs in its inaugural season…a feat never before accomplished in the major sports leagues. The Bulls also made the postseason in his second and final season as head coach, after which he also became the first-ever court boss of the expansion Phoenix Suns, but without the same success. He was fired during the 1969-70 season, and soon thereafter became a highly popular broadcaster with the Bulls.
The previous Thursday had it’s share of gloom, as well, insofar as Chicago pro athletes were concerned, as Chet Bulger, a 9-year NFL tackle, died from natural causes at age 91. He played all but his last season with the Chicago Cardinals, including the 1944 campaign, when the Cardinals and Steelers undertook a one-year wartime merger, calling themselves Card-Pitt. He was part of the 1947 NFL Championship Cardinals team, and spent his final year (1950) with the Lions.
THE WBC IS COMING…WILL YOU BE WATCHING?