FOUR PLAYERS, TWO JERSEYS
Recycling jerseys for spring training and even the regular season was far more common in the 1970s and 1980s than today. Two such examples will be detailed here.
The 1971 Dodgers issued #36 to an infielder, Marv Galiher, who never made the Majors, in 1971 or otherwise. After the 1971 season, the Dodgers worked a trade with Baltimore that landed them one Frank Robinson. Robby was not able to wear his standard #20, as Don Sutton had it and wouldn’t part with it. As a result, Robinson wore #36 in 1972, and, with the team still wearing flannels in spring training…yep, Robinson was given Galiher’s unies to wear. Topps card #754 from the 1972 set carries a picture of Frank in Galiher’s #36 1971 flannel.
Turn the clock forward to 1981, and the Mariners saw a field staff change during the season. Manager Maury Wills, #30, was fired in mid-season, and when Rene Lachemann took over, his coaching staff included Vada Pinson, like Wills, a MLB star in the 1960s, and, like Wills, the wearer of at least one of the same 1981 jerseys. I recall a Chicago show a few years ago, in which a Wilson gamer, tagged “30 81” in the tail, bore Pinson’s NOB and his #28 both front and back, one jersey worn by two stars post-career.
ICE AND HOOPS AUCTION ACTION
Both the NHL and NBA websites have some good stuff up for auction at this time. The NBA auction site at www.nba.com has the jerseys worn in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, both Lakers home and Magic road. At last look, Kobe’s yellow #24 shirt was already over $10,000. Bids will be taken until 8PM CST on June 18.
Over at www.nhl.com, the run of alternate blue jerseys with tie front necks worn by the St. Louis Blues are up for bids, with closing time on the 15th at 7PM CST. For both the Blues sweaters and the NBA Finals gamers, MeiGray tagging and database entry are part of the package.
MORE WNBA MADNESS
The Life Lock…er, Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA are being joined by the Los Angeles Sparks in going corporate with their uniforms. The Sparks predominant jersey front logo will not longer be the city or team name, but instead will be the Farmers Insurance Group logo. Ugh!
Although the seller may well not be the original source of this lacking item, an eBay listing of recent days had what was described as a 2001 Expos home knit of Vladimir Guerrero. The Russell Expos jerseys of the early 2000’s do not carry year tags, and the jersey does have team-issued flag tags underneath the Russell label, but there is still a noticeable problem with this piece. The Russell tag shows the slanted “R” in the Russell name, the current logo for the supplier which first saw tags in 2004. Guerrero last wore an Expos uniform in 2003. Nice-looking, to be sure, but not what it ought to be.
TURN BACK THE CLOCK…100 YEARS
Today (Sunday) the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers will wear retro 1909 uniforms during their interleague game. The Bucs and Tigers were opponents in the 1909 World Series, with Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner big names in the action.
Jim Owens, longtime football coach at the University of Washington, died last week at age 82. Owens coached the Huskies from 1957-74, leading them to three Rose Bowl berths. He played in 8 NFL games with the Baltimore Colts in 1950.
Pio Sagapolutele, a 7-year NFL veteran who was a starter in Super Bowl XXXI, died of an aneurysm at age 39. He played from 1991-97, with his first 5 years wearing the original Cleveland Browns uniform, 1996 with New England, and his final season in 1997 was as a Saint.
ZEN MASTER: MAKE IT 10 AND PASS RED!