3,000 Pounds of Baseball Uniforms

“There was a little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good she was very, very good, and when she was bad she wore this divine nightdress of rose-colored mousseline de soie, trimmed with frothy Valenciennes lace.” ~ Dorothy Parker

2016 Uniform Collage

courtesy of sportslogos.net

A recent study of clothes and fashion found that the average woman, of which I am one, has 27 pairs of shoes. (I am assuming they all belong to her and she’s not like a puppy stealing the neighbor’s shoes and burying them in her closet.)

Men have, on average, 12 pairs. (They all look vaguely similar and most of them are New Balance.)

Women take a lot of heat from guys who don’t understand why we need so many shoes, including at least one pair that we’ve never worn. Sure, it doesn’t make sense. To you. But, it does to me, so shut up about the shoes.

If you want to rag on fashion, how about Major League baseball?

Because in 2016, the 30 teams will wear all sorts of specialty uniforms – throwback days that nearly every team has, and league-wide celebrations of holidays and special events, including Mother’s and Father’s Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, the All-Star Game, and even the Home Run Derby, which isn’t even a game, but three hours of watching your favorite player destroy his swing for the rest of the season.

Teams will wear each of these special jerseys and caps for one day and that will be that.

So before you make fun of what women keep in their closets, be advised that while we, on average, do have something tucked away on a hanger that we only wore once (and maybe, kind of, regret now), Major League Baseball has given every player lots of wear-it-once jerseys and caps – in addition to their regular three or four home-and-away uniforms.

With 750 active players on team rosters, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, and the Fourth of July alone will add up to 3,000 special caps and jerseys – which, Mathlete Alert!, will weigh about 3,000 pounds. (The average cap weighs 6 ounces, the average jersey, 10 ounces.)

After the games, players and coaches autograph their one-day jerseys so they can be auctioned off with the proceeds going to various veterans’ organizations and cancer research groups. (Although with 3,000 of these things going on the block every season, when will the “exclusive” wear off?)

But, I like the effort. Good for you, baseball.

Unfortunately, the jerseys are, for the most part, meh.

You can check out every single one that will be worn by every single team this season here.

Mother’s Day?

Mothers Day Cap 2016

courtesy of sportslogos.net

Pink.

Father’s Day?

Fathers Day Cap 2016

courtesy of sportslogos.net

Blue.

Memorial Day?

Memorial Day Camo Caps 2016

courtesy of sportslogos.net

I can still see the logos, so that’s lousy camouflage if you ask me.

Fourth of July.

Fourth of July Cap 2016

courtesy of sportslogos.net

Stars.

Whoo.

I do like the Home Run Derby jerseys which will be worn during this year’s All-Star Game festivities – but not the actual game – in San Diego.

Home Run Derby Jerseys

courtesy of sportslogos.net

They pay homage to the 1970s-era Padres and their very, um, 1970s sense of fashion. In an era that churned out way too many baby blue leisure suits, elephant bell bottoms, and boxy crocheted vests, there’s something warm and retro-sweet about that Padres’ brown-orange-and-mustard combo. It reminds me of my mom’s kitchen.

Sure, I could complain about the Fourth of July and these dull star-speckled caps, but I think I do that every year around this time, mainly because I’m curious to see how the Toronto Blue Jays will celebrate a holiday that doesn’t belong to them.

This year …

Orioles Fourth of July Cap 2016

courtesy of sportslogos.net

A bunch of stars for 29 teams.

Blue Jays Fourth of July Cap 2016

courtesy of sportslogos.net

A bunch of maple leafs for Toronto.

It’s supposed to look like mesh, I suppose, but it reminds me of those old dot-matrix printers that you might be too young to remember.

dot matrix printer sample

The throwbacks that many teams will wear throughout the season are way cooler. Like the Pittsburgh Pirates in their Stargell-era uniforms that they are wearing on Sundays.

Pirates Sunday Night Throwbacks

Awww, it’s the pillbox cap!

But, the coolest of all are those that turn up each season in the minor leagues.

Like the Stockton Ports who recently celebrated Asparagus Night.

stockton ports asparagus night

And, the Lehigh Iron Pigs who celebrate bacon every Saturday.

Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs Bacon Saturdays

And, the Fresno Grizzlies who celebrate tacos every Tuesday.

Fresno Grizzlies Taco Tuesdays

I wish every day was Taco Tuesday. I am so hungry right now I can’t even finish this post …

BIG THANKS to Chris Creamer of SportsLogos.Net who kindly allowed me to use his photos of this year’s specialty uniforms. Check out his website here: http://www.sportslogos.net

 

 

Cap-Tivating

If your team is in a mid-season tumble (what, just me?) it might be wise to simply coast through these next few days … close your eyes and crawl to the All-Star Break and hope your team’s bats and fastballs warm up on the other side.

(It really is just me, isn’t it?)

While you’re busy ignoring your team’s little mini-implosion, which I’m sure is just temporary and won’t slow them from their destiny run to the World Series in October, how about helping out the minor leagues?

Plus, who doesn’t like to vote online?

(I’m looking at you Royals fans.)

Minor League baseball would like to know which minor league team – and there seem to be tens of thousands of them – has the best cap in the game.

Now, you might think the easy thing to do would be to just ask me. If people would just ask me who has the best cap*, we wouldn’t have to go to all the trouble of voting.

But, since no one did, here’s all you do …

Go here.

clash of the caps

And, vote for your favorite cap.

Once you vote, another two caps will appear and you can vote again. And,again.

There seems to be no limit to the number of caps you can view and vote on. You could, presumably, vote all day and I seriously encourage you to do that, because it’s so much better than other things you could be doing on the Internet, like watching stuff like this.

That’s 28 seconds of your life you’ll never get back, but more important, you could have voted three times in that span.

So start voting. (And, keep voting until July 21.)

* I’m still waiting for someone to ask me.

Because if they did, I would tell them the best cap in minor league baseball (possibly the best cap in the entire world) is this one.

spokane indians cap1

The Spokane Indians, a Texas Rangers affiliate, celebrate their Native American heritage by using the Salish language on their caps. (Try pronouncing it. Go ahead. I’ll wait.)

Isn’t there a Baseball Bloggess in your life who deserves that cap?

Dear Montgomery Biscuits, You came so close. So very, very close.

Montgomery Biscuits

 

Free Baseball: Red, White, and Blue Edition

Baseball is the perfect way to spend your Independence Day. But, just in case your guys are the away team today (Dear Orioles, did you forget to pack your bats before you left for Chicago?), here’s some Free Baseball* to keep your game red, white, and blue.

Happy 4th of July!

10th Inning: Silent Cal

We are a nation of mega-mansions, monster trucks, and hotdog eating contests. More is always better. And, because five Racing Presidents weren’t enough for the Washington Nationals, we now have six. Welcome Racing President Calvin Coolidge!

Cal

Coolidge joins Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Taft.

(Add in Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush – all played baseball in college – and you can field your own Racing Presidents baseball team!)

Apparently, Coolidge was not much of a baseball fan, but his wife Grace was. (Impeccable source for this fact? Annoying Nats color guy F.P. Santangelo. If it’s wrong, blame him.)

But, President Coolidge did say: “Baseball is our national game.” Which is about as generic as you can get, but apparently is enough to get a 40-pound felt head built in your likeness.

Oh, and he’s the only U.S. President born on the 4th of July. Happy Birthday, Cal!

Here’s his first race from last night:

cals first race

Watch here.

11th Inning: Vin’s America

Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully can call a game all by himself – no need for color guys. And, he still has time left over to teach you a little history. During last night’s Dodgers-Mets game Vin shared some Star-Spangled Banner stories.

So gather round, listen, and Vin promises, you’ll “learn a little something about our flag.”

vin

Watch here.

12th Inning: Capping It All Off

As usual, all players will wear special 4th of July caps today.

Look, everything’s stars and stripey!

stars stripes cap

orioles cap

Editor/Husband Fashion Review: “Those are horrible. Where’s Betsy Ross when you need her?”

And, don’t worry Toronto Blue Jays, it may not be your special day, but we’ve got something for you, too. Awww, it’s your maple leaf. On a cap.

blue jays cap

Happy Canada Day, three days late, Blue Jays!

13th Inning: Keep Your Critters Safe!

One more thing … The 4th of July is great and so is baseball. But, fireworks stink if you’re an animal. Keep your critters safe!

keep your pets indoors

______________________________________

* Free Baseball refers to extra innings that come after a nine-inning game ends in a tie. Here it’s the extra things that don’t quite fit into my regular-sized posts.

 

Fauxetry In Motion

“To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” ~ Isaac Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion

Friday, I wrote about poetry, and the poetry of a perfect play in baseball … a motion that is beautiful and effortless and just-so.

But, for every bit of perfect poetry, there must be an equal and opposite reaction.

Mustn’t there?

Fauxetry.

And so, to even things up this week, there was this.

brewers rockies

Milwaukee Brewers at Colorado Rockies. Saturday, June 21, 2014

Of course, players somewhere will try to straddle the line between poetry and fauxetry.

If you put your team in throwback 1970s-era Houston Astros jerseys, don’t be surprised when this happens.

astros

Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays. Saturday, June 21, 2014

Poetry? Fauxetry?

You decide.

No, wait. I’ll decide. My blog, my decision.

Houston Astros wearing hideous, yet strangely kind of cool 1970s jerseys grooving in the dugout?

Even AL batting leader Jose Altuve (.336) can’t not dance as he walks by.

The baseball “law of motion” is this:

If it makes you dance … Poetry.

Where In The World … ?

In 1903, the Boston Americans won baseball’s very first World Series.

I know, I know – the “Americans” won America’s “World” Series. How not-very-worldly of us.

(The Boston Americans, by the way, included Cy Young, the winningest pitcher in the history of baseball. They would occasionally take spring training in Charlottesville, Virginia – just down the road from me. In 1908, they started calling themselves the Red Sox and are known today for their generous facial hair.)

1903_World_Series_-_Boston_Americans

The Boston Americans (front row) defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates (back row) in the nine-game 1903 World Series. ~ public domain image

My Canadian friend Susie (hi Susie!) always reminds me that Canada “invented” baseball. And, while that’s not exactly true, it is not exactly untrue either, and it’s quite a bit truer than Abner Doubleday’s claim, which isn’t true at all.

But, what is true is that Jackie Robinson’s first professional integrated regular season games were played with the Montreal Royals, the Brooklyn Dodgers’ farm club. And, what is also true is that Robinson called Montreal one of his favorite places because the people there were “warm and wonderful” and treated the Robinson family with respect.

So maybe “World” Series is a bit of a stretch. But, at least the world plays baseball.

You want to talk about a stretch, how about calling the Winter Olympics the world’s games, when nearly half of the world’s population lives in countries that are snow free?

Baseball is nearly everywhere today.

And, while there is no baseball in Antarctica, there are penguins and you can click here to play baseball with them.

Every other continent, not covered by an ice sheet, will have a baseball game going on in some field, or village, or town, or city, somewhere. And, the best of those players might get a chance in the big leagues.

Just look at the free-agent multi-multi-million-dollar signings in recent months – Robinson Cano (Dominican Republic), Masahiro Tanaka (Japan), Shin-Soo Choo (South Korea).

Spoiler Alert: The Baltimore Orioles will win the World Series this season thanks to their off-season pick ups of pitchers Ubaldo Jimenez (Dominican Republic) and Suk-min Yoon (South Korea), and veteran power hitter Nelson Cruz (Dominican Republic, again). They will win despite the fact that they nearly signed, and then quickly unsigned, Grant Balfour, a seasoned, but moody, reliever from Australia.

The 2014 baseball season began this weekend in Australia when the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks kicked off their first game at 4 a.m. EDT on Saturday.

I am an insanely passionate baseball fan. But, I did not get up to watch. The Orioles will play 162 regular season games in 2014, and I will try to watch them all (except when they’re on the West Coast playing and I’m on the East Coast sleeping).

There will be plenty of baseball that doesn’t require a 4 a.m. pot of coffee.

That said, boy oh boy, the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw looked sharp.

Embed from Getty Images

Clayton Kershaw, sometime around 4 a.m. EDT on Saturday.

Here’s legendary Dodgers’ broadcaster Vin Scully with a koala bear.

vin koala

The two games this weekend were held at the Sydney Cricket Ground that was reconfigured for baseball. The New York Giants and Chicago White Sox played an exhibition game there way back in 1914.

The Giants won that game.

The Dodgers swept the Diamondbacks this weekend.

Embed from Getty Images

One of the fellas at the MLB channel called the Cricket Ground a mix of World Cup and Wimbledon.

I love baseball’s international spirit.  I love that players come from all over, and a team may have two or three translators hanging around the dugout to help everyone communicate.

Players from Japan and the Dominican Republic and Cuba are some of the best players in major league ball today.

But, baseball also thrives closer to home in Indian Nation.

I just discovered that Jacoby Ellsbury and Joba Chamberlain are Native American.

National Public Radio’s Only A Game had a wonderful story this weekend about baseball and Navajo Nation.  Click here.

This season, the Class A Spokane Indians will honor the tribes of the Pacific Northwest by wearing the Native American Salish language on their jerseys.

Spokane, in Salish, looks a bit like a cat just ran over the keyboard, or something like this:

Sp’q’n’i

spokane jersey

(I must have one!)

(I think Sp’q’n’i is about to make my spell-checker explode.)

Baseball season is finally here. You know what to do.

Root for your “home” team … whether it’s the Baltimore Orioles (whoo!) or the Toronto Blue Jays (hi again Susie!), or an outfielder from Cienfuegos, Cuba or an infielder from Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, or  a pitcher from Habikino, Osaka, Japan.

Or, the Sp’q’n’i … yeh, especially Sp’q’n’i.

(Road trip, anyone?)

4th of July Baseball!

“[I]t is good to see health-promoting exercises taking the place of insipid enervating amusements.” ~ The Washington Star reporting on a baseball game in Washington, DC in 1860

Oh, Washington Star, you have no idea.

No idea what “insipid enervating amusements” your great-great-great-great grandchildren will come up with. No idea.

We name our children North West, for heaven’s sake. You really have no idea.

But, you’ll be pleased to know that baseball is pretty much the same.

(Sure, some teams play indoors on fake grass, some under glowing swaths of electric lights, and some won’t even let their pitchers come to bat anymore. Players come from all over the world. And, it’s no longer a whites-only game. So, ok, times have changed a bit.)

While baseball’s beginnings go back much further, it was the Civil War that helped turn baseball from a regional, neighborhood pastime – complete with myriad, often vague, sets of rules – and into a pretty standardized game.

baseball with union prisioners 1863 salisbury nc

Baseball game between Union prisoners at Salisbury, N.C., 1863. Lithograph of a drawing by Maj. Otto Boetticher. Courtesy of the National Archives

That game, base ball, helped pass time during wartime and was taken home across the nation into peacetime.

andrew johnson

President Andrew Johnson

It’s said that President Andrew Johnson was the first sitting President to watch baseball games during the 1860s.

“Johnson indulged few recreational activities [but] he came to appreciate baseball, which was well on its way to becoming America’s past time. On occasion, the President took time to watch pickup games organized on the South Grounds of the White House,” according to Jeffrey K. Smith in The Loyalist: The Life & Times of Andrew Johnson.

(Thank you to my friend Gloria, a diehard Cubs fan, who actually read that book and brought the baseball quote to my attention. And, thank you to my Editor/Husband who said it was also important to mention that then-Vice President Johnson was drunk at Lincoln’s second inauguration.)  

By the 1920s baseball’s place in our nation was clear. It was, President Calvin Coolidge declared, “our nation’s game.”

All 30 major league teams are scheduled to play today … all decked out in the stars and stripes.

Each team will wear special “Independence Day” caps.

Like the Baltimore Orioles.

os stars stripes

And, the New York Yankees. (I am sharing the Yankees cap with you so I can take this opportunity to report that the Orioles swept the Yankees last weekend. Go O’s!) yankees stars stripes cap And, the Cleveland Indians. indians stars stripes cap Wait. That can’t be right, can it?

Yes, Major League Baseball apparently thought it would be appropriate – possibly even cute – to paint Chief Wahoo in the stars and stripes. I’m not even comfortable writing this.

But, hey, MLB, we all make mistakes. And, so, here’s the new Cleveland cap you’ll see today.

final cleveland stars stripes

There. That’s better.

And, if you’re a Toronto Blue Jay? Fear not, no stars and stripes for you today. Your maple leaf is quite fetching!

blue jays stars stripes

So, tip your cap today to the sport that is our “nation’s game.” Chances are, you’ll be tipping a baseball cap (but hopefully not that Chief Wahoo one).

And, have a happy Fourth of July!

Help The Milwaukee Brewers Get Dressed!

Three things you should know about me …

1) I’m not really a Milwaukee Brewers fan.  About all I know about the Brewers is that they were, at one time, an American League team, and that at some point in the late 1990s, Orioles non-legend Ben McDonald pitched out the end of his career there.  I also know that they began their life as the Seattle Pilots (which in the late 1960s enjoyed its one season as a major league team, but is forever remembered thanks to Jim Bouton’s bawdy book Ball Four, which my dad finally let me read when I was 30).

2) I have a degree in political science.  This shows itself whenever there is an opportunity to vote.  Voting is my democratic right.  I will vote for anything.  Primary.  General Election. I will vote for American Idol.  If I’m sitting in a meeting and someone says, “It’s time for lunch, let’s take a vote, pizza or sandwiches?” I get very excited.  I take my duty seriously.  If there is an opportunity to vote, I will vote.

3) I think baseball uniforms are oddly, weirdly cool. I think the Seinfeld episode about changing the Yankees’ uniforms from polyester to cotton (and featuring Zen Master Buck Showalter) is Gold, Jerry,  Gold!  Watch the moment here.

Zen Master Buck Showalter wasn't always the Orioles Manager ... once, long ago, he was on Seinfeld and he also  some other teams ... including the Yankee- something-or-others.

Zen Master Buck Showalter wasn’t always the Orioles Manager … once, long ago, he was on Seinfeld, and, oh yes, he managed a little-known team called the Yankees.

So, if you give me the chance to vote on which fan-designed Milwaukee Brewers uniform will be worn by the team this season …

Oh sweet heaven, this is the best January ever!  So, the deal is this …

Three fans designed uniforms …

Brewers Ron from Maryland

Ron from Maryland’s Design

Nicholas from Wisconsin's Design

Nicholas from Wisconsin’s Design

Ben from Minnesota's Design

Ben from Minnesota’s Design

I’m ready to vote.  I’m going with Ron from Maryland.  I’m so glad you asked why.  I like that throwback Milwaukee Brewers logo.  I like that bright blue.  I like that Ron included socks. And, I like that Ron is from Maryland — maybe he’s really an Orioles fan just killing time until Spring Training.  Good enough for me … Vote Ron!

(Ben from Minnesota? You were a close second. But you lost me with the Texas Rangers cowboy font on the back. Plus, the cap.  Is that a toaster?)

To vote, just visit the Major League Baseball website, which you can do by clicking here.  You have until January 22.

After you’ve voted, go ahead and read Jim Bouton’s Ball Four about a crazy, raunchy season in baseball. (Unless you’re a 12-year-old … in which case, please wait until you’re 30.)

ball four