In a less alarming sleeve-related development, the Blue Jays have unveiled a new patch in honor of original Jay Doug Ault, broadcaster John Cerutti, and former manager Bobby Mattick, all of whom passed away over the winter (which, as reader Chris Creamer notes, may make this the first ever triple-memorial patch). The design reportedly features all three men's initials and the line "Teammates Forever." Uni Watch has been unable to find a clear photo of it, but you can at least get a vague sense of it here.
And speaking of sleeves, Pedro Martinez doesn't like to be confined by them. Early on in his stint with the Red Sox, he cut slits in his sleeves, to make them less constricting. When the league office put the kibosh on that, he switched to extra-roomy sleeves. And now that he's with the Mets, he appears to have had mesh inserts sewn into his sleeves.
"Yup, it's a little gray piece of mesh that we sewed in along his underarm," says Russ Gompers, who does all the Mets' stitching and embroidery. "And here's something you probably didn't know: We also sewed some Velcro into the bottom of his pants, to keep them attached to his shoes. I can tell you, that's the first time I've had to do anything like that!"
Pedro probably started doing the Velcro thing late last season, when his pants/shoes intersection changed from this to this (both of which, of course, look totally bogus compared to this). As for his obsession with roomy sleeves, don't be surprised if the Mets unveil a vest during Pedro's tenure with the team.
And in yet another sleeve-related item, reader Bruce Rosengrant notes that John Smoltz was wearing a long undersleeve on his pitching arm and a short undersleeve on his left arm during spring training. Uni Watch was curious to see if this would carry over into the regular season, but the warm weather in Florida 78 degrees at gametime led Smoltz to wear short sleeves on both arms during his 2005 regular-season debut.
Readers were quick to respond to Uni Watch's call for additional examples of teams that have worn their player surnames below their uni numbers, rather than above. For starters, it turns out that the Oakland basketball team, whose uniforms prompted the discussion of this topic in last week's column, isn't the only name-dropped team in the Mid-Continent Conference. As reader Aaron Leavitt points out, there's also Chicago State. So it was a veritable name-dropping carnival when the two schools played each other last month for the conference championship.
There's a bit of confusion regarding Golden State's classic "The City" jerseys. As several readers have noted, the team's current throwback tops feature the name-dropped style. But Uni Watch isn't so sure that the team actually wore this name/number format back in the day most photos simply show the old jerseys being nameless. This merits further investigation stay tuned.
Over on the ice, Alex Belsky explains that the reason the NHL used dropped names for the World team in the 2000 and 2001 All-Star Games is that "many of the European leagues use the drop-name format, so the NHL translated that to the All-Star jerseys to further differentiate the North American team from the World team." Fair enough, although Uni Watch feels compelled to point out that the Euro leagues have some strange ideas about uniform design.