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Something Uni Watch Mentioned

Edgy DC
Jun 14 2005 10:02 PM

Off the top of your head, can you name a single uniform number of an umpire?

Jun 14 2005 10:04 PM

Off the top of my head: Eric Gregg is 7. I could be wrong.

Jun 14 2005 10:07 PM

Bingo! I win!

Jun 14 2005 10:35 PM

Off the top of my head Eric Gregg is a big fat load.

Jun 14 2005 11:37 PM

I've never seen him, is he still in the "show"?

Spacemans Bong
Jun 15 2005 02:14 AM

metirish wrote:
I've never seen him, is he still in the "show"?

Nope, when Richie Phillips and the Umpires Association cracked in 99, Gregg and a few other fat load umps lost their job. Durwood Merill, for example.

Jun 15 2005 08:32 AM

Seemed a shame at the time. I wonder if he's lost any weight...

Jun 15 2005 08:49 AM

I believe Gregg is one of those in line to get his job back.

Frayed Knot
Jun 15 2005 09:44 AM

Actually, I thought he was one of the few who wasn't.

At this point, I think all that are going to be re-hired have been and big Eric wasn't one of them. After his ill-fated resignation, Greeg went home (Philly) and slowly went broke, eventually sueing MLB for damages claiming (among other things) that he was too heavy to find other work.
He lost weight at various times in his umpiring career but always seemed to slip back. That picture is not him at his heaviest by far.

Edgy DC
Jun 15 2005 10:41 AM

Not at all. That's his tweener look.

Generally speaking, men tend to gain weight above the belt line and work downward, and lose it in the opposite direction. Not Gregg. He's a rare male pear.

Gregg was merely a mediocre umpire on his best day, but I liked him. When John McSherry dropped dead on the field on opening day, media source after media source went running to Gregg, asking him over and over, essentially, "How does this make you feel, being a massive coronary in waiting yourself?"

He handled it gracefully and was clearly crushed by McSherry's passing.

Jul 08 2005 12:39 PM

Found this from Uni watch while looking for classic Pirate pics.

]Uni Watch
The return of colored baseball pants.
By Paul Lukas
Posted Tuesday, June 29, 2004, at 12:35 PM PT

And you thought Chief Wahoo was offensive ...

If you're finding yourself befuddled by Major League Baseball's carnival of solid-colored alternate jerseys, you're not the only one. Things have gotten so convoluted that two Mets players recently took the field wearing the wrong uniforms. With jerseys reaching a saturation point, how long before we see a revival of colored pants? That's what Uni Watch wondered after the Cleveland Indians brought back their garish solid-red uniforms—originally worn in the mid-1970s—for a recent throwback promotion.

The Indians' red design may look odd today, but colored pants have had a larger presence in baseball history than you might think. Broadcasters and old-schoolers talk about the game's tradition of wearing white at home and gray on the road, but the tradition isn't quite that simple. Dark-colored jerseys with matching dark pants were fairly common in the game's early days, especially for the visiting team (probably because dark colors don't show as much dirt—a boon for teams that had trouble finding adequate laundry facilities while traveling). Every season from 1900 through 1917 featured at least one solid-colored team, and sometimes as many as five. Most franchises tried the solid style at least once during this period, including the Indians (known then as the Naps), Cubs, White Sox, Senators, Reds, Tigers, Braves, Giants, and Highlanders (later renamed the Yankees—the pinstripes didn't debut until 1912).

Although the white/gray format became entrenched in the 1920s, colored pants still made occasional appearances over the next few decades, most notably with the crimson-trousered uniforms worn by Cincinnati in 1936 and the reflective blue satins that the Dodgers experimented with for night games in 1944. But colored pants didn't come back in earnest until the early 1960s, when Charles O. Finley bought the Kansas City Athletics. Finley promptly dressed his new team in solid gold with green trim, an implicit nod to the increasing power of color television.

Finley's instinct to shake up baseball's color palette was a good one (incredibly, only one major league team prior to the '63 A's had ever worn green). But once he opened the floodgates, a wave of tacky designs followed, a fad furthered by the advent of polyester uniforms and the fashion insanity of the 1970s. Eyebrow-raisers from this period include the all-orange 1971 Orioles, the brown-on-yellow 1978 Padres, and the all-maroon 1979 Phillies—a design so widely ridiculed by fans and the media that it was retired after one game. Finley, not to be outdone, added an all-green outfit for the A's. But the concept was taken to an unwatchable extreme by the Pirates, who introduced an assortment of yellow and black uni elements in 1977 and spent the next eight years mixing and matching them in various bumblebee combinations, to generally horrifying effect. And don't forget, this was also the era when many teams changed their road unis from gray to powder blue, creating yet another solid-color trope.

All these trends had played themselves out by the end of the 1980s. The fact that colored pants look so bizarre now is a measure of how they've largely been purged from the game's collective memory, as if they were just a bad dream. Uni Watch prefers to think of them as a useful reality check—a reminder that tradition is a relative concept. So the next time you catch yourself carping about the latest solid-colored alternate jersey, keep in mind that things could get—and, indeed, have already been—a lot worse.

Got a question or suggestion for Uni Watch? Send it here.

Paul Lukas writes about food, travel, and consumer culture for a variety of publications.

Jul 08 2005 01:06 PM

Mets in all orange.

Jul 28 2005 02:53 PM

Uni Watch is back, featuring more Mets tidbits:

How hard can it be to get everyone on a team to wear the same undershirt color? Plenty hard, apparently, if you're the Mets, who are supposed to wear blue sleeves when donning their blue caps and black sleeves the rest of the time. But nobody bothers to enforce those rules, so you end up with games like last Saturday, in which the team's sleeves were, depending on who you looked at, [url=]blue[/url], [url=]black[/url], or [url=]orange[/url] (the latter of which isn't even one of the team's authorized undershirt colors but gained unofficial currency over the past dozen years because of John Franco).

(Side note: the "orange" photo, above, is definitely one of the best Pedro photos out there, so Uni Watch gets bonus points for the link. I believe Edgy posted it here somewhere last week when it was taken.)

edit: Also interesting:

Matt Schudel points out that the question of whether the Nationals will honor the Expos' retired numbers has been answered, in the negative: Newly acquired Mike Stanton is wearing No. 30, which the 'Spos retired last year for Tim Raines.

Edgy DC
Jul 28 2005 02:57 PM

Pedro's been a pretty good subject.

Uni Watch is still looking for George Bamberger with his gum on his hat. At as I recall, he'd stick a big honkin' wad up there, but nobody's been able to hit it with photo evidence, despite all his years coaching the Orioles and managing the Brewers and Mets.

He also consulted with the Yankees in his later years, so somebody might have snapped him down in Tampa, but still no dice.

Jul 28 2005 02:58 PM

They link to a photo this week of Phil Rizzuto doing the gum-on-the-hat thing, but it's not a big honkin' piece, just a little white one.

Jul 28 2005 03:01 PM

That is a great picture of Pedro,uni watch likes to take pics from the TV..

Jul 28 2005 03:26 PM

Pedro looks different in that picture.

I remember Roger McDowell getting his sleeves trimmed because they were orange.

Aug 26 2005 07:10 AM

Ladies and gentlemen, Uni Watch gives you... Joe McEwing.

Aug 26 2005 11:55 AM

Elster88 wrote:
Pedro looks different in that picture.


Yeah, I think that picture doesn't do him justice at all