February 03, 2011
Somebody had a great idea for a T-shirt, didn't they? Nike sells these for $20 under the "Cooperstown Heritage" banner. It has produced 13 in total — and I want to own all of them in time for opening day.
The theme, if you didn't already notice, is The Great Players and Their Mustaches — or Sometimes Beards, or Sometimes Mullets — in Recent Major League History.
Most of the shirts, done in team colors, feature silhouette faces of superstars of the 1970s, '80s and early '90s. From left to right, top to bottom, we have Rollie Fingers of the Milwaukee Brewers and Ozzie Smith of the St. Louis Cardinals. Below them, Reggie Jackson of the New York Yankees and Randy Johnson(notes) of the Seattle Mariners.
Reggie's batting helmet and glasses, along with Unit's mullet, are such great touches.
Fashion Ump ruling: You're OUT by more than a step if you don't own at least one. For example, how could you call yourself a Philadelphia Phillies fan if you don't own this one below?:
The only feature I might add to Mike Schmidt is tears. Not because he left Dayton, Ohio, in 1971 with two very bad knees and a dream to become a Major League Baseball player, but because the Fightins' got lost hiking in Iraq and are never coming back.
Regardless, the Schmidt shirt is gold.
That's not to say all of the shirts are perfect. The only way to tell on the website with any certainty who is depicted on the shirts is by making an educated guess. And the backs of the shirts themselves are blank. No names, stats, no nothin'. And not all of the faces are as recognizable as others.
UPDATE: Nike sent us a list of who's who on the shirts. They made one obvious mistake, though, referring to the White Sox as belonging to Wade Boggs (he never played for them). But, to me, that means a Boggs' Red Sox shirt is on the way, but not yet available.
Here's the rest of the shirts:
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Hey, Kirk Gibson! Right? Unless it's Jack Morris. (Nike says: Kirk Gibson.)
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Don Mattingly. ... But maybe it's Thurman Munson? (Nike says Mattingly.)
* * *
Definitely, it's Goose Gossage. But it also could be Thurman Munson! (Nike says Goose.)
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Another mustachioed New York icon: Keith Hernandez of the Mets. (Nike confirms.)
* * *
This is not wade Boggs, for obvious reasons.
This one was tough at first. I asked a few die-hard White Sox fans, and here are some of the guesses: Salome Barojas, Dick Tidrow, Ivan Calderon, Dennis Lamp, Eric Soderholm, Ernesto Escarrega, Bob Molinaro and Jerry Dybzinski.
Here's the problem: None of those guys are what you'd call "great" or "iconic" ballplayers. Did they do a White Sox T-shirt of a random dude just so Sox fans would buy one? ... OK, I can see that.
But then @LVMundo stepped forward with the probable answer:
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Bruce Sutter, right? Well, at least one Cubs fan guessed Tidrow (who played on both sides of town). And I suppose it could be Jay Baller, but the designs don't include chest hair, so it's not conclusive.
(Nike says it's Ferguson Jenkins! Many of you have made this guess — good job!)
* * *
(Nike says it's Bagwell. I still see "Superstar" Billy Graham.)
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