Day three of our sartorial survey takes us to the National League West where we start off with the World Freakin’ Champs.
The Best: In recent years the Giants have kept a classic look. Not always so in the old days. You know what’s gangsta? Writing “World’s Champions” on your uniforms, that’s what’s gangsta. If the Giants did that for 2011 I would consider dropping the Braves as my favorite team on the basis of pure awesomeness. They had a lot of different looks in the early day, sometimes with pinstripes, sometimes with red. They first went to the now-classic black and orange in 1933. That didn’t stick immediately — there was more blue and red in their future — but they eventually realized that it was a good look and settled on it for good in 1947. For the best you can pick basically any year between then and 1976, and from 1994 until the present day. I’ll go with this as the best anyone has ever looked in a Giants uniform, but really, you can’t go wrong. I dunno, maybe it looked better on Willie McCovey. Longer lines and all of that.
The Worst: They’ve gone to plaid! And check out the Yankee-envy they were rocking in 1924. Must have worked because the Giants won the pennant that year while the Yankees stayed home, though I wouldn’t call that a great look for what we now know as the Giants. The late 70s stuff was unfortunate, with the script, black and orange just killing a team that looks best in a timeless ensemble. And that mid-80s-to-1993 look, complete with the bolder, blockier “Giants” on the home jerseys and the interlocking “SF” on the roadies puts me in mind of a 1990s NBA team, and no one in sports looked worse than poorly-dressed 1990s NBA teams. None of those are the worst though. These are. Please banish them now. You looked ridiculous in them, and I don’t care if you think they helped you win it all or not. Go get those plaid jerseys back.
Assessment: I love the cream colored homies. I love the simple lettering. Orange and black — when used as accent colors only, not the main color — are really nice. Just a great look overall. Among the best in baseball. Keep it simple. That is, unless you want to go with “World’s Champions” next season. In which case I’d buy two.
People are the absolute worst sometimes. The latest example: someone stole one of Jose Fernandez’s high school jerseys, which had been displayed in his old high school’s dugout for a vigil last night.
That report comes from Anastasia Dawson of the Tampa Bay Times who covered the vigil at Alonso High School in Tampa yesterday. Her story of the vigil is here. Today she has been tweeting about the theft of the jersey. She spoke to Alonso High school’s principal who, in a bit of understatement, called the theft the “lowest of the low.”
The high school had one more Fernandez jersey remaining and has put it on display in the school. In the meantime, spread this story far and wide so that whatever vulture who stole it can’t sell it.
In an earlier post I made a joke about the Indians starting Dennis Martinez if forced to play a meaningless (for them) game on Monday against the Tigers. On Twitter, one of my followers, Ray Fink, asked a great question: If you had to hand the ball to a Hall of Fame-eligible pitcher to give you three innings, who would it be?
The Hall of Fame-eligible part gets rid of the recently-retired ringers, requiring a guy who has been off the scene for at least five years, ensuring that there’s a good bit of rust. I love questions like these.
My immediate answer was Mike Mussina. My thinking being that of all of the great pitchers fitting these parameters, he’s the most likely to have stayed in good shape. I mean, Greg Maddux probably still has the best pitching IQ on the planet, but he’s let himself go a bit, right? Mussina strikes me as a guy who still wakes up and does crunches and stuff.
If you extend it to December, however, you may get a better answer, because that’s when Tim Wakefield becomes eligible for the Hall. I realize a knuckleball requires practice to maintain the right touch and subtlety to the delivery, but it also requires the least raw physical effort. Jim Bouton went well more than five years without throwing his less-than-Wakefield-quality knuckler and was still able to make a comeback. I think Tim could be passable.
Then there’s Roger Clemens. I didn’t see his numbers for that National Baseball Congress tourney this summer and I realize he’s getting a bit thick around the middle, but I’m sure he can still bring it enough to not embarrass himself. Beyond the frosted tips, anyway.
So: who is your Space Cowboys-style reclamation project? Who is the old legend you dust off for one last job?