Masters of the Uni-verse | WBEZ
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99% Invisible

Masters of the Uni-verse

Uniforms matter. When it comes to sports, they might be the only thing to which we're actually loyal. Sports uniforms are packaging. But unlike any other packaging, if the product inside changes or degrades, we remain loyal. Players come and go, but change the uniform, and you'll hear about it. There are very few ways for players to put their own personal style into their uniforms. In baseball, in the face of huge opposition from curved-brim loyalists, some players take the bold stance of wearing a straight brim, like George Sherrill who is nick-named "The Brim Reaper" for his flat-brimmed style. But for people who really geek out about baseball uniforms (like Paul Lukas from Uni Watch) the space below the knee may be the most interesting. It is here that players have the most choices, can make the biggest statement, and be, in the words of Lukas, masters of the "uni-verse." Most players today choose to wear their pants long, but if you truly want to honor baseball's hosiery heritage, you should wear your pants up over your calves and a sharp pair of stirrups. Paul Lukas of Uni Watch (and creator of the zine Beer Frame, to which 99% Invisible owes a considerable debt) talked with Jesse Thorn, host of the NPR show Bullseye, owner of, and life-long SF Giants fans, even though it's really hard to wear the cap out because black and orange doesn't go with anything.

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