Matt McBride and the first hockey-style mask

The hockey-style catcher’s mask is common in baseball now but over the weekend, Matt McBride became the first Oakland Athletics player to use it in a game.

It’s not a big deal but as an A’s fan, I have watched the team all my life and I noticed that ever since that style mask became common, none of the catcher had ever used it in a game. It was until this past weekend when McBride got called up and saw some time on the field.

It was weird for me to see it since I was not used to it. I found it interesting that it took this long for one catcher to prefer this than the old style. I better get used to it now.

I think the Dodgers’ new 3D-printed batting helmet logo could run into some trouble

Uni-Watch has information on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ new batting helmets. Like some teams in baseball, they have decided to go with a matte finish. But the other major change is that instead of a sticker for the logo, they are using a 3D-printed plastic sticker that will be used for the logo.

With all team logos on the caps being raised, it isn’t a crazy idea to see this on a batting helmet. But why now? Uni-Watch’s Paul Lukas raised the point that one of the challenges is whether or not these logos can withstand an entire full season of use. Players will throw their helmets around. The ball or bat may strike the helmet, knocking the logo off. What about players and their pine tar? These are the big hurdles for this new design.

These will be monitored throughout the season. I think that this design, which isn’t a bad idea, just doesn’t look great. Maybe I’m just used to the logo being more or less flat. Having it raised in this way might not be too noticeable. But if it starts peeling off throughout the season, then we know that it’s just something that we might not need to see ever again.

What do you think of this new helmet?

The A’s have too many socks and that’s a problem

Remember my post on the A’s socks earlier this year? In one game today, we saw five of them. FIVE! All on the field at the same time in the same game.

I like socks a lot. But there is no uniform in this. They are all different and it tarnishes the identity. One is enough. Let’s not have five and possibly more in the future.

Giancarlo Stanton’s new helmet has a pretty cool facemask

Giancarlo Stanton’s new helmet has a pretty cool facemask

I like the design. It’s personal but not over the top. This is a different kind of look the facemasks we’ve seen before and I think it works well with the overall aesthetics.

Nike SpeedVent training camp shorts may be Nike’s greatest design contribution to the NFL

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When Nike took over the NFL several years ago, they got off to a rough start. They had issues with players and their designs weren’t all that great.

But as I was sifting through training camp photos, I found something that Nike designed for the NFL that I thought was beautiful. In fact, I can say this may be their greatest design contribution to the league since taking over.

Introducing to you: The Nike SpeedVent shorts.

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Roberto Luongo steals a concept design and doesn’t compensate artist for it

In all honesty, they probably didn’t know it and didn’t think much of it. But now that we know who created it and that he never got compensation, what is the best approach? It’s up to the artist on what they want to see with it, but I do wonder how many more of these cases happen that we just don’t pick up.

Goalie masks are unique in a way because they aren’t required to put just the team logos on it. They can be creative and artists can put whatever they want to the mask. In fact, sometimes the mask has nothing to do with the team, but the design reflects the player.

So with this, it might open up a new way of artist and players in approach to the goalie mask designs. These cases are rare so we might not see it much. But when it does happen, I hope the artist is contacted and properly compensated. They deserve that at least.

Johnny Manziel’s pro day was one of the most perfectly-orchestrated product placement opportunities in sports history

Johnny Manziel was decked out in Nike for his pro day workout.

The eyes of the football world was on Johnny Manziel as he hit the field for this pro day late Thursday morning. NFL Network had live coverage. ESPN had live coverage. Everyone was on their Twitter trying to get all the updates. It was a major event for one of the most talked about draft prospects in recent years.

Manziel came out to a playlist of current rap and hip hop tracks which included Rick Ross and Drake. The music blared over the the practice facility as George Bush, Sr. and his wife Barbara watched on. Manziel had a very good showing and the overall individual pro day was a success.

Out of all that, Nike ended up as the winner for the entire event.

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LeBron James and the mask is going to be a very odd fashion statement

Scary.

The same.

Last night LeBron James wore a mask for the first time since breaking his nose. Unlike the one that Richard Hamilton wore, this one was all black like the Kobe Bryant design.

But look at this one that James is wearing. It’s like some kind of carbon fiber material and it looks really menacing. In fact, it looks downright frightening. A lot different than the mask he wore in Cleveland.

I remember when Dwyane Wade wore a band-aid and it became a fashion statement, even though his wound had already healed. With James and Wade on the same team, is there a chance that they find a way to get creative and make this mask full of design? That’s where it could end up being. The biggest star on the planet has a chance to influence people in a way like never before.

Of course the commissioner can just say no to all of this and it’s OK. But knowing James, he’ll likely seriously consider something like that.

Maybe kids will buy masks to wear when playing pick up ball. Who knows?

When football and hockey collide, you get this

I am digging this. The design is very accurate to what a Steelers helmet looks like. Aside from the Penguins logo, this is spot on.

Is this the new way visors will look in the NFL?

https://twitter.com/Uniformswag/status/406449763244969984

This was something I saw this morning and I don’t know if this is new or relatively old or whatnot. But it is a pretty unique development.

For the longest time, visors in the NFL have either been clear or tinted. But never have I seen a visor designed where you can see the logo on it.

I always thought in terms of branding that there were limitations on how a player can equip their helmet. However, since the design is the team logo, then it would be OK, right?

I haven’t seen this yet on the field. If I had missed it, I’m pretty shocked I did. Would more teams adapt this look or is too much of a distraction? I think it looks pretty cool but I think it might be too much of a visual distraction.