Next week marks the 20th anniversary of The Sandlot’s release, and it has us feeling nostalgic.
In fact, there isn’t a sport better suited for nostalgia than baseball—which is why the movie resonates so well to this day. It’s a sports flick, a coming-of-age story and a period piece all wrapped into the perfect summer popcorn movie. It doesn’t get much better than that for guys of a certain age—who’ll remember walking out of theaters dreaming of Wendy Peffercorn and calling each other L7 weenies. So we’d like to take a moment to stroll down memory lane—all the way back to the summer of 1962—to check in on Smalls and the gang. You might even notice a few style cues that are on their way back in: the short-sleeve popovers, raglan shirts and cuffed jeans, to name a few. (Even Ham’s jorts.)
There was no greater boon to the Americana-enamored blogosphere than when Life magazine digitized their decades’ worth of photo archives for all to scour.
Suddenly, family fishing trips on the Cape, grizzled coal miners in Virginia and fedora’d men flying for business were all there for the taking/uploading/menswear-nostalgia-evoking. And now, you can wear them on your chest—thanks to a T-shirt company by the name of Altru, which has officially licensed some iconic archival photos. The first batch features dogs, motorcycles and JFK. Which is about as Americana as it gets.
Yesterday, as the clock struck 12, the sun finally set on the last weather-beaten vestige of kitsch on the Las Vegas Strip: O’Sheas. Its date with the wrecking ball has been set—to make way for another well-scrubbed, LED-lit entertainment complex. Ironically, O’Sheas opened the same year as the Mirage—patient zero for the new wave of mega-casino-luxury-suite complexes we now know—but O’Sheas still had that old-school vibe: Edison bulb signage, a hokey theme, low-stakes blackjack tables. It was left in the dust before collecting its first ante—nostalgia for an age yet to come.
It’s got us feeling sentimental for a simpler time, when a wide-eyed young gentleman could wander down the Strip and stumble into a smaller, less daunting casino—one with all the familiar symptoms of his local dive—to cut his teeth at the cheap tables. That’s what old Las Vegas was like. Now everything looks the same.
First, the obvious: we don’t actually endorse stealing cars. But still, it’s nice to know that in a pinch, all you need to do to escape your pursuers is shimmy the lock of the nearest parked car, reach under the dashboard, connect a couple of wires and peel out just in time to wink at the goon coming around the bend, gun in hand.
Sure, he’d probably shoot out the rear windshield, but we all know those bullets never hit anyone.
So in the spirit of nostalgia, we’ve put together a quick guide to hot-wiring, along with the ideal circumstances under which you’d be doing it. Use this information only for good...
There’s always room on our desk for more photo essays about maritime jousting.
Our latest favorite comes from Victory Journal, a nostalgic, photo-heavy look at the world of sport. In other words, exactly the kind of sepia-toned legend building we usually get from No Mas. (No surprise, they’re involved.)
But mostly, it’s the only place in the world you’ll see a two-page photo spread of Fidel Castro pitching an inning for the Havana Barbudos circa 1959. Judging by his stance, the MLB didn’t miss much.
Working with papers and screens all day doesn’t provide much tangible satisfaction, so you’ve got to take good tools where you can find them. This batch of desk gear is the perfect example. It’s old-fashioned, sure, but you can’t underestimate the satisfaction of grinding a pencil into a point. As for where you might find a pencil…
Call us nostalgics if you like, but we couldn’t let Father’s Day pass by without one last old-school baseball post. This time, it’s a fingerless mitt circa 1870, stitched together by the Cooperstown buffs at Huntington Baseball Co. (by way of Antenna). In those days, they didn’t bother with niceties like laces. Instead, you’ll get a thick patch of leather over your palm…and nothing else. Hopefully, you’ve got a Lemon Ball handy.
They don’t make Antarctic explorers like they used to.
So we thought we’d take a moment away from our usual programming to celebrate one of the boldest, most hard-headed men of the early 20th century: Mr. Ernest Shackleton. And to do the man justice, we’re going to video.
As connoisseurs of history, we sometimes find styles, habits and turns of phrase from the past that we wouldn’t mind bringing back to the present, Doc Brown-style. This time around, we’re dusting off the postcard.
Everyone needs a change of scenery from time to time.
And whether it’s a weekend road trip or a monthlong tour of Asia, we predict you’ll spend at least some portion of the next few months in unusual climes. It’s an opportunity for reflection, mind-broadening and—if you came prepared—a little nostalgia. We’re thinking of the postcard…and the kind that doesn’t come from a gift shop.
As connoisseurs of history, we sometimes find styles, habits and turns of phrase from the past that we wouldn’t mind bringing back to the present, Doc Brown-style. This time around, we’re dusting off listening to sports on the radio.
It’s the oldest predicament in sports: You care about your team, but you’re not going to make it to every single game. So you check out the sports page, or the highlight reels, or the steadily updating scores trickling onto your phone. You check every few innings, and accept anything else as lost in translation.
In honor of Opening Day (and now that you’ve got something to wear), we thought we’d direct your attention to a little more Costner-esque nostalgia: An illustrator named Summer Anne Burton has charged herself with creating a detailed, info-filled drawing depicting every player in the baseball hall of fame. In case you’re not a fan…there are a lot of them.
The result is every bit as quirky as you think. She uses Library of Congress photos and pencil to create a pretty good portrait, and throws in enough quotes and stats to give you a sense of how they actually looked on the ballfield—making her something close to the internet equivalent of Ken Burns.
So far she’s only gotten through 41 out of 295, but she’s got all season.
We’re currently just three days away from Opening Day, and all the excitement and Costner-esque nostalgia the comes with it.
Naturally, we’ve got big plans for the week ahead, but we’ll start with the most elemental item of all: the jersey. Specifically, the vintage jersey.
This one comes from Ebbets Field Flannels, a Seattle outfit turning out historically accurate Jerseys from the early days of baseball, stitched together from the same wool flannel they used in the old days. So if you had your heart set on wearing Satchel Paige’s Monarchs jersey to the first game of the season, you can get it here.
The rest of the stock is even more obscure, from the turn-of-the-century Coast League or the depression-era Cuban league. We wouldn’t wear it outside of a specifically baseball-related scene—either at the park, in sight of a TV showing the game or a sufficiently sunny cookout—but you should have plenty of those over the next few months.
One of the pleasant surprises of this round of Fashion Week shows was how many gents showed up with a little flash on their lapels. Of course, we’ve already sung the praises of the tie pin, but the lapel pin gives you a lot more room to work—and there’s a tribal element that never quite made its way to the tie pin. In days of yore, this was where you’d show your allegiance to the Kiwanis, Electricians Local 229 or the Cleveland Browns. Nowadays, all you’re likely to see is the cable-news-approved flag pin, which is the opposite of the personal touch you should be looking for.
The best pins hew closer to nostalgia than kitsch, like a vintage brass eagle or (if possible) your granddad’s local 229 pin. Something with a story behind it. Something personal. Throw enough of them together and you’ve got a fair portrait of where a man’s coming from. It’s a way to elevate your suit out of the sharp-but-forgettable limbo where most gentlemen find themselves. And if, along the way, you get the chance to rep the Kiwanis, all the better.
Of course, finding them is easier said than done—especially if you want something with a bit of history—but the first step is to start looking.
As connoisseurs of history, we sometimes find styles, trends and turns of phrase from the past that we wouldn’t mind bringing back to the present, Doc Brown-style. This time around, we’re dusting off the checkbook.
At some point in the past, when a gentleman wanted to pay for something expensive—perhaps a racehorse, or a small Pacific island—the first thing he’d reach for was his checkbook. It would be spotless, glove-soft leather, suggesting the limitless wealth contained within. A few scribbles, indicating the promise that the tiny piece of paper represented, and the deed would be done.
We’ll just come out and say it: The credit card is no substitute.