Sports | A Continuous Lean.

The Ace of Lace

May 18th, 2011 | Categories: Corey Wilson, Sports | by Corey Wilson

My old pal with a lot of wear, eager for an overhaul.

For the past 25 summers, I’ve played some form of baseball. And while the balls and bats changed from t-ball to baseball to beer-league softball, with the occasional game of wiffle ball in between, I’ve been using the same glove (or mitt) since I was 13…and it was beginning to show. My reliable USA-made Rawlings “Gold Glove Series” Pro 1000-H infielder’s glove, was in tatters. But instead of tossing it out this season, in favor of a newer, fancier model (with a tacky velcro strap!), I decided to have it restored.

Hell, I figured if someone could make my broken down, bench-made brogues look like new, then why not my ball glove? It turns out, there is a guy in Lynbrook, NY (“a small village on Long Island, barely 15 miles from Ebbets Field and 20 miles or so from the Polo Grounds and Yankee Stadium,” according to his web site) that specializes in such a craft. Dick Wilson (no relation), otherwise known as the “Ace of Lace,” has been reviving gloves for nearly 50 years. In his past life, he owned and operated Sportorama (editor’s note: amazing name!), a sporting goods store in nearby Baldwin, NY. But after retiring in 1992, he’s been honing his skills, repairing as many as 30 baseball gloves a month.





CLEVELAND BROWNS CUSTOMER SERVICE c.1974

Dec 27th, 2010 | Categories: Cleveland, Sports | by Michael Williams

A classic exchange between a season ticket holder and the Cleveland Browns front office from 1974. It’s a shame that no one would have the balls to send a reply like this today. The customer is not always right.





The Heater from Van Meter

Dec 21st, 2010 | Categories: History, Sports, WWII | by Michael Williams

Last Wednesday MLB great Bob Feller passed away at the age of 92. Feller, known as “Rapid Robert” had one of the strongest arms — and one of the fastest fastballs — of all time. “The Heater from Van Meter” (as he was also known) is easily among the top five pitchers to ever play the game. A fact that is even more impressive when you consider Feller, who grew up on a farm in Van Meter, Iowa, left the game during his prime years to join the U.S. war effort in the Pacific. It is this sacrifice that makes Bob Feller not only a great baseball player, but a great American.

The story of Pearl Harbor and Bob Feller’s decision to join the military from Once Upon a Game: Baseball’s Greatest Memories via The New York Times.

“I was driving my new Buick Century across the Mississippi River, across the Iowa-Illinois state line, when my world — everyone’s world — changed forever.

It was Dec. 7, 1941. I was driving to my meeting with my Cleveland Indians bosses to hash out my 1942 contract, and out it came on the radio: the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor.

The last thing on my mind right then was playing baseball. I immediately decided to enlist in the United States Navy. I didn’t have to — I was 23 and strong-bodied, you bet, but with my father terminally ill back in Van Meter, Iowa, I was exempt from military service.





Reppin My City

Apr 30th, 2010 | Categories: Men's wear, Ohio, Sports | by Michael Williams

In my mind, the guys from Columbus, O. based Homage do tee shirts better than anyone. The physical shirts are super nice (not to mention made in America), plus the designs are old school classic and insidery. Homage has succeeded in elevating the often sad graphic tee to higher levels. My appreciation for the company and their shirts is of course heightened by our shared allegiance to the Buckeye state. The thing is, I’m not really a tee shirt guy, but I keep finding myself going back for more. This morning I picked up this wine & gold “Cleveland is the City” number to rep my city through the NBA playoffs. More cities after the jump.

CLEVELAND IS THE CITY





Sports Illustrated Vault I Downhill Ski Racing

Feb 13th, 2010 | Categories: Sports | by James Jung

James Jung, a friend of ACL, is an editor at Travel + Leisure and a nightlife blogger for NBC New York’s Niteside. His sports and travel writing has appeared in Slate, SKI Magazine and Outside.

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Ski racing has always been my sport. I follow it the same way other guys follow football and baseball. Sure, sounds un-American, but if you grow up in a mountain town with a ski-mad Austrian father, it’s pretty unavoidable. All it took was one winter broadcast of ABC’s Wide World of Sports to expose me to the downhill—ski racing’s marquis event—and I was hooked.





Ada, Ohio Pigskin Capital of the USA

Oct 5th, 2009 | Categories: Americana, Football, Made in the USA, Sports | by Michael Williams

Speaking of footballs…

The official NFL footballs are still made in right here in the USA — by Wilson Sporting Goods in Ada, Ohio. Every year during the lead-up to the Super Bowl the networks send a camera crew out to the sleepy Northwest, Ohio town (any Ohio Northern grads in the house?), to document the old ladies in their smocks making footballs.  The folks at Horween took some great pictures on a visit to the factory which you can see here.

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The Perfect Weekend Companion

Oct 5th, 2009 | Categories: Americana, Made in the USA, Sports | by Michael Williams

Saturdays and Sundays in the fall only mean one thing, football. Back in Ohio it is basically all people care about (not so much in Cleveland this year, but we are having a rebuilding decade). Recently I discovered Original Leather Head footballs, the perfect companion for chilly fall afternoons. Designed and crafted by Paul Cunningham (a former photo editor at Major League Baseball), Leather Heads are hand-sewn in New Jersey from American leather (via Horween in Chicago and Prime in Maine) and like many heirloom quality goods, they only get better with age. The footballs are so good looking my only dilemma is whether to use it or not. Maybe the solution is to buy two; one to use, one to just look at??

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