The Long Lost Closet Find

I knew after I bailed on my wife and her baby shower yesterday that I was likely going to be in the dog house for a while. I don’t want to say I am getting used to being in the doghouse but I have noticed that lately I will circle the bed three times before crawling inside. Anyway, I fully expected that I was going to be tethered to the honey-do list for the rest of the weekend and sure enough I was not disappointed. Today happened to be closet cleaning duty.

Our master closet can safely be described in two eras. The first I call the “Classic Section”. Here you will find polo shirts in purple, white, black, and the one teal shirt that I own. Among the artifacts in this portion of the closet is my inaugural season apparel which includes my 1998 Opening Day T-shirt that they sold on March 31, 1998 on the concourse before the gates open. This section also houses all of my “throwback” jerseys meaning anything that has the team colors prior to 2007.

Turn Ahead the Clock JerseysThe second section of the closet is simply called the “Sedona Red Section”. In this area you will find shirts in the new color scheme including my 2007 and 2011 NL Western Division Championship shirts like the players wore after making the post season. This section also has all of my jerseys post-2007 in the new color scheme including the special 2011 All-Star Game jersey with my name on it thanks to a wonderful wife and Derrick Hall.

It used to be that the “Classic Section” was the largest part of the closet. From the statistics I’ve seen over 60 percent of our laundry was in the purple and/or black realm. Over time that part of the closet has been overtaken and the majority of our closet now falls to the Sedona Red or Sonoran Sand piles at an alarming 70 percent. Don’t get the wrong idea, not all of my clothes have an Arizona Diamondbacks logo. I have 2 shirts that have the Major League Baseball logo and one Chicago Cubs batting jersey just to remind myself of how bad things could have been.

Normally the “Classic Section” and the “Sedona Red Section” are clearly segregated. I never considered bussing my clothes from one section of the closet to the other. Does that make me a closet clothes racist?

Anyway, the Diamondbacks have recently been holding “throwback” nights where the team went back to the traditional Purple, Teal, Black, and Copper. I still have a hard time thinking of that as “throwback” but it has been good to see some of my old friends again and by friends I mean clothes. Today though I was being banished to the outer darkness of the closet beyond the MC Hammer parachute pants and even farther than the white polyester suit I wore to a ‘70’s party. There were clothes back there that time had forgotten and in most cases that was a very good thing.

Using my arms as a machete I hacked my way through the plaid, the paisley, and polyester jungle hoping to find the long lost back wall of the closet. I felt a little bit like Indiana Jones especially when I pulled out some first generation Diamondbacks shirts and couldn’t help myself when I muttered, “Snakes, why did it have to be snakes?”

Like the famous archeologist I too found a treasure buried deep within the earth or in this case the closet. The very last item on the rack was a jersey I had not seen since 1999. A jersey so rare that many people think it is only a myth. I am talking of course about the Turn Ahead the Clock Jersey.

What is Turn Ahead the Clock you ask? It was a promotion that swept through Major League Baseball during the 1999 season sponsored in part by Century 21 Real Estate. Each team held one night where instead of turning back the clock and celebrating a team’s past they turned the clock ahead to show fans what baseball might be like in 2027.

The promotion started as an idea by the Seattle Mariners marketing team. They brought the idea to the players and Ken Griffey Jr. loved it. He went so far as to paint the players’ cleats with silver spray paint. The fans had a blast with it so MLB pushed it out to all of the teams. The Arizona Diamondbacks held their Turn Ahead the Clock night on September 11, 1999 against the Philadelphia Phillies. Lucky fans in attendance were given a chrome looking baseball cap called a “space lid”.

The graphics on the scoreboard were given a futuristic look and the small boards where pitch counts and pitch speed would show previous MVP winners that were in the future suggesting minor league players like Jack Cust would have great success at the major league level.

The uniforms were black with a snake wrapped around the torso. Players names on the back went vertically down one side with future styled numbers on the back. At the time it was fun and my kids talked and talked about the promotion. Given the buzz it created I kind of expected we would see a repeat of the promotion but MLB and the majority of fans were not impressed. The Diamondbacks never played in those uniforms again and it was impossible to try and get one. For whatever reason I was fortunate enough to obtain a Turn Ahead the Clock jersey. I was excited to find this treasure in the back of the closet. When I showed my wife she shrieked which I can only assume meant she shared my excitement for what I had found. I was therefore a little confused when she asked whether I was going to “get rid of that thing”. Well duh, no way am I getting rid of it. I figure that if the Diamondbacks do enough throwback jersey nights they will have no choice but to use the Turn Ahead the Clock jerseys and when they do, I’ll be proudly sporting one in the stands. Yup, I am going to be one styling dude. All I need now is to find that silver space lid to top it off.


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