Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dr. Ian Taras's Los Angeles Kings "50/50" Jersey

While working on our 2011 Frozen Four Division 1 Project, in which we documented jerseys from every college we could possibly find at this year's NCAA finals in St. Paul, we came across one fan wearing the most unusual jersey of the literally thousands we saw over the course of the tournament.

Taras Kings Front
Taras Kings Back

The Puck Daddy blog, as part of their "jersey fouls" series, has dubbed this kind of creation "a Frankenstein jersey", in which two different jerseys are spilt down the middle with one half of each sewn back together to create a single new jersey with contrasting halves. We've seen various types of Frankenstein jerseys, in which a matched home and road jersey are put together to create a half white/half color jersey from a single team, two halves of jerseys from the same player who has played for two different teams, showing your admiration of say, Doug Gilmour, who used to be a Toronto Maple Leaf but was later a Montreal Canadien for example, or cases where a mother has two sons playing against each other in the Stanley Cup Finals and has taken half a jersey from each sibling and had them sewn together in order to support both without showing any favoritism, but we must say we thought it was somewhat odd to see two very different style jerseys from the same team joined down the middle, especially when it was bearing so many varied patches.

Knowing there must be a story behind his jersey we struck up a conversation with Dr. Ian Taras and asked him to explain the concept and origins of his creation. Here is his explanation:
I always followed the LA Kings since the early 70's and had the vintage purple & gold jersey. In 1988 when Wayne Gretzky came they changed their uniforms to the Silver & Black so I bought one of those. In 1998 when they changed their uniforms to the purple, black and silver. I was miffed at the prospect that I'd have to buy yet another jersey and that there was no jersey-stability! I looked at the silver & black jersey and in a rage ripped it down the midline. Then it came to me to do the same to my purple & gold jersey and have the opposite sides sewn together and that would be the jersey that I would henceforth wear to all hockey games. The patches were an after thought.

The # 16 was an homage to my favorite player, Marcel Dionne. In fact he is the only one to ever sign my jersey. When we were at the 2001 Colorado NHL ASG I had the opportunity for Gretzky to also sign it, but instead opted for him to sign my ticket.
As for the many patches which adorn the jersey, Dr. Taras has one basic rule: a patch qualifies for addition to the jersey if, and only if, the jersey was present at the commemorated event. Should he attend an event without the jersey, or if a well meaning friend brings him a patch back from an event they were at, it does not qualify to be added to the jersey.

Here is the complete inventory of the many patches on his jersey, which document his many travels.
Bottom Rung-
  1. 1981 LA NHL All-Star Game
  2. 1991 Chicago NHL All-Star Game
  3. 1993 LA vs. Montreal NHL Stanley Cup Championships
  4. 1997 San Jose NHL All-Star Game
  5. 1998 Vancouver NHL All-Star Game
  6. 1999 Tampa Bay NHL All-Star Game
  7. 2000 Toronto NHL All-Star Game
  8. 2001 Colorado NHL All-Star Game
  9. 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics
  10. 2002 LA NHL All-Star Game
  11. 2003 Florida NHL All-Star Game
2nd Rung-
  1. 2003 Anaheim vs. New Jersey Stanley Cup Championships
  2. 2004 Minnesota NHL ASG
  3. 2004 Toronto World Cup of Hockey
  4. 2006 Milwaukee Frozen Four
  5. 2007 Dallas NHL ASG
  6. 2007 St. Louis Frozen Four
  7. 2007 Anaheim vs. Ottawa Stanley Cup Championships
  8. 2008 Atlanta NHL ASG
  9. 2008 Denver Frozen Four
  10. 2009 Montreal NHL ASG
3rd Rung-
  1. 2009 Washington D.C. Frozen Four
  2. 2010 Detroit Frozen Four
  3. 2011 Raleigh NHL ASG
  4. 2011 St. Paul Frozen Four
Several of the patches on the jersey have had to be created through various means, as the official event patches are not always sold to the public, the NCAA Frozen Four in particular. One method he has used to obtain a "patch" is to purchase a cap with the nicest embroidered logo possible and cut the logo out of the cap and affix that to the jersey to good effect.

So, next time you are at an NHL All-Star Game or NCAA Frozen Four, or perhaps a Stanley Cup Final game in California, keep an eye out for the most unusual Los Angeles Kings jersey decorated with more patches than any jersey you may have ever seen and introduce yourself to the personable Dr. Taras and have a look at a jersey with perhaps more miles travelled than any you will ever see.

If you have any photos of any other 50/50 or "Frankenstein" jerseys you would like to share with us for a future post, feel free to email them to us!

6 comments:

  1. This is one of the more "interesting" Frankensteins I've seen. I love the Kings, and both jersey styles, but the two together are very uneasy on the eyes.

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  2. I'm almost famous! Thanx for stopping me and snapping the shots and thanx for adorning it on your blog!

    "When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money." ~Susan Heller

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  3. IAN IS THE EPITOME OF AN LA KINGS UBERFAN! I LOVE HIS 50/50 JERSEY WITH HIS LAST NAME ON THE BACK (NOT THE LAST NAME OF HIS FAVORITE PLAYER)! I LOVE THE DISCREET MARCEL DIONNE HOMMAGE! AND OF COURSE I AM JEALOUS OF ALL THE ALLSTAR GAMES IAN HAS ATTENDED NOT TO MENTION THE 1993 STANLEY CUP FINALS WHERE THE WORLD'S DIRTIEST COACH WHO COACHED THE WORLD'S MOST STORIED TEAM CALLED FOR A STICK EXAM!

    GO KINGS!!!

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  4. chateaumadonna... thank YOU! TS?

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  5. TSG: So I was at this year's NHL ASG in Ottawa, picking up another patch of course, and a guy across the aisle looks at me and looks at his SmartPhone and says, "I'm reading about your jersey right now on Third String Goalie; pretty cool!" To which I remarked, "Yea, pretty cool that you could find my jersey on the internet while sitting at your seat in an arena in Ottawa!' Way to go TSG!

    PS-I looked at all the post listing on the side bar and could not find where I would be listed under. Figured the most logical would be under the LA Kings, but no such luck. Is it listed anywhere that is 'searchable' and is it possible to place it as a 17th link under the LA Kings? Thanx, Ian ;-)

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  6. Thanks for the story. I did add a Los Angeles Kings tag to the article about your jersey.

    ReplyDelete

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