This is my first Wallach Angels jersey. I have mixed feelings about it. Let's just get this out of the way, I'm pretty sure it's a "Jersey Foul." To my knowledge, Wallach never wore this style of Angles jersey during his brief time playing for them. Maybe there was a retro night, but I kind of doubt it. If he did in fact wear this design, even once, I'd feel a whole lot better about the jersey.
I'm a fan of jersey's. I don't per se "collect" jerseys, but I certainly own more than any man my age has any business owning. For the most part, they sit unworn in my closet. But when I go to Spring Training games, or minor leagues games I break them out from time to time. I also enjoy taking note of all the jerseys I see other people wearing at games. So naturally, I'm a big fan of Gerg Wyshynski's "Jersey Fouls" feature on the Puck Daddy blog of Yahoo's NHL page.
The focus of "Jersey Fouls" is NHL sweaters, but I think the same rules apply across the board. One of the simpler ones is, don't get a jersey of player in a style that said player never wore. Obviously a jersey of a player for a team he didn't play for is a "foul." So a Wayne Gretzky Blackhawks jersey is a big no-no. Likewise you shouldn't purchase a Wayne Gretzky jersey in the current Kings design (really why are you buying anything but an Oilers sweater of #99, but that's a different conversation all together). If the player didn't wear the style, don't have one made. I think people are a little quick and overly sensitive to call fouls, but I support the concept to a degree.
So I have reservations about this jersey. In my defense, I didn't have this made up on my own. MLB.Com is selling them. Wallach/23 is one of the preset options in the drop down bar on the Shop.Mlb.com webpage. So I think that fact gives me some cover, enough so that I went ahead and placed the order. I don't have a Wallach Angels jersey, and if MLB is going to hawk them, I lack the restraint not to buy one.
In addition to it's potential status as a "jersey foul," I don't have particularly fond memories of Wallach's time with the Angels. I felt like he was never really given a fair shake during his time there, being forced to battle Jack Howell, and some cocky, overrated kid (who quickly flamed out of the league) named George Arias for playing time. Thankfully, the Angels released Wallach, and he was able to help the Dodgers make the playoffs, a much more fitting end to a stellar career. But that doesn't let the Angles off the hook. Below is a note from a 1996 Daily News article on a spring training game between the Angles and Dodgers, I can't vouch for it's validity, but it's a story I've been told more than once:
Notes: Wallach, playing first base Sunday, went to his position for the fourth inning to find that Karros had written something in the dirt with his foot: ``ARIAS.'' A gentle reminder that Wallach, the popular ex-Dodger, was beaten out at third base by rookie George Arias. Wallach wrote an obscene reply, drawing laughs from the crowd. A half-inning later, Karros turned it into ``BRICK.'' . . .
In any event, foul or not, I now have the MLB.com approved Tim Wallach Angels jersey. They also sell a Dodgers "Alumni" jersey, but I won't be pulling the trigger on one of those any time soon. The couple of game worn Wallach Dodger jersey's currently hanging in my closet certainly help quash my urge to purchase one on that front.