What in Tarnation?
Our new TARNATION! Sports T Shirts Designs are here! Yeeeah! We’ve got Julius (Dr. J) Erving basketball t shirts, Yu Darvish Baseball T Shirts, and “I Come To Play” baseball t shirts, featuring Big Papi of the Red Sox.
These are tributes to three great players, all of whom deserve a t-shirt in the TARNATION! Sports hall of fame.
These basketball t shirts feature Julius Erving, otherwise known as Dr. J, a legendary basketball player who came out of Long Island, New York, and eventually played for his hometown New York Nets in the American Basketball Association.
He was nicknamed “Dr. J” by his childhood friend Leon Saunders, whom Erving called “the professor.” The two were friends throughout high school and college at U Mass, and remain good friends to this day.
But that nickname became apparent to everyone that it fit once “The Doctor” began operating on the basketball court. Blessed with rare athleticism and a great work ethic, Erving quickly rose to stardom at U Mass, averaging over 32 points and 20 rebounds per game.
In 1971, in the professional ranks of the ABA, as a rookie for the Virginia Squires, he finished second to fellow ABA legend, Artis Gilmore for the Rookie of the Year Award. He was also selected to the All-ABA Second Team.
What’s little spoken of however, is that in 1972, he played in the NBA. Signing with the Atlanta Hawks, he played in three exhibition games for the team, and was teammates with Pete Maravich. The courts (legal not basketball) ruled that he had to go back to the ABA however, and so he went back to play for Virginia.
The next season he was traded to the New York Nets for cash. In 1973–74 season, Dr. J’s heroics carried the Nets to their first ABA championship, and they repeated in 1975-76. Throughout his ABA days, Erving topped the league in scoring three times and won the MVP award three times .
But in 1976, following that second championship, the ABA merged with the NBA. One of the contingencies of the Nets being allowed into the NBA was that the team had to pay the New York Knicks $4.8 million for territorial rights to play in New York.
In what will forever be known as “The Roy Boe Curse”, the Nets Owner, Roy Boe the refused to raise Erving’s salary as he had promised previously. Erving held out in training camp. Boy approached the Knicks to sell Erving to them in exchange for waiving the $4.8 million fee, but the Knicks preferred to keep the money.
Instead, Erving was finally sold to the Knicks rivals, the Philadelphia 76ers for $3 million. Today, nearly 40 years later, the Nets have still not recovered from “the curse”.
For the Philadelphia 76ers though, it was the beginning of something truly special. he led them to an NBA title in the 1982–83 season, and retired in 1986. Erving was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame seven years later.
Our “I Come To Play” baseball t shirts are dedicated to David Ortiz who got the nickname “Big Papi” (translated Papi means “daddy”) because when he first came to the Red Sox, he couldn’t speak much English, and didn’t know anyone’s name, so he would call everyone Papi. Eventually the name caught on with his teammates and he became “Big Papi”.
Originally from the Dominican Republic, he was signed by the Seattle Mariners in 1992, as David Arias, the family name he used throughout his stint in the minor leagues. He played for their Wisconsin team and was later traded to the Minnesota Twins where he took the last name Ortiz. After six seasons with the Twins, he was released in 2002. That was a mistake by the Twins and a boon for the Boston Red Sox who signed him as a free agent. He blossomed as a Red Sox player, becoming one the game’s superstars. He has led the team to two championships, and continues to be a feared power hitter throughout the league.
Yu was known as the best pitcher in Japanese professional baseball where he won two MVP awards before he was signed by the Texas Rangers this season for $60 million. He played professionally following his high school career and won the Asia Series Most Valuable Player award. Yu also pitched for Japan in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, where he helped Japan win their second consecutive tournament title.
Known for his good strikeout numbers, he is currently 11-7 on the season, and is adjusting to life in the big leagues. He has been a bit erratic in terms of control, but potentially remains a star-caliber pitcher. We dedicate these baseball t shirts to the rising star in Texas!
We welcome all three of these great designs to our TARNATION! Sports t shirts collection.
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