April 16, 2004

Fashion show anyone?

Team uniforms obsess me. I am constantly checking for updates and new alternate jerseys. Therefore, I figure now that I have a forum, I had best use it. This might have to be a recurring subject too.

Two MLB teams have completely revamped unis for 2004, the Padres and the Blue Jays. One is decent, the other deeply flawed.

San Diego, to honor the opening of Petco Park has changed color scheme, logo and uniform. The color scheme consists of a deep blue that represents the Pacific Ocean, and a light khaki color the Padres call ?sand?. The logo is the new-look Padres script superimposed on homeplate. The only MLB logo to incorporate home, which the Padres made sure to remind everyone at the unveiling of the new look. The logo is a tad bland, but it is difficult to come up with an effective look for a team called the Padres. In addition, honestly, considering past Padre Color schemes (mustard anyone?), it is as good as can be expected.

The uniforms themselves come in three flavors. The first is the traditional home whites, with the Padres script across the chest, with blue and sand piping at the tips of the sleeves. They?re nice, if oddly derivative of the Milwaukee Brewers. The home hats are blue, with a slightly reworked interlocking SD logo. The road uniforms are actually rather daring, forgoing the traditional road greys in favor of the sand (ESPN calls it ?puke?) color. The road unis also lack the Padres script, using an oddly sized San Diego across the chest. The blue trim on the road uniforms seems to look more purple than blue. The Pads have separate road hats: the same blue, but this time with a sand-colored SD logo. There is also an alternate: a blue version of the home jersey. This alternate is used both home and road, and when combined with the sand colored pants and road hat makes up the best Padre look.
Final Grade B

Like the Padres, Toronto has a checkered history with uniforms. From the early days of the franchise, the Jays have favored a futuristic look, often incorporating odd piping and horrid soccer-style numbers. The new logo is again very swoopy and futuristic, with a sleek and stylized Blue Jay head interlocked with the word JAYS. The home jersey is markedly bland: white with the logo across the chest, no other piping or markings. The road uniforms are just as bland as the home; grey with Toronto across the chest, in the same stylized font. There is also a black (original, isn?t it?) alternate. It?s the same as the white, just the logo, no other markings. The only hat is an odd steel gray color with shortened logo, with a stylized ?T? replacing ?Jays?. The most remarkable thing about the Blue Jays new look, other than its simplicity, is the utter lack of the color blue. Other than a splash in the logo, the Jays do not incorporate blue at all. Moreover, did the world really need another black jersey? Not since those hideous (and sickeningly still in use) black, orange and blue Met jerseys has an alternate been so inappropriate. The Blue Jay name has such possibilities, and it?s obvious Toronto management is learning the value of simplification, but these unis don?t come close to the mark.
Final Grade D

Texas has introduced a new alternate home jersey. It is a white sleeveless jersey with red and blue piping, a red T logo at the upper right chest and blue numbers at the lower left belly. The look is completed with a blue undershirt and a waving Texas flag on the left sleeve. It?s an ok look, but not a particularly distinctive one, reminding me of both the Angels and the Reds.

Several teams have made bits and pieces changes. The Colorado Rockies have introduced a predictably hideous purple cap, and the Mariners have dropped their teal-billed option. Minnesota has a new alternate cap, a garish red 70?s throwback that will undoubtedly sell very well. San Francisco has dropped all its alternate jersey options, preferring the simple home (off) whites, road greys and black hats. Anaheim has dropped the word ?Anaheim? off their road jersey: new owner Arte Moreno wants his Halos to be known as ?Southern California?s Team?. Baltimore has reintroduced orange lettering the home jersey, which is both a throwback to the sixties, and a welcome relief from the oppressive use of black in uniforms. The biggest mess is the continued use of cap patches. Every team will wear one the entire first week of the season commemorating the opening of the season. What, you have a better use for your $25.99?

Posted by Frinklin at April 16, 2004 07:26 PM

David from Sports and B's here. uniforms too are an obsessive thing for me. I am a big fan of the reversal of the color scheme on the Orioles uniforms back to early 90s form.

As for tonight, I think the Mariner black tops look like Diamondback tops from the back (that lettering), especially Melvin when you see him with the 3. It just smacks of Diamondbackism, and I hate it.

I thought Texas should have stayed with the red uniforms they had in the mid-90s. They should have noticed that those uniforms correlated with their success. When they brought the blue back into the home uniforms (they'd been using it occasionally on the road for a year or two before that...Alex came too), they started sucking. Frankly, I hated the blue on those home whites, along with the number.

Nine times out of ten, if the team name is displayed in an arc on the front of the jersey, I hate when a number is placed at the bottom right beacuse it throws the arc out of balance. If the team name is horizontal, I don't have a problem with it.

Another thing I have a problem with...when a team decides to go with the number on one side and a logo on the other, a la White Sox home tops (they pull it off perfectly). What I hate is when this gets messed up, and the Rockies do this when the number is waaaaayyy lower than the logo on the uniform. I can't tell you how much I hate this. I think Cleveland is doing it this year too.

I notice sick things, like when Cleveland went to the white piping on their uniforms, and when they had the shading on the surnames on the black tops.

Anyway, if you wanna talk uniform weirdness, drop me a line.

Blog on...

Posted by: David at April 16, 2004 07:22 PM

Hae you ever been to Major Dreams, Minor Leagues?

It has all the minor league hats and stuff... they have some really cool names and logos... a lot more imagination down there I guess.

Nice post!!

Posted by: Madfish Willie at April 16, 2004 08:58 PM

Oh, and another note, not uniforms, but...

Do you remember the cool highway sign-type font the Mariners had on their manual scoreboard through the 2002 season? They replaced it last year and now the manual scoreboard is soulless.

Posted by: David at April 16, 2004 09:32 PM

Uniforms always bring 'em in.
Couple quick points
-David, you're absolutely right about the Mariners alternate jersey. It does look like the D-Backs. Arizona has 73 different uniform combinations and every single one of them is ugly.
-Very few of the M's alternate looks have really clicked. I'm almost ashamed of this, but my favorite was always the teal tops and teal caps. In fact, I still own my teal cap. The sleeveless uniform from 96-97(?) was uninteresting and the various shades of blue have been okay.
-I usually dislike numbers on the front, and again I agree with you on spacing and arcs. I've always loved the Chisox current look,though I'd really like to see them use the red version from the 1950's as an alternate.
-My biggest pet peeve (and it's pretty obvious) is the use of black uniforms. The Mets black uniforms are awful, far worse than anything the late-70s Astros or Padres wore. I have no problem if black is one of your team colors (DBacks, Marlins, Rox), but when the Mets or A's come out in black unis it just looks ridiculous. Oh, and the Royals don't count. They should be blue white and gold, not blue, white and black.

And no, I didn't know that about Safeco Field's scoreboard. What lunacy made them change it?

Posted by: frinklin at April 16, 2004 10:26 PM

Madfish! My munu sponser, glad you could come around. Eventually I'll get this place cleaned up. I hadn't heard about Minor League, Major Dreams. I'll check it out. If you want really wild stuff, go to stallanddean.com. They used to be Ebbets Field Flannels, the Seattle company that started all this throwback madness back in the late-80's. They specialize in Negro League and defuct minor league teams. I bought the Hollywood Stars jacket back in high school and I still wear it.

Posted by: frinklin at April 16, 2004 10:32 PM
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