By Phil Hecken
After a short hiatus, the look at the “future” of monochrome (or lack thereof) in baseball continues. Today, we’ll examine half of the Senior Circuit. The premise of this ‘series,’ has been to look at the historical use of monochrome in baseball, a look at monochrome in other lands, and finally, a look a monochrome possibilities for teams in the American League.
Since that time, we’ve actually had two teams, the Baltimore Orioles (throwing back to 1971-72) and the Minnesota Twins (throwing back to the turn-of-the-20th-century, circa 1909 St. Paul Gophers) break out monochrome. For the most part, the fans seemed very receptive of these looks. These teams join the A’s and Pirates, who had earlier this year participated in their own “70’s Turn Back The Clock” game. Even if one doesn’t count the Phillies and Braves, who both did the powder blue monochrome throwback, so far four teams have gone true monochrome this season. So, it seems fans want to see the look, even if for only one game. Or do they?
Seeing as baseball seems to have morphed into a bunch of pajama-pants wearing, softball-topped (for many teams) clones, are there any teams for whom the monochrome look might be more appropriate? After looking at the American League, there only a handful of teams who would probably be able to pull off a monochrome look, and I for one would support that — on the condition that it’s used very sparingly, and with proper hosiery. Unfortunately, neither is likely to happen.
But what about the senior circuit? Would any teams (and there are a few with monochrome in their past) be good candidates for monochrome now or into the future? Let’s see.
Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks have two alternate tops, a brick and a black, and neither of them would likely look good in monochrome. Black would require a complete no-pajama policy, and stirrups or socks. The brick might be a better option, without or with striped stirrups (thanks to Chris Powers for that mock).
The Verdict: Can’t you just see the D-Backs mixing and matching if given the opportunity? Brick and black aren’t bad colors — but there are better teams to “claim” either of them, so I’d say the snakes aren’t a candidate for monochrome.
Atlanta Braves: Another team with two softball tops they trot out a lot (well, not so much the red, but the navy is worn fairly often). Aside from the fact that I don’t think the Braves should wear monochrome red, I think if paired with classic hosiery, it wouldn’t be a bad look. As far as monochrome navy, that’s probably best left alone. Besides, no one wants to see navy pajamas.
The Verdict: If anyone is going to “claim” monochrome red, it’s probably not the Braves, although that has possiblities. All navy blue is definitely not going to look good. If the Bravos return to any monochrome, powder blue may be a better option.
Chicago Cubs: If you refer back to the original monochrome piece, you’ll see the Cubs do have solid color tops & bottoms in their past. And they do have a royal blue alternate. How might that look? A lot would be dependent on the socks. Bringing back the three red stripes (thanks to Chris Powers for the last two mocks) isn’t a terrible look. But, the Cubs are another team with powder blue in their past, perhaps a return to that is more appropos.
The Verdict: While the all-royal is appealing, and the Cubs do have a history of monochrome, it’s probably a bit too much to pull off. And the pajamists would ruin any good that could come from it.
Cincinnati Reds: OK — possibly we’re getting somewhere. If you recall the recent Nights In White Satin article, you’ll recall the Reds did introduce red pants for use at night, although they never went monochrome. If any team were to appropriate an all red look, the Reds might be the team to do it. That’s a lot of red though. Chris Powers’ thought to mitigate some of that, striping, a white belt and white sleeves might be a nice counterpart. Of course, that also runs the risk of this. With really only white and red (and the mandatory BFBS undoubtedly creeping in, especially as a dropshadow), it may prove too daunting to pull off, particularly with the dreaded pajama bottom option.
The Verdict: Probably best to just leave the Reds with white pants. However — instead of white or gray, what if the Reds went with a “powder red”? Nah.
Colorado Rockies: The Rockies two primary colors are black and purple. That couldn’t possibly look good right? I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I don’t think you need to possess Paul’s hatred of purple to realize this isn’t a good look.
The Verdict: No.
Florida Marlins: For a team about to move into a new stadium and adopt a “new” identity (the “Miami” Marlins), they are probably a candidate for a uniform overhaul. And with black and teal as their current colors, would either look good in monochrome? We’ve seen enough black monochrome mocks to realize that’s out. But, how bad would an all teal uniform look? Only Jim Vilk would wear that.
The Verdict: Let’s see if the Marlins seek a new uniform for their move into a new stadium in 2012 before we think about wanting to see them in monochrome.
Houston Astros: If brick didn’t work for the D-Backs, would it work for the Astros? It wouldn’t be much better, but owner Drayton McLane loves that color. And the Astros do have some, um, crazy looks in their past. Still, as much as their owner loves the brick, even he wouldn’t want his team in that much red, would he? A better option, especially since they already use it, might be to adopt a cream look. Of course, with five teams already sporting a cream uniform or alternate, it wouldn’t be very original.
The Verdict: Not my choice for a team to go monochrome, but it’s certainly a team I could see them being a candidate for it.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Surely, a team with one of the most classic looks in the game, and whch doesn’t even have an alternate jersey, wouldn’t be a candidate for monochrome. But, the Dodgers do have monochrome in their past (of course, they also have plaid in their past), most notably during that satin night baseball era. So, we can at least hypothesize as to how it might look. And we can just as quickly dismiss that thought.
The Verdict: For a team with as beautiful and classic a uniform as that worn by the Dodgers, the thought of them introducing a solid color uniform is just…unthinkable.
That ends the look at the first half of the National League, and almost without exception, there is not a single team I would recommend even attempting the monochrome look. But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a National League team that shouldn’t. There are several good candidates coming up in the final offering of monochrome in baseball. You can probably already figure out at least two of them.
What say you, readers? Of the first half (alphabetically) of the NL, should any of the teams even consider the monochrome look? Possibly a return to powder blue for one or two? Or should we just hope they learn to wear proper hosiery and leave it at that.
The Slug…is Dead
New 40th Anniversary unis Unveiled
Yesterday afternoon, the Buffalo Sabres unveiled their new third sweater/uniform as well as a new road jersey that is almost, but not quite, a white copy of their home sweater. The home uniform is “technically” new as well, having been bumped up from their former third kit of last season. The unis were unveiled as a part of the celebration of the Sabres’ 40th Anniversary.
The big news, of course, is the old logo, derisively nicknamed the “Buffaslug” (for its uncanny resemblance to the vile garden denizen) is no more. The Sabres have reverted to a full-time fauxback uniform, with a nifty new third jersey.
The new royal blue uniform “celebrates the history of Buffalo hockey with a vintage white script across the chest inspired by the old Buffalo Bisons club,” notes the Icethetics blog. “Beneath the script and set to the right side is the Sabres’ 40th anniversary mark ”” the retro logo with 19 and 70 inside the blue circle.”
The Buffalo script is reminiscent of the old Buffalo Bisons “bottlecap” logo (more information on the Bisons can be found here). The back of the jersey features a yellow nameplate with blue block lettering and an odd cross-stitched pattern, which is supposed to be evocative of vintage hockey sweaters.
Obviously, after the “Buffaslug,” these uniforms are a MAJOR upgrade, and it’s hard to find fault with anything about them. I’m not overly fond of the tiny front uni numbers nor the white piping on the home jersey, but other than that — these are damn near perfect. As far as the new third, I LOVE the four yellow/gold stripes and the royal blue color, but the retro inspired wordmark doesn’t need the overline and the 40th anniversary patch looks slightly out of place and purposely off-center (just not a fan of a wordmark and a logo on the front — it might look better if moved the shoulder). But those are really minor quibbles — the Sabes have totally scored a hat trick with these gorgeous new threads.
According to NHL.com, the Sabres will wear their new third jersey for the first time against the New York Rangers in their home opener on Oct. 9.
Trackin’ the Ducks
UW #1 Seahawks Fan Michael Princip has been tracking the Oregon Ducks and all of their 2,456 possible uniform combinations this season. He’ll be updating it after each game.
The Ducks quacked a new look (surprise, surprise) yesterday. Here’s the top
dog duck to explain:
I have to admit, I wasn’t really expecting these carbon helmets to look this good. Or, maybe it was simply the fantastic ensemble that accompanied the helmet, and the spectacular yellow numbers playing off the yellow ‘O’ decal on the helmets. Every year the Ducks wear a combination that I completely go nuts over, and this year it might just be these week three carbon helmets, green jersey, and matte gray pants. Interestingly enough, it was week three last season where they wore a similar combination I flipped over, however, with the awesome white helmets. Oh and, in only three weeks, the Ducks have scored 189 points. Not too shabby, guess it helps to play teams like New Mexico and Portland State at Autzen.
Here then, is your 2010 Duck Tracker
Still have a backlog of uni tweaks, so let get right into it. If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way. OK? OK! Here’s what’s on tap for today.
Only two tweakers, but a whole mess of tweaks. Here ’tis:
Starting off the show is Dan Baglio, who has some college tweaks for Maryland & Princeton:
Here are some tweaks that I’ve done to Maryland and Princeton’s football uniforms. They’re my two alma maters and thought I’d give their unis a little tweak.
With the Maryland concept, I really wanted to highlight the yellow in the uniforms. It’s a little-known fact that Maryland’s original colors were gold (yellow gold) and black, but added in the red later to commemorate the blood shed in the Civil War. Obviously, red has taken over as the primary color and the yellow has been relegated to an accent color. With the basketball team having yellow alts, I really hope the football team starts to showcase it a little more as well.
As for Princeton, I really just did what I think is a modern, but not too
modern update on the classic. I’d be fine if they never changed unis, but this was a fun exercise.
Love the blog, it’s part of my morning news routine every day.
And for the final set today, and it’s a big one, is Bowen Hobbs, who has a whole mess of NFL concepts…and they’re pretty sweet:
I’m back with an array of NFL uniform (and some logo) concepts. I’ve posted most of these in my blog, 44th & Goal, but a few haven’t made it. I’ll cover some of the bigger changes:
Bills: Not a huge change, but the uniform actually makes sense from a mix & match standpoint.
Chiefs: Yes, it’s modern, but the arrow on the pants is a pretty nice touch.
Colts: Unified the striping, with a twist.
Panthers: I felt the current uniforms are dated. My first choice was ditching the silver. I added the claw marks as inserts in the light blue panels and paired it with a black helmet.
Patriots: I went back to the red, white, and blue. The uniforms blend modern and traditional by placing subliminal stars within the striping.
Raiders: I started by tweaking the logo. I added more details, such as scars and shading. With it, I also created an alternate logo and a new wordmark. The uniforms use the modified block font and some piping. I also made the shoes and facemasks black for a more intimidating look.
Ravens: I wanted the uniforms to be modern and fitting with the logo. The piping and inserts create a wing feel on the sleeves.
Steelers: I used diamond plating for the stripe pattern, putting more “steel” into the uniforms.
Texans: What’s more Texan than Western-Style button-down shirts? These jerseys, that’s what.
Great job today, fellows. Back next time with more of your concepts, tweaks and wholesale rebrands.
5 & 1
After a surprisingly good week last week, Jim Vilk is back his top 5 best, and one worst, uniforms for the college football season. Obviously, these are all subjective, so what I think looks good (or bad) Jim probably feels just the opposite.
Lets see how he did this week:
5. BYU/Florida State: Cougars don’t wear all-white often, do they?
4. Arkansas/Georgia: Hey, at least the Razorbacks didn’t put the name on the backside.
3. Alabama/Duke: After throwing you a curve with Arkansas, here’s a little old-school matchup.
2. Florida/Tennessee: A full day’s supply of Vitamin C with all that orange.
1. Iowa State/Kansas State: Color, stripes and grass — a real trifecta.
And the worst matchup: Portland State/Oregon.
Normally, I would have picked Boise State/Wyoming, but I liked the Cowboys’ alternate unis.
Wow…Um, that Boise State/Wyoming game might have been the worst matchup of the year. For real. BOTH teams feature NDL (“name down leg”) and the Cowboys have an airport abbreviation as their wordmark. Forget the fact that you have a white helmet/yellow highlighter jersey/brown pants/brown socks team versus blue/white/orange/white with file folder tabs and ass stripes. C’mon Jim. The Ducks don’t deserve this one.
This & That…
Been a while since we had a “This and That”…but there’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t belong anywhere else.
• Marty Hick and croquet go together like bacon and ice cream. So when the new croquet season opens, as it did last week, that means freshly painted balls, which get two coats and then a clear gloss, gorgeous mallets, to match the balls…and, of course…vintage golf shirts to match your ball & mallet, natch.
• Talkin’ Beisbol: The Milwaukee Brewers and the San Francisco Giants matched up in a Latino Heritage night last evening. Of note was the non-patronistic handling of the Spanish names for each team. Carlos Santana went NOB for the occasion. The cream versus gray matchup was much nicer than their Friday night attire, and much more palatable than the “Los Mets” Hispanic Heritage treatment this past Friday night.
• Lee Wilds tips us wise to the Tennessee Titans, who will be wearing their white jerseys for their game today, and are also supposed to be wearing white pants — if this happens, it will be the only third ever pairing of the white tops & bottoms.
• Really BFBS: If you’re going to go Black For Black’s Sake, you may just as well go all out. That’s what Mississippi State thought might look good yesterday. It didn’t. Black and maroon never look good together. Coach Mullen, what did you think? Exactly.
• More BFBS in one of the late games out in California. Yep — the Stanford Cardinal also pulled out the BFBS last night. That’s right full-on BFBS. Their unis were only slightly better than were Mississippi State’s if only because they at least featured normal pants stripes and legible numbers. But still.
• RTFTRS: (Red Turf for…) If you thought Boise State’s blue unis on blue turf look stoopid…check this shit out. Oh. My. God. That’s the Eastern Washington Eagles and Montana Grizzlies playing on the new synthetic turf at Roos Field in Cheney, WA. This might be the worst looking field in NCAA history. Seriously. How in the world do they think this stuff up?
• L’il Help? Paul will be traveling back from the Cream City late today, so we’re asking everyone to go easy on the ticker submissions. Also, if you notice any NFL uni news or weirdness, please post it (and pics/screen grabs too) in the comments below (basically, anything that would normally appear in Monday Morning Uni Watch). If you don’t want to post in the comments, please SEND ME YOUR NFL UNI PICS & OBSERVATIONS directly? I’ll be helping Paul to gather the info for tomorrow’s post. OK? OK!
*PHEW*. Another biggie in the books. Everyone enjoy your Sunday and a full slate of NFL games. Don’t forget to post those uni observations in the comments or send them to me. And don’t be too hard on Jim — after all, he’d wear that Wyoming uni.
That’s Anita Bryant on his left in the light yellow outfit and Rock Hudson on his right. Talk about the “Odd Couple!” — Terry Proctor