By Phil Hecken
“It’s a marathon and not a sprint.”
That’s how we describe the major league baseball season, and so to it goes for the look at monochrome in baseball. This “project” actually began more than a year ago, and now, perhaps mercifully, it comes to an end. We have one more batch of teams to look at — the second half (alphabetically) of the National League. And contained therein, I believe we have two of our most likely candidates for a monochrome uniform. You can probably guess who they are already.
Let’s get started.
Milwaukee Brewers: While many of us believe the Brew Crew is a prime candidate for a uni-makeover (we even had a couple weekends devoted to just that), monochrome probably isn’t their best option. Their navy blue top (at least the added the CNOF — “City Name On Front” this season) probably won’t look very good with navy pants, no matter what socks they wear. Their other color, “beer” is, however, at least an option. But the Brewers already look too much like the Padres. And, do we really want to see a Cream City denizen in a beer covered suit? After all, doesn’t that happen enough during happy hour?
The Verdict: Change the unis, but not to monochrome.
New York Mets: Remember a couple years ago when those charcoal gray fashion jerseys started appearing? One of them was for the Mets, and honestly, I didn’t think it looked that bad. I wouldn’t mind seeing one team darken their roads substantially. Why not the Mets? Of course, the Mets currently have a colored alternate, and it’s black. So, really, how much worse could it get? Too much black? OK, add some stripes. No, seriously, the Mets shouldn’t go monochrome, but if they do, they should really go crazy. They’ve lost the sartorial battle with the cross-town Yanks, so why not just have some fun?
The Verdict: I’ll be happy if they ever decide to ditch the black alt. Anything else is gravy. And I could live very easily with a dark gray, especially if Majestic could replicate the Under Armour ‘vintage’ treatment.
Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies have pretty classic unis, and no colored alternate, so there would be no call for them to consider monochrome. But they do have a blue and a red BP jersey, so we could at least consider it, right? I didn’t think I would like them in all red, but I was pleasantly surprised. Not that they’d ever wear that. What about blue? Um, no. If they were ever to consider a one-game return of the Saturday Night Special, I think I’d like to see that once…and only once.
The Verdict: With a nice home and road, a beautiful cream alt, and no softball top, (despite the one-game flirtation with monochrome in their past), the Phils are not a candidate.
Pittsburgh Pirates: OK. They have it in their recent past. They’ve even more recently thrown back to both a black and a gold version of the bumblebee era. They have 18 consecutive losing seasons. The fans love it. So…if there is any team crying out for a monochome uni, it’s Pittsburgh. They even have two options. The gold or the black. Just don’t mix and match. That’s my only condition.
The Verdict: YES! Please. If there is ONE team in the National League to go monochrome, it’s the Buccos.
San Diego Padres: And if the Pirates won’t do it, then what about the other team with a solid history of gold monochrome in their past? But wait…the Fathers don’t wear athletic gold anymore. They have a softball top, but it’s dark blue. We don’t want to see the Pads in monochrome blue and sand do we? Of course not. And with the rumors (basically confirmed) that they’ll be dumping their
piss sand colored uniform next season, what better way to replace it than to bring back the brown and gold. It’s time. Stay classy, San Diego.
The Verdict: Absolutely.
San Francisco Giants: The Giants don’t have any monochrome in their history, at least not in San Francisco, but they do have both an orange and a black alternate top. Two colors which probably don’t lend themselves to monochrome. Aside from The Jeff and Jim Vilk, no one wants to see this, do they? The Giants might not look so bad in monochrome black, (and hey, they did wear it about 100 years ago), but if there is any team to sport a black monochrome uniform, it’s probably not the Giants.
The Verdict: They might be able to pull it off, but they’re not the team to do it.
St. Louis Cardinals: Can you just picture one of the teams with one of the most classic uniforms (and no alternate) going monochrome? Neither can I. Certainly not in the color of the bird for which they’re named. But, they were one of the teams that wore powder blue for a time, and they have thrown back to that. So, what about a return to powder blue? Ya know…I’ll get back to you on that.
The Verdict: Redbirds are red, but they should never consider wearing an all-red uniform. The powder blue on the other hand…
Washtington Nationals: The Nats are another schitzophrenic team, sporting two alts (one of which may be the worst alternate in baseball). Their red alternate is actually nicer than their current home uniform, though. Dressing in all red probably wouldn’t make the team any worse looking than they have in the past. Jim Vilk approves. Now, what about that ridiculous Stars & Stripes alternate. How bad would that look? Exactly.
The Verdict: What the Nationals need to do is get a new home uniform, either mimicking the road script or changing it up to be a white version of the current red top. I have a feeling at least one of those will be coming true in 2011.
Well, there you have it. My season-long look at monochrome in baseball. I hope you enjoyed it. To reiterate my earlier musings on the subject, I don’t think monochrome should return to baseball except on a very limited basis (say, maybe, a Sunday Night game or something) and only for a team or two, at most, in each league. But it’s definitely something worth looking into; and in the National League at least, the Pirates and Padres could probably work one into their rotations and the fans would love it.
What say you all? Time for someone to give it a shot?
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 had a late kickoff yesterday in their game against the Shocker flashers…er, Sun Devils. Here’s Mike with some more new updates to the tracker:
Going to be doing some Oregon Duck equipment spec. sheets for various games, and this week I’m going to start with last week’s ‘carbon’ helmets. Featured helmet is the Bulwark, of course. I’ve been experimenting with different shell forms and seam lines. This will be ever changing until the first prototype is developed. Of course, the focus is on the Ducks ware, so I will try and cover every detail exhibited on the entire uniform ensemble. Interesting details on the carbon helmet have to be the white ‘O’ embossed front bumper, yet, yellow ‘O’ side decal. Center stripe that reads; “Oregon WTD Fast. Go Fast. Hard.Go Hard. WTD “Win The Day”. Yet, the wording/order varies for each player. One other uniform combination tidbit for this year is that Casey Martin is not the uniform coordinator anymore, yet, a counsel of 16 students picks the uniform combo for each game.
Here then, is your 2010 Duck Tracker
It’s gotta be the unis…
Ok, this really doesn’t have anything to do with the unis, but since moving out of the Homerdome and ditching the gray pinstripes (awful), and adding a cream alternate (gorgeous) and a new roadie (classic, if non-descript), as well as returning to outdoor baseball, the Minnesota Twins have very quietly established themselves as one of the dominant teams in baseball. While their past playoff failures (usually to the g-ddam Yankees) are well documented, this could very well be “their year.”
But the other night Ricko sent me some pretty amazing stats.
Here’s one of the Twins oldest fans to give us the rundown. Dig:
Some things about the Twins that probably don’t get much attention out east:
• Set a team attendance record, going over 3 million for the second time in franchise history.
• Set the record on the night they clinched, which also was Ron Gardenhire’s 800th win.
• As of Friday morning anyway, had best record in MLB, all without Joe Nathan and Justin Morneau, with Joe Mauer having a terribly slow start, and Scott Baker, the opening day starter, pitching so crappy he hasn’t been in the rotation for months.
• Best record in MLB since ASG
• Between the time they were tied with the White Sox and the night they clinched, they went 27-10, clinching with an 11-game lead…so it can’t be laid on the White Sox folding.
• Have won 6 division titles in the last 9 seasons, and played for a 7th when they lost the coin flip and had to play Game 163 in Chicago.
• Gardenhire has won 800 games in his nine seasons as manager. All those wins came with..
> the same Pitching Coach
> the same First Base Coach
> the same Third Base Coach
> the same Bullpen Coach
> the same Bench Coach
Something to be said for continuity, huh.
And hopefully sooner or later the national media’s gonna have to give Gardenhire some credit.
Yeah, they’ve been one-and-done in post-season too often. But, it’s tough to believe the media/fans who critcize him/them for that actually live in places such as Baltimore or Kansas City or Pittsburgh or Cincinnati…or even St. Louis, L.A., San Francisco, Boston (I could go on).
Thanks Rick. Pretty interesting stuff there. Be very interesting to see how the Twins would fare against the Yankees if they have the home field. It may not be “dome sweet dome” anymore, but they do have the best home record in the bigs. Keep your eye on the Twins this fall folks. They could be the team to watch.
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.
Those who’ve already sent in tweaks, they’re fine the way they are, but in the future, because many of you seem to enjoy elaborate write ups, can you possibly try to keep them to 50 words tops per team? Thanks!
Starting off the show is James Kergosien, who has 3 NFL and one NCAA hoop design:
Four tweaks for you here.
The first is for my Saints, who sport a classic look that just doesn’t fit the party theme of the city of New Orleans. The helmet features a “halo stripe”, an idea I got from your article featuring the Angels’ similar gimmick. In this case, it could work. I re-did the pants, ditching the BFBS ninja outfit, and reworking the side panels of the pants and jerseys. The Steeler Stripe looks great but it really isn’t the Saints’ look. An all white set would be great IMHO. The shoulder loops also are an improvement. Finally, bring on the funky font that has been filling the end zones in the Dome for twenty years.
The second redesign is the LSU basketball team. This team has long lacked the visual identity that the football and baseball teams have. Simple solution? Clone the football unis for a bold, distinctive look that is as awesome and as distinctive as the UNC argyle panels. Add the old-school font from the football helmets across the chest and you’ve got an instant winner.
The third is a re-do for the New York Giants. This is the best way to get the red accent in without an awful all-red alt. It also gets blue on the road unis while at the same time ditching the awful white-on-grey look. I thought the roadie stripes were great, so I put them on the home unis, and I added a red outline on the helmet decal.
Finally, the Cowboys. I standardized the silvers to a sky-blue-silver compromise, and I added royal to the road jerseys and navy to the home jerseys. I standardized the numbers, pants, and sleeve stripes between the two uniforms, and added a Cowboys wordmark on the chest of the home uniform. It’s a definite upgrade on an already classic uniform.
Moving on, we have Ed Westfield, who tried to enter two jerseys in the recent Design-a-Baseball Jersey contest. Obviously that was against the rules, so he instead submitted this for the tweak show:
I don’t know if I can enter again, but at the very least I want to
share another MLB tweak I came up with…
Even before they unveiled their current road uniform, I’ve always
thought the Red Sox road grey should have primarily nave blue
lettering and numbering. But instead of what they went with, I wish they had drawn some inspiration from what is now the defunct circular logo.
My Red Sox road tweak employs the block blue “BOSTON” from that logo.
I also removed the NOB from he back because it looks better, plus as a Yankees fan, I think use of an NOB should be consistent for both home and road…
Next up is Matt Renfrow a tweak-virgin no more, with his first foray into the madness:
I couldn’t help but get inspired by Jody Beamer (fellow Lexingtonian) and his Buffalo bills re-design. I was a fan of the Bills when I was younger (but switched to the Dolphins after they dismantled the Super Bowl era team) and can’t help but shake my head any time I see the Bills and their atrocious uniforms. I mean, who came up with that design, and how does ANYONE think it looks good? My design blends aspects of Bills’ uni history, and gives it a modern update. Anyway, here’s my redesign, with a few tweaks:
1. I used his logo, sans stripe, and converted it to red, to mimic their throwback unis.
2. I kep the Playbill script logo, but changed the Buffalo font.
3. I used the stripe from the old logo and made it the pants stripe, with a colored drop shadow.
4. I changed the number font, but nothing too crazy. (Notice I used #13, number of current Bills WR Stevie “Got Loose” Johnson, former Wildcat.)
5. I used the blue facemask, which harkens back to their helmets in the (mid/late?) ’80s.
6. I kept the current dark blue, but only in outline form, as seen in the number font and road NOB.
So, there you go. My first foray into Uni Re-designs, but definitely not my last, seeing as how I want to make a career out of this (somehow) after I get my Art degree.
For our final tweak of the day, we have Jack Brudvig. I think this is a pretty damn fine job…especially when you consider that Jack is 11 years old!
Hi! I’m Jack , i’m 11 years old and a lifelong Brewers fan. In the last year i’ve started following Uni Watch and i decided to give my own uniform design. It’s an alternate based on the road uniform from the Brewers world series year, 1982 but with some color changes. It maybe a little sloppy but i hope you enjoy the look of the uniform. Thanks for your time of looking at the attached uniform.
That’s all for today. Thanks to everyone who sent in their submissions. Back with more next time.
5 & 1
After yesterday’s almost complete agreement with me in our BCS conference grades, I’m inclined to cut Jim Vilk a little slack in his top 5 best, and one worst, uniforms for the college football season. Of course, grading individual uniforms isn’t like comparing matchups, so I’ll probably disagree with most of his choices, as usual. Just to make sure we’re not in that alternate Bearded Spock universe and all.
So…how’d he do this week:
5. Stanford/Notre Dame — Ah, Stanford’s back to normal…for now.
4. Eastern Michigan/Ohio State — Buckeyes playing yet another cupcake, but at least they play nice-looking ones this year.
3. North Carolina/Rutgers — Three cheers for the red, white and Carolina blue.
2. Colgate/Syracuse — Another FCS team looking for a brush with greatness, with unis that make me smile.
1. Temple/Penn State — Yesterday we found out how much I like the Lions’ unis…and next week we’ll find out how much I like the Owls’.
And my worst matchup: Air Force/Wyoming — Both teams have that diamond-side striping that annoys me (why, oh why, Wyoming, couldn’t you wear last week’s unis?).
Well…I like these better than last week…and unbeknownst to you, Robert Marshall called your number 1 a week ago (he’ll be vomiting in the corner now). Gotta say, I like your number one very much.
See ya next weekend with more 5 & 1.
OK. Another Sunday in the books. Today the Dolphins are scheduled to wear their Orange tops…so that will be three weeks in a row for the J-E-T-S in white. Will they stick with the white pants again, on the road? And tomorrow night, one of the big throwback debuts — Da Bears — will be wearing their 40’s era Monsters of the Midway gear. And against the Pack, no less. Should be the best looking pro matchup of the season.
Have a great Sunday.
That rule is so god damned stupid. The road team should not be able to dictate the home team’s uniform. Period. — THE Jeff.