I’m back today with reader David Firestone, with whom both Paul and I have worked before — but usually on items in the auto racing field. When I put out the call for reader pitches for articles, Dave responded to me with this:
I’ve had this project that I have been working on for some time, and I think you might use it for Uni-Watch. I take the color schemes of all 122 major league teams and rank them in order from best to worst.
Intrigued, I said “absolutely” — not knowing exactly how he’d go about this. What you’re about to see below is just half of what turned out to be a very ambitious project (I’ll have Part II of this down the road a ways), and it’s a basic way of looking at teams and their colors. I’m not sure too many of us ever thought of boiling teams down to just their color palette. Until now.
Click on each of the bolded names to see that specific team’s colors in full size.
As Dave explains below, much of his ranking is based on subjectivity — so if you disagree, that’s fine. Here’s Dave:
Ranking the Leagues by Color Schemes
By David G. Firestone
We’ve had ranking lists on uniforms, and logos, but I think we should try something new. Let’s rank each major league in terms of color schemes. Now like most other rankings, this is subjective, so let me explain how I chose what I did for each league. I used SSUR as my reference point for this project.
I will take each team and take the primary uniform colors they use, and put them on a graph, such as this Pittsburgh Pirates example. I will then give a brief explanation on why they were ranked. I will take in to consideration how the colors work together, how they clash with each other, how many colors in total, and the overall appearance. There are a number of teams that use very similar color schemes, as such there will be ties during the rankings. Team color names such as Dodger Blue are acceptable. Goofy color names will have rank taken away from them.
Major League Baseball:
A bold color scheme, the colors work very well together, the yellow looks really good when compared to the black and the white.
Blue and white is a simple, yet very elegant and very attractive color scheme.
It’s a darker shade of red than most, but it works very well and is very attractive.
4. New York Yankees:
The blue is a bit dark for my taste, but it is still a great look.
The blue is a bit too bright for my taste, but it is still a great look.
Red, white and blue is a bit cliche for American sports teams, but the colors work well, and it is a great color scheme.
Orange and black is a bit tough to work with, but when the orange is the perfect shade it is very attractive. The Orioles have a great shade, but the Giants is a bit dark.
Not a great color scheme. The Mets have the best, The Astros are much too dark, and the Tigers blue is a bit too dark for the shade of orange they chose.
9. Cincinnati Reds:
An otherwise great color scheme ruined by the needless addition of black.
10. Milwaukee Brewers:
Metallic gold and blue is not a good look, though if the gold was lighter it might work better.
11. Chicago White Sox:
In a word, bland.
12. Tampa Bay Rays:
Two contrasting shades of blue is not a good look at all.
13. Oakland Athletics:
Green and gold don’t mix very well as it is, but the green is too dark for the shade of gold they chose.
14. Arizona Diamondbacks:
In addition to an odd mix of colors, they lost points for the ridiculous names they gave the colors. “Sedona Red?” “Sonoran Sand?” Really?
Two different shades of red, and silver do not make for a good look.
16. Seattle Mariners:
There are too many dark colors here, and they don’t mix well. The green and silver would work by themselves, but not when paired up with each other.
17. San Diego Padres:
No. Redeeming. Qualities. Whatsoever.
National Basketball Association:
Red and black is a great color scheme and it works very well. My big problem with the Miami Heat is that the red is too dark.
Red and black is a great color scheme, but the addition of silver to the mix takes it down a notch. It adds nothing and subtracts from the overall scheme.
3. Boston Celtics:
I’m not a fan of green, but this shade works very well.
4. Houston Rockets:
A good shade of red works very well.
Royal Blue and red is a decent scheme, but the blue is a bit too bright. The reds are a bit too bright also.
Red and Navy is a good color scheme but the needless addition of silver ruins it.
A good color scheme. The Lakers got it right, the Warriors lost points for “California Golden Yellow,” the Pacers needlessly added silver, and the Nuggets use two contrasting shades of blue which would work well by themselves, but are awful together.
In a word, bland.
It worked well in the 1990’s but this is 2014, and the color scheme is dated.
Blue, black, and silver, another color scheme that was cutting edge in the 1990’s, but now just looks dated and a bit cliche.
11. Cleveland Cavaliers:
Red and yellow is a good color scheme, but the red and yellow used here is much too dark.
Orange and blue is difficult enough to work with, but the Knicks have an orange and a blue that is too bright, and a needless addition of silver. The Suns have two somewhat contrasting shades of orange, as well as too dark of a purple and the needless addition of black.
13. Milwaukee Bucks:
The only time Red and green work is at Christmas, and the silver does not help at all.
14. New Orleans Pelicans:
Dark blue and gold don’t work, red and gold works well, the trifecta just looks awful.
Three unattractive and contrasting shades of blue-check. Stupid color names-check. Dead last in the NBA-check.
Thanks, Dave — that’s certainly a unique (and very interesting!) way of looking at the teams in the various leagues. I’m sure it will generate a fair amount of discussion (and hopefully not too much controversy) in the comments — I’m glad Paul’s not “around” to see #13 in your MLB rankings.
Readers — now it’s your turn…what say YOU?
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today — a rare weekday appearance!.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way. The number of concept submissions has been way down recently — so readers — if you do have a concept you’d like featured, please begin (again) sending them in!
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
Click on any to enlarge:
First up today is Oliver Kodner, who has a concept for the old ABA team, the Spirits of St. Louis (what a great name!):
Dear Donald Sterling, or, Steve Balmer? Adam Silver…. kidding, Hey Phil.
With some of that LA Clippers talk, I was thinking of a relocation to St. Louis, and a nice rebrand of the Spirits, so I decided to upgrade the old Spirits logo into something good looking.
And we close today with Douglas Eidsmore with some tweaks to the 49ers:
Here are a couple of photos of my Niner redesign.
I replaced the truncated white stripes with a single gold band at the bottom of the sleeve for two reasons; the white stripes were hardly visible and I wanted gold on the jersey since the teams colors are red an gold.
I widened the red stripes on the helmet and pants so that red is the dominant triple stripe color not white.
And I made the face mask a flat gold color instead of gray so the mask and helmet present a unified image.
I welcome your and your readers comments and feed back.
And that’s it for today. Let’s get back on the concept wagon, folks, ok? OK!
for the Ticker
Some neato Baltimore Orioles history/mystery(?) today from Dave Holland, who sent me the following e-mail:
Sorry this is too late for the flocked helmet section, but it might make a good sleuth project.
Attached are photos of the Orioles 1955 helmets with an old style “B”. These are taken at Griffith Stadium in DC and at Yankee Stadium.
I’ve never seen any pictures of these worn in a game. The only ones I could find are helmets, not hats. Why is manager Paul Richards wearing a helmet, anyway?
American Needle Wear touts these as being worn as a hat in 1955, but their picture doesn’t support that claim. New Era doesn’t carry this cap.
Also attached are Buck Showalter wearing one and a rare photo of their full 1955 road uniform with “Orioles” in orange (with their 1955 home uni thrown in for good measure.). The previous inaugural year uniform had a different script in black and starting in 1956, the road jersey would have “Baltimore” on the front.
I’ve done all the research I can, hopefully another Uni Watcher can provide more info.
Thanks for filling in for Paul,
Here flocked helmet images, with the “Old Style B” he sent to accompany the e-mail (click to enlarge):
Here’s Buck Showalter sporting the same Old Style B on a cap:
And finally, here are some nice looks at some early Orioles uniforms:
Sweet pictures, and a bit of a mystery to boot!
Thanks to Dave for bringing this to our attention!
Great stuff. OK, now onto the ticker…
[Today’s ticker was mostly complied by Garret McGrath]
Baseball News: Does it get any prettier than this? Reader JediJeff sent in this post of pictures of all the Chicago Cubs programs from 1948 to the present. … The Atlanta Braves and Oakland Athletics will both wear throwbacks from 1914 this weekend (thanks, Phil). … The Norfolk Tides are going to be in gnome uniforms on Friday (thanks, Phil). … Cute story: Yesterday’s lede mentioned the Nolan Ryan bobblehead giveaway the Mets had. Kenny Kaplan is very good friends with Nolan Ryan’s son Reid. “When I got the bobblehead I sent it to Reid who gave it to his son Jackson.” So here is a picture of Nolan’s grandson with the bobblehead, Jackson Ryan. … You don’t think proper hosiery instantly makes a uniform look better? Well, here’s Matt Carpenter on Monday and here’s Matt Carpenter last night (thanks to Matt Larsen). Very odd that he’d wear red sanis though (h/t to Trent Knaphus for the screenshot). … The Phillies and Angels both wore Jim Fregosi patches last night (thanks to Harrison Tishler). Here’s how they looked on the jerseys (thanks, Paul)
NFL/CFL News: Tennessee Titan Justin Hunter’s NOB has been changed to JAG: Just Another Guy after failing to convert a route in last Saturday’s preseason game against the Packers (from Andrew Costentino). … Program from the Baltimore Colts NFL intrasquad game on August 12th, 1957. … Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith was wearing some sort of access pass on his belt prior to last Friday’s preseason game, (thanks, Paul), which reminded Paul of John Madden’s old look. … The Toronto Argonauts have revealed their alt uni (via Ed Zelaski. More here (thanks to Seth Moorman).
College/High School Football News: LSU has updated their jersey numbers for this coming season. … The Rutgers Scarlet Knight has had a Big Ten Conference makeover which means he went BFBS (from Justin Lesko). … Stephen F. Austin State University in Nachogdoches, TX has posted pictures of their new uniform (from Chris Mycoskie). … The University at Buffalo will wear alternate black helmets for their game on September 12th against the Baylor Bears (thanks, Phil). … College Spun ranked the top 10 most iconic college football unis of all time (thanks, Phil). … Uni Watch friend Andrew Lind has documented the evolution of Nike college football uniforms. … Diamond Ranch Academy in Utah has a bizarre football field design and uniforms. The numbers have a snake skin design on them to go along with a diamondback logo on the back of the helmet. Says submitter Dom Lewis, “The font used in the word “DBACKS” on the back of the uniform is clearly from the MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks.” Paul & I both think we’ve seen that field before, but those unis are a new one. Yowsa. … The Kansas Jayhawks are getting new red, er crimson chrome unis (there’s a video link in that tweet), with a hat tip to Chris Boykin. Cuz, you know, KU didn’t have enough unis and combos already. Here’s another look (via Cyclone Uniforms).
NBA News: New NBA city Charlotte is a All-Star game candidate city and has a prospective logo. … Possible leak alert: “Is the Team USA basketball leaking their 2014 roster early by selling these jerseys?” asks Matt Nelson. … The Sacremento Kings have officially unveiled uniform updates for 2014-15 season (via Tony MacLopez).
Grab Bag: An article about the never used Wichita State University Shockers logo (from Gavin Shank). … Uni Watch reader Tim Cross flew in a Steelers plane on his Bermuda trip. … Paul sends in this Gawker article entitled “Army Workout Clothes Get More Fly–Still Stank, Though.” … “I was browsing reddit earlier tonight and found this link for quite the unusual St Louis Blues jersey,” writes Jason Tierney. “Additionally the comments section some high quality links to some of the uglier jerseys known in existence.” … Here’s a first look at the Notre Dame Hockey practice jersey (from Warren Junium.
Raffle reminder: Remember, we’re currently raffling off three copies of this visual compendium of baseball uniform history.
Full details here.
And that going to do it for this fine Wednesday. Hope everyone has a good one and I’ll catch you all tomorrow!
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Steve Ballmer has been confirmed as the new owner of the LA Clippers. The transaction has closed. Since the Clippers name is overwhelmingly mired in memories of losing and Donald Sterling, I wonder if the Clippers will use the fresh start as a catalyst for a re-brand. Can/should we launch a design contest?”