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Come On, Man, Have Some Dignity Out There

We’ve known for a month now that MLB teams will be wearing tacky caps for Independence Day. Yesterday came word that they’ll also be wearing tacky jerseys. Here’s the full set of them, paired with the full set of caps:

NL East

NL Central

NL West

AL East

AL Central

AL West

———

And how will the jerseys look from the back? Glad you asked:

NL East

NL Central

NL West

AL East

AL Central

AL West

Notes: I showed the Blue Jays’ items, even though they’re for Canada Day, not Independence Day. Here’s a better look at what they’ll be wearing. ”¦ There’s no rear-view image currently available for the Twins (at least not that I could find), so I couldn’t include that. ”¦ I’ll give them this much: At least nobody’s wearing a colored alternate on Independence Day — not even the Nationals, who’ll be wearing the tacky stars/stripes jersey shown above instead of the tacky stars/stripes jersey that’s already part of their wardrobe. ”¦ The same cap template is being used by minor league teams. Not sure about the jerseys. … Reader Michael Hersch sent me a photo of the Tigers’ jersey, which he spotted in a shop the other day. It provides a much better look at the star pattern in the numerals, as well as the flag-themed version of the MLB logo (click to enlarge):

———

Okay, now here’s all the obvious stuff that I have to say anyway:

• Most of these look embarrassing, and the handful of exceptions are diminished by being part of a cookie-cutter template that feels more like a corporate marketing initiative than a holiday celebration.

• Blah-blah, bogus patriotism, blah, pandering, blah-blah, cheapening what the flag stands for, blah-blah-blah, jingoism, blah.

• As I’ve noted before, more than a quarter of MLB players are not Americans, and it seems really odd to make them wear American flag imagery to celebrate our holiday. Is it a privilege to play in the big leagues? Yes, for sure — that’s why foreign-born players have to apply for work visas, pay American taxes on what they earn here, follow our laws, and so on. And I absolutely believe a player should wear whatever uniform is put in his locker, even if it’s an ugly American flag jersey and a cap that looks like it should be sold at a gas station — that’s part of his job. But my point isn’t about the players; it’s about us. These people are our guests; we are their hosts. And part of being a good host is being gracious. I think it would be more gracious not to expect so many foreigners — a quarter of the game’s labor force! — to wear our flag on our holiday. If I were working overseas, I certainly wouldn’t be thrilled if my employer expected me to wear his/her national flag on his/her national holiday.

• As in the past, MLB will be donating the net proceeds from sales of these jerseys and caps to Welcome Back Veterans. That’s nice, but Independence Day has nothing to do with veterans or the military — it’s the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence’s ratification. So MLB is once again mixing bad design with bad civics, misrepresenting the meaning of an important holiday, and singling out the military for glorification. Unsurprising but still highly disappointing.

So where would I rather see the money go? How about a donation to the National Archives, where an original parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence is housed, or funding for educational programs on American history (which could teach, among other things, that not every holiday is a military holiday), or giving out copies of the Declaration of Independence to every fan who attends a game on the Fourth of July. Or how about not selling tacky stars/stripes gear to begin with. Or if you absolutely must sell it, how about not making the players wear it on the field. There are so many approaches here that would be better than what they’re actually doing.

•  I got a funny tweet from reader Val Sobrevilla, who pointed out that it could be worse: If Nike were making MLB’s uniforms, they’d probably use these colors instead of red, white, and blue.

Meanwhile, as it turns out, all the people who said they liked the front of this T-shirt but had issues with the back were right — we should have gone with a star-spangled number. I actually considered that during the design process, but I thought, “Nah, that’d be overkill.” That’s what I get for underestimating MLB’s capacity for foolishness. Won’t make that mistake again.

As I’ve stated many times before, I love the American flag and I love Independence Day. Both deserve better than this.

(As an aside: The annual Congressional baseball game took place last night at Nats Park. Given that the players were a group of politicians who are arguably the biggest panderers in the nation, tacky stars/stripes uniforms would have been perfect for the occasion, but they somehow managed to play the game without any of that nonsense. Everyone wore uniforms of the teams from their home districts. Lots of additional photos here.)

•  •  •  •  •

’Skins Watch: A school district outside of Buffalo is changing its team names from Redskins to Legends, a decision that led to some nastiness when it was announced. ”¦ Two parents have asked an Indiana school district to consider changing the local high school’s “Redskins” team name (from Terry Mark). … North Dakota’s nickname search is down to 15 candidates (from Keith Sakatch). ”¦ Here’s more on that Wisconsin school district where kids can no longer wear clothing with Native American mascots (from David Petroff).

Baseball News: Hall of Famer Andre Dawson is selling off his memorabilia (from Jonathan Daniel). ”¦ Good story on the history of the annual Congressional baseball game, this year’s edition of which was last night (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Mr. Rogers-themed jerseys upcoming for the Altoona Curve (from Ash Kumar). ”¦ R2D2 unis tomorrow for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (from Susan Freeman). … Bishop High School in Texas has some really bold uniforms and what appears to be even bolder eye black (from Cody Barker). … The Cardinals will be wearing 1985 throwback pullovers for Sunday’s game against the Royals (who’ll be wearing powder blues). ”¦ No photo, but the Boise Hawks will be going G.I. Joke on Aug. 1 (from Brad Iverson-Long). ”¦ The lowercase “d” on Mets C Travis d’Arnaud’s NOB is well-documented, but he also had it while rehabbing at Triple-A Las Vegas (photo by Darryl Ginwright, sent by Jerry Reuss). ”¦ Here’s some very crisp video of Pirates RF Dave Parker wearing a Padres batting helmet and white shoes in the 1977 All-Star Game (from Frank Mercogliano). ”¦ A high school team in Indiana is going high-cuffed to honor a player’s brother who was awarded the Purple Heart while fighting in the Iraq War (from Zeke Clark). ”¦ Cool soda displays saluting the Astros and Mariners (from James Poisso and Noah DuPont, respectively). ”¦ Potentially major find by Jay S., who turned up some shots of Richie Hebner wearing an early-1970s Pirates road uni with pants piping! Never seen that before. Anyone know more? ”¦ Best (or at least biggest) soda display ever: the Brewers’ sausage racers! (From Tim Mazurkiewicz.)

NFL News: With Father’s Day fast approaching, the mighty Fleer Sticker Project has found a great blast from the past that probably made a great gift for dad back in the day: NFL after-shave decanters. Never seen those before! ”¦ Browns P Andy Lee, recently acquired via a trade with the 49ers, wore No. 4 in San Francisco but is now changing to No. 8 as a tribute to his late daughter, who lived only eight days (from Chris Flinn). … Yesterday’s Ticker mentioned that the Chargers will be retiring LaDainian Tomlinson’s No. 21. Michael Stoudt has done a bit of research and says this will be the first 21 ever retired by an NFL team. ”¦ Eli Manning is now signing footballs with “Omaha” (from Chris Flinn). ”¦ This is pretty awesome: Washington S Duke Ihenacho had previously taped up his cleats to make them look like Chucks, and yesterday he did a new tape job that made the cleats look like slippers. ”¦ See those circles stitched into the shoulders of the Lions’ practice jerseys? They’re apparently impact-tracking sensors (from Cardz Hernandez).

College and High School Football News: Baylor’s uniforms are apparently popular with recruits (from Bradley Maybin). ”¦ Here’s a ranking of SEC football uniforms, with Mississippi in the top spot. … Here are the chrome-finish helmets for the Empire Challenge, which is a NYC-area high school all-star game.

Hockey News: New makeover for the Dallas Stars’ AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars (from Donnie Thomas). … If you’ve been wanting Nordiques prototype jersey with the ghost design that never came to fruition, here’s your chance (from David Rivitz).

NBA News: The Clippers’ new logos, which were leaked back in April, will reportedly be circulated all over L.A. next Thursday (which, by coincidence, is the same day the Sixers plan to unveil their new uniforms). ”¦ The Cavs stoked boos from their crowd last night by putting the Steelers logo and Big Ben on their scoreboard (from Steven Zerhusen).

Soccer News: Swansea’s new kit may have leaked (from Marty Albert). ”¦ New kit for Southampton. ”¦ Arsenal’s new home kit has leaked (from Richard Nethercott).

Grab Bag: Here’s a bunch of college logo mash-ups — some amusing, some horrific (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Paul Bacon, one of history’s greatest and most influential book jacket designers, has died. ”¦ According to some study whose methodology I don’t fully trust, Adidas is more popular than Nike. ”¦ Lots of great hand-painted signs in this story about how technology is destroying local typography (from Yusuke Toyoda). ”¦ Georgia Tech’s Brandon Lasater ran a sub-four-minute mile while wearing a very interesting uniform. “I had never seen that ‘P’ logo before,” says Britton Thomas. “It turns out to be a company called Phenetix, a company co-founded by a former GT track athlete.” ”¦ Concussion awareness has spread to the world of polo, where a British student has deisgned a new helmet with an impact sensor. ”¦ The new iTunes logo is supposedly a shout-out to Apple’s 1977 logo, although I think the writer is making a bit of a stretch there.

• • • • •

What Paul did last night: My brother Roy was 15 years old when I was born. I’m sure it must have been very odd for him to suddenly have a baby brother at that point in his life, and I think it would be fair to say that he’s never been nuts about children in general, but he was always very, very good to me and imparted lots of life lessons during my youth — many of them pertaining to baseball. It was Roy who first explained batting averages and earned run averages to me; it was Roy who taught me how a rain check works (a story in itself, which I’ll save for another time); and it was Roy who told me, when I was maybe five or six, “We’re a National League family. That means we mostly root for the Mets, but you can root for other National League teams if you want, like in the World Series. But it means, more than anything, that we hate the Yankees.” And thus has it ever been.

Like many adult siblings, Roy and I have a complicated relationship that doesn’t always bring out the best in either of us, but we can always enjoy a ballgame together. Last night I took him out to see the Mets/Giants game, and we had a great time. Here’s a shot of us taken during the seventh inning stretch (click to enlarge):

IMG_1745

Meanwhile, prior to the game, I was walking from my car to the ballpark (I always park on the street about a 10-minute walk away, because what kind of idiot pays $22 for parking?) when I came upon this:

There's something perfect about the pathos of this discarded TV, face-down next to a tree just outside the Citi Field parking lot.

Posted by Paul Lukas on Thursday, June 11, 2015

• • • • •

Something else, and how: Ornette Coleman, who died yesterday at the age of 85, was one seriously eccentric cat. He was also a genius, just as surely as Newton and Einstein. Like most geniuses, he was initially ridiculed and shunned because his ideas (in Coleman’s case, his invention of free jazz and his contention that Western notions of melody and harmony were basically constructs that could be ignored in favor of improvisation) were too radical for people to grasp. And as with most geniuses, the world eventually caught up with him and gave him the acclaim he’d always deserved. By the end of his life, he’d won a Pulitzer, a lifetime-achievement Grammy, a MacArthur “genius” fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts award, several honorary doctorates, and more.

I only saw Coleman once, in 1990. It was kind of an epic day of music: My then-girlfriend and I had first seen the Mekons opening for Yo La Tengo (or was it the other way around?) in Central Park, so we’d already been exposed to a lot of sun, heat, and alcohol by the time we got to Carnegie Hall, where Coleman was playing with his electric band. Or to put it another way, we weren’t in the best condition for appreciating Coleman’s gifts that night, which is something I’ve always regretted.

Coleman had reportedly been in poor health for a while now, so I’m glad his suffering is over. There’ll be other geniuses, but there’ll never be another one quite like him. R.I.P.

121 comments to Come On, Man, Have Some Dignity Out There

  • DJ | June 12, 2015 at 8:20 am |

    The polo helmet link and the Apple logo link both direct to the same thing (the polo helmet story)

    • Paul Lukas | June 12, 2015 at 8:33 am |

      Gotta respect a guy who reads all the way to the very end of the Ticker. Now fixed.

  • Phil Hecken | June 12, 2015 at 8:20 am |

    “…what kind of idiot pays $22 for parking?”

    ~~~

    slinks away

    • Rob Ullman | June 12, 2015 at 10:23 am |

      I went to a game at Nats Park last Saturday…it was a noon start, and we were only about an hour early, so I figured we were sunk for a nearby street spot, which is my preferred (cheap) way to park. Then, I spotted a “Men Working” sign taking up an entire spot just a couple blocks away. Figuring nobody’d be working on a Saturday, my pal and I moved the sign up a few spaces into the “no parking” area, parked the minivan (hey, we’re dads) and the tailgate was on! What kind of idiot, indeed?

      • Uni Troll | June 12, 2015 at 1:17 pm |

        A slight tangent here, but I never understood why people with kids necessarily need trucks and vans.

        When I was little, they drove us around in sedans, and I didn’t hear anyone complaining…well, at least not about the sedans.

        • Rob Ullman | June 12, 2015 at 2:03 pm |

          I actually don’t have a minivan, but a lot of my pals do. It’s just a question of preference. We have a Jeep Patriot (pandering!) and a Civic, and we drive around in the Honda 90% of the time, but when we’re taking trips, going to visit family out of state, etc., especially with the dog, it’s nice to have all that extra room.

        • Jim Vilk | June 12, 2015 at 2:38 pm |

          When I was little we didn’t have car seats. Try fitting more than one of those in a sedan. Somehow we’ve managed to get three kids into the back of a G6, but not without a lot of grumbling. The Wife would take a minivan in a heartbeat.

        • Rob Ullman | June 12, 2015 at 5:03 pm |

          Yeah, that’s true… if you have more’n three kids under 7, there’s no way you’re getting by with a single backseat.

    • Michael Emody | June 12, 2015 at 4:47 pm |

      I used to do the same. But here in Chicago every street anywhere close to venues that attract viewers are restricted to residents with a specific parking permit number on their city stickers. Or on temporary stickers, which residents pay extra for. Street parking anywhere around US Cellular is impossible. I suppose you could check Google street view and determine exactly how far a section of non-permit parking might be. I’d do that!

      • james steever | June 12, 2015 at 8:42 pm |

        I never understood the fuss about permit parking around US Cellular Field since nobody goes to White Sox games anyway…

  • JT | June 12, 2015 at 8:35 am |

    Those MLB jerseys look like something my menopausal Aunt Janice would design after a super patriotic trip to Hobby Lobby. Maybe they can include hot dog casserole recipes with each replica jersey sold.

    • Paul Lee | June 12, 2015 at 2:44 pm |

      Next year: Bedazzling.

      • MikeS | June 12, 2015 at 3:48 pm |

        That was the first word that entered my brain when I saw these photos. I thought they’d been bedazzled. Sheesh.

  • Ryan H. | June 12, 2015 at 8:38 am |

    What did you come upon after the game?

    • Ryan H. | June 12, 2015 at 8:44 am |

      I think I just figured out it’s not showing up for me because my school blocks a lot of images.

    • Uni Troll | June 12, 2015 at 11:42 am |

      A discarded CRT television set screen-down in the grass, near a tree.

  • Dumb Guy | June 12, 2015 at 8:38 am |

    The Cardinals jersey is especially horrible.

    Mangy ol’ moltin’ birds!

  • eltee of DC | June 12, 2015 at 8:39 am |

    Toronto – easily the class of these uniform equivalents of the “smash and grab” school of MLB marketing.

    • Diggerjohn | June 12, 2015 at 5:08 pm |

      It’s kind of fitting the one team from the country that finds overwhelming patriotic displays as tacky has the most tasteful national holiday uniforms.

    • Thresh8 | June 12, 2015 at 6:01 pm |

      Yep.

      Now if only MLB would make an Expos one.

  • Jamie Kilgore | June 12, 2015 at 8:43 am |

    Int he ticket, that is Eli Manning signing balls with Omaha. Most likely making fun of his brother.

  • Shane | June 12, 2015 at 8:45 am |

    The template works really well for the Nats.

    And by “really well” I mean it looks miles better than that old Stars and Stripes alt jersey from a few years ago. Beyond that, mehhhhhh.

    • terriblehuman | June 12, 2015 at 9:37 am |

      Thinking the same as well. It’s the least bad of the whole bunch (and it’s pretty awful).

  • Dumb Guy | June 12, 2015 at 8:46 am |

    Nothing attracted the ladies of the 70’s like Avon after shave–especially from an NFL decanter. Ooooooh yeeeaaah!

    Need a ride girls?

    http://cdn.photolabels.co/images/4.bp.blogspot.com/-Wh8aGaP78Z4/TXTjqia_vKI/AAAAAAAAB7k/RKAhKfXNyLg/s1600/89095022_f174b1373d_o.jpg

    • Uni Troll | June 12, 2015 at 11:46 am |

      How come you hardly ever seen decorated vans like that anymore?

      Some of those were kinda cool.

    • Jim Vilk | June 12, 2015 at 11:58 am |

      My dad had the Steelers version of that after shave. They had NBA ones, too:
      http://leanncork.com/goodwill/files/2011/07/141.jpg
      My brother had the Cavs.

  • Taha | June 12, 2015 at 8:47 am |

    The jerseys I could do without, but I REALLY like the addition of stars and stripes to Jerry Dior’s logo

    • Komet17 | June 12, 2015 at 5:37 pm |

      I agree. I think MLB could just use that for each of the in-season federal holidays (Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day), and that would be a nice, subtle, appropriate gesture.

  • Eric C. Leach | June 12, 2015 at 8:59 am |

    Minor league teams will not have the same issued MLB jerseys. It is up to each team if they will do their own jersey. Most will.

  • ScottyM | June 12, 2015 at 9:00 am |

    Oh my… that endless list of atrocious uniforms was a waste of a lot of Internet space.

    My condolences on having to assemble so much garbage.

    • Rob S | June 12, 2015 at 9:20 am |

      I’m a little surprised they’re all just in line in the article, instead of in a slideshow.

      • Paul Lukas | June 12, 2015 at 9:40 am |

        I considered a slideshow but decided that the visual effect was more powerful (i.e., awful) when presenting all the images together in a row.

        • Rob S | June 12, 2015 at 9:42 am |

          I kind of figured you had that kind of reasoning.

        • Marc | June 12, 2015 at 2:18 pm |

          I thought I was used to bad given what people riding the subway seem to think is appropriate attire for going out in public. If it were possible for MLB sales of these to be below zero, that would be my wish.

  • Aaron | June 12, 2015 at 9:01 am |

    Not that there’s necessarily a good decision in this entire enterprise, but why give the Cubs red hats? Maybe if the other choice were green or something, but the other choice is blue! AKA the (more-or-less) usual color!

    • Rob S | June 12, 2015 at 9:42 am |

      It seems that the caps are meant to match the jerseys’ star-spangled elements. Those with the stars on blue get blue hats, and those with stars on red get red hats.

      It’s still utterly stupid, of course.

  • Kevin B. | June 12, 2015 at 9:07 am |

    I like a lot of these jerseys, but exclusively for the teams with a red/blue color scheme. Teams like the Giants, Orioles, and Mets look odd with elements of their original color schemes and the red and blue. It clashes. That’s not good design.

    On one hand, they could abandon their color schemes and go full red/blue. Not a totally bad idea in my opinion, and it might even be fun if it were only one day per season (like St. Patrick’s Day unis), but it also seems the teams would be abandoning their identities at that point and we all know it’s not just one day per season. I’d probably rather they just stuck with their own color schemes. If I could wave my magic wand, there’d be a flag patch on the uniform sleeve and that’s about it.

    One item of note, in my opinion: I disagree with the idea that these uniforms and other similar items desecrate the American flag. Anything with a “stars and stripes” pattern is not an American flag. Pictures of the American flag are not the American flag. Even the US Flag Code is careful to differentiate between “the flag” and “flag patches.” Flag lapel pins are similar in nature, and the code specifically labels them “replicas” and states that they may be worn. The level of taste associated with these items is certainly debatable, but until MLB goes full Kid Rock I think they’re within the boundaries set by the Code.

    • arrScott | June 12, 2015 at 9:49 am |

      You make a good point about designs that merely evoke the flag rather than being made, or apparently made, of the flag itself. However, you’re simply wrong about the flag itself and its use on sports uniforms. The Flag Code explicitly says that all representations of the flag, whether on a pole in front of the Post Office or a patch on your sleeve, are the flag and must be treated with full and equal respect and dignity. And the Flag Code also explicitly commands that the flag or a flag patch must never be worn on an athletic uniform. This isn’t a gray area or an arguable point. One either believes in traditional etiquette for honoring the flag, or one is OK with the flag appearing on these jersey sleeves and NFL helmets. Here is the relevant text:

      4 U.S. Code § 8 – Respect for flag
      (e) The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
      (j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.

      The bit in section J about lapel pin is making the opposite point from what is described above. A lapel pin, although a replica, is, like the flag (“therefore”), a living thing to be kept near the heart. Section J is saying, don’t treat a lapel pin differently even though it may seem to be different in kind. It’s the same, so treat it the same.

      • Paul Lukas | June 12, 2015 at 9:55 am |

        I’ve never used the Flag Code as the basis for my objections to stars/stripes uniforms, and I don’t think it’s a good reference point for either side of these uni-centric debates. The Flag Code has no force of law and would be tossed out on Constitutional grounds in about two minutes if anyone tried to enforce it.

        • Uni Troll | June 12, 2015 at 12:07 pm |

          “The Flag Code has no force of law and would be tossed out on Constitutional grounds in about two minutes if anyone tried to enforce it.”

          Correct, and I agree.

          The reason that I (and others) often cite it in these discussions is that people will frequently insist that it’s somehow “disrespectful” or “unpatriotic” to criticize these clearly improper uses of the flag, when according to the conventions stated in the Flag Code, it’s actually these misuses of the flag that should be considered disrespectful.

          People who burn or otherwise desecrate a flag as a means of expression are consciously and deliberately acting against the Flag Code. But those who wear it inappropriately are breaking the rules while generally insisting that they’re somehow in the right, and often launch attacks on those who question their practices.

          You can’t tell these people anything. Apparently, following the rules of the United States Flag Code means that you hate America.

      • Kevin B. | June 12, 2015 at 10:39 am |

        I disagree with you, Scott. It seems clear that the code, in the very passage you mention, differentiates between a “flag patch” and other images of flags such as lapel pins and an actual “flag” I think that affixing an actual flag to an athletic uniform would be a violation of the Code, but a flag patch would not be. The picture of Kid Rock which I linked to is something I find terribly offensive. He ripped a flag so he could wear it like a shirt. But a patch is not a flag, just as an embroidered image of you is not you. A flag patch is an embroidered image of a flag. That’s my opinion, and it’s certainly debatable. I feel confident in stating that MLB considers themselves to be a patriotic organization, and thus in compliance with the Code.

        Paul, I agree with your comment about the Flag Code not having any legal weight. It’s not law. It’s a guideline. I certainly wasn’t making the argument that it was, if that was unclear. While you may have never used it as a basis for your objections, it’s my opinion that it’s a fair standard for an organization to use when attempting to avoid offense in the use and handling the flag. Bad design, however, is bad design. I think some of this is really bad design and some of it is pretty cool.

      • The Jeff | June 12, 2015 at 11:04 am |

        No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform.

        The key word here is “as”. Putting a flag *on* a uniform and wearing a flag or part of a flag *as* a uniform are not the same thing.

        • Kevin B. | June 12, 2015 at 12:01 pm |

          Correct. And I agree with that. My point is that a flag patch is not a flag. A stars and stripes pattern is not a flag. A representation or replication of the image of a flag is not a flag. Only a flag is a flag. See the Kid Rock picture? That is a flag, and that’s awful.

        • Uni Troll | June 12, 2015 at 12:18 pm |

          I’m not entirely convinced that the authors of the Flag Code text intended such a distinction of semantics, but in any case, the stated exception that “…a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations” does not mention anything about athletic uniforms.

          And the idea that a professional sports team would constitute a “patriotic organization” would likely be too outlandish for even the most dedicated of trolls.

  • KC | June 12, 2015 at 9:07 am |

    Well, I can’t unsee those caps and jerseys.

  • Rob S | June 12, 2015 at 9:16 am |

    Damn, I’d love to get my hands on a phantom Nordiques jersey like that. I’d be tempted to jump on it if I had the money to spare.

  • The Jeff | June 12, 2015 at 9:20 am |

    Hmm. Well. Yeah. They’re all going to look like shit, but at least they’re color-coordinated. I think we can all admit that a flag hat and flag jersey looks better than a flag hat with a normal jersey would, especially on a team like the A’s or Giants.

    • Uni Troll | June 12, 2015 at 12:26 pm |

      True.

      If I’m going to wear a clown suit, I’ll definitely want a red rubber nose to go with it.

  • walter | June 12, 2015 at 9:21 am |

    A close look at those Hebner pictures reveals the collar trim added white between the black and ochre stripes.. which suggests they might have gone with a V-neck, as well. To the best of my knowledge, the Pirates had the crew neck pullover until they went with the Descente uniforms.

  • Rob S | June 12, 2015 at 9:24 am |

    Something that’s not shown in the Toronto jersey ad, due to being obscured by the Canada Day jersey on one side and cut off on the other: the July 4th jerseys for when they’re in Detroit will have flag patches on the sleeves. Canada for the left sleeve, and the U.S. on the right (with the canton facing forward).

    • Rob S | June 12, 2015 at 9:26 am |

      Hell, thinking about it, that’s really as far as the teams ought to be going – put a flag patch on their regular uniform, and that’s it. Maybe one on the side of the cap.

      But then, they couldn’t sell a new design every year, could they? Damn greedy bastards.

  • Rich | June 12, 2015 at 9:31 am |

    George Springer’s number is 4, not 44. Nice going, MLB asshats.

    • Rob S | June 12, 2015 at 10:11 am |

      Moreover, 44 is reliever Luke Gregorson’s number.

      OOPS!

  • rick | June 12, 2015 at 9:31 am |

    While I liked the latest uni t-shirt, the back stopped me from buying. I disagree with you on most of your views when it comes to the use of the flag on unis, but I am 100% with you on these latest offerings from MLB. They for the most part look foolish and childish. The St. Louis birds look as if they have some avian disease.

    • Paul Lukas | June 12, 2015 at 9:41 am |

      While I liked the latest uni t-shirt, the back stopped me from buying.

      In other words, you DIDN’T like the latest shirt. Which is fine.

    • Tim | June 12, 2015 at 2:36 pm |

      +1

  • Rob S | June 12, 2015 at 9:33 am |

    According to some study whose methodology I don’t fully trust, Adidas is more popular than Nike.

    Well, I’ll say this for the article – at least they’re not pandering to Adidas by referring to them in all lower case.

  • StLMarty | June 12, 2015 at 9:35 am |

    Altoona done messed up. Mister Rigers’ sweaters were made by his mother, and they didn’t have buttons. They were zip ups! Opportunity… blown.

    If I’m not mistaken (and I very well could be), Coleman’s daughter dated Mike Watt for a bit.

  • arrScott | June 12, 2015 at 9:38 am |

    I weep for all the electrons that had to die to bring us those MLB flag unis. Some pictures are worth a thousand words; most of those photos are really just the f-word shouted a thousand times at the public.

    Though a few of them, all teams that have navy and red uni details, are actually reasonably attractive, for a special-event jersey. Seen from the front. And without the caps, which are unredeemable by any criteria. If only the Cardinals had kept the bat yellow. And maybe blue starry text below the red starry birds. But that would have taken some design flunky like 15 extra minutes of work, so I understand why MLB and Majestic stuck with the full generic template overlay.

    As to charities, baseball is all about heritage and tradition. As such, the perfect partners for the Independence Day “fundraising” merch sales would be the homes of our revolutionary and early republican leaders. George Washington’s Mount Vernon has never taken public funds, and it has some terrific programs providing free civics education resources to schools. Also, any teacher can request a free framed portrait of George Washington for their classroom. Mostly private funds maintain the homes of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and others. The National Park Service maintains historic sites related to many other Founders, including important sites in Massachusetts and and Independence Hall and Valley Forge in the Philly area; MLB could make donations to support those sites.

  • Chicago Shep | June 12, 2015 at 9:40 am |

    As awful as the flag uniforms are, I think that they are actually a step up from the old ones. Yes, they look like a cross between awful Christmas sweaters that you would see at a craft fair and the worst gas station fashion, but at least the colors are consistent. No more screaming Miami orange, Colorado purple or Oakland green with a red stars and stripes cap — that has to be seen as an upgrade.

    • Chicago Shep | June 12, 2015 at 9:59 am |

      In case it isn’t clear that I think the star-bedazzled uniforms are atrocious in my original comment, let me clearly state that I think that they’re an offense to both good taste and patriotism. I just think they’re a marginal improvement over the aesthetically and patriotically-offensive mismatched caps. And because I’m having problems with horrible lag when I comment, I failed to note that the current set looks like it was designed by my grandmother and her Ocala, FL craft circle. I live here, but I wouldn’t want her touching a Major League Baseball uniform.

      • Chicago Shep | June 12, 2015 at 10:05 am |

        And that should’ve said “love her” not “live here”. This typing lag is killing me.

  • terriblehuman | June 12, 2015 at 9:42 am |

    Sorry if this has been asked already, but if the Cavs keep wearing gold at home and navy on the road, will this be the first playoffs/Finals series where a team does not wear its primary home or away jersey at all?

  • Don G | June 12, 2015 at 10:00 am |

    I love the red Toronto script…love it. The rest, all the star-spangled lettering looks like the embroidered patches that are so popular on baby clothes in the South. So I guess they’ll pair well with pajama pants. Example: https://img1.etsystatic.com/006/0/6378934/il_570xN.472824281_edgj.jpg

  • Yancey | June 12, 2015 at 10:00 am |

    Is baseball on Independence Day not American enough?

    • Jim Vilk | June 12, 2015 at 11:46 am |

      Bunting. Gotta have bunting as well.

      Why not adorn the unis with bunting instead of stars&stripes?

      • The Jeff | June 12, 2015 at 1:10 pm |

        C’mon Vilk, a game where everyone is just bunting would be really annoying.

        • Jim Vilk | June 12, 2015 at 2:31 pm |

          I’d watch that. But only on the 4th

  • The Dom | June 12, 2015 at 10:00 am |

    I’m sorry but who the heck in the Cards organization agreed to this travesty by wearing the 85 throwbacks against off all teams the 85 Royals. As a Cards fan of that era I feel its an insult to wear these jerseys based on one of the biggest and worst calls in the history of sports. Lets have a throwback uni-game for the 2001 Pats (cheaters) -Raiders playoff or the infamous Stars /Sabres 1999 No Goal Cup Final series. How about a Bucky Dent day and Sox/Yanks were throwbacks in Beantown……I could go on and on…Bad idea, worse for Cards organization to agree to this.

    • rick | June 12, 2015 at 11:06 am |

      Yes, the call by Denkinger was horrible. But it was Game 6.
      And Porter and Clark playing “I got it, you take it” later that inning was horrible. And the Cardinals imploding in Game 7 and getting worked by the Royals was horrible too.
      Get over it. You’ve got more championships in the past 10 years than the Royals do in almost 50.

      • Jim Vilk | June 12, 2015 at 12:05 pm |

        The best fans in baseball should learn to let it go already.

        They’re still the best uniforms you’ve ever worn. Enjoy them.

    • Johnny Midnight | June 12, 2015 at 12:05 pm |

      I would think the fact that the Cardinals have been wildly more successful than the Royals over the past 30 years, have won numerous World Series since 1985 and, up until last year, the Royals have been an absolute dumpster fire of a franchise would be enough to put to rest any bitterness that Cardinals fans might feel.

      I guess I would be thinking wrong, however. Cardinals fans hold 30 year grudges The Right Way®

  • Derek | June 12, 2015 at 10:05 am |

    Didn’t think it was possible to make the Miami Marlins look worse. You did it, MLB. Congrats. Although the “MIAMI” on the chest is actually more readable here on the road greys than the white lettering that is normally there.

  • Weetabix | June 12, 2015 at 10:14 am |

    I think #21 was retired by the Atlanta Falcons (Deion Sanders).

  • S.Menecola | June 12, 2015 at 10:16 am |

    As a lifelong (Blue) Jays fan I find it hard to believe that the pandering folks at New Era and MLB have not capitlized on the
    opportunity to make a Blue Jays Canada Day cap based entorely on the Candian Flag. Talk about simle fauxback money making opportunity. Use the Jays old white and blue caps but trade the blue for red stick our beuatiful Maple Leaf on the front and voila. millions in revenue as us apparently not so patriotic Canadians would eat that up at the typical 42.99 Canadian rate.

  • Chris | June 12, 2015 at 10:29 am |

    You can argue the merits of Memorial Day / 4th of July / whatever themed apparel forever with no resolution.

    I don’t believe though the percentage of foreign born players factors in to the equation. The point is we are in America so obviously our holidays are the ones most celebrated. Moving here and in a sense adopting those holidays is part of making our country your new home. You don’t have to be American by birth to celebrate our holidays like the 4th or honor our sacrifices on Memorial Day. It’s not something unique to athletics or even people immigrating here to America. When Americans move elsewhere, or a person from say country A to country B taking part in the new country’s holidays is part of the adaption process.

    • Tony C. | June 12, 2015 at 11:17 am |

      nicely said

  • Tim | June 12, 2015 at 10:33 am |

    Interesting to see the North Dakota alumni taking a stand on the history of their nickname and just wanting to be called North Dakota.

  • name redacted | June 12, 2015 at 10:42 am |

    I was wondering which of the celebrity obits yesterday (Coleman, christopher lee, dusty rhodes, ron moody) would get a mention on the site today.

    I might have guessed Dusty since he became infamous in his WWF run for the polka dot outfit, but may have been most influencial in the grappling business for possibly introducing the “cowboy boot” style of wrestling footwear.

  • Another Josh | June 12, 2015 at 10:49 am |

    I know the White Sox have a history of red uniforms, but red is the one color that should not be anything more than an accent color on their uniforms.

  • Anthony Giaccone | June 12, 2015 at 10:53 am |

    Did someone at MLB raid the bargain bin at Michael’s Craft Store for the stars and stripes fabric to put on these uniforms???
    …absolutely disgusting. (and don’t even get me started on the caps)

  • J.D. | June 12, 2015 at 11:18 am |

    Not sure if this is Uni Watch-worthy, but LeBron James had somewhat of a “warderobe malfunction” right before tipoff last night.

    http://screengrabber.deadspin.com/hey-look-its-lebrons-dick-1710773115

    It’s only tangentially related to his uniform, but as someone who has worn compression shorts for athletics before, sometimes you need to, um, rearrange.

  • Mike Engle | June 12, 2015 at 11:20 am |

    RIP Ornette Coleman indeed. That album you show, Something Else!!!!, is actually a great gateway into his genius. The songs on that album are, at its core, just rhythm changes and blues forms, but they push boundaries in all the right ways, so that it still sounds beautiful and familiar, even though it’s also the start of something groundbreaking.
    Sure, some of his later albums are harder listens than others, but start with that one. Just like how Picasso proved to be an amazingly talented artist before he established himself as the cubist, this album is my traditional answer when people say that Ornette must have hit his head at the bottom of the deep end of the pool while at the psychiatric ward. No way in hell. You can only “break” the rules once you’ve mastered them, and Ornette was a master. In fact, I should get it onto my iPhone, now that I think about it.
    Thanks for indulging my jazz fandom. Now, back to uniforms.

  • Monsterjoe | June 12, 2015 at 11:25 am |

    Seems like Eli would draw 2 Lombardi trophies or something, rather than steal from Peyton.

  • Jason M (DC) | June 12, 2015 at 11:30 am |

    Congressional baseball game always has uniforms from the various districts. It’s usually a school or team from that member’s district/state or their alma mater. So it’s a mix of pro and college uniforms. It’s not new. They do it every year. Roll Call gives a rundown on it every year before the game.

    • Paul Lukas | June 12, 2015 at 11:36 am |

      Never said it was new — in fact, I used the word “annual.” Am well aware that this is their usual uniform protocol. Was simply comparing/contrasting.

  • tbone | June 12, 2015 at 11:34 am |

    Thoughts:
    1. I can’t get over how HORRIBLE the stars and stripes look on some of these teams. Miami, Philly, I’m looking at you. None of them look good, but some are almost making my eyes bleed.

    2. Toronto is part of the Stars & Stripes package, when it seems to have neither. But hey, you can get free ground shipping to the USA!

    3. I still don’t like the PANDERING t-shirt by itself, but it actually seems a lot better if you put it next to these abominations.

    • Paul Lukas | June 12, 2015 at 11:37 am |

      If these jerseys don’t essentially prove the “Pandering” shirt’s point, nothing will.

      • tbone | June 12, 2015 at 1:42 pm |

        True. But I’m just about as likely to buy an official MLB jersey as I was to buy a PANDERING shirt, for mostly the same reasons.

        • Paul Lukas | June 12, 2015 at 3:16 pm |

          As I’ve made clear a few jillion times now, it’s not important to me whether you (or anyone) bought the shirt. The point of the shirt was to present a commentary. And that commentary looks even stronger today than it did last week.

  • Bennett Dean McCall | June 12, 2015 at 11:37 am |

    That’s braid on Richie Hebners pants. Not piping.

  • Ted E | June 12, 2015 at 11:52 am |

    Well don’t know what gave me a migraine but I got one.
    Could be the sun streaming sorta in my eyes at the office or the sight of those horrendous bastardized uniforms.

    I am leaning towards the latter.

  • Hal Wing | June 12, 2015 at 12:18 pm |

    Pretty amazing when Congress is clearly pandering LESS to patrons than is MLB.

  • Eric Romain | June 12, 2015 at 12:35 pm |

    I think the star spangled numbers would have a lot of potential as a team’s primary design. I think it’s a unique look that hasn’t been over-done.
    Of course being part of a one-off and a league wide template takes all the uniqueness and appeal out of it.

  • Attila Szendrodi | June 12, 2015 at 12:54 pm |

    Ornette Coleman and Dusty Rhodes on the same day?? Getting old sucks…

  • MTS | June 12, 2015 at 12:54 pm |
    • terriblehuman | June 12, 2015 at 1:20 pm |

      Huh, I figured it was going to be the Volokh Conspiracy guy.

  • TIm | June 12, 2015 at 1:01 pm |

    Holy crap, I really wish Cleveland still used Wahoo… with the stars and stripes rendering above, he’d look like a guy with whiteheads all over his face! Hysterical.

  • terriblehuman | June 12, 2015 at 1:27 pm |

    I can’t help but look at Kevin Johnson’s personal logo and think “Kansas”.

  • Steve | June 12, 2015 at 1:35 pm |

    Paul,
    I have a story much like yours when it comes to which team to root for. I was 8 in 1969 when I discovered baseball. I’d come home from school and watch the Cubs. They were fun to root for that summer. Dad even took me to my first game that year at Wrigley. (I still fondly enjoy pictures of the scorecard from that season that show up from time to time on uni-Watch and dearly wish I had kept mine.) After the season my cousin let me know that the whole family (including my father who never imparted the same wisdom) were White Sox fans and I would be much better off in the long run as a Sox fan. I turned and endured a couple of really bad seasons until they sported the red pinstripes which is still my favorite Sox uniform of all time (especially the powder blues).

    Thanks for the indulgence,

    Steve

  • David | June 12, 2015 at 1:54 pm |

    The July 4 uniforms are horrible. The caps … awful. Paul, not that they would listen, but do you have the name(s) of anyone in the marketing department at MLB for us to communicate our wrath and disgust? Maybe it won’t make a lick of difference, but I just think all of your points are valid, and enough people write in to say, “These uniforms are tasteless and horrible,” maybe they will get the message.

  • David | June 12, 2015 at 1:58 pm |

    … and if enough people write in ….

  • Ryan M | June 12, 2015 at 2:15 pm |

    I presume MLB is trying to target the key 8-year old girl demographic with the bedazzled chest logos?

  • Daniel A. | June 12, 2015 at 2:24 pm |

    It looks like all the jersey caught Chicken Pox

  • Paul Lee | June 12, 2015 at 2:47 pm |

    Question: will the MLB logo be the normal one with the stars and stripes field or the normal MLB logo with a star in place of the ball?

    Also, the only thing I liked about these jerseys is that the NOB on the Dodgers jersey is now in red.

  • Adam | June 12, 2015 at 2:53 pm |

    Nords jerseys been on eBay a while. Knockoffs.

  • mike 2 | June 12, 2015 at 3:49 pm |

    Here’s some obsessive study:

    From the front, the Giants jersey looks like the jersey from a few years ago (with piping on the collar, piping right on the edge of the sleeves, but no headspoon).

    From the back, the Giants jersey looks like the current jersey (piping up from edge of the sleeve, headspoon).

    WHAT GIVES??

    • Michael Emody | June 12, 2015 at 10:57 pm |

      You’re totally right – they don’t come close to matching! And the Cabrera back jersey’s blue stars pattern in the numbers is slightly larger than the one in the ad. Implies these were all photoshopped in the ads since the scaling of the stars pattern is a little smaller than that of the actual jersey’s numbers. Close, but pretty hard to get exactly right in Adobe as opposed to taking a photo.

  • El Duderino | June 12, 2015 at 6:09 pm |

    FIFA is not bothering to keep up with their own uniform requirements for the Women’s World Cup. The socks between Germany and Norway should have contrasted more. New Zealand’s silver numbers on their all-white should have at least have a dark border. And today, Nigeria vs. Australia blatantly violates their color contrast rule. Remember it was those two colors (yellow & white- Sweden in ’94) that set their rules in the first place.

  • Special K | June 12, 2015 at 6:42 pm |

    So, what percent of Toronto Blue Jays players are Canadian? How many are American? Do any of them wish they didn’t have to dress up for Canada day, or wish they could wear the Stars and stripes the other players get to wear? Okay that last question is ridiculous, because what guy would actually want to wear those things?

  • GiantSteps | June 12, 2015 at 11:10 pm |

    why is there blue on the Giant’s jersey? this is totally wrong. blue is the color of the bad guys. i’m super mad. why does mlb hate america? why is mlb letting the terrorists win?

  • DJ Tommy C | June 13, 2015 at 2:57 am |

    Long time First time

    I usually despise the SNS hats, especially as a Tigers fan since they never remotely matched their color scheme (the blues were different and/or wearing red with orange)

    But I have to say these could be a lot worse, not bad IMO

  • Seth | June 13, 2015 at 7:30 am |

    Knew what the Avon decanters looked like before opening the link; Dad had a Packers one. Cool to know the logos had to be stuck on.
    And those bedsheets brought back memories; my cousin had those. I, on the other hand, grew up with a different style. Had blocks with a player and the team font of all 26 teams (this, before Tampa & Seattle were added. They were made into curtains and they stayed over 20 years.

    (The White Sox jerseys aren’t awful, but why not just use 1917 throwbacks for that day? Already have the pattern they want on the logo.)