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MLB Releases Special Holiday Merch — er, Uniforms

MLB unveiled all of its holiday and special event uniforms in one fell swoop yesterday. That’s a departure from past years, when the various promotions were rolled out one at a time. If nothing else, this is very efficient, because we can now make fun of all the designs at once.

Thanks to various leaks, we already knew what many of these would look like, but let’s take a closer look:

Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 8): This one leaked a while ago — pink-accented jerseys and dark-grey caps with pink logos. A disaster. Fortunately, I’ll be busy spending the day with my mom.

Memorial Day (Monday, May 30): Pretty much the same thing they’ve been doing for several seasons now: camouflage-lettered jerseys and camouflage caps. It’s a new camo pattern this year, but whatever — still a toxic mix of bad design and bad civics.

Father’s Day (Sunday, June 19): Same as Mother’s Day, but with blue swapped in instead of pink. Not quite as awful, since lots of MLB teams use blue as a team color, but still unnecessary at best, unsightly at worst.

Independence Day (Monday, July 4): I’m puzzled by this one. The star-spangled pattern doesn’t show up very clearly on the jerseys — just looks muddy. The caps, meanwhile, are a complete embarrassment.

All-Star Workout and Home Run Derby (Monday, July 11): That’s more like it — these are really fun. They used the Padres’ old Taco Bell design as the basis for the jerseys and caps. Kinda weird to see other teams’ names rendered in that old Padres font on the caps, but it’s a good kind of weird. This is precisely the kind of playful approach that’s perfect for the Derby. Kudos to all involved — nicely done.

All-Star Game (Tuesday, July 12): Players will still wear their regular team jerseys, thankfully. While the caps for the past two ASGs were patterned after the home team (Twins in 2014, Reds in 2015), this year’s template is just a “because we can” design. And you know, if they had just gone with the star-shaped eyelets (a nice touch!) and maaaaaybe the gold-outlined team logos, that would have been enough (although that kinda cheapens the gold being used by the Royals and other World Series champions, right?). But of course they had to go overboard with the pointless grey brims and squatchees, just to make sure cap collectors would have enough incentive to make a purchase. Disappointing.

Want to see more? SportsLogos.net honcho Chris Creamer had advance access to the caps and jerseys (not just press photos or mock-ups) and has put together a very informative post, which is available here — recommended. He’s also done a great job of grouping all of the new caps into team-specific tweets for each MLB club, like this:

You can see the rest of the team-specific groupings by scrolling down a bit on Chris’s Twitter feed.

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Stadium/arena watch: Mike Chamernik, who compiles the Ticker for Tuesdays and Thursdays (including today), has a day job working for a trade magazine. He covers home building and large-scale commercial building design, and he’s just written an excellent feature story on stadium and arena design trends. It’s really, really good — you should read it. Nice job, Mike.

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: The Twins and White Sox wore patches for Rod Carew’s “Heart of 29” campaign last night. The umpires wore the patch as well. Also, the Twins wore their red Friday alts. … A’s and Angels went yellow-vs.-red yesterday (from Karl Greenfield). … Can’t quite tell, but it looks like Mets IF Wilmer Flores wore teammate David Wright’s sunglasses yesterday. … The auction company selling Mike Piazza’s post-9/11 jersey has come under fire recently. The company, Goldin Auctions, announced that it is open to a private sale where the winning bidder must agree to display the jersey at the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum in Manhattan, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, or the New York Mets Hall of Fame and Museum at Citi Field (from David Firestone). … Can you identify these 18 ballparks from overhead satellite photos? … Derek Jeter wore a 1939 Yankees throwback uniform during a 1999 photoshoot. … The Brewers are really pushing their ball-in-glove logo. … Nice throwback jerseys for North Tonawanda (N.Y.) High School (from reader Jordan M). … Chief Wahoo is still being used on credit card offer envelopes (from Kenn Tomasch). ”¦ Here’s a good story about a guy who builds replica ballparks for APBA players (from Jeff Ash). … That didn’t take long: Dodgers OF Yasiel Puig’s raised helmet logo was chipped last night.

NFL News: A 275-page report from 1970, funded by the NFL, says that football equipment “cannot eliminate [concussions] to an entirely satisfactory degree.” A group of modern players are using the document as evidence in a lawsuit against the league (from Phil).

College Football News: Pittsburgh, which is returning to the “Pitt” script next year, will unveil uniforms for all of its varsity sports on May 18 (from Kris Kramer). … In the wake of the Dodgers’ 3D-printed helmet decals, a writer wonders if football teams will jump on the trend (from James Gilbert). … New non-matte, non-3D printed decal helmets for Montana. … Dartmouth’s coaching staff uses a helmet attached to a plastic pipe in drills that teach running backs stiff arm techniques (from Tris Wykes).

Hockey News: The Lightning are playing the Red Wings in the first round. Tampa’s Ryan Callahan had “DET G1” written on the knob of his stick (from Ryan Horner). … The Sharks are wearing teal for the playoffs (from Adam Rickert). … Jersey ads could be coming to the NBA, but NHL commish Gary Bettman has strongly opposed the idea for his league. But, he hasn’t completely ruled out the idea (from Mark Johnson). … NHL’s Bracket Challenge uses the correct Capitals logo until you pick them to win the Cup (from Billy Jensen). ”¦ Now that the playoffs have started, Tim Hortons has rolled out its Stanley Cup donuts (from Rydell Commisso).

NBA News: All Kobe, all the time: Mavs G Wes Matthews honored Kobe by wearing Kobe’s shoes last night (from @ZJL00). … Cross-sport tributes: Astros OF George Springer, Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado, and Cardinals OF/1B Matt Holliday wore Kobe batting gloves. … A GIF shows most of the jerseys Bryant has worn during his career. ESPN produced a more comprehensive pictorial. … Kobe ended his postgame speech with “Mamba out.” He’s already capitalizing off the phrase.

Soccer News: Manchester United’s 2016-17 third jersey may have been leaked (from Graig Sakuma). … Sporting KC held a 20th anniversary game last night (from Jeremy Seidling).

Grab Bag: A few people sent this in: A mummy’s foot wrapping make it look like he or she is wearing Adidas shoes. … Apple, Reebok and Trapper Keeper have all used the same font, Motter Tektura (from Eric Bangeman). … Here are the men’s and women’s uniforms and bibs for Monday’s Boston Marathon. … Under Armour made an apparel deal with Godolphin, a horse racing operation. “It’s noticeable because horse racing operations don’t usually have ‘official kit suppliers’ for jockey silks or training gear,” Ben Garner says.

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What Paul did last night: America has always needed a boogeyman, and the world has usually been obliging enough to provide one for us. These days it’s Islamo-terrorism, but I’m old enough to remember when it was the commies. I wasn’t alive during the heart of the Cold War, but I did grow up during the tail end of it, and the fear of nuclear holocaust was a very real thing. I was a sophomore in college when ABC aired The Day After, which was a huge deal at the time (although I remember thinking the whole thing was overblown).

I have no idea how The Day After would seem if we watched it today, but a lot of the earlier Cold War-related media from the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s has long since entered the realm of kitsch. I got a concentrated dose of it last night at an event featuring lots of Cold War records and films. It included a lot of stuff I’d seen and heard before at other events (laughably bad civil defense reels, several different versions of “Jesus Hits Like the Atomic Bomb,” etc.), but there were also some things that were new to me, including an absolutely surreal public service movie about how to survive in a bomb shelter (an idea, it’s worth noting, that Hollywood is still milking today).

In a nice coincidence, the event took place in a museum basement, so we would’ve been safe (at least based on what the civil defense films said) if any nefarious character dropped the big one.

108 comments to MLB Releases Special Holiday Merch — er, Uniforms

  • Brian | April 14, 2016 at 7:13 am |

    Man, those MLB holiday caps and jerseys are terrible. Granted they almost always are, but July 4th and Memorial Day somehow look worse than usual, and the Mother’s/Father’s day unis take the cake for dumb. I will say, the home run derby jerseys and caps are cool in a kitsch sort of way. The ASG game caps look like bad knock-offs though.

    That Cold War event sounds amazing. What museum was that at? I picked up several odd Cold War era Civil Defense records at a vintage store in Delaware a few years ago, they’re fantastic in thier insanity.

    • Paul Lukas | April 14, 2016 at 7:21 am |

      http://morbidanatomymuseum.org/

      They do a lot of very interesting events.

      • Gusto4044 | April 14, 2016 at 11:52 am |

        I just think we need to be smarter about equating the Cold War hysteria with the current, worldwide, conflict with radical Islam. The communists haven’t killed thousands of Americans in this country, from New York, to Boston, to San Bernadino.

        • Thomas J | April 14, 2016 at 3:42 pm |

          That’s true. Communists never attacked Americans on US soil. They just took control of China, half of Europe, built a huge arsenal of nuclear tipped ballistic missiles, and killed hundreds of thousands American soldiers in Korea and Vietnam.

          So yeah, one hysteria definitely seems more reasonable than the other.

        • Huh? | April 14, 2016 at 11:15 pm |

          “…killed hundreds of thousands American soldiers in Korea and Vietnam.”

          Nothing like being wrong in a sanctimonious d-bag response.

      • Brian | April 14, 2016 at 4:01 pm |

        Thanks Paul. I’ll definitely check it out.

  • Phantom Dreamer | April 14, 2016 at 7:20 am |

    It just seems weird to see a team’s name spelled out on a cap.

    • arrScott | April 14, 2016 at 7:57 am |

      This will be especially true for Washington, whose players in the Derby will wear NATIONALS on their heads but NATIONAL on their chests. I wish they’d have gone with NATS on the cap to reduce the spelling dissonance,

  • Todd | April 14, 2016 at 7:42 am |
  • arrScott | April 14, 2016 at 8:03 am |

    What’s incorrect about the Caps logo in the NHL bracket challenge? The whole point of having secondary marks is to use them in appropriate settings. When layering the team mark over what is supposed to be an even more prominent mark (the Cup itself), a visually simpler secondary mark is the right choice.

    • The Legend of Vincent Tremblay | April 14, 2016 at 11:03 am |

      I’m pretty sure Ted Leonsis is the only person associated with hockey who prefers that goofy “modernized” Capitals wordmark to the Weagle.

      • walter | April 14, 2016 at 11:17 am |

        Am I the only person who finds that modern “Capitals” wordmark an appalling, amateurish piece of alleged design?

        • arrScott | April 14, 2016 at 12:24 pm |

          True, but it’s still better than the original wordmark logo. Good lord, that thing was a monstrosity. To call it “amateurish” is an insult to amateurs, who typically do better work doodling with a ballpoint pen on a steno pad in a meeting. Also, just as a general rule, you know what never looks good on a hockey jersey? A horizontal wordmark, that’s what. I get that it was beloved on nostalgic grounds, but it was a remarkably crappy bit of logo design.

          When they first rolled out the new look, they sold hoodies that looked like home jerseys but with the Weagle on the front. I’ve seen folks wearing those from time to time, and boy howdy that makes for a great look.

        • Andrew Harrington | April 14, 2016 at 12:26 pm |

          No need to be mean.

          Consider that it was designed during a time when much of what was being designed for the sports industry was done with these types of stylistic cues. Any team wanting a fresh look at this time was likely saying, “Give me something cool and modern using our past as inspiration!”

          Also consider that the designers who design those things are trying to fulfill a vision of what the art director thinks is cool, who is trying to fulfill a vision of what the creative director thinks is cool, who is trying to fulfill a vision of what the team thinks is cool, who is trying to fulfill a vision of what it thinks the fans think is cool. Sports design is one of the hardest things to do, because on top of all that, there is an emotional, reactionary factor that is many times stronger than it is in other industries.

          Is the Capitals’ wordmark a shining piece of typography in 2016? No. Also consider that the guy who did it is a much better designer now than he was then because people hone their craft(s) over time.

          Maybe try pointing out where you think the Capitals’ wordmark could improve, or even try drawing out those changes yourself to show how you might have tackled the same brief. Calling it an appalling, amateurish piece of alleged design is a bully statement that helps no one.

        • RobYaz | April 14, 2016 at 1:09 pm |

          The Caps’ original wordmark was indeed much better than the current version. Moreso, the jerseys were much better when each individual letter was stitched on, rather than thrown on in one big crest.

        • walter | April 14, 2016 at 1:38 pm |

          Okay, rather than curse the darkness, I will light a candle: I would have preferred instead the Capitals used an updated version of the swooping eagle on the sweater front. It’s the best crest they have come up with, and incorporates Cassiopeia’s “W”; as effective a symbol of D.C. as there is.

        • arrScott | April 14, 2016 at 2:42 pm |

          I can’t agree with RobYaz about the relative quality of the Caps’ two wordmarks. But I’m 100% on board with the relative quality of the overall uniforms. The current Caps unis feature a middling overall design with a poor crest on the front. The original Caps unis featured a very strong overall design with a poor crest on the front.

          On the other hand, the current uni design seems to draw its primary cues from the shapes and forms of the Weagle logo. So slap that better crest on the front of the sweater and the whole uniform would be elevated.

    • Charlie | April 14, 2016 at 3:59 pm |

      Are any of you guys Caps fans? I grew up in the DC metro area and fans around here LOVE the caps script. The “weagle” logo is just awful and no one wears any merchandise with that logo. Looks it was designed in middle school art class. And forget about the previous flying bird logo. there is a reason that was changed. fans hated it. The script may not be original but it plays in to the local die-hard fan base.

      • walter | April 14, 2016 at 5:56 pm |

        I confess to being a total interloper. And it’s ultimately fair that the fans have the final say. But yielding to fan pressure is the “Yankees’ conundrum”; “They’ll never change, so why try?” I have a right to wonder what might have been.

  • arrScott | April 14, 2016 at 8:19 am |

    Thanks for sharing that APBA dice stadium interview. I love how the artist embraces the idea of caricature for his creations – that mindset is exactly why they work so well.

    On a technical note, it’s interesting to me that he settled on a raised layer of colored foam for his infield grass. When I made my own dice stadium, I used sheets of model-railroad flocking and then glued an infield made of very fine (and thin) sandpaper on top of the “grass”:

    https://flic.kr/p/92oYNB

    If I ever build another dice stadium, I might have to try George’s method for the grass.

  • Jon Rose | April 14, 2016 at 8:25 am |

    Maybe the home run derby caps would not look as bad with the teams’ regular cap logos. Maybe. I don’t know why anyone would want a Twins cap that has the team name in Padres font.

    Also, let me get this straight. The Padres switched to the blue and yellow color scheme supposedly for the all star game, and then abandon it for the all star festivities? Dafuq?

    I’m not a fan of the Taco Bell unis, but they’re fine. For THE PADRES.

    And I’m glad the camo caps are finally using something other than MARPAT arid.

    • Paul Lukas | April 14, 2016 at 8:27 am |

      I don’t know why anyone would want a Twins cap that has the team name in Padres font.

      In other words, you’re judging the caps purely from a merchandise/retailing standpoint.

      That is one way to assess them, but it is not the only way, nor is it the best way.

      If you assess the caps as something the players will be wearing in San Diego for a fun event, rather than as merchandise, they’re extremely successful.

      • Jon Rose | April 14, 2016 at 9:12 am |

        Absolutely I’m judging them as a retail product. That’s the whole reason these things exist in the first place. But I understand your point. But, to be honest, the last time I watched the home run derby, Mark McGuire was jacking them out of Fenway.

        • Paul Lukas | April 14, 2016 at 9:19 am |

          Some of us — or at least one of us — couldn’t care less about them as retail product. That’s not what Uni Watch is about.

          Uni Watch is about how they’ll look on the field. And as on-field attire, the Derby designs are great.

          I agree that most of this stuff wouldn’t exist if not for the merchandising tail wagging the on-field dog. But it’s still being used on the field, and that will always be the context in which Uni Watch will assess it. That’s why Uni Watch exists.

        • Lou | April 14, 2016 at 10:02 am |

          I like them as both an on-field look and as a retail product. The HR Derby jerseys and caps are a great tribute to a classic Padres design. They are also one of my personal favorite uniform looks of all time, so being able to buy this in a Mets jersey/cap is fun. Much better than what they did the last 2 years.

        • Jon Rose | April 14, 2016 at 10:52 am |

          To be fair, you did refer to them as “merch” right in the headline. ;)

        • Charles | April 14, 2016 at 2:39 pm |

          I agree with Jon—I understand that these are going to be worn on a baseball field by professional athletes, but at this point the All-Star festivities are just a televised MLB merch catalog. Judging these caps and jerseys on their on-field merit feels like critiquing the acting in a Pepsi commercial; I doubt whether the fact that baseball players were going to be doing baseball things while wearing these ever entered the designer’s mind.

        • Paul Lukas | April 14, 2016 at 3:25 pm |

          Charles, if you really believe that, then there’s no need for us to be discussing any of these designs, and no need for me to have written about them, because Uni Watch doesn’t cover merch.

          If New Era comes out with a line of stupid fashion caps, do we cover that here? Of course not.

          If you think there’s no reason for us to cover these other designs, well, OK. But if we are going to cover them, the *only* reason for doing so is because they’re worn on the field. None of the other shit matters, at least to Uni Watch.

        • What? | April 14, 2016 at 11:29 pm |

          “…because Uni Watch doesn’t cover merch.”

          Unless of course we’re talking about official Uni Watch t-shirts, watches, membership cards, patches, etc., etc., etc.

        • Paul Lukas | April 15, 2016 at 6:54 am |

          I don’t “cover” Uni Watch merch — I sell it.

          Big difference.

    • Ryan M | April 14, 2016 at 3:01 pm |

      Since they went with the obvious choice of “D-backs” instead of cramming all those little letters on there, the Cardinals, Athletics, and Nationals, (and Blue Jays, in a way) all lead the way with 9 characters. Those all seem a little cramped, too, but I guess they wanted to make it as formal as possible and avoid using nicknames such as Cards, A’s, and Natinals.

  • JakeK66 | April 14, 2016 at 8:40 am |

    I like the colors for Father’s Day. So much they were my wedding colors last year!

    • zooropa140 | April 14, 2016 at 10:34 am |

      I agree. The Father’s Day cap for my Oakland A’s looks sharp. I’m actually considering buying one.

      [ducks]

  • Alex Dewitt | April 14, 2016 at 8:47 am |

    When the NBA puts the logos on the jersey they should change the league name to something used before, the NBAA. National Basketball Advertising Agency.

  • Jonathan Gallo | April 14, 2016 at 8:48 am |

    I love the ASG hat and Father’s Day hat. The Mother’s Day one is ok, the rest should be burnt in a dumpster fire.

  • Chris | April 14, 2016 at 8:48 am |

    Interesting read on the stadium/arena trends but the one thing the owners aren’t getting is that it costs almost as much a getaway vacation to take a family of 4-5 to go to a game and sit anywhere decent. If you are able to sit in good seats (not nosebleeds) why am I going to watch the game on my cell phone? Also many of the newer places the seats are moving further & further back from the action & the crowd noise is a fraction what it once was. Personally I rather go to a neighborhood bar for a fraction of the cost.

    • Jon Rose | April 14, 2016 at 12:53 pm |

      What I took away from the article is that nowadays the watching of the game is secondary to the “experience”. I’ve never wanted to experience anything other than sitting in my seat and watching the game. I’ll trade all this crap for a seat in the front row of the upper deck in the old Tiger Stadium.

      • Chris | April 14, 2016 at 1:15 pm |

        Agreed!

      • Jerry | April 14, 2016 at 11:08 pm |

        The front row in the upper deck at Tiger Stadium – best seats anywhere to see a game. A high pop up that looked catchable from most angles would drop into the upper.

        Not as pronounced an overhang as right field, where a would-be warning track out would become a Surprise homer. There’ll never be another.

  • Bryan | April 14, 2016 at 8:49 am |

    What happened to the all of those great Cubs jerseys a year or two ago? Are they not updating them now? I thought of it when I saw the horrible Moms/Dads designs.

    • Noah Wolf | April 14, 2016 at 11:09 am |

      Special thing for the Wrigley’s 100th anniversary. Pulling uniforms from each decade at Wrigley Field. I wish they’d do it every year, because I love the way the throwbacks look on the field, but that wouldn’t make it as special.

      This seems to be the only throwback they plan on wearing this year: http://chicagocubsonline.com/wp-content/uploads/1916-Chicago-Cubs-Replica-Throwback-Jersey-presented-by-IDEAL-INDUSTRIES-INC..jpg

      • Noah Wolf | April 14, 2016 at 11:11 am |

        Weird, broken link. Rehosted here: http://i.imgur.com/XSBuUvF.png

      • Mark in Shiga | April 15, 2016 at 5:49 am |

        Yeah, the Cubs really need to have a regularly-worn home alternate jersey that draws from their long history, particularly if they’re going to insist on keeping NOBs on their home pinstripe jerseys. This may be sacrilege, but I’d like one that doesn’t have pinstripes; maybe based on the many C-with-bear logos that they’ve worn over the years.

        And, that said, I actually don’t hate the Cubs’ Father’s Day jersey. With light blue and dark blue both being Cubs colors over the years, that Father’s Day Cubs logo looks surprisingly natural.

        • Bryan | April 15, 2016 at 2:59 pm |

          Thanks! I thought I had read that they were going to be redesigning everything soon.

  • Joel K | April 14, 2016 at 8:50 am |

    I was just thinking as I was watching the Lakers game and all the Kobe Bryant tributes, how less classy it would have been if his jersey and warmup would have been, had there been adds and/or looked like a stock car during the whole affair.

  • Eddie | April 14, 2016 at 9:08 am |

    The mlb speciality jerseys and hats are so brutally bad, id say they have jumped the shark, but its more like they jumped 100 sharks at once now. I hope the sales of all these jerseys and hats are really low.

    • Brian C | April 14, 2016 at 3:04 pm |

      They are hideous, especially the gray bills. If you’re designing crap to sell to people it should at least be good looking.

      • Jon Rose | April 14, 2016 at 3:52 pm |

        What’s up with those gray bills, anyway. I can’t tell what they’re supposed to be. Anyone have a clue?

  • Clarybird | April 14, 2016 at 9:27 am |

    “Cross-spot tributes”

  • Bertie_16 | April 14, 2016 at 9:49 am |

    Being a fan, I’m a sucker for wanting the hats that are worn on the field. I have many, but not all of the designs from the past few years. I won’t buy a style if I don’t like the look and would have no intention of wearing it. I am happy that they went away from the Diamond Era style for all of these hats.

    • Paul Lukas | April 14, 2016 at 9:58 am |

      Being a fan, I’m a sucker for wanting the hats that are worn on the field.

      I don’t mean to be a pain — really I don’t — but man, this sentence! It implies that if you’re a fan, it’s natural to want to buy merch.

      I’m a fan, too. I just happen to have zero interest in buying this stuff.

      There’s nothing wrong with buying merch if that’s your thing. But let’s please not equate consumerism with fandom. Pretty-please, even?

      • Bill | April 14, 2016 at 11:11 am |

        Oh please, that merch is targeted for fans!! What’s so hard about that? They are not selling it to non-fans, I don’t like it either nor do I buy it. But some fans do!! Get over it

        • Paul Lukas | April 14, 2016 at 11:13 am |

          You’re missing the point.

          Yes, of course this merch is targeted at fans. I didn’t say a fan couldn’t/shouldn’t buy merch. I said it’s entirely possible to be a good fan WITHOUT buying merch, and that being a fan therefore does not necessarily go hand-in-hand with being a consumer, as the original comment in this thread implied.

          That’s all.

        • Bill | April 14, 2016 at 11:25 am |

          But I didn’t read his post that way at all….I felt nothing about good fan=conseurism, that’s all.

        • Jon Rose | April 14, 2016 at 11:35 am |

          I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone have their fanhood questioned for not buying merch. It’s a free country. Like Jules Winnifield said, that’s Kool and the Gang.

          Besides, everyone knows that only people with team tattoos are real fans! ;)

        • RobYaz | April 14, 2016 at 1:22 pm |

          But he did say “Being a fan, I’m a sucker for wanting the hats”; therefore, baseball fans are by his definition expected to be suckers for the hats. Paul is a fan too, but he is not a sucker for the hats. Therefore, being a fan has no absolute correlation with being a sucker for hats.

          Now, if he had said “Being a collector of hats that teams wear on the field, I’m a sucker for buying the latest and newest offerings every year,” that would make more sense. We would all agree that authentic hat collectors specifically, and not all baseball fans as a general rule, would be expected to buy these hats.

      • walter | April 14, 2016 at 2:12 pm |

        Or he could be a fan of the hat.

      • Tim | April 14, 2016 at 2:55 pm |

        I bought the Mariners spring training hat because I liked it.

        • Jon Rose | April 14, 2016 at 4:02 pm |

          I bought an old school Mariners cap over the winter. The one with the trident. I’ve always loved that cap.

    • Lee | April 14, 2016 at 12:23 pm |

      Being a “fan” is different than being a “consumer”.

      Some people are one or the other, some people — such as yourself — happen to be both.

      But they are different things.

      Lee

  • Jim Howicz | April 14, 2016 at 9:55 am |

    Very cool to mention the gear the elites are using for the Boston Marathon. Honestly, I never looked at them as uniforms. I always just considered it equipment. Given the way the apparel companies coordinate and match what the runners they sponsor wear, strong consideration has to be given that they are uniforms. This is a cool paradigm shift for me. Thanks!

  • Matthew Radican | April 14, 2016 at 10:11 am |

    Great article Mike! A few thoughts:

    1. I guess I am an old school guy but what happened to going to a game to watch the game? Why does anyone need a stadium where 80,000 people need to be online at the same time? As far as watching on a phone because of an obstructed seat – there’s no way in hell I would pay for a seat where I can’t see the game and am expected to watch the scoreboard or my phone.

    2. What happens after 10-15 years when the team decides the $1 billion dollar stadium/entertainment facility is no longer “state-of-the-art”? Since they’ve built all of these restaurants, malls, etc. they’d have to build a new stadium elsewhere. What are the odds that the area stays vibrant without the stadium as a hub?

    • Michelson | April 14, 2016 at 10:48 am |

      RE #2. Depends on the circumstances. If the stadium is the only reason that area is vibrant, then it will die. And malls…are already dead.

    • Aaron | April 14, 2016 at 11:25 am |

      I basically had the same reaction as thought 1. If you want me to watch on your big screen or my phone, no thanks, I’ve got a couple nice TVs at home for that. The point is to see it in person! More and more reason I’ve started going almost exclusively to minor league games.

      • scott | April 14, 2016 at 7:47 pm |

        And now minor league baseball teams are slapping up all sorts of new netting to “protect” the fans who are texting and playing games on their cellphones, while those of us who want to watch the game have to put up the obstructed views.

    • Mike | April 14, 2016 at 12:22 pm |

      As a season ticket holder at Levi’s Stadium, I can tell you the technology they have is beneficial to the experience of being at the game.

      After every play you can see instant replays from various angles which you usually don’t see on the JumboTron (which is mostly used for advertising). With so much going on during the average football play and with all the reviews that occur its nice to not be in the dark as you can often be at the stadium.

      My favorite part is the in-seat food ordering. For $5.00 they will deliver almost anything (beer and wine but no hard booze)to your seat, usually within 10 minutes so you don’t have to miss any action.

      • Matthew Radican | April 14, 2016 at 1:29 pm |

        The United Center has the same thing. I went to a Blackhawks-Leafs game and saw a guy buy $200+ worth of beer and food. It was a truly amazing experience.

  • Marty A | April 14, 2016 at 10:14 am |

    Any idea how the Giants were able to “opt out” of the blue font for the Father’s Day jersey and get away with just using blue trim?

    • Paul Lukas | April 14, 2016 at 10:18 am |

      My understanding is that they didn’t want blue because they didn’t want to look like the Dodgers, if you can believe that.

      • Marty A | April 14, 2016 at 10:26 am |

        That would have been my guess, I’m just surprised MLB made such a silly exception.

        • Lee | April 14, 2016 at 12:27 pm |

          Silly?

          No. Sensible.

          Lee

        • Brett Alan | April 14, 2016 at 12:35 pm |

          See, but that’s how I react to a lot of those Father’s Day uniforms. Blue is such a common jersey color that when I see a non-blue team wearing blue, I’m immediately thinking that they’re wearing their opponents’ colors. To me, the blue ones are worse than the pink for that reason.

  • Marc-Louis Paprzyca | April 14, 2016 at 10:14 am |

    Nice article Mike.

    Any scoop if the United Center will be updating their scoreboards since they signed that deal with Panasonic last year? I’m pretty sure those are the same ones from when it opened in 1994.

    • DJ | April 14, 2016 at 11:07 am |

      The lower section of the center-hung board (the game score and time) was installed two years ago.

      • Marc-Louis Paprzyca | April 14, 2016 at 1:11 pm |

        Yeah, I noticed the LED lights there but I meant the screens more specifically.

  • Dan Pfeifer | April 14, 2016 at 10:15 am |

    The 3D logos on football helmets are a no-go for me.

    Baseball helmets are fine because the baseball helmet is largely a “just in case” sort of thing — just in case a 95 MPH fastball hits you in the head, you’re wearing a helmet. Most of the time, that doesn’t happen, so decoration on there doesn’t really effect anything. Baseball helmets are pretty much always just in open space.

    In football, even if there isn’t helmet-to-helmet contact, helmets move in close range to a lot of other objects (other helmets, hands, etc). As such, though it’s a small chance, I’d think there’d be a chance a guy could get his neck wrenched or something because someone grabbed his 3D helmet decal by accident, or it caught on another guy’s facemask or something.

    Yeah, the football helmet doesn’t seem like something to screw with the shape of for the sake of aesthetics right now. Too many other important things to think about with it at the moment.

    • walter | April 14, 2016 at 12:01 pm |

      They still haven’t been adequately beta-tested. The potential exists for the Dodgers to chuck the whole exercise, so let’s wait and see.

    • Dovey | April 14, 2016 at 9:04 pm |

      Was just coming here to post the same thing. Putting raised logos on football helmets seems like a safety hazard. I can’t imagine too many ways in which it would be dangerous in baseball, however.

  • Marc-Louis Paprzyca | April 14, 2016 at 10:16 am |

    The mummy’s “Adidas” shoes look more like the Jordan X model.

  • zooropa140 | April 14, 2016 at 10:50 am |

    I recently watched footage of Dallas Braden’s perfect game (http://tinyurl.com/h2dmdce), which occurred on Mother’s Day 2010. From a uni perspective, what struck me was the shade of pink that was used back then for the special wristbands and such. It was a much milder shade of pink, way more pleasing to the eye (well, as pleasing as pink on a baseball uni can be).

    When did the transition to such a garish shade of “pink” (let’s face it, it’s neon magenta) take place? Was it gradually, or was there some sort of demarcation?

  • Zac Neubauer | April 14, 2016 at 11:14 am |

    Interesting but understandable: the team logo sleeve patches on the Father’s Day jerseys are blue with Chief Wahoo being a notable exception.

  • walter | April 14, 2016 at 11:28 am |

    I can barely contain my glee that the 1980-84 Padres’ uniform is growing in esteem as a throwback classic. I have Marc Okkonen’s Baseball Uniforms book and the upshot at the time was that they were deserving of a bonfire. The switch to boring pinstripes was hailed as “a triumph of the conservative and traditional”. It’s nice after all this time to have my taste validated.

  • Brian E | April 14, 2016 at 11:59 am |

    Call me crazy, but of the caps, I like the All Star Game ones the best. However, it definitely cheapens the gold championship thing.

    I’m waiting until the Mets win it all to buy a cap with the logo in gold (hopefully I won’t have to wait long enough where it goes out of vogue!). For better or worse, MLB has successfully branded the gold accents as championship editions, and doing it for the All Star Game dilutes that.

  • DAG | April 14, 2016 at 12:01 pm |

    Oh man, that Jesus/Atom Bomb song is something. My brother and I got into atomic paranoia kitsch in high school; I remember checking out The Atomic Café from the library and being amazed. And of course I really dug (and dig) this Uncle Tupelo version of the Louvin Brothers tune… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoj9q-kM7hs
    Would have loved to check out that event, Paul.

    • arrScott | April 14, 2016 at 12:18 pm |

      Southern Culture on the Skids did an even more awesome version of the Louvin Brohters’ “Great Atomic Power”:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmFiC_MP0bc

      • Lance Smith | April 14, 2016 at 3:13 pm |

        Not to be confused with Fred Kirby’s Atomic Power which dates back to 1946. Kirby also did When That Hell Bomb Falls in 1950. (Maybe the first one was successful enough that he decided to do another.) You can hear both on YouTube.

  • ThePonchat | April 14, 2016 at 12:22 pm |

    English Premier League club Southampton are moving from adidas to Under Armour. This marks the second UA club in the EPL, Tottenham was the first and they will be UA for one more season before moving to Nike in 2017-18.

  • mike 2 | April 14, 2016 at 12:31 pm |

    Did you ever go into a Lids store (or onto Lids.com) and see the ridiculous selection of fashion hats they have?

    Stuff that you’re not sure who buys, probably teenagers who need a lime green Yankees cap to wear to the mall. Or teenagers who want a Giants cap but wish it came in A’s colours.

    And say to yourself “thank goodness my team just has one hat they wear on the field, I can safely ignore the rest of that stuff”.

    Somehow that stuff all just leaked into real life.

    • Jon Rose | April 14, 2016 at 1:06 pm |

      In my neighborhood a lot of people buy Yankee caps in different colors to match their outfit. Plus they seem to toss them if they have so much as a sweat stain on them. The rate of turnover must be incredible.

  • Rob Hinkle | April 14, 2016 at 12:37 pm |

    Patch to be worn by the Flyers for Ed Snider – https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CgBDIM6UYAAult2.jpg

  • Hercules Rockefeller | April 14, 2016 at 12:42 pm |

    What’s more odd? That all except one of the MLB graphics for these event jerseys showcases the AL East? Or that MLB chose to throw in the AL Central for the Fathers Day ones? Part of me wonders why if they were going AL East they didn’t just go whole hog. But moreso it’s a missed opportunity to go with six divisions for six costumes.

  • Rich Paloma | April 14, 2016 at 1:13 pm |

    Interesting that on the Oakland Athletics ALl-Star BP cap they use the name “Athletics” rather than “A’s” since in the 70’s (Which the style is patterned after) the team was known exclusively as A’s not Athletics

  • Mike Engle on iPhone | April 14, 2016 at 1:35 pm |

    Kobe’s Mamba Out thing reminds me of Barry Bonds. When Bonds hit HR 756, he struck a hands raised pose in the batter’s box that got copied in silhouette form on tee shirts to mark the occasion. Both seemed a little too convenient and planned. I am a fan of neither.

  • James G | April 14, 2016 at 1:44 pm |

    The Day After was part of the last nuke scare that Reagan was going to get us into a nuclear war. But, politicians know scare tactics work.

  • Steve D | April 14, 2016 at 3:16 pm |

    I think the raised helmet logo has to be made of something softer and more pliable than 3-D printed plastic. Use something akin to what you see on a kid’s keychain and crazy glue it on.

    http://i01.i.aliimg.com/img/pb/280/608/241/1270880972349_hz_fileserver1_473795.jpg

  • Steve Hom | April 14, 2016 at 4:11 pm |

    So why are the Giants the only team that has orange lettering for their father’s day jersey?

    Also, I noticed all the caps are in the regular new era cap material…are they ditching the BP (diamond era) material? Last year all the special event hats were diamond era.

    • Paul Lukas | April 14, 2016 at 4:23 pm |

      Giants: I’m told they didn’t want to look like the Dodgers.

      Cap material: No idea, sorry.

  • Joel | April 14, 2016 at 8:10 pm |

    One thing I noticed…the Braves’ tomahawk was noticeably absent on every single jersey. Are they moving away from it? Could it be a sign that the tomahawk–as a major part of the jersey–is on its way out??

    • Paul Lukas | April 14, 2016 at 8:48 pm |

      One can hope.

      • Why? | April 14, 2016 at 11:37 pm |

        Why?

      • walter | April 15, 2016 at 12:39 pm |

        Bite your tongue!

  • Attila Szendrodi | April 14, 2016 at 10:02 pm |

    I know I’m real late but here’s my (unpopular around these parts) quick-capsule review:

    The Father’s Day hats are gorgeous. I’d wear that. (Except New Era hats make people look like fucking clowns)

    The Padres styled ASG uniforms and hats are in the top 5 worst I’ve ever seen.

  • Archie | April 14, 2016 at 11:36 pm |

    Hey, Paul. Did I miss the 2016 Uni Watch Power Rankings (MLB)? I was counting down to the season for it. 😕 Big fan!

  • Bad civics | April 14, 2016 at 11:39 pm |

    Why do you consider the use of camo on Memorial Day bad civics?

    • Paul Lukas | April 15, 2016 at 6:56 am |

      Because Memorial Day is not a day to celebrate the military. It is a day to mourn the fallen. Big difference. A black armband would be much more appropriate.

  • Dan T. | April 15, 2016 at 2:23 am |

    Okay. I’ve finally had it.

    If I am elected President of the United States, I will immediately sign an Executive Order that states that:

    1. All NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and NCAA Football and Basketball teams shall decide on one white and one colored uniform design per season.

    2. Each team, however, will be entitled to design and wear ONE alternate jersey of their choosing. However, it can only be worn during ONE game during the season, also of their choosing. (So make it count).

    3. For MLB, all “colored” uniforms must be gray. Sorry. Teams will be allowed to choose their own shade, however. Just don’t get too close to black. The single alternate uniform can be of another color, however.

    4. On a case-by-case basis, teams may apply to use a “light” color in exchange for a white uniform. These exceptions will be mostly granted for tradition’s sake, for example the LA Lakers.

    5. All games must be “white vs. color”. However, teams can apply before the season starts if they wish to have a “color vs. color” game, and those exceptions will only be granted if the contrast between the two jerseys is enough so that a colorblind fan/athlete would not be affected. (Example: USC v. UCLA)

    6. NHL teams must wear white at home.

    That’s my platform. Send me some money if you agree with this, and I’ll try to get into the race. Or write me in.

  • Johnny | April 15, 2016 at 12:03 pm |

    Nice Paul, I also own a pair of KRK Rokits :)