By Phil Hecken
If you were expecting to see a new red and white uniform today, you came to the right place. Unfortunately … that is NOT going to be any of the new Wisconsin Badger uniforms, as their much-ballyhooed “release” (they are now officially outfitted by Under Armour) has been delayed. I’m not sure if they’ll be unveiling anytime soon either. If you think about it — releasing a new set of uniforms on a Friday of a long holiday weekend in the summer probably isn’t the best way to maximize exposure, so I can understand if they want to delay things until they’ll get a better bang for their buck, as it were. Still it was disappointing, as all signs (until around midnight Friday morning) pointed to an all-sports uni-reveal on July 1, the date UA took over the apparel contract from adidas.
Luckily for us, the Blue Jays continued their tradition of wearing special “Canada Day” uniforms. For those uninitiated, “Canada Day” is an official holiday up north, and celebrates the anniversary of the July 1, 1867 enactment of the Constitution Act, 1867 (then called the British North America Act, 1867), which united the three separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a single dominion within the British Empire called Canada. The Blue Jays have worn red tops to celebrate Canada Day before, but these were a new iteration.
For a quick refresher, here’s a look at the history of the Blue Jays’ Canada Day jerseys — some of which have been excellent, others…not so much. It helps that the Jays returned to their “classic” script a few years back, as the more recent vintage jerseys have, in my opinion at least, been some of their best (for all photos below, you can click to enlarge).
I was never a fan of the Jays’ uniforms from 1997-2011 to begin with, less so of the script. So to my mind, while there were some interesting looks there, none of those have looked as good as the 2012-2016 unis. 2012-13 were nice, but VERY red, while they somehow allowed Majestic to stick contrasting white pit panels on there for 2014, which made the jersey look awful. 2015 featured basically the same as the 2012-13 top, only in white, and that was very nice. For 2016, the team added a white headspoon and man — what a difference that makes. Even though the “BLUE JAYS” wordmark crosses the piping, I am impressed at how good the addition of the headspoon is. These might be my favorite ones of all the Jays’ Canada Day jerseys so far.
OK. Let’s look at some game pics (by the way, if you weren’t watching — the game yesterday went NINETEEN innings, and the Blue Jays’ opponents, the Cleveland Indians, won — since the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA title over almost 2 weeks ago, the Indians have not lost a game. They extended their winning streak to 14 games. Quite an impressive feat!).
Nice, right? As you can see, the Jays went with a red cap featuring a simple, solid red maple leaf, outlined in white. Nothing garish or over-the-top
to celebrate Canadian independence in celebration of the Constitution Act (a shocking concept, I know — especially when we’re aboot to get crushed with our America Fuck Yeah unis in two days). But this looked good:
Most of the players who wore undershirts opted for the blue variety…which surprisingly looked very good (I thought my OCD would hate it, but I was pleasantly surprised). The team did not opt to get new red batting helmets (to match the jerseys and caps), instead wearing their regular blue lids — which picked up the blue undershirt contrast very nicely.
It looked even better with players who wore blue batting gloves:
Unfortunately, in all the photos I looked at, only one player showed hosiery, and that was red. Wonder how it would have looked had any players worn blue socks or stirrups.
I have a feeling it wouldn’t have looked as good had there been blue hose sported.
In prior years, the Jays have had “CANADA” as a NOB…
…although I know at least for last year they switched to Player NOB
This year they continued to use Player NOBs:
Would have been cool if they went back to “CANADA” NOBs.
While the Indians have been streaking and on a roll, I must confess I have not tracked or followed their uniform proclivities this year — they went with midnight blue tops. So while it was a battle of softball tops, it was a game with good contrast. The Indians wore Canadian Flag patches on their right sleeves for the occasion, which was a nice touch.
As the game was going on, Paul noticed the patch and wondered if that was the first time any visiting team had worn a Canadian flag patch on their uniforms for Canada day
Is this the first time a visiting team has worn the Canadian flag while playing vs. the Jays on Canada Day? https://t.co/sKkML67klb
— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) July 1, 2016
Turns out, it was not:
— (((Lorne Geller))) (@Geller18) July 1, 2016
I LOVE that the Blue Jays wear a special uniform to recognize Canada Day, and further love that they always seem to do it up in a classy way — unlike their neighbours to the South who seem to get louder and more garish with each passing Independence Day. Now — don’t get me wrong — if there is ever a day for special loud, garish apparel that screams “AMERICA” it’s the Fourth of July. But it would be nice if MLB could find a way to celebrate Independence Day with uniforms that don’t suck. So in the battle for independence day/constitution act celebrations, once again it’s Canada 1- USA 0. Maybe next year. But don’t hold your breath. Even the ads for retail sales are so much more restrained…so much more…Canadian.
Now. We just need to work on their spelling.
UW’s Friday Flashback
In case you missed it Friday, with Wimbledon now taking place across the pond, Paul’s weekly Friday Flashback piece on ESPN takes a look at players who’ve run afoul of Wimbledon’s notorious dress code (including Anne White in 1985, pictured here).
for the Ticker
Received an e-mail the other day from my buddy and frequent Uni Watch contributor (and proud Canadian), Mike Styczen, who took his kids to a Minor League Baseball game and, well…
I’ll let Mike explain (and you can click on the photos below to enlarge)…
I took my kids to see the Okotoks Dawgs play the Edmonton Prospects (Western Major Baseball League, Alberta and Saskatchewan). We sat next to the Edmonton dugout and the great thing about being in the front row is that the managers and players actually talk to you during the game.
I noticed that Edmonton was all high-socked – I asked the manager between innings if there was a team rule. He told me that there was – he said that it makes the players look uniform and professional, that they look like ball players. I told him I loved it and wished every team had the rule. He laughed and said it was sad there were only a couple old guys like him that cared anymore.
After the game we got to go on the field and meet the players (I love minor league ball!). One Okotoks pitcher was in stirrups, I went and (after congratulating him on the 6-0 win) asked him about it. He told me that he loves to look good and that it (I am not making this up) impresses the ladies with how good it makes his calves look. He was also impressed that I noticed he was wearing them correctly – “big in the back” as he put it.
OK. Now, onto the ticker…
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: “The Bowie Baysox (Class AA Orioles) will be hosting “Bowie Celebrates Bowie” night on July 22 when the Bowie Baysox (Boo-wie) celebrates its heteronym namesake David Bowie (Bow-ee) with a tribute to the life and music of the legend,” says Phil Wrye. “The Baysox players will wear David Bowie inspired uniforms that will be auctioned off during the game. Proceeds from the auction will benefit Feeding America.” … The Midland Rock Hounds had themselves a fine time in these Ferris Bueller-inspired jerseys (from OT Sports Baseball). … I’m just gonna leave this here: On July 8th, 1977, the Indians and Blue Jays participated in “Farmers Day” at Municipal Stadium. … The Salt Lake Bees and Utah Jazz have partnered for Utah Jazz Night at Smith’s Ballpark on Friday, July 8. The Bees will take on the El Paso Chihuahuas starting at 7:05 p.m. (from Kraig Williams). … adidas has unveiled “Celebratory Independence Day Inspired Energy Boost” baseball cleats for July 4th (from Paul Murphy). … MLB has a logo quiz (thanks to Andrew Hoenig). … So, who has the best cap in baseball? You can vote on it here (thanks to Manny Randhawa via Paul). … Check out Bryce Harper’s 4th of July cleats. They are Harper 1’s (h/t Christopher Overholt). … Here’s the ‘murica jersey that the San Jose Giants will wear on Independence Day (from OT Sports). … It wasn’t just Canada Day for the Blue Jays. The Thunder Bay Border Cats, sole Canadian team of the Northwoods League, have yet another different jersey for Canada Day this year. Will Scheiblertook a couple quick pics when biking by the ballpark on the way elsewhere yesterday. Here’s a picture from their Facebook page this year’s Canada Day jersey, and here is a closer-up view. … A couple of Padres fans watching the Yanks/Pads yesterday sure know the deal (from RN’s Funhouse). #BringBackTheBrown.
NFL/CFL News: Donald Trump used his own charity to buy himself a $12,000 Tim Tebow helmet. Here’s a bit more on that. Shockingly, he may have violated some rules by doing that. … Not every couple who gets those “his & her” custom jerseys looks as awesome (and cute) as this couple (nice spot by Don Schauf, who adds “Go Pack Go”). … Last night, at the Calgary CFL game, there was this great Calgary sports-themed food truck on display (from Griffin Smith).
College Football News: Even thought they never got around to unveiling of their new uniforms, Wisconsin was already photoshopping in UA gear and removing the old adidas logos on e-mails they were sending out (good spot by Eric Odden). … Looks like Andrew Lind will be adding some new threads on the OhioStateUniforms.com website tomorrow. … Because it’s never too early to think about College Football, here are some “Awesome red/white/blue camo shirts from @GeorgiaStateFB to celebrate 4th of July weekend” (from Josh SÃ¡nchez).
Hockey News: The WHL Swift Current Broncos have unveiled their 50th season commemorative logo. Submitter Wade Heidt says, “Here is the logo. Not much detail yet about how it will be used. It blends the past and present. The logo is in the original Broncos colours of green and yellow. I imagine we will see a throwback uniform at some time during the season.” … Pretty cool look at a 1997 NHL All Star Game banner that Jack Yider “just found this cleaning out at my school. Thought you guys would like it.”
NBA News: Because inquiring minds want to know, Does the “Buzz City” Uniform give the Charlotte Hornets an edge? … Tweeter Charlie Guzior saw this Philly Seventy-Sixers tweet from the NBA and said “looks like they got rid of the stars on the shoulder.” … The Phoenix Suns have announced jersey numbers for their rookies.
Soccer News: Here are a couple of concepts for a Miami MLS team, from the Miami New Times (from Brian Mazmanian). … New kits next season for Aston Villa (from Scott Moomaw via Paul). … “Been wondering how the Colorado Rapids are going to sell Tim Howard gear since he is a goalie and they don’t consistently wear the same uniform as field players,” says Harvey Lee. “Here is a long sleeve player number black shirt.” … The new Adidas SL Benfica 2016-2017 jerseys are out. Slightly different from the leaked images (from Anne Celestino). … Tweeter Mike D observes, “Benfica’s new jersey has horizontal stripes, which turns out is actually the club’s anthem.” … Here’s a look at the new Inverness kit, who play in the Scottish Premier League (from Rhys McManus). … Here’s a full look at Werder Bremen kit (from Patrick Thomas).
Grab Bag: “oh. my. God.” says Lou Sherwood. “I knew this was going to happen with the 50th anniversary” (coming up for Star Trek). … Have you ever asked, “Why Are Women’s Shirt Buttons on the Left?” Well, now you know (thanks Brinke). … Here is an article on the Evolution of Jersey Collecting, sent in by the author himself, Andrew Polaniecki. … Here’s a look at the new All-America lacrosse unis (from BobE – UA Lacrosse). .. Also from BobE: Custom UA Lacrosse Armour Grip Handles for the UA All America Girls teams … Here is a look at the new adidas inventory at the Tulsa Golden Hurricane campus book store (from Hunter Hart). … The “National Tennis Centre Car Park” was looking a bit different yesterday — from James Gilbert — I’m not sure which “National Tennis Centre” is being referred to there, but I’m going to assume it’s the one in Britain, especially with Wimbledon going on. … Oh boy — Fans can now order replica Mizuno Volleyball jerseys as worn by the US Men’s and Women’s Volleyball teams (from Thom Pucks). If you really want one, you can order it here. … OK — this is awesome — the Hollywood Curling club has team sweaters that mimic the LA Kings’ jerseys (thanks, Paul). … Not only did Under Armour and Wisconsin not unveil their new uniforms yesterday, “Apparently, Under Armour couldn’t get it right in Madison, as there were Notre Dame tags on some shirts at Dick’s today.” But hey, at least they have a new logo font. (Thanks to Dustin Pomprowitz). … Tweeter Matthew Reynolds asks, “New Simpson logo on Allgaier’s fire suit? Old on Ragan’s?”
And that’s going to do it for today. I’ll be back with more tomorrow. Hope everyone is enjoying their BSE!
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken
“The UA ‘unveiling’ fiasco is kind of emblematic of Wisconsin (the state, not the university) right now. Depressingly apt!”
–R. Scott Rogers