By Phil Hecken
brace yourselves wait with bated breath for Major League Baseball to break out their annual America Fuck Yeah! “Stars & Stripes” jerseys and caps to celebrate America’s birthday tomorrow — you won’t have to even wait until tomorrow! That’s right, tonight the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves will be breaking out the patriotic gear a day early, as the two teams will meet up on an active military institution (Fort Bragg). And nothing screams “AMERICA” more than celebrating the 4th of July early, and doing so at an army base.
No. Seriously. That’s about as American as well, baseball, hot dogs (not a sandwich, btw), apple pie and Chevrolet.
They’ll play the game tonight, in front of a national TV audience on ESPN, for the Sunday Night Baseball game. According to this article, “The Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins will be sporting “Stars and Stripes’’ uniforms for the first professional sports game to be played on an active military installation.” Well, damn. I know college teams have played games on aircraft carriers before, but I didn’t realize this was the first professional sporting event to be played on a military base. How has it taken so long?
Here’s a bit of a twist though: because the Braves and Marlins are playing on a Sunday (and the day is coincidentally not the Fourth of July), they will get wear the Stars & Stripes unis not once, but twice. The Braves will be the “home” team tonight, and so will be wearing white jerseys and a special blue/white cap (for all images below, you can click to enlarge)…
…while the Marlins will be wearing a gray top with a special red/white cap:
Now, because MLB never plays a “wraparound” schedule on Monday holidays, both the Marlins and Braves will face different opponents on Monday…and they will get to wear the S&S gear again. The Marlins will head up to New York to play the Mets and wear the red/white caps & gray tops for a second day. However, the Braves will be traveling to Philly, and as such, will be getting a second S&S jersey to wear there. It will be gray.
Now, unless I’m working on incorrect information, I believe this is the first time a team will wear the S&S jersey both on the road and at home in a single season.
Of course, MLB has been doing something “special” for Independence Day for more than a decade, as teams began wearing flag patches in the early 2000s (in 2002, to be precise, following the 9/11/01 attacks), and have been doing special caps for the past 9 or so years. Both the caps and jerseys are new for 2016. As you can see from the above, caps will be two color (either blue or red with a white front panel — the choice of color is up to the team) with a sublimated “star” design on a mesh panel.
Let’s take a look at a few caps (click to see enlarged detail):
All teams will have the stars mesh pattern, except of course, the Toronto Blue Jays, who will be sporting special America caps with maple leaf patterns.
Pretty standard fare on the caps — teams don’t have too much choice but for the color.
Now…the jerseys. We’ve of course seen these earlier when MLB announced the unis for Mom’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, the ASG BP jerseys, and the 4th of July unis. Thankfully, we’re now almost done with the forced specialty jerseys — and actually, I’m very much looking forward to the All Star Game BP tops — but tomorrow’s (and tonight’s for the Braves & Marlins) will again have special patterns in the scripts and wordmarks, and those wordmarks/scripts will be rendered in either red or blue.
Unlike the previous three holiday jerseys, when almost all teams wore gray or white (the exceptions being the Padres, who wore their Sunday camo for both Mother’s and Father’s Days, and the Angels, who wore red tops for Father’s Day), many teams this year will be wearing a colored top. You can see the full gallery here.
A few interesting ones stick out.
The Phillies will be wearing a solid white(ish/cream) jersey with blue trim, but their cap will be red/white. That’s a rather odd pairing (especially if you look at the gallery showing most teams’ trim matching their predominate color caps. The Blue Jays, with their red/white caps, will be wearing a royal blue jersey. That jersey will feature both a Canadian and American flag, on opposite sleeves.
That is the only jersey which doesn’t get the red/navy treatment, and their wordmark is solid white. So, they’re forced to wear a special cap (albeit with sublimated maple leaves on the mesh panel) and an American flag…but their jersey is otherwise unaffected. You’ll recall their Mother’s and Father’s day uniforms were identical in treatment to their American counterparts, although their camo pattern was different for the Memorial Day costume. Granted, the Jays just wore special red jerseys and caps for Canada Day (as they should), but here they’re kinda forced to half-ass it for America’s birthday.
Other teams are going with either navy or red jerseys.
I really LIKE the Reds’ red jersey with navy headspoon piping — but what the hell is with the background on the Wishbone C? Why is it gray? Looks incredibly stupid. They are the only team who gets this treatment.
As always, the Indians’ Chief Wahoo remains in his “natural” flesh color — which in this instance matches the uniform.
The patterned scripts/wordmarks in either red or blue, and on white or gray unforms, are outlined in the opposite color (most are patterned red outlined in blue). On color jerseys, the wordmark/script is in the opposite color from the jersey and outlined in white/gray. The wordmarks/scripts themselves are rendered with a “stars” pattern similar to those on the caps. It seems to mimic the mesh pattern seen on the caps.
Caps will have the MLB batterman logo rendered in stars and stripes.
Jerseys will the same pattern for their MLB patch, only rendered in the “flex” fabric. Team logos will be rendered in navy and red, and all teams, including the Blue Jays, will have the American flag patch on the right sleeve.
Enjoy the games everyone.
“Leo’s World” is a new, semi-recurring feature here on Uni Watch weekends, featuring some excellent uni-related finds from Leo Strawn, Jr.. Each installment will feature a new, unique or just very cool collection of related uniform observations and research. You can click most images below to enlarge. — PH
Familiar Players in Unfamiliar Uniforms, v 1.0
By Leo Strawn, Jr.
We’re all familiar with those odd photos of our favorite players either just starting or finishing out their careers in unfamiliar uniforms. Rather than just post a bunch of photos, I thought it would be fun to let readers guess who these legends are. Since it’s baseball season, these are all baseball greats.
I’ll take it easy on you…this time! The sixth one might make you scratch your head, though.
Ready? No Googling”¦
1. Everyone should know this PCL San Francisco Seals star.
2 & 3. Can you name this duo who suited up for the Boston Red Sox?
4. What famous player is wearing this Buffalo Bisons uniform?
5. Oh, what might have been for the Cleveland Indians.
6. What baseball legend is pictured here in a Pittsburgh Pirates uniform? (Gotta love the spelling on that jersey: Pittsburg!)
Extra point if you know why #2 & #3 are wearing Red Sox uniforms.
How did you do?
Till next time…
Uniform Tweaks & Concepts…
…from Uni Watch readers
For years, Uni Watch readers have been sending in their redesigns, concepts and tweaks for current (or future, or past) uniforms for all sports.
You can click on any images below to enlarge.
Just one set today, since it’s timely, and it comes from Diego Yanez , with a couple EURO2016 tweaks:
For the upcoming semi-final between Wales and Portugal I redesigned their current kits with a different brand.
== Diego Yanez
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).
Some Words of Wisdom…
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: The Vermont Lake Monsters will be wearing this specialty jersey this coming Friday to “raise Cancer Awareness” (from OT Sports). If you look at all the different ribbons on the sleeves, I hope they have every cancer for which there is a ribbon covered. … Those same Lake Monsters will be wearing Star Trek-themed jerseys on Saturday, July 9th (also from OT Sports). … “Watched Cishek of the Mariners over the last couple of nights, looking for exactly when the stirrup on his left leg comes undone,” says Tim Dunn. “Two night average on his stirrup popping out is about pitch 8. It looks like he puts quite a bit a torque when he lands, causing the stirrup to slide out over his heel and out of the shoe. Here’s the last out of (Friday) night’s game. The offending stirrup had popped out about a pitch or so earlier.” … ‘Murica: Here’s an umpire with an American flag ball bag at a legion baseball tournament (from Jackson White). … Cool custom bat and sneakers for Megan Brown. … Here’s a look at the front and back of 4th of July jerseys & hats for the Bradenton Marauders (from Justin Wagner). … For the rest of the season, the York Revolution will don patches in memory of Louis Appell Jr., the businessman and philanthropist who played a key role in helping fund construction of the Revs’ baseball stadium in downtown York. … Here’s and interesting stars and stripes-twist uniform for the Kane City Cougary (h/t Christopher Overholt). … Check out these “Awesome #TrackTown16 jerseys at @EugeneEmeralds for US track and field Olympic trials” (from Joshua Neyhart).
NFL/College/CFL Football News: Hmmmm — looks like something is not quite right here (from Clint Richardson). Good thing those two fan bases get along very well and probably won’t mind the mix up. … “I love the Toronto Argos white lids,” says Steve B. Creations, “but why do the decals sit so far back? Center them!”
NBA News: Whoa! Check out this awesome Golden State Warriors birthday cake made for Lewis Joseph by his stepmother. Awesome!
Soccer News: A couple from Josh Hinton: PSV have introduced new home and away kits, and Norwich City have released a new home kit, and it’s very, very yellow. … Tweeter Trayton Miller asks, “These are supposedly the new Tottenham away kits. What do you call these stripes? Reverse NW?” … Even more reveals from Josh Hinton: Wolfsburg leaked home and away; BOCA (Argentina) Juniors leaked; and, Glagbach (Bundesliga) away revealed. … Still more from Josh: Sporting Lisbon (Portugal); West Brom (EPL) away kit; Athletic Bilbao home; and, Benfica have new home and away kits. … From Alex Buergey: Southampton FC new kits here and here.
Grab Bag: This Dale Earnhardt-themed helmet is one of many unique designs for Tony Stewart at Daytona (from Griffin Smith). Here’s a bit more on that. … “Didn’t know Under Armour made yarmulkahs (sic)” says Mike Lopez. That makes two of us. … Carlton player Jack Silvagni made his AFL debut against Collingwood this weekend wearing a long sleeve jersey (from Graham Clayton).
And that’s going to do it for today. Everyone have a great (and safe!) Fourth of July. I’ll be back next weekend, but until then…
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken
“Just like the illegal fireworks display in my neighborhood gets louder each year, and is no longer restricted to the 4th. I swear”¦between the goofball uniforms, the fireworks yahoos and the obligatory Sousa music you hear on TV or in concert”¦I’m liking this holiday less and less each year.”
— Jimmer “Get Off My Lawn” Vilk