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Hooray for the Red & White Blue Jays

BJ hed

By Phil Hecken

Yesterday morning the Toronto BLUE Jays (named for the bird of the same color) introduced a new alternate jersey, to be worn on home Sundays, as well as a new alternate cap. As you can see from today’s splash, the jersey (and cap) are red. Let’s take a look at some photos (you can click to enlarge):

Blue Jays Red 4

Here’s the jersey:

Blue Jays Red 3

And here’s the cap (note how the New Era logo really stands out — get used to that:

And the obligatory hype video:

As I said above, the jersey and cap are a new alternate (they’ll still have their blue alternate), and but the red combo will only be worn on Sunday home games (although it’s likely the Jays will be forced to break out different unis for Mother’s and Father’s day — which are both home dates for the Jays). Whether or not they’ll deviate from this schedule (or wear them say, the Saturday before either Mother’s or Father’s day) remains to be seen. But the plan is for home Sundays.

One of the reasons given for the new alternate is to coincide with Canada’s 150th anniversary, which is a year-long celebration in 2017. One of the reasons not given for the new alternate is to sell more jerseys and caps.

Let’s take a closer look:

Blue Jays Red 1

Here is the full uniform, front and back. As you can see, the red cap and jersey will be paired with (for players who choose to show them) red socks. They’ll also wear red shoes.

Blue Jays Red 2

The front of the jersey features “BLUE JAYS” in their classic script, paired with a RED blue jay logo

This is basically the exact same design as the alternate blue jersey, with all the blue elements swapped out. The red maple leaf remains red, but the blue jay, rather than remaining blue, also turns red.


However, the red cap, instead of having the blue jay logo (like the blue cap does), simply has a red maple leaf, set off by a white outline:

The new cap more closely resembles the navy cap the Blue Jays wore in spring training last year.


The red blue jay on the red jersey is (like the cap logo) set off by a white outline:

So, with the addition of the red set (and the team will presumably add red helmets, although I haven’t seen any photos of one yet), the team is up to a total of four jerseys (white, gray, blue and red). Here’s the logo slick jersey/cap and uni sets for 2017:


2017 Jays unis


As you can see from the second graphic above, the red jersey also contains a red maple leaf on the left sleeve (the only jersey to have this).

If this jersey looks vaguely “familiar” to you — it should. It’s VERY similar to the Canada Day jersey the team broke out last year. If you read that article (or at least scroll through the photos), you’ll note some subtle (and not-so-subtle) differences. The cap was red with a red maple leaf (no New Era logo), but the left sleeve of that jersey featured the Canadian flag rather than the maple leaf. Also, the blue jay logo on the uniform was blue, not red. Finally, the 2016 Canada Day jersey featured a headspoon and single stripes on the sleeves. This one is spoon-free and has two stripes on the sleeve. This new jersey actually looks more like the Canada Day jersey they wore in 2012-13. You’ll also note some members of the team wore blue undershirts/sleeves, and all had the blue helmet. They also had blue shoes. This set apparently completely ditches any blue elements.

The red jersey, while new as a regular jersey, has been as a primary or secondary color on many Blue Jays Canada Day jerseys in years past, but it’s the first time they’ve ever had a red jersey as a full-time alternate. Whether it remains beyond this one season (remember, in theory it’s to help celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary) is still to be seen.

As a pure jersey — I like it. But there are a couple things I don’t like: one, they don’t need another alternate. I realize the blue alternate isn’t going anywhere, so it’s not like they could just swap this one in. Two: blue jays are, ya know, BLUE, so I’m not sure if I like a Blue Jays uni with NO BLUE at all. I think the 2016 Canada Day uni (and combo with blue helmets, sleeves and shoes) was a good look (even though it killed my OCD). It broke up the red nicely and retained the signature element of the unis. Even if they eschew the red sleeves and shoes, they could have at least kept the blue jay logo blue. Three, I think we have enough teams in baseball with a red alternate (even if that’s a bit out of date now, you get the idea) that we don’t need another. Still, if it really is ONLY worn on Home Sundays, and they’re doing it to celebrate the 150th anny, I can live with it. Canada’s team, celebrating Canada — they can’t get much more Canadian than this.

What do you guys think? The floor is yours…

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Leo's World 500

Leo’s World
“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 of the images below to enlarge. — PH

It’s been a while since we heard from Leo — who’s on a sort of “sabbatical” from the blog for personal reasons. But I did receive an e-mail from him the other day which is, as always, great. It’s more odds and ends than your typical “Leo’s World” fare, but it’s classic LW, nonetheless. After some quick back and forths, it’s also got a sad ending (unfortunately), as Leo had to bid adieu to a beloved pet; his thoughts on that are included as well.

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Odds & Ends
By Leo Strawn, Jr.

Hey Phil,

Got a few ticker items you might like. 😊

. . .

Baseball: I don’t ever recall seeing Wahoo head on.



Apparently, this was the logo for the ’48 season, however. Oddly, the uniforms featured the more familiar 3-quarter view on the jersey sleeve:


and front of the team jacket:

. . .


NFL: Great color shot of the 1959 Pro Bowl.

Looks like Tittle carrying the rock for the west.

. . .


NCAA Gridiron: Chuck Hartwig made All-American for the Pitt Panthers in ’34 and was featured on a 1935 Wheaties box:

Placement of the logo on the jersey reminds me a bit of the ’33 Pittsburgh Pirates (Steelers), but I’m wondering if it is a special jersey made for All-Americans. Doesn’t match the College All Stars jerseys from that year, though. Anyone?

. . .


A couple of College hoops items: Symmetry isn’t always the best look as St. Bonaventure showed in 1975-76.

Two seasons before that, Houston Baptist rocked some unusual uniforms from top-to-bottom, as well as (what I assume are) the cheer squad unis. After seeing that media guide cover, I googled to see what the jersey logo was and discovered they recently (2015) threw back to those unis. No word on whether the cheerleaders also wore throwbacks.

. . .


— Leo

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That wonderful bunch of uni-goodness was, unfortunately, followed by a bit of sadness. I’ll let Leo tell the story:

. . .

OBIT: Had a really bad day (not related to everything else I’m dealing with) on Tuesday. Longtime pet, Chompers the Ferret went into horrible seizures early in the morning and I had to take her to the vet and have her put to sleep. She is buried with her favorite toy, Ephelant the elephant (pictured). She had a couple of minor episodes over the past couple of years as she reached her golden years, but nothing like this one and I was always hopeful she would just pass one day peacefully in her sleep, but sadly that was not the way it worked out for her. It was heartbreaking seeing her in that much pain and not being able to do anything else to ease her suffering. She lived a long, full and happy life and I know she’s out there somewhere, jumping around and playing again like she did when she was young. R.I.P. Chompers.


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Thanks, Leo!

Great to hear from you again, and please accept my condolences on the loss of your beloved pet. Paul wrote a very nice epitaph for my Jack Russell Bizkit (scroll down) back in 2013, so believe me, I can empathize with how Leo is feeling now. Feel free to remember Chompers in the comments below.

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…on Friday, Paul announced he was running a new design contest to fix Major League Baseball’s “Hall of Fame” inductee jersey (all the deets are in that post).

In one of those cases where “great minds…” (lol) collide, I had enlisted the aid of a friend a couple years back to do just that — but as Paul says, I think you guys can do even better!

So … you know what to do. Get crackin’!

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: Those new Memphis Redbirds unis are not only great, the new “M” music note screams “Home of the Blues” & “Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll!” (Memphis). Plus a hat-tip to the 1960s/70s Memphis Blues! … Whoa, check out this photograph of the 1895 Washington Base Ball team — how awesome are those sweaters??? (from Bruce Menard, of course). … Our own Mike Chamernik saw this tweet and asked, “Have we seen Roman numerals in MLB?” … Interesting — in the bottom right of this photograph, it appears a protester is wearing a Hillary Clinton “45” jersey. Robert Hayes wonders if these were actually sold (I’m thinking it might be a custom job). … Speaking of Prexy-related “45” jerseys — there was a custom NY Yankees Trump Jersey spotted in DC yesterday. Aside from the obvious faux-pas of the NOB, it looks like it was signed (from Christopher Leopardi). … “The list of AL East teams has expanded according to ESPN’s website & Orioles logo seems to be a popular choice,” notes Sons of J. LeMaster. Looks like it fixed pretty quickly however (from Toph). … According to this tweet from Hotel Commonworth, JackieBradleyJr stopped by to sign our elevator today & shared that he’ll be debuting a new number this season! #19 (thanks to Shane Bua). … The KBO “Dinos” look to new Spring Training uniforms (from Dan Kurtz). … “Detroit Tigers winter caravan tour stopped at Univ of Michigan,” writes Jason Axel Bowman. “Interesting way to arch the lettering.” … “I grew up in Hawaii and Denver, which means I was exposed to a lot of AAA baseball with the Hawaii Islanders and Denver Bears (then Zephyrs),” says Eric Bangeman. “One of the players I remember seeing play as a kid was Tim Raines, and the Denver Post has some nice pics from his season in Denver.” … “Rockies have a new shade of purple, and I can’t find any mention of it,” says R P 3 (and which it must have killed Paul to retweet). … According to this article.The Only Consistency to Padres’ Uniforms Is Inconsistency. Of course, the simple solution is simply to #BringBackTheBrown. … “Not sure if its to save inventory or if all new MLB hats will have a stick-on NE patch instead of being sewn on,” writes Matt Cable. Comparison pic.”

NFL News: The Woodman’s Market grocery store in Janesville, WI, continues its tradition of some impressive soda can display art (from Johnny Okray). … Tweeter Tyler Brooke thinks Donald Trump spokesperson Kellyanne Conway looks like Pat Patriot (as seen as yesterday’s inaugural festivities). … Tyler was apparently not alone in this sentiment. … Not NFL per se, but from an “NFL Movie” (Any Given Sunday): interesting facemask change by Beaman once he lands starting job (from Slaw and Order). … Tweeter John Follett toured Lucas Oil Stadium last weekend and noticed the NFL Uniform Rules poster. “Caught these posted outside locker room.” … “Not sure if this is that big of a deal, but I found this (Super Bowl XX painters’ cap) packed away in some old sports stuff,” writes Peter L. Fredrickson. “Still in really nice shape. Bears/Patriots Superbowl XX cap. Always thought that this was a great logo.” … Smiley says Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron “Rodgers is wearing a hat I’ve never seen before.…wonder what it represents?” — He’s apparently worn this cap before. Tis the cap of Pleasant Valley High in Chico, CA.

College Football News: Tweeter notColeSmith was in a thrift store recently and noticed this cap with an interesting colorway for the Colorado Buffaloes. Welp. At least the gold looks correct. … Tweeter Geoff seems to think he may have an answer for the CU color discrepancy.

Hockey News: An NHL goaltender’s mask is not only the one thing standing between a man’s head and a 160-kilometre slapshot ”” it is also Sylvie Marsolais’ canvas. The Montreal-area airbrush artist is one of a small group who paint masks for the league’s top goalies (from Ted Arnold). … Yesterday was apparently something called, “Penguin Awareness Day” (who knew?). Well, of course these guys did. … Remember that “Redesign the Griffins” contest I hosted this summer? Well, Dan Kennedy won and here’s the design the team will wear tonight. Great job Dan & Griffins! I should have a nice follow up with live action pics (and hopefully more) from Dan tomorrow. … This may have been in the ticker before (I distinctly remember it but…), so apologies in advance: Iowa State hockey is going camo (from Phillip Santos). … “There’s an older bubble hockey game in my office that features some NHL logos I’ve not seen used except as shoulder pathches in the early 2000’s, I think ”“ The leaping coyote I’ve never seem used by Arizona/Phoenix, nor the blues note overlaid over the St. Louis Arch,” says Steve Kuchka. “The Oilers & Flames’ text based ones I’m sure are not used on the uniforms, thus making this an odd collection of trademarked images on this game.” … Michigan State has numbers on the front of their jerseys instead of the back. Submitter Will Shima thinks they look “weird” and “like lacrosse jerseys.” If you’re wondering what’s on the back — here ya go. … Sergei Bobrovsky has “Bobs” on both this helmet *and* his gloves (from Lori Schmidt). … “This year the Hurricanes don’t have a Captain and 2 Alternates, they’ve had three Alternate captains,” notes Jon Chichwak. “Justin Faulk and Jordan Staal are the first two, but here’s the interesting part: Jeff Skinner and Victor Rask have switched being captain.” The key quote comes from this article: “You’ve probably noticed that Jeff Skinner and Victor Rask — the two players that rotate the third alternate captaincy — have flipped where they wear the “A.” In the first half of the season, Rask wore it on the road and Skinner wore it at home. Now, Skinner is wearing it on the road while Rask is wearing it at home, a midseason switch that gives the two equal representation.”

NBA/College/Hoops News: The University of Pittsburgh football team has already graced us with a gorgeous throwback uniform in royal and gold, and now it looks like the Pitt hoops team will also be wearing a beautiful royal version of their uniform, with the glorious “Pitt” script across the chest (nice find from Rich Donahue and Stallings is). … Here’s a bit more on those Pitt throwbacks (from Yancy Yeater). … UNC coach Roy Williams (who has tremendous fashion sense) wears a “strong jacket” that was designed by Alexander Julian (who also designed the infamous argyle patterned UNC basketball uniforms some years ago). He likes to bust out that strong jacket for big occasions (from James Gilbert). … “How about those Paris Tiger warmups?” writes Ryan Kraemer. “It’s opening night of the LIC Tourney and the Tigers were waiting to take the court.” … Here’s a video detailing all the “swag” that Villanova Basketball enjoys (h/t Catherine Ryan). … Couple interesting graphics here, the first depicts the Milwaukee Bucks records by uniform and also their winning percentage by court (from Bucks Uniforms).

Soccer News: Acronym time: the LAFC (The Los Angeles Football Club) has a USL (United Soccer League) affiliate, OCSC (Orange County Soccer Club). Phew. Well, they have a new logo (submitter Ryan thinks it’s “awkwardly long and skinny”).

Grab Bag: Hey golfers out there: ever use Kirkland balls? It seems as though Costco worked out a deal to bring high quality balls to the market at a fraction of the cost of their equally-good, much higher-priced competitors and the public loved them. You can probably guess what happened next. … Interesting (and well written) piece here on the connection in the US between sports and the military. … “Do NASCAR paint schemes count at unis?” asks David Dearing. “Regardless, NASCAR getting rid of names on windshield, adding Monster logos.” … These delightful ads revisit “The History Of The Helmet”. … Last evening, North Carolina gymnastics wore these “Unity” leotards (from James Gilbert). … New Era Cap has opened a “design lab” inside Staples Center (from Tommythecpa).

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And that’s it for today. Thanks to Leo (and welcome back, even if it’s just for a quickie…).

You guys have a great Saturday, and I’ll catch you next tomorrow but until then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


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“Those Hall of Fame jerseys look like a sloppy DIY iron-on job with flat script cut into three pieces and rotated.”

— Rex Henry

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Comments (35)

    From Thursday’s tracker:

    “NASCAR has a new sponsor/advertiser, Monster, for its premier series. It looks like drivers names will be moved from the top of the windshield to the back window, with a Monster logo taking its place in the front”

    My only problem with the jersey is the red blue jay head. It doesn’t bother me that the color doesn’t match the mascot. how do you feel about the cardinals away hat? have you ever seen a green eagle,a neon hawk,or a purple raven? Actually, outside of baseball, how many teams do match the real color of their mascot

    But Blue Jays has the word “blue” in it. And Ravens have a bit of a purplish tint. I think. And the cardinals still have red on their blue caps.

    Yet no one sweats the Red Sox where overwhelmingly blue, or that the White Sox haven’t worn white socks since the 1970’s.

    I’d rather see a blue and white Canadian flag than those Red Jays jerseys.

    Boston can wear overwhelmingly blue, as long as the sox…er, socks, are red.

    And the White Sox wearing black socks in even dumber than the Padres not wearing brown. Change your socks or change your name, Chicago!

    JBJ will be wearing #19 for the Red Sox for the first time, but he wore that numeral while starring at the University of South Carolina.


    I thought about that – they’ve made merch with ‘CANADA’ in the Jays font – and swap the leaf from the sleeve to the front, colorize the Jays logo properly on the sleeve. But perhaps they’re wary of getting into the national team’s turf? Even the Toronto word mark wouldn’t seem like such a clash.

    No hint of blue just seems odd. Like a New Era fashion cap template pushed onto a jersey.

    Canada. That’s cute.

    Seriously, though, I’m with Phil. Just keep the blue jay blue, for crying out loud.

    Re: bubble hockey item in ticker –
    There’s a typo in the linked text “pathches”…
    And I would date the group of logos later than the early 2000’s. More likely early 2010’s, and possibly only a few year old. Looks like they tried to use non-primary logos or wordmarks around the base of the bubble, and primary logos down the base. Some interesting choices though, you’d think there would have been other options.
    But the leaping Phoenix dog is from their black third jersey worn 2008-2014, and the St Louis Blues note over the arch is from their most recent third worn 2008-2016.

    As a Jays fan, when was the last time they really wore those mysterious grey uniforms? I can’t remember.

    As commented be me earlier, the red jersey should just be worn on Canada Day.

    I am glad the the Blue Jays are so patriotic. But, they are “Canada’s Team” by default. Their owner Rogers Communications is a big giant in media and telecommunications here. They make sure that we are inundated with everything Blue Jays from coast to coast in all our media options. Difficult not to hear constantly about they Jays even for me here on the West Coast.

    When the Jays make the statement that they are “Canada’s Team”, these are the times when I miss the Montreal Expos the most.

    Agree – this somewhat cheapens the special uniforms worn once a year for Canada Day. And their previous three Canada Day jerseys are nicer than this full-season one.

    Anyone care to guess what color the Rogers Communications logo is? Maybe they’ll change the team’s name someday too.

    Are MLB teams required to have a gray away jersey. I was just thinking, and I feel like most teams have a colored alternate. MLB should just make the switch to white home, colored away jerseys. Makes sense to me, anyway.

    Not unless they have matching pants. Baseball shirts match the pants. Anything else is softball.

    Exactly. Baseball uniforms don’t look right when the jersey and pants colors don’t match. Blue jays want a red jersey, then wear red pants with them.

    I am confused by “instead of” in “Michigan State has numbers on the front of their jerseys instead of the back. Submitter Will Shima thinks they look “weird” and “like lacrosse jerseys.” If you’re wondering what’s on the back – here ya go. “, and the fact that the 2nd photo shows numbers on the back. Front jersey numbers in college hockey aren’t terribly uncommon. When the Dallas Stars put numbers on the front of their jerseys not long ago, the popular critique was “it looks like a college jersey.”

    Although the Spartans’ #OF seems unusually large, and really stands out on the solid green uniform in a way that it doesn’t for BU, Harvard, NoDak, etc.

    Re: Carolina alternates: The NY Rangers have 1 captain and 4 alternates!! One forward (Nash) and one defenseman (Staal) at home and one each (Stepan and Girardi) on the road.

    I hate, no loathe same color logos on same color cloth. Like the Angels red numbers on a red jersey, or the black on black garbage the Giants have. So the blue jays red maple leaf on red had is nails on a chalkboard. Seems like a white front panel would alleviate all problems AND some what throw back to the best looking blue jays hat. No?

    Totally agree. I have no idea how anyone thinks those invisible numeral unis are a good idea and also how they get approved for use at league level.

    I agree that the Blue Jay should be blue. I’m thinking that maple leaf hat is going to be a huge seller. Since this is to celebrate Canada Day, I wonder if they should have put “Canada” on the jersey instead of Blue Jays. They are the only MLB team in Canada after all.

    My bad, not to celebrate “Canada Day” but to honor the 150th Anniversary of Canada.

    Teams “miscolor” logo mascots all the time. No real lion is honolulu blue, for instance. I’m much more miffed by teams that ignore their clearly stated sartorial claims: eg the White Sox wearing black socks or the Blue Jackets not wearing jackets at all.

    Both the Toronto Raptors and Blue Jays obviously try very hard to be more than just being Toronto’s or Southern Ontario’s team, and instead try and appeal to be Canada’s team. Ultimately if your “local” television market goes from 5 million to 33 million, it’s a whole lot of extra $$. But at the end of the day, an exciting, winning team is the only things that makes a tangible difference, in that regard the Blue Jays are heading in the wrong direction. The red jersey just appears a somewhat cloying way of trying to hold on to that national attention that swept the team in Aug – Oct 2015.

    Is it just me, or is anyone else annoyed by red numbers/letters/patches on a red background (or blue on blue)? I know that the element is set off by white outlining, but I find them hard to read.

    It’s been a while since I have seen an NFL uniform rules poster, pretty cool. I guess Odell Beckham Jr and Dak Prescott get fined every game since they wear the white socks almost all the way to the top. Back in the 70’s Mel Blount and Jack Tatum wore the long white socks all the way up showing no top color at all.
    Like the NFL in the 70’s the WFL had no uniform code, I haven’t written the story yet but I will next month and submit it to Phil. I literally had an argument with my father right before the Shreveport game in 1974 because of a pair of socks he was going to wear in the game, I finally talked him out of it because I didn’t want to see him make a fool of himself even though there was literally no one in the stands at this game .

    Hate the red uniforms. Besides the overall poor design (the red maple leaf is lost against the red background), as others have pointed out, the team is the “Blue” Jays. Blue should absolutely be the primary color (no pun intended). It’s in the name. It’s what everyone in the stadium wears to support the team. I think removing the color blue from the uniforms shows a lack of respect towards the brand. And I feel, towards the city. It might play with those that live in some of the more rural parts of Canada, but Toronto fans really embraced the Blue uniforms and caps. It was probably the most successful re-brand in history. Making them red has less to do with honoring Canada than it does pandering to those that don’t live in this city.

Comments are closed.