A Hideous Catastrophe


By John Ekdahl

We were dreading it, and yesterday began this year’s edition of “Players’ Weekend” in Major League Baseball. While we knew what to expect, it’s difficult to put into words just how awful it actually looked when the players finally took the field. You couldn’t read the team names, you had difficulty making out the numbers and you couldn’t read the nicknames. Wasn’t that half the point of this exercise, to let players highlight their nicknames?

In Chicago, the Cubs all wore blue hats instead of white. This was reportedly because Jon Lester didn’t like the black hat pitchers were forced to wear due to the difficulty in picking up the baseball for hitters. If pitchers are going to wear a different cap than the rest of the team, why not just go all-out soccer goalie and have them wear full neon green?

Yankees vs. Dodgers: two iconic sports franchises with two absolutely classic uniforms. Two teams who rarely get the opportunity to play each other, and the entire weekend will be lost to these eyesores. What a complete waste.

The fans hated it. The managers hated it. The broadcasters hated it. Just an absolutely baffling decision by Major League Baseball.

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This was driving me crazy last night.

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Aaron Judge is wearing cleats signed by every kid who played in the Little League World Series.

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There were inconsistencies all over the place yesterday, including some Sox players wearing their regular batting helmets.

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White helmets + pine tar = not a great look.

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How curious.

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Jack Flaherty is honoring Tyler Skaggs with his cleats this weekend.

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Miami has revealed what unis they’ll be wearing against Florida tonight.

54 comments to A Hideous Catastrophe

  • Ron S. | August 24, 2019 at 9:40 am |

    These Player Weekend uniforms are the hottest garbage that I have ever seen in my 54 years on the planet…I hope MLB corrects this by letting the teams wear their regular uniforms for the remainder of the weekend, but you know that isn’t going to happen.

    • RMc | August 25, 2019 at 8:56 am |

      This fellow 54-year-old concurs.

    • Randall | August 25, 2019 at 11:30 am |

      Why didn’t Mlb stick with the uniforms from last year?

  • GMoore | August 24, 2019 at 9:48 am |

    Doesn’t matter what game you watch, they all look the same.

  • Xavier | August 24, 2019 at 9:52 am |

    Dear MLB,
    WTF?
    Love,
    The Fans

  • DenverGregg | August 24, 2019 at 10:09 am |

    yesterday on the way home from work i stopped at the combo biker bar/chinese takeout joint (great place btw). the mets/braves game was on one tv and exhibition football of tampa/cleveland on the other. major eyesores each. quite a bit of banter with other customers about the players weekend. vigorous unanimous disapproval of it

  • Memal | August 24, 2019 at 10:11 am |

    MLB took a great idea (NNOB for everyone) and ruined it with those uniforms. I loved that Dodger player covered his helmet with pine tar. I would love to see players get creative with items in the dugout to decorate their uniforms.

    • Jakob F | August 24, 2019 at 3:03 pm |

      Kiké does the pine tar helmet all the time. It was even on his bobble head that was just given out
      ,

  • Smokin' Joe | August 24, 2019 at 10:17 am |

    These uniforms are a disgrace, especially for a rare Yankees-Dodgers series. I saw a good suggestion for those teams – wear your classic uniforms, pay a fine and match the fine with a charitable contribution:

    https://www.ocregister.com/2019/08/23/alexander-the-dodgers-are-playing-the-yankees-can-you-even-tell/amp/

  • Rob Holecko | August 24, 2019 at 10:23 am |

    I thought the players’ weekend was going to be more of what the Cubs and Pirates wore in the little league classic last week?

  • Selig’s folly | August 24, 2019 at 10:50 am |

    Why is this even referred to as ‘Players Weekend’? It is pretty obvious the players have NOTHING to do with it except being forced to make up weak, banal nicknames that likely aren’t ever used outside of ‘Players Weekend’. Suggestion: have ‘Players Weekend’ on a Monday in April when most teams have the day off.

    • Nestor Chylak | August 24, 2019 at 11:08 am |

      I hope your question is not rhetorical, because I really want to know…

      What exactly is “Players Weekend”? Why is it called that?

      • Ben D. | August 24, 2019 at 1:21 pm |

        They say it’s to promote individuality among the players. The uniforms were made as plain as possible so that guys’ unique, custom accessories would stand out more.

        • Nestor Chylak | August 24, 2019 at 4:46 pm |

          So it’s an ‘anti-uniform’ holiday.

  • Bob Gassel | August 24, 2019 at 10:56 am |

    Has there ever been a uni-related thing more universally disliked (other than ad related stuff)? I literally couldn’t one person who thought this was a good idea. If MLB was smart, they’d abandon the gimmick today, and have a good laugh at themselves…

    • Bob Gassel | August 24, 2019 at 11:11 am |

      insert the word “find” at the appropriate place

  • Wade Heidt | August 24, 2019 at 11:06 am |

    Someone mentioned it before but it is worth revisiting.

    Appears MLB uniform choice may be influenced by the Canadian cult classic movie Strange Brew.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBOxGFA7Oig

  • Rick | August 24, 2019 at 11:20 am |

    If someone sets or breaks a statistical record-whether it be a career or single game, team or personal-and they have these beauties to see forever….

  • Paul Finiello | August 24, 2019 at 11:21 am |

    The Mercury Mets uniform now have company along with the rest of mlb; May we never see the likes of these hideous uniforms again.

  • Jim Howicz | August 24, 2019 at 11:22 am |

    This is probably a dumb question, but did the players have any input? I would be interested to see what the players would wear if they had ultimate freedom to choose.

    MLB wouldn’t profit from it. No merch.

  • Nestor Chylak | August 24, 2019 at 11:22 am |

    My opinion hasn’t changed. It’s still better than the little league suits.

    I guess I’m a little surprised that the head-to-toe black look isn’t intriguing enough for one of us to stop bitching about this, and say that some team should try it on a regular basis (with markings, of course). It kinda has an 1890s/early 20th century vibe.

    I’m ‘meh’ on the whole nicknames thing.

  • Rob S | August 24, 2019 at 11:48 am |

    I know that the schedule is a complex thing to arrange, but why did they have to schedule Yankees-Dodgers for this weekend? They should’ve had the Diamondbacks playing an interleague series instead of the Dodgers.

  • Joe Suarez | August 24, 2019 at 12:26 pm |

    When I turned on Cardinals vs Rockies, my initial impression was actually positive. I thought the white uniform had a vintage feel for the (usual) Red Birds and black already exists in Colorado’s palette.

    Watching highlights was almost impossible. I found myself spending my time trying to identify one of the two teams based on their stadium instead of watching the play.

    Identifying players by their cleats was non-starter.

    • Ron Ruelle | August 24, 2019 at 12:42 pm |

      Rigth? I just said the same basic thing below…. That look could totally be tweaked for Colroado and be an upgrade to the Ace Frehly vests.

      • Joe Suarez | August 24, 2019 at 1:51 pm |

        Right!

        • Ron Ruelle | August 24, 2019 at 6:22 pm |

          Joe, do yo live near near Denver? We need to catch a game!

        • Joe Suarez | August 24, 2019 at 6:51 pm |

          Actually, I was tuning in for the Cardinals and live in Southern California. Denver has been on my bucket list for a while. I should really get on that.

  • Block "O Canada" | August 24, 2019 at 12:40 pm |

    Pretty simple decision for me. I won’t be watching any baseball or baseball-related highlights this weekend.

  • Ron Ruelle | August 24, 2019 at 12:40 pm |

    Wierdly enough, I actually sort of like how the Rockies looked in all black. Considering they wear already black jerseys regularly, but the ones they currently wear are hideous, I thought this was kind of an upgrade. Make the team name, NOB and numbers legible, restore the proper logo coloring to the hat, and I could be on board with this look. But just for one team. Nobody else.

    Also, the all white uniforms looked like cricket uni.

  • Stan | August 24, 2019 at 12:54 pm |

    MLB could have been a lot more creative with this. They could have done a color swap.
    Put LA in white unis with navy pins that have an interlocking LA on the chest. Put the Yankees in Dodger blue away unis with New York in script on the chest in the Dodger font (I might buy that)
    Put Atlanta in Mets blue tops with Atlanta spelled out in the Mets away font with the orange highlights. The Mets could be in red on white with “Mets” in the style of “Braves” on their home unis.
    They’d certainly sell a lot more of those than the all white messes.

  • AJ Kane | August 24, 2019 at 1:18 pm |

    The turn ahead the clock unis were weird, kitschy fun. Throwbacks (and faux backs in some cases) are a great way to acknowledge the history of the game. Even the little league style unis from the past two interactions of this weekend is a fun idea. I don’t mind an alternate. Point is I’m not as traditionalist as a lot of other folks here tend to be.

    That having been said, the Players Weekend uniforms this year are terrible. Bad concept, bad execution. Whoever thought of this and whoever approved it should lose their jobs

    • AJ Kane | August 24, 2019 at 3:37 pm |

      Iterations not interactions.

  • Dwayne Stern | August 24, 2019 at 1:38 pm |

    Baseball made me sad today.

  • Dave | August 24, 2019 at 1:45 pm |

    I recognize that I benefit from tremendous privilege such that I can get angry about baseball uniforms, and not have to worry about my health, or finding enough food for my family, etc. That being said, what an absolute abomination. I’m a Dodger fan, and the fact that what should be a classic Dodgers-Yankees series featuring the two best teams in baseball will forever be marred by these uniforms is shameful.

    Honestly, everyone hates these. MLB should just admit their mistake and tell everyone to go back to their regular uniforms today. Why can’t players express their individuality with shoes, bats, accessories, etc. paired with normal uniforms?

    Not sure if this will make any difference, but I sent an email to feedback@mlbpa.org telling them how awful this is. Supposedly these uniforms are a joint project of MLB and the players association, and there’s no easy way to email MLB, so let the MLBPA know how we feel about this.

    • Selig’s Folley | August 24, 2019 at 9:00 pm |

      I agree with everything you’ve expressed. One thing I’ve noted is so many lamenting that a great uni matchup, Yanks and Dodgers , speaks to our affection for the great traditions of baseball. However, inter league play isn’t one of those great traditions and should go by the wayside, as should Players Weekend.

  • Vedder Cup | August 24, 2019 at 1:56 pm |

    I like them! As a one-off. Lettering and logos disappearing into background is the whole point. The blank-palette stormtrooper uni is waaaay better than the goofy Little League unis last year.

    • Nestor Chylak | August 24, 2019 at 4:41 pm |

      Greetings fellow traveler! The spirit of ‘trying something new’ is just about dead in the field of uniform design. If someone would take a chance and try an all-black uni, this fun little ‘project’ might not have been in vain.

      And I’d like to shake your hand for saying it’s better than the infantile togs of years past.

  • hugh.c.mcbride | August 24, 2019 at 2:47 pm |

    To me, the ugliness of the uniforms is exacerbated by how boring/lazy the entire concept is this year. They could’ve kept the black vs. white general idea, but at the very least had the logos, names, & numbers outlined in a color from each team’s palette. They could’ve gone color rash – or even modified color rash with one team in white vs. one team in a solid color from their palette. They could’ve put everyone in throwbacks for the weekend, or everyone in turn-ahead concept unis. So many ways to go with this weekend. If you’re gonna do it, be creative & swing for the fences.

  • Patrick | August 24, 2019 at 3:05 pm |

    I know it’s not truly a 5+1 weekend but the Villanova at Colgate game looks great. Wildcats double blue against the Colgate toothpaste red is certainly pleasing to the eye. Bonus for Colgate using a lower case script g to mark the goal line.

  • Tim | August 24, 2019 at 3:27 pm |

    Make this weekend a 0 + 30…This players weekend stuff is hideous. The least they could have done on the white unis is accent in black, not grey, so you could actually SEE the team names, numbers and logos.

    • Ron RuelLE | August 24, 2019 at 7:53 pm |

      0+30…
      i wish to subscribe to your newsletter!

  • Greg | August 24, 2019 at 4:20 pm |

    How about inverting each team’s uniform colors? As an example – the Yankees wear navy uniforms with white pinstripes.

    Or – they keep their current uniform format, but with past colors – as another example, the White Sox could have their alternate jersey, but in navy and red instead of black.

    Basically – anything would be better than this.

  • SilvaWil | August 24, 2019 at 4:53 pm |

    I went up to Vancouver and walked around Grantville Island last night. Peered into a steakhouse with a game on. Wondered if it was cricket… nope. “Blue” Jays were the home team.

    • Wade Heidt | August 24, 2019 at 7:08 pm |

      SilvaWil, betting you must have been peering into The Keg Steakhouse and Bar while walking around Granville Island.

      Though the Blue Jays were in white, they were on the road in Seattle last night.

      This is of course the weekend of the Great Northern Invasion at Seattle’s ballpark with the Blue Jays being there this weekend. Mariners fans have to content with large numbers of Blue Jays fans crossing the border. Really too bad for the fans that went down that they will have to see the Blue Jays in these uniforms during this weekend.

  • Special K | August 24, 2019 at 5:12 pm |

    I kind of like the simplified mono black vs. mono white look as a novelty thing, and understand the idea of creating a blank slate to allow the players to express themselves through custom cleats and accessories. But the ghosted names and numbers take things too far, and the white hats are a bad idea since the pitchers can’t wear them. I thought the Cubs’ look with the blue hats wasn’t bad.

  • Patrick | August 24, 2019 at 7:13 pm |

    I could have lived with the spy vs spy unis if the letters, numbers, and logos had a trim that made them readable. Otherwise this is the worst idea since Cleveland had all maroon and Baltimore had mono orange in the 70s.

  • RS Rogers | August 25, 2019 at 8:49 am |

    Nothing wrong in principle with mono-white or mono-black uniforms, but rendering all the text elements in matching white or black so as to make them literally unreadable is a crime against the sport and its fans. (This goes for the several teams that have everyday alternate jerseys with ghosted lettering.) We can’t blame Majestic/New Era for the absurd sight of black-clad teams fielding 13 men thanks to the umpires. If the league, or even the umpire’s union, knew that every game would feature an all-black team, and they did, then the league or the umpires ought to have decreed that umps wear visibly contrasting shirts. This didn’t have to be the worst uniform disaster in the history of professional baseball.

  • A RON | August 25, 2019 at 9:31 am |

    MLB has included so many “gimmicks” that it seems that they are desperate to get attention and/or “invent” $cheme$ ONLY to leech more money from the gullible.

    This weekend was just another one of these.

    Actually, for us REAL fans, nothing gets our attention like a really well played game.

  • Daniel J Tarrant | August 25, 2019 at 1:54 pm |

    Speaking of ads, did anybody else who tuned in to the Miami vs. Florida game last night find it nearly unwatchable due to the huge “CAMPING WORLD” logos on the field? I can handle a corporate logo at the 50 yard line as part of the game’s logo, but were two more huge logos really necessary?

  • L0ui3 | August 26, 2019 at 11:32 am |

    I attended the Toronto-Seattle game yesterday and a couple times I forgot we were black and was cheering for white