Addition by Subtraction! - D-backs Clean Up Their Unis

By Phil Hecken

Yesterday morning, the Arizona Diamondbacks — who until such time held the distinction of having the worst uniform set in all of baseball (and it wasn’t even close) — finally remedied that by introducing “new” uniforms that have really improved their overall look. And they did it simply by removing all the bad elements. This is actually the second “tweak” of the uniform set originally introduced in 2016, which was (lest you forget), REALLY awful. Even if you wanted to block those uniforms out of your mind, here’s what the team introduced back then. Two home uniforms, two road uniforms and 4 alternates (3 jerseys and 1 throwback). But it wasn’t just the number of uniforms, it featured that awful sublimated snakeskin pattern on both the jersey AND the bottom of the pants and truncated pants striping (and both road uniforms were a VERY dark gray — much darker than any other team). But it was the snakeskin and pants stripe that were particularly noxious:

That uniform was so reviled that the team removed the snakeskin from the pant legs and made full-length pants stripes beginning in 2017 — but the original jerseys with each set remained the same. All of those contained the wretched sublimation.

Fast forward to yesterday. The team reintroduced three new uniforms and three alternate tops, all of which had all the sublimation removed. The result is a clean, crisp look going forward. Also subtracted from the equation were the multiple caps, some of which also contained a snakeskin pattern. The team will now have only 3 caps — all of which are black (and one of which has a red brim); the primary cap has the standard “A” logo, while the other two have a snake biting a baseball.

But enough talking about the improved uniforms. Let’s take a look!

HOME PRIMARY

Other than the maker’s mark of the beast on the right chest, all of the bad stuff has been removed from the prior unis. The jersey and pants are white, with “D-BACKS” in the same script as before, rendered in black, with a red and cream outline. Numbers are red with a black outline. Sleeves and neck, as well as pants, have a red/black/red striping pattern.

ROAD

As with the home primary, the sublimated snakeskin has been removed entirely. The wordmark across the chest reads “ARIZONA” and the gray has been significantly lightened from the previous dark gray. Wordmark is black, outlined in red and cream, while number is black with a red outline. Sleeve, neck and pants striping is red/black/red.

It’s far from classic or likely to fall into anyone’s “best” lists, but the primary home and road unis are solid!

HOME ALTERNATE

Very similar to the primary home (and completely unnecessary), the home alternate is identical save for the addition of teal to the striping pattern, as well as adding teal as a second outline on the wordmark (replacing the cream). Numbers are solid teal outlined in black.

In addition to the three full uniforms, the D-backs also introduced 3 alternate jerseys: A red, and two black jerseys — one of which reads “LOS D-BACKS.”

RED ALTERNATE

Same wordmark as the home uniform, rendered in black with a cream (sand?) outline. Number has the same pattern. The sleeve and neck striping are all cream/black/cream.

BLACK ALTERNATE

This jersey removes the wordmark and replaces it with the “A” logo on the left chest. Sleeve and neck striping are cream/red/cream.

It hasn’t been specified, but the black and red jerseys will likely be worn both with the white and gray pants.

LOS D-BACKS ALTERNATE

It’s tough to tell from the first photo, but the LOS D-BACKS alternate has the wordmark in red, with a teal outline; the number is teal with a red outline. Neck and sleeve striping is teal/red/teal You can get a better sense of how that looks here:

Here are a few looks at the uniforms. The first one is hi-res so please make sure to click on that to get a better appreciation for the details:

The team released a “video” showing stills with pictures of the front and back (and some decent closeups) of the jerseys. It’s definitely worth clicking on:

And there you have it — pretty much the textbook definition of addition by subtraction. The team will look much better in 2020 (and for as long as they have this uniform set), although a second home uniform and three alternates are still overkill. But by removing the doo-dads and lightening the road gray, the subtraction is a vast improvement. The only “bad” thing, if you want to look at it that way, is the team will no longer wear the Thursday Throwback, at least as a part of the regular rotation.

I have no idea whether this revamping was the Diamondbacks idea, or whether it was done in conjunction with Nike, who will be the MLB uniform provider beginning in 2020 (in case you happened to miss the giant swoosh on the chest). But no matter who was responsible, we can at least take some solace in the fact that MLB uniforms with the mark of the beast aren’t getting worse (one down…29 still to see). We can definitely expect more than a few changes for other teams (and that’s all I can say about that), beginning tonight, when the Padres unveil their new set. Paul will be covering that one for us and he’ll be handling tomorrow’s post. And we know the Padres are bringing back the brown…

Your thoughts on the D-backs new unis? They’re still not great, but they’re a whole lot better than they had been. It’s a good start to the uni off-season so far.


Kreindler’s Korner

I had the distinct pleasure of featuring the wonderful artwork of artist Graig Kriendler on two occasions over the summer and fall of 2017, and more recently, in August of 2018.

For those who don’t wish to click the links, Graig paints baseball heroes (and regular guys) from the past, and is an immense talent.

Occasionally, I will be featuring his work on Uni Watch.

Here’s today’s offering (click to enlarge):

• • •

Title: “Larry Doby, 1946” (color study)
Subject: Larry Doby, 1946
Medium: Oil on linen mounted to board
Size: 5” x 7”

Larry Doby was born to a prosperous family in Camden, SC in 1923. He and his mother moved up to Paterson, NJ four years after his dad drowned in a fishing accident when the boy was eight. Considered rather quiet and introspective as a result of a lack of a father and his mother’s devotion to church, Doby would letter in baseball at Paterson Eastside High School, along with three other sports. Though he had thoughts of becoming a coach or a physical education teacher, by the time he was on the tail-end of his high school tenure, he was already playing second base under an assumed name for the Newark Eagles. Between being a senior and starting college, the club offered him $300 for his services.

World War II interrupted his stint in the Negro Leagues, as Doby spent the mid-1940s at Various naval bases on the west coast, keeping fit at each one by playing both baseball and basketball, as well as being a physical education instructor. Larry was stationed on the atoll of Ulithi when he heard about the signing of Jackie Robinson (with the Montreal Royals) over the Armed Forces Radio – he would later note that that was the first time he had truly felt there was a future to be had as an African-American in baseball.

Discharged in 1946, Doby returned to the Eagles to bat .360, lead the NNL in triples, and make the All-Star team. More importantly, he joined a club featuring Biz Mackey, Monte Irvin and Johnny Davis that would go on to win the Negro World Series against Satchel Paige and the Monarchs. During the series, he hit .272, with one homer, five RBIs and three stolen bases.

Having his eyes on integration ever since 1942, Cleveland Indians owner and team president Bill Veeck took an interest in Doby. He ended up formulating a plan, adding him to the Indians’ roster after the All-Star break in ‘47. Larry, who would play with Newark for the first half of the campaign, was bought for $15,000 – $10,000 for the rights from the club, and the other amount after Doby had spent 30 days with the Indians. Eagles owner Effa Manley is reported to have told Veeck: “If Larry Doby were white and a free agent, you’d give him $100,000 to sign as a bonus.”

Here’s Larry with the Newark Eagles in 1946. This is one of 200+ such paintings of mine that will be on display at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the spring of 2020.

• • •

Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.


Uni Concepts & Tweaks

After being dormant for a while, the Uni Tweaks/Concepts have returned!

I hope you guys like this feature and will want to continue to submit your concepts and tweaks to me. If you do, Shoot me an E-mail (Phil (dot) Hecken (at) gmail (dot) com).

• • •

I received the following e-mail from reader Bryan Moss, who has some redesigns for the Arizona Cardinals (and boy can they use one):

Although you are running the redesign the Bucs contest, I just finished up some Arizona Cardinal redesign concepts. I’d appreciate if they could be featured in the uniform concepts section. In my opinion the Cardinals and Falcons have the worst uniforms in the league. They are obviously outdated. I tried something a little different for the Cardinals, incorporating the colors of the state flag onto the uniform. Arizona definitely has one of the most unique flags and I believe it should be used by the Cardinals. Both the home and away take inspiration from the flag. I could not think of a legitimate alternate uniform for the Cardinals as I do not think they need one. But I had an interesting thought to base it off a battleship based purely off the USS Arizona which was destroyed during the Pearl Harbor attacks. These alternate uniforms would never hit the field but I had fun making them and it is an interesting look. I’ll get on those Bucs uniforms next.


Thanks,
Bryan Moss

• • •

Thanks Bryan. OK readers (and concepters). If you have some tweaks or concepts, shoot ’em my way with a brief description of your creation and I’ll run ’em here.

Guess The Game…

from the scoreboard

The game has returned! At least for a trial basis, but I got a lot of positive response to its return, so we’ll see how long we keep this one going.

Today’s scoreboard comes from reader Howard Corday.

The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).

Wow. Today’s scoreboard is kinda…empty. But that in and of itself is a clue. I have faith you guys can fill in the missing pieces

Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):

If you guys like this, please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.

The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: Travis McGuire noticed that Australia’s national baseball team was wearing a black armband in the Premier 12, and it appears to be rather makeshift, perhaps even made out of electrical tape. … The Padres are going back to brown today — but why were they brown to begin with? (Great piece from Todd Radom).
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NFL News: It looks like the Chargers’ logo got slightly cut off by other graphics — or by poor photoshopping — on the Thursday Night Football broadcast (from Yancy K. Yeater). … The center is cut out of Derek Carr’s No. 4 on the Raiders alternate jerseys, except for the number on his back. Both TV numbers and the front number all have the cut-out. Strange. … Speaking of the Raiders, Jon Gruden lost his visor to the fans and was given another — complete with sticker still attached — during his post-game press conference (from Luke Kernell). … Robert Brashear found these ponchos on sale in Nogales, Mexico. Let’s hope the League’s lawyers aren’t reading this blog post right now. … The Athletic has a great article (paywalled) about NFL uniform inspectors (from Chris Chmura). … Madden 20 is still using the old NFL captaincy patches — and, seemingly, an old Bills wordmark (from Joe Frumusa). … Jorge Cruz wonders what this patch is on Lamar Jackson’s practice jersey. Anyone?

College Football News: West Virginia is going mono-navy against Texas Tech, with a flag desecration decal (from Jason Callahan and Philip Maramba). … Virginia Tech will be maroon-maroon-white against Wake Forest (from Andrew Cosentino, who also notes that these hype videos are super dumb). … Marshall is going mono-black next Friday, which will be a day after the 49th anniversary of the tragic plane crash (from Brice Wallace). … The following are all from Phil: Mizzou is going black-white-black against Georgia. … USF is going mono-black. … Northwestern is going white-purple-white with flag desecration helmet decals.

Hockey News: The Lightning and Sabres were presented with special goalie masks to mark their participation in the NHL’s Global Series in Sweden (from Wade Heidt). … Dogwood Coffee out of Minnesota has a North Stars-inspired logo. … Boston College has unveiled a gorgeous throwback sweater (thanks, Phil).

NBA News: Nike did a very sloppy job at centering the “B” logo on the stripes for the Clippers’ Buffalo Braves throwbacks (from Mike Trozzo). … The Cavs’ training jerseys feature the current wordmark with the old uni number font (from Etienne Catalan). … Speaking of the Cavs, they gave their old floor to their G-League affiliate, the Canton Charge, after the Charge’s floor was damaged in transit (from Cory Mizer).

College Hoops News: Duke wore grey unis with gold trim for opening night in honor of Coach K. Grey for his time at West Point, gold for his success with USA basketball. They somehow looked even worse in action. Always baffles me that a school with one of the cleanest looks in the game constantly messes with it, either with this nonsense or far-too-frequent BFBS (from many, many readers). … Ole Miss finally got around to releasing their new unis, on the day of their first game (from Adam Kuffner). … New court for Washington State, with landmarks from throughout the State of Washington as design elements (from John Hayes). … Washington — not State, Washington University — wore purple-with-camo unis last night, Paul’s favorite combination (from Alex Warneke). … Buffalo quietly added chevrons to their shorts (from Rachel Lenzi). … USF is debuting their new alternates tomorrow (from Marcus Hall and @astrobull67).

Soccer News: World Cup Qatar 2022 has unveiled its mascot, and no, it isn’t an enslaved migrant worker constructing a stadium (from @jayappletree). … Mexican side Xolos de Tijuana have new Star Wars-inspired limited edition kits — one in red and one in white (from Mauricio Gómez Montoya and Josh Hinton). … Speaking of the Mexican league, Planeta Fobol has an infographic on each club’s kit manufacturer. Interesting to see the big three of Nike, Adidas and Puma comprise less than half of the league (from @bryant_rf). … Celtic will once again wear their charity’s logo in place of corporate advertisements against Motherwell. … As usual, you can catch all of Josh Hinton‘s contributions on his Twitter account.

Grab Bag: The songwriter Jimmy Webb has a pretty fantastic logo (from @TruColorNet).
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That’s it for me for the weekend — as noted above (and on the blog the past couple weeks), the San Diego Padres are unveiling new uniforms this evening, and Paul will be covering that unveiling live — and will therefore be taking tomorrow’s lede. So, if you folks were expecting “Sunday Morning Uni Watch,” it has a “bye” week and will return next Sunday. Catch you guys next Saturday!

47 comments to Addition by Subtraction! – D-backs Clean Up Their Unis

  • Jack | November 9, 2019 at 7:50 am |

    2004 ALDS game 3, 10/8/04. Red Sox won 8-6 on a David Ortiz 10th inning walk-off home run.

    • Chris Lanz | November 9, 2019 at 9:03 am |

      10/8/2004. The clinching detail was the sole out-of-town score. Papí did win it in the 10th. The Sox would then lose three in a row to the Yankees before winning eight in a row to Reverse the Curse.

      • JJ | November 9, 2019 at 11:24 am |

        Went on a wild goose chase in the 2009 ALDS….same 4 franchises represented. The “ANA” designation for the Halos should have been a stronger clue for me…

  • DougWilsonsSlapper | November 9, 2019 at 7:51 am |

    Diamondbacks should just go with the teal trim unis. Totally unique. Totally Arizona. Done.

    • Jordan | November 9, 2019 at 9:23 am |

      eeeeeeeexactly

    • walter | November 9, 2019 at 9:14 pm |

      I dislike any uniform that has the “D-Backs” wordmark. It’s bush-league. It would be better if the home uniforms said “ARIZONA” or used a bigger version of the cap logo.

      • Mike L | November 10, 2019 at 3:42 am |

        They should totally go by Diamond-Bs. Much Classier

      • Robert Bradley | November 10, 2019 at 8:27 am |

        I agree that the home uniforms should ditch “D-Backs” and go with a larger version of the cap logo.

        After all, home fans already who who you are. It’s worked for the Tigers and Yankees for how long?

  • ThresherK | November 9, 2019 at 7:55 am |

    Crystal Palace are wearing the most incredibly cool striped socks today.

    Also, for English football and Armistice Day, I noticed how restrained the pre-game was. Made it feel special, unlike the US’s habit of having Air Force flyovers and huge-ass flags for seemingly everything.

  • Nestor Chylak | November 9, 2019 at 8:12 am |

    I never had a single problem with the Diamondbacks unis of the last few years.

    You need to have a mix of styles in MLB. For every Yankees or Dodgers you need a Diamondbacks, trying something new. Those are the uniforms that will turn your heads in the future, intriguing you like the Astros’ rainbow style does now. Or the green & gold vests of the 60s A’s.

    • DJ | November 9, 2019 at 9:12 am |

      You didn’t have a problem with the dark gray uniforms with the illegible numbers and letters?

      • RS Rogers | November 9, 2019 at 10:01 am |

        My problem with that uni was the black lettering. The dark gray was one of the best road uniform colors in recent MLB history. More teams should wear darker gray on the road. But lettering needs contrast with the underlying uniform in all cases.

        • DJ | November 9, 2019 at 1:35 pm |

          That was my point. I also think that a dark gray uniform would be acceptable with the right trim and the right trim. For example, but for their having silver as a team color (represented by the light gray in their road uniforms), the White Sox could pull off a dark gray uniform with white lettering (and, for God’s sake, white socks).

        • DJ | November 9, 2019 at 1:36 pm |

          Gah. Should have said “right team and the right trim.”

        • Mark in Shiga | November 10, 2019 at 7:41 pm |

          Seconded; I looooved the darker color and hate the boring dull light gray that they’re dumping that good color in favor of.

          All they needed to do was have lighter colors for the numbering and lettering.

      • Nestor Chylak | November 9, 2019 at 10:31 am |

        No problem. I’ve been wanting some team to try dark monochrome as a nod to the 1890s-1910s and that was as close as I got on that spin of the wheel. I’m sorry to see it go.

        • Jordan Bonham | November 9, 2019 at 5:30 pm |

          A few years ago the Nashville Sounds had an all black uniform…that was not a good look. I tried to find photos but they seem to have been erased from existence on the web.

        • Mark in Shiga | November 10, 2019 at 7:42 pm |

          The Chicago Cubs should go back to full dark blue right now. Just take the 1909-12 uniforms with the C and bear holding a bat, put numbers on the back (in the Shepard font of the ’40s, maybe) and you’re done.

    • SYH | November 9, 2019 at 9:36 pm |

      Yep, put me in the group that liked it as well. The Rays, current Marlins, and Padres look far worse just for being so characterless.

  • Colonel Will | November 9, 2019 at 8:15 am |

    The cynic in me thinks the sublimated snake skin was only removed from Arizona’s jerseys so there was as much clean, empty space as possible to make the Nike logo stand out more. God forbid it would kind of get lost between the snake skin above it & team name below it.

    • MJ | November 9, 2019 at 9:07 am |

      You really are a cynic. Irrespective of the Swoosh, that design was doomed from the day it was unleashed on the world.
      And I would love to be running the focus group where the final decision was “better… but still bad.”

  • Ryan M | November 9, 2019 at 8:27 am |

    Uni reveal at a golf course? ‘Cause that’s what they do every October amirite?

    • ThresherK | November 9, 2019 at 9:33 am |

      I had to look 3x to confirm that this was an outdoors uni reveal with mannequins. I don’t know if I’ve seen that before.

  • jesse. | November 9, 2019 at 8:28 am |

    You know, with the popularity of sports in the United States, and size of our market, I’m surprised foreign soccer teams don’t try build a market in the United States by putting “the” in English next to the team name on their jersey. Is it because that’s really stupid? I mean probably, but who knows.

  • Greg C. | November 9, 2019 at 8:29 am |

    Cavs actually donated the floor that goes with their 90’s classic jerseys this season and not an actual “old” floor, although it’s styled to look like it.

  • Martina | November 9, 2019 at 8:38 am |

    The Diamondbacks’ home alternate is only “completely unnecessary” in the sense that it should be the primary and the primary shouldn’t exist. Baseball is drowning in a monotonous sea of red, black, and blue. Using teal that way is like a shot of oxygen and it really annoys me they won’t lean into it wholeheartedly

    • Derek Alvarez | November 11, 2019 at 7:14 am |

      Personally, I wonder why they can’t do purple and red in a nod to the past (sub purple for black)…. I can’t think of another team that uses that combo. Barring that, maybe incorporate the teal with the red more or do a red/green thing, which is another unique combination.

  • Poe | November 9, 2019 at 8:42 am |

    Link to reddit explaining patches on ravens practice jerseys. Some are sponsors, others aremerit badges.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/ravens/comments/7n5y7k/are_there_really_sponsors_on_practice_jerseys_and/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app

    Love the cardinals jersey remake! A+++

  • John Z | November 9, 2019 at 8:47 am |

    I suddenly feel hope seeing that Los DBacks jersey missing the Nike logo in the official team photos. Hopefully this means it’s an easy removal!

  • RS Rogers | November 9, 2019 at 10:06 am |

    D-Backs move from D-minus unis to C-minus. (Or F to C-minus counting the 2016 original monstrosities.) I’d grudgingly score the new set a full C if they used the D cap logo instead of the snake head mascot logo. The snake head just looks so double-A to me, and none of their caps match the teal alternate.

  • RICKAZ | November 9, 2019 at 10:27 am |

    D-Backs should have never changed their colors. When they originated in the late 90s purple & teal was the thing, so why not reflect this. Not saying they shouldn’t have updated those uniforms, but they should have kept their colors. And I like the current lighter teal (more like turquoise) than the darker teal from before. The reason given for changing their colors was that the Rockies, who are in their division, also had purple, but there are plenty of red teams in the NL and MLB. Maybe just drop the purple, or make it less of a emphasis, and highlight the teal. Even a teal hat would be cool. I’m so tired of EVERY team but the A’s having as their primary hat color black, blue (navy or royal), or red.

    • Nestor Chylak | November 9, 2019 at 10:37 am |

      I agree with everything you’ve said. Teal hats, especially.

    • MJ | November 9, 2019 at 11:04 am |

      I would support more teal and less red in MLB. The D’backs basically took the same colors as the late Biggio Astros, who relinquished it for beautiful fauxbacks. Teal/aqua, purple and copper, while appropriate for the Southwest (I guess), are best left in the ’90s. But teal/black? Yes please.

    • walter | November 9, 2019 at 9:21 pm |

      Original Diamondbacks uniforms were the default best of a weak batch. For instance, why the solid white hat with a pinstriped white jersey? But the colors were vibrant and the emphasis was on fun. And lest we forget, there’s a World Series victory in those uniforms. Go back to the expansion year look, subtract the white hat and the purple jersey.

  • Ben Conover | November 9, 2019 at 1:04 pm |

    The new Diamondbacks uniforms are boring garbage. Wow!!!! Yet ANOTHER gray road uniform!!!! What a COMPLETELY ORIGINAL IDEA THAT NO BASEBALL TEAM HAS EVER HAD BEFORE!!!!!!

    Boring, lame garbage.

  • Scott | November 9, 2019 at 1:20 pm |

    nice work on the cardinals. i agree that ALTs aren’t necessary, but primarys look really nice. simple, and i love the stripe style and yellow and blue from flag. i’ve never liked their helmet, though. maybe not white or a stripe would improve, just seems like something’s missing with the logo on plain white.

  • Richard | November 9, 2019 at 2:09 pm |

    The D-Backs uniforms are an improvement over the past 3 years, but it’s still not a good overall design. They need to get rid of the teal. Either come up with a scheme with the teal or don’t have it. It feels too wedged in.

    I like their sedona red and sand theme. It makes perfect sense with the setting Arizona rests in and is a unique color combo in the MLB. They should go from there and just leave the teal out. Otherwise, just go back to purple and teal.

    This tweak would have been much better if they eliminated some uniforms. Home, road, one or two alts and call it a day.

    • SYH | November 9, 2019 at 9:35 pm |

      Yeah, the problem is that they can’t seem to decide if teal is a team color or it isn’t. I actually really like the burnt red/teal combo, but they need to put it the primary uniform or not at all

  • Tsujimoto | November 9, 2019 at 3:31 pm |

    Tampa’s announcers for today’s Global Series game against the Sabres had some wicked jackets for the occasion. https://i.imgur.com/NqvnHX7.jpg

  • JWK | November 9, 2019 at 4:15 pm |

    It’s not “Washington University.” It’s the University of Washington. Washington University is a different school altogether (in St Louis I believe).

    • Scott | November 9, 2019 at 5:37 pm |

      that’s correct, D3

  • Edward Kendrick | November 10, 2019 at 12:11 pm |

    In regards to the black alternate for the Diamondbacks.

    The only noticeable change is the trim and the makers mark. The “A” logo has been a staple on the team uniform since the introduction of the Sedona red, sand, and black colours.

  • JessMan | November 11, 2019 at 10:50 am |

    The Arizona Cardinals set is fine, but looks a little Maryland-y. And I know how most people on this site/outside of MD hate that