Gear up for the 2020 MLB Season with new gear from Nike

Blue Jays Bring Back The Powder Blues

By Phil Hecken

The big, if not entirely unexpected, news out of Toronto came down yesterday morning, when the Blue Jays reintroduced a full powder blue uniform into their lineup. This uniform will compliment the two (white and gray) uniforms the Jays currently wear, as well as the darker blue (dark royal) softball top they have as an alternate. The team also introduced a new logo, cap and helmet, but let’s take first things first: and the uniform is the big(gest) news.

As you can see, the new powder blue uniform features a button front jersey, and not (as some feared) a pullover. The Blue Jays were “born” in powder blue (for their road uniforms), and wore that color as their primary away uniform until 1989, when they switched to a gray button front jersey. From 2008 through 2010, the Jays brought back a powder blue throwback (which they only wore at home), and which was also a pullover. So, for the first time in their history, the Toronto Blue Jays will sport a powder blue, button front jersey (as God intended).

“For years, Blue Jays fans have expressed a desire for the revival of the baby blues. As we began thinking about what an adaption of the old uniform could look like, we polled our current players on various designs and the response was unanimously aligned with what we have heard from fans,” said Mark Shapiro, President & CEO, Toronto Blue Jays. “With that feedback, the decision was very clear. We are thrilled to share this original New Blue alternate uniform with Blue Jays fans across Canada.”

The new uniform replicates the team’s current logos, striping, and fonts. “BLUE JAYS” is radially arched across the chest, rendered in navy blue and white lettering with the current logo on the lower left. Regrettably, the new jerseys (as will all baseball jerseys from now on) also have the MOTB on the right chest. Sleeve piping mimics the wordmark style in navy/white/navy.

Jersey backs feature NOB in solid navy, also radially arched. This looks fine on players with short(er) last names, but gets a bit unwieldy when the names are longer.

There are no numbers on the front of the jersey, and the rear numbers are in the same “split style” font as the wordmark, also in navy/white/navy.

You’ll note that some of the models have gone high-cuffed, showing off new Stance socks that kinda-sorta resemble stirrups:

Here’s a closer look:

Pants are belted, and have stripes mimicking those on the sleeves, in navy/white/navy:

The team has also introduced a new cap, which features a navy blue crown and a powder blue brim (I love the powder blue squatchee!):

I do not know if this cap will be worn solely with the new powder blue uniforms or if it will be mixed and matched with the other uniform sets.

In addition to the new cap, the team also introduced a new batting helmet, which has a matte finish:

Looks like a 3-D logo too.

And that new logo? That’s honestly not something I would have noticed, but our pal Chris Creamer (who is a YUGE Blue Jays fan) spotted it. According to Chris, “The new primary logo is now just the bird/maple leaf design, the version with the team name and baseball surrounding the bird will now be the secondary logo. … (T)here’s also been a slight tweak to the red used throughout the team’s logos and uniforms. Here’s a side-by-side of the old and new reds because honestly, nobody would notice the change otherwise.”

The Blue Jays are the latest team to (re)introduce a powder blue uniform — joining the Phillies and Cardinals, who have recently introduced the looks, as well as the Rangers and Twins (who have introduced theirs for the 2020 season).

Unlike when the Blue Jays brought back their throwbacks for 2008-10, which they only wore on Fridays, this uni will not be on an “assigned” schedule. According to the team, “The new alternate option can be worn for both home and away games, while the alternate blue and grey options will remain a part of the Blue Jays lineup; the red jersey will be specially reserved for Canada Day on July 1.”

Here’s a 360° look at the new unis:

And here’s the Blue Jays hype video:

I LOVE these. Not every team would look good in powder blue (including some teams who’ve worn it in the past), but navy, royal and powder blue all look really good together, so this one seems like a no brainer. That they have gone button front and belted makes it all that much better. And as my pal Jimmer Vilk so fondly points out, “BLUE JAYS” respects the placket.

Yes, adding a new uniform (with new jersey) certainly feeds the merchandustrial complex, but in this instance, I have no problem with it — ESPECIALLY since it’s part of a full uniform and not just a softball top (looking at you Tampa and Kansas City). Of course, those two teams are looking at two easy fixes. Again, not every team should return to a powder blue uniform, but the Blue Jays most definitely should, and now, have. I can’t wait to see these on the field this season!

What say you, dear readers?


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: “Alex Radcliffe, 1939” (color study)
Subject: Alex Radcliffe
Medium: Oil on linen mounted to board
Size: 5” x 7”

When asked to tackle the great Alex Radcliffe for my Negro Leagues project, i first had to do some research into the man. I had known of his brother Ted, mainly because of the “Double Duty” nickname he’d earned. But as I dug, I discovered that Alex was one hell of a ballplayer – considered by many to be the best third baseman of his era, in fact.

I ran across an image of him that I really liked, one that I knew would be perfect to paint. But as was the case with many of the ballplayers I had painted, the uniform he was wearing was one I’d never seen before.

It took a few exchanges with the great Gary Ashwill to figure out what I was looking at, as well as from whence it came. Here’s his account of the source photograph.

The man NEVER let me down.

This is one of 200+ paintings of mine that will be on display at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum starting on February 13, 2020. If you’re interested in attending the opening night reception (which I’ll be at), you can purchase tickets here.

• • •

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

Guess The Game…

from the scoreboard

Today’s scoreboard comes from tweeter Ronnie Bolton (although he didn’t submit it as such).

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).

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!):

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

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: MLB may have switched over to Nike as the new uniform supplier, but Chicago Cubs players were still wearing Majestic jerseys as yesterday’s Cubs convention (from Dylan Bercu). … Speaking of Cubs fans — check out the brutal number font seen at the fanfest (from Pastor Tom Ekstrand). … Oooooh, check out this picture an an early Eureka, Utah baseball team, who, according to SABR Pictorial, “clearly had a unique sense of fashion when it came to uniform styles.” … Small uni mystery from Tracy Katz, who notes, “Found this in my son’s room. Think it is Al Leiter, though I have no clue when he would have gotten it signed to him! Any other thoughts on who it might be?” … Check out this gorgeous colorization from Chris Whitehouse (aka ManCave Photos). If you’re wondering, that’s Grover Cleveland “Pete” Alexander looking out towards the field. … The Lafayette Aviators, a summer collegiate league team in Indiana, are building a new stadium (from Kary Klismet). … Have some of the new spring training caps been leaked? (from Robert Hayes). … Remember UL Washington? The guy who used to chew a toothpick while playing? Well, Andy Brown is down in Cuba and he noticed a relief pitcher sporting that very same look (see full tweet here). … I’m just gonna leave this here.

NFL News: The Amazing Blaise D’Sylva isn’t finished with his helmet collection, and on Friday, he graced us with NFL 1920 First Season Prototype helmets. And yesterday, it was the 1921 models. … ICYMI (and apologies if this has been posted before): Kary Klismet writes, “Here’s a great story from a Kansas City TV news station about a 94-year-old Chiefs fan who sewed the uniforms for the team’s cheerleaders in the 1970s.” … As you guys know, the Atlanta Falcons are getting new unis in April (YES!!!!!), and this article features some comments from a guy who has seen them. There’s also a bit of news on an upgraded wordmark.

College/High School Football News: From the “Interesting Priorities” department: Union High School in Tulsa is demolishing its 43-year-old stadium (despite it having been described as an “incredible facility”) to make way for a new, $42 million replacement. But hey! At least it will look cool, based on the renderings (from Kary Klismet). … More logo pilfering (from Frank McGuigan: “Two high schools in my region with blatant pilfering of the Rams logo. One doesn’t even tweak it so they’re not the same. Unless you count the color.”

Hockey News: The Vancouver Canucks got special warmup sweaters to celebrate the Chinese New Year “of the Rat” — you can read more about that here. … The following are from Wade Heidt: There was an unusual color vs. color game in the BCHL on Friday night in West Kelowna. West Kelowna Warriors in their black uniforms and the Surrey Eagles wearing their green uniforms; also, the Wenatchee Wild had some US flag-themed stars, stripes, and camouflage for their game at home on Friday night against the Cowichan Capitals; also, the Spruce Kings wore old Prince George Mohawks throwback uniforms on Friday night (here’s a still shot). Here is a look at the actual old jersey from the past. … ICYMI: Ever wondered what goes into the process of designing an NHL uniform? The Q&A from the Calgary Flames’ director of marketing has the inside scoop (from Johnny Garfield). … Peep the warmup jerseys worn by the Winnipeg Jets on 1/17 (from Nathan Crowell). He adds, “See (the) whole thread for cool ‘O Canada’ sung in Ojibwa.” … Speaking of warmups, the Toronto Maple Leafs wore special sweaters for Canadian Armed Forces Appreciation Night yesterday. … More from Wade Heidt: “The Drumheller Dragons threw it back last night and played as the Drumheller Falcons. Sporting purple and yellow. The visiting Calgary Canucks played along and did a recent throwback uniform. Wearing royal blue and kelly green again. The Canucks have switched to navy blue and lime green just this year.” … Also last night, the Cincinnati Cyclones with the Spider Man jerseys for their Marvel weekend matchup against Rapid City Rush who are sporting Capitan America jerseys (from Austin Zani).

NBA News: Did we just get a look at the 2020 NBA ASG unis? (from Nick Maggos). … Here at UW, we’re not particularly concerned with retail sales of jerseys, but for those of you who are, LeBron James’ jerseys were the most popular amongst the jersey purchasing set. … “Watching the Bucks at Nets and back of Bucks shorts look grey; pending angle,” writes Scott Steffes. “They are playing on Nets grey alternate court. Mind tricks! See photo of Ilyasova. Not the best – but court is affecting visual.”

College/High School Hoops News: Tweeter Josh Claywell says, “not sure I’ve ever seen a high school court with the key painted line this one in Indiana.” That led Brett James to reply with a hold my beer reply. … Yesterday, Virginia Tech went GFGS at home, creating a color versus color matchup against Syracuse (from Andrew Cosentino). … Last night, USF wore what it describes as “slime” green uniforms (from Cedric Padilla). … Reader (and tweeter) Chris Mykoskie writes, “Color vs. color for my broadcast on ESPN+ (yester)day. “Blue Out” in Ruston for LA Tech vs. North Texas.” … Vanilla Ice performed at halftime of the Texas Tech/Iowa State game yesterday wearing a stylized Texas Tech jersey with “Ice” as the NOB (from Kary Klismet). Full video of the performance here. … UMass has a rather large state graphic on the court (from Z Martin).

Soccer News: New shirt for Serie B club Livorno (from Ed Żelaski). … Reader Josh Hinton spotted the unreleased 2019-20 PSG fourth kit at Soccer Village in Louisville, KY. … Also from Josh: Nashville SC revealed their 2020 home kit, confirming previous leaks. Here’s a bit more on that. … Still more from Josh: USL Championship side San Diego Loyal signed a kit deal with Adidas for their inaugural season. … (from Josh, again): Club America debuted their popular third kit at UANL Tigres last night.

Grab Bag: As you may, or may not, be aware, the new sixth branch of the military recently got uniforms, begging the question, “Why do we need camo in space?” (also pointed out by Timmy Donahue). … “Ugh.” says David Cline. That’s because the Metro is moving forward with naming rights deals. … Navy will name an aircraft carrier after Doris “Dorie” Miller. He will be the 1st African-American to have an aircraft carrier named in his honor. Miller was awarded the Navy Cross for actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor (from Timmy Donahue).

40 comments to Blue Jays Bring Back The Powder Blues

  • Peter | January 19, 2020 at 8:16 am |

    Tired of the powder blue in baseball (Cardinals, Twins, Cubs, Blue Jays, Phillies, Rangers), we get it…it looms good, but when 25% of the league has it, it’s no longer fun to see.

    • Charles Reynolds | January 19, 2020 at 8:47 am |

      What about the fact that 8 teams in the American League have navy blue as a primary color? Boring!!!

    • MJ | January 19, 2020 at 9:24 am |

      Agreed! There is a fine line between “enjoyable novelty” and “over saturated beyond critical mass”.
      The Jays are one of those teams I like in powder blues, but I do not like that the trade off for powder blue is the loss of royal blue. There are already too many navy teams.

      • Jim Vilk | January 19, 2020 at 12:13 pm |

        When teams like the Pirates, Giants, Orioles and Athletics start wearing powder blue alts, *then* we’ll have reached over-saturation beyond critical mass. Until then, keep ’em coming.

        the new powder blue uniform features a button front jersey, and not (as some feared hoped) a pullover.
        But it still looks good. Lose the swoosh and I’d wear that.

        • Mark in Shiga | January 19, 2020 at 6:54 pm |

          Seconding Jim; most of the blue-as-primary-color teams look much better in powder blue than in boring, literally-dull-as-dishwater gray.

          The Royals should being back light blue on the road full time, and the Cubs should too (but only if they don’t have to guts to wear all navy blue on the road full time).

          If there’s one thing I dislike about these new Jays uniforms, it’s that they added NOBs — that “split” number font looks much better when it’s all by itself. I think the old version of the number font looks better than the new one, but that’s just my opinion.

        • Scott | January 19, 2020 at 7:01 pm |

          Gray is always better than powder blue, though powder blue is preferable to softball tops.

    • Will S | January 19, 2020 at 2:13 pm |

      If any team is going to be powder blue, Blue Jays would be near the top of my list (Kansas City Royals would be a contender for first place).

      As far as the comment above that mentioned the Phillies and Cardinals, I agree somewhat. Never really liked the Cardinals powder blue look and if the Phillies are going to do any colour changes changing from red to maroon/burgundy would be what I’d prefer.

      • Scott302 | January 19, 2020 at 10:09 pm |

        I wish the Cards had done pullover tops with theirs only because the red white blue elastic waist and arm bands made everything look really sharp. For those critics, at least they only do it for Saturday road games, which I think is key for a non-blue (primarily) team

  • Al | January 19, 2020 at 8:26 am |

    Thursday, May 1, 1969

  • Charles Reynolds | January 19, 2020 at 8:44 am |

    Crosley Field May 2, 1969. Don Wilson’s second no hitter. Jim Maloney had no hit the Astros the night before.

  • Marc | January 19, 2020 at 8:46 am |

    Scoreboard from May 1, 1969.
    https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN196905010.shtml

    Don Wilson pitching to (and eventually walking) Fred Whitfield for the Reds 7th and final baserunner on the evening. Tommy Helms would pop foul to Doug Radar in the next at bat to finish the no-no.

    Interesting facts:
    First Astros no-hitter on the road, second for Wilson.
    Jim Maloney no-hit the Astros the previous night.
    Attendance for both no-hitters at Crosley Field combined was 7,940.

  • Wade Heidt | January 19, 2020 at 8:47 am |

    When I first saw them, was disappointed that the Blue Jays were not using the royal blue with the powder blue uniforms. Wanted to see the current white front panel hat used with this uniform.

    However, changed my mind a bit after sleeping on it. The uniform is an alternate so might as well switch it up a bit. Like the new hat with the navy blue and powder blue trim (looking like the colour scheme of the city’s football team, the Argonauts). Neat to see a matte helmet as an alternate, as long as the Blue Jays never change to the matte helmet for their primary look.

    Overall, really like these uniforms for the Blue Jays. The changes for the upcoming MLB season for other teams have looked really positive too.

    • MJ | January 19, 2020 at 9:30 am |

      Maybe when Union High is done mounting their Jumbotron for a high school football field, maybe they can develop their own logo instead of ripping off the U of Miami…

      • BvK1126 | January 19, 2020 at 12:34 pm |

        Seriously, right? If they have $42 million to build a new stadium, you’d think they could cough up a bit of money to pay a designer to come up with new logos that don’t completely rip off the University of Miami.

    • Russell | January 19, 2020 at 9:34 am |

      I felt the same way, and the feeling has persisted even after thinking about it.

      There’s something so bold and pleasant about the Royal/light blue combo and navy/light blue is actually on the cusp of becoming an overused color combination across all major sports. Further, I think, in general, there should be a forced moratorium on teams using navy in mlb and I’m definitely bummed that they introduced a navy cap.

  • Scott | January 19, 2020 at 9:08 am |

    Powder blue uniforms should have remained in the 1970s. For the occasional turn back the clock game, or as a Saturday road set as the Cardinals use them, they’re fine. But a regular part of the uniform rotation, home and away, willy nilly? Absurd. I fear in another few years Blue jays fans will demand the return of the black and silver jerseys.

  • Eric | January 19, 2020 at 9:13 am |

    The close-up view of the new Blue Jays cap gave me flashbacks to the late 90s Angels caps, after they switched their name to Anaheim.

  • Brent Nelson | January 19, 2020 at 9:24 am |

    Not sure if I like the navy. Seems like NFNS. Royal blue logo clashes with uniforms. As baseball teams tend to be followers instead of daring trendsetters, I’m sure we’ll see more powder unis before too long.

  • Justin Dilks | January 19, 2020 at 9:48 am |

    Unless I’m much mistaken, I don’t think those are the Spring Training caps. New Era has done a “clubhouse” cap for a few years now, which I think are meant to be used for in the clubhouse for pre-and-postgame media things. Admittedly, I’ve never seen anyone wear them.

    Here’s the Phillies 2019 edition, which is different than their Spring Training/BP cap: https://www.mlbshop.com/philadelphia-phillies/mens-philadelphia-phillies-new-era-red-2019-clubhouse-collection-59fifty-fitted-hat/t-14563312+p-4780396287795+z-9-1022367265?_ref=p-SRP:m-GRID:i-r2c1:po-7

    • pistolasatdawn | January 19, 2020 at 10:08 am |

      I’ve seen them being worn if they’re running a pre-taped interview snippet from the clubhouse during a game, and some post-game interviews from the clubhouse or media room, but very infrequently. They also seem to not be big sellers if the 2018 version is still availalable for a lot of teams on mlbshop.com.

      • Chip Powell | January 19, 2020 at 6:31 pm |

        They also may not be big sellers due to that 41.99 price tag…woof. There’s a reason I haven’t bought a new Red Sox cap in about 6-7 years…

  • Nestor Chylak | January 19, 2020 at 9:53 am |

    That old photo of the Eureka, Utah baseball team is a scream.

    Seriously, why do they need three uniforms? It’s merchandising run amok! All these teams switching from the old button placket we love to these newfangled striped turtlenecks, too. Eureka just doesn’t GET IT.

    At least they haven’t replaced the old fedoras with those awful billed caps…

  • Alex | January 19, 2020 at 12:15 pm |

    The Blue Jays have one of the best uni sets in baseball and the new powder blues don’t change that. Going with Navy was an interesting choice. While I like the uniform with Navy, I suspect I would like it even more if they had gone with royal blue. As another reader pointed out, the hats are extremely similar to the Angels in the 90s. My only minor issue is that the helmets and the hats do not match! I am not sure how others feel but I always find it a bit strange when teams have hats and helmets that do not match. But despite that I think overall this is a nice addition.

  • Ted Mark | January 19, 2020 at 1:07 pm |

    Love the Altuve picture.

  • Sam T. | January 19, 2020 at 2:03 pm |

    Why did the Blue Jays change the shade of red?

  • Tim | January 19, 2020 at 2:53 pm |

    Mariners? Powder blue, Royal Blue and Yellow?

    https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3635/3468130493_b3b4444789_o.jpg

    • MJ | January 19, 2020 at 3:28 pm |

      Absolutely! Brewers, too. Royal > navy with athletic gold (yellow).

  • KT | January 19, 2020 at 5:49 pm |

    Complement, not compliment.

    Also, no one in Space Force is actually going INTO space yet, or anytime soon. This camo reflects the branches Space Force personnel (who will most decidedly be on the ground, for the most part) are a part of and work alongside.

    • Matt | January 20, 2020 at 10:50 am |

      Why would Space Force ground personnel need camo?

  • Tim | January 19, 2020 at 6:17 pm |

    Hey Paul,

    Any idea when the Uni-watch hockey jerseys will be available to order?

  • Ken P | January 19, 2020 at 7:03 pm |

    I am an alumnus of Union High School in Tulsa and I would like to comment on a few items.

    First, regarding what some earlier commenters so astutely observed, yes the logo on the field is a re-colored version of the Miami (FL) logo. The school system has an agreement in place with said university for its use and that is only the helmet logo for the football team; the official school system logo is something quite different and original, but likely wouldn’t look as good on a helmet.

    Regarding the stadium project that was actually referenced in the ticker, only the home side of the stadium is being demolished and rebuilt. The away stands are being cosmetically freshened but will remain fundamentally as they are. As for the “incredible facilities” referenced oh so sarcastically, the banquet hall, rec room, viewing balcony, basketball court, etc. are all located in the UMAC building at the south end of the field that is not being touched either. The project underway is just to replace the home side of the stadium to add more concessions and restrooms among other things and I can say from experience that such expansions have been needed for decades. The $42 million also includes a new facility for the band (which I applaud as a former member) and some other facilities upgrades as well.

    As the ticker mentioned, the home stands have served well for over forty years so it’s not like the school district is frivolously replacing something that’s still new. The place still looked futuristic when I was there in the mid to late nineties so I think the initial construction was a good investment in the seventies. Union is a large urban school district serving a huge student body and spends a great deal of money on academic facilities as well. The high school is almost unrecognizable from when I attended due to renovations and expansions over the past twenty plus years.

    I’ve been an avid Uni Watch reader since the Page 2 days so I’m familiar with the general vibe of the place, but seeing a headline, not doing enough research, assuming it fits your preconceived narrative and making a sarcastic comment while sharing the link does no one any favors. This is hardly an isolated incident, just the one that finally drove me to comment. Oh, and I also like the light blue squatchee on the Jays’ new hats. Have a good day everyone.

    • Eric | January 19, 2020 at 8:12 pm |

      This is an excellent comment, on yet another uninformed piece by this particular writer. It calls to mind his completely off-base piece declaring “racist” incidents took place during the Army/Navy game last month. That one was appropriately followed by a humble mea culpa the following week, but clearly no lesson was learned. “Ready, fire, aim!”

      • Phil Hecken | January 19, 2020 at 10:24 pm |

        I usually ignore trollish comments like this, and you’ll probably not even see it, but I feel compelled to respond.

        Normally, I quote e-mailers, but I chose not to this time (you had no way of knowing that, so I don’t fault you there), but in this instance, I quoted directly from Kary (the sender), so shame on me for perhaps not rewording it (or quoting it), but it was not I who expressed those sentiments.

        Ken’s comment is indeed a good one, but please don’t automatically assume that I displayed the snark of the sender. It takes an incredibly long time to compile the ticker, so when one sends in a blurb which can basically be cut/pasted, it’s a blessing. Kary did just that; it was my fault for not quoting him exactly, and that’s on me. But I put a lot of effort into producing the weekend pieces and if a reader can save me the difficulty of uploading photos (by providing links) or wording a comment in such a way that it easily translates to written text (as was the case here), it’s appreciated. And I don’t think Kary’s opinion is misinformed — you may disagree with it, but that doesn’t make it wrong. Save your own snark for another day.

        • Ken P | January 19, 2020 at 11:37 pm |

          Phil,

          I apologize for assuming the words were yours. I know you put in a lot of work on the posts and I appreciate your dedication, but the wording of this ticker item struck me wrong and I felt compelled to share some additional context. I stand by my disagreement with Kary’s opinion and his method of expressing same, but apparently my issue is with him and not you. Thank you for the clarification.

  • Kurt | January 19, 2020 at 8:55 pm |

    First ever Super Bowl with both teams having red as primary color.

  • Rich S. | January 20, 2020 at 7:37 pm |

    I’m a little late but I see no one answered Tracy K re the Al Leiter ball. Yes, it is Al. I met him at a Yankee game in 2015 and he signed a ball for my son. Nice guy. Ali’s wrote best wishes and signed.

    • Rich S. | January 20, 2020 at 7:40 pm |

      Previous post should say – Al wrote best wishes and signed.