By Phil Hecken, with Tom Juettner
Hey everyone! Hope everyone is being smart and safe these days — obviously there’s a LOT of non-uni stuff going on while we begin to open things up. In a year when you never seem to have a day with no news (and usually it’s bad news), we seem to have had a decade’s worth of stories in the past couple weeks. This would already be an incredible year if we weren’t fighting against the COVID-19. 2020 just won’t quit.
But…even as we’re seeing more and more signs that we probably won’t have an MLB season this year (but even if we do, it won’t resemble any season we’ve ever seen), that doesn’t mean we can’t still dream of baseball unis. I’m pleased to welcome back reader Tom Juettner (you may recall Tom did his take on American and National league “City” edition uniforms earlier this spring, just as the COVID-19 was kicking in). It took a while, but Tom has now finished his “regular” team uniforms (mostly home, road and alternates, with a couple exceptions), and we’re going to look at the first half today. Tom sent them in alphabetical order, so that’s how these will run. There are actually 31 teams (he welcomes the Expos back!), so today we’ll look at the first 15 teams, and check out the final 16 shortly. If you’re saying to yourself, “Hey, where’s the Cleveland team?” — it’s coming. It’s just that Tom has renamed the squad, so that team will appear with the next set.
So with that set up, here are your first 15 MLB teams, 2020 edition — you can click on any image to enlarge (there are usually 3 images per team, and each one is a separate image). And now, here’s Tom:
by Tom Juettner
Our country is in a very difficult place. Our emotions have varied from fear of a global pandemic to rage against the rampant injustices of our society. We’ve lost George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breona Taylor to violence and over 100,000 other Americans to sickness leaving us little time to mourn.
Sports has typically been an outlet for collective grief but since March we’ve had no sports to share together. This project was conceived to help bridge the gap before the crack of the bat, the squeak of the hardwood, and the clap of the slapshot could return. This is not going to heal the open wounds in our nation but art (and surely we who love this site believe uniforms to be art) can still be enjoyed for a moment before we return to the struggle.
The early 70’s lower case “a” returns but with a 3D effect that fills out the design. It also harks back the PCL Angels who also used 3D lettering. The Angels road uniforms of the 70’s and 80’s always looked a little periwinkle in the right light and that’s been emulated here.
The original OAKLAND script returns along with the straight white at home, gold on the road format. The number font is a modernized version of the classic McAuliffe font but adjusted to match the ratios of the chest letters.
The 2000’s Astros scripts were better than they deserved to be, especially the home script. They’ve been stripped down to plain monochrome to make room for a new shooting star style with tequila sunrise trim. The cap logo takes its cue from the unused “A” prototype cap.
Arguably the best uniform in baseball, the only changes are committing to powder blue on the road and dropping the excess navy piping on the TORONTO script. A solid blue uniform becomes the alternate, complete with a racing stripe style the Blue Jays have never explored.
The classic uniforms but without the Indigenous imagery. Small change to the “Atlanta” script. The capital “A” is blocked off from the rest of the lettering to match the home script which has the “B” separated. I might be the only person who liked the blue on blue road alternate so I’ve brought it back despite the fact that it breaks many of my cardinal rules of baseball design.
I think the Brewers redesign went mostly ok but there are a lot of little details that bug me. I also think that a team that shared a city with teams like the Irish rainbow Bucks and the untucked Marquette hoops can go bolder. This set bends my rule about pinstripes or soutache but not both on the same uniform by using sublimated pins. Powder blue takes over full time on the road. Gold letters are standard for home and away and the script Milwaukee takes over for the arched. One lager gold alternate for home and away.
The bat becomes blue and beaks become red in a style that uses team colors throughout. A single red stripe on the pants harks back to the late 60’s look. Rather than two heritage alternate, I’ve mashed them together into one design that’s primarily there for playing red forward teams like Cincinnati.
Totally stripped down to basics. Including the original, finer ’30s style numbers and no outlines. A solid fauxback with the standing bear logo replaces the blue softball top.
A Pepsi team if there ever was one, this set reimagines them as a Coke franchise. The “A” is replaced with an “A” snake design based on the old “D” logo. Arizona adorns home and away jerseys because “Diamondbacks” is too long a name to fit.
I love the Dodgers aesthetic. The one problem is they cannot stick with one road uniform. I think one reason they have leaned towards “Dodgers” on the road is that the “Los Angeles” script is a little long for the jersey. The solution is found in classic Lakers jerseys which staggered the “Los” and “Angeles.” A Sunday home alt harks back to the satin uniforms from Brooklyn with the Los Angeles script to add a small changeup.
They’re back! I’ve also been amused by the fact that Canada’s two Original Six hockey teams adapted the colors of the opposing provincial flags. The Maple Leafs wear blue and the Canadiens wear red while Ontario has a red flag and Quebec has a blue one. With the Blue Jays matching the Leafs, this is an opportunity to emphasize red for the Expos jut like the Habs.
The more slender 60’s lettering returns and the “SF” takes over on the road permanently. The numbers get slimmed out a touch but very few changes overall.
I’ve loved the current look going back to the Griffey era. The main changes have been to revert the chest lettering to the original style and use the same font on the back numbers.
Their current letters are nice but everything else is muddy. So I’ve adapted them to the 1997 World Series template. Black sleeves on teal pinstriped vest.
Pins at home, vertical arched “NEW YORK” in the 50’s Giants style on the road. Done.
Thanks Tom! I’ll be back with Tom in the very near future for the remaining 16 teams. Please let him know what you think of these concepts in the comments below.
Guess The Game…
from the scoreboard
Today’s scoreboard comes from Ron 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.
Father’s Day Is Coming: Next Sunday is Father’s Day, and I’ll once again be posting photos of Uni Watch readers’ “Dads In Uniform,” a tradition that began in 2013 (and has continued in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and last year). This is always a very special day, and I’d love for as many readers as possible to participate — especially those of you who haven’t done so before.
I welcome those who have submitted before to do so again — and this time, I’m going to allow readers to send in photos of their Grandfathers or Uncles (sorry, no brothers — maybe next year). So if you have a photo of your grandpappy or uncle in a uni, please send it in!
To take part in this annual tradition, select one photo of your father (or grandfather or uncle) in uniform (it can be sports, military, work — as long as it’s a uniform) along with a short description of 100 words or less (refer to my prior years’ entries to get a feel for the style of the descriptions). Then email the photo — again, only one, please — and text to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Uni Watch Father’s Day 2020” by this Thursday, June 18, midnight Eastern. I’ll run all of the submissions next Sunday. Thanks!
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).
Occasionally I’ll have some concepts tweeted at me. Have a few in the pipeline from Lucas Daitchman who has some NHL Concepts (there are lots more, but we’ll start with these four):
New Jersey Devils:
Here are my ideal 4 NJ Devils jerseys. The home and road jerseys blend their classic and modern sets. the third adds an all black uniform for a change and the fourth jersey is a modern take on their red and green uniforms.
Next up in my redesign series is the Caps. The Weagle is promoted to primary, on new jerseys inspired by their 2014 Winter Classic set. The navy third jersey is inspired by the Washington, DC flag, while the fourth jersey is a modernized version of their bronze and blue set.
Here are my 4 ideal Coyotes jerseys. The home and road use their current colour balance with added sand and the Kachina pattern. The third jersey is similar, only with a recoloured Kachina crest, and the fourth whiteout jersey incorporates a sublimated Arizona flag on the sleeves.
My ideal four Oilers jerseys are two home and road sets: a modern orange and navy set, with stripes based off of their old orange alternate, and a classic royal and orange set which is a cleaned up version of their Cup-winning jerseys.
Thanks. OK readers, tweeters (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.
By Anthony Emerson
Baseball News: Here is the “inside story” on Kansas State’s new baseball unis (from Sean Kautzman). … New logo for Little League baseball and softball (from Mike Chamernik).
NFL News: Johnny Garfield sends along this 1996 clip of Bills RB Carey Bender having the “D” in his NOB fall off. … Titans head coach and former Patriots LB Mike Vrabel once trolled Bill Belichick by wearing a Giants helmet to practice after Belichick kept on negatively comparing his Pats linebacking corps to the legendary Giants linebackers he coached in the 1980s (from Mike Chamernik). … This Vikings blog wants the team to adopt new unis (from Kary Klismet).
College Football News: The latest episode of the Sports Uncovered podcast delves into how Oregon’s decision to change their unis ahead of the 1999 season changed the college football aesthetic forever. The podcasters also wrote an article on the topic (from Kary Klismet and Danny Pedroza).
College Hoops News: Kentucky men have released their 2020-21 uni numbers (from Josh Hinton).
Soccer News: The Premier League’s Black Lives Matter NOBs will last for the first 12 matches of the restarted season, not just the first match. A Black Lives Matter badge and an NHS badge will feature for the rest of the season. Bleacher Report also posted a rendering of what the Black Lives Matter NOB will look — two-tiered (from Mike Slavonic). … Both Juventus and AC Milan wore anti-racism messages on their warmups before their match yesterday. … Several Premier League clubs will be in the market for new advertisements after this season (from Josh Hinton). … New kits for USL Championship side OKC Energy FC (from Kary Klismet and Ed Żelaski). … Italian Serie B side Pescara have an insane/awesome healthcare worker appreciation kit (from Gabriel Hurl). … The MLS will allow teams to wear shorts ads for their Orlando tournament, and is considering adding ads to the sleeve that doesn’t already have one, the left (thanks, Jamie).
Grab Bag: Dallas Center-Grimes High in Iowa has a new athletic logo (from Kary Klismet). … Band-Aid is launching a new series of colors that strives to match skin tones to promote inclusivity (from @walbergLines).
And finally… big thanks to Tom Juettner for those MLB 2020 concepts. Some of those are pretty cool — let Tom know what you think below.
Start thinking about your Father’s Day submissions too!
I’ll catch you tomorrow — and I think you’ll enjoy what I have in store. If you want some “out there” designs, then tomorrow will be your day. It’s a collaborative effort between two outstanding designers (both of whom have been featured before). That’s all I’ll say for now.
“The 2000s Astros scripts were better than they deserved to be”
And you’re not the only one who liked the blue-on-blue Atlanta road shirts. They were absolutely distinctive, which is a quality we need more of when it seems like 2/3rds of MLB teams are wearing navy and red.
I like the navy cap with the white A and the orange/yellow shadows.
The rest? Meh.
Please don’t take this as a criticism of the overall design of the Astros redesign. But that 2000-2012 Astros script always looked like a piece of clip art. As an Astros fan, I can’t stand that script era and I can’t stand that era for the uniforms and team colors. So I do applaud Tom for at least using navy and orange as his base even if I detest those script wordmarks.
September 2, 1963
Dodgers 7, Colt .45s 3
I think it’s interesting that the address for buying tickets by mail on the scoreboard seems to be at the very end of the pre-zip code era. Zip codes were introduced in 63, but took a few years to become ubiquitous. Love the orange bottoms on the Colt’s stirrups.
Koufax would throw a complete game, walk none, and strike out 13 en route to a 25-5 season that would result in him winning both the act Young award and MVP in the NL. The Dodgers would sweep the Yankees in the World Series in 1963 as well.
Cy Young award. Damn spell check.
I love love love the Cubs uniform set!
Same here; the all-navy circa-1910 road uniform is my favorite of any team in any era and I wish the Cubs would wear it more often.
Also bonus points for bringing back the original Shepard number font from the ’30s; it has such a distinctive style, and looks good in any era.
Over the years the Braves all navy road jersey grew on me as well, even with the hard to see navy numbers. I like it much better than the current navy or red alternate.
I wonder what the jersey would look like if the name of the team was changed to the Atlanta Brave (i.e., the quality of fearlessness instead of the indicator of a young Native American).
There is a women’s semi-pro lacrosse team that used to be called the Baltimore Brave (it’s now the WPLL Brave, no territorial designation).
Lots to like with these uniforms, especially the staggered “Los Angeles”. I’m not a fan of the lower case letters for the Angels, but I much prefer the navy hat with red bill. I also prefer the “H” over the star for the Houston hat. Also how does another change for Arizona make them a Coke team? I’d go back to the 2001 vest look.
Phil couldn’t stand my old Giants proposal with a staggered “San Francisco” on the jersey. Wonder how he feels about this very nice Dodgers concept. If I were an LA fan, I’d wear that.
The concepts are much more good than bad. The Astros and D’backs are steps backward IMO but the others are all pretty good. Not a fan of the Braves’ ghost numbers and the Expos need their original number font. The Marlins should wear these immediately. Good stuff!
To avoid doubt, when the Premier League says “the first 12 matches,” they mean the two on Wednesday and then all 10 next weekend, so it is just the first match back for each team (except it’s the first two for the teams playing on Wednesday).
Thanks Tom. You actually managed to make minor improvements to the Mets uniforms.
I like it!
Guess the Game…
No idea about the game, but that may be one of the most beautiful baseball photos I’ve ever seen.
It’s loaded with atmosphere, isn’t it? The action is sharp and clear against the smoggy background. Love it.
Dodger Stadium at its best. 76 Union sign, non-digital message board, no advertising on the outfield fence…and Sandy Koufax on the mound.
Is anybody else tired of seeing league wide concepts every Saturday, it seems so repetitive I quit reading on saturdays because of it and I don’t fault the creators I just lose interest when that the only thing we see every Saturday. But I also understand you have to fill the voids of no sports somehow I just wish it didn’t feel so repetitive.
I love them. But I love concepts and follow other pages that are concept related (Icethetics, etc.).
Sorry that you feel that way. 1) The designers have designed and sent the designs in. I’m pleased to run them. 2) As you mention, we’re in a sports-uni void. 3) You’re free to skip over or not read but unless or until there is any lede-worthy uni news, I will do my best to “fill the voids of no sports”. 4) Feel free to suggest an article or send one to me.
I’m not sure anyone could have anticipated how the COVID-19 has affected everything, not the least of which are sports unis — and there is a LOT more going on in the world right now, so I’m glad we have this community, and I will do my right best to fill the voids; sorry UW isn’t what you want it to be on the weekends. But to borrow a phrase from Paul, it’s exactly what I want it to be, and I’m doing the best I can to bring you more than a photo and a caption. It’s usually more work on my part to upload, host and code all the concepts, but I don’t mind making the effort. I hope to start bringing more uni-related stuff (non-concepts) soon, but we’ve just got to be patient.
Thanks for your thoughts. I wish every weekend could be two new breaking news stories on unis, but we don’t have that luxury right now.
Nice concepts, Tom! Mostly love the upgrades for my team, the Cardinals. I think adding the stripes back on the pants is great. The alternate stripes are great too, like an update on the pullovers. No trim is too plain, for some reason the only team I think this works for is the Dodgers.
Wow! Absolutely fantastic concepts for MLB. Every single team looks clean and on point. You even made the DBacks look good. Is this possible? I never adopted them as my team in my own home state because quite frankly-life is too short to pull for a team that looks that bad that long. And to be honest, they’ve always seemed like a team that plays the Globetrotters. They just exist for other squads to rack up W’s against. But they look like a pro ball club here. Great work. I had mildly different preferences for maybe two teams but so what. That’s what these concepts are all about. Eager to see Cleveland.
Loving the Diamondbacks’ colour scheme in the concepts.
Got something right. The white front panel hat should be the primary home hat for the Blue Jays.
Have really enjoyed seeing Lucas Daitchman’s hockey concepts even before this post. Some of the designs push the boundaries for me, but I have seen some uniforms from his concepts that are fabulous and should be considered for use by the teams.
Seeing a multicolored belt going through the belt tunnels is dissonant and over-detailed. Some teams just ought to have a pullover and sansabelts; we forget how nice that splash of color and the widow’s peak look. Interestingly, you gave the Mets belt loops!
No brothers for Father’s Day? Boo!
Still looking forward to next Sunday’s post…it’s my favorite feature on UW!
Those Oilers concept are really nice, though I prefer the ‘Chicago Stripe’ version.
Add a bottom stripe to the NJ Devils set and I could be on board.
Agreed… the Devils current set seem “unfinished” without bottom stripes.
Tell Tom that he’s not the only one who’s a fan of the blue-on-blue Braves Jersey. As a Braves fan, I really liked this look and would like to see it come back (even though I’m in the minority).
I especially appreciated Tom’s words on the ongoing BLM protests. Considering Phil’s demonstrative posts surrounding Jackie Robinson Day, this site’s weekend content has been surprisingly silent when it comes to the biggest civil rights movement of the past half-century.
Did you miss the pretty large, multi-sport description of how these current events are impacting team-uniform choices and the respective details involved?
Click back and see that what you are referencing was pretty thoroughly covered here in recent days ….
Nick, I’m referring to weekend content. Paul has covered this fairly regularly during the week, but Phil hasn’t really said anything about it.
It might be time to update the “all sport uniform tweaks” graphic because…yikes
Think the Caps concepts look really sharp. As a Caps fan, I didn’t think I’d like the Weagle as primary but, it works. My only change would be to drop the shoulder stripes on the home an road. Replace them with contrasting shoulder yokes – white on the home and red on the road. Add the former primary logo as a secondary logo on the shoulder and you have a real winner. Oh yeah, you can drop any homage to the Caps bronze age. Never looked right.