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A Uni Watch Look at the 2023 MLB Home Run Derby

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Hello! MLB’s Home Run Derby was last night. Although it’s just an exhibition, it’s also a better-looking event than the All-Star Game that it’s supposed to be promoting, so let’s take a look.

As has been the case for several years now, the Derby contestants all wore their standard home jerseys and pants, along with the Derby/workout caps, which are similar to the teams’ primary caps but have a  star added to the crown and embroidery added to the side:

Here are some additional notes from the event:

  • Participants wore a Derby/ad patch on the pitcher-facing sleeve (that was the left sleeve for seven of the eight participants) and, where applicable, a team patch on the other sleeve:
  • The patch outlier was Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman, who’s a switch-hitter. They formatted his jersey for a lefty, with the Derby patch on the right and his team patch on the left, making him the only participant with that orientation. But as it turned out, Rutschman took some of his Derby swings left-handed and some right-handed (!):
  • Only one participant — Mets first baseman Pete Alonso — came from a team that currently wears a sleeve ad. Since Alonso had the Derby patch on one sleeve and the Mets’ regular logo patch on the other sleeve, he did not wear the sleeve ad (which I assume would also have been the case if any of the participants had come from, say, the Padres, Red Sox, Cardinals, etc.). But Alonso’s pitcher, coach Aaron Myers, did not wear the Derby patch (neither did any of the other Derby pitchers), so he did wear the Mets’ usual sleeve ad:
  • You know how the U.S. flag is always supposed to have the union facing forward and the flag fluttering rear-ward? I’m not sure if the Texas state flag is subject to that same protocol. But if it is, then pushing the Rangers’ left-sleeve patch over to the right sleeve resulted in Rangers outfielder Adolis García wearing the team’s state flag patch backwards:
  • Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena wore cowboy boots for his introduction (but not while batting):

  • Players who went high-cuffed wore All-Star Game socks:
  • Some players wore their regular team-colored belts, but others wore a teal/white belt with a compass-shaped star on the loop (which I assume we’ll be seeing a lot more of in tonight’s All-Star Game):
  • It’s a standard joke that being the Derby catcher is the world’s most pointless job. There were at least three catchers sharing that task last night. I couldn’t find a listing of who they were, but I figured out that they were Astros bullpen catcher Javier Bracamonte (who wore Mariners gear over his ’Stros uni), Phillies bullpen catcher Brad Landers (ditto), and Mariners bullpen catcher Fleming Báez:

  • As always, it’s awesome that they let kids hang out in the outfield and shag flies during the Derby. But is it really necessary to have each kid wear an ad for a telecommunications company on their chest and their sleeve and the side of their cap and (in some cases) their back? Turning children into corporate billboards is so gross:

  • In an inexplicable blunder, ESPN mistakenly stated that Derby champ Vlad Guerrero Jr. is “Cuban-born” (he was actually born in Montreal, and his parents are Dominican):
  • There’s also something called the High School Home Run Derby, whose participants got to wear better “American” and “National” jerseys than what the MLB All-Stars will be wearing tonight:


I think that’s it. If there were any other uni-notable details that I missed, feel free to post them in the comments. Thanks!

(My thanks to Twitter-er @Steibfan37 for the Guerrero screen shot.)



Too Good for the Ticker

Check it out — that’s Tom Seaver in his first spring training camp with the White Sox, wearing No. 34! Or maybe just wearing teammate Richard Dotson’s pants. Either way, a great find!

(Huge thanks to Twitter-er @weirdsportmerch for this one.)



Can of the Day

Oh man, I love everything about this one: the color (obviously), the illustration, the logo, and, especially, the descriptive text — “The Health Food Supreme” and “Promoter of Health, Plumage and Song.” I’m practically ready to eat some right now!

Comments (47)

    Not Home Run Derby related but I noticed the American and National League All-stars took their team photos both wearing home whites. Has that now become the practice now that the players don’t wear their team’s uniforms in the all-star game anymore?

    Man, I hate those caps with a star. It looks like an asterix, as though there is a caveat to the logo & there will be some explanatory text further down.

    (Like on the bottom half of the shirts, in the dead space below the logo there will be a message “this cap logo was bought to you by T-mobile…” – I hope no-one from MLB is reading this…)

    Love the amount of pedantry on this site! (if you swim with the sharks…)

    I knew it didn’t look right, but no idea when I last wrote the word asterisk – or even if I’ve ever actually had reason to write it!

    I totally agree bro…the Asterix makes it look like there’s something else to come, almost like a correction ;-D… like it’s not all there yet

    I miss all the different uniforms from the ASG. It was my favorite thing growing up

    I had the same reaction. Red shirted 8th grade, transferred/re-classed, covid-year… maybe all 3?

    Well. I looked up the official flag code of the state of Texas. I was instantly struck by the line: ” The Texas Flag should not be used as any portion of a costume or athletic uniform.” Oops.

    From the American flag code. “Sec.8 j. No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.”
    Oops ERR’body

    “they were Astros bullpen catcher Javier Bracamonte (who wore Mariners gear over his ’Stros uni), Phillies bullpen catcher Brad Landers (ditto)”.

    Is it possible it could be All-Star Game uniform catchers’ gear rather than Mariners’ gear? The one mask seems to be following the same look as the special belts

    Those poor kids…on top of being a walking billboard it appears as though they did not even have youth sizes of the caps they wore… some have the tabs pulled all the way closed just to keep it on…MLB must be using the kid billboard money so they can afford youth sizes NEXT year…Genius

    How does ESPN not have access to player info? Were they just taking a guess?!? Fairly common knowledge that VGR is Canadian by birth

    I’m assuming that was intended for if Randy Arozarena won – he’s Cuban born I believe. Must have been an error to list it under Vlad

    Yes, no doubt that explains it, but it just speaks to the sloppiness of ESPN’s major sports coverage as a rule. It doesn’t take all that much to, oh, I don’t know, spell/fact check before putting something on the air. Plus, it smacks to me, just a tad, of a kind of racism (you know, they’re from Latin-land, wherever that is). I’m fed up, frankly, with ESPN’s b.s. Their NBA and MLB game broadcasters are beyond unlistenable and their in-game priorities are not about the game at hand, to say the least. And certain of their hosts are promoted out the wazoo and the only thing I can determine is their obnoxiousness. OK, that’s my ESPN rant for today.

    I wouldn’t call the catcher in the HRD pointless, he gives the pitcher a target with his glove and prevents the non batted balls from rolling to the backstop.

    A lot of backward cap action in honor of Ken Griffey Jr, since Seattle.

    The High School Derby shirts (even with the colors reversed) make me hate the real ASG unis so much more.

    Does anyone just bristle at the whole “let’s commemorate every moment on every piece of clothing and accessory we can” strategy these days? Patches on every bit of cloth, special everything….take a breath, MLB.

    This post should have its own Commerative Patch…

    What the heck, make it two…

    I was ticked off at the ad patches, but the “MLB Debut” mini patch for rookies is so far over the ridiculousness line.

    I love the checkerboard design on the side of the Cheerio can. Is it just two rows on each side, or does it extend farther around the curve of the can?

    I’m adding “Promoter of Health, Plumage and Song” to my business cards.

    (I don’t have business cards.)

    I will add it to my resume instead of my business card, what a beautiful line and a beautiful can.

    In a good gesture to his staff/the often overlooked guys on the team, manager Rob Thompson actually brought *both* Phillies bullpen catchers to the ASG for the Home Run Derby: Brad *Flanders* and Hector Rabago: link.

    Rabago also posted some shots on Twitter: link

    “Players who went high-cuffed wore All-Star Game socks”
    Never thought I’d say this – Bravo for those who wore pajama pants!
    Speaking of pants…
    That pitcher in #43 next to Seaver might be Steve Mura, assuming he’s wearing his own…didn’t come north with the ’84 squad.

    The Orioles players (and Adley Rutchman’s dad) looked odd in their home whites with the road cap. Did anyone else notice? Or do they wear that combo during the season as well?

    That’s not the Orioles’ road cap. It’s the ASG workout cap. I’d take an all-black Orioles road cap (and make the current road cap the home cap), but apparently I’m in the minority, as usual.

    Gotcha and I agree. The current home caps are distracting. Too much white on the whole uni when they wear those.

    Highlight of the Home Run Derby: Marshawn Lynch’s and the chain for the winner of the derby

    JD your post about ESPN is absolutely correct…
    I believe it’s because they worried more about their plumage than their health and song… I would bet Paul could write an entire book about why he left ESPN

    I would bet Paul could write an entire book about why he left ESPN

    You’d lose that bet. They took a chance on me and always treated me well. I survived several rounds of layoff before finally falling victim to one — it happens. I have nothing but good things to say about my time there.

    What determines whether a high school player is “American” or “National?” Closest MLB team to home town?

    If you hate ad patches, sit down. According to a source, Commissioner Manfred is looking in to the look of ad patches on the front of jerseys. Not every team would have it ( obviously, it wouldn’t work with some teams) and yes, some teams could opt to have an ad patch on their sleeve AND in front of their jersey. Soon, you could see the famous NY logo on one side of a Yankees jersey, and a “New York Times” ad patch on the other.

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