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Washington Nationals Finally Debut Pullover Alternate Jersey

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Way back in January (!), the Nationals unveiled their new home alternate pullover jersey — MLB’s first non-throwback/fauxback pullover in many, many years. But the Nats didn’t wear that jersey for the first five-plus weeks of the season, presumably because the pullover was affected by the same production delays that have hit so many other uniform components.

The wait finally ended yesterday, as the Nats wore the pullover alts for their game against the Blue Jays. Here are some additional photos:

It’s nice how the cap logo matches the jersey logo. So it’s unfortunate that the Nats don’t have a batting helmet to match the cap:

As you can probably guess from looking at all the screen shots I gathered, I watched a fair amount of this game. Here’s what I think about the pullover jerseys:

  • I quite like the contrasting raglan sleeves.
  • Unlike so many pullover throwbacks, which often seem to be very billowy, these are tailored quite nicely and appeared to fit the players well.
  • I don’t like the collar. It’s not completely awful, but it seems like a classic example of Nike being different for the sake of being different. Just use a standard fucking V-neck collar already.
  • It’s not a bad-looking jersey overall, but the fact that it’s mostly white space makes it feel a bit too much like a T-shirt. I think a jersey with full chest lettering would have been a better way to reintroduce MLB pullovers.

We’ll see more pullovers with this same collar style later this season, when the Angels wear their 1970s throwbacks.

This game, incidentally, had several other uni-notable elements. For starters (literally), the two starting pitchers — MacKenzie Gore for the Nats and Alek Manoah for the Jays — both wore single-digit numbers:

Also, while other teams have been victimized by mismatched greys, the Jays had mismatched powder blues:

(My thanks to John Gagosian for alerting me to the single-digit situation.)



Membership Update

A new batch of designs has been added to the membership card gallery. That includes Matt Dickson’s card, which is based on the Browns’ white throwback alternate jersey. Love those block-shadowed numbers!

The membership program will end when I step away from Uni Watch at the end of May, so move fast if you want to get on board. As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here (now more than 3,300 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.


ITEM! Purple Card Raffle

Reader Ron Ruelle has generously donated funds for me to raffle off a Purple Amnesty Day membership card. The winner will be able to order purple-themed card on May 17 (not before or after!).

This will be a one-day raffle. No entry restrictions. To enter, send an email to the raffle in-box by 9pm Eastern tonight. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow. Big thanks to Ron for sponsoring this one!



Remember, May 26 is Uni Watch’s 25th anniversary and will also be my final day. To celebrate, the great hockey-rock band the Zambonis will be playing at the Bowery Electric in Manhattan, along with comedian/accordionist Dave Hill. Please join us! You can get your tickets here. All the proceeds will go to the band, not to me. Hope to see you there!


Tour ’24 Reminder

Uni Watch’s 25th-anniversary tour, which will also be my personal farewell tour, are coming up fast. Full tour details are here, and you can also get yourself an official Tour ’24 T-shirt — full details on that are here.

Also, don’t forget that we have 25th-anniversary merch, including these patches and coasters:


You can get the patches here and the coasters here, plus 25th-anniversary T-shirts, hoodies, pint glasses, and stickers are available here.

My thanks, as always, for your consideration!

• • • • •

After today, I’ll have 20 days of Uni Watch remaining. — Paul



Comments (43)

    The Nats pullover is ‘t as bad as I expected, but I’d rather they wear regular uniforms with curly W’s and they traditional red cap.

    I don’t recall the Jays wearing their powder blues on the road? Is this something they just did the other day? Or, have they ween wearing them on the road and I just haven’t been paying attention? :))

    They have indeed been wearing them on the road before. Last year they might have used them on the road more than their standard greys.

    Traditionally, powder blues were the road jersey for so many teams. It’s interesting that teams have mostly worn them at home since reviving the theme.

    My first thoughts when seeing the pullovers were “Why do a pullover if you don’t have a full chest wordmark?” and “Nike and their annoying collars”. And after thinking that my next thought was “I bet Paul has the same analysis.”
    The pullovers vs a powder blue team felt very 1970s.

    The collar looks like a vestigial reminder of a button-down jersey. Kinda reinforces the idea it’s not a throwback.

    Would’ve been cool to see that kind of collar in 1970, actually.

    Seeing the Nats in action yesterday leaves me with two somewhat contradictory opinions: 1) The new pullover jersey template really is as bad as pre-season previews led me to expect; 2) But compared to how monumentally ugly the new button-up jersey template is, the new pullovers are the best jerseys in MLB.

    As for the Nats, well, it’s honestly kind of impressive how the team can keep finding new and surprising ways to confuse and uglify their visual identity.

    compared to how monumentally ugly the new button-up jersey template is, the new pullovers are the best jerseys in MLB

    Absolutely agree.

    And to keep that vibe going… sometimes Paul and I agree. Sometimes we really really disagree.
    His four bullet points today? I am in total lockstep with him.

    Put the number on the other side of the chest for balance. easy fix.

    I’m not sure why some of the uniform redesigns don’t have number on the front of many of the jerseys

    I like the pullover, but you’re right about the collar. One of the best things about pullovers is the collar trim, but it really only works with a v-neck. Wouldn’t simply tossing a uniform number on the front fix the white space? It’s similar to the issue the elimination of TV numbers has caused for NFL jerseys. Just to much empty space.

    The Nats’ pullover really lays bare my biggest issue the club has had with their jerseys and caps. The Nats have used both dark navy blue and a lighter shade of navy. I hate the lighter shade, it’s milquetoast. But they have not combined the two shades until now. The sleeves are dark navy but the back panels on the cap are lighter. Drives me nuts.


    I came here to say the EXACT same thing. The Nats have a history of using both shades of navy blue that New Era provides to MLB teams (though never at the same time), but their tri-color hat is currently the only piece of their uniform set that uses the lighter shade. I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for them to change it, and I’m hopeful that this mismatch is the proverbial Straw that makes them switch it over to the darker blue.

    Moreover though, it makes it feel like it’s a classic case of when Paul always points out the retail tail wagging the on-field dog. They created this jersey, probably made sure the sleeves matched their alternate navy jersey, finalized the design, began production, and THEN asked the question ‘hey, what hat are we gonna wear with these?’

    Mariners cap is dark midnight blue/almost black. Their designated road jerseys are dark navy. The mismatch is annoying to me.

    This has been the case for almost 20 years now though, and is very intentional. Their original navy jerseys from the A-Rod days matched their hat perfectly…but they were so dark that people thought they were black. So they lightened it up a bit, but I guess have always been content to keep the hat the way it is…I think the lighter navy that New Era offers is probably too far in the other direction anyway, the M’s current navy jersey kinda sits between the two shades.

    In my opinion though, this example bugs me less for two reasons: 1) ineffably, having the darker shade up top and the lighter shade below it makes more sense to me than how the Nats are doing it and 2) it’s kind of an homage to the 90s when almost every team with a navy alt jersey couldn’t figure out how to match the hats (i.e. Cleveland, Minnesota, etc). Even if the Mariners weren’t one of those teams in the 90s with that problem haha

    The 1979 Braves and Padres were the last teams to wear pullovers with contrasting raglan sleeves. The Blue Jays and Angels wore button-down jerseys with contrasting sleeves in the ’90s, but theirs were set-in, with no connection to the collar.

    Why are there red stars on the jersey but blue stars on the hat? Who makes these decisions?

    Ughhh, I’ll never be able to un-see this now. What a silly error that was easily avoidable.

    The Nationals’ pullover needs numbers on the front to break up the sea of white. Other than that issue and the weird collar, I rather like them.

    I don’t hate the Nats pullover, but it may be because I really like the W/Dome logo. I also kinda like that they have the DC shape logo on the sleeve.

    I like these quite a bit, maybe because I’m a fan of the ‘Capital’ logo. But I agree with Paul on the feels gimmicky. And, as others have noted, the mismatched stars are annoying.

    Hat / jersey mis-match… ugh
    Red stars / blue stars… hmmm
    Can we talk about the collar and sleeve trim?
    I see what they’ve done, and it may be the convention, but when a player wears a colored undershirt, the trim doesn’t match (or contrast) in one place.
    Shouldn’t the “outside” color be the same?
    And in the same spirit of non “uniform” NFL socks, why do some have red undershirts & others red.

    P.S. I actually do like the weird collar on these when a red undershirt is worn!

    I have done a complete 180 when it comes to pullovers. I think the problems with the script breaks on the regular jerseys got me thinking about how team names across the better canvas of the pullovers would solve this. I also realized that what I really didn’t like about those 1970s uniforms were the sanabelt pants. And yes, I wish Nike wouldn’t feel the need to do something like these stupid collars.

    Were the mid-1990s Orioles the last team to have a regular pullover alternate jersey? I seem to recall they had a black jersey with a couple buttons at the top.

    Isn’t the point of a pullover to have all that extra room for activities rather than just keeping it blank?

    What the Nat’s had is 100000x better than that abomination of an outfit being worn by Tampa Bay.

    See, I actually think these look much better with the batting helmets than the hats. The white space issue that Paul mentioned is exacerbated by the white front panel on the hat. I like these more than I thought I would, but now I want to see them worn with a different hat to truly judge them.

    That’s a good point. I like the white panel, but now that you mention it, I think this hat would maybe look better with a blue pullover jersey.

    The sign behind home plate with the home cap logo seems to be new for that jersey. When they wore their city connects last season the sign had the city connect “W” logo and when they wear their home whites and navy alternates, the sign has the normal curly w. I don’t remember any instances of other teams rebranding non-video screen parts of their ballparks for different unis!

    The logo is horrible, just like the new greys.
    They used to have a great uniform set. Now they have way too many.

    The Nats entire uni-set is completely underwhelming and reminds me of a little league all-star uniform and this particularly combo takes the cake. They are badly in need of an overhaul. The only redeeming quality the set has is the curly W from the Senators days.

    In fact, I don’t think they’ve had a good set since they moved from Montreal.

    The Blue Jays powder blues didn’t seem to be mismatched as it looked uniform for most players but I noticed the tops looked darker on the ones that sweat a lot (like Kirk and Manoah)

    A pullover jersey needs a wordmark, preferably arched. The logo can be worn on a sleeve, if needed (as the same logo is already on the hat). This mismatch in powder blue for the Jays is gruesome. MLB and Nike have to fix a lot before next season.

    I love pullover jerseys. If I had my way, every team would have a pullover alternate. With regard to this jersey, love the sleeves, like the logo, don’t mind the collar. I’d buy it if I were a Nats fan.

    I wish the Nats helmet and cap for this jersey were similar. For some reason, I don’t like the look when they are batting. The cap and pullover look much sharper, in my opinion.

    Agree with all the other commenters that these may, by default, be the best jersey in the MLB due to all the problems with the button-ups.

    The mismatching blues between the hats and jerseys has to be one of the most perplexing uniform decisions I’ve seen for a good minute now.

    I know the rationale is the matching throw-back W’s over the Capitol of course- but the mismatching blues is far more egregious than if they had just worn the dark blue curly w hats that match the batting helmets they already picked out for these.

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