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Sweathog: A’s Pitcher Swaps Out Drenched Jersey After Just Two Innings

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We’ve known for about a month and a half now that sweat stains are extremely visible on MLB’s new road grey jersey fabric. That situation reached comical levels last night in Houston, as Oakland starting pitcher JP Sears apparently had to change jerseys between the second and third innings because his first jersey was too sweat-soaked.

The kicker is that this was taking place indoors, at an air-conditioned ballpark.

Although the tweet at the top of this page mistakenly blames Fanatics, the issue here is Nike’s new jersey fabric, which was introduced this year and apparently retains moisture.

Although the staining is most apparent on grey jerseys, the same sweat-soakage is presumably happening with white and colored jerseys.

When MLB recently announced that it was taking steps to address this year’s uni fiasco, it tried to downplay the sweat-soak issue, saying that Nike would try to address “the discoloration that can occur due to perspiration in certain instances.” By now it’s clear that the “certain instances” are, um, anytime a player sweats in a grey jersey.

This problem is only going to get worse as we move into the warmer months of the year. As Cubs union rep Ian Happ recently said, “I think you’re going to see in the summer, with the product they have now, guys are going to be sweating through jerseys.”

On the plus side, we should be heartened that the A’s had enough cash to spring for a second jersey that Sears could change into.

(My thanks to Aaron Cameron for bringing this situation to my attention.)




What If Uni Watch Had Turned Out Completely Differently?

When you’re approaching a milestone or getting ready to close out a significant chapter in your life, as I am, it’s common to look back at what you’ve achieved, the highs and lows, the major things that happened.

But as I approach the end of my time at Uni Watch, I thought it might be more interesting to look at some things that didn’t happen — things that were in the works or under discussion but, for various reasons, never got off the ground, got scuttled, or veered off in a different direction. For this week’s Uni Watch Premium article on Substack, I’ve compiled a list of a dozen such situations from the past 25 years. Each of them represents a road not taken, a tantalizing “What if…?” scenario.

You can read the first part of the article here. In order to read the entire thing, you’ll need to become a paid subscriber to my Substack (which will also give you access to my full Substack archives).

My thanks, as always, for your consideration.



L.A. Activity Reminder

As you probably know by now, my upcoming Uni Watch Tour ’24 will include a stop in Los Angeles. That will be next Tuesday, May 21, 7pm, as we gather at Tony P’s.

For a while now I’ve been saying that some possible extracurricular activities were “TBA,” and now I can finally tell you about that: We’re going to get a tour of Game Changing Gear, which is the go-to uniform supplier for movies, TV shows, commercials, and more. They have tons of old gear from past productions, which should be fascinating to see. Their facility isn’t normally open to the public, but their main guy, Mike Fox, is a Uni Watch fan (and a really swell guy besides) and has generously agreed to give us a tour. Should be great!

Game Changing Gear is at 3555 Lomita Blvd., Unit B, in Torrance, Calif. We’ll meet there at 4:30pm, Mike will give us a tour, and then we’ll head to Tony P’s from there.

We’d like to have a rough head count for the Game Changing Gear tour. So if you think you might attend, please shoot me a note. Thanks!

• • • • •

After today, I’ll have 11 days remaining at Uni Watch. — Paul


Comments (13)

    It just blows my mind how Nike touted this revolutionary new “wicking” fabric, yet failed to do enough R&D to discover that a single jersey holds more moisture than a case of Depends!

    Ok, weird questions, but try to follow me here.

    These new Nike fabrics shows the moisture more than the old material, but is the fabric doing what it was intended to do?

    Also, where did the sweat go last year? Did it just not show? Or did it somehow not absorb into he fabric and the players were just really wet underneath?

    I am a marathon runner and have run in every possible material and they all end up soaked an discolored.

    The new jerseys are made of a much thinner fabric. So while they undoubtedly received the same amount of moisture, the old jerseys were able to absorb it without soaking all the way through. Think of it like the good two-ply quilted toilet paper you use at home vs. the cheap recycled one-ply available in public toilets.

    Same Jared – I’m a runner as well.

    You can’t avoid wet and discoloured shirts, I think the difference is in how much moisture it retains. A good tech fabric retains little moisture, a bad fabric (cotton) retains lots. Its a difference you can feel just in the weight of a wet shirt.

    That said – even with a good tech fabric, you’re going to be very wet, it just won’t be as unpleasant. And there’s something about the grey shirt that shows up moisture in a way that no other colour does.

    If he took a grounder back the middle, would it look like a water balloon exploding?

    Graham Ashcraft does this every game, even before this year. He just sweats a ton. I think he averages four jerseys per game and they have a giant fan in the tunnel to dry them out

    As someone who sweats more than normal thanks to whatever crappy genes my ancestors passed down through the ages, I would be pretty sad, even as a Major Leaguer, to find out that the bane of my existence my entire life is on full display when I’m pitching in away jerseys.

    Is Nike maybe implying, “certain instances” as being players that don’t wear shirts under the jerseys? Seems the heavier sweat darks are more prevalent, but not exclusive to, those sans undershirts. Curious if their preliminary/short term solution is just convince more to wear undershirts, which is a great logo creep chance for them, too.

    Hey kids, an athlete sweating in their uniform isn’t ground breaking so please be advised you will be nervous and will have to play in cities with high humidity therefore you will perspire. And it’s perfectly normal to sweat no matter what clothes you wear.
    There, fixed the headline. Not rocket science.

    If a wet jersey obstructs body movements specific to baseball after a short period of time it is safe to conclude it is a jersey made out of low quality material. I agree with the runners that any garment worn during running will end up being drenched with sweat but these athletes participate in a stop and go game instead of constant motion. So it should not be as hard for the textile to get rid of the sweat.

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