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Welcome to Purp Walk ’24: The Final Purple Amnesty Day

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Hello! Today is the 18th anniversary of the very first post on this website, which was published on May 17, 2006 (not to be confused with the very first Uni Watch column, which was published on May 26, 1999).  By longstanding tradition, that means it is time for us to observe Purple Amnesty Day, Uni Watch’s annual grudging celebration of the world’s most accursed color. For the next 24 hours, it’s all purple, all the time!

Since I am leaving Uni Watch in a little over a week, this will be the final Purp Walk, and I’m happy to report that we’re going out with a big, purple bang. Today’s festivities will take place on several fronts, as follows:

1. Live Events in Baltimore

I’m currently in Baltimore, where we have a big day planned. Here’s the scoop:

  • 11am: We will convene at the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum (subject of this Uni Watch post), where external affairs director Katie Dick has generously offered to give us a tour of the museum and its archives. Katie is also giving us a discounted group admission price of $5 per person, instead of the usual $15, but feel free to pay a bit more to help support the museum and its mission. (Note: There’s metered street parking.)
  • 1pm: Lunch and/or cocktails at Frazier’s on the Avenue. We won’t have a group reservation or anything like that — just an informal hang, while we wait for…
  • 1:30pm: The great Juliet Ames — aka the Salt Box Lady — will unveil a special Uni Watch Purple Amnesty Day salt box right outside Frazier’s. She and I will both be available for photo ops with the salt box. (Note: There’s metered street parking, along with a pay lot behind Frazier’s.)
  • 2pm-4:30pm: This will be a free period. You can take a break, or explore the neighborhood around Frazier’s (Juliet Ames says, “Across from Frazier’s is a Mexican spot with a ton of pinball machines, and there’s also a record store and Atomic Books, where John Waters does all of his book signings”), or go to the National Aquarium, or whatever.
  • 4:30pm-6:30pm: Duckpin bowling at Stoneleigh Lanes. They charge by the hour — $16 for one hour or $24 for two hours (both prices include shoes) — so you can bowl as much or as little as you want.
  • 7pm: The official Purp Walk ’24 party at Union Brewing. We’ll be gathering out back in their outdoor beer garden. Just look for all the purple-clad people!

That should be a pretty full day (and I’ll be dressed from head to toe in purple for all of it). This activity menu is totally à la carte — join us for the parts that interest you, skip the ones that don’t. No advance registration or notification is required.

Should be a great day! I’m looking forward to meeting everyone who comes out. Special thanks to Andrew Cosentino, Katie Dick, and Juliet Ames for making all of this possible.

2. Purple Uni Watch Content

A Purp Walk tradition that we’ve established in recent years is longtime reader/contributor Kary Klismet’s annual article about teams that wear mismatched shades of purple, and I don’t mind saying that this year’s installment is a doozy. That will be published at about 8am Eastern, and then I’ll have at least one more purple-themed post later in the morning.

3. Today Only: Get Yer Purple Membership Cards!

The usual ban on purple-inclusive Uni Watch membership cards has been lifted for 24 hours, from midnight to midnight (Eastern). So if you’re a fan of the Vikings, Rockies, Ravens, Suns, LSU, Northwestern, or any other purple-clad team, today is the one day this year that you can order a order a membership card with a design motif that includes purple. But don’t delay — at midnight the one-day window will slam shut. And since this is the final Purp Walk ever, it will also be your final chance to order a purple card!

4. Today Only: Purp Walk Merch

I’ve once again collaborated with designer Bryan Molloy on a Purp Walk T-shirt. Since this is the final Purp Walk and we’re gathering in Baltimore (home of the Ravens, whose team name was inspired by Baltimore native Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem “The Raven,” whose most famous line is “Nevermore”), the shirt features a raven and a “Baltimore/Nevermore” pairing:

The shirt is available here until midnight Eastern tonight.

In addition, we have a Purp Walk cap, which is available here (again, only until midnight):

And because this is the final edition of Purp Walk, we’re also offering all of the previous Purple Amnesty Day T-shirts, in case you want to get caught up (again, only until midnight). You can see the full slate of offerings here.

5. Hashtag It!

If you’re engaging in any purple activities today (whether in Baltimore or just on your own), share your photos on social media and use the hashtag #PurpWalk24 so we can all see what you’re up to. Thanks!


In case you’re new to this (or just need a quick refresher), the idea for Purple Amnesty Day came from reader Tim Cox, who lives in Denver and is a big Rockies fan. On the blog’s fourth birthday — May 17, 2010, which is 14 years ago today — Tim posted the following comment:

Congrats on 4 entertaining years, Paul & company. I’m a daily reader but not a member because I can’t do a Rockies membership card without purple. The 4th anniversary seems like the perfect occasion to grant amnesty to all the Rockies, Vikings, LSU, Northwestern, etc. fans out there.

I then responded:

[Y]our idea for a one-day purple amnesty program is a good one. If anyone wants to sign up for a purple-inclusive membership card, today — and only today — I will honor all such requests!

And just like that — very informally — Purple Amnesty Day was born. Along the way, the annual ritual has evolved and grown:

  • In 2015, membership card designer Scott M.X. Turner came up with the ingenious slang term “Purp Walk,” which is a nice counterpart to the more formal “Purple Amnesty Day.”
  • 2015 is also when designer Bryan Molloy and I began collaborating on Purple Amnesty Day merchandise.
  • I believe 2015 was also the first year that I changed all of the website’s green elements to purple for the momentous day.
  • In 2020, reader Kary Klismet began what has become his annual habit of writing about teams that have worn mismatched shades of purple.
  • In 2022, I convened the first Purp Walk live event, in Denver, which was so much fun that did another live event in 2023, in Greenville, N.C., where I threw out the first pitch at an ECU baseball game.

I love how the culture of the annual tradition has continued to grow and take on a life of its own. It’s now one of my favorite days on the Uni Watch calendar, even though I hate looking at all that purple!

Speaking of which: People sometimes say I have “purplephobia.” But as I always explain, that’s not accurate, because “phobia” means fear. Folks, I don’t fear purple; I loathe purple. If anything, purple should fear me.

Why do I detest purple so much? As I always explain when people ask me that question, I actually think purple in nature is quite nice — violets, plums, eggplants, etc. But purple as a human-imposed design element almost always strikes me as tasteless and tacky. It’s the diva of colors, the Celine Dion of colors — loud, grandiose, never content to do just enough when it can do way too much. There’s a darn good reason why you rarely see a purple house or a purple car. Now if we could just eradicate purple from the rest of the built environment. Grrrrr.

Okay, that’s enough to get us started for Purp Walk 2024. Enjoy the rest of the day as we continue to celebrate the world’s most accursed color!

• • • • •

Our latest raffle winner is Scott Pendergraft, who’s won himself a purple Uni Watch membership card. Congrats to him, and thanks again to Bryan Martin Firvida for sponsoring this one.

After today, I will have nine days remaining at Uni Watch. — Paul

Comments (31)

    Hopefully you have enough free time to drive past or even stop in the PaperMoon Diner (227 W 29th Street). See ya at the bowling alley!

    Have a fun and safe celebration! Thank you for creating a site where life’s aggravations can be put in the back burner for a few minutes and people can simply enjoy something they love about being a sports fan.

    There is another justification for Paul’s anti-purple stance: Purple doesn’t exist. There is no wavelength of the electromagnetic spectrum that can properly be called purple light. Purple is a figment of how the light-sensing cells in our eyes interact and how the light-processing neurons in our brains interpret that interaction.


    That’s a bit of an oversimplification. Violet wavelengths exist, and violet and purple are used interchangeably on this site (as they are in almost all other walks of life).
    The whole thing is like saying black or white don’t exist.

    True! It is more precisely accurate to say that there is no wavelength of light corresponding to magenta, or to most hues that are culturally defined as purple. Here’s what a worth-reading article hosted by Princeton (link.) says:

    “In other words, perception of the color purple is due to the stimulation of nonadjacent cones produced by mixing wavelengths at either end of the spectrum, making it nonspectral. Purple is different from spectral colors because it is not part of the rainbow–no single wavelength of light is purple. Prince wasn’t just fabulous, he was nonspectrally fabulous.”

    While none of my favorite teams wear purple (other than Tottenham sometimes), I am pro-purple in pro sports, simply because there are too many teams that wear some combination of red and blue or red and black. Purple provides an alternative without straying far from the classic elements of a baseball or football uniform. It works for me the same way green and gold/yellow work as a color combination: it stands out without being a gimmick.

    Purple is a color whose margin of error in use is very small. The average use of almost any other color or color combination is likely to be OK. The average use of purple is likely to be ugly. You have to be very careful and thoughtful to make purple look good. I’d compare purple to the combination of royal blue and black, in that when done well, it can be one of the absolute most beautiful combinations, but when done even a tiny bit less than almost perfectly, it’s liable to be monstrously ugly. Like with red and blue, you almost have to try very hard to not look pretty good.

    I agree with this–and I don’t think there should be more purple teams, but in a world of red and blue, I admire the occasional purple.

    I’ve never liked purple, but I wish every league had a predominantly purple clad team. The NBA and the NFL are covered. Kings need to bring it back, and the Rockies need way more of it.

    While I don’t share your hatred for purple, I certainly dislike those artificial shades of purple, and I think the specific shade you picked for Purple Amnesty Day is *perfectly* repugnant for the occasion

    Paul – thanks for the final Purple Amnesty Day credit. It has been a wonderful diversion and a fun tale to share with friends. I truly wish I could be there for some portion of the tour, but I just returned home yesterday from our second annual MLB stadium tour, covering 5 games in 5 midwestern parks we had not previously visited. There was some overlap, as we were in Milwaukee over the weekend, and I see your tour will stop there this week.

    Anyway, enjoy your tour and all that goes into it. I will be ordering my Purp walk t-shirt before the day is out.

    Tim Cox

    As Purple Amnesty Day is retiring along with Paul, Phil will begin a new tradition on May 17th, 2025: Chartreuse Amnesty Day. It will be the one day a year that Uni Watch curling attire (oh yeah, there will curling attire) is available in the color chartreuse. Phil will issue a different pair of crazy chartreuse-colored curling pants each year, which can be purchased solely on May 17th as part of Chart Walk (pronounced “Shart Walk.”) (Shart Walk… snicker, snicker.)

    I realize that this is the last official P.A.D., but I will be celebrating it for the rest of my life. I will also continue to encourage those close to me to do the same. I need things like this in my life.

    I concur. I get unreasonably excited for this holiday every year and will continue to celebrate it long after 2024. Plus, I’m very happy I got to order the first (2015) Purp Walk shirt today. I’ve always regretted missing out on it the first time.

    I have a Uni Watch membership card based off of Cornell College’s uniforms from the early 90s. The school colors are purple and white. Back in 2007, Paul said the Rams’ uniforms were a possible exception to his hatred of purple:


    Ironically, one of my favorite Paul-produced shirts — and the one that’s gotten the most compliments — is the purple version of one of his “theoretical” shirts. It’s the one that conflates a West Coast basketball team with an Eastern European shredded potato product.

    I wanted one of those so bad! I’m disappointed in myself that I waited too long to order and now they’re no more :(

    When I had to replace my iPhone last year, I bought a purple iPhone 14.

    I named it “Purp Walk”

    At my work today (May 17) we are having a Purple Day for a cause I admittedly forgot. But I thought of this place. How bloody appropriate!

    Best of luck Paul in your future endeavors

    Happy Purple Amnesty Day everyone! If you want a musical soundtrack for the day, I created a playlist on Spotify:


    Love the Justin Tucker photo for today. If I ever had to wear a Ravens jersey, it would be his.

    Just wondering, should Phil and I have a BFBS Amnesty Day, since we don’t have a problem with purple?

    As if on cue, McDonald’s of Canada has introduced the limited time Grimace shake. US restaurants had it last year for a limited time as well.


    Looking forward to the Uniwatch meet-up in New Orleans coming up soon.

    Purple doesn’t bother me either way. Curious – either I’m the most uninformed Uniwatch fan in existence , or just never read enough Edgar Allen Poe, but, what if any connection is there between the color purple and the poem The Raven, or ravens in particular.

    While I don’t mind Purple as a uniform color, I never really ever liked the Baltimore Raven’s uniforms. Way too much Black involved from the initial season with the black pants. Going to White pants with the Purple jersey was a 100000% improvement. Even the Black jersey/White pants combo is decently acceptable. Still, the Purple/Black dominance to the uniforms seen forced and trendy. The only thing lacking was aqua or turquoise to bring it full Late 80s trendy. The Gold trim and accents never really fit.

    Back to my question – where is the connection between Purple and Baltimore or The Raven?

    Wikipedia says the Ravens uniforms were inspired by Northwestern University uniforms which are purple and black. I always thought the colors were chosen due to ravens being black, but they can look purple during the day in sunlight. This is also why it seems the Ravens would wear purple for day games and often choose black jersey for night games in part due to mimic how the bird looks in daylight vs nighttime.

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