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One Last Complaint About Nike’s New MLB Uniforms

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Good morning! Greetings from New Orleans, where we had a fun Uni Watch meet-up last night. I’ll try to write something about that gathering during my flight home to NYC today and post it as soon as it’s done.

Meanwhile, I want to write about something that’s been bugging me for the past few months. Take a look at the five photos shown above. What uni detail do they all have in common?

I will tell you: In each case, the pants piping is visible above the belt. I cannot express how much that bugs me. It looks so unprofessional, so Little League. I hate it. HATE IT!

This wasn’t a problem until this season, because almost every team had belt tunnels on the hips:

The only exception to that rule was Detroit, whose thin piping could occasionally be seen peeking out from above the beltline:

Thanks to Nike’s new belt tunnel configuration, everyone’s hip is now exposed, not just Detroit’s. Grrrr.

As I prepare to stop writing about uniforms, this small but pertinent detail feels like a good way to go out. Peak Uni Watch!

Like I said, I’ll try to publish the New Orleans party report later today, and we’ll also have one last edition of Remembership. I’ll also have a special post tomorrow, and another on Sunday (Phil has the weekend off). See you then.

• • • • •

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

Comments (23)

    The perfect kind of minutiae I expect from this site! Now it’s all I’ll see.

    Alternately I’ve always been bugged by piping and stripes etc that stop randomly. Especially in a lot of newer NFL sets. Clash of minutia.

    For some reason, I’m not sure why, it fees like something a municipal worker would wear. Like a subway driver, parks employee etc.

    Paul, that’s a feature, not a bug. One of the details that always ground my gears was how the pants piping always stopped 3 inches proud of the belt line, covered by the belt tunnel, instead of being on top of it. It was emblematic of the way baseball never detailed the pants as well as the jerseys. Only the Royals of the 1990s got it right. Also, teams with the racing stripe feature made sure the trim traversed the belt tunnels.

    This is how I can’t imagine you will never want to comment on any Uni issues that arise. It will be so difficult to contain. You are quitting cold turkey! There is going to be something that will come along that will be so egregious you will be exploding on the inside not to scream about that thing. Not sure what that “thing” will be, but after 25 years you will need all your inner strength not to say something. But good for you if you don’t. We will miss your comments and look forward to the minutiae and other topics in the world you will be covering on your new journey. But I’m just saying, if this made you burst after months, something will be way worse. Take care my friend. See you on Substack.

    Thanks for pointing this out, it will now bother me for the rest of my life. Strangely enough, that is why I love UniWatch.

    I’ve always felt the wider belt tunnels at the hip were to somehow to better facilitate sliding.

    I would have never noticed that…wow!

    I am also shocked Nike didn’t take steps to prevent this…they could have saved a few cents per jersey by using less piping.

    Perfect entry on the Final Stirrup Friday of the Lukas-era Uni Watch. Wearing old-school (maroon) UW stirrups today.

    If it had always been the other way, you would be complaining that it doesn’t extend any more like UCLA stripes

    What a parting gift to your readers — something we cannot unsee that will make us think of you until it’s fixed.


    Great observation! If I gave half a fuck about MLB these days and actually paid attention, I wonder if I would’ve noticed it on my own.

    Either way, now that it has been brought to my attention, I think I actually like this and agree with walter that it’s a feature, not a bug.

    I noticed, during the Braves/Cubs series, the belt tunnel piping has been removed from the road pants. Was that done this years because of the change in pants? Or, was this done before the new templates?

    I like to think of the belt tunnel trim on the home uniforms as being “value added” for the loyal fans, whereas the lack of trim on the grey pants is to present a more subdued appearance.

    This has been driving me crazy all season! I was actually going to write to Paul about this, but figured he had other stuff on his mind. Interestingly, piping on the Phillies’ waistlines is one of the first uni details I am conscious of noticing back in 1983. The Phils changed from piping that ended at the belt line to piping that covered the beltline and NOBODY BELIEVED ME when I said it had changed. I had to find old Phillies yearbooks to show photographic evidence.

    Yes. I was 13 years old and already a proto-UniWatcher! Thanks for everything you’ve done to help me see the world in more detail, Paul!

    I wrote a whole column on belt tunnels a few years ago, Ethan. I called it “Below the Equator”, when “On the Equator” might have been more correct.

    I totally thought it would be the weird wrinkles that result when they swing and throw…
    Random thought: Chris Reeves Superman costume designers made suits with the arms sewn “upward” for flying scenes and “downward” for standing scenes, in order to eliminate wrinkles

    Not to beat a dead horse, but James Paxton of the Dodgers won a wet t-shirt contest

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