The Mets finally clinched the National League Eastern Division title last night. As a lifelong Mets fan, I was thrilled; but as a uni aesthete, I was appalled, because the game, the celebration, and the historical record of the day will forever be marred by the sight — nay, the blight — of those unspeakable black uniforms.
For those of us who’ve followed the encroachment of black into the team’s color scheme over the past nine years, this was no surprise. The bigger the occasion, it seems, the less likely the Mets are to wear blue. It’s almost as if they intentionally lost those three weekend games in Pittsburgh (where they wore predominantly black caps but at least didn’t sink to the level of wearing black jerseys) just so they could come back to New York and clinch the title while wearing black.
Enough is enough. All the Mets fans I know — and many non-Mets fans, too — are sick of the Amazins’ ebony-centric ways. It’s pathetic and embarrassing, and it’s time to do something about it. And so, assembled Uni Watchers, I have three words for you: DITCH THE BLACK.
That’s the name of Uni Watch’s new campaign to banish black from the Mets’ wardrobe. I’ve drafted a modestly worded petition, which you can read and sign here (feel free to forward the URL to everyone you know), and we also have a wide range of T-shirts with a pointed message on the back, which should make a very fashionable statement this postseason. (For the full range of shirt options, look here.)
Incidentally, while I’ve been grumbling about the Mets’ use of black every since they started doing it, I can’t take credit for the Ditch the Black campaign concept. It was Uni Watch webmaster John Ekdahl‘s idea — and he’s a Yankees fan! But as he said to me a few days ago, “I want to get back to being able to make fun of the Mets for something other than their uniforms.” (We’ll see about that in October, John.)
Meanwhile, as many of you know, Mets equipment manager Charlie Samuels, who decides what the team wears each day, supposedly doesn’t like to choose the blue caps because they clash with the team’s black dugout jackets. But there may be some progress on that front: Reader Brian Erni reports that the Mets Pro Shops are now selling a blue dugout jacket, which would be in keeping with MLB’s recent habit of releasing new designs just in time for the postseason and then carrying them over into the following year. If that’s the case here, it’s a good start. But there’s still a lot more to do, so remember: DITCH THE BLACK.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Informative note from Matt Nelson, who writes: “In addition to the blacked-out Big Ten logo on Iowa’s nose bumpers on Saturday [a memorial gesture for linebacker Mike Klinkenborg's father], QB Drew Tate had ’22′ and ’25′ written on his left arm. That would be for No. 22, Calvin Davis, who is injured and out for the year with a knee injury, and No. 25, Marcus Paschal, who missed the game with a shoulder bruise. Andy Brodell also had ’22′ written on his wrist. Running back Albert Young writes ‘RIP Dad’ on the inside of one of his shoes, but I don’t have photos.” … In recent years, the NFL’s waistband towel has featured the Wilson “W.” But that now appears to be changing. This past week, many players wore towels featuring the full Wilson wordmark, including Ben Roethlisberger (here’s a closer view), Eli Manning, and Jon Kitna. But some players were still wearing the “W,” such as Chris Simms, Rex Grossman, and Phillip Rivers. … Good views here and here of the Stars’ All-Star Game patch.