There was a classic moment during yesterday’s press conference to unveil the Blue Jays’ new road and alternate uniforms. It came when they trotted out old-timers Lloyd Moseby and John Mayberry to model the team’s new 1979 powder blue throwbacks, which will be worn for Friday home games. At one point Moseby was asked what it felt like when he first wore that uniform back in the day. The prop boy must not have been holding the cue cards high enough for Moseby to see, because instead of giving a scripted reply, he chose to ad lib: “The uniform sucked, okay? So we ain’t gonna go there.”
After a moment of nervous laughter from the audience, followed by a beat or two of silence, Moseby added, “’Course, it was big to put on any uniform,” but it was too late — his point had been made, namely that these things were ugly back then and they’re still ugly now. I know many of you have some sort of nostalgic and/or kitschy fascination with this uniform, but come on — it’s totally minor league. With the centered crest and the pullover style, it looks and feels more like a hockey jersey than a baseball jersey. Plus they’ll be wearing it at home, which means we’ll be treated to blue-vs.-gray games — ugh. (Moseby, incidentally, gave some additional choice comments about the design to a Canadian reporter after the unveiling ceremony.)
While the original design had pants with a double-snap waistband, the throwback has more traditional belted pants (Moseby approved of this change: “When dirt got in your snaps, they wouldn’t work”). The mock-up in the MLB Style Guide shows a striped belt, presumably to simulate the striped waistband, but the belts at the unveiling were solid blue, which is probably for the best. On the other hand, I give them credit for sticking to one aspect of the original design: NNOB.
As for the new road jersey, I like it. Yeah, it doesn’t match the home design, but I count that as a plus, because the home design blows. I see at least four reasons to like this revision: 1) vertically arched lettering; 2) the ascension of blue from trim color to main color; 3) uni numbers finally appearing on the front of the jersey; 4) a pretty cool number font (soooooo much better than the old one). Problems? I count one: They’ve retained the super-clunky NOB typography. But at least it’s blue now, which is mild improvement. Now if we could just get them to wear a blue cap.
Finally, if you believe in omens, there was a bad one: The “N” in “Toronto” is supposed to look like this, with the shadowed side of the bevel down and to the right. But the “N” on the jersey that Jeremy Accardo was wearing was upside-down. Nice going, guys.
(Special thanks to the Chris Creamer board, where many of the above-linked photos were first posted.)
Uni Watch News Ticker: Homeless man update from Mike Hennessy, who writes: “At a news conference sometime over the weekend, Belichick wore his regular sweatshirt with the hood cut off. I think with this he has hit rock bottom.” … Speaking of Belichick, for a few weeks now his headband has featured a Pats logo that I haven’t seen elsewhere. I kinda like it, especially since the “New England” part of the team’s name usually doesn’t get much play. Anyone know more about this logo? … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Steve Smith threw his cleats into the crowd after Sunday’s game. … Great catch by Jeremy Iwen, who noticed that the first “R” in Dominique Barber’s nameplate was backwards a few weeks back. … Ray Lewis memorialized Sean Taylor on his eye black last night.