By Phil Hecken
I treated you to you humored me with my attempt to bring you a look at how the American League teams would look if their uniforms used the colors (or at least the ‘major’ colors) from the flag of the City or State in which they play. In case you missed it, click here. Today, I’m back for more, with the same treatment of the teams in the National League. As with the junior circuit, there were some interesting looks. Some teams did indeed look better sporting different colors, while others were worse, much worse, or almost identical.
As with the American League, I have done my best to faithfully recreate the current uniforms using the new colors. In most cases, I have removed only the player NOB and occasionally the front numbers. In addition, since stirrups are necessary (there is no arguing or debating this point), I have included them as an essential uniform element. Sometimes I needed to remove a patch, but usually I kept them in (although in some cases I did not change the color scheme on the patch, either because it changed the nature of the patch too much or because it simply proved too difficult). With that, lets begin.
Arizona: We begin with a state flag, even though for all intents and purposes the Diamondbacks play in Phoenix. Yeah, you can see why I’m not going to show the D-Backs in that colorscheme. With the red, yellow and blue from the Arizona flag, the Snakes would sport a road uniform and a home uni that aren’t much different from their current get-up, but visually I think this one is also more appealing than the current duds. The use of the yellow as a highlighting element and on the socks really brings out the colors much better, in my humble opinion.
Atlanta: Next up, alphabetically, are the Braves, and while I’m not especially enamored of the flag itself, I LOVE the colors. The blue and yellow are really a striking combination and one which several major league teams have used in the past, only to go away from as they progressed into other uniform styles. But it’s a great one and I wish some teams would consider it or even adopt it (or return to it, as the case may be). That being said, here are the Braves in their home uniform and the road kit if they were to use those shades of blue and yellow. While some would argue the current Braves uniform is classic (and if you toss out the two disgusting alts, I’d tend to agree), I think they look even better this way.
Chicago: Like their neighbors to the South Side, the Cubs hail from the Windy City. But that’s where the similarities end — both in their uniform histories and every other way. So their uniforms may bear a slight resemblance (with the flag treatment) from a color standpoint, but that’s about all. I did several versions for the Cubs, because I really like the colors of that flag. Using the powder blue as the predominant color, here’s one version of the roadie. By using the red as the dominant color, we get this. Neither look is any where near better than their current style. The home is even worse, at least in this version. Maybe I should have used red more heavily than blue in that one. However, like I did with the White Sox, I created a powder blue version. Doesn’t work as well, as one of my (someday to be codified) “rules” is if you’re going to wear powder blue, your “base” color must also be blue.
Cincinnati: The Queen City has a rather nice flag, and I’m surprised (well, not really) that the Reds didn’t make greater use of the “block” C in the flag, opting instead for the wishbone. And while they have used a block C on their caps, they’ve used that wishbone as far back as 1905 (according to Okkonen) and probably before that in the 19th century. Anyway, the predominant colors of the flag are red (thankfully — they are called the “Reds”) and blue. So their “new” uniforms won’t be all that different from their current ones. For the home uniform it was basically a matter of slightly altering the current red, and replacing the black with the blue from the flag. For pants stripes, attempted to mimic the three “stripes” on the Cincy flag, and performed a similar treatment on the stirrups. For the road uniform, it was more of the same, although on that one I kept the pants stripes red. It’s funny, while I don’t especially mind the use of the drop shadow (because it’s black) on either current uniform, it really looks kinda awful when it’s depicted in dark blue on the “city flag” version.
Colorado: With the Rockies, pretty much all bets off are with the current colors. However, I have always liked the current font, and with new colors, we get a nice fresh look. And while red, yellow and blue are a common element in many cities’ flags, it’s an interesting twist when applied to the Rocks. For the road uniform, I think it’s a nice look. Nothing to write home about, but pretty nice. Of course, since pinstripes do not belong on a road uniform (another of my “rules”), I removed them. It renders the uniform much more plain, but that’s tough. Personally, I like the way the yellow interlocking “CR” looks an the cap. For the home uniform, I rather enjoy this look, using mostly blue for the lettering and numbers. Probably should have continued the all yellow lettering for the cap, but that could easily be corrected.
Florida: The Marlins, they of the teal and black, get a nice new treatment when we take the Florida flag colors. Mostly red and white, but with a seal of an almost ‘orange’ hue, it was my pleasure to undertake this transformation. I think the “orange” and red work well as complimentary colors, and here’s how this was conceived in the home uniform. I had to keep the teal coloration of the marlin, though, since I’ve never seen a red or orange one. Doesn’t look that bad. For some reason, for the away uni, I didn’t use any of the orange element (but adding a heavy dose of white, which is a very prominent color from the flag). The result is rather plain. This is one I’ll take another shot at someday, adding in some of that additional lighter coloration.
Houston: Take a look at that flag — now you understand why the Astros have that old school engine loaded with oranges out beyond the left field fence. Anyway, the flag is mostly aqua (I guess) and white, so the Astros’ uniforms will reflect that. Although the flag has a smidge of red in it, I elected to keep the away duds as well as the home set in just aqua and white. Not a good look. Not that their current uniforms are all that great, but the city flag treatment is decidedly not an improvement.
Los Angeles: It’s really hard to mess with an all-time classic uniform like the one sported by the Dodgers. But since my purpose was to see what all all teams would look like in city flag colors, the Dodgers must be included. Even without seeing what follows, you can probably guess it won’t be an improvement. You’d be right. First of all, for the home uniform, with red and green as two of the three colors (and I HAD to keep the front jersey number red, right?), it was hard to avoid it looking like a St. Patty’s Day fashion jersey or a Christmas special. Not that the stirrup coloring is a saving grace, but I think it’s OK. Well, not really. For the road uniform, took the opposite tack, using red as the primary color and sublimating the green as much as possible. Decidedly not good. You can’t mess with success any more than you can polish a turd (and please don’t post that “Mythbusters” episode where they prove you can, in fact, polish a turd).
Milwaukee: Kind of a busy flag, no? Another flag where I’d consider the main color to be kind of an aqua. And, of course, there’s the wheat stalk with the chaff (I’m not sure any of those are the correct terms, but work with me here), which will serve as the other color for this uniform redux. There’s also some kind of gear or ferris wheel, a boat, and some images in there. No offense to the good people of the Cream City, but you really need a new flag. OK, no editorializing here, just the unis. So, with that as our base colors, we get a home uniform that looks different than the current one. Different, not better. Not so sure using the color of the wheat helps there. So for the road uniform, I substituted the wheat (gold) color for the the red from the word “Milwaukee.” I think that’s a little better. I also removed the drop shadow to keep things somewhat more orderly. Seems like the Brewers could use both a uniform and a flag makeover. We may have some on the board who agree with that.
New York: As we saw in the American League city flag swap, the colors of the New York City flag are almost identical to those of the New York Mets (even though the accepted version is that the Mets took their royal from the Brooklyn Dodgers and their orange from the New York Giants). So, it shouldn’t be all that surprising when you see the NYC flag road uniform for the Mets. Added, obviously, orange to the bill and some sock stripes. Might be a tad busy, but it sure beats the hell out of the black they’ve added to the road uniform. Since the Mets play in the borough of Queens, I did mock ups for them with those colors as well. Despite using yellow, that road uniform and home uniform don’t look good at all. I realize that the pinstripes are their official uniform, but they haven’t worn it in a month, so I went with the “snow white” version. However, when we adopt that to the City of New York flag colors, it’s fairly similar to their current uniform. If I had more skill and time, I’d remove the black dropshadow from the home and away sets, but the intent was to keep the uniform as close to the current as possible. Meh.
Philadelphia: Hmmm. Didn’t some other Philadelphia team recently wear the City flag colors on their uniform? Not so sure how well that was received. But, in the spirit of this exercise, lets see how the baseball team from the City of Brotherly Love fares in city flag colors. Surprisingly, for the home uniform, not as bad as I had imagined. But what about the away kit? Actually, I like that one even better. I don’t think anyone will be clamoring for the Fightin’s to be changing their color scheme any time soon, but it’s not an altogether bad look. Again, although the blue is not quite as dark as I prefer, there is something about combining blue and yellow that just looks right.
Pittsburgh: OK. This one is too easy. The Pirates already proudly use their City’s colors as the basis for their uniform. Seems to be a common theme amongst the Steel City teams. I wonder if that’s deliberate? Anyway, you won’t be surprised to see the Pirates when they sport their road unis and home duds.
San Diego: Finally, a City whose flag has MUCH better colors than those being sported by the team which plays there. And since the Fathers have quite the myriad uni history, I’ll get a bit saucy here. Lets start with the homes. I made the red from the flag the dominant color, and I like it. I like red and yellow (or whatever actual shade you want to call those two colors). I think this is a definite improvement over their current colorscheme. For the roadies, and recognizing the crazy uni past the Pods have, I went with a yellow base with red wordmarks/numerals for the Friars. Yeah, it’s bright (unlike this post’s author) alright, but I also like this. Better than sand, that’s for sure. This is another team that is just begging for a uniform overhaul, and while perhaps taking the city flag colors isn’t the direction they should go, it’s better (IMHO) than what they’ve got now.
San Francisco: Another kind of plain flag, but definitely workable. One of the nicer things about the San Francisco home uniform is that it’s not pure white — tis cream. So if we keep the cream base, and take the brown and yellow (from the eagle and border) plus the blue, we get a very nice looking uniform. (The yellow crown on the cap is a shout out to Stuby). Now those may look too “Padre-ish,” but since the Pods don’t use those colors anymore (either in their current look or in my city flag look), that is what we get. For a slight twist on the cream home base, instead of straight gray, for the road uniform, I made the base a with a slight blue hue (from the “SAN FRANCISCO” on the flag). I think that one looks pretty damn sharp. However, since the current uniform is also a classic, I can’t argue the city flag colors look better, but they’re certainly pretty good.
St. Louis: For our penultimate uniform, we find another instance where a the colors of a city flag closely match that of the team (was this intentional? — hard to say, since the animal for which the team is named is a cardinal, and cardinal is indeed, red). Surely, it’s convenient, if coincidental. Even the yellow in the flag is replicated by the yellow in the bat. But as a result, the uniforms won’t differ much at all from those currently worn by the Redbirds. Other than changing the stirrup stripes, the home uniform is virtually identical to the current one. For the road uniform, I added red to the crown of the cap and played slightly with the stirrup stripes. But basically, city flag = team uni colors with the Cards.
Washington (DC): OK, if there was ever a city flag I would have expected to be red, white and blue, it would be Washington, D.C. Nope. Just red and white. So, making the Nationals uniforms, with their red, white, blue and gold only two colors will take a bit of chicanery. Lets start with the road uniform. I already like the red better than their current blue. Since the cap and “Washington” are in a nice, matching script, this looks fine. Those god-awful beveled numbers don’t look so hot (this part of the uniform is just CRYING for a reworking), and I removed that stupid beveled interlocking “DC” patch altogether. Fix the number font, and this is a winner. OK…on to the home uniform. Decency dictates that I remove the beveling from the wordmark, for unless you have two or three colors, it looks AWFUL. Well, it looks awful anyway (no offense, Todd Radom, I’m sure they told you they liked that design), but it looks better in one, solid color. Same problem with the beveled number on the back as on the roadie, but it’s better on the home, because at least the fonts work together. I did need to add a black border around the number font however, but at least that’s not BFBS, but black for necessity’s sake.
Well, there you have it. The National League rendered in city flag colors. I don’t want to say this ‘project’ was a complete waste of time, because I think we did see a few uniforms that look better in different colors (or at least the colors of their flags). But since we won’t be seeing any of these teams move to these colors any time soon, the project was more fun, and more for my own edification, than as an appeal to teams to change up their uniforms (or at least the colors). Still, some of these do make you think that maybe, just maybe, what they’re wearing now needs a change. What do you think?
Guess The Game From The Scoreboard: This one is probably way too easy, but then again, maybe not. As always, the clues are right there for you on the scoreboard. Location, Date and Final Score, please. Ready? Guess The Game.
Once again, if anyone has any scoreboards they’d like to contribute, please shoot me a line.
When football season rolls around, are you guys interested in a “GTGFTS” edition? I’m not so sure how that would play out, but it may be worth a shot. Let me know if you’re interested in that.
Alternate jerseys. No stirrups. T-Ball. Must be softball. Enjoy your Saturday Benchies.
That’s all for today, folks. Couple announcements and a whole mess of different stuff coming tomorrow. Have a great Saturday.