The most obvious answer is sometimes the one we most easily miss
By Phil Hecken
Lots more uni tweaks/redesigns/overhauls from you guys today. Good stuff. Interesting Stuff. Fun Stuff. It turned out there were so many people who wanted to tweak the Blue Jays, they’re getting their own column. Lets get started.
In the first set of tweaks, I mentioned there were numerous submissions for the Toronto Blue Jays. While there seems to be much love for the powder blues (although they really need to realize that is 1-NOT a home uniform and 2-NOT a pair of pajamas), there seems to be some universal disdain for the lack of actual blue in the Blue Jays these days. And of course, there is always great admiration for the back-to-back World Series champion uni worn in the Blue Jays heydays. So, not surprisingly, many of the readers would like to ditch the black (I mean, c’mon — this is the best they could do) and would like to return to something along these lines (the one Joe Carter is wearing, not Gene Tenace). Some fans have really had enough, expressing their distaste for the black in interesting ways
So, with the Blue Jays in need of an obvious change, what do the readers offer? There are some really interesting ones to follow. So, let’s take a look-see:
You may remember last time out we had a submission for the Twins from Matt Keller. He also provided me with one for the Jays:
I’m not legally eligible for a prize being 16, but I mess around in photoshop on occasion. (Here’s) a plain, but I think a clean looking Blue Jays uniform. It was made before the Twins uni, and if I could do it again, I’d like to change the numbers to something a little more retro.
Our next submission comes from Ben Sibley, a man of few words, but great suggestions:
A modern twist to a classic uniform
Next up is UW Stalwart and a gentleman who aided me with a column a ways back, our Calgary lawyer, Mike Styczen “Mike 2” (who is also a Blue Jays tracker). I’m not sure if Mike wasn’t being tongue-in-cheek with his submission:
For your ongoing column on MLB uniform redesigns, I’ve got one (attached) for the Blue Jays.
Its not very imaginative. They already have their perfect uniform in their past, 1989-1996, and the logo dates back to their founding. The fans loved it, they won two World Series wearing it. I don’t see any need to change a thing.
Um…thanks Mike. Moving along, reader Brian Cheung (who posts as “Random Reader”) is a man of many words. That’s fine, I enjoy when you guys explain your work. Here’s Brian:
Hey, LI Phil:
I just want to thank you for commenting on my mock-up Blue Jays road jersey. For a while now, I always wondered how they’d look with more blue in their jerseys and I finally decided to put my creative skills to use.
I’m actually a Yankees fan but I’ve just been bothered in recent years by all the black in the Blue Jays uniforms, that wacky font they use for numbers, and how the road jerseys and home jerseys don’t have matching fonts. To put it simply, I felt they could look a whole lot better.
I’ll start with their current road jersey first. I thought of it as being a step in the right direction for Toronto, since it employs a little more blue than the previous uniform in 2007, with that funky “Toronto” script in silver, graphite and white. After seeing this photo, I edited it by adding some red around the front logo and the numbers. I also made the cap blue, the sleeves blue, and tried to add blue accents in on the cap. I was quite surprised primary logo by changing the silver and graphite to shades of powder blue, in order to include a reference to the past in their current logo. I also darkened the blue jay itself, changing it from that light shade of blue to something more of a royal blue. I changed the blue border to red because red was always a color present in their logos and I thought their current logos looked very bland without red as an accent. I did the same with the road cap; I eliminated the silver and replaced it with powder blue and I also included some red to serve as a border.
Next was the jerseys. I actually used to like that wide font they use for names and that strange-looking font for numbers. But I got tired of seeing them and I suppose someone in the Blue Jays felt the same; the road uniforms changed in 2008 as the numbers were now in a different font, along with the logo on the front. But the road uniforms still had that italicized font. What I decided to do was employ the font used on the roads (I believe it is called Agency FB) and apply it to their home uniforms. I gave the nameplates the same font so that names don’t look like they take up half the uniform. I added powder blue to the numbers and gave them a red border. I kept the beveling effect as I see it as being a modernization of the classic Blue Jays number front, with that line running inside each number (I always thought it was cool and whenever I saw them, I always associated them with the Blue Jays). I altered the wordmark on the road uniform to make it powder blue—a nod to how the Jays once wore powder blue uniforms on the road. Originally, the wordmark was supposed to be royal blue but I realized the Jays would look too much like the Texas Rangers; I had to change it to powder blue to give the uniform its own look that won’t be mistaken for that of the Rangers.
For both the home and road, I got rid of the black socks, belts, and piping and made them blue. I also changed their all-black alternate uniform to make it an all-blue one. The team is named the Blue Jays after all, so it would only make sense to have some uniform have a lot of blue in it.
Hope you enjoy. I tagged most of the images just so others won’t try to pass my work as theirs.
Still more Blue Jays tweaks came in, this one from Matt Murray (who you may recall had earlier offered submissions for the Milwaukee Brewers). I have to say, this is some impressive work for someone who’s still in high school! Here’s Matt:
Attached are some Blue Jays uniform ideas. These concepts for the Blue Jays mix in a throwback look similar to the current Friday uniforms. I was also sure not to include the script “Jays” anywhere in these uniforms because THAT ISN’T THEIR TEAM NAME! I also kept the concept free of black. I reverted back to the old “bird on ball” logo for the caps. I opted to keep the maple leaf on the sleeves because that is pretty much the only thing I like with the current uniforms. It’s something that signifies the uniqueness of the franchise as the only team North of the Border. Both powder and gray away concepts are included. I haven’t gone to school for graphic design or anything like that, nor have I graduated high school! But I think it’s the thought that counts with the uni concepts. Hopefully I “get it!”
Still on the Blue Jays train, next up is Brian Arnold, who I think sent me these a loooooong time ago when Paulie Soto and I did our Fauxback column. If he did, and I neglected to post them, I apologize. Anyway, getting the play they deserve, here’s Brian:
I sent this link as a email a while ago when you did an entry about “fauxbacks”. I just saw your recent call for submissions, so I’ll send it again, maybe it will get some attention this time. Blue Jays Home and Blue Jays Road.
Phew…next to last in the Blue Jays tweaks, we have Sean Wilson. Here’s Sean:
Liked what you did with some of the NFL unis, especially the Falcons. On the Bengals, though, you’ve got to have the tiger striped pants stripe
Finally, we have UW Graphic Artist extraordinaire, Paul “Pretty Boy Paulie” Soto to round things out. Here’s Paul:
The Blue Jays have always had modern uniform designs. They never quite had an “old school” look. So what I wanted to give them here was a “classic” look. Complete with script wordmarks and serifed/bold numerals. Royal blue is their primary color, sky blue is their secondary and I kept the dreaded black as an accent color. An actual Blue Jay does have a black trim on their feathers. So, I can live with the black as long as it’s not the primary color. Plus I only regulated it to the road uniform. I feel it appears more appropriate there. We need more striped socks in the league so why not give ’em some. Here we have blue socks with alternating stripes that has white/sky blue at home and white/black on the road. The last time I did a Blue Jay uni modification I used a primary logo that combined two of their best logos in their history. It would be a dream to see them use that logo on their home caps and as a primary logo. The road cap features a script “T” that is loosely inspired by their current alternate cap. Stay “classy” Toronto.
“What about you, Phil? Don’t you have a Blue Jay mockup?” Well, sadly for you I do. I was never fond of the original wordmark/script, but I did love the bird. And I hate the current home and road scripts, with their beveling and black and gray. I was also not fond of the second generation font with the additional red. So I took their classic white and gray uniforms, and found the font to match those found in the Toronto Subway system. A very nice and basic font, but it’s classy and businesslike but not too formal. So — here’s the home and away look, with royal blue cap (also can use a sky blue cap at home and sky blue cap with sky blue trim and stirrups on the road). I just couldn’t bring myself to return the Jays to powder blue.
Well, there you have it. Obviously the Blue Jays should be the next MLB team to undergo a major overhaul. As we say, lots of “retro-inspired” designs, and a few who simply want to return the “blue” to the Blue Jays. My thanks to everyone who sent in a submission, and next time, we’ll get to the rest of the MLB overhauls.
OK, in case you missed it, last week, with the help of James Huening, I ran what we hope to be the first of several ‘unofficial’ polls to determine how we feel on uniforms. Don’t bother voting anymore, the poll is officially closed now. That poll, “Rate the NFL Home Uniforms” was an unmitigated success. We’ll have the results next week, but James wanted to give us a quick look at some of the preliminary results.
“Well, the votes are in. Some of the final results are still being tabulated, but the Uni Watch community has spoken and a team has been chosen as having the best home uniforms in the NFL. And it was truly a hard-fought battle for the top spot.
“If you recall, we asked you to rate each team’s home uniform from zero to five points. We also asked you to nominate a team as having the best uni and another as having the worst. Our top team averaged 4.24 points per response, barely edging out our second place finisher at 4.21. In addition, #1 was mentioned by 15% of you as having the best uni, compared to 12% for #2.
“The rest of our top five was equally competitive. The third, fourth and fifth place finishers’ average scores were 4.07 (9% of you thought they were the best), 4.05(6%) and 3.83(7%).
“So, to everyone who participated, thank you. It goes without saying that we couldn’t have done this without you and the response was overwhelming. We were hoping for 500, but we collected nearly 2,000 completed surveys! And people from literally all over the world checked in. We received responses from every continent. Yes, that includes Antarctica.”
Thanks, James. So now that the votes are in — which uniform do you think was rated THE BEST in the NFL? We’ll tell you next week, but why not give an early guess. Just post “Best: (insert team) ” down below.
In addition, a special thanks goes out to Adam Walter, who’s doing most of the heavy lifting on this endeavor, with his incredible data crunching and analysis.
Guess The Game From The Scoreboard: As the MLB season winds down this weekend, I’m running out of scoreboards…so, either you guys will have to keep sending me some, or we’ll be putting the game on a temporary hiatus. No worries today though, as SlimandSlam hooked me up with this one (although partial credit has to go to Squiddie)– and while in and of itself, it’s tricky, a little detective work on your part (read: the photo you’re about to see was run in one of my earlier columns) will help you solve it. Remember, PLEASE do not post the actual score and date, but rather, use Retrosheet or Baseball Almanac to link to your answer (if possible). Ready? Guess The Game. I think tomorrow we’ll try a football scoreboard, but I’m not sure how that will go over. Let me know what you think.
A Little Bit of This and That: Somehow we all missed the fact that the official team outfits for Canada’s 2010 Winter Olympics team were unveiled in Vancouver, and some are calling them, “Hoser chic,” while others are suggesting it smacks of a Conservative conspiracy and others noting similarities to an iconic Canadian military symbol. … The Oregonian is getting a lot of mileage out of their Dress The Ducks thingy, even encouraging opposition fans to clothe the
U of Zero Ducks in the worst possible combo … This item was posted earlier this week, but it proves once again that worst uniform polls should be decided by UW readers — in fact, in the coming weeks, we’ll be doing just that — stay tuned …Turns out they had to update the poll after readers had other thoughts about those worst unis … This article on the Islanders’ affiliate the Bridgeport Sound Tigers states they will wear uniforms this year that resemble those of the Islanders’ 1980 Stanley Cup dynasty. Unfortunately, no pics accompanied the article — little help? Teebz? … Apparently, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Which means every team, league and sport will be getting in on the pink uniform action … We all know that the Mets sucked this year, but according to NBCNewYork.com, the real villain in the 2009 Mets season was the shade of white used in the Mets’ home uniforms (sorta old news, but a nice shout out to Paul Lukas and the blog in the fourth graf) … If you thought the San Francisco 49ers were mixing too much purple into the red and too much yellow into the gold, well, you’re not alone … Pretty much no one knows that the NBA was segregated for it’s three first years of existence, which may not seem odd until you realize that Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier in the same year the NBA was founded. Roger Murdock Kareem Abdul Jabbar is directing a tribute to the Harlem Rens, the “greatest team you never heard of.” (since you read UW, you have heard of the Preston Rivulettes). The Documentary will be called “On The Shoulders of Giants,” and there are sure to be some great unis in it … The soon to be defunct UFL unveiled its helmet art yesterday — and I hope the league is around long enough for someone to work on a full uni breakdown column with me … The FAU Owls, who have one of the best unis in college football, will be playing their 100th football game ever today … Pretty cool look at the Princeton University logos here … Did you ever want to know how Ice gets laid? If you said “a couple drinks, sweet talk and Flunitrazepam,” you’d be wrong. … When you play the “fourth” sport in a big city and you haven’t been relevant since the mid-80’s, what do you do? Why, rebrand yourself of course.
That’s a wrap for today. Next weekend I hope to have the “Design A Cap” submissions all flickr’ed and ready, we’ll have the results of the voting on the “NFL Home Uniform” poll, and more. And that’s just next weekend. And there’s even more good stuff coming tomorrow. Nice college football today, and still some meaningful baseball in Detroit and Minnesota (where the Twins are hoping for one last miracle before they
shut the dump down cede ownership to the Mall of America). That could get very interesting because if the Twins and Tigers end up tied, the Twinks are supposed to host a tiebreaker on Monday — but there’s a twist, because the Dome might be busy. So they’d have to play Tuesday. Hmmmm.
Anyway, let the folks who mocked up some new Jay’s unis know what you think, and don’t forget to take a guess at what we, the Uni Watch community, thought was the best home uniform in football. Oh, and think pink.