By Phil Hecken
A short while ago, we looked at the first seven American League teams were they to try “monochrome”. A couple of them, maybe, might be worth pursuing, should teams wish to pursue such a sartorial statement.
Shortly after that article appeared, reader Chris Powers sent me a few of his own “suggestions” for some monochrome looks. I’ll include those which fall into the second half of the American League below, and those which pertained to the teams from the first half will appear (with short writeups) after this article.
Lets look at the second seven teams:
Minnesota Twins: While not a likely candidate for monochrome (no history of it in their past), they do have (and are wearing with increasing frequency) a blue alternate. Like most teams who have a navy jersey, going full-on mono is a very tricky proposition, since it would require socks (and striped ones at that) and more than likely pants and sleeve striping, plus a two-toned cap in order to break up the “blue.” And since the Twins have no history of striped hosiery, we’d need to “create” some. As far as monochrome-candidacy goes, they’re way down there. Plain socks are too plain, so you’d need to add some kind of sock striping. Meh. Might be a look for a Sunday night game inside the Metrodome, but with most teams playing outdoors, it just doesn’t seem like this look would work for the Twins.
The Verdict: The Twins already have like five different uniforms (two pinstripes for home, a gorgeous road, the blue top, and a vest they seem to have put away for good). They certainly don’t need to add blue pants — and they should just retire the alternate blue top entirely.
New York Yankees: Why did I even bother mocking them up? Good question — I guess “for the hell of it” would be the best answer. The tradition-bound Yankees wouldn’t even entertain an alternate top, much less consider a monochrome uni. (Although, it must be noted, in 1975, then-General Manager Gabe Paul had prototypes similar to this made up and was ready to make the switch to them as their road uniform, but was persuaded by Marty Appel, the team’s PR head, to scrap them). One can only wonder how that would have looked. It’s doubtful any of those prototypes have survived, but talk about a great white whale. Anyway, should the Yankees ever decide to completely lose their senses (or have a non-patch tribute to mourn the Boss), they could resurrect that reverse pinstripes, or just go monochome midnight blue. Of course, they might wish to wear the road “New York” version instead.
The Verdict: Sure.
Oakland A’s: As we move from the realm of the sublime and ridiculous to the much more likely, we find the Oakland A’s. While they didn’t “invent” monochrome, Charley O’s club was responsible for more than their fair share of uniform innovation over the years. Unfortunately, their only distinction these days is being the only club to wear a green alternate, and they do still wear their signature white cleats. But aside from that, they’re pretty non-descript. But boy do they have a history of monochrome, even pre-dating the polyester era (and in it as well). They even gave fans who’d never seen the gold monochrome a look at it this year, when they held a throwback game against the likewise monochrome-clad Pirates. What better club to bring back the monochrome look than the A’s?
But wait, you say, the A’s don’t even have a gold alternate top now. True, but it’s basically been confirmed that they will be ditching the ridiculous BFBS alt and replacing it next season with a gold one. So, even though the A’s are the one team with whom the softball top look is associated, how might they look if they went monochrome? Probably not so good with a hunter green combo — the socks would require stripes (which is never a bad thing) but then the white shoes look odd. But what about the gold? They need to start wearing this tomorrow. Other than their national league counterparts, the Pirates and Padres, no team ever wore gold so proudly as did the A’s and an all-gold alternate uniform, I think, would be great. All green? Not so much.
Chris Powers’ take:: A’s All green: Oakland A’s player in monochrome green. Features pants stripe and stirrups. Is it bad that they don’t match? Also note the yellow/gold sanitaries.
The Verdict: Bring on the gold. And don’t even think about the hunter.
Seattle Mariners: The Mariners are an interesting case study. They have, as do about 74 other teams, an alternate navy top (yawn). So, the idea of seeing the Mariners in all navy even if you jazz them up with some nifty striped stirrups, is still not a look worth pursuing. However, although it’s not currently a part of their current alternate rotation, they did bring back their 1995 teal jersey for a throwback game against the Angels earlier this season. What about turning that into a full uniform? Pretty loud, but for a one-shot (or once to thrice a year)? OK, maybe not.
Ricko’s take: I figured the Mariners might work with a teal and silver striped version of the last Griffith Senators’ socks.
Chris’ take: (1) Mariners All Dark Stirrups: Ichiro in Monochrome dark navy. Dual-toned stirrup and opposite pant stripe from other Ichiro image.
(2) Mariners All Dark Stripe Sock: Ichiro in Monochrome dark navy. Triple-striped high sock with matching pant stripe.
The Verdict: Seems as though the monochome blue (and about 1/3 of all teams could wear it) would be just as yawn-inducing as the current crop of navy alternate tops, and the teal, while at least unique (although not very “baseball-like”) is just way too much.
Tampa Bay Rays: Another interesting possibility. They wear two alternate tops. They just added some really neat stirrups (that some of them actually still wear), and one of those alts is a powder blue top. It would seem logical then, were they so inclined, to continue the powder blue right down to the pants. You just know someone (and the Royals would be the other candidate) to bring back the powder blues, so why not the Rays? The other option, of course, is the navy blue route. *Sigh*
The Verdict: Baseball needs to bring back the powder blues, and since the Rays are halfway there already, why not? As far as the navy monochrome? Aren’t there enough of those tops already? How about they retire that one yesterday.
Texas Rangers: The Rangers are a blue team…no wait, they’re a red team. Actually, they’re both and while I personally prefer it when they trend toward the red (a rarely worn look) over the blue, it’s clear they simply cannot decide which color to emphasize. So, even if the were to go monochrome, either in red or blue, it still won’t quite look right. So the only thing left to do is to split the difference. Blue helmet and stirrups with a red uni? Yeesh. OK, how about if we add some red stripes to the blue? Yeah, um…no. Texas needs to return to the red at home with the team name on the homes and stop with the schitzophrenic combinations. And the last thing they need is to go monochrome.
The Verdict: The Texas Texases have a very nice uniform; if they must wear red AND blue, let them stick with the red caps and white unis at home, and the blue caps and gray unis on the road.
Toronto Blue Jays: Closing down our look at the American League is a team many of us feel is most in need of a complete overhaul. Since we’re not looking at that, we’ll work with what they have. Interestingly enough, the best uniform the Blue Jays currently wear is actually already a colored monochrome. The problem is, it’s a road uniform they insist on wearing at home. Their other uniforms are atrocious. One of a few black for blacks sake teams, it’s hard to picture them (much less stomach) wearing more black. Even adding more blue to that outfit wouldn’t save it. Ah…but there is a solution. Ditch the black entirely and create a real blue monochrome road uniform. Either that or return to the powder blues they sported so beautifully all those years ago.
The Verdict: First step: ditch the black. Second step: get all new uniforms. Failing that, a powder (or even darker) blue road uniform would be better than what they have.
Chris also offered his suggestions for the following teams, listed in last week’s column:
Angels All Red: Scott Spezio in Angels red uni. Simple single stripe down the pants and triple-striped stirrups.
Angels All Red with blue: Monochrome Angels uniform on Scott Spezio. Added blue accents after Phil suggested a return to some blue in the Angels unis.
Indians All Blue: Jhonny Peralta in monochrome Indians pajama pants.
Royals All Blue: Monochrome Royals uniform worn by pitcher in pajama pants.
White Sox All Black: White Sox Alex Rios wearing monochrome black uni. White-black-white pants stripe with pajama pants look. Not too awful in this look.
White Sox All Black Thome: Monochrome White Sox Jim Thome with high stirrup and a thin white gray stripe.
That concludes our look at the American League. Clearly, monochrome for six of the seven teams we looked at today would be a mistake (except for perhaps the Rays in powder blue), but the A’s should immediately consider wearing the all gold uniform (and dropping the black). Like yesterday.
As previously mentioned, I’m not advocating for monochrome, but clearly baseball design seems to have reached another nadir; not that I’m longing for a return to the 1970′s but when almost every team has a colored alternate top, and many have two (and neither of them are necessary), it’s time to once again think outside the box. I think many of us appreciated the throwback game between the A’s and the Pirates, and while I don’t think anyone is longing for a return to polyester sansabelts, most teams seem to lack any type of creativity nowadays. “We’re bored with our standard white and grays, so lets add a colored top.” And when they get bored with that, well, many teams add a SECOND alternate top.
Should every team dress like the A’s or the Bumblebee Pirates or the Astros of the 1970′s? Of course not. But a few teams who did things like that back then may have gone against tradition, but they at least got points for trying. And because it was limited to a few teams, it was somewhat unique (to each team). Now — everyone has a softball top or two and that’s about it. At least we’re seeing some teams favor hosiery again, and that’s a good thing.
I’d say the White Sox and the A’s (in the American League) should explore a return to their monochrome past. And every team really needs to bring back proper hosiery and end the pajama nonsense. As Chris’ couple creations show, there’s NO WAY monochorme would look good with the long pants.
The National League, which I’ll look at another time, has some intriguing possiblities for monochrome.
Geez…Is everyone planning on taking the month of August off? What is this, France? Here’s Rick:
If Paul can take August off (and lord knows he’s entitled to it), I’m gonna skip a Saturday. Not to worry, things are in capable hands. Well, pretty sure they are.
Here’s your Saturday Benchies.
Back again with more Uniform Tweaks, Concepts and Revisions today. Lots to get to, and if you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way. Still finding the tweaks have slowed to a trickle, so if you have something you’d like to show, give me a shout.
If you’ve been following the tweaks’ section lately, you’ll remember I got one mammoth set from Daniel Rerko, who actually sent along eighty-seven NFL separate tweaks. We’ve now reached the final batch of that giant set. As you remember, some of them were great, some weird and bizarre, and some even Daniel hated. Now then, is the fifth, and final, set:
49ers-No Stripes, Gold alt: Got rid of the weird stripes on the shoulders. Added a gold alternate that isn’t the best looking uniform ever.
Cardinals-Black Helmet, tie up loose ends: BFBS. But the black helmet looks nice.
Vikings-Old School: Inspired by the current alternate. Mustard yellow alternate is terrible, but I think the other two look really good.
Packers-Modernized: Terrible, ruining a classic. I feel terrible for even attempting this.
Lions-Old uniform, more black: BFBS. This is not a case where a black helmet works.
Eagles-the anti-BFBS: Replaicing the black with a silver element. The only remaining black is in the logos.
Titans-New Socks and Collars: Getting bored lead me to play with the socks, pants stripes and one of the collars. Other than that, nothing groundbreaking here.
Colts-Gray, modernized shoulder stripes, Black alt: BFBS. Just added some color to the the plain blue and white of the Colts. It turned out to be pretty bad.
Chargers-Greatest. Unis. EVER.: My favorite uniforms in sports history. I know this isn’t a tweak, but I needed to mention it as the greatest. All I did was just change the light a dark blue for the alternate.
Raiders-Silver Numbers, Minor changes: 50th AFL anni. jerseys without the older logo. The silver numbers with a black outline on a white uniform really appealed to me.
Cheifs-More Black: BFBS. Just trying to add some more color to a uniform. It turned out okay in some spots.
Patriots-Simplified, Red and Sliver alt: I just simplified the uniform, and turned the helmet white. I also gave two alternates a try.
Bengals-Simplified: Trying to fix a broken uni by breaking it even more. I like the old helmet, that is about it.
Browns-modern: Started with TV numbers on the helmet. Now i realize that the jersey stripes look like suspenders that a leperchaun should be wearing.
Steelers-Red Blue and Yellow: Steelers-Red white and blue to attempt an America’s Team uniform. Too bad Roethlisberger had to go ahead and ruin that one (Haha.)
OK. That’s going to close the book on Daniel Rerko’s tweaks, all 87 of them. Gotta say, he took some chances and came up with some crazy schemes, but they were still a lot of fun to look at. Thanks, Dan.
Back with more from the rest of the UW tweakership next time. Keep ‘em coming — especially now that the dog days of August are coming, and they’ll be getting some weekday play while Paul’s
sitting around on his keester getting a much-deserved vacation.
Back at the beginning of the 2010 season, I announced the 2010 Uni Tracking that a number of us do. Last year, I devoted about four full weekend columns to it, and that was probably a bit much for most of us to take in one dose, so this year, I’ll occasionally post the updated tracking of certain teams as the trackers send them in. So, if you’ve been doing your due diligence with your team, send me your mid-season tracking reports, and I’ll post them as a “sub article” on the weekends. OK? OK!
Today’s first featured tracker is Brandon Davis who is tracking the Athletics of Oakland. I apologize in advance for the screen grabs, but Brandon sent me a PDF and for some reason I couldn’t turn it into a google doc. Brandon’s tracking is through the All Star break:
Attached (Tracking Part I, Tracking Part II, By Starter & Jersey, Uniform #s I, Uniform #s II) is my uniform tracking for the Oakland Athletics through the 2010 All-Star break. The A’s are a better team at home at 26-20, including a 9-4 mark in black — that’s as many wins in black as the 2009 A’s donned the black jerseys (they finished 3-6).The A’s are performing poorly again in the green road alternate jerseys at 8-15. The A’s wore green at home for Earth Day though and won that game. As always, the starting pitching skews the jersey win-loss record since starters gravitate towards certain jerseys. Of the seven regular starters (including Justin Duchscherer and Brett Anderson since they were injured and not spot starters), only Duchscherer never wore white. Only three pitchers have worn black and every starter but Vin Mazzaro has worn the road grays (excluding Clay Mortensen’s sport start in green with the stars/stripes cap). The two pitchers who have not worn the road greens are both injured (Duke and Anderson).
A few other random tidbits:
- When wearing a special patch (mother’s day, father’s day, etc.) or cap (Memorial Day, Fourth of July weekend) the team is 6-1.
- The helmet decals have nearly all been converted to the newer style A implemented in June 2009 but Jack Cust and Kevin Kouzmanoff still have incorrect decals.
- Kurt Suzuki continues to use an all-green road catcher’s helmet despite the A’s eliminating the all-green helmet last season.
- At least five A’s have been wearing caps with gray underbrims.
I’m sure there will be plenty more to report by the end of the season!
Next up is Michael Burnett, who has been closely monitoring the Arizona D-Backs. Here’s Michael:
I have been tracking the Arizona Diamondbacks myriad of uniforms for the first half of the season. We have gone through an exciting opening day win, a dismal 10-game losing streak, beating the Yankees, a managerial firing, and are on pace for a 100 plus loss season.
Anyways, all of the uniforms except for one have a losing record. Ironically, the one that I hate the most (BFBS) is the only winning uniform. The uniform pattern is as follows: Sedona Red jersey for Wednesdays, Sundays, and holidays, Black jersey for Saturday home games, and grey and white for all other road/home games. The only exception is when they play a team like the Braves or Astros who wear red at home.
Attached is the graphical representation of the Uni-Tracking.
Here are the records:
* Sedona Red Cap, White Jersey, White Pants (10-12)
* Sedona Red Cap, Grey Jersey, Grey Pants (8-22)
* White/Red Cap, White Jersey, White Pants (1-0)
* Sedona Red Cap, Sedona Red Jersey, White Pants (6-8)
* White/Red Cap, Sedona Red Jersey, White Pants (0-1)
* White/Red Cap, Sedona Red Jersey, Grey Pants (0-1)
* Sedona Red Cap, Sedona Red Jersey, Grey Pants (5-7)
* Black Cap, Black Jersey, White Pants (4-3)
* White/Red Cap, Black Jersey, White Pants (0-1)
* When I am at the game (3-9)
Thank you gentlemen. Alright, all you trackers, anyone who hasn’t yet sent in their updates, now is a great time to do so.
And finally, your Cream City Brew Crew did the throwback thing last night, against the Nationals, breaking out the 1997-1999 unis, designed by Uni Watch favorite Todd Radom. I was never a big fan of this design, and of course, it appeared as though all the Crew wore pajamas. Interestingly, it doesn’t look like they wore new helmets, but rather, repurposed their current ones with new logos. Either that, or they had a bunch of scuffed lids lying around.
Of course, you probably know that not only did Todd design the Brewers “MB” logo, he also designed the Nationals logo. In fact, his portfolio is pretty impressive. UW’s favorite golf pro, Johnny (on the spot) Okray was quick to point out that the jerseys were lacking the Jerry Dior logoman on the back. Nice touch, Brewers.
That’s all for this fine Saturday, folks. As you all have likely seen or heard, Paul will be taking a much deserved vacation (scroll down to “Big News”) during August — as such, I’ll be handling the weekdays and Ek will take my weekends. Most of the weekday posts won’t be anywhere near as lengthy or intricate as the weekend’s have become (I think we’re all thankful for that), but I’ll be bringing you content every day — if there is a topic you’re interested in seeing, or if you’d like to work on an article with me, drop me a line. OK? OK!
Everyone have a great Saturday.
So you won twenty games? Why didn’t you win thirty? — Charles Finley (to Vida Blue after the 1972 season)