Well, they won’t have to worry about misspelling “Nationals” again.
So is there anyone who doesn’t think they would’ve been better off with that prototype that surfaced a week or two ago?
Sigh. Okay, here we go:
• The new primary logo: While I always thought the Nats’ beveled typography was somewhat problematic on the team’s jerseys, it worked really well on the team’s logo, which had a nice heraldic feeling to it. The little banner, the stars — it made it feel like every day was Opening Day, with bunting hanging from the grandstand the President throwing out the first pitch, all very appropriate for Washington. The new logo is fine for what it is — I’m a sucker for circular logos — but it doesn’t have the gravitas of the prior one (and besides, everyone’s using circular logos now). Not a bad design, but still a downgrade. So is it good or is it stupid? Stupid.
• The new home uniform: Well, nobody can accuse them of having over-designed it. And I don’t mean that just in a snarky way — in an era where so many teams go overboard, I’m surprised and somewhat relieved by the restraint they’ve shown here. But still, but still. Is it awful? No. But jeez, that script prototype is gonna go down as a major, major missed opportunity.
A few other details of note:
1) As you can see in the photo above, the placket piping is two-tone. Personally, I hate that — it should either be one color or else two like-colored stripes with a distinct color in between.
2) That same piping style extends to the pants, which used to have three stripes but now have only two. I hate that even more. Pants piping should be symmetrical!
3) I reallyreallyreally hate all these jerseys that have a logo on one side and a uni number on the other and they don’t align. Looks sooooo bad. If you want to have a jersey with a simple chest logo, just put the logo there and leave it at that, like the Yankees and Tigers do, or like the Giants used to do on the road (that’s a really underrated design, by the way). Skip the uni number on the front.
4) On the other hand, there’s one thing the Yanks and Tigers could learn from the Nats: If you don’t have a full-width chest insignia, you don’t need pro button spacing. The even spacing (which is also being used on the new red and blue alternates) looks sharp.
5) They’ve removed the gold beveling from the back uni numbers. That’s a kindness — it never looked right.
6) As you can see from that last link, they’ve also changed the MLB logo colors from blue-white-gold to red-white-blue. That change is team-wide (i.e., on all jerseys, on caps, etc.). An obvious improvement.
Overall: Not bad, but not as good as it could be. And definitely not as good as it would have been if they’d gone with the script. I suppose you could say it’s good enough, but I see it as a blown chance to do something special, and therefore stupid.
• The new road uni: I don’t care for the red-brimmed cap — too Braves-ish. The new sleeve patch is an upgrade, though. And look, they moved the sleeve piping down to the very end of the sleeve (here’s how it looks on an actual jersey). Can’t say I feel strongly either way, but it’s interesting that they went to the trouble to make that change. And at least this piping is three stripes instead of two. Oh, and if you look at that last link, you can see they’ve adjusted the spot where the script crosses the rubicon — that’s a plus. The cap is still a major problem, but the small improvement are enough to make this a push.
• The new red alternate: Again with the two-color piping and moving the sleeve trim to the end of the cuff. But in this case I think both of those moves work quite well, because the red background creates a red-white-blue effect. In fact, it’s kind of amazing how much better the sleeve trim looks. Red alternate jerseys are stupid by definition, but these small improvements still rate a score of good.
• The new stars/stripes blue alternate:
It’s a little hard to see, but they’re using a darker shade of blue, plus they’ve gone from the DC to the script W Who cares. Terminally stupid.
I’ll say this much: The Nats will be a better-looking team next season simply by virtue of no longer having the bevel-blocked uni numbers. And like I mentioned before, there’s something to be said for taking a restrained approach to uniform design. But while you can’t have too many Ws on the scoreboard or in the standings, you can definitely have too many in a uniform set.
Meanwhile: New ESPN column today — my annual college hoops roundup. Enjoy.
Giving credit where it’s due: Two follow-ups to yesterday’s entry about baseball cardigans. First, I mentioned that most of the photos were submitted by Mike Hersh, but I didn’t mention that he found most of them on the excellent Baseball Fever site, or that the panoramic photos came from Baseball Fever’s superb Vintage Panoramic Photos thread (you need to be a registered member to see most of the photos, but it’s free and painless), where they were originally posted by the pseudonymous BSmile. “I spend hours finding and editing the photos,” says BSmile, who created that panoramic thread and also contributes here at Uni Watch but under a different name. “I remove crease/separation lines, scratches, sharpen, add color, etc., etc.” So although Mike sent the pics my way, a lot of the credit really belongs with BSmile.
Meanwhile, reader Stan Olechowski responded to yesterday’s entry by asking this: “Do you have any idea where can I get a pattern for a dugout cardigan? My friend who knits is actually sorta excited about knitting me one — Mets blue with an orange NY!”
I’ve linked to various sweater knitting patterns before, but never anything like a heavy-guage dugout cardigan. Does anyone know more?
Poppy Season: NHL coaches and Raptors coach Jay Triano have been wearing poppy pins lately. That’s because today is Remembrance Day in Canada (just as it’s Veterans Day here in the States). If you’re not familiar with the poppy protocol, check out this entry I wrote four years ago.
Show and Tell reminder: Remember, one week from tonight I’ll be hosting/emceeing “Open Mic Show-and-Tell” at the City Reliquary. Participants should bring one object of personal significance and be prepared to talk about it — preferably in a highly engaging manner — for up to three minutes. If you’d rather just show up and watch, that’s cool too. Doors at 7pm (we’ll have a sign-up sheet for those who want to talk about their objects) and I’ll kick things off by doing a bit of showing/telling of my own at 8pm. Suggested donation: $5. Beer will be available. Bring me some fried chicken from the Commodore (next door to the Reliquary) and/or some smoked ’cue from Fette Sau (a few doors to the west) and I’ll
cover your admission fee or maybe buy you a beer or give you a free Uni Watch membership be very happy.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Many readers have noted that Eli Manning was wearing an old-style, non-stretchy jersey last Sunday. The distinction is most obvious at the collar, where Eli’s NFL Equipment shield had migrated north and was once again occupying that little triangle of fabric at the base of the V-neck. That will be even more noticeable if Eli sticks with the old-style jersey this Sunday, because the Jints will be wearing blue, which means we could see a reappearance of the little red triangle (which I never liked). I’ve been pestering Joe Skiba about this, and he says I should be patient with him — more details in a week or so. … I linked to the Asheville Tourists’ new logo set yesterday but neglected to mention two things: (1) It’s kinda cool that one of the new logos shows the moon eating a sparerib. (2) Stirrups! That said, the illustrations are still lame. Bring back Teddy Tourist! … The Rangers will officially unveil their third jersey — you know, the one everyone’s already known about since September — on Friday at Rockefeller Center (as noted by John Martorella). … Really interesting article about the guy who supposedly invented — but did not patent — the clear hockey face visor (with thanks to Kelly Hellman). … Rugby note from Caleb Borchers, who writes: “This week, Leicester played Australia in an exhibition during Oz’s tour of Europe. Since the game was not part of an official competition, Leicester used letters on their jerseys instead of numbers, as they had done historically (a tradition they had to discontinue in the ’90s. The letters, like numbers, related to positions — thus B would be a 2 on any other team, a hooker. O would be 15, a fullback, etc.” … Here’s a pretty good assessment of unnecessary on-screen graphics during NFL broadcasts (with thanks to Nathan Haas). … I really love this old Marine Corps baseball jersey. Too small for me, otherwise I’d bid on it. … Right on the borderline of being too small, but I might bid on it anyway: the coolest monochromatic baseball uni ever. And it’s wool! Man, can you imagine how sweet those green/orange stirrups will look with that uniform? The color combo is sort of like a reverse-field version of those Colorado State football alts from earlier this year, and by coincidence the eBay seller is from Colorado, but I think the team in question was actually from Oklahoma. … Are you a fan of Paul “Fitzy” Fitzgerald’s videos? Our own Brinke Guthrie is, and he just guest-wrote an entry on Fitzy’s web site. Oh, and be sure to check out the cool Wes Welker T-shirt design featured on that same page. … Here’s a stunner: Hank Greenberg in Yankee pins! “Seems he was working out with the NC team while on military leave and needed a uniform,” says Bruce Menard. … After I ran this photo in yesterday’s Ticker, someone in the comments wondered how a colorized version might look, so Larry Bodnovich took a stab at it. … New lacrosse helmets for Duke (with thanks to Jeff Brunelle). … Bernard Berrian has been fined $5000 for wearing yellow cleats last Sunday.