By Phil Hecken
What do you get when you combine the
insane genius multicolored mind of Jim Vilk with the tweaking talent of Tim E. O’Brien? Well, you get today’s main article.
A little while ago, Jimmer approached me with an idea to “fix” some of MLB’s teams — leaving some alone (“Don’t Change A Thing,” or “DCAT”), making minor adjustments to others, and some wholesale revisions to a few more. His problem? He said he doesn’t quite have the skillset to graphically show what he was proposing. So I said to Jim, “Why don’t you see if Tim E. can help you out?” About 24 hours later, problem solved.
Today I am pleased to bring you an unique collaborative effort between Messrs. Vilk and O’Brien — Jim dreamed up the changes, and Tim put them
to paper in graphic form. I think it’s a pretty good marriage.
As with everything Vilkian, I pretty much disagree with everything he’s done — but that doesn’t mean I’m right. On Uni Watch, everyone has an opinion. Here’s how Jim (with assistance from Tim) would tweak the major leagues. Enjoy:
Jim and Tim’s traveling tweak show
by Jim Vilk
As most of you know by now, I have lots of uni design ideas but very few design skills. That doesn’t mean my ideas are bad (OK, some of them are), but it can be hard to show what I’m thinking when I’m limited to a box of 64 crayons. That’s why I’ve enlisted the help of the talented Tim E. O’Brien for my latest project, tweaking Major League Baseball. Relax, it’s not as bad as you think it’s going to be. I’m leaving ten teams alone; another fourteen have very slight tweaks. That leaves six teams whose unis I want to blow up and start over, and most of them just need to go back to a previous era for inspiration. Only one team’s fans need to shudder in anticipation of what I want to do to their uniforms. With that being said, let’s get the untouchables out of the way first.
The “DCAT” list
To borrow an abbreviation from Jerry Reuss, “DCAT” (I’m pronouncing it “DeeCat”) means “Don’t Change A Thing.” The following teams can breathe easily:
• Athletics (although I would like the road jerseys to say “San Jose,” but that’s an issue for another season)
• Marlins (only because I’m waiting to see what next year’s unis will look like)
• Phillies (assuming they’re no longer the Philllies)
• Red Sox
• White Sox (yeah, I said it)
The “Tweak” list
Most of the teams on this list got here because of one small thing – the way their lettering goes across the chest. While I like button-down jerseys, I grew up in the polyester pullover era and could easily live with those making a return. For your sakes, though, I’ve come up with a compromise that will avoid such a scenario. The first team, however, is on here for two other reasons.
• Angels: First, get rid of the red alt jerseys. Second, while I can live with the pointy font on the letters, it doesn’t look good to me on the numbers. Fix that and you’re done, Anaheim…uh, LA…uh, oh yeah, fix the name, too…
• Braves: Back to what I was saying about lettering: I don’t like when a word is awkwardly broken up on a button-down jersey. Atlanta’s jerseys are one of the worst offenders. Aside from resorting to a pullover, they could shrink the lettering just enough so that it breaks up as “Atl anta.” I like it better when a word splits at the syllable, but at least “Bra ves” is even on the home jersey, and “Atl anta” splits at the city’s abbrevation “Atl.”
• Dodgers: Tweak the classic home jersey? Just barely. Make it split at “Dod gers” instead of “Do dgers.” For the road jersey, take the interlocking LA off the sleeve and put it over the player’s heart, replacing “Los A ngeles.” Done.
• Orioles: Lose the black alt and split the lettering on the road gray to say “Balt imore.” Also, since the catchers and base coaches wear the retro helmets, bring back those
hats for the players. I’d wear the cartoon bird at home and the regular bird hat on the road.
• Rangers: This font’s not quite as pointy as the Angels’. It can stay. Don’t know if I want the home whites to say “RAN GERS” or just “T.” You decide.
The “What Were You Thinking?” list
For the most part, these are easy fixes – just go back to what you never should have left. For instance:
• Blue Jays: Hello? Two World Series titles ring a bell with you? Bring back an all-time classic.
• Brewers: The ball-in-glove logo was genius. Use the 1990 style. Just make sure the lettering splits as “Bre wers” and “Milw aukee” and doesn’t overlap.
• Diamondbacks: Go back to 2001, with two tweaks. On the road jerseys, remove the sleeve patch and make sure the lettering splits as “ARI ZONA.” On the home jerseys, remove the sleeve patch and replace the A logo with the snake D logo.
And now for something completely different
…that’s right, the Indians. While I’m not against honoring Native Americans on sports teams, that name and mascot really need to go. The name bothers me more, because This…Is…Not…India. All Cleveland needs to do is go with the secondary nickname that’s used at every game when the fans yell, “Let’s go Tribe!” I know, some of you don’t like names that don’t end in “s,” but give it a try. I’d tweak the 1974 “Caveman” uniform. I love that font, but I’d make the jerseys button-down with “TRIBE” on the home white and red alt, and “CLEVELAND” on the road gray. Also, I’d drop the sleeve patch, and since I didn’t go for the full-on bloodclot look, I’d give them all red shoes.
Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?
Thanks to Tim and Jim for this effort. What say you, Uni Watchers? Home run? Strikeout? Somewhere in between?
by Rick Pearson
Who are we kidding with all this waxing rhapsodic about Spring, anyway. I mean, really.
And as always, the full size.
We have another nice of tweaks today.
If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.
Remember, if possible, try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per tweak. You guys have been great a keeping to that, and it’s much appreciated!
And so, lets begin:
Up first is Stephen Peters, with a Houston Rockets concept:
Logos and jerseys since the mid-to-late 90s have not been too kind to the Rockets franchise since winning back-to-back NBA titles.
In 2002, the Rockets made Yao Ming their number one pick, then subsequently moved into the Toyota Center in 2003. With the change in venues, the team with with a change in branding.
What I’ve done is taken the colors and script from the “Glory Days” in Houston, made some changes to the second to last logo and meshed them together into a nice little package.
LOGO: What I did here was change the color of the ball from Mars to the Sun (red to yellow). Take the orbit and grooves from the late 90s logo and changed them from blue to red. I then removed the face and wings from the rocket, recolored it and put coming from behind the sun. Then copied the script from the logo used for 20+ years, shrunk the “T” to match the other lettters’ size and superimposed it over the ball.
That’s all for this one. I’ll start working on the Mavs since they seem to have an identity crisis, too.
Next up is Jed Herrera, who has a Washington “Basketball” concept:
With the upcoming re-branding of Washington Basketball next season, I created this little concept. By tweaking the colors of the 1970′s Bullets logo, this would be the inspiration for the revamp. I used 3 new color shades instead of the proposed/traditional Red, White, & Blue because too many teams already implement R,W,B. Also instead of using home Whites, Grey is just a better alternative. The whole idea was to keep the jersey simple b/c I saw how great the Cavs jersey turned out.
Next up is Joseph Abraham, who asks a simple question:
Why won’t the browns make the change back to the numbers on the sleeves? The current sleeves look ridiculous!
And closing down the show today is Michael Kearney, who has a Tampa Bay Lightning tweak:
After seeing the new uni’s the the Lightning will be wearing next season I decided to take a stab at improving the new look. Nothing too extreme, just eliminating the black trim that they had added and adding silver as the secondary color. I also replaced the missing “Victory Stripes” under the arms.
Thank you tweakers. Back tomorrow with more.
Pick Your Mick
You fine folks will recall that for the past several weeks, Rick has been soliciting “tweaks” for one of the main characters in his comic strip, Benchies. We received a bunch of great entries, and the “official” outfit will be broken out tomorrow, just in time for Masters Sunday. Ricko has a favorite, but he felt that five of the submissions were truly outstanding, so what he’s asked me to do is see if the readers have a preference.
Below, I’ll post each of the five “finalists” and ask that you guys pick a favorite and post that in the comments below or drop Ricko a line. Quite honestly, I think they are all outstanding (and they are) but if you folks really like one of these five, please let us know. I’ll withhold the names of the finalists till tomorrow, so as not to influence anyone’s voting.
Without further ado and in no particular order, here are the five finalists for the “Dress Mick” contest:
1. Mick #1
2. Mick #2
3. Mick #3
4. Mick #4
5. Mick #5
These are all great, so you really can’t go wrong by picking any single one — but give it a shot — help Ricko pick a winner for tomorrow’s special Benchies. Cast your vote in the comments below.
☞ The Mets broke out the rarely worn creams. They lost in ugly fashion, but at least one guy can’t be accused of ugly fashion. Surprisingly, David Wright, who usually goes high-cuffed during day games, wore bellbottoms.
☞ The Twinkies also broke out their home creams. They didn’t lose in them.
☞ The Sawks played their seventh game yesterday. It was their first “W.” Yaz got creamed, but is it time to panic?
☞ Damn this is a nice uni. Looks like Bobby is enjoying retirement.
That’s going to be a wrap for today everyone. Enjoy the second weekend of baseball 2011, and moving day at The Masters.
See you tomorrow.
I learned something today. That I’d have had a lot more info if I’d had the Internet in 1974. I apologize for that. Sincerely. — Richard Pearson