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The Royals have been so bad for so long that it’s easy to overlook how good their uniforms have been for most of their history. Aside from that brief BFBS hiccup a few years ago, they’ve generally gotten it right. And yesterday they made a good uniform set even better. Let’s take a look:
• The new powder blue alternate jersey: Several changes here: They’ve switched to a different shade of blue; instead of a blue insignia with a white uni number, it’s now the other way around (all type on the back will still be white); and they’ve scrapped the powder blue cap, so now this jersey will always be worn with the primary cap. (Contrary to what a tipster had suggested to me, they are not going with powder blue pants.) I like most of these moves, although I think the jersey would be even stronger if they’d made the front uni number white along with the insignia. Still, on the good/stupid scale, this is definitely good enough.
• The new road uniform: As you can see, they’ve made some tweaks to the insignia. They’ve also switched the shade of gray to “a deeper-looking blue/gray tonal quality that will enhance the other colors featured in the uniform,” whatever that means. And the piping on the sleeves and pants, which had been blue, is now blue and white. I’m fine with all of these moves, especially since I thought the insignia had looked a bit cramped and compressed before. Good.
• The All-Star Game patch: This isn’t really new — the design has been floating around for months — but it’s nice to see it in context. I like the crown and the heraldic-seeming banners. Good.
• The new number font: Not sure if this is actually happening. The new set, which is the same font the Giants use, is shown in the MLB Style Guide, but all the jerseys at yesterday’s unveiling used the old font. It isn’t clear yet if this means they’re sticking with the old typeface (which I prefer over the new one) or if they just couldn’t be bothered to use the new one for the unveiling event. Too soon to say.
Further details on all of this here.
New Gazoo Review: Blood testing, shmlood testing. The real news in MLB’s new collective bargaining agreement is that the Rawlings S100 batting helmet — currently mandatory in the minors but rarely used in the bigs — will become mandatory for all MLBers in 2013. Rawlings is supposedly working on a newer, less bulky version of the S100, although I don’t have have any details on that yet. Stay tuned.
Another uni-related item from the new labor deal: Players will no longer be permitted to carry smokeless tobacco products in their uniforms. That means one of baseball’s most time-honored visual details — the outline of the circular tobacco tin in a player’s back pocket — is now extinct. Let’s all spit a big, brown goober to mark its passing.
Notre Dame auction results: The auction for the Notre Dame promo box was extremely successful. The top bidder was a Notre Dame alum who prefers to remain anonymous, but suffice it to say that his winning bid — a whopping $10,020.04 — was extremely generous. He’s chosen to donate the entire amount to Doctors without Borders (who, as you can imagine, are thrilled). I’ll be proud to add my own $1000 to his donation.
My thanks to everyone who participated in the auction, and also to the many of you who couldn’t afford to bid but nonetheless took the time to send me “attaboy” notes. I appreciate everyone’s support.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Mmmm, look at all these old NBA logos — tasty (from Mike Hersh). … Joshua Pryor has started an online petition to get the Astros to change their uniforms. … Good job by Tim Donovan, who found three 1993 photos of Drew Bledsoe with three different uni number fonts. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: New helmet logos for the Elite Football League of India, which will begin play in 2012. … New uniforms for the Philadelphia Union (from Enrico Campitelli Jr.). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: What’s up with the black stripe on the Giants’ right sleeve/shoulder seam? Turns out it was a memorial band for assistant coach Bob Ledbetter. I’m a lifelong Giants fan and have absolutely no memory of this detail, but sure enough, a bit of photo research shows that it was there. Are there any other example of a football memorial being worn in that particular spot? … Hey, here’s a novel idea: an article about Oregon and Nike (from Chris LaHaye). … New cycling kit for Lotto-Belisol (from E. Berg). … Good article on NHL mustaches (from HHH). … Okay, this is really odd: President Obama’s re-election campaign is selling a basketball jersey. I’m assuming this is a first (from Michael Kramer). … Those blue Adidas sneakers at the Maui Invitational look pretty ridiculous, although of course I like the striped socks.
Holiday schedule: Uncle Frank won’t shut up about that damn BMW of his? Kids won’t stop bickering? Stuffing’s too dry? No worries — Uni Watch will be open for business tomorrow, providing a handy escape from all the holiday hoo-hah. So if you find yourself about to blow a gasket over this or that, just excuse yourself from the dinner table and hunker down at the computer for a few minutes. You’ll feel your blood pressure returning to normal in no time.
If you’re on the road or in the air today, travel safe. If you’re going to someone else’s house, bring flowers. And if you’re cooking, use more butter. See you back here tomorrow.