New Looks - 2004
New Uniforms and Logos in Major League Baseball
ALTERNATES AND PATCHES
Texas unveiled a new alternate uniform for 2004, adding a classy sleeveless look (right top) that will be used from time to time at home. These new jerseys are popular, overwhelmingly approved by fans around the metroplex. These same fans would far prefer, however, to have the return of the red threads from 1994, a look they associate with the winning teams of 1996, 1998, and 1999. (Buck Showalter loves the old red hats, and they are still being sold out at the park. This bodes well for fans of the old look, as Buck usually gets what he wants.)
One criticism I have of the sleeveless jerseys is the number on the front. Without it, I think we'd be looking at one of the classiest uniforms the team has ever worn. I think they look like stick-on numbers and cheapen the overall appearance of the jeseys. Everything else, including the blue piping, is a hit.
The Indians have included a 10-year anniversary patch (right bottom) to their uniforms to celebrate their ballpark, Jacob's Field, which opened in 1994. You'd think these would incorporate the park in some way, but instead there are just those three stoplights.
OOB has long been in favor of the Twins' bringing back the old "Twin Cities" hats. This year, they add a new twist - actually an old twist, as they go back to the red color (right) they used in the 1970's.
The purple and black of the Colorado Rockies is a unique color scheme. This year, they have switched the colors on their alterate cap from a black background to a purple one (right). I guess how this looks will depend on the uniforms they are wearing with them, although I have to be skeptical. Surely there is some reason there has never before been a purple hat in league history.
Reversing the trend to go to more and more jerseys and hats, the Mariners have eliminated their green-billed cap and will wear the navy (right) with all uniform combinations.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays have "de-Canadianed" their entire look, a trend in the making for several years. The new Blue Jay itself looks great (pictured at right), though it will never compare with the original, a classic look that has long been an OOB favorite.
The combination of the bird with the "J," however, is not so great. In fact, it looks downright silly on the hats (shown upper right, as worn by pitcher Ted Lilly), where it appears to be entirely too big. A better concept would have been to place just the bird on the hat.
Another problem with those new hats is the color. Toronto's team is not the "Gray Jays," though after the addition of this new cap, that's what I will be calling them.
The new home uniform is white with the combo J-Bird leading the word "Jays" in script across the chest. It reminds me of the Devil Rays home uniforms, except of course, for the color. (Jays/Rays?) Hmmmm.
I like gray/silver mixed with blue, and many teams use it successfully. But the Toronto Blue Jays really should be, pardon my cynicism, blue.
San Diego Padres
One of two teams opening new ballparks in 2004, the Padres also decided it was time for an overhaul in the uniform and logo departments. Sadly, the changes are non-descript and frankly, boring. In fact, the team sort of looks like the Brewers now, a franchise I know I would be anxious to emulate. (?!?!)
The hats still feature the interlocking SD, with no
alternate cap announced. Home uniforms (below
left) feature a script mascot name on white and
look like something out of the minor leagues. An
alternate third jersey (below right) features a navy
background and the addition of the classic
"swinging friar" logo (right) on the sleeve.
The road uniforms are superior to the home design, with unique lettering. Though difficult to see in the modeled photo (inset right), the color of the away threads is not traditional gray, but a yellow-tan they call "sand." I'll have to see these in use before passing judgment on them. And though I like the idea of using a color other than gray, and even think a light tan color might work, I have the sneaking suspicion these might look like pajamas when they are actually worn on the field.