2005 Baseball Uniform Changes
The Pirates haven't been any good for years, but they continue to wear classy threads. This year, they've added a sleeveless pinstripe that looks great... Except when worn with street clothes, that is.
Speaking of bad teams, Tampa Bay has made some uniform changes this year as well. They, however, have never looked classy. The new lettering across the road jersey (left) looks OK, and I actually like the new colored jerseys teams are wearing these days. This kelly green outfit, modeled by the now-retired Roberto Alomar, is a nice look overall, though I think that logo looks like a creepy bat or something. Then again, they didn't have a lot of options once they chose the "Devil Ray" as their mascot. At least the rainbow letters are gone.
The Cincinnati Reds have made some nice albeit subtle changes to their Red alternate jersey. That great baseball-head-man logo remains on the left sleeve. (Whatever happened to great logos? The days of cartoonish, entertaining symbols have given way to computerized, futuristic junk.) The white piping has been replaced with a more subtle black, and the Reds "C" logo has been merged with the team name, to create a nice overall effect on the left chest. Nice improvement here.
Two more jersey changes to take a look at here, one very subtle and the other stunningly over-the-top. The Giants (left) have added a almost-can't-notice-it gold drop shadow to their road grays. You won't likely see this anywhere else, and certainly not on the TV when you watch the now-Bonds-less Giants. The Atlanta Braves (right) have added an alternate jersey that just does not work. You have to be careful with red. For Cincinnati, it works. But red on red is never, ever good as in the Angels' cap or this particular example from the Braves. I'll pass.
And, just when you thought the Rockies couldn't look any sillier or worse, they add a black vest to be worn with a PURPLE undershirt (left). Why don't they just cut to the chase. If they want to look ridiculous, why not just go back to those horrible "futuristic" things they tried a few years back (right). AHHHHHHH! (Just remember the OOB motto: If baseball jerseys look like this in 50 years, I am glad I will probably be dead by then.
Patches are fun because they can incorporate a variety of elements into a uniform without turning that uniform into a parody design. The A's elephant, for example, is a great patch, but would be a disaster on the front of the jersey. Sometimes, they celebrate an event from the past, such as this year's 40th anniversary patch on the Twins home threads (below, left). Other times, it is just a simple team patch, such as the Washington Nationals have this inagural season (below, right). It is hard to see here, but this example also includes the words "Established 1905" which makes no sense and is fooling nobody.
The Blue Jays are wearing this patch (above) in 2005 to remember a tough winter where they lost former player Doug Ault, broadcaster John Cerutti and manager/executive Bobby Mattick.
The Tigers will be hosting the All Star Game at Comerica in July, so they are wearing the now-obligatory patch (left) to commemorate that event.
And finally, the Cardinals are spending their last season in Busch Stadium and are wearing a patch to mark this occasion (below). It is a really nice looking patch, probably the best of the ones added for the 2005 season.
Normally, alternate jerseys would be placed in the "jersey" section of this page. This time, however, the Boston Red Sox have brought us down to a new low. This gold-trimmed jersey, which is actually a very nice look and will probably sell like hotcakes, was worn exactly ONCE. Playoff game? Opening day? Series against the Yankees? None of the above. They wore it during a pregame ceremony when they received their 2004 World Series rings. So now, we have special unis for ceremonies.
Apparently, it has been so long since the team won anything that they have forgotten how to celebrate. What's next? Special threads for press conferences or TV appearances. Hold on Mr. Reporter -- I can't talk to you until I get my other jersey on!
Continuing the theme of really awful stuff, check out Brian Schneider's mask (left). I guess with the hockey-style mask becoming popular, it was only a matter of time until someone took it way, way over the top. Look, I love the masks in hockey - it is a cool way for a strange breed (goalies) to make a mark for themselves. But it is just not meant for baseball and this is just ridiculous.
But not as silly as the Braves' new jacket (above left), which is a "lovely" shade of light gray. I think Bobby Cox's expression sums up how we all feel about this wretched item. This is truly horrible, and probably says "Members Only" on it somewhere.
Of all the nonsense the Braves have added this year, the new alternate cap (above right) is not too bad. The tomahawk A makes for a slightly different but still familiar look, even if it does feel a little unbalanced and off-center.
The Cubbies removed the names from their home duds for 2005 (lower left).
Aaron Harang took the mound earlier this season in these impressive threads (below). You'll be glad to know that the new "CNCINNATI" alternate jersey did not last long, and Harang had it changed by the third inning. The Reds' announcer just deadpanned that there was no "I" in team, nor in Harang's jersey, which is both funny and inaccurate. He still had 2 "I's" to spare.
In the "truly pathetic department," the Dodgers honored Jackie Robinson in early 2005 by reverting to throwback "Brooklyn" jerseys (right). A nice touch, one would think, except that Robinson never wore these jerseys! They were used only in 1945, and Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. Nice research, guys!
When the Expos went to Washington D.C., there was a great opportunity for some classy uniforms to be created. Credit the franchise with having the good sense to resurrect both the red and the blue Senators caps to wear. But the class stops there. For some reason, the designers decided to use an entirely different typeface on the jerseys, thus creating a mismatched effect that looks a bit cumbersome (see above right corner photo). The do have a nice DC patch on their road duds, but they are still pretty boring. Apparently, the players don't like them too much either, as they have taken to occasionally wearing their batting practice jerseys during games (bottom right), which is of course, dumb. Especially those underarm color vent slashes. I hate those things.
Manager Frank Robinson just scowls and says he doesn't like today's
uniforms. "Too much red in them," he says. I guess he forgot what HE
used to look like (right) when he went to the ballpark...
For some much better ideas for the Washington franchise, look here.
Joshua V. Best -- May 6, 2005.
NEW WASHINGTON NAT'S UNIS