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Baseball Uniforms Always Being Reinvented

Baltimore Orioles unifomrs

Baltimore Orioles’ baseball uniforms

Baseball uniforms have grown in numbers over the years.  How many Major League teams have strictly one home and one away uniform?  Off the top of my head I would say only the New York Yankees.  They wear the classic pinstripes at home and then their road grays when they are away.  There aren’t any alternate navy jerseys (besides spring training), reversed pinstripes, or throwback uniforms worn every Sunday home game of the year.

The Yankees’ 1996 World Series opponent Atlanta Braves have a different uniform for every possible game scenario you can think of.  The Braves have white, gray, navy, red, and retro cream colored jersey tops.  They wear white, gray, and retro cream colored pants.  Three hats are also rotated through to create a total of 45 combinations.  The Braves won’t necessarily wear many of those combinations, but there is the possibility of mixing and matching.  Some fans like the plethora of uniform choices, while some prefer the simplicity of just a home and away.  Baseball uniforms shouldn’t be as complicated as anything from the University of Oregon.

I personally like most of the alternate uniforms that teams wear.  A lot of the baseball uniforms that had been worn as throwbacks a few years ago eventually ended up becoming a team’s current day main uniform.  The Blue Jays ditched their cutting edge black and blue logo and went back to the look that was donned in their back to back World Series appearances in the early 90’s.  The Baltimore Orioles switched their hats to show off the retro logo that is reminiscent of the Brooks Robinson days.  In Milwaukee, the Brewers still have a modern primary uniform but wear throwbacks on a fairly regular basis.   Their hat with the glove and ball logo is probably one of the most popular hats among fans as well.  It was definitely a favorite among many of my college teammates.  Luckily though the Rays didn’t stick with these made up throwbacks.

Colleges have a much wider variety of baseball uniforms among teams.  Some opt for the latest design implemented by the school’s sponsor.  Others have retro styles that are a hybrid of the past and present.  Colleges and university baseball teams are more inclined to update and change their uniforms on a more regular basis to keep fans interested and keep the sponsors happy by wearing the newest designs that are put out.  Very few teams have such a rich tradition that they aren’t willing to change their uniforms.  Clemson is one of the few teams that does seem to stick to the same look year after year.  Just like with other sports such as football and basketball, uniform changes are a way to get a school’s name in the headlines for 15 minutes of fame.

Another trend that has become a constant is when teams wear themed hats and uniforms for certain holidays.  On Mother’s Day, players wear every pink accessory possible.  There aren’t jersey or hat changes yet, but that may change by introducing pink hats in the future.  The same goes for Father’s Day where players have light blue wristbands and bats.  These aren’t mandatory, but many player s choose to embrace the option of using the special fixtures.  The Stars and Stripes caps have been around for a few years paying tribute to America and the troops on Memorial Day, Flag Day, and the 4th of July.  Teams wear red, white, and blue themed hats and have seen the recent addition of themed jerseys as well.

Baseball uniforms made for sleep?

One of the big changes to baseball uniforms has been seen in the style of pants that players wear.  Highlights of players have gone from players wearing baggy rolled up pants, to hip hugger tweeners, and most recently to huge sweatpants styles.  You could fit three players in a pair of pants that most players wear today.  Manny Ramirez really got this trend going back when he played for the Red Sox and had big hair and bigger uniforms.  Other players have been paying tribute to the old days of baseball through high pants with stir-ups.  Each player has a personal preference, although most players today seem to be leaning toward the MC Hammer inspired pants look.

Baseball Uniforms

The University of Oregon has some ‘state of the art’ baseball uniforms

If you look at the sleeves of some Major League teams, you will see patches that honor key moments in the team’s history.  Baseball uniforms almost always include patches.  There are patches that honor a keystone year such as a 50th anniversary of the team, a deceased player such as the Mets did for Gary Carter, and usually the World Series champion wears a patch the entirety of the following season to let everyone know that they are the defending champions.  Almost every team has at least one patch, even if it is only their lone All-Star representative wearing the All-Star patch from that year.  Every team doesn’t always deserve a representative, but that is another argument for another day.

There is an abundance of uniforms throughout baseball that show off every era of baseball.  From curved bills and flat bills, to baggy pants and high pants, to button up jerseys and pullover jerseys, every team has a reason for what they wear.  A team may be constantly changing its look to always sell new jerseys, or they may keep the same look because that is the way it’s always been.  At least teams have stayed away from wearing shorts, except for the 1976 White Sox.  I recommend checking out the Uni Watch for all the latest baseball uniform updates and trends.

Comments

  1. Rob Mcclaine says:

    I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. thank you

    • I built it myself using WordPress and then purchased the layout from StudioPress. They have a lot of options and you can customize pretty much everything. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Roger B. Calistrio says:

    A gentleman I know who was a good friend of Jackie Robinson was given a photo of Jackie Robinson sliding into home plate with Carl Furillo standing over the plate and a catcher bearing uniform number 21 wearing pin striped pants. I cannot find a catcher on any of the world series rosters for the Yankees wearing number 21. The question has arisen: was there a national league team wearing pinstriped pants in the Jackie Robinson era. I checked out the cubs but can’t find a number 21. We can’t figure out who the catcher is in this photo? Anyone have any ideas?

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