I like jerseys. I’m no fashionista by any stretch — I got married partly because I wanted someone who could help dress me — but I like the creativity and symbolic significance that go into the designs of jerseys.
That said, nobody’s perfect, and I like coming up with new ideas for jerseys. I’d sketch them out, but hand-eye coordination has never been my thing. That’s why I type about baseball instead of actually playing it.
Anyway, I have some suggestions for each team in terms of making their jersey sets better. I apologize in advance to the Diamondbacks, Padres, and Rays. It’s constructive criticism, I swear.
- Angels: Add a navy-blue alternate jersey. I get wanting to be the all-red team, though Washington has since co-opted this to an extent. That said, the lettering and numbering would pop against navy blue. It’s a classic look, especially for the Angels.
- Astros: Do something different with the font on the front of the jersey. The colors are cool, but the font is so basic. There’s nothing unique about it, which is strange given how unique your uniforms have historically been. Perhaps something like the early 1970s but without the shooting star above it would be cool. As it stands now, it looks a bit like an old-school little-league jersey, which is cool in its own right, but definitely not major-league.
- Athletics: Go back to the kelly green. Scrap the forest green in favor of the kelly, and all will be well. Forest green’s dull; kelly green’s where it’s at. It pops more, it looks fresher, and it hearkens back to the wild and exciting days of Oakland A’s history. And that alternate green jersey you guys wear will be look awesome in the kelly hue.
- Blue Jays: Scrap the dark blue spring training/BP hats. They don’t match the jerseys, and it comes off like you’re trying too hard to emulate the Maple Leafs. I like the leaf; I don’t like the color. Stick with the red-leaf-on-royal-blue look. That’s pretty slick.
- Braves: Time to get rid of the tomahawk. It’s racist. You may think it honors indigenous people. It doesn’t. Besides, the uniform without the tomahawk looks quite sharp — the font plays well on its own. (Also, work on phasing out that name for the same reasons mentioned earlier in this paragraph.)
- Brewers: Make the ball-in-glove logo the main cap logo. Also consider centering the ball in the glove (a mild pet peeve of mine) and permanently going back to the royal blue and yellow — a great color combination that’s sorely missing in the game today. We all know the players love the ball-in-glove logo, given the team wears the alternate dark-blue tops with the logo and the corresponding hat every chance it gets, and the fans all love it as well. It’s a winner. Go with it.
- Cardinals: It’s hard to improve on the classic birds-on-bat look. That said, bring back the navy-blue hats. I have no idea why the Cards got rid of them. They worked well with the road jerseys.
- Cubs: Again, it’s hard to improve on the Cubs’ jerseys — simple, recognizable, classic. If anything, with the blue alternates, make the C-bear logo about 2/3 the size it is now. It’s just a little too big and looks awkward.
- Diamondbacks: What in the hell did you guys do here?! I’m supposed to make just one change? Who made these rules anyway? Oh wait, it was me. Anyway, if I can make only one change, I’d get rid of the gradient. It’s distracting and doesn’t look major-league, like at all. Frankly, the whole ensemble looks like an under-14 club team’s jerseys, designed by parents who hate their kids. Anyway, I’m abandoning my aforementioned rule here. Get rid of the dark-gray pants. That color works well on a sports car, but not a jersey. Put cuffs on the pants as well. Now there is one aspect I ended up particularly liking about these jerseys: the teal accent ended up looking pretty cool, a lot more so than anticipated. Every other element of the jersey is atrocious, but at least the teal piping is cool. Actually, you know what? I’ll go back to making only one change, but I’m going wholesale with it. Scrap all those jerseys and go back to the 2001 look, when you won the World Series. It’s clean, it’s unique, it’s what people think of when they think of the Diamondbacks, and D-Backs fans associate that look with a winner.
- Dodgers: Like the Cubs and Cards (and very much unlike the D-Backs), there’s not much to alter here — the script is just classic, and removing the white outline on the road jerseys five years back worked out very well and added an even more classic feel. Hell, even the new raised lettering on your batting helmets is a winner. If anything, scrap the D hat from Spring Training and maybe, for the sake of a bit of contrast, add a red BP hat, just to go with the number on the front of the jersey. I feel that the red hat is likely to be the dumbest suggestion on this entire page, but it’s worth a shot.
- Giants: Once again, classic look, hard to improve upon. You’ve even done your alternates right — I especially love the orange one with the script logo. I can think of one small change that would really look awesome. On your batting-practice cap, just to make things a bit different, alternate the orange and black in the logo, so it’s an orange outline around a black logo, like with the black alternate jersey. The current black outline gets lost.
- Indians: You’ve been doing well in phasing out Chief Wahoo (hopefully you’ll eventually phase out the name as well, or at least take a route similar to the minor-league team in Spokane). That said, the block-C logo is ridiculously boring. Bring back the C you used on your caps in the mid-1970s. That C just pops — it’s unique, it’s interesting, it’s inoffensive, and if you use it enough it will just inherently be associated with the team.
- Mariners: Switch the outlines around the wordmarks, letters, and numbers, back to emerald green on the inside and silver on the outside, like it was from 1993 to 2014. Yes, the green and silver are a bit lost that way, but the way it is now makes it look kind of blurry from a distance.
- Marlins: Blue alternate jerseys and hats, please. I could make a bunch of other suggestions, but this one stands out well above all others. That shade of blue is awesome, and you need to make use of it. Right now, your logo has four or five colors, but you only really make use of black and orange, like you’re the Giants or Orioles. Throw in the blue as well. It’s a different enough shade that you won’t be confused with the Mets. I’m not the first person to suggest this, but at the same time, it needs emphasis.
- Mets: Get rid of the alternative caps with an outline around them. They just don’t look right with the “other” classic interlocking NY. Orange contrasts with blue enough that the outline isn’t necessary. If anything, bring back this classic.
- Nationals: Change the font on the backs of the jerseys, at least regarding the entirely-too-clunky numbers. That font for the numbers was alright when the accents gave it a three-dimensional look, but it’s awkward without it. In fact, just add the accents back on. It looks pretty sharp that way.
- Orioles: One of either two things: Either get rid of the white panels on the front of the cap, or change the wordmark on the jerseys to the one from 1966-88 — the only wordmark you’ve ever won a pennant while wearing (1944 St. Louis Browns notwithstanding). I prefer the latter over the former. That said, doing both makes for a damn good look — one that’s associated with winning as well.
- Padres: Commit to brown already. I wrote up a large description for the home jersey, but instead, just look at this, and invert the colors for an alternate jersey top. Also, for the rest of this year, just immediately scrap the massively dull road jersey you have now, wear the All-Star unis for the rest of the year, and then change the colors next year to brown and white. Also, add an alternate cap with the Swinging Friar on it. Everyone loves the Swinging Friar! One last note: Just have brown. Orange doesn’t look right, yellow and orange with brown look a bit too 1970s, and yellow and brown look too much like pee and poop. Brown can work alone here. It has before.
- Pirates: Yet another pretty classic look here. The home uniforms border on perfection, though I’m not a fan of the road jerseys as much. The word “PITTSBURGH” just looks clunky with that font. You should switch back to the cursive look from your early-1990s road jerseys (though keep the numerical font as it is today). It’s clean and not clunky.
- Phillies: Saturday. Night. Specials. The greatest alternate uniform never to catch on, should. I could suggest small tweaks, but really, the Phils are fine as is. That said, give us the Specials!
- Rangers: Bring back the raised and beveled wordmark from your World Series days. The flat look you have now looks ... well, flat. The Texas wordmark just looks right with the beveling. Also, I’d bring back a Rangers wordmark as well, for the home jersey and one of the colored ones.
- Rays: The Rays’ logo, especially its wordmark, comes off like the organization tried to atone for your perceived sins of wildness by going as dull as possible. So you guys definitely need to change the wordmark (seriously, it looks like Times New Roman!) to some sort of happy medium, or at least minimize its usage. Also, use the ray logo — the only historical constant in your appearance — more frequently. I’m in a minority in that I liked the rainbow gradient logo. That said, the oval and the ray go together well, and they could work with a wordmark that finally fits into that gray area between LSD and Unisom.
- Reds: Get rid of the black accents. You’re the Reds — go red and white. Also, take any jersey you have that has a script “Reds” alternate, burn them, and wear a hazmat suit when doing so, so that you’re not contaminated by them atrocities. Again, you’re the Reds. The wishbone-C-Reds logo is timeless, and you can’t possibly overuse it.
- Red Sox: This is another classic look that doesn’t deserve too much alteration. Something to consider, though, is a batting-practice jersey with the two-sock logo over the heart — something a bit different from the rest of the jerseys. You know it’d sell well.
- Rockies: Really, you got rid of the gradient helmets this year?! Bring them back! You replaced them with the same matte look that everyone else is trying. How dull (literally)! Aside from when you had those helmets, there’s nothing particularly unique, other than the color purple, about the Rockies’ uniforms. There’s nothing particularly gaudy, either, so there’s that. Perhaps a wholesale change would be good, given how stagnant the organization has been recently, but I’m not going to fix the only part of that organization (other than the left side of the infield) that isn’t broken. That said, seriously — bring back the helmets!
- Royals: You finally decided to add an image of a crown to your BP and spring-training hats, which is well past time. That said, it looks a bit odd above the KC logo (though given you won the World Series, it symbolically works in this circumstance). You should make that crown roughly 50% bigger and place it behind the KC. Also, for an alternate hat, you should consider using this logo. It seems tailor-made for a cap already.
- Tigers: Another one that’s hard to alter, given the classic look of the Old English D and the well-done road look. I’m in the minority here in that I even like what you tried with your spring-training hats. The only thing I’d consider doing is changing the lettering on the backs of your road uniforms. On the home ones, the lettering is a bit larger than every other jersey in the bigs. It’s a Tigers thing. The road ones have a similar letter set to half of the league. Keep the outline, but make the size bigger to match the backs of the home jerseys.
- Twins: Even with the tweaks a few years ago, the wordmark on the home jerseys is outdated, no matter how you play with the colors. Go back to the Killebrew classic home jersey, though modernize it a bit — thicken up the letters a tad, get rid of the line leading into the W, put the script on an even level, and add the gold shadow that you have now. In fact, I like the colors you currently use for the home unis. I just don’t like the wordmark.
- White Sox: Oh, White Sox. The main jersey set you’ve been wearing now has been around for 26 seasons, which is 13 years longer than you’ve ever stuck with one set. At least this jersey set isn’t unattractive, which definitely can’t be said for all your jerseys. This set is a bit long in the tooth, though — especially for a team with such historical variety. However, I don’t know exactly how I would change it in a wholesale fashion. Here’s a small change: adding an alternate home cap, one with white pinstripes and a black Sox logo and brim. It’d hearken back to the old days in a sense. Oh and here’s another (and this, in my opinion, is mandatory): WEAR WHITE SOCKS! This just isn’t right, especially for a team haunted by the “Black Sox scandal.” I mean, what’s your team name?!
- Yankees: Put names on the backs of jerseys already! It seems sacrosanct to say this, especially as a Yankee fan. That said, players do cycle through, especially in recent years with you guys’ constant shuffling of your bullpen, and having names on the back just makes sense at this point. There’s being different, and there’s being stubborn, and the Yankees refusing to add names falls into the latter.
I’m not saying any of these changes are worthwhile, and some teams (for instance, those who play their home games in Chase Field) definitely have a lot more work to do than others (like those who play their home games in Dodger Stadium or Fenway Park). That said, these changes would make things look cooler and help sell jerseys, and at the end of the day, that’s what matters.
Josh Murphy doesn’t trust his fashion sense for anything other than baseball uniforms. That said, seriously, who approved the Diamondbacks’ new look anyway?! They’re so bad that the Shelby Miller trade is only the second-biggest disaster of their season.