The baseball uniform is something of a curiosity. I think we can all agree that baseball did the world a favor by bringing us the baseball cap. But in what other sport are players required to wear a thick belt, tapered white stretch pants, a glorified pajama top, and stirrups?!
Nonetheless, some baseball uniforms are funnier-looking than others. For years, this has been especially true of expansion teams. However, with Tampa Bay’s announcement that they will be changing their uniforms, colors, and logo as well as their name (are they even still a baseball team?), they join the Diamondbacks as reformed expansion teams that have at last forgone the teal-and-purple days of yore. While Arizona returned to the playoffs this year in their new unis, which sported Sedona Red and Sonora Sand colorations, the Rays hope for similar magic with their new, water-and-sunshine themed garments:
According to the press release, “The two hues of blue suggest the deep blue waters and bright blue sky for which Florida is known. The elongated tail of the “R” further reinforces the water imagery.” A bright yellow sunburst emanating from the “R” will “invoke the magnificence of life in the Sunshine State.”
“Our new team name and new look express the vibrancy of our organization,” said Rays President Matt Silverman. “The Tampa Bay Rays will shine, on the field and in our community. We will be a great source of pride for our region.”
One ugly uni down, so many more to go. Which teams do not shine? Which uniforms do not express vibrancy? Which are not dressed in a manner that invokes the magnificence of life?
That, UmpBump readers, is for you to decide. The contendahs:
First, we’ll start with the last remaining expansion team to use purple: the Colorado Rockies. This fall, the nation got to see just how hideous their uniforms truly are:
It’s like they couldn’t decide on one concept (pinstripes? basic black? expansion team purple?) so they just randomly mashed them together. Pintripes! Piping! Purple pit-stain concealers! Sartorial ADHD!Plus, I just don’t think it looks quite right on a baseball uniform to have the number on the front. Come on, folks. This isn’t football.
The Toronto Blue Jays seem to think they are playing baseball in the future, with these space-age fonts. In addition, the color scheme is about as cheerful as a rainy day at a funeral parlor in Toronto. That is to say, not very.
Plus, there is just no way to jazz up a songbird and make it look intimidating, sleek, or otherwise “cool.” Thus, when going with a bird mascot, it’s best to just represent the bird literally and embrace the dorky Audobon Society-feel of it all.
The Texas Rangers have also undergone some uni changes in recent years. And while I’m not opposed to the idea of the vest uniform, in theory, I just feel like something here isn’t working:
The blue is too blue. There’s a number on the front of the vest, and the font of said number totally clashes with the font of the giant “T.” And worst of all, the team name appears nowhere on the ensemble, leaving the impression that this team (whoever they are) has been brought to you by the Letter T.
Finally, I have never liked the Marlins’ attire. Black looks good with some colors (such as orange…here’s lookin’ at you, Baltimore, Detroit!) but it just looks dated with paired with …seafoam? Plus, the ginormous, stylized swoosh on the jersey looks like something I would have thought was wicked awesome back at the Nashoba Brooks school for girls.
And if you’re going to do pinstripes, the rest of the uni has to be clean. Simple. Elegant. Not cluttered with numbers, piping, underlining, frontal uniform numbers, and a freakin’ fish.