AndrewPF

"It's time to bring the baseball uniform into the 21st century"

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AndrewPF    65

I found this article that discusses the functional disadvantages of baseball uniforms, and talks about how the reason for these drawbacks is mostly due to tradition. There's not a lot in there about aesthetics or logos, but I do think it's relevant to our interests here. I think there are some neat points about new materials that could help players be more comfortable and move more naturally. From a design standpoint, I like that they seem to be very pro-pullover, but maybe that's just me. What are your thoughts? Are there any functional changes you'd like to see to baseball uniforms? How about uniforms in other sports?

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Chawls    468

I might be WAY outta left field here (pun somewhat intended), but logically speaking, I can see football uniforms heading towards a full-body, strategically-padded exosuit, helmets with 360° cameras, and digital visors displaying play calls, trajectories, and real-time speedometers. 

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AndrewPF    65
2 minutes ago, Chawls said:

I might be WAY outta left field here (pun somewhat intended), but logically speaking, I can see football uniforms heading towards a full-body, strategically-padded exosuit, helmets with 360° cameras, and digital visors displaying play calls, trajectories, and real-time speedometers. 

 

I can see at least some of that! Especially with the recent talk of how football can improve player safety via improvements to helmets and pads, it seems like the next step would be some way of integrating digital technology into the protective gear itself. It'd start I think with some sort of sensor in the helmet to detect possibly injurious blows to the head and communicate that information to medical staff. Not long after would come some other medical tech that would track vitals and other information that could help trainers prevent injury (and imagine the revenue potential of a partnership with FitBit!). Once those types of practical technical advances were made, that's when we'd get into the flashy, fun advancements like built-in helmet cams and things of that nature. The speedometer thing sounds like fun too. I can already picture players competing with one another to hit the highest speeds and recording it all for Snapchat. That would add another layer of fun for both fans and players! I think safety will definitely come first, especially with pressure mounting and some people predicting the end of the game as we know it because of the terrible effects that traumatic brain injuries have on the lives of players. Tech gets smaller and smarter every day, it seems. The future looks exciting in this way, and I can't wait to see how sports will benefit.

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BrandMooreArt    1,492

the article is spot on, baseball players really haven't been treated like athletes by uniform manufacturers, and especially MLB. i don't know if a pull-over t-shirt is the right answer for a jersey, i think you can retain a little more of the classic baseball look but its way past time to rethink what a baseball uniform should be. how can you make the players cooler? where can you cut weight? what prevents free movement? how does the uniform effect sliding and how can you improve on that? MLB has cared very little about this if at all. 

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AndrewPF    65

You're right. Almost every other sport has been making big strides in "performance" gear, and the closest thing we've seen in baseball are those questionably-useful energy necklaces that pitchers used to wear in the mid-2000s. 

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Ray Lankford    361

The first thing that jumps to my mind is how painful sliding can be. I think about that when fans say high socks should be mandatory but I'd want more fabric between me and the dirt I'm throwing myself on.

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BringBackTheVet    4,173
7 minutes ago, Ray Lankford said:

The first thing that jumps to my mind is how painful sliding can be. I think about that when fans say high socks should be mandatory but I'd want more fabric between me and the dirt I'm throwing myself on.

 

You're probably not sliding correctly.  Trained professionals seem to "glide" over the dirt more than average joes who make a harder impact with it.  Most Joes are actually slowed down by the slide due to the friction.  When you watch pros slide, it's much more fluid.

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the admiral    10,264
11 hours ago, AndrewPF said:

I think there are some neat points about new materials that could help players be more comfortable and move more naturally.

 

They get very hot in the polyester. You know, it's not a natural fiber. I think they would prefer cotton. Cotton breathes, you see, it's much softer. Imagine playing games and your team is five degrees cooler than the other team. Don't you think that would be an advantage? They're cooler, they're more comfortable, they're happier, they're gonna play better.

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WSU151    2,418
2 hours ago, BrandMooreArt said:

the article is spot on, baseball players really haven't been treated like athletes by uniform manufacturers, and especially MLB. i don't know if a pull-over t-shirt is the right answer for a jersey, i think you can retain a little more of the classic baseball look but its way past time to rethink what a baseball uniform should be. how can you make the players cooler? where can you cut weight? what prevents free movement? how does the uniform effect sliding and how can you improve on that? MLB has cared very little about this if at all. 

 

The Cool Base jersey was definitely an advancement on the regular polyester, and it's a lighter weight. New Era resigned their hats several years ago, unveiling "Cool Base" (sometimes called CoolEra, maybe?) polyester, which is supposed to be way better than the old wool in terms of heat and sweat. Adidas, Nike, and Under Armour sell hats that beat the heat and sweat much better than the new 59Fiftys, but are those kinds of hats what we want in pro baseball?

 

Again, most uniform advances are placebo effects and fancy marketing.  The best athletes really aren't affected by negligible weight differences in the jersey. If baseball players really though extra weight was severely affecting their speed, they probably wouldn't wear shoe-top baggy pants - they'd wear skin-tight pants using the minumum amount of fabric possible.

 

The part about belts is interesting...belts (or a derivative of a belt) has been on football pants for a long time, too, but I'm not sure if anyone's complained about it.  Sans-a-belts hopefully weren't the peak of baseball fashion.

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Ice_Cap    7,596
5 hours ago, BringBackTheVet said:

 

You're probably not sliding correctly.  Trained professionals seem to "glide" over the dirt more than average joes who make a harder impact with it.  Most Joes are actually slowed down by the slide due to the friction.  When you watch pros slide, it's much more fluid.

I slid in shorts once. Ouch.

 

6 hours ago, BrandMooreArt said:

the article is spot on, baseball players really haven't been treated like athletes by uniform manufacturers, and especially MLB. i don't know if a pull-over t-shirt is the right answer for a jersey, i think you can retain a little more of the classic baseball look but its way past time to rethink what a baseball uniform should be. how can you make the players cooler? where can you cut weight? what prevents free movement? how does the uniform effect sliding and how can you improve on that? MLB has cared very little about this if at all. 

Where's the demand? Where's the evidence that baseball players are being held back as a result of the way uniforms are constructed? 

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5 hours ago, the admiral said:

 

They get very hot in the polyester. You know, it's not a natural fiber. I think they would prefer cotton. Cotton breathes, you see, it's much softer. Imagine playing games and your team is five degrees cooler than the other team. Don't you think that would be an advantage? They're cooler, they're more comfortable, they're happier, they're gonna play better.

 

Quote

ANNOUNCER #2: What is with the Yankees? They look like they're having trouble running, they can't move!

 

ANNOUNCER #1: It's their uniforms, they're too tight, they've shrunk! They're running like penguins! Forget this game!

 

ANNOUNCER #2: Oh my God, Mattingly just split his pants!

 

JERRY: That's a shame.

 

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slapshot    386

In baseball, there's a lot of down time. It's one of the only sports that doesn't require its players to be in motion constantly. Each player is wearing some kind of compression undergarments, but the uniforms are so baggy now, I don't think any range of motion is lost by jerseys or pants.

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Ice_Cap    7,596
35 minutes ago, slapshot said:

In baseball, there's a lot of down time. It's one of the only sports that doesn't require its players to be in motion constantly. Each player is wearing some kind of compression undergarments, but the uniforms are so baggy now, I don't think any range of motion is lost by jerseys or pants.

Yeah. Baseball isn't soccer or hockey where there's constant movement. To be absolutely frank? Baseball's the one sport where belts and button-down shirts make sense.

 

Now as far as alternatives to that setup go...

I wouldn't be adverse to the pseud-pullover look, with the buttons by the collar, eventually replacing the standard button-down look. You could probably replicate every existing design onto that template and not miss anything aesthetically.

For pants though? I'm open to new materials, but the belts have to stay. The elastic waistband look was the absolute worst aspect of the pullover era from an aesthetic standpoint. As WSU stated, belts have been used in football forever and no one even thinks about it. No reason they can't stay in baseball.

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SNBSlugger    37

I clicked on this topic with trepidation for fear I was going to see a bunch of those "Turn Ahead The Clock" jerseys.

 

I wish Cool Base had been around when I played.  Polyester was terrible in sticky August heat.  I have NO idea how they used to play in wool and flannel way back in the day.  I would most certainly die.  I'll be curious to see what Under Armour comes up with for new cooling tech in MLB since they're taking over for Majestic soon.

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dont care    1,442
8 hours ago, Ice_Cap said:

Yeah. Baseball isn't soccer or hockey where there's constant movement. To be absolutely frank? Baseball's the one sport where belts and button-down shirts make sense.

 

Now as far as alternatives to that setup go...

I wouldn't be adverse to the pseud-pullover look, with the buttons by the collar, eventually replacing the standard button-down look. You could probably replicate every existing design onto that template and not miss anything aesthetically.

For pants though? I'm open to new materials, but the belts have to stay. The elastic waistband look was the absolute worst aspect of the pullover era from an aesthetic standpoint. As WSU stated, belts have been used in football forever and no one even thinks about it. No reason they can't stay in baseball.

A lot of recent football pants don't have belts. Cut they are made to look a lot better that the Sans-a-belt pants from baseballs past. It just is a seam of wear the belt should be.

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ScubaSteve    291

I mean let's face it, baseball could theoretically switch to very modern and lightweight jerseys to benefit the players. But the sport is filled with so many traditionalists that it will only get so far.

 

(and I'm just now picturing them playing with visors instead of caps lol :lol:)

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krunyan    38

Gotta admit didn't read the article but I immediately thought back to the guy who kept trolling this board for the 70's-80's pullover look as the best uniforms for baseball. I like the look esp for colleges and HS but that guy was everywhere for awhile. 

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JESSEDIEBOLT    101
1 hour ago, ScubaSteve said:

I mean let's face it, baseball could theoretically switch to very modern and lightweight jerseys to benefit the players. But the sport is filled with so many traditionalists that it will only get so far.

 

(and I'm just now picturing them playing with visors instead of caps lol :lol:)

 

If people really have an issue with doing away with belts and buttons, thats their own problem. 

 

It's never made sense to me how outdated baseball uniforms are. These guys play in the worst heat of any sport, but wear multiple layers of dated clothing that makes no sense.

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Counterpoint: there is no problem here.  

Better that one should apply one's energy instead to any one of the 806 million problems of varying degrees of seriousness that acutally exist in the world.

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raysox    1,212

Nike-News-Vapor-Elite-Baseball-Uniform_h

 

I think these Nike uniforms are a nice compromise between old and new. There are vents and cuts that cool the players down, which I'm sure compares well to the normal baseball uniform. 

 

I wonder what the cons of vents and pullovers are when sliding head first, if I had to guess, the neck hole would scoop up a lot more than a button up.

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