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AP chimes in on alt uniform trend


CubsFanBudMan

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Some interesting tidbits in here. I posted the whole story, but also a link, so feel free to edit if you're worried about copyright. I think you're OK, though -- it's an AP story, it's everywhere.

http://cbs.sportsline.com/mlb/story/8391313

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-t...ov=ap&type=lgns

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sns-a...ports-headlines

Baseball paints the town red as trendy threads proliferate

By RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer

April 16, 2005

Baseball wants to paint the town red.

Way back when, major league teams nearly always wore white jerseys at home and gray on the road. Now, some teams have so many kinds of uniforms that players can hardly keep track.

``I imagine it appeals to women, it's flashier,'' Braves pitcher Mike Hampton said.

In their search for sartorial splendor, not to mention dollars from extra sales, Colorado, Houston and the New York Mets each will use five sets of uniforms this year. That makes for some confusion.

The Mets have white pinstripes, plain white, home black, road black and road gray. Last June 27, Mets catcher Tom Wilson and reliever Jose Parra wore the wrong jerseys for the second game of a doubleheader against the Yankees -- home black shirts with ``Mets'' in script instead of visiting shirts with a fancy type ``New York'' -- because the team forgot to bring the correct ones to Yankee Stadium.

Last Sunday, second baseman Craig Biggio wore a red jersey that read ``Houston'' instead of the red one with ``Astros,'' mistakenly grabbing a 2003 road shirt from his locker instead of the 2005 home version.

``Nobody noticed,'' he said. ``I had a good game. Maybe I'll wear it again.''

In their bid to make baseball's best-dressed list, Houston, Atlanta, Boston and Cincinnati all have red jerseys in their wardrobes this season.

Not coincidentally, all four are among the most trendy threads, topping sales among the 30 teams, according to Steve Armus, vice president for licensing at Major League Baseball Properties.

``Red is an extremely hot color right now, also for batting practice jerseys and for outerwear,'' he said.

With Majestic Athletic supplying uniforms for all 30 teams for the first time this year, Armus said baseball is on pace to set a record for shirt sales. In all, there are 98 jerseys in use in the major leagues for games, and that doesn't include batting practice shirts.

Just seven teams go with the traditional set of two game outfits: Detroit, the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Francisco and Washington.

``I will not go to alternate uniforms,'' Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said through spokesman Howard Rubenstein. ``The pinstripes represent a great Yankee tradition, and we will maintain that.''

The pinstripes are so well known that when the Yankees opened the 2004 season in Tokyo against Tampa Bay, they wore their home uniforms even though they were the visiting team in both games and batted first.

In addition to the regular jerseys, which sell for up to $249.99 on mlb.com, teams occasionally use throwback old-style uniforms for some games. The Boston Red Sox wore special gold-trimmed jerseys ($169.99 on mlb.com) during ceremonies Monday in which they received their rings for winning last year's World Series, the team's first title since 1918.

In 1999, many teams wore futuristic uniforms as part of ``Turn Ahead the Clock'' promotions, jerseys designed to project the styles of 2021 -- Pittsburgh had red shirts with black and yellow trim and a giant pirate face on the front. If fashion critic Mr. Blackwell ever diversifies into baseball, they are sure to guarantee an appearance on his worst-dressed list.

The San Diego Padres break out camouflage jerseys, including sand-colored pants and hunter green batting helmets, once each year for Military Opening Night -- this year's is next Wednesday -- to honor the troops stationed in their area.

Jack Ensch, a retired Navy captain who is the team's director of military marketing, said more than 1,500 of the jerseys, which sell for $100, have been sold since they were introduced in 2000. The Padres store is out of stock and awaiting a fresh delivery.

``Everybody loves it,'' Padres outfielder Ryan Klesko said. ``Everybody's pumped up about having that day. I think everybody has family in the military and respects those people and what they do.''

According to the Hall of Fame data base, alternate uniforms have been around for more than a century, with the Boston Braves using three sets in 1900. John McGraw's New York Giants had an all-black alternate uniform they wore for the 1905 World Series. In 1906, after winning their first Series title, the Giants wore shirts that said ``World's Champions'' on the front, with no reference to city or nickname.

Atlanta's new red jersey, to be used for Sunday home games, is its first uniform change since 1987. It goes for $169.99 on mlb.com.

``The real merchandise sales benefit you get from an alternate jersey is when the players actually wear it,'' said Derek Schiller, the team's senior vice president of sales and marketing. ``It's still very early. All signs from what we've done at concessions and merchandise sales as well as our own clubhouse stores are very, very positive.''

When the Mets added their black shirts, sales increased immediately. Arizona, Baltimore, the Chicago White Sox, Colorado, Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Toronto also have black in their closets.

``A lot of people look at black as a cool color, and perhaps not a color of one of the traditional teams,'' Armus said.

Washington Nationals manager Frank Robinson, more Brooks Brothers than Dolce and Gabbana, prefers the more traditional look.

``To me, it's looking like too much red is coming into the game,'' the Hall of Famer said. ``I've always been partial to the interlocking letters. There's nothing more classic than the Yankees' `NY.' ``

AP sports writer Howie Rumberg contributed to this report.

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Just seven teams go with the traditional set of two game outfits: Detroit, the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Francisco and Washington.

All I can say is, "God bless all seven of them." :notworthy:

I believe we all know where I stand on the "alternate uniform" swindle... uh, trend.

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Washington Nationals manager Frank Robinson, more Brooks Brothers than Dolce and Gabbana, prefers the more traditional look.

``To me, it's looking like too much red is coming into the game,'' the Hall of Famer said.' ``

'Nuff said

197718.jpg

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Washington Nationals manager Frank Robinson, more Brooks Brothers than Dolce and Gabbana, prefers the more traditional look.

``To me, it's looking like too much red is coming into the game,'' the Hall of Famer said.' ``

'Nuff said

197718.jpg

That's exactly what I thought of when I read that quote. Robinson's obviously scarred for life by that experience. :)

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yes, because white and grey are so creative. it never gets old.

I suppose you want to go back to the 70's and 80's with pull overs and powder blue road jerseys. All of which had the exact same striping pattern. The olny difference between the unis then were the team name on the front. Yea, those were creative.

I don't mind the occasional alternate uniform but some teams wear them too much of have too many or have a black one for the sake of having a black one. But White and grey as the primary works the best for a baseball uniform. And despite them all being white and grey they have more creativity than the 70's and 80's pullover uniforms.

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OR teams can wear white and colored jerseys like normal sports teams.

i don't understand how teams can want to wear virtually the same road jersey color as everyone else. why not have white at home and color on the road, it works for basketball, hockey and football.

i certainly don't want to see a return to powder bue, but i would like to see something more innovative than standard grey.

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but i would like to see something more innovative than standard grey.

Actually, given the fact that most every other North American professional sports league mandates that its member teams wear either White or color jerseys depending upon where they're playing, MLB's choosing to mandate White home and Grey road uniforms would be the truly unique - and innovative - practice.

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why not have white at home and color on the road, it works for basketball, hockey and football.

Well, it does in hockey and football... only opposite.

BTW, I can't wait to see those Padres jerseys next Wednesday that the article mentioned :puke:

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I suppose you want to go back to the 70's and 80's with pull overs and powder blue road jerseys. All of which had the exact same striping pattern. The olny difference between the unis then were the team name on the front. Yea, those were creative.

I don't mind the occasional alternate uniform but some teams wear them too much of have too many or have a black one for the sake of having a black one. But White and grey as the primary works the best for a baseball uniform. And despite them all being white and grey they have more creativity than the 70's and 80's pullover uniforms.

Joker is absolutely correct here. So what if white and gray dominate as the main primary colors? Why do so many have a problem with that? Same for pinstripes, what is wrong with pinstripes? Granted they work better for some teams (marlins, d-backs) then they do for others (astros, rockies).

Like Ive said before, how baseball games are presented to us through media outlets nowadays is different, and the fact that every ballpark that they play in nowadays is unique to the city its in rather then the cookie cutter multi purpose venues used in the 70s and 80s. therefore we do not need flashy bright colored uniforms for us to instantly recognize who is playing in the game. We have graphics in the corner of the screen that give us up to date info and what is becoming more and more commonplace, even team graphics that are displayed as the game is being broadcasted during play. Also, do any of you have an idea how many cameras there are in the stadiums now that zoom in for close shots at every which angle? Closer camera shots means more accurate recognization of whatever scheme the teams are wearing. As for the wider shots of the entire ballpark, well lets face it, youre not gonna confuse SBC Park, Miller Park, Camdem Yards, and Jacobs Field with each other like some might have with Fulton County, Riverfront, Three Rivers, and the Vet.

If one or two teams wants to bust out a different off color like the Padres did for thier road unis other then gray, so be it, as long as the majority of teams still continue to wear gray. Which I believe will still be the case for as long as the MLB is in business. Once more teams try to use different off colors for road unis in order to be unique, then it stops being unique and starts becoming tacky, like it did with all the powder blue unis in the 70s and 80s. It worked for the Blue Jays and the Royals (except for the plain white lettering and numbers which we hardly visible against powder blue), but the Phillies and Cardinals had NO BUSINESS doing it.

same goes for cream home unis. its okay when a few teams do it, like the Giants and D-Backs. Maybe we can have another long established team like the Cardinals go that way, but if too many teams start doing it, then it will suck.

hooray for white at home, gray on the road!

but....baseball uniforms are so boring......I want more color!

*SMACK!*

then you have a short attention span!

B)

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hooray for white at home, gray on the road!

but....baseball uniforms are so boring......I want more color!

*SMACK!*

then you have a short attention span!

B)

:lol:

I agree with ICS here, but with a point. Some times (like the Cubs and Marlins) might as well make their alternate their away jersey, because you're more likely to see them in their alternate than their away jersey.

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Teams with and without powder blue jerseys in the '80s, from my recollection (and I do turn 49, God willing, later this month):

With powder blue: Twins, Blue Jays, Royals, Mariners, Rangers, Expos, Braves, Mets, Phillies, Cardinals, Brewers, Cubs, Dodgers.

With gray: Orioles, Red Sox, Yankees, White Sox, Indians, Tigers, Angels, Athletics, Reds, Pirates, Padres, Giants.

Team in its own world: Astros.

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At first, I was totally against alternate uniforms. But lately I've realized that white vs gray is pretty boring, and getting some color in the game isn't a bad idea. But if I were commish, here's some rules I would make:

- Only one team can wear an alt at a time! The other night the Rangers wore blue vs. the Blue Jays in black, and it looked totally stupid.

- Each team is allowed one home, one road, and one alt! (not including one-time things, like the Padres military day unis). None of this "5 different unis" crap. Do the Mets really need a pinstriped white AND a plain white? Of course not. White, gray, alt.

- Only the home team can wear an alt! Okay, I'm not 100% on this one, I guess. But why bother trying to impress the road fans?

- The colored top has to be considered the alt! I HATE that the Marlins wear their black top seemingly ALL the time. You should be allowed to wear the alt twice a week, tops.

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