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Baseball Blues: Midnight vs. Navy


BallWonk

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Watching the Braves at Nationals on TV last night, I noticed a couple of things (sorry, I don't have the pics):

1. Two teams wearing dark blue jerseys in the same game is a very bad idea. If the BP shirts are going to be worn for game use, even in spring training, MLB needs to require teams to have two different BP shirts with different, contrasting colors. It's just inexcusable to let two teams take the field in front of a live and TV audience wearing the same damn uniforms.

2. Each team was wearing a visibly distinguishable (though slightly so) shade of dark blue. The Braves BP caps and jerseys seem to match their regular game gear, which uses the same shade of midnight blue as the Yankees. This is also the shade the Nats wear on all game gear, such as road jerseys, road caps, and blue elements of the home warmup jacket. But the Nats BP caps and shirts both use a slightly lighter true navy blue. Pretty much exactly the shade you usually see used in the canton of the U.S. flag. Except that the jerseys and caps visibly clashed with the darker blue elements of the warmup jackets.

Given that the Nationals logo uses a shade closer to navy than midnight, the BP uniforms look terrific and more "Nationals-ish" than the midnight blue they normally wear. But the inconsistency of blues looks like crap. Since true navy fabric seems to be available, it's a shame the Nats can't use it instead of joining the chorus of Yankees-style midnight blue proliferation. If Milwaukee can uphold true navy, then why can't the Nationals? Alternately, if the Nationals feel they have to wear Yankees midnight blue, then why can't they use the same blue on their logo and BP unis?

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The Braves actually use a different shade of Navy than the Yankees, Tigers, Cardinals, Angels and Red Sox.

While teams list their colors of navy differently, correct my if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that New Era makes MLB baseball caps in three colors of blue--Midnight (Yankees, et al), Navy (Indians), and Royal (Dodgers). While I'm not sure which shade of Navy each team is using, most do appear to be wearing the midnight rather than the navy color (perhaps because of tradition). Many teams could stand for a switch. For example, the Twins wear midnight colored hats, which don't match their blue alternate jerseys as well as the navy would.

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The Braves actually use a different shade of Navy than the Yankees, Tigers, Cardinals, Angels and Red Sox.

Hmm. The Twins and Nationals also use the same midnight blue as the Yankees for their caps. I know that New Era runs all those hats at the same time, using the same blank midnight blue hats, and that they run all the plain red caps on the same blank red caps even though most teams "officially" use slightly different shades of red (or they used slightly different Pantone values the last time I saw an up-to-date stylebook a few years back). I haven't noticed Braves caps being visibly lighter than Yankees caps in the store, but then I don't actually purchase Braves merchandise. Good for the Braves if they're not wearing the same shade of too-dark blue as everyone else.

Nonetheless, the Braves were wearing a visibly darker blue than the Nationals, and the Braves color of blue displayed on my TV exactly like the blue I'm used to seeing the Nationals wear for road games, which is the same blue as the Yankees. The blue in the Braves BP unis also seemed to match exactly their batting helmets. The Nationals BP uniforms looked like a true navy. Looked like the Brewers, actually, who are one of the few teams that still uses navy instead of midnight blue. (And if you look at old pictures, you can see that before the mid 1990s, teams like the Twins and Red Sox wore caps that were visibly lighter than what the Yankees wore, whereas now those teams wear the same shade of cap.)

Pantone, without revealing actual color values, would it be possible for you to list teams in a continuum of darkness of the blue they "officially" use? I understand if not, but it would be interesting to see whether any of the majority of teams that in fact wear Yankees blue "officially" pretend otherwise.

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If you're talking about New Era cap colors, then that's a different story.

When I refer to Navy Blues being the same or different, I'm referring to the Solid/Textile/Thread colors.

Those bastards! <_< I don't blame New Era, though, since teams that care, like Milwaukee and Cleveland, seem perfectly able to cause New Era to produce caps in slightly lighter shades of navy blue.

But question: Do the Nationals have official standards that call for their BP caps and shirts to be a visibly different shade of blue than their regular road uniform tackle-twill lettering and regular road caps? Why do the BP jerseys and caps match one another, despite coming from different manufacturers, while the BP caps and the game road caps do not match, despite coming from the same manufacturer? I mean, I see that other teams are wearing BP jerseys/caps that appear to be the same darker blue as on the Nationals normal game uniforms.

It just seems odd that a team would deliberately choose to wear different, clashing shades of a primary color. But it also seems odd that such a thing could happen by accident. I understand the differences inherent in different mediums with different characteristics, but that is not an issue with the Nationals. BP cap and jersey material matching Washington's normal game fabrics are in use by other teams, so they are available to the Nationals, too.

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Well, the MLB standards address Solid Colors, Process Simulation Colors, Textile Colors, and Thread Colors (Madeira, Robison-Anton and FuFu). There isn't always a one-to-one-to-one-to-one correlation to the colors vs. another teams' color set. For example, the Nationals' Blue (they don't call it Navy - they call it Blue), is not the same Pantone Solid Color as the Indians' Navy, yet they share the same Pantone Textile Color. And, the Indians share they same Pantone Solid Color for the Navy as the Yankees, but not the same Pantone Textile Color.

And then again, Reebok (I think) just takes these color standards and matches them up with their own proprietary fabrics. Who knows what the end-result could be.

Make sense? Me neither.

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