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A New Twist on Lists – Ranking the Leagues by Color Schemes, Part I

League Colors - 550 Hed

By Phil Hecken

I’m back today with reader David Firestone, with whom both Paul and I have worked before — but usually on items in the auto racing field. When I put out the call for reader pitches for articles, Dave responded to me with this:

I’ve had this project that I have been working on for some time, and I think you might use it for Uni-Watch. I take the color schemes of all 122 major league teams and rank them in order from best to worst.


Intrigued, I said “absolutely” — not knowing exactly how he’d go about this. What you’re about to see below is just half of what turned out to be a very ambitious project (I’ll have Part II of this down the road a ways), and it’s a basic way of looking at teams and their colors. I’m not sure too many of us ever thought of boiling teams down to just their color palette. Until now.

Click on each of the bolded names to see that specific team’s colors in full size.

As Dave explains below, much of his ranking is based on subjectivity — so if you disagree, that’s fine. Here’s Dave:

. . . . .

Ranking the Leagues by Color Schemes
By David G. Firestone

We’ve had ranking lists on uniforms, and logos, but I think we should try something new. Let’s rank each major league in terms of color schemes. Now like most other rankings, this is subjective, so let me explain how I chose what I did for each league. I used SSUR as my reference point for this project.

I will take each team and take the primary uniform colors they use, and put them on a graph, such as this Pittsburgh Pirates example. I will then give a brief explanation on why they were ranked. I will take in to consideration how the colors work together, how they clash with each other, how many colors in total, and the overall appearance. There are a number of teams that use very similar color schemes, as such there will be ties during the rankings. Team color names such as Dodger Blue are acceptable. Goofy color names will have rank taken away from them.

Major League Baseball:



1. Pittsburgh Pirates:

A bold color scheme, the colors work very well together, the yellow looks really good when compared to the black and the white.



2. Kansas City Royals / Los Angeles Dodgers:



Blue and white is a simple, yet very elegant and very attractive color scheme.



3. Philadelphia Phillies:

It’s a darker shade of red than most, but it works very well and is very attractive.



4. New York Yankees:

The blue is a bit dark for my taste, but it is still a great look.


Blue Jays

5. Toronto Blue Jays:

The blue is a bit too bright for my taste, but it is still a great look.


Red Sox

6. Boston Red Sox / Atlanta Braves / Cleveland Indians / Minnesota Twins / St. Louis Cardinals / Texas Rangers / Washington Nationals / Chicago Cubs:

Red Sox







Red, white and blue is a bit cliche for American sports teams, but the colors work well, and it is a great color scheme.



7. Baltimore Orioles / San Francisco Giants:



Orange and black is a bit tough to work with, but when the orange is the perfect shade it is very attractive. The Orioles have a great shade, but the Giants is a bit dark.



8. New York Mets / Houston Astros / Detroit Tigers:




Not a great color scheme. The Mets have the best, The Astros are much too dark, and the Tigers blue is a bit too dark for the shade of orange they chose.



9. Cincinnati Reds:

An otherwise great color scheme ruined by the needless addition of black.



10. Milwaukee Brewers:

Metallic gold and blue is not a good look, though if the gold was lighter it might work better.


White Sox

11. Chicago White Sox:

In a word, bland.



12. Tampa Bay Rays:

Two contrasting shades of blue is not a good look at all.



13. Oakland Athletics:

Green and gold don’t mix very well as it is, but the green is too dark for the shade of gold they chose.



14. Arizona Diamondbacks:

In addition to an odd mix of colors, they lost points for the ridiculous names they gave the colors. “Sedona Red?” “Sonoran Sand?” Really?



15. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:

Two different shades of red, and silver do not make for a good look.



16. Seattle Mariners:

There are too many dark colors here, and they don’t mix well. The green and silver would work by themselves, but not when paired up with each other.



17. San Diego Padres:

No. Redeeming. Qualities. Whatsoever.


. . . . . . . . . .

National Basketball Association:


1. Chicago Bulls / Miami Heat:



Red and black is a great color scheme and it works very well. My big problem with the Miami Heat is that the red is too dark.



2. Portland Trailblazers / Toronto Raptors:



Red and black is a great color scheme, but the addition of silver to the mix takes it down a notch. It adds nothing and subtracts from the overall scheme.



3. Boston Celtics:

I’m not a fan of green, but this shade works very well.



4. Houston Rockets:

A good shade of red works very well.



5. Philadelphia 76’ers / Detroit Pistons / Los Angeles Clippers:




Royal Blue and red is a decent scheme, but the blue is a bit too bright. The reds are a bit too bright also.



6. Washington Wizards / Atlanta Hawks:



Red and Navy is a good color scheme but the needless addition of silver ruins it.



7. Los Angeles Lakers / Golden State Warriors / Indiana Pacers / Denver Nuggets:





A good color scheme. The Lakers got it right, the Warriors lost points for “California Golden Yellow,” the Pacers needlessly added silver, and the Nuggets use two contrasting shades of blue which would work well by themselves, but are awful together.



8. San Antonio Spurs / Brooklyn Nets:



In a word, bland.



9. Charlotte Hornets:

It worked well in the 1990’s but this is 2014, and the color scheme is dated.



10. Dallas Mavericks / Minnesota Timberwolves / Orlando Magic / Sacramento Kings:





Blue, black, and silver, another color scheme that was cutting edge in the 1990’s, but now just looks dated and a bit cliche.



11. Cleveland Cavaliers:

Red and yellow is a good color scheme, but the red and yellow used here is much too dark.



12. Phoenix Suns / New York Knickerbockers:



Orange and blue is difficult enough to work with, but the Knicks have an orange and a blue that is too bright, and a needless addition of silver. The Suns have two somewhat contrasting shades of orange, as well as too dark of a purple and the needless addition of black.



13. Milwaukee Bucks:

The only time Red and green work is at Christmas, and the silver does not help at all.



14. New Orleans Pelicans:

Dark blue and gold don’t work, red and gold works well, the trifecta just looks awful.



15. Memphis Grizzlies

Three unattractive and contrasting shades of blue-check. Stupid color names-check. Dead last in the NBA-check.

. . . . .

Thanks, Dave — that’s certainly a unique (and very interesting!) way of looking at the teams in the various leagues. I’m sure it will generate a fair amount of discussion (and hopefully not too much controversy) in the comments — I’m glad Paul’s not “around” to see #13 in your MLB rankings.

Readers — now it’s your turn…what say YOU?


all sport uni tweaks

Uni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today — a rare weekday appearance!.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way. The number of concept submissions has been way down recently — so readers — if you do have a concept you’d like featured, please begin (again) sending them in!

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

Click on any to enlarge:


First up today is Oliver Kodner, who has a concept for the old ABA team, the Spirits of St. Louis (what a great name!):

Spirits of St. Louis Logo - Oliver Kodner

Spirits of St. Louis original logo

Spirits of St. Louis home - Oliver Kodner

Spirits of St. Louis Road - Oliver Kodner

Dear Donald Sterling, or, Steve Balmer? Adam Silver…. kidding, Hey Phil.

With some of that LA Clippers talk, I was thinking of a relocation to St. Louis, and a nice rebrand of the Spirits, so I decided to upgrade the old Spirits logo into something good looking.

Oliver Kodner

. . .

And we close today with Douglas Eidsmore with some tweaks to the 49ers:

49er38 - Douglas Eidsmore

KaepTweetUni - Douglas Eidsmore

Hello Phil.

Here are a couple of photos of my Niner redesign.

I replaced the truncated white stripes with a single gold band at the bottom of the sleeve for two reasons; the white stripes were hardly visible and I wanted gold on the jersey since the teams colors are red an gold.

I widened the red stripes on the helmet and pants so that red is the dominant triple stripe color not white.

And I made the face mask a flat gold color instead of gray so the mask and helmet present a unified image.

I welcome your and your readers comments and feed back.


Douglas Eidsmore

. . .

And that’s it for today. Let’s get back on the concept wagon, folks, ok? OK!


Too Good For the Ticker

Too Good…

for the Ticker

Some neato Baltimore Orioles history/mystery(?) today from Dave Holland, who sent me the following e-mail:


Sorry this is too late for the flocked helmet section, but it might make a good sleuth project.

Attached are photos of the Orioles 1955 helmets with an old style “B”. These are taken at Griffith Stadium in DC and at Yankee Stadium.

I’ve never seen any pictures of these worn in a game. The only ones I could find are helmets, not hats. Why is manager Paul Richards wearing a helmet, anyway?

American Needle Wear touts these as being worn as a hat in 1955, but their picture doesn’t support that claim. New Era doesn’t carry this cap.

Also attached are Buck Showalter wearing one and a rare photo of their full 1955 road uniform with “Orioles” in orange (with their 1955 home uni thrown in for good measure.). The previous inaugural year uniform had a different script in black and starting in 1956, the road jersey would have “Baltimore” on the front.

I’ve done all the research I can, hopefully another Uni Watcher can provide more info.

Thanks for filling in for Paul,

Dave Holland

Here flocked helmet images, with the “Old Style B” he sent to accompany the e-mail (click to enlarge):

1955 (5)

1955 (4)

1955 (3)

1955 (2) 1955 (1)

Here’s Buck Showalter sporting the same Old Style B on a cap:

1955 hat Buck

And finally, here are some nice looks at some early Orioles uniforms:

1956-57 Road

1956-1957 Road Uniform

1954 Road 1955 Road (1)
1954 Road Uniform — 1955 Road Uniform

1955-57 Home(1) 1955-57 Home
1955 – 1957 Home Uniform

Sweet pictures, and a bit of a mystery to boot!

Thanks to Dave for bringing this to our attention!

. . .

Great stuff. OK, now onto the ticker…


[Today’s ticker was mostly complied by Garret McGrath]

Baseball News: Does it get any prettier than this? Reader JediJeff sent in this post of pictures of all the Chicago Cubs programs from 1948 to the present. … The Atlanta Braves and Oakland Athletics will both wear throwbacks from 1914 this weekend (thanks, Phil). … The Norfolk Tides are going to be in gnome uniforms on Friday (thanks, Phil). … Cute story: Yesterday’s lede mentioned the Nolan Ryan bobblehead giveaway the Mets had. Kenny Kaplan is very good friends with Nolan Ryan’s son Reid. “When I got the bobblehead I sent it to Reid who gave it to his son Jackson.” So here is a picture of Nolan’s grandson with the bobblehead, Jackson Ryan. … You don’t think proper hosiery instantly makes a uniform look better? Well, here’s Matt Carpenter on Monday and here’s Matt Carpenter last night (thanks to Matt Larsen). Very odd that he’d wear red sanis though (h/t to Trent Knaphus for the screenshot). … The Phillies and Angels both wore Jim Fregosi patches last night (thanks to Harrison Tishler). Here’s how they looked on the jerseys (thanks, Paul)

NFL/CFL News: Tennessee Titan Justin Hunter’s NOB has been changed to JAG: Just Another Guy after failing to convert a route in last Saturday’s preseason game against the Packers (from Andrew Costentino). … Program from the Baltimore Colts NFL intrasquad game on August 12th, 1957. … Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith was wearing some sort of access pass on his belt prior to last Friday’s preseason game, (thanks, Paul), which reminded Paul of John Madden’s old look. … The Toronto Argonauts have revealed their alt uni (via Ed Zelaski. More here (thanks to Seth Moorman).

College/High School Football News: LSU has updated their jersey numbers for this coming season. … The Rutgers Scarlet Knight has had a Big Ten Conference makeover which means he went BFBS (from Justin Lesko). … Stephen F. Austin State University in Nachogdoches, TX has posted pictures of their new uniform (from Chris Mycoskie). … The University at Buffalo will wear alternate black helmets for their game on September 12th against the Baylor Bears (thanks, Phil). … College Spun ranked the top 10 most iconic college football unis of all time (thanks, Phil). … Uni Watch friend Andrew Lind has documented the evolution of Nike college football uniforms. … Diamond Ranch Academy in Utah has a bizarre football field design and uniforms. The numbers have a snake skin design on them to go along with a diamondback logo on the back of the helmet. Says submitter Dom Lewis, “The font used in the word “DBACKS” on the back of the uniform is clearly from the MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks.” Paul & I both think we’ve seen that field before, but those unis are a new one. Yowsa. … The Kansas Jayhawks are getting new red, er crimson chrome unis (there’s a video link in that tweet), with a hat tip to Chris Boykin. Cuz, you know, KU didn’t have enough unis and combos already. Here’s another look (via Cyclone Uniforms).

NBA News: New NBA city Charlotte is a All-Star game candidate city and has a prospective logo. … Possible leak alert: “Is the Team USA basketball leaking their 2014 roster early by selling these jerseys?” asks Matt Nelson. … The Sacremento Kings have officially unveiled uniform updates for 2014-15 season (via Tony MacLopez).

Grab Bag: An article about the never used Wichita State University Shockers logo (from Gavin Shank). … Uni Watch reader Tim Cross flew in a Steelers plane on his Bermuda trip. … Paul sends in this Gawker article entitled “Army Workout Clothes Get More Fly–Still Stank, Though.” … “I was browsing reddit earlier tonight and found this link for quite the unusual St Louis Blues jersey,” writes Jason Tierney. “Additionally the comments section some high quality links to some of the uglier jerseys known in existence.” … Here’s a first look at the Notre Dame Hockey practice jersey (from Warren Junium.

. . . . . . . . . .


Raffle reminder: Remember, we’re currently raffling off three copies of this visual compendium of baseball uniform history.

Full details here.


And that going to do it for this fine Wednesday. Hope everyone has a good one and I’ll catch you all tomorrow!

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“Steve Ballmer has been confirmed as the new owner of the LA Clippers. The transaction has closed. Since the Clippers name is overwhelmingly mired in memories of losing and Donald Sterling, I wonder if the Clippers will use the fresh start as a catalyst for a re-brand. Can/should we launch a design contest?”
–Mike Engle


Comments (152)

    I feel I should point out that the Mets don’t wear navy & orange, they wear royal blue and orange. I also think there should be a distinction between teams that wear navy with red trim and those who wear red with navy trim.

    Yeah, you beat me to it. Mets blue is not even close to navy.

    I always thought the Dodgers wore “Dodger Blue.”

    According to this, the Dodgers, Royals and Jays all wear Royal Blue, but the Jays wear a different color. WTF?

    If you click on the bold team name, you’ll see the Mets colors are there (same for every team when multiple teams are listed).

    It would have been too cumbersome to fit graphics for all of the teams listed in a single section.

    You can blame me for this, since I thought including a visual inline would be helpful. But Dave did include a graphic for each team — they’re just hyperlinked in the bold.

    I updated the main article to note that each team is represented, and to click on that team to see the color palette. I also noted that when multiple teams are listed, the graphic represents only one of the teams in the group. Hope this makes things more clear.

    Apologies for any confusion caused.

    If you weren’t going to include a picture of every team’s colors, I would have just listed the teams with links to the colors. Uni Watch is all about attention to detail and the way some of these are grouped lacks this quality. In addition to some of the other examples already mentioned, the Mavs/Wolves/Magic/Kings one is a pretty lazy grouping.

    “If you weren’t going to include a picture of every team’s colors, I would have just listed the teams with links to the colors.”


    The article as laid out originally WAS just a list with links, and visually it looked lacking. I actually took about two hours “creating” the individual team palette boxes you see beneath the teams, because I needed to put a border around them because almost every team ends with “white” in the palette and if a border isn’t around it, it blends right into the page.

    I thought putting each teams image below the team, but when Dave grouped them together, that got unwieldy, so I just left one image to “represent” the group. A mistake, in retrospect, since, for example, the Lakers’ purple/gold is grouped with the Pacers/Warriors/Nuggets blue/gold (I can’t speak for Dave as to why these are grouped together – I would not have put the Lakers with those other teams).

    Again, I apologize for the confusion. But had the article appeared with “just” text and bolded links, it would not have had the visual pop.

    Nitpicky maybe, but shouldn’t the T’Wolves have forest green as a secondary or tertiary color?

    No Rockies or Marlins? Why the giant discrepancy between the Brewers and Padres for their similar schemes?

    And only that, under the Brewers he said “though if the gold was lighter it might work better” and when it comes to the Padres, the color “sand” looks like a lighter shade of gold in comparison to the Brewers, but the Padres are on the bottom with “no redeeming qualities”.

    A slightly more granular take (I split up the blue/orange and red/white/blue to account for shades and relative emphases of red vs. blue – also I penalize a bit for use of too many colors YMMV):

    1 A’s
    2 Rays
    3 Pirates
    4 Mets
    5 Astros
    6 Tigers
    7 White Sox
    8 Rockies
    t9 Giants Orioles
    11 Brewers
    12 Padres
    13 Yankees
    14 Mariners
    15 Dodgers
    16 Blue Jays
    17 Royals
    t18 Cubs Rangers
    t20 Twins Braves Indians Red Sox
    24 Angels
    t25 Cardinals Nationals
    27 Reds
    28 Phillies
    29 Marlins
    30 D’baacks

    Green and gold don’t mix very well

    Wait, what? You’re just asking for the city of Green Bay to hunt you down now.

    Now that I’ve read the whole list a couple times… there’s some bad inconsistencies. The Bulls red/black/white is on top of the NBA, but the Reds red/black/white is “ruined by the addition of black”. That seems like you’re not judging color schemes, but the uniform – which is exactly what you said you aren’t doing. Same thing for the Brewers vs Padres that DenverGregg mentioned above me. Also, the Lakers under the royal blue & gold (and the earlier mentioned Mets as navy)? What the hell, man? I think someone got a bit lazy or was trying to save too much page space or something.

    There aren’t many things that are Uni-Watch blasphemy but saying green and gold don’t mix might be one of them.

    The only thing that reaches that same level of Uni-Watch blasphemy is to say that the Lakers got their colors right. Green / gold bad, purple / gold good? Paul would be so sad.

    Well, this was easily one of the worst lead articles I’ve read on this site. On a site dedicated to nuances and details, to lump in similar schemes as “the same” (Tigers and Mets are waaaaaay more different than this would have you believe) and then to grade the same color schemes differently from league to league? I see what he was going for. He was not successful. As a teacher, if I were handed this I’d grade it an F and ask for a redo with more explanation and information.

    I stopped reading when I saw the Mets were grouped with the Astros and Tigers for having a similar color scheme. The Mets’ shade of blue is nowhere close to what the Tigers and Astros use.

    In what world do Green and Gold not mix very well with each other? The A’s have one of, if not the best color scheme in all of baseball. Not to mention this site’s own logo uses that color scheme and looks quite good, if you ask me. I can’t wait for Paul to get back….

    If you click on each team individually, you will see the individual color scheme (this was explained up above).

    I’m not sure why Dave grouped the teams in this way, but you can blame me for the image beneath the group — neverthelese, each team is represented and you can see the colors for the individual teams by clicking on each of them individually.

    For example if you click on Lakers, you see the purple/gold graphic.

    “Wow I never knew that the lakers wore blue”

    For what it’s worth, the Lakers’ shade of purple is sometimes referred to as link That said, I agree that equating the Lakers and Suns’ purple color schemes with teams that wear blue makes no sense. As I’m sure Paul would point out, there’s a big difference between purple and blue.

    I just noticed the Sacramento Kings and their purple color scheme are also lumped in with a bunch of teams that wear blue. My same objection still stands.

    Once Jerry Buss bought the Lakers from Jack Kent Cooke, they began calling it “royal purple.” The “Forum Blue” name was all Cooke — he loved the color purple, but hated the name “purple.”

    The Brewers’ metallic gold doesn’t look like the actual color they use. It seems gray to me.

    I would like to see a write up on those incredible sleeve patches on the Baltimore uniforms from the fifties.

    I’m with The Jeff on this one. In addition to all the previously listed gripes, the Rays’ light/navy blue combo is stellar. That and the green/athletic gold combos are unique and top 5. Red +/- white +/- blue is so trite and ubiquitous that no iteration of them belong at the top of the list. It’s great to root for the red, white and blue, but they’re overdone.

    Different shades of blue work well together, but a wide degree of separation is needed for contrast. Columbia blue+Navy blue=good. Medium blue+Dark blue=bad.

    I don’t know…I like the Blue Jays’ use of royal and navy blue. But the navy blue is used sparingly.

    True, the last time I voiced this point of view, I got a commenter asking for some love for the St. Louis Blues uniform, so my opinion is only my opinion.

    I missed that one from yesterday too.

    Oddly enough, I just noticed something about the SEC’s diamond logo: the font that makes up the letters SEC is the same one used for the titles for link!

    1. I know Phil happens to be a big fan of the green and gold color scheme, to which I agree
    2. I would like to point out how you say Red, black and white doesn’t work for the Reds yet you love it for the Bulls.

    Jesse – You beat me to it. He loves the Bulls’ red white and black but the Reds’ red, white and black is “ruined”?

    That was supposed to read “Paul”, not ” Phil”. Haven’t had my coffee yet this morning…

    Seriously, there are three NBA cities newer than Charlotte (Toronto, Memphis, OKC), four if you include the Borough of Brooklyn.

    I thought about the Huskies too, but if you read your link:

    The teams were part of the Basketball Association of America, the forerunner to the NBA.

    I read it. And it counts. The NBA says the first game in league history was played in Toronto, with the Huskies hosting the Knicks. Same league, different name.

    Was there a time gap in between the Hornets leaving and the Bobcats’ (now the rebranded Hornets) inaugural season? Even if you count just the Bobcats, Charlotte still isn’t really a ‘new’ NBA city.

    The original Hornets left in 2002 and the Bobcats joined in 2004, and the Bob/nets will be entering their 10th season. So yeah, weird use of “new”.

    It should be noted that while Toronto has yet to host an All-Star Game (though is slated to do so in 2016), Charlotte hosted one back in 1991.

    Not to mention that blue & white “is a simple, yet very elegant and very attractive color scheme”, green & white and red & white top the list, yet black & white is “in a word, bland.”

    I get that at some level all these decisions boil down to personal aesthetics, but I’d like to see some sort of reasoning behind it.

    Could not disagree more with David’s conclusion regarding contrasting shades of blue. Could. Not. Disagree. More.

    I don’t think that listing Durant (off the team), Paul George (injured) and James Harden constitutes a leak of the 2014 roster.

    Dear David Firestone,

    You will probably catch grief for these rankings all day, but as long as you have the Pirates and the Bulls at number one in their respective lists, you’re okay in my book.

    Just make sure the Steelers and Blackhawks are number one in their respective lists too, or you will no longer be okay in my book.

    The Giants and the Orioles should top the MLB list, although I’d reluctantly give the edge to the Giants for their cream colored unis. But as long as Washington tops the list for the NFL, it’s all good.

    thats funny that two of the three USA jersey’s that they are selling are guys that arent gonna be on the final roster (# 8 George), # 5 Durant)

    I was thinking the same thing. Those were probably the 3 player jerseys that Fanatics bought into, and they wanted to be the first people out there with them online, so they put the stock, Nike photos online. Being a former employee of major licensed retailers, I can tell you that is a common practice. You want to show the customers that you have the product, and sometimes you get burnt, especially when a player gets injured (George) or a player pulls out of the event (Durant).

    I think this is a great idea for an article, and I commend David for all his work putting it together, but the inconsistencies and unsupported opinions are driving me crazy.

    The Phillies’ colors are Red, White and BLUE.
    Blue “dots” the i’s and is the squatchee color on the home and road uniforms. link

    And the color is prominently displayed on the alt creams.



    So its just each teams colors with a comment on whether or not he thinks they look good?

    The page made me yearn for the cool graphs at the Sports Design Blog analyzing pro league colors in an easy to see graph.


    Does it strike anyone else as odd that two teams are throwing back to cities in which they no longer play? (Boston Braves & Philadelphia A’s)

    It doesn’t strike me as odd since those cities are part of their histories. It’s odd when teams like Oklahoma City deny their Seattle roots.

    On another note related to the throwback game, who else is crossing their fingers that Bob Melvin wears a suit like Connie Mack?

    It’s odd when teams like Oklahoma City deny their Seattle roots.

    It’s the other way around, actually – it was part of the agreement when Clay Bennett moved the team that the Thunder wasn’t allowed to keep any of the Sonics history or stats (sort of like how Cleveland kept all the Browns history when the original team moved to Baltimore).

    That’s not actually true.

    Bennett wasn’t allowed to take the physical trophies, but the Thunder link. He also still owns the colors and logo, but will give them to a new Seattle team if wanted. And at that point the Thunder will “share” the Sonics’ history.

    This expresses itself in odd ways – new players on the Thunder can’t wear numbers link, even though the Thunder link with a patch on their uniforms.

    If by “odd” you mean “absolutely wonderful”, then yes.

    As I said yesterday about the Giants’ giveaway of 1954 World Championship rings, it’s great that Major League Baseball teams tend to acknowledge their full histories. The A’s, Braves, and Giants each represent one continuous entity, just as the Yankees, Cardinals, and Tigers do.

    Even the Orioles showed their respect for history a few times, donning St. Louis Browns uniforms:



    And before anyone objects that the teams’ main motive is to sell gear, I’ll say: so what? I hope they all sell a ton of throwback gear, because the upshot is that people (especially kiddies) gain an understanding of the facts of history.

    And we need more acknowledgement of the facts of history, not less. (Looking at you, Expos/Nationals).

    Agree about the occasional nod to history of a relocated team, it would be foolish to ignore those teams and players. But talking about Jimmie Foxx and those 1929 Philadelphia A’s in the context of today’s Oakland A’s is as general of a statement as talking about the number of college football championships in the state of Florida. And I’ve never seen a Mel Ott throwback jersey at a San Francisco Giants game.

    It’s just factually incorrect to call the A’s, Braves, and Giants continuous entities the same way we regard the Yankees, Cardinals, and Tigers. They aren’t, regardless of whether ownership changed hands at the point of relocation. It’s not the complete name of the team, and that makes all the difference in the world.

    Sports teams aren’t like McDonald’s franchises across the country, which are virtually identical to one another. You don’t walk in and order a burger and see the town name on the person behind the counter. The entity changes as soon as the first pitch is thrown at the new location, and the history, accomplishments, and memories are played out.

    To be honest and accurate is always the best way to go, and this isn’t brain surgery. Almost no Atlanta Braves fan has any ties to the old days in Milwaukee(that was back in 1965). And to have that Atlanta fan going on about Warren Spahn in the same way Chipper Jones is remembered is absolutely hilarious.

    Summing up, it’s fine to talk about the past in general terms for these relocated teams, but they’re different as entities as compared to the traditional teams in one city.

    Mel Ott’s and Christy Mathewson’s names are displayed alongside those of Willie Mays and Willie McCovey on display of Giants’ retired numbers; Ott and Mathewson played before there were uniform numbers, so their plaques say “NY” instead of a number.

    There is a statue of Warren Spahn outside the Braves’ ballpark.

    Before Game 1 of the 1972 World Series, the A’s had Lefty Grove throw out the first pitch, as he had been the star of the last A’s team to win a pennant, in 1931.

    Also, a change of ownership has nothing to do with the continuity of a franchise; all teams (whether they move or not) change ownership eventually.

    If you want to be honest and factual, then you have to acknowlege that a team remains a continuous entity, regardless of any relocations or any changes of ownership.

    So Willie Mays was playing with a different entity when the Giants moved from New York to San Francisco?

    The Nationals do acknowledge their previous history as the Expos; I believe Carter and Dawson are listed among the players in their ring of honor.

    It’s true that the Nationals placed Carter and Dawson in their ring of honour. Unfortunately, however, the team does not acknowledge the Expos’ retired numbers. And the Nationals’ logo says “Est. 1905”, despite the fact that the team was actually established in 1969.

    The problem with the Nats and Washington baseball history is that there are two other current, active teams involved, and neither team has completely relinquished their Washington history.

    The Twins did give up the Senators name when they moved, but continue to acknowledge their 60 seasons as the Nationals/Senators, including the 1924 World Series championship. The Rangers still control the Senators name, only relinquishing the curly-W logo upon the formation of the Nationals, and still consider their 12 years as the second incarnation of the Senators as part of their history.

    Two contrasting shades of blue is not a good look at all.

    Wow. You lost me there. And every Villanova or Tornto Argonauts fan.

    To say nothing of the Houston Aeros, Kansas City Royals, UNC Tar Heels, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Penguins, University of Rhode Island Rams… shall I go on?

    I love light blue and navy blue. The Pens throwbacks are great. The U of Maine has the same colors. Really nice looking uniforms. Those colors work great together.

    Same with green and gold. A underused color scheme that works very well.

    OK — as of 10:25 am EST, I have updated the post to reflect ALL the MLB teams graphically.

    I hope this ends the confusion. I’ll try to get the NBA teams done as well.

    Except the Braves…although, to be fair, the Braves have been missing since the All-Star break.

    I think Davids post is a good fundamental start to identifying the best jerseys (or ones favorite jerseys) in sports. Most jerseys are not a huge mishmash of a dozen colors, just a few colors usually at most. Your favorite colors (or color combinations) are going to dictate your favorite jerseys.

    Which is why I disagree when Paul ranks the 122 uniforms, so many times uncreative uniforms make it very high on the list because of their legendary status, like the Yankees, who in a vacuum have a pretty blah uniform. I’d rather watch color on color games with the chiefs and the vikings, mets and marlins, reds and A’s, etc. Ducks (black) versus Rangers (white), complete visual snoozer.

    At first glance the Argonauts’ special event uniform looks nice. Giant chest logo but otherwise restrained.

    Then you notice that the sleeve details aren’t solid Columbia blue. They fade from Columbia to navy.

    Like I said in a reply above, I think that the color discussion is a great concept; I just think the article could use a bit more polish. It doesn’t help that the leagues aren’t complete (the Marlins and Rockies missing from the MLB listing; the Thunder and Jazz from the NBA).

    I’d like to think that, given some additional time to work it out, a more creative and interesting way to provide visual representation in-line with the article could be devised. Just having the color swatches makes me feel like I’m browsing the paint section at the hardware store. The palettes should remain text links; maybe a collage of images relating to the teams and their colors would work better. Logos? Player images? I’m just spitballing here now, trying to offer some constructive criticism.

    The Orioles item in particular intrigues me today; I do find it curious that they’d have a different logo on their helmets, though given the bird on the hat at the time, I wonder if the “B” might’ve just been easier to produce for the helmets? I’d love to see someone out there in the uni-sphere find out more about that little quirk.

    I rather like the “paint chip” approach. It’s a really unique take on an old conversation, stripping everything away and leaving just the colors.

    Or at least it should, but it’s clear from the descriptions that sometimes logos & uniforms are included in the evaluation and sometimes it’s just the colors themselves.

    Sure. I liked that electric blue/black/charcoal/silver combination that the Blue Jays used to wear. It was just the wrong color set for the Toronto Blue Jays.

    And…at 11:00 am, the NBA is now finished.

    Hope this clears up any further confusion.

    Seriously! But kudos to Andrew Lind for the great work on chronicling Nike’s template changes. That’s some impressive attention to detail!

    Personally, I’d like to see the Argos bring link back as an alt. Though, granted, they went 4-14 that year, and just about the only thing the Argos had going for them was Pinball Clemons.

    I think comparing this newest throwback to the 1995 jersey you linked made me realize something… I can handle a large letter on the jersey front for a football team, but a picture of something just looks awful. To me.

    That 1995 jersey is HORRIBLE, as were the other CFL uniforms of the era that incorporated pictures.


    Ehhh.. trying to do something really different with a football uniform is a thankless task. Not everyone gets to be the Bears, Steelers, or Raiders. Though I generally dislike the sublimated picture on the jersey front, the Argonauts’ results came out the best of a bad bunch. I’d also use the Acme Packers’ approach or leather straps pattern. It sure beats boring.

    I don’t hate this new Argonauts throwback, but feel they messed it up with the gradient.
    Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you should.


    The Argos’ new third uniforms aren’t great, but compared to those monstrosities the Roughriders are going to wear, they’re absolute freaking masterpieces.

    David Firestone, I give you two words that destroy much of you subjective choices: color theory.

    Orange & blue don’t work well together? Puh-leaze.

    One thing I will agree with on the colour rankings is black and yellow at the top – I always thought this was the most unscrewupable colour scheme in sports. It might not always be perfect, but can anyone think of a black and yellow jersey that looked absolutely horrible? I can’t.

    It might not always be perfect, but can anyone think of a black and yellow jersey that looked absolutely horrible? I can’t.

    I can.


    This seems like the day to ask:

    Am I wrong to want to call the Lakers’ gold* “yellow” because I consider the Saints’ gold* “gold”?

    “Gold” is a better-sounding and -reading word than “yellow” in almost any circumstance, but the pedant in me just wonders.

    Otherwise, did the St Louis Rams change from “royal blue and gold” to “navy and gold” in the c. 2000 updates?

    (*Random examples)

    That sound you may have heard is the sound of a can of worms opening.

    (I agree with you, btw. The Packers wear yellow, the 49ers wear gold.)


    That argument might work, if there were any professional teams actually using such obviously different shades of yellow. But there aren’t, so we all know exactly what color you mean when you say that the Packers have yellow helmets.

    Referring to both athletic gold and metallic gold as simply “gold” is every bit as impractical as referring to both columbia and navy as “blue”. It may be technically correct, but it isn’t actually helpful in describing what color a team is using.

    /and now to avoid arguing about it all day, I’m going to bed.

    It may be technically correct, but it isn’t actually helpful in describing what color a team is using.

    Best reasoning I remember The Jeff ever using!
    /One of these days, I’m gonna quote that.

    Yellow and Athletic Gold may not be the same, but they are closer to each other than either is to “Gold”.

    The Packers and Steelers and Vikings don’t wear “gold”, the Saints and 49ers do (even if their shades aren’t exact either).


    The Columbus Crew do indeed use yellow. So you’re left with the exact same problem.

    “Athletic Gold” is perfectly “helpful”. Not to mention more accurate.

    I always took teal to mean “some green in there someplace” v. light blue (Columbia, Honolulu, ice).

    BTJM (but that’s just me.)

    Padres colors, “No. Redeeming. Qualities. Whatsoever.” Really? The Orioles #7? I demand a recount!

    Great graphic of University of Minnesota Duluth helmet designs from 1960-present. Some really nice ones and some uggos. link

    Let me give some more insight to the list, and how I ranked the color schemes. As you all know by know, I write the Driver Suit Blog, and I grade paint schemes, since paint schemes and driver suits go hand in hand. One thing I bitch a lot about are color schemes, since many of the just don’t look good. So I decided to try this as an experement. Since even I am able to admit this was not my best idea, I won’t defend myself.

    I’ll admit this is a project I’d be afraid to tackle. Firstly, I’m green/red colorblind. My idiosyncratic tastes would bias the results, and would recognize that a good design can save a wonky color scheme. To take this on in a fair-handed way, it asks the casual observer to be able to distinguish subtle differences in Pantone-type swatches, a huge leap of faith. Not to be pedantic, but beauty is literally in the eye of the beholder.

    Call me crazy, but I LOVE the current Cavs unis and color scheme. I really don’t understand why people don’t see it’s value.

    If this color scheme had stuck from the old days of the Cavaliers (instead of jumping around to blue, orange, black, and all the weird trim colors on Lebron 1.0 jerseys) it would be revered as one of the best looks in the game, kinda like another wine and gold team I know that gets TONS of love on this site and others….


    For better or worse, the larger impression of a team’s uni/colors is greatly influenced by the success or legacy of that team. The team does well > jersey sales increase > visibility of certain colors goes way up > people rank those colors higher associating them with success.

    Case in point, I’m willing to bet the Seahawks current colors would have ranked far lower in year 1 than they would now.

    Re: Orioles B helmet

    Obviously not a standard part of the uniform for that year, but maybe a throwback worn to honor a particular International League or Negro League team?? Did they do that back then?

    Also. don’t discount the fact that they may have been surplus from the International League team when they moved here in “54 — since they were helmets and not regular caps, they’d be less likely than cloth to wear out, plus they would have been cheaper that new ones. My guess is that their use would have been restricted to pre-game warm-up activities.

    Grizzlies color scheme is last? Come one. I’ve seen polls that say the Griz logo is one of the best in sports so I’d take a good logo over bad color scheme any day

    Also, I cant believe Char could be getting a All Star Game before Memphis. So I did some research and apparently Memphis doesnt have enough hotel rooms to host the All Star game.

    Sorry, Newton; the Griz bring up the rear sartorially. The jersey was compromised the day Adidas told them their numbers couldn’t match the titles, then they put out that woofer of an alternate uniform. Granted the bear head half in shadow is a nice insignia.

    The Grizzlies have my favorite modern-style uniform in the whole NBA. Love the colors, the fonts, and yes, especially the alt. Logo’s pretty snazzy, too.

    I think one has to take into account which color is the primary and secondary and also the ratio of the colors. You have take the aesthetics of the uniform and logo out, but look only at the colors (and their respective ratios). I may not agree with the analysis, but I didn’t do the work, and I think the project is a phenomenal idea.

    Regarding the color scheme ranking article:
    1. The list is incomplete.
    2. Purple and blue are different colors.
    3. Black, white, and red is a mediocre combination in one sport but is the best in another.

    This season , would like to see a write up on the uniforms of LNAH it’s the goon hockey league out of Quebec Canada

    I used to think my biggest pet peeve was college football uniform/helmet rankings (which always seem to ironically feature the author’s alma mater at #1), but instead I realized that an even bigger pet peeve of mine is a “Top 10” list that features each team on a separate page and makes you click through all of them. I only made it to #9 before I got bored and realized I didn’t care where Bill DiFilippo went to school.

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