By Phil Hecken
Earlier this week, I noticed the Miami Marlins tweeted out an image that intrigued me — a graphic that had the Marlins wordmark and the simple phrase “Let’s Go Fish!” No, there was no apostrophe catastrophe, everything was in order; it was the kind of almost old school graphic you’d see on Twitter a few years ago. In fact there was nothing really out of the ordinary about it, except for one thing.
“What’s so unusual about that?” you say. Well, first of all — the colors are all bright and cheery (even gaudy). Very much what I picture when I think of Miami. But, to my mind, very un-Marlinlike, as they have, for the past decade or so, seemed to wear as much black as possible in their uniforms. They started out with a healthy dose of teal, but gradually morphed into a team that wore more black elements than any other color.
A few years ago, they rebranded, and while they introduced an orange alternate, they still wear their black tops and caps quite a bit. So that graphic was refreshing.
Then I noticed their Twitter avatar. I’m not sure, exactly, when it changed, but it now features a beautiful blue background.
Now, when the Marlins became the “Miami Marlins” during their 2012 rebrand, they introduced a new logo and color scheme, one that makes generous use of those same bright colors seen in the graphic above. Namely, orange, blue and yellow — the colors I think of when I think of South Florida.
Both “Miami” and “Marlins” look fantastic when rendered against that sea-blue background:
So good, in fact — I have a very modest proposal. It’s time for the Marlins to ditch the black (alternate jersey) and embrace the blue. That’s right — I’m calling for them to add a new jersey…but on the condition the retire the black jersey and cap (combo) permanently. They’ve already got a nice white jersey (they can keep the black cap with that if they have to), even though they have a perfectly beautiful orange cap and sleeves they could wear with the white jersey.
The team (or Majestic/New Era) already produce blue caps and jerseys — and those look quite nice:
The team has even given *tacit* approval to the alternate blue jersey by having celebrity guests wear it on the field. A tweet “asking” the Marlins to add the blue jersey seemed to meet with strong approval and likes (not that Twitter should be the barometer of anything, but the lack of negativity was a good sign):
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) April 26, 2016
It’s a modest proposal really. And you know I’m (generally) NOT a fan of alternates. However, I think the Marlins, with a blue-orange-yellow color scheme, could really carve a signature uniform set, much the way the Oakland A’s in the early 70s owned gold, green and white. I’d even go so far as to have the Marlins wear only white, orange and blue jerseys (remember when they ditched the gray jersey and orange caps for an entire season?), and drop the gray jersey AND pants altogether. They could rock the white/blue/orange over white pants at home, and go blue or orange over white pants on the road. Lots of teams did that back in the 70s and 80s, why must they have gray pants now? (Yes, I went there.)
Yes, I know the owner is a big fan of black — and yes, we all know that black jerseys sell well — but c’mon man: this is South Florida. Google Miami Beach and what imagery do you see? What colors? Not a lot of black. Yeah, I know they’re technically not playing in Miami Beach, but they’re just across the Bay, man. It’s close enough.
It’s time to ditch the black and go blue. The only thing I’d change about the cap seen above is the brim — make that black for a little contrast. But it’s time for them to add this concept asap:
I played around with having the workmark say Miami (maybe for the road?), and having black numbers, but in the end (and at the suggestion of Jimmer Vilk), I went with white. I think it looks pretty good, and clearly, it would evoke the full South Florida vibe their social media are trying to push.
“Well, Phil, if you like the orange and blue so much, but they also use bright yellow, why not add a yellow jersey too?” you
would in no way ask? I thought of that. I think, for now, the proposal to add the blue jersey is enough.
OK readers — what say you? Time for the Fish to officially “Ditch The Black” and #WearBlueJerseys? Fire away.
Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.
Got one colorization today — and I’m not quite sure how I did this — but yesterday’s featured artist, Chris Whitehouse of “ManCave Pictures,” had sent me three colorizations, but I somehow omitted one of them (and even more strangely, substituted one he’d done in a previous submission).
So, today, I’m running the submission I inadvertently left out yesterday (sorry, Chris!)
Click the photo to enlarge.
Here is the 1901 Chicago White Sox.
ManCave Pictures, LLC
Super job, Chris — apologies for missing this one yesterday!
Insert “No Rain” Chant Here…
April showers may bring May flowers, but apparently they also bring May rain.
On Robert Marshall’s favorite day of the calendar year, it looks like today’s Mets/Giants game (which includes a free pair of socks for the first 15K attendees) may be rained out — and at the very least, looks like there will be lousy weather for a game.
Which is a shame, because I’m (hoping to be) attending said game with Paul and James T. Huening, who’s in town for the weekend. Let’s hope the weather gods *shine* on us and the game’s not a complete washout.
I know at least one reader will be attending, but if any of you NYers are at the game and feel like saying “Hi” — we’ll be (way up) in section 536 row 12.
Rain is great on March 21st, but I could do without (a lot, anyway) today. Fingers crossed.
UW’s Friday Flashback
In case you missed it, Paul’s Friday Flashback on ESPN looked at how purple and teal became the hot uniform colors of the ’90s. It affected all major sports too — in fact there were 22 teams in the Big Four pro leagues that either came into existence or were reborn with a new team name in the 1990s (including the Sharks, who hit the ice in 1991). Of those 22 teams, half of them — 11 out of 22 — used purple and/or teal in their inaugural color schemes.
Great read, so be sure to check it out if you didn’t catch it on Friday!
for the Ticker
Got a note yesterday from Leo Strawn, Jr. — I may as well just call this section “Leo Strawn’s Too Good For The Ticker” — I kid, of course, but Leo always sends in great stuff.
Thought I’d share a couple of other mismatches that I’ve seen lately:
Nap Lajoie, either prior to being traded to Cleveland in 1902 (after playing in 1901 and one game of the ’02 season for Connie Mack) or after being traded back to Philly in 1915. The oddity about this photo is that, according to Okkonen, the Athletics didn’t wear pillbox caps in 1902 (and he says the 1901 version didn’t have stripes although this photo of Matty McIntyre in his only season with the Athletics in ’01 would suggest otherwise), and Philadelphia didn’t begin wearing that classic “A” logo until the ’02 season. The Athletics wore striped pillbox caps with road jerseys similar to those shown in the photo of Lajoie, but that was during 1914, prior to Nap rejoining Philly. They wore pinstriped (rounded) caps and uniforms in 1915-16 (his last two seasons in baseball). Perhaps they wore pillbox caps from ’01 in spring training or the first game of 1902 or wore the 1914 uniforms in spring training or early part of the ’15 season?
— Leo Strawn Jr
Thanks, Leo! As always, great stuff!
OK. Now, onto the ticker…
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: On Friday night, Steve Cishek had a bit of a stirrup malfunction (from Alex Carson and Dan Merker respectively). … The PawSox will wear Pawtucket Slaters (1946-49) unis/caps on throwback Thursdays at home in 2016 (from Phil Pane). … Remember the Boombang (protective pitcher’s helmet)?. Yeah, it seems like its not catching on. … The Phillies will be wearing a special “painters” cap (aka faux-pillbox) and maroon pinstripes for “70s night” on June 3 (h/t Craig T. Nelson). I wasn’t able to find any photographic evidence (other than in this
NL All Star team photo correction: 1979 Japan Tour photo — but not all Phillies are wearing them, and they have far more stripes than the three stripe version supposedly worn), but according to Dressed to the Nines, the Phils did join several other National League teams in wearing the pillbox cap in 1976 — I’m assuming that was also worn in a non-All Star setting. That throwback uni will also have this patch (also from Craig). My only qualm with these is they should be zipper-fronts (at least for authenticity’s sake). … Reader Benjamin Hendel received an ‘Interesting e-mail from MLB.com Partners’. He states, “No logo on Giancarlo’s helmet, and no chin guard either, so we know it’s not an action shot. But this is sent from an MLB account, and it uses MLB logos, so the no logo on the helmet is odd. Doubly so when you scroll down and see that they have an MLB Collection and use the Marlins logo there.” [I clicked on the link Benjamin provided and it appears to actually go to an oakley ad — PH] … Someone had to do it: Edward Kendrick says “I provide for the Uni Watch site the tracking for the Arizona Diamondbacks uniforms this season. I was hoping that this could be covered in the Ticker.” … The Tampa Yankees wore Superhero jerseys last evening (from Mike Nessen). … Mizzou & Tennessee may not have has the most aesthetically appealing uni matchup yesterday, but their stirrup games were on point (from Mark Johnson). … I’m not 100% sure if the Iron Pigs wore these jerseys yesterday, but they were being auctioned off (from Thom Pucks). Check that — yes they did. … Orioles jerseys seem to show up in the strangest of places (h/t Weave). … Ole Miss and LSU had a pretty strong color vs. color game yesterday (via Mike Tremblay). … Was David Ortiz wearing white shoes yesterday? Sure looks like it (from Daryle S Grof). … In 1950, the Brooklyn Dodgers trotted out a forerunner to modern technology during spring training: a machine designed to call strikes (from Ted Arnold).
NFL News: Are the San Diego Chargers moving back to white NOB lettering on the blue jerseys? (thanks, Paul). … This article highlights the speed with which draft jerseys (w/new player NOB) must work, but what’s even more notable is the horrible mismatched shades of green are on this Jets’ jersey. Is Nike even trying anymore? … Sweet shot of the “Kansas Comet” (aka Gale Sayers) wearing a beautiful letterman jacket at the NFL draft (h/t Jerry Adams). … A couple people sent this in: the last pick in the NFL draft is given a “Mr. Irrelevant” jersey, complete with the number of whatever the last pick is. That’s usually pretty funny, except the Broncos traded the last pick of the draft to the Titans, so “Mr. Irrelevant” was given a jersey for the wrong team. … We knew the San Francisco 49ers were going to have a 70th Anniversary patch this season, and here’s a look at it on the jersey (from D’Andrewlo Russell). Here’s a closeup of the patch & details (from Stephen Peters). … Jim Weber wants to “Make NFL Helmets Great Again” — you can read more about his quest here. … “When Navy’s Keenan Reynolds was drafted in the 6th round by the Ravens, it looks like he was wearing an older Ravens hat,” says Bob Novotny Note the old “winged B” logo on the right side.” … Cross-sport (sorta) alert! Here’s a backpack for all those Green Bay Ducks fans out there, from Gabe Flores (also posted in the NCAA Football section).
College Football News: If you weren’t able to watch the Oregon Ducks Spring Game (you can read about the uniforms both sides wore here) yesterday, here are some highlights — check out the scorebug: it reads “Webfoots” and “Mighty O” (thanks to Nick Colosimo). … The Arkansas Razorbacks tweeted out a photo of one of their players being drafted by the Jaguars. Unfortunately, they used the old Jaguars logo (good spot by Sam Middlebrooks). … Cross-sport (sorta) alert! Here’s a backpack for all those Green Bay Ducks fans out there, from Gabe Flores (also posted in the NFL section).
Hockey News: Here’s a beautiful photo (and a surprising non-baseball submission!) of the 1930 NHL New York Americans & Ottawa Senators, posing together in Atlantic City, New Jersey (sent in by the one and only Bruce Menard). … Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff has his initials (“LR”) on his cap (nice spot by Dustin Perez).
Soccer News: Yesterday Everton players wore “t-shirts to pay tribute to those who fought for justice for the 96” (via Jim Collier). … Here’s a look at the new Manchester U secondary kit (from Patrick Thomas). … Patrick also says, “Want to downgrade so no one will even know what the blob in the middle is?! Just ask AC Milan!” … Still more from Patrick: Costa Rica going with New Balance for their kits. … Leicester City are so popular now they’ve run out of jerseys.
Grab Bag: From Graham Clayton: “A nice infographic showing the helmet design and colours of all Formula 1 World Champions from 1950 to 2014.” … “My Dad & I were at the Grand Slam of Curling event (great sport to watch & play, am I right?) in Sherwood Park, AB (Fri)day, and I noticed quite the unoriginal logo on the rinkside ads,” writes Neil Kemp. “Wonder if the folks in Dallas have seen it.”
And that’s all for this week. Thanks to the few of you who tweeted or submitted via e-mail for the ticker, plus Leo for his TGFTT bit.
I’ll be back next weekend…but until that time…
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“I loved the solid teal Marlins cap, but they seemed to ditch it in short order. Much like the more recent orange cap, which I loved as well.”
— Jon Rose