By Phil Hecken
Well, you guys absolutely OUTDID yourselves on this latest contest. When I announced the “Redesign the USA Baseball Jersey” contest last weekend, I expected maybe 20 entries, of varying quality. Boy, was I wrong.
I received more than 100 entries from 54 different contestants. That’s FAR too many to run in one sitting. I was just going to run them, hope you guys made a few comments, and then we’d move on. But, after seeing the effort that went into all these, here’s what we’re gonna do: 54 divided by three equals 18, which is a very solid number to run at a time — so there will be a total of three separate parts to the contest. After speaking to my friend Sarah, she said “you’re going to have voting, right?” I hadn’t planned on it, especially since there are no prizes to be offered. But, then I thought, despite the extra effort (but since the voting will only be for “pride”), I decided, why not…let’s let the readers have some fun with it as well.
So…here’s how it’s gonna work. I’ll run these IN THE ORDER THEY WERE RECEIVED. They will be run in six sets of NINE (two sets today, and then the next four next weekend, in two separate posts). After each set of nine, we’ll vote on the best from that set. The top two vote getters from each set will move on to the finals, so we’ll narrow it down to the top 12 (two from each of the six sets). After all the finalists are chosen, we’ll have one final vote to determine the best redesign.
I was amazed at the breadth and depth of the entries — some of you went with classic, or throwback-ish designs, others of you (as I’d hoped and suspected) went FULL America. Many were in between. But they were all good to excellent, and almost every one of them is decidedly better than what the USA has been wearing (and will continue to wear against Japan on Tuesday, since they won, and defeated defending champs Dominican Republic, last night). Let’s hope someone at USA Baseball takes a good look at this contest and decides to contact one of you for a possible redesign. They couldn’t do any worse.
So, enough of my yakking — here’s the first set of nine, after which there will be voting (you can vote for any number of the entries, but you can only vote once); so write down your favorite(s) and then pick your winner(s) for this bracket. After this set, we’ll repeat the process for the second nine.
If an entrant has sent in more than one design, I’m going to run the entire set below. You’re going to be voting on the ENTIRETY of the set, so keep that in mind. You can click to enlarge the images below. Some folks provided writeups, some did not — but in the interest of keeping this manageable, no writeups are provided. The designs should stand on their own.
OK? OK. Here we go…
AND NOW…VOTING FOR THE FIRST NINE (You may pick as many as you like)
And now…the final nine for today:
Hungry Hungry Hipster
AND NOW…VOTING FOR THE SECOND NINE (You may pick as many as you like)
And that’s it for today. Great stuff, yes? And there’s a lot more of that to come. Make sure you voted in BOTH polls. The top two from each poll will advance to the final round.
Let all the concepters know what you think in the comments below!
In Case You Missed It…Paul’s Latest ESPN Piece
Between assorted makers’ marks and the many iterations of the MLB logo (including the Majestic and MLB logos on the pants, as shown here), today’s ballplayers are wearing more logos than ever before. Paul’s latest ESPN article examines how these logos have spread across the uniform over the past generation, and assesses which ones are relatively harmless and which are more odious.
If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, here ya go. Definitely worth the read if you haven’t already.
OK, it’s a couple days early, but…
As most of you know, tomorrow is the first day of spring (usually it lands on the 21st, but what’re ya gonna do…it’s a day early this year). Now, that’s significant because usually the first day of spring ALSO coincides with the birth of our founder, Paul Lukas. I’ll be sure to check back in on the 21st to wish him a big fat happy on the actual anniversary of his birth, but since I ain’t workin’ that day…I’m also gonna take the time to wish him an early birthday on here.
So, to the best boss a guy could EVER have (and I do mean that sincerely), as well as a great and true friend — Happy Birthday, Paul. I hope it’s the best one you ever had.
And…normally (and especially after the winter we’ve had), I would be rejoycing for a first FULL day of spring forecast like this…
…but I will be sorely disappointed if a little rain doesn’t fall.
Interesting high temp predicted, if you know what I mean.
And if you don’t know why I’m hoping for some rain…be sure to check back Tuesday.
Cheers to you, Paul.
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: Check out Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. in a Baltimore Orioles basketball uniform — wearing Miller Lite branded short shorts Jimmer Vilkanova probably still has a pair of (from Bruce Menard). Also from Bruce, check out the beautiful striped undershirt worn by Casey Stengel in this spring training photo. … Whoops? Buco writes, “Not sure if @MajesticOnField was confused or overly creative with this Rangers baseball jersey.” … A guy is trying to collect every Mike Piazza Florida Marlins trading card. He has 117 of the 124 possible card types. Piazza was a Marlin for 8 days in 1998 (from Mike Chamernik). … The Maryland Terrapins broke out new camopander unis yesterday (from Jake Eisenberg). Here’s another view (from P. Costello). … New combination yesterday for the Florida Gators softball team (from Gators SB EQ). … Those jerseys don’t clean themselves! Check out these HOF Cincy Reds jerseys in a dry cleaners! (from Tim Curry). … Some nice gray roadies for EMU yesterday (from EMU Baseball). … Yesterday, the West Texas Lady A&M Buffaloes declared it a “Beautiful day to break out the new military uniforms, it’s an honor to represent these fallen heroes” (from Tyson Jex). … Here’s a shot of team Japan vs Cubs in spring training. Submitter Steve Sher notes, “this will be the Yankees in a few years.” … Here’s a photo you don’t often see: Rollie Fingers as a member of the Red Sox (from Chris Hamilton via Vintage Baseball). That’s from June 15, 1976 — 1 of the 3 days Rollie Fingers spent w/the Red Sox. A’s owner Charlie Finley’s fire-sale trade of Fingers was nixed by the MLB Commish Bowie Kuhn. … Here’s another photo — check out those black & red Pumas! (from John Turney). … And lest we forget Joe Rudi was part of the fire sale as well (from Gary Pierce).
NFL News: Obsessed with equipment and willing to take some hits along the way, a self-taught tinkerer became the go-to guy for some of the NFL’s biggest stars when it comes to a crucial piece of equipment: shoulder pads (from Jason Hillyer). … We bemoan helmet striping today that covers holes and extends over bumpers, but check out this photo from Steve B. Creations of an old Denver Broncos helmet. Looks like the stripes weren’t cut off back then either! Steve adds, “never seen that done before.” … Tony Jefferson will wear #21 for the Ravens, a number previously occupied by the recently cut Ladarius Webb (from Andrew Cosentino). … Here are some neat USFL pennants (from Dr. Paul Durkee).
College Football News: We all know Jimmer Vilk loves short shorts, so the question must be asked, “would you wear these”? Check out Baylor Football wearing what looks like hemmed version of white game pants to kick off spring practice (from Bear Droppings BU). … Hmmm, should Florida go “Golden State style” with their old logo & unis (from Katherine Miller via WB Young).
Hockey News: Toronto Maple Leaf (St. Pat’s) goalie Frederik Andersen’s green pads were not ready in time for yesterday’s game, “so his pads were modified with @ChameleonSports – #TMLtalk” (from The Goal Net). … Here’s a look at the Red Wings and Avalanche playing at Joe Louis arena for the final time — with the B1G Hockey Championship last night, the B1G logo appeared at center ice (from Jason Yellin). … Check out the Autism Awareness warm-up jerseys that were auctioned off last night by the Cleveland Monsters (from Bring Jimmy Home). … Did you ever wonder what the Hartford Whalers classic logo would look like if it were made into a “Transformers” shape? Me neither, but here you go anyway (from Louise Brooks Fan Club). … The Fargo Force of the USHL appear to be throwing back to the defunct FM Jets of the NAHL (2003-2008) — from Patrick Thomas. … Last night, the Maple Leafs became the Toronto St. Pats and rocked their beautiful unis. You can see some more good photos and very positive Twitter reax here. … Speaking of St. Paddy’s Day sweaters, the Milwaukee Admirals did the wearin’ o’ the green (from Zach Loesl).
NBA/ABA/Basketball News: “Rare photo showing the Baltimore Claws in action (only played 3 pre-season games in franchise history b4 ABA folded)” (from Robert Hayes). If you look at those jerseys, you can tell the “Claws” was (or appeared to be) simply stitched over the uniforms of the Memphis Sounds — you can tell by the distinctive number font. Here’s a bit more information on the short-lived Baltimore Claws. … Cavs fan Justin Bieber played basketball in a full Steph Curry uniform. … The Sioux Falls Skyforce broke out their corn jerseys last night (from Mike Chamernik). Also from Mike, another color vs. color game in Charlotte, with the Hornets taking on the Wizards. … Our daily rundown from Zach Loesl: Color vs color games with the Cavs & Clips and Hornets & Wiz; and white on the road for the Bucks. … Here’s another shot of that Bucks vs. Warriors game (from Mike Chamernik).
College/High School Hoops News: After the first round of games (from 64 down to 32 teams remaining), Conrad Burry posted the logo matchups for the 16 games in round 2. … Alex Gerwitz tracked the color vs white matchups for all of Friday’s games. … Check out this awesome photo of Baseball legend Mickey Mantle with the Commerce H.S. Basketball Team. My OCD is very satisfied seeing all those double numbers! … According to Max Ethridge, Nigel Hayes is wearing Adidas compression shorts (which is notable because Wisconsin’s unis are now supplied by Under Armour). … The Virginia Cavaliers wore these navy jerseys for their NCAA Tourney game last night (from Matthew Althoff).
Soccer News: Brutal color vs. color matches don’t just happen at the pro level. Sometimes (probably oftentimes, due to lack of “alternate” uniforms) they take place on youth soccer fields (from Kevin Crawmer). … Blank (possibly blood?) jersey alert! Montreal Impact player with N#OB against NYCFC yesterday (from Matt Harris). … The Minnesota United are using a different, better kit stripe in promo picture (from Justin Cook).
Grab Bag: This is pretty cool (and shows dedication!): “I designed and had printed t-shirts to commemorate my 200th running race,” says Ken Traisman. … What do Catholic school girls and Joseph Stalin have in common? They’ve worn a uniform to conserve their mental energy for a higher purpose than just fashion — good non-sports, non-military piece on uniforms, from James Gilbert. … Also from James, check out these University of North Carolina singlets on display at the March “Matness” NCAA wrestling championships. … Jimmer Vilkanova has created a new acronym: FOSNOB (Flag Over School Name On Back), as Hawaii volleyball also going with black version of their awesome flag jerseys.
And that’s it for today. Big thanks to ALL the entrants in the Redesign the USA Baseball contest. Good luck to the first 18 today. Make sure you vote (in BOTH sections). I’ll have the final entrants next weekend.
Everyone have a great week — especially a certain fella on Tuesday. I’ll catch you next weekend. But until then…
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“I strongly dislike the Brooklyn Cyclones’ logo. The font of the C clashes badly with the Dodgers B. The act of interlocking these two disparate letters results in an unsightly mess.”
— Ferdinand Cesarano
The Admirals didn’t wear green, it was their opponents the Iowa Wild who wore the green. The Ads player is in the front of the picture, wearing white.
Sorry to say…I couldn’t bring myself to vote for any of the USA Baseball concepts. Whether it was too much red, or a silly logo, or the strange use of “United States” or “America” on the jersey, orjust a bad overall concept, each entry had something that made me reject it. Perhaps I’m getting crotchety on my declining years.
I think it’s just a tough idea to work with. It can’t be too understated, because of what it is, but it’s very easy to make it gaudy without intending to. That said, I saw a sum total of 3 designs out of 18 that I like more than the current set, and enjoyed some of the “Super ‘Merica” ones even if I could never vote for them.
Nothing jumps out at me. Abstaining from this vote.
Agreed. Frankly, all of them look terrible. The first one in particular must be a joke.
Also abstaining. Thank you.
I believe FOSNOB is considered an initialism, not an acronym.
Bieber only guy to rock a full uni set while playing pick up. Also wears custom kings jersey with quick on the back playing forward in beer league hockey.
Love the designs, especially the fun/silly ones. Games are supposed to be fun and I really appreciate when uniforms reflect that.
It’s hard for me to endorse any of those uniform designs for Olympic or WBSC (World Baseball Softball Confederation, the world governing body) play, but for the World Baseball Classic, anything goes, and all designs are fair game; I have my preference(s).
I love the use of “America” on the front of Trey Glickman’s jersey and just “States” on Trayton Miller’s road jersey. When it comes down to an actual jersey to be worn on the field, I’d probably just go with “USA”, but as concepts, I love them.
Oh crap was that today?
Me too, I had planned to do an entry and one idea was “America” across the front – just to be different. I was thinking a cream “declaration” color too.
Glad someone else used part of that.
Contest was referred to at least once as a Jersey & Cap Redesign Project so I just did jerseys and caps.
Not sure if the lack of pants and socks hurt me a bit, the different styles of my three sets, the “softball tops”, the last minute flippant choices for NOB for the 1st 3 jerseys. More likely it was all just the works themselves (I’m no artist – graphic or otherwise).
Just the luck of the draw that I got put in what I think is the stronger group of the two today. Didn’t ever think I’d be in the top two and “moving on”; but also didn’t think I’d be in a ‘battle for the basement’ for my group.
Out of all of today’s entry I think I like Aaron Ganci’s entry the most. Only critique I can think of for that one is I think the font needs to be a bit thicker on the NOB. Great job Aaron!
Yours was one of my four favorites, Will. Especially your third design with the vertical lettering.
As I went through the submissions my inner voice kept saying “Respect the placket!” I was hoping to see “USA” over the heart instead of the whole chest. With three letters you can do that and still have a big enough design.
Also really liked Stone, Cordes and Mayntz’.
I don’t think you should take the voting to heart. In both groups, I found my preferences were among the least popular. It looks to me like the majority of voters are looking for something that is pretty conventional and fairly similar in style to what the various WBC teams were wearing.
Put another way, you’ve got nice designs, but they don’t appear to be what the voters are looking for. Nothing wrong with that! Heck, when it comes to politics, I often find that the people with what I think are the best ideas get the fewest votes!
I really like Bryan Spangenberg’s set, though I wish he had used a slightly brighter shade of blue. And with the Yankees being “America’s Team” it makes a ton of sense for Team USA to sport pinstripes, so Andrew Stone’s design is my other favorite choice. Not a big fan of any in the second batch.
Thinking about it some more, if you invert the colors of the “USA” on Bryan’s home uni concept (navy letters with red trim) and added pinstripes, that would really be the ultimate!
I was going to say the same thing. Clearly the best by a mile. I like the red too but also would like to see a blue pinstripe addition as well. Good job Bryan.
Have to point out a correction in the Sportsnet article in the ticker about Toronto St. Pats uniforms:
“The last time Toronto’s NHL team regularly wore green and were known as the St. Pats was in the 1926-27 NHL season – one in which they failed to make the playoffs. After that, Conn Smythe bought them and changed the name to the Maple Leafs.”
To correct their statement, Conn Smythe bought the team and changed their name to Maple Leafs DURING the 1926-27 season, not after. They played as the green-and-white clad Maple Leafs in February and March of 1927. Colour change to blue and white occurring for 1927-28 season.
Great work on USA baseball. Everyone. What I respect about UW is the open market of ideas. Well done artists!
Nicely done guys with the USA uniforms. I like the “USA” better than the abbreviated “US”, but I really liked just the “A” on Trey’s cap. Also I really liked the font of the “A” on Hungry’s cap. Also really liked the “AMERICA” on the jersey of Trey’s. What I thought might be really good is to just have an American flag on the hat. Or if you have letters on the hat, then maybe an American flag on the left chest over the heart.
Speaking of helmet stripes going over the nose bumper, Texas A&M continued the stripe over theirs on their Bear Bryant Tribute uniforms this past year.
I really hate the idea of breaking the entries down into groups like this. The best 3 concepts could easily end up in the same group and thus someone gets shafted. Just put them all out at once and let everyone vote for a top 10 or something and then do another vote after that.
I was thinking the same thing (I personally thought the first group was stronger than the 2nd), but in the end, if I think design A is better than design G, it doesn’t matter which group they’re in, I’m voting for A 10 times out of 10.
The “Uncle Sam as bad-ass ballplayer” patch is by far my favorite element in this design contest. Well done!
I CANNOT stand the use of the reverse American flag on the right sleeve. The uniform is not a vehicle, so the standard stars in upper left corner flag may be used on either sleeve. And, if there’s any controversy about whether it is acceptable or not, just put the flag patch on the left sleeve. What’s the obsession with the right sleeve?
The shot of Mick with his high school basketball team was priceless.
Unlike what some of you are saying, I thought a great number of these were excellent. As JoeyJoe says these are supposed to be fun and many of them certainly are fun.
Kuras: I’d wear that hat for sure.
Spangenberg: Sox really pop well
Corcoran: Like the brighter blue
Stone: Nice classic look
Glikman: Cool logo, would like to see it on the left chest
Denver Gregg: Powder blue – YES!
Pass: Classic logo
Forosisky: Awesome eagle (with hot dog) and white back hat
Dusenberry: I like mismatching hat and sox (probably unlike most people)
Smith: Awesome 1980 +/- white sox retro alt idea
Shapiro: Basic and clean
Sheibler: Creative and cool pullover! Eagle logo is nice. Verticle USA is fun
Ganci: Like the solid UNITED STATES on the front
Cordes: Red with white pins – original and fun
Mayntz: Cream – yes!
Engle: Stars on cap vents are great.
Hipster: From striped pants to astros base, freakin cool.
Traton: White is clean and makes everything stand out and sox are the best!
Great job everyone. My winners: Trayton’s whites, Smith’s alts, and Denver Gregg because of powder blues.
Oh, puke! Michigan’s long-sleeve t-shirts say “#WEAREJORDAN” on the sleeves, instead of school or mascot. Whores! Douchebags! Ne’er-do-wells!
I think the Aaron Ganci designs are my favorite, and I love the idea of putting the player’s home state on the left sleeve… but how will we able to tell Wyoming from Colorado ;-)
The rangers jersey in the baseball section is not a mistake by majestic they did a line of baseball jerseys for nhl teams a few years ago