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MLB: The Pinkening, Year 2 (Day 1)

cards pink 550

By Phil Hecken

MLB’s love affair with special event uniforms continues, and in typical millennial fashion, works under the mantra of “anything worth doing is worth overdoing,” and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Last year, on Mother’s Day, the splash photo included a ratchet, because you can be certain that once MLB starts something like they did last year, there’s only one direction for the special event unis to go — and that’s to get turnt up. So, after wearing the pink last year on Mother’s Day itself, MLB added an extra day of pinkening this year…just in case we didn’t get it last time around.

For years, MLB has been celebrating Mother’s Day (a nice gesture) by giving away free tickets to all mothers curing breast cancer partnering with Susan G. Komen and using various on field stuff (shoes, bases, wristbands, bats, etc.) for promotion by making them pink. When it reached the point where they could no longer find things to turn pink, they turned to the uniforms. And, for the first time ever, all teams wore uniforms and caps with pink accents (see Paul’s post, linked above). You knew that was only the beginning. How do you top that (other than by having all pink uniforms — and don’t laugh, they do it in softball, and it’s probably where this is headed)? Well, you turn a (admittedly cheeky) one-day gimmick for Mother’s Day into an entire weekend of pink! So, instead of just wearing the pink vs. pink on, ya know, actual Mother’s Day, it’s now a Saturday-Sunday affair.

I was out of the loop for much of yesterday, but I had plenty of photos e-mailed and tweeted at me, and I did see the Brewers/Mets game last evening. Other than some teams swapping home uniforms for road uniforms, the teams looked basically as they did last Mother’s Day — only this year the caps changed. Last year the caps were dark gray with the team’s logo rendered in pink. This year, the caps were “anthracite” with a pink brim and pink logo:

All teams had special caps but wore their regular batting helmets:

For teams who normally wear black helmets, like the Pirates (or Giants) above, this doesn’t look too bad. However…if your team wears a shade other than the black/gray family…

This is a minor quibble. Teams rarely create special event helmets (exceptions being some throwback games, and Negro League tribute games). Sometimes they’ll remove stickers from current helmets, but it’s not so odd to see mismatched helmets with special unis.

This didn’t mean some players didn’t go out of their way to customize their gear to “match” (or say “look at me”) their special uniforms. Some backstops decided to pinkorize it:

pena pink

Others just wore their normal gear:

If you look at the image above, you’ll see that all teams wore a sleeve patch rendered in pink, or pink and gray:

This posed a problem last season (when there was Mother’s Day pink, Father’s Day blue, Memorial Day camopander and Independence Day flag desecration) for the Indians, whose special Wahoo patch was not rendered in pink or blue like the other 29 teams, all of whom had patches matching the special event color. This year? Not a problem:

…since the Indians (or more likely, MLB) decided they’d ditch their smiling caricature for the “block C”. This did not go unnoticed…

Not only did the Indians go Wahoo-less on their jerseys, they also wore the block C on their special caps and helmets. So, for the second time this year (and I believe second time in only four years), the Indians did NOT have a single Wahoo on their uniforms (the other time was last Sunday when the team wore Cleveland Buckeye’s Negro League throwback uniforms. They wore block C helmets then too).

Some teams wear their “own” special uniforms on weekends or Sundays — all those will be put on hold today (and yesterday as well). For example, the Blue Jays wear their Sunday red but wear a blue cap (and either a white, gray or blue jersey) Monday through Saturdays. Yesterday, they broke protocol (sorta) by wearing their red helmets (and dugout gear):

One Blue Red Jay apparently didn’t get the “you must wear pink sleeves” memo and wore red:

While the rest of the team wore pink:

…well, not ALL the BLUE Jays, alas

So, you had THREE different colored undershirts on three different Toronto players yesterday. This is the kind of crap that happens on these special events days, and must drive equipment managers nuts.

FFS, you even had guys changing belt colors yesterday:

The St. Louis Cardinals normally wear their cream alternates on Saturday home games with the St. Louis script, rendered in beautiful chain stitching. Other home games (and road games, for that matter) see them in gorgeous chain stitched “Cardinals” script. Both of those were casualties yesterday:

Some teams just played by their own uni rules. The Dodgers apparently said, “we don’t need to stinkin’ Mother’s Day caps” and proceeded to wear their normal blue caps:

This isn’t new this year, but teams who have piping on their pants were all given special Mother’s Day pants without piping to wear with their special shirts. So, for teams who normally have pants with the piping, they are at least blissfully free of the Jerry Dior batterman logo on the belt loop:

Teams who don’t have pants piping wear their regular pants, complete with the batterman:

Not only were sleeves (as seen above) an inconsistent color, so were belts. In one game, you had two different shades of pink and black:

And of course, there was special hosiery. This is generally viewed (by Paul as well as myself) as a good thing, regardless of the hosiery. However, with Stance taking over as official sock supplier, some of the designs have been um…well… Anyway, Stance provided players who chose to go high cuffed with two options:


one of which was kind of a camo/tie dye job and the other a gray topped, pink over pink number Neither of which looked good.

A few players took it upon themselves to wear actual pink stirrups (which were a fairly light pink, making the white sani underneath almost blend into the stirrup):

Of course, those rebellious Dodgers…they don’t play by our rules:

(Side note: I liked the blue stirrup/pink sani look best. But I’m nuts like that.)

Aside from the uni shenanigans (and there was probably a lot I didn’t see of have brought to my attention — hopefully Paul can close any gaps on Monday), the focus was on other clothing, notably shoes. There were too many players sporting custom PEs to list, but here are a few:

You get the idea — shoes ranged from pretty mellow to garish, and there was everything in between.

A lot of guys didn’t JUST wear the special cleats — they were outfitted with a whole slew of “mom’s day” stuff:

Almost everyone I saw used a pink bat. Some went with the light pink, others went full fuchsia:

The Phillies were an interesting case.

As noted in the tweet below, it appeared their special jersey was a mix of their road and alt home with the thin sleeve piping (since the Phillies wear “Phillies” both at home and road, a frankenjersey is possible):

OK — I’ve gone on long enough, and I hope I covered everything (apologies, as I spent about 3/4ths of the day without Internet access — first world problems, I know), but feel free to let me know if I missed anything in the Comments below. I’m sure there will be some new stuff that happens today as well, so we’ll probably get an update from Paul tomorrow.

Did you like what you saw? I hope so, because they’re gonna do it all over again today!


Happy Mother’s Day.

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1990-91 Fleer 3D basketball

Got a note from reader Peter L. Fredrickson who brought to my attention a type of collectible card of which I wasn’t aware — but then, I never collected basketball cards anyway, but it’s pretty cool.

I’ll let Pete explain:

Good Afternoon,

I totally forgot I had these. Fleer had a promotion in 1991 in which you could pick any player card and have it sent to you in a cut plastic 3D image. I ordered these 4 (forgot what they charged), and they each came with a plastic stand. I only have 2 of the stands left. Kind of a neat promotion and glad I kept them.

Peter Fredrickson – Milwaukee

Here’s the cards Peter collected (you can click to enlarge):



fleer3 fleer4


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Movie Jersey Contest Reminder

movie jersey hed

In case you missed it yesterday, I’m running a new design contest — design an updated jersey based upon a jersey worn in a movie. All the details are in this post.

The deadline is this Thursday, May 18th at 11:59 pm EDT. So you don’t have much time.

The winning submission will receive a custom created jersey based on their design from Steve Rosenbeck and Garb Athletics!

Good luck to everyone who participates.

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purp walk sticker

Purp Walk Reminder:

Paul here. In case you missed it over the past few days, we have big plans for this year’s Purple Amnesty Day, which is coming up on Wednesday, May 17. Full details, including info on how you can get a discount on this year’s Purp Walk shirt (which is a sensational design with deluxe packaging and lots of added bells and whistles), are available here.

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Discount reminder: Paul again. In case you missed it earlier this week, all Uni Watch membership enrollees are now entitled to a 15% discount on any of the merchandise listed in our Teespring store.

The discount code will be provided to new enrollees when they place their card orders. Existing enrollees can obtain the discount code by contacting me. Once I confirm that you are indeed a card-carrying Uni Watch member, I’ll email the discount code to you. (If you want to include a photo or screen shot of your card, that would be helpful, but it’s not required. I can look you up in my records.)

As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed membership card here, you can see all the designs we’ve done so far here, and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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Lukas b&w

In Case You Missed It…Paul’s Latest ESPN Piece

One of the most surprising uniform-related developments in recent years has been the emergence of batting helmets as a new hotbed of design innovation. Twelve of the 30 MLB teams are now using matte-finish helmets instead of the standard glossies, and six teams are using three-dimensional helmet logos instead of conventional flat decals, with both numbers representing big increases from 2016. But the Braves took it up a notch last month when they introduced MLB’s first hydro-dipped helmet with a carbon-fiber pattern (which I looooove).

In case you missed it on Thursday, Paul’s latest ESPN column latest ESPN column takes a look at how hydro dipping could transform MLB batting helmets, with some very cool concepts on display.

If you didn’t read Paul’s latest piece, here ya go.

Good stuff there!

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: Not sure of the context of this, but a Mariners and a Brewers seat cushion were spotted at Chase Field (D-bax home). From Adam Vitcavage. It also looks like a Wildcats cushion is being used in that photo. … Here’s a look at the Sankei Atoms (called Tokyo Yakult Swallows now) uniform (from BigDaddy45). … On July 15, the Las Vegas 51s will be giving away these Noah Syndergaard caps (from Gregg Inkpen). … New “Battleborn” uniforms were debuted the other day for the Nevada Wolf Pack (from Damon Hirschensohn). Also from Damon, “Regarding the perfect baseball card topic: nothing will ever top the 1992 Bowman set.” … “I recently added the Mets road alternate cap to my collection and noticed a slight change in it from previous seasons,” says Zach Johnson. “In previous years the alt cap has been made in the bp/spring training mesh style with a lighter, almost white look to the NY logo. This year they have changed it to the regular on field style and darkened the silver to better match the blue jersey.” … Whoops: News 12 New Jersey had a story about yesterday’s Yankee game being postponed. They used a photo of the old stadium as their graphic. Submitter thurm7870 notes the Yankees haven’t played there since 2008. … BYU and Portland played in royal and purple yesterday. Steve Carter adds, “also, they had huge Y in center field.” … Earlier this week Paul had a column on the (eventual) demise of Wahoo. William A. Rakestraw” opines “when my Cleveland Indians get rid of the Chief Wahoo, the new logo should be some form of this. I think it appeases everyone.” … Matt Shevin asks, “Did 1987 Yakult Swallows’ helmets have raised logos?” … In response, Eddie Brewer tweeted, “Maybe a Jpanese thing? The Lotte Orions around the same time had raised logos.” … “I’d love to one day stumble upon a hoard of illustrations used on the backs of old @Topps cards,” says Beauty of a Game. … C-Lo noticed this ESPN graphic of Yankee jerseys with NOB, and said, “I hope I’m not the only one bothered by the NOB on the Yankees unis.” I get why they did it (to show who each retired number is for), but since the Yanks have never gone NOB, it is irksome. … Is this the “Best giveaway ever last night? You can put it on the booooooard….yes!” says Ryan Lindemann of this Hawk Harrelson Alarm Clock Giveaway. … The Potomac Nationals wore turkey jerseys last night (from Gregory Koch). In that same game, the Salem Red Sox went with flag desecration jerseys. Here’s a closeup of the Sox jersey (from Chuck Lewis). … Here’s a sheet (from 2002, according to Chris Lather), showing World Series patches from Upper Deck. … In an actual non-pandering twist, the Salt Lake Bees wore their mother’s names on their jerseys last evening (via Paul). … So, you think with Derek Jeter’s number retirement, the Yankees are all out of single digits? Think again — they’re not ruling out issuing “0” (from Tommy The CPA). … As a team-building exercise, the Cincinnati Reds have been wearing bowling attire (from Patrick O’Neill).

NFL/CFL/College Footbal News: Christine Golic “unearthed” this pretty awesome “Birds of Prey” 1992 Program Cover from her attic yesterday (from Nick Chapa). … Shady McCoy was doing a photoshoot for the Bills yesterday, and he was wearing a red (color rash jersey) with white pants (from Paul Humphries). Here’s another shot (from Trocess Pruster). Couple people asked if this will be a “new look” for this year. I don’t know, but my guess is unless the Bills have designated the red top as their “alternate” (they use their throwback uni currently), this will remain their color rash (with red pants & socks) jersey only. … This is a pretty damn impressive set of beer mugs (from Dr. Paul Durkee). … Here are a few photos of Rams players in their new helmetsSolutionzâ„¢ notes some players are mixing and matching “new” colors with old. … Looks like the Toledo Rockets will have an anniversary logo this year (h/t Clint Richardson). … Tweeter Mark Johnson saw this NFL lunch box in a local thrift shop near Seattle, WA Labeled as being from 1978. Here’s a look at the left side and the right side, as well as the flip side. … Excellent observation by Sports Funhouse who notes, “I’m not sure who that Broncos player is supposed to be. It looks as though they took Too Tall Jones and put a Denver uniform on him.”

Hockey News: Still gettin’ no respect: the NBCSports web page is still using the Pittsburgh Penguins metallic gold color scheme, which they dropped in favor of the athletic gold on both home and road unis this season (from Adam Vitcavage). … Here’s a really good New York Times piece on NHL hockey goalie masks and those who do the artwork for them (from Tommy The CPA).

NBA/D-League/ABA/College Basketball News: The Detroit Pistons *finally* revealed their new logo (even though we basically knew it existed for almost two years) this week, and Conrad Burry is not a fan of the anchor points from the official vector of the font. For those who will likely be curious, here’s a comparison of the original Pistons “Bad Boy” era logo and the new primary logo (also from Conrad). … The tweeter known as Fort Wayne Pistons actually has “been clamoring for this since 2013! So glad they’re finally changing it. Looks great!”, so clearly it runs the gamut of emotions. … Great observation from Andrew Beckman who writes, “the similarities between Santa Cruz Warriors logo and that of the Willys-Overland company post WWII-era logo caught my eye the other day. W-O produced the lion’s share of WWII Jeeps and established the brand for civilian consumption after the war.”

Soccer News: Arsenal has a new 2017-18 away kit, which has a gradient. Submitter B. Darby thinks this may be one of the few examples of a “good” gradient. If a team *must* have a gradient, I’d agree, this one isn’t terrible. … Louisville City FC and Tampa Bay Rowdies played last night and both wore hoops. The Rowdies’ home kit is green and yellow with green shorts and hooped socks while LouCity are wearing the away kit with white and gold hoops, gold shorts, and white socks. Submitter Josh Hinton adds, “It’s been a while since I’d seen a game with two hooped-jersey teams playing each other.”

Grab Bag: Though Wonder Woman ran just three seasons, the superhero showed off a wide array of looks. Here’s “Every Lynda Carter Wonder Woman costume ranked in order of wondrousness” (from Brinke). … In case you haven’t seen: The old Eastern design and logo back in the sky (from John Dankowsky). … In cycling news, “Amazing gesture by @AmgenTOC to remember Doug Pensinger on the photo bibs. He loved cycling and we always had so much fun at this race.” (from James Gilbert). … Also from James, Can’t we all just get along? Why yes we can, as the North Carolina Tar Heels AND NC State Wolfpack undergrads had a joint graduation ceremony Saturday. … Color vs. Color in the NLL (National Lacrosse League) East Final (Toronto v Georgia) last night. From Nelson Hackewich. … Every year NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) organizes a chess tournament for its members, with the majority of the participants playing their games wearing their military uniforms (from Graham Clayton).

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And that will do it for today.

Hope everyone has a great Mother’s Day (whether you have a Mother, are a Mother, or somewhere in between).

Don’t forget to send in your submissions for the MOVIE JERSEY CONTEST (see above for more). Remember, the deadline is this Thursday at 11:59 pm. I already received a bunch of submissions and they’re pretty good so far. Keep ’em coming!

I’ll catch you guys next weekend but until then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“I think it is because most fans in Ottawa spend their $$$ on overalls and crystal meth, therefore they dont have any leftover funds for $100 hockey jerseys.”

— J-Kigsley

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Comments (32)

    Instead of their normal cream-colored home uniforms, the Giants wore white yesterday.

    When you see the Indians sport the block C on the sleeve it looks even more generic and dull than it does on the caps. I love the caveman C logo but the posted submission with the feather attached would probably still upset the anti-Wahooers

    What makes Block C more dull than say, the Cubs c, or the Dodgers Block LA, and most notably the Buckeyes Block O?

    When you see the Dodgers LA or OSU’s block O you instantly associate it with them. They are also logos that go back decades. The Indians block C logo doesn’t do that for me. Sure it’s only a few years old but the Cubs & Cincinnati also use a C. It’s just not distinctive. Now when you see the caveman C that screams Indians baseball.

    When I see Block C I instantly identify it with Cleveland. It’s as old if not older than any of those other logos. While I do actually like the caveman jersey, I despise the caveman c, it looks like it’s hunched over, it’ doesn’t look very athletic.

    “Color vs. Color in the NLL (National Lacrosse League) East Final (Toronto v Georgia) last night.”

    This has been addressed before, but we can cut it some slack. The NLL is not as well-known a league as other sports.

    The Georgia Swarm dark (home) uniform is navy blue. Their light (road) uniform is yellow. They no longer wear white uniforms as the Swarm had in years past.

    Would not consider this colour vs. colour as abnormal and uniform newsworthy. Every Swarm game this year when they wore their light uniforms would be considered colour vs. colour.

    This is equivalent to observing a Los Angeles Lakers home game vs. any opponent in the ticker as colour vs. colour (except Sunday home games of course).

    Right? Newsflash: Some teams have worn yellow/gold as their “light” color for decades. Not worth it to point out color vs color when one color is yellow/gold.

    Yes, it’s bothersome to see Yankee uniforms with NOB in any context; whoever made the graphic could have left the names off the uniforms and put them elsewhere. I can only imagine if MLB required NOB in all uniforms, and NOF (numbers on front), too.

    The Red Sox did the same thing for the 100 anniversary of fenway, they put names on the jerseys of the past red Sox greats. Even though the site of names on back of the Yankee pinstripes seems odd but it works for the non baseball fans.

    In NFL section -that ” “Birds of Prey” 1992 Program Cover” looks more like a tshirt….or maybe I should ask “why does a program cover have a collar?”

    from MLB section – Mariners and a Brewers seat cushion looks like a HELENA Brewers seat cushion

    From the misc section re: Wonder Woman, here is some Lynda Carter/WW trivia for you:

    Gary Burghoff (Radar from M*A*S*H) was the drummer for a band called the Relatives in 1968. Actress Lynda Carter was the band’s singer. The group opened at the Sahara Hotel and Casino lounge in Las Vegas, Nevada, and played there for three months. He and Carter remained friends, and she helped cast him in an episode of her later hit series The New Adventures of Wonder Woman, in the 1978 episode “The Man Who Wouldn’t Tell”.

    Those Upper Deck World Series patches are figments of Upper Deck’s imagination.

    I thought the same thing when looking at the lunchbox at first glance…. already had dorsett, can’t have another cowboy… let’s throw too tall in s Bronco uni. Then I read it below… ha.

    2nd thought, after looking at the helmets on the sides of the lunchbox was, if you go back in time and match ANY of these teams against one another, you have a beautiful looking ball game…. can’t say that today.

    True to that 2nd thought. Reason being is that in 1978, all teams had traditional-style simple striping on the jerseys and pants. This to me makes attractive and classic looking football uniforms.

    There were no silly numbers fonts or all over the place stripes and piping like today that seem to wreck some uniforms for teams.

    Very true, and I think the brighter colors went a long way toward making beautiful match ups. It’s amazing, but up until I think 90 or 91 when the Falcons got in on it, there was only one black helmeted team… the steelers. Sure the bears LOOKED black, but it made great contrast when these teams would square off. Now between navy blue instead of royal, midnight green instead of kelly, and simply just too much black, nearly half the NFL has a very dark helmet, and most have a very dark jersey to go with it. Throw in the full mono looks, and it’s brutal to watch, say, the Ravens square off against the Texans, or Seahawks vs Bears… guess I’ll just spend more time on Getty looking at the classic match up photos :)

    Stop with the pink. Virtue signaling by the leagues at best and likely as not capitalizing while they’re at it. And the “Big Pink” organization that has all but copyrighted the color has not had the best record of directing all proceeds to care or research.

    Using a flag pattern is not flag desecration. They’re not ripping apart actual USA flags. Inigo Montoya flashes in my brain every time this site uses that term. I get that it’s not to be taken literally (I hope) and is just a form of protest of militarism in American sports. Still, it bothers me way more than it should.

    I agree it is not flag desecration. And the flag codes are guidelines not laws. And nothing wrong with supporting the military or showing national pride on a uniform.

    The Astros picture for stirrup contrast is not from yesterday since they didn’t play

    Good spot — yep, that’s clearly from last year. I removed it from the main article.

    Were all teams in white or gray across MLB yesterday? If so, then I can live with the pink for the weekend, as it is preferable to softball tops.

    Just imagine, Brewers had to promote Mother’s Day on ‘Star Wars’ night, how do you combine those two themes?

    At least Brewers wore ball in glove logo and included pink ball in glove logo on the batting helmets!

    The jerseys had pink numbers but the blue player font on NOBs looked great. In context with MLB’s promotion, Brewers nailed it.

    Apologies if this has already been pointed out but the Ram horns should form almost a V shape when vowed from the front as they start to curl outward around the shell. That is how they originally were painted on the helmets since that’s how bighorns actually grow from the head of a ram. Now each horn (instead of almost touching in the front at the base above the nose guard and splitting onto each side of the helmet) start quite a bit apart from each other. But I really dig the white. Makes me recall Roman Gabriel.

    I watched some of the Orioles-Royals game last night. My Orioles looked particularly awful in the pink-centric uni. Hate it when they look like clowns.

    It won’t happen but I’d rather they just added a patch to every uni and call it a day (weekend?) Baseball with pink stitching surrounded by ‘MLB fighting Breast Cancer’ or something similar. It would look like the Orioles round sleeve patch and they could do it on sleeves or chest.

    I’m not against alternate uniforms, but not a fan at all of these Mothers & Father’s Day uniforms. Seems like everything has to be bigger and better for every occasion now. Sometimes they just end up being bigger. Trying not to be the “get off my lawn old guy”, but these uniforms are awful.

    Is it my imagination, or are chest patches on MLB jerseys getting more common? This year’s breast cancer patch, that Play Ball initiative patch last year, the last couple Boston Strong jerseys moved the patch from the sleeve to the chest, along with some recent player memorials (like the one on the Marlins’ jersey right now). I can only imagine it’s something being encouraged at the top, given the big leap they are taking with Under Armour in a few years, so that fans aren’t so used to that space being clean.

    Save yourself and everybody a lot of time next year and just say, “Everybody wore a lot of pink yesterday and today and it all looked pretty bad. Happy Mothers’ Day”.

    More pink. Some of the NOB for certain teams were in the font the team uses. (Brewers, Phillies) The overwhelming majority of teams that have NOB were using the generic one-size-for all font. (Am I the only one notice the generic font is identical to the one the Braves use for NOB?) And, may I go on record as hating the uniform changes for these days? The Yankees looked embarrassing.

Comments are closed.