By Phil Hecken
MLB began the second of four uni-theme weekends yesterday (the other three are Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Independence Day). This one will last three days. The ratchet continues to turn.
For about a decade, MLB has been “honoring” the Memorial Day holiday by dressing teams in various getups, beginning in 2008 and running through 2012 with various caps of red, white and blue combinations, eventually transition to camouflage in 2013 and continuing with that through 2015. Last year, the camo extended through the entire uniform. If you forgot how awful things were last year, Paul covered it very nicely.
Fast forward to this year.
All teams (except the Blue Jays, who escaped having to wear the getups yesterday) broke out solid olive colored caps with camouflage brims:
Angels regain the lead with a run off Vance in the 3rd.
He'll step up to the plate next.#LetsPlay pic.twitter.com/cMafn2WJrC
— #VoteMarlins (@Marlins) May 27, 2017
Each cap (as well has jersey) had 5 stars (for a Five Star General?) on them:
Kind of like the Memorial Day hats. #ThatsCub What do you all think? pic.twitter.com/reaw2ne4lJ
— Wrigley Rapport (@WrigleyRapport) May 27, 2017
@PhilHecken A's at Yankees. Five stars. pic.twitter.com/yJuSYxsoth
— Sports Funhouse (@SportsFunhouse) May 27, 2017
The jerseys (much like Mother’s Day) were basically the same as the teams normally wear, only with olive green swapped in for color elements:
Here's jersey #Rays will wear next 3 games as part of @mlb Memorial Day tribute pic.twitter.com/rIYdzBe7rl
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) May 27, 2017
Logos on the sleeve patches were rendered in an oliveish hue as well:
Here's a peek of this weekend's #MemorialDay uniforms.
https://t.co/ctfyCdEbs0 (via MLB Fans) pic.twitter.com/JBuTzMC7tq
— Angels (@Angels) May 27, 2017
Home teams wore white, road teams all wore gray (so at least we had *that* going for us).
All teams wore their own batting helmets — and because the Yankees iconic interlocking NY is relatively small (and they wore pinstripes), you almost couldn’t notice the difference…
Almost. Guys who chose to go high-cuffed to show off the Stance camo socks didn’t exactly blend in. Exactly the opposite of what camo is supposed to do:
I didn’t see that many games (though I did have MLB channel on and saw highlights and have scrolled through many photos), but it seemed like every team had a player or three to wear those socks — I didn’t see any stirrups or non-Stance hosiery. Last year, as you’ll recall (without a sock “contract”) several players wore black socks.
Virtually every team, when wearing their regular helmet, looks ridiculous when it’s combined with the camo/olive affects. However, surprisingly (or perhaps not), the Oakland A’s, with their green and gold, didn’t look too bad:
Even the catchers’ gear worked:
For everyone else, though. It was a mess.
The Brewers, for the second year in a row, went the “extra” mile and tweaked their ball-in-glove helmet logo:
@PhilHecken @uniwatch Brewers even use "Memorial Day Weekend" helmets pic.twitter.com/TAbcI2BYlM
— Martin ðŸ‡©ðŸ‡ª (@The_Maddin) May 27, 2017
I missed this on Mother’s Day, but like on Mother’s Day, the Giants (at home again) wore white uniforms, rather than their usual cream-colored homes:
@SFGiants Memorial Day weekend uniforms are white, not their usual cream @PhilHecken pic.twitter.com/0elkUOym7l
— Matt McCutcheon (@mccutcheonmatt) May 28, 2017
However, the Phillies, who wear a cream alternate, did appear to have a cream-colored base uni (no pinstripes & alternate helmet):
As previously mentioned, the Toronto Blue Jays
hate our dead soldiers did NOT wear the woodland camo stuff yesterday, and opted to go with their blue jerseys while playing the Texas Rangers. It made for a somewhat colorful matchup (however, the Blue Jays do apparently have a camo getup for Memorial Day — so maybe they’ll just wear it Monday):
The Cubs, because they’re one of the few teams who have pants sans-piping, wore their regular road pants (with blue belts) yesterday, and as such, had their logo pants patch rendered in “normal” colors:
Cubs are in Memorial Day uni, but have traditional colors on pants logo along with blue belt. @PhilHecken @UniWatch pic.twitter.com/cGZvu19cwb
— Griffin Smith (@GriffinTSmith) May 27, 2017
Both the Dodgers and Cubs have pants sans striping, so both wore their regular pants yesterday — and both sets contain the Jerry Dior “Batterman” logo on the belt tunnel:
Teams who normally wear plain pants with piping were given special pants for the occasion, and they were free of the Batterman logo:
The Dodgers, of course, rebels that they are, went Mother’s Day Saturday wearing their regular blue caps, but switched to the gray/pink versions on Sunday. Yesterday, there was no shenanigans, as the team wore camo caps like everyone else:
Another slight uni-oddity occurred between the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox, who played a double header yesterday. They played game one in their “camo” duds, like all of MLB (except Toronto):
But in the second game of the double dip, the teams reverted to their standard home and road uniforms, but both teams wore the camo caps:
As with most of these theme weekends, players like to style where they can, which usually means wristbands, socks (the only option seemed to be the camo Stances) and of course, shoes. This year, mercifully, it seems the shoe companies (at least a little bit) are “getting” it. I was particularly impressed with the number of adidas players who sported cleats bearing a poppy:
I'm impressed with the restraint (dare I say…"respect") shown for the solemnity of Memorial Day. Well done adidas https://t.co/TfoGVY8N1F
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) May 25, 2017
Some Nike wearers had reserved shoes as well:
Memorial Day cleats worn today by many of the players #Dbacks pic.twitter.com/siaNzp2tEv
— Jody Jackson (@Jody_Jackson) May 27, 2017
Sadly, not all players/shoe makers were as…reserved:
The HARPER 2 coming at you! Memorial Day editionðŸ™ŒðŸ»ðŸ”¥ pic.twitter.com/uGtpGMJNfL
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) May 27, 2017
There was at least two catchers (Martin Maldonado of the Angels and Sandy LeÃ³n of the Red Sox) who wore custom camo gear:
All teams looked about equal(ly bad) yesterday as the camo was pretty consistently swapped for all teams. Of course, the team that normally looks the worst took that crown yesterday as well, because the Diamondbacks wear a darker gray with snakeskin sublimation and side panels…it didn’t translate any better with camo swapped in:
Since the Memorial Day camo lasts three full days (and just you wait — the Independence Day costumes will last…wait for it…FOUR full days), many clubs will be playing at home (or road) on Saturday and Sunday, and then traveling (or returning home) on Monday [God forbid MLB could do wrap-around series on holiday weekends], so you may get to see your favorite club in both a home AND road uni this weekend/Monday. Because one day of camo just simply isn’t enough.
That should pretty much cover it — if I missed anything I’m sorry — not a lot of you @’ed me or sent in to Uniwatching (which is fine, but if I don’t see it, and you guys don’t tip me wise, we don’t get it on UW). If I missed anything (and I’m sure I did), hopefully Paul will have more camo updates Monday or Tuesday.
Uniform Tweaks & Concepts…
…from Uni Watch readers
For years, Uni Watch readers have been sending in their redesigns, concepts and tweaks for current (or future, or past) uniforms for all sports. I have a few new ones to run today — don’t be shy designers — send me your concepts!.
You can click on any images below to enlarge.
First concept today comes from reader Jerry Chavez, who some soccer concepts.
Apologies for the crudeness. Only have MS Paint to work with. :/
Put together some designs for the U.S. Soccer team. Unfortunately we still lack an identity and I think it shows every year, with the unis that are rolled out.
Away Kit is similar to previous kits used and channels the uniforms of the Continental Army.
Home Kit is an attempt to design a look that could finally become our identity. Something we still lack.
Third Kit is a nod to the Gadsden Flag and keeping with the theme of liberty and bravery.
And rounding things out today is Jimmer Vilk with a concept for the team who just likes to sacrifice…
Chicks dig the long ball, but what do buntings prefer? Bunting, of course! With all the bird names in baseball, why isn’t there a team called the Buntings? I picked an indigo bunting for a blue team and a lark bunting (Colorado’s state bird, if the Rockies want to rebrand).
That’s it for today. Keep sending those concepts in to me!
In Case You Missed It…Paul’s Latest ESPN Piece
Last week Paul did a blog entry on MLB players who’ve worn the captain’s C. On Friday, he released a new ESPN column that expands upon that piece, with new players added to the mix (turns out that the first C-clad captain was Dave Concepcion in 1983) and more historical context (can you guess who is the only player to have worn the C in a World Series?).
If you didn’t read Paul’s latest piece, here ya go.
Good stuff there!
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: In Tacoma, the Triple-A Rainiers (Mariners are the parent club) turn the designing over to grade schoolers. This year the design was by a fifth grader and was awesome. Here’s more (from Shawn Anderson). … Yesterday’s ticker contained a photo of Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson wearing a face guard on his helmet. Here’s why he added the extra protection. And here’s a bit more (from Mike Chamernik). … Here’s a great look at Indians Manager Frank Robinson & AL Umpires in varying shades of red (from Bruce Menard). … I’m not quite sure of the context of this, but apparently there is a “Pirates wearing camo for kids event” (from Mike Anderson). … Proof that MLB (or at least some media) don’t get it: first line in this story “Major League Baseball players ”” including the Dodgers ”” will honor America’s military troops over the Memorial Day holiday weekend by wearing camo-style uniforms during their games” (emphasis mine). Sigh. … Here’s a good look at the frayed jersey and undershirt edges on former Twins Pitcher Scott Erickson (from Chris Lather). … The Bowling Green Hot Rods had a Top Gun-inspired jersey auction last evening (from Nick Lineback). … Great Seattle Mariners Pride Night giveaway cap (from Mike Anderson). … Cleveland unveiled a Frank Robinson statue yesterday “with a bunch of players wearing camouflage hats & socks — awkward,” says Robert Hayes. … And here’s a look at the statue (from Robert Hayes). Robinson is a “fan of his statue despite, as he said, not giving them much to work with.” It appears the statue is based off of this photo. The Indians also retired his number (complete with logo creep), and put it in the seats (all thanks to Robert). … This is great: the Yankees saluted a “military veteran” at their game…and he was wearing a “Mets” interlocking NY (from Ryan Feuerstein). … Not sure when, but it appears the Tampa Yankees will be wearing this awareness jersey at some point (here’s what I’m going off), from Mike Anderson. … Two uniform notes from last night’s Salt Lake/Tacoma game. Bees wearing camo, Rainiers have ASG patches on their hats (from Nick Badders). … The Pittsburgh Pirates had a nice, non-camopander t-shirt giveaway last evening (from Bruce Menard). … Softball coach from A&M using a helmet sans logo (and flaps), from Benji King. … The Lehigh Valley Pigs and Louisville Bats went color vs. color yesterday, which isn’t particularly notable. What is notable is that both were wearing gray pants (from BandaBear). … This is not an uncommon occurrence these days, but Yadi Molina was wearing an elbow guard that was not his own (from Trent Knaphus).
NFL/CFL/Arena/College Football News: Members of the 2016 Ottawa Redblacks received their Grey Cup rings. Wade Heidt says, “Some pretty awesome bling.” … Reader David A Wishinsky saw this “bumper/magnet” at a hotel in suburban Denver. He adds, “Perfect condition magnet celebrating two Iowa bowls that bookmarked my birth 36 years ago!” … Riddell, the company behind the helmets worn by around 60 percent of NFL players, will use a new 3D head-scanning process on each player who wears its new Precision Fit headgear. … Here’s a nice ‘uni-lapse’ of the Washington Valor (term coined by bryanwdc). … The Philadelphia Soul, an Arena League team, wore their new all-white helmets with metallic Soul helmet logo and stripes yesterday afternoon (from Tim Capper). … “Found this (poster of Eight Decades of NFL Uniforms) going through storage,” says Griffin Smith, “perfect to zoom in and read the descriptions.” … They make rings for everything it appears, even Commander In Chief Trophy (from Damon Hirschensohn). … “I think this may be the first time I have ever noticed a Skin wearing upside sock stripes,” says Steve B. Creations. “Yes, I notice these things.”
Hockey News: If you read yesterday’s ticker, you know we had three items of “faux” merchandise. Well, here’s an unused strip of 2nd Round Playoff Tickets from the Nashville Predators 2004 playoffs-Sec 303 Row L $19! (from Lee Wilds). How ’bout seein’ a playoff game for $20??? … Due to an overabundance of jersey patches, the Penguins’ 50 years patch has moved to the shoulder for the Stanley Cup Final (from Adam Jordan). … Penguins Head Equipment Manager Dana Heinze “had the Finals patch put on all the Coaches and Staff jackets as well. Moved the 100 from the front to the arm,” (from Derek Reynolds).
Soccer News: There was a Frankenjersey alert at the half time show (!) of the German soccer cup final (from EnterNameHere). That’s Helene Fischer, btw. … Yesterday’s FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea was a very colorful affair (from Ursus Maije).
Grab Bag: Here’s a look at the 2018 Indianapolis 500 logo, (the 102nd), which combines elements from the 2016 and 2017 race logos (from MrMichael). … Here’s a great pair of lines about the upcoming 50th Anniversary of Sgt. Peppers, “what on earth were they thinking with those outfits? In angry magenta, safety-yellow, Kool-Aid-blue and tomato-red faux military uniforms, John, Ringo, Paul and George, who had so rarely put a foot wrong, conjured a look that could give a rent-a-clown nightmares,” (from Tommy Turner). … Here’s a golf ball with a logo that JB hasn’t seen before.
Anyone know what it is or who it’s for?. Welp, that didn’t take long. … So, this color is Nantucket Red (a half red/half pink). And just why is it so popular with wealthy New Englanders? (thanks, Brinke). … “MetLife got rid of snoopy last year but he still pops up from time to time,” says Joseph Bailey. “I recently had a conversation with my MetLife rep and he said corporate was very clear that there should be no vestiges of Snoopy in their offices or on any correspondence.” … The Indianapolis Star has/had a story about nicknames of Indiana’s past and present High Schools. There are some unique monikers (from Roger Cooper). … Also from Roger: Today is the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500. “Thought I send you a pic of one of the more famous race cars to win the race, the Lotus 38, which was painted in Uniwatch colors of Green and Yellow. The racer is from the 1965 race and was driven by Jimmy Clark to first place.”
And that’s it for today. Everyone have a safe remainder of the Memorial Day weekend, enjoy the Indy 500 and a couple more days of camopander. You guys have a great week and I’ll catch ya next weekend…but until then…
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Stop signs and even red lights also fall more in the suggestion category in Quebec.”
— Oakville Endive
5 stars because of the 5 branches of military
Words cannot express the contempt I feel for the idiotic pandering costumes trotted out by MLB for every holiday. The fetishization of the military, the gender stereotyping, the empty patriotism, the camouflage, where does it end? There are better ways to show love of country, to honor those who served (and those who died), and to raise awareness for certain cancers than to completely dilute the meaning of the word “uniform.”
Still waiting for baseball to honor working-class men and women on Labor Day; where’s our overpriced, logo-festooned crap?
Wishing everyone a peaceful Memorial Day, don’t forget to take a moment to honor those who gave their lives in service to their country.
Have you ever seen a local TV ad for a “Labor Day Sale” that features eagles, fireworks and Uncle Sam? I wonder how many younger baseball fans realize players used to tend bar or sell cars in the off-season to make ends meet? How many of today’s players understand the abuse and suffering of Curt Flood? Or the real reasons for the “Black Sox”? I normally watch a lot of games, but when players wear pink or commit stolen valor, it just makes me watch History Channel.
Great Granddad never wore camo
Word is the Blue Jays will wear their usually Sunday reds today and the camo uniforms on Monday.
Their camo uniforms have 4 maple leafs instead of 5 stars on the hats and jerseys.
Per Chris Creamer’s site, Jays will wear the camo on Monday as an opportunity to honour those who served in the Canadian military. Monday is not a holiday for us in Canada. Our May long weekend was last weekend (last Monday was Victoria Day).
Does Canada have a holiday similar to the USA’s Memorial Day (remembering soldiers who have died in war)? If so, would it make sense for the Blue Jays to wear tribute uniforms on that day (to “make up” for the days they are skipping this weekend)? I know that they have their special Canada Day uniforms they wear instead of the American Independence Day uniforms.
We have Remembrance Day, but it’d be hard for the Jays to wear unis on that day seeing as it falls on November 11.
In the telecast yesterday, Buck was saying the Jays were going red today as the Canada 150 celebration trumps the MLB camo gear. If and when the Jays wear camo, hopefully it’s in CADPAT rather than American camo.
Remembrance Day, November 11th. The way things are going, that will fall during the World Series before too long.
Realized I should have typed “maple leaves” and not “maple leafs”. So used to typing it the latter way because of the hockey team.
While I’m no expert, I believe you were correct the first time. Because you were talking about 4 individual maple leafs vs saying look at all those maple leaves, which is a collective. As I read your original post I took no pause at how you wrote it.
The black logos on the caps were hard to see. They’d have looked better trimmed in khaki.
I love the poppy cleats.
Are these special holiday uniforms optional for each team? If not, does the league get angry at, in this case, the jays yesterday or the Dodgers blue hats on mother’s day?
I clearly ain’t Paul (who rarely comments on weekends anyway), but these are optional. For instance the Giants opt out of Fathers’ Day saying they want to leave blue to the Dodgers.
Beautiful, Matt Kemp. “Memorial Day” shoes adorned with bob-ombs. Sure it’s a video game character but they are still representative of items that kill, perhaps the antithesis of what one should be going for. Respectful or contemplative is a more appropriate tone to take, not cute.
Baseball was absolutely unwatchable yesterday. These uniforms are absolutely disgusting in so many ways which have been covered in this blog.
I find it hard to believe anybody likes this.
Actually games were more watchable this weekend than when games feature two teams both wearing softball tops.
Two Tacoma Rainiers items, a Mariners item and an Eintracht Frankfurt* item — this might be the most “me” ticker of all time.
*I’m pretty sure I’m still the only person with an Eintracht Frankfurt membership card.
The Beatles’ maligned Sergeant Pepper uniforms are worn by the Broadway tribute band “Rain” during its national tours, and the effect is utterly stunning as to the visual WOW! factor.
As I recall, “Rain” owns the original Sgt. Pepper outfits and wears them onstage for the ultimate in authenticity. Their unexpected appearance will blow your mind faster than Marshawn Lynch ingesting a bagful of Skittles into his nasal cavities, and observers will come away with a new-found respect for those ensembles.
I will agree with this 100%. I saw “Rain” three(?) years ago at the Tilles Center out on Lawn Guyland, and it was tremendous. I’ve seen other Beatles tribute shows before, but this was by far the best. Being a huge Beatles fan helps, of course, but even if one weren’t, the production, costumes, and of course, on-stage talent would be enjoyed by any and all.
If any readers ever get a chance to catch “Rain,” I highly recommend it.
Agree with the Rain sentiment. I’ve think it seems I’ve seen every tribute Beatles’ show. Some were four guys who weren’t fab and some gave decent but nothing memorable.
Saw the Rain show with someone who saw the Beatles’ in concert and they said it was like watching it again.
Dead horse beaten.
I like this year’s uniforms. The olive was a good color.
It was an interesting look. Usually when teams use green it’s a much brighter color. I don’t know if a team has ever used olive as a primary color.
We observed Memorial Day in church today with special prayers for our fallen heroes and their families. My town has a simple parade with our veterans and high school students, ending with placing a wreath in the veterans memorial. It’s a moving day.
I don’t see how these uniforms detract from those messages, but all are free to disagree.
I’d love to see a team use olive as a primary color. The Padres could definitely pull it off. They’ve been been wandering through the uni identity wilderness for decades, and with the deep connection to the military that San Diego has, it’d be appropriate.
The only team that I can think of that uses olive green as a primary colour is in major junior hockey. The OHL North Bay Battalion wear “fatigue green”, giving them a unique look:
In the “through 2015” link at the top of the story, was that camo Atlanta screaming logo hat for real?
Do those Nike Memorial Day cleats have CARTOON BOMBS on them? If so, that’s amazingly offensive.
that logo on the golf ball is for anderson university. they are the ravens.
MLB this week looks more like North Korean Olympic trials, a simple patch on the cap or jersey would with a solum Salute to the Service would me more appropriate for Memorial Day ðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸
Circumstances have reduced my opportunities to go to baseball games. I’m kind of sad that I’m going tomorrow when this ugliness will be all over the place.
Depending on where your seats are, you’ll hardly notice.
The camo uniforms look hideous, but I’ll leave it to those who are serving, have served or lost love ones to say if it is an appropriate tribute. If it is, it is the least I can do to tolerate it for a few days.
The fact that the Tigers and White Sox changed for the second game answers one question I had…each team has only one set.
The Dodgers have such a great uniform, why do they insist on using a number thickness that is normally only used when a border is present? Makes their numbers look way too thin.
Finally a question…some players like Pineada on the Yankees where their caps crooked. Is that a specially made cap, or just twisted? To me it looks like the former.
Most, but not all Dodgers had special black undershirts– I think other teams had this as well. Nice touch, IMO. link
I remember those pre-shootout NHL days. Saw Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Final for only $90. Was in Anaheim a few weeks back and they wanted $70-110 for Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. Not to mention food and Uber rides.
I noticed a few Oakland Athletics with a camo belt yesterday. Others went with the usual green.
Might five stars symbolize the Army, Navy, Coast Gaurd, Marines, and Air Force?
Whoever is in charge of the Defense Department’s PR section should get a raise. The glorification of the Military continues unabated.
Right! I wouldn’t put it past some minor league teams to dress as Supreme Court Justices though…
I was at the Royals-Indians game in Cleveland today. Edwin Encarnacion was using a pink Mother’s Day bat and batting gloves in the on-deck circle in the first inning, and when he eventually came to bat in the second (because Carlos Santana was the last out in the first). In his next at-bat, he was using a normal bat – I assume the league got angry like with Brad Miller the day after Mother’s Day. However, Encarnacion kept wearing the pink batting gloves and arm sleeve throughout the game:
I think Salvador Perez was also using pink bat tape.
Odd instance of mixing MLB’s color promotions!
Let’s call a spade a spade. Nantucket Red = salmon.
Active duty soldier here. I have to be honest, I mostly enjoy the website, but when I saw these uniforms on Sportscenter I knew what I’d be reading here the next day. The uniforms are merchandise. It has no meaning. I agree there is a fetishization of the military. However, on this site there is practically a fetishizing of the fetishization, it’s almost meta. I just knew a tangent about the military would be on here the next day. However, everyone(the fans, the players, MLB, the media) knows the score here on these one off uniforms. It’s a business. They’re trying to maximize profits in any way possible. It just kind of brings me down because I just know I’m going to read an article the next day that just skews in a totally negative direction. It reminds me of a saying, “You’re getting yourself wrapped all around the axle about something you don’t even really care about.” Is 3 days of uniforms that bad? I don’t know, I think MLB doing things like this gives you an interesting article to write. In a hypothetical world the sports leagues could just determine the best uniform for each team, change it to that, and say no changes ever again. However, stunts like this sells merchandise, you get to write about it, and what do you know, the sun will still come up on Tuesday(after Memorial Day). I know I’ll be told that if I don’t like it, don’t use the site. I certainly use it less than I used to. The tone of the website is pretty negative sometimes(Not the comments section, it’s usually rather civil and informative) but if you disagree with an editor, woe be unto you.
Thank you very much for your service, Mike!
I went to the Mariners v Red Sox game today. They brought out every member of the Red Sox staff (ticket takers, ushers, security staff, etc) who had served in the military, and introduced them along with their former branch of service.
As someone who recently retired after 27 years of service myself, I found it unbearable. First of all, they aren’t dead, which is the original reason purpose for Memorial Day. Second, it was such blatant pandering that I could see some of the staff only halfheartedly accept the accolades. Hell, a couple of them looked absolutely uncomfortable out there.
The minute patriotism turns into a contest, it loses all meaning.
FWIW, there’s also a group of birds called flycatchers. I’ll just leave that here.