By Phil Hecken
Yesterday morning, the Arizona Diamondbacks — who until such time held the distinction of having the worst uniform set in all of baseball (and it wasn’t even close) — finally remedied that by introducing “new” uniforms that have really improved their overall look. And they did it simply by removing all the bad elements. This is actually the second “tweak” of the uniform set originally introduced in 2016, which was (lest you forget), REALLY awful. Even if you wanted to block those uniforms out of your mind, here’s what the team introduced back then. Two home uniforms, two road uniforms and 4 alternates (3 jerseys and 1 throwback). But it wasn’t just the number of uniforms, it featured that awful sublimated snakeskin pattern on both the jersey AND the bottom of the pants and truncated pants striping (and both road uniforms were a VERY dark gray — much darker than any other team). But it was the snakeskin and pants stripe that were particularly noxious:
That uniform was so reviled that the team removed the snakeskin from the pant legs and made full-length pants stripes beginning in 2017 — but the original jerseys with each set remained the same. All of those contained the wretched sublimation.
Fast forward to yesterday. The team reintroduced three new uniforms and three alternate tops, all of which had all the sublimation removed. The result is a clean, crisp look going forward. Also subtracted from the equation were the multiple caps, some of which also contained a snakeskin pattern. The team will now have only 3 caps — all of which are black (and one of which has a red brim); the primary cap has the standard “A” logo, while the other two have a snake biting a baseball.
But enough talking about the improved uniforms. Let’s take a look!
Other than the maker’s mark of the beast on the right chest, all of the bad stuff has been removed from the prior unis. The jersey and pants are white, with “D-BACKS” in the same script as before, rendered in black, with a red and cream outline. Numbers are red with a black outline. Sleeves and neck, as well as pants, have a red/black/red striping pattern.
As with the home primary, the sublimated snakeskin has been removed entirely. The wordmark across the chest reads “ARIZONA” and the gray has been significantly lightened from the previous dark gray. Wordmark is black, outlined in red and cream, while number is black with a red outline. Sleeve, neck and pants striping is red/black/red.
It’s far from classic or likely to fall into anyone’s “best” lists, but the primary home and road unis are solid!
Very similar to the primary home (and completely unnecessary), the home alternate is identical save for the addition of teal to the striping pattern, as well as adding teal as a second outline on the wordmark (replacing the cream). Numbers are solid teal outlined in black.
In addition to the three full uniforms, the D-backs also introduced 3 alternate jerseys: A red, and two black jerseys — one of which reads “LOS D-BACKS.”
Same wordmark as the home uniform, rendered in black with a cream (sand?) outline. Number has the same pattern. The sleeve and neck striping are all cream/black/cream.
This jersey removes the wordmark and replaces it with the “A” logo on the left chest. Sleeve and neck striping are cream/red/cream.
It hasn’t been specified, but the black and red jerseys will likely be worn both with the white and gray pants.
LOS D-BACKS ALTERNATE
It’s tough to tell from the first photo, but the LOS D-BACKS alternate has the wordmark in red, with a teal outline; the number is teal with a red outline. Neck and sleeve striping is teal/red/teal You can get a better sense of how that looks here:
Here are a few looks at the uniforms. The first one is hi-res so please make sure to click on that to get a better appreciation for the details:
The team released a “video” showing stills with pictures of the front and back (and some decent closeups) of the jerseys. It’s definitely worth clicking on:
A refreshed look for the start of a new decade.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) November 8, 2019
And there you have it — pretty much the textbook definition of addition by subtraction. The team will look much better in 2020 (and for as long as they have this uniform set), although a second home uniform and three alternates are still overkill. But by removing the doo-dads and lightening the road gray, the subtraction is a vast improvement. The only “bad” thing, if you want to look at it that way, is the team will no longer wear the Thursday Throwback, at least as a part of the regular rotation.
I have no idea whether this revamping was the Diamondbacks idea, or whether it was done in conjunction with Nike, who will be the MLB uniform provider beginning in 2020 (in case you happened to miss the giant swoosh on the chest). But no matter who was responsible, we can at least take some solace in the fact that MLB uniforms with the mark of the beast aren’t getting worse (one down…29 still to see). We can definitely expect more than a few changes for other teams (and that’s all I can say about that), beginning tonight, when the Padres unveil their new set. Paul will be covering that one for us and he’ll be handling tomorrow’s post. And we know the Padres are bringing back the brown…
Your thoughts on the D-backs new unis? They’re still not great, but they’re a whole lot better than they had been. It’s a good start to the uni off-season so far.
For those who don’t wish to click the links, Graig paints baseball heroes (and regular guys) from the past, and is an immense talent.
Occasionally, I will be featuring his work on Uni Watch.
Here’s today’s offering (click to enlarge):
Title: “Larry Doby, 1946” (color study)
Subject: Larry Doby, 1946
Medium: Oil on linen mounted to board
Size: 5” x 7”
Larry Doby was born to a prosperous family in Camden, SC in 1923. He and his mother moved up to Paterson, NJ four years after his dad drowned in a fishing accident when the boy was eight. Considered rather quiet and introspective as a result of a lack of a father and his mother’s devotion to church, Doby would letter in baseball at Paterson Eastside High School, along with three other sports. Though he had thoughts of becoming a coach or a physical education teacher, by the time he was on the tail-end of his high school tenure, he was already playing second base under an assumed name for the Newark Eagles. Between being a senior and starting college, the club offered him $300 for his services.
World War II interrupted his stint in the Negro Leagues, as Doby spent the mid-1940s at Various naval bases on the west coast, keeping fit at each one by playing both baseball and basketball, as well as being a physical education instructor. Larry was stationed on the atoll of Ulithi when he heard about the signing of Jackie Robinson (with the Montreal Royals) over the Armed Forces Radio – he would later note that that was the first time he had truly felt there was a future to be had as an African-American in baseball.
Discharged in 1946, Doby returned to the Eagles to bat .360, lead the NNL in triples, and make the All-Star team. More importantly, he joined a club featuring Biz Mackey, Monte Irvin and Johnny Davis that would go on to win the Negro World Series against Satchel Paige and the Monarchs. During the series, he hit .272, with one homer, five RBIs and three stolen bases.
Having his eyes on integration ever since 1942, Cleveland Indians owner and team president Bill Veeck took an interest in Doby. He ended up formulating a plan, adding him to the Indians’ roster after the All-Star break in ‘47. Larry, who would play with Newark for the first half of the campaign, was bought for $15,000 – $10,000 for the rights from the club, and the other amount after Doby had spent 30 days with the Indians. Eagles owner Effa Manley is reported to have told Veeck: “If Larry Doby were white and a free agent, you’d give him $100,000 to sign as a bonus.”
Here’s Larry with the Newark Eagles in 1946. This is one of 200+ such paintings of mine that will be on display at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the spring of 2020.
Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.
Uni Concepts & Tweaks
After being dormant for a while, the Uni Tweaks/Concepts have returned!
I hope you guys like this feature and will want to continue to submit your concepts and tweaks to me. If you do, Shoot me an E-mail (Phil (dot) Hecken (at) gmail (dot) com).
I received the following e-mail from reader Bryan Moss, who has some redesigns for the Arizona Cardinals (and boy can they use one):
Although you are running the redesign the Bucs contest, I just finished up some Arizona Cardinal redesign concepts. I’d appreciate if they could be featured in the uniform concepts section. In my opinion the Cardinals and Falcons have the worst uniforms in the league. They are obviously outdated. I tried something a little different for the Cardinals, incorporating the colors of the state flag onto the uniform. Arizona definitely has one of the most unique flags and I believe it should be used by the Cardinals. Both the home and away take inspiration from the flag. I could not think of a legitimate alternate uniform for the Cardinals as I do not think they need one. But I had an interesting thought to base it off a battleship based purely off the USS Arizona which was destroyed during the Pearl Harbor attacks. These alternate uniforms would never hit the field but I had fun making them and it is an interesting look. I’ll get on those Bucs uniforms next.
Thanks Bryan. OK readers (and concepters). If you have some tweaks or concepts, shoot ’em my way with a brief description of your creation and I’ll run ’em here.
Guess The Game…
from the scoreboard
The game has returned! At least for a trial basis, but I got a lot of positive response to its return, so we’ll see how long we keep this one going.
Today’s scoreboard comes from reader Howard Corday.
The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).
Wow. Today’s scoreboard is kinda…empty. But that in and of itself is a clue. I have faith you guys can fill in the missing pieces
Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):
If you guys like this, please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.
By Anthony Emerson
Baseball News: Travis McGuire noticed that Australia’s national baseball team was wearing a black armband in the Premier 12, and it appears to be rather makeshift, perhaps even made out of electrical tape. … The Padres are going back to brown today — but why were they brown to begin with? (Great piece from Todd Radom).
NFL News: It looks like the Chargers’ logo got slightly cut off by other graphics — or by poor photoshopping — on the Thursday Night Football broadcast (from Yancy K. Yeater). … The center is cut out of Derek Carr’s No. 4 on the Raiders alternate jerseys, except for the number on his back. Both TV numbers and the front number all have the cut-out. Strange. … Speaking of the Raiders, Jon Gruden lost his visor to the fans and was given another — complete with sticker still attached — during his post-game press conference (from Luke Kernell). … Robert Brashear found these ponchos on sale in Nogales, Mexico. Let’s hope the League’s lawyers aren’t reading this blog post right now. … The Athletic has a great article (paywalled) about NFL uniform inspectors (from Chris Chmura). … Madden 20 is still using the old NFL captaincy patches — and, seemingly, an old Bills wordmark (from Joe Frumusa). … Jorge Cruz wonders what this patch is on Lamar Jackson’s practice jersey. Anyone?
College Football News: West Virginia is going mono-navy against Texas Tech, with a flag desecration decal (from Jason Callahan and Philip Maramba). … Virginia Tech will be maroon-maroon-white against Wake Forest (from Andrew Cosentino, who also notes that these hype videos are super dumb). … Marshall is going mono-black next Friday, which will be a day after the 49th anniversary of the tragic plane crash (from Brice Wallace). … The following are all from Phil: Mizzou is going black-white-black against Georgia. … USF is going mono-black. … Northwestern is going white-purple-white with flag desecration helmet decals.
Hockey News: The Lightning and Sabres were presented with special goalie masks to mark their participation in the NHL’s Global Series in Sweden (from Wade Heidt). … Dogwood Coffee out of Minnesota has a North Stars-inspired logo. … Boston College has unveiled a gorgeous throwback sweater (thanks, Phil).
NBA News: Nike did a very sloppy job at centering the “B” logo on the stripes for the Clippers’ Buffalo Braves throwbacks (from Mike Trozzo). … The Cavs’ training jerseys feature the current wordmark with the old uni number font (from Etienne Catalan). … Speaking of the Cavs, they gave their old floor to their G-League affiliate, the Canton Charge, after the Charge’s floor was damaged in transit (from Cory Mizer).
College Hoops News: Duke wore grey unis with gold trim for opening night in honor of Coach K. Grey for his time at West Point, gold for his success with USA basketball. They somehow looked even worse in action. Always baffles me that a school with one of the cleanest looks in the game constantly messes with it, either with this nonsense or far-too-frequent BFBS (from many, many readers). … Ole Miss finally got around to releasing their new unis, on the day of their first game (from Adam Kuffner). … New court for Washington State, with landmarks from throughout the State of Washington as design elements (from John Hayes). … Washington — not State, Washington University — wore purple-with-camo unis last night, Paul’s favorite combination (from Alex Warneke). … Buffalo quietly added chevrons to their shorts (from Rachel Lenzi). … USF is debuting their new alternates tomorrow (from Marcus Hall and @astrobull67).
Soccer News: World Cup Qatar 2022 has unveiled its mascot, and no, it isn’t an enslaved migrant worker constructing a stadium (from @jayappletree). … Mexican side Xolos de Tijuana have new Star Wars-inspired limited edition kits — one in red and one in white (from Mauricio Gómez Montoya and Josh Hinton). … Speaking of the Mexican league, Planeta Fobol has an infographic on each club’s kit manufacturer. Interesting to see the big three of Nike, Adidas and Puma comprise less than half of the league (from @bryant_rf). … Celtic will once again wear their charity’s logo in place of corporate advertisements against Motherwell. … As usual, you can catch all of Josh Hinton‘s contributions on his Twitter account.
Grab Bag: The songwriter Jimmy Webb has a pretty fantastic logo (from @TruColorNet).
That’s it for me for the weekend — as noted above (and on the blog the past couple weeks), the San Diego Padres are unveiling new uniforms this evening, and Paul will be covering that unveiling live — and will therefore be taking tomorrow’s lede. So, if you folks were expecting “Sunday Morning Uni Watch,” it has a “bye” week and will return next Sunday. Catch you guys next Saturday!