By Phil Hecken
The big, if not entirely unexpected, news out of Toronto came down yesterday morning, when the Blue Jays reintroduced a full powder blue uniform into their lineup. This uniform will compliment the two (white and gray) uniforms the Jays currently wear, as well as the darker blue (dark royal) softball top they have as an alternate. The team also introduced a new logo, cap and helmet, but let’s take first things first: and the uniform is the big(gest) news.
As you can see, the new powder blue uniform features a button front jersey, and not (as some feared) a pullover. The Blue Jays were “born” in powder blue (for their road uniforms), and wore that color as their primary away uniform until 1989, when they switched to a gray button front jersey. From 2008 through 2010, the Jays brought back a powder blue throwback (which they only wore at home), and which was also a pullover. So, for the first time in their history, the Toronto Blue Jays will sport a powder blue, button front jersey (as God intended).
“For years, Blue Jays fans have expressed a desire for the revival of the baby blues. As we began thinking about what an adaption of the old uniform could look like, we polled our current players on various designs and the response was unanimously aligned with what we have heard from fans,” said Mark Shapiro, President & CEO, Toronto Blue Jays. “With that feedback, the decision was very clear. We are thrilled to share this original New Blue alternate uniform with Blue Jays fans across Canada.”
The new uniform replicates the team’s current logos, striping, and fonts. “BLUE JAYS” is radially arched across the chest, rendered in navy blue and white lettering with the current logo on the lower left. Regrettably, the new jerseys (as will all baseball jerseys from now on) also have the MOTB on the right chest. Sleeve piping mimics the wordmark style in navy/white/navy.
Jersey backs feature NOB in solid navy, also radially arched. This looks fine on players with short(er) last names, but gets a bit unwieldy when the names are longer.
There are no numbers on the front of the jersey, and the rear numbers are in the same “split style” font as the wordmark, also in navy/white/navy.
You’ll note that some of the models have gone high-cuffed, showing off new Stance socks that kinda-sorta resemble stirrups:
Here’s a closer look:
Pants are belted, and have stripes mimicking those on the sleeves, in navy/white/navy:
The team has also introduced a new cap, which features a navy blue crown and a powder blue brim (I love the powder blue squatchee!):
I do not know if this cap will be worn solely with the new powder blue uniforms or if it will be mixed and matched with the other uniform sets.
In addition to the new cap, the team also introduced a new batting helmet, which has a matte finish:
Looks like a 3-D logo too.
And that new logo? That’s honestly not something I would have noticed, but our pal Chris Creamer (who is a YUGE Blue Jays fan) spotted it. According to Chris, “The new primary logo is now just the bird/maple leaf design, the version with the team name and baseball surrounding the bird will now be the secondary logo. … (T)here’s also been a slight tweak to the red used throughout the team’s logos and uniforms. Here’s a side-by-side of the old and new reds because honestly, nobody would notice the change otherwise.”
The Blue Jays are the latest team to (re)introduce a powder blue uniform — joining the Phillies and Cardinals, who have recently introduced the looks, as well as the Rangers and Twins (who have introduced theirs for the 2020 season).
Unlike when the Blue Jays brought back their throwbacks for 2008-10, which they only wore on Fridays, this uni will not be on an “assigned” schedule. According to the team, “The new alternate option can be worn for both home and away games, while the alternate blue and grey options will remain a part of the Blue Jays lineup; the red jersey will be specially reserved for Canada Day on July 1.”
Here’s a 360° look at the new unis:
New threads. pic.twitter.com/CaoUerM14L
— Scott Mitchell (@ScottyMitchTSN) January 18, 2020
And here’s the Blue Jays hype video:
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) January 18, 2020
I LOVE these. Not every team would look good in powder blue (including some teams who’ve worn it in the past), but navy, royal and powder blue all look really good together, so this one seems like a no brainer. That they have gone button front and belted makes it all that much better. And as my pal Jimmer Vilk so fondly points out, “BLUE JAYS” respects the placket.
Yes, adding a new uniform (with new jersey) certainly feeds the merchandustrial complex, but in this instance, I have no problem with it — ESPECIALLY since it’s part of a full uniform and not just a softball top (looking at you Tampa and Kansas City). Of course, those two teams are looking at two easy fixes. Again, not every team should return to a powder blue uniform, but the Blue Jays most definitely should, and now, have. I can’t wait to see these on the field this season!
What say you, dear readers?
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: “Alex Radcliffe, 1939” (color study)
Subject: Alex Radcliffe
Medium: Oil on linen mounted to board
Size: 5” x 7”
When asked to tackle the great Alex Radcliffe for my Negro Leagues project, i first had to do some research into the man. I had known of his brother Ted, mainly because of the “Double Duty” nickname he’d earned. But as I dug, I discovered that Alex was one hell of a ballplayer – considered by many to be the best third baseman of his era, in fact.
I ran across an image of him that I really liked, one that I knew would be perfect to paint. But as was the case with many of the ballplayers I had painted, the uniform he was wearing was one I’d never seen before.
It took a few exchanges with the great Gary Ashwill to figure out what I was looking at, as well as from whence it came. Here’s his account of the source photograph.
The man NEVER let me down.
This is one of 200+ paintings of mine that will be on display at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum starting on February 13, 2020. If you’re interested in attending the opening night reception (which I’ll be at), you can purchase tickets here.
Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.
Guess The Game…
from the scoreboard
Today’s scoreboard comes from tweeter Ronnie Bolton (although he didn’t submit it as such).
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).
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!):
Please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: MLB may have switched over to Nike as the new uniform supplier, but Chicago Cubs players were still wearing Majestic jerseys as yesterday’s Cubs convention (from Dylan Bercu). … Speaking of Cubs fans — check out the brutal number font seen at the fanfest (from Pastor Tom Ekstrand). … Oooooh, check out this picture an an early Eureka, Utah baseball team, who, according to SABR Pictorial, “clearly had a unique sense of fashion when it came to uniform styles.” … Small uni mystery from Tracy Katz, who notes, “Found this in my son’s room. Think it is Al Leiter, though I have no clue when he would have gotten it signed to him! Any other thoughts on who it might be?” … Check out this gorgeous colorization from Chris Whitehouse (aka ManCave Photos). If you’re wondering, that’s Grover Cleveland “Pete” Alexander looking out towards the field. … The Lafayette Aviators, a summer collegiate league team in Indiana, are building a new stadium (from Kary Klismet). … Have some of the new spring training caps been leaked? (from Robert Hayes). … Remember UL Washington? The guy who used to chew a toothpick while playing? Well, Andy Brown is down in Cuba and he noticed a relief pitcher sporting that very same look (see full tweet here). … I’m just gonna leave this here.
NFL News: The Amazing Blaise D’Sylva isn’t finished with his helmet collection, and on Friday, he graced us with NFL 1920 First Season Prototype helmets. And yesterday, it was the 1921 models. … ICYMI (and apologies if this has been posted before): Kary Klismet writes, “Here’s a great story from a Kansas City TV news station about a 94-year-old Chiefs fan who sewed the uniforms for the team’s cheerleaders in the 1970s.” … As you guys know, the Atlanta Falcons are getting new unis in April (YES!!!!!), and this article features some comments from a guy who has seen them. There’s also a bit of news on an upgraded wordmark.
College/High School Football News: From the “Interesting Priorities” department: Union High School in Tulsa is demolishing its 43-year-old stadium (despite it having been described as an “incredible facility”) to make way for a new, $42 million replacement. But hey! At least it will look cool, based on the renderings (from Kary Klismet). … More logo pilfering (from Frank McGuigan: “Two high schools in my region with blatant pilfering of the Rams logo. One doesn’t even tweak it so they’re not the same. Unless you count the color.”
Hockey News: The Vancouver Canucks got special warmup sweaters to celebrate the Chinese New Year “of the Rat” — you can read more about that here. … The following are from Wade Heidt: There was an unusual color vs. color game in the BCHL on Friday night in West Kelowna. West Kelowna Warriors in their black uniforms and the Surrey Eagles wearing their green uniforms; also, the Wenatchee Wild had some US flag-themed stars, stripes, and camouflage for their game at home on Friday night against the Cowichan Capitals; also, the Spruce Kings wore old Prince George Mohawks throwback uniforms on Friday night (here’s a still shot). Here is a look at the actual old jersey from the past. … ICYMI: Ever wondered what goes into the process of designing an NHL uniform? The Q&A from the Calgary Flames’ director of marketing has the inside scoop (from Johnny Garfield). … Peep the warmup jerseys worn by the Winnipeg Jets on 1/17 (from Nathan Crowell). He adds, “See (the) whole thread for cool ‘O Canada’ sung in Ojibwa.” … Speaking of warmups, the Toronto Maple Leafs wore special sweaters for Canadian Armed Forces Appreciation Night yesterday. … More from Wade Heidt: “The Drumheller Dragons threw it back last night and played as the Drumheller Falcons. Sporting purple and yellow. The visiting Calgary Canucks played along and did a recent throwback uniform. Wearing royal blue and kelly green again. The Canucks have switched to navy blue and lime green just this year.” … Also last night, the Cincinnati Cyclones with the Spider Man jerseys for their Marvel weekend matchup against Rapid City Rush who are sporting Capitan America jerseys (from Austin Zani).
NBA News: Did we just get a look at the 2020 NBA ASG unis? (from Nick Maggos). … Here at UW, we’re not particularly concerned with retail sales of jerseys, but for those of you who are, LeBron James’ jerseys were the most popular amongst the jersey purchasing set. … “Watching the Bucks at Nets and back of Bucks shorts look grey; pending angle,” writes Scott Steffes. “They are playing on Nets grey alternate court. Mind tricks! See photo of Ilyasova. Not the best – but court is affecting visual.”
College/High School Hoops News: Tweeter Josh Claywell says, “not sure I’ve ever seen a high school court with the key painted line this one in Indiana.” That led Brett James to reply with a hold my beer reply. … Yesterday, Virginia Tech went GFGS at home, creating a color versus color matchup against Syracuse (from Andrew Cosentino). … Last night, USF wore what it describes as “slime” green uniforms (from Cedric Padilla). … Reader (and tweeter) Chris Mykoskie writes, “Color vs. color for my broadcast on ESPN+ (yester)day. “Blue Out” in Ruston for LA Tech vs. North Texas.” … Vanilla Ice performed at halftime of the Texas Tech/Iowa State game yesterday wearing a stylized Texas Tech jersey with “Ice” as the NOB (from Kary Klismet). Full video of the performance here. … UMass has a rather large state graphic on the court (from Z Martin).
Soccer News: New shirt for Serie B club Livorno (from Ed Żelaski). … Reader Josh Hinton spotted the unreleased 2019-20 PSG fourth kit at Soccer Village in Louisville, KY. … Also from Josh: Nashville SC revealed their 2020 home kit, confirming previous leaks. Here’s a bit more on that. … Still more from Josh: USL Championship side San Diego Loyal signed a kit deal with Adidas for their inaugural season. … (from Josh, again): Club America debuted their popular third kit at UANL Tigres last night.
Grab Bag: As you may, or may not, be aware, the new sixth branch of the military recently got uniforms, begging the question, “Why do we need camo in space?” (also pointed out by Timmy Donahue). … “Ugh.” says David Cline. That’s because the Metro is moving forward with naming rights deals. … Navy will name an aircraft carrier after Doris “Dorie” Miller. He will be the 1st African-American to have an aircraft carrier named in his honor. Miller was awarded the Navy Cross for actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor (from Timmy Donahue).