I don’t know about you, but I think Major League Baseball uniforms, in general, are a mess. Everyone has alternate home and road jerseys and caps and special occasion jerseys for afternoon Sunday games that fall on an even numbered day when the temperature is between 80 and 85 degrees. And don’t even get me started on the camo abominations. It’s a disaster.
Since it’s the offseason now, this seems like a good time to gripe about it and make suggestions. The Reds are going to be good again eventually and they might as well look good either way. Anyhow, it’s been a while since I’ve put forth opinions which are completely and unassailably correct in every way, so let’s talk about baseballing clothes.
The Reds are generally accepted to be the first professional baseball team. And yet, unlike so many of their early-baseball kin, they lack uniforms that carry a classic feel. In fact, the Reds have changed clothes approximately 17 quadrillion times since their inception with only 1.5 quadrillion of those changes being represented by the variety of alternate uniforms they wore last year.
The Reds have had generally ugly uniforms for a long, long time. The golden era for the franchise came while they were wearing the equivalent of a 70s leisure-suit. Sure, it seemed in keeping with the times, but now we know how stylistically misguided those times were. Worse, once the franchise acknowledged that it was time to move on, they got caught up in the 1990s cartoonery and brought us those sleeveless-abominations. Bad. Bad. Bad.
Here’s where I provide a template to avoid future uniform missteps. Note that I said “provide” and not “offer.” This is because my opinions on this matter are right. If you disagree, you probably need to take a long, hard look at yourself in the mirror. I mean, really, what has become of you?
The following is a list of things that should not ever be part of a Reds uniform:
- “Accent” colors (I’m looking at you, blue & black)
- Sleeveless jerseys
- Cursive script
Here are things that should be required as part of the uniform:
- The wishbone C (duh)
- Buttons (no more pullovers, ever)
- High socks
I think, if we keep to the above requirements, it’s hard to come up with something particularly awful. In fact, I don’t think there’s much wrong with the current standard home uniforms, which are very similar to the classic-Tigers home garb. I would remove the numbers from the front, but if I weren’t busy being right about everything, you could convince me to allow them.
The road uniforms are a different matter though. Road uniforms in general tend to have one of two problems: 1. Incredible boringness 2. Incredible ugliness.
There have, in Reds history, been two exceptions, I think. First, despite the abomination of the 1990s homes uniforms, I’ve always been fond of the pinstriped road uniforms in their sleeved edition, and I could definitely be persuaded to bring them back. Additionally, there was an interesting little quirk on their road uniforms back in the 30s. Here’s a drawing of them and here’s a picture. Now, while I am certainly not defending the blue accent color, I do like the stylized letters spelling out Cincinnati. It feels appropriate to the city. Kind of steamboat-y, if you get what I mean, and the Reds have been playing with the old-timey thing lately. I think one or possibly both of these things would really jazz up the current road uniforms and fully encourage the Reds to take my obviously correct advice and revise their plumage accordingly.
Okay, everyone, you may now form an orderly line in the comments to express your unanimous enthusiasm for my entirely correct baseball clothing opinions.
Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.