If you thought 2019 was going to be just another soul-deadening year of rebuilding for the Reds, think again. This year, the Reds going to wear more unnecessary and commercially available throwback uniforms than any other Major League team.
The history minor in me should like this 150th anniversary gimmick. I feel sad for myself that when the highly shareable graphic popped up on the Reds’ Twitter feed, I immediately and slowly nodded my head, for now I will not have to wonder what to buy various nephews for Christmas until they are well out of college. They’re getting one piece of historically inspired spiritwear a year until 2034, at which point they can all drink, at which point Aunt Beth is going to drive at a semi-reasonable speed past their houses on their birthdays and hurl a six-pack out the window. Cynical as I am, this makes my life easier, I’m willing to throw down officially licensed money for that, and the Reds know it.
Beyond this, I don’t know how historically accurate this corporate mess actually is. If the team were serious about it, they’d send Votto and company out in full wool at least four times, which what the original teams disgustingly wore. And if you think I’m going to let Scooter out of knowing the full horror of polyester for the 1976 and 1990 uniforms, you have got another thing coming.
These kids today don’t know the shocking sacrifices we made so that they could climb mountains and fall off hoverboards and sit on their butts in soft, moisture-wicking material. I had to run up and down the full length of a SAY soccer field mid-August in heavy, itchy, 100% polyester complete with the stupid, even more uncomfortable ring-around-the-arm band, and I didn’t win anything, not even an “At Least You Tried” cake to ease my pain.
At first I had trouble understanding why the 1969 uniforms were even included until I realized that half of Reds Twitter was breaking the retweet function on any statement proclaiming a preference “for the ’69’s” “You’re all twelve-year-old boys,” is what the Reds are telling us, and they are correct.
The 1999 for-some-reason black monstrosities, I got nothin’. Unless the Reds are including an actual Sean Casey in one of these things, I don’t want any part in seeing any of them ever again.
The uniform throwback which concerns me the most is 1911’s, because it has the least to do with being an actual Reds uniform, which, in effect, makes it the most modern. The navy blue 1911 Reds uniform anticipates our decade’s worrying obsession with temporary uniforms having nothing at all to do with the actual team colors. I should not have to search out a graphic to see which team is playing who during a highlights reel. I should be able to glance up at the screen, see a swarm of grey and blue football jerseys and two brown ones ramming into each another, and instinctively know the Cowboys are playing Cleveland.
My personal favorite is when Ohio State’s football field trotted onto the field recently in all black, looking like the UC Bearcats, because their colors are scarlet and grey and why not. I look forward to next week’s Bengals neon green pants. You know this is coming.
You have been warned.
Proud aunt Mary Beth Ellis is a freelance writer and college teacher who lives in Cincinnati, OH. Her home site, BlondeChampagne.com, has existed in at least some form since 2003, and Mary Beth has been a regular columnist with one publication or another from the age of 16. Her first book, Drink to the Lasses, was published in 2006. She currently teaches college, runs personal wine tastings, gives literary readings, and stares into the middle distance.