Looking good on the field (or not so much)

As a fan of the Detroit Tigers, I’ve been spoiled by a team with the best, most classic home uniform in all of baseball. I know Yankees fans like to think the same thing, but I’ll take the a clean, white uniform with an Old English D on the chest over busy, pajama-like pinstripes any day of the week, and twice on Sunday (for doubleheaders).

While it’s clear that not all fans can be as fortunate, fashion-wise, as Detroit fans, I did feel a little bad for Florida Marlins fans when their new logo and uniforms were announced this week.

old logo
The old Marlins logo
new logo
The new Marlins logo

On the whole, the logo itself is far less unfortunate than the uniforms. After all, if the Cleveland Indians can play with something resembling dignity with a racist caricature on their hats, then the Marlins would be fine with a perhaps slightly-too-colorful logo on a classic black hat. Maybe a single colorful M on the chest and black, or even teal piping. Is that what they’ll be wearing? Not even close.

Granted, the home uniforms are much better than the away uniforms — which is normal, even Detroit’s away uniform is a bit workmanlike — but the orange! The day-glo colors! And the blue hat with a black brim? Um, yeah.

Although if you dig through almost any team’s old uniforms, you’re bound to find some missteps. And, as a matter of fact, the Baseball Hall of Fame has a web page, Dressed to the Nines, where you can see all the uniforms worn by Major League Baseball teams all the way back to 1900.

That's just not right

And what glorious missteps! As Salon points out, even Nolan Ryan, one of the most dominant pitchers of his day, looked a bit silly in a 1975 Houston Astros uniform. I always felt a bit bad for George Brett in the powder-blue 1980s Kansas City Royals away uniform. And while I’m actually, on the whole, a fan of the throwback, 19th-century inspired Chicago White Sox uniforms of the late 1970s, I’d had no idea that at some point, grown men had been playing professional baseball in shorts.

So do some digging. Check out your favorite team, and while you’re at it, take a look at the Detroit Tigers home uniforms. 1900, 1970, or today, still the same, classic, perfection.

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