By Spencer Bowen
Remember, no full-scale redesigns. Only one modest tweak per team.
The Astros stand on the precipice of uniform greatness, having abandoned their dalliance with brick red and vegas gold in favor of their original Colt .45s blue and orange and a more classic look. Yes, the Astros should’ve brought back this word mark for the home unis. Yes, the last name font is way too big. But the Astros biggest uni-sin is not featuring their crisp citrus headgear more often. Houston needs to recommit to their original uniform designation and wear orange caps with their home whites every damn time. It enlivens the entire uniform, highlighting the placket piping and harkening back to the Astros iconic but funky uniform history.
I’m a Giants fan, but I’m not too proud to admit that the A’s might have the best home uniform in baseball. The stripeless pants pop and the unique color scheme combines a not-too-highlighter, not-too-goldenrod yellow with a warm forest green. The rest of the set is nice, too – but it could be nicer. The A’s should bring back the gold-on-green road hat. Oakland replaced one of the better caps in baseball with a cheap knockoff that muddies the A’s sharp crest. Plus, the white logo doesn’t go with anything on the road uniform. Stick to white shoes, Oakland, but eliminate the white on the road cap.
To be fair, the Rangers drastically improved their current set with a few minor tweaks a couple of years ago. The egregious drop shadow is gone. The weird beveling is gone. And the kind of awesome but mostly awful batting helmet never saw the light of day. Yet problems very much remain. The Rangers can’t figure out if they are a primarily blue team or a primarily red team. Their spring training cap is way more fun than their actual one. And they can’t seem to figure out a way to put “Rangers” on any of their uniforms. Despite their issues, the Texas Texases should do away with the spiky number and name font. Seriously, it’s awful. The numbers look silly and the letters are gigantic. Oh, the Rangers say, the typeface has a Western vibe and the spikes look like spurs and blah blah blah WE KNOW YOU’RE FROM TEXAS IT SAYS SO ON EVERY GODDAMN JERSEY. Lose the warts, gain aesthetic respectability and actual readability.
The Mariners pretty much nailed the “modern classic” vibe with their current set. Some very minor tweaks in 2015 made the whole thing even better, including the introduction of the fauxback Sunday alternate. I’d love to see Seattle pair the cream and royal blue top with the throwback “M” hat instead of the current old-colors-new-logo cap. That “M” logo is wildly underrated and should definitely make its triumphant return.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim trot out a uniform set that ultimately cannot be saved with a single tweak. They aren’t bad (at least they settled on red, Rangers) but they aren’t very good either, landing squarely in the dreaded “meh” zone. At least they’ve grown out of their vest phase. If they must keep the red alternates, the Angels should make the lettering and numbers white. Color-on-color uniforms are sooooooooo early 2000s – plus they are difficult to read.
- Next: The National League