Admission time: I wasn’t always the baseball nerd you see before you. There was a time in my late teens/early twenties when baseball simply existed. Busied with work and school and manufactured heartache and booze and punk rocks shows, baseball took up a very small part of my life.

Fast-forward to age 23. I was living in Seoul, doing a lot of drinking and carrying on; adding a little bit of English instruction/shaping the future of Korean society on the side. Away from daily highlight shows and newspaper boxscores, I woke up one morning and realized I missed baseball with every fibre of my being. I took the ebb and flow of the baseball season for granted. I missed it. I attended some KBL games but it didn’t scratch the itch. I needed real baseball. I missed the Blue Jays.

It was a personal baseball renaissance! I pledged to be a better baseball fan when I returned to Canada and promptly did so. I needed to represent the team and city I loved so. Also, I was sick of people thinking I was American. I needed better branding and to represent my city when far, far from it.

My team was the Blue Jays. They still are. The Blue Jays wore these black hats. Which means I did, too. I promptly purchased the newest hat design, the black hat you see just north of the heavily-lidded eyes1 above.

Black hats worked well for because I’m a black hat kind of guy. The Jays logo was a little odd but I certainly didn’t mind. There was no cognitive dissonance rattling around my brain when the Blue Jays donned black hats. Nearly every sports team added some black variation to their look because, frankly, black stuff is easy to do and generally looks cool.

Black hats didn’t anger me nor did they offend my sense of history. I will wear a black hat over a hat of any other color 8 days a week so the “angry bird” won out. The grey hat with the same logo? Not a fan. The toothpaste T? No thanks.

The Jays tried a lot of crap over the years and most of bought whatever they sold. As fans of the team, it is what we do. Did the black hats or muscley birds dissuade anyone from fandom? Of course not. Look at some of the stuff the Jays have trotted out over the years.

Toronto Blue Jays logos throughout the years (SportsLogos.Net)

Hardcore addicts like the people reading a baseball blog in November know what I mean. With deep regrets, we do what it takes when our team is involved. Now the black hat is dead and many people are happy.

Just as the classic logo and uniform style represents great memories and experiences for thousands of baseball fans across Canada, the black hat came to represent my emergence from the baseball wilderness. It came to stand for the fresh appreciation I had for this city and country after spending time away.

I am happy because the new hats are great but I don’t begrudge the black lids. I wore it with pride because it was a Jays hat, the one they wore on the field. I will continue wearing the black hat with pride, when I play softball or work around the house.

For the new hat designs are spectacular. Amazing, really. I will certainly buy one as soon as I have two pennies to scrape together. They are perfect because they don’t include two different fonts or the cheeseball (to me) baseball backdrop. They couldn’t possibly be better, even if they aren’t black.

1Don’t blame me. Blame the Lifetime reunion show I just attended. Best set ever!

Comments (18)

  1. They couldn’t possibly be better, even if they aren’t black.

    Brilliant. Captured my feelings exactly. Thanks, Drew.

  2. Hell yes. Only caps I currently own are a black hat T logo since the bird did look…weird as you said, and the all-red Canadian flag cap. Gonna be a new addition soon, though.

  3. The alterante Romero is wearing looks really really good. The jersey and logo are awesome but the hat shouldn’t have the red maple leaf. If the jersey logo was the only logo with the red it would be perfect. Just my opinion.

  4. I forgot about 2003′s monstrosity!! That was one pathetic logo

  5. +1 for missing the black. Great article Drew.

  6. The only good thing I can say about the black hats is that they were better than the grey hats that debuted at the same time (and only lasted a season).

  7. I’ve owned a LOT of Jays hats through the years. I love the baseball team a lot more than I’ll ever love some marketing ploy like a logo change.

    However.

    Today is awesome.

  8. To each their own. I have a 2003 BP cap with that horrible logo, as well as the ’04-’05 home grey cap, but would never have purchased one of their black caps for myself. I did buy my dad one of the black BP caps, I think in 2007, and he still wears it regularly.

    I love the new unis overall. The appeal to history obviously gets me, but it just strikes me as a simpler and more appealing colour scheme without the black and silver accents

  9. As bad as it may sound, I also have a soft spot for the black jersey. Don’t get me wrong – I will certainly buy the new blue one as soon as I find $100 on the street. But the black looked good…

  10. Was that the Lifetime/Draft show? That day was an even bigger bonerfest than today

  11. I’m really going to miss the gray alternate jerseys with the TORONTO on the front. I always figured those should be the standard road jersey, classic look.

    I’m also totally in favor of the toothpaste T.

    • Eh? Am I missing something? The road jersey that was introduced today (with Lind wearing it) is grey with TORONTO on the front, is it not? I can’t remember a year without it as the standard road jersey.

  12. I will keep wearing my black jersey. Guys over 190lbs dont look good in blue or white. You never know when you ll meet the future Mrs at a ball game… gotta look good always.

  13. My black hat flew off my head during a gust of wind while on a boat in Georgian Bay in late August. It is dearly missed. Black hats go well with everything, and it was the old wool model that actually fits well.

    I have already got my hands on the new Jays cap, it fits weird but looks like a beauty.

    One day I’ll get a black cap again (why are they so god-damn expensive), but for now – this new logo is nails.

  14. I see the good people of The Toronto Sun edit your blogs before you post them. Good blog, but it reads like a steve simmons article.

    The new uniforms are niiiiiiice! But why did they say it took them 18 months to come up with a stretched version of the original logo?

    Strange.

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