Happy New Year everyone, welcome to 2012! Let’s celebrate the beginning of the new year by taking one final look back at the year just past with part three of our 2011 MLB logo and uniform year-in-review (you can read part one here, and part two here). In our final chapter of this trilogy we will be covering the remaining ten teams in the American League alphabetically from Detroit through Toronto.
The Detroit Tigers turned the clock back for an inter-league game in Los Angeles on June 22nd wearing the uniforms of their 1944 squad. These uniforms were basically the same as their current road uniform with a noticeable lack of orange and the addition of the World War II shield patch on the left sleeve. Interesting to note, the Tigers included their Sparky Anderson memorial patch on these throwbacks – Sparky would have been ten years old when these uniforms were originally worn.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
The Kansas City Royals made no tweaks to their logo or in-game uniform set nor did they wear any special uniforms in 2011, the only change was to their batting practice jersey where white was added to the underarms. The Royals announced some minor changes to their road uniform for the upcoming 2012 season and also will be dropping their powder blue alternate cap.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM
The 2011 season was the 50th anniversary season of the Los Angeles Angels franchise and they celebrated in grand logo and uniform style all season long. For the season the Angels swapped the silver halo on their jerseys and cap for a gold one to mark the “golden” anniversary. This was a welcome, yet sadly only a single-season change to the uniform set which harkened back to the days when the team wore gold halos on their uniforms from their first season in 1961 through to 1992.
Continuing with the celebrations of their 50th, the Angels wore various throwback uniforms for every Friday home game during the season, from the 1961 Los Angeles Angels (complete with a halo printed on the top of the caps) to various California Angels uniforms from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, covering every major uniform change in franchise history save for the Disney branded seasons from 1997-2001. The Angels get throwback bonus points for wearing matching batting helmets with the retro uniforms, an element often overlooked by teams during these events.
The Minnesota Twins lost a very famous member of their franchise history when Harmon Killebrew died in May. To honour Harmon’s memory the club wore a memorial patch on their sleeves, but that’s not all. The Twins blew the lid off all previous uniform memorials by wearing their 1961 throwback jerseys as their regular home jerseys for the remainder of the season. Yeah, that’s a helluva tribute.
Minnesota paid tribute to the 20th anniversary of their 1991 World Series championship team by wearing their old “M” cap for a game on August 5th. This one-game celebration didn’t stop the Harmon Killebrew tribute jerseys from being worn despite the fact that their regular home jerseys closely resemble the original ’91 uniforms. The result was a clash of two eras of the history of the team, but enabled them to honour both the player and the club at the same time.
In July the Twins wore a green cap against Cleveland for an Earth Day event, originally scheduled for April but ended up being rained out.
NEW YORK YANKEES
As usual the New York Yankees made no changes to their uniforms during the season nor did they wear any special uniform, aside from the stars-and-stripes caps worn by all clubs for Memorial and Independence Day. The Yankees will wear 1912 throwback uniforms on April 20th this season to help the Red Sox celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park.
Oakland did turn back the clock once during the year when they wore uniforms from the 1980s as part of ’80s night on July 17th against the Los Angeles Angels, MC Hammer even threw the first pitch before the game.
The A’s, or “Los Atleticos”, wore Spanish uniforms for a game against the Texas Rangers on August 14th.
The Seattle Mariners re-introduced a teal alternate jersey for the 2011 season, marking the first time since 1996 that the Mariners wore the teal as more than a one-off.
Dave Niehaus, Seattle’s radio play-by-play man since the beginning of their first season, died during the off-season. The Mariners honoured Dave’s memory by wearing a memorial patch on their uniforms throughout the season.
On July 1st the Mariners flashed back to 1984 for a throwback game against the San Diego Padres.
TAMPA BAY RAYS
On July 2nd the Tampa Bay Rays wore the uniforms of the Florida International League’s Tampa Smokers from the 1951 season with one noticeable omission. The original ’51 Smokers jerseys had a large cigar plastered across the front of the uniform script, naturally the cigar was not included for the tribute jerseys.
The Texas Rangers and Oakland A’s pinned black ribbons to their uniforms for their game on July 9th in memory of fan Shannon Stone who died after falling from the stands trying to catch a ball during the game before.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
The Toronto Blue Jays wore red jerseys as they do whenever they play a home game on Canada Day, this season the jerseys came with white side panels paired with a red and white cap. As always all player names on the backs of the jerseys were replaced with “CANADA”.
The Jays also joined in honouring the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with a flag patch on their cap and jersey, unlike the other 29 MLB clubs the Jays wore both the Canadian and U.S. flags.
Finally, before the 2011 season the Toronto Blue Jays eliminated their popular-with-fans-but-not-with-the-players powder blue throwback uniforms, fans who missed the retro look didn’t need to wait long as we all know about those big uniform changes they announced after the season ended.
This is it for our 2011 MLB Logo and Uniform year-in-review, I hope you all enjoyed it and I wish you all the best in 2012.