This Week in Jersey Leaks

Online shops leaking unreleased logos and uniforms is quickly becoming an annual event for us logo-geeks each off-season, you may remember we got off to an early start this time around when the Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays new cap logos were leaked by a t-shirt manufacturer back in September prior to their eventual unveilings in November.

Well, here we go again, the changes aren’t nearly of the same impact but they are leaked changes nonetheless. Several new uniforms for the 2012 Major League Baseball season were inadvertently leaked to the public prior to their scheduled unveilings this past week; all of which again occurring on online sports merchandise shops actually offering the items for sale.

The San Francisco Giants had two of their new uniforms showcased early by the Majestic Athletic online shop, both of these being new road jerseys for the team. We learned the Giants will be wearing a new road alternate jersey, heavily inspired by but still a modernized version of the road jersey worn by the Will Clark and Kevin Mitchell era of the club throughout the 1980s. The Giants will be the only team in the league to wear a grey alternate jersey, the first to do so since the Texas Rangers wore a grey alternate with blue sleeves in 2008. We’re not sure of their plans for the uniform as of yet – one of the critical pieces of information typically missing from a leaked image.

The new main road jersey of the Giants was also listed on the Majestic site. It’s very similar to the jersey the team had worn in 2011 only now there will be black piping down the front of the uniform, behind the team script. The addition of the black piping to this road and also to their new road alternate makes the script on the front the only difference between the two new jerseys.

The Atlanta Braves were planning on unveiling their new home throwback-inspired alternate jersey at a ceremony later this month but spoiled the party. The site has since removed the item from it’s online shop but not before everyone got a glimpse of the new jersey.

The new Braves alternate is a “heritage-white” or “cream” jersey, a colour that’s gaining momentum in both baseball (New York Mets, Minnesota Twins, San Francisco Giants) and hockey (Ottawa Senators alternate, New York Rangers winter classic) lately. The “BRAVES” script across the front is lacking the familiar tomahawk under-script, in it’s place is a red front jersey number. The front red piping has been replaced by navy blue and a new sleeve patch featuring crossed tomahawks, similar to the Chicago Blackhawks, has been added. The jersey is based off of what the Atlanta Braves wore in their first two seasons playing out of the Georgia capital.

Finally the Colorado Rockies‘ plans to eliminate their road pinstripes were put up on the Majestic Athletic shop before the team could make the announcement themselves. The new road jersey gives the team a look much closer to what they wore on the road from their first season in 1993 through the 1999 season.

The elimination of the Rockies road pinstripes hopefully signals the end of an ugly era in Major League Baseball fashion.  With their elimination the 2012 season will be the first since 1984 in which no club will wear pinstripes on the road. Road pinstriped uniforms were always one of my least favourite jersey styles over the years, the worst of the bunch being the Minnesota Twins roadies worn from 1987-2009. Something about seeing those dark stripes running vertically down a grey jersey just seemed so muddled and busy – I’m glad baseball teams have opted for a much cleaner look on the road across the board.

I’m sad to say that this is it for new Major League Baseball uniforms in 2012, over the next few months we’ll still see teams announce “turn back the clock” one-offs or various ethnic heritage specialty games.  The Texas Rangers are expected to announce a series of retro jerseys to be worn during the season in celebration of their 40th anniversary, I would be stunned if the Houston Astros didn’t join in with some throwbacks for their 50th anniversary this season but nothing has been announced.

Check out Chris’s sports logo and uniform website at SportsLogos.Net, or follow him on Twitter at @sportslogosnet