There was a time — long, long ago when you wouldn’t know which teams had changed logos and uniforms, or added special sleeve patches until your local team actually played them on television.
Yeah, those days are long gone. With the Internet there are no longer any surprises in life, you won’t have to wait until the Chicago White Sox make an appearance on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball to learn they’re actually wearing their old 1983 uniforms for every Sunday home game, or that the Orioles are honouring the memory of their old skipper all-season long.
Well because we got everything logo and uniform related for you here in one handy new graphics preview guide for the 2013 MLB season!
We’ll start things off with the biggest change of the off-season, it’s the…
Houston did it all this off-season, everything except put together a winning ballclub. I’m sure you’re getting sick of the recap by now, new league, new logo, new uniforms, new colour scheme, new manager.
The Astros pulled a Blue Jays and just modernized a classic set — sure, it’s not an exciting way to re-brand but when compared to how a non-classic rebranding can go (look under “Marlins, Miami” in your local logo library) it’s the best way to go.
Houston has dropped the brick, black, and sand of their old set in use since the 2000 season in favour of navy blue and orange. It’s the colours the Astros should have always been wearing but for whatever reason hadn’t been since 1993.
The logo is a roundel, a circle with a circle inside of it, a design-technique being used by far too many big league clubs now, it features the cap logo with the team name arched around it at the top and bottom.
For the uniforms, it’s basically a clean-up of the 1966 uniforms (minus that goofy shooting star across the home jersey) – a very, very simple design with just the city and team names arched across the front and the primary logo as a patch on the sleeve. An orange alternate jersey is also part of the set, scheduled to be worn for Saturday home games. What might be my favourite part of the set is the batting practice/spring training jersey, side panels with that classic 70′s Astros rainbow striping, a beautiful nod to the past.
New York Mets
The Mets continued their full-on conversion from black back to blue and orange this off-season by introducing two new blue alternate jerseys – one for home games and one for the road. A new blue cap has also been added to the set, presumably for use with the new jerseys.
That new blue home alternate jersey has “Mets” scripted across the front in orange trimmed in white, while the road alternate does pay tribute to the old Mets road alternate jersey of the mid 1980s, “NEW YORK” is arched across the front in grey with orange trim. Hoping to bring back some of that mid-80s Mets magic? We’ll see.
Because CitiField, the home stadium of the Mets, is hosting this summer’s All-Star Game the Mets will be wearing the 2013 MLB All-Star Game patch on the sleeves of all their jerseys throughout the season.
St. Louis Cardinals
Hands up who remembers the last time the Cardinals wore “St. Louis” across the front of their jerseys.
Everyone who raised their hand is a liar.
The Cardinals have introduced a new cream-coloured home alternate jersey which will feature their home city on the front, this is the first time the club has done this since (wait for it) 1932!
Also new is the news that they’ll no longer be wearing their navy blue cap with their road jerseys – if you’re not a Cardinals fan or uniform geek odds are you didn’t even notice they wore navy on the road, for the past 21 years, but it’s back to red full-time with the greys. It looks weird at first but after about 5 minutes of watching a game you forget those navy blue years ever existed.
In the off-season Cardinals great Stan Musial died, the team will be wearing a #6 patch featuring his signature in a circle on the left sleeve of each of their jerseys throughout the season.
The Pirates have brought back an old classic as new alternate jersey for the 2013 season, complete with no buttons on the front and an elastic waistband… it’s chalk full of 40 year old uniform technology. Their new alternate is white with “PIRATES” across the front with a snappy looking gold cap with a black “P” on the front.
Pittsburgh has also announced that they will be changing their primary logo for the 2014 season, so… probably a “P” in a circle with the team name around it just like the Astros, and Rangers, and Padres, and Nationals, and Athletics, and… so on.
Chicago White Sox
As alluded to in the preamble, the ChiSox are flashing back to their old 1983 home jerseys for every Sunday home game throughout the season. The idea is that they’re honouring the 30th anniversary of the AL West championship team, much like they did last year when they wore the red pinstripes to honour the 40th anniversary of the ’72 Sox.
A nice little touch on this throwback is the inclusion of the original 1983 MLB All-Star Game patch on the jersey sleeve, although they did opt for the more modern belted pants instead of the elastic waist that the club actually wore in ’83. The players didn’t like ‘em and ultimately that’s all that matters.
Every off-season the Brewers adds several more jerseys to their uniform rotation… yes, I’m exaggerating, but Milwaukee’s addition of two new jerseys for 2013 now brings their total up to EIGHT jerseys to choose from on any given day.
This year it was an all-gold version of their home uniform, that’s all there is to describe it, take their home jersey, colour what’s white gold and there you have it. Also added is a batting practice jersey designed as a result of a fan contest, which will surely make an appearance during the regular season.
Milwaukee will also sport several special one-off jerseys for theme nights, the only one announced so far is June 23rd’s “Polish Night” in which they’ll wear a red and white jersey based off the flag of Poland with “Piwowarzy” across the front.
Related to that last point, I mentioned the idea of one-game foreign language jerseys to Blue Jays President Paul Beeston at an event in January, he sounded genuinely intrigued by the idea but then didn’t return my followup emails… so, there’s probably nothing happening there. Or maybe there is, who knows.
Speaking of foreign-language jerseys, the Reds will become the first team to sport one as an official “alternate” jersey. Basically, they can wear ‘em as many times as they want during the season, this ain’t a one-off. The jersey is based off of their batting practice set except reads “Los Rojos” across the front instead of “Reds”, it’s a fairly sharp jersey design-wise.
The Reds had planned a second alternate to unveil during the off-season, it was an all-camouflage jersey which got mothballed sometime in between August and December for reasons unknown. Out of respect to the Reds I’ll keep the actual design under wraps but let’s just say I’m quite pleased they decided to keep this one locked away. Eek.
San Francisco Giants
As the reigning World Champions, the San Francisco Giants get to brag all season long to their opponents by wearing this spiffy 2012 World Series Champions patch on the sleeves of all their jerseys.
And now, the rest…
The Baltimore Orioles lost their former manager, hall of famer Earl Weaver, during the off-season, they will be wearing this patch in his memory during the season. In case you can’t read it, it reads “EARL WEAVER 4 HALL OF FAME”
Washington has a new alternate cap, same white “W” logo as the rest of the existing Nationals caps but the cap itself is now red with a blue bill instead of just all red or all blue.
Twenty years flies so fast, the Colorado Rockies are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year with this special patch which will be worn for every game this season.
The Tampa Bay Rays had some fun last season by wearing make believe “fauxback” uniforms from 1979 for a game against the Tigers, well, that fun will extend into 2013 as that set has been added as an alternate uniform. No word on when it’ll be worn yet but you’ll see it more than once, that’s for sure.
A couple of one-offs have been announced so far, the Minnesota Twins will be wearing the uniforms of the 1948 St. Paul Saints minor league club on May 30th and the Kansas City Royals are wearing KC Monarchs Negro League uniforms on August 24th.
We didn’t get into it in here but every team has also has a new batting practice cap (you can read our full extensive round-up of that here). For the first time big league clubs have the option to wear these caps in regular season games, thus far only the Blue Jays have announced that they’ll be doing this – once on Canada Day and again for Canada Baseball Day at the stadium on August 11th.
On Memorial Day (May 27th) every Major League club will wear full-on camouflage caps, this includes the non-Memorial Day celebrating Toronto Blue Jays. There will be another patriotic themed design unveiled for teams to wear on July 4th but that has yet to be unveiled.
That’s all for 2013, enjoy the season! The league is looking nicer all the time.