Archive for the ‘Uniforms And Logos’ Category

Exactly what year is it out there?

With so many Major League Baseball teams in throwback-inspired uniforms or participating in “Turn Back the Clock” games this year it’s a reasonable question to be asked by the average baseball fan.

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This past weekend Major League Baseball and New Era unveiled the 2012 edition of their “Stars and Stripes” line of ballcaps. This product line is designed to honour the United States, it’s servicemen and women at home and abroad, and it’s veterans. This summer will be the fifth consecutive season that teams will be participating in this program and the first time they will feature a camouflage pattern rather than a US (or Canadian) flag design.

All Major League Baseball teams will wear the “Stars and Stripes” caps during games on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and on September 11th.

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The Chicago White Sox entered the 1972 season as a franchise in danger. They only narrowly survived a relocation attempt to Milwaukee and were now in the sights of the City of Seattle which was licking its chops at the idea of a Major League Baseball club returning. A regular at the bottom of league attendance charts, the White Sox averaged only 5800 fans per game in 1970 – even those sad-sack Montreal Expos never drew so few fans over the course of an entire season.

But something happened in 1972, things just started to “click” in all the right ways.  Newly acquired first baseman Dick Allen hit .308, with 37 homers and 113 RBI’s to claim the American League Most Valuable Player Award and starting pitcher Wilbur Wood threw 20 complete games, going 24-17 with an ERA of 2.51 and was named The Sporting News’ AL Pitcher of the Year.  A 20-year-old kid by the name of Goose Gossage also stepped onto a Major League field for the first time to kick off his Hall of Fame career.  Slowly but surely fans started showing up at the ballpark again.

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The 2011-12 MLB off-season was one of the best in recent memory for new branding with the absolutely superb upgrades in Toronto, Baltimore, and New York.  While nearly all sport logo and uniform changes are traditionally met with a negative response, these three had overwhelmingly positive reviews from the baseball community.

Why all of a sudden did we see such fantastic design decisions made by these clubs?  I like to think that the rise of social media is a main reason. Fans and teams have never been able to interact with each other at the level they are today – teams are hearing what fans are looking for and they are actually listening (for the most part anyways… after all, the Padres still aren’t wearing brown uniforms now are they?)

So here we are, three weeks into the 2012 Major League Baseball campaign and we’ve had plenty of opportunity to see each and every one of the new uniforms in action. This week I’ll be taking a detailed look at one of the star changes for this season, the Baltimore Orioles.

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This past Friday the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees met up at Fenway Park, one-hundred years to the day that those same two teams played to open up the stadium for the very first time back in 1912.

The Red Sox went all out in their 100th anniversary celebrations for the historic New England ballpark, inviting over 200 former Red Sox players to take part in pre-game ceremonies.  Legends such as Carl Yastrzemski, Carlton Fisk, Johnny Pesky, and even Jose Canseco paraded around the field wearing (ugh) replica Boston Red Sox jerseys with (double ugh) player names on the back of the jerseys.

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