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Ranking the best Royals jerseys

The Royals have worn some nice threads

Kansas City Royals infielder Adalberto Mondesi (27) shows the slash of pine tire on the back of his uniform that all Royals’ players wore as a tribute to Kansas City Royals leftfielder Alex Gordon (4) who announced his retirement at the end of the season during a Major League Baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals on September 26, 2020, at Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, MO. Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Today is National Jersey Day. It is, without question, the most important thing happening today. For many, National Jersey Day is a reminder of how terrible their franchise’s jerseys are. For Kansas City fans, it is no such reminder. Both the Royals and the Chiefs are regularly ranked among the best uniforms in their respective sports.

Sporting News ranked the Royals as having the 4th best uniforms in baseball before this season while ranking the Chiefs at 10th in their league. In honor of the Royals’ long history of great (and some not so great) uniforms, let’s take a look at some of their best kits.

The Bad

Early 2000’s Road Uniforms

The gray vests with the black sleeves is arguably the worst Royals uniform of all-time. Of course, it’s fitting that the worst teams in Royals history suited up in these kits. Get ready to hear more from the early 2000’s Royals.

Ken Harvey congratulated for home run Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Early 2000’s Home Uniforms

While the road uniforms from this era are worse, the home uniforms were trying hard to be worse. The blue sleeves and hats are the saving graces for these uniforms. But it’s still hard to overlook the black cleats, belt, and most notably, the terrible drop shadow on the Royals’ script.

Detroit Tigers vs Kansas City Royals - September 21, 2005 Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images

Late 1990’s Road Uniforms

As someone who was born in 1994, I didn’t know the Royals wore gray hats at any point in their history until I saw a gray Royals hat at a truck stop gas station as a kid. Making the move from script ‘Royals’ to the block ‘Kansas City’ font was a positive change, but it couldn’t make up for the gray hats.

Kansas City Royals v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Turn Ahead The Clock

We probably don’t need to explain this one. All but eight Major League teams have a Turn Ahead The Clock stain. The Royals shouldn’t feel bad. The Players’ Weekend uniforms are worse.

Photo by Joe Brockert, AP

The Debatable

Early 2000’s Black Alternates

I’ll get into trouble for this one. I know that most people hate these uniforms, but I liked them. This is partially because they were worn at the peak of my baseball fandom as a kid. They were also worn around the time that Michael Vick was the coolest athlete on the planet, running around in a black and red Falcons uniform.

The Royals’ inclusion of black in their color scheme was largely a mistake, but at least the black uniforms were a color scheme of their own, rather than an attempt to mesh black into an existing color scheme. I have an autographed black David DeJesus jersey to prove my commitment to these uniforms.

Brian Anderson complete game shutout Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Current Powder Blue Alternates

The current powder blue alternates get a bad rap because Royals fans wanted the originals so badly. But in a vacuum, these are good uniforms. Transitioning from the blue text of 2008 to the white text in 2012 was an upgrade. And getting rid of the powder blue hats was also an upgrade. And as they tend to do, Nike makes the powder blue pop more than it already did. It’s a good uniform.

Detroit Tigers v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Current Home Alternates

When the Royals announced an alternate home uniform with gold script to honor the 2015 World Series, I was all for it. The Cardinals had done it in 2012 and the Nationals did it in 2020. However, when they announced that it would be staying past 2016, I turned on it. Not to mention that the current rendition is markedly worse than the 2016 version, most notably with the white drop shadow being removed from the hat.

Detroit Tigers v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The Very Good

Original Royal Blue Alternates

This was my long-time favorite uniform. You will be shocked to hear that the Royals look great in Royal blue.

Kansas City Royals v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Current Royal Blue Alternates

I am typically against drastic changes to classic uniforms. Despite the weird drop shadows and color changes, the Royals stuck very closely to script and block fonts in their uniforms. They changed that in 2014 by putting a KC on the left pocket of the chest. And I loved it. The powder blue piping is a subtly great feature.

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images

Late 1980’s Powder Blue Alternates

These were the first uniforms to feature numbers on the front of the uniform and the neck piping is fantastic. While I prefer the block Kansas City font on the powder blues, the script is a great look without a drop shadow.

Bo Jackson Sports Contributor Archive 2018

The Elite

Current Home Uniforms

It was hard to choose between home jerseys in this spot. The reality is that every home white the Royals have worn, with the exception of the early 2000s, has been elite. The original white uniforms with the MLB’s 100th-anniversary patch were great, as was the pullover of the 1970s.

But ultimately, the Royals’ home uniforms have never been better than they are right now. The blue script and the blue piping are an extraordinarily clean look on the home white. And the new patch with the gold crown was a major upgrade for the current uniforms.

Detroit Tigers v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Current Road Uniforms

The Royals gray road uniforms haven’t been as strong historically as their home uniforms, but the 2012 changes made the current ones elite. The double white and blue piping on the pants was a significant upgrade, along with the smaller script.

Kansas City Royals v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Original Powder Blue Road Uniforms

The cream of the crop. One of the greatest uniforms in baseball history. The original powder blue road uniforms are an iconic uniform, thanks in part to the powder blue pants and elastic waistband, but also because they were jerseys George Brett wore for so many iconic Royals moments. It is a tragedy that the Royals have not brought these powder blue pants back, and given how many other teams have done just that, Kansas City should take some notes.

Kansas City Royals v New York Yankees Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images