The last few months have been a veritable bonanza for new NFL uniforms. The New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaniers, and the Atlanta Falcons are all bringing in the 2020-2021 NFL season with some new threads. These uniforms range from fantastic (the Chargers) to boring as humanly possible (the Patriots) to threads personally cursed by the lords of the underworld for their hideousness (the Falcons).
But one thing they have in common? Color! Lots of it. Deep chocolate brown, a full array of blue, metallics of silver and pewter, orange, black, red, yellow—most of the rainbow and then some. That’s something that’s really strong about the NFL as a whole, too: while some teams have overlapping colors, it’s usually very clear which team is which on TV.
The same, ah, cannot be said for Major League Baseball. Look, I get it. Baseball is traditional! It’s been around for decades! Your grandfather played the game! His grandfather played the game also! It is AMERICAN like APPLE PIE and EATING TOO MUCH JUNK FOOD and WEARING CARGO SHORTS FAR MORE OFTEN THAN IS APPROPRIATE. Pshh, color? Uniform design? Why, back in my day, colors hadn’t been invented yet......Etc., Etc.
It is undeniable that there are many great things about baseball, but one of the bad things about baseball—or, the MLB, at least; the minor leagues got this down pat—is that it is often much too careful and conservative about its image. No other league has this problem.
Consider: Rare or bright colors are rare or nonexistent. Only three teams utilize orange. Only three teams utilize yellow in their uniforms, and two use a shade of green. One team utilizes purple. Meanwhile, five teams feature nearly identical team colors of navy blue and red. An additional four teams use navy as a primary color. Four more utilize a lighter shade of blue and red.
Simply put, baseball needs more color variety in their uniforms. When the San Diego Padres revealed their new uniforms, it was a breath of fresh air. They moved away from a completely forgettable navy blue-based color scheme to a throwback brown and gold. But you know what? It works! It works because it’s different. You can tell a Padres jersey is a Padres jersey from any distance.
I’m just thankful during SB Nation Jersey Week that the Royals are a good-looking baseball club. They utilize a striking, bold royal blue as their primary color and compliment it with a powder blue that’s actually part of the overall color scheme rather than a simple throwback (though those are also dope). The uniform designs are classic and sharp, and their alternates work well, too. It’s also nice to see the Royals embrace gold as a part of their color scheme with their Friday gold-trimmed set.
I just hope that any future team looking to re-design their uniform set, or any potential new expansion teams, takes a hard look at what’s there currently and goes in a bold direction. We watch our baseball teams for a long time every year. The uniforms might as well be pleasing to the eye.