At least a few times last year, Cubs play-by-play man Len Kasper voiced his displeasure on the growing trend of teams foregoing their traditional grey road uniforms for ones featuring the teams’ primary color. I don’t have numbers to support this, but from memory alone, I would think that we saw the Cubs play in their blue jerseys in 2013 more than ever before while the greys were seldom seen.
I personally didn’t have a problem with this, not because I disagree with Len Kasper that teams should stick with white and grey, but because the Cubs’ grey uniforms in particular are nothing short of ugly.
Boring blue font across a boring grey jersey. You know how old technology always, always looks dated? What used to be sleek now looks clunky and antiquated. That’s what these make think of. They’re not even retro. They’re just old and ugly. Basically, these uniforms are VCRs. There’s no room for that in a world of Blu-Rays.
Simplicity isn’t necessarily bad. The Yankees’ greys are some of my favorites in all of sports. One difference between the two that goes beyond aesthetics is that anything Yankees makes people think of winning. There’s a pride about it. The Cubs have had periods through their history that we can be proud of, but very few are represented by these greys. They’ve only been using this design since 1990 (with some changes). There have certainly been good memories in them, but for the most part, these uniforms represent an era that we’re hoping the Epstein/Hoyer regime can undo.
Which is precisely why I was so happy when I saw these babies pop up on my Twitter timeline.
The Cubs unveiled these at the Cubs Convention on Friday as the new road alternate jerseys. So no, they won’t be replacing the current greys unless they make the blues the primary road uniforms, which seems unlikely. Regardless, it’s an improvement. Replacing the seven-letter Chicago with the four-letter Cubs makes the font more dynamic and the blue brings a nice touch of color. My one gripe is that I’m still not sold on the red number on the front. These might not be Blu-Rays, but they’re DVDs at least.
Even if they don’t replace the current greys, the Cubs will look different than they have before when they wear them. No, a new uniform is in no way, shape or form as much of an image-changer for an organization as turning the team into a perennial contender. If I can put a positive spin on this, though, I would say that this is an indication that it’s not just the baseball operations people who are working on turning the franchise around. Even the non-baseball side is coming up with ideas for changing the Cubs from the Lovable Losers into an organization everyone will take seri-
What was I saying? Oh yeah, I can’t wait to get a shirsey in the new grey style.
(Credit to Matthew Robins for snapping that photo of the new grey jersey)