First and foremost I would like to apologize for what I am about to type.
The Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, and Minnesota Twins are all bringing back powder blue uniforms in 2020. It is likely the baseball drought has been just long enough for you to forget. Yet, as the possibility of a season looms closer, I feel it is my responsibility to remind you and prepare you for what you are about to see.
They will join four other teams in donning powder blue (five if you include spring training). And though many have done it before, it seems like something very few can actually pull off.
The first powder blue jersey was introduced in 1941 by the Chicago Cubs. It didn’t last beyond that initial season but made an impression on at least one person, as the Brooklyn Dodgers attempted a satin version of the light blue jersey. Why satin? They only wore the jersey’s for night games, assuming the shiny material would help fans see better. Welp, that idea was scrapped after a lone season as well. Have no fear, because as we learned after eight seasons of GOT, what is dead may never die. As much as some would wish a permanent burial on the powder blues, they just kept coming back.
In the 1960s consumers experienced what is now known as The Color Revolution. Baseball fans experienced what I like to call the The Color Revoblution (Eh, I tried). With the color TV takeover, MLB teams saw an opportunity and pounced. Why have grey road uniforms when you can have color? Starting with the White Sox in 1964, there were 12 MLB teams that switched from road greys to the traveling blues between then and 1980.
Now, I don’t mind the earlier powder blues so much. It made sense at the time. It was an opportunistic move to bring more excitement to the game.
Hey, this sounds kind of familiar.
In the present times of young, attention-insufficient fans, adolescents watch games like small fish: catch and release. As the MLB struggles to keep the attention of the younger generations one wonders how they can make the game more appealing. POWDER BLUE! PUT IT EVERYWHERE! I can only imagine that was the thought process of some league owners. Between 2008 and this season, eight teams have reintroduced the powder blues. It’s beginning to feel a lot like when the NFL discovered the color black.
I get it. Teams have history and a lot of them went through the same change from road grey to powder blue during the 70s and 80s. It’s a part of their history now and they can use it to hit two birds with one stone: reinvigorate old fans and attract new ones.
But that was over 40 years ago! Styles have changed, team colors have changed, we are finally adapted to our color TVs. We don’t need an excess of powder blue to make us watch baseball. How do we determine who should get to keep the look?
I’ll start by nominating my hometown team as tribute. The Seattle Mariners have no business wearing powder blue even as a spring training look. You’ve got dark blue and teal. It’s not like the powder blue was from their glory days. Just keep it moving Seattle.
The Tampa Bay Rays can have a pass here because their uniforms were already boring enough, and no way in hell should they ever return to those white and green digs. Everyone under the age of 55 loves the old Devil Rays black with the blue to yellow fade. They finally brought those back this past season so there is hope one day they can completely abandon the powder blue. Until then, keep calm and don’t go back to the chive green.
The Twins can honestly do whatever and no one outside of Minnesota and my buddy Mark, who randomly chose them as his team, will care. Actually Mark probably wouldn’t care either.
The Rangers are just being selfish. Not only do they have two of the three primary colors, and two of the colors on our nations flag, now they are trying to steal multiple shades of these colors. I say enough is enough. To be candid, their new uniforms could be any color but as long as they have the old style script across their chest they belong in a trashcan.
I can give the Blue Jays a pass too (I know, I am the gracious leader you all deserve). As an expansion team in 1977, the Jays first set of uniforms included the powder blues. Plus those Canadians are so darn nice how can you tell them no.
The St. Louis Cardinals can also get a pass as long as they promise to wear them sparingly. I mean they’ve already got great uniforms, a great fan base, AND a stadium named after beer, they’ve earned it.
I would love to bash the Philadelphia Phillies here just to rile up the Philly faithful but as a man of integrity I cannot tell any falsehoods here. The Phillies look good in the old school blues. I’m not sure if it’s the swirly “P” or the way they make burgundy and blue work, but I’m all in on this one. Maybe I’m just thinking of Bryce Harper.
Growing up in the 90s and 2000s I didn’t pay much attention to the Royals. They were bad and until they went to the World Series in 2014 I basically ignored them. Which is why it makes sense I thought they had always worn powder blues. In truth they went through a powder phase in the 70s and 80s like the rest of the league, but didn’t revisit the hue until 2008. By the time they were in the World Series, the powder blues had overtaken the more sensible royal blue as their road color. So I guess they get a pass too.
Wow, I just gave six of the eight teams I was complaining about, passes. I suppose the best I can do is stave off any more teams intending to go baby blue. The Los Angeles Dodgers, Nats (Expos), Milwaukee Brewers, Cubbies, Atlanta Braves, and Chicago White Sox, all have been in the dusty blues before, hopefully after this article, never again.
There is one team I would endorse to wear the powder blues. I’m a Coors Light guy. It tastes a bit like mountain water if you’ve drank enough of it, but there’s nothing like seeing the blue mountains pop off a cold can. To my point, the Colorado Rockies should get some powder blue. Put cold-activated mountains on their jerseys. I suppose it would be more logical to have the mountains sweat activated. Maybe the cold activation would work in the winter. It could be a playoff thing. I think I know what my next article has to be.
Dear Monfort Bros,
You own the Rockies, big deal…