Cut4 Roundtable: What's your favorite current MLB uniform set?
Welcome to the Cut4 Roundtable, in which our staff confronts the same question about baseball, sports, pop culture, or some combination of all of it. Today's topic: our favorite current MLB uniform sets.
What's your favorite uni? Leave yours in the comments!
Dan Wohl: Oakland Athletics
I'm a modernist at heart. I love Interleague Play, rapid-cut cinematography, Skrillex and bright, distinctive colors when it comes to sports uniform design.
But I love historical motifs too. Ancient Egyptian-themed heavy metal, Victorian horror, Wild West-set video games -- I'm down with it. I'm not a traditionalist, I just love looking to the past for the aesthetic wisdom of the ages.
The Oakland Athletics' uniform set combines these impulses beautifully. First, the colors. The A's have been using green and gold since 1963. But as other teams have scrambled to de-90s-ize themselves, leaving a sea of black, blue and red, this scheme looks as avant-garde as ever. They've embraced alternate jerseys of both colors for a unique, almost irreverent look.
Yet their wordmarks remain rooted in classic, retro-fabulous baseball design, seamlessly blending gothic and script fonts. And they've got a bevy of design quirks -- white shoes, an elephant sleeve patch, the quaint "'s" on their hats -- most of which are rooted in history, and none of which require the tradition argument to appreciate.
Dakota Gardner: Chicago Cubs
Dan is a modernist, and in many ways I am too. I like instant replay, hate bunting and love sabermetrics. I believe Arrested Development is the greatest comedy series of all time. I think Eric Clapton is horribly overrated. To me, "Hey Ya!" might be one of the five most brilliant songs in human history. All of that is to say that I am, in no way, a traditionalist.
But to me, some things are beautiful in their anachronism. The quiet dignity of the Cubs' jerseys is one of those things. They are basic and simple: colors, a name and an insignia. The uniform is mostly empty space. With a few important stylistic choices.
The only real defining characteristics are the pinstripes and logo, but that logo is deep enough to shoulder the burden of representing the team. The interplay of red, white and blue combined with the bold typography of the "C" echoes the stylistic brilliance of the Royal Air Force logo while still connecting the team to the city (the letter C) and the country (the colors).
Just as the Cubs are defined more by what they haven't accomplished than what they have, so too are their clothes built around the empty space between colors and letters and stripes and shapes. It is this synchronicity which makes the Cubs uniforms so unique, so wonderful and so enduring. They are unstuck from time, forming a community for those who wear it in eras past, present and future.
Matt Monagan: Kansas City Royals
I'm from New England, so I never really thought twice about the Royals uniforms as a kid. It was all about pinstripes, red socks and the Metropolitan orange and blue. Where was the real Kansas City, anyway? Was it in Kansas or Missouri? Was Brett Butler named after George Brett? Did I need to move out of Connecticut?
Regardless, in 2008, the K.C. kids brought back the old powder blue uniforms as their alternate home jerseys. The scheme (as of last year) is a pleasing mix of powdered blue jerseys (white Royals in script) and dark blue hats. The colors are reminiscent of the days of Bo Jackson walking up walls, Brett tarring up timber and World Series wins.
Kansas City also made some changes to their regular road uniforms last year -- deepening the blue-gray tones and making the "Kansas City" script match the lettering-style used on their other jerseys.
These recent alterations, along with the regular home whites and alternate road blues, not only reflect the history of the franchise, but look fresh and clean out on the diamond. They've also made a baseball fan bombarded with Yankees blue and Red Sox red stand up and take notice.
Molly Fitzpatrick: St. Louis Cardinals
I'll admit I'm cheating. The St. Louis Cardinals have my favorite "modern" uniforms -- precisely because of how unmodern they are. The iconic "birds on a bat" design (with slight variations throughout the years) has defined almost every Cardinals uniform for nearly a century.
I prefer things that are old, weathered, time-tested -- with the notable exceptions of computing technologies and produce. When it comes to baseball, I'm a hopeless nostalgia hog. If it were up to me, the 1886-style wool monstrosities worn by these Bay Area baseball reenactors would be MLB's universal standard.
Why the Cards are so very much my jam is best epitomized by the alternate Saturday uniforms they debuted this season. The alternate design is off-white, features retro red piping and, most importantly, reads "St. Louis," as the teams' jerseys did prior to 1932. Excuse me as I wipe the drool off my keyboard.
In short, the Cards' uniforms are classic, elegant, and timeless: the Don Draper of sportswear, minus the philandering and multiple-martini lunches.