The five most off the hook MLB uniforms of the '90s
What did the '90s mean in sports? MLB, the NFL, the NBA and the NHL experienced rapid globalization thanks to the World Wide Web. They expanded at a breakneck pace (especially in Florida: the state had two Big Four sports teams in 1988, and nine by 1998). A truckload of nostalgically remembered kids' sports movies came out.
Some of the most prominent cultural relics from the decade are in the realm of uniforms. Teams experimented with underused colors and innovative designs in a way that's been majorly dialed back since. This happened in every sport, and baseball was certainly not immune. Some love the aesthetic and some hate it, but there's no doubt that it screams "'90s" when you see it. With that said, here are the five most '90s Major League uniforms:
5. Florida Marlins
Teal! The Color of the '90s™, a title arguably co-shared with purple. 1993 saw the blue-green hue's MLB debut from two opposite sides of the country: in Seattle, where it was used as an accent color (the Mariners would introduce teal jerseys and a sparingly-worn teal cap in later seasons); and in Miami, where the Marlins built their identity around it.
4. Houston Astros
Space was big in the '90s. Interest in the NASA space program was revived by Apollo 13, From the Earth to the Moon and John Glenn's return to orbit. UFO theories flourished online and with the broadcast of The X-Files. And the team with baseball's only space-related team name went for a futuristic design until they moved from the Astrodome for the 2000 campaign.
3. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Gradients: They weren't just for Hawaiian Legends T-shirts in the '90s. The D-Rays went with this purple, blue, green and yellow double-stacked wordmark at their inception in 1998, and condensed the color barrage into the "TB" on their caps as well.
2. Anaheim Angels
The Walt Disney Company made its presence felt in the sports world in the '90s. Disney purchased ESPN, founded an NHL team that it named after a kids' movie, and, while not owning it, welcomed an NBA team to Orlando that was almost surely named in honor of Walt Disney World. The entertainment giant also purchased the Angels, and devised this bouncy, cartoon-like design for them.
1. Arizona Diamondbacks
Teal. Purple. Shadowing. Symmetrically uneven letter sizing. Arizona's original uniforms were the apogee of '90s sports design. "D-backs" is the only word you'll see on their home jerseys today, but in 1998 they were flaunting their long, clever name on a double-stacked wordmark that packed in about as much '90s as possible.
-- Dan Wohl / MLB.com