Are these the worst uniforms ever?

'It was just a vision in my head. Which I'm not sure is a good thing.'

August 10th, 2021

Pensacola Blue Wahoos merchandise manager Anna Striano couldn't believe what she was hearing from team president Jonathan Griffith.

"It was like a tumultuous roller coaster of feelings," she told me over a Zoom call. "Are you kidding? Oh, he's not kidding. How do I make this happen? OK, it's happening."

"Yeah, unfortunately it was just a vision in my head," Griffith said, laughing. "Which I'm not sure is a good thing."

And that's how the self-proclaimed "worst uniforms" in sports history -- with a giant crab logo on the butt -- were born.

You may be asking yourself why the giant crab? What is a Crabzilla? Both fair questions.

The Crabzilla is a mammoth sandwich introduced at the Marlins Double-A affiliate's ballpark in 2019. It was named the Best New Food Item by Ballpark Digest that season and takes 20-25 minutes to make -- fans sometimes even order it via an email hotline before getting to games. Blue Wahoos executive chef Travis Wilson described the sandwich in vivid detail two years ago.

“[It’s] about a foot tall,” he said. “It starts with the brioche bun, which is already kind of nice and fluffy, and then we add lettuce and tomato, pork belly, soft-shelled crab, a big scoop of crab mac n’ cheese, three fried shrimp, top bun, a big bamboo skewer with a couple of crab hush puppies on top, so it’s definitely has some height to it, which added to the intrigue when people order it and it comes out and it kind of drops their jaw a little bit.”

So yes, the uniforms are a celebration of the famed sandwich.

But ... why is the logo squarely on the butt? Another great question.

"Literally, it was just one of those things where I'm like, 'Man, wouldn't that be funny to see crabs running?'" Griffith told me. "I'm a Maryland guy, so I'm kinda partial to crabs, and so it was like, 'Wouldn't it be funny to see crabs running across the field?' If we put it on their butt, it'll look just like it."


The team then had to pass its request on to the vendors who would actually create the uniforms. Griffith didn't want to be the one to do it, so it was up to Striano.

"We took it to Wilson, who is our current uniform provider, to see if it was something they'd be able to create," Striano told me, with a smile. "There was a lot of, 'Are you serious?' I said, 'Yes, I'm serious.' And a lot of the first mockups had like the eyes up on the back of the shirt. And I was like, 'I don't think you're understanding, we want the eyes on the seat of the pants. Keep moving it down.'"

Photo via Nino Mendez

Once Striano and Griffith were satisfied with the look, they showed the players.

"I know the guys saw them earlier in the year," Striano said. "And they were super excited, they wanted to wear them the next day."

"Our players are so excited, they think they're gonna be on SportsCenter," director of communications Daniel Venn told me. "They're asking me to take a picture of them in the pants so they can get on the internet or get on TV. Coaching staff, less thrilled. But players are super pumped."

Photo via Nino Mendez

You can also get the full uniform set, just in time for wedding season. The team is auctioning off 40 sets -- half in the ballpark when they wear them on Wednesday against the Montgomery Biscuits, and half online. All proceeds will go to charity.

"The online auction piece will run through Monday," Striano said. "So you'll have all weekend to try and get your Crabzilla pants."

Like the team's season-long Mullet promotion, it's just another insanely wacky, wonderful idea from the world of Minor League Baseball.

"A lot of teams try to come up with the coolest jersey you've ever seen each year," Venn said. "But we haven't had a team try and come up with the worst jersey you've ever seen."

"It's Minor League fun," Griffith said. "I think we'll just get a lot of people thinking, 'How cool is that? I've never seen anything like it.'"