To get this out of the way first. I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a fashion connoisseur. My idea of dressing-up for an occasion, usually involves selecting a slightly less offensive T-shirt. It is, therefore, a matter of almost complete indifference to me, what the team wears when they are on the field. As long as we win the NL West next year, it doesn't matter whether the team wears purple, red, a clown suit (complete with floppy shoes) or plays entirely naked. [Cue enthusiastic purrs of approval from the SnakePit Laideez there!]. So, what follows, you should remember is coming from a style consultant who owns three pair of shoes and wears them in strict rotation.
Welcome to the unveiling
This was definitely a larger scale event than last time, and it was also striking to realize how much society has changed since the last reveal in 2006, when I could attend, head home, knock up a lengthy post and still beat most of the "traditional" media to the punch. This one was live-streamed on the Diamondbacks' website, and Twitter was abuzz with pictures, comments and reactions, as soon as the first player strode down the runway. Naturally, that honor went to American's First Baseman, and Arizona's Top Model, Paul Goldschmidt.
He was followed by manager Chip Hale who, it has to be said, did look rather more at home on the runway than Goldie - as you'd expect! The rest of the players more or less ran the gamut, from enthusiastically playing it up for the camera (Josh Collmenter takes the honors there, for his Zoolander audition, ahead of Ender Inciarte, who paused at the end of the runway to take a selfie!), to looking somewhat as if they would have appreciated it, if the earth opened and swallowed them up (hello, A.J. Pollock).
Man, there are a lot of them
That's eight different jerseys, in four or five different color schemes: white, grey, red and black, plus the throwback white/purple. Now, it's not as if you have to go out there and collect the entire set to prove you're a #TrueFan, and the variety does offer enough options that everyone should be able to find a set that doesn't clash with their eyes or whatever. But which of these is our team color? I mean, like "Dodger Blue". It creates an amazing impact when you go to another stadium and there is a consistency of color among the fans. Here, we're probably going to end up with a patchwork of multiple shades. Pick a shade and stick to it, I'd have said.
I like the grey. One of the things Derrick Hall said, was that the players (who had been consulting on these over the past 18 months) wanted a "stronger" grey color, and they certainly got it, with a grey that does seem to be unique to Arizona. I hope they make the most of that; it was the first one out, so fingers crossed, it's one which we will see a lot. I also like the "snakeskin" patterning on some of the uniforms as well. That's another distinctive touch, and it works well across the whole range of styles. The teal accents on some of the alternate jerseys is also nicely incorporated, and the overall lack of purple is appreciated.
Not so sure about the font on some of the jerseys though, particularly the number, which looks like something from a 90's digital watch. Another aspect Hall stresses was that one of the aims here is to engage "the kids". Hmm. I will thus defer to those younger than myself (which would be about 99% of the SnakePit), but the danger in pandering to fashion is the short shelf-life of such things. Both the original color scheme and the Sedona Red replacements lasted nine years. I'm not certain some of these won't end up, stashed away at the back of the locker-room, well before the end of the 2024 season, when we're due for a replacement.
All over the place, from what I'm seeing and hearing. They're certainly a bold change, and that is always going to provoke a strong reaction, bot positively and negatively. You can get a good overview from the reaction to the brave/stupid Tweet from the Diamondbacks, asking "So... what do you think?" But perhaps the most interesting take came from pitcher Daniel Hudson, who provided his thoughts in an extended series of Tweets:
A lot of people asking how I like them. I'll give you my honest opinion... When they first brought them to us, I wasn't a huge fan... I really didn't like the design on the pants, shoulders, etc. but I think that was more a reaction of never seeing them on a baseball field. But the more I saw them on a drawing board, the more they grew on me. Was officially sold when I saw the final product up close. I think a lot of people who don't really like them will grow to like them as I did. I'm as big a baseball purist as anyone. But it's almost 2016. There's so reason why uniforms can't change to evolve with the times. If these bring young fans in, I'm 110% in.
I popped in to the team shop on the way out of the park, where the staff were wheeling out racks of the new styles, ready for purchase, and it didn't appear there was a shortage of purchasers. I didn't splash out, but don't see any problem with doing so in the future. Let's just say, I look forward to see Kenta Maeda wearing one of these on Opening Day 2016!
Overall, the new uniforms are...
This poll is closed