|Image courtesy of TheStar.com|
I don't think I was alone in hoping that these uniforms would reemerge one day again in some shape or form. Luckily, our prayers were answered.
It might seem odd to review the new Blue Jays uniforms, but I figured now is a good a time as any to evaluate how they look. After all, at this point we’ve been able to see the new set in action for over a month now.
A few weeks ago, Eric from Definitely Not Jays Talk asked me about my thoughts on the new uniforms and I said I could not be more pleased with the results. The Blue Jays could not have done a better job of rebranding and re-imaging themselves in the off-season.
At first, I was a little unsure about the new serif font (which is Penumbra Half Serif for those counting at home), but now I think it’s grown on me. The in-game graphics on Sportsnet and the Blue Jays website look very sharp and crisp; a stark contrast to the previous logo and uniforms.
While the fans were pretty vocal about their thoughts on the old set, I was very surprised to hear that Alex Anthopoulos despised them just as much as we did.
Maybe it was the bright lights, the comfy red chair and George Stroumboulopoulos' boyish charm, but I was a little shocked to hear the General Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays use words like "brutal, awful and embarrassing" to describe the previous uniforms.
And the new set really does put the old one to shame. I think the huge difference is obviously the incorporation of the colour blue back into the uniforms. I can’t say for sure if it’s the exact pantone of Blue, but the colour is brilliant both literally and figuratively.
One of the best things about seeing all those photos from Blue Jays Spring Training earlier this year was the sea of blue. It really is a much more appealing colour to the eye, and it manages to be eye-catching without being gaudy like the Marlins Marlins uniforms.
With the black, it seemed like the logo faded into the background whereas the new uniforms are distinct. That particular hue of blue that's the most predominant in the blue alternate uniforms was the perfect choice.
I know the Blue Jays won’t come outright and say which of their three jerseys has sold the most, but I’m willing to bet it’s the blue alternate. I own one myself and if you haven’t seen one up close yet, trust me when I say the uniform is even more beautiful in person.
I’m not usually one to buy a white uniform, simply because it becomes a magnet for dirt and beer spills, but I’m leaning strongly towards picking up a home white jersey as well. It's a very classic looking ensemble, capped off with that beautiful blue cap.
You’ll notice that the Blue Jays actually have four different uniform configurations this time around: the home whites, the away greys, the home alternate blue with home white pants, and the away grey pants combined with the home alternate blue jersey.
Were the away greys always worn with the “toothpaste T” caps? Were the alternate home black uniforms always worn with the primary logo cap? There was a bit of confusion as to which caps always went with which uniforms.
My only criticism is that you’ll notice the actual size of the Blue Jays logo is very different depending on on which cap it is. The fitted hats all feature a fairly large sized bird on the front, but several of the adjustable caps have a much smaller primary logo on the cap.
|Images courtesy of Jays Shop|
I think the Blue Jays made a very wise decision to go with the solid blue cap rather than going with a white-paneled front cap. As much as I love my old Blue Jays cap, I find it to be more of a novelty or fashion cap rather than one you'd want to see on the field.
That's where I think the Baltimore Orioles made a crucial mistake in the design of their new uniforms. While they also decided to go back to their roots, the Orioles opted to go with the white panel cap to go with their home uniforms.
Even though I endorse the O's reverting back to the cartoon bird as their primary logo, there's something that doesn't sit quite right with the white panel cap. Personally, I think it would look much better with a solid black cap instead.
I guess that goes to show that very subtle things can make a big impact on the overall look of a new uniform. If the Blue Jays chose to use a white panel cap, who knows how people might have reacted to the new uniforms. It may only be a minor thing, but it's those details that make all the difference.
A new generation of Blue Jays fans are going to grow up watching this team, and all they'll ever know is the latest version of the logo and the uniform. And I think that's a good thing because this set is an homage to the old one, and not a carbon copy.
I can possibly see a tweaking of the primary logo down the road, but the new Blue Jays font itself doesn’t need to change. The bird could be streamlined a little bit and I think the size of the maple leaf could be taken down a touch.
Much like some of the fans who were kids during the heyday of the Blue Jays dynasty, I think the new Blue Jays logo and uniforms have matured as well. Where the old logo may have looked a bit minimalist, the new bird has evolved.
The fans have grown up ... and the logo has grown up too. But this one set that's going to stick around for many years to come.