Uniforms and a Lack of Uniformity

Before becoming the editor here at Wahoo’s on First I regularly spent countless hours analyzing, critiquing, and ultimately offering suggestions about the Indians uniform scheme. Well here we are, two and a half months into the season and I have yet to chime in on what the Indians are finally doing right and the things they are still getting very, very wrong when it comes to their current uniform situation.

So, I sat down and combed through countless pictures looking for both the obvious and not so obvious tweaks and changes that they have made this season. It wasn’t an easy task and quite frankly, it made me question my own sanity at times. But, I felt like this needed to be done.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

So, what are the Indians doing right when it comes to their on field appearance? It’s a short list.

  • The continued use of red as the primary color for the home alternates. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I’ve never been a fan of the cream-colored alternates, but the change from dark navy to red as the primary color really makes the difference. It’s a sharp, crisp look, which is visually appealing and really pops.
  • The removal of all of the unnecessary piping and silver outlining from all the of the uniform sets continues to look like a smart decision. The new look, adopted last season, seemed like a good idea at the time, but now that the newness has worn off the visual appeal still remains.
  • The use of the dark navy cap with the red “Block C” as the primary road cap remains the correct decision, and not just because it tones down on the use of Chief Wahoo. It just fits better with the look of the current gray road set.

Now, what are the Indians continuing to do wrong?

  • The shades of blue used by the Indians continue to vary dramatically. It is painfully obvious that the shade of blue used in the primary home scheme and the alternate blue jersey is lighter than that of the primary road set. Why is this? Why not one standardized shade of blue? Many of you may be wondering “what’s the big deal?” but the difference is more than apparent every time Mark Reynolds rolls up his pant legs. It’s also evident whenever an Indian steps up to the plate.
  • Speaking of batting helmets. In previous posts I ridiculed the Indians for not going the extra mile to have a batting helmet that matches the cap worn with each uniform combination. Last season, the primary example of this was pairing the normal home Chief Wahoo batting helmet with the home alternates. The end result was red caps in the field, and then a completely different look when the team came to the plate. This season it’s worse. In what I can only assume was an attempt to unify their look, the Indians made the road “Block C” batting helmets the primary batting helmets for every uniform combination. Why? Now instead of one mismatched look the Indians have multiple mismatched looks. How hard is it to make the batting helmets reflect the cap worn that day? Other teams are able to figure this out. Instead the Indians use bating helmets that resemble their road caps all the time. Also, if they’re going to do away with Chief Wahoo, then do it already. Stop the half-hearted charade of picking and choosing when and where to use it.
  • Individually speaking, Ubaldo Jimenez continues to where a navy blue undershirt whenever he pitches in the home alternate set. It’s not a bad look; don’t get me wrong, but it significantly takes away from the “uniform” aspect of the uniforms. Why has no one pointed this out to him or even tried to fix the problem?
  • Perhaps the most confusing uniform element this season has been Carlos Santana’s catching shell. If you look closely, he wears what appears to be an old shell (notice the blue crown and red brim) but they have place a red “Block C” on it as the emblem. In what world do the Indians have a cap that looks like that? How did this come to be? I have so many questions about this and not enough answers.
  • The overuse of the blue alternate has reached critical mass. I love the blue alternate, but with the rate at which the Indians are wearing it, it is becoming more of a primary than a secondary option.
  • The new batting practice caps. No. Just, No. Too Bright and way too gaudy.
  • I understand the point behind the armed forces/GI Joe look used for Memorial Day weekend, but this is not a good look for anyone. Can’t MLB find a way to honor our nation’s finest without using a marketing gimmick aimed at selling more merchandise in the process?

Like I’ve said in previous posts regarding the Indians uniforms, there is a lot to like here. Unfortunately, it just feels like the Indians are missing the mark a bit when it comes to the details. Figure those few things out and the Indians could easily have one of the best looking and most easily marketable looks in all of baseball.

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