Building on their eighth winning season since winning the World Series in 1985, and most winningest since 1989, the Kansas City Royals have made a big change for the 2014 season. No, they haven't signed Carlos Beltran yet.
The Royals will wear an alternate blue road jersey that says "KC" on it for the first time in club history. The team announced the change on Twitter. Recently acquired left-hander Jason Vargas will wear it well, surely. Here are some of the details:
• The "KC" logo, noted for being the Royals cap design for their entire history since 1969, will run down the left side of the jersey, like that of the Detroit Tigers' old English "D."
• White and powder blue piping runs on the sleeves and down the front — also like the Tigers and Cincinnati Reds home jerseys. Paul Lukas of Uni Watch is unimpressed with this feature, though it might have been added to help distinguish these jerseys from batting practice shirts that featured the "KC" logo in the 1990s and earlier.
The Royals home white uniform is one of the elite and classic uniforms of Major League Baseball. The style, with its "Royals" script and clean lines, was influenced from that of the Los Angeles Dodgers — but it works perfectly on its own. And yet, the team has never been able to duplicate its fashion success with its road uniforms.
They came close in the mid '80s when the Royals basically used the classic home design on the road, going with a white "Royals" script (instead of Royal blue) and powder blue uniforms. But the team evidently preferred the uniforms to say "Kansas City" on the road, and powder blues fell out of favor across the league.
In the interim seasons, the Royals have made some horrible uniform choices, usually involving the color black and a lack of sleeves. This is why Beltran left in the first place, ya' know!
Some fans dislike MLB teams wearing solid colors — often claiming the players look like softball beer leaguers — and the league's dalliance with solid black tops for teams whose colors did not include black was a frustrating fashion folly.
But this change for the Royals is good. Their road grays are nothing to get excited over, and never have been. "KC" is an iconic brand, and it looks good. Swell job, Royals. Now sign Beltran.
Just don't make him wear anything like this.
[Editor's note: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the Royals haven't had a winning season since 1985. What are they, Pirates?]
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