April 07, 2008
On Friday night, I found myself watching the Red Sox-Blue Jays game in its entirety. Oh, I was mildly intrigued by the Shaun Marcum-Tim Wakefield matchup, but the reason for my attention span devotion was a bit more material. The Blue Jays were wearing the road uniforms they used to don from 1978-88. Once I saw those old pullovers I couldn't click away. I'll probably order one of those old hats for my collection, too.
Since I was excited about the new Friday "tradition", I assumed those up north were probably even more so (especially the girl who ran onto the field sans shirt.). As such, I asked BLS friend, the Tao of Stieb, to weigh in on some colossally cool clothes. Turns out he's just one of those who wholly approves of the change. (Cecilio Guante also approves.)
A crazy thing happened this weekend in Toronto: the Blue Jays wore blue. We know, it's a crazy concept, but try to keep up if you can. The Blue Jays will wear their old school powder blue unis at every Friday home game this season, and from the look of the crowds at Rogers Centre this weekend, this has already been a massive success.
By the end of the first weekend home series (a sweep of the Red Sox, no less), there was a sea of powder blue and old school Blue Jays caps in the stands. When we walked into the Jays Shop on Saturday afternoon, we saw a crowd of normally sedate and polite Torontonians lined up around a table of the throwback t-shirts, tearing the nicely folded stacks apart to find their favorite player's number in their size. (The hottest seller?: Alex Rios. That $64 million deal is already paying dividends.)
OK, so we're not so naive that we don't get the fact that this is a somewhat cynical attempt by a franchise that has floundered a bit over the past decade to cash in on its past glory. But we can't deny the genuine excitement that we heard in our section at Friday night's opener when the team emerged in their retro threads.
We're hopeful that someone in the organization has taken note, and that the team thinks seriously about ditching those lame black jerseys and caps (which they wore for Saturday and Sunday's games). There was something that just felt right about looking on the field and seeing the home team wearing blue, even if those were technically their road uniforms back in the day.
We walked away from the weekend sporting a sweet powder blue jersey with number 11 emblazoned on the back (for 1987 MVP George Bell, not David Eckstein), which Mrs. Tao bought us as an early birthday gift. As we proudly sported our own new jersey while walking up Yonge Street after Sunday's game, we actually had a random motorist honk at us and point at his own retro cap in solidarity. It has truly become a movement.
Let the new powder blue era begin.
A big BLS thanks to Tao for this thoughts ... It should also be noted that the Royals will also be wearing powder blues during select dates this season, starting in this weekend's homestand. However, since it's Kansas City we're talking about, they've bungled the concept a bit, as ESPN's Uni Watch notes.