November 18, 2011
What was old is new once again with some modernized tweaks. Days after the Baltimore Orioles gave a nod to their past tradition with new uniforms and an update to an old logo, the Toronto Blue Jays looked back to the team's glory days for their latest attire.
First and foremost, the team with "blue" in its name is no longer going to be featuring black as its primary color. If there was one theme hammered repeatedly during the press conference that introduced the Blue Jays' new uniforms, it was that the blue is the new black. Or something.
"Updating our original logo, the strong affinity to go back to 'Blue' and returning the red Maple Leaf to the primary mark recognizes the classic look of which we feel baseball logos and uniforms should consist," Blue Jays president Paul Beeston said in a statement. "This new look represents what the Blue Jays mean to our players, staff and most importantly, from the sentiment expressed by our fans.
No more pumped-up cartoon blue jays, no more angry birds better suited for a football helmet. No overbearing block lettering across the front of the jersey (sleeveless or otherwise) that was sure to look dated one or two years later.
Does this mean there's no also more powder blue? That wasn't addressed during the presser. But it would be easy enough to put together a throwback day, right? There's also not an emphasis on red, which I think almost all would agree is a good thing.
Yet the Blue Jays' new look isn't a radical departure, either.
There's definitely something to be said for "going back to what you are." For Padres fans, that's going back to the brown-and-mustard color scheme that defined the team through most of its history, a change that has yet to happen. A similar sentiment surely fueled the Orioles' bringing back the cartoon bird on their caps. Maybe we'll see rainbows return to the Houston Astros someday. (But I hope not.)
For the Blue Jays, "simple and classic" is what the team looked like at its best. It's easy to imagine these uniforms on Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, Dave Stieb and Tom Henke. (Wouldn't you have loved to see those guys in the new alternate blue jersey?) These togs might look even more timeless without the space-age font that adorned the Blue Jays' uniforms until the mid-'90s.
With a team that is likely a few seasons away from contention in the AL East, at least Toronto fans — and fans throughout Canada — don't have to be embarrassed (or puzzled) by how their team looks on the field.