It’s around 10AM as I start writing this one, and apparently press and bloggers alike are gathering down at Safeco Field for today’s announcement of new Sunday alternate uniforms. I hope they live up to the hype, as my Twitter feed has been a neverending stream of guesses as to what they’ll look like for the past 24-36 hours or so. The last time we did this, I seem to remember it being bringing the all-gray unis back. The time before that, it was that awful teal color. I know that holds a lot of memories for fans, but I have never been a huge fan of the color teal, and it also reminds me of the Miami Dolphins uniforms from the 1980s.
I am currently being told that Ichiro Suzuki has landed with the Florida (Miami?) Marlins, and it is a positive that he stays in MLB, but also I just have no love or concern for the Marlins one way or the other. I saw them play twice last year when I was on the east coast, and while it was fun because it was baseball, I just don’t care. I feel very apathetic about the Marlins, just like the Reds, the Astros, and most of the AL/NL Central. For Ichiro’s part, he will get to wear bright colors, as a friend of mine pointed out on Twitter, and he will get back the freedom to do with his facial hair whatever he wants, so I guess that is a positive for him, but I wish it were a team that I really liked. Can’t win them all, I guess.
The press conference started out with Rick Rizzs, reciting a history of the Mariners uniforms and uniforms in general through the years since 1977. Several still photos were shown in montage of uniforms from the trident and powder blues to the compass and crisp whites and navy that we have today. He went through a brief description of how the white unis were going to be altered, mainly the lettering. From the Mariners Twitter account:
I like this change. It makes the lettering pop more, and the navy kind of tones down the obnoxiousness of the teal. I don’t know that I had ever noticed the white stitching before; uniforms are just kind of there, and you don’t think about the way they look outside of being on a player until a change like this is made. An improvement for sure. The same look is also going to be applied to the back lettering of players names and numbers.
Then Rizzs announced Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, Charlie Furbush and Nelson Cruz to the stage, and these will be our new Sunday alternates. All I can say is, WOW.
The color is a cream without being too cream, and the mix of old school blue with navy is a nice touch. And the socks. Don’t even get me started on the socks. First of all, I wear knee socks almost every day. I love them. I would wear both of these unironically and unapologetically, in public. I really really hope the club decides to put them up for sale. I have been very envious of the St Louis Cardinals red stripes for quite some time now, and this is just perfect.
The back. I tried to cap it before they turned around, but only sort of succeeded with Walker. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, the nod to the old days of the game without names on the back and the concept of “playing for the team” is a nice gesture. But there are times I have difficulty tracking who is who, so I guess I either have to become really familiar with numbers, or just pay attention harder than normal. That first option is a little easier; hey, I have to talk to friends and stuff during the game. Going to the ballpark is not without its distractions. Still, these are great.
Rizzs interviewed everyone on what they thought and of course, the reviews were a unanimous thumbs up. Maybe the guys like them truly, maybe they don’t; frankly, I can’t see how they wouldn’t, these are pretty nice. The hats with the old “S” on them are a great homage to the past of the team as well. There is literally nothing about these that I don’t like. Well done, Mariners.
And with that, these players are on stage because they are in town for this weekend’s Seattle Mariners Fan Fest. Fan Fest is the appetizer before a very long wait for the best meal ever in April, and every year I enjoy going. This year, I am going to make an entire day of it. I plan to take a bus down rather than deal with parking, and treat myself to breakfast somewhere, then go and get my ticket and stand on line early or go into the park when the lines clear, or whatever happens to strike me as the Thing To Do at the time. Then, just baseball it up for the next few hours until they kick us all out.
Also, a reminder that some friends and I will be gathering at Beveridge Place Pub around 5PM tomorrow for drinks, maybe some food, and baseball talk or whatever we decide to chat about. This is not a structured meeting at all, just a chance to hang out and talk about baseball in a casual setting with other fans. It might be just me and Su, it might be a bunch of people, I don’t know. But after this pretty exciting uniform announcement and what I am hoping to be a great day chilling out at the ballpark, I hope to see some folks there. If nothing else, think of it as a chance to unwind on a Saturday evening.
See you at the ballpark!