South Florida has a new style and is the only Major League team to undergo a complete uni change for the 2019 season, with a few others making minor tweaks. Now is as good a time as any to put a definitive stamp on where Miami’s fresh “Colores” stack up against the rest of the MLB’s threads.
Here is one writer’s take—purely on personal preference, so be wary of bias.
NOTE: I’ll be ranking uniforms by picking out my favorite from each team’s arsenal, and stacking them against each other. (A better system than trying to rank every team based on all of their uniforms combined).
ALSO NOTE: I’m keeping it to just main home/away uniforms plus alternate home/away. Special alternates like Player’s Weekend or Negro Leagues don’t count).
30. Cincinnati Reds
Oh primary colors. There is nothing really wrong with Cincinnati’s dress, in fact finding a team for dead last on the list is hard because every team’s uniform is very clearly professionally designed engineered. I’m just more inclined to put others ahead. In fairness, the Reds were almost bailed out of the cellar thanks to their 150th anniversary celebration this season where they will sport special throwback unis dating back as far as 1902. I am particularly looking forward to June 30 against the Cubs where Cincy will roll out white tops and red pants from 1936. Be bold Cincy, just make that the everyday garbs.
29. Toronto Blue Jays
So much blue and red in the MLB. Toronto’s use of it is just...meh. I’ll give credit where credit is due, our friends north of the border deserve a little love for going outside the lines by using...lines. Double stripes for chest wording and numbers is unique, even if it isn’t perfect. We’ll choose the home blues since that is where the name and numbers pop the most.
28. Cleveland Indians
Let’s not get into whether or not Chief Wahoo deserves its place on MLB gear (or any), and instead talk about what to do with the Indians. Both their home whites and home alternate reds are good. I know I said I wasn’t going to judge based on a team’s arsenal all together, but it irks me that this team can nail the home unis but look so...bland when it walks into an opposing stadium. Whatever. Give someone else a shot at the AL Central will ya?
27. Texas Rangers
Five teams in and I’m already a hypocrite. Good sign of things to come. The Rangers get bailed out of dropping even further thanks to some pretty sweet red unis for home alternates. Love the red caps on red jerseys. Hopefully, they’ll look as nice under the lights of the new Globe Life Field once it opens.
26. Detroit Tigers
It is hard to hate the old English ‘D’ on the Tiger’s home threads. Personally, I think Detroit could upgrade with a little cream color over the pearly white, but maybe your humble writer just likes to nit-pick.
25. Seattle Mariners
Fair warning Mariners fans, your team would have been dead last if it wasn’t for those lovely “Northwest Green” home alternates. It’s teal. Just call it teal. That is, by far, the team’s best color. Let’s not be subtle about it and just make that the home uni every day at the ballpark instead of the cookie-cutter navy.
24. Washington Nationals
Such patriotism. Even if it is more red and blue, our nation’s capital does good at selling its product with that spangled cursive “W” on the home alternates. Guess fans don’t miss Bryce Harper donning it too much, huh?
23. San Francisco Giants
San Fran probably shouldn’t be this low. Orange and Black are a great combo. I guess that should speak more for how good every MLB team is at looking pretty for the fans. It is actually tough to choose with the sick all-black look, but we’ll go with regular home because cream-color is the best color. I have no idea why other teams don’t take notes.
22. Tampa Bay Rays
Another team that gets bailed out thanks to legitimately good home alternates. SPOILER ALERT: Powder blue is going to be a common color talked about on this list. A lot more teams used to wear it back in the day. I have no idea why it ever went away, especially the blue-on-blue fashion. Credit to the Rays for keeping it around, hopefully to stay.
21. Minnesota Twins
Speaking of powder blue, here’s a team that used to rock that look and doesn’t anymore because...reasons? The Twinsies are, however, rolling out a new home alternate this season, replacing what would have been my pick in the cream-colored pinstripe throwbacks. I’d be mad, but the new digs look pretty sick with old-school lettering and gold trim on navy blue. Why, though, must we have so much navy blue and red in the Majors? Be more creative team uniform design people.
20. Arizona Diamondbacks
The D-Backs have donned some pretty wacky uniforms in the past, and the trend didn’t change in 2015 when the team took a more modern approach, if that’s what you want to call it. I’ll take the primary roads with the gray-on-gray look. It’s sharp and it stands out (or maybe sticks out like a sore thumb. I can’t decide).
19. San Diego Padres
Wow. I didn’t realize until going through some old school photos of Padres history how awesome the team used to look in brown and gold. It is no wonder several news outlets are reporting the team will return to that color palate officially in 2020 after some...discourse from fans. Good choice, very good choice San Diego. If I do a list next year, you’re getting a boost.
18. Los Angeles Angels
It is a little unfair because Mike Trout will look good regardless of what he puts on when he arrives at the ballpark. More red, but I can’t deny the home whites look good under the Anaheim lights.
17. Houston Astros
Bring back the tequila sunrise unis from the 70s and 80s you cowards! Don’t just fiddle with it in Houston’s alternate set. Go full retro, do it, be “that team.” I probably shouldn’t complain...I wasn’t even alive in that era. Home alternate oranges it is, then.
16. Chicago White Sox
Make the home alternate day uni throwbacks the every day wear you cowards! If you can’t tell, I’ve got a thing for throwbacks, particularly when they are done right. The South Side has something here, even if it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
15. St. Louis Cardinals
I’m sure plenty of my Kansas City brethren are suppressing a vomit by seeing St. Louis this high. What is to be said? The cardinals on the chest are unique and iconic. The Redbirds get some brownie points for their all-powder blue look that has already rolled out this year. Toldja that color would pop up again. We aren’t done yet either.
14. Baltimore Orioles
The Giants had no business being as low as they were, so I have to put the team that does orange and black just a little bit better here. When I think Camden Yards, I think the slick whites with the orange lettering and the beautiful tri-colored caps and batting helmets. That’s probably partially good marketing considering I’ve never been to Camden Yards. It’s on the bucket list Baltimore fans.
13. Chicago Cubs
I’m getting to the point on this list where I feel like uniforms are iconic enough that I shouldn’t have to explain. The home pinstripes are, and will always be, the best Cubbie unis in the lineup.
12. Los Angeles Dodgers
Again, the Dodger’s home threads are, and will always be, the best. Love the blue caps and lettering with the red numbers. Another set that hasn’t changed much over decades of baseball. There’s a reason for that — it shouldn’t. Don’t fix what isn’t broken.
11. Colorado Rockies
Mountain country would probably get knocked lower on the list if I was grading the entire set. Those sleeveless black uniforms are painfully out of style. However, Colorado gets big props for being the ONLY TEAM in the MLB to utilize purple. Why? Purple is awesome, especially on athletic garb. Pinstripes are the choice again because duh.
10. Boston Red Sox
Classic if not a little uninspired. Still, the reigning champs deserve the edge over other red-clad organizations simply due to the timelessness of the lettering and the slick look. And they wear red socks! Way to stay consistent.
9. New York Mets
So I actually had the Mets higher than this until I did some research. Does the team not wear the ‘86 “racing stripe” throwbacks on home Sundays anymore? If so, that is a top five uni right there. If we are going by normal home threads, I’ll put Metropolitans juuuuuust behind their Bronx counterparts. Speaking of which...
8. New York Yankees
You can hate the Yankees all you want, but the home pinstripes are such a great look. Why else would there be very few changes since the dawn of time? You keep rocking that jersey Aaron Judge, you freakish giant you.
7. Miami Marlins
Miami deserves to be in the top 10. As someone from the Midwest, defending the new look for The Fish isn’t even bias, it’s just plain truth. The bright neon colors scream Vice City, and screams warm baseball weather on the South Florida coast. It was tough to choose, but the black home alternate wins top dog here. My hope is Jeter and the boys cook up some unique alternates in the years to come.
6. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Steel City doesn’t embrace black and yellow on its sports teams, it makes love to it. And, you know what, that is just fine. I love that this is one of the few MLB teams that put on throwbacks as part of its regular set, with the old-school cap and everything. More of that please.
5. Kansas City Royals
Incoming bias alert. Kansas City wears powder blue better than any team in baseball. I can’t budge from that statement either. Part of me wishes they would just make it their regular home jerseys instead of day-time alternates, but when do writers ever get what they want?
4. Atlanta Braves
Speaking of teams that do something better than anyone else, the Braves have the best uniform set out of the cluttered navy-and-blue teams. Change my mind. Honestly, I can’t exactly pin down what sets Atlanta apart. Keep doing whatever it is you are doing, both with the unis and on the field.
3. Philadelphia Phillies
Man, the Phils have a number of great uniforms and caps. I’m tempted to put the old-school powder blues here, but we’ll go with the home cream and reds. I think Philly gets a tiny boost over Atlanta here because the blue just pops during day games.
2. Milwaukee Brewers
I was one of the three people who were a little miffed a few years ago when the Brewers discontinued the gold alternates. I can’t complain now, though, because the pinstripe home alternate that the Crew now dawns is so good. Like, best-use-of-gold-trim-with-blue-lettering-and-pinstripes-in-baseball good. They should make a trophy for that.
1. Oakland A’s
Was there ever any doubt? Fun face: The A’s franchise started in Philadelphia and moved to Kansas City from 1955-1967. In 1963, owner Charles O. Finley changed the team colors to the now famous kelly green and gold before shopping the team out of KC to, eventually, Oakland (despite promises to keep the team in Kansas City). Back then, Finley’s color changes were not too popular amongst a much more conservative time in baseball. However, through the move and subsequent decades, the A’s kept with the green and gold look, and it has paid off in a big way. People around Kansas City probably don’t think highly of Mr. Finley, but his mark on Major League Baseball is, without a doubt, the most colorful.
There it is folks. Hopefully, we will see more fun and inventive uniforms in baseball down the road. For now, feel free to leave a comment on which MLB uni is your favorite.