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The Best and Worst Uniforms of All Time: The Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos

Nov 9, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

Expos in a line
I think it’s fair to include the Expos in this one, don’t you? They’re not otherwise represented, and there is franchise continuity here.  To be fair, I’ll include the Browns with the Orioles, Senators v.1 and v.2 with the Twins and Rangers, the Pilots with the Brewers and so on. Cool?
Best: With apologies to Jonah Keri, I can’t in good conscious say that any Expos uniform would make a “best” list. They have their charms, sure, but so much of it is retro-charm and a fondness for things that are no longer with us rather than beauty on the merits.  No one who wasn’t an Expos fan really thought that stuff looked stunning at the time, even when it looked good.  For what it’s worth, the Expos rarely changed anything anyway. They sprung from the head of Zeus (or was it Bowie Kuhn?) fully formed, with powder blue roadies and the cool stylized M on the cap in 1969 and only made the slightest of alterations between then and 1992. The pre-1992 uniforms were good, but if we’re being honest here, we can’t say that they look better than the Nationals’ current road uniforms.  Which are probably the only uniforms that look better than the team’s home uniforms now that I think about it. That may change tomorrow when the Nats unveil new duds.
Worst: The last generation Montreal uniforms were bad, not because they looked so terrible, but because the team lacked the cajones to put the sylized “M” on the jerseys themselves where God, Nature and Rusty Staub intended it to be. And if any team was born to wear powder blue roadies, it was Les Expos, so they looked not quite themselves in gray. I hate the Nats current home uniforms because of that block lettering. Which, as I recently noted, was apparently a historical accident that left them looking like the Diamondbacks-East.  That will presumably be remedied tomorrow, with a script “Nationals” on the front a la the roadies.

Assessment: The Nats are probably limited to threads that are more or less like those they currently wear. They basically have to stick with red, white, and blue.  Marketing probably dictates that they keep the curly W on the cap.  It would be cool if they could experiment a bit, but it’s not gonna happen.  They’ll always look pretty good, but a bit boring. Which describes most teams nowadays, come to think of it.

Oh well, that’s it for the NL East.  Tomorrow we’ll start in with the NL Central.  There’s a bit more history there — the East has only two teams that predate the Kennedy administration — so it will a bit more fun.

  1. Jonny 5 - Nov 9, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    I saw a kid, about 16 years old wearing that exact same expos hat you see in that picture last month. Things that make you think, Hmmmmmmmm?

  2. simon94022 - Nov 9, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    I share your dislike of the Nats’ block lettering, but I believe it was actually the DBacks who copied Washington’s look and colors in 2006, not the other way around.

    In general, it would be nice to see more teams move away from red and blue, but I understand why those colors make sense for DC.

  3. Old Gator - Nov 9, 2010 at 10:02 PM

    Green makes more sense in DC. Red white and blue are just hot buttons so that the Trailer Park Network viewers will yell “how high” when the big corporations’ pet congressmen and senators yell “Jump!”

    As for the uniforms, well, I think if you replaced the pants with miniskirts, the cleats with high heels, gave the players breast implants and cut plunging necklines out of the shirts, they’d make a pretty good looking bunch of carhops at the nearest hamburger and milkshake drive-in.

    Assuming, of course, you’d had the requisite couple of shots of whiskey already.

  4. ttwsglen - Nov 10, 2010 at 2:36 PM

    Oh my gosh…it IS an “M!” Since I was a kid, for some reason I’ve always thought that it was a cursive “elb.” I guess I always figured it was some sort of French acronym. Am I the only one?

    • umrguy42 - Nov 11, 2010 at 4:28 PM

      No, I used to think it was ‘elb’, then when I got into high school French, I assumed it was ‘edb’ (where the e and d are intertwined) for ‘expos de baseball’ (‘du baseball’?) or something. But that could just be a wild guess on my part. Never really seen it as an ‘M’. (Heck, it took me years to see the ‘m’ and the ‘b’ in the Brewers logo…)

      PS – I always thought the word was “cojones”, not “cajones”… but again, I took French, not Spanish, in HS 😀

  5. umrguy42 - Nov 11, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    Personally, my vote for “worst uniform” would be the one that said “NATINALS”…

  6. mvd513 - Nov 12, 2010 at 3:26 AM

    The best are blue jerseys with the DC logo, but it seems like they arent going to be using those anymore.

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