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The Best and Worst Uniforms of All Time: The San Diego Padres

Nov 11, 2010, 12:00 PM EDT

San Diego Padres - 1970's File Photos

The Best: The Padres get a bad rap when it comes to uniform discussions. Why? Because people choose to remember the brown and yellow uniforms as all one, uniformly bad look, when it was anything but. The Padres wore several variations on the theme, ranging from all yellow, to solid brown jerseys, to something in between, both with silly lettering and not-so-silly lettering. There were all kinds of different things going on with those uniforms, but for the most part people think of it as an undifferentiated blob of ugly brown and yellow.

But guess what?  I liked the brown and yellow. And not just in an ironic so-bad-it’s-good way.  They missed with it more often than they hit with it, and maybe it’s too dated a color combination to use now, but there was a sweet spot — I’d say 1976-77 — when it looked pretty good. Change it from a pullover to a button-up number and I’d put the Padres in them right now if I owned the team.

Worst: All yellow was something ugly to behold, be it in their original 1970s form or when used as throwbacks. but at least it had flare. I think the worst was the 1991-2001 pinstripes. Just one of many teams reaching for some classic look that was never theirs and never will be. I don’t count the camouflage jerseys because they’re special occasion only, and they mean well when they wear them (BTW: happy Veterans Day, everyone!).  If I had to pick the worst look, I’d pick the 1984 look, shown here in throwback form, because it’s half-assed.  Either embrace the yellow and brown or don’t, ya know?

Assessment: Brown  looked great on this guyThese guys too.  And given your history . . . it’s your destiny . . .

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 11, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    I like bad uniforms because of how different they look. Teams all generally have the same look now. I like uniqueness.

  2. dluxxx - Nov 11, 2010 at 12:54 PM

    Agree on the ’84 look.

    You should compile the links of this series. It makes it easier to catch up that way.

  3. tomemos - Nov 11, 2010 at 2:45 PM

    It’s so weird that, out of all the unique and garish 70’s/80’s uniforms, the Padre brown-and-mustard is the one you like. It’s like hating The Expendables and Transformers, but then your favorite movie is Transformers 2.

  4. caldodegallina - Nov 11, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    Went to game 4 of the ’84 Series when Padres played the Tigers. It was patheic that the Tigers wore the great traditional English D uniforms and played against some guys that looked like they worked at McDonalds. Especially sad because the Tigers would have played the Cubs instead of the Padres if they didn’t lose two in a row.

  5. kiwannabee - Nov 11, 2010 at 8:48 PM

    I spend a lot of time agonizing over the Padres’ decision in 1991 to switch from brown to blue. TERRIBLE IDEA.

    That’s why I created a Facebook group to share my pain:!/pages/The-San-Diego-Padres-should-switch-back-to-brown-uniforms/121502057874146

    While I do like the 1976-77 look, I personally think the original 1969 uniform was classy and never needed to change. If they went back to that look full-time, I can’t imagine too many people would complain.

  6. Bochy's Head/Timmy's Bong - Nov 12, 2010 at 11:32 AM


    Tomemos may not like the colors, but at least he (she?) knows that when it comes to the Padres, it’s “mustard,” dammit, not yellow! I’ve had to mention this to you before, Craig, so now I have no choice but to request Ye Ol’ Baseball Writers Guild suspend your credential for a year. (You may, of course, appeal and likely get it reduced to 2 days – have a good weekend!)

    But you are absolutely right that the Padres should embrace the original colors: Mustard & Brown Forever!

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