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How the Mets got black in their uniforms

May 12, 2011, 3:38 PM EDT

Takahashi Mets

I really hate the black Mets uniforms. It screams “we want to sell these so, so bad!”  And it’s not like there was anything wrong with the classic Mets unis. Indeed, they are among the best in baseball, being both handsome and — with their stylistic nods to the Yankees (pinstripes) Giants (orange) and Dodgers (blue) — highly symbolic of New York baseball history.

Yet they went with black.  And today Paul Lukas — ESPN’s uniform expert, die-hard Mets fan and supreme hater of the black Mets jersey — tells the story of how the Mets got their black on.

He does it via an interview with the man who created the look, Bob Halfacre. There is a lot of talk in there about how the idea came to fruition — the disgraced Charlie Samuels played a big role — but Halfacre’s own inspiration is at least somewhat less craven than I imagined the decision to be:

My thought was this: I’ve only been to New York three or four times in my life, but what I remember is shadows. You have all these skyscrapers, so everything has shadows. You live there, so you probably take it for granted, but to me it was unique. City of shadows. One side of the street is sunny and warm, the other side is in shadow and cold. Everywhere you go in New York, there’s shadows. So I thought it was the perfect logo for a drop shadow, just to add a bit of depth.

Nice, but the black jerseys still suck.  Go to the classic look all the time. Please.

  1. nps6724 - May 12, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    …It’s the Mets. Who cares?

  2. mcs7584 - May 12, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    It’s not just the Mets. I’m getting tired of alternative uniforms in general.

  3. The Dangerous Mabry - May 12, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    I don’t care for the black home uniforms at all. I like my home teams in whites, or at least light colors, if you’re into that. I’m less offended by the black road uni, with “New York” on the front, instead of the script “Mets”.

    That said, if you read the whole interview, you find that Halfacre was really only responsible for the black drop shadow, and the black jerseys came from the team (specifically Samuels). He seems a little unhappy with some of the decisions they made and the way he was treated as well. The drop shadow, aside from the “filling in the windows in the letters” aspect, isn’t particularly offensive and it wouldn’t take all that much effort to alleviate that issue, either.

  4. juicejuicer - May 12, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    I coach a Little Legue team and for years I’ve selected the Mets as my team. Not because I’m a fan -I live in So Cal- but because of the options in uniforms that they offer.

    So far we have used the white, orange, black and blue jerseys with the script “Mets” across the chest . This current year we went with the grey, block ‘New York’. I have my eye set on the beautiful pinstripe set for next year!

  5. mattjg - May 12, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    I say leave the black uniforms. It would be really unfair if my most hated team had some of the best uniforms in MLB (which they do, besides the black ones) AND some of the best announcers. I just hope Wilpon fires Sandy Alderson soon, because besides their players and their fans, it’s becoming really hard to hate the Mets.

  6. sdelmonte - May 12, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    The black unis don’t bother me. I prefer the whites, like pretty much everyone else, but they aren’t an eyesore.

    I guess the days the Mets wear white, they play in Metropolis, and the days they wear black, they’re from Gotham, based on Frank Miller’s “”Metropolis is New York in the daytime; Gotham City is New York at night.”

  7. rebarratige - May 12, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    Just the things I want to think of when I see a baseball team: Cold shadows, and the dark side of the street.

  8. nymets05 - May 12, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    The home unis should be the white with pinstripes and orange and blue in honor of the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants.

  9. dogsweat1 - May 12, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    Black does not belong in the Mets awesome unis.

    Their originals are one of the best.

  10. kcfanatic - May 12, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    I think Mets jerseys should be Doo Doo Brown to symbolize the piece of S**t franchise they are.

  11. philosofly - May 13, 2011 at 1:34 AM

    I’m a die-hard Mets fan. I happen to love their white pinstripes with the classic hat the most, however, their black uniforms are easily their second best. Why all the hate? Or yeah… traditionalists (rolls eyes). Get over it and get with the times! Black is fly, black is in, black is back!

  12. cup0pizza - May 13, 2011 at 3:02 AM

    The black jerseys are sweet. About the only good thing about the Mets.

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