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Uni Watch rates the MLB uniforms 1-30, puts the A’s above the Yankees

Aug 24, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT

Minnesota Twins v Oakland Athletics Getty Images

Uniform arguments are always fun. Every couple of years I take a look back at the best and worst uniforms of all time and it never fails to make people talk, be it good, bad, nostalgic, angry or whatever.  Uniforms just matter to baseball fans.

Paul Lukas of Uni Watch has made a career out of the uniform criticism game, and this week he’s been rating the uniforms of all of the teams from all of the major sports.  Today he breaks out the baseball unis and rates them 1-30.  And there are some surprises in there.

First surprise: seeing the most classic uniform of them all — the Yankees — ranked fourth, behind one of the least classic looking teams, the Athletics. Which, OK, I can see that appealing to some people, but I’m sorry, if you wear white shoes you shouldn’t crack the top ten. The A’s shoes make them look like guys wearing dad jeans and gleaming white New Balance shoes at the mall on Saturday.

There are some other surprises in there too. And outrages. The Tigers are ninth? Based on an arguably too-small cap logo? Please. Nothing looks better than the Tigers in their home uniforms and I refuse to be persuaded otherwise.

OK, sorry. See what I mean, though?  Ranking uniforms can stir people up.

  1. mdpickles - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    Of course the Yankees have the most classic uniform, but the A’s uni has a little more character. The elephant has survived 3 cities dating back to Connie Mack and the Philly days. If you were offered a Reggie Jackson Yankees or A’s jersey, which would you pick? I’d take the A’s one.

    • Francisco (FC) - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM

      I’m thinking I could make more money off Reggie’s Jersey…

      • nolanwiffle - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM

        Aren’t they both Reggie jerseys?

      • Francisco (FC) - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:51 PM

        I skipped a word, “Yankees” is missing in my post.

  2. atworkident - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Sorry Craig, not everything Yankees is good or the standard.

  3. nategearhart - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    “Pretty classy set. The thing is, the Stros weren’t put on this earth to do classy. They’re here to wear orange, to wear wacky stripes, to push the envelope.”

    Yes, yes yes yes yes.

  4. icanspeel - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    I know the Padres regular uniforms aren’t great, but once again they are knocked for the camo uni’s. Besides honoring the military I like how different they are.

  5. liamj55 - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Phillies 5th. Suck on that Calcaterra!!!!

  6. poreef - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    The Phils were #12 in the 2012 uni rankings – and they shouldn’t even be that high. UniWatch says “that’s how it done, kids” referring to the pinstripes at home and grays on the road.

    But its says “Phillies” on the road unis which is, to say the least, not traditional. I don’t care how long your city name is, make it work.

    • Alex K - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      So you aren’t cool with the Cardinals as #1? They don’t have St. Louis on the roadies.

      • poreef - Aug 24, 2012 at 1:09 PM

        Indeed also lame – particularly for baseball’s longest running franchise or whatever.

      • Alex K - Aug 24, 2012 at 1:40 PM

        I’ll take this as an agreement that the Cubs have the best unis in MLB, then.

    • Francisco (FC) - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:20 PM

      But the team name IS the city name…

    • biasedhomer - Aug 24, 2012 at 1:00 PM

      No thanks, do you see the Nationals road jersey?

      They squish in and tilt the name “Washington”. It’s horrible. And Philadelphia is longer.

  7. townballblog - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    I know this isn’t Profootball Talk….. but the Dolphins are getting a new logo? Ok, they got my attention (forgive me for being a loyal fan).

  8. heyblueyoustink - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    “Nothing looks better than the Tigers in their home uniforms and I refuse to be persuaded otherwise”

    This comment could not have possibly been influenced by a particular someone’s blogger girlfriend, riiiiiight?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:03 AM

      Nope! I said as much two years ago when I rated them:

      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/11/15/the-best-and-worst-uniforms-of-all-time-the-detroit-tigers/

      • heyblueyoustink - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:25 AM

        I don’t know about you man, being a shifty braves fan and all. plus I hear you’ve been spotted talking to the smoking man.

    • Francisco (FC) - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:02 PM

      You forget the Tigers were at one time Craig’s team in his youth. (Which is different from my alter-Craig who’s ALWAYS been a Brave’s fan).

      • heyblueyoustink - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:33 PM

        Two Craigs? is this an episode of Dr.Who?

  9. kopy - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Eh. He says the Twins have too many alternates. They have a home, away, alternate navy top, and a throwback. Not sure what he’s looking for or talking about.

    • kopy - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:11 AM

      My main gripe with these rankings is that Paul Lukas gets emotional about tradition. Obviously it’s a plus, but it hurts any true objectivity about which uniforms look the best. It’s too easy and distorted to just say the Canadiens, Bruins, Cardinals, Cubs, Bears, Packers, Celtics, Steelers etc. have the best uniforms – but that’s exactly what he does.

      • kopy - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:17 AM

        This isn’t a hockey site, but the guy put 5 of the Original 6 in his top 6 for NHL uniforms. I mean, come on.

      • leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:36 AM

        It isn’t just him, either. Tons of fans do this, many of whom aren’t even old enough to really be an authority on what’s classic and what isn’t.

        For example, I saw fans freaking out that Nike would ruin the NFL forever and make everyone wear Oregon style jerseys when they replaced Reebok, and that “today’s jerseys are too outlandish to begin with”. Really? First of all, no sane person thinks that would ever take over the league, and secondly, there’s nothing wrong with newer teams having some fun as they have no tradition anyways. Going back to baseball, obviously the Yankees should forever remain in pinstripes, but teams like the Rays and Diamondbacks? Why not experiment? You’re a modern team, you SHOULD have a fun, modern look, within reason. They shouldn’t be punished as having bad jerseys solely because their modern, and expecting them to have a look from the ’50s when they’ve only been around since the ’90s is silly.

    • e5again - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:36 AM

      I almost always agree with Lukas comments, and his comments on the Twins unis are spot on. I really dislike the navy jersey. However, I think the throwback is fantastic. I loved when they wore them for all home games after Killebrew passed last year.

  10. seeinred87 - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    You’re right about the Tigers. Those home whites are gorgeous.

    The Illitches own 2 of the best-looking uniforms in sports.

    • normcash - Aug 24, 2012 at 2:52 PM

      The Tigers home unis are simply the best—clean, elegant, unchanged for 90 years. The only
      complaint this dude has is that he doesn’t care for some of the Olde English “D” cap logos—
      otherwise the Tigers unis “are damn near perfect”. And for that they rank NINTH??????
      Good grief! What a bozo! As for the Cards, the bat and bird jersey have the virtue of longevity,
      but are too “busy” for my taste—the op art of the 20s….

  11. sdelmonte - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    Mets rank 7th. I will take that. Of course, Paul is as big as Mets fan as I am, but he is able to put aside his bias as needed, since he was a huge critic of the black-trimmed unis and other less than perfect features.

    • kopy - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      I still think the black trim was a neat idea that possibly could have been executed better. I’m a sucker for backstories, and black trim for the Mets as homage to all the shadows from the skyscrapers in NY is as good as any.

      • nolanwiffle - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:51 PM

        Brooklyn Dodger blue paired with NY Giant orange is enough an homage. The black was unnecessary and looked terrible.

  12. deathmonkey41 - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    “if you wear white shoes you shouldn’t crack the top ten”

    Especially after Labor Day! Wait, did I say that out loud?

  13. ajcardsfan - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Alright maybe my browser is messed up for some reason, but the chart I see had the Cards at #1, but the comment on the site says,

    “The only reason St. Looey isn’t at the top spot of this chart is that the road uni basically just duplicates the home uni (the different cap color notwithstanding), which seems a smidge unimaginative.”

    Uhhh…what?

    • nategearhart - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:37 AM

      He means top in all of sports. He has a rank for each sport, then an overall one that I believe had the Cardinals 4th.

      • ajcardsfan - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:43 AM

        Oh okay, I was so thrown off by that comment, thought there was an issue with my web browser. Thanks for clearing that up!

  14. natslady - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    I really don’t like any of the pinstripes, they look terrible from the a** view.

    On the patriotic uniforms, a lot of people like them, and it goes along with saluting the military every game. You only see them maybe three times a year (holidays and “Military Appreciation” day) but they’re so distinctive people remember them. I don’t think they’re scrapping them.

    Though I hadn’t observed it previously, I agree with the critic the numbers on the front of the uni look mis-aligned. It would be cleaner if they took the numbers off altogether, and just went with the curly W (and the number on the back). Definitely improved from previous years, though I miss the interlocked DC, I don’t miss the gold-trimmed curvy “NATIONALS”–you see it on jerseys at the park and it brings back, er, bad memories…

    • kopy - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:35 AM

      But how do you feel about TWINstripes?

      …I’ll show myself out.

    • Francisco (FC) - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:03 PM

      Speaking of Patriotic have you noticed that the National and American league logos both have Bald Eagles and one star for each team?

  15. ufullpj - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    It’d be OK, accept that Lukas sees himself as much more important and self-righteoius than he really is.

  16. Alex K - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    No one will ever convince me that the Cubs home pinstripes aren’t the best looking uni’s ever made. Those Tigers home whites are a very, very close second, though.

    • natslady - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:37 AM

      The Tigers home whites are great, and if the Nats took the number off the front of the uni, they would be close. Can’t like pinstripes of any color, they look like pajamas. And when the stripes curl into the a** part of the anatomy, yuck.

      • Alex K - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:56 AM

        I’m not paying attention to the asses, so that is totally lost on me. Pinstripes, however, are wonderful when done correctly.

        I’m totally cool with the Nats curly W logo. Taking the numbers off would make it a very nice looking uni.

      • lazlosother - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:59 AM

        They had a very slimming effect on David Wells.

    • ajcardsfan - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      I’ve always liked the Cubs home uniforms although I like the alternative the best. Something about a bright blue with red and white makes me happy, It’s why I enjoy the old Cardinals baby blue’s and the expo’s blue throwback

      • Alex K - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:01 PM

        I’m ok with the alternate blues. The problem is there isn’t really a good pants color to go with them. And when they are baggy they look like pajama tops. For an alternate, though? Just fine.

  17. dondada10 - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    I didn’t think it was gonna redirect me to ESPN…yuck

  18. APBA Guy - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Wow-third! The look has matured. It helps that the gold has less, well, gold in it and more yellow now. In that bright sun in day games, it’s extremely appropriate. Still, I kind of miss the black tops. Gio in a black top always meant trouble for the opposition.

    • daveitsgood - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:04 PM

      I’m still a fan of their home whites with the yellow and green cap, but typically wear the road all green cap when I go to games. But honestly, if Craig is going to use a picture of the gold jerseys, he should always go with style
      http://nbcoutofbounds.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/cococrispafro.jpg?w=320

      • APBA Guy - Aug 24, 2012 at 1:54 PM

        Love it!

  19. indaburg - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    I don’t care what that guy thinks–the Marlins are the worst uniforms in the majors right now.

    • huffdaddyco - Aug 24, 2012 at 2:20 PM

      Agreed. I can’t take any such list seriously if it has the Marlins’ unis higher than 53rd.

  20. brucewaynewins - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    I usually agree with Paul Lukas a good majority of the time, especially on hockey sweaters (jerseys). But man I honestly don’t agree with over half of his baseball rankings. He ranks the Reds way way too low for a minor reason. He also ranks the Rockies way too low. Yes the Rockies vest is stupid but beyond that it’s a great and unique and fitting uni.

    I also think the Tigers should be higher.

    I think he has Mets way way way too high.

  21. Francisco (FC) - Aug 24, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    I’ve noticed a trend in Uni-Watch:

    1) Black is EVIL

    2) Solid colors are meh (Apparently the only good and proper baseball uniforms are white home unis and road gray unis).

  22. scoregasmic - Aug 24, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    That us so true about the tigers home whites….ain’t nothing better than those

  23. hisgirlgotburrelled - Aug 24, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    I agree about the Detroit home uni’s, and 9th might be a tad low, but their away uni’s aren’t good at all.

    Agree in the article about the Dodger’s home, no-piping pants looking sharp.

    I wish the Phillies’ home were the ’90’s “throwbacks” (way back in the day when Craig was asking “Can I kick it?”) they wore the other day. And the aways were the ’76 powder blues they wore last year.

  24. jaysjunkie - Aug 24, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    I’ve always been partial to the A’s and Reds unis myself. No offence, but I’ve always found the Cubs uniforms boring as hell.

    From the article: “The Blue Jays, who’d been the worst-looking MLB team (and one of the worst in all of North American sports”…seriously? Worse than the Diamondbacks? That’s just idiotic. Many were not a fan of the previous black uniforms with the “angry bird” logo, but I didn’t mind it at all. The previous incarnation with the flexing bird and the “T” were atrocious, I’ll grant you. As much as I respect tradition (well, 35 years worth anyway) and have a soft spot for the old logo they went back to, I wasn’t sold on it until I watched them take the field opening day. Now I think they look outstanding.

    • Francisco (FC) - Aug 24, 2012 at 4:05 PM

      If anything, you would think uniforms with “angry birds” would be very popular!

  25. pw38 - Aug 24, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    I like the Rangers home red and white although they seem to win more with the blue and white. I don’t really care for the away grays. Their powder blue throw backs were sweet, especially the old school font. Their alternate tops are alright. I agree somewhat with the font style. The Rangers and Angels share the same font but the Rangers use it on the name on the back of the uni where the Angels don’t. I’ll agree with that. It can look busy at times.

    • pantherpro - Aug 24, 2012 at 4:04 PM

      The A’s? Ugliest in sports and worst fans! Trust me I know!

      Stomper the A’s mascot

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