Carig: Fort Knox gold, Dodger blue, plus pinstripes: Ranking baseball’s best uniforms

From SABR member Marc Carig at The Athletic on April 29, 2020, with mention of SABR members Tom Shieber, Paul Lukas, and Todd Radom:

For Tom Shieber, senior curator at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, a uniform can be great only if it is innovative, memorable, unique, classic and fun. For Anne Occi, vice president of design services for Major League Baseball, uniforms must go beyond technical soundness to forge an emotional connection with fans. But aside from the abstract, there’s a litany of more pragmatic issues to consider.

A modern-day uniform must look good beneath the sunshine and under the lights, from the stands and from the living room, on a television and on a smartphone. The material must be strong enough to withstand the rigors of play. The colors must be resistant to fading. The logo must be easily animated.

Then there’s a matter of authenticity. Uniforms have become big business, and fans are discerning. “They can tell when a new alternate jersey or cap is just used to sell more merchandise,” said Paul Lukas, founder of the indispensable website Uni Watch. “And they can tell when you come up with something inspired.” That duty has fallen to Occi, who has spent the past 30 years as baseball’s uniform czar. The job has subjected her to plenty of praise and criticism. But weathering it has been made easier by remaining true to the process.


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Originally published: May 1, 2020. Last Updated: May 1, 2020.