Searle: MLB uniforms are getting too uniform

From Ginny Searle at Baseball Prospectus on May 1, 2019:

We talk a lot about trends here at Baseball Prospectus, and while those conversations generally tend to focus on MLB’s on-field product and finances, the myriad inputs that factor into the baseball fan experience extend far beyond those analytical foci. Team uniforms and the logos that adorn them are an obvious matrix of this experience, giving fans concrete connections to their teams that manifest as fashion, demonstrations of personal tastes and loyalties, and cultural expression. It should register as vaguely alarming, then, that the uniforms, colors, and logos of MLB teams are at their point of greatest homogeneity in a long time, if not in all of MLB history.

Baseball uniforms are some of the most distinctive in all of sports, with a storied history dating back to the first official uniforms used 170 years ago, consisting of “white flannel shirts, blue woolen pantaloons, and straw hats.” From the very beginning, uniforms were designed with appeal to desired audiences in mind; by wearing woolen trousers (as opposed to workmanlike white cotton or the bright red of “disorderly” organizations) baseball clubs distinguished themselves as “respectable, gentlemanly organizations.”

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Originally published: May 1, 2019. Last Updated: May 1, 2019.