Friday, November 18, 2011

How sexy are Toronto's new digs?

Very sexy. When news broke a few months ago that the Blue Jays would be undergoing a dramatic overhaul of both the club's logo and uniforms, I was excited but nervous at the same time. Changing the logo and/or uniform of a professional sports team is a big deal, as it can either inspire or cripple the enthusiasm of the fanbase. In this case, that fanbase is all of Canada. I was excited because I had grown tired of the look of the current uniforms. They had single handedly turned the club from "The Blue Jays" into "The Jays", a name that sounds far too childish to be that of a professional sports team. Furthermore, the 2004 re-design chose modern over timeless, which caused the logo and jerseys to get progressively cheesier as the years wore on. The modern classification is always changing as society and culture fluidly move. "The Reason" by Hoobastank was the #1 song on the Billboards in 2004. Seven years later, that song is neither modern nor timeless, it falls into the same weird, fringy category that the Blue Jays old logo and jerseys were falling into.

While many fans were enamored by the powder blue colored jerseys that the club wore on "Flashback Friday" events over the past few years -- and wanted the new jerseys to look similar -- I was much more interested in seeing the Blue Jays go for more of a Texas Rangers look. I have always felt that the Rangers had one of the best looking uniforms in all of baseball, and it was due in large part to their deep blue hats and jerseys contrasting perfectly with the clean, lightly shaded pants. It is a fresh, classy look that works well now and should also age quite well. Much to my pleasure, Toronto chose a jersey (though it is considered the "alternate") that rocks the royal blue in a most sexy and badass manner, as modelled by both Ricky Romero and Brett Lawrie at today's unveiling.

Of the three game jerseys that were unveiled, the royal blue alternate is easily my favorite, and according to my twitter feed, that opinion is shared through much of the fanbase and the rest of the baseball world. I expect jersey sales to clearly reflect this favoritism, and with the season still 4+ months away, I hope the front office will take notice and once again select the fan-friendly route by choosing to wear these jerseys in at least 40 or 50 games throughout the season.

The remaining two game uniforms -- the all-white home and all-grey road -- also look quite sharp. I'm leaning towards liking the home uniform more than the road, but that might be at least partially attributed to the fact that Jose Bautista wore it at the unveiling, and he rocks a uniform a lot better than Adam Lind does (the batting helmet certainly didn't help).

All in all, it's hard to argue this re-design was anything less than a colossal success. On Chris Creamer's site (, the new logo has earned a rating of 9.7/10, with 263 votes cast thus far. Not only was the re-design itself outstanding, but the timing of it was almost perfect. After years and years of failure, optimism once again is warming the hearts of Blue Jays fans from coast to coast. We have a brilliant General Manager, a deep and experienced front office, a young and talented MLB roster, and arguably the #1 farm system in all of baseball. Now, to go along with all of the excellent personnel, we have incredibly sharp uniforms to wear entering the first season in baseball history where 3rd place in the AL East could earn a playoff spot. Things are on the rise for baseball in Canada, and it's only going to get better.

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