Sports Section Selects: Our Favorite Retro MLB Uniforms

retro-mlb-jerseys
The Seattle Mariners dark blue and green uniforms (another one of my personal favorites) were adopted in 1993 and remain the Northwest's most recognizable baseball jersey to date. (Photo courtesy of Renee Thompson)

Emily: The ‘70s was a big decade for Oakland. In the same decade the Athletics became officially nicknamed the Oakland A’s, the A’s ditched their gray jersey for the colors we know and love today: Kelly Green, Wedding Gown White and Fort Knox Gold. Not only did the colors flow beautifully together, but the jerseys were wonderful, too. They were of double-knit style and made of stretchy material and the pants had an elastic waistline called ‘Sans-a-Belt,’ which eliminated the need for a real belt. Although those aspects are cool, that’s not what I love about them. These colorful uniforms were before their time. Most teams at the time wore all white uniforms at home and all gray ones on the road. They were also one of the first teams to wear only one pair of pants for home and road games. What’s even more funny is that they were also one of the first teams to begin showing their facial hair; owner Charles Finley offered $500 dollars to any player who grew a mustache by Father’s Day. By then, the entire team had collected a bonus. I believe these jerseys were also a lucky charm or something because in the same year they switched their uniforms (1972), the Athletics won the World Series for the first time since 1930. Guess what else? They did it again in 1973 and 1974, too. The jerseys changed up a bit in the ‘80s, but there is no doubt that the Oakland Athletics’ jerseys of the ’70s are ones to be remembered.

Jaime: The height of the 1960’s filled with events surrounding the United States, and of course America’s past-time, the great sport of baseball. The Subway Rivalry in New York had always caused an extra layer of fun atmosphere for the fans, the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. The Mets were always looked upon by a majority of the MLB community as the other New York baseball team. In 1969 everything changed. The New York Mets finished off their season with a record of (100-62), as well as having their legendary Miracle Mets Uniforms in the world series against the Baltimore Orioles. What was so unique about these jerseys, not only for the Mets but for the entire MLB at the time, was each jersey had a patch commemorating the 100th anniversary of the MLB’s foundation. For the Mets’ specifically they had changed their font type for the uniforms in the beginning of the previous season and looked to make it slightly a slightly brighter orange of the season. They also had added their numbers under the Mets’ logo of each jersey in the front for both their home and away jerseys. These slight but very special changes in the Miracle Mets uniforms is another reason on top of them winning the world series for being an incredible year in baseball. The underdog competitor who wins the 100th world series in spectacular fashion, these are your New York Mets. 

Jared: I’m a sucker for ‘90s uniform designs and colors. Fortunately, MLB had a plethora of these wacky new-age looks to choose from. The best of that decade’s bunch was easily the inaugural uniforms of the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was 1998; a small company named Google was founded, “Titanic” was all the rage and MLB fielded two new expansion teams: one in Phoenix and one in Tampa Bay. The boys in the desert took to the diamond (ha, get it?) in uniforms of bright emerald, dazzling purple, off-white and ink black. My favorite was their all-purple jersey, featuring zig-zag sleeve bottoms paired with a giant “ARIZONA” wordmark on the chest and gray pinstripe pants. It’s so tacky and overdone but it’s oh so good. Their logos consisted of an angular, stylized “A” and a diamondback snake curved to the shape of the letter “D.” Very clever.

In only their second season of existence, Arizona placed first in their division, the National League West, earning a staggering 100 wins. And get this: in 2001, they miraculously marched all the way to the World Series wearing these ridiculous uniforms and won. They beat the Yankees in seven games, led by guys such as Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling and Byung-Hyun Kim. That unforgettable image of Jay Bell running to home with his arms held high in celebration after scoring the winning run in the bottom of the ninth with bases loaded and the game tied to give Arizona the championship is eye-watering.

Do you remember that quirky high school friend that you weren’t too close with but were really friendly with? You know, you hung out with them once or twice after class and they were cool and all, but you kinda forgot about them until you saw a post or two by them on Instagram where they achieved some massive life accomplishment? So you immediately liked the picture, but didn’t comment because “I don’t know them that well”? Yep. That’s who the Diamondbacks were when wearing these uniforms.

And I unapologetically adore them for it.