Given the subjectiveness of a new logo or uniform introduced by a sports team, the positive, almost unanimous reaction to the Jays’ new uniforms is as notable as the changes that were made themselves. Here’s a look at our thoughts on all aspects of the franchise’s re-branding.
The new primary logo seems to be where the only criticism lies from fans, as three questionable aspects of it are the over-sized maple leaf, how the baseball stitching does not flow through the leaf, and the font difference in “Toronto” versus “Blue Jays”. I tend to agree with those that have expressed a displeasure with the rather large maple leaf because, while I understand the urge to advertise that the Jays are Canada’s only MLB franchise, it could have been slightly smaller, but it’s far from backbreaking. As for the stitching, I’m impartial really, though some people have felt that the logo creates the image of a floating maple leaf without the stitching connecting to it. While I don’t exactly understand the use of both solid and split lettering for the club’s name in the logo, I understand that it symbolizes both the past and the future.
Overall, though, the white-striped, blue circle surrounding the great logo looks sharp and it’s really hard to complain at all considering we have dealt with the angry bird logo for so long with primary colors of grey and black.
What else can be said about the Jays’ new hat other than the fact they absolutely nailed it? It features the club’s secondary logo consisting of the Jays’ bird head by itself, and the Jays are the first MLB team to use Majestic’s brand new PUFF PATCH for their logos, which really brings the logo to life with a more three-dimensional look. As a franchise that has usually had more than one on-field cap to wear in a season, it’s somewhat of a relief to hear that the team will wear these great caps with all three of their uniforms, excluding their BP/Spring Training jersey. While there were a few people that would have wanted the Jays to bring back a white-faced lid, I think it’s for the better that they declined to bring one of those back. The same design is applied to the Jays’ batting helmets albeit with a smaller logo, and it will definitely be refreshing to see Jays hitters wearing a blue helmet for the first time in quite a while!
Why mess with a good thing? It seems as though everyone, myself included, is relieved to see that the Jays’ home white and road grey jerseys are nearly carbon copies of the classic jerseys that the Jays wore from 1989-1996. They look unbelievably sharp, with the main difference from their predecessors being the new and vibrant PUFF logo without the red baseball stitching in behind, which I feel looks better.
Again, the organization really did a great job on the jerseys, perfectly blending the team’s history with its exciting future. The jerseys are quite simple, in the sense that there are no shoulder patches (yet), piping, or neck trim of any kind. As Jamie Campbell said in the unveiling video, it’s exactly what a baseball uniform should be.
Replacing the Jays’ black alternate jersey is a brand new royal blue jersey that can be worn either at home with white pants or on the road with grey pants. Like many people already, I feel that this is the nicest looking jersey of the group and the most welcome addition, as it really drives home the team name of BLUE Jays. Next season will be the first time the Jays wear a royal blue jersey with white lettering since they wore a very similar and famous one from 1994-1996.
LETTERING & NUMBERING
Player names on the backs of the jerseys will be in a very familiar script, one that is synonymous with Blue Jays history. Having had to suffer through the large, blue and grey “triple tackle twill” lettering for eight seasons, the simplicity of the lettering on the new jerseys is more than welcome. The new lettering will likely help return consistent spacing to player names as well, putting an end to the inconsistent gaps between letters on various uniforms in the past.
As for the numbering, it’s impossible to really complain about it at all. It brings back the split, solid blue numbers, with the colors inverted on the blue alternate jersey. However, the numbering is where I have my only real, albeit minuscule, gripe about the uniforms. Through the players featured in the video and online at the Jays Shop, we can see what all but two of the new numbers will look like — seven and eight remain to be seen. Almost all of them look fantastic, especially the sharper cut of the “2″ that looks quite similar to the number that was used in the Jays’ 20th anniversary logo and patch.
The only one that I don’t understand at all is the “1″. The jagged point really contrasts the curved nature of the other digits, and is very, very different from the same number on the older Jays jerseys. Most fans aren’t going to care, seeing as two of the Jays’ most popular players, Brett Lawrie and Jose Bautista, will wear a jersey with it as part of their number, but that’s the only, and very tiny turn-off for me on the entire package.
Overall, the Jays hit a Jose Canseco-sized, upper deck home run with this redesign, and valuing input from the players on the design was a nice touch. It touches the nostalgia nerve in all of us from when we were younger and the design was first introduced, and it should spark a bigger interest in casual fans across the country as well.
Which jersey do you like the most?