Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Crown Baseball Uniform Suggestions

At Tuesday’s game I got a good uniform discussion going. Whenever I watch sports, I’m looking and the uniforms. Every day I read a national uniform blog, and participate in the discussion group (once they posted pictures of Will, playing in his fall Crown uniform!). I’ve been underwhelmed with Will’s home-school team’s cookie-cutter uniforms, obviously ordered from a uniform shop catalog. Here are some ideas and suggestions to perhaps improve things next year.

Through the years Crown’s colors have been mostly navy, with burgundy accent. With so many navy teams, Crown could stand out by wearing predominantly burgundy uniforms (this may rankle the leaders who are LA Dodger fans). And the key word to good-looking uniforms is SIMPLE. The more extras you add, the busier the uni. Too much gets ugly (and costly). Simple is best.

CAPS: Grey shows dirt, so go with an all-burgundy cap. I love the simple block “C”, but suggest making it even thicker and blockier, to produce a classic old-school look. White or grey C. The top button and air holes can match the C color. I’m OK with numbers on the back. Just make them as small as possible, with the same block font on the jersey..

HELMETS: If burgundy helmets are more expensive, navy is still fine. Same block C, with as few stickers on the back as possible. Matte finish is the latest trend in baseball helmets, and they look great. But mixing matte finish navy with white accents screams “I ordered this from the latest catalog!” You don’t see this in MLB. Keep them plain.

JERSEYS: Fancy jerseys can get expensive. The goal is to have a simple, cheap, classic jersey that doesn’t show much dirt. This rules out white and grey, stitched letters and numbers, vests, and button fronts. That’s quite ok, since all the extras make you look like you’re trying too hard (note Holy Spirit’s busy jerseys).

1. Since the majority of Crown’s opponents wear navy, a burgundy jersey is the obvious choice.

2. Large, untrimmed, traditional-font, block white letters and numbers look best, and look most professional. Any higher costs for the larger letters/numbers are offset by not having two-color letters and numbers. if possible, a small number on the lower left front of the jersey is a nice touch. Two-tone letters and numbers are quite hard to read at a distance, and Crown doesn’t play on TV.

3. The jersey should be one color, without a different color panel under the sleeves, running who knows where. Another obvious cookie-cutter cluttered catalog creation. Even big-leaguers look bad in these, which were created solely to sell more jerseys. Remember, keep it simple!

4. No names on the back. It’s about the TEAM, not the individual. And it gives angry opponents less opportunity to razz our players.

PANTS: Crown usually wears grey pants, which look better the longest. White looks best, but grey is not horrible.

1. Un-striped pants are cheaper, and there’s always the player who loses their single striped pair, and shows up stripeless.

2. These days players look out of place if they don’t wear the stylish long, unhemmed pants down over their shoes. Not the greatest look, but at least the team all looks the same. Less baggy “Clemson Cut” pants are an alternative. At least long pants make the players look taller!

BELTS: Match the jersey. Navy belts would work with burgundy jerseys, though.

SHOES: Black shoes work best. White shoes get dirty, and there’s always one or two players who show up in black anyway. Coaches should have players periodically clean their shoes, at least a quick wiping with a damp rag.

PULLOVERS: If the team issues new warm-up pullovers every year, it might be fun to alternate navy and burgundy every year. I’m not adverse to having a SIMPLE second-color accent, under the arms or as shoulder loops (but stay away from tiny pinstripes running hither and yon around the jacket!). If it’s not much more expensive, stitch or screen-print CROWN or KNIGHTS across the front, in untrimmed block letters, similar to the jerseys. IDEA: Add small block uniform numbers below the outside back collar.

PRACTICE SHIRT: Players are issued a cotton practice T Shirt. Since they have numbers on the back, these can be worn as an alternate jersey, in the second game of doubleheaders or in the national championship tournament (that will help with laundry!). This practice shirt should be a DIFFERENT color than the game jersey (if the gamer is burgundy, the practice shirt can be navy or grey). Same simple, large, block, screen-printed, white letters and numbers as the regular jersey. If possible, upgrade from cotton to a cheap dri-fit type tee.

SOCKS: With such long pants, socks are hardly an issue. But if Crown really wants a distinctive uniform, the Knights can really stand out with bloused pants and striped stirrups. Forget about the long, single colored soccer socks that were popular in the early part of the last decade. Instead break out low (6”), striped stirrups, in either navy or burgundy, with three white or grey stripes. Navy stirrups with a white / burgundy / white stripe pattern would look great, similar to the old Milwaukee Braves. Plain unstriped stirrups would be OK, but not as good as striped ones. And even if only half the players wore stirrups, the team would still look great. With white sanitary socks underneath, of course.

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