I am a self-proclaimed uniform nut. It’s something that I pay attention to, and even though I could never have any influence on the decisions that are made out at One Royal Way, I enjoy nitpicking and critiquing the threads that our boys in blue don for 162 games each year.
One thing that I’ve always loved about the Royals is that they have stayed consistent throughout the franchise’s history. The home & away uniforms that they will wear in 2012 is basically the same set that they wore in 1969. Now, the fabric & fit of the uniforms has completely changed to be aesthetically worse, but that’s a whole other story. The times will change, which means different styles will be favored by the players. However, I commend those teams that developed a scheme years ago and could never come up with anything to outdo it. Think about the Yankees, Red Sox, or Cardinals. Could you ever imagine them wearing anything different?
In that respect (and maybe only that respect), the Royals are on the same page. Although they’ve made small tweaks along the way, the concept has always remained the same.
A couple of weeks ago, the Royals unveiled their uniforms for 2012 and announced that there would be some small changes. As a traditionalist, I panic when I hear things like that. I like the Royals uniforms, and think they’ve been great ever since they ditched the black a few years ago. I don’t want them to do anything drastic.
Well, thankfully, they didn’t. In fact, the changes were so subtle that unless you were really paying attention, you may not have even noticed. And when I say that, of course I mean that unless the Royals didn’t have a press conference to detail the uniform changes, you may not have noticed…
The home uniforms remain untouched except for the addition of the All Star Game patch on the right sleeve. This is now a tradition for the team who hosts the mid-summer classic, and I’m a fan of the logo.
The road uniform didn’t change much, but there are three changes to look for (other than the ASG patch). First of all, the Kansas City script across the chest has been reduced in font size and smoothed out. It looks much better in comparison to the old script. The piping that runs down the pant leg and around the cuff of the sleeve doubled in size. It was a single blue line in previous years, and will now be blue and white. Subtle, but worth mentioning. Lastly, the overall color of the gray uniform has changed. Now, I first learned about “shades of gray” from the Monkees, but the Royals have changed theirs. It is now a “deeper blue-gray tonal quality”. This alone should contribute to six extra wins next season.
The baby blue alternate jersey also played color musical chairs. It has also shifted a bit on the color scale, and is now a “bolder version of the color to more closely match the original uniforms worn by earlier teams” (the baby blue first surfaced in 1973). The script Royals used to be Royal blue with white trim and is now white with Royal blue trim. The number on the front of the jersey used to be white with Royal blue trim and is now Royal blue with white trim. Get it? Somebody actually gets paid to make decisions like this.
The biggest positive for me in this whole thing is the death of the baby blue hat that was paired with the alternate jersey. Personally, I always thought it was ugly. Not just because it was a two-tone hat, but because I thought it looked kind of sissy. Also, I felt like it never matched the jersey. In 2012, the Royals will have one hat and one hat alone – the Royal blue.
Cheers to the Royals for staying consistent. I know that the lure of having new designs and new uniforms every few years exists. It’s too bad that the reason it does is primarily because of money. Revamping uniforms is an attempt to sell more merchandise and stimulate the fanbase. However, I think you find that when you overhaul uniforms, you only alienate the people who have been fans the longest.
I’m glad these changes were subtle. And maybe I’m one year closer to breaking down and buying one of those baby blues.