Royals: Crown worthy or not? Best and worst KC jerseys

Kansas city Royals (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Kansas city Royals (Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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Kansas City Royals (Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA – JUNE 30: Alex Gordon #4 of the Kansas City Royals reacts after striking out in the sixth inning against the Seattle Mariners during their game at Safeco Field on June 30, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

If “Turn Ahead the Clock” uniforms foretell the future of the club’s jerseys, that future may not be bright for the Kansas City Royals.

Because I’ve been glued to all things Royal since the team’s inception, I’ve seen all the club’s uniforms, a circumstance I submit equips me to proffer some informed opinion about the good and bad of the club’s jerseys. For the most part, Royals’ jersey have been classicly simple in design, straying infrequently from the tried and true script “Royals” theme at home and some variation of “Kansas City” on the road.

This commendable consistency in design and appearance (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it) makes it hard to choose the best jersey from among so many good and similar choices. That is not the case, however, when it comes to identifying the worst jerseys.

Like people, baseball teams sometimes don’t learn from their mistakes. The Seattle Mariners, with the willing cooperation of the Royals, held a July 18, 1998 “Turn Ahead the Clock Night” featuring futuristic uniforms the clubs imagined their successors might wear in 2027. The Royals wore strange, shiny yellow jerseys and white pants with odd stripes…or what might have been stripes; the M’s uniforms weren’t much better. I still can’t shake from my memory banks the haunting sight of KC’s unsightly uniforms; I recommend watching with some caution this short video clip memorializing that night.

To “celebrate” that unfortunate event, the Mariners and Royals repeated it on a forgettable late June 2018 night. Kansas City didn’t encore the shiny yellows of 1998, opting instead for a slightly better sleeveless royal blue jersey emblazoned with the traditional script “Royals” across the chest, topped by a crown. (Caps also bore the wide crown and batting helmets, although blue, bore a flat finish with gold orbs).

As aptly evidenced by the accompanying image of Alex Gordon decked out in 2018 “Turn Ahead” garb, that version was only a slight improvement over the original.

That “Turn Ahead the Clock” games haven’t become annual events suggests they don’t spark much interest, which isn’t surprising given the eye strain the uniforms trigger. And, unlike their Players Weekend counterparts, the so-called futuristic jerseys don’t seem to serve any socially redeemable purpose justifying elimination from “worst jersey” consideration.

With that, I unhesitatingly declare a tie between the 1998 and 2018 “Turn Ahead the Clock” jerseys for worst Royals jerseys of all time. They earned it.

Now, for the good garb…