Baseball has always been an aesthetically pleasing game to watch, thanks in part to the clean and minimalistic uniforms. Most teams just use lots of white combined with reds and blues. They also don’t mess around with the pants. If you look at other sports, say football for example, you can easily find teams with colored pants. In baseball? None at all. Baseball tried and failed at that. Now, creating an MLB uniform is practically down to a formula. White pants if you are the home team, gray if you are away. Some may find them boring, but you have to admit, teams do a good job at remaining consistent and not convoluting the uniforms like they did in the 1970s and 80s.
If baseball clubs are going to take risks, it's generally at the top of the uniform, on the jersey and hat. That's where you will find a team like the Orioles using a cartoon bird on their cap, or the Marlins highlighting the word "Miami" with multiple colors on their jersey.
For this article, we will rank all 30 team’s uniforms. That includes the home, road, and even alternate jerseys. Each team will have all their uniforms receive a grade from 1-10. The average grade of all their uniforms combined will determine where they rank amongst the other teams.
30 Arizona Diamondbacks
I commend the Diamondbacks for trying something different. I really do. But this is just bad. The only good comment to make on this uniform would be that baseball needs more teams taking risks. The snakeskin design on the shoulders and pants is something we have never seen before.
Pinstripes and piping has become the norm. It’s the safe option for teams to use because they both look great, but baseball uniforms will never make any progress if teams don’t take chances like the Diamondbacks. The bad thing about taking chances is that you run the risk of looking weird since fans aren’t accustomed to the change. But who knows, maybe this uniform will grow to be loved by fans and uniform critics. Until then, the Diamondbacks will stay on the bottom of most uniform rankings.
My biggest gripe lies within the alternate uniforms, which uses a teal color to highlight the names and numbers. It doesn’t work with this color scheme. Plus, having five different alternate uniforms (including the purple throwbacks) is overkill.
29 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
First things first, their name is the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Translated from spanish to english, that means The Angels Angels of Anaheim. As far as team names go, it doesn’t get more ridiculous than that. Second, they use the word “Angels” across all their jerseys. It would be nice to see a “Los Angeles” or “Anaheim” across one jersey. Third, the Angels seem to be one of the teams who don’t necessarily need to use the overly utilized red and white color scheme. If they were called the “Devils” then it would be understandable, but they are the Angels – or in other words, the exact opposite of a devil.
Looking deeper into the uniform, the halo is white on the jersey and silver on the hat. Not only are they depicting a halo inaccurately, but they aren’t even consistent with it. A uniform update, preferably with a gold halo, would be nice. The update should also consist of more variance from uniform to uniform, as well as a trashing of the red on red alternate jersey.
28 Texas Rangers
They might as well change the team name to the Texas Texas, because nothing about this uniform depicts a “Ranger,” They are the only team that uses the location of the team on all their jerseys. They have a capitalized “T” for Texas on all their hats. The color scheme derives from the Texas flag, which is patched on the sleeve of all the jerseys. We get it, you represent the state of Texas.
The changes made from jersey to jersey are painfully obvious and overly consistent. Same “Texas” font. Same “T” on the hats. Same patch on the sleeve. Just a different color jersey. To mix things up, they should use a script “Rangers” text on their alternate jerseys. The club used to do that at different points in the 80s, 90s, and 00s. It’s an easy change to make if they don’t want to be considered too basic.
27 T26. San Diego Padres
The Padres are moving in the right direction since they brought back the retro brown and yellow jersey as an alternate uniform. They even plugged some yellow into the primary home uniform this year. Hopefully, they also plug some yellow into the road uniform since the current version is incredibly plain.
The real change they should make is to go back to their brown and yellow pinstriped uniform. It looks better and gives the Padres their own identity. Forget baseball, no team in the four major sports uses a brown and yellow color combination for their uniforms. The reason for that is because it doesn’t look great, but I would argue that it’s better to take a risk and stand out than to play it safe and be forgotten. In recent years, the Padres uniform has been forgettable, but it seems they are beginning to realize that. Hopefully they continue with the changes in 2017.
26 T26. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies have a rare opportunity to use a color (purple) that no other team has, yet they fail at using it correctly. Why does the home uniform use black pinstripes? The font on the jersey is white with a black outline. The numbers and name on the jersey are black. The belt is black. Socks? Black. It’s really disappointing to look at this uniform because it could be more exciting than what it currently is. All they have to do is replace purple with black and it could be a mid-tier uniform. They didn’t seem to forget to use purple for the “CR” on their hats.
The home uniform tries too hard to be like the teams who have come before the Rockies. Since the Rox came into existence fairly recently (1993), they should take an approach to uniforms similar to the Diamondbacks by trying new styles instead of repurposing old ones incorrectly. The purple alternate jersey is the best one the team has, but they pair it with pinstripe pants, which doesn't work with the non-pinstripe jersey.
25 Tampa Bay Rays
When the Rays updated their uniform in 2008, it was a much needed change. However, they went from having a unique green to an overused navy blue. They may have paired navy with light blue, but they should have used the light blue as the primary color instead to make the uniform really stand out.
The burst of light symbol that they use on their jersey will get mixed reviews from me. I think it looks decent and it fits with their geographical location since Tampa Bay is usually bursting with sunlight. But, let’s be real, there are lots of teams who play in traditionally hot climates. It’s also a little strange for them to use the burst light considering they play in a sun-deprived dome stadium. The Rays VP of sales and service has stated that the burst of light is their Nike swoosh, but it falls flat. On the plus side, that 1970s themed uniform is groovy.
24 T23. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brew Crew is messing up by not embracing their retro royal blue and yellow uniform with the glove logo. Granted, they do wear those on occasion, but it’s still not their primary home jersey. When your team is named after the large amount of breweries in the city, then it’s safe to say you don’t need such a clean-cut, boring look. The retro jersey has a good balance of quirkiness and style.
Like the Padres, the Brewers did make the right move by introducing a new alternate jersey with a cap that features the old glove logo with their current color scheme. It’s gives off a brighter vibe than the “M” they frequently use and it could be hinting at a change of direction the team wants to take. If they are going to continue to use the home uniform they currently have, then it can be improved by adding gold stripes to the socks.
23 T23. Miami Marlins
The Marlins uniforms are disliked by many, but they do deserve some love. The uniform does a good job representing the city of Miami by using multiple bright colors to highlight "Miami" on the jerseys. The red-orange jersey looks decent and doesn’t remind you of the Orioles or Giants orange jerseys.
This uniform should inspire teams to use more than two colors on their jerseys in addition to black and white. Whether the Twins adding yellow to their color scheme of red and navy blue is connected to the Marlins or not, the Marlins prove that you can look professional with a brighter group of colors. No, it’s not the prettiest uniform and will still take some time to get used to, but had they used the colors in a different way, the uniform would look even more ridiculous. One thing they should do to improve this group is ditch the black alternate jersey for either a brighter blue or yellow one.
22 Chicago White Sox
The home uniform seems too much like a Yankees ripoff. Dark pinstripes with the logo over the heart area. It’s not that the uniform looks bad, it just gives off the feeling that they are trying to be something they aren’t. Back in the 1953-61 seasons, they used a uniform similar to this but with a red outline on the logos and numbers. If they brought that back (since they don’t mind embracing their older uniforms), it would add an extra element to this uniform to separate themselves.
Speaking of throwbacks, it’s hard to criticize their throwback uniform since it’s meant to be ugly. It’s like looking back at old pictures and saying “I can’t believe I used to wear that” and then proceeding to wear it again. Aside from that, the black alternate uniform looks a little funny with the pinstripe pants. It’s also worth noting that the White Sox don't even use white socks on any uniform. Just sayin’.
21 Philadelphia Phillies
The cream colored alternate is one of the best jerseys in baseball, but the red alternate jersey with the red font really brings the overall grade down. As for the home uniform, it’s hard to make red pinstripes look spectacular, but the Phillies do a noble job of it. The significance of the blue stars is questionable, but it does add a little something help to break up all the red and white.
Although the font looks like a script version of comic sans, it’s the most unique script font in baseball and has helped the Phillies to differentiate themselves from the other teams. They get a pass for not using the location of the team on any jersey since “Philadelphia” is pretty long and “Phillies” is like a shorter version of that anyways.
20 Minnesota Twins
The Twins recently added a third color (yellow) to their color scheme in 2015, which was a risky move being that they already have red and navy. They call the color “Minnesota Kasota Gold,” which symbolizes the limestone featured in Target Field. You have to give them credit, because the addition of yellow was done correctly, as they only use it to highlight letters. This uniform adds some flavor to the typical red and navy color combinations. However, they haven’t embraced that change in all their uniforms, like the road and a couple alternate uniforms, which brings their overall grade down a bit.
As for the “TC” on their hats, I understand that it stands for “Twin Cities” to represent both Minneapolis and St. Paul, but what I don’t understand is why the “C” has to look exactly like the Cincinnati Reds' “C.” If they used a “C” that looked good and was exclusive to them, then the overall grade would be a bit higher.
19 Cincinnati Reds
The Reds made a mistake by ditching the pinstriped vest jersey of the early 2000s. Sure, it wasn’t the prettiest, but it distinguished themselves from every other team that uses red. Now it’s a forgettable uniform. If going back to the vest days is too much, the least they could do is inject some more black to break up the monotony of red and white while looking tougher at the same time. Maybe a black rim on the cap or a black “C” on the cap or jersey. Something to spice it up.
The number on the left side of the jersey with the team logo is decent, but it looks like a design exclusive to the alternate jersey. Personally, I think they would look better with “Reds” spelled out in script. The best part of this uniform is probably the mascot sleeve patch. Overall, it’s not the worst, but it’s certainly forgettable.
18 Cleveland Indians
The Indians made the right move to get rid of Chief Wahoo as their main logo, but the replacement logo seems like a homework assignment done the night before it’s due. It’s just a “C,” which is fine for a cap logo but not fine for the overall team logo. I only mention it because the lack of creation in the logo creeps into the uniform as well.
The home jersey could use some piping to make it look less empty. The Chief Wahoo sleeve patch is unnecessary since it’s already used on the home cap. The road uniform already does a good job by using more navy than red to give it a darker, more villian-like look which is what you want as a road team. The print and script lettering on each jersey seems fitting for their theme, and the cream colored alternate is underrated.
17 Atlanta Braves
The home and road uniform is fine, but the cream colored alternate doesn’t add anything. The removed tomahawk should be placed on the cap to give them an alternate cap exclusive to that uniform. Personally, I think they should trash the cream uniform altogether and come up with a different idea for an alternate since this seems like a copy of the Indians cream alternate that was introduced the year before the Braves introduced theirs. The alternate jersey, which uses stars in the lettering, is too similar to the Nationals alternate jersey.
The Braves kind of come off as the “copy cat” team in baseball with the star lettering and the fact that they became the second team in baseball named after Native Americans in 1953. Despite this, they still manage to wear the uniform well with the dual color piping and tomahawk on the jersey.
16 Detroit Tigers
The Tigers home uniform is loved by many for the old school “D” and its clean look. But it just seems odd to me that a team named the Tigers wouldn’t use orange in their home uniform. Yes, the uniform does look clean, but it also looks a little empty at the same time. To me, they look like the Yankees without pinstripes.
Using an almost identical “D” logo on both the jersey and cap is more unimaginative than it is interesting. Your team name is the Tigers! I’m not saying to go back to the crazy eyed tiger logo, but there should be some sort of incorporation of the animal. Or maybe that’s just too obvious. The Tigers won't change anything because the fan base loves it too much, but adding a regular rotating alternate is the least they could do. The mini rant ends here because even I have to admit that it’s a good looking uniform overall.
15 Houston Astros
The Astros made the right decision to update their uniform a few years ago. Using orange trim for the lettering really makes them pop. Using navy socks is fine for the away uniform, but the home uniform should be using orange socks, possibly with navy stripes. An orange hat as well would help make the home uniform look more vibrant.
The alternate jersey pays homage to their uniform that was primarily used in the 1980s with the orange and yellow stripes. The concept of the jersey sounds cool, but the execution looks a bit strange with the base of the jersey being navy blue. It would have been cooler of them to embrace their original and disgusting uniform of the 80s. At this point, it’s a classic as much as it is ugly.
14 Kansas City Royals
The Royals seem unsure of what their secondary color is. On some alternates they use gold and, on others, sky blue. Dropping sky blue would make sense and allow them to get creative with other blue and gold alternate jersey options.
The sparkling golden letter alternate jersey is a great look and perhaps there should be a royal blue jersey option with the gold lettering. Some baseball fans think it’s a classless move on the Royals, since the gold represents them winning it in 2015, but you can’t say it looks bad. The home and road jerseys help the overall grade since they both look clean. The home jersey might look even better with a sparkling gold trim of the letters on the hat and jersey.
13 T12. Washington Nationals
It’s hard not to make fun of the “W,” since it resembles the Walgreens logo, but the Nationals do a good job creating a classic, yet modern feel with their uniform. The best jersey they have is easily the navy blue one with the patriotic “W.” It makes me wonder why more teams don't mess around with simple patterns over the lettering. They used to have an interlocking “DC” uniform with the same pattern that they parted ways with.
The “W” on the upper left part of the home jersey is better than their old “Nationals” across the chest. The script “Washington” on the road uniform also looks better than the old print version. Time will tell if the one letter logo on the upper left of the jersey with the player number in the bottom right is a sustainable look. Personally, I think it’s a bit weird, but kudos to the Nats for trying something a bit different.
12 T12. Pittsburgh Pirates
The city of Pittsburgh really likes black and yellow. Those colors have helped distinguish the Pirates from every other baseball team. They smartly use black lettering with the gold trim instead of gold lettering with black trim, which is what most teams would do. Using a print font is really fitting for the Pirates, who play in a city too tough for anyone to write in cursive. Speaking of tough, that logo patch on the sleeve is scary.
Even though the throwback alternate uniform looks wacky, the Pirates get cool points for using it in 2016. It’s more of a nostalgic choice than a stylistic one. The alternate camo jersey pays tribute to the armed forces, so it’s hard to criticize since camo jerseys are used for what they symbolize rather than for how good they look.
11 T10. Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox have a classic look to all their uniforms. They follow the unwritten uniform rule of using the team name on the home uniforms and the team city on the road. Unlike the White Sox, who lie to our faces by using black socks, the Red Sox actually have red socks. It’s just better when things make sense like that.
The home uniform benefits from the team name consisting of two three letter words. Having the “Red” pointing up on one side of the jersey and “Sox” pointing down on the other side makes it very symmetrical. Using the same navy blue hat with the same “B” is a bit boring. They could at least use a red hat for their red alternate jersey with a navy blue “B” to mix things up. They also used to use a pair of red socks as a hat logo, which would be a nice addition to their road alternate.
10 T10. Seattle Mariners
Ken Griffey Jr. made this uniform look cool in the 90s and it hasn’t changed since. A lot of inspiration is drawn from the city they play for, as the logo is said to represent "the sea, technology, and the great outdoors, all of which are indigenous to the great Pacific Northwest."
Using teal to highlight the wording on the home jersey really helps this uniform standout from all the navy uniforms in the league. The teal alternate jersey is also nice, but an even better alternate uniform is their sunday home unis. They use a cream colored base with the blue and yellow colors they previously had before switching. It’s a nice change of imagery for them, and also a good way to embrace their history. The home uniform should be slightly updated in the near future just to avoid looking like it’s stuck in the 90s, but for now it’s fine.
9 T8. Chicago Cubs
The logo found on the Cubs home jersey was created in 1979 and has been unchanged since. The home uniform has become a classic and the use of brighter colors helps to differentiate themselves from the Chicago White Sox. It give them more of a “lovable losers” feeling, even though the White Sox haven’t been an overly successful organization either.
The road uniform seems to take inspiration from another classic uniform. The Dodgers use blue lettering on the jersey with a red number on the bottom left, which is what the Cubs are doing with their road uniform. It looks nice, but they lose points since the Dodgers did it first. The blue alternate jersey isn’t amazing, but it is a quality option for this uniform lineup. One subtle thing I like is the small logo on the road and alternate uniform pants. If you lined up all the gray pants in baseball, it would be challenging to match each one to the correct team it belongs to, but the branding on the Cubs uniform makes it identifiable while not being distracting.
8 T8. Oakland Athletics
The Oakland A’s are one of the few teams with colors that are completely unique to them. This uniform is significantly underrated by uniform lovers who consider the colors too wacky, which is why you see so much red and blue in baseball. Not only is the color scheme unique to them, but they also have a majestic gold alternate jersey. The A’s uniform has the perfect amount of quirk and class that most other teams struggle to find a balance of. Also, those white cleats are spectacular, stop hating on them!
If there was anything to improve with this uniform it would be to mess around with the idea of striped socks or add some piping to the sleeves of the home and road jerseys. Other than that, this complete uniform set is fine as is and deserves a lot more credit for even daring to use green and gold.
7 T6. New York Mets
When your crosstown rivals are the Yankees, who use a darker color scheme, it’s good to contrast yourselves by using brighter colors. That’s exactly what the Mets have done since their inception in 1962. Using blue and orange helps to make the uniform look fun. The blue and orange colors were actually taken from the former New York teams that left for California, the New York Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Bringing back the 1986 home uniform for 2016 was also a good choice to commemorate their history, and it looks good too. As you may have been able to tell, I’m not a fan of pinstripe pants when you pair them with a non-pinstripe jersey, which is what the Mets do for their home alternate. Other than that, the Mets have a very strong lineup of uniform options.
6 T6. San Francisco Giants
The Giants sport one of of the best home jerseys in baseball: an off-white jersey with orange trim around black lettering. Their orange alternate jersey has a nostalgic feel as it displays a unique font used in the late 70s and early 80s. The yellow outline on the jersey is a bit random, but it does help to make the lettering pop against the orange background. The black jersey also uses the interlocking “SF” symbol, but in a way that makes it look more like a maze than two letters.
The road uniform looks a bit imbalanced with the words “San Francisco” spelled out. It’s hard to make a three letter word symmetrical with a nine letter word on a jersey, so it’s understandable that they use an all gray alternate road uniform with the nicer interlocking “SF.” The hat and socks, both black with orange accents, are consistent and complementary to the color schemes used in all uniforms.
5 Baltimore Orioles
The uniform looks clean and doesn't remind you of the previously stated San Francisco Giants uniforms – despite using the same colors. Unlike the Giants, the Orioles incorporate solid orange lettering against the black jersey, making it easier to read. Also unlike the Giants, the home jersey is white rather than cream colored, giving the uniform a livelier feel.
The black, white, and orange brimmed hat with the cartoon bird logo has to be the best in baseball. More teams should put a tri-colored hat option to use since it can make a hat more interesting. Ditching the life-like oriole on the hats has given the team an entirely different image. The orange alternate jersey is a natural fit. Along with the bird, this jersey helps give the team a friendlier look. My personal change would be to ditch the black alternate jersey and replace it with orange road one that reads "Baltimore" instead of "Orioles,"
4 Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto deserves a lot of credit for going back to the basics with this look. Remember the silver, black, and blue uniforms they wore in the mid to late 2000s? They were arguably one of the ugliest teams in baseball until they reverted back to a classic look associated with the Blue Jays World Series Championships.
The shade of royal blue they use is the best in baseball, along with their distinct font. The font, which uses white in the center of the blue letters, is a good setup for the striped pants, which use the same effect. Like the division rival Red Sox, the Blue Jays are able to spread out their team name evenly across the jersey. The Blue Jay logo with the red maple leaf does an excellent job at representing who the team is, while also breaking up all the blue and white. The one change to make here would be to add a white front to their cap, like the Orioles.
3 New York Yankees
The Yankees have done an excellent job of not making any changes to this uniform. There isn’t even an alternate jersey in use. By doing this, their uniform has become a classic in the minds of baseball fans and every Yankee who has put on the uniform is remembered with this look. When you say the word “pinstripes,” the first thought for most people is the Yankees, despite the fact that many other teams use that style of uniform. Highlight reels of the Yankees winning championships has ingrained this uniform in the minds of baseball fans.
While the road uniform isn’t as classic, there is something about that shade of gray combined with the navy blue that makes it stand out. The white and navy stripes on the sleeve is just the right amount of panache the Yankees are known for. Whether you like the Yankees or love to hate them, you have to admit that their uniforms are one of the best.
2 Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers uniform has stayed the same since the 1950s and that's because this sleek minimalistic look is loved by the fan base. The fact that the Dodgers don’t include any pinstripes, piping, or colored alternate jerseys adds to the allure of this uniform. It’s a bold move that is only acceptable if you have a rich history like the Dodgers.
Fun fact about this uniform: the Dodgers were the first team to put the player’s number on the front of their jersey, in addition to the back. What's strange about this is that the color of choice for the number is red. Even though red isn’t a part of their color scheme, it adds the right amount of flair to what could have been an otherwise bare uniform. The Dodgers aren’t the only ball club who use a script font with an underlying tail, but they do use it better than any other team.
1 St. Louis Cardinals
The logo on the jersey is perfect. It’s the best one in baseball and has been for years. The two cardinals perched on each end of the bat is as creative as it gets when it comes to jersey logos. Since there is so much action in the center, no piping is necessary on the sleeves or pants. The logo is so good that they copied and pasted it to the away jersey, which will lose points since it doesn’t fit as well on the gray as it does on white.
The cream colored alternate uniform with the city name on the jersey are a nice addition to mix things up. The Cardinals are one of those teams who you would have considered too classy to add an alternate uniform, but they made the smart choice to include one without using a red jersey. The quality and depth of this uniform lineup easily makes it the best in baseball, and one of the best in all sports.
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