The San Diego Padres have made my wish come true. Well, one wish, anyway. They still haven’t won a championship, but they have brought back the brown! Yes, in July 2017, I wrote a post arguing that they should do this. At the time, there was a bit of a grassroots movement among some fans voicing this idea. I became persuaded and joined the chorus, stating that 1) brown and gold would reconnect today’s San Diego baseball club with their heritage, 2) the brown and gold scheme would make the Padres stand out, since (unlike the extremely common blue) it’s not being worn by any other MLB franchise, and 3) a properly executed brown and gold combo looks really sharp.
At the time I wrote this, the re-adoption of brown uniforms was far from certain. Padres owner Ron Fowler believed it was only a vocal minority calling for such a change, and, from what I can gather, he rather liked the dark blue and white. And understandably, as the blue and white was a handsome look. But it was also predictable, and very much like uniforms worn in Kansas City, Milwaukee, and of course, Los Angeles. However, and whatever his motivation, Fowler eventually started testing new uniform designs on focus groups. Eventually, the decision was made that the Padres would return to their roots. At some point, Padres management confirmed this, and new designs were sent to MLB for approval.
The results of all the research and development, the choosing of the shades of brown and yellow, the font for the lettering, the position of the swinging friar logo on the sleeve, was all revealed to the public a week ago at an exciting event at Petco Park. And so without further ado, behold!
Worth the wait. Getting into these for 2019 would have meant a return to 1969 colors for the semicentennial, but hey. As I hoped, these new jerseys are not copies of any previous jerseys. The Padres did not wear pinstripes until 1985, but the reintroduction of them is welcome. Except in 1985, the uniforms were brown and orange, not yellow. The brown is a darker, richer shade than the old brown, as though for a brown business suit. I like this. I also really like the gold accents at the collar and the sleeve hems. Of note is that the hats are solid brown, without the triangle of yellow at the front. Compare last year’s brown alternate cap, with the new permanent cap design:
The cap with the angled yellow face—(dis)affectionately called the taco—may seem more classic, but actually, the original cap (1969–1971) was solid brown with a yellow logo. The taco cap was introduced in 1972 as an alternate, and kept around until 1984. Personally, I much prefer the solid brown. I would only countenance a yellow face if it coincided with the front two panels of the cap crown (the crown is made of six panels stitched together). The skinniness of the “taco” always looked weird. Good riddance.
So, what can I say? I can’t wait to see the boys out on the field next spring. Before I close, I recommend a FriarWire blog post that describes the whole move back to legacy colors really well. The post can be found at https://padres.mlblogs.com/padres-new-identity-goes-far-beyond-brown-e19e1e03d52c.
All uniform references taken from http://caglaze.cts.com/ .
I’m with this guy. Skip to the 6:53 mark for his reaction to the Padres jerseys.