11/10/10 9:55 PM EST
Nationals unveil new jerseys in fashion show
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
It marked the third time in five years the Nationals have made uniform changes -- the first coming in 2005 and the other in '08.
The changes were made after the Nationals spoke to season ticket holders, had focus groups and began talking to fans in the stands. The Nationals started talking to fans back in January.
The most significant changes are on the front of the home and alternate uniforms. The team name, Nationals, will be off the jersey and replaced by the Curly W, while the uniform number will be displayed on the right side of the jersey. The Curly W is the team's most identifiable mark and a definitive symbol in the Nation's Capital.
On the left sleeve, the new primary logo of Washington Nationals organization will replace the former logo with block lettering. The MLB silhouette batter colors have changed to red white and blue.
On the back of the jersey, the names and numbers are red with blue outline, while the gold trim was removed from the numbers.
Another big change are the hats. While wearing the red alternate uniforms on Saturday and Sunday during home games, the hat changes to a darker blue with a red bill for the road, which is the same as the road uniform hat.
For special occasions, including Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Sept. 11, there are changes to the patriotic/blue alternate uniforms. The colors remain darker blue, but the stars and stripes Curly W was added to the left chest. The hat changed to darker blue with a red bill.
The road uniforms will remain grey with the name, Washington, on the front, but the hat will change to darker blue with a red bill.
"We spent the entire season getting the feel for what the experience means [to the fans], what the brand means, how it would be developed and the uniforms that came out as a part of it," said Andrew Feffer, the COO of the Nationals. "You are not only going to see the Curly W as part of the uniforms. It will be part of the scoreboard, the game presentation, marketing materials, merchandise. All of those elements will express the same clean look and feel that fans have told us that they love.
"What they have expressed in their interviews and the discussions was, they want to see more of the Curly W. They believe that is the one unique element that represents our players, our fans and our city."
Of the uniforms on display, Desmond and Zimmerman loved the home white uniforms.
"It has a classic look to it. It's not so expansion teamish like the block lettering was," Desmond said. "We have a little identity at home now. It will get the fans out there. Hopefully it will inspire more people to come out."
Said Zimmerman, "They look whiter this year like the Dodgers uniforms. It's nice. It's a good look."
This first-of-its-kind event at the ballpark included a pre-show cocktail reception and raffle drawing.
The merchandise is on sale at nationals.com. In addition, the new jerseys will be available for purchase beginning Thursday at the Nationals Park Team Store, located on Half Street next to Center Field Plaza and Garage B. Nationals players will be on hand to sign autographs and meet fans from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.