For many years, baseball jerseys came in two colors and two colors only: wedding gown white at home and pre-rebirth Gandalf gray on the road. While every MLB team still has those options, 25 of 30 clubs now have at least one solid-color alternate. Are these extra jerseys fun, attractive and fashion-forward? Or are they a gimmicky affront to decades of tradition? We debate, you decide ...
Are standard home and away jerseys not good enough for me? Do I demand newer, flashier jerseys, as Jeremy incredulously asks?
Yes. Yes I do.
White and gray are boring. Sticking to them all the time is the old IBM dress code of sports attire. We’ve lived through many decades of colorful arts and design, the human eye can perceive more than 10 million colors and modern textiles are up to the task. So why should baseball jerseys stick to one hueless color and its slightly darker cousin?
In the old days, teams wore white at home because that’s the color of most sheep hair and dye was expensive. Doing laundry wasn't always an option on the road, and gray or another dark color made dirt less noticeable. It was a practical choice that fit an older era -- not a stylistic decision then or now. There’s only one argument against colored alternates today, and my friend Tevye can explain it in one word.
Some tradition is fine. I’m not saying teams shouldn’t have whites and grays in their rotations. But 162 games is a lot to wear the same two things, and some periodic sartorial flair is a nice way to mix it up over the course of the long season.
Colored jerseys are fun, they look great and they let a team emphasize its identity even more. They’re not a gimmick – they’re just cooler.