On the Runway with the Models

Oh, the sights and sounds of spring are in the air. The models are all dressed in the latest fashions as legions of fans and potential customers oh and ah at the latest wares. No, this is not Paris or New York, it is Denver Colorado and the Rockies new uniforms have been unveiled. Colorado joins the ranks of Houston as the newest teams to sport dapper new uniforms. Gone are the days when teams had one jersey and one hat. Now it is all about flash, splash, and merchandising. People like to say that the Arizona Diamondbacks and their cute little purple uniforms started all of this, but it happened well before that. My first recollection of the merchandising machine was Charlie Finley, the flamboyant owner of the Oakland Athletics. Who could forget those forest green and brilliant gold uniforms that Mr. Finley brought to the game. Today though, he couldn’t hold a candle to what is happening fashion-wise in baseball.

Teams now have road jerseys, home jerseys, batting jerseys, alternate road jerseys, and some teams even have special jerseys for different days of the weeks. But shirts are only part of the ensemble. Of course you need accessories to make the outfit and what better than a hat. We’ve got home hats, away hats, spring training hats, alternate hats, hats for holidays, and even turn ahead the clock hats. You can’t wear the same pants with everything so of course you need at least two or maybe three different pants so that you have that GQ look. It is getting to the point where instead of an equipment manager, teams need a fashion consultant.

The question that needs to be raised by all of this is, who decides what to wear? Most teams leave the decision up to the starting pitcher. This is great, now not only does the pitcher have to worry about opposing batting line-ups and which pitches are working, they now have to worry about how they look. This is just way to much pressure to place on one man. Imagine the peer pressure that is placed upon the pitcher as 24 other players stand around in their underwear waiting for him to make a decision. People say that hitters have gotten stronger and that is why we are seeing a surge in the runs being scored. Quite the contrary, the reason pitching is suffering is because the pitchers are preoccupied with getting the grass stains out of the uniforms so they are bright and look like new when they start again in 5 days.

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