November 12, 2008

Will Red Sox Remove Names From Road Jerseys?

This could be the best off-season development of all.

Dan LaMothe -- the Red Sox Monster -- has linked to a Flickr page that shows a possible new design for Boston's 2009 road uniform. And one of the shirt backs has no last name!

I have been hoping for years that the team would come to its senses and remove the last names from players' shirts. There were few things more silly looking than "Garciaparra" shaped like a cluttered rainbow ranging from armpit to armpit. (And why in f*&#'s name do the Red Sox sell #9 shirts with "Williams" on the back? He never wore anything like that.)

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that the Yankees are currently the only team to have no names on either their home or road uniforms. UniWatch's Paul Lukas says the Mets tried the no-name approach in 1999, but that lasted only one season. The Giants were nameless for a long time, but have surrendered. The Dodgers removed names in 2002, but they have since returned. (Strange that all four of these teams are or were New York-based.)

According to Jere, the Red Sox added names to the back of their road jerseys in 1989. ... 1989 -- that is not a tradition! OFF WITH THE NAMES!

50 comments:

L-girl said...

Yes, please!!!

L-girl said...

The Giants were nameless for a long time, but have surrendered. The Dodgers removed names in 2002, but they have since returned.

Both of these were so disappointing to me. I loved those unis.

Maybe if Boston sets the pace by reversing a bad decision, others will follow.

Jake of All Trades said...

I liked this in the stream of the same Flickr user:

Matsuzaka 8 Upside Down

He has a few pictures illustrating that the 8 in the 18 on Dice's uniform was sewn on upside down for his first Fenway start, with the smaller part on the bottom and the larger part on the top.

Also this illustration of common errors.

Amy said...

I obviously am outvoted here, but I like the names on the jerseys! It doesn't matter so much for me on the Sox because I recognize all of them, but when we play OTHER teams, I like to know who the players are. I assume non-Sox fans feel the same way when their team plays the Red Sox.

L-girl said...

It doesn't matter so much for me on the Sox because I recognize all of them, but when we play OTHER teams, I like to know who the players are. I assume non-Sox fans feel the same way when their team plays the Red Sox.

But can you really read them that well on TV? I usually need the announcers to tell me who the players that I don't recognize are, anyway.

Jeff in PA said...

I agree with Amy on this. I like names on home and away jerseys. I don't see any downside to it.

Patrick said...

I'm with Amy on this one. I like the simplistic look of just the number, but I have no problem with the name at the top.

Then again, I just listen to the games...

redsoxnation80 said...

Personally I like the name and the last thing I want to do is start another curse, we've won 2 championships with the names on. Lets leave it that way. If they go with the new jerseys though, please no piping its horrendous!!

L-girl said...

The downside is the breaking of an old tradition of something simple and beautiful with unnecessary clutter.

If there were no names on the backs of any baseball uniforms, everyone would quickly get used to telling who the players are with lineups and announcers.

I was quite sure that more people would say they like the names. I'm sure it would win in any popular poll. I hope the Red Sox disregard popular opinion on this one.

L-girl said...

the last thing I want to do is start another curse

What do you mean "another" curse?

Perhaps you meant you don't want to start stupid talk about another supposed curse.

Your comment can be read either way.

Jeff in PA said...

L-girl - I almost always agree with you, but not this time. I'm not a baseball purist and I think names are a good thing. It really helped me when I was new to game to learn names. If I just referred to someone as "that pitcher, you know, number 49" I don't think I would have become as comfortable with the team as quickly as I did. I didn't have a parent, sibling, or friend to help me learn the team, so the names really helped. And the having the names of the other team was just as important! I understand your argument, but I don't agree.

L-girl said...

I really wasn't trying to present an argument for no names. It's just my opinion, which as I said, I know is in the minority.

I had no one to help me learn baseball either. And I grew up rooting for a team with no names on any jerseys. And I learned the names, and it didn't make a bit of difference. Just like the many generations of fans who came before me.

As far as being a purist, I don't think there is such a thing.

Every so-called purist defines their stance from their own generation, what they were used to.

No one really wants to go back to baseball's roots. Which roots? The game has been changing since the day it was invented.

I do like tradition, and I do like things very simple, visually. To me there is something so simple and beautiful about a uniform with only a number.

Jason said...

But can you really read them that well on TV?

Even when I was settling for NTSC.

I like not having names on home uniforms but having them on away - you should be expected to know your own team's numbers, but not the other team's.

Jere said...

Is that link to the jerseys anything more than some guy making up jerseys he'd like to see? If the Red Sox released them, why would one have a name and one not have a name? I see no indication that this is anything other than somebody drawing pictures.

Jere said...

Meanwhile, the Orioles are returning to having "Baltimore" on their road unis. They've also added a crazy Maryland flag patch and altered the look of the bird slightly. There's a photo gallery at the O's site. (I assume they left the names on the back.)

Jere said...

Oh, and the SF Giants don't have names on the backs of their home uniforms. (We had this same discussion here on May 24th.) At least as of 2008.

L-girl said...

Meanwhile, the Orioles are returning to having "Baltimore" on their road unis.

Oo, I like that!

L-girl said...

the SF Giants don't have names on the backs of their home uniforms.

I thought A meant they were nameless altogether, and now are not.

redsock said...

I thought the Giants were name-free also, but (I think) I found photos of a 2008 Phillies/Giants game and SF had names. ?

Re TV: From what I read elsewhere, the White Sox started using names in 1960 (Veeck, naturally) so less-rabid fans tuning in would know who the players are.

Somehow Red Sox fans dealt with this horrible problem of having either nothing on the back or only numbers for almost 90 years.

As Laura said above, if idiot Yankee fans can figure out how to cope with it, so can we.

L-girl said...

As Laura said above, if idiot Yankee fans can figure out how to cope with it, so can we.

I did NOT say that above!!

redsock said...

From 1912-1930, the Red Sox home uniforms had nothing on the front and nothing on the back!

The cap was also all white for those 19 seasons, although they switched to a red bill in 1921.

redsock said...

It's true, L did not use those exact words. Sorry for the confusion.

phil said...

If the Sox want to invest the thread savings in signing Saltalamacchia, I'm all for it.

redsock said...

If there were no names on the backs of any baseball uniforms, everyone would quickly get used to telling who the players are with lineups and announcers.

You mean like how we all did until 19fucking89?

we've won 2 championships with the names on.

We won 5 championships with absolutely nothing on the back.

redsock said...

However, if Pedroia wants to wear

Fuck Yeah!

above his #15, I will not object.

L-girl said...

we've won 2 championships with the names on.

We won 5 championships with absolutely nothing on the back.


Can't believe I missed that one!

Jere said...

"We won 5 championships with absolutely nothing on the back."

And a few with nothing on the front.

Oh, and the names are even more recent--'89 was the last year without them, so '90 was the first we had them. By the way, I agree, that 19 year "tradition" needs to end.

FenFan said...

While I'm indifferent on the matter, removing the names would be nice. My only advice to the Sox: don't go back to those red hats with the @*#$ing pullovers they used between 1975 and 1978 - yuck! Actually, I liked the road unis they used in the 1960s and from 1979 through 1989 - good look!

We won 5 championships with absolutely nothing on the back.

And one of those championships before the team was officially named the Red Sox.

phil said...

We won 5 championships with absolutely nothing on the back.

We also won those without stadium lighting, integrated teams, or lots of other stuff we take for granted today.

That said, the names are ugly and of dubious utility -- how many fans in the stands can even read them? -- so dump 'em.

L-girl said...

We also won those without stadium lighting, integrated teams, or lots of other stuff we take for granted today.

True, but the statement about five championships was in direct response to this

we've won 2 championships with the names on

implying that there was a connection between names on unis and championships. Which is, of course, ridiculous.

redsock said...

Oh ... ALSO:

Everyone is allowed to type the word "curse" once. Doing it a second time might put me in a bad mood in terms of approving posts, if you know what I mean.

ish said...

What happens if someone says curse curse curse?

What always made sense to me was to have just numbers for the home uniforms with the team logo or team name on the front. For the away uniforms it made sense to me to have names on the back and have the name of the city on the front.

I wouldn't be heartbroken either way. I grew up with the current uniforms, so this is what I'm most used to.

Amy said...

What always made sense to me was to have just numbers for the home uniforms with the team logo or team name on the front. For the away uniforms it made sense to me to have names on the back and have the name of the city on the front.

I agree 100% with Ish on this.

sparky said...

Let's make prospects wear unis with names for a period of one week after they come up. After all we always hear about them, but can't recognize them.

Jeff

L-girl said...

This idea that names on uniforms actually serve a purpose is a bit amusing.

Next time you watch a game, keep track of how often you actually see the players from the back on TV.

Chances are if you don't know who a player is, a fleeting glimpse of a name on a uniform is not how you'll learn it.

When you don't recognize a player, do you really wait for a shot of their back? Or do you just wait til they're at the plate, when you see the name on the screen, and hear the announcer say who it is?

FenFan said...

Knowing that other sports have names on the backs of uniforms, I'd like to know when each sport first experienced this transformation (sounds like a job for Uni Watch!)

L-girl is right - the names do nothing. To be honest, I would be hard-pressed to identify players with uniform numbers these days - but I don't forget a face!

Jere said...

So, has anyone come up with any proof that the original post isn't some guy's random ideas and Photoshopping them?

L-girl said...

So, has anyone come up with any proof that the original post isn't some guy's random ideas and Photoshopping them?

I doubt anyone tried. Did you look into it?

Jere said...

I looked for evidence that it's a real thing and I found nothing. His other unis were Bruins ones that were pretty sloppily done compared to the Sox ones. Also, one of his notes says something about names on back "if needed." I don't think this is anything from the team, just something someone does for fun.

tim said...

Two days till Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar Poutine!

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

tim said...

Noooooooo!

It was good while it lasted.

*tear*

L-girl said...

Two days till Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar Poutine!

For a moment I thought you posted this on the wrong blog, since I just mentioned Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar! It's our current favourite spot for both our birthdays. Have fun!

L-girl said...

It was good while it lasted.

Oo, does this mean people won't link to them anymore?! Yay! Now if only Surviving Grady would shut down, I'd be all set.

tim said...

I saw that - wild.

I've been having a very telepathic week. Strange.

Anyhoo not a fan of FJM? Oh well.

I guess it served its purpose, since JM is probably getting Fd.

redsock said...

Noooooooo!

It is a dark day.

We'll always remember where we were when we heard of its demise -- like when JFK was shot*. ... FJM, JFK - it's no coincedence they both had 3 letters.

^^^

*: I was at home (probably). I was 5 weeks old.

J said...

I wouldn't mind if they took off the names, but I don't find them annoying. Some names do indeed look out of place, like Garciaparra, Matsuzaka, and Malphabet. I'm very content with what they're doing now: names on away, no names on home.

If some fans need the names on the back to identify players, that's fine too. Whatever helps the game. Personally, if I don't know a player's name, I immediately look it up on the computer or phone.

L-girl said...

Anyhoo not a fan of FJM? Oh well.

But I'm apparently the only one. People here are always linking to Jose Melendez, FJM, SG, and I don't like any of them.

I think I just don't like baseball blogging very much. Oh well.

Jere said...

"I was at home (probably). I was 5 weeks old."

Wow, so your JFK is like my Carbo HR. Okay, and Fisk HR. (And, to bring it back around, add your least favorite Joe Morgan moment from the '75 WS.) I was 5 weeks old for a good chunk of that series.

Amy said...

And knowing the two of you and your apparently encyclopedic memories, I bet you have perfect recall of those events.

I actually DO have perfect recall of both those events, though I was a bit older than 5 weeks for both of them. One left a scar forever, the other sealed my fate forever as a Red Sox fan.

Jed T. said...

These jerseys look terrible.