The results are in! The Padres' Little League Uniform initiative is underway and we have some numbers on the uniforms you'll be seeing at the ballparks throughout the season.
There were 20 uniforms to choose from. Each division got to pick from the group of 20, and obviously each team had to have a uniform that was different from the other teams in their division. Typically between 8 and 12 teams per division, so some uniforms obviously weren't getting used. Each team was allowed to make their requests and they were handled differently by everybody. In some divisions, the coaches let the players vote for the uniforms they'd want. In others, the coaches made the choices themselves.
Incidentally, my thought was that the teams would be able to pick their uniforms and then pick their own names. For example, if you happened to pick the current road uniform, your team name might be the San Diego Grays as opposed to the San Diego 2012 Roads. This might explain why the uniforms that only say San Diego on them were more appealing to some teams as opposed to others.
Here then, after the jump, is the ranking of which uniforms were most (and least) requested by the teams participating (along with some commentary). Vote for the one you'd want to be rocking on the weekends.
20. 1969 Home (373 jerseys requested)
This is a gorgeous uniform and is honestly one of my favorites. I love the off-white and the font that they had in 1969. This is a uniform that symbolizes America's fresh faced innocence during war time. No sign of the patriotic red or blue and the white isn't as clean as America in the 1950's. This is America at the end of the 1960s and moving into disco. It's all a very subtle message, which coaches apparently didn't want their kids associated with and the kids were too young to totally perceive.
Or maybe the grownups didn't want to be stuck with the San Marcos Sixty-Niners.
19. 1997 BP
This uniform on the other hand looks very similar to something that they would give away. This is the Padres reminder of the 90s, when ill-fitting clothes and 90210 was in fashion. It's also a reminder of the terrible year between two great seasons. If jbox got stuck with a team in the '97 BPs, he'd call them the Garth Brookses. All of their entrance music would be Friends in Low Places.
I will be glad to not see this as often as the others. Deservedly second-to-last.
18. 1976 Road
The McDonald's uniform without the accompanying Taco Bell cap. A re-write of history or a missed opportunity? Or probably just too much extra cost in putting together a two tone hat. I'm guessing that if you were the type of kid or coach to go for the brown, you had better options than the '76, though there's no denying that the 76ers would've been a cool nickname.
17. 1998 Road
Any good feeling that the 1998 World Series team had among the youth of San Diego and their dads could not be offset by the boring, bland uniforms that the 1998 team wore while visiting other places. When you first looked at the 20 uniforms being offered by the Padres, I would be willing to bet $5 that your eyes completely glossed over the '98 Roads. This would be better than an invisibility cloak if you did not want to be noticed walking around town. Nothing offensive about them, and definitely nothing that stands out about them. An SEP Field if I've ever seen one. I'm not surprised it made the bottom 5.
Made for: Coaches who grew up watching CHiPs. Kids with hand me down white baseball pants that have been permanently made off color and therefore match the impossible to match color of these jerseys. People who like bow-ties.
14. 1984 Home
PROOF POSITIVE THAT SAN DIEGANS HAVE NO TASTE. How do you let the 1984 homes languish outside of the top 10? Actually, I know why these are where they are, because why choose the '84 homes when you could have the '78 homes? STILL. That's a great font, though with three other jerseys also sporting the same font and a nice combination of colors, I guess I'm not as surprised as I was four sentences ago.
13. 1948 Home
The PCL Padres home jersey. Completely unique. The only uniform with red in it. Do hipsters have kids? Are they of Little League Age? I'd wear Howdy Doody cowboy chaps with these. Really pretty uniforms that have nothing to do with anything about the big league Padres. For transplant coaches that used to call their team the Cubs or Cardinals and are so devoted that they can't bring themselves to associate with the modern Padres, but want to take advantage of some free uniforms.
12. 1985 Road
The Brown Pinstripes. Sick, but like sick meaning good. Awesome colors. Only one of two jerseys with the interlocking SD. Vertical pinstripes to make your kids look taller than the opposition. Love these.
11. 1984 Road
If you like brown, I have got something for you. It's called the 1984 Road. I'd replace the SD hat with miniature versions of Westside Love with the money that the parents have saved in getting the uniforms. That would be, what we in the business call, "gangsta". Also, no buttons so they're easier for the little kids to put on by themselves.
10. 1972 Home
The Golds (or Yellows). I love that these made the top 10. If there's one color that the Padres would've been allowed to own as their own and not have anybody question, it's gold. Red? Blue? PSHAW. Black, White, Purple
, even our beloved Brown. Taken.
Gold? All ours.
[UPDATE] Except for the A's. I guess that's technically gold that they hide underneath all that green.
The teams sporting the Golds will stand out and sparkle like a precious metal. I'd spring for a gold colored bat too, just for effect. And maybe make sure the Botox Moms wear their bling to games. Classy.
9. 1975 Road
Mmmmmmmm.... GIRL. This is what the LL division champs will be wearing. Doesn't it just look like something a champion would wear? For whatever reason, it looks so much more mature than any other uniform out there. In a lot of ways it feels more like Old Timey Time Padres than the 1948 PCL. Ray Kroc is known for the "bad" Padres uniforms, but this was his first attempt at rebranding and it's awesome. This is what the cool kids wear.
8. 1978 Home
Oh man. Another one that I love. This is Dave Winfield, big as a bear. This is Randy Jones bringing the heat from the fro. This is Ozzie Smith wondering how long before he gets to do backflips in St. Louis. This is Rollie Fingers and a handlebar mustache. Keeps you cool in the summertime, but rocks it hot year round. Oh and just in case you didn't know? We're the San Diego Padres. That's right. We'll spell the whole thing out there for you just in case you haven't noticed in the last decade that San Diego has a baseball team and we're just about getting ready to be sick and tired of getting pushed around since 1969. Maybe not totally ready, but we're getting there. So there's the city right there with the name of the team in complete defiance of Major League tradition and God's Will.
7. 1978 Road
A toss-up between the home and the road for this uniform. Love this color scheme. I agree with San Diego Little Leaguers that this is the best of the brown jerseys. All of the above applies to this one except this one is brown.
6. Current Alternate
Maybe my favorite of the latest of the redesigned jerseys. Piping is for college these days, but in person, I like this uniform a lot. Interlocking SD goes a long way in my mind, but I know reviews are mixed on this one.
Let me check and make sure I got this right...
Huh, look at that.... The 2004 BP.
Maybe these were the ones that the little kids voted on because it's blue and that's their favorite color. This ummm... I have no explanation for this other than maybe for the teams who were named the Padres last season who already bought these jerseys and just wanted some replacement ones.
Really? The 2004 Batting Practice jerseys? Seriously confused as to how these ended up in the Top 5.
4. 1998 Home
Great jersey. Blue with the pinstripes and a terrific reminder of one of the best Padres seasons ever. Lucky jersey? We didn't really stick with this scheme for long so I'm sure there are superstitious Little Leaguers eager to see if some of the Magic of '98 rubs off on them. As much as I love the browns, I can't argue with this one being in the Top 5.
3. Current Road
This is kinda predictable. It's much much much better than the 1998 Road and it's easy to match pants with. Go white, black or gray and you're good. It's also what the players will be wearing so getting an autograph on this one during the season will make sense 10 years from now. Good jersey. Not my favorite, but not surprised that it's popular among the masses.
2. Current Home
See bullet 3. Only one of two jerseys with the shampoo font so it hogs the vote for that particular contingency. This is another jersey that is such and improvement over the previous design (not to say that this is in any way amazing) that it's not surprising that people find it appealing.
And that takes us to number 1... What did the kids want? What will they be wearing? What will make you realize that you're a little bit out of touch as it pertains to fashion for 6 to 13 year olds?
Wait for it...
1. CURRENT CAMO (1,217 jerseys requested)
Wow! The camos. The camos are awesome to be sure, but this is amaze. Though if I were in Little League, this is probably what I would vote for. First off, let's say I lived in East County, it only makes sense to have more camouflage stuff for whens I goes a huntin'. Second, it comes with the green hat, which I actually own just because it's the coolest alternate game worn hat in existence. Third, Sundays are kids days and military appreciation days so it just feels right. Fourth, it is San Diego (home of the military transplant fan) and (other than the 1948 jersey), if you're a transplant fan and you coach Little League, paying tribute to the military is the most "neutral" jersey out there.
So there you have it. The Little Leaguers have spoken! Which one is your favorite? Vote in the poll!