If you’ve been under a rock (or out shopping) the last couple weeks, you missed out on some news: The Padres have redesigned their uniforms for the 2017 season. The design and motif of these uniforms has been universally panned by Padres fans. A return to navy/white has left the Padres back at square one in terms of team identity and marketability. Sure, navy/white is an incredibly easy color to wear for the average fan. But would you be able to pick this jersey out from a crowded room? Could you pick out a Padres cap in a sea of teams that also utilize navy blue as a primary color?
It’s frustrating to many that the Padres have decided to take the status quo as far as colorway goes. The uniform set is mundane. Dull. Not worthy of a team that calls beautiful San Diego home. Doesn’t touch on Padres history outside of a wordmark remade from the original ‘69 jersey and a bowtie away wordmark that many fans dislike. Pick a negative, someone has tweeted about it or commented about it.
I decided to take a different tack. I began to bounce ideas off the wall within my skull to see what I would do with the Padres uniforms. I then went to artist extraordinaire, fellow SD Cap Collector, and good friend Tony Losoya with my ideas. Tony weaved my jibberish into the Padres concept we’d like to present.
Before we dive in, I’d like to first disclose a few things...
I don’t expect to reinvent the wheel.
There have been several extremely well-received Padres redesigns done over the years. I don’t have any preconceived notions of making a huge splash with these ideas, nor do I believe any of these are absolutely bulletproof. I’d just like to be proactive with my complaint about the Padres new uniforms and show that perhaps even a couple cap collectors can push out a better design than the actual team.
Yeah, I want the brown back.
If the Padres don’t want to keep a third color to help the navy/white pop, then I think it’s time to shelve the colorway and BRING BACK THE BROWN. Brown will be the constant theme in this redesign, tying in (almost) every uniform for a cohesive look.
We’ll use the same wordmarks.
As far as wordmarks, we’ll use what the Padres have now. I honestly don’t mind the Padres wordmark as it stands; the bowtie has been tossed in lieu of last year’s away wordmark...since it actually goes with the home uniform. The modern interlocking SD will also be used, much to my own chagrin.
If you want only 2-3 uniforms, this redesign is not for you.
At this point, the idea of new jerseys and colorways every other year or so is embedded in the Padres DNA. The team could never stand pat with their jerseys for long. The longest tenured jersey was the ‘91-’01 set, and even then the pinstripes were eventually laid to rest in lieu of an all-white prelude to the shampoo-logo Petco era.
(If you thought the ‘04-’15 set was longest tenured, look again. A full piping down the front was added in 2012. Yes, these details count.)
Our redesign features plenty of unique, identifiable Padres looks. Personally, I don’t mind having plenty of options when it comes to uniforms. We missed the mark on being iconic like many teams ages ago. In my opinion, the only jersey that will become absolutely iconic for the Padres is the one they win a World Series in. Given our track record, the Padres will still change uniforms even after that (they did after their WS visits in ‘84 and ‘98...).
Let’s get started!
Brown is back. This home look is everything many fans have been clamoring for: a clean, simple interlocking SD cap and a great looking uniform. The Padres logo is done up in brown with a yellow border for some pop. We put the Friar back on the sleeve where he belongs. Tony mocked up two versions for your perusal: one is in a modern white and the other features a soft tinge of off-white which I actually love and imitates the home jersey from 1969. Both uniforms touch on Padres history and bring it into 2017 and beyond.
The home alternate jersey should look very familiar; it’s the Padres uniform set from Friday home games in 2016 and now 2017. This uniform set was a winner when it debuted and should definitely be allowed to stick around as a home alternate. Wearing the same jersey for 3-4 games in a row can get tiring, you know. Bringing the bell cap back was a no-brainer as well.
I don’t just want to bring brown/gold back. Orange can come back too! I envision the Padres rocking the orange on the road and the gold at home. The away jersey for our Padres redesign features the 2015 San Diego script in brown with an orange and white border. The interlocking SD with two colors has been woefully underappreciated; intertwining orange with white gives the cap a fresh look. Brown piping is also featured with a brown SD bordered in orange and white. Brown and gray is an underrated color combination, don’t you think?
The away alternate jersey takes cues from the navy/white away alternate jersey and makes brown the lead color. The interlocking SD in white and orange is featured on the jersey with a white piping finishing off the whole look. I seriously need this cap and jersey. Suffice it to say, this design is a favorite of Tony and I.
Now it’s time to get to the meat and potatoes of our redesign. Check these out.
I fully expect this design to stir up some debate.
As the team that represents the military like none other, I think it’s time the Padres took another step forward and jump off the camouflage bandwagon they started. This design is based completely off of the uniforms the Marine recruits from MCRD wear to Padres games: these are known as Charlies. A khaki jersey with the Friar and a US flag features the Padres wordmark in olive green. The cap is done up in olive green and features a gold interlocking SD. The pants are olive green and the socks could either be matching olive or khaki.
While I know the camouflage uniforms the Padres wear are among the most popular, I think the Padres could lead the pack away from teams who chose to imitate. Besides that, the Navy is discontinuing their ‘blueberry’ camouflage the Padres have made into their new Military Sunday uniform last year.
It’s time we made Friar Friday a real thing. How? By really bringing in blasts from the past.
So what is Friar Friday? Friar Fridays are home games that feature a unique Padres uniform from the past, remixed into a modern uniform set. Above are three such examples of a uniform from Padres past (plus the ASG uniform, which just rocks socks) which could be used for Friar Friday games in a given season. One season, the ‘71 remix. Next season, bust out the ‘78 remix. Season after that? ASG Remix.
For subsequent Friar Fridays, I propose this: mock up three Padres uniforms from the past and place it to a fan vote. ‘85 remix vs. ‘84 remix vs. ‘73 remix? You decide what era the Padres should pay tribute! I believe such a concept would really bring fan involvement and investment back into our Padres.
What do you think?
I want to know what you think! Have Tony and I succeeded in a good-looking remodel? Are my ideas just insane? Should I just really leave the camouflage alone? I’d love to talk uniforms and jerseys with you!