Down on the farm there’s a bit of news coming from the Padres single A affiliate: the Fort Wayne TinCaps are debuting a new uniform today.
What has become popular in modern sports culture is the team rebrand; with the movement of a MiLB team usually comes a large-scale rebrand replete with new logo sets and fresh new uniforms and caps for discerning cap collectors to snag. Some teams also rebrand just for the sake of refreshing a franchise; the Braves minor league component recently changed from the Gwinnett Braves to the Gwinnett Stripers. You’ll see a rebrand for a Padres affiliate in the very near future when the San Antonio Missions move to Amarillo.
It’s less common for a MiLB team to make a wholesale change to their regular kit if they’re not rebranding or moving. Generally the main uniforms for farm teams stay the same year after year; I imagine this is for brand consistency outside of the zaniness that is all the jersey nights listed above.
Today’s news from Fort Wayne isn’t quite as heavy. Yes, the team will remain the TinCaps...but the team will sport a noticeably different look.
Just to refresh your memory here’s the previous uniform look. The jersey is a set-in contrasting sleeve with green pinstripes against a white shirt with forest green sleeves. The TinCaps wordmark resides at the front with a unique TinCaps number font for the front and rear numerals. The pants match the jersey with the green pinstripes. The team paired this look with their standard forest green cap.
And here’s the new look debuting today:
The new jersey eschews the pinstripes for a headspoon look not dissimilar to our current Padres uniforms. For laypersons a headspoon is a running of soutache (piping) up the jersey placket (the part of the shirt where the buttons connect) to the head, resembling a spoon. The apple logo migrates from the left sleeve to the right so that now he’s facing forward. The most notable detail outside of the loss of pinstripes is the change in number font from the unique TinCaps numerals to a Wilson varsity-style (the 1s lack the bottom serif, however).
The rear of the jersey shows that the sleeves have switched from a set-in style to a raglan style (the stitching of the sleeve runs all the way up to the neck). The number font is mirrored on the rear.
The new uniform set is paired with a new cap featuring white front panels and forest green rear panels and brim. Further on in the uniform reveal video (which you’ll find below) the uniform is also paired with the standard forest green cap.
All in all, the new TinCaps look is a clean and neat look but loses some charm with the loss of the pinstripes and funky numeral font. While some will think of the more standard font as easier on the eyes it also sterilizes the overall jersey a bit. Minor league teams are meant to be a little different and unique with their uni choices; this look sorta discards the feel that was apparent on the original set.
EDIT: The new cap is a Diamond Era-material cap. Diamond Era caps have that noticeable pattern in the polyester and are meant to be lighter and more breathable than standard poly. You’ll remember this material as the du jour fabric for Padres Spring Training and Batting Practice caps from a year ago.