An Open Letter to Padres Uniform Designer

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Credit: Padres
Credit: Padres

Dear Padres uniform designer,

I’m not exactly sure how to put this, but your most recent project was not your best effort. I acknowledge I don’t know anything, at all, about fashion. I’m not even sure what your marching orders included. Now that I’m thinking of it: if you were told to create the most uninspiring, bland and disappointing jersey in Padres history, I apologize in advance, because I congratulate you on your success.

However, if you were told to create a bold new look for my baseball team, one that would excite fans, sell merchandise and catch the attention of the baseball world… um, no. It’s not that we, the fans, hate the new jerseys. I’m serious. We don’t hate them. It’s that we don’t care. Your new design wasn’t greeted with gasps. It wasn’t really greeted at all.

Let me put it this way: imagine a party that is in full swing. Music. Party platters. Maybe a punch bowl. Conversations are popping like bubbles in champagne. Things are “lit”, as the kids say. You can hear the party as you walk up to the front door. You’re really excited to get in there and join in the fun. You (in this metaphor, your designs) open the door, throw a big smile on your face and…. nothing. Literally, nothing changes. No one notices you walk in. Some people throw a glance your way and immediately go back to discussing the new 21 Pilots album. You step over the threshold and no one greets you. No one takes your coat or the cheese wheel you brought. In effect, you don’t matter.

Your 2017 Padres home jersey, especially, is the baseball equivalent of elevator music. I mean, it exists. Kind of. People are grateful they get to hear something other than the elevator’s motor, but the second they step off the elevator their brain is actively trying to forcibly push the memory of the music out of their skull. No one has ever left an elevator and uttered the phrase “man, i hope that song is on iTunes.”

I’m not saying these things to be mean. I really just want you to know what we, as fans, like in a jersey. The idea of a team’s jersey is to immediately identify the organization. The Cardinals, Red Sox, Yankees and Cubs are instantly recognizable. The Rockies are the Rockies, and no one else. You know immediately, that guy in the airport is wearing a Mariners jersey.

The 2017 home jersey just doesn’t say “Padres”. It doesn’t really say anything. I promise you exactly zero people would be able to identify the team from a distance. I don’t want strangers staring at my chest, trying to read the letters on the front of my jersey to figure out which team I support. It’s literally the most basic blue color imaginable on white. It’s not even an interesting blue. The word marked across the front just looks like you selected “Times New Roman” as your font.

I’m not questioning your effort, but it just looks like you didn’t put much effort into this assignment.

So, maybe the question is: how long did you have? I mean, was the organization on your case to have it done before you left for the day. Did they come to you at 3:45 and say “you can’t leave until this 2017 home white jersey is done”? If that is the case, I guess you did a descent job under such pressure. I probably would have just typed “Padres” on my keyboard and been done with it, as well.

I assume the team will change jerseys again in 2018, since they seem to do this every year. That being the case, I will offer a few suggestions that will make next year’s jerseys actually look like Padres jerseys.

— brown: i know you’ve heard this before, but this team should be wearing brown.

— the friar: the Padres logo has a friar, it has since the team’s inception.

— anything other than blue: we live in San Diego, we have more colors than blue. Past jerseys have used things like orange, yellow, sand (whatever that is), and even red.

I’d like to end this letter on a positive note. I love the Friday browns. Just saying.

Feel free to share this letter with whoever replaces Mike Dee. Maybe post it up in the break room. Do you guys have a break room? AJ Preller’s probably too busy to read it, but hey, give it a shot. I’d be happy to meet with you in person to help. I’m here for you.

All the best.
Go Padres.
-Richard D.

14 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Padres Uniform Designer

  1. I was embarrassed for the team yesterday seeing them on TV!

    When at the University of Michigan a stadium wrap around sign rolled-out they just didn’t sit-well w the community. They moved quickly at great expense and corrected the problem.

    My advice! Move quickly! Correct the Problem!

    Cheers! Padres!

  2. “Your 2017 Padres home jersey, especially, is the baseball equivalent of elevator music “, well said, …. That sums it up nicely. Maybe the front office is waiting for when they will be a competitive team in 2019/2010 and then bring out a brown/blue trim uniform? Maybe they just intend to change the unis every season as evident the last several years. I hope they decide on something stylish and unique and stick with it, like forever or a few decades, whichever comes first? The sound franchises, Cards, Dodgers (feeling a bit sick) Yankees (feeling sick even more), Frisco, etc … you get the drift.

  3. I liked the home whites with the yellow last year. I like the brown Fridays, too. These new uni’s were done by someone that is color blind. As Donald Trump would say, “these uniforms, and believe me I know, are bigly bad. Make Padres uniforms great again!”

  4. I apparently am one of the few Padres fans who isn’t clamouring for the brown. I would like to see the Padres bring back the “Way back Wednesday” uniforms full time. Those home whites with the pinstrips were, and would be, some of the nicest jerseys in the league. I do like the Friday browns, but if they do go back to brown unis, I personally would prefer the brown pinstrips of the late 80’s.

    You would think these uniforms have a 2 year shelf life, as hopefully around 2018-19, the Padres are starting to see the infusion of young talent from the farm system and they will again change uniforms. But at the same time, if the Padres start winning in these uniforms, I wouldn’t give a damn what they were wearing.

  5. A HUGE step backwards. Ladt year’s uniforms were the first in quite a while that had any life to them. Now they’ve retracted that and gone back to drab, drab, drab. Glad I stocked up on my blue and yellow gear while I could.

    Oh. Very well written piece. Good job!

  6. I wholeheartedly agree that us Padres fans aren’t being listened to and when you see the organization view the call to return to brown as “the vocal minority” only proves they have no damn clue what the fans REALLY want. Record sales of All-Star jerseys was a HUGE indication of the desire to reclaim the “Friar” identity. These so-called marketing geniuses can’t see that right in front of their faces. A fan suggested a giveaway idea that would knock the socks off of any true Padres fan and the image of 42,000 brown Friar robe wearing fans filling Petco Park would be tremendous. Still the organization’s marketing director saying publicly that they need to “define” the brand is insulting since it had been established back in the naming of the team in 1936 and again in 1969 with the image of the Friar going all the way back. Out of town fools with no pulse to the city, its history and it’s fans has the nerve to tell us we don’t know OUR own identity. Sweep these idiots out of the front office and give this team back to it’s fans!

  7. Charger Baby Blues, best uni in sports but not for the Spanos. Now this. They don’t listen. Just not in touch.
    C’ Mon Man!

  8. Dead on comments about the newest sucky uniforms. Total down grade from last year. Retro is in! Thus retro colors are in! Padre retro is BROWN! Perhaps ownership and uniform design wizards are saving the good stuff for when the team makes a real push in three seasons.

  9. Very well said. Hit the nail on the head…of the padre uniform coffin. We knew we were getting something this year to take out the All Star (?) , Mike Dee yellow…which is cool to rock with your chargers gear, but yes we ALL want the brown, so we won’t get it. We will just have the greatest fridays ever, the best way back Wednesday’s since they’ve become way back and the coolest All Star batting practice gear since inception of the uni (which everyone and their Father more than happily bought…how many dodgers did you see in PADRE brown and yellow!, I must regress)…so let’s throw these out there, cool right?….Here’s to next years wardrobe change, cheers! Great article!

  10. Well said. I totally agree that the jerseys are very boring. The yellow that was taken out is probably why. At least the jerseys somewhat resemble the teams playoff chances. I love the Padres but the jerseys need to go.

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