The Pirates make a good move

No, I’m not talking about anything they’ve done with the LaRoche brothers this week, I’m talking about banishing the ugly red vests:

The Pirates’ red uniforms, which have drawn notable ire from the public since being introduced in 2007, will be no more.

The Pirates will introduce a new alternate uniform to the public at PirateFest on Friday, after unveiling it to local media at the organization’s annual Hot Stove luncheon earlier in the afternoon.

For the last two seasons, the Pirates have worn red, sleeveless jerseys on select Friday home dates. Red had been part of the team’s color scheme on and off through the decades and had been reintroduced into the Pirates’ logo in 1997, but the color had not been on a team uniform since 1946.

Despite initial anticipation about the new color scheme, however, the uniforms were never widely embraced by fans or players.

The Pirates are not giving out any details on the new jersey before Friday’s unveiling.

Here’s hoping for bumble bee uniforms and striped pillbox hats.

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13 years ago

Oh I’m sure that the Pirates new uniforms will be just as brutal as their yearly on-field product.

13 years ago

A couple years ago, I attended a lecture by the lead designer for the Diamondbacks’ current uniforms. The lecture wasn’t strictly about designing for professional sports, but since the team’s new jerseys had just been unveiled, he did talk about it at some length.

Although there were several good reasons for choosing red jerseys (teal and purple is fairly dated, no other team in the NL west wears red, the red rock landscape of northern Arizona) the ultimate color decision came down to market research. According to his firm (and he had some lovely slides, with bar-graphs and everything, to back this up) red jerseys sell better than any other color. Even setting aside comparisons between one team and another (where team popularity makes a big difference), red color-schemes were good for about 10% greater sales of licensed merchandise.

It’s interesting to see that this isn’t always the case, especially when a team violates its own identity to shoehorn in a red jersey. “It that the Pirates? Really?” was my first response to the red vests. I’m glad they’re opting for something else this year.

13 years ago

Maybe they should consider a Steeler’s logo so they can at least be connected to a winning team?

13 years ago

They should go for the powder blue like the throwback pens jerseys

Chris Reynolds
13 years ago

I believe that a team which abandons its original color scheme forfeits appearance in postseason competition for a period of not less than ten years.  And that a curse be applied to transgressors, e.g the 2005 Braves and 2007 Diamondbacks: for them, there shall be no Series victories for a full generation.  Judging by the front-office and on-field mediocrity of the Astros and Padres, they should be safe for the remaining probationary period.  Still, getting rid of their Taco Bell color schemes was probably worth the period of rustication.

13 years ago

Jersey style is important to maintain tradition and contunity. Although the Pirates haven’t had must of a winning tradition in the past 16 years or so but it’s nice to see them wearing the same jersey styles as Maz and Clemente (early in his career) wore.

Think about those classic teams and logos: the old English ‘D’ of Detroit, Yankee ‘NY’ and pinstripes, the Cardinals ‘Bird on the Bat,’ there’s a reason why they haven’t been changed.

13 years ago

I assumed MLB finally adopted a system of relegation…

13 years ago

The color red being added to the Pirates colors a few years ago is part of my theory on team colors.  My theory is all teams subconsciously want to be wearing red and black and will be tweaking their colors until that point.