Opening Day is finally here. (Unless you’re a Yankees fan, in which case your Opening Day has been rained out. Please don’t read any hidden meaning into that.) The Kansas City Royals began their World Series title defense with a win over the New York Mets and the countdown to the end of the A-Rod national nightmare can begin. (Two more years! Two more years!) After a fairly uneventful spring training, it’s time for baseball players to pull up their stirrups, don their caps, and take the field in games that actually count.
These days, major league teams have all kinds of different uniform combinations. Aside from the traditional home and away kits, there are alternates and uniforms for special occasions, whatever it takes to sell more merchandise. But more taste doesn’t necessarily come with more options. And in a sport with as long of a past as major league baseball, there have been some truly epic fails in the uniform department. Here are 10 of the worst because those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it.
10. SAN DIEGO PADRES
Believe it or not, the Padres manage to make this list twice. While paying honor to the many servicemen and women that call San Diego home is a noble goal, the net result is that you wish these camouflage uniforms were truly hidden from sight.
9. MONTREAL EXPOS
While traditionally associated with awful prom tuxedos, the powder blue is actually one of the less offensive aspects of these Expos uniforms. The multicolored caps, on the other hand, look like something a circus clown would wear. Then there’s the matter of the logo, which is up there for one of the worst in MLB history. What looks to most like an “ELB” in cursive is actually an “E” and “B” incorporated into an “M” which stands for Montreal Expos Baseball.
8. BOSTON RED SOX
The Red Sox have a tradition of wearing green uniforms on St. Patrick’s Day during spring training because, well, Boston. They’ve busted out the color on a couple of occasions during the regular season as well to honor the Celtics, but no one has ever been green with envy upon seeing these.
7. PITTSBURGH PIRATES
You would smoke like Dave Parker too if you had to dress up like a bumblebee when you took the field. The all-yellow uniforms and pillbox caps that accompanied them were a staple of the “We Are Family” era Pirates. And they were a stark reminder that there is only so much a man can be asked to do for his family.
6. CLEVELAND INDIANS
Perhaps the only redeeming quality of this uniform is that it doesn’t feature the racist Chief Wahoo. Other than that, it’s a bloody mess. And I mean that in the actual blood sense, not the British way. The only person that can get away with that much red is Elmo.
5. TAMPA BAY RAYS
The Rays didn’t come into existence until 1998 so hopping on the throwback craze doesn’t make sense. But that hasn’t stopped the team from trying. These “fauxback” uniforms from 2014 were an imagining of what the team might have worn had it been around in the 1980s. After seeing them, we’re glad they weren’t.
4. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
The Arizona Diamondbacks essentially gave its players a big purple nurple in the late ‘90s. Hall of Fame Randy Johnson has gone down as one of the most intimidating pitchers ever to take the mound but even he looked like Barney the dinosaur in this jersey. There are some colors that just don’t work on sports uniforms and purple is near the top.
3. HOUSTON ASTROS
Taste the rainbow and let it burn your tongue with the heat of the sun. That seems to have been the design inspiration behind these Astros uniforms. There are So. Many. Stripes. It’s easy to imagine bored pitchers passing the time by counting them in the bullpen. The stripes also get progressively wider as they move from the chest toward the waist, which has the unflattering effect of making everyone that wears the jersey look fatter. And let’s all be glad that the trend of putting jersey numbers on the pants next to a player’s junk never caught on.
2. SAN DIEGO PADRES
What do you get when you take two ugly colors and put them together? More ugly. This is what it would look like to wear diarrhea. Technically, brown and mustard do go together, but it’s in the same way that mullets and single-wide trailers go together. It’s telling that even the San Diego Chicken mascot went with a different color palette for his outfit.
1. CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Professional baseball involves grown adults playing a child’s game for a living, but that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to wear shorts to the office. The White Sox decided to the free the knee and wear jerseys with a weird half collar in 1976. The look made them look like your creepy gym teacher from middle school. Fortunately for everyone, Chicago only wore the uniforms for three games.