I refuse to rally behind baseball camo jerseys

April 13, 2014

Baseball is a game of long-standing tradition. I firmly believe that no other sport has remained as true to its original form.

Prior to the last couple of years, I could confidently state that basketball players were flashier, football players were more obnoxious, and golfers were overly tailored. The good ol’ boys of baseball simply came out to play. They only needed their mitts, their caps, and a wooden bat.

Baseball player uniforms were as pure as the game.

The uniform arsenal typically consisted of a white jersey and a jersey of color. Pants were either solid or pinstripe. If players wanted to get super crazy, they might choose to slap on some eye black.

Perfect swing by Chipper Jones of the ATL Braves

Perfect swing by Chipper Jones of the ATL Braves, who is darn near perfect himself.

Chipper Jones in the navy uniform.

Chipper Jones in a navy Braves uniform. Man, I miss seeing this guy on the big screen.

Then something weird happened around the year 2000. As far as I can tell by my extensive online research (searching Google for 15 minutes), the San Diego Padres decided to up their long-standing tradition of supporting the armed forces by introducing camouflage jerseys on Military Opening Day.

Over the past decade, much to my dismay, the camo jerseys have multiplied faster than mogwais dipped in water. Kids, if you don’t understand this reference, do yourself a favor and watch Gremlins today.

I mean, seriously…They. Are. Everywhere. From the big leagues to the little leagues and at every level in between. They are worn by players and coaches alike.

I now find myself walking into the ballpark somewhat guarded, wondering if I’m going to be attacked by a barrage of paintballers when I least expect it.

Some uniforms are more obnoxious than others.

camo

Exhibit A: San Diego Padres pitcher in his camo/cow print-inspired garb.

The little guys who look up to the pros want to emulate their idols. Therefore, new this season, both of my own boys’ teams have included a camo jersey in their uniform arsenal.

The 12-year old in his camo jersey - preparing for battle on the ball field (eye roll).

Exhibit B: The 12-year old in his camo jersey – preparing for battle on the ball field (eye roll). The 10-year old’s jersey has yet to arrive.

While I realize the game is not about ME and my personal preferences – this is an ongoing lesson I am struggling to learn – I’d like to believe I’m not alone when I say that the only people who should don the camo style are those serving in the military or trying to hunt down defenseless animals.

One serviceman quoted on Paul Lukas’ website, Uni Watch: The Obsessive Study of Athletics Aesthetics, had this to say:

“I’ve been in the Army for a little over 12 years. I appreciate the thought and tribute behind teams wearing military-themed uniforms, but I have yet to see one that didn’t look horrible. I hate to criticize without providing a viable alternative, but I think they should find another, more aesthetically pleasing, way to express their patriotism.” — Jon Vieira

Jon, I respect both your service to our country and your common sense in general.

I plan to continue to add pictures of camo jerseys I see at youth ballparks on this site as the season progresses. If you like them, try to convince me why in the comment section. If you don’t like them and agree with me that they’re obnoxious, I’ll count your comment as a signature in my ongoing petition against this black mark on the history of baseball.

Written by Heidi Woodard

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10 responses to I refuse to rally behind baseball camo jerseys

  1. 

    We’ve discussed this unfortunate baseball situation on multiple occasions, so you know I 100 percent agree with you – right down to worrying I’ve stumbled into an unannounced paintball match. So, consider my comment an additional signature on your petition. Maybe we can convince them to use white on white camo?

  2. 

    I dislike them for their lack of a traditional aesthetic, but more so for the mixed messages they send. Not the least of which is that the age old comparison of sports t war; a comparison that should never be made, EVER, Kellen Winslow Jr.

    I also think it cheapens that value of those who were camos that later need to have blood, and occasionally pieces of flesh and spleen removed from them. Forgive me for going on a smidge of a rant, but I don’t see to many tank drivers wearing knee high socks.

    Having said all of that, as a San Diego resident, and veteran having attended a military day at Petco, it s an mazing experience with the fans, and the players alike. This community actively supports our service members, and I appreciate that. I just think we could support them better by voting out congress. End of rant 😉

    • 

      You know I appreciate your rants. Thanks for chiming in. P.S. Still need to test out your theory of walking at an incline on the treadmill. On paper, it sounds awful.

  3. 
    Kathy@kissingthefrog April 14, 2014 at 10:02 am

    I do agree with you that the full-on camo doesn’t look good in the grand tradition of baseball. Maybe teams could honor our military with a camo arm-band or something.

  4. 

    I know this is a post from a while ago, but I just want to say that I wish this wasn’t still going on. Baseball players are for the most part, not soldiers and I don’t see how this does the military a service. They should give the uniform money to disabled veterans instead or something that actually matters. Even just from an aesthetic standpoint, the uniforms are extremely ugly when you can see them, and when not.. isn’t a significant part of the point of wearing a uniform that you’re easily visible? It strains my middle-aged eyes to watch these games.

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