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.