If you thought 2019 was going to be just another soul-deadening year of rebuilding for the Reds, think again. This year, the Reds going to wear more unnecessary and commercially available throwback uniforms than any other Major League team.

The history minor in me should like this 150th anniversary gimmick. I feel sad for myself that when the highly shareable graphic popped up on the Reds Twitter feed, I immediately and slowly nodded my head, for now I will not have to wonder what to buy various nephews for Christmas until they are well out of college. They’re getting one piece of historically inspired spiritwear a year until 2034, at which point they can all drink, at which point Aunt Beth is going to drive at a semi-reasonable speed past their houses on their birthdays and hurl a six-pack out the window. Cynical as I am, this makes my life easier, I’m willing to throw down officially licensed money for that, and the Reds know it.

Beyond this, I don’t know how historically accurate this corporate mess actually is. If the team were serious about it, they’d send Votto and company out in full wool at least four times, which what the original teams disgustingly wore. And if you think I’m going to let Scooter out of knowing the full horror of polyester for the 1976 and 1990 uniforms, you have got another thing coming.

These kids today don’t know the shocking sacrifices we made so that they could climb mountains and fall off hoverboards and sit on their butts in soft, moisture-wicking material. I had to run up and down the full length of a SAY soccer field mid-August in heavy, itchy, 100% polyester complete with the stupid, even more uncomfortable ring-around-the-arm band, and I didn’t win anything, not even an “At Least You Tried” cake to ease my pain.

At first I had trouble understanding why the 1969 uniforms were even included until I realized that half of Reds Twitter was breaking the retweet function on any statement proclaiming a preference “for the ’69. “You are all twelve-year-old boys,” is what the Reds are telling us, and they are correct.

The 1999 for-some-reason black monstrosities, I got nothin’. Unless the Reds are including an actual Sean Casey in one of these things, I don’t want any part in seeing any of them ever again.

The uniform throwback which concerns me the most is 1911’s, because it has the least to do with being an actual Reds uniform, which, in effect, makes it the most modern. The navy blue 1911 Reds uniform anticipates our decade’s worrying obsession with temporary uniforms having nothing at all to do with the actual team colors. I should not have to search out a graphic to see which team is playing who during a highlights reel. I should be able to glance up at the screen, see a swarm of grey and blue football jerseys and two brown ones ramming into each another, and instinctively know the Cowboys are playing Cleveland.

My personal favorite is when Ohio State’s football field trotted onto the field recently in all black, looking like the UC Bearcats, because their colors are scarlet and grey and why not. I look forward to next week’s Bengals neon green pants. You know this is coming.

You have been warned.

17 Responses

  1. Scott C

    Thanks for the article, it is always a bright spot. I am old enough that I actually wore a wool uniform in little league. Talk about hot and itchy, but it was worth it to be able to play the greatest game ever.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Wool? Like actual wool?
      You win the “my childhood uniform sucked” contest, forever.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        I wore a wool uniform in high school. Heavy and uncomfortable and it smelled funny if we ended up playing in the rain.

      • Mary Beth Ellis

        That sounds like an utter, complete, total nightmare.

  2. Scott C

    And also, I agree with you teams ought to wear their colors and quit this mess of wearing whatever and please get rid of the camo uniforms, baseball players should look like baseball players not hunters or soldiers.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      As the daughter and SIL of a vet, I certainly appreciate the sentiment, but yeah. Stop blending into the grass.

  3. Scott Ledridge

    The softball jerseys of the Schott years were the worst. I don’t understand the desire some have to bring those back.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      I know I’m in the minority here, but the 70s weren’t to fashion-forward either.
      I would say I like the current ones, but I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THOSE ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE since they keep changing them between each at-bat.

  4. Mary Beth Ellis

    Thanks! But I’m also old enough to have once said “You’re too young too…” to a person younger than me, which I’m pretty sure is the threshold.

  5. Mary Beth Ellis

    I mean, I do like the navy uniforms just by dint of aesthetics. And I was given a navy blue Reds cap modeled after a 40s version.
    And people would say, “Cool cap, which team is that?”
    I no longer own that cap.

  6. Mary Beth Ellis

    Or, just send them out there in actual tuxedos. I’d like to see the replicas they come up with for that.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      I vote they all have the 80s prom style bow ties.

  7. Mary Beth Ellis

    Oh the whole array is available at the Majestic shop by the stadium. But I agree, i don’t see many of the special jerseys actually out and about very often. *Someone’s* buying them, though, or they wouldn’t feel the need to keep up with everybody else.

    It’s even more blatant in the minor leagues, who, granted, are masters of self-promotion but not necessarily of finding a classic style and sticking with it.

  8. scotly50

    I remember more of those uniforms than I care to admit. A hat is the only part of any official Reds uniform I have adorned. But I might be tempted should the money be used for a Kluber or Bryant, and not to fill up the Slurpee machine.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      As long as it’s the Slurpees with the shot in them, they can fill those up all day long

  9. Mary Beth Ellis

    Not at all. It just confirms your excellent literary taste.

  10. John46

    Mostly the stuff is too expensive. There aren’t places to wear the stuff; I have a Reds jersey and have worn it twice. The caps are a bit more appealing but I have a dozen or so, various teams. Another for 30 bucks isn’t going to make it. I live in Chicago area and see a lot of Cubs gear on fans. They do buy the stuff. Reds fans, not enough of them that ditzy.