As an MLB uniforms junkie, I do look forward to the brief moments in the off-season where teams reveal new uniforms. I cannot shake the feeling that it seems like the last few years have given us a big influx of rebranding teams, which makes sense, given my strong opinions on MLB’s identity crisis. Let’s take a look at the newest MLB uniforms, the Minnesota Twins rebrand.
The MLB Uniforms Identity Crisis
MLB uniforms across the sport have had a bit of an identity crisis. Recall the Padres uniforms just a few years ago, and the Marlins uniforms before 2012, when the teams made it publicly known ahead of time that the new uniform was on the horizon. Now the Twins did in fact have forecasting twitter posts as far back as a week (that I could find). For some reason though, I feel like it flew under the radar and was less of a build up than the Marlins or the recent Padres. I do think there are key differences, and lessons to be learned.
Firstly, for the Padres, the team made it known that they were reverting back to a long-lost but fan-favorite color palate after almost two decades of a bland, uninspired and forgettable revolving door of uniforms. This brought a unique sense of anticipation via nostalgia. Secondly, for the Marlins, the team was opening a new ballpark and had been a uniquely unsuccessful franchise desperate for a positive turn around.
This brought special intrigue, because fans were anticipating seismic change. The Twins, on the other hand, gave small hints of the new uniforms, but maintaining the exact same color palate of red, white and navy blue. While we know in hind sight that the uniforms are noticeably different, the anticipation and expectation is watered down once fans know that the new product will not be a far departure from what they had always known.
Which closer would use to win you the World Series?
The Twins Rebrand
The Twins made it known in the announcement video that the new uniforms are meant to be a new spin on a classic look. On that front, they have succeeded. These new uniforms are undoubtably on brand with the Minnesota Twins in the grand scheme of their history. This current lineup itself also looks cohesive with each other, and clearly are apart of a common collection with a common visual goal in mind. Part of that visual consistency includes the number font, and no outline color on any lettering. Nothing looks like it does not belong.
With that being said, the Twins rebrand is not anything too special when it comes to MLB uniforms. The clear highlight to me is the “Twin Cities” alternate uniform. I am oddly overjoyed that a twins uniform finally uses the phrase “Twin Cities” and therefore acknowledging the meaning of the interlocking “TC” hat logo. Speaking of the “TC”, I am really happy they kept that logo around, even in the form of two hats. This is a welcomed new addition.
The home uniforms are good, but a step down from the previous home uniforms in my honest opinion. The gold backdrop (and outline on the hat) from before added a eye-catching layer of visual pop. This was especially welcomed since no other team in MLB was using gold in that way. The new home uniform feels like it has been stripped of that same visual appeal. Make no mistake, it is a clean and classic flavor of a modern uniform, but a slight step down regardless.
The grays are the biggest upgrade of the rebrand. No other team is wearing pinstripe grays so I am overjoyed that the twins are bringing that look back. I mean, hey, pinstripe grays are a traditional Twins look anyway. The new font, while not being particularly special, is so much easier on the eye than the previous blue and red script, and again, there is a classic Twins callback with the arching angle of the letters.
The navy blues are just bland and underwhelming. I wish this jersey had more attention given to it, like maybe using the North Star logo like is seen on the hat. Speaking of that new North Star hat, I appreciate the addition of the North Star, referencing the state motto. I do wish, however, they chose a different design for the letter M. The M is very reminiscent of the 2012 Marlins hats, and that is entirely due to the obtuse angles of the two outside legs of the letter. According to twitter comments, I am far from the only person who made that connection. The hats do not do it for me.
Grading the Twins Rebrand
Overall, this new Minnesota Twins rebrand accomplishes its goal, but does not exactly draw eyeballs from afar. I am sure Twins fans will be satisfied with this, and will be the primary buyers of this merchandise. I do not see any of these uniforms being bought by fan of other teams for the sake of visual appeal.
This is something I feel the San Diego Padres really capitalized on that the Twins did not. But again, I think the Twins know that, and did not try to be anything that they aren’t. As a jersey collector, I would not go out of my way to add any of these to my collection.