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Around the Horn

Change of Clothes

Looking at the Mariners' new spring training duds and the new uniform set the Marlins have this year got me to thinking about the Mariners' history of sartorial styles. The current uniform concept is, aside from some minor tweaks in the wordmark and number outlining and an early addition of the compass rose on the road jersey, unchanged since it was introduced in 1993. Which isn't bad. It's a nice design, and light-years better than what came before it. But might it be time for something new?

Maybe, maybe not. You don't go changing things just for the sake of change. The if-it-ain't-broke philosophy has served clubs like the Dodgers, Yankees, and Cardinals well over the years. But despite its status as best-ever Mariner uniform, the current style has a couple of aspects that I've never much liked (never been a fan of the piping around the neck/front, for example) and I thought I'd give a redesign a go, just for laughs.

I came up with something that has a couple of nods to the past but still (hopefully) seems fresh without being a wholesale teardown—the color scheme, for instance, pretty much stays as is, but with a touch more emphasis on the "Northwest green" in some areas.

I've done away with the compass rose, not because it's unattractive (I actually rather like it), but in order to bring in a little nod to the old Seattle Pilots by replacing it with a ship's wheel. This version of the ship wheel is a little different, though, as the spokes are baseball bats. I also borrowed one of the only things I liked about the Mariner graphics from the late-'80s/early-'90s era, a little wave action in the word "Mariners." Back then it was used in the primary logo only; here I've used it (a bit more subtly) on the jersey wordmarks.

The lettering I've come up with is suitably nautical and I like the overall look; however, it doesn't lend itself to a great cap logo, which might be a problem. I'm not sure why, exactly, but the more squared-off "S" just isn't as attractive on the cap. It's not bad, though. In smaller usages it actually works better than the current one.

Primary logo

Secondary logo

Home jersey, vest style recalling the Ken Griffey Jr. sleeveless variant of the late '90s. Also, including the numbers on the front is a must, and their lack is my biggest complaint about the current jersey. They're especially necessary on tall players, else you have a giant empty spot that looks odd. The 3-D style of the late '80s/early '90s was a worthy idea, but used as it was with just an outline for color contrast, rather than give depth it was just kind of cluttered. Here I've given it some color.

Road jersey version A

Road jersey version B; I liked the script road marks ala Pittsburgh of several years back and the Mets of the mid-'80s (in theory; in execution, that Mets script was clunky). The standard form numbers might be better all around for all versions.

Going back to the two toned cap.

Anyway, what does the hivemind think? Is it time for a new look for the M's? If so, what should it be? Sound off in the comments below!


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