Monday, January 27, 2014

Dissecting Auburn Uniforms: Baseball

     The time is nearing. The time where fathers and sons join at the grand ole ballparks and enjoy sitting in the hot sun for hours on end with nothing but a hotdog, glove, and an ice cold Coke. The baseball season is right around the corner. Like I've done for two previous sports (football and basketball; feel free to enjoy those after you finish reading this one), I plan to dissect the uniforms that will be worn on the diamond this season to the best of my ability. Let's start with a brief history and then jump into the new uniforms.
 


     Back in 2006 when Under Armour took over as the official brand of Auburn athletics, the baseball team's uniforms were in need of an overhaul. For the 2005-06 season, they wore this very jersey (that's mine now!). The next year, Under Armour created their first set of uniforms for the team. The orange and blue versions were basically the same, with opposite colored piping, numbers, AU logo, and odd side panels. These were worn for a this season and one more, with the only thing changing was the SEC patch on the sleeve, which changed midway through the season oddly enough.

     For the 2009 season, Auburn's baseball team received another set of new uniforms. The consisted of the orange and white uniforms being based on the same template, and the blue top being more traditional. This template featured some strange shoulder/chest stripes that also went under the sleeves and had another strange stripe across the back. Under Armour is known for odd stripes, just ask South Carolina. These specific uniforms were worn until the end of the 2012 season. This era of baseball uniforms also brought the odd striped pants. These pants consisted of a single stripe that started thin, thickened out, and then ended thin, and only covered about 3/4ths of the pants leg.
 
 
     Auburn baseball has worn the same uniforms since 2012. For the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons, the team wore five different jerseys, five hats, and four pairs of pants. Now, all of these aspects are mix and match-able, but Auburn only wears a few different combos. The way the uniforms are chosen for each game are not just on rotation basis, like I previously thought. The starting pitcher for each game gets the opportunity to decide exactly what the team will wear for the day.
 
     In order to go through the different aspects of the uniforms, I think this would be the easiest way:
 
     When John Pawlowski was head coach, many, if not all, players wore their pants all the way down. Rarely a player would wear plain navy stirrups. Some just wore plain navy socks but bloused their pants. Whenever the team wore the throwback uniforms they would pair them with stirrups. Sometimes they went with just plain stirrups. Other times, they would be paired with the stripped stirrups, which I think make for a much better look. New coach Sunny Golloway is forcing his players to wear stirrups for every home game. Whether they wear plain or striped stirrups is still to be seen. The practice shirts have read "OMAHA" on the backs ever since Golloway was hired. This team is determined to host a regional series and make it to the College World Series!
 
     As far as details go, baseball uniforms are pretty much the same across the board. Probably the biggest detail the typical fan wouldn't notice would be the armpit aeration area. Now, Majestic, the company that provides every MLB team with their uniforms, calls this the Cool Base template. I honestly didn't know Under Armour's template consisted of this until I started researching pictures for this post. I am not sure if UA has a name for this, but it is pretty similar to the MLB edition. Simply put, they act the same way as any other mesh area in say a football uniform (such as Nike's "sweatbox"). It's basically a triangle that goes under the bicep area and down the side of the rib cage. This detail is probably one you have never noticed before, and now that I've brought it up, you'll never be able to forget about it (you're welcome!).
 
 
      As noted in the previous entry to the site, there will be changes to the uniforms with the new coaching staff. You can check out the details here. But here's a quick rundown of the biggest things:
  • Mentioned earlier, all home games will consist of each player wearing stirrups
  • The number of hats will be smaller than previous years with only two being confirmed in the rotation.
  • The camo hat will NOT be used this year, but could pop up in future years.
  • Three team captains will be chosen and will wear captaincy logos. Golloway did this at Oklahoma, so it's not much of a surprise.
  • A new grey jersey will be in rotation. It is supposedly the same design as the white jersey.
  • Players will wear their last name on their jerseys for the first time since before John Pawlowski was coach.
  • No more white cleats. Only black and navy will be allowed
 
     Sadly, the throwback uniforms won't be worn as much this year. Those were easily my favorite, especially with the stripped stirrups. I'm a big fan of orange jerseys as well. The players' favorites are the Yankee pinstripes, but they also think the blue top paired with the pinstriped pants is a "dirty look."
 
     Personally, I would like to see the team stick to certain combinations throughout the season. I think it just makes for a cleaner look overall. But the different combinations that can be made out of everything is part of the fun, and it is college baseball after all. I'm very interested to see what this season has in store for Auburn, both in play and the aesthetics on the diamond. Another great thing to look forward to is what mowing patterns the Auburn Grounds Crew will present to us! Last year they started having fun with new patterns. Here's one of my favorites from last year:
    
     The baseball season starts on Valentine's Day, but the team will be playing in the Snowbird Classic tournament in Florida. The first home game will be February 19th. Be sure to make it to the park this year! Sunny Golloway already has a lot of excitement pumping through the athletic department and is ready for the season to start. Season tickets are also nearly sold out, so buy yours before they are all gone! Hopefully you can catch me at a game or two. I'll be wearing my own pair of stirrups and one of my jerseys!
 
War Eagle!

4 comments:

  1. Nice article. All in all they've worn some great sets. The striped stirrups are just great. Under Armour needs to tone down their label/tag. It has no business on the front of the jersey. Boy, do I hate colors under the arm pits that only detract from the look.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm fine with manufacturers having their logos on the uniforms. So much money is exchanged by schools and the makers, that I think they deserve to have their logo showing.

      Thankfully the arm pit stains are gone. Those were just pitiful.

      Delete
  2. Amazing dissection review on the baseball uniforms. All of them look great. But I personally like the ones with the "AUBURN" name with their current wordmark font. Especially with the trim stripes.

    ReplyDelete