Can jersey style and color predict how well a baseball team will play?


Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Franklin Morales looks on after giving up four runs during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals on Monday. (Jack Dempsey/AP)

Intuitively, it would seem like the uglier and more garish a baseball uniform, the more of an advantage a team would have. Shouldn’t it follow the “oh, shiny!” phenomenon? You know, where the crazier and more bold something looks, the more it should distract someone?

Well, that’s not necessarily the case in baseball, where there’s apparently a difference between eye-catching and eye-repelling.

SportsLogos.net looked up the stats of all 30 MLB teams and ranked how they performed in their home and away jerseys. It turns out, the teams with the best stats tended to perform in more tasteful tops, while struggling teams did the worst in more over-designed threads.


(SportsLogos.net via SideLeague)

It doesn’t get much simpler than the Oakland Athetics’ home jersey. Nearly a plain white T, the button-down features a tasteful two-color logo written in classic baseball cursive. Both the Milwaukee Brewers’ alternate and home jerseys offer up a similar style, as does the Los Angeles Dodgers’ road shirt.

The one standout from the bunch is the Cincinnati Reds’ alternate jersey, which, besides its bold red color, offers up what might be the most minimal design with a small Reds logo placed (strategically?) over the heart.


(SportsLogos.net via SideLeague)

Sure, there’s no scientific correlation to the evidence presented here, but one can’t deny the hideousness of the worst-performing jerseys in the MLB. Could that be ruining these teams’ mojo?

The blaze orange alternate jersey might save a Miami Marlins player from getting mistaken for a deer in the woods, but on a baseball field it seems the only thing being saved is leg energy. The Marlins aren’t getting a lot of chances to run around the bases, according to the statistics.

And, man, where to start with the Fruit-of-the-Loom grape hue of the Colorado Rockies’ alternate jersey? Let’s just not. It’s too awful. Look away.

However, the other three don’t seem all that bad, at least in terms of violent brightness. Perhaps, the Pittsburgh Pirates should trade the block lettering on its road jersey to baseball cursive. And the Minnesota Twins may want to lose the extra rings around the neck and sleeves of its road shirt.

Then there’s the New York Mets’ home jersey. It’s pleasing in an old-timey kind of way, but it’s wading dangerously into soccer territory with those stripes, isn’t it?

Which jerseys do you consider baseball’s best and worst?

(H/t: Reddit and SideLeague)

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.
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