11/09/11 7:30 PM EST
Padres' new uniforms a nod to tradition
Elements from club's past incorporated into latest design
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
And from the looks of it, trendy has nothing on tradition.
"I think the most loved uniforms in baseball are the ones that have tradition and history. ... They stand the test of time," said Padres COO and president Tom Garfinkel. "They're not trendy colors or trendy design ... but they're a classic baseball style.
"That's why we've taken our current uniforms and [included] elements of our past that are unique to the Padres ... ones that have a traditional feel to it."
With a nod to the old uniforms the Padres wore during their Pacific Coast League days (1936-68), the updated look was the result of two years' worth of discussions that Garfinkel had with fans about what they wanted.
"We came up with some conclusions," Garfinkel said. "One, there was not a strong affinity for our current uniform design at all. Two, because we've had so many changes throughout our history, the idea of a big change wasn't well received."
Enter a stylistic twist on the uniforms the Padres wore last season.
"We wanted to take our current uniform design and improve on it. We thought the way to improve on it was to bring back classic elements from our history and bring in traditional baseball elements in the design," Garfinkel said. "We wanted to bring some consistency with the uniforms and celebrate civic pride here in San Diego.
"That's what we've tried to accomplish."
A look at the updated uniforms and logos:
Starting this upcoming season, the team will wear updated home whites and road grays featuring classic block lettering and piping, along with a new blue alternate uniform that will show the Padres' "SD" on the chest.
The team unveiled three new logos on Wednesday. The "SD" logo has been updated to a circular mark featuring the text "San Diego Padres Baseball Club." That will be used as the team's primary mark.
The team's new secondary logo features the Padres script under skyline imagery of PETCO Park. The mark also includes the classic "SD" along with "Est. 1969" and will be featured in a patch on the sleeve of the club's blue and gray jerseys.
The team has also modified the Swinging Friar logo by using the original classic Swinging Friar from the early days of Padres history, with updated colors to match the blue and white worn by the club. That logo will be featured in a patch on the sleeve of the Padres' white jerseys.
In addition, the Padres' military jerseys will still feature the digital camouflage pattern that debuted in 2011, one that was modeled after the U.S. Marines, but will have updated numbers and lettering on the back to remain consistent with the Padres' other uniforms.
As for the uniform colors, Garfinkel said he did speak to some fans who wanted the team to return to its roots and go brown, like the Padres did in the 1970s on several occasions and in 1984, when the team went to the World Series.
"What we discovered was there was a passionate, vocal minority that wants the brown but a much larger segment of the fan base that was adamantly opposed to the brown," Garfinkel said.
"The compromise is we'll still celebrate the brown uniforms on retro days throughout the year."
Garfinkel can certainly understand why uniforms are such a popular topic. He remembers watching the Royals play as a kid at Kauffman Stadium, admiring how the team seldom, if ever, strayed from its classic uniform style.
"Uniforms are a polarizing issue regardless of the market that you're in. ... Everyone has different opinions," Garfinkel said. "This [update] -- the idea of a traditional baseball, classic baseball -- is a part of our identity and who we are and something people can relate to."
Also Wednesday, the Padres announced that approximately 10,000 youth baseball players from four local Little League districts will wear Padres button-down jerseys and corresponding hats for the upcoming season as part of the club's ongoing effort to support youth baseball.
The teams representing Little League districts throughout San Diego County will have their choice of selecting one style of uniform worn from throughout Padres history to wear during the 2012 season. The club will sponsor teams in each district, supporting children ages 4-12.