On Sunday, the Oakland Athletics once again wore their black jerseys. As a life-long fan of the team, I had grown to accept the black look on the A's. However, even though I enjoy the look, black doesn't belong on the team's uniform. Here is my take on why black jerseys should be eliminated from the team's uniform. This is my first of hopefully many features on team uniforms, logos and other sports aesthetics.
When you think of the Oakland Athletics team colors, you are reminded of the GREEN and GOLD. The two colors have been part of the Athletics organization since 1963. No other team has had that color combination in baseball. It's original.
There are 12 teams in the majors that have red, white and blue in their team logo. But for the A's, they stand alone with their colors.
On Sunday, the A's wore their black alternate tops for their home game against the Pittsburgh Pirates — breaking the tradition of the team wearing white for Sunday home games.
The jersey combination for each game is decided by the game's starting pitcher and the only pitchers on the A's whom have opted for the black tops this year (to the best of my recollection) are Justin Duchscherer, Trevor Cahill and Sunday's starter Gio Gonzalez.
Don't get me wrong. I actually like the colors on the black jerseys. In fact, I own an authentic one since I like the color combination so much. Adding black to green and gold (along with white) is a nice look.
But adding black to a team that has no business wearing that color is wrong. It may look nice, but it doesn't belong.
The A's had never had black as part of their team colors until the year 2000. That year, they had a black jersey (without a matching helmet) to celebrate the team's 30th anniversary in Oakland. This jersey lasted just for that one season and the A's resumed back to their normal uniform look.
In 2008, black returned to the team and aesthetic issues started to surface. Since black wasn't part of the team's main colors, there were some clashes on the players.
- Undershirts and gloves did not match. (Elbow pads are the problem this year.)
- Catchers gear featured no black at all.
No black versions to batting helmets (in the first season) and dugout jackets.
(In 2009, the A's added the black helmet to match the jersey and eliminated the all-green road helmet. The black jerseys are now designated as the home alternate tops and the green tops are reserved for the road games.)
When a team doesn't have black as part of their main team colors, having a black jersey just doesn't fit right. It takes away from the original team colors and just adds a very strange look that is unidentifiable with the team. Teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles and the San Francisco Giants have black as one of their team colors and wearing black works for them.
The black A's look has been a popular look for the team. In fact, when at the Oakland Coliseum, the black caps are one of the most popular caps that are sold and worn at the game. Even the team's retired 2000 black cap is still available for sale at the stadium.
Black (along with white) are two colors that can go well with any other colors. Adding black can provide an intimidating, especially when an entire team wears black. Teams with a hint of black in their logo have added alternate uniforms that provide such an edgy look. I just don't see such intimidation fitting the A's or any baseball team for that matter. Baseball is not that kind of a sport.
Even though black does look nice on uniforms sometimes, many times it doesn't belong. Teams should stick with their own team colors and not try to venture out into something that doesn't belong to them. The black tops could be part of a marketing plan to generate some revenue for the team. Or it might just be a fad in sports right now that should disappear soon. Whatever it may be, despite how nice it may look, it has to go.
My solution: Drop the black jerseys and go for a sleeveless home jersey. Maybe even a throwback. It's the right colors and it looks sweet on the field.
What do you think of the black jerseys for the Oakland A's?
Love them. A's should keep it. (9 votes)
Like them even though it's not part of the team colors. (7 votes)
Indifferent on the look. (3 votes)
They don't belong and need to be retired. (10 votes)
29 total votes