Both MLB teams wearing alternate jerseys in the same game is ruining the tradition of the beautiful game of baseball.
Unlike the NFL or NHL, teams in the MLB are allowed to have multiple alternate jerseys. Over the past two decades, the Majors have adopted a diverse approach to home and away uniform setups, which have also allowed teams to be able to mix and match alternate baseball caps in their uniform’s “rotation.”
While MLB teams’ alternate jersey combinations are intriguing and contribute a tad more color to baseball’s beautiful cathedrals around North America, should teams be allowed to wear alternate uniforms during the same game?
This jersey enthusiast believes that MLB teams should be banned from wearing alternate jerseys in the same game, especially in the postseason.
For starters, a “color vs. color” ballgame doesn’t belong in the big leagues let alone the minors, either. That appearance has too much of a Little League World Series feel to it all. If teams want to wear alternate caps with their standard home or road jersey, while another team dons an alternate uniform then that should be acceptable, but teams wearing two dark jerseys on the same field has an amateur and 1990s presence.
Speaking of the 1990s, we can all be grateful for society’s most awkward fashion decade considering that’s the era when alternate jerseys became vastly popular in professional sports. Take the New York Mets for example, who introduced black into the team’s blue, white and orange color scheme back in 1998.
The Mets had a black-based home alternate jersey that lasted until the end of the 2012 regular season, and a road black jersey which was retired after the 2008 campaign. The black alternate jerseys were a good and well-accepted appearance for the Mets, and the team wore them as if they were New York’s primary home and away uniforms.
Still, seeing the Mets in a black alternate jersey against a team such as the Colorado Rockies, wearing a purple jersey in the same game, has no place in the MLB. Baseball is supposed to be and has always been strict about tradition, and if that’s the case, teams both wearing dark uniforms at the same time is breaking that classic baseball culture.
Now, a Mets team wearing a blue alternate jersey (introduced in 2013) on the road at Yankee Stadium against a New York Yankees team that’s donning the notorious pinstriped uniforms has just enough charisma to offer for the fans.
A team wearing a traditional uniform against a club wearing something that goes against the grain in baseball has a more enticing appeal in large part to the idea that the concept won’t be overdone. When a team breaks out an alternate jersey for nine innings, it allows for more appreciation for the quality of the work.
Two alternates worn on the field at once has ruined the beauty of what the alternate jersey’s original presence on the baseball diamond actually means. What’s made matters even worse is when teams both wear alternate uniforms in the World Series, which fans have sadly had to witness in recent memory.
In 2016, the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians took to the field both wearing alternates in Game 7 of the World Series. The Cubs donned their royal blue alternates while the Tribe rocked the navy blue third jerseys. As far as this jersey enthusiast recalls, the sight marked the first time that MLB teams both wore alternate uniforms in a clinching game (World Series) for the first time since the Indians last did it back in the 1997 World Series against the then-Florida Marlins.
Seeing a World Series game with two teams both wearing dark jerseys just feels like an All-Star or unique promotional game that strikes out the game’s overall significance and credibility. The term “spring training” could even be used to describe what fans had to witness in 2016.
Still, it’s time for the MLB to ban teams from both wearing alternate jerseys in the same game.