Jim Palmer

The Best and Worst Uniforms of All Time: The Baltimore Orioles

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The Best: They’ve stayed quite steady over the course of their 56-year existence, but they’ve changed little details more than you might remember. They’ve switched between various cartoon and various realistic birds a number of times and they’ve messed with the orange/black/white ratio on the hats too. They’ve always looked pretty sharp, though, never running away from the orange the way teams in other sports do from time to time. Of many good looks, I’m going with the cartoon bird-on-the- black-hat-with-orange-bill look they wore from 1966-70.

And let’s not forget the St. Louis Brown portion of their franchise’s history.  They were like a reverse-Yankees or reverse-Red Sox: they had a steady classic look until the late 30s, and then they changed to some weird options. With their obvious use of brown, however, perhaps they can show the Padres the way into a tasteful brown future.

The Worst: The famous all-orange alternates were not a regular look — I believe they only wore them on a handful of occasions — but it wasn’t good.  Like so many other teams, the Orioles looked bad when they chased the black uniform trend as well.

Assessment: They’ve always kept things coherent and have never strayed too far from a core look and color scheme.  And they’ve never done anything truly terrible. The most animated I’ve ever heard an Orioles fan get about their uniforms has involved returning the word “Baltimore” to the front of the roadies, which they did this past season.  As far as uniforms go, the Orioles have always had a handle on things, and that’s pretty admirable.

“La Vida Baseball,” celebrating Latino baseball, launches

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A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.

The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:

  • Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
  • Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
  • Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
  • Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.

As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.

The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.

La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.

 

David Ross to compete on “Dancing with the Stars”

David Ross
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Do you miss David Ross? I miss David Ross. The season hasn’t even started yet and I miss David Ross. There’s something comforting about having a likable graybeard catcher in the game with bonus points for being bald. His loss will be felt.

But while we won’t have David Ross in baseball all this year — at least on the field; he’s a special assistant with the Cubs — we’ll still have David Ross someplace:

Johnny Damon did “Celebrity Apprentice” — Trump fired him, sadly — but we’ve never had a ballplayer on “Dancing With The Stars.” There have been several football players and some Olympians, but no baseball guys. Which makes some amount of sense as, outside of the middle infielders and first basemen, footwork isn’t necessarily the most important tool.

Catchers are particularly plodding for athletes, so good luck, David. Unless you have some moves you haven’t flashed in the past, you’ll probably need it.