The Best: The Cubs have stayed pretty close to a classic look, at least in living memory. Like a lot of teams, they did the minimalism thing pretty well 100 years ago. They experimented some here and there, but they’ve never strayed too far from the big C on the home uniforms. Choosing among relatively minor variations, I’ll take the 1960s set over the current model if for no other reason than I like the cuddly little bear better than the cub walking out of the “C” on the sleeve on the road uniforms. Which is dumb, I know, because the cartoony things are, well, cartoony. But I’ve always had a soft spot for it. You’ll see this again when we get to the birdie teams in the AL.
Worst: They were doing some funky stuff in the early 40s. Some of it may have even involved satin. The 1918 road uniforms were . . . interesting. They may be the most forgotten practitioner of the powder blue look. Really, if you ask your friends to list all the teams who sported powder blues, I bet the Cubs get named last, even though they were doing it before just about anyone else. I wish they wouldn’t wear the solid blue road alternates, but I’ll grant that they’ve been doing that lot longer than most other teams have, so if anyone gets a pass for it, the Cubs do.
Assessment: All in all, Chicago has stuck with the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” model more than any of the teams who haven’t slavishly adhered to their classic look like the Yankees and Dodgers. They’ve experimented, sure, but they always seem to come back to sanity soon enough.