The San Diego Padres were famous for wearing multiple variations of brown and mustard yellow from their inception as a major league franchise in 1969 through 1984. After that they went with only slight brown or gold accents and then just blue and orange until 2003. Since 2004 they’ve been almost exclusively in blue and white, with the only exception being a minor addition of gold accenting in 2016.
Which means that they’d been pretty bland and boring for a very, very long time. What’s more, they’ve been a team that turned its back on its defining aesthetic and that’s rarely a great thing. While, for the past several season, the club has worn brown alternate uniforms on Friday home games and other special occasions, fans have clamored for the Padres to make a full time return to their sartorial roots for some time.
Last January they announced they would be doing so. Yesterday they made it official, unveiling the new livery:
The mustard is now gold, but those are pretty recognizable, even if they’re not exact copies of some of the older Padres styles. And to be sure, there were many older styles — some radical, some tame, some ugly, some excellent — even if people tend to lump them together in their minds. Either way, this seems like a pretty good step forward.
As Fernando Tatís Jr. said yesterday, they give the team a visual identity they have mostly lacked of late:
“It’s going to be different, it’s going to be unique, and like they said, they’re going to know who’s playing right away when they see the brown on the field”
Team owner Ron Fowler — who was reluctant to return to brown uniforms for some time — was a tad more blunt about it:
“People wanted brown and we gave it to them. Now we’ve got to start winning baseball games.”
But hey, even if they don’t, they’ll look better losing than they used to.