Alternate uniforms means more merchandise and more fans in the stands.
One of the biggest comparisons baseball has to America is its operating process.
Just like America, the game of baseball is both liberal and conservative. There are those that are open to change, while purists want to keep things just the way they are.
For baseball though — with me at least — it really depends on the situation or the proposal at hand. There are some things I’m in favor of, like the battle for the wild card. But there are some things that don’t really spark my interest, like instant replay.
But the game, along with America, is hurting right now. The economy is rough. People want to save money and because of that there are some empty seats at the ballpark.
Well, what I’m about to propose may just bring the folks back out to the ol’ ballgame. Especially if it’s a get-away game played in the afternoon.
What teams need to do is boast alternate, maybe even vintage uniforms, only on certain days of the schedule. If fans have fewer opportunities to see these uniforms, teams will sell more tickets because the fans will want to see that unordinary appearance of their favorite ball club.
Teams can obviously tread at whatever pace they choose, but if alternate uniforms are used for certain games, like game one of a doubleheader, Sundays, and day games, I have no doubt we’ll see more folks in the stands for a Wednesday game at noon as opposed to no one at all.
Minnesota and Cleveland have instituted the old-fashioned look for their uniforms with the ivory jersey and pants instead of the solid white. Milwaukee has brought back the pin-striped blue and gold uniforms from the ‘80s. It has clearly gotten fan attention.
Many spectators are seen wearing the alternate jerseys in the stands as cameras pan the crowd. I should also mention that the establishment of alternate uniforms by all 30 MLB teams would bring a pretty profit, but obviously that’s a given.
Almost every team has one game each year when they wear an alternate uniform, usually it’s the old wool outfits from the days of our grandparents to mark some special day, rivalry or because they’re meeting up in interleague play. But it should be much more than that.
Can you imagine going out to the ballgame and seeing players wear the uniforms of the old days or an alternate jersey? And what if it’s a team playing in a historic ballpark? Wouldn’t it be amazing to see the Red Sox and Orioles boast the look of seasons gone by? Or how about the newer retro-style stadiums? A matchup with the Phillies and Pirates dressed in unique colors at a game in Pittsburgh would really be worthwhile.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have the right idea. They’re going to be wearing vintage Brooklyn uniforms throughout the season.
And this just can’t be an at home thing. If one team is wearing an alternate uniform, than so should the other. It’s really awkward to watch those Brewers games with Milwaukee in their pin-striped alternates and their opponent in a modern day solid gray. After all, you never know if a fan on the road might buy a jersey just because of the way it looks. Cue the sound effect of the cash register.
I suppose this would be me being liberal toward the game I love.
If it profits baseball and puts people in the stands, I’m all for it.
Dominic Genetti writes for the Hannibal (Mo.) Courier-Post.