Baseball fans know their favorite teams with one look at their clubs’ colors. For example, the Chicago White Sox members sport their iconic black and white uniforms while the Philadelphia Phillies wear their red, white, and blue. However, in 2019, some teams wore black for a weekend-long event. Therefore, it begs the question, why are baseball players suddenly wearing black?
MLB players wear black in 2019 because of that year’s Players Weekend. The MLB decided to opt for a monochromatic design for the different teams in the league. Although it seemed like a good idea, the overall reaction of different baseball communities was tremendously negative.
If you want to know more about the Players Weekend in MLB and why the league decided that its players wear black during this event, you should continue reading.
MLB players wore black and white during the Players Weekend in 2019. Although the purpose of the monochromatic color scheme seemed sound at first, the reactions were overwhelmingly negative across different communities.
Many fans compared the uniforms to trash bags, chess boards, and even the Mad magazine cartoon of the Spy vs. Spy character. Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona compared the uniforms to an ugly Christmas sweater, while Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts referred to them as a sign of disrespect.
What is the Players Weekend?
The Players Weekend event originated at the Toronto Blue Jays’ Rogers Centre in 2017. The first instance was organized by Major League Baseball and the Players Association. It was an event wherein players were able to express their personal tastes in design, as well as allowing hometown fans to interact with newer teammates.
Additionally, the first Players Weekend was from August 23rd to the 25th of that year. Additionally, it was the Washington Nationals that was going up against the Chicago Cubs for the first game on that weekend. Next, the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees would play to bring this special weekend to a close.
In 2017, the logo for the Major League Baseball uniform was replaced by a new logo that depicted the evolution of a ballplayer from Little League to the big leagues. In 2018, the uniforms were worn with contrasting colors and a “tribute patch” that honored those who made a difference in their lives. Some players wrote inspiring messages on their jerseys, including some that read ‘Thank You.’ Others would attribute their successful professional baseball career and wrote ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ on their uniforms.
Some player’s replaced the names at the backs of their jerseys with nicknames. Players were encouraged to use nicknames, but not required to do so. For instance, Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians had a ‘Mr. Smile’ on his jersey to attribute his personality on the field. Additionally, Kansas City Royals Brand Moss and Alcides Escobar also had their nicknames printed at the back of their jerseys.
However, many would agree that Hunter Pence of the Texas Rangers had the best nickname at the back of his jersey. While other players wanted to showcase their nicknames or love for their families, Pence had the shrug text emoji: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
Players Weekend 2019
In 2019, the MLB players promoted a monochromatic color scheme. MLB advertised this event with the tagline:
‘The uniforms will be black and white. The players will bring the color.’
#PlayersWeekend, Nicknames on Jerseys Return to MLB this year from Aug. 23-25. During the games, players will wear specially designed monochromatic all-black and all-white uniforms created specifically for the weekend-long event. pic.twitter.com/hCCHOCVpNr— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) August 6, 2019
The home team was given the first choice of color, while the visiting team was given the second choice. The only exception to the monochromatic look was the pitcher, who wore a black cap and white shirt to avoid blocking the field of play.
Many baseball players wore black in the Players Weekend event in 2019. The MLB decided to let the players wear monochromatic uniforms to help the players stand out more than before, according to an official social media post from the league. However, many members within the league, including players and coaches, aren’t too keen on this idea.