These are not baseball’s ugliest uniforms, though many are nauseating. Here’s to the franchises that decided to bring a little Mugatu to the national pastime, with results fans are still trying to block out.
1874 Philadelphia Athletics: Dammit, you’re a baseball player. Rock that neckerchief/mustache combo with pride!
1916 New York Giants: Somehow Giant plaid didn’t catch on to the same extent as Yankee pinstripes. Also, love the hat. (Each year a player lasts in the bigs, they add another ring.)
1942 Philadelphia Phillies: By refusing to write out their full city or team name, they were on a first name basis with the world. (Tragically, no players actually named “Phil” were on the roster.)
1969 Seattle Pilots: They spent only one season in Seattle but, in that time, inspired Jim Bouton’s classic Ball Four and gave us this look: achievements unmatched by franchises that lasted twice as long. Look closely at the brim of the hat and spot the wings that make them seem less a baseball team than a budget airline.
1975 Cleveland Indians: Between Jim Brown’s 1965 retirement and LeBron’s 2003 arrival was a time of darkness for Cleveland sports fans. But at least they had this.
1976 Chicago White Sox: In a striking blow for gender equality (and a bold move even by owner Bill Veeck’s standards), suddenly the ladies got to ogle some man knee.
1980 San Diego Padres: They’d been tinkering with the black, orange, yellow, white and brown palette for years–you know, colors that just go together seamlessly–and finally nailed it. Gary Templeton models the uni in 1984 as Padre fans forget Ozzie Smith forever.
1983 Chicago White Sox: The ’80s had arrived but clearly the ’70s weren’t over, because only disco and blow would make a team say: “I think his uniform number should be way closer to his crotch.”
2000 San Diego Padres: To this day, the Padres periodically put on a variety of camouflage uni’s. It both salutes the military and acknowledges that throughout team history, players have been made to wear uniforms that make a man want to hide.
The 2021 Pittsburgh Pirates: In 1999, baseball did a “Turn Ahead the Clock” promotion where teams wore their uniforms from the year 2021. Pirate fans, this is only five years away…