Left to right: Ian Desmond, Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen, Jordan Zimmermann, John Lannan, Ryan Zimmerman. Photo courtesy of Cheryl Nichols, Nationals News Network
This evening before an invitation only crowd at Nationals Park, the Washington Nationals unveiled their uniforms for the 2011 season. Completely new for next season is the home white uniform which has been changed for the first time in the club’s history. The familiar beveled-block NATIONALS lettering is gone; in fact any reference to
“Nationals” has been removed, save for a new circular patch that has a blue outline with WASHINGTON NATIONALS in white letters and a smaller white circle with a red curly W. Moving forward, the home jersey will feature a red curly W with a thin blue outline on the left breast with and the number (no longer beveled) on the right breast, but conspicuously lower. Two-tone piping, (red on the inside, blue on the outside) runs down the center of the jersey. Essentially, it is a reverse of the alternate red jersey that the Nats wore last season, just with more piping. Also, gold has been completely removed from the uniforms.
The red alternate jersey is similar to last season’s model with two-tone piping (white on the inside, blue on the outside running down the center of the jersey.
The special occasion, patriotic jersey remains blue, but the interlocking DC on the left is replaced by a curly W. Like the previous version, stars and stripes are included within insignia. The two-tone piping is white on the inside and red on the outside. It is the same pattern as the home and alternate jerseys.
The road jersey, gray with “Washington” written in script (with a curly W to start) and the number beneath it on the left, retruns largely unchanged. The cap is changing though, with a red bill and red button (squatchee) instead of solid blue.
I am on board with these jersey changes for the most part. The home jersey is “cleaner” then the previous version. I had predicted “Nationals” being spelled out in script on the new home tops, which would have looked fine, but been generic. By essentially having the cap insignia on the left breast, the Nats make their uniform stand out a little since only a few teams, the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers come to mind, have jerseys in that style. This style is also somewhat reminiscent of the Washington Senators, who had a block W on the sleeve and later the front of their shirts. It was only after Charlie Brotman decided that the team would officially be known as the Senators that the name was actually spelled out.
The Nats are pushing the curly W as the main logo for the franchise. As a fan of the curly W, I’m on board with that, though they probably should have kept the interlocking DC logo on something. The DC insignia has always had some cachet amongst Washingtonians and I think the team erred by mothballing it, even though the curly W looks better.
The red jerseys are fine, though I would prefer they not be worn on Sundays or for Opening Day. I think home whites should be worn during the day and wonder why teams like wearing darker jerseys on hot, sunny summer afternoons. The blue jerseys are unfortunately tacky with the stars and stripes forced into the insignia. That reminds me of some of the Washington souvenirs that are sold to tourists. The road uniform changes are barely noticeable, though I will miss the solid navy blue Nats cap. I have been wearing one of those since they came out and am sorry to see them taken out of service. I understand that switching to the red billed cap will appease some who think the solid blue was out of place with the red trim of the road uniform though. One possible bright side, maybe I can find a new all blue cap for cheap(er) now.
One rumor I had heard, that the red jersey would be going away, turned out to be unfounded. That’s fine by me.
The primary logo (seen on a t-shirt below) which is the sleeve patch is unusual in that it makes no reference to baseball. Typically, the seems of the ball are squeezed in there somewhere. I’m fine with it though.
Lastly, you may have seen a jersey that had Nationals in script (but not a looping N like the “Nats Town” script) on the Web. It must have been a prototype, because that Nationals script is part of the secondary team’s imaging.
Paul Lukas of Uni Watch covers the new uniforms in today’s edition. He thinks the script prototype was a winner and is disappointed by the unaligned insignia and number (which I agree with) as well as the two-tone piping. He approves of the jersey not being overdesigned though, but on the whole things they blew it with the home uniforms. I disagree. He likes the road jersey, not so much the road cap, likes the red jersey and don’t even mention the stars and stripes jersey.
New uniforms unveiled [updated] – Nats Insider
So this is what the New Nationals 2011 Home Jerseys Look Like | So this is what the New Nationals 2011 Road Jerseys Look Like | So this is what the New Nationals 2011 Alternate Jerseys Look Like – Nationals Enquirer
2011 Nationals New Uniforms – Nats News Network: Off the Field
Nationals unveil new jerseys in fashion show – nationals.com
The Nationals’ New Uniforms: In Pictures – We Love DC
Those Uniforms – NationalsFanboyLooser
Clean, Crisp & Pretty Nice – Nats320
A curly W: New-look Nats’ duds are letter-perfect – That channel I don’t like (But Kristen’s good people)
New Nationals Uniforms (and no more “Natinals” jokes) – Let Teddy Win
Washington Nationals Unveil New Jerseys In Nationals Park. – Federal Baseball
Curly W fashion show – Nats Fan Girls
The Nationals’ logo, before and after – Nationals Daily News
Sadly, Adam Dunn did not appear in a new uniform with a new contract.
Jersey images above are used without the express written consent of Major League Baseball. They are being used with implied oral consent. I grabbed them from the Nationals Shop. This does not constitute an endorsement of that vendor, just acknowledgment of where I (or Nationals Enquirer) got the images from before I resized them.