Diamond Stars and Stripes
February 24, 2009 | Kevin Zdancewicz

USA Baseball

With spring training well underway, it’s beginning to look a lot like baseball season. And this baseball season will include the second installment of the World Baseball Classic. For those who missed it in 2006, the WBC is an international tournament organized to be the baseball equivalent of soccer’s World Cup (even though there already is a baseball World Cup) since it will feature professional players from the MLB and the NPB (Japanese major league). Minor league and college players fill out the rosters for the Olympics, so the WBC is billed as your one chance to see the best players in the world representing their native countries (or a random one if you’re A-Roid). With the start of the World Baseball Classic fast approaching, an interesting element of the tournament is already taking place: finding out what each team will wear.

I have long been of the opinion that the United States (featured above) does a great job on their baseball uniforms for international competition. The “Stars and Stripes” avoids the temptation to do things like Japan (name on the hat, really?) and Korea (what’s up with the pants stripe?) did in the 2006 WBC. (Korea may be even worse this year, if that’s possible). The U.S. has jerseys that are original (not just throwing block “USA” on the hat and jersey) and modern (creating the stylized “US” and star hat logo), but are still clean enough to not be negatively newsworthy (say that five times fast). I love the U.S. hat (need to get me one of those) and the chest wordmark is definitely solid (it’s really a toss-up between baseball and hockey for best wordmark).

Full disclosure: the feature photo is from the 2006 WBC. There haven’t really been any American team action shots, but I think it can be safely assumed that the 2009 uniforms will probably look much like they did for Team USA at the Olympics, which is also what they looked like for the 2006 WBC. It appears the only big difference, if this previously shown picture is accurate, is that there will be a little red pit stain on the underarm of the jersey. This addition is seemingly confirmed by this modestly-priced, personalized authentic jersey. I’m not a fan of this jersey element that is appearing more and more; to me, it serves no purpose and just looks dumb. However, one of the only times you will see that aspect of the jersey is if the U.S. is winning. And in that case, hopefully we will be seeing it a lot.

Photo Courtesy of Jamd

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