June 1, 2010 | Kevin Zdancewicz

 UVA Baseball

One of the first things I ever did on the Internet was go to virginiasports.com and print off page after page of information about UVA baseball. The site had news, game recaps, an updated schedule, and the team roster – all of which was difficult to keep up with at the time if you didn’t live in Charlottesville. The one frustrating part was that it was mostly text-based so there were very few pictures. Therefore, even with that significant increase in the availability of information, keeping tabs on the uniforms of various Virginia teams was limited to the rare times games were on TV (easier for football and basketball, but tougher for non-revenue sports). And the late-1990s was an interesting time in terms of the visual identities of UVA teams. Some used the now-omnipresent V-Sabre, originally introduced to the football team’s helmet in 1994, while others used the familiar block-V-with-Virginia logo or some other V variation. Baseball had its own take on it with a block-V hat logo that was used as recently as 2004, Brian O’Connor’s first season as coach. The following season and ever since, the team has used the V-Sabre logo on its hat in step with the entire athletic program’s more uniform adoption of it.


While we’ve come a long way from those early years on the UVA athletics website and photos are more prevalent, it’s still tough to keep track of which uniforms the Hoos use for each game without being there. College baseball teams tend to have a ton of uniform combinations. The number of games played is significantly more than in other sports and most weekends include a series with three games on consecutive days. Having multiple uniform combinations helps break up the monotony of wearing the same thing for every game. Virginia appears to have used three major combinations this season: the solid white look in the feature photo, a navy jersey with white pinstriped pants, and an orange jersey with solid white pants. Virginia has two hats, both with the V-Sabre: solid navy worn with the navy jersey and navy with an orange brim worn with the orange jersey and the home whites. In addition to the two main hats, Virginia got a little festive earlier in the year and wore green hats for its game on St. Patrick’s Day. The solid white is a classic home look and I really like the “Virginia” lettering, which appears to have been inspired by my favorite MLB team. The navy and orange jerseys feature an identical script “Virginia” (which I also like) across the chest and one-stripe piping down the front placket and around the sleeves. For the navy jersey this meshes fine with the pinstriped pants, but the one-stripe piping on the orange jersey clashes with the three-stripe piping of the solid white pants (also used for the home white uniform). I think both uniforms would look better with white pants with a single navy stripe down the sides.


While they have worn these three uniforms predominantly this season, there have been a number of additional designs used during O’Connor’s tenure at UVA that may have appeared in games this year. One of the regular sets used last season and my favorite recent jersey is the solid navy version with “Virginia” in orange with white trim. It features the Red Sox font again, which dresses up the solid navy base enough to make it clean without being plain. This jersey appears to have been worn mostly with pinstriped pants, but it looks like in this photo solid white pants were used on occasion or in the past, which I greatly prefer.


Here’s a non-exhaustive rundown of other uniforms from within the last decade:

  • Solid white jersey with a slightly different “Virginia” wordmark and solid white pants with one-stripe navy piping.
  • White pinstriped jersey with script “Cavaliers” wordmark. I was never a big fan of these pinstripes – they’re kind of bland and I prefer to see the school name to the team nickname on college uniforms – so I wasn’t sad to see that they weren’t used this season.
  • Solid navy jersey with script “Cavaliers” wordmark, solid white pants with one-stripe navy piping, and orange hats, which I wasn’t a big fan of.
  • Solid orange jersey with script “Cavaliers” wordmark, solid white pants with one-stripe navy piping, and orange socks, which are a bit too garish for my liking.
  • Navy jersey with orange armpits and script “Virginia” wordmark (as on current navy and orange jerseys) with solid white pants with one-stripe navy piping. I wasn’t a big fan of the armpit design with piping down the sleeves, just seemed to be a bit much. I tend to prefer more traditional baseball uniform styles.
  • Navy jersey with orange armpits and script “Cavaliers” wordmark.
  • Orange jersey with navy armpits and script “Cavaliers” wordmark (ditto on the orange socks).
  • White hats with navy jerseys and solid white pants.
  • White vests with block “Virginia” lettering.
  • White vests with a different script “Virginia” wordmark with tail. This look is from around 2001 and, based on the few games I caught in the late-1990s, this “Virginia” script with the tail is a good indication of what the team wore around that time. Also, it’s kind of hard to see, but if you look closely the helmet logo features the V from the V-Sabre but without the sabres. This logo never appeared on the team’s hats, however.

After seeing all of those different uniform combinations, one thing you might have noticed is the lack of gray pants. Traditional baseball protocol calls for the home team to wear white uniforms and the road team to wear gray (though some use a different color). While colored alternate jerseys are increasingly used in MLB games, one team always has white pants and the other has gray (or sand) – regardless of whether one or both teams are wearing colored jerseys. In the college game, however, it is not uncommon to have both teams wear white pants with one wearing white jerseys and the other a colored one. While in lower leagues one might expect teams to have fewer uniform options and therefore resort to always wearing white pants, but it seems a little odd for a college team like UVA to have so many different jerseys without gray pants.

There are a number of other interesting aspects of the UVA baseball visual identity. The baseball squad is one of the few that has yet to use a variation similar to this “Virginia” wordmark which has been adopted by virtually every other University team. I’m torn since I like the lettering and script that the baseball team has now, plus it distinguishes it from the school’s other sports, but I think the standard “Virginia” wordmark would also look good on a baseball jersey. Another interesting aspect is that Virginia appears to use a navy helmet with orange brim no matter what the rest of the uniform or hat being used (recall that the team wears a solid navy hat with the navy jersey when looking at that photo). Finally, I really like the use of the “Hoos” wordmark on the back of the hats and on the left sleeve of the jersey. 

Hopefully now you’ll know what to expect the Hoos to wear as they make their way back to Omaha. Wahoowa!

Photo Courtesy of Virginiasports.com