Bring Back the Brown.
This sentiment has become a trend in the San Diego area. Just look up the hash tag on Twitter and you will witness firsthand the passion and desire a large portion this fanbase has to return to their roots.
Let’s start with a look at the San Diego Padres‘ uniform history.
Look at any timeline of the Padres’ uniform progression, and you will see the movement from the original brown, gold and white color scheme the club originally sported gradually morph into a navy blue, white and gray scheme.
What’s wrong with the current uniforms?
Generally, most Friar fans are not fond of the bland nature of the current linens. The font and new design were put in place in 2004 because “It’s something that really ties into the personality of the city,” said then Padres president and chief operating officer Dick Freeman via a 2004 press release. So I ask, what about this simple bland design represents the city of San Diego? The cursive “P”? I don’t see it.
In the same press release, vice president of design services for MLB Anna Occi noted, “We believe that it will be something very warm and endearing to everybody.”
Warm and endearing? Are we still talking about baseball? We have heard various annually contending clubs described as tough, gritty, scrappy, talented and hard-nosed— amongst a variety of other honorable adjectives. But “warm and endearing?” I don’t think so. A franchise that aims to be “warm and endearing” will consequently be a franchise that finishes in the bottom half of their division for 34 out of 45 years in existence.
Don’t get me wrong. I am by no means suggesting that uniforms and color schemes are synonymous with a winning tradition. However, a culture change is in order in San Diego, and it starts with the uniforms. Going back to their brown roots would create an identity unmatched in MLB.
Why not be unique?
Currently, 20 of the 30 MLB franchises incorporate some variation of blue in their color scheme. Of those 20 teams, eight ball clubs use the same or nearly the same shade of blue (navy) as the Padres. This issue is most evident during spring training contests when the Padres take on a team like the Seattle Mariners or the Milwaukee Brewers and the common fan struggles to differentiate which team is which. The Padres have a unique opportunity, given their uniform history, to create an identity that would be unrivaled by any other MLB team.
Bring back the brown, San Diego.