Dodgers unveil throwback alternate road uniforms
Usually when a team announces that they’re introducing an alternate jersey, it’s best to brace for the worst, whether it means garishly colored pajama tops or terrifying if well-meaning camouflage. Fortunately, the Dodgers didn’t get too radical with the road jerseys they unveiled on Thursday — in fact, they’re throwbacks.
The alternate version of the Dodgers’ road jerseys will be gray, just like their regular ones, but will bear the team’s name in the same familiar script that adorns their white home jerseys. In other words, they’ll be essentially the same as the version they wore in 1958, their first year after moving from Brooklyn, and from 1970-98, before they re-introduced the city name on their roadwear. They had previously worn “Los Angeles” on their road jerseys from 1959-69, and they will continue to do so on most occasions.
One notable occasion when the alternate jerseys will be worn when they’re the “away” team is during their season-opening trip to Sydney, Australia. They’ll play an exhibition against Team Australia on March 20, then will open the regular season with a pair of games against the Diamondbacks on March 22 and 23.
Despite having one of the majors’ most iconic uniforms — for my money, they’re the best, but having been raised a Dodgers fan, I’ll concede bias on this topic — the team has worn alternate unis in the past. In 1999, they introduced a blue top with an alternate cap that ESPN uniform expert Paul Lukas termed “garish.” In 2011, they wore powder blue tops with “Brooklyn” across the front for six home games, an homage to uniforms their Brooklyn forebears wore for some night games in 1944 — though not the reflective satin of the originals, which were uncomfortably hot to wear and difficult to clean. The powder blues were chosen by fans in a vote, beating out pinstripes from 1911 and a powder blue block B logo from 1931.
They could have gone a similar route this time around, instead giving fans a chance to see the checkered unis from 1916 that made it look as though they were wearing graph paper or the kelly green caps and accents from 1937, the year before they switched to the now-classic royal blue script. The new alternates aren’t radical, and in fact they may be so subtle that they fly below the radars of fans who don’t follow the team’s every move. Some may think that defeats the purpose of having an alternate in the first place, but history shows that in this department, less is definitely more.