OAKLAND A’s CONCEPT
during my time working on the MLB at under armour, i developed something of a fascination with the oakland athletics. in a league of blacks and blues and reds, the a’s green-and-yellow color scheme pops, and they have a rich, eclectic visual history. in short, the athletics have a nice aesthetic.
what bothers me, though, is their current uniforms don’t do the history of the club much justice. THE COLORS ARE MUTED and the design is relatively generic. back in the 60’s and 70’s, when the a’s had guys like vida blue, catfish hunter, and rollie fingers, and won back-to-back-to-back world series, thing were much more interesting. with such vibrant colors and distinctive design, there’s just no reason for the a’s to look like everyone else in the famously traditional (READ: BORING) MLB.
Most OF ALL, THERE’s no point in the a’s wearing gray, ever. while it’s the standard road uniform color in the MLB, it doesn’t make sense when you have kelly green and sunshine yellow at your disposal.
while gray is out, the white home uniform gets to stick around, for one very specific reason: the a’s have a long, wonderful history with white elephants, as seen on the sleeve patch (corrected from the current green). white also lets the green and yellow pop off a clean surface and was more heavily in use during the a’s pit stop in kansas city in the mid-60’s.
as is the case for the whole set, this uniform combines modern touches like the oakland script with throwback elements like the color-blocked sleeves, meant to recall the vest tops of the 1960’s.
as for color options, the assortment includes a kelly green option with a left chest a’s logo. again mixing new and old, the left chest a’s mark is from the modern brand, with the mcauliffe number font used during the athletics’ heyday featured on the front as well.
THE “OAKLAND” mark at the hem of the jersey reaffirms the a’s commitment to their home city and state. in an age of franchise mobility (especially in california), the a’s are an important part of the fabric that makes up their community. This mark lets the a’s faithful know they matter to their team.
finally, the all-yellow alternate rounds out the lineup. it’s by far the boldest look of the three, and the look most closely identified with the a’s. they were pioneers of bold uniform design, and never more so than going hear-to-toe yellow, which the did for a number of year (in contrast to the one-year-only all-green look). An oakland visual signature, the yellow sanitary sock under a green stirrup, is most at home with this uniform.
baseball has a reputation for being stodgy and slow to change. the a’s have, at various times in their history, turned that notion on its head. by mixing current brand elements with historical nods, they could do it again today.