Ahead of the 2016 season, the Arizona Diamondbacks underwent a visual identity update that ended up going a bit awry. While there were some interesting and daring ideas on display with that particular set of uniforms, it was all just a bit too much and the Diamondbacks had to go through the 2016 campaign with the ugliest uniforms in all of baseball.
It was clearly a mistake, as evidenced by the fact that the team immediately had their uniforms tweaked before the 2017 season was underway. There may have been a slight improvement when it came to their look but they were still in a class of their own when it came to their uniforms and it wasn’t an elite class, either. The uniforms were still in need of some sort of fix to lift them out of the cellar of MLB’s uniform rankings.
Fortunately, the Diamondbacks have decided to take advantage of Nike’s arrival on the MLB scene and have once again refreshed their uniform set. The good news is that the third time is quite clearly the charm for Arizona, as it appears that they’ve finally gotten this thing right.
There’s no snakeskin pattern to be found anywhere on the jerseys, pants, or hats. Instead, the design has gone back to the basics and is deciding to let the team colors speak for themselves. In my opinion, putting the focus on the colors instead of any other additional bells and whistles is the best way to create a baseball uniform that actually looks good and it’s great that the Diamondbacks have finally figured this out on their third go-around.
The Diamondbacks are also still sticking with their somewhat peculiar idea of using teal as a secondary color on another white alternate jersey. Their usage of teal was one of the main “good idea, bad execution” moments on their previous uniform, so it’s nice to see what the teal looks like on a uniform that’s actually clean and simple instead of being complicated with other elements. The teal look also helps out a ton on the black “Los D-Backs” jerseys, as the color helps make the other colors “pop” off of the black canvas of the jersey.
The most pleasant part of this refresh is the road uniform. Instead of being an extremely dark shade of gray, the road look has gone back to the standard gray that we’re all used to seeing from baseball uniforms. It appears that the idea of dark gray uniforms spreading across baseball has evaporated into thin air, as the team that pioneered it has abandoned it after only few seasons. Instead, Arizona’s road look is just as crisp and pleasant to look at as their home look and that’s a big upgrade from what they had before.
Overall, the changes are more than welcome and the Diamondbacks made the right choice in going back to the drawing board again. They needed to go back to basics and they’ve done exactly that with these uniforms. It’s also interesting to note that two of the “new” looks that have been revealed with Nike as the manufacturer have been simple and conservative designs.
If that’s any indication, then maybe we won’t see Nike enter this league and try to reinvent the wheel with certain uniform designs like they did in both the NFL and the NBA. Either way, the Diamondbacks badly needed this fix and they can now rest easy knowing that they will no longer be included any lists concerning ugly sports uniforms.