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Codpieces and Wetsuits: A Look at MLB’s Newest Uniforms

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After Eden and beyond Hedonism II, people are supposed to wear their laundry. Generally speaking, clothing-optional is not an option. What is an option, at least if you aren’t Prisoner #30976, is the kind of clothing with which you adorn your form, be it a rhinestone caftan or a CSI: Miami nightshirt, with David Caruso’s sunglasses featured prominently in the area of the sternum.

With regard to baseball, perhaps no figure has celebrated this vestiary freedom with greater panache than former White Sox owner Bill Veeck. Indeed, 38 years ago last Friday, it was Veeck who perpetrated either a) the greatest sartorial misdeed in the annals of modern sports or b) the finest display of stylistic self-rule in the history of all history. On that afternoon in Chicago, in the first game of doubleheader at Comiskey Park, the White Sox took the field in uniforms that gave them the distinct appearance of misbehaving English schoolboys.

Now, in honor of that historic day, Major League Baseball is introducing 10 new uniforms, each an heir to the liberties that the Sox so bravely modeled. It is expected that each team will wear at least one of the uniforms during every homestand in September, and then again at Halloween.

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The uniform: a flag-colored Speedo of the type that Mark Spitz wore in the 1972 Summer Olympics, matched with a Molly Hatchet concert T-shirt (Fredericksburg Fairgrounds, May 30, 1983) and a Nehru jacket made of heavy merino tweed. The hat is a traditional Tam o’ Shanter stained with day-old haggis.

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Hairshirt

The uniform: a pair of authentic lederhosen, made of traditional leather and embroidered with the family crest of Herr David Hasselhoff, matched with the type of hairshirt in which Charlemagne was buried and Thomas Becket martyred. The hat is the outer layer of a head of iceberg lettuce, unwashed.

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The uniform: full-body chainmail armor of the type favored by the Sassanid Persians in the 3rd century A.D., paired with the low-slung holster that the Cuervo shot girl wears at Spring Break in Panama City. Rounding out the uniform is a plastic bib from Red Lobster, plus a pith helmet worn at a jaunty angle.

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The uniform: a codpiece and a pair of pasties, the pasties being two strips of uncooked bacon and the codpiece being half a scooped-out avocado rind.

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The uniform: a pair of loose-fitting trousers, like those favored by the Germanic tribes that migrated to the Western Roman Empire in the Early Middle Ages, matched with a Juicy Couture cotton T-shirt and a John Deere truckers cap on which are positioned five Lyndon LaRouche campaign pins.

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The uniform: a 1970s ruffled tuxedo shirt, with button cuffs convertible to cufflinks, paired with Southwest Airlines stewardess hot pants, circa 1975. Completing the ensemble are a pair of white, knee-high leather boots, plus a cap that resembles the sort of haircut one might see in a 1974 high-school yearbook above the name Bob Smith. To further authenticate the hot pants, MLB has added the distinct odor of Benson & Hedges cigarette smoke and the handprint of a male executive.

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The uniform: a pickle barrel, held up by suspenders made of the paper recycled from copies of The Bridges of Madison County found at an Abilene Goodwill.

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The uniform: the sort of long-sleeved shirt, dark vest, patterned necktie and khaki chinos that Diane Keaton wore in the 1977 movie Annie Hall, matched with a Fonzie-style jacket in whose left pocket is an unwrapped Jolly Rancher. For headwear, each player enjoys a choice between the motorcycle helmet that Peter Fonda wore in Easy Rider and the propeller hat that I am wearing now.

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The uniform: a traditional Sumo mawashi, or loincloth, matched with a Chippendale’s bow tie and a pair of Dutch klompen, or wooden clogs, on which a portrait of a young Henry Kissinger is airbrushed. The headgear, an empty Coors Light 12-pack carton, is worn inside out, in rally-cap fashion.

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inflatable diving suit

The uniform: an inflatable wetsuit matched with a Circuit City employee shirt (nametag optional) and the official Velcro belt of the Scrappy-Doo Fan Club. For headgear, the player is to wear a week-old kitten that simply won’t let go.