Over the off-season, the Milwaukee Brewers asked fans to submit uniform designs. The contest winner would have her/his design made into actual uniforms, which the Brewers would then wear in a couple of spring exhibition games. NotGraphs demigod Dayn Perry covered the winning selection in an article at CBS’s Eye On Baseball; sadly, Dayn’s own “unique” entry was not selected as the winner.
The Barrel Man head on the cap is awesome, even if the rest of the uniform is pretty bland. I do like the single stripe on the sleeve — a simple but classy touch. And, after slogging through all of the entries, I feel confident in saying that the winning entry was easily one of the best complete designs.
Most of the other entries were slight variations on Brewers uniforms past and present, and aren’t worth parsing here. But as I scrolled through the entries, I noticed some interesting themes emerge.
For instance, a number of erstwhile designers really wanted to incorporate depictions of beer into their uniforms:
Others wanted to focus more on the craft of brewing:
The impulse to incorporate barley was widespread, and of course, some did so more subtly than others. The example below would make a pretty cool minor league logo, but I can’t imagine it flying in the Majors:
An exasperating number of entries could not get beyond previous eras of baseball in Milwaukee. In some cases, I suppose that’s understandable. The 1957 Milwaukee Braves won the World Series — the city’s only championship to date. So while I myself am situated in the present, I understand the Braves nostalgia that many older fans have.
Harvey Kuenn’s “wall-banging” Brewers team of 1982 won the AL Pennant, but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in a seven-game World Series. Considering that this team played within the memory span of many younger fans, and that it included the franchise’s biggest icons (Yount, Molitor, Cooper, Fingers, etc.), the nostalgia for that team is understandable as well, if annoying.
The 1990s, however, were horrible for the Brewers, both in terms of performance and uniform aesthetic, so why anyone would want to harken back to that era is beyond me.
Seriously, it’s enough to make one want to go all post-modern:
Some people seemed to wish the Brewers were some other than a baseball team, like a bike racing team…
…or a 1950s diner…
…or the Green Bay Packers…
…or one’s hunting buddies…
…or a team of “sausage racers”…
… or a team of disembodied moustaches.
Some people wanted to use the uniforms to convey a positive message:
In the end, my two favorite entries were ones wherein bold but simple design elements were consistently applied to all aspects of the uniform, all while not sweating previous eras, taking the focus off of baseball, or using colors outside the core Brewers colors.
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