Another Weekend, Another Change In Identity [Opinion]

This weekend, fans will turn on their television sets and not recognize their local team. Some might notice almost immediately, while for others, it may take several innings.

With Father’s Day being celebrated on Sunday, June 18, 2017, players will once again don special uniforms to commemorate the occasion.

The Cincinnati Reds will not be wearing their familiar red and black, the Oakland Athletics will not be donning their green and gold, and the Los Angeles Dodgers will trade in their recognizable pantone 294 shade of blue for one more closely resembling pantone 2142.

Sure, all the proceeds from merchandise sold this weekend will be donated to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer. But, the league should do that anyway, and quite frankly, not publicize it for the sake of care and compassion.

I am in no way, shape, or form knocking the charity efforts of Major League Baseball and the various other leagues. I do, however, have a problem when historic achievements are made when players are wearing unfamiliar attire.

Take, for example, the recent jersey retirement of former Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter. It occurred on Mother’s Day, and thus, all images and video from the ceremony show the current day New York Yankees donning pink-accented uniforms and caps.

Derek Jeter visits with Tanaka
Former New York Yankee Derek Jeter talks with starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka during a ceremony retiring his number at Yankee Stadium, Sunday, May 14, 2017 [Image by Seth Wenig/AP Images]

While that does not seem like such a big deal now, that image is now forever cemented in the history of the game. Future generations will witness moments like this, where players are wearing unfamiliar logos and colors, almost disregarding the legacy and tradition of each team’s art.

Whenever you see an iconic moment from the history of the game, the players and coaches are always wearing their respective team’s iconic logo and colors. This is no longer the case. Maybe I just have to accept that we live in a world where stirrups are traded in for eccentric stance socks, emblazoned with patterns and logos. Maybe I have to accept that adverts have to appear on the caps and jerseys. Maybe I have to accept that the game that I grew up loving as changed.

Maybe this Father’s Day is the weekend I realize, I am now an old man.

Matt Adams Hits Homer
Atlanta Braves first baseman Matt Adams celebrates in the dugout after hitting a two run home run [Image by Todd Kirkland/AP Images]

[Featured Image by Tony Gutierrez/AP Images]