Chris Ello
August 03, 2018 - 6:37 am

When we were lucky enough to be in Cooperstown, New York, last week to see the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Tony Gwynn Jr. (actually offered) and I (tagging along) were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum. Among the artifacts we saw was a never-used set of San Diego Padres baseball uniforms from the mid-1980's.

Say what you will about the Padres "taco" uniforms of 1984, which were featured on a national stage in that year's World Series loss to the Detroit Tigers. But let's just suffice to say that it's a good thing these particular threads -- safely locked away in a box deep inside an underground vault in Cooperstown -- never saw the light of day. With red and orange pinstripes, and off-brown coloring mixed with a kind-of mustard yellow tint, the prototype uni's looked like a combination of an artist's palette gone wild and a Creamsicle. 


But you know what? They were still somehow nicer looking than what the Padres wear these days.

Out of respect to Padres brass, most of whom I know and like, I've held off on whining too much about what I perceive to be baseball's most ho-hum, un-imaginative and not exactly ready-for-Vogue blue uniforms that the club has chosen to wear over the past two or three decades. But the time has come to call for a change back to the brown.

The decision should be an easy one, really. Let's start with the fans. Which uniforms do you think they like better?? You may have come up with different results in your unscientific polls, but most everybody I come into contact with seems to prefer brown. The Friars wear brown on all Friday home games, and from what I can tell, most love them.

Beyond that, however, is the idea of the Padres at long last returning to their roots and establishing once again their own identity. Do you know how many teams currently use a shade of blue as the their most recognizable team color? This many: Dodgers, Cubs, Brewers, Mets, Braves, Blue Jays, Rays, Royals, Twins, Astros and Rangers.

Teams that use brown? This many:

That's right. None. Currently the Padres' incredibly boring home uniforms are similar to those worn at home by Milwaukee. Their equally weak road unis are a dead-ringer match to those worn on the road by Tampa Bay. This needs to change.

The brown not only looks better, but it would set the Padres apart. I mean, here's the way I ultimately look at it:

If the Padres aren't going to play good baseball for another couple of years, they at least ought to look good not doing it.