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Back in 1999, a writer got the bright idea of creating a column devoted to sports uniforms, beginning with a rundown of that season's Major League Baseball uniform changes. Twenty years later, Uni Watch is still going strong, and the annual MLB season preview—making its SI debut this year—is still our signature column. But Uni Watch isn't the only thing celebrating an anniversary this year. MLB itself is hitting a milestone, as 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the first openly salaried professional ballclub, the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings. That leads to our first uni-related tidbit of the year, because all teams except the Reds (who'll have their own anniversary mark) will be wearing a commemorative "MLB 150" sleeve patch for the entire season, along with a matching cap patch on Opening Day:


This patch is clearly more understated than the 125th-anniversary patch from 1994 and the centennial patch from 1969. On the one hand, it's a bit disappointing that they didn't come up with a more inspired design. On the other hand, maybe we should be grateful they didn't come up with something more garish. Either way, the anniversary patch is just the tip of this year's MLB uni iceberg. With Opening Day arriving March 28 (the earliest date ever), here's our annual team-by-team rundown of what you can expect to see on the field this season.

Jump to a Division: NL East | NL Central | NL West | AL East | AL Central | AL West

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Atlanta Braves

National League East

The Braves have made a bunch of small changes, all of which are for the better. First, they tweaked the script on their road jersey:


Second, the team added sleeve piping to their cream alternate jersey, which will now be designated for Sunday home games:


Third, the Braves added more contrast to their navy road alternate jersey. The script on the front, which had been blue, is now red:


Similarly, the numbers on the back have also been changed from blue to red:


Finally, for their red alternate jersey, which for the past five seasons had a star-spangled script, they're scrapping the stars, adding a tomahawk and going back to something close to the red design that was worn from 2005-13. The new version will be worn for Friday home games:


You can read a bit more about all of these changes here.

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Miami Marlins

National League East

Only seven years after their last uniform makeover, the Marlins have gone back to the drawing board, as owner Derek Jeter continues to put his stamp on the team. But if you were expecting Jeter to give the Marlins a Yankees-esque look, think again. The team's new identity features bold color tones that feel like they're taken from your childhood Lite-Brite set, beginning with the logos and the cap:

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As for the jerseys, it's interesting to see that they're going with the city name on the home whites and the team name on the black alternates:


New York Mets

National League East

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Mets' 1969 championship. The team is planning various celebrations to mark the occasion, so you'd think they'd also wear a commemorative anniversary patch, right? Wrong. Another tone-deaf move by a franchise that seems to specialize in them.

On the plus side, the Mets have made a fan-friendly move at Citi Field by adding season ticket holders' names to the top of the dugouts:​

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Philadelphia Phillies

National League East

Probably only the sharpest-eyed fans will notice, but the Phillies have made a subtle adjustment to their jersey scripts. The lettering is a bit thinner, the white outlining has been trimmed as well and the blue stars are now a bit darker:


The change applies to all of the team's jerseys, but it's most apparent on the red alternates because the contrasting white background has been toned down so much:


The same change can be seen on the team's blue alternate cap, where the white outline on the logo is now thinner:


If those moves seem inconspicuous, this next one won't: The Phils' infamous solid-maroon "Saturday Night Special" uniform, which generated so much negative backlash when it was worn in 1979 that it was retired after only one game, is being revived as a throwback on July 27 (which, appropriately, is a Saturday night game).

Speaking of throwbacks: The team's old powder blue design, which was worn as a throwback for a handful of games last season, is being upgraded to full-fledged alternate status this year. And finally, a uni-numerical note worth mentioning: Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, who wore No. 22 last season, is switching to No. 19 so Andrew McCutchen can wear 22.

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Washington Nationals

National League East

Your friendly uniform columnist usually doesn't concern himself with batting practice gear, but the Nationals have a new BP cap featuring a logo that's so good, and so much better than their usual script W, they should really adopt it as their primary mark.

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Milwaukee Brewers

National League Central

The award for the most minuscule uni tweak of the year goes to the Brewers, who've changed the webbing on the logo of their ball-in-glove "mb" alternate cap from blue to white (and also changing the New Era logo on the side of the cap from white to gold, but of course it would be better if that logo weren't there at all):


The change in the webbing color may seem like an absurdly picky detail, but it's actually something that Brewers fans have been tracking for years. Full details here.

Meanwhile: This will be the final season for Miller Park. No, the stadium isn't going anywhere, but it will have a new name in 2020.

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St. Louis Cardinals

National League Central

The Cardinals are bringing back the powder blues—sort of. They're adding a new Saturday road uniform in the classic blue hue, but it's not a throwback. Unlike their 1970s and ’80s powder blues, which had pullover jerseys and sansabelt pants, the new design has a button-front jersey, belted pants, and the same retro-styled script used on their cream-colored Saturday home alternate:


Also: Pitcher Daniel Poncedeleon has changed his surname to Ponce de Leon, which has resulted in a corresponding change to the back of his jersey:

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Chicago Cubs

National League Central

Nothing new this year for the Cubs, unless you count the accent mark that infielder Javier Báez is adding to the name on the back of his jersey (and yes, he has a tattoo of the MLB logo that aligns nicely with the one on his uniform):

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Pittsburgh Pirates

National League Central

The Pirates have changed the cap for their military appreciation uniform, which is worn for Thursday home games. The new design is actually a reprise of the cap that was worn last year for Memorial Day:

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Cincinnati Reds

National League Central

The Reds are the only team that won't wear the "MLB 150" patch this season, because they'll be wearing their own sesquicentennial patches on their jerseys and caps:


In addition, the Reds are marking their 150th year by trotting out a whopping 15 throwback designs from various points in their history, dating back as far as 1902. One of these designs features a jersey with collar points and a chest pocket; another features red pants; another is solid-blue! And of course there'll be vintage cap designs, vest jerseys, and striped stirrups all of which should make for a very uni-notable year in Cincinnati (additional info here).


If you add in the Reds' standard home, road, and alternate uniforms, plus the assorted holiday and special event unis that haven't yet been announced but are almost certain to be part of their 2019 rotation, they could easily end up wearing two dozen different uni designs this season, which would set the all-time MLB record by a comfortable margin. Pity their poor equipment staff!

On a more somber note, the Reds will also memorialize Frank Robinson this season with a circular black "20" patch, which will be worn on the upper left chest.

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Arizona Diamondbacks

National League West

The Diamondbacks, whose visual program is among the worst in the bigs, have somehow found a way to make things even worse. Ever since they began play in 1998, their field has included a dirt path running from the mound to home plate. Back in the day, when more ballparks included this feature, it was often known as the "keyhole." This year, though, the D-backs have installed new synthetic turf (there's a good assessment of it here), and the keyhole has been filled in:

That's a definite downgrade. It leaves Comerica Park in Detroit as the only current keyholed ballpark.

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Los Angeles Dodgers

National League West

The Dodgers have added a memorial patch for pitcher Don Newcombe, who passed away earlier this year:


And in a very subtle move, L.A. removed the little logo script from the back of their batting helmet:

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San Francisco Giants

National League West

No new uniforms this season for the Giants, but their stadium has a new name. It is now known as Oracle Park.

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San Diego Padres

National League West

The good news is that the Padres are celebrating their 50th anniversary with a sharp-looking patch featuring the great Swingin' Friar, which will be worn on all of the team's jerseys and caps.


The even better news is that the Padres are finally giving in to fan requests and bringing back the brown uniforms as their primary look next season. And not a moment too soon.

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Colorado Rockies

National League West

Smart move by the Rockies, who are adding a set of plain white pants to be worn with their black and purple alternate home jerseys. The white design looks cleaner than the pinstripes they've previously worn with those uniforms.

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Toronto Blue Jays

American League East

Interesting situation unfolding in Toronto, where the Blue Jays will have two pitchers with single-digit numbers on the roster—longtime single-digit stalwart Marcus Stroman, who wears No. 6, and newly acquired Clayton Richard, who wore No. 3 with the Padres but is switching to No. 2 with the Jays. Given that the American League's reigning Cy Young winner is also single-digitized (that would be the Rays' Blake Snell, who wears No. 4), we may see more pitchers going this route.

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Baltimore Orioles

American League East

The Orioles are one of several teams that are adding a "20" memorial patch for Frank Robinson (you can take a look back at some of Robinson's own uniform stylings here):


Also: The O's wore Maryland flag-themed uniforms for one game in 2017 and again in 2018. They haven't announced anything similar yet for this season, but they're doing a flag-themed jersey giveaway on June 29, so there's a good chance the team will be wearing that design on that date:

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Tampa Bay Rays

American League East

Several subtle changes for the Rays, beginning with the left sleeves of their navy and powder blue alternate jerseys, both of which will feature the team's swimming ray logo as a sleeve patch this season, just like the home whites and road grays. That spot on the two blue jerseys was occupied by the team's 20th-anniversary patch last year, and was blank prior to that.

The swimming ray sleeve patch is a new addition to the Rays' blue jerseys this season.

The swimming ray sleeve patch is a new addition to the Rays' blue jerseys this season.

Also: You know how some teams sew the lettering for the players' names on the back of the uniform directly onto the jersey, while others sew the lettering onto a separate strip of fabric and then sew that onto the jersey? Those fabric strips are called nameplates. The Rays and Indians have been the last two teams to use them for the past few years, but now both of those teams are switching to direct-sewn lettering, which will make this MLB's first nameplate-free season since 1972. How's that for a trivia nugget!


Meanwhile, remember how the Rays revived their inaugural 1998 uniform—the one with the endearingly hideous rainbow-gradated chest lettering—as a 20th-anniversary throwback for several games last season? They're apparently planning to wear them again in 2019, although they haven't yet announced any specific dates.

Finally, a ballpark note: The Rays are closing the upper deck at the Trop, which will reduce its seating capacity to about 25,000—by far the smallest in the bigs.

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Boston Red Sox

American League East

An unusual situation will unfold on June 29 and 30, when the Red Sox and Yankees face off for the first MLB games ever played in London. Although the games are technically Red Sox home dates—Boston will bat second and have two fewer games at Fenway—both teams will wear their white uniforms. The thinking behind this, obviously, is that MLB wants to showcase the iconic Yankee pinstripes, even if they're the road team. (Something similar happened in 2004, when the Yanks and Devil Rays opened the season with two games in Japan. The Devil Rays were the designated home team for those games, but they nonetheless wore gray and the Yanks wore white.) The London games will presumably feature some sort of commemorative jersey patch to mark the overseas occasion, but that hasn't yet been confirmed.

Speaking of things that haven't been confirmed: The Red Sox haven't yet announced that they'll be wearing gold-trimmed uniforms for their home opener on April 9, but that's become standard procedure for defending World Series champs, so it seems like a good bet.

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New York Yankees

American League East

As noted in the Red Sox entry, the Yankees will wear white for their two games against the Sox in London despite technically being the road team.

Meanwhile: Newly acquired reliever Adam Ottavino will become the first Yank ever to wear No. 0. He wore that same number for six seasons with the Rockies (he likes it because his last name begins with an "O"), but there's a big difference between rocking the zero at Coors Field and doing it in the Bronx. The goose egg looked really weird on the back of his spring training jersey and will no doubt look doubly so when he suits up in his regular season pinstripes:


Also: Reliever Danny Farquhar, who suffered a brain hemorrhage from a ruptured aneurysm last April as a member of the White Sox and later underwent brain surgery, is now in the Yankees' organization on a minor league deal. If he makes it back to the majors, expect to see him wearing a new cap insert that protects his head and his left temple (additional details here):

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Cleveland Indians

American League Central

Lots of changes for the Indians—some big, some not so big. First and foremost, they've eliminated their controversial Chief Wahoo logo, which will no longer appear as a sleeve patch or a cap logo. Second, the Indians have introduced a new red alternate jersey—their first red top since the 1970s. It will be worn only at home:


Third, they have a new navy alternate jersey with "Cleveland" lettering, which will be worn only on the road. This design replaces the earlier navy alternate with an "Indians" script, which had been worn both at home and on the road:


Fourth, the Indians are the hosts of this year's All-Star Game (the widely held assumption is that bringing the game to Cleveland was the carrot that MLB commish Rob Manfred dangled in order to get the team to scrap Chief Wahoo), so they've added the obligatory sleeve and cap patches. The patch designs reference the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which is located in Cleveland:


Fifth, the Indians are another team adding a memorial patch for Frank Robinson, who became MLB's first black manager when he skippered the Tribe in the mid-1970s. The patch will be worn only for the team's home opener on April 1.


Sixth, in an accessorization switcheroo, the undershirt and belt worn with the home whites is changing from red to navy: