They’re calling it #NewBlue but for fans of the Toronto Blue Jays, it sure feels familiar.
This morning the Blue Jays unveiled an alternate powder blue uniform for the 2020 season before a crowd of media and fans here at the team’s annual WinterFest at Rogers Centre. The uniform includes a new powder blue jersey and matching pants as well as a new cap with a dark navy blue crown and powder blue visor with the team’s familiar logo still on the front.
“For years, Blue Jays fans have expressed a desire for the revival of the baby blues,” said Mark Shapiro, President & CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays, “We are thrilled to share this original New Blue alternate uniform with Blue Jays fans across Canada.”
This new look is not a direct copy of any of the previous powder blue uniforms worn over the years by the Blue Jays. For example, none of the past powder blues were worn with a button-up jersey like the new one is, nor did any have the team logo under the wordmark set off to one side.
The new uniform incorporates the team’s modern-style logos, striping, and fonts rather than the originals. “BLUE JAYS” is arched across the chest in dark navy blue and white split-style lettering with the updated logo on the lower left and the new league-wide Nike “Swoosh” added to the upper right. The back of the jersey indeed includes a player’s name, the number is also in the new-style Blue Jays font and much like the lettering on the front it is the split-styled navy blue with white.
While the darker blue used as a trim colour throughout the new jersey and on the cap may feel like another new colour for the club, it’s the same shade of navy blue that’s been a part of their logo since their last major re-branding for the 2012 season. Previously it could only be found on the lower half of the bluejay head on the team’s logos.
“As we began thinking about what an adaption of the old uniform could look like, we polled our current players on various designs and the response was unanimously aligned with what we have heard from fans”, added Shapiro. “The decision was very clear.”
Over the years, the Blue Jays have worn several different powder blue uniforms. For every single road game the team played from their inaugural season in 1977 right up through to the end of the 1988 season, the Blue Jays wore pullover powder blues. Just in time for their move to SkyDome, the team debuted new button-up uniforms in 1989 which included a more traditionally-styled road grey jersey. Two decades later in 2008, a wave of nostalgia resulted in the early-1980s version of the powder blues being brought back as a Friday night home uniform before it was retired again after just three seasons.
This uniform isn’t the only change the Blue Jays are making to their look for 2020, the Blue Jays logo is getting an update as well! Though the changes are quite minor by comparison. Following a trend seen across Major League Baseball over the last decade, the Blue Jays are swapping their primary and secondary logos:
The new primary logo is now just the bird/maple leaf design, the version with the team name and baseball surrounding the bird will now be the secondary logo. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, this has been done numerous times across the league in recent years — the Tigers, Pirates, Rockies, Padres, Indians, Orioles, and Brewers have all done the exact same thing.
As you can see in the graphic up above, there’s also been a slight tweak to the red used throughout the team’s logos and uniforms. Here’s a side-by-side of the old and new reds because honestly, nobody would notice the change otherwise:
I reached out to the club for an explanation as to why the team made the logo swap and to the shade of red, no answer yet but have been told we may get one next week. The red that was just replaced was also the exact same shade of red the team had used from 1977-2003, it also happened to be the same shade of red used for the Canadian flag.
And, yes, this update is very minor, but it is an update nonetheless. It marks the first change to the Blue Jays’ primary logo since 2012 and is the sixth primary logo used by the club throughout their 43-year history.
The Toronto Blue Jays new powder blue uniform will be worn for both home and road games and will make its in-game debut on Opening Day, March 26th against the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre. We’ll get a better idea of how often they’ll be worn when the club announces their promotional schedule on Tuesday. As far as official uniform designations go, it replaces the red alternate uniform that was unveiled prior to the 2017 season — despite this, the team has told us that the red uniform will stick around and goes back to being a “Special Event” jersey, only to be worn for the annual Canada Day game.
The new caps and jerseys are available for purchase right now at the Rogers Centre JaysShop, you’ll be able to order them online from MLBShop and Fanatics starting February 1st.
Since I was physically at this event I wasn’t able to get this post up with photos in a timely manner, below are some of the shots I took of both the unveiling and some close-ups I was able to get a hold of afterwards.