Baltimore Orioles: Ranking the Top 5 Hats and Uniforms in Orioles History

Corey HanleyContributor IIIJune 1, 2011

Baltimore Orioles: Ranking the Top 5 Hats and Uniforms in Orioles History

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    ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 08:  Detail view of a hat and glove of the Baltimore Orioles resting in the dugout during the game against the Texas Rangers on April 8, 2008 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. The Orioles defeated the Rangers 8-1.  (Photo by C
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    The Orioles franchise has sported some great uniforms and hats over the years. Some feature different aspects of the franchise, like the cartoon Oriole bird or the current patch with the Maryland flag.

    During the history of the franchise, the bird has been featured on the cap every year, although the 1963 season began with a "B" on the cap that was quickly replaced with a bird. The jerseys have always featured the black and orange of the Orioles. Some of them have had a little too much of those colors.

    Here are the top five hats and top five uniforms in Orioles history, with a couple of honorary mention uniforms as a bonus.

5. 1954 Cap

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    This was the hat that the Orioles began wearing immediately after they came to Baltimore, and it's a pretty good one. The bird has an old-timey feel, but I don't love the black brim.

    The logo on the front changed a lot over the first 20 years of the franchise, and this is the one that I like the best. All of the others are angled weird or look kind of goofy.

4. 1975 Hat

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    This hat has great history for the Orioles because it was one that Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer wore. The orange brim is a great aspect that is a common factor in my top four.

    The cartoon bird face on the front is my favorite part. It represents the light-hearted fun that baseball is meant to exude.

    The only part that brings it down is the white paneling on the front. It is the only reason that this hat isn't higher.

3. Current Alternate Hat

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    BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 25: The Baltimore Orioles mascot dances with a fan during the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 25, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    The Orioles wear this hat with their alternate uniform. The best part of the hat is the simplicity of it.

    There is nothing wrong with just featuring the simple "O's" on the front, in the same vain of the Oakland A's hat. The Orioles have the right idea keeping it clean and fresh.

2. Current Hat

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    OAKLAND, CA - MAY 29:  Zach Britton #53 of the Baltimore Orioles reacts after giving up a run in the fifth inning to the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 29, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The current Orioles hat is great. The team decided to go with a realistic bird after the cartoon face, and it has evolved over the years to what it is now.

    The bird looks great and represents the history of the team and state as well as it should.

1. 1966-1974 Hat

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    This hat is very similar to the white panel one that was No. 4 on the list.

    As I said, the cartoon face is what makes it so great. It is just fun and happy.

    The funny part of it is that it features a hat on a hat, because the bird is wearing one. It has the perfect solid black background and the beautiful orange brim. It has all the elements of a great hat and was worn at the best time in Orioles history.

5. 1963 Home Uniform

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    The Orioles only used these uniforms for a short time in 1963, but they are pretty unique among the franchise's uniforms.

    The Orioles decided that they wanted to have block style lettering on the front of the jersey and chose to mimic the Giants style of uniform design.

    I think it looks pretty cool, but the copy-cat style and no names on the back aren't very good. I like to know who each player is and the Giants did it first, so this is just No. 5.

4. 1995 Home Uniform

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    BALTIMORE - OCTOBER 6:  On the 3001st and final game of his career, Cal Ripken Jr. #8 of the Baltimore Orioles stands in the infield ready for the game against the Boston Red Sox at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. The Red Sox won, 2-0.  (Photo by: Do
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    This uniform was used from 1995 to 2009 and means a lot to me because it was the uniform I was used to growing up. My memories of Cal Ripken are with him in this uniform, so it is special, but overall, it doesn't look too great.

    I feel like this uniform lacks orange, so it doesn't really cut it for me.

3. Current Road Uniform

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - MAY 03:  Luke Scott #30 of the Baltimore Orioles rounds the bases after hitting a 3-run home run during the 4th inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals on May 3, 2011 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jam
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    The Orioles decided in 2009 to go back to having Baltimore in cursive letters on the front of road uniforms, and they made the right decision. Similar uniforms were worn in the 1970s and 1980s, but they perfected it in this iteration.

    The cursive letters look great, especially with the underline. The thing that sets it apart from its predecessor is the patch on the left sleeve with the Maryland flag.

    I have always been a big fan of the flag, and it looks pretty cool on the side.

2. Current Alternate Uniform

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    OAKLAND, CA - MAY 27:  Nick Markakis #21 of the Baltimore Orioles reacts after striking out in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics during a Major League Baseball game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 27, 2011 in Oakland, California
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    The black alternate uniforms for the Orioles are awesome. I would love to watch this as the regular uniform, but I'm sure players would be miserable in such a heat absorbing color in an afternoon game in the summer.

    This uniform has the perfect mix of the team colors and just looks good on the team.

    On a side note, the yellow uniforms that Oakland is wearing in the background of the picture look awful.

1. 1966 Home Uniform

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    This is the iconic uniform in the history of the Orioles. Jim Palmer wore it. Brooks and Frank Robinson wore it. Cal Ripken Jr. and Eddie Murray wore it. Even Earl Weaver wore it.

    The uniform changed a little from the 1960s to 1980s, but the piping around the sleeves was really the only change that was notable. These classic, white uniforms with Orioles on the chest were introduced in 1966, right before the Orioles won their first World Series.

    The uniform has the same elements of the current one, but the font on the front is a little different and just looks better to me. The black name on the back is also just cool looking.

    The big reason that this is so great and memorable is because the Orioles won all three of their World Series wearing this design. If they start to win in another uniform, things may change, but for now, this represents the Oriole way and greatness.

Best Throwback: Baltimore Elite Giants

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    This is my personal favorite uniform that the Orioles have ever worn, but I didn't really feel like it was worthy of the list because it wasn't a part of this franchise.

    The Baltimore Elite Giants were a Negro League team that wore this jersey back in 1939. It just looks great on the players. The hat and uniform are pretty simple and the colors are great, but again, they aren't the Orioles.

    Nick Markakis had some serious swagger when he donned the jersey on throwback day, but unfortunately, that doesn't come often enough.

Ugliest Uniform: All Orange

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    This was the alternate for the Orioles back in the 1970s and the current Orioles broke them out towards the end of 2010. Writers everywhere chimed in about how gross this ensemble looked. Buck Showalter even said how ugly he thought it was.

    The orange jersey top is fine, but the orange pants are horrendous. If I'm the Orioles, I would leave these on the shelf.