New York Mets: A Uniform History

Shale BriskinContributor IIINovember 19, 2011

New York Mets: A Uniform History

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    With the 2012 season coming in April, the Mets will be celebrating their 50th anniversary and will be wearing older uniforms in honor of the team's storied history. As shown in the above picture, the black backdrop will be removed and the blue caps will be worn almost exclusively.

    Over the Mets' 50-year history, the uniforms have definitely changed from one era to another, as have many other fashion trends across the country. As the Mets celebrate their 50th anniversary, they are using these retro uniforms to honor the 50 years the franchise has endured.

    With this being said, here is a uniform history for the New York Mets.

1960s

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    As the Mets became one of the two new National League expansion teams in 1962, National League baseball was re-born in New York. To honor the two previous National League teams in New York, the Mets chose blue to honor the Dodgers and orange to honor the Giants. They also added pinstripes to the home uniforms to honor the crosstown Yankees.

    The only home uniform the Mets really wore in the 1960s was the traditional white button-down home jersey with pinstripes, and the Mets logo in blue script and outlined in orange. The player's number appeared both in the front and back of the jersey. On the road, the Mets wore their traditional gray uniforms with "New York" spelled out in block letter style.

    It should be noted that the Mets' home logo was based on the Dodgers' logo and their away logo was based on the Giants' away logo when they were in New York.

    From 1964-1965, a patch was placed on the left sleeve for the entire year to honor the 1964 World's Fair, which took place just outside of Shea Stadium. This patch was removed in 1966.

    In 1969, every MLB team wore an MLB logo patch on the left hand sleeve to honor the first century of baseball history. However, in the 1969 World Series, the Mets shifted the MLB patch to the right sleeve and put the Mets patch back onto the left sleeve.

1970s

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    The overall design of the Mets uniform remained the same for most of the 1970s.

    In 1972, the flannel uniforms were replaced with double knit uniforms, which certainly benefited the players during the warm months of the season. A black armband was also worn on the sleeves of every player that year to honor Gil Hodges, who had unexpectedly passed away prior to the beginning of the season.

    In 1974, the Mets replaced the New York block-lettered road uniforms with a new road uniform that featured the Mets' home script. The style of the jersey numbers was also changed to a look that was similar to the jersey numbers on the home uniforms. This change lasted through 1977.

    In 1976, an American Bicentennial patch was worn on the right sleeve. The Mets also featured a special Bicentennial cap that they wore during select home games. A black armband was worn this year to honor original Mets owner Joan Payson and original Mets manager Casey Stengel, both of whom had passed away earlier that year.

    In 1978, the Mets replaced their original home jerseys with a pullover home jersey that featured a two-button crew-neck collar. Three stripes were added to the collar and sleeve edges as well. The road pants also underwent a change, and three thin blue and orange stripes were added to the sides of the road pants. A year later, names were added to the back of both the home and road jerseys.

1980s

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    As the 1980s began, the Mets underwent significant changes to their uniforms.

    In 1981, a "warm up" jersey was introduced for pre-game batting practice.

    In 1982, the road jerseys were replaced with a pullover v-neck that featured three thick racing stripes down the sides of both the jersey and the pants. This uniform lasted through 1986. An alternate road jersey was also used this year, which was a blue v-neck pullover that looked similar to the batting practice jerseys. The only main difference between the two had to do with the sleeve designs.

    In 1983, the home jersey went through a major makeover. A new v-neck pullover replaced the two-button crew-neck collared uniforms. The thick racing stripes that the road uniforms had were added to the home uniforms as well. The home uniform though still featured pinstripes, but the Mets' skyline patch was removed from the left sleeve. This uniform existed through 1990.

    In 1986, a 25th anniversary patch was added on the left sleeve to celebrate the Mets' 25th anniversary of existence.

    In 1987, the Mets' road uniform changed to a "New York" logo in large script, but this design only existed for just the 1987 season. Also, Rawlings became the new manufacturer of baseball uniforms and the Rawlings logo was featured on the right sleeve, marking the first time a manufacturer's logo is shown on an MLB uniform.

    In 1988, the Mets' road uniform underwent another change as the "New York" was now scripted in thin letters, similar to the Yankees' longtime road uniforms. The Mets also added a white outline to the lettering and numbering of the road jersey. In addition, the numbers were removed from the front of the road jersey. Like the home uniforms, these road uniforms lasted through 1990.

1990s

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    During the 1990s, the Mets underwent even more uniform changes.

    In 1991, the home and road uniforms both changed from pullover to button-down. A year later, the Mets wore a patch on the left sleeve to honor William A. Shea, who had passed away in October of 1991. Also in 1992, Russell became the new manufacturer of baseball uniforms, and its logo appeared on the right sleeve.

    In 1993, drastic uniform changes occurred. The racing stripes of the 1980s were removed from both the home and road uniforms, while the Mets' skyline patch reappeared on the left sleeve. A new style of script for the Mets' home logo was introduced, marking the first ever change made to the Mets' home logo. The zigzag pinstripes also changed back into straight pinstripes.The road uniform script was also changed in 1993 to a style rather similar to the one used in 1987. The style of these new home and road scripts were the same. Three equal width stripes were added to the sleeve edges as well.

    In 1994, the Mets wore not only a 25th anniversary patch to honor the 1969 World Series championship on the left sleeve, but also a 125th anniversary patch that every team wore to honor the 125th anniversary of MLB. Also, the Mets' uniforms featured numbers on the front side for the first time since 1987.

    In 1995, the Mets changed their home logo back to what it used to look like from 1962-1992. The road uniform logo also got changed back to the style of the 1962-1973 road uniforms. The Mets also brought back the blue piping to the sides of the uniforms, and add the same blue piping to the sleeve edges as well. Even the cap underwent a change that year with the button at the top changing colors from blue to orange.

    In 1996, every National League team had "J. M., N.L. Umpire, 10" embroidered onto the right sleeve to honor John McSherry, who passed away from a heart attack on Opening Day.

    In 1997, an alternate home uniform was added that were similar to the original home uniform, but did not feature the traditional pinstripes. These were known as the "snow white" uniforms. The Mets also added a new white cap with a blue brim, which quickly became known as the "ice cream man" cap. Unlike the new uniforms, the white cap did not become popular and did not make it past the 1997 season. Every MLB team also wore a patch on the right sleeve to honor the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the MLB color barrier back in 1947. 

    In 1998, the Mets added black as a third team color. The new alternate cap was black and with a blue brim. The new alternate home uniform now had a black backdrop shadow, as did the road uniform. Another alternate jersey was added that was black and featured the Mets' home script in blue and white with an orange backdrop.

    In 1999, a third cap was introduced. This one was all black with the blue New York logo outlined in white and with an orange backdrop. All the white home uniforms now had black backdrops and the player names were removed from the home jerseys for the first time since 1977. This experiment though only lasted a year. A new black alternate road jersey appeared and the Mets' skyline patch for the black uniforms became black to match the uniform color. However, the original skyline patch still remained on the white and gray uniforms.

2000s

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    In 2000, the MLB logo was added to the back of every MLB jersey. Rawlings once again became the new manufacturer of MLB uniforms. The Mets wore a patch during their two-game series against the Cubs in Japan. The player names on the backs of the home uniforms returned and the 2000 World Series patch was added to the left side of the Mets' caps during the World Series.

    In 2001, the Mets wore a patch on April 10 to honor the passing of Tommie Agee and prospect Brian Cole, both of whom passed away prior to the start of the season. After the September 11 attacks, a 9/11 logo was embroidered on the right sleeve of every MLB team and a USA patch temporarily replaced the MLB patch on the top of the back of the jerseys. Furthermore, the Mets decided to wear NYPD, FDNY, PAPD and EMS caps for the remainder of the season.

    In 2002, the Mets kept their 9/11 embroidered logo on the right sleeve and added a 40th anniversary patch above it.

    In 2003, the Mets wore orange batting practice jerseys for the first time and the Mets to wear their home pinstripe uniform less.

    In 2004, the Mets wore a patch on the right sleeve to honor both the 40th anniversary of Shea Stadium and the passing of Tug McGraw.

    The Mets do not make any more significant uniform changes until 2008, when the uniforms featured a Shea Stadium 1964-2008 patch on the right sleeve, marking the final season of Shea Stadium's history. A year later, the Mets moved into Citi Field and wore a patch on both the left side of the cap and on the right sleeve of the uniform.

2010s

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    In 2010, the Mets changed the color of their home pinstripe uniform from solid white to a cream color, which was similar to the color of the Mets' home uniforms in the 1960s. This home pinstripe uniform color remains to this day. The Mets also discontinued the use of the alternate road jersey and instead used the black jerseys with the home script on the road as well, but this jersey did not get used as much as before.

    In 2011, the Mets introduced a new alternate blue home jersey, which they wore in only a few games. However, this jersey may get used more in the future.

2012

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    As the 2012 season approaches, the Mets will wear a 50th anniversary patch, both on the left sleeve of the jersey and on the backs of their caps. The black backdrops from the white and gray uniforms will be removed to honor the Mets' past and the blue caps will be worn for the vast majority of the games, both home and away.

    The Mets wore the blue caps on the road for one game in 2008, but 2012 will be the first year since 1997 in which the blue hats will be worn regularly on the road. Nonetheless, the black alternate uniforms and caps will still be used occasionally.