ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Cardinals dipped 80 years into their past to come up with a fresh look for the 2013 season.
At a morning press conference at Busch Stadium the club unveiled a third jersey that will be worn during home Saturday games next season. And for the first time since 1932, the tops will say “St. Louis” instead of the traditional “Cardinals”.
The Cardinals had been one of just four teams to feature only home and road uniforms; now, just the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Detroit Tigers maintain the two-jersey approach. The addition of “St. Louis” to the Cardinals uniform, also leaves just the Los Angeles Angels, Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays as teams without a city or state scripted across their jerseys. The Detroit Tigers and Washington Nationals home uniforms are the only ones without the team name on the jersey. The Tigers’ home uniforms feature the Old English D and the Nationals’ has a curly W.
“I’m sensitive to the argument that the Cardinals are one of the classic franchises and should have the classic approach to their uniform, which is home white and grey road, period, end of story, no changes,” said Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III, the primary designer of the jersey unveiled Friday.
“(But) I think by putting in the same jersey elements of different eras that people are familiar with, all coming together in one jersey, I think is a great way to approach it because you’re not changing home and road or the basics of that but you’re using modern technology, better detailing and fabrics of today’s game and adding elements from the uniforms in the past. I think it feels right for the Cardinals.”
The iconic birds on the bat logo remains, with the scripted “St. Louis” serving as the most notable difference. The jersey features an off-white cream color that’s currently used by the Phillies, Giants, Indians and Braves.
The Saturday uniform also features red piping around the collar and down the front, last used by the organization in 1950s. The pants will also be a cream color and feature the red piping down the side.
The jerseys went on sale Friday morning at the Cardinals team store at Busch Stadium and online at Cardinals.com. They are expected to reach retail stores by around Thanksgiving.
“It’s a very exciting day for this organization,” said general manager John Mozeliak. “I look at our uniforms as one of those classic, most respected jerseys in all of baseball and to see that Bill was able to still keep those elegant designs and the tradition of this organization but put it into a third jersey, I think he did a magnificent job.
“He was able to take a step back in time and bring it forward yet still embody a lot of the modern uses of a uniform. It’s not going to be a uniform that gets overplayed, it’s for Saturday home games, but I think our player are going to embrace it and I think the fans are going to enjoy it.”
The Cardinals also announced small changes to their traditional home and road uniforms. They are dropping the navy blue hats and belts on the road and will wear red caps and belts for both home and away games. The blue cap will remain as an alternate hat and worn occasionally on the road. The current Sunday home caps will also remain.
The white and grey jerseys feature more detailed stitching within the birds on the bat logo, which is slightly larger than the previous ones. Also, the numbers on the front of the jersey will be a half-inch smaller to help make the logo stand out.
Said rookie pitcher Trevor Rosenthal, who modeled the new look uniforms Friday, “I think they are great. I think the guys on the team are going to want to wear them a lot more than Saturdays. It’s a really good look. It’s unique. I think it will really stick with the fans here in St. Louis.”