Uniform (noun): dress of a distinctive design or fashion worn by members of a particular group and serving as a means of identification.
Uniforms are what makes a team, a team. They can give a team swagger, grit, and their overall identity. The Chicago White Sox and their uniforms have always represented those words perfectly. The 1917 White Sox switched to a patriotic look for that year’s Fall Classic to pay homage to the United States of America’s involvement in World War I, and went on to take home the championship. The 1970’s brought us the baby blue era that took over the MLB, and the Sox joined in, along with plenty of other teams that wanted to make the change. The 70’s also gave us the experimental “Shorts” from Bill Veeck. Also, how can we not mention the “Winning Ugly” 1983 uniforms, a staple with the White Sox and their fans. Fast forward to September 30, 1990 where the final game at Comiskey Park gifted us with our first glimpse of what uniforms the team would be wearing for the next 30 years. Black and white pinstripes, topped with the iconic black and white “Sox” cap, that has been sported by celebrities, athletes, and fans, across three decades now. We now come to the year 2020, a special time to be a White Sox fan.
The Majestic days are over and a new uniform provider with arguably the most culture impacting company of all time is taking over: Nike. In greek mythology, Nike is the greek goddess of victory, and it shows with the athletes sponsored by the brand. The list includes Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, Lebron James, and Tiger Woods to name just a few. All of these are truly remarkable athletes that have changed the world in all sorts of ways forever. What Nike has done for athletes and teams the last fifty plus years is mindblowing.
The NBA uniforms designed by Nike in just the last three years have given us some of the greatest uniforms of all time. During the first year of the deal, they broke it down to four different sets for each team, and since then, have modified or added another jersey to select teams. Nike has a unique opportunity to make their mark with a team known for their classic uniforms. The company also has a chance to completely rebrand this team. Years and years of mediocrity and depressing seasons, the company can reshape the national media of what the White Sox really are. With a young and dangerous team itching for the playoffs, this could really benefit the White Sox. Nike creates winners and competitors, sounds pretty familiar right? This rebuild was based off of building a winning ball club that competes every game, inning, and pitch.
Before we continue to the actual concepts, The whole point of this article is to show conceptual graphics of what I believe (and hope) the company will do with our precious uniforms.
Now, let’s break down the categories for each uniform. I created five different uniforms, all based off of the various names given to the NBA jerseys.
- The Association Edition – Pays homage to the league, a collection of the most exclusive baseball clubs in the world.
- The Icon Edition – Represents the rich heritage and iconic identity of each MLB franchise.
- The Classic Edition – Serves as a celebration of some of the most memorable jerseys in MLB history.
- The City Edition – Represents the history, culture, and identity of the city that the team plays for.
- The Community Edition – Inspired by the community, inspired by the fans, inspired by the people who never miss a game.
Lastly, I’ll preface this part of the article with the changes I’ve made to all jerseys so that I don’t get repetitive. I’ve changed the font on all jerseys to a more varsity type font. And of course added a nike logo on the right chest to all jerseys.
The Association Edition
Classic pinstripes. There’s no way you can take this jersey away from the White Sox. Once it was created, we will never go back. Only a few minor changes to this jersey could freshen things up a bit.
- Two sleek sleeve stripes – Adding a subtle 2 or 3 inch stripe of black, followed by an inch of White Sox grey could do a lot, by not doing a lot.
- Patches – Adding the diamond sock logo to the right sleeve to fill the jersey up a bit more. Then to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the 2005 World Series Champions, add the ’05 World Series patch. Because, #2005Forever.
The Icon Edition
This is the uniform that is commonly used for road or away games, as well as a home alternative (pictured above). I would like to personally shout out fellow Sox On 35th contributor and tailgate legend, Jonnie Nonnie for our love of the road grey uniforms. But buddy, the time has come for a change. Sadly, I think we should ditch them. I’m no Christopher Kamka, but based on #BsonMetrics, the Sox have won more games in the alternate black jerseys.
Changes : This uniform is basically unchanged because it is so perfect.
- I made a slight change to the sleeve stripes to keep all the uniform sleeves the same, making the white strip slightly bigger than the grey stripe.
- The lettering and numbers were slightly modified to go back in time to when these uniforms were first introduced in 1997.
- Instead of having a black and grey outline on numbers and letters, I eliminated the black. Solid white numbers and letters with a grey outline.
Overall, these uniforms represent the rich heritage of the “Good Guys Wear Black” campaign, and keep our identity of being a gritty, hard-nosed ballclub.
The Classic Edition
This is going to be a really hot take on my part, but it’s time to change what we wear on Sundays. Don’t get me wrong, I love the 83’s. Absolutely love them, and wouldn’t even be mad if we didn’t get a change. But I think we should give the 1990’s, final year at Comiskey uniforms a chance. Inspired by the 1940’s style logo, mixed with the 1983 color scheme, it’s a perfect blend of historic and iconic, giving us memories of a young Frank Thomas.
- Keeping the sleeve stripe philosophy, with navy blue and red.
- Added the commemorative Comiskey Park patch.
- Used a vintage 90’s Nike swoosh instead of the traditional swoosh.
- American League patch to pay homage to the league.
The City Edition
The city of Chicago is one of the greatest cities on the damn planet. There’s a rich history, culture, and attitude. Every franchise in the city knows how special it is to play for a team with “Chicago” in the name. These were inspired from the Chicago Bulls 2017 City uniforms.
Changes: These are just concepts, not an official jersey.
- Chicago flag color scheme
- Kept the black and white cap for a contrast from the blue, white, and red.
- Chicago flag patch on the right sleeve
- 312 area code patch on the left sleeve
- Chicago flag star number patch on the lower left side
- Chicago flag design in the side of the pants.
The Community Edition
Last but certainly not least, we have jerseys to represent the community surrounding the White Sox. This uniform is based off of the hardworking, blue collar mentality of Sox fans. This is for the people in Bridgeport, and anyone who calls 35th and Shields home.
Changes : Also not an official jersey, just a concept of what I would like to see.
- We saw a resurgence of the cursive “White Sox” logo during the 2019 season so I used it as the main logo on the jersey.
- No pinstriped pants, just one solid black stripe to go for a clean and simple look.
- Batterman logo on the right sleeve
- Modified the jersey logo to recreate the current “Sox” cap logo.
- White bill on the hat for more contrast.
- Simple grey piping from the collar to the waist.
We’re reaching the end of this article, and this is where I would like to express my only concern with Nike taking over. Jersey prices will most likely go up due to the name of the brand alone, which sucks because I want a Nike Luis Robert jersey.
The 2020 season is going to be here before we know it, and I’m beyond excited to see this team play no matter what our uniforms look like. The White Sox will be playing with a swoosh on their jersey, which is very special. Again, winners and competitors wear the swoosh. I’ll close with my message to the 2020 Chicago White Sox and whoever is on the team. Just Do It.