With the 2013 World Series having been wrapped up by the Boston Red Sox on the eve of Halloween, the focus of the rest of Major League Baseball will turn in earnest to the off season and the upcoming 2014 year. For our beloved Chicago Cubs, a pair of immediate topics that will come to the mind of fans are the vacant managerial post and the molding of next year’s roster over the course of the hot stove league. Other headline grabbers this winter will include the ongoing attempts to finally get the Wrigley Field renovation going. And hand in hand with that is the celebration of the historic ballpark’s 100th year of existence.
Jun 29, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (44, middle) and right fielder Nate Schierholtz (19, right) greet designated hitter Alfonso Soriano (12) after a two-run homer by Soriano against the Seattle Mariners during the eleventh inning at Safeco Field. Schierholtz scored on the hit. Chicago defeated Seattle, 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
However one potential change that has gone under the radar is a possible uniform make over. Back in January of 2013 I had wrote about how the Cubs should capitalize on the throwback jersey popularity that continues to linger. While I cannot lay claim to the North Siders hearing my voice, CBS Sports picked up a February 2013 post by Bleacher Nation regarding a focus group discussion on the current uniforms and logos among talk of a potential JumboTron at the old fashioned stadium.
At the time the talks were preliminary, as focus groups tend to be a part of, and that of course resulted in the information not catching too many eyes and ears. But with the 100th Wrigley anniversary logo now revealed and the off season ready to officially kick off, the time has come to prepare for the reality of possible uniform additions or even changes.
My wish last off season had been for the Cubs to implement a throwback uniform for Sunday home games, as teams such as the White Sox have done in recent years. According to the focus group discussions highlighted by Bleacher Nation, this is in fact something the Cubs are considering. With the 100th anniversary of the Friendly Confines, the initial guess could be a 1914 throwback Sunday home alternate, or even a revamped and modernized take on script “Chicago” chest logo to act as the new road jersey. Even if the jerseys are not brought back into rotation, the popular standing Cub hat logo has a solid chance of making a comeback on the field.
For the traditionalists that may suffer a heart attack should the famous Cubs blue pinstripe home set be tampered with along with the sacred grounds of Wrigley, the strong belief is that the organization will not mess with that classic home uniform. But it will be interesting to see if the team decides to tinker with the Cubs left chest logo. If you go back a half century into Wrigley’s history, you will see a less bold version of the current design as worn in 1964.
Some of you may remember a rumor from a couple years ago that the Cubs may consider a red based alternate to replace the solid royal third jersey that Carlos Zambrano favored. The idea of looking like the Cardinals and blending in during a series with St. Louis struck fear and even outrage at thought. There is no mention of this idea, if true, resurfacing this time around. Instead, it appears any color change will involve going back to the navy shaded roots of the ball club’s early years.
Traditionalists really have nothing to balk at, as the Cubs have had many uniform tweaks during their long history in the Majors. The North Siders have not had significant changes to their current home and away templates since 1997, with the current road top replacing the short lived “Cubs” script that had people confusing the uniform with that of the Cuban national team in 1996.
As a child of the 80’s, I have a soft spot for the royal blue road jerseys made popular by the playoff runs in 1984 and 1989, along with the likes of Ryne Sandberg, Greg Maddux, Jody Davis, and Andre Dawson rocking them. 1989 also represents the 75th season of Wrigley, so there is a tie in there if needed. Other throwbacks that I would not mind seeing would the the 1950 road made famous by the Norman Rockwell “Saturday Evening Post” cover.
Regardless, prepare for change because change is coming. The plans to renovate Wrigley center around generating as much revenue to maintain a contender and merchandise sales go hand in hand with that plan. Just ask NBA teams or even soccer clubs over seas in Europe how it can help add to the bottom line if what fellow MLB clubs are doing is not convincing enough.
What jerseys and logos would you like to either see dusted off or redesigned for the up and coming Cubs?