Friday, March 27, 2009
One of the ramifications of the new stadium deal is the stipulation that the Marlins change their name to the Miami Marlins upon moving into their new home in 2012(ish - I highly doubt a complex construction project in South Florida will finish on time). I have long thought this to be a good idea for a number of reasons, chief among them being the Marlins are a South Florida team, and having them (officially) represent the entire state of Florida makes little sense (especially with the Rays playing in Tampa beginning in 1997). In fact, some Marlins fans have wanted the team to change their geographical designation even before the inaugural season in 1993. I remember a shirt worn by a little league coach of mine which featured the main Marlins logo, except the letters 'F-L-O-R-I-D-A' were individually crossed out, and 'M-I-A-M-I' was screened above the crossed-out letters.
Using Florida as a geographical designation for a Miami team was made all the more anachronistic by the fact that long before the Florida Marlins existed, the Miami Marlins played in the Independent League from 1955 to 1960 (The team later moved to San Juan, PR, and Charleston, SC). The Miami Marlins resurfaced in 1961 and 1962 as a Class D team for the Philadelphia Phillies, and again from 1981-1989 as a team in the Florida State League.
But now that the Marlins are set to become the Miami Marlins in 2012, what changes will be made to their uniform? Fish Stripes examined this question last year, but let's go a little more in depth, shall we? The most obvious change we'll be seeing is the hat logo. The current hat logo features the familiar 'F' with an interlocking marlin, but the F will have to go. The team's batting practice hats feature a similar template with an 'M' substituted for the F. This could end up becoming the team's new hat logo, but I would hope they dial down the teal. We all remember these monstrosities, and hopefully the Marlins front office will remember that teal is best used as an accent color. Filling in the 'M' in black instead of teal gives you the image below, which I think looks good, while preserving most of the elements of the current hat logo:
As for the rest of the uniform, there have already been a few concepts thrown around the internet, but I think they use a bit too much teal for my taste. The Fish could try and revive the old 1980s Miami Marlins uniforms (which they have worn in throwback games) or the 1950s Miami Marlins uniforms, but the orange-and-blue color scheme is a bit too reminiscent of another NL East team. I don't think the Marlins want to look like the Mets. They could use the same template with the current teal-and-black color scheme, but that seems a little bland to me (unfortunately, there are few photos of the Miami Marlins throwbacks to be found on the internet - any help finding some more images would be appreciated).
When it comes to uniform changes, Paul Lukas of Uni Watch has a saying: "Is it good or is it stupid?" Lukas is not a fan of messing with concepts that already look good (see for instance the Ditch the Black campaign), and I feel the same way. I like the current Marlins uniforms. The pinstripes are a classic look, and now that teal is just an accent color, everything seems to fit together nicely. Replace "Florida" with "Miami" on the away unis, and insert the new hat logo from above in the spaces featuring the current hat logo, and you've got yourself newish uniforms that preserve a good look. Perhaps the Marlins will opt instead for a completely new design and/or color scheme, but the odds of coming up with a unique design that is also an improvement on the current design seem slim to me.