Minnesota Twins new uniform review

Editor’s note: At points of my own choosing I may cover topics not related to television. This is one of those points.

Before we look forward at the new Twins uniforms, let’s look back at the club’s history. The Twins began in 1961 in a white home uniform with navy pinstripes and “Twins” in cursive across the chest. In a sign of how much looser conventions were at the time, their road uniforms were also white but lacked pinstripes. They made their first change in 1972 by dropping the pinstripes at home and switching to grays on the road. The next year brought minor tweaks to the home set and introduced powder blue for the road. That look held until 1987, which brought the block style the team wore through its championship years and the Metrodome era. #RIPMetrodome 

Uniform malaise set in when they moved to Target Field in 2010. Road pinstripes were gone in favor of a new “Minnesota” cursive that was clownish from the start. Home pinstripes disappeared and a gold drop shadow debuted in 2015. All of this happened while the “M” hat gave way to variations on the original TC headwear from the 1960s. A series of lackluster alternates left the team in a mishmash of looks that clashed with time, with style and with good taste.

For years I hoped they would someday go back to the 1961 homes and the 1972 gray roads. That would have been a top-10 uniform. Like a cute Bumble match that turns out to be a spam bot, my hopes were dashed. The team opted for a full modernization in 2023. And that’s fine. I’m not opposed to new things. I’m opposed to bad things. 

Overall, the new look doesn’t have any truly bad things and most of the improvement is from what they got rid of. Gold is gone from the palette entirely, so is the hideous Minnesota cursive for road jerseys and the red alternate. Immediate win. Removing outlines (a first in team history) makes the jerseys feel different. Not better, not worse. Just different. 

The only truly new elements in the new kit are the M hat and a custom font for letters and numbers (the first time the Twins haven’t used traditional block numbers). I’ll share my thoughts on the M had in the headwear section. I have a mixed opinion on the font. They softened the serifs on their TC logo so much that it’s probably san-serif now. The “Minnesota” road and alternate jersey lettering matches, as do the player names. But the numbers have the serifs. None of this looks bad, it just doesn’t make sense. Why remove serifs from one element only to add them back on another? Are we throwing back to something at the same time we’re getting rid of it? Confused. 

(There are some other minor new elements like a state outline on the sleeve, but until that gets put on a hat or a chest I don’t think it’s worth getting worked up about.)

Here now are my thoughts on the uniforms themselves, rate out of a maximum of five stars.

Home whites ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is the uniform that tells us we’re not in the Metrodome anymore. The new Twins cursive is feather thin, as if it floated onto the jersey. Bright red against crisp white, they look wonderful in the sun and under the lights. Removing outlines is most notable here because it makes the revised cursive “Twins” seem naked. It’s like a looking at the skinny Diet Coke can next to the traditional can. I think that feeling will wear off as we get more used to looking at them. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the navy outline comes back down the road as the team iterates on the new style. 

Few other teams will look like the Twins in these. That’s a good thing. One star for the name and number being readable. Three stars for the uniform being sharp, distinct and pleasant to look at. 

Road grays ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Best look of the new kit. Going back to the pinstripe grays was not anywhere on my bingo card. I thought those were universally hated in the Metrodome era. This new iteration is extremely well done. The strips are so very light that you can only see them up close, which is actually kind of cool. Contrasted against the bright red and white piping (inspired by the 1970s-era uniforms) we have some visual dimension here that we don’t usually get from baseball jerseys. Applause. 

One star for the name and number being readable. Four stars for just being really sexy. 

Blue alternates ⭐︎

Big problem here: The names aren’t readable unless the player’s back is in direct sunlight. In other lighting they’re barely visible. A jersey’s one job is to identify the player wearing it. Hard to do when you can’t read the name.

How did they screw this up? I assume they do more than mock these up on a computer screen. Did they not sew up some samples and have people wear them, oh, I don’t know, on a baseball field at night? Did they not look at them through a video camera to make sure there’s enough contrast between the navy blue fabric and the red lettering? The same thing happened with the previous alternate blue alternate, making this mistake even more inexcusable. 

The simple solve here would have been to make the names white, like the incredibly visible numbers below it. Maybe they thought that looked too much like replica jersey or minimized the presence of red (which is otherwise only on the TV numbers). Another solution would be swap the colors so the name is white and the giant number is red. Maybe they tried and it looked like shit. What do I know. Not the name of any Twins player on the road, that’s for sure.

What really sucks is this is otherwise a neat jersey…on the person sitting in front of you. The dark navy, bright red and brilliant white go together very well. I think of stars in the midnight sky over the Boundary Waters. 

Four stars for a jersey that looks great in the pro shop. Minus four stars for failing to do it’s actual job on the field.

Home alternates ⭐️⭐️

Not long after I moved to the Cities, I found a bright yellow shirt at Walgreens that said “Proud to be from Minneapolis!” in bold blue cursive. Cheesy af but I bought it. That’s what this jersey looks like to me: Something generic you’d find at Walgreens for $9.99 and wear as a joke. 

The Twins are trying to be the team that gets to associate its brand with the locals. I get it. In that context this is a home run. Bald guys with long beards who drink craft beer will love it. Maybe it’s because I’m not “one of us”. Maybe it’s because I moved away. But this version of a hyperlocal jersey falls flat for me. It’s just…lame.

This version. I love the interlocking flags on the sleeve with logos of the Minneapolis Millers and St. Paul Saints. Putting that on the left chest would make a legendary uniform. Le.gen.dar.y. Like something straight out of 1915. Maybe that can be an iteration down the road.

One star for the name and number being readable. One star for being meh and relegating the actually cool feature to a sleeve patch.

Headwear ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Like the Twin Cities jersey, the new M hat is an obvious attempt to make the Twins hat something more than just a Twins hat. I thought the TC was that, so I don’t understand why they had try for a second one. I mean, come on. If the TC hasn’t become that in 60 years then get rid of it. 

Will the new M become what the Twins hope for? I don’t think so. It’s weak. A star above an M. How cliche. The hat matches the rest of the kit well and looks okay on the field. It just…it’s not amazing. I would like to see the new sleeve patch—a solid navy blue state map graphic with a red star over the Twin Cities—on the hat instead. That would be more clearly and uniquely Minnesota.

(Like others, my initial reaction to this one was “Hey, that’s the Marlins!” But Miami ditched that look a few years ago so I think that association will fade.)

The refined TC hat re-balances the interlock between the two letters. Fine. They also softened the serifs on each letter. I’m not a serif savant, but I think the design would now qualify as san-serif. Neither of these are changes worth caring about.

There’s an alternate TC to wear with the Twin Cities home uniform, and it’s the first monochrome TC color scheme ever worn on the field. I don’t recall anyone asking for this. The M-StP flags from the sleeve of the Twin Cities jersey put on a hat would have been, again, instantly iconic.

As we talk about hats we have to acknowledge the Twins have separate hats for home and road for the first time in team history. Stupid. Great brands have one mark. Doubly stupid for the hats to repeat what’s on the jersey—TC with Twins at home, M with Minnesota on the road. Why not switch them up? “Here are the Twin Cities Twins and the Minnesota Minnesota!” is basically what they’re saying. The The Angles Angles would be proud. 

Lastly, we have a new home batting helmet. Red with a white front panel, it is absolute fire and might be the best helmet in baseball. It turns me on physically. They wear the new M on the road helmet but I think this one would look good with the road kit, too. It would look good anywhere, because it’s sultry.

(Side note: Why does MLB let players smear pine tar all over their helmets? It’s ugly as ass and the league should tell players to put it somewhere else.)

Five stars for the sexy batting helmet. Minus one star for the boring M, minus one more for the needless monochrome TC. 

So I give the Twins new uniforms and headwear 14 of 25 stars. But that’s deceiving. The team absolutely nailed the primary home and road looks. Minor tweaks will surely come, but 30 years from now we’ll be aghast at the suggestion the Twins should re-brand. They’re that good. The alternates suffer from failed execution and general boredom, and the field hats are so-so. But overall a great leap forward. This team is now visually fun to look at. 

I am deeply aroused by the home batting helmet.


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