Saturday, August 9, 2014

Hey, A.J., how about briinging back the brown and gold!

I'm probably a hopeless romantic, but when my wife and I first moved to San Diego, it began our long-standing love affair with the Padres baseball team. At that time, the Friars shared a cozy, intimate, little stadium with the San Diego Chargers, called “Jack Murphy.” Players, such as Brent Strom, Bob Owchinko, Dave Winfield, Willie McCovey and Willie Davis graced the Padres roster, while Randy Jones was putting together a Cy Young award-winning season.

But perhaps what we remember the most, is the fact the Padres unveiled brand new baseball uniforms that year -- Brown, with mustard-colored sleeves, numbers and team-name.

Just in case you haven’t caught on yet, I loved those brown and yellow, and later, brown and orange uniforms. I mean, my blog is entitled “Bleedin’ Brown and Gold” for goodness sake. My very first Padres jersey was a Tony Gwynn brown and gold Cooperstown Collection.

I'm probably in the majority when I feel the Padres are facing an identity crisis with today’s blue uniforms, After all, the Toronto Blue Jays wear blue. The Seattle Mariners wear blue. Oh, and by the way, so do the Kansas City Royals and gasp!, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

I’m also not the only one who feels that way about those great, old brown uniforms. Sports Illustrated writer Lee Jenkins (a San Diegan, don’t you know) recently wrote a great piece entitled, "A San Diego Padre by any other uniform color just isn't as sweet." You can read it at

According to Jenkins, "The Padres have changed their ­primary uniforms 12 times since the franchise was founded in 1969. They’ve worn brown and yellow, brown and orange, brown and yellow and orange, blue and orange, blue and white, blue and tan. They’ve experimented with two colors of pinstripes, several shades of camouflage and a beige earth tone called sand. Their sartorial crisis started early: They tweaked their look in ’72, ’74, ’76, ’78, ’79 and ’80. Sometimes the alterations were subtle (adjusting script, adding buttons, erasing the SAN DIEGO over the PADRES), and sometimes they were as severe as gold pants. When the Pads won the ’84 National League Champion­ship Series, they could not celebrate simply with a commemorative T‑shirt. They overhauled their wardrobe again. “They are the all-time champion,” says preeminent baseball uniform historian Bill Henderson, “of changing everything."

Jenkins even quoted one “rabble rouser from Poway by way of San Diego State: “How many teams have blue? How many have red? But none of ’em have brown. ...I just thought there was something neat about that. I just thought it looked beautiful. More than just beautiful, I liked the sentiment behind it of, ‘This is who we are.’” That firebrand was Tony Gwynn, two years ago, to former Padres beat writer Tom Krasovic.”

MoreWhen questioned clear back in May, Padres team chairman Ron Fowler had stated San Diego would not bring back the brown uniforms anytime soon, citing research from fans who wanted the team to stick with the blue and white. However when pressed, Fowler said he wasn't able to divulge any of the teams’ "research," since it was still an on-going process.

“Baseball people, and that includes myself,
are slow to change and accept new ideas.
I remember that it took years to persuade them
to put numbers on uniforms” -- Branch Rickey

 "Who in their infinite wisdom decreed that Little League uniforms be white?
Certainly not a mother -- Erma Bombeck.
There may even be a plot afoot. As part of its “Baseball Night in San Diego,” the Padres actually gave fans a brown and orange 1984 Padres Replica Retro Jersey on May 24 vs. the Cubs. The jerseys, presented by Fox Sports San Diego, were part of San Diego’s 1984 National League Champions celebration and considered by many as one of the team’s best giveaways of the year.

So, hope springs eternal. Especially since the Friars have finally hired a new general manager to replace Josh Byrnes. One can only hope that A.J. Preller will be more receptive to fan desires. What better way to reward fan loyalty and enthusiasm than by tapping into San Diego’s own unique, tried and tested, brown color scheme?

There's even a facebook page dedicated to bringing back the brown uniforms, entitled, "The San Diego Padres belong in BROWN uniforms.” If you’re interested in signing this petition for the Friars to bring back brown for their uniforms, got to

In any case, the Padres need to reassert their own unique personality. Let's hope it's not too long before the Brown and Gold is back!


  1. Yes, great post! Bring back the gold and brown. I'm off to sign the petition.

  2. I'm definitely down for bringing back brown!

  3. AJ Preller is more of a player-personnel type guy, but me and a bunch of Friar fans on twitter have been harassing the front office-types like Mike Dee and Wayne Partello to Bring Back The Brown. "We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight!"

  4. Now that you mentioned the Dodgers, it makes perfect sense, right? Considering the Dodgers have used blue since they came to Los Angeles, perhaps the Padres would have to use another color combination aside from those that incorporate the color blue. Now I dunno what the powers that be are thinking, but short of a change in ownership, it won't happen easily. Well, let's hope otherwise!

    Linnie Dimmitt @ Uniforms Express