It’s time to resurrect the Blue Jays’ powder blue uniforms

Eventually, every old sports uniform becomes new again. For proof, look how the Toronto Raptors brought back their retro 90s uniform for their upcoming season. Social media exploded with overwhelming positive feedback.

The Blue Jays have a few beloved kits in their 40-plus year club history, but only a few are worthy of being revived from the archives. There are others which should never see the light of day again (the muscle Jay and angry Jay uniforms, please).

Outside the original retro home white/road grey/alternate blue uniforms, it seems like enough time has passed … it’s time for the Blue Jays to revive the powder blue uniforms.

Maybe you’re like me, but I haven’t always had an affinity for this uniform set. There was a time when I thought the powder blues were an eyesore, but I’ve come to realize these uniforms and that era of Blue Jays baseball holds a special place in franchise history.

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My fondest memories of these particular uniforms came from watching Roy Halladay carve up competition during those “Flashback Friday” games in 2008 and 2009. Back then, the Jays wore those uniforms so often that it never felt like a special occasion.

However, I’ve done a complete 180 on the powder blues. What used to seem like a gimmick elicits a lot of fond memories from Blue Jays history. Plus, whether you’re a fan of the uniforms, the threads are undeniably eye-catching.

Since every other pro sports team is seemingly bringing back their old uniforms from the 70s, 80s and 90s, the Blue Jays need to follow suit and resurrect those baby blue pullovers.

The organization took the first step a few years ago when the Buffalo Bisons brought back a Blue Jays-inspired powder blue uniform for select games.

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Heck, even Marcus Stroman said the team should reinstate the powder blues. As one of the most fashion-forward former Blue Jays, it’s hard to argue with the Stro Show in this case.

Although it’s a novelty in this era, it’s crazy to think the powder blue uniform used to be a staple for nearly every team in the 70s and 80s. The St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies recently reinstated their powder blue uniforms into their rotation, so what are the Blue Jays waiting for?

If the Jays bring the powder blues back, the question then becomes “how does the club roll them out?” I think issuing them for every single Friday home game would be overkill, as others (players even) have suggested in the past. Once or twice a season would be the maximum number of times the Blue Jays should roll these out.

This past July, the Blue Jays had a powder blue uniform giveaway. That would have been the perfect opportunity for the club to dig these jerseys out of the vault, to coincide with the promotion.

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That giveaway may have been a test balloon of sorts, as the Blue Jays had a white panel cap giveaway back in 2015 and the team wore them on field during a “Turn Back the Clock” Night. Due to phenomenal response from fans and Blue Jays players, the team incorporated the white panel caps and helmets into the uniform rotation in 2017.

In fact, I wouldn’t be opposed for a “one night only Flashback Friday” where the uniforms only make one appearance per season. That way the nostalgia doesn’t wear off, but that era of Blue Jays baseball receives the appreciation it deserves.

At first, I thought it would be a nice touch to salute the 1985 Blue Jays squad with a 35th anniversary tribute to the “Drive of ’85”, but the team already brought back the bulk of the alumni from that division winning-squad in 2015.

Between the original Blue Jays uniform set and the current set, it’s hard to improve upon near perfection. Both sets are timeless. There’s a reason the team has barely tinkered with the uniform since unveiling the latest iteration in 2011.

Other than the Canada Day and Players’ Weekend uniforms, the Blue Jays have changed very little with the kit and haven’t added many new jerseys to the rotation, either. Aside from the addition of the white panel cap and helmet in 2016, it’s been business as usual.

The only nod to the retro Blue Jays logo came in the form of this year’s Independence Day cap and back in 2009 when the Jays wore the classic home uniforms as a salute to the 1992-1993 World Series champion teams.

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According to SportsLogos.net, the Blue Jays wore the original powder blues from their expansion season in 1977 to 1988. There was an ever-so-brief resurgence from 2008 to 2010, but the uniforms haven’t been worn in an official capacity for almost a decade.

It’s time, Blue Jays.

  • Seguaro

    Day one fan here. The powder blues are embarrassing. In fact, I have never purchased a Jays shirt given the alarm clock numbers which are an anachronistic turn off. Always remember the old Yankees dope Phil Rizutto referring to them as Canadian. “Hey White – check out the Canadian numbers.”

  • DriveOf85

    Heck YES bring back the powder blue uniforms. It’s the most striking part of the Blue Jays’ visual history.

    But if you object to the powder blue colour, OK, then let’s at least bring back the original logo white uniforms – either the pullovers from 1977-1988, or the button up 1989-1996 set. Beautifully simple and clear logo and typography (font). It’s an integral part of the Blue Jays’ heritage (or ‘brand story’) as they won 5 division titles and of course 2 World Series wearing them.

    As a bonus, it’s also a part of the golden age of modern Canadian design, a time when Canada’s national identify was formed with the help of graphic design that was unfussy, elegant, clear, and resolutely modern. The Blue Jays original logo appears (at the 0:10 mark) in this trailer on ‘Design Canada’.