One of my favorite ballpark experiences is to show up at the stadium to discover it is throwback day. Baseball is a sport that lends itself to nostalgia, sometimes to its detriment, but there is something about seeing the same uniform your team wore in your youth that stirs those
One of my favorite ballpark experiences is to show up at the stadium to discover it is throwback day. Baseball is a sport that lends itself to nostalgia, sometimes to its detriment, but there is something about seeing the same uniform your team wore in your youth that stirs those old feelings of longing.
So, today at The Thirty, after looking at best active-player jerseys a few weeks ago, we look at the best throwback jersey for each team, and the best player name and number to have on the back. The jerseys may be throwback … but they are immortal. (Shoutout to Uni Watch, which will forever own this beat.)
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays: CARTER 29
Everybody hated the old black jerseys, but the most cherished Blue Jays jersey is from the most beloved Blue Jays era.
Orioles: RIPKEN 8
Cal Ripken Jr. will forever dominate all Orioles discussion, so all Orioles jerseys from his time always look the best. Shop now >>
Rays: CRAWFORD 13
Some might go with the Wade Boggs throwback, but Carl Crawford spanned both eras, the bad Devil Rays era and the good Rays one.
Red Sox: YASTRZEMSKI 8
You can go way back to Teddy Ballgame if you want, but I’m partial to this era of Red Sox history.
Yankees: RUTH 3
The beauty of the Yankees, of course, is that they have no real throwbacks, not really.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
Indians: SNYDER 28
In many ways, the Indians are forever the team of “Major League.” If you want your jersey to say VAUGHN 99, that’s fine, too.
Royals: BRETT 5
You can see George Brett running out of the dugout at Billy Martin just thinking about it, right? Shop now >>
Tigers: WHITAKER 1
This is not, as history would have it, the one that’s in the Smithsonian.
Twins: HRBEK 14
Not everybody loved the blue, but they’ll forever mark those late 80s, early 90s Twins teams.
White Sox: KITTLE 42
Chris Sale famously disliked these, but fans will love them forever.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
Angels: JOYNER 21
The halo over the A is always the best part.
Astros: RYAN 34
These were terrifying at the time but now have come around to be recognized as the beautiful treasures they are.
Athletics: JACKSON 9
The A’s have had some wonderful uniforms, but this one has to be the best. What a look!
Mariners: GRIFFEY 24
If you can pull off the Turn The Clock Forward look, you are basically as immortal as Ken Griffey Jr. himself.
Rangers: RYAN 34
Nolan Ryan is the throwback answer for many teams, maybe even ones he never even played for. Shop now >>
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves: AARON 44
No one will ever look as good as Hammerin’ Hank did.
Marlins: DAWSON 8
All teal, all the time.
Mets: CARTER 8
Perfect for the era, and that last championship will live on forever.
Nationals: GUERRERO 27
Whether or not you think this jersey should count as part of the Nationals, it still might be the best sports jersey of the last 50 years. (And if you want someone from the Nationals era, Livan Hernandez’s No. 61 jersey is a solid choice. He won 15 games in the inaugural season in D.C.)
Phillies: SCHMIDT 20
Extra points for having the bicentennial patch on the shoulder.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
Brewers: YOUNT 19
It has been nearly 40 years since the Brewers last wore these in the World Series. They were as close to getting back there last year as they’ve been since.
Cardinals: MUSIAL 6
The Cardinals jersey is iconic and mostly unchanged, but Stan the Man played back when there were different birds on a different bat. Shop now >>
Cubs: SANDBERG 23
It’s forever a summer day game with Harry Caray on the mic when you see this jersey.
Pirates: STARGELL 8
We all know, of course, what hat goes with this jersey.
Reds: BENCH 5
Johnny Bench crossed over many eras of Reds history, but my preference is this classy, classic grey.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
D-backs: JOHNSON 51
This might not be the most gorgeous throwback, but they’re indicative of the wide assortment of fascinating D-backs jerseys throughout the years.
Dodgers: ROBINSON 42
If it’s good enough for Mookie, it’s good enough for everyone.
Giants: MAYS 24
Willie Mays looked better wearing a baseball jersey than anyone else has ever looked wearing anything.
Padres: GWYNN 19
This is the only Padres jersey that has ever mattered.
Rockies: BICHETTE 10
The Rockies have had better team than their ’90s editions, but those are the ones we’ll never forget.
Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.