The first Reds jersey I ever owned was the current red home jersey with “GRIFFEY 3” stitched on the back. Ultimately, it mysteriously disappeared out of my gym locker one day in middle school, but I digress. I have gone on to purchase multiple Joey Votto jerseys, the 2011 All-Star Game edition (which I attended) and the current road jersey, as well as the home white Jay Bruce jersey and the home red alternate Aroldis Chapman jersey. One day, certainly down the line, I would love to add a sleeveless, striped Barry Larkin jersey to that collection.
All this jersey chatter comes from the announcement earlier today that on six separate occasions during the year, the Reds will be breaking out camouflage jerseys. They are supposed to be similar of the New York Mets jerseys with the same concept, which would mean the jersey is fundamentally the same, but the white/red that usually occupies the jersey will be military style camouflage. Last season, the Reds wore camouflage on the inside of their names and numbers on Memorial Day (which looked fantastic, in my opinion) to couple with the camouflage hats. Initially, I agreed with many pundits that thought the hat was atrocious looking. Over time though, my judgmental tendencies loosened and I succumbed to the buying of the hat. It was certainly not a decision I regret, as the hat is as sharp looking as ever.
On top of this addition, the Reds have announced they will be breaking out a “St. Patrick’s” type of jersey for this upcoming season. September 5th is Irish Heritage Day down at Great American Ball Park against the New York Mets. A quick internet search of Reds jerseys will certainly show the old-school “pullover” jerseys with green where the red once stood. Presumably, the jerseys will not be an exact replica, but the idea itself seems logical of substituting Reds’ red for Irish green. As far as the cap is concerned, I could imagine the same fate. Barring an injury, (or game importance) I would also imagine corner infielder and Irishman Jack Hannahan would be front and center in the Reds (Greens?) lineup that day.
A reminder for fans that may be fretting the break in tradition, is that last winter the Reds announced they’d be unleashing “Los Rojos” jerseys to be worn as yet another home alternate. The jerseys were worn twice, maybe thrice with no real rhyme or reason. What was curious was the hat selection on these days. Last spring, in an attempt to generate even more revenue, the team came out with new batting practice caps that were black mesh with a red brim and a giant picture of “Mr. Redlegs” planted in the middle. While I neglected to purchase that cap as well, the hat looked particularly snug and comfortable.
As well as those exceptions, the Reds also wore their Negro League remembrance jerseys on May 31 while playing in Pittsburgh. I had the pleasure of being parked in the front row of the 21 foot-high wall in right field which gave not only a great angle of the action, but the attire as well.
Jerseys and hats are unquestionably a major part of the Big Leagues today. Revenue sales can be driven up with more and more jersey ideas and combinations (the Miami Heat have 11!) that make the public crave wearing what the players wear. I myself will not be buying a Joey Votto “Irish Heritage” jersey, but I will certainly enjoy watching him play in it.