Rays Unveil Third Jersey Option
In the past, major league teams have always had a third alternate jersey for special occasions or maybe a day game right after a late night contest. It makes the efforts of the clubhouse staff more efficient with the flow of a early game after a extended late night contest, and also provides a nice alternative for hot afternoon games. The Tampa Bay Rays are the third team in the American League East to announce this off season that they will go to the third optional uniform.
Like the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles, who announced earlier in the off season they they too will have a third option available for 2009. Some of the cynical folks around baseball think it is just a ruse to get the fan base to buy another jersey for around $ 229 dollars and further the team’s financial coffers. But as one woman told me when she saw the new dark blue Rays jersey, “It will just help bring out the accents in my eyes better than the white jersey.”
For whatever reason the team and the fans buy the new jersey, the fact still remains that the team did not go the option of including the name “Tampa Bay ” spread across the front of the jersey. Why is it that the team will not have an away or road jersey with the team’s location on it. Is their bond with getting back to baseball traditions extending all the way to not even showing their geographical pride in the area, or just another ploy to not have to change the jersey if a drastic measure comes about a few years down the road.
You hope it is not a ruse by the teams management to hide the fact that the attendance in the Trop. has not been up to snuff for them in their 3-year plan. I am not upset that the St. Petersburg area is not listed anywhere on the jersey, so do not start up that line of misguided comments. The new jersey will be highlighted by the usual Rays logo with its swashbuckling “R” flowing from the chest area of the uniform. A major change will be an enhanced sunburst on the jersey that will be more pronounced and brighter in color to go with the added baby blue piping on the jersey.
Now I like the jersey, and the one I saw also contained the “devilray” patch still on the left sleeve. Thoughts have been circulating over the past year that this old icon of the old teams name and uniforms might be returned to the sea in 2009. The option might still be there for that to happen by the first time the uniforms are used during a May 1st game against division rivals, the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field.
You would think that they team might of had an commemorative patch to be worn in 2009 to celebrate their first American League pennant, but none was on display that day. There is still time for the team to announce such a patch, probably near the end of spring training and closer to the team’s home opener on April 13th when the New York Yankees come to town for 3 games. It is also the night that the team will unveil their first banners in the rafters of Tropicana Field for their 2008 championships. Banners will be displayed for the team’s success in their American League East divisional crown, and in their 2008 American League Championship on that night.
I actually like the jersey because it reminds me of the old green third uniform the Rays had in 2008 before the Rays logo and basic uniform colors changed to a blue and white based home uniform. It is made of the same fabric as that years jerseys and will reflect heat and absorb moisture to help with dehydration and extreme hot weather outdoors during the season. It is also a great item for kids based on the dark color. We all know that kids have a tendency to eat half their food at games and wear the other half on their shirts and pants. But in the long run, it is an attempt by the team to keep up the extended excitement of the Rays success in 2009. The uniforms might not a victory magnet for the Rays, but with the community becoming more aware and more excited daily about the team, more options for team based wear is a fantastic way to show your spirit and pride in your hometown Rays.