Royals – 50 Worst Moments – #49 – Turn Forward The Clock Night

The Kansas City Royals uniform has gone through very few major changes since its inception in 1969. Now, I’m specifically talking about the home whites. Crafted off of the Los Angeles Dodgers uniforms, the script ROYALS across the front and the color scheme has been pretty recognizable these past 50 years.

Royals jerseys through the years. [Image from wearefanatics.com]

Oh, sure, the home uniforms have developed alternates and there’s a batting practice style jersey for nearly every day of the week. Once the team won the championship in 2015, they went to gold filled and the patches on the sleeves change every year. But at least one home game a series, the home whites look just about the same as they did on Opening Day, 1969. And thank God. Original drafts for the uniform featured a logo of a large cow.

But that’s not good enough for baseball and it’s not good enough for the Royals. The road uniforms have undergone massive transformations, color splashes, and enough font changes to make any graphics design artist lose his or her shit. According to SportsLogos.net, the Royals original road uniforms were grey button ups, then in the early 70’s the boys went to the full powder blues. Following that, they went back to grey, then black for a short time, and now they are grey with blue lettering.

Jeff King also wore a futuristic mustache only worn by douchebags in the future. [SportsLogos.net]

But enough about all that. You know why we are here. We are nominating as our 49th worst Royals moment of all time the crime that occurred on July 18, 1998 in Seattle. Turn Forward the Clock Night was a promotion cooked up by the Mariners front office that started with a simple question, “What would baseball be like in 30 years?”

Rather than going with the obvious answer for 2027, a Trumpian, post-apocolyptic wasteland where nomads roam in modified Kia Sorrentos searching for one bar of 8G signal on their Apple iPhone 14 so they can tweet the latest smarmy response to the bread lines in 1294 characters (or just post a meme of a goat), the front office decided to come up with a look for a new uniform.

Obviously, the front office also didn’t understand that games would be broadcast in HD in 30 years and that people could get seizures if colors were too bright or flashy. Turn Forward The Clock Night was born. The Mariners opponent on that night? The Johnny Damon-led Kansas City Royals barreling toward an 89-loss season.

Have you ever been in a bar and had one of those bar arguments like “who is the better third baseman?” or “Marianne or Ginger?” Well, if you really want to start a proper bar fight, let’s go with “Which uniforms were worse? Mariners or Royals?”

The Royals uniforms featured some ghastly shade of yellow and these gold painted helmets that looked like Bob The Builder got a job at Trump Tower. (Ok. My Trump joke limit is 2, I’m done now.) There were goofy looking stirrups that made Hipolito Pichardo look like he had rocket boots on as well as two-tone sleeves. This was the first such introduction of the vest look that the Royals liked it so much, they brought it back in 2002 for their teenage goth phase.

Guess they figured out how to stop Junior from wearing his hat backwards. [YouTube]

But let’s talk for just a moment about the uniform style. THEY WERE FUCKING SLEEVELESS. Now, I know the White Sox jacked around for a while with shorts and high collars and the Athletics were always looking to shake shit up a bit. But sleeveless softball uniforms? GTFO. The quote of the night goes to Royals infielder Shane Halter, “You gotta be kidding, looks like a basketball uniform.”

Didn’t seem to phase Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., though. Because he sliced through the Royals like a lightsaber through the Enterprise. Junior had three hits and two RBI’s in the 8-5 victory. Also competing in the thunderdome that night was Mr. Jennifer Lopez, who homered. The game also featured future hall of famer Shane Mack pinch hitting for catcher Sal Fasano as well as a pinch hit RBI by Jermaine Allensworth who hit for shortstop Mendy Lopez. These were, apparently, humans who played for the Royals once.

Scott Service took the loss and Bobby Ayala was the winning pitcher and they drew 42,633 for the space age affair. But the only thing you really need to know is that somebody in the graphics department made Griffey into Geordi La Forge. And this is exactly why Battlestar Galactica was cancelled.

You think I’m mixing my metaphors? The first pitch was thrown out by Star Trek’s “Scottie” – James Doohan, who entered the game in a Delorean. So screw you and your sanctimonious scifi shaming.

All in all, maybe they shoulda just stuck with the cow logo? Pew Pew.

Up next… very recent history for #48.

 

1 Comment

  1. Chris Witt

    They repeated this debacle in 1999 in Detroit. We drove up to the Hof ceremony with George Brett that year. Caught the Royals at Wrigley Field, then on to see a day game in old Tigers stadiums last year. They wore road grey sleeveless versions, Jose Rosado was our starting pitcher. Can’t find any pictures of that day, but box score here http://www.baseball-almanac.com/box-scores/boxscore.php?boxid=199907220DET

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