Well we knew they were coming, but the Swallows have unveiled their “new” uniforms that will be used in battle from the 2013 season onwards.
The uniforms are a return to the colour scheme used during the organisation’s most successful period, the 1990s, with the red pinstripes returning for the home uniforms, along with the return of the navy blue and red road unis.
The pinstripes were last seen on a regular basis in the 2005 season, before the home jersey became an all-white affair from 2006. The navy road uniforms were last seen in 2008 before they were switched to “the world’s blandest shade of grey” in 2009.
Here they are in a bit more detail:
My initial impressions are positive, for the simple fact that it’s nice to go back to a set of uniforms that are unlike anything worn by Japan’s other eleven pro teams. Thus these will, aesthetically at least, give Tokyo their own on-field personality and character that has been lacking these last few years.
It was clear to all just how better the pinstripes looked this last season in the handful of games in which they wore their throwback unis, and it was likely that realisation that prompted the front office to retire the utterly bland threads of the last few years.
And personally speaking, I’m overjoyed to get the navy road uniforms back, as their uniqueness (in Japan) was one of the things that initially drew me to the Swallows way back in the midsts of time.
Another nice surprise to come out of all this, is the return of the old-skool white YS logo which will be used as the team’s primary logo from 2013. The logo was previously used for almost twenty years from 1974-1993.
This, for many at least, is a marked improvement over the red and blue YS, though it seems that logo will still be used on caps with the road uniforms, at least that’s what appears to be the case from the team’s own promo shots. And I don’t mind that at all, given that it matches the colour scheme of the road shirts perfectly.
Another positive is the removal of any kind of picture on the sleeves, with just “Tokyo” being written on the right sleeves, and “Yakult” and “Swallows” emblazoned on the left sleeves of the home and road jerseys respectively.
This means the “penguin?” has been removed from the left sleeve of the jerseys, a picture that confounded all who looked at it as it appeared to resemble nothing particularly Swallow-esque, looking more like the scrawl of the Yakult office intern asked at the last minute to draw “the head of something that looks like a bird”.
If you are so inclined you can see, and indeed purchase, the new jerseys at the upcoming Fan Appreciation Day.
So then, what are your thoughts? Love ’em? Hate ’em? Don’t give a shit? Let us know in the comments.