Do the clothes make the man?

FREDDIE FREEMAN tries on his new uniform (Dodgers photo).

As a long-time, long-suffering fan of the Los Angeles-Anaheim-Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, etc. I frequently wonder why my Halos, who reside just a few miles from my home (our homes, right?) spend so much time living in the bottom half of the baseball world.

It’s not tht the Angels are a hard-luck franchise located in a decaying town where the crowds can be counted in the hundreds. The Seraphs – as some headline writers used to call them – have pulled in 3 million fans annually until last year, and are often the number three team in Major League Baseball in attendance behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees.

They’ve got two future Hall-of-Famers on the field almost every day, and would probably draw four million fans if they could win a championship.

What’s the difference between the champs and the also-ran?

Then it hit me, looking at a photo of a Dodgers game. I thought to myself, self: “That is one fine-looking uniform. Classic, elegant and understated. Red, white and blue with the players’ number on the front, too. Heck, I’d look good in that. That would give me confidence.”

Now, I’m not saying that the Angels’ uniforms are bad. They’re OK. They’re not as awful as the periwinkle atrocities they had when Disney first bought the team. But the Halos have changed uniforms so often you’d think they were being repossessed by a clothing manufacturer.

The Dodgers, on the other hand have worn almost exactly the same style for as long as anyone can remember. When they left Brooklyn all they seemed to change was the “B” on the cap to an interlinked “L” and “A.”

Other consistent winners like the New York Yankees, Green Bay Packers, St. Louis (baseball) Cardinals and Los Angeles Lakers have stayed the course – fashion-wise – and reaped the rewards.

Sure, some people may say, you’ve got to keep up with the times. But a baseball uniform is a symbol, like the American flag or the Oscar statuette. It stands for something.

Of course, Angel fans have learned to stand for quite a bit. And Dodger fans, wearing their cooler replica jerseys, are standing and applauding their winning team, year after year.

Sports Retorts is posted on Wednesdays and Saturday.

Categories: Sports

Tagged as: , , ,

Leave a Reply