The new Nationals jerseys will prominently and proudly feature the beloved "curly W" logo, a change that marks both a new beginning and an authentic bond with the past.
First adopted by the Washington Senators in 1963, the curly W is still a big part of baseball's brand in the nation's capital. Whether we're marking curly W's in our scorebooks or showing support for our hometown team with a simple cap, that symbol has come to succinctly represent the essence of Nationals baseball.
That fact, combined with the results of focus groups, surveys and casual conversations, led the Nationals to showcase the simple, sleek curly W look prominently on the new jerseys, which were unveiled tonight at a fashion show at Nationals Park.
Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, Ian Desmond, John Lannan, Jordan Zimmermann and Ryan Zimmerman modeled the jerseys during a runway show for a small gathering of corporate guests and season ticket holders.
"[The curly W is] the one unique element that represents our players, our fans and our city," said Andrew Feffer, COO of the Washington Nationals. "It's the same clean, simple look and feel that fans have told us that they love."
The home white jersey underwent the biggest transformation and it was a big hit with the fans and players. The big curly W will be on the left chest. The numbers are red with a blue outline on the right chest. A sharp red and blue piping was added to the placket, sleeves and pants.
"I definitely like the white ones better," said Ian Desmond. "It definitely takes the expansion team [look] away. The block lettering, it's kind of standard for an expansion team. This gives us more identity."
Storen described the look as "clean and simple," which is exactly what the Nationals were hoping to achieve. He also changed his number to #25.
Lannan said the team will wear the red uniforms on weekends and the white uniforms during weekdays, debunking the idea that the starting pitcher has some say over which color is worn on the day he pitches. That's true for some teams, but not the Nationals.
The team will wear the patriotic blue uniforms on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Sept. 11th and military appreciation days. The stars and stripes curly W replaces the interlocking DC on that jersey, along with other minor changes.
Other changes include a new road cap (dark blue with a red bill) and the red and blue piping on the red alternate jersey.
Beyond the fashion show, the players were excited to see each other, catch up and start planning for next season.
"It gets baseball thoughts going through your head again," said Desmond. "The way the season ended just left so much hunger in my stomach to see what I can really do next year. I've got one year down, sophomore season coming up. I just really hope that we can do something special and really turn things around."
Fans can begin purchasing the jerseys on Thursday at the Nationals Park Team Store. The doors open at 8:00 a.m. and players will be signing autographs and greeting fans from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Fans can receive 15% off a new jersey if they turn in any MLB jersey through Dec. 1st.
Picture courtesy of the Washington Nationals