Let’s take a look at some uniform-related observations related to the Toronto Blue Jays so far in the 2020 season.
Putting an Accent on It
Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernández began sporting an acute accent on the “Á” of his surname on the back of his white uniform top on July 29 for the Blue Jays’ “home opener” at Nationals Park. He debuted it on the blue jerseys the next day and the road greys this Tuesday.
Major League Baseball began the Ponle Acento (“put the accent on it” in Spanish) campaign in 2016 to encourage players—mostly targeted to those with Hispanic descent—to tell their clubs how they would like their names styled on stadium screens, official publications, and on the back of their jerseys.
Streaking with the Road Greys
The Blue Jays have worn their grey road jerseys for every one of the seven road games so far this season. In fact, according to Sportslogos.net’s Daily Uniform Tracker, Toronto last wore the alternate blue uniform tops in an away game on September 6, 2019 when they lost 5–0 to the Rays at Tropicana Field. That’s a 15-game streak for those road greys.
Twitter user @CanadianPens noted that the last time the Jays won while wearing blue on the road was over a year ago on August 2, 2019 against the Orioles. In fact, the last time they won against a major league team wearing blue tops and grey pants was on April 18 against the Twins. (Yes, that was a dig at the 2019 Baltimore Orioles.) The 2019 Blue Jays were 4–17 (.190) while wearing the blue/grey combo—perhaps that’s why the team has eschewed them so far this season.
Pitcher Hyun Jin Ryu (#99) has started three games this season, all received by catcher Danny Jansen (#9). The last time the Toronto Blue Jays had a battery that featured only a single numeral occured in 1998, in the games that pitcher Bill Risley (#55) threw to catcher Mark Dalesandro (#5).
Other Uniform Notes
- The Blue Jays have yet to wear their white-paneled caps so far this season. They have also not worn their new powder blue alternate jerseys or the associated powder blue-brimmed cap.
- If you look closely at the Opening Day lineup photo above, you should be able to make out that Dante Bichette, Toronto’s newest Major League Coach, is wearing #21 and “BICHETTE” without an initial on the back of his uniform top. The elder (and balder) Bichette has worn a variety of numbers in his playing career, but is most well known for the #10 he wore with the Colorado Rockies as both a player and hitting coach. Coaches Tim Leiper and Dwayne Murphy both wore #21 (among other numbers) during their tenures in Toronto.
- Big hat tip to Bluebird Banter reader EMK19 who noted that the Blue Jays’ training pants have no pockets. Matt Shoemaker didn’t want other players to be distracted with their phones so he asked the Jays to make sure they couldn’t carry them during practice.
- I had written earlier this year that Shun Yamaguchi and Hyun Jin Ryu are the first pair of pitchers to wear #1 and #99, respectively, on the same MLB team. In that piece, I had outlined the 10 previous times when a pair of teammates have worn #1 and #99 at the same time for a major league club. We can add three more entries from 2020 to that list: 1) the Blue Jays’ pitchers Yamaguchi (#1) and Ryu (#99), 2) Cleveland’s outfielder Greg Allen (#1) and pitcher James Karinchak (#99), and 3) the Mariners’ outfielder Kyle Lewis (#1) and pitcher Taijuan Walker (#99).