Ah, the Fall Classic -- Royals versus Mets, American League versus National League, Kansas City versus New York, the DH versus Bartolo Colon's plate prowess, and on and on.
Sure, you could focus on those storylines. As usual, though, the angles we're examining here at Uni Watch HQ are a little different. With the World Series about to start, here are 10 uni-related items to keep in mind about the two teams who'll be facing off starting Tuesday night:
1. Blue meanies. As many observers have noted, the last four teams standing in the MLB postseason -- the Mets, Royals, Cubs and Blue Jays -- all use royal blue as their primary color. But the two teams that advanced to the World Series take things a step further: According to the official Major League Baseball Style Guide, the Mets and Royals use the exact same shade of blue -- Pantone 288:
Fun fact: Mets, Royals use same official shade of blue (although lighting conditions can make them seem different). pic.twitter.com/hACzmsTzoh— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) October 26, 2015
So the Mets and Royals aren't just playing for the Commissioner's Trophy. They're also playing for royal blue supremacy.
2. The Dark Knight wears a bright color. Speaking of blue, Mets pitcher Matt Harvey is known to prefer the team's blue alternate jerseys, which are usually what the team wears when he's pitching. With Harvey slated to start Game 1, does this mean the Mets will make their first World Series appearance in 15 years wearing alternates instead of their classic road grays? It seems likely, but we'll find out Tuesday night.
Mets' Game 1 starter Matt Harvey prefers the blue alternate jerseys, so look for the Mets to wear that in Game 1. pic.twitter.com/2ku2rDgM4r— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) October 26, 2015
3. Black and blue. You probably recall that the Mets spent more than a decade wearing black jerseys, black caps, black undersleeves and more (all of which was the subject of last week's Uni Watch Friday Flashback). What you might not remember is that the Royals went through their own dark period with lots of black jerseys, caps, sleeves and drop shadows:
World Series commonality: Everyone remembers Mets' black jerseys/caps/etc., but Royals also had a black period. pic.twitter.com/frs4JZEju5— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) October 26, 2015
Interestingly, both teams' fortunes improved a few years after they ditched the black and returned to their classic looks. Coincidence? Uni Watch thinks not.
4. Rank has its privileges. The Mets wear blue base-layer shirts -- except for team captain David Wright, who for years has worn an orange undershirt:
Mets wear blue undershirts - except for David Wright, who wears orange. pic.twitter.com/Kwp1lfksU8— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) October 26, 2015
This is technically a violation of MLB rule 3.03(b), which states, "Any part of an undershirt exposed to view shall be of a uniform solid color for all players on a team" (and is a bête noir for Mets Police blogger Shannon Shark, who has written about this issue extensively), but nobody seems to mind.
As an aside, Wright has another uni-related quirk: He wears his pants high-cuffed for day games and low-cuffed for night games. Unfortunately, there are no day games scheduled for the World Series:
David Wright goes high-cuffed for day games, low-cuffed at night. Too bad the World Series only has night games. pic.twitter.com/97mUFdVSfy— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) October 26, 2015
5. A captain's "C" for the captaincy. Although Wright is the Mets' captain, he does not wear a "C" on his jersey. The Royals don't currently have a captain, but first baseman Mike Sweeney, who played for Kansas City from 1995 through 2007 and was the Royals' captain for the last five of those seasons, wore the designatory "C" (and yes, when the Royals were in their black period, Sweeney's "C" had a black drop shadow):
Little-remembered factoid: Royals captain Mike Sweeney wore a captain's "C" from 2003-07. pic.twitter.com/jZ1KzMsLhv— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) October 26, 2015
6. Something up his sleeve. Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has been wearing a neon green compression sleeve for much of the past three months (more on that here). But it caused problems for the TV networks' green screen technology during the NLDS and NLCS, where ads were inadvertently broadcast on Cespedes' arm, which makes you wonder if he'll be allowed to wear the sleeve in the World Series:
Cespedes' neon-green sleeve wreaked havoc w/ green-screen ads during playoffs. Will he be allowed to wear it in WS? pic.twitter.com/TlwAf0np7h— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) October 27, 2015
7. It's delightful, it's delicious, it's de-lovely. Speaking of Fall Classic firsts, Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom and catcher Travis d'Arnaud will become the first pair of World Series players to wear lowercase letters at the start of the names on their jerseys (yes, the "d" looks like an upside-down "p," but it's not, as you can see by this telltale notch; further info here):
Jacob deGrom & Travis d'Arnaud poised to become first pair of WS players to wear lowercase letters in their names. pic.twitter.com/dGvYwzwQb2— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) October 26, 2015
8. Check your head. A subtle difference between the two World Series teams can be found in their squatchees (that's the term for the little buttons at the top of baseball caps). Both teams have contrast-colored squatchees for their caps -- orange for the Mets, white for the Royals -- but the Mets take things a step further by mimicking their cap squatchees on their helmets, while the Royals don't bother:
Mets have orange squatchee (i.e., button) on caps & helmets. Royals have white squatchee on caps but not helmets. pic.twitter.com/MtZafluSSD— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) October 26, 2015
9. A modest proposal. Lots of MLB teams now wear Negro League throwbacks from time to time, but the Royals were the ones who came up with that idea, and they continue to be the team most closely associated with the concept because the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is in Kansas City. The Royals wear Kansas City Monarchs throwbacks at least once each season, but how cool would it be if they wore them for a World Series game? Answer: very cool indeed. Here's hoping it happens -- if not this year, then at some point down the road.
Royals always wear Negro League throwbacks in reg. season. Would be so cool if they did it for a World Series game! pic.twitter.com/fJM1n4jIXN— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) October 26, 2015
10. A tale of two mascots. Both teams have live mascots wearing team uniforms. Mr. Met wears his pants high-cuffed, which is good. But Sluggerrr goes the extra mile by wearing stirrups, which is better:
Mascot comparison: Mr. Met goes high-cuffed but Sluggerrr wears stirrups. Advantage: Royals. pic.twitter.com/vTKnjaSUJl— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) October 26, 2015
Honorable mention: Whole lotta nothin'. Royals speedster Terrance Gore, who's employed primarily as a pinch-runner, wears No. 0. When he appeared in last year's World Series, he became only the second player ever to wear that number in the Fall Classic, joining 1991 Twins catcher Junior Ortiz. Gore was on the Royals' ALDS and ALCS rosters, but as of this writing it's not yet clear whether he'll make the final cut for the Fall Classic. If he does, he'll be poised to become the first player ever to wear No. 0 in multiple World Series:
Terrance Gore poised to become 1st player to wear No. 0 in multiple World Series. (Previous WS #0: Jr.Ortiz, 1991.) pic.twitter.com/milZCfwKtI— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) October 26, 2015
(As a non-uni-related aside, Gore has appeared in 28 regular-season and postseason games but has never recorded a base hit. His rough counterpart on the Mets is backup infielder Matt Reynolds, who's never appeared in an major league game but has been on the Mets' active roster throughout the 2015 postseason. So Reynolds could end up making his major league debut in the World Series, and he and Gore conceivably could end up getting their first major league hits during the Series.)
Paul Lukas, a lifelong Mets fan, has come up with another storyline lurking beneath this World Series matchup, although it doesn't involve uniforms. If you liked this column, you'll probably like his Uni Watch Blog, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program, be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted or just ask him a question? Contact him here.