One of the most surprising uniform-related developments in recent years has been the emergence of batting helmets as a new hotbed of design innovation. Twelve of the 30 MLB teams are now using matte-finish helmets instead of the standard glossies, and six teams are using three-dimensional helmet logos instead of conventional flat decals, with both numbers representing big increases from 2016. Last month the Braves took things a step further by introducing a helmet with a carbon fiber pattern on the shell.
The Braves helmet was the first MLB headgear to employ hydro dipping, a process that applies printed graphic patterns to three-dimensional surfaces. Hydro-dipped helmet designs have grown increasingly prominent in college football, auto racing and motorcycle racing, but so far they haven’t had much of a presence on the baseball diamond.
That might be changing soon. MLB’s helmet supplier, Rawlings, has invested in a new hydro-dipping facility, and several industry sources have indicated that the Braves’ recent design was the first of several hydro-dipped MLB helmets that are in the works.
What might those new helmets look like? The Braves used a fairly neutral design (the carbon-fiber pattern could work — or, depending on your point of view, not work — for pretty much any team), but what if teams went with design themes tailored to their franchise names and identities? Would the results be appealing, appalling, or somewhere in between?
In an attempt to answer that question cheap mlb jerseys, your friendly uniform columnist enlisted the services of Angus O’Keefe, a design hobbyist who recently attracted some attention in the uni-verse by reimagining all 32 NFL teams as soccer clubs. O’Keefe, with some help from a graphic designer friend, Cody Whitmire, and a bit of Uni Watch art direction, came up with hydro-dipped helmet concepts for a bunch of MLB teams, many of which look surprisingly good.
1. Arizona Diamondbacks
This was an easy one. The D-backs already have snakeskin patterns on their caps and jerseys, so adding something similar to their helmet was a no-brainer.
Should they actually wear something like this wholesale mlb sweatshirts? Absolutely! Like it or hate it, it fits in well with their current look. And hey, it’s not like they could possibly look much worse out there.
2. Chicago Cubs
This one was more conceptual, using Wrigley Field’s famous china mlb jersey outlet ivy as the basis for the helmet pattern. Clever, right? Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to create a design showing Andre Dawson being rescued from the ivy.
Should they wear it? Sure, why not. And maybe they can do Wrigley’s cheap mlb jerseys 2016 iconic brick pattern for an encore.