As Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta took the stage at the new uniform unveiling party at Chase Field in early December, he seemed determined to make his mark.
It wasn’t difficult for the Venezuela-born superstar, who already hams it up at each at bat with his trademark lean, and his enthusiastic clap each time he smacks an extra base hit.
He strutted down the runway, pointing to the left side of the crowd and to the right, before striking his signature pose in his bold gray road-trip uniform.
As the D-backs tweeted, nine seasons in purple and teal; nine seasons in red and sand. The timing is perfect to blend the two eras.
“It’s something different,” says Peralta after the big reveal. “I’m the type of guy who likes different stuff. This is way different. It’s really good. It’s going to be something new for us. They call it an evolution. That’s what it is.”
The Diamondbacks teased the change by advertising a forthcoming evolution. This “evolution” features seven new uniforms; eight, if you count the Throwback Thursday purple uniform. Most incorporate the old-school teal and snakehead logo.
Diamondbacks brass tossed around the idea of new uniforms in the middle of last season. Pitcher Daniel Hudson says it’s the perfect time to make a change like this.
“It’s a good day,” says Hudson, donning the red alternative uniform with white pants that boast a Sedona red sublimate diamond pattern at the bottom.
“We’re a young franchise so we were able to do this unlike the 100-year tradition of the Dodgers, Cardinals, Boston Red Sox and the Yankees. We can appeal to a younger audience.”
Hudson admits that he was somewhat skeptical about the design at the bottom of the pants.
“That’s what had the guys kind of tweaking their eyebrows a little bit,” he says. “I said, ‘I don’t know about that.’ But the more I see them, the more I like it. If fans don’t like them at first, I think they’re going to grow on a lot of people.”
Milling around backstage at the uniform unveil was Zach Lind, the drummer for the Valley-based rock act Jimmy Eat World.
“I think they look great,” says Lind, donning his own customized jersey with “Jimmy Eat World” emblazoned on the back.
“It looks really good on me, especially. No, what really stood out to me was the darker gray, the away uniforms. It’s a total radical thing, just the little touches that they did. I like the snake emblem on the hats.”
Paul Goldschmidt wore the primary home uniform that is white with red trim and the D-backs snakehead logo on one sleeve. Goldschmidt, too, admits he was a little apprehensive, but as the drawings became more detailed, and his input was welcomed, his confidence grew.
“You want to retain some of the old-school mentality and the old-school look,” he says. “It’s a balancing act between what they want us to wear and what we’re comfortable with.”
Special Assistant to the President and CEO Luis Gonzalez says he sees the uniform evolution as a way of attracting fans nationwide—and even worldwide.
“We hope it’ll have a positive influence throughout Major League Baseball and hopefully kids around the country will be wearing our colors,” he says.
“Fans I think are always looking for change. Our core players are young. We’re one of the first teams to do something different. We hope a lot of fans around the country want to wear our jerseys because it’s something different.
“There will always be positives and always negatives. It’s the nature of the beast. For us, this is a perfect time to do it.”