Padres go back to original colors for new uniforms, aim to also change team

The San Diego Padres on November 9 unveiled a uniform redesign the Major League Baseball club hopes will represent more than a mere cosmetic change.

The Padres showcased a new set of uniforms that return to its original brown and gold color scheme the club used from its 1969 formation to 1984. In doing so, the club reverted to a focus on brown not used by any other MLB team, and parted ways with a blue-focused set of uniforms and club logo it had used in various forms since 1991 and increasingly made its overall look resemble several other baseball franchises.

The unveiling involved a raucous, large-scale event at Petco Park attended by several thousand fans, deviating from the more sedate typical hotel and conference center locales for many team uniform showcases. For months leading up to the event, the Padres also deployed a social media hashtag, “Brown Is Back.”

Club executives said the uniform switch is intended to coincide with an on-field revival for a Padres team that has not had a winning season since 2010 and not reached the playoffs since 2006.

“This is going to be the uniform we win a championship in,” said Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler. “People wanted brown and we gave it to them. Now we’ve got to start winning baseball games.”

Added Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer, “The way everybody is looking at it is that we can turn the page on the tough times. We’re trying to start a new wave now, a new culture. The brown really represents the beginning of all that.”

The new uniforms and team logo, developed internally by the team, come after roughly two years of research and development, numerous focus groups with fans, and an estimated $1 million in costs.