- Paul Lukas
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One was fun. So we figured twice would be nice.
Consider that your welcome to the second annual Uni Watch Power Rankings. In case you missed last year's edition, the concept behind the Power Rankings is simple: We're assessing and ranking the uniform sets for each of the 122 teams in the "Big Four" pro sports leagues -- the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB. Last year's debut installment of the Power Rankings was a big hit, so we've decided to do it again.
We've made some adjustments, though. Last year we divided the 122-team rankings chart into five sections and rolled them out over the course of a week, going worst to first. We're doing a five-day rollout this year, too, but with a twist: On Monday through Thursday we will present league-specific charts, ranking all the teams from one league per day (MLB on Monday; NBA on Tuesday; NFL on Wednesday; NHL on Thursday). Then we'll present the full 122-team Power Rankings chart on Friday.
We begin with MLB. But before we get to that, here are some notes and ground rules to keep in mind:
• All judging has been done by the Uni Watch Power Rankings Executive Committee, which has a membership of one and freely admits its biases. The committee is rather fond of striped socks and the color green, for example, but is less enthusiastic about the color purple and design "innovations" that just feel like gimmicks. If you don't share the committee's preferences,
then you're totally hopeless and it's a wonder you can dress yourself in the morningthat's fine -- the whole point of a project like this one is that it's fun to argue and disagree. (Just to provide some diversity of opinion, we've also invited ESPN.com writers in the four major sports to give their rebuttals to the Power Rankings. Their thoughts will be posted as sidebars throughout the week.)
• Each team has been ranked primarily on the basis of its current home and road uniforms, with alternate uniforms taken into account if they're part of the team's regular uni rotation. One-off designs, special promotions, throwbacks and so on have not been considered.
• Some teams are in more or less the same chart position they occupied last year, while many others have moved up or down in the Power Rankings. Sometimes this was due to a team having changed its uniform design; in other cases it was due to a reassessment of the team's aesthetic status. We've added a "Trending" column to the charts this year, so you can see how a team's current ranking compares to last year's. (The "Trending" numbers on Monday through Thursday will refer to a team's position within its own league, while the numbers on Friday will refer to a team's overall position on the 122-team chart.)
• In a few cases, ranking a team's "current" uniform set has been tricky. The Phoenix Suns, for example, revealed their new uniforms just a few days ago, and several other teams have new unis that have been showcased in unveiling events but not yet worn on the field, court or ice. Similarly, a few new NFL uniforms have been worn in only one or two preseason games. In each case, these uniforms have been evaluated as best as possible, but it would be fair to say that their rankings should probably be viewed as though they had an asterisk.
• Several NHL teams are expected to release new alternate jerseys very soon -- but not soon enough to make it into the Power Rankings. They'll be taken into consideration next time around.
OK, enough preliminaries. Let's turn our attention to the first league:
20hMike Fish and David Purdum