Bill Slane

Friday, Feb. 19, 2016

Spring training gives Diamondbacks fans sneak peek at new look

The Arizona Diamondbacks asked fans to “Join the Evolution” after releasing new uniforms in December. Turns out that evolution is not limited to one club.

As fans make travel plans to attend spring training in Arizona and as the fan experience continues to evolve, MLB has made an effort to give fans the best spring training baseball they can offer. That includes a new set of uniforms for Cactus and Grapefruit League teams from Majestic.

“We balanced the tradition of the sport with the needs and the wants of some of the teams that wanted to step out,” said Rob Grow, director of product for Majestic.

In the past, teams in spring training usually wore what amounted to their practice jersey for games. The new uniforms from Majestic are styled more like the regular season uniforms.

According to a release from MLB, the only significant differences are a road sign patch on the sleeve (an AZ for the Cactus League and an FL for the Grapefruit League) and an assortment of logos blended into the numbers on the back of the jerseys.

Some teams, like the Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays, decided to make some changes from their traditional look by using alternative logos on their jerseys.

For the Diamondbacks however, this means fans will get an early look at what is, for the most part, the jersey the team will wear during the regular season.

“It’s great that fans will really get to see the new uniform look in spring training games,” said Diamondbacks Vice President of Special Projects Graham Rossini.

Rossini thinks fans will appreciate the early opportunity to see their favorite players wearing the team’s new threads.

“Historically, they would have had to wait until opening day,” he said.

Fans were consulted prior to the Diamondbacks jersey unveiling at the end of last year, but the team wants more feedback as it considers more changes.

Spring training will be the perfect venue for receiving additional comments from fans.

“We’re always mindful of feedback from fans,” Rossini said. “It’s something we really take to heart and value. So as we consider future changes we always like to keep a pulse on what resonates with fans and what they get excited about.”

The timing worked out well for the Diamondbacks, who can now unveil their new look in spring training with MLB introducing new uniforms for all teams.

“It was really a perfect storm,” Grow said. “They were ready, they’re a young team, they’re hungry, they’re aggressive so it worked out perfectly from that timing perspective.”

The off-season signing of free-agent pitcher Zack Greinke and the new uniforms are expected to add a spark to the new season.

“It really gives us another boost heading into spring training,” Rossini said. “I think people are really excited about the moves we’ve made this offseason and how we’re going to be on the field but it’s nice there is also some excitement around the uniform as well.”

It has also given a boost to sales at Majestic.

“It’s sort of an anxious time for players to get back out there and fans to get back out there,” Grow said. “This, by far, has been the strongest spring training for us.”

It could carry over to the regular season for Majestic down the road.

“Other teams are now coming to us and saying, ‘Hey, want to step out as well,’” Grow said.

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