Minor League Baseball is known for its wacky promotional nights. These promotions support whatever organization a team has decided to partner with, and they also bring about some of the weirdest jerseys in all of sports. The Cardinals organization has participated in this tradition, bringing some of the weirdest jerseys to minor league baseball. This article will highlight some of these jerseys from past years as well as provide the reasons behind the promotions.
With the movie Jurassic World set to be released on June 12th of 2015, the Johnson City Cardinals decided to have a promotional night on June 27th featuring these jerseys. In addition to the jerseys there were dinosaurs placed throughout the park, a dinosaur egg hunt for children, a Jurassic World poster giveaway and a fossil hunt in the infield after the game. Additionally, the team partnered with the Gray Fossil Site and Museum to provide fossil displays, exhibits, and games. After the game, these jerseys were auctioned off with the proceeds going to the Gray Fossil Site and Museum.
Verdict: The Johnson City Cardinals were smart to try to capitalize on the excitement surrounding a blockbuster movie that is part of such a famous franchise and it is promotions like these that make minor baseball what it is. However, these jerseys are pretty bad.
This promotion by the State College Spikes was inspired by the 1990s TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”. In addition to the jerseys that are made to look like graffiti on a brick wall, the team also secured a celebrity appearance from Alfonso Ribeiro who played Carlton in the series. After the game, the jerseys were auctioned off to help the Children’s Miracle Network.
Verdict: The opposing team in this game, the Williamsport Crosscutters, also wore ugly Christmas Sweaters during the game. Both jerseys were bad and that would have made for quite the spectacle on the field. However, I think that the Spikes had an interesting concept here, and as someone who has never seen the show, I do not appreciate these jerseys as much as others might.
The Memphis Redbirds wore these jerseys to celebrate Independence Day in 2018. To go along with the promotion, there was a large fireworks show after the game, and the jerseys were auctioned off with the proceeds going to the Redbirds Community Fund.
Verdict: These are the first promotional jerseys that I have liked so far. The Statue of Liberty on top of the Declaration of Independence is a good look, and the stars and the stripes in “Memphis” really complete the jersey.
These ugly Christmas sweater jerseys were part of a Christmas in July weekend promotional. The Springfield Cardinals wore these jerseys for three games while there were additional giveaways for each game. The first night featured a fireworks show and Christmas music after the game, the second night featured a player leg lamp giveaway, and the final night concluded with a Christmas ornament giveaway.
Verdict: They are called ugly Christmas sweaters for a reason and its not because they look good. However, among all the minor league team that also run this promotional frequently, these are some of the better looking ugly Christmas sweater jerseys.
These are Route 66 themed jerseys, celebrating the historic highway that runs from Arizona to Missouri, and goes right through Springfield, home of the Springfield Cardinals. After the game, these jerseys were auctioned off to support the Special Olympics.
Verdict: I am a fan of these. It is always cool to see a team celebrate a piece of its history, or a piece of its city’s history. The jerseys were also pretty well done.
These jerseys were worn by the Memphis Redbirds as a tribute to Memphis, Egypt. As part of the promotional, players wore these hieroglyphics jerseys and there was a fireworks show after the game.
Verdict: An Egyptian themed promotion is a bit different, but I guess it is minor league baseball. Memphis did the best with what they had here. For as wacky as these jerseys are, they could probably be a lot worse.
These are just six of the promotional jerseys that have been worn by Cardinals affiliates in somewhat recent years. Some of these are staples of pretty much every minor league team, such as the ugly Christmas sweaters and the 4th of July promotionals. Others, however, such as the Egyptian promotional, and the Fresh Prince promotional are pretty unique. It is these promotions that make minor league baseball what it is, and even though some of these jerseys were pretty bad, they can make the ballpark fun for a lot of fans and support good causes.