The San Francisco Giants recently announced and displayed a brand new orange home alternate jersey. If it seems like they recently came out with a new orange jersey for Friday home games, you’re right. The new jersey replaces the home alternate that was introduced in 2010, so either sales of the first iteration of the “Orange Fridays” jerseys slowed down and/or were never that great to begin with, or someone in the front office got bored.
Usually I’m not a fan of alternate jerseys that stray from the home-white/road-gray traditional look, but I’ve grown to appreciate the orange tops because timing is everything. Fridays at AT&T Park aren’t perfect — if you’re looking to avoid really drunk high schoolers, stay away from the bleachers on Friday evenings — but the energy overall is one of fun and frivolity, even more so than a Saturday evening game or a contest played on Sunday afternoon under a sunny sky.
Seeing Pablo Sandoval bounce around third base like an orange-flavored Kool-Aid man is as good a symbol that the weekend has officially started as anything else. Well, unless you’re a fan of another team like the Dodgers or A’s, then you probably think the Giants look like a bunch of Cal Trans employees.
From what I can tell, the Giants have utilized four different orange jerseys over the last 35 years or so. Since we still have a few days until pitchers and catchers report and the Giants haven’t made a roster move of note in several weeks, let’s get controversial and rank ’em!
4. “SAN FRANCISCO” orange pullover (1977)
There’s something awesome about this photo of Willie McCovey, mostly because it’s Willie McCovey. But if we’re being objective, this is a bad jersey. The “S” in “SAN” and the “O” in “FRANCISCO” are stuck in the armpits, and it’s not like McCovey is/was a narrow-chested individual. I’m digging the socks, but we aren’t ranking orange socks. We’re ranking jerseys. Let’s stay on task.
I’m not sure if this was even an official jersey or an exhibition model. I can’t find any information on what dates this particular jersey was in use, and it’s not listed on SportsLogos.net. Probably just as well.
Update: Bay Area Stats Guy sent over a link indicating this was a jersey the Giants wore in 1977.
3. Standard home jerseys but orange instead of french vanilla (2010-13)
The orange looks a little too pale, but that could just be a function of the above photo. Basically, it’s a standard home jersey painted orange, and where’s the fun in that?
2. “Giants” script pullover (1978-82)
I grew up playing baseball in polyester v-neck pullovers just like this, stripes on the sleeves included. Pullover jerseys look incredibly dated now, but the script is a good look. I love the way they dotted the “i.”
1. “Giants” script orange home alternates (2014-???)
After seeing this jersey in person, it was hard to not become a fan instantly. The orange looks darker than the 2010-13 model, but I’m not sure if that’s actually the case or that’s just how the jersey photographed when I saw it in a luxury suite during Media Day (like I mentioned earlier below the photo of B-WEEZ).
The script looks cleaner than before thanks to the gold border (and modern stitching technology), and the black piping was a nice touch. I didn’t necessarily like the piping when it was added to the road jerseys a couple years ago. Now the road alternates with the interlocked “SF” are superior to the “SAN FRANCISCO” roadies, mostly because the black piping around the neck and down the middle looks better on the alternates, where it gives the standard road jerseys the look of being too busy. That’s nitpicking, sure. But that’s what jersey rankings are for, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m sure many will disagree with this list.