On November 3rd, 1995, the newly formed Tampa Bay Devil Rays held a special fashion show at the Florida Aquarium where they proudly displayed their official team uniforms for the 1998 regular season.
However, if memory serves, once the uniforms were revealed, they were heavily disliked as the community hated the name as well as the mixture of colors that made the logos a mess.
The jerseys are so heavily hated that instead of the Rays using them for their retro games, they continue to use fictional throwbacks or even minor league teams from decades past that have no affiliation with the team for Turn Back The Clock events, even on road games.
No more. As we look to the coming season, I say it's time we embraced the rainbow!
We have seen them at least once since the old rainbow design was retired. The old inaugural jerseys mad an appearance in 2009 and it seemed to draw a crowd: as close to 30,000 fans packed Tropicana Field to witness the Rays blow a late lead and eventually lose to Oakland. Just like the good ol' days.
These jerseys are seldom used, but at least they actually represent the team's history, and while the faux-throwbacks are nice, I feel the novelty as slightly worn off and I have to ask: is it time to bring back the originals once again?
The Rays only wore these jerseys for three years from 1998-2000 before deciding to go with something more simple, and went with the dark green jerseys. The colors livened back up when the team stripped the Devil away in 2008 and went with navy blue, columbia blue, gold and white as the official team colors, but the original jersey concept remained shunned.
Why not bring back some nostalgia in the old rainbows? If the concern is sales of the faux-back model, wouldn't an even wider variety of jerseys improve that cause? The Rays could even bring back the jerseys the team used from 2000-2007, with the colors being completely dark green, with Tampa Bay branded on the front home and away, the early attempt at dropping the Devil.
The gradient colors across the chest are a wonderful piece of 90's baseball history and deserve to be remembered in all their glory. Bring them back!
We have a poll below, but if you agree that the original jersey should return for throwback events:
Long live the Devil Rays!