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McCovey Chronicles Roundtable: Turn Ahead the Clock Night

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With the Giants celebrating everything that’s happened in San Francisco over the past 60 years, why not celebrate the 20th anniversary of “Turn Ahead the Clock Night”, too?

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

This McCovey Chronicles Roundtable is the first of what I hope will be many in a series. I’ve ordered the site staff to tell me their vision of a new “Turn Ahead the Clock” Night at AT&T Park. What do they think would make the best futuristic-looking uniforms?

If you don’t know what “Turn Ahead the Clock” Night is, back in 1998, the Seattle Mariners’ marketing department came up with a counter to all the “Turn Back the Clock”-style promotions by pitching what baseball uniforms might look like in the year 2027. A year later, MLB appropriated the idea league-wide.

In games, which were “set” in the year 2021, stadiums would use futuristic graphics on their scoreboards as a part of the promotion.[4] During a Padres and Giants game, fielding positions were renamed.[5] Shortstop was renamed “intermediate station” and left field was renamed “left sector”.[5] Some ballpark advertisements also joined in, with Northwest Airlines becoming “Northwest Spacelines” (this can be seen when Mariners outfielder Butch Huskey crashed into the outfield wall during a game).

There’s a famous picture of Barry Bonds from that day:

bonds glass

Nope. Sorry. Here’s that famous picture of Barry Bonds’ future uniform:

bonds no

Dammit. No. This:

Anyway, the Mariners celebrated the 20th anniversary of their promotion just last week when they hosted the Royals (the same team to participate in the inaugural edition), and I think you’d agree it turned out great, ironically or not.

The @mariners #TurnAheadTheClock uniforms are beautiful

A post shared by Sports Blog Nation (@sbnation) on

Instead of rehashing the old uniforms, though, I think the Giants should forge their own vision of the future, and so it’s in that spirit that I’ve assembled our staff to suggest just what the Giants should do. It’s going to be awfully tough to beat Alex Pavlovic’s suggestion —

— but we’ve never shied from following a legend. Here we go:

Bryan Murphy, Managing Editor:

The only way a front office will sign off on a “stunt” like this is if it has some sort of applicable value. If the Giants are to truly reflect the future of Major League Baseball through the uniform, then every player will wear skin tight stretchy suits with data point capture balls attached to them so that every movement is recorded for analysis. The future of baseball is motion capture and data collection. To some degree, that’s already baseball’s present, but the suits (“uniforms”) will be the final indignity in the nerds’ victory over jocks.

Sami Higgins, Deputy Editor:

To reflect the watery future ahead of much of California if ocean levels continue to rise, the Giants should show what playing baseball at AT&T Park in the future would require, including wet suits and diving gear. Sure, you can’t really throw or hit a ball under water, but since the old guard of baseball doesn’t like change, it would of course fall on the team to adapt.

Kenny Kelly, Staff Writer:

Baseball.

Baseball never changes. Though after the Stupid Wars, polyester has become a precious commodity, and teams can no longer afford to make their uniforms out of the once ubiquitous synthetic resin. Teams experimented with cotton uniforms, but the uniforms shrunk after the first wash.

The sheep population exploded in the years following the war. So teams have gone back to making their uniforms out of wool as they did in the beginning. At the beginning of the new wool era, heat stroke cases skyrocketed. The planet’s temperature has, of course, risen seven degrees. Players have since taken to cutting the sleeves off and leaving their shirts untucked. Also, they turn their hats backward because all the old people are dead.

Doug Bruzzone, Doug-in-chief:

When people think of Turn Ahead the Clock Night, they think of the future of uniforms. But uniforms are just reflections of society, man. So if we want to figure out what will be on the Giants’ uniforms in the future, we need to figure out what San Francisco will look like in the future.

Think of the iconic sights of San Francisco. What are you thinking of? The Golden Gate Bridge? Coit Tower? Lombard Street? Wrong. None of those represent the soul or the future of San Francisco.

There is only one appropriate logo for the Future Giants. That is, of course, a rich guy staring at his cellphone so he can avoid dealing with the homeless encampments on the sidewalk he’s Ubering past. The logo on the hats: mostly phone, with a couple tiny tents off in the distance. The logo on the uniforms instead of the word “GIANTS” or the SF logo: mostly Guy in Uber, but through the window, the dirty tents.

Also, maybe the rich guy is 20 feet tall both as a reflection of the unequal society they live in and also so the name Giants makes sense? I dunno, that part’s just spitballing.

Brady Klopfer, Contributor:

Picture this: a jersey that not only looks like armor, but is armor. Well, okay, the Turn Ahead the Clock outfits just look like armor, with a long-sleeved jersey top that has a wrist protector, forearm protector, elbow protector, and shoulder protector painted on. The pant legs are the same, with an ankle protector, shin protector, and knee protector all painted on the fabric.

But the jerseys represent what one day will be real armor. In 20 years, we should have the technology necessary to have an armored baseball suit. I’m envisioning an armored aspect of the jersey that instantly snaps on and off like the Black Panther suit. But maybe in 20 years they’ll have discovered some weird spandex-carbon fiber hybrid to build ultra-flexible, highly protective jerseys.

We don’t know how the armor jerseys will ultimately manifest, but we do know that we can mock up some very cool fake armor jerseys, so we can begin to imagine life without 45-second protector-undressing breaks after every hit and walk.

Kevin Cunningham, Contributor:

The Jersey and Pants would be black (yep, I’m changing the pants too), with the jersey featuring orange paneling over the shoulders that come to a point down the arm sleeves. Think of the opposite of the current AZL Giants jersey. There would also be orange piping alone the jersey and the side of the pants.

However, no cursive Giants logo, because there’s no cursive in the future! Instead, a new block letter “Giants” swoops along the front, with the player’s number both on the front left abdomen as well as on the back. No names, though. On the sleeve, there will be the new SF Giants shield, featuring the classic “SF” mark, 13 stars to represent all the franchise’s championships, and the most recognizable SF landmark…Sutro Tower. The other sleeve will have whatever patch of the season.

The hat will be Grey, referencing SF’s famous fog, with an orange bill and orange squatchee, with a black SF logo.

(The uniform will probably also have some corporate advertising, but I’ll pretend that eventuality won’t happen with my version.)

Carmen Kiew, Social Media Manager: Dee Gordon’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air look really inspired me. I’m all about comfort and that outfit really spoke to me - untucked? YES. Baggy. ALSO YES. Can go turn up in the club after in that same outfit? YES. So my uniform choice for Turn Ahead The Clock will follow suit.

What’s old is new again and that’s the way it’s always been so here’s what I’m thinking. MC HAMMER PANTS because:

  1. It’s like wearing pajamas
  2. It will give players a flattering hourglass shape
  3. I wanna see people argue about whether they were hit by a pitch when it grazes their balloon-y pants

To even it out on top and to avoid the whole “tucked vs. untucked” argument, my uniform would be topped off with a baggy yet elegant crop top. Not like “I can see your midriff” cropped but like “I’m too short to tuck in but like, I look put together still” length.

To top it off, there would be an image of Lou Seal and Crazy Crab in futuristic looking outfits touching fingers on the front. of the crop top. ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?