TORONTO - With a nod to the team's glory days, the Toronto Blue Jays have refined a vintage look for the 2012 season.
The team has tweaked its old-school logo, tinkered with the lettering and given the Blue Jay bird head a more stylized look.
Blue is also back in a big way.
Players will wear blue hats and blue shoes for all games next season. The black jerseys have been shelved in favour of white uniforms at home, light grey on the road and a royal blue alternate jersey.
The new look was unveiled Friday afternoon at a splashy media event at Rogers Centre. Slugger Jose Bautista was one of several players on hand to model the new-look uniforms.
"It's a pretty sharp look," Bautista said. "I like everything about it. Going back to the blue in Blue Jays was key."
The scripted lettering is gone, replaced with more of a classic look with sharp colouring. The uniforms look like a tweaked version of the jerseys worn in the early 1990s, when the team won back-to-back World Series titles.
"This is a fresh start," Bautista said. "We're looking to the future and this is a great way to kick it off."
The Blue Jays wanted to respect the tradition of the old look but give the uniform a modern feel. Team president Paul Beeston said he felt the return of the red Maple Leaf to the logo was a nice touch.
"It's a Blue Jay baseball team playing in Canada and representing Canada," Beeston said. "It's all there."
The organization took about 18 months to finalize the details. Manager John Farrell and the players also weighed in with their input.
"Obviously it's reminiscent of the old look," said catcher J.P. Arencibia, sporting a new royal blue batting practice jersey. "It just shows what we're doing here. It's a new era.
"We're trying to make history with these uniforms."
Split letters will be used for all three jerseys with the logo on the left side below the lettering, a few inches above the belt. The team name is spelled out on the home and alternate uniforms while Toronto appears on the road jersey.
Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow, Adam Lind, Yunel Escobar and Brett Lawrie also modelled the new-look uniforms.
"I think the biggest thing for me was just getting blue back," said general manager Alex Anthopoulos. "We're the Blue Jays."
The event had a wedding reception feel to it. There was a red carpet outside the stadium entry gate and a jazz band played on top of the dugout.
The Blue Jays finished with an 81-81 record last season. They will kick off the 2012 campaign April 5 at Cleveland.
THE NEW LOGO:
A LOOK BACK AT PREVIOUS JAYS LOGO: