Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Throwback Jersey That Should Definitely Be Thrown Back

You remember 1993, don't you?  It was the year Bill Clinton was inaugurated as the country's 42nd president, the year Prince became a squiggle (or The Artist Formerly Known as Prince), and the year Michael Jordan retired for the first time.  Good times, right?  Not if you were a Mets fan.

In 1993, the Mets reached triple digits in losses for the first time since 1967, when Tom Seaver was a major league neophyte.  How bad were the Mets in 1993?  They finished five games behind the expansion Florida Marlins and lost 13 more games than "The Worst Team Money Could Buy".  It's an era most Mets fans would rather forget.  But according to the Colorado Rockies' official Twitter account, our memories of that embarrassing year are about to come back to us, one throwback jersey at a time.

Next Tuesday, when the Rockies entertain the Mets in the second game of a four-game series, the two teams will be wearing the jerseys worn by their 1993 counterparts.  That's right, Mets fans.  The squiggle is coming back.  And this time I'm not talking about The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.

In 1993, New York added an underscore beneath a slightly modified Mets logo on the team's jerseys.  The Mets might have changed their look, but their performance on the field and in the standings took a turn for the worse.

But before the team went on to lose 103 games (a number that could have been higher had it not been for an unlikely six-game winning streak to close out the season), they opened the year on a high note, sweeping a two-game series from the expansion Colorado Rockies at Shea Stadium.  The series marked the debut of the team from the Mile High City and the now-ridiculed new Mets jerseys.

Twenty years later, the Rockies are celebrating their historic first season by bringing back the uniforms they wore when they played their inaugural game in the big leagues.  That means the godawful jerseys that became synonymous with Jeff Kent (before he was good), Anthony Young (while he was bad) and Bobby Bonilla (when he wasn't wearing his Bronx tour guide duds) will also be making a one-game comeback to mark the occasion.

And yes, for all you kids scoring at home, the Mets will be wearing their home squiggle jerseys on the road because everything about the 1993 team went against reason.

Will the Rockies ask Anthony Young to throw out the ceremonial first pitch in an effort to pin a loss on the Mets?  Will Jeff Torborg be secretly smuggled into the Mets' clubhouse for an impromptu pep talk?  Will Jeromy Burnitz - a member of the 1993 Mets who went on to collect 37 homers and 110 RBIs for the 2004 Rockies - be back at Coors Field?  For that matter, will the game even be played?  (Early weather forecasts for Tuesday night have temperatures dipping into the mid-20s with snow showers possible.)

The Mets have had their share of fashion faux pas over the years (snow white caps in 1997, the Mercury Mets one-shot in 1999).  But nothing was associated with embarrassing play as much as the squiggle uniforms that made their debut in 1993.  Thanks to the Colorado Rockies, that uniform will be making a one-game return on Tuesday night.  We can only hope the style of play that Mets fans saw in 1993 doesn't return with it.

Maybe Bret Saberhagen has some leftover bleach to get rid of that dirty underscore.

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