The Mets will wear 1986 throwback uniforms for every Sunday game at Citi Field this season, the team announced on Monday.
This is great news. The thing I love about the '80s racing stripes were how they highlighted player movement. As a kid trying to learn the game, seeing that zigging and zagging outside line, like a border, down the shoulder, over the belt loop, down the leg, all one edge, helped to crystallize how these men created power, speed and precision. It made for a trackable line to follow, which was burned in to my memory.
Last year, I learned that artist and Mets fan Joe Petruccio, who most Mets fans know from his work on NY Mets Journal, is the man who designed the iconic uniforms. He is also an outstanding painter, doing official work for Muhammed Ali and others, which you can see and purchase here.
"That first I year I started going to Spring Training, Mookie Wilson was there as a rookie. And, I noticed the speed of this guy. He would just go down the line and I'd watch him from the side and he looked like a gazelle, like a jaguar, the way he ran, the way his form was so unbelievable. I had never really been that close to somebody who ran that fast before," Petruccio explained to me. "I thought to myself, the line his body creates when he runs is beautiful. That's why I put that line there. I didn't want to stray too far from the classic uniform. So, I thought, if I put this line down the side it will give them a sense of speed and lengthen their body and make them look real long when they're running or leaping or throwing it will give a whole line to the body. It really worked nicely."