The 2023 Uni Watch World Series Preview
Amaze (or at least annoy) your friends with this trove of fun facts about the Rangers’ and D-backs’ uniforms, past and present.
After a six-month regular season and three rounds of playoffs, we’re finally ready for the World Series, with the Diamondbacks facing the Rangers. That means it’s time for the annual Uni Watch World Series Preview, where I run down interesting uni-related facts and figures about the two teams facing off in the Fall Classic.
As it happens, I haven’t written a lot about either of these teams over the years, so there’s plenty of interesting ground to cover that will probably be new to Uni Watch readers. I learned a lot while researching this piece (or at least recharged a lot of my memory banks), and you’ll probably learn a thing or two by reading it!
Ready to dive in? With the Series set to start on Friday night in Arlington, here are 17 fun facts about the D-backs’ and Rangers’ uniforms, plus an honorable mention. Memorize all of these and you can amaze (or at least annoy) your friends while watching the Series!
1. Deep State
The Diamondbacks and Rangers both use state names as their geographical locators. They’re not the only MLB teams that do that, of course (we also have the Minnesota Twins and Colorado Rockies, and we used to have the California Angels and Florida Marlins), but this marks the first time we’ve had a fully state-named World Series matchup.
This will be the first time since World Series patches were introduced in 1996 that both teams will wear the Series patch on the chest, instead of on the sleeve. The last (and I think only) time a team used the chest placement was in 2007, when the Rockies did so for their vest jersey:
3. The Grass Is Always Greener (Because It’s Plastic)
The Rangers’ and D-backs’ stadiums both use Shaw Sports B1K, a synthetic surface that mimics grass much more effectively than old-fashioned artificial turf. That makes this the first grass-free World Series since the Phillies and Blue Jays faced off in 1993 — 30 years ago!
Update: Reader Mike Styczyn points out that the entire 2020 World Series (Rays vs. Dodgers) was played in the bubble in Texas due to the pandemic, so technically that Series was also grass-free, although it wouldn’t have been if the Dodgers had been able to play at home.