Following a World Series title and some recent image-polishing, including the current obligatory addition of gold details and a crown to recent logos and uniform designs, it’s easy to get lost in the Kansas City Royals’ looks.
Ironically, the team was not named after superior ancestry at all. Rather, the Royals were named in 1968 by new owner Ewing Kauffman to honor Missouri’s own American Royal livestock brand.
After the Athletics had bolted Kansas City for Oakland following the 1967 season, the Royals became the expansion team for Kansas City in 1969.
The Athletics took their team history with them. With no history to build on, it is tough for a new team to project an air of success.
If one were to sum up the approach of the Kansas City Royals franchise to uniform design, it would be “fake it until you make it.” Now that the Royals have made it, winning last year’s World Series, their uniform style is as regal as ever.
Despite bowing to trends over the years, like powder blue road jerseys or vests over sleeved tops, the Royals’ look has largely remained true to a simpler time. And though they’ve earned the right to add some gold this year – like many a champion before them – they’ll likely stick to a traditional look for the years to come.
Kansas City Royals WinCraft Mini Felt Pennant Magnet
Notable Uniform Changes
The original Royals home uniform is a simple white jersey with the name “Royals” scripted in blue. “Kansas City” adorns a slightly darker colored uniform for road games. This similarity between the home and away uniforms becomes a trend throughout the team’s history. Both the home and away uniforms feature the same blue cap, marked with an offset “KC.”
The still-new franchise switches the script font “Kansas City” on the road jersey to a block font. The team begins using the crown symbol on their logo patches, moving the Royals brand away from its simple farming origins.
This year marks the start of the classic light blue road uniforms, a trend of the ’70s. The Royals are one of few teams that are able to pull it off. “Kansas City” adorns the powder blue uniforms in white block letters. Both the home and away uniforms switch from button-downs to V-neck pullovers at this time.
George Brett Kansas City Royals Majestic Cool Base Cooperstown Collection Player Jersey – Light Blue
The road jerseys replace the “Kansas City” block letters with “Royals” in a script font. For a 12-year stretch, the road uniforms won’t include the city name; once again, the home and away uniforms bear a remarkable similarity. Player numbers are added to the lower left abdomen on both uniforms. Perhaps most importantly, both uniforms ditch the pullover look and go back to button-downs.
Two decades of beautiful sky blues end with the gray clouds of the early ’90s road uniforms. The fondly remembered blues have routinely been revived as a throwback.
Everyone starts missing the fun colors, and the team hatches its first alternate uniform: a solid blue top to match the longtime hat color, with “Royals” scripted in white, paired with white pants. A blue stripe runs the length of the pants.
For the first time since 1983, the home and away uniforms read differently. The road jersey returns to simplicity with “Kansas City” in block letters.
Joining the rest of the league in the “Turn Ahead the Clock” promotion, the team adopts a “futuristic” uniform which features a bright yellow vest with blue accents. The front of the jersey reads “Royals” – with the player’s number on the right side and a black badge with a white “R” on the left side.
The road uniforms convert to the once-popular trend of the vest uniform. The vests are accompanied by black accents, as are other uniform accessories such as hats and belts.
The home jerseys fall subject to the vest trend as well, with black accents where today there would be gold. One cool detail is the addition of the “C” on the uniform of Mike Sweeney; it makes him one of the few publicly displayed captains in the entire sport.
The Royals get rid of vests for both home and road jerseys. “Kansas City” in script font is reintroduced to the road jersey.
Kansas City Royals New Era Title Detailer 59FIFTY Fitted Hat – Royal
Today, the Royals continue to use their name in blue script on the home whites, along with blue accents, a blue belt, and a crown featured in the logo. On the road uniforms, the use of the city name remains the only difference.
Looking Back and Looking Forward
With little more than four decades of history to look back on, it’s tough to predict the future evolution of Royals jerseys. The Royals consistently seem to bow to current trends; the other constant is the remarkable lack of differences between home and away uniforms.
It isn’t even easy to pick any future retired numbers. Currently, only three are off the list of possibilities:
George Brett – No. 5
Dick Howser – No. 10
Frank White – No. 20
A safe bet: Mike Sweeney’s 29, with a “C” on the right shoulder, could one day be added to the list.
For more information about the Kansas City Royals, or to purchase from our selection of uniforms, please visit Fantics.com.