As a unique alternative to throwback nights, some Minor League Baseball teams are embracing the fauxback concept. With several fauxback nights on the docket for the 2018 season, we take a look at some of the most notable entries in our latest edition of Promotions Watch.
Throwback nights—a tribute to uniform designs of the past—have long been a promotional staple at all levels of baseball, including the minors. That trend is certainly continuing this year—as we explored in a Promotions Watch that was published in April—but fauxback nights are also a highlight of the 2018 season. Whereas throwback nights tend to replicate a specific uniform design of the past, fauxback nights often include jerseys and caps inspired by what could have been if a particular franchise existed in the past.
As an example, a few teams around the minors are connecting their fauxback nights to promotions that honor a particular decade. On August 10, the Akron RubberDucks (Class AA; Eastern League) will celebrate 70’s Night, with the team taking the field in 1970s-inspired jerseys. In a similar vein, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Class AA; Southern League) will host 90’s Night on May 31. For that promotion, the Jumbo Shrimp will wear 90’s-style fauxback jerseys and caps, with the jerseys auctioned off during the game.
During seven select Saturday home games this season, the Round Rock Express (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) are wearing powder blue uniforms—a homage to a jersey style worn by the Texas Rangers (parent club of the Express) during the mid-1970s. Remaining games in the series include June 30, July 14, July 28, August 11 and August 25.
One of the more unique fauxback-type promotions of this season will see a team offer a modern twist on a classic uniform design. For their home game on May 26, the Rochester Red Wings (Class AAA; International League) will take the field as the Rochester Hop Bitters. The Hop Bitters were a franchise that played in the National Association in 1879 and 1880. While the Red Wings will wear Hop Bitters uniforms that night, the design of their uniforms will reflect a modern style—effectively offering a glimpse of what the Hop Bitters jerseys and caps might look like if the name was still around in 2018.
For all Saturday home games and select other dates, the Wilmington Blue Rocks (High A; Carolina League) will don their own fauxback jerseys. The uniform is designed to mimic an alternate look that the team used during the mid-1990’s and includes royal blue jersey tops and royal blue and yellow caps.
No roundup of fauxback nights would be complete without a mention of the Montgomery Biscuits (Class AA; Southern League). On June 1, the Biscuits will celebrate the film Forrest Gump with a promotion that includes a fauxback element. That night, the team will take the field as the Greenbow Biscuits, a nod to the fictional hometown of Forrest Gump, Greenbow, AL. The uniforms worn by the Biscuits will reflect a 1950’s style.
The fauxback trend has been gathering momentum over the last few seasons, and teams continue to implement unique approaches in hosting the promotion. With this slate of interesting offerings highlighting the entries for 2018, it seems that teams are embracing the creative aspect of fauxback nights.
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