Red Sox Versus Dodgers, 2018 World Series—A Tasty Visual Matchup

Even Yankees and Giants fans would (reluctantly) agree—this 2018 World Series matchup between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers is an aesthetically pleasing one.

The two clubs’ lone Fall Classic matchup took place all the way back in 1916, when the Dodgers were based in Brooklyn and a twenty one year old pitcher named Babe Ruth won twenty three regular season games for Boston. Brooklyn’s uniforms that October were unusual to say the least—they consisted of a checked, or “windowpane” pattern. The Red Sox were clad in pinstripes (that’s right, Yankee fans.)

The Dodgers have made twenty World Series appearances to date while the Red Sox have been in thirteen. Both franchises are perennially in the conversation as contenders. It’s kind of strange to consider the fact that they have only met to decide a World Championship once, more than a century ago.

As the decades rolled by there were a couple of near misses, including 1946, when the Red Sox won the American League pennant and the Dodgers finished the season tied for first place with the Cardinals in the National League. Brooklyn and St. Louis played a best of three playoff series, the Cardinals won, and the sporting world was deprived of a Ted Williams versus Jackie Robinson October matchup. That theoretical Series would have looked pretty similar to this one, with the Dodgers’ jerseys showcasing their royal blue script wordmark and the Red Sox in navy blue caps and home jerseys that spelt out “Red Sox” in fancy scarlet characters, outlined in navy.

Both clubs introduced what are substantially their current uniforms in the late 1930s. At the outset of that decade the Red Sox rolled out new uniform designs nearly every single season. Brooklyn took the field in 1937 in uniforms that featured Kelly Green lettering and caps. The following year they debuted new togs, which highlighted the word “Dodgers,” rendered in script—a look that they have worn ever since.

During the middle years of the twentieth century, the Red Sox’ headwear “B” and the Dodgers’ headwear “B” were quite similar. Close inspection, however, reveals subtle contrasts that transcend the obvious color differences. 

Some World Series matchups ooze with history and rich storylines; others are total and complete mysteries. In 2001 the New York Yankees, steeped in tradition, took on the Arizona Diamondbacks, then in their fourth season. Unlikely foes, they combined for a seven game classic. The visual contrasts were stark too, with New York in their classic pinstriped uniforms and Arizona clad in vests, resplendent in copper, purple, black, and turquoise.

This Boston Los Angeles World Series will also showcase two of the three oldest MLB ballparks currently in use, Fenway Park and Dodger Stadium. The aesthetics of these two gems, opened almost exactly half a century apart, couldn’t be more different, but both are full of visual character and authentic design elements that perfectly represent their respective cities.

The Red Sox won 108 regular season games, the most in their long history. The Dodgers have won two consecutive pennants. This 114th Fall Classic has the potential to be a truly great one, but those of us who observe the visual culture of the sport with a keen eye are already guaranteed an elevated experience.

Todd RadomComment