Giants fans didn't have to wait until the home opener to get a look at a change that surely will please many, while also angering a large portion of the fan base.
The Giants announced last year that they would start wearing names on the backs of their home jerseys during the 2021 season. Players wore the new ones during photo day on Tuesday at Scottsdale Stadium and the team's social media account gave a first look on Twitter:
The nameless cream jerseys were a favorite of former owner Peter Magowan, who viewed them as an homage to the team that arrived in San Francisco in 1958. But the game has changed significantly, and in recent years the Giants started talking about making a change they felt could help more casual fans get to know players.
The Giants used an NL-record 64 players in 2019 and had 45 different players put on their jersey over 60 games in 2020. This spring, they have 72 players in camp. Manager Gabe Kapler said last week that players were asked to wear their jerseys during workouts for the first few days.
"It's hard to put all the faces to names," he said, smiling.
During an appearance on KNBR over the weekend, Mario Alioto, the club's executive vice president of business operations, told a story about another team executive watching a father and son at the ballpark. They were standing in the tunnel outside the home clubhouse and the young boy excitedly said "that's No. 8" as Hunter Pence walked by in a jersey with no name on the back.
"Part of what we need to do is introduce our game to a whole new generation of fans," Alioto said. "I know there are many folks -- and I'm one of them at times -- that are traditionalists and go back with the old days of baseball, but I think we also need to be cognizant of introducing our game to a new generation of fans."