The White Sox recently released a second wave of promotional items for the 2020 season, which prompted me to glance through the promo schedule once more. That aforementioned release, as visualized below, certainly has some interesting items.
However, something else caught my eye when browsing through the collection of 2020 giveaways. That attention-grabber? The Free T-Shirt Thursday designs. Upon initially reviewing the promotional items a few weeks ago, only a few of the t-shirt designs were posted with the rest still to be announced. Those designs may have been released earlier than I picked up on, so shame on me if I'm late to the party on this one. However, since this is the first time I'm seeing them, I figured I would bring them to the attention of White Sox fans everywhere and really dig into the details of each design. Here goes.
To review these designs, I will go through them chronologically, offer some details, and provide additional commentary. With the recent news that the MLB season has been postponed for at least two weeks due to coronavirus concerns, these dates will obviously change. For the sake of organization within this article, I'll just reference the original dates from the schedule above.
(NOTE: names for each of these designs were not specified on the White Sox promotional schedule, so I came up with the designations on the fly after reviewing the designs. Some are obvious based on the text, others are inferred based on the visual elements.)
Change The Game
With so much up in the air right now, who knows when this shirt will actually make it into the hands of fans. Regardless, let's just review the design. (Copy and paste this memo at the beginning of every section).
Originally Scheduled Giveaway Date: March 26th vs. Royals - 1:10 PM (First 20,000 fans)
The White Sox have made it well-known that their 2020 marketing campaign/slogan is "Change The Game." Likely inspired by Tim Anderson's bat flips and personality, it's a bold, catchy slogan to display across your chest along with the classic old English "SOX" logo. Following suit from last year, the Opening Day (whenever that may come in 2020) free shirt is of the long-sleeve variety, which makes for a nice change-up when stockpiling White Sox gear. I would personally like to see a few more long-sleeve giveaways throughout the season, but I understand that cost and weather may play into the decision-making on that front. I digress. Overall, this is a solid shirt to kick off the season with.
Louder, Faster, Bolder
Originally Scheduled Giveaway Date: April 16th vs. Rangers - 7:10 PM (First 10,000 fans)
The first short-sleeve t-shirt of the season sticks with the "Change The Game" slogan as it features the same front design as the long-sleeve, but it has been downsized into a nice left-chest logo. The back features silhouettes of Lucas Giolito, Eloy Jimenez, Tim Anderson, Yasmani Grandal, and Dallas Keuchel amidst the "Louder, Faster, Bolder" text with a Sox logo and "CTG" (Change The Game) icon in the lower right-hand corner. In yet another solid overall design, I'm a huge fan of the chest logo on the front. Most Free T-Shirt Thursday threads of the past have featured full-frontal logos, but this one offers a cleaner look with the chest logo. Thankfully, this isn't the last time we'll see this style in the 2020 collection.
The 1917 Logo
Originally Scheduled Giveaway Date: May 7th vs. Rays - 7:10 PM (First 10,000 fans)
This one is an absolute beaut. Yes, good guys wear black, but the use of the franchise's past color schemes can make for some pretty sexy designs. This shirt is the perfect example of that exact utilization. The baseball depicted in motion contains the iconic 1917 logo within. The script "White Sox" text below it is an excellent throwback mashup of the modern script font utilized on last year's hoodie giveaway and Players' Weekend jerseys.
Back to the details of the shirt up for discussion, the "Est. 1900" within a simple diamond logo that sits to the right of the script text rounds out an overall aesthetically pleasing addition to any Sox fan's wardrobe.
Originally Scheduled Giveaway Date:May 14th vs. Blue Jays - 7:10 PM (First 10,000 fans)
This design is a pretty cool concept that encompasses several different White Sox and Chicago visual elements. The star of the show is the Fuzzy Green Dude himself, White Sox mascot Southpaw, donning the 1983 jersey that the South Siders wear on Sundays with a script "SOX" below to match. The Chicago skyline background with the iconic Comiskey Park scoreboard pinwheels set just in front of the skyline but behind Southpaw round out a creative, visually satisfying design.
Originally Scheduled Giveaway Date: June 11th vs. Indians - 1:10 PM (First 10,000 fans)
The left-chest logo returns! The design on the front has a bit of a baseball card feel to it with alternating gold and silver slats making up the backdrop. Though it's tough to make out the player in this logo, the 1967-68 road jersey script logo at the bottom gives this design a nice throwback feel. The layout on the back of the shirt brings the modern era into the fold, as the gold-accented outside view of Guaranteed Rate Field from the corner of 35th and Shields comprises the backdrop. Now onto the featured players. Feel free to correct me in the comments or Twitter replies to this article if you have any further insight, but I'm just going to make my best guesses from left to right with my reasoning in parentheses: Jim Thome (left-handed slugger, wore high socks), Billy Pierce (left-handed hurler jumping off the mound to field a groundball), Reynaldo Lopez (can't tell if his lips are pursed, but this land looks like the righty's delivery), Tim Anderson (right-handed, body frame seems to match), and Yoan Moncada (elbow guard on right arm, shin guard on right foot, swing follow-through looks spot-on). The gold "White Sox" in name-on-the-back, jersey-like block script font along with the navy blue "Est. 1900" making up the bottom banner rounds out yet another solid design.
Originally Scheduled Giveaway Date: June 25th vs. Tigers - 7:10 PM (First 10,000 fans)
Nina Palomba created a Bulls Pride Night hat design back in January, and she brought her talents down to the South Side to design the White Sox Pride Night t-shirt with very similar elements. After looking over her Instagram page, this design is right on-brand with her overall style and previous works. The rainbow-infused path following the baseball is a creative way to highlight the theme for which this shirt was designed.
Big League Chew
Originally Scheduled Giveaway Date: July 23rd vs. Tigers - 7:10 PM (First 10,000 fans)
A White Sox-themed Big League Chew package on a t-shirt? Sign me up. Omens took the iconic gum packaging and fully immersed it in a South Side sauce.
Let's start from the top and work our way down this shirt design. "Winning Ugly" should be "Winnin' Ugly," but there's no need to get bent out of shape over such a minuscule technicality. The spirit of the 1983 White Sox rallying cry remains the same. "South Side Chicago" in place of "Big League Chew" is perfect. All true Sox fans know the motto -- South Side Or Die. "White Sox" in place of "Bubble Gum" fits well to keep with the two-word theme. Using the font of the current White Sox wordmark logo here is also a nice touch. "You can put it on the board" in place of "Outta Here Original?" Winner. It's the perfect Hawkism to encompass Big League Chew's desired home-run themed wording. As for the animated Batterman, using the road grey (at least it looks to be) 1983 jersey is a nice subtle detail. The white jersey gets all the love in modern times because of its use as the Sunday alternate jersey, but the greys deserve some respect too. This design is a great piece of nostalgia, and now I feel the need to buy a pack of Big League Chew.
Police and Fire Night
Originally Scheduled Giveaway Date: August 27th vs. Red Sox - 7:10 PM (First 10,000 fans)
This design won't blow you out of the water, but it features a compact crest that encompasses elements of both the Chicago Police and Fire Departments. I personally prefer the design from 2018, but I understand the promotional department wanting to keep things fresh.
Back to the 2020 version -- it's clean, crisp, and to the point. If you attend the game with a family member or friend that serves in either department, I'm sure there won't be many complaints on their end. Just make sure they keep things in order when the Boston dumb-dumbs inevitably get out of control that night.
South Side Mashup
Originally Scheduled Giveaway Date: September 10th vs. Dodgers - 1:10 PM (First 10,000 fans)
There's a lot going on with this design, both visually and layout-wise. I'll address the latter of the two categories first. Look at the collar of the shirt and compare it to the other designs.
Anything missing? That's right, the tag.
The lack of that skinny slice of paper stitched into the collar implies that the visible design is what will appear on the back of the shirt, but unlike the "Stadium Gold" (as I've dubbed it) design, this mock-up does not include an image of front design. Hmmm. Was it an error in product logo generation by the White Sox graphics team? Is the front of the shirt still being mocked up? Do they already have it completed but are just holding out on us? I have questions aplenty because a kick-ass front design could take this shirt from intriguing to freakin' sweet (Family Guy reference) really quick. Since we don't know for sure what will be on the front of the shirt, ponder with me for a second. Given the mix of modern and throwback elements we've seen in previous designs, I think the 1932-1935 home jersey lettering as a left-chest logo would fit perfectly into the red/white/blue color scheme the back layout already employs.
Anyone? Bueller? No? Okay. Just a thought. Let's dive into what we already know for certain. The originally pictured design has a lot going on with general baseball-isms and Hawkisms aplenty. It seems a little chaotic upon first glance, but if this is the back of the shirt, on the whole, I dig it. Onto the final design.
Los White Sox
Originally Scheduled Giveaway Date: September 17th vs. Royals - 7:10 PM (First 10,000 fans)
Once again, we have a design very indicative of the artist's personal brand. The "Los White Sox" type font is always featured on the Cinco de Mayo soccer jerseys, so it's cool to see it reappear here. The baseball seams encompassed in the skull art is also a very nice touch. Hispanic Heritage Night is scheduled for the Saturday game of this series, making this promotion a solid way to cap off the White Sox 2020 Free T-Shirt Thursday giveaway series.
As mentioned at the onset of this article, the initially listed dates for these giveaways are obviously all in flux given the postponement of the MLB season due to coronavirus concerns. Being without baseball and sports in general sucks big time. Hopefully this deep dive into the details at least served as a distraction for a few minutes. There are several intriguing designs in this collection and the artists behind them have worked very hard to put them together, so it'd be a shame if the White Sox aren't able to navigate a schedule that allows for all of these shirts to make their way into the hands of the South Side faithful throughout the 2020 season.