With the NAIA World Series beginning Friday, it’s important to remember that it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how good you look in your uniform.And for those with that value system, you don’t even have to wait until the end of the series to find out which is the best team, you just have to check out the uniforms. To help out, 360 used the 2015 team photos and scored uniforms across four categories: mascot, color, intimidation factor and overall style. Once finished, we ranked them accordingly. Here, we present the official Inland 360 2015 NAIA Uniform Rankings:
No. 1 St. Thomas University Bobcats — Miami Gardens, Fla.
It’s the royal blue
with light blue accents; that’s what does it. Blue is clean, classic and with the contrasting shade of blue, these guys look sharp. With so much fashion on the field, it’s hard to see how opponents won’t feel inferior.
No. 2 Concordia University Eagles — Irvine, Calif.
If you’re going for the full cultural experience of a baseball game, then this is the team you want to watch. These guys just look baseball-y. A team name emblazoned in classic baseball script (complete with the underline) and contrasting sleeve color is quintessential baseball uniform material.
No. 3 Embry-Riddle University Eagles — Daytona Beach, Fla.
These guys get a seamless look on their butto
n-down shirts, bearing only the outline lettering of the school name. No numbers on the front, no froo-froo, just business. A modern take on traditional elements means these guys play in style.
No. 4 Lewis-Clark State College Warriors — Lewiston
Navy and gray look serious, serious enough it might scare you off the field. Combined with a simple, legible team name on the front, these uniforms are a sharp spin on a classic look.
No. 5 Oklahoma Baptist University Bison — Shawnee, Okla.
Bison are known more for their sedentary grass-grazing skills than their ferocity or athletic know-how. That said, an aggressive bison logo atop a black uniform forces you to rethink that stereotype. After all, facing a bison stampede is rarely high on anyone’s bucket list.
No. 6 Vanguard University Lions — Costa Mesa, Calif.
If this team shows up in yellow like their picture suggests, their opponents better bring sunglasses. It’s a bold fashion move, and that confidence may intimidate others on the field. For improved uniform rankings next year, they might replace the “VUSC” with the team name so people don’t try to read it and wonder why they’ve never heard of one of those before.
No. 7 Davenport University Panthers — Grand Rapids, Mich.
It’s a classic uniform in a powerhouse red, but with their team name all fancied up, it might be hard to tell who you’re playing. But maybe that’s part of their strategy. Still, with that black and white contrast, it’s some solid baseball style.
No. 8 Faulkner University Eagles — Montgomery, Ala.
This is pretty much the same uniform as above, just in a different color. And while red and black are a bit more intimidating, the classic blue gives these guys an edge on the baseball look. Added bonus: you can easily read the team name.
No. 9 Tabor College Blue Jays — Hillsboro, Kan.
Birds don’t intimidate most of us — things that regularly burst into song rarely do — but the aggressive blue jay can hold its own. What does not hold its own is that light shade of blue on these uniforms. It’s too nice, too much like a robin egg — implying a fragility we can assume they don’t have.
No. 10 Lindsey Wilson College Blue Raiders — Columbia, Ky.
I don’t know what a Blue Raider is, but I’ll bet they’re neither frozen nor suffocating; we’ll know for sure once the team takes the field. These uniforms are polite — white can be that way sometimes and the huge school letters don’t help. But watch out: the friendly look may be how they fly under the radar for a surprise attack.