Looking better in black


The Pirates’ new uniforms feature sleeves on the home and away jerseys and a new black alternate jersey. From left are Nate McLouth (alternate), Matt Capps (home pinstripes), Nyjer Morgan (away sleeves) and Freddy Sanchez (home sleeves) at Piratefest Friday in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. (Photo by Christopher Horner/Tribune-Review)

For the first time in 74 years, the block “P” is back on the Pirates’ jerseys.

It’s part of the design of the black alternate uniform, which was revealed this afternoon at the team’s annual Hot Stove Lunch with the media. The new jersey is, I think, a great upgrade over the red jerseys — which most folks, including many players — said looked like softball unis, that were used in 2007 and ’08.

The black, button-down tops, which coordinate with white pants, will be worn on selected home games. The Pirates also changed up their standard home and away unis by adding sleeves. The look is intended to be reminiscent of the 1970s era uniforms, without the garish colors and polyester feel. The last time the Pirates had sleeves was the 2000 season.

“We did it because it’s our history, our tradition,” president Frank Coonelly said. “We’re rebuilding that tradition.”

The Pirates will continue to use their sleeveless, pinstriped uniforms on Sunday home games. The batting practice jersey is unchanged, although the b.p. also had its red stripe removed.

What happened to all those useless red jerseys? There’s a store here at PirateFest which sells game-used equipment. If you want ‘em, there are several red jerseys hanging on the racks.