Playing favorites: What's the story behind the Twins' game jersey picks?
Pitcher Kyle Gibson has a favorite. So does Jake Odorizzi. Sometimes, they're forced to wear something they don't prefer, but they say it's not too big a deal.
For every game the Twins play — all 162 of them — they have to wear, well, a jersey.
The uniforms come in different color combos, fun fact tidbits and hints of superstition, each holding some sort of significance for someone on the roster.
What jerseys do the Twins wear and why? How are they decided? Those are the latest inquiries for Curious Minnesota, our community-driven reporting project fueled by questions from inquisitive readers.
These questions come from Jeanne Cur of Plymouth. She watches Twins games often, nearly "all of them," and wondered about how the team picks what jersey colors to wear and why. The curiosity originated when Max Kepler slid into second base one day and pulled up with a muddy, dirty jersey.
For the most part, Twins starting pitchers choose what jersey to wear every time they start a game. There are certain exceptions, especially on the road. If the home team decides to wear its blue jerseys, then the road team has to accommodate for those kinds of changes.
The Twins have three home jerseys — navy, white or red — while they have the gray or blue for the road. The multiple alternatives add some variety to the starter's choices.
The jerseys take a beating during games and require special care to appear like new for each game. The Twins and many other Major League Baseball teams swear by a product called Slide Out for the toughest stains.
Gibson's favorite, the cream pinstripe jersey, was discontinued after 2018. That style was a sentimental favorite because that's the jersey he wore during his MLB debut in 2013. Now, the 31-year-old prefers the red Twins jerseys — but that's just because he likes the red hat.
"Certain days we have to wear a white, certain days we have to wear the blues," Gibson said. "Other than that, we get to pick if it's one of the other four days."
Odorizzi, on the other hand, rolls with the blue.
"I just like blue, it's the best," Odorizzi said. "No one's ever told me I can't wear it."
Perhaps the lowest-maintenance starter is pitcher Jose Berrios. He has no preference in the grand jersey scheme. On the road, though, he bases it off how the team is playing.
If the Twins are in a losing funk while wearing the blues, he'll switch it up. If they're winning, he doesn't change anything up.
Berrios has no favorite. He just rolls with whatever helps the team.
"Depends on how we're playing," Berrios said. "At home, I just rotate it."
For the most part, the starters choose what they want to wear and why. Those days where the jersey colors are predetermined throws a slight wrench in the plans, especially for the creatures of habit, but they pitch regardless.
Gibson just hopes his choice, the red jerseys, stick around.
"I'm slowly losing my favorite jerseys," Gibson said. "At some point, they'll get rid of the red ones."
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