A cool camouflage look for Hatton-Northwood legion baseball
There's no hiding on the baseball field for Hatton-Northwood; not when the team is wearing its camouflage jerseys.
Hatton-Northwood wore its multi-colored camouflage jerseys Friday at the annual Robert Montgomery Memorial American Legion tournament in Grand Forks. The team split a pair of games in pool play, then wore its more traditional blue jerseys Saturday against the Grand Forks Blues.
"There are a few other teams in the area we've seen wearing the camouflage jerseys,'' said H-N coach Josh Nelson, mentioning the Nelson County Legion team. "I think they're becoming more common.
"It's camouflage in name only. They stand out way too much. But it kind of suits the personality of this group. It's a good bunch of guys. They make the game fun.''
The camouflage jersey is designed like traditional military camouflage.
But the army camouflage colors are a mix of tan, gray and green. The Hatton-Northwood colors are representative of the communities' schools.
There’s yellow, mixed in with black and gray, in the camouflage for the Hatton High School colors. The blue lettering is for the Northwood High School colors. "This way, everybody is represented by us,'' Nelson said.
Hatton-Northwood first used the camouflage jerseys last season. The idea was by then-coach Jake Bilden. The players say they haven’t heard a reaction from other teams about the look.
“We liked the idea,’’ said H-N player Kyler Schwartz. “They’re something different, something cool. They look sharp.
“We had a choice of colors. We thought blue and yellow would look good and represent both schools.’’
Saturday was the first time Hatton-Northwood wore its traditional blue jersey after the team won four of its first five games in the camouflage tops. What the team wears has nothing to do with superstition or winning and losing streaks. It's about temperature.
"The camouflage tops are a little lighter than our usual blue jerseys,'' Nelson said. "It's more like a light work-out t-shirt type of material. It's cooler.
"The players say the cutoff is 77 degrees. If it gets hotter than that, we break out the camouflage jerseys.''
When Hatton-Northwood purchased the camouflage jerseys last summer, some of the players bought their own, putting their names or favorite numbers on the back.
That is a fad. Schwartz, for instance, has his name imprinted on his fielder’s glove.
"I think it's a growing thing,'' Nelson said of the camouflage jerseys. "Some Major League teams wear them, too.
"Kids like these sorts of things. If they can put their name on something, they're all over it. Anything they can customize -- names sewn on their gloves, on their cleats -- they want it.''