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September 28th, 2011

Looking Back at Turning the Clock Ahead

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a fan of time travel. I love it. Can’t get enough of it. It makes sense then that I’m also interested in smaller-scale, more approachable questions on time. Like, “When does this train leave?” and, “How does one deal with the grandfather paradox anyway?”

Recently, I was reminded of something I had altogether forgotten: in 1999, MLB featured a “Turn Ahead the Clock” promotion. The grammatically-questionable corporate-heavy promo was met with mixed reviews – uniforms were revised, faux teams from outer space were made. But while the 1999 promo was mostly a dud, the ESPN article talks about a 1998 one-time promo for the Mariners and Royals’ game. Here’s Kevin Martinez, then marketing director for the Mariners:

“My boss and I would often sit around during home games and come up with these what-if scenarios,” Martinez recalls. “One day it was, ‘What if we went into the future?’ And we looked at each other and thought that might work. There had been several ‘Turn Back the Clock’ days — we just wanted to put a new twist on it. Playing inside the Kingdome, a controlled environment, we thought we could change the look and feel inside the building to give it a futuristic tone. So we chose to fast-forward to the year 2027, because that would be the 50th anniversary of Mariners baseball.”

2027 – why, that’ll be my 50th birthday too!

Don’t miss all of the photos in the article; nearly every link is one. While one can argue that the uniforms created for the future are ugly, I actually kind of like them. Big logos are almost the opposite of where we are today with lots of smaller logos. And it’ll be interesting to see if the casual look of these uniforms ever comes into style.

Here’s the thing though. I think it would be amazing and fantastic if, in 2027, the Mariners did play the Royals at the Biodome. And a robot threw out the first pitch. While it won’t be possible to have James “Scotty” Doohan there, maybe a hologram can make an appearance?

Posted in Sports

Ryan September 28, 2011, 11:45 pm

That is truly fascinating. I had no idea such a promotion ever existed!

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