Aside from a single appearance of the all-black look in the Super Regional, the Bulldogs stuck to three traditional looks throughout their National Championship run- White 85s, Maroon 85s, and Gray Script "State". The White 85s finished with the best record of the run at a perfect 4-0, while the Maroon 85s were the uniform worn when Mississippi State finally hoisted the National Championship trophy.
White 85: 4-0 NCAAT Record, Championship Series Berth
Maroon 85 over White: 4-1 NCAAT Record, Super Regional Championship, National Championship
Gray Script "State": 2-1 NCAAT Record, Regional Championship
Black 85 over Black: 0-1 NCAAT Record
2021 Uniform Combinations:
Maroon 85 over White
Maroon 85 over Gray
Black 85 over Black
Cream Script "State"
Gray Script "State"
White "M over S" Pinstripes
Gray "M over S" Pinstripes
Additions in 2021:
Cream Script "State" Jersey
Double-Striped Cream Pants
White "M over S" Pinstripes
Gray "M over S" Pinstripes
2021 White 85 Jersey
Subtractions from 2020:
50s-style White STATE Jersey
Single-Striped White Pants
White "State" Pinstripe Jersey
2020 White 85 Jersey
In 2021, Mississippi State wore 2 hats, 7 jerseys, 6 pants, and 8 total combinations. In a remarkable accomplishment, every single uniform element finished with a winning record. Both hats, all 7 jerseys, all 6 pants, and all 8 combinations finished the season with more wins than losses. Aside from the National Championship, that might be the most impressive feat that this team accomplished; not only did they win, but they won consistently, with no major losing streaks or fatal flaws.
In the 11 seasons for which I have the data (2011-2021), this is the first time that Mississippi State has achieved this milestone. The 2019 team came close, as no uniform elements had a losing record that season, but the gray pinstripes were right at .500 with a 4-4 record. I imagine the feat was accomplished several times in the early Polk years; for example, the 1985 team finished 50-15, the 1989 finished 54-14, and the 1990 team finished 50-21. Those those teams only had 2 or 3 different uniforms, so mathematically, it's pretty likely that each uniform had winning record those seasons. To have as many uniforms as State had this season and maintain a winning record in all of them is a really impressive feat, and one that we may not see repeated for a while.
Maroon 85 w/ White Pants
18 Appearances, 13-5 (.722) Record
Mississippi State's most iconic baseball uniform, the maroon version of the classic '85 design, was the Bulldogs' primary uniform during their first National Championship season, and the uniform in which they finally hoisted the National Championship trophy for the first time.
The maroon 85s were worn with white pants 18 times in 2021 to a 13-5 record. Five of those appearances came in the NCAA Tournament: one in the Starkville Regional, one in the Starkville Super Regional, and three in Omaha. The combination was worn in all 15 of the Bulldogs' Friday games in 2021. In the regular season, it was worn exclusively on Fridays; its only non Friday appearances came in the postseason.
The maroon 85 jersey design has remained unchanged since 2019. The maroon 85 over white look was also unchanged from last season, with the double maroon stripes on the white pants that were introduced in 2020.
13 Appearances, 11-2 (.846) Record
Mississippi State's second-most worn uniform in 2021 was another one of its classic looks, the white 85s. The Bulldogs were in the white 85s when they won a game in the National Championship Series for the first time ever- the 13-2 victory over Vanderbilt in Game 2 of the series.
The white 85s were worn 13 times in 2021 to an 11-2 record. One appearance came in the SEC Tournament, while four more came in the NCAA Tournament. The white 85s were the only Bulldog uniform to remain undefeated throughout the title run, being worn in one win in each round of the tournament (Regional, Super Regional, CWS Bracket Play, National Championship Series).
For the first few weeks of the season, the white 85s were used exclusively in a midweek role; their first three appearances in 2021 were in midweek games. After being swept by Arkansas, State switched up its uniform rotation, moving the white 85s and white pinstripes to the weekends to replace the cream and black looks. As a result, for the final four SEC home weekends, the white 85s were a part of the weekend rotation.
The white 85s did undergo some minor changes for the 2021 season. Player names were added to the back, replacing the state of Mississippi outline. Additionally, the number font on the back was changed from the tall, condensed version to the more standard, full version. These changes, combined with 2020's addition of double stripes to the pants, fully completed the classic look, in my opinion. The white 85s have always been my favorite Mississippi State baseball uniform, and the current version of them is the best one yet. It is, in my opinion, the single best uniform in college baseball.
Gray Script "State"
9 Appearances, 7-2 (.777) Record
Gray jerseys featuring a maroon script "State" on the chest were the only addition to Mississippi State's uniform lineup in 2020; they were only worn once before the rest of the season was cancelled due to COVID-19. This season, the gray script "State" jerseys were Mississippi State's primary road uniform, finally getting a full season of action.
The gray script "State" jerseys were worn 9 times in 2021 to a 7-2 record. They were undefeated throughout the regular season, with wins in four road SEC Saturday games and one road SEC Thursday game of a Thurs-Sat series. The look suffered its first loss ever in the SEC Tournament against Tennessee; it rebounded by being worn a win over Campbell to clinch the Starkville Regional and then in the Opening Round win over Texas in Omaha. Its final appearance of the season came in Game 1 of the National Championship Series, in which the Bulldogs fell to Vanderbilt.
This is a look that was a welcome surprise addition to Mississippi State's uniform lineup last season, and it was great to see it finally get a full season- especially one in which it was State's third most worn uniform and was worn in multiple important postseason games. It's the first non-pinstripe uniform to ever feature the "State" script, and it is executed to near perfection.
Cream Script "State"
9 Appearances, 6-3 (.667) Record
A brand new addition to Mississippi State's uniform lineup in 2021 was the cream script "State" jerseys. The second cream jersey in program history, after the cream "M over S" jerseys that were worn in 2014 and 2015, this look is essentially a cream version of the gray script "State" uniform, but with no front number, a condensed number font on the back, and no outlines on anything. The jerseys were paired with cream pants featuring double maroon stripes, creating symmetry with the white and gray pants that also feature double stripes.
The cream script "State" jerseys were worn 9 times in 2021 to a 6-3 record, with all 9 appearances coming in the regular season. Originally, the cream jerseys took the spot of the 50s-style white STATE jerseys as the home Saturday uniform. This was the case for the first 5 weeks of the season; after the Arkansas series, the cream jerseys had a losing record at 2-3. At this point, the white 85s were moved to the home Saturday slot while the cream jerseys were relegated to midweeks. At the time, I called this a "rehab" stint for the creams, and that's essentially what it was. The Bulldogs won their last four games in cream- all midweek games- to finish the season with a respectable 6-3 record in the look.
The new cream jerseys were the first that I had the opportunity to have some input on the design; I'm really happy with how they turned out- another great addition to State's uniform lineup!
Black 85 w/ Black Pants
7 Appearances, 4-3 (.571) Record
The only uniform to remain completely unchanged since 2019, the polarizing all-black look returned in 2021.
All-black was worn 7 times in 2021 to a 4-3 record- a significant step down from the 12-1 record it had enjoyed over the previous two seasons and 21-4 all-time record that the color combination had accrued entering the season.
To begin the season, all-black assumed its usual role as the Sunday uniform- though its season debut actually came on a Monday as the opening weekend schedule was pushed back a day due to weather. The look started out as successful as ever, with a 4-0 record through non-conference play including a walk-off, series-clinching victory over Tulane and a combined no-hitter against Kent State. However, after back-to-back Sunday losses to LSU and Arkansas to open SEC play, the magic felt gone, and the all-black look was ditched in favor of pinstripes on Sundays; it would not see the field again for the remainder of the regular season.
The all-black look did get one final appearance, in Game 2 of the Super Regional against Notre Dame. Mississippi State had won Game 1 of the series, and a win would send them back to the College World Series for the third consecutive postseason. Both of the previous two Omaha-clinching victories had come in all-black, and the game was being played on a Sunday, so if there was ever a time to attempt to re-claim the black magic, this was it. Things did not, however, go as planned, as the Bulldogs fell 9-1 to Notre Dame, who evened the series and got themselves within a game of Omaha. Mississippi State would go on to win the series and advance to Omaha the next day- in maroon. Time will tell if this is actually the case- but that day sure felt like the death of the all-black look, at least for the foreseeable future.
White "M over S" Pinstripes
6 Appearances, 5-1 (.833) Record
One of Mississippi State's most iconic baseball uniforms is the white pinstripes with the "M over S" on the chest- particularly the version worn during the Bulldogs' first run to the National Championship Series in 2013. Even though the white script "State" pinstripes, which were worn from 2017 to 2020, were also beloved by fans, you would still see many fans asking for the "M over S" pins to return. In 2021, those fans got their wish, as the white "M over S" pinstripes returned to the field!
The white "M over S" pinstripes were worn 6 times in 2021 to a 5-1 record. Like the white 85s, they began the season as a midweek uniform before transitioning into a weekend role midway through the season. They were worn in three midweek wins early in the season before taking over the game 3 role for three home SEC series. The white pinstripes were not worn in the postseason, as the white and maroon 85s took over as the Bulldogs' only "home" looks throughout the National Championship run.
The 2021 uniform is a mix of the 2013-2014 and 1998-2001 looks, with no outline on the "M over S" like the 1998-2001 version, but with no front number like 2013-2014. The back features a maroon state outline of Mississippi and full maroon numbers with a white outline. It's the best version of the white pins yet IMO, and I hope that this is a look that we stick with for a long time.
Gray "M over S" Pinstripes
5 Appearances, 3-2 (.600) Record
Another addition to the Bulldogs' uniform lineup in 2021 was the revised gray pinstripes. Gray pinstripes were State's primary road uniform from 2016 to 2019, and they would have returned for a fifth season in 2020 had the season not been cut short due to COVID-19.
After the unplanned year off, the gray pinstripes saw some changes for the 2021 season, bringing them in line with the new white pinstripes as well as introducing some other small changes. White outlines were added to the "M over S" logo, back numbers, and state of Mississippi outline to improve visibility; front numbers were removed to create consistency with the white pinstripes. These changes contribute to a cleaner overall look for the gray pinstripes, which remain a really sharp look and one that I also hope remains in the lineup for the foreseeable future.
The gray "M over S" pinstripes were worn 5 times in 2021 to a 3-2 record. They made their debut in the Sunday game at Auburn and remained in that road game 3 role for the rest of the regular season; they were also worn in the Bulldogs' lone road midweek game of 2021, at The Citadel. Like the white pinstripes, the gray pins were not worn in the postseason. They were actually available as the fourth uniform option taken to Omaha, but were never used in a game as the Bulldogs stuck with the white 85s, maroon 85s, and gray script "State" jerseys throughout their National Championship run.
Maroon 85 w/ Gray Pants
1 Appearance, 1-0 (1.000) Record
The 2021 version of maroon 85 over gray was actually a brand new one, as the maroon 85 jerseys were never paired with new, maroon-white-maroon striped gray pants during the shortened 2020 season. This was arguably the best version of maroon 85 over gray yet, as the white stripe on the pants really popped with the white accents on the jersey; it was reminiscent of one of my all-time favorite Mississippi State football uniform combinations.
Curiously, the maroon 85s were only worn with gray pants once in 2021- in the season opening win over Texas. As a result, they were the only uniform combination to finish with a perfect record during the National Championship season.
For all five Friday Night SEC road games, as well as two games in Omaha where State was the designated "road" team, the Bulldogs paired the maroon 85 jerseys with white pants rather than the traditional gray. I'm not sure exactly why that is- it could be as simple as it made laundry easier for those road series, as they were always wearing the gray script "State" jerseys, which were paired with gray pants, either the next day or the day prior. It could also just be that the team liked the maroon over white look better and decided to roll with it (which is not as assessment I would agree with- not only is gray pants on the road the traditional thing to do in baseball, but I really like the maroon over gray look and would like to see it worn more often). Either way, it will be interesting to see if this is a trend that continues into next season or if the Bulldogs go back to wearing gray pants on road Friday Nights in 2022.
For more Mississippi State's postseason baseball uniform history, visit the Postseason Uniform History page.
For interactive data on Mississippi State's baseball uniform history, visit the Baseball page on the Hail State Unis Database.
In the past I've done a series of polls to determine fans' favorite uniforms in various sports, but for baseball this season, I decided to take a different approach- and I think it turned out pretty well.
A week after the National Championship victory, I asked my Twitter followers to provide their personal rankings of Mississippi State's 7 baseball jerseys. From the 31 validly formatted replies and quote tweets that I received, plus my own personal rankings, I tallied up the votes and created the official fan ranking of the 2021 National Champions' uniform lineup.
The maroon 85s are the clear fan-favorite, as they received more than twice as many first place votes as any other uniform, handily winning first place. The white pinstripes, gray script "State", and white 85 jerseys were also in that top tier of popularity, each receiving 4+ first place votes. The gray pinstripes and cream script "State" jerseys consistently polled lower than the top four uniforms, but still well above the black 85 jerseys, which polled either last or tied for last in 28 of the 32 rankings submitted.
In addition to being the 2021 National Champions, Mississippi State also has the best uniform lineup in college baseball. That is a claim that I've made for several years now- but it's more true now than it has ever been. The attention to detail and consistency from Coach Lemonis and Director of Baseball Operations Roger Rodeheaver is second to none; these guys really care about getting every small detail right, and we are incredibly lucky to have them here at Mississippi State. It's absolutely no surprise that this staff was the one to bring Mississippi State its first team National Championship in any sport- they approach everything they do with professionalism, right down to less important aspects like uniforms that many coaches would completely disregard.
The consistency of this year's uniform set is really the most impressive thing about it- it's a level of consistency that you rarely see in college uniform sets, where uniforms come and go from year to year. All 5 non-pinstripe jerseys feature double stripes and the M over S logo on the sleeves. These jerseys were introduced over the course of three seasons, so it's not like it was one rebrand that was designed at once; it displays a consistent eye for detail that's been maintained each offseason when designing new uniform additions. The two pinstripe uniforms feature an identical design with the M over S logo on the left chest and state outline on the back; this addressed the lack of jerseys with the M over S on the chest that I noted in the 2020 season recap. All seven of the Bulldogs' 2021 jerseys feature the iconic M over S logo on either the left chest or right sleeve. From a branding perspective, you can't ask for anything better.
Looking forward to 2022, I would expect a few changes as always, but I expect a large part of the Bulldogs' 2021 uniform lineup to remain intact. There are two changes that I think are very likely for 2022:
Adding Player Names to the Maroon 85s
Player names were added to the white 85s this season, and I think it worked well and looked great. The maroon 85s were the only non-pinstripe jersey in 2021 to not feature player names, so bringing them in line with the rest of the set in that regard is something that I expect to happen.
Removing the Black Pants From the Lineup
Mississippi State first wore black pants for one game in 2015 before bringing them back on a more consistent basis in 2018. They were worn to an undefeated 10-0 record in 2019, but their 4-3 record in 2021 was much less fortunate, especially considering that they finished the season on a 3-game losing skid, including a 9-1 loss in a Super Regional. It's hard to imagine the all-black look sticking around after that; options going forward are to completely ditch black, keep the current black jerseys but pair them with white/gray pants, or to re-design the black jerseys with white/gray pants in mind. Or- it's possible that they continue to roll with the current look despite its lack of success this season. I just don't find that very likely- the all-black look has always been a polarizing one, with many only tolerating them because the Bulldogs won in them so frequently. With that notion gone, the likelihood of it sticking around is slim at best.
I expect all of the Bulldogs' other looks- the white 85s, cream script "State", gray script "State", white "M over S" pins, and gray "M over S" pins- to stick around unchanged for another season. Before we know it, that season will be here, and Mississippi State will take the field as the reigning National Champions for the first time ever. What a glorious time it will be.