Twins jerseys take a beating and require careful cleaning to appear like new each game. Photo: Hannah Foslien, Tribune News Service

Playing favorites: What's the story behind Twins' 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.

The Twins' cream pinstripe jersey, retired after 2018, was Kyle Gibson’s sentimental favorite because it was the jersey he wore during his MLB debut in 2013.
The Twins' cream pinstripe jersey, retired after 2018, was Kyle Gibson’s sentimental favorite because it was the jersey he wore during his MLB debut in 2013.

Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

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.

For Twins pitcher Jake Odorizzi, there's no great mystery to his preferred jersey selection. He just likes the blue.
For Twins pitcher Jake Odorizzi, there's no great mystery to his preferred jersey selection. He just likes the blue.

Jim Mone, Associated Press

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.

Pitcher Jose Berrios has no real jersey preference, but if the team struggling while wearing the blues, he’ll switch it up.
Pitcher Jose Berrios has no real jersey preference, but if the team struggling while wearing the blues, he’ll switch it up.

Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

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.”

---

If you'd like to submit a Curious Minnesota question, fill out the form below:

Read more Curious Minnesota stories:

How did these 11 Minnesota towns get their unusual names?

Why does everyone love to hate Edina?

Sorry, but why do Minnesotans say 'ope' all the time?

Has Minnesota every had a major earthquake?

How did the Twin Cities become a hub for Somali immigrants?

Why was Minneapolis' mansion street destroyed, but St. Paul's survived?

Why won’t anyone in Minnesota take the last piece of food?

Is Minnesota’s tiny Lake Itasca the true source of the Mississippi River?

Why isn't Isle Royale a part of Minnesota?

Why is Uptown south of downtown in Minneapolis?