NY Islanders pro shop teases baseball jersey concept that is a home run

Chicago Cubs v New York Mets
Chicago Cubs v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

For many hockey fans, their sports fandom turns toward baseball at the conclusion of their team's season. That's currently the case for all but four fanbases, and if you're fortunate enough to be a New York Yankees fan, that's been a welcome distraction. If you fall into the category of a long-suffering New York Mets fan, then maybe not so much.

Back in the 1980s, the dynasty Islanders were also looking for a way to stay busy during the summer, leading to the creation of an Islanders softball team that would play dozens of games before the start of training camp. Their team included two former minor leaguers, Clark Gillies and Bob Bourne, each of which played rookie ball for the Covington Astros in the early 1970s. The games were held in support of local Long Island charities. In 1982, they reportedly raised over 200k over 15 games.

"We had our own softball uniforms, and some of the guys were pretty good. Clark Gillies was a former professional baseball player. Bob Bourne was pretty good," recalled Ken Morrow in a 2017 story for NewYorkIslanders.com. "We had some pretty good players mixed in with some guys like myself. I wasn't very good at softball, so my comfort level of playing in front of a crowd wasn't very good, but hey, it was fun, and I enjoyed it."

There are no plans for the current Isles to take the field for a summer softball tour. Perhaps there will be a charity event here and there with some participation, but official Islanders softball jerseys with players' names on the back? That really isn't a possibility or is it?

This week, the team's Pro Shop account shared images first on stories and later with a post of a softball/baseball-inspired design completed with players' names and numbers on the back. The dark navy blue jersey with orange letters and numbers resembles the Reverse Retro and Stadium Series color combinations. The wordmark is "Isles" but in script rather than a basic font. The left sleeve features the Islanders logo.

With the creation of Isles Lab, the Islanders have been pushing the envelope on their designs and merchandise. There are mostly hits, with some swings and misses, but overall, it's exciting for fans that the team continues to keep things fresh and appealing. These latest baseball/softball jersey designs are an example of that. Who knows, maybe we'll see them on a field someday, too!