Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Opening Day: License plates of baseball's National League West

If you don't count last week's "Australian Experiment" between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, Major League Baseball's Opening Day happens this weekend with a Sunday night match between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. In honor of baseball's return, I'll spend the next several days giving you all a tour through the world of MLB-themed license plates.

Now, normally, this is where I would show you a picture of the available license plates for these two storied franchises - except that there are none, because the State of California has not yet deemed any of its professional sports teams to be worthy of a specialty tag. Too bad.

So we'll move on, then. The ever-rebuilding Colorado Rockies take on the swampy mess that is the Miami Marlins on Monday night, in a battle of two franchises that entered the league at the very same time in 1993. Florida has offered Marlins plates for a good while, but Colorado has only recently begun issuing plates for the pinstriped purple faithful. Featuring the state's usual mountain-outline style, but rendered in purple with the iconic "CR" logo at the center, it's a good-looking plate that benefits the team's charity operations. It's also worth noting that this is one of Colorado's few plates in which the font for the lower legend differs from the standard block style used on most other specialty issues.

Photo by Jack McGee at PlateShack
Later that same evening, the San Francisco Giants - who, like their SoCal brethren, also remain plateless - head into the desert to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks. It's a good thing for the Rockies that Arizona decided to adjust their color scheme a few years ago, otherwise it might have had a lot more purple in it as well. As it is, this issue makes good use of the team's desert-themed hues. Note that the pictured plate has an embossed serial; most of the Diamondbacks plates on the road now carry a flat serial instead.

More to come, with a trip through the NL Central on the way.

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