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03/31/08 4:05 AM ET

Braves don new alternate unis

Players surprised prior to Opening Night game in Washington

WASHINGTON -- The Braves surprised their players by presenting them the team's new alternate jerseys just before the start of Sunday night's season opener against the Nationals at new Nationals Park.

About 45 minutes before meeting with President George W. Bush, Braves players found their new blue-on-blue jerseys sitting in their lockers. The matching hats were navy blue with the club's white scripted "A".

"It was a surprise," Braves right fielder Jeff Francoeur said. "They were pretty cool."

"We feel that we have one of the classic uniforms in all of baseball," Braves president John Schuerholz said in a statement. "Our new road jersey and navy cap are perfect representations of Braves baseball. They are emblematic of the traditional style of Braves uniforms over the years."

With their regular gray road pants, the Braves wore the new uniform tops for Sunday night's game. They plan to occasionally don this uniform mix for road games this year.

This marks the first time since 1987 that the club has changed its road uniform. The hat is similar to the ones the organization's teams wore during the 1960s.

Beginning Monday, fans will be able to purchase these special navy jerseys and cap through the Braves Catalog and at the Braves Clubhouse Stores at CNN Center and Turner Field.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.