July 25, 2021

MLB City Connect Uniform Rankings

Major League Baseball and Nike introduced the City Connect series this season to revolutionize uniform design across sport in the most dramatic way since the league introduced Turn Ahead the Clock alternatives in the late 1990s.

After assuming the role of supplier of uniforms for the NFL and NBA, Nike pushed for radical changes in uniform design in those leagues, a movement that is now making its way into the world of baseball. While some MLB traditionalists have scoffed, many of the designs sold out quickly after they were unveiled.

After assuming the role of supplier of uniforms for the NFL and NBA, Nike pushed for radical changes in uniform design in those leagues, a movement that is now making its way into the world of baseball. While some MLB traditionalists have scoffed, many of the designs sold out quickly after they were unveiled.

With some of the designs more polarized than others, here is our breakdown of the uniforms that have come out so far, and how we ranked them.

Debut: June 5 vs. Detroit Tigers

Design inspiration: The Chicago uniform features “Southside” in gray Gothic script, a nod to Chicago’s Greystone architectural style. The team’s dark gray striped pants also provide a unique design touch not often seen in baseball today. The appearance resembles the Turn Back the Clock uniforms that the team wore in tribute to the Chicago American Giants. Nike and the White Sox also say the design was inspired by the team’s influence on hip-hop culture.

Fan welcome: Of the various City Connect uniforms, the White Sox received the strongest positive reaction from fans, with the jerseys quickly selling out the day they were available in the team store.

Verdict: The White Sox became the first team in the series to experiment with non-white pants and made a statement with the striped look. While the goth font might be divisive and stands out as the most distinctive element of this uniform set, this set’s ability to set itself apart and stay true to the White Sox makes it stand out from the rest.

Debut: May 21 vs. New York Mets

Design inspiration: The Marlins walked away in a bright red striped uniform and a predominantly blue cap with a red bill. The jerseys pay tribute to the Sugar Kings, a Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds that played in Cuba from 1946 to 1960. Both the uniform patch and the logo on the cap are reminiscent of the original Sugar Kings logo. The uniform is not an exact copy of the Sugar Kings jersey, which was white with red stripes.

Fan welcome: A largely positive response on social media was received by the Marlins uniforms, which deviated from the “Miami Vice” theme that Nike could have easily resorted to after positive reception of the Miami Heat alternate uniforms. Given the history of bold uniforms in the Marlins franchise history, the throwback to the Sugar Kings aligns with the team’s jersey closet.

Verdict: While the connection to the Sugar Kings is not explicitly Miami, the city has a massive population of Cuban origin, and the colors of the uniform fit in with the pastel aesthetic that colors the city.

Debut: April 17 vs. White sox

Design inspiration: The Red Sox chose the most radical design among the uniforms released thus far, and introduced the first uniform in team history to feature yellow and blue as primary colors. On the front of the yellow jersey, there is a blue patterned font and the cap is blue. While the team featured blue as the primary color until 1907, the team has worn primarily red since 1908. The Boston Marathon and Patriots Day hold a special place in Boston culture, and the team decided to pay tribute to the unique city holidays, through their uniforms, highlighted by the 617 marathon bib patch on the left sleeve.

Fan welcome: While many traditionalist fans didn’t like the departure of the team’s classic red and white uniforms, others embraced the design. Although the uniforms received a mixed reception, the Red Sox sold out the new jerseys and City Connect merchandise that launched alongside them at the Fenway Park team store.

Verdict: We give high marks for the team’s boldness and desire to do something outside the norm. The City Connect series is not meant to appeal to everyone, and by going with something surprising and out of the ordinary while receiving a relatively positive reception, the Red Sox are pushing the idea of ​​what a baseball uniform can look like.

Debut: June 18 vs. Dodgers

Design inspiration: The Diamondbacks unveiled a gold uniform that references the Sonoran Desert and the state’s Hispanic culture, with “Serpientes” on the front. Without straying too far from the existing team colors, Arizona decided to change its primary and secondary colors, making the team’s distinctive Sedona red color stand out through the numbers. The uniform patch on the left sleeve features the Arizona state flag and a reference to Phoenix’s nickname as the Valley of the Sun.

Fan welcome: The Diamondbacks received a largely positive but less passionate reaction, with many on social media feeling that the team’s uniform set didn’t do much to set themselves apart from the rest of the series. Some fans enjoyed the more reserved approach of the alternatives, while others got bored with the relatively safe design options.

Verdict: The decision to use gold as the primary solid color is what makes the Arizona raid stand out. While the Diamondbacks certainly weren’t as bold as the Red Sox or Marlins in changing their appearance, the decision to use a color not normally seen on a baseball field as a primary makes it more adventurous than the safe design presented by the Cubs.

Debut: July 9 vs. Washington Nationals

Design inspiration: The most unique design elements of the Giants uniforms are a nod to the Golden Gate Bridge, silhouetted on the sleeves, and to the San Francisco fog, which dot the team logo on the chest of the jersey, the numbers on the the players and the bridge. A small patch on the label of the jersey features the lettering Giants surrounded by mist.

Verdict: The Giants created a uniform that looks different than most today, experimenting with the gradient of mist and haze. While the simple orange and white look feels a bit underwhelming considering some of the bolder color palettes in the City Connect series, the Giants uniform looks a bit more timeless compared to the other alternatives.

Debut: June 12 vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Design inspiration: The Cubs’ uniforms feature a largely navy blue design with light blue accents intended to evoke the Chicago flag, with “Wrigleyville” across the front in a font similar to the stadium marquee and each of the 77 neighborhoods. Recognized names on the sleeves of the dugout and bullpen jackets. The left sleeve of the jersey features a Chicago Municipal Device logo patch and a Y-circle, symbolizing the North, South, and Major Branches of the Chicago River.

Fan welcome: The uniforms were leaked prior to their formal reveal and received a largely negative reception from fans, many of whom felt they were boring compared to the rest of the City Connect series, though some appreciated the more toned-down approach.

Verdict: The Cubs took by far the safest approach in the series thus far, which made the alternate image look relatively tame and a bit boring. Wearing blue pants deviated from the norm, which is positive, but overall, the Cubs were overshadowed by their rivals on the South Side.

Still to come

Los angeles dodgers

When will we see them: sometime in August