Last week, I posted my ranking of MLB’s current jerseys and I was curious to see if the same was true for the cities that each team calls home. I decided to create my own list, based on the uniforms worn during the 2014 season. I’ve decided to rank the uniforms from most to least aesthetically pleasing, and I’ll also include the team’s nicknames.
Being an avid baseball fan, we can’t help but to notice how all the MLB teams have been dressing up their players in new uniforms this season. We’ve seen some of the teams have larger logos and numbers, some adding new alternate color schemes, others completely changing their uniforms, while yet others have hideous throwbacks. We’ve seen some of the league’s most iconic uniforms in recent weeks, like the Los Angeles Dodgers’ now-classic “Bruiser Brogdon” uniform, the Texas Rangers’ “Face Mask”, and the New York Yankees’ “Candy Apple Red”. While these innovative new looks are impressive, some of the teams have gotten rather creative with their uniforms as well.
This season, Major League Baseball and Nike launched the City Connect series to revamp the sport’s jerseys in the most dramatic way since the league introduced the Turn Ahead the Clock rotation in the late 1990s.
Nike works with each MLB team to design uniforms that exude the personality and community of the team’s hometown. So far, there are six City Connect forms – for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Miami Marlins and San Francisco Giants. All is not lost, as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ reserve team is expected to be announced in late August. This is just a soft launch of City Connect – by the end of the 2023 season, every team should have their own iteration.
By becoming the uniform supplier to the NFL and NBA, Nike revolutionized the design of the leagues’ uniforms, which is now making its way into the baseball world. Although some MLB traditionalists scoffed, many models sold out quickly after their unveiling.
Since some models are more confusing than others, here is our summary of the uniforms proposed so far and their classification.
1. Chicago White Sox
Ron Vesely/Getty Images
Get started: 5. June against the Detroit Tigers
Inspiration for design: The Chicago jersey features Southside lettering in grey gothic script, a nod to Chicago’s Greystone architectural style. The team’s dark gray striped pants are also a unique design that you don’t often see in modern baseball. The look is reminiscent of the Turn Back the Clock jersey the team wore as a tribute to the Chicago American Giants. Nike and the White Sox also claim that the design was inspired by the team’s influence on hip-hop culture.
Fan acceptance: Of all the City Connect jerseys, the White Sox jerseys received the most positive feedback from fans. The jerseys sold out quickly when they arrived at the White Sox store.
Conclusion: The White Sox were the first team in the series to experiment with off-white pants and made a statement by opting for stripes. The gothic font may be controversial and the most distinctive element of this jersey set, but the ability to be different while still staying true to the White Sox makes this set stand out.
2. Miami Marlins
Submitted by Miami Marlins
Get started: 21. May against the New York Mets
Inspiration for design: The Marlins opted for a bright red striped jersey and a predominantly blue cap with a red trim. The jerseys are a tribute to the Sugar Kings, a division of the Cincinnati Reds that played in Cuba from 1946 to 1960. The crest on the uniform and the logo on the cap are reminiscent of the original Sugar Kings logo. The jersey is not an exact copy of the Sugar Kings jersey, which was white with red stripes.
Fan acceptance: The Marlins uniforms received mostly positive reactions on social media and deviated from the Miami Vice theme that Nike could have easily picked up after the positive reception of the Miami Heat’s alternate jerseys. Given that the Marlins have worn gaudy uniforms throughout their existence, an apparent comeback by the Sugar Kings fits right in with the team’s wardrobe.
Conclusion: Although the Sugar Kings have no direct connection to Miami, a large number of Cubans live in the city, and the colors of the uniforms fit in with the city’s pastel-colored aesthetic.
3. Boston Red Sox
Billy Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images
Get started: 17. April against the White Sox
Inspiration for design: The Red Sox chose the most radical design of any uniform released to date, unveiling the first uniform in team history with yellow and blue as the primary colors. The front of the yellow jersey is stenciled blue and the cap is blue. While prior to 1907 the main color of the team was blue, since 1908 it has been primarily red. The Boston Marathon and Patriots Day hold a special place in Boston culture, and the team chose to honor the city’s unique celebration through the uniform by highlighting it with a patch of the 617 Marathon race number on the left sleeve.
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Fan acceptance: While many traditional fans did not appreciate the abandonment of the team’s classic white and red jerseys, others were pleased with the new design. Although the jerseys were met with mixed feelings, the Red Sox sold all the new jerseys and associated City Connect paraphernalia at the team store in Fenway Park.
Conclusion: We congratulate the team for their courage and willingness to do something outside the norm. The City Connect series may not appeal to everyone. By choosing something unexpected and quirky, while being relatively welcoming, the Red Sox are pushing back the idea of what baseball uniforms can look like.
4. Arizona Diamondbacks
Taylor Jackson/Arizona Diamondbacks
Get started: 18. June against the Dodgers
Inspiration for design: The Diamondbacks unveiled a gold jersey depicting 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 swap the primary and secondary colors and use Sedona’s signature red as an accent to the numbers. The crest on the left sleeve of the uniform represents the flag of Arizona and refers to Phoenix’s nickname, the Valley of the Sun.
Fan acceptance: The Diamondbacks have received mostly positive but less than impassioned reactions, with many on social media feeling that the team’s uniform play doesn’t compare too well to the rest of the series. Some fans enjoyed the more subdued approach to alternatives, while others were annoyed by the relatively safe design choices.
Conclusion: The decision to use gold as the primary uniform color is what sets Arizona apart. While the Diamondbacks certainly weren’t as daring as the Red Sox or the Marlins in changing their look, the decision to use a color not normally found on a ballpark makes them more adventurous than the safe design offered by the Cubs.
5. San Francisco Giants
Courtesy of the San Francisco Giants.
Starting: 9. in July against the Washington Nationals.
Inspiration for design: The most unique design elements of the Giants’ jersey are the allusion to the Golden Gate Bridge, which appears in silhouette on the sleeves, and the San Francisco fog that encircles the team logo on the shirt’s chest, player numbers and the bridge in points. The small patch above the jersey label features the letters Giants, surrounded by mist.
Conclusion: The giants created a form that differs from most modern forms by experimenting with a gradient of mist and fog. While the simple orange and white design looks a little bland in light of some of the bolder color palettes in the City Connect series, the Giant’s shape seems more timeless compared to the other options.
6. Chicago Cubs
David Banks/Getty Images
Get started: 12. June against St. Louis Cardinals
Inspiration for design: The Cubs jerseys feature a predominantly dark blue design with light blue accents meant to resemble the Chicago flag, Wrigleyville lettering on the front in a font similar to the stadium marquee, and the names of each of the city’s 77 boroughs on the sleeves of the jackets and bullpen. On the left sleeve of the shirt is a patch with the City of Chicago logo and a circle with the letter Y, symbolizing the north, south and main branches of the Chicago River.
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Fan acceptance: The shape was leaked before the official unveiling and was met with a mostly negative response from fans. Many found it boring compared to the rest of the City Connect series, although some appreciated the more subdued approach.
Conclusion: The Cubs haven’t chosen the safest path to the playoffs, so the new relievers look relatively humble and a little football-like. The use of blue pants has deviated from the norm, which is positive, but overall the Cubs are overshadowed by their rivals to the south.
To be delivered
Los Angeles Dodgers
When will we see them? Sometime in August.
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