All Ranked MLB City Connect Jerseys (DODGERS UPDATE)
MLB has released “City Connect” jerseys for five teams so far. The Diamondbacks, Cubs, White Sox, Marlins, Giants, Dodgers and Red Sox have all seen their jerseys released and/or game worn as the MLB season gears up for summer.
It looks like baseball is trying something new with its jerseys, much like the NBA, which apparently releases a handful of new jerseys for almost every team every year. Here is a ranking of the seven City Connect jerseys released.
7. Los Angeles Dodgers
One of three City Connect jerseys to pay homage to its city’s Hispanic culture, the Dodgers uniforms do so most passively. Although it’s thoughtfully coming out ahead of Hispanic Heritage Month (September), just putting Los Dodgers on what are essentially just spring training jerseys makes the nod seem like a afterthought.
The “spray paint” details on the sleeves that “apparently honor LA’s mural culture,” according to Nike.com, are nearly invisible. It’s hard to notice and it doesn’t even look like spray paint.
And that’s about all there is to discuss when it comes to the Dodgers’ City Connect jerseys. They come in last due to a lack of creativity and general boredom. Easily the worst of the 2021 rollout so far.
6. Chicago White Sox
White Sox jerseys are some of the weakest in the collection. Black suits almost everyone, but it may not have been the wisest decision to make a heat-absorbing jersey available to fans in the midst of what has been a very hot summer in the Midwest.
They were clearly looking for a weathered, rugged look behind the white stripes “that perfectly matched the resilient, hard-working attitude of their community,” according to Nike’s website. A noble effort, but those details look more stretched and almost pixelated than harsh.
Finally, the font is so old from the 2000s that it hurts to watch. It’s the opposite of youth, which is allegedly the idea behind the release of new alternate jerseys. None of the City Connects have been completely gross so far, but the White Sox jersey comes close.
5. San Francisco Giants
San Francisco’s foggy jersey is a fun idea on paper, but in practice it looks like they ran out of ink when printed. The Golden Gate Bridge detailing on the side is a nice way to pay homage to the Bay Area, but it’s somehow simultaneously too big while bordering on imperceptible.
The “G” on the front fades out of International Orange (which is, fun fact, the real color of the Golden Gate Bridge) to white,”[symbolizing] fog rising over San Francisco Bay,” according to Nike. Other than that gigantic letter and the orange bridge shape on each sleeve, the jersey features no other colors other than white.
Points to San Francisco to integrate the most iconic landmark in the Bay Area. But there is no reference to culture or life in the city. The creators could have been inspired by Chinatown, or Fisherman’s Wharf, or the famous cable cars that cross the city. Instead, they chose fog. Which is an interesting choice, but maybe not the right one.
4. Miami Marlins
The Miami jersey beautifully and appropriately pays homage to the city’s and the sport’s Latin American heritage. The script on the shirt is inspired by Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. The details at the bottom say “Sugar Kings”, which is a nod to the 1959 World Junior Series champions. way for future players born in Cuba and other Latin American players.
What puts it fourth on the list is the fact that they’ve added another color to their palette following a fourth different logo and third complete redesign of the jersey since the team’s inception in 1993. brand is just very busy and confusing at this point.
Again, the jersey is great. But if every team doesn’t get one this year, the Marlins could have waited until their two-year-old branding became more familiar before adding another look.
3. Arizona Diamonds
Going from totally acceptable to really cool, the Arizona Diamondbacks are the latest team to proudly own a City Connect jersey. Its sand color “is inspired by the climate and terrain of the Sonoran Desert…one of the hottest climates in the United States,” according to Nike.com.
The script says “Serpientes”, Spanish for snake, designed to look like a rattlesnake with its rattle at the end. The rattlesnake and Western Diamondback, among others, are native to the Sonoran Desert. Along with the Marlins and Dodgers, the Diamondbacks also pay homage to the region’s Latino population.
The design may seem relatively simple, but it is thoughtful and creative in that simplicity. A near-perfect jersey that strays from the Arizona college jersey vibe they’ve cultivated since 2010.
And, yes, this article will ignore the fact that the team with one of baseball’s worst records has been given a shiny new look. There’s no way MLB could have known that would be the case when designing and releasing these.
2. Chicago Cubs
A decidedly vocal segment of the Cubs fan base was not thrilled with the Northsiders’ City Connect jerseys at the time of release. It seems these folks didn’t quite live up to what the jersey was trying to say about the city of Chicago.
The Wrigleyville jersey represents the entire city. At the bottom is a small detail that reads “Respect our neighborhood”. Indeed, the jersey pays homage to the 77 neighborhoods of Chicago. When the Cubs first donned the jerseys against the Cardinals, their cleats were named after those neighborhoods, including those “owned” by their Crosstown rivals. Of course, the one with the most representation is “Wrigleyville”, the neighborhood surrounding Wrigley Field.
They even have a patch on the side that nods to the city flag, transit system, and transit tokens (according to Nike.com). The darker blue works, the script on the front appears to mimic Wrigley’s famous marquee, and the jersey as a whole seeks to bring the city together under the baseball. Plus, it looks much better on players than it does on its own.
1.Boston Red Sox
The best jersey yet says the most with the least amount of flash. Boston’s City Connect jersey is a bright yellow with baby blue script that simply says “Boston”.
First, the patch above the size label is blank. This was done on purpose to allow fans to customize the jersey. Considering what the uniform says about the city and sports (see below), this is an incredibly thoughtful and poignant addition. Fans can use it to make their new jersey their own, perhaps writing something about what the team means to them.
The yellow and blue color scheme represents the flag of the city of Boston. On the sleeve is a patch designed to look like a running bib, reading 617 (the Boston area code). This choice was made to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon attacks in 2013, which injured around 260 people and left three dead. The Red Sox were an integral part of the “Boston Strong” movement that was born from that day. They continue to use “the power of sports to unite the Bostonions”, as stated by Nike.
That admirable gesture aside, the new Red Sox jersey adds variety and color to one of MLB’s most bland jersey collections. Yes, Boston uniforms are classic and traditional and should probably never be changed. That doesn’t mean they’re exciting to watch. This City Connect jersey is important, respectful and very different. For these reasons, it tops the list.
Featured image courtesy of Chicago Cubs
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