The Seattle Mariners this morning unveiled their new City Connect uniform, which pays tribute to the history of baseball in Seattle. It will make its on-field debut one week from today, May 5.
There were several leaks connected to this one (the most recent of which came just last week), and they turned out to be accurate, but the unveiling still provided several elements we hadn’t yet seen, including the cap, which features an updated version of the team’s old trident logo.
In addition, we’ve known for a while that the jersey would be blue, but we didn’t know if it would be paired with matching blue pants or white pants. As it turns out, they’re not going with either of those colors:
Okay, let’s take a closer look at this uniform, one element at a time, beginning with…
As you can see above, the CC cap has a blue crown with a black brim, and the logo is also outlined in black. Here’s a comparison of the CC logo and the team’s original trident logo:
I like the updated trident quite a bit, but I’d like it more without the black outline, and I’d like the cap a lot more without the black brim.
We already knew about this design, because of the leaks. The chest lettering is inspired by the old Seattle Pilots, who played in 1969 before moving to Milwaukee and becoming the Brewers:
The team is saying that the sleeve piping is also Pilots-inspired, although that would make more sense if they’d gone ahead with four stripes instead of two. As it stands now, it just looks like standard sleeve piping (which looks fine but not particularly Pilots-y).
The very nice sleeve patch also has echoes of the Pilots. Here’s a closer look:
“PNW” stands for Pacific Northwest, obviously. The “P” is taken from the Pilots’ home uniforms:
In addition, the patch has a tone-on-tone laurel wreath curving its way up the sides of the design. That’s inspired by the “scrambled eggs” on the Pilots’ cap brim (a nice idea, although it’s not really visible on the patch):
Finally, going back to the front of the jersey, the lettering’s black drop-shadow is supposedly inspired by the 1955 Seattle Rainiers, although that seems like a stretch to me, since the Rainiers had a completely different color scheme and graphic style:
To me, this feels like a case of reverse-engineering an excuse for the black shadow. Like, “Okay, we want to add black — now how can we find a historical tie-in for that?”
The Pants and Socks
This will be the most controversial part of this uniform, and with good reason. The black pants are almost tolerable if the player is going high-cuffed, but low-cuffers are gonna look like they’re wearing NFL officiating slacks. We’ve already seen the Rockies and Dodgers swap out their colored CC pants for white, and I’m gonna predict right here that the M’s end up doing the same — maybe not this season, but at some point down the road.
The historical antecedent for the black pants is supposedly the Seattle Steelheads of the Negro Leagues (who the Mariners salute each year by wearing Steelheads throwbacks, usually on or around Juneteenth). But to my knowledge, the Steelheads never wore black pants — they just had black as a team color. So again, this seems like a reverse-engineered rationale for BFBS.
Those are the basics. I normally don’t mention retail elements that won’t be visible on the field, but the jock tag slogan — former M’s broadcaster Dave Niehaus’s “My oh my” catchphrase — had already leaked, so I’ll mention that it is indeed part of the jersey:
Similarly, I don’t usually mention inner collar slogans, but I’m going to mention this one because it includes a new logo that we might start seeing in other contexts. Here’s the deal: The Mariners play in an area of Seattle called SoDo, which is short for “south of downtown.” As a result, fans sometimes refer to the team’s “SoDo mojo.” The team has turned that phrase into a new logo, with two crossed tridents turned upward to form “W”s — one for “win” and one for “Washington”:
Overall: I’d like this uniform a lot more without all the black elements. But I do like that they’re mostly trying to tell a baseball story, not just a Seattle story.
Speaking of which: This is the third consecutive CC uni design (following Atlanta’s and Texas’s) to focus more on baseball history than municipal promotion. I asked M’s exec Kevin Martinez if that’s just a coincidence or if it reflects a conscious MLB-wide decision to pivot more in that direction. He said it’s just a coincidence, and that each team decides on its own approach, with no larger directive from the higher-ups.
On deck: the Reds, who will unveil their CC uni on May 15.
Update: Reader Brian Forosisky has performed a public service by mocking up how this uniform would look with white pants. Check it out: