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MLB’s Latest City Connect Leak: A Hilariously Bad Orioles Jersey

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The Orioles aren’t scheduled to reveal their new City Connect uniform for another two weeks. But the cat may already be out of the bag, at least for the jersey design, thanks to the image shown above, which began circulating late yesterday afternoon.

It would be easy to make fun of how plain and uninspired this is (and I’ll do just that in a minute), but first let’s connect a few dots. First, the mosaic pattern on the inner collar appears to match the pattern on the sock leak from a few months ago. Here’s a comparison:

In addition, the “BAL” lettering on the socks appears to match the font of the chest lettering on the jersey.

And if you look closely at the cardboard box in the upper-left corner of the photo, you can see that the mailing label reads, “Fanatics, Inc.”:

In short: There are lots of reasons to believe that this is indeed the design they’re going with.

Here’s a closer look at the jock tag slogan:

Note that the “B” preceding the lame-o slogan matches the one that Buck Showalter wanted to use as a cap logo back when he was skippering the O’s. The hunch here is that they’re finally going with that cap design.

Anyway: Yes, it’s pathetic excuse for an MLB jersey. There are sooooo many interesting things about Baltimore — crabcakes, Old Bay, duckpin bowling, salt boxes, pit beef, “Charm City,” “Hon,” Natty Boh, Babe Ruth’s birthplace, The Wire, and more — and this is what they go with? Yeesh.

I’ll let this guy have the mic drop:

At present, this uniform is scheduled to be unveiled on May 22, and to make its on-field debut on May 26.

(My thanks to Christian Berumen for that embedded tweet.)



Too Good for the Ticker

This painting is currently available at a Goodwill in Tallahassee, Fla. As is always the case with great thrift store art, it’s completely surreal and bizarre — all the more so if you look closely at the clown’s hand, which isn’t actually grasping the facemask:

Now we just need surreal thrift store paintings for the other 31 NFL teams. Start scouring those Salvation Army shops, people!

(Photo by Melina Myers, brought to my attention by @MDMambo.)



Can of the Day

Oh. My. God.

Comments (57)

    They couldn’t even put “Charm City” on it? Sheesh!

    As bad as this Orioles top is, the Nike story is gonna be worse. What could they possibly be going for? An austere Edgar Allan Poe tribute?
    Another better idea they’re apparently not using: how bad ass would it look if they put Baltimore in the Memorial Stadium font?

    I would actually buy that City Connect jersey( in Memorial Stadium font). This jersey is a travesty and looks like it is the uniform for the Central Book All-Star team. The hat may be nice, if it isn’t just black and white.

    I’ve seen a few mock-ups on reddit and twitter of Orioles jerseys using the Memorial Stadium font already. Looks pretty good!

    There’s nothing that can be said about how bad this jersey is that hasn’t already been said. Worse, you know they’re going to pair this with black pants and a black cap. Ugh.

    The font is laughably stupid, of course.

    But there’s a clear and excellent precedent for all black Orioles uniforms.


    If only Maryland had a distinctive state flag that specifically incorporated heraldry from Lord Baltimore…

    Here’s an idea, if you want to “connect” with the city, throw open the design to local graphic artists and let the city and community vote on which one they want. I would bet significant coin that there are dozens of actual Oriole baseball fans that could do better in one hour with crayons and construction paper than this lazy, uninspired piece of dreck.

    Just hand the design process over to John Waters.
    The man knows how to connect with Baltimore.
    And you can be guaranteed that it would be anything but ordinary.

    As an O’s fan and Marylander, the state flag is obviously the go-to here. But I think designers feel that’s played-out, with Terps football ditching their flag helmets for the old script. As someone else commented, I think BALTIMORE in Memorial Stadium font would’ve been really sharp. If they didn’t like that for some reason, then at least something Charm City, right? The “B” caps are a win, though I think your city name should generally be worn on the road, and mascot worn at home.

    So these are just color swaps for the 2008 Civil Rights Game the Mets played link

    And guys — one look at the UMd Terps for the past decade should tell us that incorporating the Maryland (Lord Baltimore heraldry) flag on a uniform is NOT going to end well.

    Give me some orange pants (doubtful with those socks) and it might be aight.

    Can’t wait for the storytelling for this one…

    The Orioles jersey looks like one of those ultra plain Civil Rights Games jerseys. Remember those?

    Not clipping these wings? It is exactly what happened to the designer of this one I guess. Both the clown with the Dolphins helmet and the Skeeter Skram can have way more style and imagination than this one, which will be paired with a black hat with the white Showalter B and black pants. Because that is what Nike likes: monochromatic football uniforms on the baseball field. And black always looks badass in the minds of Nike marketing people. Less details and contrast means modernity in their warped minds.

    Fort McHenry is a prominent landmark and the Star-Spangled Banner. The ’64 O’s wore a sesquicentennial patch. The 2014 O’s missed the opportunity to wear a bicentennial patch, which would have been a nice nod to the past. It’s also not the usual crab cakes, flag, etc. When I was a kid everyone had a field trip there as part of MD history class. Though I am not sure how much it connects to today’s Baltimore.

    Incredibly uninspired. My expectations are so low for CC program that at this point I see this Orioles leak and think, “at least it is just bland and boring and not over designed and awful.”
    The use of the color block on both the socks and jersey makes zero sense. In neither instance would they be visible to anyone. For a company that specifically knows how to make sure the designs and colors of uniforms draw the eye to their maker’s mark, they sure do feature a lot of other design elements which are completely invisible when wearing the gear.

    Seems like my comments didn’t post under my UW+ account.

    When I saw it yesterday, I physically started hurting. I kept saying “this can’t be real”. There are so many good things about Baltimore that could have been used. As others said before, the Memorial Stadium font and “Charm City” are obvious choices, but I wonder if there are any trademark claims that prohibited those choices. Baltimore also had not one, but TWO Negro Leagues teams from which it could have borrowed some uni-themes (Baltimore Black Sox and the Baltimore Elite Giants). Next, the 1901 Orioles had an all-black uni (which dark pants seem to be the theme for this year’s set of unis). Something tells me, we’re gonna be using our regular home white pants. So far, I am profoundly disappointed at what appears to be atrocious, street lane divider line white lettering. Will the story be that it invokes the divider lines in the various neighborhoods in Baltimore? link

    Here’s what I think would have made an outstanding uniform (I’m not good at the design programs. Maybe someone out there could mock it up. Maybe there’s a contest that could be put together for best Orioles CC connect design. I’d gladly donate a Uni-Watch membership as the prize!!)

    Looks like it’s now available on the infamous international retail site as welllink

    All great points Marcus.

    There are sooooooo many wonderful veins to mine from Baltimore. It’s by far my favorite city and even though I’ve never lived there, I felt completely crushed by this reveal.

    Seems like those O’s jerseys MIGHT be a riff on the city’s old “BELIEVE” slogan from several years ago.


    I agree, but am confused as to why Nike and the club chose to use an anti-drug campaign for inspiration.

    “Lazy & uninspired” seems to be the design aesthetic at Nike for all the City Connects. They seem to have just lost interest in the project and now are just phoning it in.

    If you zoom in on right sleeve there is a B patch. And background of patch is that greyed out camo that is also on socks. Along with strip at end of the sleeves. B is same that is on tagline. I suspect that the hat will be same B.

    Camo – nod to Ft McHenry
    Collar map – nod to the Neighborhoods of Baltimore
    Patch – proudly displaying the love for the city with the script B
    Baltimore Font – something about “paving the way for yada yada”, urban, streets, etc. Or the abovementioned BELIEVE campaign

    For the love of everything deemed holy, sacred, and righteous, no camo pants! IF Nike insists, let it be a simple camo stripe to match the sleeves. Ugh.

    I heard black pinstripe pants. Maybe ode to international league orioles’ unis.

    Black pants would work, but black pins without pins on the jersey? Nope.

    That would be one redeeming feature – all black, I bet they go with a white belt too, to match the white lettering.

    With so much material to draw on, the name Baltimore Oriole is the actual name of the bird (not just an oriole ). The city flag and link to Lord Baltimore (the first colony founded to allow religious freedom). the city’s history with the national anthem (something weak Nike probably wanted to avoid ) and we end up with black jerseys with white font. SMH

    I agree black pants would be better. And it honors the 1901 orioles. I suspected that’s what they would do, given the dark pants movement of the CC uniforms.

    Why does the font/letters have distressed/aged marks? I saw someone on Reddit try to connect them to marble steps of Baltimore row homes… but man would that be a stretch. Nike’s story writers will be working overtime to sell this one.

    I swear it looks like the logo at the end of the opening credits of Homicide: Life on the Street. The distressing would be because the logo somewhat emerges from fingerprint dusting at the very end of the sequence.

    If I am posting this link correctly, you should see the logo I’m referring to here: link

    The distressed lettering could just be the letters disintegrating. It is a Fanatics product.

    Same. Honestly, the simplicity makes it one of the best City Connect unis. Not a bunch of clutter. No hokey nicknames for the city. No honoring an area code. Just a baseball uniform (the “motto” can go in the trash heap though).

    Maybe there’s a hologram that will light up the shirt with the cartoon birds head. Or maybe they just suck! The first option would be pretty cool.

    If they had to go with this, the least they could have done was use “Mobtown” on the chest instead of the city name. The hipper alternative to Charm City, although I like that nickname and do indeed find Baltimore charming despite its longtime bad rap. And Paul is so right – unlike most cities, Balto has a nearly endless number of features, famous residents and quirks that could have easily made this a CC winner.

    It’s so bad, it’s almost insulting. It’s like they said “just slap a white, non-serif ‘Baltimore’ on a black jersey and be done with it.”

    The clown is indeed grabbing the facemask – by the other vertical bar. Still, wonderfully bizarre. That being said, my mother who is a very successful watercolor artist, once found a VERY valuable painting in a thrift store, broken frame, cracked glass and all. It CAN be done.

    Black shirt with BALMER in Stadium font, orange sleeves with city crest on one and Jim Hartzell’s bird on the other and call it a day

    The Baltimore wordmark with “distressing” looks like the logo that appears out of the fingerprint dusting at the end of the opening credits of Homicide: Life on the Street. I tried to post this earlier with a link to the logo but after it hit “post comment” it just disappeared never to be seen again. So posting without a link this time but a quick Google will show you what I’m referring to.

    At least it respects the placket.

    That’s the only positive spin I can put on this jersey.

    My only guess regarding a possible tie-in would be that the distressed type hints at legendary Baltimore-based Globe Poster, designer/printer of countless rock&roll / r&b posters from the 50s and 60s (James Brown, Ike & Tina Turner, def worth doing a google of Gobe Poster)… but those poster designs are positively, magnificently *electric.* If they drew from that design canon, these could have been the best CC unis of all. Instead, it’s completely flat, completely uninspired.

    Anyone else get the feeling these MLB clubs are purposely being out the most ridiculous, ugliest looking alternate unis just to get a reaction? I swear a 6 year old could come up with better looking concepts.

    Can teams reject this Nike crap? Simply say “no” and stick to their current uniform set? These recent CC uniforms are garbage. Zero creativity. Zero inspiration. Zero effort.

    In theory the teams work *with* Nike, but I wonder how much influence they actually impart. Seems like some of these teams just said to Nike, “Do your worst” and they obliged.

    Any chance there might be another featured element on the actual jerseys? I’m thinking a uniform number alá the Rangers City Connects.

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