Skip to content

Pirates Unveil City Connect Uni, Confirming Earlier Leaks

The Pirates this morning unveiled their new City Connect uniform. The launch had been plagued by numerous leaks over the past several months, all of which turned out to be accurate.

As expected, the design features a yellow cap with a black brim and a sublimated pattern, a yellow “PGH” jersey (with a sublimated gradient that hadn’t been apparent in the leaks), and black pants.

Here’s a closer look at the sublimated pattern on the cap:

Here’s how it looks on the jersey:

The pattern has three elements. Here they are, one at a time:

The city seal that they’re referring to is this, which includes a checkerboard pattern:

Kinda hilarious that they used “asteroid” instead of “hypocycloid.” I guess they wanted it to sound more sci-fi or something. My bad — it’s “astroid,” not “asteroid.” And sure enough, an “astroid” is a type of hypocycloid. Interesting!

Yup, that’s what the rivers look like:

Although it’s harder to see, there’s also a pattern sublimated in the chest lettering and rear numbers. Here’s the breakdown on that:

Here’s what they’re referring to:

I’m proud to say that Uni Watch readers correctly sussed out most of these details based on the earlier leaks.

One other interesting detail: In an apparent MLB first, the city name appears on the right-hip belt tunnel and the team name on the left-hip tunnel:

In short: a fairly basic fauxback-ish Pirates alternate uniform with a bunch of retail “storytelling” silliness that we can safely ignore because none of it will be visible on the field or on TV.

This uniform will make its on-field debut next Tuesday, June 27, and will then be worn for six Friday home games, as follows:

  • June 30, against the Brewers
  • July 14, against the Giants
  • July 28, against the Phillies
  • Aug. 11, against the Reds
  • Aug. 25, against the Cubs
  • Sept. 29, against the Marlins

For additional info on this uniform, look here.

This is the final CC release for this season. There are still 10 teams that have not yet joined the CC program. Those teams — the A’s, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Guardians, Mets, Phillies, Rays, Tigers, Twins, and Yankees — will get their CC uniforms in 2024.

Comments (68)

    Should be an interesting CC Uniform for the A’s. Which way will they lean? Oakland or Vegas? It seems to me that an Oakland CC uni would just be another slap in the face for the fans.

    Perhaps something like the Braves where it’s mostly connected to the franchise itself. Gonna be awkward either way and I could definitely see them waiting until 2025 if they continue to drag out the releases

    The A’s should go with a basic City Connect Jersey with Velcro. This way wherever they end up. They can just add the City name.

    It’s not BAD exactly; I just find it kinda underwhelming that they just reinterpreted an already-existing throwback. (Same issue I had with the Braves’ one). Can’t believe I’m saying this, but i wished we’d gotten something a little bolder.

    100% agree. They’ve taken something that already exists and is already loved, and made it less interesting. I don’t hate Cincinnati or Baltimore’s CCs, but if just one of those teams went with a non-black base, I would have been totally happy with Pittsburgh having a full black set with yellow trim, accessories, accents, what-have-you.

    As it is, this seems to be more of a Nike inroad for sublimated prints because otherwise this is (as we’ve mentioned) just a regular pirates uniform, only less interesting.

    Peer edit: ‘Astroid’ not ‘Asteroid’. Which kinda-sorta ruins the Sci-fi bit, unfortunately. But you can see even in the Wikipedia article you linked that the 4-pointed example a little ways down is called an astroid.

    I don’t hate it all together. I like the cap a lot. It could lose all the story telling nonsense though.

    I feel like the astroid is also evocative of the original Fort Pitt. Don’t know if that influenced its selection as the emblem of the steel industry or just a coincidence, but it popped into my head.

    @Paul – Don’t know if you can see it but the Pirates patch was seemingly an afterthought. It’s photoshopped into all of the modeled uniform images.

    ‪I like some details – look of sublimated patterns (back story not important) & belt tunnels in particular. Might look great up close – if that’s my team I’d def buy the jersey -but agree it will be a clunker on tv & from the stands. 2 things that might improve it: a logo on the cap (giant P on jersey makes cap P redundant and they’re different typefaces), and adding a player number on front would soften the huge PGH‬

    Also the patch on the left sleevein the first pic of only one player doesn’t seem to be in any of the other pics, and looks like a photo edit. ???

    I was really hoping for a Warholian, absurdist, pop art kinda theme, but I guess these will suffice

    That would have been clever, although I wonder if they would have restricted themselves to black and gold, because Pittsburgh.

    A great looking CC uni. I think it’s a home run.

    Looks fine and a plus for it reminding me of 1970s/1980s Pirates. The huge PGH on front a huge minus for me.

    Agree with you. Replace the P with a U and you’ve got my feelings on that aspect.

    In fact, a UGH would be a slight improvement – add a bit of amusement. Further adding AA would be a slightly different type of amusing (and a type of homage) but the owners of Peanuts may have some words for that idea. The giant PGH just looks amateurish and pathetic.

    If you ignore the huge lettered front, everything else looks good. Enlarging and/or making the sublimated patterns more visible (more contrast) would have been an idea I wished they tried.

    I guess there’s a bit of a black border on the neck and sleeves? That saves the top from looking too much like a T-shirt, but I’d have liked to see something bolder on the sleeves.

    And I never, *never* would have looked at the squares and said “Oh yeah, that’s taken from the city seal.” The “astroids”? Yeah I guess now that you tell me they’re there I can see them inside the squares. But even though they’re an iconic Pittsburgh shape they’re so identified with the Steelers that I can see why the Pirates wouldn’t want to emphasize them too strongly.

    The tone-on-tone checks are mostly for taste, but also because black & gold checks are a big part of the Riverhounds’ visual identity. But not kits, because again, taste. (Basically, if you’re not Croatia, you’re not pulling it off.) The bumblebee hoops are bold enough on their own.

    why “PGH” ? is that how the city abbreviated itself? is it a scoreboard thing?

    PGH is the code for Union Station (Amtrak). It seems both abbreviations are used, though PIT is the more common one outside of Pittsburgh itself (for example, as far as I know, all national sports networks use PIT as the abbreviation for Pittsburgh teams).

    It’s a local thing. The “h” in Pittsburgh is a bit of civic pride because the federal government tried to “standardize” the Scottish “burgh” suffix into the German “burg” at the turn of the 20th century. That went over rather poorly in a city named by a Scotsman and with a large Scottish and Scots Irish population, so everyone just said “No” for twenty-odd years until the feds relented.

    Thanks! This is a fascinating bit of history: link

    It’s nuts that in all their “design story” BS they left out this actually interesting detail.

    The Scottish word “Burg” derives from the English word “Borough”, so there is a parallel story to this:
    When they came to write the charter for the town of Middlesborough, someone misspelt it, missing out an “O”, so the charter was signed as Middlesbrough. No big campaign to correct – the error was just accepted.
    Of course, the football team is known as “Boro” – an abbreviation where they put the “O” back in…

    I think it’s a pretty sharp-looking uniform, one of the better city connects that has come out.

    I don’t mind the sublimated pattern on the cap. It adds some texture and visual interest that works for me. I’m a bit surprised that I like it, but it’s subtle enough that it doesn’t feel like overkill.

    Where it is overkill, in my opinion, is on the jersey. I’m hoping it isn’t too noticeable from a distance or on TV screens, because I find it distracting on the closeups. It pulls attention away from the other uniform details, particularly the front wordmark.

    Then again, maybe that’s not a bad thing, as the “PGH” across the chest is my least favorite part of the uniform. Whenever I see it, I can’t help but try to pronounce it – whether aloud or in my mind – and the sound always comes out as something like “puhg, “or “pug,” or “pig.” None of those is flattering. Almost anything would have been better – “Pitt” (yes, I know about the university, but they don’t own it), “Pitts.,” “‘Burgh,” whatever. Or maybe just spell out “Pittsburgh.” That’s a novel idea!

    Then again, if you wrote out the whole city name, it would feel that much more like a standard uniform, and be that much closer in appearance to a throwback to the old ’70s bumblebee uniforms. (I know the bumblebee uniforms said “Pirates,” but the more standard lettering convention would give it a similar feel.) And, really, wouldn’t wearing a bumblebee throwback just have been the better choice all along?

    It’s interesting to me that the low profile fitted cap on the MLB shop has “Steel City” across the back where the MLB logo usually is. It appears to be in a similar font to the “PGH” on the jersey. I wonder if this was an alternate idea for the jersey text? I can’t think of any other CC cap that had wording on the back instead of the MLB logo.

    The River element could have been turned upside down to also be a Y for Yinzer to add yet another layer of storytelling.

    The picture of McCutchen the shade of yellow looks different, more of a goldish than bright yellow.
    It is the only photo where that is the case, so I’m going to assume that is not the proper lighting/ lens / filter. Which is unfortunate because I actually prefer it.
    In that photo the shirt & hat also seems to have a sheen or texture to them, that combined with the small pattern detail almost reminds me of a necktie? Again, probably just the lighting in that photo but I find it more interesting.

    It’s mostly a win, I really like that they went with a gold/yellow jersey and the hat is really nice. I even dig the sublimated pattern but I really wish the had gone with something other than a giant PGH on the front.

    While infinitely better that PIT or another abbreviation the giant three letters just appear very off putting to me.

    Does anyone know the history of why the Allegheny and Monongahela meeting creates the Ohio river?

    2024 for the A’s?
    What city for “city connect” since they play that season in Oakland

    If I saw those uniforms worn by a team in my Sunday night softball league, I would think, “Wow, that’s a sharp looking softball team.”

    When I see Pittsburgh wear these on the field, I’m pretty sure I’ll be thinking, “Why are the Pirates dressed like a Sunday night softball team.”

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I wish I knew where some of you played in these fancy Dan softball leagues because every league I every played in my uniform was a ratty t-shirt and gym shorts!

    I think the sublimated patterns are subtle enough to be interesting close up but not distracting in the field when it will simply look yellow and black. And the yellow cap and black pants work well with it – this is the way to do an all-colour uniform. I don’t think it’s a co-incidence that it echoes the 70s uniforms which have such great memories for the great teams of those eras. Yes sir, I like it!

    Curious if anyone knows the answer to this…
    The teams that launched their CC uniforms a few years back still have them in the rotation. Since there’s been a rollout of a few CC uniforms a year over a few years, will the teams that launched theirs in year 1 retire theirs while the teams that launched theirs later wear them for a few years longer, or will the CC uniforms all be mothballed by the MLB at the same time meaning some teams got to wear them for a number of years longer than others?

    Hal Steinbrenner went on Michael Kay’s radio show yesterday and was asked about City Connect. He said “I’m not having any serious conversations about doing it. Doesn’t mean we won’t someday, but I don’t even know what the look would be.”

    Why not let Nike go full Nike? “BRONXXX BOMBERZZZ” in ghost letters across the front, horizontal stripes, stars sublimated down the sleeves. Nike has decided tradition isn’t sacred, even for a team like the Yankees.

    Wish the wordmark were a little more inspired but I like the subtle pattern, and this might be the best execution of a team in black pants.

    Just gonna take a lil victory lap that the Y was for the rivers and not for yinzers

    The Bucs have this sort of combo in their uni history so it doesn’t seem as ‘off the wall’ as some other CC uniforms. And I like that cap a lot.

    Part 1: They are called City Connect so I appreciate what Nike tried to do with the astroids, the checks, the Y, et al. But the issue is, we can’t see those elements from the field and barely on TV. As a Giants fan, while I dislike the orange and white CCs, I do like how the GG Bridge is clearly depicted on the cap and sleeve. The Pirates’ CC isn’t bad, but it could’ve been a lot better. Part 2: When every team has their CCs, I’d like to see certain days of the schedule blocked out as CC Days. Imagine all clubs wearing CCs in head-to-head matchups. Might be cool.

    I see your comment above Paul, so you ARE confirming that the CC program is mandated by MLB? Reason I ask is because The Michael Kay show had Hal Steinbrenner on for about 30 minutes yesterday and they asked a few uniform-related questions. They were mostly around the fan jerseys with the NOB. Hal said that some fans like them, some don’t, so they like to offer that option to fans. However he was adamant that the players will never wear NOB. However, there was one CC question and it didn’t sound like he was interested at all. However, they did play along for Players’ Weekend.

    I don’t dislike it. Kind of reminiscent of the “We Are Family” era. I think Pops would be digging it.

    One of the least worst of the CC series, although the three-letter-abbreviation trope is badly played out across the entire uni landscape.

    I dislike the entire CC program. These are toward the front of a mediocre pack, in the same way that Wichita has a tallest building; somebody has to top the list.

    These unis are unnecessary, of course, and the “storytelling” is silly.

    The good thing is that they’re immediately recognizable as the Pirates.

    My pal Alan Saunders summed it up pretty well (link).

    “These are fine, but I can’t help but think they look like something I’d have doodled in my notebook while I supposed to be paying attention in third grade.”

    Reminds me of my old baseball uniform of Leiden University’s LSBSG WAPS so I like it for all the wrong reasons that have nothing to do with the Pirates. I love this uniform.

Comments are closed.