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That Didn’t Take Long: O’s Make Alterations to City Connect Jersey

Good morning! Phil is off this weekend, so I’m making a rare Saturday appearance, and we’ll also have a post from Ticker assistant Jamie Rathjen later in the morning.

Now then: As you may recall, the Orioles’ City Connect jerseys feature a black/grey mosaic pattern on the sleeve cuffs, with a colorful mosaic on the inner sleeves. So if the player wears his sleeves the conventional way, they look sort of drab, but there’s a flash of color if the player rolls up his sleeves (as shown above).

According to the team, the explanation for the sleeve trim is as follows:

The pattern is a representation of the neighborhoods that shape our city. … The grayscale exterior represents the surface-level view that people have of the city. Look deeper and you’ll find the colorful interior, inspired by Baltimore’s arts culture, that highlights the vibrancy of the city. So roll up your sleeves, dig into our culture, and come see what we’re all about.

Well, apparently not enough players were rolling up their sleeves during this uniform’s first two games (or maybe the rolled-up sleeves kept coming unrolled), because the team has now made some adjustments. Beat writer Andy Kostka reported the news prior to last night’s game:

I was hoping some enterprising wire photographer would provide us with close-up pics of the newly sewn sleeves, so we could see the stitching and other details. Alas, no such shutterbug stepped forward, so I checked out the game video. And sure enough, all the O’s last night looked like fucking clowns were sporting plenty of color on their cuffs:

Wait, check that — almost all of the O’s were color-cuffed. Shortstop Jorge Mateo had color on only one cuff:

Upon closer inspection, it appears that his left sleeve did have the color treatment, but he rolled the cuff even higher to obscure the pattern, essentially reversing the design’s original intent:

The funniest part about all this, of course, is that the sewing the cuffs permanently into place negates the whole point of the “storytelling” nonsense. What a joke.

Even better, this uniform’s slogan is “You Can’t Clip These Wings.” But they did.

(My thanks to

Comments (26)

    The only alteration to make is to throw these right in the garbage and wear their beautiful standard uniforms.

    Why would someone remove the centennial patch from the sleeve? The one that helps prove the uniform’s legitimacy? The one that instantly pegs it to 1969?

    Did they think it detracted from the uniform? Did they sell it separately? Are they a f***ing moron?

    I was wondering that myself. That listing did not pass my smell test 100%, because the tag that says “1969 Set 1” does not look original to me. Those tags were chain stitched back in the day and that is a mostly lost art. Compare the tag to the one from the pants…not as elegant. Also, is it realistic that in 1969, Brooks was wearing pants issued in 1965?

    If the Orioles wanted the colors to show, why didn’t they just make it standard sleeve striping to begin with? Has there ever been a previous jersey (not socks/accessories) where players were allowed to adjust the aesthetic with such freedom?

    They somehow managed to make these worse on the fly.

    I don’t hate the idea of alternate uniforms in theory, but man do Nike and MLB need some better designers.

    After seeing the eyesores they made of the Pro Bowl several years ago, I expect nothing else from them. Has anyone ever looked at a special event uniform designed by Nike and thought to themselves “Wow, they knocked it out of the park, this should be a full-time uniform”?

    “Has anyone ever looked at a special event uniform designed by Nike and thought to themselves “Wow, they knocked it out of the park, this should be a full-time uniform”?”
    The (California) Angels CC could fit the bill – excellent design, not a nonsensical re-imagination/overhaul.
    Ok, so not a “special event” uniform – more if a ‘limited run’ one.

    I consider the Angels’ CC to be among Nike’s tackiest. Looks like someone’s artsy-fartsy mom designed it. And white-paneled trucker caps need to go away NOW.

    The Angel’s CC unis should have not copied the Jersey Mike’s logo font.

    Colorado’s city connect could easily be their 1st jersey pick.

    In terms of all-sports, I think the FC Barca 4th and Club America’s 3rd kit in 20-21.

    Not a lot of City Connects reeeeally do it to me but i’ll be real, White Sox CC might be some of my favorite unis currently in use. Also the Rangers CCs are kind of a guilty pleasure for me too (ouuuh that typography)

    Full disclaimer though, that might just be me being pretty much gen z speaking and i kinda bet that im more of a target audience here anyway

    Makes me realize that the storytelling and the interactive/customizable elements covered up a lot of the stink on these unis. Now it’s simply a black uniform with tutti-frutti trim, which would be fine if that were part of the teams visual identity in the first place, but it’s not. What’s worse is that the team is named for a bird with a very distinct aesthetic of orange and black, making the tutti-frutti even harder to sell without the interactive/storytelling element. If they had used an orange camo pattern, they’d be better off, as they’d only have to sell the idea that camo is a cool pattern. If they’d done something like this for the Brooklyn Nets, whose current identity seems to be “whatever the cool kids will like this year”, they’d be better off as well.

    The idea of uniforms that hew closer to the home town’s “identity” is not inherently a bad one, but it’s important to realize a few things in executing that plan. Firstly: a team already has its own identity that the team/organization and fans/home locale connect with. Unless we’re talking about a team that wants to implement a full scale change in visual identity, or a team that has been visually lost for a significant amount of time (diamond backs), it’s best to try to respect that identity in the new designs, as well. Secondly: many major market cities consider their sports franchises to be a part of their identity. The giants SF logo or dodgers LA logo or tigers D logo, for example, are heavily used outside of a baseball context to represent their respective cities. If those elements are going to be ignored in a CC design, then they’ll need to make the other “connections” pretty strong to compensate for that disconnect.

    In this particular case, “This city isn’t as crappy as it looks. Here’s some rainbow camouflage,” doesn’t really cut it, even if it was a neat visual trick, as originally designed.

    The transformation into the West Ham United 22/23 Black Away Kit is almost complete.

    As an O’s fan, this continues to be such an embarrassing, frustrating, missed opportunity. Granted, the whole CC program is nothing but a cash grab, but if you’re gonna have it, the Pirates’ CC is how you do a simplisticly bold uni. And I hate to compliment a Pittsburgh team. But their’s still has great detail, while presenting a solid look from afar.

    This goes surprisingly well with the bright pink cleats. Or any other brightly colored cleats. They might be on to something.

    Maybe the Orioles will trade for the injured Chris Sale and, with plenty of time on his hands, he will take scissors to those sleeves. Or the whole uniform.

    Watching that game on the tube last night was a visual nightmare.

    Orioles in a pajamas getup.
    Mariners in “Northwest Green”.
    Game ended up a 13-1 drubbing by the Mariners.

    So… putting a crucial element of the design where no one would see it turned out to be a bad idea, because no one saw it. Hopefully the folks at Nike wrote that down.

    God, what a mess. MLB is racing to the bottom, unless the NFL and NBA get there first. Think it’s a three-way tie.

    Just proves that this was a bad idea to start with. Embarassing alteration. Still like the B hat, though.

    I was ok with the original Orioles uniforms, really don’t have a opinion on the new ones. I don’t think they have won a game in the new uniforms, hope that gets better.

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