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Pirates Save One Last City Connect Surprise for On-Field Debut

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The Pirates’ City Connect uniform was the subject of four separate leaks and a full-blown unveiling. Despite all of that, they managed to keep one surprise under wraps until last night’s on-field debut: the helmet design.

As you can see above, the CC helmet has a two-tone shell that looks spray-painted (sort of like history’s worst NFL helmet) and the same “PGH” lettering as the jersey — even though the cap just has the team’s regular “P” mark:

Here are some additional looks at the helmet, from various angles:

Well that’s certainly, uh, something. But the weirdest thing is that we sometimes complain about teams not going the extra mile to match their batting helmets to their special-occasion cap designs, but in this case it’s the other way around! Why would you go out of your way to create a distinct batting helmet logo if you’re not gonna do the same for your cap? Bizarre.

Meanwhile, I noticed something else strange about these uniforms: The MLB logo on the rear jersey collar is solid black:

Or at least it appears to be solid black. With the right lighting and a professional photographer, you can make out the silhouetted batter (which is more than we can say for the sublimated pattern in the numbers):

As it turns out, the logo on the back of the cap has the same treatment:

The logo situation was visible in the unveiling pics, but I didn’t notice it until watching last night’s game.

Meanwhile: The opposing team, the Padres, wore their tan road uniforms, making this the rare MLB game in which neither team wore white or grey:




I was truly humbled by the huge outpouring of support and love in response to yesterday’s obituary/eulogy for Uni Watch girl mascot Caitlin. Thank you all so much! You definitely helped make a difficult time easier.

Amidst the hundreds of comments and emails, a few stood out:

  • Reader Brian Vineyard created a Caitlin trading card! Check it out:
  • Reader Joseph Foro sent a photo of himself and his dog, Mookie, and said, “Mookie wanted to send some love after the loss of your furry one”:
  • Several people asked about donating to a local animal shelter or rescue service in Caitlin’s honor. The best place would be Sean Casey Animal Rescue, a wonderful organization located near Uni Watch HQ. (And no, they are not related to the former Reds first baseman, but their name always makes me think of him.)

Thanks again, people. You’re the best.



Can of the Day

Another beauty — and in Uni Watch colors! Magnificent.

Comments (42)

    Idyllic scene on a can of lard, brilliant! As for that helmet: it is a daring design. I am not sure I like it but it is different. A lot of yellow/gold in that game and I like it instead of all those red, white and blue matchups.

    Batting helmet aside, i actually prefer CCs that stick to, or are close, to a team’s regular color scheme. That said, this uni gets a big fail in my book because i utterly despise the use of airport codes as wordmarks.

    Hopefully, Toronto won’t follow suit … Pearson’s airport code is “YYZ” (also the name of an excellent instrumental track by Rush).

    The Pittsburgh International Airport code it actually PIT, not PGH. PGH is the official abbreviation of Pittsburgh (I also occasionally saw PBGH when I lived there in the 90s).

    I once saw an old box or can or something that had Pittsburgh address printed on it and the city and state were abbreviated “Pgh, Penna”

    I don’t remember exactly what it was printed on, but that treatment stuck with me as being pretty cool.

    I was really looking forward to seeing the bright gold (yellow) helmet I grew up with in the 70s-80s and was very disappointed in that, uh, style they’ve chosen.

    Knowing Nike, I see them dumping something ridiculous on the Phillies, like “Declaration of Independence Parchment”, “Olde City Cobblestone Gray” or “Whiz Wit” brown and yellow.

    I got my Pirates CC cap in the mail yesterday. The fabric feels a little different than the typical New Era cap. I don’t know if that because of the printed pattern. But overall, it’s a nice cap. The gold crown always looks good on the Pirates!

    Joseph Foro – KILLER Pearl Jam posters….. (Uni-watch should do something on gig posters!)

    I suppose, in some way, this makes up for the fact that they did not wear proper yellow helmets (with the black bill) with the 1979 throwbacks they have worn in recent years.

    I definitely dig the cap and the overall look, but like others here, I’m not a fan of the airport codes on a uni. The helmet concept would have been better if they’d just matched the caps.

    As a service to those of you who might fly into Pittsburgh International someday, the airport code is PIT.

    I’m not a fan of abbreviations on uniforms, but PGH (a longtime abbreviation for the city name) is a lot better than PIT.

    Kind of represents a true city connect, no? At least judging by how many out of towners don’t seem to realize that the preferred abbreviation is PGH and not PIT.

    It’s like Nike realized older fans were getting a nice buzz of nostalgia off of this CC, and realized, oh my god, we didn’t airport code the cap! Well…we can still f**k up that helmet!

    Who said it was supposed to be the airport code? Other than the many UW commenters who refuse to do the tiniest bit of research before commenting.

    The helmet looks even worse because used a fade style with matte paints, then used glossy decals for the PGH. Yeesh.

    …loving the PJ framed posters!!

    I have the Fenway 18 “ticket stub” framed and the “Green Monster” still in its tube (this has notable uni elements).

    I love the idea of reviewing sports themed / uni elements on concert posters (though the skeleton in a baseball jersey is kind of played out, except for Dead & Co.)

    We have rules about buying posters:

    1.) We have to have been at the show
    2.) Can only buy at the show OR directly from the artist
    3.) No purchasing or selling on eBay
    4.) Do not have to be obligated to buy if the poster artwork is bad

    Interesting piece out of Kansas State today about their equipment manager. Surprised how much power he has over uniform decisions, but I am 100% in agreement with his thinking. Especially “Black is not a school color.”


    My daughter went to K-State and I’m glad they’ve not changed their overall look. Albeit, they’d have some nice throwbacks. There’s a good cartoon version of Willie Wildcat I’d like to see used more. By the way, the Little Apple is a great college town. Visit if you can. Not far is a museum devoted to Knute Rockne who perished in a Kansas plane crash.

    The CC helmet looks like a half-hearted callback to the flocked helmets of the 60s and early 70s. Maybe “half-hearted” is too generous of a phrase here.

    Cap > batting helmet. But overall I still like this CC more than most.

    Donation to Casey AR sent. RIP Caitlin

    Hot garbage. It’s a three-way race to the bottom between MLB, NFL, and NBA. The losers? Anyone with style or taste.

    As a Pittsburgher, I don’t mind the City Connect helmet (I never hated the Jags helmet) but having the standard Pirates “P” instead of the “PGH” would have helped, just like changing the “PGH” and/or font on the jerseys would have made them a lot more palatable.

    If they really wanted to be daring, they could have put “YINZ” on the CC Jerseys, though I associate Yinzers more with Steelers than with Pirates.

    Welp, I’m going to say it. I love this helmet. I can’t even explain why, but it works for me.

    Nike marketing speak:
    “This PGH city connect element represents classic miner’s hat covered in coal dust after a hard day’s work. An actual tip of the cap to hard working, hard hat wearing folks of the region who fueled the industrial revolution and growth of our nation for decades.”

    162 games and they pick the day where the visiting team has yellow as a color. Looked awful. Aside from the points that we all have shared, the black pants w the yellow top is a classic Pirates look, just not how we want it to look. Still would have liked to have seen Three Rivers across the jersey.

    Those PGH helmets (and the old Jags one) look like somebody rescued them from a house fire.

    Paul, condolences on the passing of your adorable kitty cat. I lost mine several years ago and I know how attached we get to these little buddies. May she find eternal cat toys and catnip-laced scratching posts.

    How about that! Today’s Can of the Day features a company from my hometown, and one I’ve never heard of.

    There were two other things that got missed. The stripe on the pants leg fades from gold to grey near the bottom. When I first saw it I thought it must be dirt, but everyone (who wasn’t high cuffed) had it. You can see it here: link
    As you can also see from the photo, the pants have “PITTSBURGH” on the side belt loop.

    The all-black MLB patch makes it seem like they are protesting something and they’ve covered it with black electrical tape…

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