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After the Rangers’ World Series victory last week, the flagship MLB Shop in Manhattan posted a photo on Instagram of a Rangers jersey with championship sleeve patch. Twitter-er @keyvon212 noted that the jersey appeared to be rendered in Nike’s new template, which was used in the 2023 All-Star Game and will be rolled out MLB-wide next season.
Since this was the first regular team jersey we’ve seen in the new template, I wanted to get a closer look. So on Saturday I went up to the MLB Shop to check out the Rangers jersey for myself.
As soon as I walked in, a staffer welcomed me and asked if he could help me find anything. I showed him the Instagram post on my phone, and he said, “Oh, that’s right over here. They’re selling out fast.”
He brought me a rack of the championship-patched Rangers jerseys. Before I could even say anything, he said, “This is the new jersey style that everyone’ll be wearing next year.” I pretended to be surprised and said, “What’s different about it?” He said, in an authoritative-seeming tone, “The fabric is lighter.”
Unfortunately, these were replica jerseys, not authentics, so there’s only so much we can learn from them. I took one of them and then went off to get a normal Rangers replica jersey for comparison. Then I tried to find a spot where I could photograph both jerseys side-by-side without attracting too much attention.
Here’s what I observed (again, keeping in mind that these are replicas, not authentics):
- The new collar has an extra seam.
- The new placket is slightly narrower.
- The application of the script is exactly the same on each jersey — same fabric, same stitching.
- The new fabric is indeed different, but the difference is super-subtle and hard to notice. I felt like I was comparing two different brands of paper towels:
- The new sleeve has a ribbed seam just above the colored trim at the cuff (as you can see, the new sleeve is also narrower/tighter, but that’s because I foolishly compared two different sizes — has nothing to do with the new template):
- What I really wanted to see was the new mesh fabric for the uni numbers. But the Rangers don’t use front numbers, and the new jersey didn’t have a back number:
- As you can see in that last photo — and as we’ve known for a while about this new template — the MLB logo now sits below the collar/placket seam, instead of above it.
- I was confused by the patches on the new jersey. The championship patch was embroidered, but the Texas flag patch was more like a flat, heat-pressed decal:
I thought the plan was that they wouldn’t use embroidered patches anymore with the new template. But maybe the championship patch was just a quick one-off for these retail jerseys, plus it’s just a replica — hard to draw any conclusions from that.
Overall: Not as fruitful a field trip as I would have liked, but still interesting. I imagine we’ll start seeing all sorts of merch rendered in the new template soon.