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EXCLUSIVE: Cards’ Script Will Still Be Chain-Stitched on New Nike Template — Sort Of

As we all know by now, the St. Louis Cardinals have their chest insignia chain-stitched onto their jersey. This gives their script a gorgeous sense of texture that’s rare in today’s uni-verse.

With all MLB teams switching to Nike’s new template next season, several Uni Watch readers have wondered aloud whether the Cardinals’ logo will still be chain-stitched, especially since we’ve already seen some adjustments being made to the Dodgers’ script.

I emailed Cards prexy Bill DeWitt III to ask about this. His response had a mix of good news and bad news: “We are maintaining the chain-stitching next year with the new Nike template — I had to fight hard to keep it. But the compromise was that it will need to be applied to a patch, which will then be applied to the uniform.”

To explain a bit further: The Cards’ chain-stitching has always been done directly onto the jersey. By contrast, the Phillies — the only other MLB team that has used a chain-stitched jersey insignia in recent years — have their chest mark embroidered onto two white-backed patches, which are then sewn onto the jersey, as you can see here:

It’s a little easier to discern the two patches on the road jersey, because the patches’ white backing stands out against the grey base fabric:

So the Cardinals will now be doing something like that.

Here’s a photo I took way back in 2007, during a visit to Liebe Athletic Lettering in Chesterfield, Mo., showing some embroidered patches for the Phillies’ game jerseys:

As you can see, there are also two Cardinals script patches in that photo. That’s because the Cardinals have often taken this same production approach on their BP jerseys, but never on a game jersey:


So that’s the deal. I’m assuming that the Phillies will be able to retain their chain-stitching as well, but I haven’t yet confirmed that. Stay tuned.

Update: Because a couple of people asked, it’s worth noting that the Phillies use cream-colored backing, not white, for the script patches on their cream alternate jersey:

Comments (21)

    So the Phillies technically have three “L”s on their jerseys? “Phil” and “llies”? Do the Cards have “Card” and “dinals”? Do they have rules to never appear unbuttoned?

    To answer Ryan’s question, they used to have 3 L’s on the jersey. When buttoned, one folded under the other. This was done away with a few years ago.

    Also, the top two pictures shown above were from two different Phillies scripts. The top one is the one currently in use, and the one on the bottom is shorter and fatter, and was replaced by the one in the picture above.

    Thanks Joe! It’s just that the picture of the pieces (three Ls in the pic) def shows a “Phil” that doesn’t appear in the jersey pics (both “Phi”).

    I mean, if the alternative was to ditch the chain stitching, and this was the only way to save it, then I’m for it. Better to have the chain stitching than not.

    With the Cardinals’ chain stiching coming back (at least for now), my big fear is that Nike will use mass-produced computerized chain stitching (see the Phillies pinstripes photo above) instead of the timeless hand-operated chain stitching that the Cardinals have employed up to this point.

    Details on the two formats, from so long ago:


    I’d like an explanation from Nike about why they can’t direct-embroider the Cardinals’ birds-on-a-bat. I mean, besides corner-cutting and mass-production.

    It is all about cutting costs and increasing profit: lighter (so less) material, minimum amount of patches, perforated and smaller numbers, smaller wordmarks (with abandoning chain stitching in the near future). Giving us margarine but selling it as real creamy butter. If it was up to Nike they would stencil print everything instead of sewing, stitching and full embroidery. This thing about lighter equipment for speedy athletes is pure storytelling while cutting costs and downgrading product quality.

    Paul, are you able to ask Bill if the Cardinals will be dropping one of their jerseys from their lineup due to the 4+1 rule since they will be rolling out a City Connect this season? Curious if they will have to drop their red jersey that they use for Spring Training and batting practice, and if so, how that would affect Spring Training. The logo has been applied via a patch on the current BP/ST jersey since it was introduced in 2016.

    My guess is they drop the red. Players don’t wear jerseys during workouts as much anymore and They’d probably just wear white and grey during spring games. I feel like they did that quite a bit in the LaRussa era.

    If they only wear it in spring training and batting practice, does it count toward the 4+1? I wouldn’t think so.

    I think it does count, at least it did for the Mariners who eliminated their powder blue spring training jersey along with the road grey.

    Please please please Cardinals put the logo on patches that match the jersey fabric and not always on a white patch.

    The great origin story of the Cardinals on the bat logo was discussed on the My Baseball History podcast episode with Peter Capolino of Mitchell & Ness.

    I wasn’t aware of the history of the logo. Lots of other interesting uniform topics are discussed too. Recommended.

    I love My Phillies authentics due to the stitching on the logo. All Majestic ofc. Never knew the style till now!

    Always thought the Phillies should drop the white outline from both home *and* road (especially road) and stitch directly into the jersey like the Cardinals did up until now. Oh well. I hope the Phillies are as uni-conscious as the Cardinals and keep theirs, even though I really don’t like the pattern they implemented back in ’19. Looks much less organic than what preceded it.

    Since we are on the Cardinals can anyone explain on the Sat St Louis Uniforms why the “L” in Louis is not hooked to the bat like the “S” is or the “C” on the normal jerseys. It’s bugged me for years but never got an answer

    What are the chances Nike decides to “even out” the Cardinals script? (“Three letters on one side, six on the other… why, that’s not even… Let’s FIX it-“)

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