When MLB’s City Connect program launched in 2021, the stated plan was for all 30 MLB teams to have added a CC design by the end of 2023. That hasn’t happened, as there are still 10 MLB teams that don’t yet have a CC uni: the A’s, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Guardians, Mets, Phillies, Rays, Tigers, Twins, and Yankees. And it’s looking like at least one of those teams won’t be hopping on the CC bandwagon this year either.
As you may recall, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said on a radio show last summer that the team had no plans to add a CC design. Granted, he didn’t quite declare, “We will never do that,” and he did hold out the possibility that they might add a CC uni “someday,” but he certainly made it sound like the team wouldn’t be CC-ing anytime soon. And now Uni Watch reader Chris Wilde has added a bit more info pointing in that same direction.
Chris says he was at MLB’s flagship retail shop on Saturday and ended up chatting with an employee there. The employee said she works for Legends, which oversees the Yankees’ merchandising — she runs a shop at Yankee Stadium during the season and works at the MLB flagship shop in the offseason. From there, Chris says, the conversation went like this:
I started chatting with her about the CC unis — which ones we liked and didn’t like. I mentioned that, as a Yankees fan, I was curious to see what theirs will look like, and she said something like, “Oh no, they’re not going to do one. You don’t mess with the pinstripes.” I said a few times that I was surprised they were allowed to opt out of it, and she kept repeating that they were not going to do it.
Obviously, this is hearsay of hearsay and certainly not definitive. But when you combine it with Hal Steinbrenner’s comments from last summer, it sure sounds like the Yankees won’t have a CC uniform in 2024. If so, good for them.
Meanwhile, here’s another interesting tidbit that Chris got from that same employee (although it’s about retail merch, not on-field uniforms):
I asked her if it was too soon for Yamamoto jerseys [referring to pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who just signed with the Dodgers — PL], and she said they’re not allowed to sell them until he sets foot on a MLB field in the regular season, as per his contract. I didn’t quite get if this was specific to Yamamoto or if it applies to all NPB players in their first MLB year (I have no memory of how it worked with Ohtani, Tanaka, etc.). It does seem strange, though.
And sure enough, if you go to the Dodgers’ online shop, they don’t have any Yamamoto apparel available. Instead, they have a page where you can sign up to be notified when Yamamoto products are ready to go. Weird.
(Big thanks to Chris Wilde for sharing this information with us.)