Skip to content

EXCLUSIVE: First Look at Mets’ Redesigned Black Jersey

We’ve known for a few weeks now that the Mets are changing their black alternate cap this season by removing the white shadow. As you can see in the tweet shown above, that has led some folks to wonder if the team might also be removing the white layer from its black alternate jerseys.

I can now confirm that that’s exactly what they’re doing, as shown in this page from the 2024 MLB Style Guide, which a source provided to me:

As you can see, the white layer has been removed from the script, the numbers, and the NOB lettering. Here’s a comparison of the old and new designs (sorry about the mock-ups looking so wonky — the new Style Guide format makes it hard to separate the front and back views):

From my perspective, there’s no such thing as a good black Mets jersey, but some are worse than others, and I’d say the new ones are worse than the old ones. The white layer helped everything pop a bit more.

While we’re at it, let’s look at the rest of the Mets’ pages from the Style Guide, which my source also provided:

No major surprises here — we already knew about the narrower placket, the lower-positioned rear-jersey graphics, and so on. Still, a few things are worth mentioning:

  • The home and blue mock-ups both show the chest script breaking across the placket at the “e.” (It’s probably the same on the black mock-up, but you can’t actually see the placket break on that one.) This would be alarming if it were accurate, but I don’t think it is. We know that the Dodgers’ script is now breaking in the middle of the “d,” so I asked my source to show me a Dodgers page from the Style Guide. It shows the placket break between the “o” and the “d,” which is not how it’s going to work this season. So it looks like they just slapped the chest graphics onto the mock-up template without worrying about the exact positioning. All of which is a long way of saying that I don’t think we need to worry about the Mets’ placket break, but we won’t know for sure until we see a real-life authentic or game jersey.
  • The mock-ups of the solid-colored grey and blue jerseys have the sun collar tailoring, while the pinstriped home jersey does not. I’m told (although I haven’t seen it myself) that this is consistent throughout the Style Guide — non-pinstriped jerseys have the sun collar while pinstriped jerseys do not. I’m assuming that this is because it would be a hassle to align the pins from the sun collar to the rest of the jersey. (To my knowledge, we haven’t yet seen a pinstriped new-template authentic/game jersey in real life, but I’ll be watching closely when we do!)
  • The sleeve striping on the grey, blue, and black jerseys remains unchanged — a bit above the cuffs. “But wait,” you might be thinking, “I thought all sleeve stripes were moving to the end of the sleeve under Nike’s new template.” Having looked at a lot of photos, I’ve concluded that multi-colored stripes, like Atlanta’s, are moving down and being converted into ribbed trim that’s sewn onto the cuff. But single-colored striping, like the Mets’ (and also the Reds’, among others), appears to be staying put.

That’s all I have for now. I hope to have more MLB information soon. Meanwhile, if anyone knows more about the thinking behind these moves by the Mets, feel free to contact me hereAnonymity assured, of course.

Comments (61)

    I still think the Mets would be best served if they ditched the BFBS entirely, but that ain’t happening, so looking at them for what they are:

    I’d need to see them on the field obviously, but I’m still (tentatively) a fan of removing the white outline from the hat. I always thought the logo with the outline and drop-shadow looked a bit crowded on the hat.

    But woof, those jerseys are a LOT worse without the white piping and the headspoon. I could’ve maybe come around on a modified jersey without one of those elements (the white or the headspoon) but the loss of both makes an already rough alternate even worse.

    I know you normally call these jerseys “softball tops” but I think we need something truly denigrating to these atrocities. I’d like to propose that we call these oversimplified weird alternates “BP tops”

    The black uniforms are a downgrade for me, names and numbers will look more illegible on the field and TV but probably not so bad if you’re staring at the jersey on a rack inside a store. Seems this change to the jersey is just to get people to spend money on new jerseys.

    One thing that dawned on me today from this post and the Angels post: the style guide doesn’t seem to show belts, socks, and shoes anymore. Is it because MLB recognized that players all wear different shoes, sock styles, and belts that they didn’t want to include a “standard” in the style guide for those?

    Black and Royal Blue is not a good combination. They are too similar and it just strikes the eye wrong.

    I’d argue that black and royal is a dangerous combination. Done well, it can be among the most striking and attractive uniform color combinations in sports. Before they affiliated, the old St. Paul Saints had some of the best uniforms in pro baseball, using a very nicely balanced royal and black scheme. The Mets have spent this entire century, plus a couple of years, putting on a master class of demonstrating how ugly black and royal can be as a combination if you don’t approach the combo with care and thought.

    Just as a general rule, if you think you need to outline some element in white in order for it to show up against a black background, that right there is a proof that your design doesn’t work, is ugly, or most likely both.

    BYU is another example of failed royal/black: link

    You can barely make out the Northwestern stripes on the shoulder caps. Notice how they made the numbers solid white, for contrast. If the numbers were royal, even if outlined in white, this would be a design failure.

    Color theory posits you can’t pair two dark, similar colors, without it looking like a muddled mess. And if you need a white outline to show off one of those colors, then you’re doing it wrong.

    Inter, Club Brugge, Atalanta, I agree because of its vertical striping. But for this uniform it does not work, especially with removing the white outline. The jersey and the hat become a black blur.

    For me the only shade of blue that looks good with black is light blue. However, unless this combination is part of a team’s color palette, I’m against it.

    Not for me. I never understood all the different color blues, and then to add black does nothing for the uniform.

    I disagree on it being a downgrade, I actually really like this. The tri-color always felt clunky to me. And ever since they brought it back in 2021, it has felt a little dated. Like, it looks like a early-aught era jersey (maybe that’s just my perspective as a fan though). I understand the legibility thing since there’s no “pop” color, but I think with better television graphics, this will be just fine. Excited to see it on the field.

    I agree. Not sure how it’ll look on the field, but this looks a lot sharper and less cluttered than the current set. Both the cap and the jersey.

    A big issue is that it will be harder to read the names and maybe even the numbers from the upper deck.

    Looking at the seam line on the ends of the sleeves in the mock ups, and at the Reds pictures, I’m not so sure that the single color sleeve stripes are actually different. It looks like they may be the same as the multi color stripes, just with “jersey color” as one or two of the stripe colors.

    I’m almost positive you’re right. That’s still ribbed trim, but they used the color to make it look like it’s above the hem. On that mockup, if you zoom in you can see the line for the stitching.

    I would ABSOLUTELY love to see the Diamondbacks in all of those graphics.

    My own opinion here but the Mets should have left black back where it belongs but dropping the white drop shadow makes it look a bit cleaner.

    Losing the white outline on the caps is a definite upgrade to me. As for the jerseys, I like the mock-up better without the white, but who knows how it will impact the actual on field visibility. I guess we’ll have to wait.

    Wish they would’ve kept the white but just made it thinner. Still get the color pop and makes the logo less crowded.

    Just noticed the logo and ad patch are switching sleeves. Is that normal?

    The ad is determined by a player’s handedness.

    Lefty batters have the ad on their right sleeve, and the opposite is true for righties. link

    Pitchers have the ad on their non-throwing arm. link

    Switch hitters actually have the placement vary (depending upon the handedness of the starting pitcher!) link link

    All of this is done to “maximize” exposure on TV

    As it says right there on the Style Guide page (and as most ad-clad teams did last season, including the Mets), the ad can appear on either sleeve. It depends on the player’s handedness to maximize TV exposure.

    I can think of only two teams off the top of my head who have done a good job pairing black and something akin to royal blue as the dominant colors in their scheme: the Orlando Magic and the Washington Capitals during their “screaming eagle” phase from 1995 to 2000. The Caps’ blue was more of a steel blue color than a true royal, but it could look royal in certain lighting and in some photographs.

    Both combinations worked because of the addition of another color – silver/gray for the Magic and bronze for the Caps – to balance out the darker colors. Almost every other time I’ve seen it done, it’s been in a BFBS situation where a blue team adds a black alternate with blue trim to “look cool” and sell retail jerseys. And in all those instances, it has never looked good or particularly well-designed.

    If there are examples of the combination being done well in soccer, I’m open to being educated. But for most North American teams, the misses are far more prevalent than the hits.

    Wish they would go with “New York” on the black jersey. I always liked how that looked better than “Mets” when they had that black jersey.

    Agreed, on the grounds that this would be a more honest way to do a Mets black alternate. The black alt is there to sell jerseys as a fashion statement at retail, and the particular fashion statement they’re meant to make at retail is about the toughness or grittiness of New York as a place or an idea, not anything to do with the Mets as a baseball team. So make it a New York jersey.

    Absolutely not, unless they plan to wear it only at home and not on the road. The Mets’ road greys are the best uniform in all of baseball; they should be worn in every road game.

    If the graphics are to be trusted as an reasonable representation of how these uniforms will look in real life, the wordmark on the jerseys appear to be relatively legible still. The orange outline stands out enough as a contrast between the blue and the black that I can still make out “Mets” easily enough. But the logo on the cap is a different story. With an insignia that’s so much smaller, the orange gets muddled against the black and blue and it almost looks like one of those “stealth” caps that New Era loves to sell to people more interested in “lifestyle” than “baseball”: link.

    All in all, a slight downgrade on a uniform that shouldn’t exist in the first place. When the next Bobby Bonilla Day rolls around, I’ll count this as one more reason I’m glad I’m not a Mets fan (admiration for the ’86 team, which remains one of the best teams I’ve ever seen, notwithstanding).

    Meh, I don’t love it and it’s probably a slight downgrade. Honestly while I don’t like Black jerseys, I’m okay if they stay in their Friday night box and don’t bleed elsewhere.

    All that said I don’t understand why they don’t get more experimental with the black and make it a city connect. I think of the T7L army black jersey from a few years ago with 87 script New York and racing stripes. That would be at least fun and wacky enough to be a city connect. Just keep all the wackiness and bad jerseys on Friday nights and we’re good.

    Plus the useless, out-of-place MLB logo that now stands out more than ever. I actually hate it more than the maker’s mark.

    If Nike really trusted that black and royal blue work well together with only an orange outline separating them then the makers mark would not be white.

    Fine to sublimate the team logo and name and number but don’t mess with the legibility of that maker’s mark!!!

    To go along with the Angels pullover post today, the Mets would be one of the teams that pullovers would work great for their main uniforms.

    Don’t know why they wouldn’t keep the consistency and put a blue lining around the rest of the jersey like the greys have, and like past black jerseys had.

    Interesting Paul. The black alt now looks especially horrible. Any word on the traditional embroidered sleeve patch now becoming a “heat applied sleeve patch”? Sounds like another another downgrade.


    This is easily my least favorite jersey + hat in Baseball and now its half worse! The white outline was only a problem for the hats embroidery, made it very clunky and as if the NY were surrounded by bad jpeg pixels. But, in order to fix the hat they decided to “fix” the logo as well. smh. This will now be just like the Marlins black jersey where its nearly illegible on TV. The white outline saved that problem on the jerseys.

    I’m officially changing BFBS in my lingo to UFUS.

    Ugly for Ugly Sake.

    That is AWFUL.

    This is what I’ve longed wished the Tigers would do with their road jerseys—delete that extra white layer around the script and numbers.

    Losing the white outline, legibility from a distance will take a hit, although not quite as bad as the Marlins’ blacks. Sadly the Mets’ BFBS will now share something in common with the Marlins, the damn swoosh will be the easiest thing to see on the jersey.

    It looks like the Reds cap doesn’t have a black outline on the C. Anyone else see that?

    Can now be worn on the road. Not a bad change. People will complain of course. Last season they had no road alternate.

    As Jay said elsewhere, the Mets road grays are the best in the bigs. They should ONLY wear those on the road.
    (And of course, if I had my way, they’d only wear pins at home, but clearly that horse left be barn a long time ago)

    At first blush, I might actually like these slightly more than the prior version, but I’ll need to see it out in the wild.

    That said, as a general matter, I abhor the Mets BFBS aesthetic; fire the whole thing straight into the sun.

    It’s total crap, like all BFBS jerseys. Hate the look. I can’t change it, but I still protest by withholding my money. I never attend any Mets games when these are worn. Refuse to look at that garbage for nine innings.

    Talking of Mets jerseys – would love them to bring back the 1987 script for the grey road jersey

Comments are closed.