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‘They Look Cheap’: Cardinals Players Don’t Like Nike’s New MLB Jerseys

As MLB players begin reporting to spring training, many of them are encountering Nike’s new tailoring template for the first time. And on at least one team, the players aren’t happy about it.

Two different Cardinals beat writers reported this morning that players have given the new uniforms a thumbs-down. The first was Jeff Jones, who covers the team for The Belleville News-Democrat, who tweeted this:

Shortly after that, Derrick Goold, who covers the Cards for The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, tweeted something similar:

A few quick thoughts about this:

  • Contrary to what Goold tweeted, the team’s shade of red has not changed. But the shade of white has changed, so that may make the red look different.
  • The most intriguing thing about the photos in those tweets is that the back numerals are not perforated. I’m very confused about what’s going on with MLB’s number fabric — I’ve heard different things from different sources and will try to get a definitive answer about what’s going on.
  • As I exclusively reported in December, the Cardinals’ front logo will still be chain-stitched but will now be done on two patches instead of being embroidered directly onto the jersey. We still haven’t seen a photo of that, so I’m hoping we can get a front-view photo soon.

(My thanks to everyone who brought Jones’s and Goold’s tweets to my attention.)

Comments (42)

    Feeling very validated in my complaints about these. The players seem to have all the same complaints. I hate the one I bought. It feels plasticky and it’s way too big.

    What is “the name on the jersey tail” referring to in Goold tweet? I’m confused by what he’s trying to say.

    For years the Cardinals have chain-stiched the player’s name on the front of their jersey. It’s tucked in, so you can’t see it, but you can in this Molina game-used jersey.


    I haven’t seen this detail on other team issued jerseys. Surely this was not a manufacturer provided detail. I don’t think there’s anything stopping the Cardinals from doing this themselves.

    Cardinals are the only team that does that as far as I know. It’s been a tradition for decades.

    My guess is now that the chain stitch birds on a bat are a patch, that the process is changed. Could be the players name were chained stitched the same time as the logos, but now that they are patches, it could be the clubhouse staff is doing it all. I can’t remember if it’s Liebe in St. Louis that did it – they do a lot of lettering on jerseys around here.

    They look, cheap, they probably feel cheap and they are made from cheap materials (by people not making sufficient money I guess) so this is a huge step down. Nike and MLB will shrug and move on. I do not expect them to take any complaints about the look, feel and quality of these jerseys seriously.

    I have one, the best way to describe the feeling is, it kind of feels like the plastic rings that hold soda cans together. Or what I imagine a Hazmat suit feels like (I’ve never worn one). It’s the weirdest fabric I’ve ever felt. I thought they were going to use the same material Nike now uses for soccer jerseys but boy was I wrong. The soccer jerseys still feel like clothing and are much thinner.

    The ONLY saving grace is that it looks like the team has gone back to the Rawlings style Block for the last name instead of the Block Condensed…

    And yet in this press release, I mean “article,” the Cards’ own Nolan Arenado says “The Nike Vapor Premier jersey is soft, light and incredibly comfortable. It’s almost like wearing my favorite fitted T-shirt out on the field — and so easy to move around in.”


    My instinct was to check if Arenado is a Nike endorsed athlete and sure enough he wears Nike branded cleats, batting gloves, and other accessories

    These look really bad — like zoom in on the NOB for example…looks like there are “attachment” issues on each letter. I’m assuming these are first heat pressed into place and then sewn down?

    Do we know if these come from Nike “pre-made” or if the eq. mgr. created these from blanks?

    These seeming imperfections might not be noticeable at distance, but at first glance, the do look “cheap” as others have said.

    they look like cheap t shirts, with stretched out necks

    Well, Jimmer will like them then

    Actually, I prefer to trim my collars instead of stretching them. A stretched-out crew-neck shirt looks terrible, which I why found out after wasting a couple of decent shirts.

    One, I doubt they did much player focus testing. Two, when they do, they usually do it in a really flashy way by including the new uniforms in a giant gift box with all kinds of swag and emphasizing the novelty part of the new release. Most players like flashy new stuff. So they get the answer they’re looking for, basically.

    I read in one article posted over on the Chris Creamer site that Nike digitally measured over 300 active players to insure a proper fit.
    Probably just standard Nike BS marketing speak.

    The new fabric seems to bunch weirdly around the stitching. It really adds to the cheap feeling.

    Hi folks.
    I feel like I had to check in on you, on what had to be a shocking morning.
    It’s not everyday that Nike designs a uniform that people do not like.

    As bad as this template will look as a whole around MLB, the NOB, as Ron stated, looks a lot like the font the Cardinals wore in the 1960s-1980s and it looks natural to me, because I remember that. The way the numbers bunch a bit also gives them a bit of an old timey feel. I doubt these two aspects were planned, but I think the NOB and numbers don’t look so bad.


    The placement of the MLB logo (as discussed before) is the first thing that draws my eye, and gives the impression of this looking cheap and not right. With it no longer being placed in the collar placard, the whole design has more of the feel of one of those t shirt jerseys, as opposed to an actual jersey. It throws the entire design off, to the point that I am having a hard time telling if the NOB and numbers also look cheap, or if it is just because the relocated MLB logo causing me to associate it with tshirt jerseys.

    I’ve felt the same way ever since I first saw them. I like the slightly smaller NOB font (which the Cardinals used to use, until about 1988 IIRC), but the balance is terrible. It’s part of a general trend to move everything on jerseys downward. Check out a jersey from almost any team from before the 1990s and you’ll see NOBs and numbers closer to the collar; also numbers with better spacing (no kerning). It all looks much better.

    I like that the non-uni obsessed public is noticing this stuff. Hopefully we’ll see a lot more of it, and Nike/Fanatics will be forced to do an about-face on the changes.

    It’s so refreshing to see the nitwits at Nike shooting themselves in the foot. Again.

    Yeah, this looks like one of those “first 30,000 fans get this free jersey” giveaway jerseys. The NOB lettering looks a lot “blockier”, if that’s a word…more closely resembles what it looked like on the 80s pullovers. Kerning is a little better than back then, but not much.

    This seems like a significant downgrade, and I’ll be curious to see if players on other teams have the same reaction…and if so, it just makes you wonder how Nike could go to all this trouble to redo every MLB jersey, and get the whole project so terribly wrong. But, we shall see.

    The Braves wore their new jerseys at a fan fest and they did not have perforated numbers. Some of the new authentics have been hitting retailers and from what I have seen, I believe the perforated numbers are a team by team decision, and not mandated by Nike. Many of the stock images do not feature the perforated numbers, while some do, leading me to believe it’s a choice.

    I still cannot understand how Fanatics got so many merchandising contracts. I literally have heard nothing positive about them, and too many negative complaints to count. And not negative like “I don’t like the design” or “I can’t believe I’m paying $200 for a glorified t-shirt,” more like “I can find Chinese knockoffs online for $20 that are better quality.” It’s completely inexplicable to me.

    I could not agree more. Fanatics have been an absolute abomination to sports merchandise and, yet, they keep growing and growing.

    This is good news for the bootleg community. By making the authentics look like cheap knockoffs, Nike has allowed the cheap knockoffs to look more like authentics.

    My thoughts exactly. I have one or two such jerseys, and I thought of them as soon as I saw these. Trash.

    Just imagine how thrilled all the DH Gate and Aliexpress sellers will be when they see this.

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