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A Running Tally of MLB Teams Whose Chest Scripts Look Worse in 2024

As you probably know by now, the chest lettering on some MLB jerseys is breaking more awkwardly across the placket due to Nike’s new narrower placket tailoring. As more photos become available, I’ll use this post to keep a running tally of new chest breaks that are clearly downgrades.

It’s worth noting that some teams have had to adjust their lettering breaks but haven’t necessarily made them worse. For example, the Rays’ new lettering is a bit awkward, but I wouldn’t say it’s a downgrade — more like a lateral move (literally):

So for this post, I won’t feature jerseys or teams that fall into that “different but not worse” category. I’ll only show teams whose new lettering breaks are clearly a downgrade. Here’s what I have so far:



Also, note the much thinner trim on the sleeve cuffs.





The thing here is that they’ve actually improved the script by shortening the connector between the “M” and the “e,” but the split “e” is a disaster.






That’s what I have for now. If you know of other MLB chest lettering that’s been negatively affected by the new template, please let me know. Thanks!

Comments (68)

    The Rays might be a slight improvement, but the others seem to be obvious downgrades.

    I’m curious, are there any teams whose chest wordmarks you think might look *better* on the new format? Or is it all “lateral moves” at best like the Rays?

    I have not yet found one that’s improved, although it’s certainly possible. There are quite a few jerseys we haven’t yet seen in the new template.

    Thinking maybe the Astros? Only because it could have fixed their titled placement from before? But haven’t seen any photos to verify this fix.

    I hate, hate, hate the ones that previously had the whole letter on the left (Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Texas) and now have the letter partially on the right.

    They all look horrible now.


    Bizarre. I would think these split letter changes would actually be more expensive for Nike to produce.

    I was just thinking, some of the statements saying that all these changes are for cost cutting doesn’t add up when, as in cases like this, it takes more material- and I assume, more time- to split a letter down the center and overlap it than keeping a whole letter on the one side.

    Not to mention some of the teams who’ve had their sleeve piping go from a nice visual piece of the uniform to a tiny strip now.

    Hi thought this change was a good idea and who green lit it? Someone needs to lose their job over this

    Looks like the retail authentic Phillies jersey no longer has chain stitching. Someone posted a pic on Reddit today. Hard to tell if it’s even real and if it is, is the chain stitching is removed from the on field version as well?

    This makes me wonder if we’ll see teams move toward dark color pants as a primary look. I’ll admit, it’s more likely that Nike just fixes the issue after a process that takes far longer than it should. But most of last year’s City Connect unis had dark-colored pants, so I don’t think it’s unimaginable

    MLB should go back to pullovers and sansabelt pants.
    This would eliminate the wordmark breaking problem.
    Plus, player comfort and uniform “functionality” is the key.
    Buttoned shirts and belted pants are for sitting in a cubicle, not performing athletically.
    I’m sure Nike could still use the more breathable material while creating these.
    I know baseball is very tradition based (and the Yankees would fight it), but this is the way to go if they really are serious about player performance being the highest priority.

    I agree. It also should be a rule that if you do a pullover throwback, you must use the era appropriate sansabelt pants. Otherwise, you look like you’re wear a tshirt and suit pants.

    Okay, why are belted pants and buttoned shirts ideal for sitting in a cubicle? We could all save time dressing and be more comfortable wearing jammies to work. Some things just look better than others.

    I play baseball in a button-up shirt and belted pants, and I don’t think either inhibits my performance. (Insert “you’re terrible either way!” joke here. :-) )

    Maybe someone with a lot more knowledge of how the jerseys are manufactured can give me a reason why the word marks had to be shifted. Splitting letters like that is so stupid. Just look at the Pirates. That ‘A’ looks terrible cut that way

    All of the neww jerseys seem so wrinkled too. I feel like the lightweight fabric gets bunched up stuck on the undershirts where as the old uniform was thicker and heavier so would sit flatter.

    I would consider Cleveland and Texas as upgrades. At least the lettering is now centered on the jersey.

    I’d love to see Nike’s rationale for this. Seems to me like they could simply have made the letters slightly larger or slightly smaller, and still have to proper breaks between letters on the placket. It’s hard to believe how this many teams could have OKed this if shown an actual jersey. They had to simply have been shown something like the graphics on the Style Guide where any “half-letter” breaks don’t really look like breaks.

    Good eye! For just about 60 years, the Mets home front numbers were basically the same font as the back, but more squat, for lack of a better term. Since Nike decided all teams should have the same size front numbers, the Mets front numbers got a bit taller, and the squatness is gone. The front numbers kind of have the same aspect as the rear numbers now. Conversely, the Dodgers front numbers got smaller as a result. Since I am used to seeing the same numbers my whole life, I don’t like the change at all.

    I noticed that too with the Mets numbers. Seems like Nike took the rear numbers and scaled those down to use as the front numbers

    This is annoying, but to me the far most noxious thing about the new uniforms is the tiny player names. That feature is what I think makes the jerseys look like cheap knock-offs, at least from a distance. A question I have: I know the new version was used for last year’s All-Star game, but looking at photos from the game it looks like names are much larger than now, a more usual size. Were the small names not used for the ASG? Or were the numbers smaller, making the names look bigger? Or am I just losing my mind?



    There’s some variation in NOB size already, and while the giant fonts of Cincinnati and Detroit back in the day are gone, there are still slightly larger and slightly smaller sizes.
    Baltimore (I think) has always used the slightly smaller one; the Mets and Cardinals dud until the mid-80s. The ASG NOBs were that size and now it seems that they’re using that size everywhere. When the Orioles play, be on the lookout; I suspect that their NOBs will not look different from what we’re used to, and the only difference will be the positioning.

    Hard to believe people with working eyes didn’t see how bad these look and try to do something about it (maybe they did?).

    This is mind-bogglingly stupid. These look terrible. For years, teams designed wordmarks specifically to look nice on a jersey that has a break. To just change where the jersey breaks and not change the designs is incredibly dumb. Can’t believe it happened.

    I have a love hate relationship with these. I can see why they made the move in many instances. Many of these scripts used to be modified in order to fix the placket. Look at the Astros up until last year for example. There is no chance their script was level. It was totally wonky and you could see where the curve was awkward in order to make it not break across the placket. Some of these changes fix those issues. The Twins and Rockies have had other problems where their script is pushed too far to one side so it appears to nestle under one arm pit in particular. But when Nike fixes those problems, it creates new problems with the break. I’m not sure what the right solution is.

    Uniforms were designed with what was, at the time, a standard size button placket. Why change that? It also screws up the head spoons.

    I would argue the Rays’ move actually improves the look, as the horizontal line in ‘A’ no longer spans the gap.

    I also wonder how much the old placket design affected the logo design – surely it’s not just pure luck that the “San” and “Diego” fell on either side, or that these 10 teams here were able to split the gap right between 2 letters, right?

    Everybody designed their wordmarks around the placket, and because the placket is wide enough to hold one letter for many teams, it was literally no problem at all if your team had an odd number of letters: the middle letter fit right in there. The middle C in “CHICAGO”; the D in “SAN DIEGO”; the A in “PIRATES” all fit fine there, with *maybe* some shifting to the right if the letter is wide. But now the placket isn’t wide enough to hold anything but an “i”, so the *default* is going to be the problem we’re seeing.

    It’s weird that uniforms are regressing in 2024… this seems like something that would have been an issue pre 2000

    Good gravy! Back when I learned graphic design, one thing they stresed was to watch how an image met the gutter of a design spread. Basically, you can expect the area between two pages to be split, slightly misaligned, distorted by the binding process, or full of staples. In other words, keep important stuff like faces and words out of the middle of the two pages. Think of a buttoned jersey that way. Teams used to cleverly shift the letters, even distort the shapes and proportions to keep them out of that danger zone. The “Do-dgers” jerseuys of the old days worked that way. The As-tros in recent years went out of their way to mess with the spacing to avoid it. I find that one kind of charming and old school because of it. The “Rockies” home jerseys get it right but the “Colo-orado” roadies don’t. No one at Nike understands this principle.“RESPECT THE PLACKET!”

    I don’t understand what was wrong with the previous generation of uniforms that would lead to such a drastic reworking. Is it just a matter that they are cheaper to manufacture and therefore gives Nike/Fanatics a higher profit margin? That would be awfully sad if that’s even remotely true.

    The sleeve cuffs drive me nuts. All originality is gone. Every just has different colored bands now.

    The sleeve cuffs drive me nuts also. They bunch up and don’t lay flat for the teams that have stripes. Good examples are the Rays and the Marlins. Looks like something from the dollar store.

    After watching the Padres/Dodgers game this afternoon, the players with the longer names didn’t look as awkward as the ones with shorter NOB’s. Also, the Dodgers seemed to all be wearing the new pants. The Padres all seemed to be wearing the old pants. All in all, it didn’t look “as bad” as I was expecting. But, come this weekend, we shall see.

    Those Brewers photos are crazy. The difference between the old and new is starting. That new Nike/Fanatics jersey truly looks like tissue paper. Poorly fitting tissue paper. What a mess.

    Now I wonder: how long is MLB’s contracted with Nike? Are there clauses that allow MLB to cancel the contract?

    All of this is terrible. The distance between the Pirates wordmark and front number is so drastic. Perhaps it’s the camera angle or a fold in the 2024 garment, but the number looks so small. I can’t hate this enough.

    Looking at these almost brought me to tears. To me it’s like listening to a concert where all the musicians are playing 1/2 a tone off the note all the time. The only think I can think of is that there is someone at Nike for whom absolute symmetrical placement of the wordmark is what is important. Because in most cases that is what we are looking at. Respecting the placket has often required slight tweaking of letter placement and I can see how *that* might drive someone crazy. But however it’s happened it’s going to be tough watching MLB games this year for me!

    This is the sporting apparel equivalent of the crash of the Hindenburg. Oh, the humanity!

    Really wonder if this ever gets fixed, or if more teams will change their look to an insignia/logo only on one side of the jersey to work within the constraints, or if the pullover is eventually going to be default for script styles.

    The part of this that I find so perplexing is that the thinning of the placket is a change with zero purpose. Imaging a uniform without a script on the front, a thin placket at most is just visually different, neither better or worse, unless of course there is piping, at which point it just looks worse. I just can’t figure out what the upside here is from a design standpoint other than needing to justify “innovation” which isn’t innovation at all. I can at least see how designers mistakenly assumed that sacrifices in “look” were justifiable if it made the uniform more comfortable for players on the field.

    I’m sure someone else has had this thought: but this puts to bed any suspicion that Nike’s decisions have been driven by cost-cutting – if cost was the driver, they surely would have found away to avoid essentially adding an extra letter to the dozen or so jerseys pictured above!

    It’s kind of incredible to me that so many teams with non-script wordmarks are now having to split letters up to keep everything centered. Teams like San Diego, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, etc. You said awhile back that Nike’s explanation for narrowing the placket was to save weight; to make the jersey x %age lighter, which helps with performance and blah blah blah.

    But the heaviest part of any jersey ARE the numbers and letters. Looking at an example like San Diego, they HAVE to have more redundant twill material compared to last year’s to ensure coverage/completion of the wordmark, which must render all the weight-saving in the jersey itself completely moot.

    You said awhile back that Nike’s explanation for narrowing the placket was to save weight; to make the jersey x %age lighter, which helps with performance and blah blah blah.

    Actually, I have never said that. I said that *might* be the reason for the narrower placket, but the reality is that we don’t know the reason because Nike hasn’t told us.

    Is the NBA NOB font size still 2.5″ in 2023-24? I wish the MLB would have chosen at least 3″ or 3.5″ if they wanted to make it uniform across the entire league.

    From the 2010-11 NBA season:


    Super-obsessive detail: All player name lettering, regardless of typeface, is now 2½ inches high. “There was a time when they were all 3 inches,” says NBA apparel director Christopher Arena. “But years ago, when we did the Pistons and the Raptors, which had the names running straight across instead of arched, we went down to 2½ because we knew it was going to be a tight fit. Then we had some teams that had inserts and side panels invading the shoulder area, so they went to 2½ as well. And eventually we just decided that’s the best size for everyone, especially if you get some players with long names.”

    This may be slightly off topic, but don’t know where else to put it:

    The uniform fuckup may be the best thing to happen to Uni Watch. The site seems to be getting quoted more from mainstream media, and from outside the core Uniwatch fanbase, and I’m sure this site is getting more clicks, and people are paying more attention to it, as well as uniform issues in general as well. What do you think, Paul?

    Traffic and mentions are certainly up, but I take no pleasure in my favorite sport’s uniforms being ruined. I’d happily trade the traffic for a great-looking set of uniforms.

    Whatever is going on with Brewers cream set appears pretty substantial. That one went from pretty great to a total mess.. Looks like pajamas

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