Skip to content

Here Are Those Oatly-Themed Minor League Baseball Uniforms!

Posted in:

Good morning! Yesterday I broke the news that Major League Baseball, which runs Minor League Baseball, had brokered a deal with the oat products brand Oatly that calls for every one of the 120 MiLB teams to wear Oatly-themed uniforms for one game in 2024. After I published that piece, several additional sources came forward, including two who shared the uniform design with me. By the time I went to bed, the uniforms had also leaked on Twitter.

Before I show you the design, here are some updates:

  • Contrary to what I reported yesterday, the Oatly uniforms will not be worn within a narrow time window. Rather, they will be worn throughout the season, one MiLB team per day, from April through September. In other words, there will be a slow-motion Oatly tidal wave engulfing MiLB throughout the 2024 season.
  • For now, the promotion is referred to on team calendars as “Wait, Who Are These Guys?” Night. So if you see that on your local MiLB team’s promo schedule, that’s the Oatly game (some teams haven’t listed it yet, but they all will do so eventually). Here’s how it looks on the Portland Sea Dogs’ website, but all teams appear to be using the same boilerplate language:
I particularly like how it says the game will be “like no other this season,” when in fact it will be like 119 others.
  • Update: While most teams are using that boilerplate language, at least one team — the Triple-A St. Paul Saints — is being upfront about the Oatly plan:
Tsk-tsk: They forgot the umlaut in “Malmö.”
  • The plan has been to announce the promotion on MLB Tonight on March 27 (three weeks from today). It’s not clear whether that date will be revised now that everything has leaked.
  • Per one of my sources: “The first pitch will be a fan throwing an empty oat milk carton. Some teams will have a promo where they ‘sign’ a fan and they will be designated as a ‘Stands Fielder.’ All part of their [Oatly’s] ‘brand.'”
  • All of my sources say that most MiLB people they’ve talked to really dislike the promotion. One source said, “This whole thing came together very quickly without much notice, but the league is essentially using it as a proof of concept for larger potential sponsors, despite individual clubs not being able to sell uniform sponsorships. Anyone I’ve talked to throughout the league hates it.”

With all that in mind, here are your — and everyone’s — Malmö Oat Milkers:

A few notes about the uniforms:

  • As I mentioned in yesterday’s article, Malmö is the city in Sweden where Oatly is headquartered.
  • See how the mock-up shows “Baseball Player” as the NOB? That’s not just a placeholder — the players will really wear that instead of their names! In addition, each team’s manager will wear “Manager,” coaches will wear “Coach,” and bat boys and bat girls will wear “Bat Person.” I asked why they’re doing this instead of just going without NOBs, and one of my sources said, “I think it just has to do with their [Oatly’s] ‘quirky’ branding. Last year they had us play these ridiculous videos and do PA reads in-park as part of this deal. It’s a weird mix of being super-literal while also overly wordy.” I heard similar complaints about last year’s Oatly promo content from another source.
  • I’m told, however, that the odd choice of No. 05 in the mock-up likely is a placeholder, and that single-digit numbers probably will not have a zero added to them.
  • Per one of my sources: “MiLB required us to submit the numbers for all coaches back in December. But we don’t get our staffs until February and don’t assign them numbers until April, so they just had us submit one number for each uniform size and they’d put ‘Manager’ and ‘Coach’ on them. So most of our coaches’ jerseys will be the wrong size and with different numbers from the rest of the season.”
  • I’m faaaascinated by the choice to include “the” on the jersey (and to make it lowercase!). How many previous examples are there of baseball teams whose chest lettering included team name, city name, and the definite article?
  • In case you can’t read the fine print in the lower-right corner of the last graphic, it says: “What About Pink? If a player has an undershirt or socks that match the tone of the Oat Milker pink as seen on the cap, we encourage them to wear it! A player should not wear other (dark or hot) tones of pink.”
  • Per one of my sources: “The caps will be 39THIRTY caps, which clubs are not normally allowed to wear.”

On the plus side: The pants aren’t see-through, at least in the mock-up.

One thing I’m curious about: Who created the design, and what’s on the cutting room floor during the design process? If anyone out there would like to share that info, you know what to do. Thanks!




LAST 3 DAYS for Hockey, Cycling, and Soccer Jerseys

In case you missed it, our old Uni Watch hockey and cycling jerseys are available again (with your choice of numbers and NOBs!), but only through the end of this week. You can order yours here. Enjoy!

In addition, our Uni Watch soccer jerseys are also back for a limited time:

The soccer jerseys are available here. Just like with the hockey and cycling designs, you can choose your desired number and NOB, but only through the end of this week, so move fast.



Mascot Watch

Biscuit in the basket.



Can of the Day

Nice one. I like the four colors for the four seasons.

Comments (88)

    First, this is all awful. Second, the language is ambiguous, but it could be that teams may be wearing their regular home pants with these monstrosities. No sense paying for one off pants if they don’t have any branding on them, I suppose.

    If I lived in a minor league town, this would be one promotion I’d make a point of missing.

    … and if I was a minor league player/manager/coach, I’d sabotage this project on gameday (oops … wrong socks, wrong pants, regular hoodie) in any way I “inadvertently” could without losing my job.

    Fight the power.

    God willing, Chris Sale will be on a rehab assignment or something and the stars will align

    39THIRTY caps? Heck yeah, sign me up! I find them so much more comfortable than fitted caps, much more forgiving for days when I have moderate to severe head swelling, and they cost a lot less than 59FIFTY caps.

    I also am a big fan of 39Thirty caps. They stay on in the wind! I like the look of the 59s too, and own several but for daily water I usually fin myself reaching for the stretchy ones.

    The “the” jumped out at me too. The risibility of slapping a “los” on a jersey and calling it a Latin Heritage promotion is demonstrated by imagining the equivalent in English of adding “the” to the jersey script. Seeing it done in real life illustrates just how ridiculous and inappropriate that is.

    Is it possible they make, say, a dozen sets of these and after each game, send them to another team to wear? Hence the lack of names and specific sizing?

    No. Each team has ordered their own (and I’m guessing, although I don’t know for sure, that they’ll be auctioned off after each game).

    I also assumed they’d be passing around a limited number of sets. Especially when you said that the promotion is going to run over the full calendar. If each team gives the auction proceeds to local food pantries I guess there will be an upside to this foolishness.

    This is very telling of how the business of baseball is run in the Manfred commissionership:

    “This whole thing came together very quickly without much notice, but the league is essentially using it as a proof of concept for larger potential sponsors.”

    In a normal, competently managed business, trying something for the first time as a proof of concept is when you devote more thought, effort, care, and planning to a project, not less. In Rob Manfred’s MLB, trying something new as proof of concept is when you half-ass the project.

    A very damning implication. And you’re on the money. His entire stewardship of the league has been fraught with crap like this. The only thing he hit on so far has been the pitch clock and that even was a poorly executed radicalization of the game’s cemented roots.

    “In Rob Manfred’s MLB, trying something new as proof of concept is when you half-ass the project.”

    You weren’t talking about the Oakland A’s, but you’re talking about the Oakland A’s.

    I kind of regard the half-assery of the A’s situation as part and parcel of the Manfred style. I regard the Jeff Loria situations in Montreal and then Miami as indicative of the worst aspects of the Selig era, and yet Loria’s deliberate sabotage of his two successive teams is not nearly as bad as Fisher’s self-immolation of the A’s.

    Feels like a case of done is better than perfect. Which can be said of a lot of things in the Uni-sphere.

    This is even worse than anything I could’ve imagined on my own.

    Right after reading this article, I went to my local MiLB team’s website (AAA Round Rock Express) and sure enough, there it is on April 14th. Word for word the same as the Sea Wolves. Shameful.

    I did the same thing for the Columbia Fireflies. April 24. Same exact text. At least it will be done on the early side of the season.

    I am sure there’s an element of “no such thing as bad publicity” going on here from the perspective of the oat milk company. Although I am not currently an oat milk guy, and don’t anticipate becoming one in the future, if I do I will specifically avoid this particular brand. I can’t be the only one out there who feels this way; I even wonder if they may lose some current customers over this.

    My wife drinks this stuff. The ingredients in oat milk are jarring.
    I’ll stick with the real deal.

    I really thought they’d look like a carton of Oatly, complete with the same lettering. Still: not good!

    I was thinking the same thing, light blue base, with the “OATLY!” from the carton across the chest, as bad as that is, it would still look miles better than this.

    Interestingly, I just went and checked the schedules for the two minor league teams nearest me (Beloit and Wisconsin, i.e. Appleton) and neither yet lists this.

    Ironically, during June Dairy Month here in Wisconsin (for those not familiar, it’s actually kind of a big deal in the state). Highlighting a dairy alternative in June? OK…I wonder who made the call on that date.

    All of the players should make a point of showing up to the ballpark in dairy shirts that day. That would be awesome

    @lukas. Lifelong southeastern Wisconsinite here. Never once have I ever met anybody mention anything about June dairy month. Yes, cheese/beer are big but June dairy month isn’t a thing. Please don’t spread misinformation.

    Actually, I don’t think the design of the uniform is that bad.

    Don’t get me wrong, the whole promotion is just awful, but when I heard about this yesterday, I expected the unis to be a little more garish.

    Yeah I thought it would be a jersey covered in little oats or something. This is a pretty normal baseball uniform with just a weird name on the front. For the minors, it’s fine. Heck, I used to go to minor league games where they had an actual cow milking contest as one of the between inning things. Home manager versus visiting usually. The grounds crew had to learn to clean up cow pies that’s for sure.

    This is a pretty normal baseball uniform with just a weird name on the front.

    And “Baseball Player” on the back.

    Fascinated by the sun on that Trewax can. Why is it so cartoony compared to the others!?

    Unlike MLB, a mass boycott of MiLB might actually cause some ripples, especially in areas where the team normally draws 1-2K per night.

    I checked the Toledo Mud Hens’ promotions calendar, and… it’s not up there. YET. That could change at any time, though.

    Anyway, this whole thing sucks.

    So I don’t think every minor league team is doing this. I looked at my local team’s (Hudson Valley Renegades) schedule and didn’t find one of those promos

    They just haven’t listed it yet. One of my sources was a minor league GM. His team’s website doesn’t have it listed yet, but they’re doing it. Every team is doing it.

    But, you know, if you go to the Renegades’ Oatly night, you can then protest by getting froyo across the street after the game.

    I noticed that the FDA caved and have decided to let oat, almond, soy, and other plant-based drinks be called milk. Before you had to get your milk from an animal’s teat to be called milk.

    For it to be milk, it does have to come from an animal. The FDA can say milk comes from almonds and oats, but we know it doesn’t. Kind of like MLB calling sleeve ads “sponsorships.” They can say it all they want, but we know it’s not true.

    Hasn’t the liquid extracted from coconuts always been called coconut milk? I’ve heard that term long before I heard of almond milk, oat milk, etc. According to link , “Linguistically speaking, using “milk” to refer to the “the white juice of certain plants” (the second definition of milk in the Oxford American Dictionary) has a history that dates back centuries.”

    I don’t see this going over very well with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, who already have an alter-ego Wisconsin Udder Tuggers (you know, farmers. The group that produces real milk and has driven the state’s economy and cultural heritage for over a hundred and fifty years) They need to play this game at 6am on some random Tuesday so nobody has to be subject to watching it.

    For the casual fan attending a minor league baseball game, they’re not going to have a clue why their team is playing as the Oat Milkers. It’s a big swing and a miss.

    Proof of concept? Yep. Won’t be long before every minor league team has a corporate name sponsor. It’s not like the majors, where you’d get an uproar from the fans over such a thing. Outside of a select few, most MILB teams have very little value attached to their names. If you turn the Biloxi Shuckers into the Biloxi Peavey Shuckers, the response won’t be as overwhelming and it would likely fly under the radar.

    It actually seems like MLB is more focused on controlling minor league uniform ad revenue via promotions than what you’re describing. At least that’s what the MiLB contacts seem to be suggesting as they’d clearly rather have the option to sell uniform ads.

    There are plenty of things in this world that I hate, but I don’t think I hate anything quite as much as Rob Manfred hates baseball

    Amen. God knows Bud Selig had his faults as MLB commissioner, but at least he loved the sport. Manfred detests baseball and would much rather be PGA commissioner.

    So, 119 minor league teams will get supplied full one-off uniforms but Nike/Fanatics can’t make enough pants to supply 30 MLB teams?

    You wrote this: “Here’s how it looks on the Portland Sea Dogs’ website, but all teams appear to be using the same boilerplate language:”

    But I think you meant this: “Here’s how it looks on the Erie SeaWolves’ website, but all teams appear to be using the same boilerplate language:”

    Who is running this promotion? Bill Lumbergh or the manager from Tchockis? If you want the players to wear pink socks why don’t you just make the requirement pink socks? Ugh! I hate this league and I don’t need it anymore!

    Also, what concept does this prove? That MILB could become a Japan style league where the teams would be the Chevy Blazers and the Starkist Tunas, or that MILB could become a Mexico style league where the ratio of advertisement to uni fabric is roughly 1:1?

    The only thing I don’t hate about this uniform is that the picture in the style guide has nicely bloused pants. I wonder if players will actually wear short pants or if they have the option of wearing pajama pants.

    FWIW, the Flying Squirrels’ schedule has this listed on May 14, complete with the boilerplate language.

    Lots of other interesting events on the Squirrel’s promotional calendar, including several “Peanut Free Games” (“While reasonable efforts will be made to restrict peanut products including performing additional cleaning in advance, we cannot guarantee the absence of peanut particles and residue.”) They’re going to have to do extra cleaning after the Salute to the Peanut Game on August 6th. And I’m really curious how they’re going to celebrate Breastfeeding Awareness Night…

    I’m really curious how they’re going to celebrate Breastfeeding Awareness Night…

    Has any team ever done that before??

    The Charleston RiverDogs once tried a Vasectomy Night. Needless to say, that didn’t go over too well.

    I always thought I was a firm believer in “anything goes in the minor leagues short of making right-handers throw left,” but I think this is a cluster.

    I was going to suggest that fans at these games boo at every reference to oat milk. Instead, I think think they think they should moo.

    You see with the three “thinks” how shaken I am as a proud Wisconsin resident.

    Can confirm that the Bowie Baysox will be doing this on May 8th with the same generic jargon highlighted in the 1st graphic.

    Just get it over with already and have the team names sponsored.

    “Welcome to tonight’s game as the Boston Mass Mutual Red Sox host the New York Starr Insurance Yankees.”

    No. 05 in the mock-up likely is a placeholder, and that single-digit numbers probably will not have a zero added to them.

    You mean they’re not going to keep it and say, “It’s not a zero… it’s an O for Oatly!”

    Speaking of zero, that’s how many times I will buy a carton of Oatly.

    Hmm, I thought the uniform was going to look exactly like the Oatly bottle, textured blue uniform with large font wordmarks. The real one is actually a bit of a let down in that department, more or less a standard uniform that 120 teams will be using

    Sheesh. MLB has really been doing a lot to stomp on the neck of MiLB the past few years. I understand that this promotion is fully about the money, but it almost feels like a humiliation play too, like “every single team is participating in this ridiculous promotion, and none of you have any say in it whatsoever. Deal with it.”

    Imagine you get to go to an MiLB game for the first time to see your favorite team’s top prospect and he comes out in this shit.

    What I find most odd is that aren’t most MiLB food related one-off nights more along the lines of sublimated polyester shirseys? Jumping on the band wagon for certain I expected a milk carton look. I am very puzzled by this very traditional stirrup look. I suppose the top could still be made like that and just looks like a real baseball uni.

    The MLB graphic under the headline works so well, hilarious…
    Love how the can of the day has the seasons in a radial (clock) pattern…
    I wonder how many oats they have to milk to fill up a carton

    Just to be clear: That’s not the MLB logo — it’s the new MiLB logo, which was unveiled last fall: link

    Making the graphic was fun! It’s actually three separate components: the MiLB logo (which I modified to create a “mouth,” although I should have made the mouth bigger), the carton of oat juice (the cap is actually on, but you can’t really tell), and a poured stream of oat juice that I isolated a different photo. I’m not much of a designer or photo-illustrator, but I enjoyed creating this one. Glad you like!

    Missed opportunity for “featuring music from some famous Swedes fueled by ABBA.”

    I don’t like the idea of a corporate sponsor overtaking the city and team names on the uniform. I guess this is where sports is heading. “Here is the lineup for the MGM Grand Athletics!”

    I’m praying we see a scheduling snafu with opposing teams both wearing these unis

    This is just gross. What’s the point of having uniforms and a city/team identity if you’re just going to sell it out to the highest bidder? Oh, that’s right…$$$$$$$

    “…featuring music from some famous Swedes.”

    If those famous Swedes aren’t Meshuggah, I don’t want it.

    These are actually worse than the incredibly low bar I set in my brain when you first broke the story yesterday. That’s kind of backwardly impressive I guess?

    I attend a half dozen or so minor league games each year. I swear if I go see my local team one night and they’re dressed as the Oat Fuckers the night I attend, there’s going to be hell to pay!

    It’s easy to blame Manfred, but we know he works for the owners. I bet he didn’t roll out bed one day and come up with this. For all we know there are a dozen WORSE ideas coming from the owners that he was able to talk them out of.

    As for the name and such, the teams themselves come up with stuff like “Syracuse Salt Potatoes” and a bunch of other things.

    The problem I see is that MLB uses the minors as a testing ground before running it up to MLB. The pitch clock and bases sizes were tried out in the minors first, and the computer-called balls and strikes is there now with an eye on it being used in the MLB in the not-too-distant future. So while I don’t care if the Rocket City Trash Pandas are going to be the Oat Milkers for a night, I do if the Tigers become the Ford Mustangs for a game.

    I’m a little disappointed with the tone of some of the comments on these posts. Whatever you think of the promotion is one thing, because we’re here to talk about uniforms, but to me mocking oat milk as a concept is another thing entirely. What if you’re vegan/lactose intolerant/allergic to dairy/etc. and have to drink oat milk or another alternative? I think it wouldn’t feel great scrolling through a bunch of internet strangers reminding you how you’re different.

    Like, there’s a lot of anger, which is probably to be expected here, but to me that’s just a really unnecessary add-on.

    I do drink and enjoy oat milk as part of a choice to avoid animal products. And I’ve been an Oatly drinker. But I’ve already emailed them to let the company know how gross this is and that I’ll be switching brands.

    Missed opportunity for a “Major League” – “Who are these f&%$in’ guys?” Promotion Night. Although that really should be its own thing.

    Also, yes, I don’t get the anger that some people have for vegan products.

Comments are closed.