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Red Sox Wear Old-Template Jerseys for Jackie Robinson Day

Today is the third Monday of April, which means it’s Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts, so the Red Sox played their annual 11am game and wore their usual “Boston Strong” jerseys. And since this year’s Patriots’ Day observance fell on April 15, which is Jackie Robinson Day, the Sox — like all MLB teams — had all uniformed personnel wearing No. 42.

But here’s the weird thing: Boston’s jerseys were not rendered in the new Nike template. As you can see above, they featured the old, wider-spaced headspoon. They also had the higher-positioned MLB logo on the back:

Interestingly, the pants were inconsistent, with some players wearing the old template and some with the new (as always, you can tell by the belt loops):

I’m assuming the use of the old jerseys had something to do with this being a one-off design that won’t be worn again this season.

This is the second time that the Sox have gone “Boston Strong” on Jackie Day. The first time was in 2019, when MLB teams were still using their own number fonts for the “42” on the back, instead of the blue Brooklyn Dodgers-style font that’s now used MLB-wide:

The visiting Guardians, meanwhile, wore the new template, with the lower-positioned MLB logo and the annoyingly placket-split “E”:

Perhaps the weirdest jersey of the day belonged to former NFL player Rob Gronkowski, who threw out spiked the first pitch. He wore a new-template Red Sox home jersey with the larger, old-template NOB lettering:

Comments (20)

    The photo showing the old-style pants also appears to show the PitchCom device on the belt. I wonder if that’s a consideration for the player because the new pants don’t seem to have as much room to accommodate that device.

    Great call, Brice. Upon further investigation, it appears that the only Sox players wearing the old pants today were pitchers. But not *all* of their pitchers — just some of them.

    Gives Reds fans an idea of how great their outfits could be without the pointless black shading. Oh well.

    The only thing worse than the Red Sox selling home jerseys with NOBs is them *presenting* home jerseys with NOBs to first-pitch throwers and other honored dignitaries. (Note: Red Sox fan here.)

    I miss Jackie’s 42 being rendered in every team’s font from a couple years ago. Not only does it look more appealing, but I think the way they do it now falls on the wrong side of how to celebrate Jackie’s legacy.

    Jackie is a part of Dodgers’ history, true enough, but he’s also a part of baseball history. By every team wearing his number on his day in their own font, it was more like every team was claiming him within the larger context of baseball history: every other team has some place in baseball history, obviously. The way that they do it now, it feels like they’re more focused on celebrating his place in Dodgers history, not baseball history.

    I’m almost shocked they don’t make everyone wear a ROBINSON nameplate above the number.

    Maybe MLB should go out in sweatpants and branded T-Shirts until Nike pulls its head out of its 4th point of contact. This stuff is getting ridiculous.

    I think the one-off thing is a plausible explanation, but I also will offer an alternate hypothesis:

    It seems possible/likely to me that in an ideal world (to them at least) Nike would have these in the new template for consistency. My guess is that these jerseys were victim to the same “not ready” issues that we are seeing for many other teams’ alternates/City Connects. Wearing an old template would be much preferable than having the backlash of Boston fans if they couldn’t wear the Boston front for today.

    There’s nothing that says MLB more retiring a number throughout the league in honor of Jackie Robinson’s immense legacy, then picking a day when the entire league gets to wear it.
    It’s Jackie Robinson participation trophy day!

    I wonder if “GRONK” – though it probably means nothing – is an indication that we might be headed in the direction of the old-style NOB with the new template. It clearly still fits even with the moved logo, and wow does it look better.

    Maybe the Royals will ask fellow immature buffoon Travis Kelce to take the mound and chug the the first beer. Grow up, clowns.

    At least there’s a chance he’ll wear a jersey, unlike his equally immature drunk buffoon brother, who would go shirtless on the Phillies mound.

    Please NO to either of them. Thanks.

    My guess is that since this jersey is only used one time a year, they may mothball them and reuse them. That would explain the old template. But, may not be the case?

    If these are last years jerseys, then obviously the red McAuliffe numbers have been removed and replaced with the blue Dodger numbers (as Paul pointed out.) Wouldn’t a new set be simpler? And what about players who weren’t on last year’s roster? Are they wearing the jerseys of former players, or does the club have extra copies in various sizes? Re-using last years jerseys does seem very 1947 but completely foreign to today’s MLB.

    I’m not saying the red numbers were removed. My point was, these may be the jerseys they wore last year with the blue numbers and were simply put in storage to use again this year. With no NOB, it would be pretty easy for them to do.

    I honestly don’t know, but don’t the JRR day gamers get auctioned off?

    Seems like these are more likely to be old/new stock than “reused” from 2023.

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