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Tampa Bay Rays Unveil City Connect Costume

The Rays have just unveiled their City Connect costume, and it’s a doozy. As hinted at by an earlier leak and a mural in St. Petersburg, the design includes a cap logo based on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, a garish color scheme based on the team’s original Devil Rays uniforms, and a bunch of details that are supposedly related to skateboard culture (because nothing says Major League Baseball like skateboarding).

The cap logo is actually pretty clever, but it’s ruined by the color scheme:

As for the rest of the design — well, see for yourself:

It all feels very Lite-Brite, like those black Marlins jerseys, only worse.

I watched a bit of the unveiling livestream (thanks, @Mike_Nessen!), and the team officials kept talking about how the city, the team, and this costume all “go against the grain,” which is a convenient all-purpose way to inoculate yourself against any critique. So if someone points out the absurdity of having trim on the right jersey sleeve but not on the left sleeve, “Hey, we’re just going against the grain!” Striping down the left pant leg but not on the right leg? “Against the grain!” Illegible numbers? “Against the grain!”

Here’s the “storytelling”:

From that graphic, we learn that the Tampa Bay region is “defiantly bold,” just as the Phillies’ CC unveiling taught us that Philly is “unapologetic,” and so on. We get it: Every city is bold, tenacious, pugnacious, proud, resilient, strong, iconoclastic, irrepressible, indomitable, fiercely protective of its past but charting an intrepid course toward the future, blah-blah fucking blah. How many different ways can you say the same thing about every single place?

This costume will make its on-field debut this Friday, May 3 and will be worn throughout this weekend. After that, it will be worn for Saturday home games and for two games on the road. Here’s the full slate of dates:

The Rays are one of nine MLB teams getting new City Connect designs this season. Here’s the rundown of the other eight teams:

  • Phillies: Already debuted.
  • Mets: Already debuted.
  • Tigers: Scheduled to unveil on May 6 and debut on May 10, but there’s been a purported cap leak.
  • Guardians: Unveiling date uncertain; on-field debut scheduled for May 17, but there’s an apparent sock leak.
  • Cardinals: Scheduled to unveil on May 20 and debut on May 25.
  • Blue Jays: Unveiling date uncertain; on-field debut scheduled for May 31.
  • Twins: Unveiling date uncertain; on-field debut scheduled for June 14.
  • Dodgers: Unveiling date uncertain; on-field debut scheduled for June 21.

Additional details here.

Comments (180)

    The outline on the cap logo has the coloring you usually see in things that glow in the dark.

    The more I look at these, the more I dislike them. The design elements have serious potential—I especially like the SkyRay—but when you throw a pile of shit on something, it looks like a pile of shit.

    Perfect example of not knowing when to stop. They had nice neon touches, I actually like the color wave effect. But then they were like “let’s run this idea into the ground”. Now it just looks like Laser Lanez Night at the bowling alley.

    This is like the story with half of these City Connects. There’s a good uni in here somewhere and Nike just can’t leave well enough alone.

    Having the NOB in bright green only draws attention to its horrible placement on the new jersey designs.

    If they had reversed things and had the NOB in gray with a neon border, but had the numbers in a solid neon color, it would look so much better.

    Hat is fine; the rest is…

    I came here looking for this but actually commented on the Indy Car and Jags posts. 3 comments for me in a day is definitely a personal record!

    Can anyone elaborate on the intrinsic link between skateboarding and baseball? Not sure I have ever heard that one.

    Can anyone elaborate on the intrinsic link between skateboarding and baseball?

    Yes: Both involve selling a lot of lifestyle merch. I think that’s the relevant commonality here.

    I mean…if the idea is for the uniform to connect to some aspect of the city’s culture or history…Tampa actually has a big skater culture.


    It’s all marketing nonsense and the uniforms look terrible, but they understood the assignment.

    Campbell Park, located a brief 5-minute walk south of Tropicana Filed in St Pete, features a skatepark. However, beyond that, there are no direct connection to skating and the Rays.

    It’s obvious
    Skateboards are made of wood.
    Baseball bats are made of wood.
    Therefore skateboarding and baseball are the same thing.

    As a resident of St Pete, skate culture is definitely a thing here- TB has a skatepark historical landmark- the first public skatepark of its kind (featured in one of Tony Hawk Pro Skater games) and skaters are everywhere. I think it’s smart to get away from generic “hey! We’re sunny and beachy!” and go for something a little less known, but still a local identity-

    St. Pete also holds a world class car race, one of few. Not to mention Sebring and Daytona in Florida. Don’t see any of this on a Florida uni, either

    Tampa Pro is a pretty darn famous annual skate competition (at least in the skateboarding world)

    Devil’s advocate:

    What does a Devil Ray have to do with baseball? Or pirates, snakes, fish, birds, angels, etc.?

    The Tampa Pro-Am is a major skateboarding event that “discovered” several skaters back in the day.

    Where is the Wikipedia link: link

    Clearly no one in the marketing department knows what “intrinsic” means. No matter; neither do 12 year old boys with mom’s credit card!

    It doesn’t matter what the uniforms look like if you can’t make anything out. They are impossible to read. Terrible. No contrast. F minus. A little contrast would go a long way.

    If they filled in the wordmark and numbers, I’d actually really like it. I’m still not thrilled with the idea of gray at home, but I would honestly still like the uniform well enough. The Rays are the one team where I’m down with psychotic gradients of color, so they should lean into it all the way and fill in the logo and numbers

    Yeah, it’s the charcoal lettering and numbers that are killing this. Make them blue, and this is ok by CC standards.

    It’s at least fun. I wish they actually went FULL SEND and used the colors more, but it’s not boring, it’s not lost in its own ideas….it’s fun and I can’t be unhappy at that. I think it’ll be too much dark on-field, but maybe they’ll really pop.

    I’d agree with that. Looks like someone started outlined the front name and back numbers but forgot to fill them in. Not only would be more legible but would look better filled in.

    I usually dislike highlighter-esque coloration, but I oddly kind of love these. The fanbase will love a return to the fun 90s colors and playing off the dark color mutes them some. I think it’s a fun uniform and a rare example of a city connect uniform that will actually resonate with its city.

    These remind me of Nick-at nite, the skating Ray is hilarious. I’m exhausted of the social media videos and promotions, especially for a team that can’t connect with their city enough to sell out home playoff games . Nice try Rays

    C’mon, at this point in the program, how can anyone have any positive anticipation for anything of these ridiculous costumes?


    Because the socks were actually promising! Taking historic elements of the brand, team(ish) colours and a clever logo, the leak looked like we might have a good cc uni on our hands!
    Turns out the socks were the best part and the rest was dreadful!

    The only way this uniform makes any sense is the “story telling”. I’d have no idea about the grip tape or sun fade or skate boarding is as hard as hitting a baseball. It’s kind of like the saying, “if you have to explain a joke, it’s not funny. This set is pretty rough.

    The cap logo should be the primary logo. That is really sharp and clever.

    Overall, I’m slightly confused why this uniform (grey, drab, some purple) would get low marks, and the Mets’ City Connect (grey, drab, some purple) was praised. I actually think there are some elements in Tampa’s that could be carried over into an entire rebrand.

    A Met fan in Tampa, I get your confusion. Concrete Gray is genius for The Big Apple. Dirty has its’ moments. The full black lettering does what you wished the gradient TB would. Ten years here, and except the vibrant LGBTQ art community in St. Pete, have no idea about this skateboard and graffiti life. Salt Life maybe. If nothing else, I expected yellow to be prominent. Tried to make Tampa Bay gritty and edgy, believe me, it’s neither.

    Honestly what Nike continues to do with city connect jerseys in all leagues they make them for is really saying “f*** you, youre not a fan youre a consumer, and here is our attempt to manipulate you into a sale”

    Contrived and conniving.

    Can anyone from the Tampa area chime in as to if this is really connected to the city?

    I’d say it’s mixed results.

    The cap logo (Sunshine Skyway Bridge) and pelican are inarguable. However, the region isn’t any more or less linked to skateboarding than anywhere (in my opinion).

    See my above. The Sunshine Skyway logo is the ONLY redeeming thing. The Ray sunburst is iconic.(wish to have the spring uni, yellow with a blue outlined white sunburst). Even the pelicans would have been an improvement. Again, people here think they’re in a big city, hate to break it to them…

    Oh no they’re going to wear it on the road too
    have mercy on our aesthetically-minded souls

    The hat is great. They ought to go with it permanently. The rest of that costume can kiss my ass. But the hat can stay.

    These are Tampa BAD. The only legible elements are the NOBs and the Nike logos.

    1. If “City Connect” was really about connecting w/ the city, the Mets would have had Queens or Flushing across the chest, and the Rays would have St. Pete. Of course that would limit the market that would want to buy a shirt, though.

    2. It’s funny the only legible element on this will be the dinky NOB. I look forward to the complaints from announcers.

    I’m biased as a retired NYC subway conductor who grew up in Jackson Heights, but I approve of the ‘NYC’ over just ‘Queens’. The purple(except the Rockies, who has purple?) was genius. The Queensboro Bridge is perfect on the hat. It’s a big city uni. Tampa thinks it is, but only Pinocchio became a boy…

    These go crazy, but the word mark and the numbers are obviously difficult to see, curious how it’ll show on camera and tv. But the Tampa bay graphic with the flames looks cool to me

    I’m just going to assume the “ruined by the color scheme” comment is due to the prevalence of purple. So… I’ll give that a pass. Nothing if not consistent, Paul. ;-P

    The hat is great in my opinion. It’s a unique and clever design that actually represents Tampa Bay by tying in an inarguable icon of the region. I can foresee this being quite popular with fans, and will likely outlast any other elements of the uniforms.

    As a mid-30s who grew up in Pinellas County, I have to say it seems like a stretch to try and link so much of the “story” to skateboarding. I don’t think the region has any more of a connection to skateboarding than anywhere else. It’s not necessarily disingenuous… it’s just not regionally specific enough to feel earned/necessary.

    If I could change a single element, I wish they didn’t do the flames on the Tampa Bay wordmark. It’s not working for me at all… and, unfortunately, that’s the first thing most will probably notice.

    I’m just going to assume the “ruined by the color scheme” comment is due to the prevalence of purple. So… I’ll give that a pass. Nothing if not consistent, Paul. ;-P

    Actually, my dislike of the color scheme is due to, you know, the whole color scheme. Not just the purple, but the glowing neon melange. Like I said in the first graf of the piece, it’s garish.

    “…that has been weathered by the Florida sun.”

    The Rays play in the functional equivalent of an unfinished basement. Ain’t no sun.

    “Sum worshiper” evokes a black t shirt weathered in the Florida sun? First of all it looks like black digital camo to me, not a faded shirt. Second, most people who get to the level of sun worshiper also know that black is the wrong color to wear in the sun. Is this supposed to maybe look like a dollar store thrasher shirt knock off?

    I’ve never seen a skateboarder dressed like this. The hat isn’t bad, and I like the hat colors, but the rest is beyond horrible.

    Tampa Bay has its fair share of road construction, as does every major metropolis, and those belts just scream traffic control worker. Maybe a nod to the nightmare fans on the Tampa side of the Bay equate to getting to the Trop on a weekday evening. I do dig the caps, and the skateboarding Ray, though. Not the worst, and certainly not the best CC, but it IS Florida, so they get a pass on the garish-ness factor.

    What says Tampa Bay, FL like grey. Dark grey. Who decided that was the best base color to represent Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg? I don’t hate the cap, but I think it would be better without the purple bill. Although it does look a bit like the album cover for Empire by Queensryche.

    This + the faux-back set should be the basis for an updated identity moving forward. While both have issues, they are far more interesting than the current home/road identity.

    Alot of ingredients from different recipes here. I guess the city name is supposed to evoke “Thrasher magazine” for skateboarding which is a San Francisco based magazine. Very odd considering Tampa is home to a historic skatepark S.P.O.T. which is not represented here.

    I like them, I like that they are getting nuts with colors. Especially for a team that has crazy colors in its uniform history. Every once and a while FUN.

    Obviously you don’t keep stats or call play-by-play or do PA announcing, because it won’t be fun for those poor souls.

    like those black Marlins jerseys, only worse.

    Great…one Florida team realizes that unreadable numbers are terrible and fixes it, then the other Florida team makes the same mistake.

    Ok, my city connect bar is considerably low. But for using historically accurate team colors, its a win for this Rays fan. At least I can turn on the TV and know, “oh, those are the Rays”, as opposed to “Who the hell is this yellow team the Yankees are playing? Boston? Why the hell is Boston wearing yellow?” and “Why are the Rockies wearing NYC on their chest?”

    I’m fine with the colors, just not how they’re used on the jerseys. Using the colors in the original DEVIL RAYS jersey on these CC uniforms, particularly in the numbers and the TAMPA BAY wordmark, would be a large improvement over what’s seen here.

    Am I crazy for thinking this is more appealing than their primary set?

    I guess the cap logo also forms a T for Tampa…not bad. Shame we won’t be able to see lettering and numbers.

    Oh, Paul hates it? Allow me a few minutes to go put on my surprise face…

    Seriously you all gotta stop instantly hating everything; it’s getting old. And I think these look cool (and I’m not a Rays fan).

    My job isn’t to surprise you; my job is to say what I think. And I think this is bad.

    If you feel differently, that’s fine; we can agree to disagree. And if you don’t like reading my work because it’s not surprising enough, that’s fine too; nobody’s forcing you to read it.

    See, that’s not so hard.

    Yes, it’s super crazy and old-fashioned to hate (checks notes) soot colored uniforms.

    While (save for the hat) it is a dog’s breakfast of lack of legibility, I like that the colour and overall look still feels like a Devil Rays uniform to me. It’s out there, but still enough on brand for me to recognize the team at a relatively quick glance. That’s where Boston, Colorado, San Diego, etc. fail IMO, and teams like the White Sox and Angels have had some success. At least stick to your color scheme.

    But remember the goal: increase consumer spend, not brand recognition. Like New Era making caps in all sorts of colors way back when, the City program wants you to spend a buck to complete your team collection, and this time it’s driving force is local civic pride. So we can debate the merits of the Red Sox’s Marathon set (or any team’s set for that matter), but being from Boston, I can appreciate what Nike tried to do with it because the Marathon is such a big deal here. Whether Nike pulled off the story telling for other regions is not up for me to decide because I’m not from there. And yes, my kid has asked about getting a baby blue Sox hat to go with “the one they always wear.”

    I totally agree. This design is overdone, but if you covered up the logos, it would still distinguishable as a (Devil) Rays uniform. Cover the logos from the Phillies or Padres city connect and you don’t know what the hell you’re looking at.

    It had some potential. The sky ray logo is clever. A SurfStyle type mashup would look better.

    What I hate most is they chickened out (I like the hat, but I don’t hate purple). The number and front wordmark needed to be that garish green/blue gradient, or at least the same green as the NOB both for legibility and a contrasting POP with the dark gray base, and the stripes needed to be on both sides. Going dark demands bigger splashes of color, especially for a team like Tampa. They were so close to making it so outlandish that it worked, but they chickened out and made an illegible, forgettable pile of mush. Oh, I did like the socks!

    Man these comments here are really just nothing but old man yells at cloud now. The reviews for these on every social site are overwhelmingly positive and of course here it’s all so negative. Teams are not going back to the 50s you all may want to take a step forward.

    If everyone else likes it and Uni Watch is so out of touch, then why do you even care what Uni Watch thinks?

    If you like it, that’s great. Your opinion is perfectly valid! Some of us happen to feel differently. We can agree to disagree.

    Care may be taking it a bit far but I’ve been reading you for 15 or so years now and it seems like everything is just crotchety and negative now. Maybe that’s my fault for still reading but when I open something on your feed now I just expect you to hate it. Maybe you’re not willing to move on with the times and I’m guilty of the same by still reading it. No harm no foul of course jmo.

    I don’t know what “move on with the times” means. It’s never been my intent to be in step or out of step with any prevailing cultural trope. I simply call it like I see it.

    I have my tastes. They are what they are. If I like something, I say I like it; if I don’t, I say that. Simple.

    Right now we’re in a phase where there’s a lot that I don’t like. Why? Because, in my opinion, there’s a lot of bad designs being launched. That’s what I think, so that’s what I say. Simple.

    If that works for you, great; if not, that’s fine too.

    Either way, I just try to be honest, to advocate for aesthetic and cultural values that I believe in, and to push back against aesthetic and cultural values that I think are poor. That’s a critic’s job. Again, simple.

    One more comment: The Rays colors should be bright, bold, brash. Not the boring navy and Columbia blue they currently wear. Worst visual identity in baseball. They’re not a classic team they should stop trying to be. These CC unis are a little garish especially the flame font. They should own that gradient look and do something more exciting with their regular unis.

    I’m a Rays fan and a big fan of these. People just love to hate. I think the hat is legitimately great and an insta-buy, plus the skateboard Ray logo is incredibly fun. Def gonna be picking up one of the shirts that feature. The accent colors actually stand out here (especially compared to some of Nikes other attempts with the city connects) and the jersey feels authentic to the Tampa Bay area.

    One positive. I think I would know this was the Rays when I turned on the TV. If I could see the details amongst the grey.

    Is the single sleeve stripe a reference to the prototype black jersey in ’96-97?

    I wish they’d leaned into the colorful stuff on the whole uni, not just the socks and shoes. This charcoal gray trend is kind of depressing.

    Legibility? What’s that? Well, I guess the NOBs are legible… that’s about the only kind thing I have to say about this set.

    I like the cap, but not so much the rest of the uniform.

    I think people are too hard on the City Connect series in general. Some of them are awful. Most are meh, but some of them are spectacular.

    It’s OK to innovate and try new things once in a while. Even a traditionalist has to recognize that some of the things we now love were “against the grain” when they were introduced.

    I remember when the Giants introduced cream-colored uniforms and if caused a bit of a fuss. That was against the grain at the time.

    I was a kid when the Astros first unveiled the uniforms with the orange stripes and the number on the thigh. That was waaaay against the grain, but they are still using some of those elements because after shock, people recognized they were pretty cool. Now they’re classic.

    The White Sox “winning ugly” uniforms of the 1980s were against the grain, and they still wear them on Sundays with some minor changes. The untucked jerseys with the fake collars were against the grain, proving not all innovative things are good and will stand the test of time to become classic. Going back more, the 1960 Sox went against the grain by putting names on the back.

    Sometimes these innovations fail and fail hard. Diamondbacks of a few years back, we’re looking at you. They changed them fairly quickly.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the against the grain concepts introduced in come of the City Connect uniforms stick around — like the embroidery on the Mets cap, or the wraparound design on the Rockies jerseys — and become things traditionalists love. Some, like the head-to-toe gradient on the Phiilies uniforms, not so much.

    Problem with the White Sox beach blankets is they were totally WITH the grain…if it was 1975. The rest of baseball was adopting belts, buttons and traditional insignia in the early 80s.

    Hi Randy,

    I’d say the pull-over design and the sans-a-belt were absolutely grainy! But the stripe across the mid-section and the stripes on the sleeve seemed new and different. Trying to remember of other teams had different home and road caps at that time. Were the Orioles doing that?

    The White Sox “winning ugly” uniforms of the 1980s were against the grain, and they still wear them on Sundays with some minor changes

    They haven’t worn them so far this year, and if Sox radio broadcaster Len Kasper was correct on Opening Day, they won’t wear them at all year. He indicated they’d wear the white pinstriped uniforms at home “a lot more.”

    Thanks, DJ. I had no idea. I saw they were selling red and blue versions of the batting practice cap along with the black ones, and I assumed that was to go with the Sunday unis. Maybe they are having supply chain issues like the Mets pants!

    Love ’em. The logo is sweet, the colors rock, and the skateboarding devil ray is such an awesome touch.

    Bold? Edgy? I thought the Tampa Bay area was where granny and pop settled after hightailing it out of the Northeast corridor

    IMO, these would be awesome with neon numbers and lettering to match the logo and names. The SkyRay should replace the butthole sunburst ASAP.

    Another Debbie downer take lol. Glad to finally see some pushback in the comments section on the constant “I hate everything that is new” attitude from this website. (And before we get the ‘love it or leave’ schtick, this is my opinion on the theme of disliking every new jersey from article to article. I like this site because I like to follow news regarding the aesthetics of athletics. What I don’t like is the constant “get off my lawn” vibe of every article which dumps on new design concepts.)

    Believe it or not, things aren’t meant to stay the same for years and years. New design concepts are being tried. You’re fine with boring “mono” gray away baseball unis, but if they want to try another color, it’s an auto fail?

    My only complaint on these is that they should’ve really gone for it on the bright colors. Make them pop against the grays. Love the bright colors, but need bolder font. Other than that, these are far better than their godawful, BORING blue and white home jerseys that look like nothing more than a department store employee shirt.

    It’s instructive that the people coming here to complain about all the “negativity” don’t actually defend the this design on the merits or say why they like it. They just don’t like that some people think differently than they do, so they indulge in some name-calling. (Although I do appreciate that you included some commentary on the actual design — thanks for that.)

    If you like this design, that’s fine. Some of us happen to feel differently. We can agree to disagree.

    And if you already know that you like the news coverage on Uni Watch but dislike the design reviews, then maybe you shouldn’t put yourself through the stress and annoyance of reading the design reviews. Nobody’s forcing you to read them. That’s not “love it or leave it”; that’s a sincere suggestion for how you can improve your life by eliminating a source of stress and annoyance.

    Agreed, the “you’re wrong, these are fire!” comments don’t add anything. I’m in the middle..I like that they used team colors they’ve used before, the new logos, and the unique texture (storytelling aside). The illegibility is the big issue for me that makes these not so good. I even like the number’s not overdesigned to the point of not being readable (the lack of color makes it not readable). Much improved if they’d take the gradient on the outline of the numbers and apply it to coloring in the numbers on back and wordmark on the front.

    It had potential but they just did too much. And has anyone noticed that because the lettering on the front is all black with just a thin gradient outline, the thing that sticks out the most and is easiest to see on the jersey is the neon green swoosh…

    Very late Gen Xer here. I like these, although I’m not a huge fan of the mono-colored logo/base. Hat is awesome.

    It’s natural to remember the classic uniforms of your “prime,” but there were some complete duds, too. I can make no case that, say, the early TBS-era road, sansabelt Braves powder blues were as good as these; in fact, these are significantly better than those. I thought the Tequila Sunrise Astros were ridiculous almost from the get-go, and those came out when I was like 9 years old. Indians’ all-red? Yuck.

    I see what they were trying to do and would have considered these uniforms a first draft, before tweaking the graphics to make everything more readable. The original colorway of purple/turquoise/chartreuse/yellow is a great resource and I like that they leaned in on it. The Rays have a f

    Maybe I’m reading the comments more than I have in the past; but I feel like the Texans and Rays releases brought out more of “you people are too old” vibe. If the home fans like them; great. They’re for you. I don’t know if that will change under Phil. How about this, a “younger/hipper/cooler” person volunteers to do a review as well. I’d love to read another well written review.

    Fascinating sartorial history (remember the hats with the tartan brim, and the blue fauxback uniforms. )

    I think I’m with a lot of other people here that this is a mixed bag. The logo is really good and it should become their new primary logo. It would need a slightly different color scheme to go with the Rays regular color scheme, but I don’t think that would be hard to do. I’m a fan of them leaning into the teams roots with the original colors. I think the jersey numbers look cool and different, but am not a fan of the font choice for “Tampa Bay”. If it didn’t have the weird lines at the top of all the letters it would be much better. Overall, I commend Tampa for going in a fun different direction then their usual uniforms.

    It’s tiresome hearing that if someone doesn’t like a CC uni, or any new uni, that they must be old yell-at-clouds out-of-touch fools.

    We’re part of the Uni Watch community. We pay attention to uni details that most people don’t see and don’t care that they don’t see. That’s pretty damn in-touch.

    To criticize this new Rays uni is legit. I like traditional styles but not all of them and I like new designs but not all of them. Calling people who don’t like [team name here]’s new uni “haters” is so frakkin’ lazy.

    For the record, this Rays CC is an interesting CC. I agree with the commenters who suggest it would be better to fill in in the wordmark, name and number. I like the vibrant colors and wish there was more of it. For all of the vibrancy of Gulfcoast Florida and skateboard culture, these are pretty dreary, as are the Mets’ new CC threads. Two consecutive teams whose base color are pavement and grip tape. Really, it’s that outfitters have learned that black and dark gray work because many customers let machismo and with bright-colors dislikes drive their sports merch fashion choices.

    And really, that’s what this is all about. It’s not traditionalists vs millennials, old vs young, set-in-stone history vs making new history, or even storytelling. It’s marketing. Marketing and the continued fleecing of sports fans. As Paul points out time and again, you don’t have to buy a single stitch of merch to be a fan. That sentiment is the biggest threat to Nike and Fanatics.

    Your heart is what makes you a fan. Not your closet and rapidly-thinning wallet.

    On the contrary, not everyone who likes City Connect (or any new and/or alternate uniforms) are young, influencer-following sheep, or merchandise fiends.

    My main gripe with the reactions to new uniforms is that most commenters, no matter their opinion, tend to pass off their opinions as objective fact, or at least attempt to justify them that way.

    agreed on the opinions as fact gripe, though not on what seems to be saying Scott implied people who like CCs are young/influencer types. I think he was saying it’s NOT about age actually. And if you scroll through the comments, there aren’t many people saying bad things about young people, but you can sure see some ageist comments about the older people. too bad.

    I do not think I will ever understand the thought behind the City Connect uniforms. I just doubt that they sell enough of these things to justify the cash grab it so blatantly is. That said, as a Red Sox fan I do like their uniform. I just wish they would limit it to marathon weekend. Most of the others are just horrendous with a couple just being bad. I imagine most people would consider the Red Sox unis to fall into that category.

    I wish we could go back to each team in all sports having a home and away and get rid of all this other crap.

    I can definitely see why yourself and others want to keep things simple, and I don’t hold anything against you for that. However, baseball has had a problem of attracting young fans and one of the ways to do that is through having different jerseys and looks. I think the success that the players weekend had and the Turn Ahead the Clock game when Griffey Jr. played are part of the reason MLB is leaning into the CC idea. Fans have for the most parted liked the break from traditionalism that is so engrained in baseball culture.

    There’s also the aforementioned focus on marketing and rise in merch revenue that teams and companies see from CC that also compels them to continue to do things like this.

    Has MLB or any team shared ANYWHERE how successful the merch sales are for any of the one off kit? Show me real numbers of $$ associated with City Connect merch sales. I think it’s much lower than you seem to think.

    You know what in my mind connects a city to a team? Let’s take the Red Sox and the City of Boston as an example. I don’t connect a blue and yellow uniform to Boston, but a White/Blue/Red old time Red Sox Uniform. A Navy Blue hat with the Boston B on it. EVERYONE knows that hat IS BOSTON. If you wear the light blue hat with the Boston B, I think of UCLA.

    I mean I haven’t gone out of my way to look that information up, but I’m sure the number is surprising. I don’t think it’s one of those instances where you see the number and think “Yeah that seems about right.”

    I live near Cincy and a lot of people have bought and wear the Reds CC uniforms and related merch. I think it depends on the market and how good the actual uniform is. I personally think the Reds CC are one of the better ones.

    I do agree on the Redsoxs jerseys, and think it would be better if they were to only wear it around the Marathon. All of the CC would be better if they were more of a re-design of each teams uniforms and not some new uniform with a totally different color scheme, here’s looking at you Padres.

    You all just hate new and innovative fun ideas! Don’t think, just consume product and get excited for new product!

    This does seem like they’ve tried to do a little too much here. I like the idea of contrasting the bright colors with the dark grey, and I think that could look really good, but I’m not wild about how they’ve executed it. Overall, it looks like the year 1996 barfed onto a blacktop surface. So if that’s what they were going for, they really nailed it. It seems like they could have done something much better with this same color scheme.

    It’s nice that they didn’t try to put the light-grey texture on the pants as well, but it doesn’t look that great on the shirt either. It’s a shame they didn’t make the chest lettering more unapologetically bold, but I guess it looks more “underground” this way since you can’t really read it.

    The flames are exactly as fresh and cool as Guy Fieri.

    The cap logo could be worse, but I think it’s going to get more annoying over time. TB’s animal logos always seem to creep towards Batman territory.

    Why does everyone love bridges so much all of a sudden? Once you simplify them enough to stitch it on a cap, they all look pretty much the same.

    Your first sentence is either deliciously ironic or alarmingly simpleminded. Do not think but consume and be excited about the next item to consume…fascinating observation.

    And until I saw these, I thought that the Phillies’ CC uniforms were the most hideous thing I’d ever seen…

    I consider myself rather traditionalist for baseball uniforms but I think these totally work as is, no notes, especially as a City Connect thing. We’ll have to see on the field of course, but I’ll be darned if I don’t love these fun unis right of the bat. The freshness feels right, especially since their plain blue’n’white never felt right, like they were trying too hard to be classic. Just let your love flow, Devil Rays!

    I really hope these City Connect uniforms could be the basis of new home and away uniforms for the Rays in the future, it just feels like it would be an evolution of their inaugural identity and a vast improvement over their current uniforms.

    I also love the alternate logos designed for the uniforms and overall look.

    Yeah I like idea, but I worry that the you’ll have same problem as the black Marlins jerseys where no one can read the names.

    Another “City” Connect that doesn’t actually mention a city. It wouldn’t kill them to acknowledge St. Petersburg just this once.

    Good: The cap logo. Easily one of the best alternate logos in all of pro ball. The “sun washed” black, in that baseball just needs more dark gray to be worn on the road, and this is a dark gray that will be worn on the road. The matching pants. The bright colors, including the color gradient.

    Bad: Everything else. Like literally everything else. Ghosted lettering/numbers: Always bad. The cap colors: Doesn’t connect with me to anything about the team or the geographic location, past or present. The wave/fire/whatever lettering decoration: What even is this? “Grip tape” texture on the numbers: Doesn’t even appear visible up close, will be invisible at any spectating distance, doesn’t even make sense as a retail merch detail, and even with the “storytelling” it’s a huge stretch.

    I actually ADORE the cap. I love the logo and the color scheme. Seriously, might be one of my favorite hats in baseball right now, and I a big Yankees fan so there’s no Rays homerism from me there.

    The rest of the uniforms, not so much. I think the basic concept is fine by CC connect standards (despite what some of the comments here seem to infer, I do think skate culture is a viable “connection” for the area. (I also love the skating Devil Ray logo). That said, the execution of this is a big miss. They’re somehow garish, while at the same time not using nearly enough color.

    Wasn’t the black cap with purple bill one of the original designs showcased in 95 (I think it was 95)? I kind of assumed it was meant to harken back to that.

    I do think that the numbers are hard enough to ready already. Let alone, blending in with the jersey. Not the worst CC uni out there. But, kind of middle of the road. Good for Nike most everyone has HDTV’s. That one might be a nightmare back in the SDTV days LOL

    I really like the foundation of the charcoal uniform with the neon elements. There are elements of this I’d ditch (trim on one sleeve, “grip tape texture”, etc.) but I wouldn’t mind these serving as the basis of an alternate. This is easily one of my favorite CC uniforms, mostly because a large part of it actually feels inspired by the Rays’ brief uni history. The bad part of their history, sure, but still their history.

    Yeah these follow along with the trend some actually good ideas totally ruined by Nike’s thoughless executions.

    * Hat is great and a better logo than they currently have
    * I don’t mind the neon colors. Rays are a younger club and this looks fun and not a total departure from their original color scheme like the Mets
    * The Uni falls down though in Execution. I mean it’s spinal tap esque Dark Grey on Black lettering?! Besides the fact it resembles the Marlins look, it’s going to have same dumb contrast problems. How did they not see that?
    * Also another Black/dark grey uni? I mean you bring all this color and a spot where a gradient wordmark and numbers might have been ideal, but no needs more black.
    *Also asymetric sleeves? Is this all Nike’s got for original ideas?

    It kills me because again I don’t hate the idea of a bright colored look from a Florida based team. I kinda like the idea of colors and design, especially the hat, compared to the more generic uni they have. But man they just botched basic common sense here. And like the Mets ones they are fixable but Nike doesn’t tweak…

    For a non traditional franchise, I feel they have more creative flexibility in doing something like this. I dig ’em, in the same way I dig the Padres CC’s.

    You know what?

    You can tell they weren’t seriously trying to make a serious uniform here. I can kind appreciate their obvious “screw it” attitude in throwing this together, and I think it’s one of those “It’s so bad it’s good” kind of deals. Like the absolute magnitude of how many things are wrong about it and how they really leaned into it definitely makes it stand out.

    I know I SHOULDN’T like it, but I kinda do. It fits with the Florida aesthetic, that’s for sure.

    I really like it.
    The hat is very good and I love the hint of colors in dark gray.

    If there was a Hoodie of this, I’d buy it.

    If I’m not mistaken, the NOB lettering looks like it’s back to pre-2024 sizing? It doesn’t look tiny, but maybe that’s just because it’s so bright..
    Is this the first instance of the MLB reversing the Nike changes like they had described in the memo?

    I don’t hate them as a city connect jersey that will be worn somewhat sparingly. I do wish the numbers/logo on the jersey had more color (like the cap). The black-on-black look is stale and functionally poor.

    Are there any residents of the “stoner culture?”
    Can Nike come up with a City Connect uniform for them?
    Think of the possibilities:

    A “420” patch on the hat.

    A joint enclosed in a circle as the sleeve patch.

    Instead of piping on the pants, a cloud of smoke would drift down to the bottom of the pants.

    The helmet logo would be a bag of chips.

    PS: This is, in no way, condoning drug use.

    Is skateboarding still underground? I mean… Tony Hawk is an international celebrity. The X-Games have been going on for about 30 years. Skateboarding is now an Olympic sport. Seems like someone had the idea “What’s more edgy and cool than referencing skateboarding and street art in our uniform gimmick?” and no one stepped up and said “Well, for starters it’s not 1993 any longer….”

    I say it every time a new one of these absurd-looking monstrosities is released….scratch that, this wasn’t released, it escaped…

    But I am absolutely DREADING what the Cardinals are going to reveal next month.

    I like the flames on the TAMPA BAY lettering. Puts me in mind of the paint job on a hot rod.

    Maybe they want to use skateboards since the skate (animal) and ray (animal) are closely related. However, they had switched from the Devil Rays to the Rays to be a ray (of light) instead of a ray (animal). But now the City Connect cap has the image of a ray (animal). Maybe we just combine the whole logo into a skateboarder skating on a devil ray in the sunshine.

    I’ve always loved the Devil Rays neon color palette with shades of green/blue/purple. I wish they had filled in the numbers and wordmark with the gradient colors. I can’t tell if the accents on the Tampa Bay wordmark are supposed to be flames, or the cephalic horns atop the ray’s body, or both.

    In a vacuum I don’t mind the “washed out” black jersey. But to have a ghosted wordmark/numbers just ruins it for me. And to top it all of they play in a dreary dome so it’ll look extra dull. The cap does seem to be a winner though. And as mentioned above the NOB seems to be pre-2024 sizing! I guess that’s a plus. I find it odd that they’ll be wearing these for two road games. Sort of defeats the purpose, no? Has any other team worn their CC unis on the road?

    The Padres CC are garish. This color scheme is fitting, IMO, and I was a sucker for the original Devil Rays unis. I agree the color could be used more effectively and less drowned out by the dark theme.

    I don’t really like any of the CC unis, but these are a lot better than what they could have been. I’ll take ’em.

    Hat is the best in the league! Did they need to be grey, nah, but awesome no less. Way better than my Mariners City

    I have been on this earth for 49 years, and this is the worst fucking baseball uniform I have ever seen.

    This is the most obvious merch dump yet. Could I see young people wearing this, especially the hat? Yes. Does this outfit have any business as a major league baseball uniform? Absolutely not.

    Salvador Dali is looking down and thinking, “Well, THOSE are odd…”

    There are elements here that are redeeming, but the dark on dark doesn’t work (didn’t they learn that from the SF black jersey? Oh right, that was Majestic). Thin multi-color squiggly lines on a dark background don’t make for a good jersey.

    I’ve been with Tampa Bay baseball since its inception. Went to High School down the street. Helped park the cars at groundbreaking ceremony for the Trop in 1984. Been to more than 300 games. In the name of Julio Lugo I swear:

    1. I’ve never seen anyone skateboard to a Rays game. As a general rule, skateboarders are anti-team sports. The skate park they reference is adjacent to a housing project outside of downtown Tampa. I guess it has a following, but it has always been empty when I’ve been leaving downtown. It is a very curious motiff to use.

    2. The use of the Skyway Bridge inside the Rays logo I like — it reminds me of the MB inside the glove for the Brewers. It is the only thing the tone deaf owners have ever used to nod to their home City of St. Petersburg,

    3. Black is death in Florida during baseball season, particularly in summer. I can’t imagine ever wearing City Connect stuff outside when it is surface of the sun hot.

    4. The flames off the “Tampa Bay” references Classic Car Culture to me — Greased Lightning? Totally a miss for me.

    4. The neon belt and socks are actually worn by many players anyway (even with the navy and white uniforms).

    5. As a Floridian, these seem like a set produced by a brainstorming session of MLB/Nike executives out of ideas who haven’t spent much time in the Tampa Bay area. Is our beloved Pelican hot for Bitcoin?

    6. They can come join me for a Grouper sandwich and a Jai Alai IPA and we can come up with something much better.

    I think Tampa’s skateboard culture is high end and big business now. Tony Hawk? We’ve heard of that guy I think. If they really wanted a *gritty* underground theme then they could’ve gone with meth, or fenty. Now there’s the Tampa subculture we’re looking for here!

    Far better than the Phillies. But still, dark pants just don’t work. I was shocked the Mets wore white pants

    Paul, it’s going to be hard to see the last few reveals without your write-up. I hope the last Sh**y Connect is a doozy

    In general I hate the City Connect. I hate the 4-year rollout, every dramatic reveal, only X number of teams per year. It’s beyond stupid and nothing more than Nike being Nike, yet somehow worse.

    If these were going to be one-offs like they did for Players Weekend and then they were done, fine. I get the desire to appeal to younger fans and that’s fine. If people like them, so be it. Baseball and Nike just dragged this out so long it’s absurd. Even the NBA handles their annual City Edition better.

    All I know is I’ll be listening to Friday night home games for my Phillies for the next 3 years on radio, which ain’t bad when you have one of the best radio broadcast teams in the business. Maybe the best thing about it

    You know you’re in trouble when the best-defined visual element on the front of the shirt is the shadow that the placket casts on the chest lettering.

    The hat is really nice, the ray on a skateboard is very cool but this uniform suffers from overall bad design and awful storytelling. And I cannot read the wordmark and the numbers properly.

    Another miss by Nike. But I do appreciate the colors. Teams from Florida should have vibrant uniforms. They ain’t Cleveland or Detroit. Tampa’s current uni is beyond dull. At least these aren’t (See, I can be positive).

    I don’t think it is the lighting but the I think the pants and jersey are another set of mismatched greys. Could be the pattern on the jersey that is making it darker but it isn’t consistent with the pants.

    My headline: Nike puts too much effort into explaining these designs because they don’t put enough effort into insuring that they speak for themselves.

    I guess I’m a bit in the minority here thinking the hat logo stinks. It’s an interesting idea but it really gives off a forced “we had a clever idea, but didn’t know how to execute it” vibe. The skating ray is the same: clever idea, comically bad execution. The pelican logo would work for me if the team wasn’t literally named for a different animal. As for the color scheme: I LOVE it… I hate the legibility of it. practically speaking I couldn’t judge these at first because I couldn’t see what was on the front of the jersey. Now that I’ve zoomed in and turned up my brightness it’s again about execution. The font is on fire, that’s kinda cool, but it looks like they put very little effort into bringing that concept to reality.

    Now: is anyone else’s OCD triggered by the fact that “skate” is also the name of a fish that is frequently confused with sting rays?

    I wanted to hate this, but the 90’s child in me wants to see it on the field. And it’s mostly because of the logo, which I like so much I might buy the cap despite the color scheme. I hope they do more with it.

    I’m back. I should really hate this design, it goes against the rules of good taste, but it’s really slaying me with 90’s tropes and colors I loved from the ages 8-14. I’ll hate everything else about it, but I’m gonna have to tune in to see it on the field, and I have no connection to Tampa and easy access to MLB games.

    I would like it if the numbers and script were filled in with the colors instead of black with the multicolored outline.

    I think this is a mixed bag that (as a result of the…let’s be kind and call it “eclecticism”) doesn’t really hit the target. If they took a page out of San Diego’s playbook and really went for it on the high-viz colors, I think this would have worked more cohesively. I’m concerned that, especially under the lights at the Trop, the jersey top is going to be completely illegible. But the caps and the socks really work for me, and the skateboarding devil ray is just hilarious.

    Well- the Rays win the booby prize for worst City Connect. The numbers will stand out- under a black light.

    BTW- I meant to mention this a few weeks ago- but the font used for the purported leaked Detroit cap looks like the font created for the original Star Trek. Slightly slanted to the right, the middle line in the E slanted upwards.

    But here is the question, the font clearly looks like the Star Trek font. Paramount is VERY protective of this franchise. Their legal department is infamous for their cease and desist letters. Ask all of the fans sites, unlicense merch dealers and James Cawley in Ticonderoga how this works.

    Fonts are protected by copyrights. Did MLB obtain an End User License Agreement from Paramount to use the font? I would LOVE to see MLB called onto the matts for lack of a licensing agreement. POETIC!

    Umm, no, this is not any Star Trek font……

    • Having a texture like this on a dark fabric is going to make many TV viewers think that the staff forgot to rinse cycle these uniforms.

    • If the nameplate and back jersey number was just a lighter color on the inside, maybe grey or a muted cyan, it would be much more readable – these are going to be awful to view in the field.

    • Why do most City Connect unis seem like they should be sand knit pullovers? Is it because they feel like they are giving community softball league vibes? This maybe is middle school rec fast pitch level?

    As a lot of others have commented on, it seems like if Nike were just doing CC hats, they’d have a higher “batting average” on these rollouts. But, of course, just making hats wouldn’t make them enough money…

    Additionally, one point that I don’t think anyone else has mentioned yet, I think is demonstrative in how Nike works here, specifically, with their “story telling”. The story telling always comprises very post hoc nonsense, but in this case it’s actually factually wrong, too.

    Nike says “‘Tampa Bay’ adorns the jersey for the first time since ’07”. (Overwritten, but I digress.) That’s not true–the Rays wore an alt jersey *as recently as 6 years ago* that said “Tampa Bay” on the jersey: link.

    Just a small window into the reality that the CC project seems to care far less (if at all?) about history and team branding and more about selling merch.

    The Rays CC…I’m not buying it. But I’ve not bought any CC. I like the reading the comments. Tampa Bay sure has fired up the community. Love it. Great way to end April!

    For Tampa Bay, this makes two puns and maybe a third.
    They already were using the word “Ray” to mean the fish and the sunlight.
    Now it’s “Skate” to mean the fish and the skateboard.
    Also, note the skate on the skateboard is performing a “stalefish” grab using his right arm to grab the frontside rail of the deck (assuming he’s skating regular with his right foot on the tail, but he doesn’t have feet so who knows).

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