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Cleveland Guardians Unveil City Connect Uni, Confirming Earlier Leaks

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Good morning! Hope everyone had a good Ma’s Day weekend, as I did. We’re going to have a lot of ground to cover today, kids, so fasten those seatbelts!

The Guardians were supposed to unveil their City Connect uniform this morning. But as you probably know by now, the hype video leaked on Saturday night, so last night the team shifted into “Ah, fuck it” mode and went ahead with the unveiling.

The design is shown above. Here are some additional views of the front:

The Art Deco-style typography on the front, based on the Hope Memorial Bridge design, is repeated on the rear uni numbers:

As you may recall, the socks apparently leaked two weeks ago, and that leak turned out to be accurate:

Here’s a better look at the logo that they’ve put on the socks:

Unlike so many CC designs, this one is definitely a baseball uniform, not a costume. But is it a good baseball uniform? Here are my thoughts:

  • I love the detailing on the Art Deco typography. Looks great!
  • White pants — it’s a City Connect miracle!
  • When I look at the full-body photos, like the one at the top of this page, what I see is a BP uniform, or a spring training uniform. The huge “CLE” lettering, shoulder/sleeve piping, the tri-color hat — it all feels like practice gear. Granted, the extra detailing on the typography helps to elevate the design, but not quite enough, at least for me. A better cap would have helped.
  • Speaking of things that would have helped, I’m stunned that they didn’t use that logo of the bat-holding guardian as a sleeve patch. Come on, that should have been a lay-up!
  • At a time when so many teams’ unveiling photos feature backlighting, dark backgrounds, smoke machines, laser graphics, and other nonsense, let’s give the Guardians some credit for giving us a bunch of conventional, well-lit pics that let us actually see what the uniform looks like. It’s sad that that’s noteworthy, but that’s the reality of uni unveilings these days.

This uniform will make its on-field debut this Friday, May 17. It will be worn again on Sunday and will then be worn for Friday home games for the rest of the season. Per the press release, “Guardians players will be able to determine if it’s worn for any other games at [the team’s ballpark]. These uniforms will remain in Cleveland’s rotation for three seasons.”

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


ITEM! Big News About the Upcoming L.A. Party

As you probably know by now, my upcoming Uni Watch Tour ’24 will include a stop in Los Angeles. That will be next Tuesday, May 21, 7pm, as we gather at Tony P’s.

For a while now I’ve been saying that some possible extracurricular activities were “TBA,” and today I can finally tell you about that: We’re going to get a tour of Game Changing Gear, which is the go-to uniform supplier for movies, TV shows, commercials, and more. They have tons of old gear from past productions, which should be fascinating to see. Their facility isn’t normally open to the public, but their main guy, Mike Fox, is a Uni Watch fan (and a really swell guy besides) and has generously agreed to give us a tour. Should be great!

Game Changing Gear is at 3555 Lomita Blvd., Unit B, in Torrance, Calif. We’ll meet there at 4:30pm, Mike will give us a tour, and then we’ll head to Tony P’s from there.

We’d like to have a rough head count for the Game Changing Gear tour. So if you think you might attend, please shoot me a note. Thanks!

(Special thanks to Bob Halfacre for putting me in touch with Game Changing Gear.)



Membership Update

Over a dozen new designs have been added to the membership card gallery, including Jim Vilk’s latest card, which is based on the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds’ jerseys — one of the few ultimate-themed cards we’ve done over the years (and also one of our few vertically oriented cards!).

The membership program will end when I step away from Uni Watch at the end of May, so move fast if you want to get on board. As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here (now more than 3,400 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.

And speaking of membership cards…





ITEM! Mismatched-Purple Membership Raffle

For the past few Purple Amnesty Days, Uni Watch contributor/pal Kary Klismet has written about teams with mismatched purple uniforms. He’ll be doing that again this Friday for this year’s Purp Walk, and he’s also generously sponsoring a membership card raffle, with one proviso: The winner must choose a card design based on a uniform with mismatched shades of purple (which means, of course, that the card order must be placed this Friday, since that’s the only day we accept purple-inclusive membership card orders).

We’ve done a card like this once before, in 2012 for Mark C. Gutierrez, who wanted a design based on the Lakers’ mismatched purples:

So if you’re interested in something like that, this raffle is for you!

This will be a one-day raffle. No entry restrictions, aside from the prize stipulation noted above. To enter, send an email to the raffle in-box by 9pm tonight. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow. Huge thanks to Kary for sponsoring this one, and for all the friendship and support he’s provided over the years. A true mensch!

And speaking of Purp Walk…




House of Horrors

E and I were driving to our friends M&J’s house on Saturday night and passed by this spectacular monstrosity. Naturally, I insisted on stopping to take some pics.

When we arrived at M&J’s place a few minutes later, they informed us that their daughter was transferring colleges and will now be attending Northwestern — whose colors, of course, are purple and black.

It’s like the world reminding me that Purp Walk is just around the corner.

Speaking of which: In case you missed it, this year’s Purp Walk shirt is a doozy! Dig:

You can order yours, and also get yourself a purple Uni Watch cap, here.



Mascot Watch

This photo is deceptive. Although it shows Uni Watch girl mascot Biscuit at the scene of the crime, the culprit was actually boy mascot Waffles (as usual), but he was already off chasing a wayward walnut in another room by the time I took this photo.

About an hour later, they were a picture of serenity, like all that commotion had never happened:

• • • • •

Happy Birthday to the lovely and talented E, who’s celebrating another trip around the sun today. Love you, sweetie!

After today, I’ll have 13 days remaining at Uni Watch. — Paul

Comments (58)

    I was always a fan of the “Indians” uniforms from the late 80’s/90’s that had the sleeve/shoulder strips. So, that part of the uniform I like. But, now Nike is just getting lazy and throwing jerseys out there with three letter acronyms on them. I was expecting something a little more gimmicky that would have something to do with the Rock & Roll HOF. Or, possibly “A Christmas Story” LOL

    Thank goodness there’s no guitar logos or “the land” plastered across the front. I’m definitely a fan of this uniform set. It could have been much worse.

    The ESPN article covering the Cleveland city connect uniforms says that the pants are supposed to be “sandstone colored.” I guess they would have to be next to a white pair of pants to tell the difference and both pairs of pants not being see through would help.

    As far as CC unis go, I like this one. They stick to the team colors, it looks like a baseball uniform, it has contrast and legible numbers/NOB. I actuallyike the cap.
    Given the garish BS we’ve been getting from the rest of the CC program, I’ll take this as a win.

    I hate the Cleveland (traffic) guardians… But (CLE on the chest aside)I like these. Miles better than whatever it was Nike decided dump on my Tigers. I said I was a sucker for art deco styling, and this scratches that itch. Solid 8/10 from me. Even if i can’t stand the team that got it and the hat is kinda lousy

    Agreed. Just make it say Cleveland in this font and put the same C on the hat instead of the quasi-flintstones C and it’s a winner. Get rid of the texture on the jersey, and make the had navy with a white C and white squatcho and it’s an excellent look that should replace the current clunky design.

    The more clear still photos I see, the more I like the Cleveland CC uniform. In almost all respects, I prefer it over the team’s regular uniform. And the statue-with-bat logo is so far superior to the team’s normal logo!

    I still think the standard Cleveland C on the cap is a mistake; it really should match the chest lettering C.

    Paul, I love the new Tribe cap, although I don’t think it matches the new unis. I think it would look great with some of their other uniforms. Is Cleveland allowed to wear their City Connect cap with other uniforms?

    If they had a white top version of this with the full city spelled out, it would be a pretty strong uniform, period. I’d love to see them evolve this concept into a full-time alternate, because the bones of a good concept are here and this is a team that really needs a branding upgrade.

    My guess is they left out the guardian statue for two reasons: (1) they didn’t want to obscure the stripes on both sleeves (thanks Marathon) (2) they wanted to shy away from overt “Guardians” iconography on the cap and jersey out of respect for the many fans (like me) who hate the new name. And by respect, I mean “Hey maybe those backwa

    I like the design, but the CLE (same with PGH) is just a lack of creativity. Spell the city name out and stop making design elements that mimic airport codes.

    After the red sock leak I assumed we would get a Guradian- ized take on the 75 bloody mary/ cave man unis, kinda bummed it wasn’t a red jersey.

    Really bummed about a panel cap, but since they went blue they needed to make it different from the current caps. Do not like the panel, it’s not a “cleveland” cap.

    to add: I do not like the standard uni lettering at all, but love the art deco typography they use in the ball park, would have liked to see some of that mixed into the CC set.

    I’m surprised there were no uniform elements justified by the “intrinsic link between baseball and music”.

    As much as I don’t care for the cap or the CLE wordmark, I suspect they are better than literally everything else Nike was considering for this set. So I’ll call them a push, if not exactly a win. I do love the racing stripes.

    As far as CC jerseys go, I don’t hate this one. The non-black pants really help.

    This one works for me. Nothing is too out in left field, the colors and the font choices are connected to the team’s overall design and there are some nods to some old Cleveland unis. Honestly, all the City Connects should be in this vicinity.

    Team colors make it 99% of the way to being one of the best City Connect jerseys in the league. (Who will ever see gray and purple and think “Mets!?”) I love the font and the striping, but the “CLE” doesn’t seem like an abbreviation so mach as an unfinished word. Maybe it’s different for people who live there?

    CLE is used everywhere up here by businesses big and small, and I hate it. It’s (marginally) better than The Land, though. Nobody from here calls this city The Land.

    Not a fan of the font/lettering. I agree with clevo above – the art deco lettering they use in the ballpark looks fantastic and should be used somewhere on the uniform.

    Aside from the fact that I am a white(or cream) at home, gray on the road traditionalist, this one is so close to being a nice uniform. How about we stop with the scorebug/airport three letter abbreviation nonsense on uniforms. If this just had Cleveland, Guardians, or even any nickname for the city/region that is an actual word instead of a location code I’d really like this one.
    Same as the Nationals, a decent alternate uniform ruined by a stupid abbreviation.

    Great work minus the ad and standard C, which they could’ve had more fun with. If they’re smart they’ll use this as the grist for a brand tweak in a couple years.

    This design idea is way better than the half-assed “rebranding” they got when they changed names. Make a normal shirt with “Guardians” in that font and it’s a winner.

    “White pants — it’s a City Connect miracle!”

    Even the most outlandish CC jerseys would look 75% better with white pants. Rockies, Astros, Reds, Pirates, even the Phillies and Tigers… they would look like baseball uniforms, and not superhero costumes. Of course that’s probably the point, but still.

    I love the guardian statue holding a bat. More whimsical stuff like that! Reminds me of the Rockets’ dunking astronaut.

    That Guardians roundel needs to be promoted out of the CC program.

    And I’m saying that as someone who’s gotten bored with all the roundels.

    This “CLE” CC uniform gives me the vibes of a Latin nations Winter League uniform. Looks nice, looks like a alternative universe faux-back a bit too. Wish the Guardian was a patch or something rather than just socks that some might wear.

    I really like the color blocking on these. The hat and the pants look great. I’m not a fan of the three-letter city codes, but I like the lettering. The sheen on the jersey wouldn’t be my choice, but it is distinctive. I really like how the shades of blue and red look together here.

    I also really appreciate the overall presentation here. Sometimes with the cookie-cutter photo op that has become so ubiquitous (the dark room and neon tubes), I wonder how much people are reacting to the actual uniforms and how much they’re reacting subconsciously to the presentation.

    Can’t really say until we see them on the field, but these might be my favorite CC uniforms, or at least top-3. It’s really refreshing to see.

    Having abbreviations on uniforms just makes it look like unlicensed early 90’s videogames. Today we have CLE vs. MIL. They happend to be in the colors of the MLB teams but we’re not paying them so….

    Lifetime Cleveland baseball fan. Hate the CC program but relieved these aren’t as awful as Tampa & Detroit’s. One report stated the pants are the same shade as the alt cream jerseys they used to pair with the awful red cap. I like the cap particularly when you compare it to the lazy design Detroit got. The shade of blue is an upgrade as it’s close to what was worn in the 70s. Agreed that logo should have been a sleeve patch & I’m already in favor of it becoming the primary logo over the cheesy winged G. Would look good on a cap too.

    Needs to be the inspiration for the new uniform. The art deco font and the link between everything shown and the actual name of the team is superb.

    Get that Winged G outta here. Create a new Guardian holding the baseball bat in front of a C and G in the Art Deco Font, introduce sandstone as their road alternative color (as opposed to gray).

    Not bad, pretty good even — but adding red to the NOB would have been “Away … Back … Gone!”

    As a Cleveland fan I feel a sense of relief that these gimmicks aren’t the worst thing I have ever seen. There’s been some real stinkers in this program.

    Paul’s take is similar to mine: the jerseys look softball-esque to me. The lettering could be smaller, or maybe rendered in script, and the logo should be a patch too. I really like the hats though. The color scheme works well with tri-color caps. The socks are cool, and i like the piping on the jersesy and pants. Overall I still think the uni kinda sucks lol, but for this gimmicky Nike deal this is quite good relatively speaking.

    Complete speculation but they started work on the CC at the same time as the new Guardians uniforms. If the front said “Guardians” or “Cleveland” I feel like this could be a primary uniform and wonder if it was in the running to the primary uniform?

    Love the Gaurdians statue holding the bat, need more of this for their identity sake.

    Alas, just visited the team shop to check these out…and much to my dismay, the “break” in the button down occurs right in the middle of the vertical portion of the letter “L,” leaving a noticeable blue line down the center of the wordmarking on the jersey. Nice work, Nike!!

    I hate all of the CC’s so far but I like these! (go figure it is my fav team, what are the odds?) The team needs to refresh their regular uni’s and move on from the Indians similarities. This could be a start.

    Hey Paul – sorry to correct the Master, but Northwestern’s colors are Purple and White. This tidbit also makes any use of black a true BFBS.

    (Bonus info – school colors were originally black and gold/yellow)

    Happy trails on your next ventures. Long may you run.

    Tiger fan here. These are nicely done and I am jealous. I understand with the recent rebranding the club did not want to get too crazy. So, thank you for no rock and roll gimmicks. And I am a sucker for Art Deco.

    That said, are Clevelanders this obsessed with the Hope Memorial Bridge? I knew it was A thing but is it THE thing?

    We’re not. The statues are kinda cool and unique, I guess, but I’m not positive why people have adopted them as a symbol of the city.

    The coolest thing that happens on that bridge every year is the Guardian Mile – a one-mile footrace over the span that frequently features some of the best middle-distance runners in the country. For example, in 2022 they had 2016 Olympic 800 meter bronze medalist Clayton Murphy in the field. The winner of that race ran 3:46. The race is no joke.


    When the best comments are: “not bad for CC” and “I don’t hate these”, one wonders why they should even be rolled out.

    Why do you use a picture of Kansas State for the “Mis-matched Purple” section? You know those two shades of purple are intentional, right?

    How in the heck do they not use the deco font on the hat “C”? That’s what makes the hat look like a spring training or practice hat.

    Hat and Jersey C inconsistency (use the jersey C for the hat) and the Guardian holding a bat should be the new primary logo. All in all the best CC after Miami.

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