Skip to content
 

Some Thoughts and Questions About the City Connect Program

Posted in:

Good morning everyone. I hope you all had a pleasant Monday.

As you’re likely aware, the Minnesota Twins unveiled their City Connect (CC) uniforms yesterday, and predictably, opinions ran the gamut from “really good” to “worst CC yet.” And everything in between. No matter what you may think of the CC program, more than four years after the first CC was introduced, folks continue to debate the efficacy of the whole rollout. If you subscribe to the old adage that there’s “no such thing as bad publicity,” then arguably its efficacy cannot be denied.

Another point with which most here agree is the fact that by and large the entire program is driven by the retail aspect, focusing especially on caps and jerseys, since those are the products being targeted for sale to the public. Uniform watching is no longer the sole purview of a few niche sites like Uni Watch — witness all the media who now regularly cover uniform unveilings, not to mention their impact on social media. Big Uni, as Paul once referred to the uniform-industrial complex, is big business.

So let’s all agree the CC program is, at least in part, a “merch dump.” By that, I mean that one of the unspoken goals of the program is to create a product — or, really, a fashion jersey and cap — that doubles as an on-field uniform. Of course, the rather nebulous goal of creating a uniform for every MLB team to “connect” said team to the city or region in which they play is the program’s raison d’être. How each team has accomplished this goal, or whether they have even attained this goal, is fodder for debate. But has the CC program as a whole accomplished what it set out to do? After yesterday’s Twins unveiling, 28 of the 30 MLB teams now have CC uniforms. Only the Yankees, who refused, and the Athletics — who won’t be “connecting” to Oakland much longer — will not get a CC uniform.

Last Friday, I was interviewed by Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune about the CC program for his article on the Twins CC unveiling. We talked for quite a while, though only a couple quotes made it into his piece. But it got me to thinking about the CC program as a whole, and how the rollout has been mired in fits and starts, and how several teams have already altered their CC uniforms.

When first announced, the CC program was supposed to outfit all 30 teams over a three-year span: 2021 through 2023, after which teams who received CCs in the first season would be given a second CC uniform in year four of the program (and this would repeat for teams who were outfitted in 2022 and 2023; those teams would get new CCs in 2025 and 2026 respectively). Obviously that schedule went by the wayside, and no doubt was affected by COVID and the resulting supply-chain issues that followed.

Seven teams received CC’s in year one. An additional seven followed in 2022. Rather than try to squeeze the remaining 16 teams into year three, MLB introduced only six. That left ten teams without CC’s entering 2024. As noted, the Yanks and A’s will not be getting CC’s this year, but nine teams will or have. The Dodgers will be the ninth team to get a CC this year, and they have the distinction of being the only team to get a new CC after three years.

We pretty much know what jersey the Dodgers will wear, since we’ve had not one, and not two, but three leaks. The final leak actually shows “front” (42 — which one can only assume somehow relates to Jackie Robinson) and rear numbers. I have a feeling these are going to get crushed once they are officially unveiled.

So, at this juncture, should we consider the CC program a success or a failure, or somewhere in between? I don’t have figures (nor do I particularly care) but the program is probably a big money-maker for the league and Nike. But as an on-field product, can we render a verdict?

If a business were to adopt a “three-year plan” and that plan took four years to not-quite-complete (Yankees and A’s), most of us would consider that a failure. All teams were supposed to have CCs by the end of last season, and the seven teams who were part of the inaugural class should have received their second editions this season. Only one team (Dodgers) will meet that goal, while six teams who were initially supposed to have CCs for three years are now on year four.

What about the uniforms themselves? Forgetting the actual design, we’ve already had four of the teams to be outfitted in CCs in the first three years of the program make changes to the original uniforms. Those teams are the Diamondbacks and Dodgers (year one), Rockies (year two) and Orioles (year three). And the changes haven’t exactly been minor.

Arizona’s CC originally had white pants. By year two, the pants were changed from white to tan (or sand).

Why didn’t the D-backs have tan/sand pants from the beginning? Did MLB consider the pants somewhat of an afterthought? Some dark jerseys may look better with white pants, but a sand-colored jersey isn’t one of them.

The aforementioned LA Dodgers actually underwent a series of changes after their original CC was introduced. You may recall that uniform originally was mono-blue, with both the cap and the jersey reading “Los Dodgers” in script. By 2022, the cap had changed to the classic interlocking LA, and added a black brim. Last season, the Dodgers ditched the dark blue pants for white.

Did all these changes finally force the team/Nike to introduce an entirely new CC for the Dodgers in 2024? Was the original uniform so unloved (especially in the $ale$ department) that the team had to make two separate changes in two seasons?

In 2022, the Colorado Rockies introduced a CC with green pants. After one year in that look, the team added white pants to the uniform, but did not jettison the green ones. In their case, they alternate between dark and light pants depending on the time of day a game starts.

I’m one of the few who doesn’t mind dark uniform pants in MLB, so I’m OK with either look, but there are many others who lauded the switch to white pants, even if not on a full-time basis. Because of the design of the jersey, with the large amount of white at the top, the white pants work as well as, if not better than, the green. But were white pants even considered when the uniform was in development?

The fourth CC to undergo changes is the Orioles. And those uniforms actually underwent two changes — one almost immediately after introduction. When the O’s received their CC’s in 2023, they looked like this. However, part of the “gimmick” was that if the sleeve hems were rolled up slightly, they’d reveal a more colorful look. Those sleeves were quickly altered to permanently show the more colorful strip on the sleeve ends.

And earlier this year, the Orioles joined the Rockies in adding a set of white pants to the CC uniform (they have worn both in 2024).

We can argue whether the CC looks better with white or black pants, but the fact remains that this uniform has undergone some pretty big changes since its introduction.

Teams will occasionally tweak uniforms after their introduction, so it’s not like the changes to the CC uniforms are unprecedented, but when more than 10% of the uniforms undergo changes shortly after introduction, would we consider that a failure of the original uniform? And of course, with nine teams getting new CCs in 2024, how many of those will see significant alterations in the future? I’ve already seen people calling for the Phillies and Twins (and others) to add white pants to the CCs.

Finally, and to bring this all home, there is the “uniqueness” factor. If you look at the altered Spiderman meme at the top of this post, the creator is obviously poking fun at how similar some of the CC jerseys are to one another. One of the repeated complaints I heard about the new Twins CCs is how much they look like other teams who have already received their CCs. Have the CC designers run out of ideas, or did each of the individual teams who developed the CC’s with Nike all come to their designs independently? Does it matter?

I’ll venture devout fans who purchase a CC jersey for “their” team probably aren’t also purchasing one for another team. But will similarity to another team (particularly a rival) cause fans of said team to think twice before purchasing their own team’s CC?

A similar complaint to the “likeness” factor is that CC’s aren’t (for the most part) in “team colors.” This was obviously not the intent of the CC program, since the goal was to create a jersey (and uniform) that forges a connection to the city (for example Boston’s Marathon/Patriots Day design). But what about when those CC’s also happen to be rendered in another team’s colors? I saw several criticisms of the new Twins CC noting they “look like the Brewers” or “those are Brewers colors.”

I find this one of the weaker arguments, but it’s nevertheless valid. After all, how many teams wear red or blue? With few exceptions like the Rockies purple, or the A’s green, very few teams “own” a color (or even a set of colors — how many red and blue teams are there in the league?). And speaking of the A’s and Rockies, I don’t recall anyone complaining the Rockies CC made them “look like the A’s.” But still, when you’re attempting to give a new uniform to every team, problems like this will arise.

What do you guys think? Has the CC program been an on-field success? (I’m not interested in thoughts about whether the program is a money maker — I think we can all agree there is that aspect to it.) I’m talking about how the uniforms themselves have turned out.

If you’re a fan of a team (and especially if you’re native to the area), has your team’s CC “worked”? Do you feel the connection to your city has been made, or is it a miss? Specifically, do the abbreviations, nicknames and airport codes instill any sense of civic pride? Or do you feel, as many do, that these are more designed to be purchased by travelers who stayed in your city and wanted an “airport souvenir” (albeit a very expensive one)?

If you’ve purchased a CC jersey (or cap), what was your primary motivation in so doing? I’d love to hear from younger readers on this, too, since it seems they are the primary demographic for these. Are you “sick” of the same old boring uniforms the team has worn for decades and looking for new, fresh designs? Are you a jersey collector just looking to add to your collection? And perhaps more importantly, do you proudly wear the CC pretty much anywhere, and consider it as much a fashion statement as supporting the team?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. The floor is now yours.

 

 
  
 

Our Dads in Uniform/Father's Day Reminder!

Father’s Day is coming this Sunday, and Jim will be posting photos of Uni Watch readers’ “Dads In Uniform,” an annual tradition that began in 2013. This is always a very special day, and we’d love for as many readers as possible to participate — especially those of you who haven’t done so before.

To take part, email one photo of your father, grandfather, or uncle in uniform (it can be sports, military, work — as long as it’s a uniform). along with a short description of 100 words or fewer, to jimvilk@gmail.com by Wednesday, June 12th, 11:59pm Eastern. Again, only one photo per person and limit the descriptive text to 100 words. Jim will run all of the submissions on Father’s Day. Thanks!

 

 

Guess the Game from the Scoreboard

Guess The Game…

…From The Scoreboard

Today’s scoreboard comes from Chris Chesbro.

The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).

Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date and location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):

Please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.

 

 

Guess the Game from the Uniform


Based on the suggestion of long-time reader/contributor Jimmy Corcoran, we’ve introduced a new “game” on Uni Watch, which is similar to the popular “Guess the Game from the Scoreboard” (GTGFTS), only this one asked readers to identify the game based on the uniforms worn by teams.

Like GTGFTS, readers will be asked to guess the date, location and final score of the game from the clues provided in the photo. Sometimes the game should be somewhat easy to ascertain, while in other instances, it might be quite difficult. There will usually be a visual clue (something odd or unique to one or both of the uniforms) that will make a positive identification of one and only one game possible. Other times, there may be something significant about the game in question, like the last time a particular uniform was ever worn (one of Jimmy’s original suggestions). It’s up to YOU to figure out the game and date.

Today’s GTGFTU comes from Steven Chester.

Good luck and please post your guess/answer in the comments below.

 

 

Uni Tweet of the Day

Nice…

 

And finally...

…that’s it for the early lede.

I’ll have at least one more post today (Mike Chamernik’s “Question of the Week”), but I will be traveling into the City later this morning to visit with the folks at Fanatics, where I expect to get a look at the new NHL uniforms and possibly more. Unfortunately, those are under embargo, so I won’t be able to take any photos, or share any information until they’re officially unveiled. So I’ll be off the grid for a good chunk of the day. Jimmer Vilk will be keeping an eye on things so play nice while I’m away.

If there is any breaking uni news tomorrow, I’ll do my best to cover it before the day is over, but it may need to wait until Wednesday morning.

Everyone have a good Tuesday, and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow.

Peace,

PH

Comments (0)

    I don’t care for DC’s City Connect uniforms much, but Nats fans have embraced them. I’d say it’s been successful inside the Beltway.

    Now that we’ve seen most of the league get their CC uniforms, the Red Sox, being the first team to introduce the whole CC concept, in my mind still have the best looking uniform and maybe the best connection to the city.

    I know some people didn’t and still don’t like the RED sox not having any red on a uniform, but comparing those uniforms to most of the newer ones, they are a million times better than the ones with all these gradients and subdyed designs on the jerseys.

    I know some people didn’t and still don’t like the RED sox not having any red on a uniform

    All I ask is that the socks are red. The rest of the uni? Go nuts.

    I think the City Connect series has been a success. It’s OK to try new things. Some ideas will stick around and others, not so much. I think some of the designs are fantastic. I especially like the Mets, Marlins, White Sox, Cubs, Rockies, and Nationals. I don’t care for others, such as the Reds, Padres, and Giants, but I know some people like them. Many of them are just kinda meh.

    I like that there have been some new elements introduced, such as the bridge on the Mets cap and designs on the side, though the Twins’ 10,000 Lakes is a bit too large. The National’s tree is better because it is a continuation of the design.

    I like to wear caps, and I have bought a number of the City Connect versions. In some cases the caps are the best part of the uniform, such as the Phillies.

    Good for MLB for trying something new. I’d rather have something like City Connect than another holiday cap — though I wear the Independence Day caps year-round because I love a lot of them.

    I think some of the CC uniform designs will stick around and others will be modified as we live with them a little bit, as we’ve seen with the Rockies and Orioles. The Rays might be better with some contrast.

    Just my 2 cents.

    The City Connect program serves one goal, and that goal is revenue generation. As far as aesthetics, the overwhelming majority of them are garbage.

    Yes, clowns exactly. Maybe the Dodgers will debut their new CC costumes by having a Volkswagen pull up to home plate and have the starting nine pile out.

    As you touched on, whether the program is a success depends on what the intent was. Call me cynical, but the intent was clearly to use the players as ad space for Nike merch. So I guess the sales numbers are the ultimate indicator of success. From a design perspective, I think they are 100% a failure. Now you can try to dismiss my criticism as “old man yelling at clouds” but that overlooks the fact that there is legitimate critical analysis in design, things like:
    – can you read the name and numbers
    – can you easily identify the team playing
    – if it is supposed to connect to so aspect of the city, does it do so obviously, or do you have to read the story to get the connection
    I could go on. Being in the Philly area I’ll use that last one as a perfect example, a lot people defending the uniform said “once you read about it you’ll understand why…” but if you live in the Philly area and cannot easily understand how the design elements connect to the city then either they aren’t designed well or the connection is not significant.
    I’d also add that when your uniform relies on in the moment trends rather than actual tried and true design concepts and conventions it is a failure. It may be popular with people who follow trends, but it will quickly be dated, and you also are limiting who will like the design to people who follow the trends (even if those are also people who buy merch, hence the purpose is obvious merch sales not good uniforms). I’d use the three letter airport designation, or “The Lou” and “The A” as examples of this. This comes from personal experience, as a lot of the uniforms I thought were so cool in my youth in 1990s, I now realize are a joke and I only liked because of the changes in colors, meaner looking logos, etc. The people who like the city connect uniforms will not like them down the line, meanwhile, classic designs always remain popular.

    You make a lot of good points, but at the same time you don’t get to speak for other people. I like many of the CC uniforms, and I dislike many of them too. My opinion on the Marlins’ and Rockies’ CC uniforms (good) will not change.

    As a fellow Philly resident, I felt that the Phillies uniforms were simultaneously too shallow AND too deep of a cut. Not only is the Declaration of Independence connection a bit of a stretch to see, how often do everyday Philadelphians REALLY think about it?

    A cheesesteak jersey would’ve been very Minor League-ish and im not actually suggesting that, but at least it would be something Philly could relate to more closely than a 250 year old document.

    I am with you on most points. I feel that most of the failures of this program from a design/branding point of view can be attributed to poor design from a technical aspect, lazy (or so it appears to me) design, or over-designing things. For example, I LOVE the reds unis, for me they are a top to bottom success, BUT many of the complaints were in regards to legibility, and I cannot argue that. White or red characters would have made the uniform SO much easier to read and wouldn’t have hurt the subjective aesthetic design much at all. I absolutely love the IDEA of the marlins and rays unis. If you described them in moderate detail, I’d imagine something really cool. But the execution is what fails them for me. The marlins pinstripes are set so far apart and don’t appear on the sleeves. That bothers me to no end and ruins an otherwise attractive design. I also felt the secondary logos were a missed opportunity to mirror the actual sugar kings logos with a cartoon marlin in the same style. The rays, on the other hand, just have design element after design element that would barely pass as a first draft out of my design department. Great IDEAS but just lazy looking execution in desperate need of tweaks and polishing. The rangers for me got a real winner of a concept, that is plagued with over-design (and one super lazy flying panther that could have been a very cool logo with a little more effort), in that the pant stripes are “rope” and there’s 3 new logos, and the TX logo has been flourished to the point that it becomes a little bit hard to read (despite it looking very cool). The mariners fall into this category just slightly in that the addition of black as a base color (it works fine as a shadow or trim color in the logos and word marks) ruins the visual harmony of the uniform by drawing the eye to the black areas and away from the blue and yellow, and it makes the whole thing together look like a police uniform.

    For me there are huge successes that could be added to a team’s usual identity to enhance or tweak them, and elements that could be the foundation of a redesign for a team. The diamondbacks should keep the S logo and serpientes wordmark, and make off white (not this gross pee stain yellow) and black the base of a new branding with flourishes of some color. The mariners should consider adopting the font, trident, and PNW logos and folding them in to their current design language (don’t become a blue and yellow team again, stand out). The rangers should edit their CC a bit and adopt the look as their full time uni look. The Red Sox should keep the CC unchanged as a special occasion uniform since it connected with the city so well.

    Then you’ve got the unis like the pirates, cardinals, dodgers (1st edition), and braves where nothing has been added to the repertoire except an inferior take on something that already existed.

    To make a long story short: as a merch dump, only the folks who get paid can say if it was a success. In terms of doing what they stated they would do (connect with the home city through thoughtfully designed uniforms), it’s been hit and (mostly) miss (see Minnesota’s “state connect” or Seattle’s “regional connect”). As for adding anything to the individual team’s, or the league’s visual appeal, YMMV, of course, but for me they have many successes that unfortunately got drowned out by this being basically obligatory and having certain guidelines that defined what these unis should be.

    > a lot people defending the uniform said “once you read about it you’ll understand why…”

    This make me think of “If you have to explain the joke, it’s not funny”

    “Call me cynical, but the intent was clearly to use the players as ad space for Nike merch.”

    I’d call you totally on point. Nike’s goal appeared to be to make sports-adjacent clothing for people who don’t like sports. To your point, crucial elements like team colors and wordmarks are often missing, and other elements used for identification like player names and numbers are illegible. Or the details are so small that they can’t be seen more than a few feet away.
    That said, Nike co-opted a $10 billion industry and its labor force into becoming living mannequins for clothing that doesn’t belong on a field of play and has a greater connection to the city than its team.

    As a “Merch Dump”..they have probably been successful; As a souvenir for collectors, tourists and the casual fan, they have also probably been successful; For the die hards, they have for the most part been eyesores. They were most likely good idea when initially discussed that fell flat when rolled out. On a dies note, I have to praise the Yankees for sticking to their guns and not allowing themselves to get trapped into that nonsense, even though these are the same Yankees with an ad-patch. Can’t win them all.

    Scoreboard Game 7 1991 World Series.

    City Connect comment when I have time.

    The City Connect uniform program makes the MLB players, the best baseball players in the world, look like clowns.

    Although I am not a fan of the CC program (I think most of the designs look like clown costumes), it may turn out to be a good thing for branding. Before the CC program and the “4+1” rule, there were some teams that went overboard with the number of alternates in their rotations. Up until recently, both the Nats and the Twins had six jersies each. The CC program gives teams the opportunity to roll out a new cash grab jersey every three or four years without messing with their regular unis. Maybe this will limit teams from rolling out entire new identities every four or five years (looking at you, D-backs) and build some longevity with the regular identities. Now if they could just limit the CC’s to maybe one day a month, I’d be ok with it.

    GTGFTS – The Metrodome, Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, Dan Gladden coming at bat where he’d hit the first pitch for a double. Four batters later, after a sacrifice bunt by Chuck Knoblauch to move Gladden to third, and two intentional walks to Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek to juice the bases, pinch hitter Gene Larkin hits a deep fly ball on his first pitch for a series-winning RBI single.

    I’m generally not a fan of how the City Connect program has played out, though I appreciate the attempt to try something new. My biggest gripe is one of the things mentioned in the article – the teams don’t look like the team they’re supposed to be. I will admit to being biased, but I think the Guardians (team I’m a fan of) have probably the best of the bunch. It’s team colors, it leans in on an aesthetic the team chose when picking the new name, it looks like a baseball uniform, the names/numbers are legible, etc.

    The Guardians CC uniforms would actually be great regular uniforms if they said “Cleveland” of “Guardians” on them. Using CLE just looks amateurish. Though I’m a rigid white (or cream) at home and gray on the road. However, I can appreciate a well-designed colored top when I see it, and this is one of them minus the CLE. But that is sort of the rub with the whole CC program, I don’t think they can design a uniform without some silly gimmick in it, seems that intentionally they cannot conform to baseball uniform conventions. Perhaps the Angels were the only one that looked like a real MLB uniform?

    While I don’t _love_ the abbreviation on the jersey, I will point out (as someone who currently lives here) that “CLE” is actually a pretty common thing for people here to call the city; it’s the airport code, for one thing, so it isn’t just a lazy abbreviation. It fills the same role as “PDX” or “DFW” or “SFO”.

    Brodie covers it as well, but yeah, the CLE abbreviation is really common here. I don’t like it very much, to be honest, and I agree with you that it would look way better if it said Cleveland!

    Being a Cubs fan, it hurts me to say I think the White Sox have the best CC uni. They have run the three letter thing into the ground with “PGH”, “WSH”, “CHI”, “CLE”, etc. I get that there is a call for more “fashion” merch for the younger generation (along with the mono-colored football uniforms). Guess I’m just a traditionalists who thinks my sports teams should be recognizable every game. I also wish, that these uniforms would stick to team colors. Thank goodness for the invention of the sports ticker on the screens these days. There are some games that I can’t tell who is playing as soon as I turn the channel.

    But, uniforms are always evolving. I’m sure some fans in the 70’s hated those double knit tops with the sansabelt pants too when they arrived LOL

    The only thing that bothers me about the White Sox CC is South Side should be two words. Otherwise they truly nailed it as far as Sox uniforms go and definitely one of the top CC’s out there.

    I’m over it, it is a soulless merch dump created by Nike to generate more profit. As I have said on my podcast, on reddit, and I’m sure here in the comments. Some of these teams have been around for well over a century, and others it is decades, they do not need a special uniform to show their connection to the city. But I also know that those of us who have these feelings are not the target demographic for these. There is no heart or soul in these, and to me it is completely obvious.

    I have the Braves CC Hat and my family have Acuna Jerseys. Since it’s similar to the Braves Jerseys of the 70s I like it but would much rather they wear the retro’s instead. Luckily the Braves/Nike didn’t go with the Atlanta flag or we would have another light blue and yellow uniform.

    San Diego resident here. The Padres’ City Connect merch – hats, jerseys, tees, hoodies, jackets, stickers, cat magnets, etc. – are EVERYWHERE! The city really has embraced the design and colors and it shows. Even on non-Friday games, you see a ton of City Connect colors out in the crowd at Petco. If the goal is to make a team’s fanbase happy and provide them with something to rally around and get behind (for a fee, of course), then the program has been a rousing success here.

    Have not come around on any team’s CC as the Padres. At first, I just thought they were silly. Then I didn’t like that these bright colors were brought in on a team that just recently went back to their earthtone roots. But now, you are right, they are everywhere. And not just San Diego. I see more Padres CC gear in Chicago than I ever saw of their traditional merch. And now I associate it with the Padres. Definitely a winner.

    City Connect has been a mixed bag for me, which is kind of the best we could have possibly hoped for. The problem with these league-wide initiatives is that when one manufacturer is designing 28 unique, special alternate uniforms that connect to 28 teams, inevitably they will all start to look the same. (To that end, it’s not unlike what happened with minor league baseball logos over the years–it’s one graphic design firm with a unique style, and you start to notice the similarities.)

    I’m a Red Sox fan, and the CC unis aren’t my favorite, but now having seen all of them, they’re definitely among the best of the bunch from an aesthetic standpoint… I just feel like the Sox home unis should be treated with a similar level of unchangeability as the Yankee pinstripes. (Though I admit to a longtime desire for the Sox to reintroduce the red crown caps for some home games.)

    Some of what I’m about to say I think has a bit to do with nostalgia for a time when team aesthetics were driven less by Big Uniform, but there was something really cool about turning on SportsCenter to discover that the Sonics were suddenly wearing dark green and red, or that the Bulls had a black alternate, or that Mariners had cool vest uniforms and new hats…. the closest thing these days is when a team like the Clippers announces a surprise update to their logo and uniforms (and doesn’t use Nike’s in house team for the design). Every change and alt we get across baseball, basketball, and football now is teased by a league wide release schedule, and uni released happen at the league level… all of these factors remove a lot of the charm for me.

    All of which to say, some of the CC’s are good, some have good elements, and some are trash. Personally, I love a team wearing blue or green pants in baseball again, I love some of the hats, and I’m so-so on the rest.

    Yeah, I think it’s a hit with a certain segment of Sox fans. I have friends who live all over the country, and whenever I see a photo of a college friend bringing their young kid to a baseball game, the kid is decked out in some of the CC great just about every time. So if the goal was to make baseball uniforms cool for kids, I feel like it’s been a success.

    Gen X Astros fan here. I like the Astros’ Space City outfits. I really like the cap because of the logo with the orbit around the hollowed-out “H” star, and I love the orange squatchee. I wish their regular navy caps had orange squatchees, as the original Colt .45s and navy Astros caps did. I bought both the jersey and a flex-fit version of the cap. I’m part of the problem, but if they come out with a uniform piece I find attractive, I’ll buy it, within reason. I like having different options instead of the same cap or shirt.

    If the Astros wore the original 1965-70 shooting star jerseys (which I wish they did), then I’d be fine with them wearing those every day at home. But their current white jerseys are a snoozer, which is why I fine with them mixing it up at home, and their CC uniforms help break up the monotony.

    You’re not “part of the problem”. You don’t have to justify or apologize for your decision to buy something that you like.

    I was glad to see your comment, Charlie. I wanted to say the same thing. No one should apologize for buying something they like and will enjoy wearing. I have a CC hat that I purchased because I really liked it and wanted to wear it. No problem with buying a hat that you like, even if someone else doesn’t care for it/the uni it goes with.

    I’m not against wearing team gear like Paul is, but I’m more of a T-Shirt and hat guy, than going out and purchasing an expensive jersey. However, if I was I’d want that jersey to be my team’s regular everyday uniform, and not some one off thing that in many cases doesn’t even look like the team. These jerseys aren’t cheap, and I’d want something that has a lasting look I can wear to games for years to come.

    I am a Reds fan in my 40s and generally a uniform purist in the Lukasian tradition.

    Hated the Reds all-black city connects upon unveiling, but once I saw them in a more tailored cut on the field they immediately looked much better. I think they’ve been massively popular with Reds fans, I see a ton of the black jerseys at the ballpark and the caps/other merch around town. I admit I bought a hat. I think the modified wishbone C is pretty cool and some of the secondary marks they’ve made (the buckeye leaf) look good. Black has been part of the color scheme for decades so not a massive departure. The Reds have had a pretty interesting uniform history over the years and their current set is pretty blah. I am probably not the demographic target for it, but it’s grown on me a lot.

    I really like the wishbone C as well. I’m not sure if this is going too far, but I think they should make that “C shape” their new logo since the current C looks similar to the Chicago Bears logo.

    The Reds have used a variety of the wishbone C since 1905 (Outside of a period between 1953-67). The Bears didn’t start to used the wishbone C until 1973. If they change the C because they decide it’s time for a change, that’s one thing. Changing it because of the Bears is idiotic…

    In modern times, the only purpose of an MLB uniform is to distinguish which players are on which team. That’s literally it. I’m sick of hearing about how people can’t identify which team is playing as soon as they turn on a game. You absolutely can, and it has very little to do with the uniforms themselves.

    On the one hand, I understand the desire for a team to have a somewhat consistent recognizable look, and I agree with this as well. But I keep reading the criticism that you can’t identify the teams the instant you turn on the game, and I think this argument is weak. If you take a second or two and look at the scorebug, you’ll be able to tell who the teams are (assuming the scorebug is properly coordinated with the colors that the team is wearing). And then, the momentary confusion will be gone and you can watch the rest of the game knowing who the participants are. Is it really that awful to have suffered through that brief experience of not immediately knowing who the teams were?

    Exactly! The scorebug, the digital listing on your TV, the stadium, close ups of the players, and even the commentators all provide clues as to who’s playing.

    But let’s pretend that none of those exist, and that teams can only be identified by their uniforms… Who is this hypothetical fan that is so well-versed in every single team’s traditional looks, and yet has no idea about alternate uniforms, City Connect, and the other wardrobe options that are typically maligned on here?
    Is there really a significant number of fans out there who would be able to identify the Arizona Diamondbacks if they were wearing their (new) home or road unis, but would be completely lost if they saw them in their City Connects? The whole idea of teams being identifiable to everyone based on their standard uniform sets is preposterous.

    Just last year I was watching a Jays game on TV with my mum. The Jays wore white at home, while the Royals were wearing blue with grey pants. My mum knows what the Jays wear, it was very obviously at Rogers Centre, and she knows Buck Martinez’s voice, and yet she still assumed the Jays were wearing blue!!! Which isn’t even their designated home uniform!

    But yes, I couldn’t agree more that the horror of not knowing who’s playing for a split second is greatly exaggerated on this site.

    Watching the game in the moment, you know who’s playing. But watching the NFL Draft shows or the Heisman presentation and there are times you have ABSOLUTELY no idea if that guy made that catch against Ohio State or Eastern Michigan.

    Okay? And? That seems like a hyper-specific example that doesn’t need a solution.

    I’m not the CC marketing groups main target. Old and stuck in tradition. The CC’s that work for me are the ones that could be alternates if CC’s didn’t exist. Mariners, Angels, Royals, and Marlins are examples of teams that you look at them and you know who they are. Some are pretty out there- Padres, Rangers, Phillies, etc., but they look better than the lazy ones- – Dodgers, Cubs, any of the three letter abbreviation. Nike/MLB are making money just do it better.

    I imagine uniform designers want to do new things and leave their mark on the sport, and I sympathize, but I don’t agree with their priorities.

    In descending order of importance, I want uniforms that: 1) Are a good fit for the team, 2) Are aesthetically pleasing, and 3) Aren’t overly derivative of another team.

    The City Connect program is a disaster on the first two. Loads of teams don’t look remotely like themselves. Aesthetically, the colors are frequently hideous, and too many of them rely on microscopic details to have any appeal, which nobody can see when the players are on the field.

    It’d be fair to object that my tastes are conservative, but I don’t think being drawn to novelty for its own sake is any better. I could also make the argument that uniforms in sports ought to have a tendency toward tradition. As Jerry Seinfeld accidentally got right, we root for laundry: Players come and go, but the uniforms make the team your grandpa rooted for the team you’re rooting for.

    I’m completely over the city connect thing. I think about one of Paul’s rules for uniforms a lot more lately: “You should be able to tell which team is playing” or something along those lines. When I first read over those rules this one initially stuck out to me as the least important one (because, how could you *not know* who is playing..?), but it was a recent game between the Phillies and Giants where it made sense to me. The Giant’s CC is an all white uniform with a red-orange secondary color and every time it panned to a view of the infield I kept reactively thinking it was the phillies on defense, even though I knew that it was the phillies who were up to bat.

    A recent game between the “Motor City” tigers vs the Blue Jays in their dark blue uniforms created a steady stream of confusion for a friend I knew that went to that game in person.

    As a phillies fan, it’s always (still!) jarring to turn on Phillies home game on a Friday night and see the unapologetically gaudy “PHILLY” script. I think if it were up to me to make a change to the CC program, it would be that teams need to stick with their team colors and can incorporate any “city” ideas into their uniform that way.

    I’m a Guardians fan from NE Ohio. I love our City Connects they “fit” with the uniform set and make sense to me. I know a lot of people don’t like the “CLE” but it has been on t-shirts for years and is a nice counter balance to the cool but overdone “The Land”.

    Im now in the KC area, and I will say the Royals CC’s may be my favorite. Again they fit with uniform set, but also incorporating fountains and the city logo into the concept is super cool and not cliche/overdone (think bbq). I will say I hope their CC’s stick around, and judging by the gear I see around town they are hugely popular.

    Northeast Ohio resident, not a Guardians fan.
    But I am a fan of their CC unis, including the best helmet the team has ever worn.
    I kind of like the Royals. They have, by far, the best CC of the entire bunch.
    I was a Pirates fan, and I will be again when Nutting sells the team. I like their CC as well, mostly because they’re finally wearing a regular athletic gold cap with a black brim.
    So some airport code abbreviations, I can live with. Wouldn’t want to see every city going that route, though.

    I think the CC program is hot garbage. Lazy, ugly, cookie cutter looks complete with silly hype videos. MLB once was the gold standard for pro uniforms. That was years ago. Now, they’re on the same sad level as the NBA and NFL. Endless money grabs that destroy team identities But as long as fans buy this $h*t (and they apparently do), things will only get worse.

    What i see, alot of CC designs are lazy. To me they; as in Nike, came up with a design and decided to pair it with a same color pants as the jersey. Alot of monochrome blue or navy, to me that says the design team doesnt have a feel and CANT CONNECT(ironically) with how a citys identity design? If thats the case, every team HAS TO HAVE monochrome? thats my issue, too many teams with all blue all black all navy, feels like the video game, MLB The Show on the tv.

    I think the one thing I have learned from this is that NIKE is not as creative as we all may have thought. While I agree there are hits and misses, many have fallen just flat and just felt use this template, change the colors.

    I can’t imagine, what round 2 or even round 3 could bring, other than a more uninspiring lack of creativity. To me, it’s just too much of a gimmick. Five years from now we are going to be looking at that person at the game with the old CC jersey and just roll our eyes.

    I’m 18 years old, so probably younger than the majority of Uni Watch readers. Overall, I’d say there are two main things I’m looking for in a CC uniform. Firstly, I want at least some brand identity to be involved. CCs like the Red Sox may not be “ugly” per se, but they don’t work as Red Sox uniforms. This might differ a bit for teams with a lack of brand identity, but certainly not Boston. Secondly, I want it to look like a Major League Baseball uniform, not something that looks like a costume or softball uniform. My two favorite City Connects fit into this criteria, being the Angels and Guardians. The main problem that causes the uniforms to look like “costumes” is the colored pants, which admittedly I’ve warmed up to recently. They make sense if they fit with the “vibe” of the uniform, such as the Blue Jays’ “night mode”, but look ridiculous and out of place for the Mariners and Rangers. Speaking of the Blue Jays, as my hometown team, I can honestly say that the City Connect is very solid. They still contain Blue Jay colors, look like MLB uniforms (especially the hat, which I find to look pretty classy) and the navy pants work with the concept of the uniform.

    I just got back from grading AP papers, so I was able to do some market research “in the wild” with teachers of various ages/genders/fan bases. Outside of a single SkyRay hat, I did not see anything City Connect, not even T-shirts of which there was an abundance of. But I did see lots of replica jerseys that I could break into three categories:
    1) Current accurate, both NOB and blank. Noticeably, the ones with NOB are from the old template of large names.
    2) Historical accurate, again both NOB and blank, including a Major League style Indians and gold Oakland pullover.
    3) The largest subsection by far were historical inaccurate jerseys. This included a Brooklyn “satin” with a Robinson NOB, Homestead Grays with Gibson NOB, and a weird 1930’s Tigers away with #5 (Greenberg’s number) but Cobb’s NOB.

    If I had known this article were being written, I would have taken pictures!

    By all accounts, the Astros CC gear is near the top in sales. Anecdotally, I see the stuff everywhere and it’s very popular locally.
    I bought the regular Astros CC hat, a couple of variations sold by local streetwear shops, and then I grabbed the Phillies one (love the colors and the liberty bell) and a couple of alternate variants offered by HatClub (Miami and Arizona). I wear them regularly.

    40 something Astros fan here. Agree that the Astros CC gear is popular – it helps that the uni debuted in a championship year. I think they nailed a lot of the criteria in that it really resonates with Houston (Space City has long been a nickname), incorporates team colors, uses visibly high-contrast numbers and letters.

    Personally, I love it and bought two jerseys and about five hats. I’m that person wearing the CC jersey at every game, not just Monday theme night. I want to purchase Padres and Rockies CC merch because I think they have unique, fun design (fashion criteria from which I’m not immune!) but can’t justify the cost for more than one team.

    This is interesting to me. I struggle with buying merch from teams that aren’t “my” team. I make exceptions if I’m actually at another team’s ballpark or something – for example, I’m going to Coors Field in a couple weeks and will definitely pick up a Rockies hat even though they’re not my team. In fact, I already have an old Rockies hat with the black hat, black brim and purple logo, so I’m actually planning to get their City Connect hat.

    Generally I don’t buy a lot of merch and definitely not from other teams, but this has created a little bit of a dilemma for me. I’m a Nats fan, predisposed to dislike the Phillies, although I confess that Trea Turner and Bryce Harper are probably my two favorite players right now. So I shouldn’t buy Phillies merch, and yet…that batting practice hat with the Phanatic? On principal I don’t like the idea of different hats for batting practice, spring training, Friday home games, 4th of July, etc. But the truth is, I love that hat.

    So it’s interesting to hear from someone who takes a different approach to buying merch for other teams.

    I struggle with buying merch from teams that aren’t “my” team

    I have no problem whatsoever. The only thing I won’t wear is merch from a team I thoroughly dislike. So no Raiders, Eagles, Pistons, Celtics, Sox (either one), or Flyers stuff for me.

    For any other team, if you have a good design and I can find an affordable T-shirt, cap or jersey, I’d wear that.

    Recently I got my mom’s box of old family photos. As I looked through them, I realized I have worn a LOT of T-shirts from a LOT of different teams over the decades. I may have to put together a collage of them someday.

    Id personally be very curious about sales numbers, because I can really see certain teams hats being popular with fans but maybe not the jersey or uniform as a whole. Some with the jersey alone separated from a full uniform.

    Im also curious if any of the teams will lobby to have elements from their CC uniform be incorporated into their full-time uniform down the road.

    I would think this is more likely with teams whose CC’s connect to their current uniform set/colors like LAA, KC, CLE, etc, or teams would get bring them back in a refreshed uniform set to meet 4+1 criteria.

    The whole idea of CC is to appeal to people who are younger than the average fan, might not be that much into baseball (or pro team sports at all for that matter) or to casual fans who want to show which city they identify with. Or, as stated by Phil, tourists who want to pick up a souvenir from the town they visited and if it involves a sport that they do not care about so what.
    Not easy for me to judge the success with these groups as I do not belong to any of them. Born and raised in the Netherlands without ever attending games in person I am totally uninteresting as a target customer for this program. I think MLB and Nike have succeeded in reaching their target groups for this, especially the younger fans and the casuals. But this is based on what I see in the stands during game summaries on youtube. I do not care for any of the CC uniforms (some hats are nice enough but in total I do not find any of the CC uniforms aesthetically pleasing) but again I am not the target group. I think CC is here to stay so I will ignore this part of every team’s uniform set from now on.

    I’ve bought two of the CC caps—the Nats because I thought the cherry blossoms was a lovely touch, and the Giants because I was at a game where it was supposed to drizzle, and it ended up in the mid-70s and I could tell that I would get sunburned otherwise. I wouldn’t have bought the Giants cap otherwise. If you are going to use the Golden Gate Bridge on the caps/tops, at least use the correct shade of orange.

    The CC concept is contrived, and execution has been abominable. Clown suits across the board.

    You wanna connect? Well thought throwback uniforms would do the trick. They reconnect fans to earlier points in their lives and educate younger fans on tradition. MLB has gone full overkill on this merch dump.

    I despise the Pirates’ idiotic PGH bumblebee duds. A true 1979 throwback, or early 1970s old gold caps would have been so much better and still satisfy the merch angle.

    I think a lot of fans (including me) like seeing the new aesthetic ideas, rather than rehashing old ones. Yeah some of them look silly but new is interesting and old is kinda boring, in many eyes.

    The Twins alternate cream unis are a perfect City Connect uni, letting everyone know that the TC on their hats stood for Twin Cities and then having the M and StP flags as an alternate logo to reference Minneapolis and St Paul. The merch for these unis are very popular here. They probably should have stopped there. As the Twins pointed out in their marketing info, their CC unis were more State Connect unis. I thought the logos they came up with are okay. I’m sure the merch will be popular here and will probably get a hat and a t-shirt. The loon logo almost looks like a mosquito and that might have been a more appropriate logo for the state.

    There are very few CC uniforms that I think are worth the fabric they’re made of – even in this year of cheap-looking sweat-stained fabric.

    Aside from the merch dump aspect, my main objection is you shouldn’t have to read the story to understand the significance of the uniform. I originally didn’t like the Red Sox CC because the whole program was new and because the colors weren’t Red Sox colors. But anybody who has run the Boston Marathon will understand the uniform right off the bat. I can live with that. When you have to flip up the sleeves and read a bunch of marketing-speak about how the multi-colored blotches represent all the different neighborhoods? That’s a fail. Also, it doesn’t really tie the uniform to Baltimore, because honestly what city that’s big enough to have an MLB team ISN’T made up of a bunch of diverse neighborhoods?

    The Nationals CC works for me because they managed to find something Washington is famous for that isn’t military or government.

    IMO the Rockies CC works because the green and white license plates are iconic, but I’m anti-monochrome, so I really don’t like the green pants.

    I’m not a fan of using the airport code or other abbreviations, but it’s better by an order of magnitude than using some ridiculous nickname coined by a rapper that hasn’t been relevant in a decade or longer.

    The Angels’ CC is aesthetically pleasing to me, but I don’t think I would get that the line under their name is supposed to represent a surfboard.

    The rest run the gamut from “why bother” (Twins, Pirates, Mariners) to “what a freaking shit-show (Tigers, Rangers, Reds, Rays, Blue Jays, to name a few). So overall, my opinion of the CC program is that it wasn’t worth it. To put it in the vernacular, there are a few singles, no home runs, and a whole lot of struck out looking.

    Also, I’ve weighed in before about the new Dodgers funfetti costume, but since you posted pictures I have to say again: the floor of LAX?? That was their supposed inspiration? LA is a city that is nothing but a clusterfork of diverse neighborhoods, but one thing all Angelenos will agree on is their utter hatred of LAX. Nobody who has ever spent more than 10 minutes in LA, especially if they flew in and immediately had to deal with traffic on the 405 or the 110, would think the way to “connect” with Angelenos is by celebrating the floor you never noticed in a place you dread going to.

    As a Dodger fan I find it remarkable that they’ve changed their CC jersey so much, and yet somehow they never changed the script to Los Doyers. I’d imagine this would’ve increased sales at least two-fold.

    GTGFTU: Giants at Mets, Citi Field: May 25, 2024

    I noticed the Mets City Connect Uniforms right off the bat, which were introduced this year. So I only had a few games to check, only one of which was against the Giants.

    Inherently, I see no problem with a team having colors similar to another team (for that matter, nicknames, as well — I’ve been surprised at the number of teams lately that have said they had copyright issues with nicknames that seem only partially related to other franchises, but I digress). However, as far as the Twins’ CC and the “Brewers colors” thing: I’m a Twins fan living in western Wisconsin, and while my sense of the Twins-Brewers rivalry is that it’s not as strong as it was when they were both AL teams, it’s still in existence. Of course, a lot of that is likely the whole “Border Battle” thing (especially Vikings-Packers and anything Gophers-Badgers), which then extended into Twins-Brewers (interestingly, I’ve never sensed much of a Timberwolves-Bucks rivalry, but that likely has as much to do with each team’s performance over their collective existence, as well as being in different conferences the entire time).

    So, my theory is that this is an instance of “way to copy your rival”/”why do we look like a Wisconsin team?” (I’ve also noticed Mariners CC and Rays in-general comps for the Twins’ CC, but the Brewers one got the most mentions online). All of that being said, it seems like a good interesting look if (a) the Brewers didn’t exist and (b) this were a Minnesota expansion team uniform. (And, as much I love myself some Prince, I’m kinda glad they didn’t go the super-obvious route of yet another Prince tribute — there are other aspects to the state to mine.)

    Also, interesting that they will wear them against the Brewers this season. I’d imagine each team’s social media admins will have some fun with that.

    I’m from central Wisconsin and love going to Twins games. Even when my Brewers play in the Cities, I’ve only experienced good-natured ribbing from the locals. It feels like our fanbases relax during baseball season because we’re all just enjoying the Midwestern summer.

    I consider the program a success insofar as we got an artist’s interpretation of an alternate look a team might choose to embrace. Some uniforms were artistic triumphs (Angels), others utterly missed the mark (Phillies). Getting people to buy them may have been the ultimate goal, but I’m okay with that.

    If there is one thing I have found in the past 10-15 years (as I have aged from my early-30s to my mid-40s) I have found one phrase to be very helpful: ” This is not for me”. I find most of these jerseys to be hideous crimes against my eyes. But I’m not the target demo. MLB/Nike are targeting the younger demos who would wear these clown jerseys/hats as “fashion”. Probably with an uncurved brimmed cap with a sticker still on it. My Cardinals one is… OK. Still looks like the Reds playing when I glance at the screen. But it all comes down to – This Is Not For Me.

    For me, when I think City Connect, they should have taken the teams current elements and blended them with city references. One team that did this well was the Angels. If you look at their uniform you can’t tell me that that is an Angels uniform. It fits their colors, logos (even though they are altered), but incorporated the surf/beach theme of OC. This to me is how it should have been handled by all teams. Something that still fits the team colors (maybe an additional color is added, or taken away), logos can be evolved but you can still see the essence of what team it is, and added elements that locals will love and relate to….connect with if you may. Instead we have LA Dodgers with funfetti sprinkles, Mets in black & purple, Twins playing Brewers/Pilots dress up, Philly doing IDK what, Washington mother’s day, etc.

    The Red Sox City Connect is awesome and the colors make sense if you’re actually from Boston (the marathon colors; also brings to mind old school municipal vehicles with the font and yellow color like construction vehicles (also the municipal blue)). A lot of them are great (San Diego, White Sox) and some are meh, dumb, or atrocious, but I’ve enjoyed the rollout, at least to see which teams “get it” and which don’t. St. Louis, for example: nice barely-altered red alternate! You couldn’t think of…..anything else? It just looks like a normal uniform. The Cubs’ is also so bland. Whatever, people say baseball’s dying so anything that appeals to youth, I’m OK with.

    I’m going to give the CC unis a passing grade, maybe even a C+. Forget the whole merch dump side of things. As many have commented above; some work and some don’t. I’ll take it a step further in saying all of them “work” to some degree with the local fan base. My biggest issue; and where I give most unis a failing grade, is that those uniforms should not be worn for a nationally televised game. If you can’t easily know who’s playing; that’s a F. I love going to Friday nights game wearing my CC jersey. I’m a Mariners fan and even pair it with my black pants; even though I don’t like the look on the field. This is all coming from someone who is 55. And my favorite jersey is a light blue faux back. Will the next round be better or worse? Seeing what the NBA is putting out, I’d venture to say worse. And I couldn’t bring myself to buy last years ASG jersey. As someone else said, if you have to read the story to know the story… As my wife likes to point out, “Rand, it isn’t funny if you have to explain it to me”.

    Cheers
    Rand

    I snagged a Mullins Orioles CC jersey last year (I’m 35, btw). When I wear it, I make sure to roll up the sleeves to see the pattern. When it first debuted, I wasn’t a big fan, but the uni grew one me. Could it be better? Absolutely, it’s a little boring compared to what they could’ve done. But I’ll take a little boring over ugly and I don’t think it’s an ugly uni by any means.

    I actually live in Northern VA and grew up in southern MD, so I have no real connection to Baltimore as a city, aside from attending O’s games my whole life. So there’s no city pride or anything for me, I just like the jersey. I’m not one who thinks unis are holy ground. I think it’s cool to introduce some fun alternates every now and then, even if it’s a shameless cash grab. Sports are fun, so the unis should be too. I just don’t take unis too seriously, personally.

    Fwiw, Baltimore seems to have embraced the uni. Whenever I go to a game, I see a ton of CC jerseys or the B hats. So for the Orioles at least, seems to be a success.

    I wrote a pretty lengthy analysis/opinion of the Twins’ CC uni in a comment on that post, but it disappeared into whatever black hole occasionally eats comments on this blog. I hadn’t copied it before I posted (I usually do, for just this reason) and didn’t feel like writing it all out again, so that’s that.

    Anyway, I agree that “The Twins CC looks like the Brewers!” (for example) is a weak argument. It’s perfectly fine for two teams to use the same color scheme (though I suppose, in an ideal world, it would be cool if that never happened.) My gripe with the Twins CC uni isn’t that it looks like some other team; it’s that it DOESN’T look like the Twins.

    On another note, I think the Yankees misplayed this whole thing by simply refusing to do it. If you’re trying to make a point and stay “classic”, I think a better approach would have been to create a CC uni but make it simple, traditional, and similar to their regular unis. Maybe a gray uni with the “NY” on the chest instead of “NEW YORK”? You can stay involved in the program without being crazy and compromising your design principles.

    With the exception of Boston I feel the cc program has been a dude. Many of the early teams that rolled these out are hardly wearing them. The Cubs haven’t wore theirs at all this year.
    I will admit I have a Cubs cc hat. I thought it was a good concept and still looks like a Cubs hat.

    I think the caps are generally good, but the design ideas gets overextended when applied to a full uniform. Should’ve just made it a cap line and called it a day.

    As a lifelong Blue Jays fan and living the nightlife in Toronto, it’s pretty good, but the storytelling describing it as “one of a kind”?? Definitely not, and the costume designers basing a uniform on this so-called one of a kind nightlife is a joke.

    Brewers fan from Wisconsin. I’ve purchased a Brewers CC, along with one for my baby niece. My best friend also has a CC.

    Personally, I think they nailed it with our uniforms. Our fanbase loves to grill, and “Brew Crew” is a term many people actually use for our team. Our fans love the powder blue uniforms from the ’80s, and I’m glad they finally produced a button-up powder blue for our team. The CCs are arguably the most common jersey seen at our ballpark. I like that they used team colors so our team still looks like the Brewers.

    The cap logo looks decent, although I’m glad the “414” part is subtle (not a big fan of using area codes as branding). I just wish they would introduce some powder blue pants and wear the CCs on the road.

    I live in Wisconsin (but outside the Milwaukee metro). The Brewers’ City Connect seems to be fairly popular. You do see a fair amount of the merch, especially the baseball grill, which I’ll admit I think is whimsical. It helps, I think, that the colors make it feel like it’s still a Brewers uniform.

    To try to add something that hasn’t already been said — what I loathe more than anything about the CC program (with the possible exception of the shameless marketing angle of it) is that it forces every team into the same box: you must create a sub-brand (I think that is the term) and you must introduce a gimmicky, new-school alternate to accompany it.

    I want teams to choose whether they are old-school or new-school and differentiate themselves accordingly. If you want to only wear white and gray and not permit beards, fine. If you want to have six different jerseys, fine. I may lean traditional overall, but I like what Oregon football has done, because they are authentically themselves. I would never ask them to be Alabama, uniform-wise, and conversely I would never ask Alabama to be Oregon. The homogeneity of the CC program is part of what makes it so soulless.

    As a Twins fan, I don’t like the CC for the “weaker argument” that you outlined above. Being in the color palette of border rival Milwaukee and also division rival Kansas City makes it hard to identify with them. I am older school, but I prefer teams be easily identifiable when I turn a game on. I didn’t love the Vikings “Winter Warrior” release last week either, but at least they stuck to the team color palette and you would be able to guess you were watching the Vikings when you tune into a game.

    If I were to rank the CCs, I’d rank the Yankees at the top, by light years, followed by the A’s, then the Red Sox and the Marlins. And get off my lawn! Having gotten that out of the way, I’m really happy that my Yankees aren’t doing this. Aesthetically speaking, the only CC uni that’s an improvement over, or even the equal of, the regular uni is Miami’s, and that’s more a function of how awful their regular uni is. Obviously, I’m coming at this as a traditionalist who was happy to see the return of belts and buttons way back when at then end of the Sans-a-Belt era. There’s nothing inherently wrong with dark unis. That’s an interesting update on the very early years of the modern era. But most of the CCs look like they were designed by people like Rob Manfred, people who love the cash and hate the game itself. And to my eyes and aesthetics, most of them are eyesores. But as they say, YMMV.

    Lived in DC and argueably the best time of year there is spring because of the cherry blossoms so I jumped at the opportunity to buy a cap. I’ve also been a fan of and tempted to buy other teams’ CC caps but haven’t pulled the trigger. I don’t watch or care for baseball really so I can’t say whether or not it’s been successful but I’m sure Nike is raking in the dough.

    I don’t mind the whole program, contingent upon them constantly coming up with great designs, which unfortunately in my opinion they have failed to do.

    One nefarious thought entered my mind from Phil’s great write-up. The Yankees refuse to participate. I have heard from several people who aren’t that into jerseys that the Mets CC looks like a Yankee jersey to them. Did Nike do that on purpose to try to get some extra sales from fans who like both teams or lean more to being Yankee fans that tolerate the Mets (IMO not real NY fans LOL)?

    I think it’s an interesting premise to create a uniform for a team that ties to the city rather than the team name. Have all of the creations been successful? No. Are some brutally horrible? Yes. Are some aesthetically pleasing? Yes. And all points in between.

    I do wonder if there have been changes to the designs for CC2.0. With the Dodgers CC2.0 unis coming soon, I’m not sure if a second set of eyes proofread this particular design before it went to the production line. It looks like a birthday cupcake with sprinkles. But have the other CC2.0 unis gone through any scrutiny based on the responses received about the first set of CC unis?

    Here an idea!!! Just ditch the disconnected CC nonsense and go all in on a “Throwback Thursday” program where every team in the league wears a uniform from a past era on Thursdays. This way, MLB makes it a special event that connects the past and the present every week. You can have the fans get involved by having them vote on the throwback uniform options during the season and roll it out in next Spring. It isn’t that hard. And if you are going to say…”Well the Yankees don’t really have a throwback per se…” MLB/NIKE can fake it by making their throwback Cream…..Come on now. @MLB and @Nike…Please stop overcomplicating things!

    To me about 5 or 6 of them are fantastic.
    A few duds, and the rest are meh. It feels like NIKE put alot of effort into it the 1st year, and close to it the 2nd year, but now they are all starting to feel very similar and don’t feel like there is much of a connection to the city or at least to what my limited perception of the city is.

    Am partially biased but the Rockies CC uni I think really connects to the state of Colorado with the license plate motif . . .

    The Dodgers one looks too much like what they wear now – if the 2nd CC one is accurate, at least it’s slightly different – but I agree with the majority of you that CC unis look very strange on the field . . .

    “So, at this juncture, should we consider the CC program a success or a failure”
    Depends on the criteria. If success is judged by adding a way to rake in more money from fans, the answer is sadly yes given the number of people seen in the stands wearing these things. However, I cling to the hope that outside of diehards that frequent games in person, sales are far lower.
    If success is judged by putting an attractive, functional product on the field, it’s a failure. Overall sentiment (if this forum is a representative sample) is that they are largely eyesores. Add to that the number of uniforms with poor contrast making them illegible from more than six feet away, and they don’t pass muster..

    *young reader’s opinion incoming*

    I’m a native of Washington, live in North Idaho, and a Seattle Sports fan. I bought the Seattle Mariners City Connect cap. I love the unis, although I didn’t necessarily love them at first. I was not a fan of the black pants, but I love them now. It’s definitely different, but that’s the whole point of the program. Here is what I think goes into a good CC uni.
    The uniform has to be objectively good. The uniform has to have a decent reason for looking the way it does (i.e. the storytelling has to be good). Not everyone is going to like that, but the uniform has to live up to the idea of the program. A team can get bonus points for including their regular colors in a way that fits. I won’t rank all the uniforms here, but some of the best ones are Washington, Miami, Colorado, and Cleveland. Some of the worst are the Dodgers (any iteration, worn or leaked), San Francisco, and Cincinnati.

    I believe I can answer the entirety of the City Connect problem with a solution that gets all parties (MLB, Nike/Fanatics, Teams, Players, and Customers/Fans) what they want.

    1. Nike/Fanatics build a City Connect template
    2. MLB holds a contest open only to residents within a team’s TV territory. Designers within that territory can create their own uniforms with local ties to the community.
    3. Nike/Fanatics and MLB choose 3-5 of the submissions to become finalists
    4. Fans vote on the finalists.
    5. The winner of each city’s contest receives a cash prize.

    With this proposal, it can be guaranteed that a design will be reflective of a city or team’s community, since someone directly associated with that community will have designed it. MLB & Nike/Fanatics still get their imprint on the City Connect since it’s their template and logos. The league also increases the attention that the City Connect program gets since the entire process is legthened. The players will get something “cool” to wear since the winner will be the most popular vote getter. And most important, the fans can feel connected to the process, and therefore feel more connected to their team and city, which is the entire ethos of the program anyway.

    Somebody get Manfred and Michael Rubin on the phone, stat!

    I’m on record here as the World’s Biggest Skeptic of Alternate Baseball Uniforms. As a concept, on an in-theory level, I hate the CC program. So it’s been much to my consternation that a few of them have been excellent uniforms, as uniforms, for their teams – especially the D-Backs, Rox, and, mostly, Cleveland. And even more to my surprise that of the three MLB teams I follow and root for actively, two have had CC uniforms that have connected with me personally as a fan of the team and current or former resident of the team’s greater geographic area. And from what I’ve seen, the larger number of both Nats and Brewers fans are equally feeling the love with their team’s CC identities. Here in Wisconsin, I see what seems like half of all Brewers merchandise worn in public as being from the CC merch line, especially among younger fans. Seems like these days if you’re gonna wear a Miller-M hat or a Braves throwback cap or a Motre Bame-era shirt, you’ve gotta be at least my age of 50. Whereas if you’re below about 25, it seems likely that when you seek Brewers gear to buy and wear, you’re probably reaching for CC caps and shirts. The “connection” side of the CC program seems to work, at least for these two teams. I’m curious whether, in a few months, I’ll see as much Twins CC merch out in public as I see Brewers gear, especially as I’m about to move a bit closer to the Twin Cities. The Twins set isn’t connecting with me, either as an alternate or as a CC set, but perhaps I’ll be an outlier.

    I still think the Red Sox CC uniforms look great for a random yellow-and-light-blue team that plays in Boston, but not the RED SOX. That being said, they’ve grown on me, and I think they work for a number of reasons:
    1. Simple message – it’s the city colors of Boston and the Marathon, which was very fitting when they were introduced. Aside from One Boston day (4/15) remembering the bombing, the team wears these on Marathon weekend. Not a lot of excessive story-telling or marketspeak to understand the look.
    2. Simple, legible design – you can read “Boston” and the numbers quite legibly. There’s enough contrast to read them from the stands. They’re also unique in the league – no one else is wearing this color combination.
    3. Tie-in with current team – the cap logo is the same, just recolored. It’s still BOSTON BASEBALL.
    4. Popularity – I think the first 3 points make them well-received, and the team tries to wear them for specific games: Marathon weekend, Saturday day games, and in one half of home double-headers. They may wear them during midweek day games but not consistently.

    A few of the latest round of uniforms have felt a little mailed-in to me (vs. San Diego, Washington, Colorado, Miami, etc., which have a real design), which is my main critique, and I wish they’d quit it with the three-letter abbreviations — but as a Nats fan, I absolutely love the cherry-blossom CC’s, and wish they were keeping them. I bought a hat straight away and wear it quite a bit.

    I like Houston’s because it is Space City. I bought the hat first because it is cool and executed well and of course, cheap. Plus plus – mine is ’47 brand. Jersey… well, I have only bought a few Astros jerseys – or maybe only one. It was our first World Series appearance during the sand and brick era – sadly, it was black (but slimming…). I just recently purchase a knock-off city connect because it was very affordable. No real consideration on buying a legit one – I really think they missed on the sleeves. I don’t even know what it is supposed to be – has nothing to do with NASA. But for $40, I was in – have not worn it yet (had since February).

    I don’t think those of us in the uni world understand the uniforms are not for us. Yes, they’re designed to move merchandise, blah blah, but they’re for fans of the team. So the question for each of them isn’t how they’re perceived by the uni world, but how does the local fan base respond to them?

    I’m a Rangers fan and their CC are not universally loved. But go to a game and see how many fans are wearing them. The peagle in particular is very well loved. On that front, they’re a raging success.

    I love the teams that went outside of the team’s colors. While I love critiquing each team’s jersey, I am always shocked to see how many fans HATE city connect jerseys, but think that their favorite team did it right. With that said, it seems they achieve their purpose of giving something the local fans enjoy.
    I loathe airport codes on CC jerseys, because the airport is not how people that live in a city experience the city, it’s how outsiders experience the city.
    I prefer jerseys that are bold and have nothing to do with a team’s color scheme. The Rockies, Red Sox, Marlins, Nationals, Mets, Diamondbacks, and *gasp* Padres nailed the look with something that looked great while ignoring the team’s color scheme (sorry for everyone who hates the Padres colors, but the jersey looks good, fits the team, and sells well in SD).

    I saw so many complaints about the amount of team’s that use blue, but there are 14 team’s that use blue in their CC and 17 team’s that use blue in their regular jersey. I can’t get behind that complaint. In the 4 jerseys in the Spiderman meme, you can see that only the Mariners and Twins use similar shades, and they look vastly different in style. At the point that you look at those 4 jerseys and think they are too similar, your credibility is gone. The font, the color, the style, everything is different. Meanwhile the same person probably loves the 80s jerseys where just shy of half the league were all playing in powder blue, or loves the interlocking letters on NY Yanees, Mets, Cardinals, Giants, Dodgers, Padres, Rockies, Twins, Tampa Bay, and Royals logos.

    I’m a hat guy, ever since I was a little kid. When it comes to my teams, I will buy the On-Field or Authentic hats over the fashion caps. I never cared for the fashion hats that had wild color changes with the logo. When it comes to baseball in Michigan, my favorite teams are the Detroit Tigers, West Michigan Whitecaps, Lansing Lugnuts, and Great Lakes Loons. For those teams, I have the on-field hats as well as the batting practice hats. For the Loons (closest team to my house) and the Tigers, I will usually buy the holiday hats as well. So this year, I bought the Tigers CC on-field hat as well as the alternate hat (which looks great) and a couple of shirts. I like the colors of black and royal blue, but I am still on the fence about the jersey. I may get one, just haven’t landed on it. I know it has gotten some hate, but its a nice alternative to wear once in awhile.

Comments are closed.