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Pirates Become Latest Team To Alter Their City Connect Uniforms

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Good Monday morning, Uni Watchers. I hope everyone had a pleasant weekend.

With the Dodgers finally unveiling and debuting their City Connects, 28 teams now have this alternate set in their arsenal. (The Dodgers are the only team to have ditched their original CC). Of those 28 teams, four had altered their CCs after just one season. Until Saturday.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have now become the fifth team to modify their CC uniform — I’m not real good with math, but that’s a pretty large percentage of teams who clearly were not satisfied with the CCs they were given. And once again, the culprit is the pants. But in the Bucs’ case, it’s not just the pants…they have also switched up the cap they are pairing with the CC uniform.

The Pirates original CC uniform had a gold crown/black brim cap, gold jersey, and black pants. The team even went so far as to create a custom helmet to wear with it. They sported that look all last season.

But on Saturday, the team ditched their gold/black caps and black pants, wearing a black cap (more on that in a second) and their regular home white pants. Here’s a couple looks:

As you can see in those photos, the team wore their regular black batting helmets with the gold “P” logo. But they paired the gold jersey/white pants with their “Stargell Stars” BP cap.

The difference between the two CCs is night and day.

I’m not sure why the team chose to change things up — the Bucs wore their CCs on Friday (shown on left) with black pants and the hybrid cap, and switched to the black BP cap and white pants for Saturday’s game. This could just be a thing where they simply want to switch the caps/pants, or it could be permanent. Perhaps it’s a day game/night game switch (both Saturday and Sunday’s games were day games). We’ll just have to wait and see if the black pants make a return. And it gets curiouser and curiouser…

In Sunday’s game, the Bucs switched things up a bit more: they wore the white pants with their regular gold/black CC cap, and when batting, wore their original CC helmet.

I’m one of the few who likes dark baseball pants, so I didn’t mind the CC (and its harkback to the Bumblebee Pirates), but if I’m being honest, I think I like their CC jersey paired with the white pants a tad better. Either the Stargell Stars BP cap or the CC is fine by me.

At the top I mentioned there were five teams who’ve altered their CCs. The four others have all changed pants. Earlier this season, it was the Orioles who ditched their black pants for white:

The first team to alter their CC appearance was the Arizona Diamondbacks, who were outfitted with their CCs in 2021 — for that entire season, the Diamondbacks wore their “sonora sand” caps and jerseys with white pants. A season later, the team added a matching pair of sand pants, for a more cohesive look.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were also given a CC uniform in 2021, and they actually altered their look twice. Their original CC featured blue caps, shirts and pants, with the caps and jerseys both reading “Los Dodgers.” In 2022, the team changed their caps to restore their classic interlocking “LA” and added a black bill. Last year, the team ditched the blue pants for white. With their new funfetti unis, they won’t likely ditch their new CC pants anytime soon.

Finally, the Colorado Rockies, who debuted their CC uniforms in 2022, were given green pants to pair with their green/white caps and jerseys. After a full season wearing that look, last year the team began mixing in white pants — but not for every game. The protocol last year dictated white pants with the CC for day games, and green pants for evening games.

In almost every case, the change of pants has been for the better. But it begs the question: why have so many teams done so? Or perhaps, why hasn’t Nike insisted they keep the original pants? If you’re saying “because they don’t sell CC pants at retail!” I think you’re on the right track. If you thought the entire CC program wasn’t just an excuse to introduce more retail slop, it should be becoming pretty obvious. We’ve been saying all along the CC program has been an exercise in introducing a fashion cap and jersey as part of an on-field uniform. The pants clearly aren’t of much concern, since they’re not trying to move those. Whatever you may think of the CC program as a whole, I think you’ll have to at least agree it was — at least in part — simply an excuse to create a fashion cap and jersey they could sell at inflated prices.

Will more teams alter their CCs going forward? Seems to me it’s a pretty safe bet the Pirates won’t be the last team to do so.

What do you think? Do you prefer the Pirates CC with white pants (and if so, do you like the black BP cap or the hybrid CC cap paired with them)? Fire away.



COMING SOON! New Uniform Design Contest

Details to follow soon!



Guess the Game from the Scoreboard

Guess The Game…

…From The Scoreboard

Today’s scoreboard comes from John Benal.

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 Jimmy Corcoran himself.

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



Uni Tweet of the Day

Thank God…


And finally...

…that’s gonna do it for the early lede. It’s going to be a busy day on UW, as I’ll have at least three additional articles, plus Jamie’s Ticker, to follow. And come back in about an hour for the official Uniform Design Contest rules and details!

Everyone have a good Monday and I’ll catch you back here in the morning.



Comments (48)

    To me, the fact that the Pirates can so easily integrate their CC with their regular sets shows that theirs is a solid CC. Of course, mix and match is also in the franchise DNA!

    The Pirates CC uniforms, even the pants and cap were all fine, the only real CC-ish bug was the PGH on the chest. Oddly enough Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Washington, and St Louis have some of the best overall CC designs, but they are ruined by the silly city designations on the chest.

    Yeah, the Pirates really need to dump the PGH. It has zero charm. Every time I see that, the word that comes to mind is “repugnant.” Just going with “Pitt” would be so much better.

    However, being a Clevelander, I am duty-bound to offer some other, less kind options, such as “Obesity City,” “Emphysema City,” “Diabetes City,” etc.

    “Pitt” is the university, full stop, so the Bucs using it wouldn’t make sense. PIT is the airport and scorebug code, but locals do use PGH as an abbreviation for the city, so in this case it’s the correct choice even if you don’t like it aesthetically.

    Yeah I know city connect and all that but I wish they used “PBC” like they had in the past instead of PGH. That said either set of pants this is one of the better city connects save for the atrocious batting helmet.

    PBC = Pittsburgh Baseball Club?
    That is definitely better, more like the Mets using NYC rather than the existing scorebug/airport like abbreviation style.

    The batting helmet was absolutely the worst offense in the set. There was nothing wrong with the black pants. In fact I prefer them with a yellow top in most cases, as bright yellow and white are too close in tone to make either really pop. The hat and jersey had one major issue for me and that was the sublimated pattern, which doesn’t actually look so bad/obvious on the field. The PGH is kinda dumb but it doesn’t grate on me like it does with some folks. My general beef with the entire set is that visually it’s essentially a uniform that they already have, but with PGH on the front.

    That’s a great point. Overall, I’m not a huge fan of the CC uniforms, but the switch to white pants and Stargell stars cap is a great look!

    This is the one CC jersey I think that would work as just a regular, alternate jersey.

    In most cases, it seems like Nike intentionally went away from team colors to something representing the city. Pittsburgh might be the rare exception, as it is the only American city where the colors are integrated so completely into every part of the city and the culture.

    I was at the game yesterday and wasn’t looking forward to seeing the CC unis on the field, but from the upper deck behind home plate I concede they looked great on the field, though the batting helmets should just pick one color and stick with it.

    The graphics for the Rays in the stadium used their CC colors and it made me wished they’d pulled them out for yesterday’s game as I’m a fan of how crazy and brutal and 90’s they feel IMHO

    If the Pirates are going to wear those BP caps in games, the stripes should go all the way around the cap. These look like something you’d buy from an unlicensed vendor.

    This is one of the few sets with dark pants that I actually liked, but the white pants are 100% better. All of the Pirates’ caps work well with the CC.

    Perhaps this was weather-related. It was very hot in Pittsburgh. I know Tampa was to wear their CC’s on Friday but switched to a light colour due to the high temp.

    Maybe the Pirates make a similar change, though why not there standard white home kit?

    It was officially “City Connect Weekend” on the Pirates’ promotions schedule, with related giveaways all three days.

    And the Rays did wear their CCs on Friday.

    I was thinking the same thing. I was in Buffalo on Saturday morning, and by 1pm it was sweltering up there. Dark clothes get so much hotter in the sun, that it only makes sense to wear your lightest set when the Real Feel is close to 110 degrees on the field already.
    As for the hats, the BP hats breathe so much better than the wool game hats, again I assume it had to be to help keep players cooler.
    THIS has been the thing that has baffled me about the CC uniforms, they’re mostly dark but meant to be worn outside on the hottest days of the year. It just doesn’t make sense from a performance standpoint.

    That’s been the secondary underlying issue with a lot of these City connects is just the multitude of functional issues these sets have. Full dark unis that are too hot, Numbers that are cut off, dark on dark text that you can’t read among other things. It’s just the worst other than as a fashion play.

    “As for the hats, the BP hats breathe so much better than the wool game hats…”

    The gamers haven’t been wool since *2006*.

    I liked the way they switched things up for what they called “City Connect Weekend.” I would prefer the standard black “P” hat to the BP cap, because there’s just a LOT GOING ON when you pair that with the gold top and white pants. This’ll likely never happen with the CC in place, but I wouldn’t mind a return to an updated bumblebee mix-n-match uni.

    Question, could it be the starting pitcher’s preference? Is it possible they feel the darker pants provide the batter more contrast to track the ball?

    Wondering whether the Pirates’ switching uni combos up regularly is a nod to the “We Are Family” unis from the ’70s where the point was to switch up the combinations frequently. I loved when the Pirates did that (although I grew up hating the Pirates otherwise) and I like the fact that they’re doing it here with their City Connects. Perhaps it’s merely coincidence but when I see the Buccos doing this I instantly think of that era, which is a good thing.

    Pittsburg mixing and matching really harkens back to their late 70s set, so I appreciated it. I also love that they wore the BP hat in game–I feel like more teams should do that as a one off.

    You got it Tom, they also played in the preseason but besides the memorial patch, you can see that it is December outside.

    Had to look 3 times to try and find a patch (per today’s terms of what a patch is), when they were wearing armbands. Silly me….

    GTGFTU Dec. 5, 1971 Eagles 23 Lions 20 at Tiger Stadium.
    Only time the Eagles wore white helmets at Detroit as they were only in service 1969 (preseason only)-1973.
    I believe Ronnie Bull as Eagles RB
    [The only other possibility for that Uni combo was the 1969 Preseason game at Raleigh N.C., but Bull not on team at that time, could possibly be a preseason cut. So I’ll stay with original answer.]

    You are correct! what gives it away is the Lions memorial patch, six weeks earlier Chuck Hughes passed away on the field during a game with the Bears.

    I think the black pants look better. Yellow on white, even on the pant stripe, doesn’t fit for me.

    GTGFTS 1975 World Series game 3. Cincinnati 6, Boston 5 in 10 innings. Larry Barnett was the home plate umpire.

    Why do you only swap out the word yellow for gold? Why don’t you also replace blue with sapphire, green with emerald, black with ebony, or white with snow? It seems rather arbitrary. Is there a history behind it? Do you also say things like pigskin instead of football? Moo juice instead of milk? And so on…
    *asking for a friend

    Pittsburgh, like many professional sports franchises, uses “athletic gold” (and Pittsburgh’s official colors are black and gold – link.) The Packers are officially “green and gold.”

    I realize Paul preferred to use the term “yellow,” but I use “gold,” especially when a team (or in the case of Pittsburgh, basically every team) or city uses the term “gold.”

    I do use “yellow” any time I’m describing a shade that isn’t athletic gold; Oregon is yellow, the Rams are yellow, in the UFL, the Brahmas are yellow.

    I don’t know if athletic gold has a precise definition, but the Pirates’ gold/yellow color is slightly paler and less orange than that of the Steelers and Penguins, per TruColor.

    The real question, is why are the players able to make the uniform options look better than the designers at Nike?

    I agree with you…though the black pants aren’t totally terrible, they could use some blue.

    Nooooo, not the black pants! The Mariners have the best CC uni IMO, and a big part of what I like about it is the blue-over-black.

    Agree! Look like a high school team with bad taste! The black pants ruin the uniform which isn’t very good anyway IMO!

    I’m not a BFBS kind of guy, and I dig the Pirates’ Stargell caps, but I have to say that I like the original CC combo better than the “new” one. The gold–gold–black just pops better than the black–gold–white in my eyes.

    Gotta say I’m not a fan of the Stargell stars. I respect the history of what they represent, but they make the hat look too cluttered.

    The Pirates have worn 6 hats this season, which is a ton considering the jersey restrictions:
    – primary
    – P with yellow outline
    – P with white outline
    – City Connect
    – Stargell stars BP
    – military alternate (not Armed Forces Day) link

    Again, the Orioles have not “ditched” the CC black pants permanently.
    They’ve worn the black pants since the debut of the white pants with the CC jersey.

    They wore them once, and it was a “special occasion” on the road versus the Nats who also wore their CCs. I think it is fair to say that they have been ditched.

    Dark pants for night, light pants for day is how it should be. I like how PGH can blend all the looks. Shows how one uniform can have various aspects, but still keep it nice.

    The Stargell Stars caps seem to be becoming the Pirates’ designated home Saturday caps. The switch to white pants was likely due to the heat.

    I don’t have a problem with dark pants when they are high cuffed with contrasting socks. White or grey pajama pants are awful enough but dark pajama pants are an abomination. It looks like a softball player who got out of work late and threw on a jersey over his dress pants.

    I’m surprised they haven’t paired the black pants with a black jersey. But, yes, these are team colors. Unlike a LOT of the other CC uniforms.

Comments are closed.