Nike’s new City Connect Series brings city history into the game of baseball

Madelyn Furstenau ‘26, Student Life Editor

In 2021, Nike launched a collaboration with the MLB called the Nike MLB City Connect Series. This project entails the creation of uniforms featuring historical aspects relating to the city incorporated into the design. Each year, Nike selects seven MLB teams to design and receive uniforms. These teams have been given the opportunity to showcase these uniforms during the regular season and in turn furthered interest in the game. So far, Nike has designed 14 different uniforms and has already selected the next seven teams to receive uniforms in 2023.

In 2022, Nike selected the Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, and Washington Nationals to receive City Connect uniforms. As of December 2022, all seven of these teams have received their City Connect uniforms and have been able to debut them during the season. It is important to analyze the careful detail and symbolism that Nike has embraced within the designs in order to fully comprehend what these new uniforms represent.

Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies unveiled their City Connect uniforms in June 2022. This design features a green and white color palette as well as purple detailing that references the purple row of seating at Coors Field. This row is measured exactly one mile above sea level. The mountain imagery portrays the iconic Rocky Mountains located within the state. In addition to that, the writing on these uniforms is in the same font used on the unique Colorado license plates. The right sleeve of the jersey includes a yellow box with the team’s shortened name, “Rox” It also features two black diamonds which represent the Double Black-diamond skiing found on the Colorado slopes. Located at the bottom of this design is the exact latitude and longitude of Colorado’s home stadium. Finally, the bottom of the jersey includes the phrase “Welcome to colorful Colorado”, a sign that one will see when entering the state.

Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals unveiled their City Connect uniforms in March 2022. This design features images of cherry blossoms on the front as well as the bottom of the jersey. These relate to the cherry blossom trees found in Washington D.C. that were gifted by the mayor of Tokyo in 1912. These also pay tribute to the annual cherry blossom festival held in the capital city. Written across the chest is the abbreviation “WSH” in bolded font to symbolize the strength of the city. The Washington D.C. flag is located on the right sleeve recolored pink and gray to match the overall aesthetic of the uniform. The team’s primary logo on the left sleeve is recolored as well.

San Diego Padres

The San Diego Padres unveiled their City Connect uniforms in July 2022. This design features vibrant colors throughout the entire uniform and is meant to bring attention to the liveliness within San Diego’s fanbase and community. These uniforms include a color palette consisting of bright pink, neon yellow, and mint green. The inclusion of pink and yellow are meant to symbolize the notable sunsets that take place on the Pacific Ocean. These neon colors are also meant to represent the Baja community within the city. These uniforms successfully accentuate the uniqueness and passion found within San Diego.

Los Angeles Angels

The Los Angeles Angels also unveiled their City Connect uniforms in June 2022. This design features an ivory and red color palette with a retro-style font. These uniforms were designed to pay tribute to Southern California’s iconic themes: surf culture, the beach, and the ocean. On the right sleeve, a patch that reads “Los Angeles Angels” depict the railway that connected Southern California to the rest of the United States, which brought travelers to the coast. The “e” and “l” in the word “Angels” are connected to resemble a wave. The asymmetrical stripes on the left sleeve incorporate vintage surfboard patterns into the design. At the bottom of the uniform, surfboard imagery is included.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers were another team that unveiled their City Connect uniforms in June 2022. This design features a bright blue and yellow color palette, differing from the team’s usual navy and yellow. The bright blue relates to the summer sky, the yellow acts as the sun, and the small navy details represent Lake Michigan. Written across the chest is “Brew Crew” which is the team’s nickname from the fans. On the right sleeve is a grill pattern, which symbolizes the outdoor grilling culture in the city as well as at Brewers games. These uniforms were designed to stay true to past and present aspects of Milwaukee.

Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals unveiled their City Connect uniforms in April 2022. This design features a navy and bright blue color palette, differing from the team’s signature royal blue uniforms. The navy signifies the city’s rich baseball history and the teams in the past that have worn navy-colored uniforms. The theme surrounding these uniforms is “The City of Fountains” and is represented through some of the designs, such as the “KC” which is written in a font that resembles a fountain. Within the “KC” is a small image of a crown. The stripes on both sleeves resemble the uniforms worn in the 1980s. On the right sleeve is an “R” with a crown on top. Along the collar is the phrase “HEY HEY HEY HEY”, honoring the Royals’ victory song written by Paul McCartney. At the bottom of the uniform, a third crown design is included.

Houston Astros 

The Houston Astros unveiled their City Connect uniforms in April 2022. This design features the team’s typical navy and orange color palette, changing the usual orange to neon orange. The theme of these uniforms is space, paying tribute to Houston’s rich history in space exploration. “Space City” is written across the chest in a futuristic,  space-inspired font. The lunar lander at the bottom of the uniform is a symbol of the accomplishments that Houston has made in space exploration while the blue and orange details in the uniform resemble the colors in the city’s skyline. The uniform also features retro elements, resembling those in older Astro uniforms.

The creation of the City Connect Series has boosted the baseball community. Creating uniforms with creative and interesting design aspects has not only brought culture to the game but has also encouraged fans to watch games to see their favorite teams in new uniforms. Players and fans alike are given the opportunity to pridefully showcase the city they root/play for when they wear these uniforms. Fans are excited to see the reveal of their team’s jersey coming in 2023.

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