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Ranking the MLB’s City Connect Jerseys

This story will be updated as the MLB releases more kits. Come back as more teams get their City Connect jerseys.

Nike wants to recreate their successful City jersey series from the NBA. Ignoring the flop that was the NFL’s Color Rush, the MLB is Nike’s guinea pig. Nike is slowly unveiling teams’ ‘City Connect’ uniforms throughout the season.

This ranking is far from objective and has no true scale when grading. Symbolism and meaning hold weight when evaluating a uniform set, but how a kit looks is the primary factor.

4. Chicago White Sox

God is this horrendous. Nike tried this same Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas idea with the LA Clippers and it looks equally as poor.  

In a tweet unveiling the uniform, the White Sox used the phrase “The black & white is iconic… it’s time for the remix,” implying that these would not be in the black and white synonymous with Chicago’s second team. Update: they are still black and white.

The ‘Chi’ across the cap is a good idea but is illegible from a distance and the stairstep lettering is good looking.

Adopting the ‘Southside’ moniker across the chest is a rare instance of a team successfully using a demonym on the jersey, and the texture on the black is a soccer trend other sports need to adopt ASAP.

The White Sox’s kit looks like a thirteen-year-old designed it… not a good thing.

3. Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox claim their City Connect is inspired by Patriots’ Day, a New England holiday commemorating the first battles of the American Revolution.

Instead, these gaudy eye sores exclusively represent the Boston Marathon. The Marathon does take place on Patriots’ Day but the ties to any patriotic symbolism end there.

Aside from that, these jerseys are an eye sore. The Red Sox have a distinctly classic look soiled by a vibrant yellow.

The marathon bib patch is a gorgeous touch and the absence of names on the back is reminiscent of the Red Sox, these jerseys just look poor. The Red Sox should have replicated their NBA counterpart’s tactic when designing their City jerseys; the Celtics annual threads are uniquely Boston yet retain the simplicity and charm of the Celtics jerseys.

2. Chicago Cubs

Muted blue is gorgeous and the Cubs rock it. On its own, the powder-and-dark blue combo looks incredible, yet it looks even better when put against Wrigley’s green stadium and ivy walls.

The cap is simple yet symbolic: a C with a star from Chicago’s flag. The hexagram appears again as part of an arm patch that is vaguely reminiscent of the MLS’s NYCFC, but it is a gorgeous piece of stitching.

Wrigleyville is an odd choice for front wording. Sure, Wrigley Field is in the Wrigleyville neighborhood, but that area of Chicago is a poor choice to represent the city. Like many areas with a baseball stadium, it is a very Cubs-centric neighborhood. Sports bars and fan shops line the streets; not the hard-working, blue-collar residents Chicago should be trying to represent.

As a matter of fact, these jerseys allegedly represent all 77 Chicago neighborhoods. How? There is no symbolism, no uniquely Chicago features other than the stars.

However, the lack of super deep meaning is made up by how clean these jerseys are. The Cubs have a beautiful color scheme working here, an eye-catching warp on the front text, and a splash of Chicago.

1. Miami Marlins

The Marlins used these jerseys to honor the Havana Sugar Kings. It is a unique choice for sure; the Sugar Kings is a long-extinct minor league team from Cuba. However, Miami has roughly 10x more Cuban-Americans than the next highest American city and the city has been heavily influenced by Cuban culture.

Aside from the heritage-based background of the jerseys, the kits are incredible. The vibrant colors scream Miami and the script font across the front is wonderful. Sparse white pinstripes across the body pop well on the red. The font used for the number has a drop shadow, likely inspired by the Miami Heat. Overall, there is little to complain about here.

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