Tracking MLB’s City Connect uniforms

Tracking MLB's City Connect uniforms

Uniform changes can be polarizing. Some sports fans like tradition. Others welcome innovation. One thing is certain: They get us talking.

Major League Baseball’s City Connect uniforms, which launched in 2021, have done exactly that. Nike has worked with MLB teams to create a uniform that reflects each baseball city’s culture and community, similar to the NBA’s city jersey series that began in 2017.

There were 20 uniforms released prior to this year, with nine more to be added during the 2024 season — starting with the Philadelphia Phillies (April 12) and followed by the New York Mets (April 27), Tampa Bay Rays (May 3), Detroit Tigers (May 10), Cleveland Guardians (May 17), St. Louis Cardinals (May 25), Toronto Blue Jays (May 31) and Minnesota Twins (June 14). We’ll also get another set this season from the Los Angeles Dodgers (June 21), which will make them the first team with two City Connect looks. After this new batch arrives, the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics will be the only teams without one.

Here’s our breakdown of the uniforms that have dropped to date, including grades for each design by ESPN MLB writer David Schoenfield. We’ll continue to update the list as new City Connect unis are unveiled.


Debut: April 27, 2024

Design inspiration: The Mets wanted to create a uniform that not only related to fans of the team but captured the connection to New York City as a whole, leaning heavily on the “NYC” across the chest to represent “a city like no other.” They pay homage to New York’s subway stations with multiple design elements, most specifically purple flourishes representing the 7 line, which stops at Citi Field. There’s also the Queensboro Bridge, which connects Manhattan and Queens, across the cap.

Schoenfield’s grade: F. This feels like a big swing and miss for the obvious reason that it gives off a Yankees vibe rather than a Mets one, and you can’t screw up worse than that. Why not go with “Queens” on the chest rather than the predictable “NYC”? And the Queensboro Bridge cap just doesn’t work.

More: Mets go with “NYC” to connect to whole city, rather than just one area »

Debut: April 12, 2024

Design inspiration: The Phillies’ style goal was to be “unapologetically Philly.” The blue and yellow colors are inspired by the city’s flag and the blue collar of the jersey is meant to represent what the Phillies say is Philadelphia at its core: “a blue-collar big city with a small-town feel.”

Schoenfield’s grade: C. I’m not sure why the city flag is supposed to be an inspiration, as many Phillies fans wanted a dark maroon throwback style. The biggest problem the Phillies faced, though, was the fact they were never going to top their regular jerseys, the best overall set of uniforms in the majors.

More: Phillies’ City Connect unis include nods to Liberty Bell »


Debut: June 27, 2023

Design inspiration: Pittsburgh’s black-and-yellow combination is a nod to the city’s bridges and its shift from the steel industry to medicine and technology. Each letter in “PGH” includes a texture from the Roberto Clemente Bridge, which connects downtown Pittsburgh to PNC Park.

Schoenfield’s grade: C+. The Pirates played it pretty safe here with the traditional black-and-yellow scheme, although there are some nice subtle design patterns (which are not really visible on television).

More: Bucs nod to Pittsburgh’s landmarks, blue-collar mentality, thriving technology »

Debut: May 26, 2023

Design inspiration: The all-black look includes “Baltimore” across the chest, written in a font inspired by the Globe Collection and Press at Maryland Institute College of Art. It also has the “You Can’t Clip These Wings” slogan, a melody created by Baltimore-based poet and author Kondwani Fidel intended to embody the city’s perseverance.

Schoenfield’s grade: C-. An all-black uniform is usually a love it or hate it look, and this one isn’t helped by the boring block Baltimore lettering or that the minimal coloring requires the players to uncuff their sleeves or pants. The stylized “B” on the cap is a nice touch, even if it’s in white instead of orange.

More: Orioles’ City Connect uniforms celebrate Baltimore’s many neighborhoods »

Debut: May 19, 2023

Design inspiration: Cincinnati focused on the growth of its city in recent years. The Reds included multiple modern takes on traditional aspects of their uniforms — a revamped “C” logo and all-black look with red accents, different from their typical red and white.

Schoenfield’s grade: C. I do like the “C” on the cap with the five lines, but this is one of those jerseys that looks better hanging in a team store than it does watching a game in person or on TV.

More: Reds put modern spin on one of baseball’s oldest franchises »

Debut: May 5, 2023

Design inspiration: Throwbacks. The “Seattle” font across the chest is similar to that of the Seattle Pilots, the original MLB team in the city, while the black pants are a nod to the Steelheads, a Negro League team. The trident logo has been used in the past by the Mariners, notably in the 1980s and late 2010s.

Schoenfield’s grade: B+. They almost nailed it, as the blue tops with the yellow trim and the blue cap with the black bill and old-school trident logo were instant classics, but the black pants make the overall effect resemble a 1983 men’s softball league look.

More: Mariners bring back a familiar logo with City Connect uniforms »

Debut: April 21, 2023

Design inspiration: This is a design packed with Texas tributes, from its “TX” logo to numerous references to Lone Star State history. There’s even a “peagle” patch, which combines the mascots of the minor league Fort Worth Panthers and Dallas Eagles.

Schoenfield’s grade: D. Just too much going on here, from the mythical peagle to the gothic lettering (nothing says “Texas” like a font from the Middle Ages) to the too-large logo on the cap.

More: Rangers feature something called a “peagle” on City Connect uniforms »

Debut: April 8, 2023

Design inspiration: Hank Aaron. The look is an update of the Braves’ uniform from 1974, the year Hammerin’ Hank passed Babe Ruth as baseball’s all-time home run king, and features other Aaron-inspired touches throughout.

Schoenfield’s grade: A-. It’s not exactly reinventing anything here since it’s similar to the uniform the Braves wore in the early 1970s. But it’s one sweet-looking uniform, with great eye appeal on TV, in photos or on baseball cards.

More: Braves pay special tribute to Hank Aaron with City Connect uniforms »


Debut: July 8, 2022

Design inspiration: According to the Padres, the bold departure from their regular uniforms “mixes iconic California imagery with the vibrant colors of the Baja peninsula.”

Schoenfield’s grade: A. I get that this might not be for everybody, but it’s distinct and colorful, seems to represent the city well and is a nice change of pace from the Padres’ brown-and-gold scheme.

More: Padres use vibrant shades of pink, mint and yellow colors for City Connect unis »

Debut: June 24, 2022

Design inspiration: The Brewers took their nickname — “The Brew Crew” — and etched it across their chest, while the inclusion of a baseball grill patch on the sleeve is a unique nod to Milwaukee’s fans.

Schoenfield’s grade: A. You have to love this one: That patch of a grill on the uniform sleeve? More teams should have had a little more fun with this like the Brewers did.

More: Brewers honor Milwaukee’s summer skies, grilling culture and Lake Michigan »

Debut: June 11, 2022

Design inspiration: The beach. The Angels’ lettering across the chest, with a fishtail flourish, is inspired by surfboards.

Schoenfield’s grade: A-. Some have called it bland, but in general you can’t go wrong with a cream-colored look and the Angels nailed the chest script and number on the front (inspired by California lifeguard tower numbers).

More: Angels nod at local surf and skate culture with City Connect unis »

Debut: June 4, 2022

Design inspiration: The DMV. The Rockies turned their uniforms into a baseball jersey adaptation of Colorado’s license plates.

Schoenfield’s grade: B. This look definitely screams “Colorado” more than the unexciting purple-trimmed jerseys the Rockies wear. But too much of the design was stolen from those state license plates, so they lose points for lack of creativity.

More: Rockies mix hints of pine trees, skiing and sunshine for their City Connect unis »

Debut: April 30, 2022

Design inspiration: The most notable element of the jersey — the logo — takes cues from Kansas City’s official flag.

Schoenfield’s grade: C. Some nice design elements here, like the fountain-inspired “KC” lettering on the front, but the choice to go with navy over, you know, royal blue is kind of odd. In the end, it just feels like a lesser version of their regular jerseys.

More: Royals’ unis connect to Kansas City’s sporting and architectural history »

Debut: April 20, 2022

Design inspiration: Outer space. The Astros lean into Houston’s most well-known explorers — NASA — with many elements, most prominently the “SPACE CITY” name stenciled across the chest in what the team called a “space-inspired” font.

Schoenfield’s grade: B-. I love the cap and the NASA-inspired font for the team name (and names on the back) plus the colorful socks when the pants are worn high, but I wonder if orange pants — bring out some of that colorful Astros history! — instead of another monochrome look would have been the way to go.

Debut: April 9, 2022

Design inspiration: Cherry blossoms. Among other symbols of the nation’s capital, the Nats decorated their jerseys to celebrate D.C.’s iconic cherry trees, though they’ll be retiring the look after the 2024 season.

Schoenfield’s grade: B. I kind of liked this one, but obviously the Nationals themselves weren’t big fans with the early retirement of the jersey after 2024. Plus, the subtle flower pattern on the jersey is invisible when actually watching a game.

More: Nats, Wizards unveil cherry blossom-themed uniforms »


Debut: Aug. 20, 2021

Design inspiration: The “Los Dodgers” lettering on both the hat and jersey is not only a shout-out to the team’s Latin fan base, but was also a specific callback to “Fernandomania,” when Mexican left-hander Fernando Valenzuela burst onto the scene 40 years earlier, winning the National League Cy Young Award, Rookie of the Year Award and, oh yeah, the World Series in 1981.

Schoenfield’s grade: F. The Dodgers seemed to give this no effort, and they’ve already twice modified the original all-blue 2021 version. They will have a completely new look coming out in 2024.

More: L.A. unveils ‘Los Dodgers’ City Connect uniforms »

Debut: July 9, 2021

Design inspiration: Fog. San Francisco’s offering in the City Connect series has graphics that are emerging from the city’s famous fog, including its most well-known landmark, the Golden Gate Bridge.

Schoenfield’s grade: C. They could have done something cool here with the Golden Gate Bridge and the fog, but there’s too much white and not enough color.

More: Giants’ City Connect uniforms feature Golden Gate Bridge, fog gradient »

Debut: June 18, 2021

Design inspiration: The Diamondbacks become the “Serpientes” on their City Connect jerseys, a nod to Hispanic culture, and their choice of gold is straight out of the Arizona desert.

Schoenfield’s grade: B. The design itself, with the Spanish spelling of snakes, isn’t anything unique or special, but the desert-sand jersey color does stand out and improves the grade.

More: D-backs unveil gold jersey, referencing Sonoran Desert, Hispanic culture »

Debut: June 12, 2021

Design inspiration: With colors that evoke their city’s flag, the Cubs’ look prominently features the “Wrigleyville” neighborhood that surrounds their iconic ballpark, in a font similar to Wrigley Field’s famous marquee.

Schoenfield’s grade: D. Nothing wrong with “Wrigleyville” across the chest, although that’s a lot of lettering to squeeze in, but in a city with a rich history like Chicago, this was a missed opportunity to do something creative. The all-navy look is another miss.

More: Cubs’ uniforms feature ‘Wrigleyville’ across the front in marquee font »

Debut: June 5, 2021

Design inspiration: The first of the Chicago City Connects takes cues from the city’s Greystone architectural style as well as hip-hop and youth culture, highlighted by a Gothic “Southside” across the chest to represent the team’s long history of calling that part of town home.

Schoenfield’s grade: B+. Probably the most the predictable of the City Connect uniforms, given the White Sox’s already heavy emphasis on black (although these are officially dark gray), but it’s a nice look.

Debut: May 21, 2021

Design inspiration: Miami’s Cuban population is celebrated with a uniform inspired by the Sugar Kings, a Triple-A team that played out of Havana, Cuba, from 1954 to 1960. The sleeve patch uses the original Sugar Kings logo, with an “MM” added to the crown.

Schoenfield’s grade: A. I love the top because when you see these, you know you’re watching the Marlins. It certainly feels a lot more Miami than the Marlins’ uninspired regular uniforms.

More: Marlins’ uniforms to honor former Cuban Triple-A team the Sugar Kings »

Debut: April 17, 2021

Design inspiration: The Red Sox launched the City Connect series with a radical idea: No red. Instead, the team went with a yellow-and-blue jersey color combo that’s a nod to the Boston Marathon. There’s also a sleeve patch featuring Fenway Park’s “617” area code.

Schoenfield’s grade: B. It took guts to completely abandon red from the look, but think of the early history in Boston and the fun the team could have built in: a patch of a bag of tea or the U.S. Constitution or Paul Revere’s horse.

More: Red Sox ‘push the envelope’ with marathon-inspired blue-yellow uniforms »