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Rating MLB Teams’ City Connect Jerseys: National League Edition

Twenty MLB teams now have City Connect jerseys that in some way represent the city/state that they are located in. I gave each National League team’s City Connect jersey a rating out of 10.

Beginning with the National League East, the Atlanta Braves.

Courtesy of ESPN

The Atlanta Braves used the ‘A’ on their City Connects for the first time in addition to taking some design inspiration from their retro jerseys, as well as a crown on the sleeve as a nod to ‘Home Run King’ Hank Aaron. Overall, I rated Brave’s City Connects a 7/10. While they have a fascinating inspiration and background, they just don’t jump out at me as a ‘wow’ kind of jersey. 

Next in the NL East, the Miami Marlins. 

Courtesy of Beyond The Bases 

The Marlins took inspiration from the Cincinnati Reds Triple A affiliate: The Sugar Kings, that played in Cuba from 1946-1960. Both the patch on the side as well as the logo on the hat connect back to the Sugar Kings logo. The jerseys also resemble the Sugar Kings jersey, which were white with red pinstripes. I rated the Marlins’ City Connects a 5/10. They have a nice look but lack originality as they are remarkably similar to those Sugar Kings jerseys. 

Rounding out the NL East, The Washington Nationals.

Courtesy of ESPN

The Nationals City Connect jersey weaves together two recognizable elements of our nation's capital: its signature cherry blossoms and a typeface that resembles D.C.'s neoclassical architecture. ‘The uniform also features the city's flag on the sleeve’ (ESPN). I rated this jersey a 7/10. They took a different approach to highlighting the nation's capital, but in a way that does not have the same cultural value as it once had. It is unique and differentiates nicely from the Nationals' typical uniforms. 

Next, over in the NL Central, the Milwaukee Brewers.

Courtesy of ESPN 

The Brewers jerseys were inspired by the People’s Flag of Milwaukee and the city's summer skies. They also used the abbreviation from the Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport’s abbreviation: MKE, and their fan’s nickname for the team: Brew Crew, on the front of the jersey. I rated this jersey a 10/10. I love the colors because they are similar to the ones on their regular jerseys. By displaying a fan given nickname on the jerseys, they connect to their fanbase and the city itself, which is what makes this jersey so special.  

Next in the NL Central, the Chicago Cubs. 

Courtesy of ESPN

The Wrigleyville jerseys were inspired by the Chicago flag, they also used a font similar to the one on the ballpark’s marquee. ‘Each of the city's 77 neighborhoods are acknowledged with names on the sleeves of the dugout and bullpen jackets’ (ESPN). The left sleeve of the jersey also has a patch of the Chicago municipal device logo and a circle with a ‘Y’ that symbolizes the branches of the Chicago River. They have many connections to the iconic ballpark and the city of Chicago. I am especially fond of these jerseys and gave them a rating of 10/10.  

Next up in the Central: The Pittsburgh Pirates.

Courtesy of ESPN

The Pirates drew inspiration for these City Connects from the city’s bridges and rivers ‘with a subtle checkered pattern that features an asteroid -- a shape associated with the city's steel industry’ (ESPN). The PGH lettering is also a nod to the circular grates built into the pillars of the Roberto Clemente Bridge. These jerseys have an interesting background and connection to not only the city of Pittsburgh but also the Clemente Bridge. Of course, Roberto Clemente means so much to the sport of baseball, seeing as there is a prestigious award named after him given out each year. However, these jerseys just do not jump out at me as one of the best City Connect jerseys based on the look of them. Therefore, I gave them a 7/10. 

Lastly in the Central, the Cincinnati Reds.

Courtesy of MLB

The Reds used the changing face of their home city as well as the new generation of Reds players, to inspire their City Connect jersey. They updated their ‘C’ logo that was over a century old and used a primarily black uniform with the red accents. While I really enjoy the look of this jersey, I do not feel there is an exceptionally deep connection to the city. With that said, I rated it an 8/10.  

Moving into the NL West, which is the only division in which all five teams have a City Connect uniform, starting with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Courtesy of  X 

For their City Connect uniforms, the DBacks used a gold color to reference the Sonoran Desert and the state's Hispanic culture, by using the word ‘Serpientes’ across the front. ‘Arizona decided to flip its primary and secondary colors, making the team's distinctive Sedona Red color an accent through the numbers’ (ESPN). The left sleeve also features the state's flag and a reference to Phoenix's nickname “The Valley of the Sun'. I rated these jerseys a 9/10. They have a deep connection to the DBacks home state as well as staying true to their team’s original colors, while also being different enough from their typical uniforms. 

Next, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Courtesy of ESPN

The team took inspiration from Fernandomania, which was the historic 1981 season by pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, as well as the team's connection to the Latin community. The Dodgers also gained some inspiration for these uniforms from the murals around LA, with spray-painted accents on the uniform sleeves. Overall, I rated these uniforms a 6/10. While they do have a fun connection to the city of LA, the uniforms themselves do not really look different from the Dodgers typical blue uniforms.

Moving through the West, the San Francisco Giants. 

Courtesy of ESPN

The Giants got their inspiration for their City Connect uniforms from the Golden Gate Bridge as well as the San Francisco fog. While their inspiration is simple, it is a nod to some of the most iconic and notable things about the city, while keeping the typical color scheme of their normal jerseys. I rated them a 9/10.  

Next, the San Diego Padres.

Courtesy of ESPN

The Padres took a binational approach to their City Connect uniforms as they pay ‘homage to a shared community that sees an estimated 50 million people commute yearly from San Diego to Tijuana, the populous border city in Mexico’ (ESPN). Additionally, they also used inspiration from the vintage beach sign font to represent the city’s beach location. Overall, these jerseys are fun, bold, and bright while also having a deep cultural connection. Therefore, I gave these uniforms a 10/10.  

Lastly, rounding out the National League, the Colorado Rockies.

Courtesy of ESPN

The Rockies took inspiration from the mountains in Colorado that give the team its name and the green color that reflects the state's pine trees. The uniform also features a new circle logo on the hat in red (for soil) and gold (for sunshine), along with the state's "CO" abbreviation. These uniforms certainly are cool and truly embrace the state of Colorado. With that said, I rated these jerseys a 9/10.  

Edited by Giana Robertaccio 

Social media content created by Simran Sandhra

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