Ranking MLB City Connect Uniforms

The thoughts and feelings from the baseball community about the MLB x Nike City Connect program have certainly been mixed over the past few years. While baseball purists are not in favor of the non-traditional, often bright and flashy alternate uniforms, many others (including myself) look forward to the release of the new uniforms adorned with innovative designs and palettes. Each release gives a franchise the opportunity to showcase its admiration for the surrounding community, while providing the players (who are becoming increasingly expressive themselves in this new age of the game) with a uniform that is, theoretically anyway, vastly different stylistically from their standard uniform set.

Now, in June 2023,  two thirds of the league has unveiled its City Connect uniforms. As I read over rankings of City Connect uniforms from various outlets, I find that many don’t seem to be appreciating the purpose of the City Connect program. Taking a look at the initial press release, the mission of the program is as follows:

Launched in 2021, the Nike MLB City Connect program was created to celebrate the bond between each Club and its city. This uniform series explores the personality, values and customs that make each community and their residents unique.

Each team behind the uniform designs will obviously interpret this differently, but I still find it is imperative to make some effort to “Connect” with some aspect of its city/region, whether through its personality, values, customs, or another aspect that makes the community or the region itself unique. With this in mind, let’s jump into some rankings, each with a link to the Sportslogos.net entry on the uniform for more information. 


Tier 5: Little Effort At Anything. Doesn’t Connect With the City. Doesn’t Look Good.

22. Los Angeles Dodgers

With a blue cap, jersey, and pants with “Los Dodgers” written on the cap and jersey. Jersey also includes black on the sleeves as a nod to street art culture in Los Angeles. Cap was revised in 2022, moving the “Los Dodgers” to the side, replacing it with the traditional “LA” logo, and adding black to the brim and button. In 2023, white pants with blue piping replaced the blue pants.

Chris Creamer on Twitter: "Los Dodgers! The Los Angeles Dodgers have just unveiled their 2021 #Nike #CityConnect all-blue uniform paying tribute to the local Latino community. #LADodgers Our chat with the teamNew Dodgers City Connect Pants For 2023 Season

These uniforms are just the epitome of lazy and should serve as an example of what not to do when designing City Connects. They offer absolutely nothing original. I will give them that changing the pants to white and the cap logo to the iconic “LA” were improvements, but these uniforms are still largely devoid of any substance. A city with as much culture and personality as Los Angeles deserved better.

Tier 4: Little to No Effort to Connect to the City/Area & Looks Good (Essentially a Good Alternate)

21. Cincinnati Reds

With a black base and red accents. The jersey features a diamond shape “C” on the cap and jersey. It also features the word “CINCY” (shorten for Cincinnati) across the chest. On the collar it features an Ohio Buckeye and under it is the motto of Cincinnati, “Juncta Juvant” (“Strength of Unity” in English).

Reds to debut new City Connect uniforms Friday

2023’s introductions to the City Connect series were largely disappointing to me. While the first two years each showed a lot of potential, I was not nearly as inspired by the 2023 bunch – and this can really be summed up nicely by the Reds’ entry. First, the all-black look is played out (see Baltimore below). It worked very well for the White Sox, but I just don’t see that same city personality belonging to Cincinnati (I should preface, however, that I am far from an expert on the culture of Cincinnati). To build off of that, I think the black “Cincy” logo on the black jersey is a bad luck and does not read well at all (something the Marlins’ black alternate uniform struggled with as well before their changes in 2024). Furthermore, nothing introduced in this uniform actually has anything to do with Cincinnati or the Reds’ storied franchise. The team officially stated that the “waves” in the “C” logo are an homage to the energy of the city, but this means nothing to me. Also, I personally would have preferred “Queen City” on the jersey instead of “Cincy”. Overall, while I dislike much of the uniform, I am a big fan of the cap purely as an alternate.

20. Pittsburgh Pirates

With a gold base and black accents. The Jersey and Pants colors are inspired for the city of Pittsburgh. The jersey features the abbreviation of Pittsburgh “PGH”. The uniform also features a custom print with three elements, the inverted “Y”, the astroid and the check. Inside of the “PGH” and the numbers on the back features a pattern located on the sides of the Three Sisters Bridges.

Pirates unveil City Connect uniforms, paying homage to Pittsburgh's past and future | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

I cannot wait for the minimalism trend in sports uniforms to finally perish. The Pirates follow the Orioles’ and Reds’ lead and turn in another boring City Connect concept. I have several faults with this uniform that ultimately make it a bland City Connect. First, the cap logo is the standard Pirates “P.” This is not inherently bad, the Giants, Padres, Red Sox, and Diamondbacks did the same and I rate them all as fair-to-great, however, the Pirates did so in a colorway they’ve used before. Really, with the exception of the subtle texture provided by the astroids and converged “Y” found throughout the uniform, this looks exactly like the Pirates hat I bought from Lids in 2013. Which leads me to my second issue, the colorway of the entire uniform is unoriginal for the Pirates. I know some like when the City Connects stay true to the clubs’ usual colors, but I do not agree with this. The City Connect program provides each team with an opportunity to create a new, unique uniform. I have the same issues with the Pirates’ choice to use a solid yellow jersey with solid black pants (something the team has done several times before) as I do with the Braves’ decision to essentially modernize a throwback. Lastly, teams using an abbreviation for the city as a focal point of the uniform was already played out (see the Nationals and the Brewers) coming into the Pirates’ reveal. Three of these to do so is too many.

19. Baltimore Orioles

With a black base and white accents. The jersey is inspired by Baltimore and its neighborhoods. The cap features an italic B (commonly used on the Orioles Away Jersey). For the jersey, it features the word “Baltimore” in capital letters and white lettering. On the collar and on the piping, it features the colors and shapes of the neighborhoods of Baltimore.

Orioles unveil City Connect uniforms, with colorful interior reflecting Baltimore's neighborhoods

I have largely the same issues with the Orioles’ uniform that I had with the Reds’. It’s kind of amazing to me that MLB thought it best to release these two back-to-back considering their overwhelming similarities. I do give the edge to Baltimore, though, because of the colors on the sleeve cuffs and the white logo, which reads far better than Cincinnati’s black-on-black. It does blow my mind, though, that for a state that loves its flag as much as Maryland does that the flag isn’t featured at all, if not even the straight up base inspiration for the design. While not entirely original, I do like the script “B” (usually reserved for their away uniforms) as the cap logo.

18. Chicago Cubs

Dark blue with sky blue accents, with elements inspired by the flag of Chicago. The uniform has “Wrigleyville” on the front, in a lettering style similar to the Wrigley Field marquee.

Cubs try to infuse 'City Connect' uniforms with a deeper meaning: Dollars and sense - The Athletic

Truly, the Cubs don’t offer a whole lot more than those I’ve ranked lower on this list. At the very least, though, we have a different color palette than we usually see from the Cubbies, and it’s, of course, nice to see that the choice of colors was inspired by the city’s flag. Sadly, however, there still isn’t a whole lot to love about these mostly bland uniforms. I give them props for using “Wrigleyville” across the chest. There still haven’t been enough City Connects using nicknames for their city/region on the jersey.

17. Seattle Mariners

With a dark blue base with yellow lettering and black pants. It features a patch on the jersey sleeve featuring Mount Rainier, as well as the letters “PNW”, an acronym for Pacific Northwest. The uniform also features the colors of Amarillo, Rush Blue and Sundown, representing the inaugural colors of the team, as well as the word “Seattle” across the chest in the lettering style of the cities first Major League Baseball team, the Seattle Pilots.

Here's a look at the Mariners' new City Connect uniforms and the story behind them | The Seattle Times

When I was young and learning to select my own outfits for the day, my mother told me that black and blue do not match together nicely. Maybe I should have her call the Mariners… The PNW patch on the sleeve is an excellent ancillary logo for the uniform and a great way to connect with the region, but that’s where those connections end. The colorway is a throwback to the original Mariners uniforms and the logo font is reminiscent of the Seattle Pilots. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the City Connect program should create uniforms to Connect with the City, not create fauxbacks. Personally, I would have went with an “Emerald City” route with some vibrant green uniforms.

16. Atlanta Braves

With a white base, blue sleeves and red accents, heavily inspired by the team’s 1974 season home uniform worn by Hank Aaron when he surpassed Babe Ruth with his 715th home run.

Braves' new Saturday jersey pays tribute to Hank Aaron, Atlanta

Admittedly, this is a great looking alternate and a wonderful update to a classic Braves uniform, but that’s all it is. It is not a City Connect. The Braves choosing to provide a modern-take on their Hank-Aaron-era uniform, and then double-down and more or less dedicate it to him, is an interesting choice to make when they should have been designing a uniform that connects with the city/region. At least they slapped “The A” on there as a logo to at least pretend to try.

Tier 3: Effective Attempt to Connect with the City/Area & Looks Meh

15. Milwaukee Brewers

With a powder blue base, navy accents, yellow and white striping, a grill and bratwurst patch, the team’s “Brew Crew” nickname, and the MKE airport code with “414” blended in on the hat in honor of being in Milwaukee during the summer.

Brewers unveil City Connect uniforms

Attempts were certainly made. A cap logo that features both the airport code (MKE) and the area code (414) of the city and an overall industrial motif were valiant attempts to connect with the city. Unfortunately, it just misses the mark. The cap logo, to me, appears messy. “Brew Crew” seems to connect with the team and its players more than the city itself (I am not from Milwaukee nor a fan of the Brewers, though, so who am I to say if this bothers anyone actually involved). I do, however, really enjoy the grill logo on the sleeve. It couldn’t really have been used for anything other than a sleeve logo, but it’s tremendous.

14. Arizona Diamondbacks

Sand-colored with black letters and red numbers, and with “Serpientes” in front as an homage to Arizona’s Hispanic community.

City Connect jerseys showcase Arizona's Hispanic heritageSportsLogos.Net on X: "Looks great, now get 'em a cap just like this" / X

The Diamondbacks really tried. They are the team that plays in the desert… here’s some sand-colored uniforms. They have a notable Hispanic population… they went with “Serpientes” on their jersey. The effort is there to connect with the region, it just wasn’t done well. It’s especially perplexing when you consider how well the neighboring Coyotes [RIP] and Suns design their uniforms. Some inspirations from them would have gone a long way design-wise. Furthermore, I’m sure many Diamondbacks fans would have appreciated some purple in the color palette as an homage to the team’s best uniforms of all-time. I do enjoy the new secondary logo featured above the jock tag. I absolutely would have preferred to see that used as the cap logo instead of their usual “A” icon. Speaking of headwear logos, the D’Backs introduced new helmets in 2024 featuring the Serpientes “S”. I have to hope matching on-field caps aren’t far behind. These would be a welcome improvement.

13. New York Mets

 With a gray base, purple pinstripes and lettering, and white pants. The jersey features New York City’s abbreviation “NYC” across the chest. The cap features the Mets’ NY logo along with the Queensboro Bridge, the bridge that connects to the New York City borroughs, Manhattan and Queens.


Look, I understand the Mets’ logic here. This was an opportunity to claim New York City with the Yankees stating they won’t be introducing a City Connect. Furthermore, they probably didn’t want to isolate fans in other boroughs (Brooklyn specifically) that probably wouldn’t wear a jersey with “QUEENS” across the chest. Sure. But even if you’re making a generally New York City-themed uniform, there are more fun and deserving options than “concrete jungle”. The dark gray to me ultimately looks drab and seems repetitive in the Mets’ uniform repertoire that already features a black alternate. I like the idea of incorporating purple for the 7 line, but I would have preferred they leaned further into that than the gray color scheme. The bridge on the hat is nice, but hardly saves the overall concept. An idea I would have liked to see them pursue, although I’m not sure how they would have went about it or if it was even an option legally, was to throw homage to the 1964 World’s Fair – arguably the most famous event in the history of Queens.

Tier 2: Effective Attempt to Connect with the City/Area & Looks Good

12. Boston Red Sox

With a yellow base and blue letters as homage to the Boston Marathon, which normally takes place on Patriots’ Day.

Red Sox release Patriots Day-inspired City Connect Uniforms

The City Connect project really couldn’t have launched better. The Red Sox understood the assignment and executed. The Boston Marathon, and Patriots’ Day as a whole, are iconic events in the city and for the Red Sox. Their annual late-morning matinee is must-watch TV in Boston, so creating a uniform set to specifically honor the day was a no-brainer. I also like that they went with colors that are completely different from their usual look (something most team’s haven’t done), which is especially notable since the Red Sox haven’t really changed their palette or uniforms considerably in their extensive history. Overall, good work here, but I would have liked to see an original cap logo. One other thought I had, and I’m not sure if it even could have worked, but I wonder if the number on the back of the jersey could have resembled a marathon running bib somehow.

11. Phildelphia Phillies

With a blue gradient base, white and yellow accents. The uniform’s colors are based on the Flag of Philadelphia. The jersey features Philadelphia’s short name “PHILLY” across the chest in white lettering. The cap features the Liberty Bell, with the skyline of Philadelphia inside and two stars on each side.


This one was met with mixed reviews (as seems to be the case with most City Connect uniforms), but I definitely enjoy them. I like that they opted to change up their colorway and use the city’s color scheme. I also love the use of the gradient from light blue to dark blue going down the uniform. We saw gradients used a lot during the 2023 World Baseball Classic (namely on the Cuba and Dominican Republic uniforms) and I absolutely think they should be used more often. My primary qualm with the uniform is the font used for the logo. It seems a little “middle schooler discovered edgy fonts in PowerPoint” to me, but I do like the Liberty Bell crack running through it. The font is used on the sleeve patch as well, which hurts a patch design I otherwise like as it references the iconic “LOVE” Statue. The best part about this uniform is the cap. Another strong entry for the City Connect program in the line of original caps, and I particularly like the skyline within the Liberty Bell on this one.

10. Chicago White Sox

In a dark grey shade with white pinstripes and featuring Gothic-styled lettering as homage to the South Side of Chicago.

The White Sox Bring the Fire With Their City Connect Jerseys - South Side Sox

A seemingly unanimous favorite among the baseball community, the White Sox nailed it. I rate the uniforms a bit lower than most for two reasons: First, they remind me of those “Big Dog” jerseys from back in the day (I definitely bought at least two of those from a tourist-y store in Lake George, NY as a kid). Second, I am not a fan of the “Chi” cap logo. Neither of those really stop these jerseys from looking absolutely fantastic on and off the field.

9. Colorado Rockies

With a green base, purple accents, Colorado written on the front and a special logo on the cap resembling the state’s license plates. In 2023, white pants were added as an alternative during day games, with the green pants being used for night games.

MLB on Twitter: "A fit perfect for Colorado. The @Rockies City Connect uniforms are as cold as the peaks of the Rocky Mountains. 🗻 https://t.co/dk3xmhr8FV" / Twitter

The Rockies spared no expense in trying to connect with the whole state. They are, after all, Colorado’s team. I think they did an incredible job. The forest green looks tremendous with their signature purple, while providing great variation from their usual black and gray. I always enjoyed the green pants, but I know many did not, and evidently the Rockies picked up on that too. Wearing white pants during the day and green pants at night provides further personality for the uniforms perhaps some needed variation. I’d be interested to see if other teams begin employing a similar practice.

8. Texas Rangers

A natural, cream-colored top with the “TX” graphic on the right side of the player’s chest. The logo/color treatment is influenced by the gothic lettering of the Dallas Eagles and the “X” includes a spur, a nod to the Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs. The positioning of the graphic and number(s) are consistent with jerseys the Spurs and Cats wore. On the left chest is a number laid out in speed red. The typography is inspired by the 1920 championship medal won by the Fort Worth Panthers. On the right sleeve is a mythical creature – affectionately known as the Peagle – a blend of the mascots of the Rangers’ predecessors, the Fort Worth Panthers/Cats and the Dallas Eagles. The inside collar of the jersey shows a “4*21” reference of the date synonymous with connecting the state of Texas, baseball in Texas, and the Rangers origin story. The jock tag features Mayor Vandergriff’s iconic “Dream the Big Dream” phrase. The pitch blue-colored pants match the “TX” graphic on the jersey and feature rope braid piping in a nod to the logo texture of the Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs. On the front left hip is an icon that pays homage to the Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs, the team that played in Arlington and proved the region could support a Major League Baseball team.

Rangers unveil meaning of City Connect uniforms

At least within my circle of peers, I seem to be in the minority on these. I actually like them a fair amount. I can’t really describe how or why, but they seem to evoke some sort of old west cowboy sort of aesthetic. It doesn’t really get more Texas than that. The gothic “TX” is a bit hard to read, but it gets the job done. I also really like the spur coming off of the “X”. Another really clever aspect of the uniform is the “Peagle” on the sleeve. Giving a shout-out to the teams that came before them is a great gesture and combining their mascots/team names into one logo to create a new mythical creature is extremely fun. Also, and this is a mostly irrelevant “complaint,” but I wish the names were on the back of the jerseys so I could get one that is clearly for my guy Marcus Semien.

Tier 1 Effective Attempt to Connect with the City/Area & Looks Great

7. San Francisco Giants

With an orange and white design, a silhouette of the Golden Gate Bridge and a unique fog gradient across the front, sleeves and numbering of the jerseys.

San Francisco Giants partner with Nike on City Connect Jersey Series

It’s possible that I am the biggest advocate for these uniforms. I think the Giants absolutely crushed it. San Francisco’s fog is iconic and certainly a unique aspect of the city. The Golden Gate Bridge featured on the sleeve and the cap are fantastic touches too. The only thing I would change would be to possibly darken the orange just a tad to align with the bridge a little more, but it’s super nitpicky. These are well-made uniforms. As I said with the Red Sox, however, I would have preferred an original cap logo. The bridge on the side of the hat is a nice look, though.

6. San Diego Padres

With a white base, pink and mint sleeves, and San Diego on the front in honor of the culture of both the city of San Diego and Tijuana.

San Diego Padres release City Connect uniforms - ABC30 Fresno

The Padres’ City Connects are probably the most “love them or hate them” yet. Obviously, since I have them fairly high, I fall into the former category. San Diego is an extremely unique metro area in the US as it is insanely close to Mexico. Because of this, the blend of cultures and personality in San Diego are immaculate and should be featured in some way. The bright colors on this uniform do just that. In addition, the vibrant, fun energy of the jersey makes it perfect to wear throughout beautiful San Diego all year round, whether at the beach or in the city center.

5. Miami Marlins

With a red base, white pinstripes and white letters with light blue trim as a tribute to the Cuban Sugar Kings.

PHOTOS: New Marlins City Connect uniforms revealed - Fish Stripes

Ever since the Marlins changed their name from Florida to Miami, they’ve continued to embrace the Hispanic side of their city’s culture more and more. The out-of-the-box choice to use this program to further connect with Miami’s substantial Cuban population by going to great lengths to reference the Havana Sugar Kings created a wildly unique uniform. The cap for this one is one of the best so far.

4. Washington Nationals

With an anthracite base, pink accents and printed cherry blossoms in honor of the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Washington Nationals 'City Connect' Uniform — UNISWAG

When I first saw the logo for these and learned the Nationals would be going with a cherry blossom theme, I was ecstatic. These are, by all means, great uniforms, however, I do wish they used a pink base instead of gray. It almost seems like they weren’t willing to go full send into the bright, spring theme and sort of fell halfway. Because of this, the uniforms often look muted on TV, which is a shame because they are quite nice. The off-white, cream pants were an excellent decision.

3. Kansas City Royals

With a navy base and powder blue accents, and a stylized “KC” insignia in homage to Kansas City’s “City of Fountains” nickname.

Kansas City Royals unveil City Connect uniforms - ESPN

This one took a while to grow on me, but grow on me it did. The “KC” fountain logo is the best original logo among the entire line of City Connects. The varying shades of blue create a nice sense of water – fitting for the theme they chose. I personally might have wanted a little more variation from the logo on the cap and the jersey, but it is a small complaint for a uniform that looks incredible. Designing a uniform and a gorgeous logo set around the city’s nickname is exactly what the City Connect program should be.

2. Los Angeles Angels

With a sand base, red accents and “Angels” written on the front in honor of the beaches in Southern California.

Angels' City Connect uniforms unveiled

Ever since they ditched the Disney-era uniform with powder blue accents and the logo with the wing on the “A,” the Angels have had little-to-no personality in their uniform. The current primary ones they wear are bland and very belonging in the mid-2000s era. In comes their wonderfully done City Connects. They went all out to connect with southern California’s surf culture, and did it wonderfully. I would love to see them adopt these as their primary home uniforms one day and begin to really infuse the club with some personality. I also give them credit for separating themselves from Los Angeles. This is a bit of a separate thought, but Anaheim is entirely separate from LA. I would also like to see them change their name to the “Anaheim Angels” once more, leaving behind the nonsensical “Los Angeles Angels” brand.

1. Houston Astros

With a navy base, tequila sunset accents (suggestive of its 70s and 80s rainbow uniforms), “Space City” stenciled in the NASA ‘worm’ font on the front, and a hat with a planet revolving around a futuristic version of the “H-star” logo, in honor of Houston being home to the Johnson Space Center.

Space City is go for launch | Houston Astros

Lastly, the ones who did it best, the Houston Astros. This uniform perfectly connects with the city through the obvious NASA and space connections, but also to its franchise’s history and iconic uniforms with the tequila sunset accents. I especially enjoy the tequila sunset piping on the jersey. Furthermore, the cap used here is the best cap (by far) of all City Connects. I’m not sure if they should use it more often with their primary uniforms too, but it somehow needs to see more action.


Leave a Reply

  1. Great post. Angels are the best by far, they should just wear those uniforms as their regular uniform. Love the Miami and Colorado ones too. My only disagreement of your list is I think the Padres ones are atrocious. As a Brewer fan I’m pretty disappointed with ours, all I really like is the grill patch.

    1. Thank you! I totally agree with you about the Angels and have been saying the same. Their current uniforms and logos provide no sense of team/community identity at all. I’d love to see the City Connect uniforms make the jump to their primary home uniforms. The Brewers are tough. I absolutely see what they were going for and I appreciate their effort, but outside of that grill patch (which I also like a lot), they just miss the mark and don’t look great. The MKE / 414 logo just looks messy. As a Mets fan, I’m both excited and terrified of their eventual City Connects.

  2. I personally think the Angels and the White Sox are the best. As an Astros fan I love ours but I think they could’ve been a little more adventurous with the space theme. I absolutely love the hats and would be cool with them making that our regular every day hat