Let’s be honest, there are some minor league baseball uniforms that look like they’ve been designed by fifth graders. But later this season, the Tacoma Rainiers, Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, will wear some nice-looking jerseys that were ACTUALLY designed by a fifth grader.
Isayas Hampton, a student at Tacoma’s Franklin Elementary, won a contest with more than 200 entries. The Rainiers will wear his design, which features landmarks from around the city, for their annual Public Schools Night game May 26. The front of the jersey features the Rainiers’ home, Cheney Stadium, along with a pair of iconic suspension bridges over the nearby Tacoma Narrows in Puget Sound. The back of the jersey features the architecturally significant U.S. District Courthouse at Union Station and the team’s namesake, Mount Rainier. (They’re actually named for a beer company, but the beer company was named for the mountain, so it tracks.)
“The reason we went with this one is that it connects with the community,” said Rainiers Media and Communications Manager Brett Gleason. “Everyone can recognize all the landmarks on the jersey. That’s something special for us.”
Isayas will get his own jersey and a tour of the stadium, he’ll be on the field during pregame ceremonies, and he’ll have the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at the game. While he might be in fifth grade, Isayas had something of a head start when it comes to creating this design.
“His father is an artist and has graphic design background, so he’s already naturally inclined toward that stuff,” Gleason said. “So it’s not really surprising he turned out something unique and really cool.”
The jerseys will be auctioned off to support a sports endowment with Tacoma’s Metro Parks department, which just recently started providing after-school sports programs for elementary school students.
“It’s a fun jersey to wear,” Gleason said. “It’s greatly designed, and we get to do something cool with the proceeds from the auction.”
The Rainiers’ Public School Night game will take place Friday, May 26, at 7:05 local time against the Fresno Grizzlies.