Like a good neighbour, the Chicago Cubs 2021 “City Connect” uniform is there.
Paying respects to all 77 of the Second City’s neigbourhoods, the Cubbies new Nike MLB City Connect uniform recognizes that Cubs fans don’t necessarily all reside in their half of Chicago while also noting the uniqueness of being the only Major League team to play their games in a residential neighbourhood.
“We’re aware of the impact we have not only on the neighbourhood surrounding us, but on all of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods,” Cubs VP of Marketing Lauren Fritts said in the press release, “Cubs fans don’t just reside on the North Side.”
Just a week after the cross-town White Sox released their Southside jersey, one could reasonably believe the teams coordinated their designs to each pay tribute to their respective areas of the city or ensure there’s no overlapping elements. But that just isn’t the case, says the Cubs.
“Nike worked exclusively with each team on their own design and we were aware that we were launching around the same time as the White Sox, but we were just so focused and excited about the narrative and platform that we were building around this idea of uniting all 77 of Chicago’s neighbourhoods,” Fritts told SportsLogos.net during a phone call. “We didn’t we didn’t think too much about what [the White Sox] were doing. The design process started with being authentic to us. We are the only ballclub that plays in the heart of a neighborhood in a city of 77 neighbourhoods, our core value at the Cubs is to be a good neighbour. So we just knew there was something with neighbourhoods that we really needed to try to celebrate here.”
The jersey is solid navy blue with a single, thick Chicago-flag blue stripe near the end of each sleeve. Across the chest is “Wrigleyville” in white with baby blue trim laid out with a bump in the middle to resemble the famous Wrigley Field marquee. Below the wordmark is the player number in light blue and the jock tag contains the phrase “Respect Our Neighborhood”, a nod to the signs which bid farewell to the fans leaving Wrigley Field after every Cubs game.
“When you think about Wrigley Field, there’s a couple of really iconic elements,” Fritts explained in our conversation. “The marquee is one, the hand operated scoreboard, the ivy. With the marquee, what we really loved about that, is it’s what really welcomes you to Wrigley Field, it’s the place where people congregate and take their picture and really breathe in the beauty of Wrigley Field.”
On the left sleeve is a patch featuring an interpretation of the Chicago municipal device – a century-old symbol found throughout the city whose design pays tribute to Wolf Point where the north and south branches of the Chicago River meet. This symbol is shown in the Chicago flag colours of light blue, red, and white and is placed within a navy blue roundel with CHICAGO CUBS written around it.
“The Nike Chicago Cubs City Connect Jersey is a Chicago story — not just Wrigleyville,” said Nike Sr. Creative Director, MLB, Wil Green. “The city’s flag, municipal mark and public rail lines are icons of the city, which speak to the city’s connectivity. Within the design, we utilized elements of each to mirror the Cubs’ ambition of unifying the city’s neighbourhoods.”
For the cap, the Cubs will wear a navy blue crown and button with a light blue visor, the logo is the familiar Cubs “C” logo but recoloured white with light blue trim, one of the Chicago flag’s six-pointed red stars is placed in the middle of the “C”.
As appears to be the theme of Nike’s City Connect series thus far, the Cubs pants will be coloured navy blue to match the jerseys and create a solid head-to-toe unified colour. Belts are light blue, as are the undershirts and the socks.
While not part of the uniform proper, the Cubs are also incorpoating the names of all 77 of Chicago’s neighbourhoods on their dugout and bullpen jackets, some player cleats, and on the base jewels during games in which the City Connect uniforms are worn. All the neighbourhoods appear white except for one, their home neighbourhood of Lakeview which is highlighted in red.
“Developed in partnership with MLB clubs, Nike MLB City Connect Series celebrates the bond between each club and its city and pushes the boundaries of baseball uniform design to create new traditions and grow the game of baseball,” reads today’s press release from the Cubs. “The uniform series explores the personality, values and customs that make each community and their residents unique.”
The Cubs are the fourth of seven Major League teams who will wear a new City Connect uniform in 2021. Earlier we saw gold Boston Marathon themed uniforms from the Red Sox, red Cuban Sugar Kings uniforms from the Miami Marlins, and the extremely popular dark grey Southside set from the Chicago White Sox. Still to come are the Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants, and Los Angeles Dodgers. More teams will join the neighbourhood uniform block party in 2022.
A good time to check out our updated 2021 City Connect uniform tracker:
Four down, three to go.
Chicago will debut their new Wrigleyville uniform this weekend on Saturday, June 12th at home against the St. Louis Cardinals. They can wear it multiple times in 2021 but don’t appear to be scheduled to do so at this time. Each team in the City Connect series will wear their uniforms over the course of three seasons.