Fresh off the heels of the MLB at Field of Dreams game, baseball’s set to host it’s *other* annual small stadium, small town, neutral site game, the 2021 Little League Classic this Sunday, August 22nd.
Held during each non-2020 season since 2017, the Little League Classic pits two clubs against one another to play at Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the site of the famous Little League World Series.
The 2021 edition of the game sees the Cleveland Indians — in what’s likely their last big national game with that name, taking on the Los Angeles Angels. Essentially this is a matchup between a team that tries not to use their nickname vs a team that tries not to use their geographic name, it’s only fitting then that neither team will actually wear their name on the recently unveiled uniforms for this game.
With inspirations from the regional teams that compete in the Little League World Series, the Cleveland
Indians will represent the “Great Lakes” region while the Los Angeles Angels will do so for the “West”. Both jerseys feature the regional names on the front, diagonal on large red and blue stripes across the chest. Each team’s logo is placed in the upper right corner of the chest, the collar matches the colour of the big chest stripe, sleeves match the colour of the wordmark.
Team caps are the same as what the club typically wears, Cleveland with their navy blue crown with red visor (as they wear for home games), the Angels with their only regular option – the all-red with the halo-A on the front. There are patches added to the right side of each cap, Cleveland’s shows the state map of Ohio with “Great Lakes” placed over it, the Angels do the same with California and “West”.
Player numbers on the back of each jersey use each club’s typical font while the player names look to be standardized between the two clubs.
This may surprise some, but I love that they’re using the regional names on the uniforms. If these teams had qualified for the Little League World Series (keep trying Orioles, I believe in you!), this is what they’d wear on their jerseys. Now, I don’t like the templated look between the clubs, but, to be fair, that’s also what they do in the Little League World Series.
This will be the fourth time the Little League Classic is held but the first time they’ve done so with the Little League World Series-inspired regional names on the jerseys. Previously teams had worn ultra-colourful versions of their usual looks (in 2017 and 2018) which were then recycled across the league for Players Weekend; in 2019 the Cubs and Pirates wore unofficial team nicknames on the front of their uniforms (Cubbies and The ‘Burgh).
UPDATE (Aug 17/21 1:20pm ET): Just adding some more photos that had been posted to MLB’s social media accounts…