Baseball is blooming in Washington, D.C.
The Washington Nationals unveiled their 2022 Nike MLB City Connect Series uniform this morning kicking off the second season of the league’s new uniform program with Nike, designed to show pride in each participating team’s home city or fanbase. Washington’s design will honour the capital city’s iconic annual cherry blossom festival.
“Washington D.C.’s cherry blossoms represent hope and new beginnings, making them the perfect symbol of this Nationals team,” said Mark D. Lerner, managing principal owner of the Washington Nationals. “We’re excited to unveil these beautiful uniforms as the embodiment of our historic organization’s hopeful future.”
The uniform, designed in partnership with Nike, features a dark anthracite grey jersey with a cherry blossom floral pattern (representing the city’s beauty) printed within it. Across the chest is “WSH,” the abbreviation for the city, in a white and ivory “architectural” typeface (representing the city’s strength) with grey trim and pink drop shadowing; a cherry blossom branch in full bloom serves as an underscore below the “H.” On the right sleeve is the Washington D.C. flag recoloured pink and grey. On the left is the Nationals’ primary logo, also now in pink and grey. A cherry tree with pink petals flying away in the breeze is in the bottom left corner.
Up top, the caps are dark grey with a white and ivory “W” on the crown; the W is trimmed in both grey and pink and includes pink cherry blossom petals blowing away from the top right corner and bottom left corner. On the right side of the cap is a patch showing a cherry blossom tree with its petals blowing away in the wind; this appears to be the same design as what’s being worn on the bottom corner of the jerseys.
Player pants are the same ivory colour as the “W” and have a grey/pink/grey striping pattern down each side, while the socks are dark anthracite with cherry blossom patterning just like the jersey base with pink horizontal striping and stars mimicking D.C.’s flag. Finally, the “W” from the crown of the cap is added on the front of the sock below the flag striping just above the start of the foot.
The release from Major League Baseball says the new Nats’ City Connect uniform “pays tribute to America’s majestic capital city and the proud, diverse, creative people of all backgrounds who call it home” and that it takes “inspiration from the annual springtime blooms of cherry blossom trees that abound around the Potomac basin signifying the promise of new beginnings and possibilities of a new season.”
Washington will wear the new uniforms “during select games” in the upcoming season; they will make their on-field début during the Nationals’ home opening weekend with back-to-back dates against the New York Mets on Saturday, April 9 and Sunday, April 10.
The Nats also revealed a cross-city Nike uniform campaign with the NBA’s Washington Wizards, who will wear cherry blossom-themed City Edition uniforms themselves when they take the court during their 2022-23 season. While both teams will wear uniforms paying tribute to the cherry blossoms, “the Wizards’ City Edition jersey will feature its own distinct expression and narrative inspired by the pink flower,” read the release from the Nationals.
This syncs with the relatively large NBA uniform leak we saw last month, which showed the Wizards with a new grey and pink-themed uniform.
Washington D.C.’s National Cherry Blossom Festival is held each spring commemorating the gift of Japanese cherry trees to the capital in 1912, two decades before the first organized event was born in 1934. Thousands of tourists head to the city to see the pink petals and enjoy various parades and helium balloons, among other spectacles.
The Washington Nationals are the first of seven teams to join Nike’s MLB City Connect uniform campaign during the upcoming 2022 season. Following their in-game debut on April 9, future City Connect on-field debuts will be made by the Houston Astros on April 20, the Kansas City Royals on April 30, the Colorado Rockies on June 4, the Los Angeles Angels on June 11, Milwaukee Brewers on June 24, and San Diego Padres on July 8. Last season, designs were revealed for the Boston Red Sox, Miami Marlins, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants, and Los Angeles Dodgers. Each team is scheduled to wear their City Connect uniform for at least three seasons.
Fans looking to purchase the new Nationals City Connect uniform or cap can do so online at Fanatics and in-person at the Nationals Team Store starting Wednesday, March 30.