We learned a couple of interesting uniform-related tidbits courtesy St Louis Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III at the Cardinals Care Winter Warm-Up event earlier today.
First, the fact Nike is suggesting Major League ballclubs limit themselves to four overall uniforms plus one City Connect set.
“Nike is now doing all the jerseys — and one thing I’ll point out about Nike is that they have come to all the clubs and said, ‘We really want to sort of streamline uniforms.’ So there’s a model out there that they want to stick to called ‘four plus one.'” said DeWitt III, as transcribed by the St Louis Post Dispatch. “You have four jerseys that you can wear — home, road and two alternates — plus your City Connect when you unveil that.”
This was something that had been alluded to, but not confirmed, last year when questions arose about eliminating the New York Mets road blue alternate in favour of their home black set. This is probably a good thing overall; some clubs were going a little overboard with their uniform options — this still allows teams to go with a lineup of white, grey, primary colour alternate, and secondary colour alternate, which seems reasonable to me.
Teams this could affect include the Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres, and Tampa Bay Rays, who all had more than four regular uniform options (excluding City Connects) during the 2022 season. We’ll see what those clubs do to slide in under the four-plus-one cap for ’23.
Speaking of City Connect, let’s turn to the next bit of news DeWitt III revealed.
“We’re going to unveil the City Connect in 2024,” adding later, “I won’t spoil it here, but suffice it to say, there will be some red on the jersey.”
There we go; the Cardinals are the first team without one to publically confirm when their City Connect will be revealed. The others (*clears throat*): Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Minnesota, New Yorks Mets and Yankees, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Texas, and Toronto will be divided up between the 2023 and 2024 seasons — if done so evenly, that’s eight per year. Buckle up.