Mariners New City Connect Uniform Taps Into City’s Long Baseball History – SportsLogos.Net News

Mariners New City Connect Uniform Taps Into City’s Long Baseball History

It’s “Past Presents Future,” it’s “Future Nostalgia,” it’s… it’s… the Seattle Mariners new 2023 Nike MLB City Connect uniform!

A celebration of “over a century of baseball in the Pacific Northwest” is the focus of Nike’s latest MLB City Connect uniform to drop on the baseball world, officially unveiled by the Mariners this morning. The Mariners are the 17th of the league’s thirty clubs to reveal their City Connect design since the program was first introduced back in 2021.

The Seattle Mariners are simultaneously paying tribute to the 1969 Seattle Pilots – the first MLB club to call the city home (currently residing in Milwaukee), the 1940s Seattle Steelheads – a Negro League club from the mid-1940s, the 1955 Pacific Coast League Champion Seattle Rainiers, as well as their own club history by way of a modified version of the colours and logos used during their first few seasons in the 1970s and 80s.

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“In our first meeting with Nike, they came to us with several different narrative paths that we could take, some thought starters,” recalled Kevin Martinez, the Mariners Sr. VP of Marketing and Communications, in a chat with SportsLogos.Net. “If you look at the City Connect program in totality, you can start to see the various paths they present. Initially, six or seven paths were presented; we got down to three narratives for discussion purposes and further development; one of those was this idea of ‘future nostalgia,’ taking Seattle’s past and presenting it in a new way. And we really love that.”

“To focus on the game of baseball in Seattle, over 100 years of baseball history, people might just think it started with the Mariners in ’77, but there’s also the Rainiers, the Pilots, the Seattle Turks, the Steelheads — there’s baseball history here, and we looked for ways to help celebrate over a century of baseball in Seattle in this uniform.”

That century-plus celebration gets underway with a “Rush Blue” (Nikespeak for “Royal Blue”) jersey base with “SEATTLE” arched across the chest in style very similar to the 1969 Pilots road jersey, now bevelled in both “Sundown” and “Amarillo” (yellow and slightly lighter yellow). The “SEATTLE” wordmark includes a subtle “Black” (black) drop shadow, a nod to the jersey wordmark of the 1955 Rainiers.

On the sleeve of the jersey is a new logo with “PNW” (for Pacific Northwest) in yellow on a black circle, underlined “to signify the energy and
exuberance of the region’s great outdoors.” Within the circle is a depiction of Mount Rainier surrounded by the famous/infamous “Scrambled Eggs” design from the visor of the Seattle Pilots caps; these “eggs” are serving a dual purpose as they’re also there in honour of the region’s maritime and aviation industries.

Inside the back collar is the team’s Sodo Mojo rallying cry placed on two crossed tridents forming two “W” s, one for Washington state and one for “Wins,” just as the club lights up the “W” on the T-Mobile Park roof after home victories. Down at the “jock tag” is “My Oh My,” the iconic words of the great Dave Niehaus, Hall of Fame broadcaster of the Mariners from 1977 until 2010. These words are presented in a style similar to the Seattle Pilots’ lettering. The Mariners previously wore “My Oh My” on their uniform sleeves on Dave’s memorial patch in 2011.

The “Rush Blue” ball cap takes us back to the earliest days of the Mariners franchise with the up-side-down trident/M logo the club wore for their first three seasons, presented here per usual in yellow but now with a new modernized design including a black outline. The visor and the button on the top of the cap are black, and the New Era logo on the left is yellow.

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Players reacted positively upon first seeing the uniforms; Martinez noted during our conversation that Mariners outfielder Teoscar Hernández said he wanted the club to wear them for every game, “the words that we heard most from the players — ‘that’s really clean,’ ‘that’s sharp,’ it was rewarding to hear that because that’s what we really set out to do.”

It’s a safe bet to say that just as the Texas Rangers experienced a couple of weeks ago, the black pants will be the most polarizing part of the new set. This was introduced as a nod to the black-and-white colour scheme of the Seattle Steelheads (though worth noting the Steelheads never wore black pants). The slacks will be worn with a yellow belt and feature a yellow/blue/yellow stripe down the side. The Nike “Swoosh” on the tuchus is yellow.

“I think whenever you introduce black pants or dark-coloured pants in baseball, there’s always some conversation around that. It seemed, almost to a man, once the players put the whole uniform on, and they saw the photos, they were like, ‘Okay, all right, this is looking good.'”

“The more time we spent with it, the more excited we got about it and comfortable with it,” Martinez said, referring to the Mariners’ black City Connect pants. “It is very non-traditional, but I hope over time if people don’t like it at first, that when they see it under the bright lights and with the full gear, they’ll be excited about it. We think it really fits the personality and energy of this incredibly talented team with so many great personalities. It’s just a very fresh, forceful look that I can’t wait to see in action.”

“I think the white pants were what people would have expected. We credit Nike for pushing us.”

The Seattle Mariners will wear their new City Connect uniform for the first time on Friday, May 5, for their game against the Houston Astros; they’ll then be worn for every Friday home game throughout the remainder of the 2023 regular season.

Jerseys, caps, and other Mariners City Connect merchandise are available in-person at the Mariners Team Store at T-Mobile Park starting at 9 am Seattle time; they’re also available for online purchases right now at via our affiliate links. (Thanks, as always, for your support!)

The Mariners join the Atlanta Braves and Texas Rangers as teams to unveil their new City Connect uniforms thus far in 2023; three more clubs remain this season, with the Cincinnati Reds the next on the schedule, set for a release sometime in mid-May. The Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates will wrap things up for the season following the Reds. By the conclusion of the 2023 season, two-thirds of the league will have unveiled a City Connect uniform, with ten more still left to go.

“Over the course of its first two seasons, the Nike MLB City Connect Series has been the most successful consumer product initiative we’ve ever had,” said MLB Chief Revenue Officer Noah Garden when the 2023 lineup was announced back in March. “The overwhelmingly positive response from our fans is clear when you see ballparks full of these distinct designs and colours. Our Clubs have focused so much time and effort with Nike to create these exceptional uniforms for their fan bases, and it shows in every last detail. We look forward to seeing even more of our parks filled with City Connect jerseys this season.”

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