Tracking all of MLB's City Connect jerseys and debut dates

ByAnthony Gharib ESPN logo
Monday, June 17, 2024

Uniform changes can be polarizing. Some sports fans like tradition. Others welcome innovation. One thing is certain: They get us talking.

Major League Baseball's City Connect uniforms, which launched in 2021, have done exactly that. Nike has worked with MLB teams to create a uniform that reflects each baseball city's culture and community, similar to the NBA's city jersey series that began in 2017.

There were 20 uniforms released prior to this year, with nine more being added during the 2024 season, starting with the Philadelphia Phillies (April 12) and followed by the New York Mets (April 27), Tampa Bay Rays (May 3), Detroit Tigers (May 10), Cleveland Guardians (May 17), St. Louis Cardinals (May 25), Toronto Blue Jays (May 31) and Minnesota Twins (June 14). We'll also get another set this season from the Los Angeles Dodgers (June 21), which will make them the first team with two City Connect looks. After this new batch arrives, the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics will be the only teams without one.

Here's our breakdown of the uniforms that have dropped to date, including grades for each design by ESPN MLB writer David Schoenfield. We'll continue to update the list as new City Connect unis are unveiled.


Los Angeles Dodgers (Take 2)

Debut: June 21, 2024

Design inspiration:The Dodgers focused on Los Angeles as a "city of dreams and dreamers" in their second go around at a City Connect design. The "Los Angeles" watermark across the chest is inspired by the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where the Dodgers first played when they moved from Brooklyn. There are also electric blue and red dots scattered throughout the design, referred to as a "galaxy of stars."

Schoenfield's grade:D. Well, this "Funfetti" City Connect is probably an improvement on the original, much-derided all-blue uniforms (the Dodgers eventually shifted to white pants). That doesn't mean it's any good, although I suspect it might fare better in the souvenir shops than it will look on TV or on Shohei Ohtani.

More: Dodgers reveal second City Connect series look with 'city of dreams' theme

Minnesota Twins

Debut: June 14, 2024

Design inspiration:The Twins opted to pay homage to the entire state, instead of a city, with their "ripple effect" design. The blue uniform is a nod to the more than 10,000 lakes throughout Minnesota, and the sublimated pattern refers to the ripple effect,with subtle shifts from dark to light blue, similar to waves in a lake and also meant to represent how the water color gets darker the deeper one goes. Though there was speculation the Twins might lean into a Prince-themed design, the only salute to the Grammy Award-winning artist is a topography of Lake Minnetonka under the brim of the cap.

Schoenfield's grade:B. The Twins have one of the best sets of jerseys, and they've come up with a distinctive City Connect uniform to add to the collection with a nice shade of blue (representing the land of 10,000 lakes) and yellow piping and trim that pops nicely.

More:Twins unveil a tribute to Minnesota's lakes

Toronto Blue Jays

Debut: May 31, 2024

Design inspiration:The Blue Jays focused on Toronto's nightlife energy with a "night mode" uniform. The "Toronto" font across the chest is inspired by a sign at Nathan Phillips Square in the heart of the city, with a rhythmic skyline reflecting off Lake Ontario underneath. The "T" on the Blue Jays cap is a nod to the pillars of Toronto City Hall.

Schoenfield's grade:C. Well, it's another dark City Connect jersey. Surprise, surprise. The Toronto skyline graphic looks like something you might find on a T-shirt at an airport kiosk, so low marks for creativity there, although the "Toronto" font at least resembles a throwback to the original Blue Jays uniform. The cap works, though.

More:Toronto unveils 'Night Mode' City Connect uniforms

St. Louis Cardinals

Debut: May 25, 2024

Design inspiration:The Cardinals go for a look that stays within the franchise's famous uniform palette, while paying homage to elements of their city. "The Lou" is written across the chest, popularized by St. Louis native and Grammy Award-winning artist Nelly, who was involved in the design process. The sleeve patch is a nod to the Gateway Arch and fleur-de-lis. Most notably, it's the first time in franchise history the team will wear a red jersey in the regular season.

Schoenfield's grade:C+. I'd put the Cardinals in the same boat as the Dodgers or Phillies: No matter what you come up with, it's going to be difficult to top the classic designs of the regular jerseys. So the Cardinals played it safe here with the familiar birds on the bat. Fine, but not adventurous, and the cap falls short.

More: Cardinals unveil red City Connect uniforms with help from hip-hop artist Nelly

Cleveland Guardians

Debut: May 17, 2024

Design inspiration:The Guardians of Traffic statues on Cleveland's Hope Memorial Bridge are a huge inspiration to these uniforms (as they were to the team's new name), with the texture of the jersey and pants color among the more notable nods to the statues. The Guardians also connect the past with the present, with braiding down the shoulders reminiscent of Cleveland's uniforms in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Schoenfield's grade:D. Well, at least it isn't black, but this looks a rejected design for a bad 1980s uniform with the stripes on both the sleeves and pants. It gets to a problem with a lot of these City Connect jerseys: The socks are pretty cool, but most players won't show them, so why are so many of the biggest risks/best flourishes hidden?

More: Guardians unveil City Connects, inspired by Guardians of Traffic statues

Detroit Tigers

Debut: May 10, 2024

Design inspiration: No surprise here that the Tigers' design pays homage to the "Motor City" and looks ahead to the "exciting future" of the up-and-coming franchise. The electric blue prominent throughout the uniform represents the innovation across the auto industry, city and team. Elements such as the tire treads, racing stripe and VIN honor Detroit's signature export.

Schoenfield's grade:C. The electric blue pops a bit and there are a couple of nice details, but in general this City Connect looks a lot like the others with its dark color scheme. Is there something wrong with a flash of color? How about some red to symbolize a Corvette or a Ford Mustang or maybe a tip to Motown on the cap instead of a lame "Detroit"? Could have done so much more here.

More: Tigers gear up for future with 'Motor City' vibe

Tampa Bay Rays

Debut: May 3, 2024

Design inspiration: The Rays use elements that highlight the unconventional nature of their organization, leaning into the skateboarding culture in Tampa Bay with one of the more notable decals of the City Connect series: a Ray executing a "stalefish" skateboard trick on the inside neck and pant hip.

Schoenfield's grade:A-. Another black/gray base is a little cliché by this time for the City Connect line, but these are pretty cool, as the neon really pops and I love the cap with the purple bill. The numbers might be a bit hard to see on TV, but definitely a jersey you can see Rays fans wearing.

More: Unconventional Rays use a balance of "grit and glow"

New York Mets

Debut: April 27, 2024

Design inspiration:The Mets wanted to create a uniform that not only related to fans of the team but captured the connection to New York City as a whole, leaning heavily on the "NYC" across the chest to represent "a city like no other." They pay homage to New York's subway stations with multiple design elements, most specifically purple flourishes representing the 7 line, which stops at Citi Field. There's also the Queensboro Bridge, which connects Manhattan and Queens, across the cap.

Schoenfield's grade:F. This feels like a big swing and miss for the obvious reason that it gives off a Yankees vibe rather than a Mets one, and you can't screw up worse than that. Why not go with "Queens" on the chest rather than the predictable "NYC"? And the Queensboro Bridge cap just doesn't work.

More: Mets go with "NYC" to connect to whole city, rather than just one area

Philadelphia Phillies

Debut: April 12, 2024

Design inspiration: The Phillies' style goal was to be "unapologetically Philly." The blue and yellow colors are inspired by the city's flag and the blue collar of the jersey is meant to represent what the Phillies say is Philadelphia at its core: "a blue-collar big city with a small-town feel."

Schoenfield's grade:C. I'm not sure why the city flag is supposed to be an inspiration, as many Phillies fans wanted a dark maroon throwback style. The biggest problem the Phillies faced, though, was the fact they were never going to top their regular jerseys, the best overall set of uniforms in the majors.

More: Phillies' City Connect unis include nods to Liberty Bell


Pittsburgh Pirates

Debut: June 27, 2023

Design inspiration: Pittsburgh's black-and-yellow combination is a nod to the city's bridges and its shift from the steel industry to medicine and technology. Each letter in "PGH" includes a texture from the Roberto Clemente Bridge, which connects downtown Pittsburgh to PNC Park.

Schoenfield's grade:C+. The Pirates played it pretty safe here with the traditional black-and-yellow scheme, although there are some nice subtle design patterns (which are not really visible on television).

More:Bucs nod to Pittsburgh's landmarks, blue-collar mentality, thriving technology

Baltimore Orioles

Debut: May 26, 2023

Design inspiration:The all-black look includes "Baltimore'' across the chest, written in a font inspired by the Globe Collection and Press at Maryland Institute College of Art. It also has the "You Can't Clip These Wings" slogan, a melody created by Baltimore-based poet and author Kondwani Fidel intended to embody the city's perseverance.

Schoenfield's grade:C-. An all-black uniform is usually a love it or hate it look, and this one isn't helped by the boring block Baltimore lettering or that the minimal coloring requires the players to uncuff their sleeves or pants. The stylized "B" on the cap is a nice touch, even if it's in white instead of orange.

More:Orioles' City Connect uniforms celebrate Baltimore's many neighborhoods

Cincinnati Reds

Debut: May 19, 2023

Design inspiration: Cincinnati focused on the growth of its city in recent years. The Reds included multiple modern takes on traditional aspects of their uniforms -- a revamped "C" logo and all-black look with red accents, different from their typical red and white.

Schoenfield's grade:C. I do like the "C" on the cap with the five lines, but this is one of those jerseys that looks better hanging in a team store than it does watching a game in person or on TV.

More:Reds put modern spin on one of baseball's oldest franchises

Seattle Mariners

Debut: May 5, 2023

Design inspiration:Throwbacks. The "Seattle" font across the chest is similar to that of the Seattle Pilots, the original MLB team in the city, while the black pants are a nod to the Steelheads, a Negro League team. The trident logo has been used in the past by the Mariners, notably in the 1980s and late 2010s.

Schoenfield's grade:B+. They almost nailed it, as the blue tops with the yellow trim and the blue cap with the black bill and old-school trident logo were instant classics, but the black pants make the overall effect resemble a 1983 men's softball league look.

More:Mariners bring back a familiar logo with City Connect uniforms

Texas Rangers

Debut: April 21, 2023

Design inspiration: This is a design packed with Texas tributes, from its "TX" logo to numerous references to Lone Star State history. There's even a "peagle" patch, which combines the mascots of the minor league Fort Worth Panthers and Dallas Eagles.

Schoenfield's grade:D. Just too much going on here, from the mythical peagle to the gothic lettering (nothing says "Texas" like a font from the Middle Ages) to the too-large logo on the cap.

More:Rangers feature something called a "peagle" on City Connect uniforms

Atlanta Braves

Debut: April 8, 2023

Design inspiration: Hank Aaron. The look is an update of the Braves' uniform from 1974, the year Hammerin' Hank passed Babe Ruth as baseball's all-time home run king, and features other Aaron-inspired touches throughout.

Schoenfield's grade:A-. It's not exactly reinventing anything here since it's similar to the uniform the Braves wore in the early 1970s. But it's one sweet-looking uniform, with great eye appeal on TV, in photos or on baseball cards.

More:Braves pay special tribute to Hank Aaron with City Connect uniforms


San Diego Padres

Debut: July 8, 2022

Design inspiration:According to the Padres, the bold departure from their regular uniforms "mixes iconic California imagery with the vibrant colors of the Baja peninsula."

Schoenfield's grade:A. I get that this might not be for everybody, but it's distinct and colorful, seems to represent the city well and is a nice change of pace from the Padres' brown-and-gold scheme.

More:Padres use vibrant shades of pink, mint and yellow colors for City Connect unis

Milwaukee Brewers

Debut: June 24, 2022

Design inspiration: The Brewers took their nickname -- "The Brew Crew" -- and etched it across their chest, while the inclusion of a baseball grill patch on the sleeve is a unique nod to Milwaukee's fans.

Schoenfield's grade:A. You have to love this one: That patch of a grill on the uniform sleeve? More teams should have had a little more fun with this like the Brewers did.

More:Brewers honor Milwaukee's summer skies, grilling culture and Lake Michigan

Los Angeles Angels

Debut: June 11, 2022

Design inspiration: The beach. The Angels' lettering across the chest, with a fishtail flourish, is inspired by surfboards.

Schoenfield's grade:A-. Some have called it bland, but in general you can't go wrong with a cream-colored look and the Angels nailed the chest script and number on the front (inspired by California lifeguard tower numbers).

More:Angels nod at local surf and skate culture with City Connect unis

Colorado Rockies

Debut: June 4, 2022

Design inspiration: The DMV. The Rockies turned their uniforms into a baseball jersey adaptation of Colorado's license plates.

Schoenfield's grade:B. This look definitely screams "Colorado" more than the unexciting purple-trimmed jerseys the Rockies wear. But too much of the design was stolen from those state license plates, so they lose points for lack of creativity.

More:Rockies mix hints of pine trees, skiing and sunshine for their City Connect unis

Kansas City Royals

Debut: April 30, 2022

Design inspiration: The most notable element of the jersey -- the logo -- takes cues from Kansas City's official flag.

Schoenfield's grade:C. Some nice design elements here, like the fountain-inspired "KC" lettering on the front, but the choice to go with navy over, you know, royal blue is kind of odd. In the end, it just feels like a lesser version of their regular jerseys.

More:Royals' unis connect to Kansas City's sporting and architectural history

Houston Astros

Debut: April 20, 2022

Design inspiration: Outer space. The Astros lean into Houston's most well-known explorers -- NASA -- with many elements, most prominently the "SPACE CITY" name stenciled across the chest in what the team called a "space-inspired" font.

Schoenfield's grade:B-. I love the cap and the NASA-inspired font for the team name (and names on the back) plus the colorful socks when the pants are worn high, but I wonder if orange pants -- bring out some of that colorful Astros history! -- instead of another monochrome look would have been the way to go.

Washington Nationals

Debut: April 9, 2022

Design inspiration: Cherry blossoms. Among other symbols of the nation's capital, the Nats decorated their jerseys to celebrate D.C.'s iconic cherry trees, though they'll be retiring the look after the 2024 season.

Schoenfield's grade:B. I kind of liked this one, but obviously the Nationals themselves weren't big fans with the early retirement of the jersey after 2024. Plus, the subtle flower pattern on the jersey is invisible when actually watching a game.

More:Nats, Wizards unveil cherry blossom-themed uniforms


Los Angeles Dodgers (Take 1)

Debut: Aug. 20, 2021

Design inspiration: The "Los Dodgers" lettering on both the hat and jersey is not only a shout-out to the team's Latin fan base, but was also a specific callback to "Fernandomania," when Mexican left-hander Fernando Valenzuela burst onto the scene 40 years earlier, winning the National League Cy Young Award, Rookie of the Year Award and, oh yeah, the World Series in 1981.

Schoenfield's grade:F. The Dodgers seemed to give this no effort, and they've already twice modified the original all-blue 2021 version. They will have a completely new look coming out in 2024.

More:L.A. unveils 'Los Dodgers' City Connect uniforms

San Francisco Giants

Debut: July 9, 2021

Design inspiration: Fog. San Francisco's offering in the City Connect series has graphics that are emerging from the city's famous fog, including its most well-known landmark, the Golden Gate Bridge.

Schoenfield's grade:C. They could have done something cool here with the Golden Gate Bridge and the fog, but there's too much white and not enough color.

More:Giants' City Connect uniforms feature Golden Gate Bridge, fog gradient

Arizona Diamondbacks

Debut: June 18, 2021

Design inspiration: The Diamondbacks become the "Serpientes" on their City Connect jerseys, a nod to Hispanic culture, and their choice of gold is straight out of the Arizona desert.

Schoenfield's grade:B. The design itself, with the Spanish spelling of snakes, isn't anything unique or special, but the desert-sand jersey color does stand out and improves the grade.

More:D-backs unveil gold jersey, referencing Sonoran Desert, Hispanic culture

Chicago Cubs

Debut: June 12, 2021

Design inspiration: With colors that evoke their city's flag, the Cubs' look prominently features the "Wrigleyville" neighborhood that surrounds their iconic ballpark, in a font similar to Wrigley Field's famous marquee.

Schoenfield's grade:D. Nothing wrong with "Wrigleyville" across the chest, although that's a lot of lettering to squeeze in, but in a city with a rich history like Chicago, this was a missed opportunity to do something creative. The all-navy look is another miss.

More:Cubs' uniforms feature 'Wrigleyville' across the front in marquee font

Chicago White Sox

Debut: June 5, 2021

Design inspiration:The first of the Chicago City Connects takes cues from the city's Greystone architectural style as well as hip-hop and youth culture, highlighted by a Gothic "Southside" across the chest to represent the team's long history of calling that part of town home.

Schoenfield's grade:B+. Probably the most the predictable of the City Connect uniforms, given the White Sox's already heavy emphasis on black (although these are officially dark gray), but it's a nice look.

Miami Marlins

Debut: May 21, 2021

Design inspiration: Miami's Cuban population is celebrated with a uniform inspired by the Sugar Kings, a Triple-A team that played out of Havana, Cuba, from 1954 to 1960. The sleeve patch uses the original Sugar Kings logo, with an "MM" added to the crown.

Schoenfield's grade:A. I love the top because when you see these, you know you're watching the Marlins. It certainly feels a lot more Miami than the Marlins' uninspired regular uniforms.

More:Marlins' uniforms to honor former Cuban Triple-A team the Sugar Kings

Boston Red Sox

Debut: April 17, 2021

Design inspiration: The Red Sox launched the City Connect series with a radical idea: No red. Instead, the team went with a yellow-and-blue jersey color combo that's a nod to the Boston Marathon. There's also a sleeve patch featuring Fenway Park's "617" area code.

Schoenfield's grade:B. It took guts to completely abandon red from the look, but think of the early history in Boston and the fun the team could have built in: a patch of a bag of tea or the U.S. Constitution or Paul Revere's horse.

More:Red Sox 'push the envelope' with marathon-inspired blue-yellow uniforms