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St. Louis Cardinals Unveil City Connect Uniform; All About the MLB/Nike Series

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The St. Louis Cardinals released their Nike MLB City Connect series uniform on May 20, and fans were quick to express their opinions on the new jersey.

The uniform, rolled out as part of a leaguewide initiative aiming to highlight the cultural aspects of each Major League Baseball team’s home city through new, colorful jerseys, features a red jersey for regular-season play for the first time in the franchise’s history.

The red jersey features a nickname for the city, “The Lou,” in white lettering along with two red cardinals on the chest, and a fleur-de-lis on the sleeve, a nod to St. Louis’ French heritage.

The jersey and white pants have pinstripes representing “St. Louis’ historic role as a river city, situated at the confluence of the Missouri and the mighty Mississippi.” The cap has the letters “STL” in white.

Masyn Winn in St. Louis Cardinals' City Connect uniform.
Cardinals shortstop Masyn Winn sports the team’s new City Connect uniform.Courtesy St. Louis Cardinals

“The St. Louis Cardinals jersey is one of the most iconic in all of sports and we are proud to introduce our new City Connect uniform to build on that legacy,” team President Bill DeWitt III said in a press release. “A great deal of thought went into the design, and I believe our fans will appreciate the many uniform elements that were inspired by the organization’s 140-plus years in St. Louis.”

The team posted the new uniform on Instagram, and some fans expressed in the comments dislike over the design choices.

“Yall planned this for how long? And this is what you come up with?” one fan questioned.

“Ohhhh brother we suck at even being creative with uniforms,” another wrote.

“So, spring training jersey with a different word..” another said, adding the yawning emoji.

However, in a video the team posted featuring St. Louis native Nelly, other fans wrote in the comments that the explanation behind the design was impressive.

“I’ll admit, this video sold me on these uniforms. I hope they get a win,” one fan said.

“Nelly nailed this!!!!” another commented.

“Considering how awful the city connect jerseys have been this year, these are pretty clean,” another fan wrote.

The Cardinals’ City Connect uniform will make its on-field debut May 25.

The Cardinals' City Connect uniform features a fleur-de-lis on the sleeve.
The Cardinals’ City Connect uniform features a fleur-de-lis on the sleeve. Courtesy St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals are the 26th MLB team to unveil a City Connect uniform, and the sixth team to launch its uniform in 2024. Here’s what to know about the City Connect designs that have been released — and which are still in the works.

What are the MLB City Connect uniforms?

MLB and Nike started the City Connect series in 2021. The City Connect series’ alternate uniforms feature different colors, fonts and graphics than a team’s home and away uniforms, and seek to celebrate each city’s history and culture, according to MLB.

Fans have come to anticipate the launch date of the new uniforms to debate the aesthetics, often becoming a polarizing subject of conversation among enthusiasts. ESPN even ranked the jerseys from best to worst, starting with jerseys that were vibrant and representative of a team’s home city, to jerseys that were widely panned — some of which were even deemed boring by fans.

So far, 26 MLB teams have released their City Connect designs.

Seven teams launched their City Connect uniforms during the first year of the series: the Boston Red Sox, Miami Marlins, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Boston Red Sox's City Connect uniform.
The Red Sox have featured a brightly colored City Connect uniform.Christopher Pasatieri / Getty Images

Seven more followed in 2022, with the Washington Nationals, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres getting new uniforms. (The Rockies’ City Connect jerseys topped ESPN’s list, and were described as “a look that feels both fresh and classic.”)

Last year, the Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates launched their City Connect uniforms.

What are some other recent teams that have released City Connect uniforms in 2024?

Cleveland Guardians

The Cleveland Guardians released their City Connect uniform on May 12, paying homage to the Guardians of Traffic pillars on the Hope Memorial Bridge nearby the team’s home ballpark, Progressive Field.

“The blue jersey’s textured pattern is influenced by the Berea sandstone from which the pillars were carved over 90 years ago, a reflection of the resilience of the statues and the city they inspire,” the franchise said in a press release.

The jersey reads “CLE,” which, along with the uniform number, has a layered design to look as if it is etched in stone, in a nod to the pylons that support the statues.

The red and blue stripes on the side of the uniform are a throwback to the Cleveland teams of the early 1990s, which featured a number of young star players.

Detroit Tigers

The Guardians’ unveiling came about a week after the Detroit Tigers revealed their City Connect uniform. The Tigers chose to honor their city’s automotive history with their City Connect jersey, moving away from their classic white-and-gray uniforms and unveiling a dark navy and electric blue color scheme.

“From the tire treads to the VIN tag to the M-1 patch on the sleeve, there are unique features on the uniforms, caps and batting helmets we feel Tigers fans and Detroiters will appreciate. Above all, the uniforms are symbolic of the revitalization and exciting future ahead for the Tigers and our great city,” Ilitch Sports + Entertainment president and CEO Ryan Gustafson said in a press release.

The jersey, emblazoned with “Motor City” in white across the front, features a tire tread pattern and a racing stripe down the sleeve and also down the side of the navy blue pants. “Detroit” is on the front of the players’ cap and batting helmet, along with a number meant to read like a vehicle’s identification number, with meaningful digits in Tigers history, like 1901 (the Tigers’ inaugural season in the American League), 35, 45, 68 and 84 (the club’s winning World Series years).

The Tigers debuted their City Connect jersey for the first time on May 10 and sported them again the following day.

Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays chose to reflect their region’s skateboarding culture and “independent, underground spirit” in their City Connect uniform, which was unveiled on April 29 and made its on-field debut May 3.

“When we started thinking about that feeling that you have when you’re in some of these really special places around this community, it’s fueled by this energy,” Rays chief business officer Bill Walsh told MLB.com on April 29. “A lot of these types of countercultures, creative cultures, they’re really at the center of that in terms of creating that vibe.”

Tampa Bay Rays debut their City Connect uniform in May 3 game against the New York Mets.
The Rays played their first game with their new City Connect uniform on May 3.Mike Carlson / Getty Images

The Rays’ City Connect uniform, called the “Grit and Glow” uniform, features the words “Tampa Bay” spelled out in neon green and blue, with “Thrasher”-style flames coming off the top of each letter on an intentionally weathered and sun-faded jersey, per MLB.com.

The cap’s design consists of a ray combined with the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, connecting Pinellas County to Manatee County, while other logos on the uniform depict three palm trees, a pelican and a skateboarding ray.

“We have demonstrated that, that you’ve kind of got to be willing to go against the grain and have some courage and disrupt. So I think it’s exciting that there’s that overlap, too,” Walsh told MLB.com.

New York Mets

The New York Mets are among the other teams to have released their City Connect uniform this season. Theirs features a dark gray jersey with black “NYC” letters on the front to represent the concrete jungle of New York City. The uniform also has a purple swoosh and purple detailing on the sleeve — a reference to the purple icon of the 7 subway line, which runs to the Mets’ ballpark in Queens, Citi Field.

The pinstripes are also a nod to the city’s subway lines — the stripes are made up of circles and diamonds, which represent the local and express subways. An image of the Queensboro Bridge, which connects the boroughs of Queens and Manhattan, makes an appearance on the team’s hat, pants and sleeves, as well.

The Mets played their first game with their City Connect uniform on April 27.

Which teams haven’t released City Connect uniforms in 2024?

Three more teams — the Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays and the Dodgers — are set to unveil their jerseys during the 2024 season, in addition to the Cardinals, Guardians, Tigers, Rays, Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies, which released their City Connect uniform in early April.

Philadelphia Phillies play in their City Connect uniform.
The Philadelphia Phillies’ City Connect uniform made its on-field debut on April 12.Rich Schultz / Getty Images

The Dodgers, which released their first City Connect uniform in 2021, phased out their jersey and are set to unveil their latest alternate uniform later this year.

While MLB said all 30 teams will receive City Connect uniforms, the New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics, which are in the process of moving to Las Vegas, are the only teams without a date for getting their first set of City Connect uniforms, SNY reported.


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