Baseball, Columnists, Sports

On-Deck Circle: Everything wrong with MLB’s new jerseys

This season, Major League Baseball partnered with Nike and Fanatics to manufacture uniforms for all 30 teams. 

Chloe Patel | Senior Graphic Artist

To say the uniforms are a disappointment would be an understatement. 

As spring training gets underway, the uniforms have been exposed as cheap and see-through, a poor representation of the league and its players. 

The new uniforms were made with the dog days of summer in mind. 

The goal was to help players stay cool in the heat of June, July and August, according to

While Nike and Fanatics may have accomplished that, there now seems to be a lack of quality and durability in the new ones.

Fans and players alike have noticed significant failures in the new uniforms. 

First, some parts of the new jerseys are no longer stitched or embroidered — take the Mariners’ new look, for example.

The last name is no longer stitched on — the name “Rodriguez” on that jersey looks like stickers that a second grader would stick to a poster board for their science fair project.

The days of jerseys feeling authentic and nostalgic are over. The days of cheaper quality — not prices — and flimsy jerseys are here.

However, they are hopefully not here to stay. 

Nike and Fanatics will be visiting spring training sites to hear from players on ways to improve the style and fit of the uniforms, according to NBC News.  

There is much work to be done to fix these uniforms before Opening Day.

As teams held their annual preseason media day, the uniforms were again exposed for their lack of quality, as fans could see through them, whether it was the players’ compression pants or tucked jerseys. 

Yes, getting upset at the jerseys a team is wearing is very nit-picky. There are much bigger issues in sports and the world today than how a last name looks on the back of a jersey. 

But jerseys provide a sense of belonging and community for fans of any sport.

A jersey can be a conversation starter anywhere you wear it and can lead to finding similar emotional connections you have that other people have as well.

Wearing a jersey can symbolize your allegiance to a team or even an entire city or state. 

While wearing a Red Sox jersey down Commonwealth Avenue will not provoke the same response as in the Bronx, it communicates a similar message — “I am a Red Sox fan, and I am proud of it.” 

Wearing a jersey can mean even more when the team is struggling. It shows more about the person wearing it than the team itself — showing loyalty and devotion to the team. 

It’s a symbolic message — even though my team is struggling, I am still proud to be a fan or be from that city.

Sports give fans an outlet to express themselves through team attire. 

Especially as teams create new jerseys with exciting color schemes and ties to the city, jerseys quickly become a symbol of hometown pride. 

The Red Sox and Washington Nationals provide two great examples — Boston has a jersey with the iconic yellow and blue of the Boston Marathon, a symbol of city pride. The Nationals have a jersey featuring the cherry blossoms that bloom yearly and are an annual tourist attraction. 

These are just two of the many jerseys that display a classic symbol or color of the city in which the team plays.

These spring training jerseys mean more than just the name on the back — they show sentimental meaning.

Sports teams represent their city, state or even region. 

When teams take the field, ice or court, they play for more than a paycheck. They play for the people in their city, who pride themselves on being fans of that team. 

Coming to college was an experience in itself when it came to representing the teams I cheer for. With the recent downfalls of the Patriots and Red Sox, a lot of flack has come my way, as my friends’ teams do well. 

These underwhelming jerseys from Nike and Fanatics will make any fan hesitant to buy new team gear. 

The last thing I want to do is spend more than $150 on a “replica” jersey that looks “like a knockoff jersey from T.J. Maxx.”

It may take a lot of work before fans are satisfied with the new Nike jerseys. For such a crucial part of the sports world, fans want the authentic product. 

Without it, representing your team becomes a lot more difficult. 


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