A new tradition in the MLB was started last season, with the league following in the footsteps of the NBA by creating special alternate jerseys honoring the cities of individual teams. There’s a range of thread quality, with some performing well and others falling short. Although only nine teams have jerseys as of now, I’ll be ranking them by visual appeal and meaning.
Simply put, these jerseys just don’t do it for me. A note for the only uniforms I don’t like: Putting “Los Dodgers” in front of something doesn’t make it Spanish. The purpose of the jerseys is to celebrate the rich Latin American history of the area. However, building the stadium that they play in forced thousands of Spanish people out. Putting “Los” in front of “Dodgers” does nothing for me and the jerseys aren’t special otherwise.
Unlike the Dodgers, there’s really nothing wrong with these. For me though, they just lack meaning and the look is a bit too plain. I do like the sand-colored base of the jersey, but the “Serpentines” instead of Diamondbacks feels like a bit of a cop-out again for appreciating local Hispanic culture. Nothing wrong, but nothing special either.
These are good, but not great. Chicago is a city with a rich culture. Choosing “Wrigleyville” as the thing to honor is pretty weak. The design itself is pleasant with a nice combination of navy blue and Columbia blue, neither of which are the Cubs’ colors. The best part is the Cubs uniform is the Chicago flag on their hat, but it’s not enough.
In recent years, the Marlins changed their colors from blue, orange and white to blue, red and black, and its generally worked. The red has been a bit of a tertiary option, so it’s nice to see it take center-stage here. The pinstripes are also good and the overall design is trying to replicate the minor league Havana Sugar Kings, which works well. Overall, it’s decent, but middle of the pack.
This is the point where we start getting into the “nice” category of jerseys. There really isn’t anything particularly wrong with the White Sox’s jerseys. They kept their colors and the gray pinstripes are attractive. Just like the Cubs, the hat saying “Chi” is the best part, providing a nice simplicity with the same classic font as the chest lettering.
Most people like these more than I do, but I’ll admit they are excellent threads. Honoring NASA’s history in Houston is a safe, but workable choice. The colors are the same as on their normal jerseys, but the gradient colors on the socks work really well to differentiate them. Having “Space City” on the chest is nice and the hats are a good change, too.
I will admit, this ranking might be a little biased, but I don’t have any regrets putting the Red Sox this high just because of the meaning behind the design. The lettering on the chest is in the same font as the finish line font for the Boston Marathon, which is an iconic event for the area. Although the colors are a touch questionable, they still work and look clean.
Perhaps one of the most iconic landmarks in San Francisco — or the U.S. as a whole for that matter — is the Golden Gate Bridge and the fog that surrounds it. In these threads, the bridge is shown on the sleeves, while there’s a fog effect that fades down on the jersey. The look is incredibly clean, deserving of the No. 2 slot.
The best jerseys by far on this list are the “bloom” Nationals ones that include nice cherry blossom tree stitches all around the jersey. The design is incredibly visually pleasing and pays a rare homage to the trees that are everywhere in the district. It’s thinking out of the box and I like that, mixed with an excellent spring vibe.