Nike has taken the “Red” out of Red Sox.
Baseball, rooted in tradition to a fault, is making a drastic shift with Nike at the helm of its uniforms this year, introducing “City Connect” uniforms for seven teams in 2021.
Nike has already created controversy in MLB because of its logo on the front of uniforms, and is taking a massive swing on new designs that are supposed to encapsulate the spirit and personality of fan bases and cities.
The first up with new digs: The Red Sox. And they are … something.
The uniforms are set to be used on Boston’s annual Patriot Day, during which the Boston marathon takes place. The uniforms colors are blue and yellow, made to mirror the finish line of the Boston marathon. They also a feature a “617” patch on the arm for Boston’s area code.
The White Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Giants and Marlins are all scheduled to receive “City Connect” uniforms at some point in 2021, with every team expected to receive a “City Connect” uniform by 2023.
Of course, people won’t like it, because baseball fans of a certain persuasion enjoy being buttoned-up and boring and lame. But listen: MLB needs to do something to liven up its sport on the field, right? The new Padres and Brewers uniforms are uber sexy, while the Mets are planning to reintroduce black uniforms this season. New uniforms are, in a word, good.
Nothing catches the eye quite like a uniform, and whatever gets the eye of new fans or young fans is a good thing. Sure, people might not like it, and in the future designs may be better. But it’s one game, or one series, out of 162. Much like the Player’s Weekend uniforms, just let it happen. You might end up having fun.
Expect a smattering of unhappy fans who are reluctant to change once again. But, like Sawx owner John Henry said in “Moneyball”: The first guy through the wall always gets bloody.