Is it me, or does it seem like MLB is coming into 2023 with quick consecutive City Connect releases? The Seattle Mariners are our 3rd City Connect uniform (after the Braves and Rangers) before the conclusion of baseball’s opening month of April. This hints at an important piece of information: City Connect sells well and is therefore profitable. City Connect is so profitable that MLB is confident in their current and future products and want to get the out to fans ASAP. Regardless of how many MLB fans criticize and complain, MLB is clearly satisfied with the profits they are making. Whine all you want, they aren’t going away.
The City Connect Uniform Ranking Criteria
So far, I aim to be as consistent as possible and Judge each City Connect uniform under the following criteria:
1. Does it actually connect to the city, as the name implies?
2. Does it look like it belongs to the team they represent?
3. Does it look like it fits the mission of exotic, but not obnoxious?
But I must be honest, the Mariners are making me reconsider the fabric of my own standards in an important way.
I believe above all else, the Seattle Mariners City Connect jersey solidifies a change in mission statement about the City Connect collection in 2023 and beyond: it is no longer about a connection to the city, as much as it is more of how the NHL does the Reverse Retro collection. For those unfamiliar with NHL, Reverse Retro is a similar alternate uniform model as City Connect that aims to put modern spins of classic jerseys. So far, the Braves, Rangers and now Mariners are clearly intending to revive former aesthetics such as (but not limited to) colors and logos and adopt them into 2023.
The advantage to this, is how 2/3 of the 2023 jerseys absolutely crush standard #2. This is undeniably on-brand with the Seattle Mariners. The uniform is Seattle Pilots layout/font with 1980s Mariners colors. The 3D effect with the shades of yellow on the letters and numbers adds a modern touch. As a result, we have a very well thought out and cleaver execution of 3 different time periods in Mariners history on a single jersey.
However, the disadvantage is that the Mariners, like the Braves, abandon all city connection by committing mostly to the teams personal history instead of an idea that expands beyond baseball. Yes, the Mariners do represent a mountain of their sleeves, but it is clearly not the main attraction of the uniform. Let’s be real, if this uniform cared any bit about the city of Seattle at all, the Space Needle would be included somewhere. Combine all of these discussed ingredients together, and we get a great recipe for an NHL style reverse retro jersey.
I must say, the Mariners did surprise me with this uniform. Before the season, I had predicted that the Mariners would go with a Japanese aesthetic to 1. Reflect the Asian-American population in the Pacific Northwest; 2. Pay homage to Ichiro and 3. Capitalize on an aesthetic that no other team in MLB has used. I cannot help but wonder “what-if” in that regard.
New rankings are as follows:
- White Sox
- Red Sox
Main Image Credit:Embed from Getty Images