The reveal of the final 2023 City Connect uniform is here with the Pirates City Connect uniforms! For better or for worse, the 2023 jerseys in the City Connect collection have been a notable departure from 2021 and 2022 by being more throwback centric than city branding. Do the Pirates continue that new trend, or do they maintain elements of the heart of what City Connect is all about?
In order to maintain consistency between the way I evaluate City Connect uniforms, I have always maintained the same three bullet points since their first conception:
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?
Pirates City Connect
For the Pirates City Connect, criteria points 2 and 3 both get an easy “yes.” Black and yellow are all that’s needed to identify as Pittsburgh. Adding a yellow uniform to the rotation is a great way to draw a few eye balls, look distinctly different from other teams, but yet be pleasing to the eye. Plain and simple, the Pirates did the easy jobs right.
A Funny Little Surprise
My first reaction to the uniform came from the initial leaked images. The images were slightly blurred, however gave the full scope of the uniform. The following was the initial reaction I had written:
“I criticized the Braves for missing out on any historical reference to their own city, but the Pirates City Connect swung and missed by an even bigger margin in my opinion. Right outside PNC Park, and I mean that literally, is the forks of the Ohio River, where 2 different rivers form to begin the Ohio River on its way to the Mississippi. The land sandwiched between the 3 rivers is the sight of Fort Pitt and a state park notating the importance of this piece of land.
Don’t just take my word for it, on this same plot of land is a whole museum dedicated to the history and development of Fort Pitt and the 3 rivers as they relate to the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Need I repeat myself, this is all literally right outside of PNC Park, the Pirates home stadium.”
Little did I know at the time, that once we saw the uniforms in full clarity, would it reveal exactly what I was hoping for. Behind the PGH letters is a texture pattern made up of the diamond from the steel brand, and 3 lines meeting, symbolizing the rivers. One has to laugh at life’s little irony’s.
But does this change my opinion of the uniform? Well, yes! the pattern gives me exactly what I’m asking for: a meaningful historical reference in a way that’s unique and not overly spoon-fed. The whole pattern makes the uniform so much more unique among other City Connect uniforms, and so much more meaningful.
Pirates City Connect Lacking
Uniforms are fashion. Fashion is art. Art is meaningful. When I first saw the uniform leaks, I was so let down at the missed opportunity. Now that the full uniform is crystal clear for us to see, I’m so satisfied to see a meaningful piece of artwork on a ball field.
New rankings are as follows:
- White Sox
- Red Sox
What are your thoughts on the Pirates City Connect uniforms? Let us know in the comments!