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Saturday, May 18, 2024

MLB, Nike to Revamp Uniforms After Backlash: Here’s What’s Changing

  • MLB details a series of planned changes to uniforms after months of criticism.
  • The league announcement closely follows a union memo to players indicating the forthcoming shifts.
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The much-anticipated changes to MLB’s highly debated new uniforms are officially coming. 

Just days after the MLB Players Association informed its membership that a series of modifications would be arriving, the league announced that it, along with official uniform supplier Nike, has indeed started the process to make a series of changes. Among them:

  • Larger letters on the back of jerseys and individual pant customization, both set to be implemented for the 2025 season
  • Correction of color differences between the jerseys and pants of some clubs’ gray road uniforms, with that change due to arrive as soon as the second half of this season
  • A fix to the uniform discoloration that also can result from player perspiration (above), with that change also slated for as soon as the latter half of the season

The shifts follow more than two months of turmoil that had dogged the league since the much-debated introduction of Nike’s Vapor Premier jerseys in spring training, as well as pants with fewer customization options for players. Since that initial rollout, problems have included the see-through nature of the pants, a pooling of sweat on some players’ uniforms during games, names that are more difficult to read, and pants that have more easily ripped after sliding on the base paths. 

MLB said the changes were made following “conversations with players, clubs, and their equipment managers.”

“Player and club feedback is extremely important to us,” said league commissioner Rob Manfred. “Together with Nike, we listened to our players, and as a result, we are addressing their concerns. We continue to work with Nike to make adjustments with the goal of delivering a uniform that looks good and helps MLB players perform at their best.”

Fanatics, essentially acting as a subcontractor in the production of the jerseys and pants to Nike’s design specifications, was not mentioned in MLB’s announcement. 

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