Uh oh! Yankees fans of a certain age just threw their Palm Pilots through the windows of their Dodge Caravans, then cranked up the WFAN chatter about how Luke Voit tore the locker room apart with his divisive comments.
With Nike’s MLB partnership came an attempt in 2021 to emulate their success in swapping jerseys annually in the NBA.
Baseball jerseys are typically more traditional, fair, and there will never be an ongoing, rotating list of “City Edition” and “Earned Edition” jerseys like there are in Adam Silver’s league, where two teams can be wearing mysterious gray alternates in a Game 7.
This season, as a compromise, MLB and Nike dropped seven “City Connect” alternate jerseys — some outlandish, some underwhelming, all of them best-sellers.
So…when will the Yankees be participating?
The Bronx Bombers have always been on the docket, but have reportedly been far more aggressive in courting Nike’s designers in the months since they’ve seen other teams’ releases go so well.
Expect the Yankees to be in the next wave — as soon as they can agree on a new piece of iconography.
The Yankees are ‘aggressively pursuing’ a Nike City Connect alternate jersey.
Though Lee’s ESPN piece doesn’t feature any direct quotes from Yankees executives, one could assume that group had largely the same reaction about the wave of the future as those traditionalists over at Dodger Stadium — and, most importantly, they wanted in:
"“The City Connect uniforms were familiar by design, as any changes to our uniform are significant. The Dodgers uniform has gone largely unchanged since the team moved to Los Angeles in 1958,” said Dodgers executive vice president and chief marketing officer Lon Rosen. “We don’t have a third jersey, we don’t wear different jerseys based on days of the week or the pitchers’ preference, so an all blue uniform with spray paint accents and anything but our iconic L.A. cap are drastic changes for us.”"
He’s right, of course. While the Dodgers’ chosen jerseys aren’t quite as outlandish as the Golden Gate Bridge, fog-filled Giants jerseys or the bright yellow Boston Marathon Sox outfits, they’re clearly a departure from the well-known white, blue and red combinations.
Expect the Yankees’ eventual alternates to land somewhere on this end of the spectrum.
No, the Yankees won’t be implementing gigantic Statue of Liberty heads across their chest or metallic Yankee Stadium friezes that wrap around their shoulder blades. This isn’t “Turn Ahead the Clock” Night with the Mercury Mets.
It does remain surprising, though, that the most successful sports franchise in the nation at selling merchandise hasn’t branched out at all beyond their traditional baseline.
Yankees fans (of their prime demographic) have definitely reached the point where they’re yearning for something different. Not every City Connect jersey has hit, but the ones that have are spectacular.
The Yankees are the gilded dominators of MLB, sure, but they’re also New York, more specifically The Bronx. There’s plenty to mine here in connecting to the city, and we can’t wait to see how the team translates the borough’s essence to their new drip.