2024 MLB City Connect uniforms: Cleveland drops 'Guardians of Traffic'-inspired look

Now it's Cleveland Guardians' turn to ditch the City Connect uniform.

The Guardians became the 25th team to unveil a City Connect jersey with the Guardians of Traffic pillar on the Hope Memorial Bridge outside Progressive Field — the same landmark that inspired the team's 2021 mascot change — providing a major inspiration for the look.

Cleveland's acronym “CLE” is emblazoned across the chest of the jersey in large letters. The style of wordmarks and jersey numbers is similar to the Art Deco style of the Guardians of Traffic pillars, carved into stone to match the pylons at the base of each statue.

The jersey tops have a blue texture that looks like the Berea stone that was used to carve the Guardians of Traffic Pillar. Meanwhile, the Guardians of Traffic pillar has a red, white and blue braid on the sides with a texture similar to what can be seen in the middle. The stripes were inspired by Cleveland's uniforms from the 1990s.

Other features include “The Land,” Cleveland's nickname, appearing above the tag. It has “1901” written on the inside of the neck, the year the franchise was founded.

The initial “C” logo on the Guadians' regular caps remains the same for the City Connect look. However, they have a white base on the front, a blue base on the back, and the “C” logo in red, in keeping with the team's tradition of uniform colors of red, white, and blue.

Cleveland native and Grammy Award-winning recording artist Kid Cudi helped unveil the uniforms in a video posted by the team late Sunday night, culminating a three-year-long jersey design process.

Cleveland's City Connect uniforms seem to have already struck a chord with the players. Josh Naylor asked team members if they could wear the uniforms to every home game this season while Steven Cowan said they look “on fire”.

Naylor didn't have to wait much longer to get into uniform. The Guardians will make their debut on Friday when they face the Minnesota Twins. They are expected to wear them at home games every Friday for the rest of the season, but may wear them on other days as well.

The Tigers became the 24th team to unveil an alternative look, revealing their City Connect uniforms on Monday, May 6. They embrace the city's history with the automotive industry. Across the chest of the uniform is written “Motor City,” Detroit's most common nickname, in the same automotive-inspired font that the Detroit Lions' NFL uniforms bore until recently.

This served as the overall theme for the Tigers' City Connect uniforms. Tire tracks in an electric blue shade run down the middle on both sides of the jersey.

There is also an arm patch, similar to the “M-1” street sign seen on Woodward Avenue in Detroit. The 21-mile-long road runs from downtown Detroit north to Pontiac, earning the designation “Detroit's Main Street”. Comerica Park is one of the many landmarks along Woodward Avenue. The patch also features Detroit's 313 area code, with the “1” bolded to further emphasize the “M-1” road sign.

The ballcaps feature the city name, with the front simply saying “DETROIT”. But there are a couple of other notable features. The eyes of the tiger are below the ears. They also have a tag that looks like a VIN tag that you would see on a car. The Tigers' VIN tag reads “DET190135456884”. The numbers go from the year the Tigers were founded (1901) to the four years they won the World Series (1935, 1945, 1968, 1984).

The tiger's eyes on the underside of the cap can also be seen above the jersey tag.

“The City Connect uniforms represent Detroit's unique combination of muscle and innovation and pay tribute to the city that puts the world on wheels,” said Ryan Gustafson, president/CEO of Ilitch Sports + Entertainment, in a statement. “From the tire treads to the VIN tags to the M-1 patch on the sleeves, the uniforms, caps and batting helmets have unique features that we think Tigers fans and Detroiters will appreciate. After all, the uniforms are a symbol of revitalization. And exciting for the Tigers and our great city. the future.”

To help further embrace their local roots, the Tigers had rapper Eminem attend their City Connect uniform unveiling. Eminem is a Detroit native and avid fan of the city's sports teams, and recently appeared with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to help promote the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Phillies were the first team to unveil their City Connect uniforms this season. “Philly” is written across the chest in white while the uniform colors resemble the city's flag. The cap's logo is the Liberty Bell in the same color as the city's flag, which includes the Philadelphia skyline within the logo.

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The Met launched their City Connect uniforms in April. It is a base gray uniform with “NYC” stitched on the front and the Queensboro Bridge on the cap. The jersey has a black patch on the arm with the Mets logo in pink lettering.

(Read more: The New York Mets have released the 'City Connect' jersey with a new color scheme)

Tampa Bay unveiled its City Connect uniforms on April 29, becoming the 23rd MLB team to adopt an alternate look since the Nike-backed brand launched in 2021.

The Rays' City Connect uniforms feature “Tampa Bay” across the chest in neon, a similar look they had on their road jerseys during their first three seasons as a franchise (1998–2000) to go with the dark base. It will be the first time since 2007 that the Rays will have their city's name written across their chest

Tampa Bay's skater culture has inspired some looks. The nameplate on the front of the jersey includes flames emanating from each letter, intended to honor street art and skate media, such as “Thrasher” magazine. Gradient accents cover the sleeves and pants of the uniform, purposely making them asymmetrical to symbolize working differently.

Rashmi wanted to capture the feeling of what Tampa Bay feels like, showcasing a look at what people see when they're in the city, and called it “grit and glow.”

“When we start thinking about the feeling that you get when you're in this special place around this community, it's fueled by this energy,” said Race Chief Business Officer Bill Walsh. said in a statement. “A lot of these countercultures, creative cultures, they're at the center of creating that vibe.”

The Rays have honored some local landmarks with their caps and logos. The main logo on the caps features the Sunshine Skyway Bridge outlined by a sting ray. The second logo features three palm trees and a pelican. The palm tree logo replicates the insignia seen on Florida historic builders such as Perry Harvey Senior Park, Florida's first public skatepark. The other logo is a stingray on a skateboard, further embracing the city's skater culture.

“It's something we feel we have in common as an organization,” Walsh said of Tampa Bay's skater culture in the statement. “We've shown that you're willing to go against the grain and be a little daring and disruptive. So I think it's exciting that there's also overlap.”

The Rays will make their uniform debut this season in their three-game home series against the New York Mets. After that they will wear an alternate look for every Saturday home game.

Other teams are set to unveil City Connect uniforms in 2024

  • Los Angeles Dodgers (Will release their second look after the first look in 2021)
  • Minnesota Twins
  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • Toronto Blue Jays

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