No need to guess anymore. Days after fans reacted to leaked images of the Orioles’ City Connect uniforms, the team officially unveiled the look on Monday, along with a detailed explainer behind the design.
The all-black uniform with Baltimore scripted in white across the chest includes a multicolored pattern that represents “the neighborhoods that shaped our City,” according to the Orioles. While the black-and-white design at first drew criticism last week from some fans on social media reacting to leaked images, the Orioles explained that outwardly elemental approach was on purpose.
“From the outside, it looks all black and white. But there’s always more to our story,’ according to the release. “In art, black doesn’t exist without color. You can’t see what you’re not looking for.”
After the uniform’s official unveiling, many fans changed their tune, complimenting the jersey’s colorful interior and the hat’s script B.
“It kinda looks like the old Black Sox hats from the 1920s with the B on the front,” said Orioles fan James Bice. “The jerseys look very nice as well. I think black with ‘Baltimore’ across the front is nice.”
Bice was among the gaggle of fans lined up outside the gates at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Monday morning to purchase their City Connect gear from the team store.
“We’ve been really hyped to see it come out,” said Chandler Sagel, who drove two-and-a-half hours from his home in Cumberland, Maryland, to buy gear. “I think it’s an awesome opportunity to show the pride that cities have for their team and for what goes on in the city outside of baseball.”
Poet and essayist Kondwani Fidel, who is also a Baltimore native, was credited by the Orioles as “instrumental in the collaborative creative process sharing the story of our City and our uniform through his words.”
The jersey is also tied in with a new slogan: “You can’t clip these wings.”
“I think it’s really symbolic of the toughness and the strength of this community, and the resiliency of this city,” said Jennifer Grondahl, Orioles senior vice president of community development and communications.
“It’s a tough, tough city,” said Grondahl. “It’s been through a lot over many years, but inside, there’s so much beauty.”
The team broke down the inspiration behind the design. Here are some of the details.
According to the Orioles, it is the first MLB team in the City Connect series to design the inside of the jersey. The premise of the idea was that “there’s more to our story.”
The multi-colored interior of the uniform is derived from the palette of “our people: colorful, vibrant and quirky.” The hues of pinks, oranges, reds, yellows and blues pulled from the colorful rowhomes, snowballs, steamed crabs and other cultural references that run throughout Baltimore.
The hat’s script B is also included on the jersey’s sleeve. The stretched lettering across the front is a “bold typeface inspired by the Globe Collection and Press at Maryland Institute College of Art and our homegrown arts scene,” the team stated.
Overall, the uniform “attests to the power of our diverse narratives, aspiring individualism and our collective journey.”
Fans can purchase the hat and jersey on the team’s site. The hat ranges in price from $37-$45. A replica of the jersey starts at $140 and the official jersey starts at $475.
It’s been two years since Major League Baseball partnered with Nike to launch the City Connect program as a way for teams to celebrate the bonds between teams and their cities.
This season, the Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates will also unveil City Connect uniforms.
Audience engagement editor Paul Mancano contributed to this report.