MLB players are beginning to report for spring training, and they're getting their first looks at the new uniform designs from Nike. The early impressions? Not good.
“I don’t like them,” St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas said via the Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold. “Everyone should write about it.”
Another player described the uniforms as looking "cheap."
On Tuesday, MLB announced that all 30 teams will use the Nike Vapor Premier "chassis" for their home, road, alternate and City Connect uniforms this season. The difference between the new design and what we're used to seeing during games is quite noticeable — and comes off as an instant downgrade.
This is what the back of the white jerseys look like with the new template. Players are pretty unhappy. Miles Mikolas says they also don’t fit right; pants are no longer as customized, and the fabric is a very different consistency.
“They look cheap,” another player said. pic.twitter.com/UoH4vVHTfd
— Jeff Jones (@jmjones) February 13, 2024
Last year vs this year’s replica jersey offerings from the fine folks at MLB, Nike & Fanatics. Last year’s being on the left and this year’s on the right.
I have a lot to say, so bear with me here.
Let’s just rip the bandaid off right away with this year’s new jersey offerings pic.twitter.com/3IShhlj0nL
— Bobby Mullins (@TheBobbyMullins) February 11, 2024
I officially feel seen after my thread on Replica Comparison Jerseys. If you took time to read/like/add thoughts, Simply, thank you.
Here’s a look at the authentic the players will wear this year. Not much better. Sorry. 😢🙁
Logo Name Number needs space.
Let them breathe! 💩 pic.twitter.com/73r4VpiJLw
— Bobby Mullins (@TheBobbyMullins) February 13, 2024
The new jerseys are part of Nike's Vapor Premier template, which MLB is using for the first time. The material is described as “breathable, lightweight, high-performance fabric that was made from at least 90% recycled polyester yarns.”
Beginning with the 2020 season, MLB, Nike and Fanatics formed a 10-year partnership that saw Nike take over from Majestic as the league's uniform supplier.
Mikolas expanded on his thoughts, issuing concerns about how the uniforms will feel when players put them on.
As he described the new jersey, veteran starter Mikolas expressed concern about how it will look as players sweat through the material. He also mentioned that the pants have shifted from three different measurements to the off-the-rack two, and they do not fit him and others quite as well. He’s hoping that the early reviews of spring — including his — will lead to adjustments to the uniform and other options by the start of the season.
He described what it was like to arrive in the majors and have the choice of fitted pants, the attention to detail, and that heavy jersey with its regal logo and last name stitched there for the player to see, to sense.
“It’s taking away the magic,” he said.
Mikolas' Cardinals teammate, Nolan Arenado, is one of three players quoted in the announcement release with a positive review. “The Nike Vapor Premier jersey is soft, light and comfortable. It’s almost like wearing my favorite shirt out on the field — and so easy to move around in," according to the third baseman.
Jason Heyward of the Dodgers is also a fan, as he showed Tuesday.
Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Atlanta Braves and Adley Rutschman of the Baltimore Orioles also provide a thumbs-up in the press release, but now that players are beginning to see the jerseys and wear the full uniform, the negative reviews might continue rolling in as spring training gets fully underway.