Normally, it would be easy to throw snark at the fact that the latest Boston Red Sox swag was designed by some dude from New York City. But these threads have me in too good of a mood.
The Boston Globe reported Tuesday on a special series of uniforms that will adorn the rosters of the Miami Marlins, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants, and Los Angeles Dodgers this season.
Up first are the yellow and baby-blue colorway that Red Sox players will don on April 17 and 18, coinciding with the jubilance of Boston’s Patriots Day.
The non-slider-hitting general public can still wear these loud jerseys starting now. According to Nike, the City Connect series will be available on April 6 via SNKRS, the Nike App, and nike.com, and at the MLB Flagship Store (NYC) and select retail locations.
When it comes to the Sox design, you can thank Nike’s senior creative director, Wil Green, as well as Washington Heights native Bryan Almonte.
Almonte—who now lives in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood—is the Red Sox communications manager but, according to the Globe, also works closely with the team’s marketing and branding department.
He tells the publication that he was smitten with the concept of the City Connect series from the start: “When Adam (Red Sox executive vice president Adam Grossman) had approached me about this project with Nike, he was like, ‘We got something special.’”
These are classic teams that have left indelible marks over the decades. As the Boston Globe explains, there are inherent racial divides to also address. It’s why those like Almonte see an opportunity to amplify voices within communities that have long been marginalized.
“We should be using this uniform to unite communities in Boston,” Almonte told the Globe. “So [it was about] trying to find those voices from Black and Brown people that aren’t heard. This was an opportunity to be like, let’s empower those voices and identify who can tell the story of Boston in a way that it hasn’t been told before.”
Grossman, the Sox chief marketing officer, echoed the sentiment. “I think there are times when we are viewed as representative of the problem,” he said. “You know our history with race, and the challenges as an organization and what we’ve tried to shift over the last 20 years. That’s part of it. People have an instinct about Boston that’s not exactly what that instinct is. We want to be a catalyst for recognizing that, as well. And also having people recognize that we, too, are changing and are more diverse.”
The uniforms themselves will nurture growth and enthusiasm in the community and beyond. Boston's specific threads are three years in the making.
According to Fast Company, the boisterous colors are actually a hat tip to the most iconic sports event in the city, the Boston Marathon.
The yellow and blue are borrowed from the design that we see at the finish line that marks the triumph experienced each year. The patch across the left sleeve with the area code 617 is actually supposed to be a running bib.
It’s all a clever way to imbue style with purpose.
“Taking these types of steps that will hopefully connect with different audiences and be sparked with different audiences, and people will take notice, that’s absolutely part of our mindset,” Grossman told Fast Company.
Next on deck are the Marlins, which will unveil their City Connect versions on May 21, followed in succession by the other participating teams. The Dodgers will bat cleanup with a late August date.
All of this means it’s going to be a beautiful summer.