Royals City Connect Jersey Is Middle of the Road
The Kansas City Royals unveiled their City Connect Jersey this morning and frankly, in my opinion, it's hard to get overly excited about it.
In case you are not familiar with the concept, Major League Baseball, and Nike have gotten together to highlight the character of the cities in which the teams play. In Chicago, for example, the White Sox got a black jersey with white pinstripes with the word "Southside" emblazoned on the front in one of the team's historical scripts. The concept just works.
The White Sox, historically, is the team people on the Southside of Chicago root for. And the jersey and cap just embody the team's current identity, its history, and the vibe the team is going for, and its fans exhibit.
Other designs, like the one for the Boston Red Sox, seem to be more of a miss. The Red Sox City Connect Uniforms are yellow and light blue, the colors of the Boston Marathon. And while the uniform says Boston, it's not in the traditional Boston Red Sox Script. Perhaps, it means more to those who call Boston home, but for the rest of us, it's definitely a miss in my opinion.
This brings us to the Royals design which you can take a look at here:
I felt a couple of things, first relief that it's not a horrible design. And second, meh. According to the Royals here's what the uniform signifies:
From functional to majectisc to whimsical, fountains have always adorned our city. Originally built for travelers crossing the US as decorative drinking fountains - a gesture of hospitality, the welcoming culture and openness still remain in the city. Now they mean so much more.
Representative of life, truth, and change, the fountains have become one of the most iconic symbols of Kansas City embellishing our streets, flags, and now- our uniforms. The fountains are an iconic symbol of our cluture.
The uniform's colors are more or less on point. And the logo is on point and definitely inspired by the fountain represented on the Kansas City flag. And to me, it also evokes the fountains at Kauffman Stadium. The Crown in the open part of the "C" on the jersey is a nice touch too.
Yet, here's a little bit of truth. While I knew Kansas City was the City of Fountains. I really didn't connect the logo on the jersey with the Kansas City flag, until I started looking for some 1970's era logo used by Kansas City and ran into a picture of the flag.
To me, the jersey logo is reminiscent of some late '60s early '70s graphics I saw in a souvenir picture book on Kansas City from that era my parents picked up in 1972. Now that I can connect the logo to the fountain on the Kansas City flag it's a little cooler.
Yet I'm still kind of meh on it. There's a fountain design on the jersey, down by the tag. I think that's pretty cool. And it makes me wonder why that isn't perhaps more prominently featured on the shoulder. I think that would be cooler than the "R" with a crown they put on the sleeve. Although that is reminiscent of the shoulder patches they've worn.
Of course, the reality of all this is marketing. The Royals, Major League Baseball, and Nike want us to buy hats, jerseys, T-shirts, socks, sweatshirts, and everything else. And the City Connect uniforms are just one more design they can print and embroider on all the stuff they want us to buy.
For me, it's not the next jersey I'll buy. That'll either be the powder blue one, or the new royal blue one with the Kansas City wordmark. Both have a little more meaning to me than the City Connect jerseys. As for the hat, let's see the variations they come out with. That might be a purchase, and I haven't gotten my Royals hat for the season yet.