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#pounditThursday, April 25, 2024

MLB players taking issue with new Nike uniforms

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The first hit of MLB’s 2024 season is still weeks away. In the meantime, it’s been Nike’s new uniform design that has taken several hits from various major league players.

Nike has been MLB’s jersey provider since 2020 after the two sides agreed to a billion-dollar deal.

While the Oregon-based company mostly stuck with the status quo the last few years, they introduced the “Nike Vapor Premier” uniforms for this coming season.

Nike intended for the new jerseys to be much-improved for on-field use. Instead, initial reactions from many players have been mostly negative for both aesthetic and practical reasons.

The Athletic’s Stephen J. Nesbitt published a story on Thursday in which several MLB players complained about Nike’s new uniforms for their “poor fit, cheap look, inconsistent quality and small lettering.” The uniforms designed by Nike and manufactured by Fanatics were lambasted by several players for an overall lack of quality.

Angels outfielder Taylor Ward told Nesbitt that the new uniforms look “like a replica” and “feel kind of papery.” He added that they don’t appear to be worth their $450 price tag at all.

Ward’s teammate Carlos Estevez, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas and Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson were among those who criticized the jerseys. Swanson even noted that the color of the Cubs’ jerseys seemed off. You can read the Nesbitt’s whole piece on the new uniforms here.

Part of Nike’s pitch with the new Vapor Premier jerseys is the enhanced breathability for players on the field. While the initial reception has been polarizing to say the least, perhaps players could feel the supposed improvements once baseball action actually begins. If not, then the outrage Nike and Fanatics are hearing will probably grow even louder.

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