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Re-considering the Rockies’ City Connect uniforms

We’ve seen them in action for a month, but do they still work?

Last month, the Colorado Rockies revealed their new City Connect uniforms in an appropriately mountainous hype video with the iconic voice of Jack Corrigan providing narration:

“As a Colorado native, I am proud that these uniforms embody the character of Colorado and the unique sense of pride we have in our home state,” Rockies owner Dick Monfort said.

ESPN’s Joon Lee has ranked them first in his evaluation of MLB’s City Connect uniforms, and they’ve clearly been popular with fans as it’s common to see them at Coors Field. In the interest of equal time, the folks at Westword were considerably less impressed,

Chris Creamer has written a nice analysis here on the symbolism of the uniforms — and, reader, there is a lot going on in these uniforms. They’re the Moby Dick of uniforms, carrying a whole lot of meaning (and marketing) on some simple pieces of cloth.

Initially, I was not impressed. To be fair, my preferences tend to run toward a more minimalist aesthetic, though for me, they raised interesting philosophical questions. Is using an old license plate as a template for a sports uniform art or just kitsch? Does the Rockies City Connect uniform bring together the whole of a diverse and growing state, or is it just a wearable tourism brochure? (The yellow ski tags? Seriously?) Does it take a special person to live (or pitch?) in Colorado? Why do the players seem so uncomfortable at this photo shoot? What in the world is going on with those hats?

This photo shows Connor Joe, Kyle Freeland, Germán Márquez, and Ryan McMahon wearing their City Connect uniforms at a photo shoot.
Source: Colorado Rockies

My first thought was “We gave up the black vests for this?” The green is fine; the numbers are okay; the jersey from the back isn’t bad, but there’s too much going on; and the hats are awful. (Seriously: My dad gets better hats for free from feed stores.) Where’s the order in this? A uniform should reveal an organizing principle about a team. This uniform seems less a statement about a baseball team than a collage of Colorado marketing materials.

But perhaps I was being unfair.

Now that the Rockies are back at Coors Field for a homestand, and we’ve seen the City Connect uniforms in action for just shy of a month, it’s worth re-considering their effectiveness and perhaps suggesting some alterations.

The green pants

Without a doubt, the most debated feature of the City Connect uniforms is their overwhelming green. The mostly green jersey and the fully green pants are, well, a lot of green. On Sunday, Chad Kuhl threw a bullpen wearing white pants to provide some contrast, which Patrick Saunders shared in a tweet.

Chad Kuhl wearing a City Connect jersey with white pants.
Source: Patrick Saunders

Troy Renck approved:

Verdict: I agree. While I’m not sure about the “rotting asparagus” comparison, the Rockies should lose the hospital-scrubs look and move to white pants.


Should the Rockies change their City Connect uniform pants?

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    Yes. Lose the "rotting asparagus" look.
    (284 votes)
  • 26%
    No. All that green is the point.
    (103 votes)
387 votes total Vote Now

The white belt

Presumably, the white belt was designed to break up all that green. However, it’s had the effect of being a bit more 70s retro — and not in an interesting way. Credit goes to trendsetter Alex Colomé who’s rejected the white belt.

A photo of Alex Colomé pitching against Atlanta in which he wears a City Connect uniform with a black belt.
Alex Colomé
Photo by Harrison Barden/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images

Verdict: Just as Alex Colomé has been outstanding this season, the Rockies should follow his lead in adopting a dark belt.


Should the Rockies go to a different belt?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Yes. The white belt is just bad.
    (151 votes)
  • 50%
    No. The white belt provides a break from the green.
    (151 votes)
302 votes total Vote Now

The socks

The discussion so far as been about uniforms in which the players opt to wear long pants as opposed to tall socks. However, when the socks enter the equation, things become a bit more complicated.

Atlanta Braves v Colorado Rockies

The socks really do pop and bring the uniform together, and it’s possible to make a case for requiring tall socks as part of the Rockies City Connect uniform.

Actually, let Brendan Rodgers and Randal Grichuk (the Tall Socks King) provide a study in contrasts.

Atlanta Braves v Colorado Rockies Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Verdict: The socks absolutely rock. However, I’m an advocate for player choice in these matters, so my tendency is to allow the players to choose.


Should the players be required to wear tall socks with this uniform?

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    Yes. The socks make this uniform work (and we all need more mountains).
    (173 votes)
  • 44%
    No. Let players express themselves.
    (140 votes)
313 votes total Vote Now

The hat

I didn’t care for the hat on first glance, and my feeling hasn’t changed.

Photo of Brendan Rodgers wearing the City Connect uniform and hat. John Leyba-USA TODAY Sports

What’s with the light blue and the red circle? None of that goes with any other part of the uniform. And the white panel? Frankly, it looks more like an attempt to sell some merchandise and less like a hat that brings together a baseball uniform.

Verdict: Back to the drawing board.


Should the Rockies re-design the hat?

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    Yes. This one just doesn’t work.
    (276 votes)
  • 24%
    No. They’re prefect as they are.
    (90 votes)
366 votes total Vote Now

The record

In case you’re superstitious about such things, the Rockies are 1-3 in their City Connect uniforms, so they have not yet proven to be good luck on the field.

★ ★ ★

So, those are my thoughts, but I’m clearly no fashionista. Let us know your take in the comments!