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The Blue Jays Unveil New City Connect Jersey

When it comes to jerseys and showing off some new swag, it’s been a while since the Blue Jays shook up their look in a drastic way. Other than revealing an alternate baby blue jersey at the start of 2020, they’ve been going consistently with their lineup of uniforms over a decade. The teams current lineup of jerseys consist of the previously mentioned baby blue alternates, their all white home jersey, simple grey road jersey, and a special all red uniform accompanied with a red maple leaf hat that the team busts out to wear in celebration of Canada day. The Jays have kept this same combo of jerseys since the club re-branded in 2011 that gave them their current logo and fresh new look at the time. But now the time has come for another fresh new look for the Blue Jays, and on May 30 they unveiled their long awaited city connect jersey for the first time. City Connect jerseys were introduced in 2021 as a way for teams to create a new jersey that incorporated and celebrated different aspects of each team’s city, along with their history and culture. Ever since the league’s first batch of city connect jerseys, every year fans of teams without one have been waiting for the day that their favorite club gets to make a uniform dedicated to the fans and the city.

Before the official day of release, fans across the internet began scheming up ideas of what they thought the Jay’s city connect unis should look like. The most common details that a majority of these concepts all included, were that the jerseys included the Toronto skyline on the front of the jersey and that the main color for the jersey was purple. The skyline detail is quite obvious, when incorporating details about the city there’s nothing more iconic about the city of Toronto than the CN tower and the skyline that can be viewed right by the city’s lake shore. The more interesting design choice however, had to be the inclusion of purple which has become such a rare color used in pro sports but when pulled off correctly can be some of the most beautiful jerseys in all of sports. There are only a handful of teams in the big 4 North American sports leagues (NBA,NHL,MLB,NFL) that use purple as their main color of choice for both the logo and jersey, with the Colorado Rockies being the only baseball team to use purple as their main home jersey color. I think purple makes sense and could definitely work as a jersey for the Blue Jays, since the bright color being used as the background for the jersey pays homage to both the neon coloring of the city’s “TORONTO” sign that lights up every night down by Lake Ontario, as well as the purple jersey resembling the Toronto Raptor’s vintage purple jersey they used when the team first came to the NBA. Overall, the concepts were intriguing and showed how creative the Jays could really get to make the jersey as unique and cool as possible.

On May 27th, just three days before the Jays got to unveil their city connect jersey to the world, leaks of the supposed jersey started spreading across the internet and social media. The fans reaction to this leaked jersey was definitely not promising as the design was certainly not what most had expected. The leaked video showed an all black jersey with the word “TORONTO” across the chest outlined with a holographic blue colored design of the Toronto skyline.

Although this jersey seemed quite similar to the ones fans made online, the execution just didn’t seem up to par. The weird yellow colouing for the Nike swoosh feels out of place and overall the quality of the jersey just looks underwhelming. Fans still had hope that this jersey was not the official one, and just a couple days later the team dropped the official new jerseys.

So the leak turned out to he true after all, but I must say that even though the jersey looks bad at first glance to some, it’s actually a lot better than many might think. First off, while they did decide to stick with the black background for the uniform, it looks much better than the leaked jersey does. I personally like the addition of black back into the Jay’s jersey rotation, as it gives that sense of nostalgia of the old black jerseys the team wore from 2004-2011. One change that is apparent from the leaked jersey to the real one is the switch from the yellow Nike swoosh to an all red one, which definitely fits more into the jersey and feels more in place than the yellow. I also like the new logo the team decided to go with for the hat, opting for the letter ‘T’ with a maple leaf in the middle. This was a very good choice in my opinion, since this logo really tries to distinguish itself as Toronto and not the Blue Jays, which is what the jersey is meant to represent. The jerseys came with the tagline “Night Mode”, expressing that when the sun goes down in Toronto and the bright colored lights that turn on in the night are what gives the city life.

Overall I actually really like the jersey when it’s paired with the whole uniform, while the jersey by itself may not be the greatest the addition of the pants and helmet/hat really tie the look together. The very next day on May 31, the Jays got the opportunity to debut the new jerseys in front of the fans against the Pittsburgh Pirates and sent the fans home happy with a Davis Schneider walk-off homer in the bottom of the 14th inning. It was a successful debut for the new jerseys  and team will continue to wear them throughout the rest of the season as well as putting on more events and promotions centered around the new city connect jerseys for the rest of the week.


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