In mid-January, a T-shirt leak gave us hints about two of this year’s MLB City Connect uniforms, including Atlanta’s. In late February, there was another leak, this time of six City Connect sock designs, including Atlanta’s. Three weeks later, a retail shop put what appeared to be Atlanta’s CC jerseys out on the selling floor. So with the horse long since having left the barn, the team has now finally gone ahead and unveiled the new CC design, which, as the leaks have all been suggesting, is an odd tribute to Henry Aaron’s record-breaking 715th home run.
As you can see above, the design is a modified version of the team’s 1970s “feather” design, which Aaron was wearing when he broke Babe Ruth’s home run record on April 8, 1974. Here’s the rear view:
The uniform will make its on-field debut on Saturday, April 8, when Atlanta hosts the Padres, and will be worn for all subsequent Saturday home games this season.
As we’ve already seen via the leaks, the jersey has a “715” on the inner collar (mimicking the graphic that flashed on the scoreboard as Aaron was rounding the bases). It also has “Keep Swinging #44” embroidered above the jock tag as does the cap’s underbrim — which, in a nice period-appropriate move, is green:
Here’s a breakdown of all the “storytelling” details:
Additional photos and info can be found here.
One thing is still very puzzling, at least to me: Why would you debut this design on the 49th anniversary of Aaron’s historic homer? Why not wait a year until the 50th anniversary? Very strange.
Meanwhile, MLB has also revealed the on-field debut dates for the rest of this seasons’s CC uniforms:
- Texas Rangers: April 21
- Seattle Mariners: May 5
- Cincinnati Reds: May 19
- Baltimore Orioles: May 26
- Pittsburgh Pirates: June 27
No word yet on the unveiling dates. In the past, however, CC unveilings have taken place a few days before the on-field debut.
I prefer this look over past CC ‘s…..it has a relationship with team image and the storytelling is visual not construed.
One quiet point – the word “Braves” is not on the jersey, not is there any Native American symbolism.
That is a great point! Here’s hoping that this is part of a slow roll process of de-appropriating the team’s name/iconography. I think this is a team that a) needs to do some hard work but also b) can do-so without a complete rebrand.
Leave the Braves alone. It’s been that way since I was a kid and there is no need to change it. Remember that they wore the actual throwback on which these were based as recently as last year. Hopefully, this is just another highly stylized uni for the CC series.
I would the feathers on the sleeve (could) count as a native American symbol.
But they’re not feathers on this jersey.
I wouldn’t read too much into that. Most of the city connect designs do not have the teams mascot anywhere in their designs. The only two that I can think of are the Angels and Brewers, although I’ve admittedly not research to look at all of them. I will say that I’ve been following the Atlanta baseball team my entire life and have reached out to them several times regarding their name and Native American imagery, and there is no indication that they will be moving away from it anytime soon.
> Why would you debut this design on the 49th anniversary of Aaron’s historic homer?
I’m wondering if this is a a consequence of Nike’s new “4 Plus 1” policy. They may have had this design on tap for the 50th anniversary next year, but needed to bump it to continue to have this colorway option. Atlanta normally wears the throwback version of this uniform for a couple of homestands each year (always during Hank Aaron Week), but they likely did not want to give up any of their white/gray/red/navy to have that, so they may have moved it up a year to have their “plus 1” City Connect fill that void this year.
I wish they had just gone with the full white panel front as in the 70’s rather than the bell design. The bell design was unique to the Padres – aside from the recent all-star game use.
Braves fan here and I couldn’t agree more about the bell design on the hat. They’re trying to replicate the batting helmet of that era that had the bell curve and a white front panel and bill. It was unique but the little “a” throwback hats separate the blue and white by panel which looks way better on a cloth hat just like the bell curve looks better on a smooth surface helmet. Having watched Aaronn hit 715 as a seven year old I really like the scoreboard design of 715 but it’s not a major feature. So they say the sleeves are an honor to Aaron and that’s great but I don’t think the 99.9999 percent who aren’t going to read the design details are gonna get it. It’s certainly a downgrade from the feather design as is the overall jersey compared to the 1974 jersey. All and all it could be way worse but also could’ve been way better.
I like the actual throwbacks better, but these are not bad. Far better than some CC unis for other teams. I prefer the lowercase on the caps as I have very vague memories of that as a kid before they moved to the “Dale Murphy” look.
Nike really “phoned it in” with this design.
Nike: “Hey, let’s take the iconic 1974 ‘feather’ uniform, remove everything that makes it good and replace it with contrived ‘storytelling’ crap.
It looks like something you would find on the knock-off/counterfeit stands outside the ballpark.
As a lifelong Atlanta fan, here are my thoughts that no one asked for.
1. I’m not surprised that it wasn’t a crazy or outlandish design. The Braves have been a traditional team, when it comes to uniforms, since 1987. The core of their uniform set hasn’t changed much since then. Personally, I don’t love these. They are very underwhelming to me, but I also understand that I’m not the target demographic for these types of things.
2. I’m also not surprised that they built something around that 1974 feather uniform. It is by far the most popular jersey among Braves fans. When you go to a game there is usually a sea of people wearing this particular jersey.
3. My biggest concern with this will be if it completely eliminates the 1974 throwback uniforms. For the past few years, the Braves have worn this throwback on the anniversary of Aaron breaking the record. As I stated above, this is very popular and I personally would hate to see it go. I love the lowercase “a” on the hat and the full pullover jersey.
I’d miss seeing the ’70s throwback uniforms too. I really like those, particularly the big bold number with NNOB, along with the contrasting sleeves. I’d love to see them go back to that look.
Atlanta Braves city connect is pretty nice. Really brings some elements from the H.A. days. I like it.
When do the other teams get their Hank Aaron Connect uniforms?
I thought the original point of the CC program was to celebrate something about the city that transcends baseball. Turns out to be (no surprise) a merch dump.
Atlanta’s new clothes are a bad riff of a bad uniform…think harder, Braves!
I thought the original point of the CC program was to celebrate something about the city that transcends baseball.
I don’t think that was ever explicitly stated. Indeed, one of the first CC uniforms, the Marlins’, is very much about baseball.
Not defending (or attacking) Atlanta’s design, and of course I agree that the whole thing is a merch dump. Just saying I think your initial premise is off-base.
Well, I AM attacking it!
It looks just plain lazy.
Like Nike gave a low-level staffer about 30 min (that might be generous) to come up with…”something”.
Of course, it will sell like hotcakes because it has been annointed by the All Mighty “SWOOSH”, and that’s a damn shame.
While I agree it was never explicitly stated, I would argue the use of Havana Sugar Kings imagery was certainly a nod to the region’s Cuban-American population. Similar nods to the fanbase were seen with the Dodgers, Cubs, and Brewers. Others, like DC, Boston, and Colorado, have certainly focused more on city/regional elements.
I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it either, probably because I believe the Braves look better in Royal than Navy.
I revere Hank Aaron so I applaud my Bravos for honoring him through this uniform. However, I love the CC unis that more closely connect with their location (i.e. Colorado, Houston, Boston). I would have appreciated:
1. A Peachtree theme – if the Hawks and Atlanta United can do it, so can the Braves. It could sweep across all sports similar to the cherry blossoms in D.C.
2. Braves Country – Reach beyond the city to incorporate elements that everyone in the south can relate to.
3. Hip-Hop Culture – It’s ingrained in the culture of The ATL. Collaborate with local visual artists
4. For fun… Waffle House.
5. Transportation – ATL is the busiest airport in the world. The first passenger rail train in the US was there. It’s legendary for traffic and a certain player in the 80’s who got lost on their way to the ballpark for the first time.
There were so many ways Nike could have gone with the City Connect uni’s, but they chose the laziest path of all.
I’ll add one more possibility to your excellent list:
6. The Phoenix – The mythological firebird is the symbol of the city along with the motto “Resurgens”, both of which are on the city flag. Now, I know the club no longer plays within the official city limits of Atlanta, but they are just across the river in Cobb Co., close enough to be served by an Atlanta post office.
And the last time I checked they were still called the ATLANTA Braves, not the Marietta Braves.
As an update that does eschew the Braves name and native-related imagery (the feather), I don’t think it’s a bad one, and I appreciate that they still incorporated a design that evokes elements of the feather design without, y’know, being a feather. (But calling it a “crown” is a stretch; if it even vaguely resembles any headgear, it’d be a tiara.)
That said… the cynic in me can’t help but notice how low the sleeve pattern is, leaving a significant amount of open real estate on the sleeve for a future “you-know-what”.
Will we see Nike come up with a similar city oriented uniform program for the NFL in the near future? They’ve already got NBA city edition and MLB city connect and they abandoned the color rush idea.
Look like Walmart versions of the throwbacks
Swing and a miss
I think we should make “Walmart Braves” a thing.
At least they don’t say “Hotlanta”
Pretty sure “Hotlanta” is considered equal to the C-word by Atlantans.
Have we ever seen something like the embroidered message on the underbrim of the cap? I’ll admit I’m kind of fascinated by that element of the design – I wonder if we might see similar underbrim embroidery for other teams/uniforms/special events moving forward?
First time since WWII that the “Braves” script will not appear on the home jersey. That script has been a constant through multiple home cities and several radical uniform redesigns.
The best thing is the hat which I really like: green undervisor and embroidered motto. Cool. The rest is a tiptoe reduction of the original throwback. Am I the only one to read an A in the sleeve logo instead of the top of a crown?
I like the Atlanta City Connect uniform.
It’s clean, it’s retro, it’s modern without being garish, it doesn’t have any of the Native American iconography that has gotten so many people in a knot, and it’s a tribute to a classic moment in baseball history.
I think the Braves should wear this one all the time. Those uniforms they’ve been wearing since the late 80s should have been left in Milwaukee.