May 25, 2024

Nike, MLB announce uniform adjustments after player, fan criticism

Just (re)do it.

Major League Baseball and Nike, its official uniform supplier, confirmed Friday that Nike will make several significant changes to the Nike Vapor Premier uniforms that have drawn constant criticism from players and fans since the start of spring training.

“Player and Club feedback is extremely important to us,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Together with Nike, we listened to our players and as a result, we are addressing their concerns.”

Among the changes, initially noted in an MLBPA memo, are a return to larger name-on-back lettering and full pant customization for players by the start of the 2025 season. The MLB/Nike statement also stated Nike is working to address two issues with gray jerseys — the color differences between jersey tops and pants, and sweat stains — and that adjusted gray uniforms will be available “as soon as the second half of this season.”

It remains unclear whether Nike can make the coloration corrections while maintaining its high-performance Vapor Premier fabric, or whether it will change fabrics. So far, there has been no indication from the company that it intends to return to its previous jersey fabric.

The only details from the MLBPA memo not mentioned by MLB and Nike were the upgraded zippers and stitch count changes on the pants.

“We will continue to work with Nike to make adjustments with the goal of delivering a uniform that looks good and helps MLB players perform at their best,” Manfred said.

Players have generally been appreciative that the changes, if overdue, are coming.

“The intention was right,” Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson, a Nike-sponsored player who was critical of the new uniforms in spring training, said this week. “At the end of the day, the execution was wrong — and they know that. They’re obviously doing what they can to correct what they feel like needs to be corrected.”

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(Photo: Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)