Blue Jays unveil City Connect uniforms

Toronto Blue Jays new jerseys show off city skyline, pay homage to the night life
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. smiles during a game this week in Chicago against the White Sox.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. smiles during a game this week in Chicago against the White Sox. / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages

Well they're here. The Toronto Blue Jays have officially unveiled the franchise's City Connect jerseys and hats.

Released in pictures and social media posts online by the Blue Jays Thursday night, the long-awaited uniforms were introduced with a 90-second video narrated by Canadian actor Simu Liu, known for his roles in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Kim's Convenience. The announcement referred to the new uniforms as the team entering "night mode."

According to the Blue Jays, the uniforms reflect Toronto coming to life after dark. "Every detail of the uniform, from the sharp lines to the bold colors, is a tribute to Toronto’s night life, capturing its spirit of adventure, its passion for sports and its unwavering love for the city’s unique culture," the Blue Jays said in the online release.

The city's skyline, with the CN Tower and the Rogers Centre at the heart of it, is displayed across the chest of the jersey with "Toronto" spelled out in the traditional Blue Jays split font, red letters that are outlined in blue. The Toronto font is reminiscent of the "Toronto" city sign at Nathan Phillips Square. Unlike other Blue Jays jerseys, uniform numbers are displayed on the front in the same font. The black base of the jersey may remind some of the black "Jays" jerseys of the early 2000s.

The hats feature a double-striped T on the front with a Maple Leaf on top of the letter. The city's skyline can be seen on the inside of the hat as well. The look is exactly what was leaked earlier this month on Reddit. In fact, it looks as if the jerseys themselves were leaked online before Thursday on social media.

"The city comes alive and is illuminated by a myriad of lights, from bustling bars, to lively restaurants and towering skyscrapers," the Blue Jays description on the website reads. "The Blue Jays City Connect uniform enters night mode, with a vibrant, dynamic blue and pop of Canadiana red that moves with rhythmic energy and illuminates the Toronto skyline as it reflects on the pitch blue of Lake Ontario."

The Blue Jays plan to wear the "night mode" jerseys Friday at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates, with the next being a June 3 date with the Baltimore Orioles. There are 13 other home games Toronto will wear the City Connect jerseys, with the final game set for Sept. 25 against Boston. Fans can buy their own hats and jerseys now at Jays Shop.

City Connect jerseys are the line of alternate uniforms MLB teams wear that are designed to reflect the culturalaspects of each team's city. The uniforms feature colors, typefaces, and other graphic elements that differ from the regular uniforms that MLB teams wear. That includes regular alternate jerseys, like the Blue Jays' dark blue or powder blue jerseys they wear periodically throughout a season.

The Boston Red Sox kicked off the City Connect jersey drive by unveiling their yellow-and-blue jerseys in April 2021. The jerseys, with have the word "Boston" emblazoned across the front, were designed as a nod to the Boston Marathon, according to the Sporting News. The jerseys include a "617" sleeve patch, which is Boston's area code.

The Minnesota Twins are the next team scheduled to unveil its City Connect jerseys, which is slated to take place June 14. The Los Angeles Dodgers will unveil the next batch after that, on June 21, which will also make LA the first team to have two City Connect jerseys. The Dodgers' first version was released in 2021.

After this season, only the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics will be without a City Connect version of jersey. The Yankees traditionally do not have alternate jerseys in general, which may be why New York hasn't had a City Connect release yet. As for the Athletics, given the franchise's issues with leaving Oakland, the more pressing issue is to find a city to actually connect with.