O's drop bold new City Connect jerseys -- with a surprise inside

May 22nd, 2023

BALTIMORE -- To unveil their new Nike City Connect uniforms, the Orioles turned to the people of their city. They enlisted Baltimore residents -- both natives and those who have relocated here -- to participate in their reveal video.

Kondwani Fidel, a poet/essayist from Baltimore, provided the soundtrack with his original work, “You Can’t Clip These Wings.” He also contributed to the creative process as the baseball franchise with longtime roots to the city (having been here since 1954) designed a uniform to best represent Charm City.

Now, the O’s have brought their new City Connect threads to life and directly to the people of Baltimore.

Shortly after Monday’s online reveal, the Orioles’ team store inside of the warehouse at Camden Yards opened at 10 a.m., giving fans an opportunity to buy the club’s new City Connect merchandise -- jerseys, hats, hooded sweatshirts, T-shirts and more. Many did just that, flooding Eutaw Street to purchase their apparel.

“They love it. They’re really proud of this city,” Orioles senior vice president of community development and communications Jennifer Grondahl said. “There’s so much beauty within this city, and there’s so much opportunity for the future. So for us to use this jersey as an opportunity to tell that story, it means everything to our organization.”

The caps don’t read “O’s,” but rather display a fresh script “B” logo. The jerseys don’t read “Orioles,” but instead “Baltimore.”

“This’ll be the first time I’ve actually worn Baltimore on the front of my uniform -- in Baltimore,” outfielder Austin Hays said. “It’s going to be special to put that jersey on for the first time and step out in front of the Camden Yards crowd. It’s an honor to be able to represent this city and its people like this.”

The Orioles will don their City Connect look for the first time on Friday night, when they’ll host the Rangers for the opener of a three-game series at the start of a six-game homestand to close out May. The uniforms will be worn for Friday home games moving forward.

Here are several of the notable aspects of Baltimore’s City Connect set:

  • The colorful pattern on the uniform represents the various neighborhoods of Baltimore. It was designed on the inside -- a first for an MLB team -- as a showcase of the city’s colorful interior, a contrast from the grayscale exterior that represents a “surface-level view” that some may have of the city. Those vibrant colors symbolize the uniqueness of the various aspects of Baltimore.

“When we first sat down with Nike, we talked to them a little bit about what makes Baltimore so special. That’s how we landed on this particular jersey,” Grondahl said. “The colors, everything has been thought of, it was very deliberate. The snowball, the Ravens, all the different pieces, the Orioles -- everything that makes Baltimore special.”

  • The bold typeface used for the “Baltimore” logo was inspired by the Globe Collection and Press at the Maryland Institute College of Art and the local arts scene. The speckles and imperfections “represent the shared grit the Orioles and the Baltimore community possess.”

“We felt that it was really, really important to not create a slogan or anything that was going to take away from how powerful we think this city is,” Grondahl said.

  • A patch featuring “You Can’t Clip These Wings,” the words of Fidel, was emblazoned on the jersey as an embodiment of Baltimore pride and to exemplify the city’s perseverance.
  • The script “B” logo on the hats was pulled from the first letter of the Baltimore script logo on the Orioles’ road jerseys. It’s also featured on the sleeve patches.

“It’s colorful, it’s fun. The black and gray with the bright colors, it’s clean. It’s the city,” outfielder Anthony Santander said. “I love Baltimore. I love the fans. We want to represent them and make them proud with these jerseys.”

The Orioles became the 19th MLB team to reveal a City Connect uniform (a rollout by Nike that began in 2021), and the fifth to do so this season.