Rockies' City Connect uniforms a nod to iconic Colorado plates

May 27th, 2022

DENVER -- The iconic Colorado license plate -- with its deep green mountains and clear and striking typography -- served as inspiration for the jersey of the Rockies’ new City Connect uniform, which will debut on Saturday, June 4, in a game against the Braves at Coors Field.

The club unveiled the look, which will be worn every Sunday home game for the rest of the season, on Friday morning with a video narrated by longtime radio broadcaster Jack Corrigan. The presentation also included a photo shoot involving several players -- Denver native Kyle Freeland, Ryan McMahon, Germán Márquez and Connor Joe -- west of Denver at the 11,990-foot Loveland Pass. Veteran star Charlie Blackmon also modeled the uniform in a studio shoot.

The Rockies’ look is part of a two-season-old program by Nike, MLB’s official uniform provider, to give teams reimagined designs and colors. Work on the Rockies’ project started with meetings with selected club personnel and Nike designers to determine how the club wanted to be presented. The final look -- largely green, with purple accents that the Rockies simply aren’t the Rockies without -- was one of four designs presented to the club.

“We modeled after the Rockies license plate, because obviously wherever you're at in the United States, if you see that plate, you know where it is,” said Jim Kellogg, the Rockies’ vice president of community and retail operations. “That’s Colorado. It represents the mountains.

“And the font on the jersey is the font on the license plate. Even the numbers on our license plates are a little unique. The zeroes are a different type, so are the ones and the nines.”

Features of the uniform include:

• The purple piping around the white sleeves and down the side of the green pants represents the purple row of seats at Coors Field, which is measured at one mile above sea level. The Nike swoosh on the jersey is also purple.

“We wanted to have a different color scheme, but purple is who we are -- with purple mountain majesties,” said Kellogg, referring to Katharine Lee Bates’ poem that was later set to music, “America the Beautiful.”

The Rockies drew their identifying color from Bates’ work.

• The right sleeve carries a yellow patch with the team’s shortened “Rox” headline name and two black diamonds, representing Double Diamond skiing.

“It represents the most difficult ski hill that you can go down, but once you get down to it, it's quite an accomplishment,” Kellogg said.

Finally, the exact latitude and longitude of Coors Field is represented at the bottom of this patch.

• The Rockies’ familiar interlocking CR logo, white outlined in green, is on the left sleeve.

• On the front left is a patch based on signs people see driving into the state: “Welcome to Colorful Colorado.”

• The cap is green with a white front panel and an embroidered logo featuring the “CO” postal abbreviation, purple mountains, blue sky, and rings of red, gold and purple. Blue, red and gold are the colors of the Colorado flag and the city of Denver.

"I think they're pretty cool," Blackmon said. "It's weird to wear something without traditional Rockies colors, but it's very much a Colorado theme with the licenses plate. It'll be weird wearing green pants. But I do like the green color, and I do like the emblem on the hat. I think they'll be a big hit."

The Rockies are the 11th team to unveil City Connect uniforms and the fourth this season. The Red Sox, Marlins, D-backs, White Sox, Giants, Dodgers and Cubs unveiled theirs in 2021. The Nationals, Astros and Royals began wearing theirs this year.

"They look cool," said Freeland, the Denver-native. "They did a really good job with the coloring, and the designs, incorporating all things Colorado."