By J. Coyden Palmer, Crusader Contributing Writer
News on a Friday morning is usually pretty mundane. But the Chicago White Sox changed the media game May 28th when they unveiled their new Nike MLB City Connect Series uniform, which pays tribute to the hardworking and resilient mentality of Chicago’s Southside community. The White Sox will debut the uniform on field when the team takes on Detroit at 1:10 p.m. on Saturday, June 5.
“The White Sox’ identity – black and white, gothic script and pinstripes – is so strong that it has resonated beyond the game of baseball,” said Wil Green, Nike Sr. Creative Director – MLB. “Their uniforms speak to the strength and hardworking nature of the Southside of Chicago — without saying a word. We wanted to harness the Southside’s personality for the Nike MLB City Connect Series and introduce its attitude to newer, younger fans.”
Just minutes after unveiling the new unis, calls started streaming into Grandstand Sports at 600 W. 35th street, according to an employee who answered the phone. The shop will begin selling the uniforms on June 5th but they are taking preorders now.
The dark grey and pinstripe jerseys with white lettering is the first new specialty uniform the team has unveiled in years. Initial reaction from the public has been overwhelmingly positive with many South Side residents looking to purchase the jersey even if they are not from that part of the city.
“I’m from the West Side and you know we have a rivalry with the South Side, but I’m a Sox fan and those uniforms, especially the hats are fire,” said Andre Bailey, who plans on making his purchase as soon as possible.
The black hat has CHI in white in gothic script as well. The graphic nods to the organization’s storied history of the ballpark’s Chicago location that transformed over a century into a team identity.
“Every aspect of this collaboration is meant to connect with people who understand what the ‘Southside’ represents. It’s not just about where our ballpark is located or where people from the city or suburbs live. It’s a mentality and a culture shared by many who love the White Sox,” said Brooks Boyer, White Sox chief revenue and marketing officer. “The Nike MLB City Connect Series created a rare opportunity to transform a concept for all people who understand what it means to represent the ‘Southside’ into an on-field look and style. We are grateful to Nike who helped us create a uniform that embodies the team’s historic legacy and connections to our fans and the mentality.”
The dark grey uniform draws inspiration from Chicago’s well-known Greystone architectural style. Providing a fresh take on the iconic White Sox pinstripes, the color scheme and pattern create texture to symbolize the team’s brand identity and pay tribute to the look that has permeated through Hip Hop and youth culture.
Ever since the White Sox changed to their current uniform in 1991, the brand has been popular in the hip-hop community with classic rappers Ice Cube and Snoop Dog along with local artists Da Brat and Chance the Wrapper using the Sox brand in their music videos.
Fans can purchase their White Sox City Connect gear, which includes authentic and replica jerseys as well as hoodies and T-Shirts, beginning Friday, May 28 at the Chicago Sports Depot, the White Sox official team store located at Guaranteed Rate Field.