Nike and Fanatics infuriate Cardinals players by ruining iconic home jerseys

The new St. Louis Cardinals jerseys rolled out by Nike and Fanatics have led to discontent among players in the organization.
Kansas City Royals v St. Louis Cardinals
Kansas City Royals v St. Louis Cardinals / Scott Kane/GettyImages

The St. Louis Cardinals and the rest of Major League Baseball will be wearing uniforms in the design of Nike's new tailoring template. The new uniforms, which were produced by Fanatics, have fans and players up in arms regarding the steep downgrade in the attire's quality and appearance.

In 2023, the Cardinals partnered with Stifel, an investment banking firm, to have the company's logo patched onto the team's jerseys. The commercialization of the uniforms elicited largely negative reactions among Cardinals fans, especially because it appeared tone deaf since the team had just come off of a terrible April. Nike is looking to streamline the uniforms for a more consistent appearance across the league, but with further restrictions on uniforms, baseball continues to appear out of touch with fans.

The National Hockey League also got on board with Fanatics in a deal that did not sit well with hockey fans, as several people posted errors and misspellings on the jerseys.

According to an article on Uni Watch, the Cardinals' unique chain-stitching embroidery on the uniforms will remain thanks to the insistence of Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III, but the stitching will have to be applied to a patch, which will then be put on the uniform in a manner similar to the jersey of the Philadelphia Phillies, the only other team that uses chain-stitching.

The Cardinals will be one of nine teams to unveil its "City Connect" uniforms in 2024, but to comply with Nike's branding, the team will have to limit itself to only four different uniforms in addition to the City Connect jersey. DeWitt hinted that the Cardinals' signature red could be a larger aspect of the City Connect uniform.

With the jerseys now being of inferior quality in addition to possessing company logos, baseball appears to be trending backward in terms of uniform creativity. Perhaps the league will remember to have some fun by bringing back Players' Weekend, where players could customize their uniforms and equipment. But Players' Weekend has not occurred since 2019, so the creativity among the sport that many consider uptight and stodgy will once again be snuffed out.