Major League Baseball made the Royals start using the bad uniforms and it stinks

Bobby Witt Jr. #7 of the Kansas City Royals congratulates Maikel Garcia #11 after Garcia hit a solo home run during the 1st inning of the opening day game against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium on March 28, 2024 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Bobby Witt Jr. #7 of the Kansas City Royals congratulates Maikel Garcia #11 after Garcia hit a solo home run during the 1st inning of the opening day game against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium on March 28, 2024 in Kansas City, Missouri. | Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The old ones look better!

To an extent, it’s somewhat amusing that so many people who otherwise do not care one bit about fashion are so interested in sports uniforms. But to another extent, we watch our favorite teams a lot, and if you like the uniforms you’re going to enjoy the product more than if you just hate the way they look. And unfortunately, the Kansas City Royals uniforms looked worse on Opening Day than they did in Spring Training

To get why, we need to back it up a bit to explain the uniform timeline and what’s going on. Starting in 2005, MLB uniforms were designed and manufactured by Majestic. In 2017, Fanatics acquired Majestic. And in 2018, Major League Baseball and Nike began the process of working on new uniforms—new fabric, new design tweaks, using fancy body scanning technology for fitting, all that jazz. The new uniforms, called “Nike Vapor,” were supposed to debut last year but pandemic-related supply chain nonsense delayed the rollout to this year.

The problem was that these new uniforms are a huge downgrade in visual quality from the previous ones. Uni Watch has a great article where they discuss differences between last year’s uniforms and this year’s set, and there are quite a lot of minor changes. But the biggest change is that the back of the new uniforms look like some Chinese-made knockoff uniforms with tiny lettering, weird positioning of the MLB logo, and a whole lot of white space:

A comparison between the old and new MLB uniforms.
Paul Lukas | Uni Watch

If you watched some of the Royals games in Spring Training, though, you saw that the Royals uniforms looked very similar to the old ones. This was especially true if you saw the comparison between how the Royals uniforms looked and how their opponents’ uniforms looked.


Uni Watch reached out to the Royals about this, who basically said “We liked the full-size lettering so much we lobbied for keeping it with MLB and Nike and made it happen.” The Kansas City Star even reported that owner John Sherman didn’t like them and pushed for the exemption.

Unfortunately, that exemption seems to be over. The Royals were notably wearing the cheap replica jerseys in the home opener, which was also noticed. And in a delightful read-between-the-lines situation, you can glean that the Royals were not exactly the most pleased that MLB decided they had to be like everybody else.

The Royals declined comment on why they had switched to the new jerseys, directing questions to Major League Baseball.

A league spokesman said the lettering on the Royals uniforms had been updated so there is consistency with other Major League Baseball teams.

I’m one of those weirdos who doesn’t necessarily obsess about sports uniforms but finds them interesting and likes the history that they provide, and this whole thing just stinks. The new uniforms just look really cheap and awful up close, and I wish they were better—especially considering that the Royals showed the whole league that the uniforms could look better if Nike cared about that a little more. Alas.

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Title: Major League Baseball made the Royals start using the bad uniforms and it stinks
Author: Matthew LaMar

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