Recent MLB uniform change compares to this classic 'Seinfeld' scene


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A classic pop culture moment is being played out in the MLB. 

The comedic moment in question is from the sitcom “Seinfeld.” In the show, while George Costanza (Jason Alexander) is working for the New York Yankees, he pushes to switch the team’s polyester jerseys to cotton. The switch starts off as a good call but quickly goes downhill. 

The mixed reviews of the new MLB jerseys have brought in mixed reviews. This jersey swap by the MLB is comparable to the classic call made by Costanza. 

Jorge Lopez #52 and Luis Severino #40

The new MLB jerseys have brought in mixed reviews from players and fans. (Rich Storry/Getty Images)

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In the show, Costanza is in the locker room with one of the players, who mentions that he gets really hot in his jersey. After a quick look at the tag, Costanza determines that the jerseys are made of polyester and identifies the material as the source of the sweating. 

Costanza makes it his mission to get the jerseys switched from polyester to cotton, for a more breathable feel. The character is successful in his endeavors, and the Yankees take the field in their brand-new uniforms. 

During the first game with the new uniforms on full display, people quickly notice the change, with the announcers explaining that the team switched from polyester to cotton uniforms. 

After their first game in the new attire, players rave in the papers about their new jerseys and how the more breathable fabric contributed to their great performance on the field. 

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Unfortunately, Costanza does not have long to bask in the glory of his jersey swap success. While he and Jerry Seinfeld tune in to the next game on TV, the announcers talk about how the Yankees cannot run like they usually do because the uniforms have shrunk, making them too tight for the players, even causing one to split his pants. 

While the new MLB jerseys have not caused any shrinkage or pants splitting, there are a lot of mixed reviews from players, some loving the new feel, just like the Yankees did in “Seinfeld,” while others have noted that they do not love their new look. 

Jason Alexander and Buck Showalter in "Seinfeld"

In the “Seinfeld” episode titled “The Chaperone,” George Costanza, played by Jason Alexander, explains to New York Yankees manager Buck Showalter why the team should switch from polyester to cotton uniforms. (Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

A first look at Nike’s new on-field Vapor Premier uniforms for the 2024 season came with the start of spring training, where players wore their new attire. 

One of the biggest gripes players have with the new uniforms is their last names being smaller on the back of the jerseys than before, and being able to see the tucked in jersey through the pants. 

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Pitchers Rich Hill and Miles Mikolas have both described the new uniforms as “cheap.”

“It looks like a replica,” Los Angeles Angels outfielder Taylor Ward said, per The Athletic. “It feels kind of like papery. It could be great when you’re out there sweating, it may be breathable. But I haven’t had that opportunity yet to try that out. But from the looks of it, it doesn’t look like a $450 jersey.”

MLB executives have maintained unwavering support for the new jerseys, ensuring players and fans that these uniforms are top-notch. 

“In acquiring Majestic and its MLB uniform manufacturing facilities in Easton, PA — which have been making player uniforms for nearly two decades — Fanatics has consistently produced world-class uniforms, including every Nike-branded MLB on-field jersey and all City Connect gear since 2020,” Dennis Nolan, MLB senior vice president of global consumer products said, via MLB.com.

General view of Kenley Jansen's All-Star Game jersey

The jerseys first debuted at the 2023 MLB All Star game. (Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Stephen Roche, another global exec, has joined in on the jersey debate, noting that the respective color schemes match for the first time with the new jerseys. 

“That was all part of the tightening up of the entire process,” Roche said. “Clubs were able to approve how everything matched Nike’s standard colors. For the first time, we had a uniform where all the colors matched exactly with the hats and the on-field colors. They had always been close, but they weren’t exact. Now they are.”

The MLB website highlights that these jerseys feature 25% more stretch than last year’s and that the new design was tested by hundreds of players. 

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While there has been a fair amount of not-so positive reviews on the new jerseys, some have had good things to report. 

“These new uniforms fit better and feel lighter,” Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Atlanta Braves said in an official statement. “I play fast and want to wear something that won’t pull when I’m running. Feeling free in the jersey is the best feeling in the world.”

“The Nike Vapor Premier jersey is soft, light and comfortable. It’s almost like wearing my favorite shirt out on the field – and so easy to move around in,” St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado said. 

Kenley Jansen of the Boston Red Sox also gave the jersey good reviews, saying “It feels more fit on your body and how light it is. It’s kind of like the NBA-type of jerseys.”

The uniforms are sure to cause even more buzz leading up to MLB Opening Day on March 28.



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