These uniforms are CLE-an.

The Cleveland Guardians became the latest team to unveil their Nike MLB City Connect Uniform, doing so via a video posted to their social media accounts late Sunday night. 

Overall, the navy blue, red, and sandstone uniform draws most of its inspiration from the iconic Guardians of Traffic statues near Progressive Field (which also inspired the club’s newish “Guardians” name) while incorporating the team’s traditional colours—but bolder. There is also a welcome and surprising nod to the club’s uniforms circa the late ’80s—early ’90s.

“We really felt it was important, much like the program itself, to think about this younger audience and how we’re going to further the connection with them, for the connection, to our city, and our team,” recalled Jason Wiedemann, the Cleveland Guardians Vice President of Brand, in a conversation with SportsLogos.Net. “We wanted a design that would be a bolder version of our current uniform set but still feel like it’s part of the [Guardians’ uniform] family. We wanted to highlight what makes Cleveland special, the attributes or personality traits of the city itself, in addition to our organization. And, of course, we wanted to make sure we honoured our own history and tradition.”

SHOP: Guardians City Connect caps, jerseys and more are available now!

“We’ve been around since 1901, and we just went through a name change, where history and tradition were an important part of that transition. We wanted to make sure we included that with this uniform, but also to show where we are now and where we’re heading, to bridge the past with the present.”

The cap does just that, with the Guardians’ usual red ‘Diamond C’ cap logo trimmed in blue set against a sandstone front panel, a colour we see used throughout the uniform instead of white, a blue crown, and a red visor. The real treat is hidden inside the sweatband of the cap, featuring striking red and blue striping, which is also featured on the jerseys and pants. The undervisor includes a blue sandstone pattern, the same pattern we see on the jersey…

The jersey’s deep blue base features a pattern inspired by the Berea sandstone used in the Guardians of Traffic statues. Across the chest is an abbreviated ‘CLE,’ inspired by Cleveland’s “t-shirt culture,” etched in an Art Deco style reminiscent of the detailing on the Hope Memorial Bridge. The design team chose a layered approach for the ‘CLE’ wordmark, making it look like it’s been carved directly from stone. This same style was recycled for the player’s numbers on the back of the jersey.

“The pattern on the jersey is supposed to mimic the natural wear and tear you see on the sandstone on the Guardian statues,” Wiedemann explained. “We wanted to maintain our historic red and blue, which have been part of our closet for almost all of our history but opted for slightly deeper shades. This was to stick with that palette but go in a slightly different direction so that the shades are slightly different than what we have had.”

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Down each sleeve and the sides of the jersey are bold blue and red stripes, a nice throwback to the old Cleveland Indians uniforms (think of what they wore in the movie Major League). Within these stripes (or braids, as the team calls them) are elements from the bridge’s design, particularly the angular and chevron patterns. In the back collar is “EST. 1901,” noting the first season of the franchise, at the jock tag it reads “THE LAND” in the same typeface as the “CLE” wordmark.

In a decision that’ll certainly make many followers of the City Connect series happy, the pants aren’t blue. Instead, we get a complementary sandstone colour matching the jersey’s new “CLE” wordmark. The striping/braiding from the jersey continues down the side of each pant leg, giving a consistent look between the two. The red socks incorporate a new Baseball Guardian logo [photo below], which doesn’t appear anywhere else on the uniform but will feature prominently on other on-field gear — such as dugout hoodies.

While most clubs began the City Connect uniform process in 2020, the Guardians didn’t start until late 2021, wanting to wait until they finalized their change of identity from Indians to Guardians earlier that year.

“We started the initiation with Nike in December of 2021,” recalled Wiedemann. “It was a design process led by Nike but with a lot of direction and significant input from our team here at the Guardians. I imagine we were a little more hands-on than other teams may have been because we were still figuring out our own brand, much less what the City Connect would look like three years later.”

The new Cleveland Guardians’ name was announced in July 2021, following 107 seasons of the franchise playing as the Cleveland Indians. The Guardians basically rolled forward with the same uniforms the Indians used (with names and logos replaced accordingly). Their new City Connect uniform is essentially the first real Guardians-focused design for the team.

“This was going to be the next big opportunity to continue to tell the story of what that name, ‘the Guardians,’ meant for our city, why that name made sense. We really wanted to build on the higher order traits that we associate with the Guardians, which was a big part of our focus during the first six months of 2022.”

Fans can look forward to seeing the Guardians don their new City Connect uniforms for the first time on Friday, May 17th, against the Minnesota Twins. Following a day to wear MLB’s special Armed Forces Day gear on Saturday, the City Connects will return on Sunday, May 19th. The Guardians will then wear this new set for every home Friday game for the rest of the season.

There will be a special City Connect celebration before that first game on Friday at Progressive Field’s Gateway Plaza from 4 – 7:30 p.m. This will feature a performance by The Big Don Band and include a pitch speed machine, City Connect-themed prizes, face painting, balloon artists, and mascot appearances. Additionally, a City Connect-inspired mural will be painted by local artist Lisa Quine; fans will be able to see the mural just inside the left field gate after entering the ballpark.


Friday, May 17 vs Minnesota Twins
Sunday, May 19 vs Minnesota Twins
Friday, May 31 vs Washington Nationals
Friday, June 21 vs Toronto Blue Jays
Friday, July 5 vs San Francisco Giants
Friday, July 19 vs San Diego Padres
Friday, August 2 vs Baltimore Orioles
Friday, August 23 vs Texas Rangers
Friday, August 30 vs Pittsburgh Pirates
Friday, September 13 vs Tampa Bay Rays
Friday, September 27 vs Houston Astros

You may have noticed that almost every team has chosen to schedule their City Connect uniforms to be worn during Friday night home games; while I’m unsure of the reason for that, it has started to make for interesting and colourful uniform viewing for those of us who subscribe to MLB TV when we tune in on Fridays.

This announcement included a series of new City Connect-themed stadium giveaways throughout the season for the first 10,000 fans (unless otherwise noted): a t-shirt on May 17, a Jose Ramirez bobblehead on May 18 (first 12,500), a tote bag on June 19, a beach towel on July 25, a belt bag on August 14, and a City Connect flag on August 24 (first 15,000). The new Cleveland Guardians City Connect Uniforms are here! #MLB #Guardians #CityConnect #Nike ♬ original sound SportsLogos.Net

The Guardians’ new City Connect series jerseys, caps, and other merchandise will be available for purchase in person at the Guardians Team Store and online via our affiliate link here starting Monday morning at 10 am ET. Remember, shopping using our affiliate links keeps the site running; I appreciate you choosing to use our links when making your sports merchandise purchases!

Cleveland is the fifth of nine teams set to unveil their new City Connect uniform during the 2024 Major League Baseball season. The Guardians have followed the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets, Tampa Bay Rays, and Detroit Tigers thus far. The Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins (June 10), St. Louis Cardinals, and Toronto Blue Jays (May 30) are still to come. By the end of this season, 28 of the 30 MLB teams will have released a City Connect uniform.

LINK: Check out all of our past MLB City Connect uniform unveiling articles

SHOP: Cleveland Guardians City Connect caps, jerseys and more are available now

All Guardians uniform photos in this article are courtesy of the Cleveland Guardians Baseball Team

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