Fanatics MLB jerseys controversy, explained: Players, fans express displeasure for ‘cheap’ uniforms

It’s safe to say that customers are not “fans” of Fanatics’ latest baseball jerseys. 

With football season officially in the rearview, baseball is on the horizon. Spring training is beginning, as all 32 clubs get geared up for the 2024 MLB season. 

With a new campaign comes new uniforms, and this year, there are distinct differences in the jerseys — not in a good way. The first batch of jerseys provided by Fanatics has been revealed, and the reviews from players and fans are less than stellar. 

Here’s more to know about the controversy surrounding the Fanatics MLB jerseys:

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Fanatics MLB jerseys controversy

Players and fans got a sneak preview of what to expect out of the uniforms for the 2024 season, and the result has been extremely disappointing. 

Reporters have posted pictures of a number of different uniforms, including home whites for the Cardinals and Mariners. The differences between the 2023 and ’24 jerseys are significant, and the feedback from the players themselves speaks volumes. 

“They look cheap,” one Cardinals player said. 

“I don’t like them,” another Cardinals pitcher said. 

Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas also said that the uniforms “don’t fit right” and that the fabric differs from the material used in the past. The side-by-side of the two Mariners uniforms also details part of what is wrong with the new batch. Not only has the quality taken a hit, but the sizing, particularly of the names, has also shrunk.

Fanatics is no stranger to poor reviews. The company has built up a recent history of misspellings, mix-ups, and other miscues on fan apparel for years. However, with the new Nike/Fanatics deal kicking in for 2024, now it’s the athletes themselves who get a firsthand experience of the weak quality of a Fanatics jersey. 

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Who owns Fanatics?

Fanatics is its own company, owned and operated by CEO Michael Rubin. However, when it comes to MLB apparel, it has a special relationship with Nike. 

Under the current arrangement between Fanatics and Nike, Fanatics “designs, manufactures and distributes all Nike-branded fan apparel sold at retail for the NFL and MLB, Nike’s top college partners (beginning in 2024), and the Tokyo Giants, including all jersey categories, women’s apparel, outerwear and more,” as per the Fanatics website

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