MLB see-through pants: Why George Costanza’s uniform design on ‘Seinfeld’ is going viral amid 2024 issues

Nike’s new uniform designs for MLB players have been changed from past years to make the fabric lighter and stretchier, but what was intended to be a change for the positive has instead led to plenty of criticism.

The uniforms have been blasted for their cheap appearance and see-through pants. The criticism has not just been called out by fans. Players have also taken part in the bashing of the outfits, and the MLB Players Association has called on MLB to make a change before the start of the season.

While the jersey tops garnered much of the criticism early on, the arrival of players in spring training has led to the pants drawing more ire. The pants have been borderline transparent, as players’ jerseys have been seen tucked in through the pants, underwear has been made apparent, and, at times, there have been even worse see-through viral moments.

MORE: MLB uniform controversy, explained

The uniform and pant controversy has reminded fans of a similar wardrobe malfunction that took place in the hit sitcom “Seinfeld,” where George Costanza, a Yankees employee, attempted to make the uniforms lighter and comfier for players.

As would be expected, the idea backfired — much like Nike’s idea.

‘Seinfeld’ George Costanza uniform scenes

In the first episode of Season 6 (“The Chaperone”), Costanza, played by Jason Alexander, notices while in the Yankees’ locker room that outfielder Danny Tartabull’s jersey looks a little uncomfortable. Tartabull explains he’s feeling hot in his current uniform, and Costanza notices that it’s made of polyester.

Costanza discusses the idea of changing the uniforms to cotton with Jerry Seinfeld, then takes his thoughts to Yankee manager Buck Showalter.

“Imagine playing games and your team is five degrees cooler than the other team,” Costanza tells Showalter. “Don’t you think that would be an advantage?”

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Showalter agrees with the idea, and before long, New York adopts the change. The broadcast of the next Yankees’ game points out the team looks different and explains the positives of the uniform change. Costanza takes his victory lap the following day amid all the positive reviews.

“Did you see how they played? Listen to these comments. Wade Boggs: ‘What a fabric. Finally, we can breathe.’ Luis Polonia: ‘Cotton is king.’ Paul O’Neill: ‘I never dreamed anything could be so soft and fluffy,’” Costanza tells Seinfeld.

The two then head to Atlantic City, and watch the broadcast of the next Yankee game. Only now, there’s a slight problem: the uniforms have shrunk in the wash. The broadcast points out the players are having issues running, saying they can’t move and then observing they are “too tight.”

“They’re running like penguins,” the broadcast says. “Oh my, [Don] Mattingly just split his pants.”

Cue the iconic Seinfeld meme of Jerry eating his popcorn: “That’s a shame.”

The actual 2024 jerseys haven’t received quite the same amount of positive love as Costanza’s unis did — at first — ut there have been plenty of comparisons made between Costanza’s cotton outfit idea and Nike’s uniforms.

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