Fanatics baseball jerseys: MLB players express frustration over sweat stains, mismatched uniforms

MLB players had little to no problems with the jerseys prior to the 2024 season, yet Nike and Fanatics opted for a change.

Those changes were supposed to improve “performance,” but have only cause caused backlash early in the season.

The pants were translucent during spring training, allowing fans to see more than they’d like of their favorite players. While it seems that issue has gone away, Nike and Fanatics have encountered another pair of problems.

Sweat and mismatched uniforms.

Players have voiced their frustration after a week of MLB games, citing issues with sweat stains and jersey colors in the new 2024 threads. They added that the jerseys don’t have that “big-league” feel to it anymore.

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As the MLB season picks up steam in April, here’s what to know about the latest jersey controversy and how Nike and Fanatics plan to solve it.

MLB uniform controversy

Sweating is normal and necessary within sports as players perform at high intensity. It occurs in backyard play, amateur levels and professional leagues.

The difference that professional leagues have, besides the talent, is the lack of sweat stains. While fans will see sweat on a player’s skin, they’ll rarely see sweat pouring through the jersey.

MLB jerseys used to do a better job hiding those stains. That changed with the new Nike and Fanatics uniforms this season.

The sweat stains are very noticeable, especially on gray uniforms, causing discoloration even in mild and indoor weather.

The Houston Astros hosted the New York Yankees indoors, and images of Aaron Judge and Jonathan Loáisiga gained attention for significant sweat marks on their uniforms.

Yankees’ pitcher Marcus Stroman added that the uniform doesn’t feel any “heavier” despite the sweat stains.

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“It just looks wetter to the public eye,” Stroman said “I feel like these jerseys retain water rather than kind of wicking it off.”

The new-look sweat stains are reminiscent of how the average person leaves YMCA pickup games. It’s not unnatural nor is it wrong, but it gives off an unprofessional vibe that players aren’t enjoying.

Andrew Chafin, a Detroit Tigers pitcher who has played for four other franchises, told The Athletic,“They’re not bad jerseys. Just, in my opinion, they’re not big-league jerseys.”

“Eh, it’s just another jersey” Chafin told The Athletic. “There’s no special feel to it. You pick it up and you should feel like you’re putting on a freaking crown and a big-ass fluffy cape, you know what I mean?”

He’s not the only player to voice frustration either. Twins pitcher Brock Stewart said the uniforms are a “downgrade this year,” and even added that his dad noticed different shades of gray on the jerseys and pants.

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Tigers’ Mark Canha said the same thing regarding mismatching gray uniforms. The jersey is shiny gray compared to the pants’ dull gray. It’s a result of different companies sending the jerseys and pants.

The uniform tops come from a different company than previous years, while the pants vendor remained the same, Uni Watch’s Paul Lukas reported. The entire uniform used to be put together in the same factory.

How Nike and Fanatics plan to solve the newest issues

Despite the uproar over the uniform changes, there doesn’t seem to be a major overhaul coming.

Nike told The Athletic that it’s “testing different options to lessen the moisture-related aesthetic color differences.”

At this point, that’s as much of a roadmap as MLB has regarding the uniforms. Nike is trying to “minimize” the issue. A major change with the season already underway seems unlikely.

The mismatching uniforms was an issue that Fanatics reportedly discussed with Nike during the offseason, but opted to leave as is because “it fell within [Nike’s] window of variance.”

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