Nike ‘testing different options’ to solve MLB uniform sweat issues

The controversy over the MLB’s new uniforms is growing.

Since the season began, fans have noticed visible sweat stains on the uniforms, especially the gray ones, those the Yankees wear.

In a statement issued to The Athletic on Thursday, Nike admitted it is “testing different options to lessen the moisture-related aesthetic color differences.”

Clarke Schmidt exits the game in the sixth inning during the Yankees’ win over the Astros. Getty Images

Along with the sweat issue, some have pointed out that teams’ gray uniforms look like they are different shades — one for the jersey and one for the pants.

Twins pitcher Brock Stewart said his own family noticed.

“My dad was watching the game and said, ‘Some guys look like their jerseys are a different shade of gray than their pants,’” Stewart said.

Nike has also acknowledged that issue and said, “We have isolated the issue and are exploring a solution to minimize it.”

Twins relief pitcher Brock Stewart watches a foul ball during the ninth inning of a game against the Royals. AP

Stewart added that the uniform issues aren’t a subject of conversation in the clubhouse, but players wonder if there’s a simple solution.

“At this point, I don’t know. Do we have the old ones in the back of the closet somewhere we can bring back out?” he said jokingly.

The Athletic reported that the material for the pants and jerseys comes from different suppliers — the pants come from an previously used vendor while the jerseys are from a new one — though it all arrives at Fanatics’ factory pre-dyed.

Previously, MLB uniforms were made by Majestic, which was acquired by Fanatics in 2017, and Nike signed a ten-year deal in 2020 for the design side for the MLB.

Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo compared it to factory manufacturing.

Tigers right fielder Kerry Carpenter rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run. Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

“Let’s say your local woodworker is making something,” he said. “They’ll put a lot of attention to detail, it’s handmade, it’s a good, quality product. As soon as it becomes manufactured — like, big time — usually they start cutting the corners: ‘OK, we don’t need this detail, we don’t need that detail. We just need this product to work and we can sell it for the same price and just mass produce it.’

“It was Majestic before. It was a smaller company. They’d mainly dealt with baseball,” he continued. “Then you get a worldwide company that’s worth billions and billions of dollars. And most of the time, they have to answer to somebody who’s all about the bottom line, and they’ve got to make this profitable. I don’t know the whole story, but I just know how business works.”

In addition to sweat and color differences, some teams don’t have all of their jerseys.

The Seattle Mariners are missing their cream uniforms, and the St. Louis Cardinals are missing their powder blue uniforms.

According to a report, Fanatics doesn’t have them in stock yet.

No one likes change, and with so many eyes on the MLB and MLB uniforms, Nike and Fanatics knew it would take time to get fans and players to like the new uniforms.

But unless they figure out how to stop problems from continuing to arise, they may be in for a lengthy battle.


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