SAN DIEGO — You have probably already seen them, they have a bold new color scheme and a new font.
The Padres Baja-inspired City Connect merchandise highlights America's finest city and the baseball team it represents.
“City Connect is a program with major league baseball, the 30 major league baseball teams and Nike to create a uniform set that is reflective of the culture and really cool things of the community the teams play in,” said Eric Gruepner, CEO of the San Diego Padres.
It is intended to blend two cultures, Tijuana and San Diego, into one.
The colors, design and font are a nod to the coastal community–going from Oceanside to Imperial Beach to south of the border. The pink and yellow are also meant to accentuate the region’s sunsets, as well as San Diego's surf and skate culture.
“We’re two cities, two countries. We share one team and Baja California and Mexico have a big fan base as a city that’s located right next to the border. So many people go back and forth from Mexico to the United States on a daily basis in San Diego, we really value that we have a binational region and a binational fan base,” said Gruepner.
When asked how the players have responded to a uniform that is far from the traditional uniforms you see around major league baseball, Gruepner said, “City Connect, I think thanks to Manny Machado it looks so good on him and Juan Soto. Really excited this year we’ll see Fernando Tatis Jr. on the field wearing a City Connect for the first time.”
Fans have certainly responded with their wallets, City Connect merchandise has been flying off the shelves since it was unveiled last season.
Latino Padres fans have already rushed to team stores this season just to buy the jerseys before they sell out.
Some critics have called the City Connect merchandise too aggressive, others even comparing the colors to an Arizona iced tea can.
However, for fans living in San Diego with deep roots in Baja, these jerseys resonate with them.
The bright colors represent how bold Mexican fans can be, hoping to emphasize their pride for the game and where they come from.
WATCH RELATED: The San Diego Padres debut their new 'City Connect' jersey (July 2022):