KANSAS CITY — Fountains have become one of the most iconic symbols of Kansas City, adorned on the streets of the city, on flags and in its nickname, the City of Fountains.
And now, they will be splashed across the chests of Royals players.
The Royals unveiled their Nike City Connect uniforms on Monday, paying tribute to the fountains that have always adorned Kansas City as a gesture of welcomeness and openness around the city. The team will wear the jerseys for the first time on Saturday against the Yankees at Kauffman Stadium, with the organization planning special content and events that day to celebrate the debut of the jerseys. Merchandise is now available at the team store.
“This design is one that fans of any age can truly appreciate,” Royals chairman/CEO John Sherman said in a statement. “From the fountains, that are a part of Kansas City’s heritage, to the colors of the jersey signifying the rich history of baseball and the Kansas City Royals. The uniform showcases the distinct elements of our community.”
The Royals began working with Nike and MLB on a design for the jerseys last fall and narrowed the theme down to the fountains, which is evident in the caps and the logo on the left side of the jersey.
The jerseys are two-toned, with dark blue and powder blue. While the Royals are traditionally associated with powder blue, the team wanted to include navy as a reference to the city’s deep baseball roots and the other teams, like the Athletics, Monarchs and Blues, Bluestockings and Packers that have worn the navy color.
Details on the jersey are a nod to Royals history or the city. The striping on the sleeves is similar to the jerseys of the 1980s. There is an “R” with a crown above it on the right sleeve, paying homage to the Royals’ original script. The phrase “HEY, HEY, HEY, HEY” is sewn into the collar to honor the Royals’ victory song by Paul McCartney.
And the letter and number scripts were chosen to reflect an art deco style that is seen in the architecture of many of the iconic buildings in downtown and midtown Kansas City, like the courthouse and City Hall, as well as Municipal Auditorium.
That’s the idea behind these jerseys. Launched last season, the Nike MLB City Connect program was created to celebrate the bond between each club and its city. This uniform series explores the personality, values and customs that make each community and its residents unique.
Nike and MLB clubs partnered to design jerseys inspired by home cities to celebrate new baseball traditions and invite more fans into the game of baseball. The Royals join the Astros and Nationals as the three teams to have unveiled their 2022 City Connect uniforms.
“This has been an exciting launch for the Royals and the city,” Royals director of authentic merchandise sales Ashley Ficken said. “For over a year, the Royals have been working with Nike and MLB to create the perfect representation of baseball and KC. We have heard a lot of positive feedback this morning, and it feels good to know we hit this one out of the ballpark.”