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Blue Jays unveil new jerseys at launch party in downtown Toronto

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The Toronto Blue Jays unveiled their City Connect jerseys at a release party on King Street West Thursday night.

The new designs, dubbed ‘Night Mode,’ were released as part of the City Connect partnership between the MLB and Nike. The collection also includes special edition hats and more.

First launched in 2021, the City Connect program has seen new uniforms produced for 20 teams before the 2024 season, with nine more unveiling theirs this year. Each team’s design was made to reflect the culture of their home city.

The Jays’ features the city’s skyline, alongside the landmark Toronto sign and the CN Tower, across the chest. The shoulder boasts a “hyperized” bird head — “a modern version of the logo that has been core to the Blue Jays brand for nearly 50 years,” the organization said.

The new Toronto Blue Jays first-ever Toronto City Connect uniform, “Night Mode,” is shown in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Andrew Lahodynskyj, Toronto Blue Jays

At the event, held at Lavelle on King Street West, players and their families walked the ‘blue carpet,’ sharing their reactions to the designs in short media availabilities, before joining the festivities themselves. It also featured a musical performance by Canadian electronic duo Keys and Krates, and offered each attendee the chance to take home a free customizable jersey and hat.

“I thought it was awesome,” Outfielder George Springer told reporters when asked about the release. “I think it fits who we are.”

Speaking to the navy blue and red colourway, Springer said there were “so many colours” the team could have gone with. “But I like the night mode style.”

George Springer speaks to reporters at a release party for the Toronto Blue Jays’ City Connect jerseys on Thursday night alongside wife Charlise Castro. He told reporters the team first saw the design last year, when it was ‘in its infancy stage’ and the reveal has been ‘a long time coming.’

Shortstop Bo Bichette also offered his stamp of approval.

“It’s cool – I’ve always wanted to wear a black jersey – well, it’s not black, it’s navy but I’ve always wanted to wear a dark jersey,” Bichette said in response to the reveal. “You want to represent the city, right? So it’s got the skyline, which is cool.”

Bo Bichette poses in the Jays’ new City Connect jersey on May 30, 2024. (The Toronto Blue Jays)

When asked about the anticipation around the jersey, heightened by a leak earlier this week, Pitcher Kevin Gausman said it’s been a challenge keeping the design a secret.

“Oh, everyone’s [been asking me] like, ‘What’s the colour? What’s the theme?’” he said. “I just left them all hanging.”

Pitcher Kevin Gausman stops on the ‘blue carpet’ at the Jay’s City Connect release party in Toronto on Thursday, May 31. (Abby O’Brien)

It wasn’t just current players in attendance – former Jays Edwin Encarnación and José Bautista were also in attendance. In a video shared to X by the Jays, Bautista took the opportunity to dance alongside first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at a photo booth station.

“I love them,” Bautista said of the jerseys at the event. “I think it’s going to bring the city together, and it’s going to be good luck.”

When asked what he thought of the new designs, Guerrero said he too approved.

“My favourite colour is pink. You can put red and pink together. That’s why I like it.”

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. speaks to the reporters on Thursday evening. ‘My favourite colour is pink. You can put red and pink together. That’s why I like it,’ Guerrero told reporters, before posing for a photograph alongside former Toronto Blue Jays’ Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista.

While the event marked a celebration for the Jays, manager John Schneider remains focused.

“Being as connected to this city as I am, as a lot of guys are here, it’s a pretty cool night,” Schneider told reporters. “But I’m just trying to win as many games as we can. I don’t really care what we wear or how we’re doing it.”

Manager John Schneider poses for a photograph alongside wife Jessy Schneider. ‘Being as connected to this city as I am, as a lot of guys are here, it’s a pretty cool night,’ Schneider told reporters. ‘I’m just trying to win as many games as we can,’ he continued when asked about the party. ‘I don’t really care what we wear or how we’re doing it.’

The jerseys will make their on-field debut at Friday night’s game against the Pirates in Toronto, kicking off a seven-game homestand for the Jays.

It will mark the first time the team has sported a dark base design since 2011. 

Across the chest of the jerseys, seen above, is the Toronto skyline and the CN Tower, can be seen above. The new uniforms feature a colour scheme of navy blue and red. It’s the first time the Jays will sport a dark base since 2011. “There’s just so many colours you could have gone with,” Springer told reporters Thursday. “I like the Night Mode style. It’s cool.”

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