We have entered a new era of baseball and the game-changers at NIKE are a huge part of the culture change that invigorating the sport at the grassroots level. From bat flips, walk-off celebrations and passionate play all across the country, this is not the same style of diamond-mining your grandad grew up watching.
In January of 2019 NIKE struck a $3 billion deal, their third with an American professional sports league, to be the uniform maker for Major League Baseball.
MLB and Nike have announced a 10-year deal that makes Nike the official uniform/footwear supplier of MLB beginning in 2020 pic.twitter.com/vCgz48bSJa
This season, they unveiled a new City Connect Series. The jersey series celebrates the bond between each club and its city, exploring the personality, values and customs that make each community and their residents unique.
No city or team fits this more perfectly than the diverse paradise that is Miami and their hometown Marlins.
The Marlins will be the second team out of seven to have their City Connect jerseys released this year.
The Boston Red Sox were up first and came out big dripping in their yellow and blue Boston Marathon edition (Big thanks to the people at NIKE for sending me a customized version of the jersey). These were worn April 17, in a game vs. the Chicago White Sox.
Miami will get their chance to dawn their uniforms this upcoming Friday night, and when you think of all the great uniforms that the city has seen, from the orange of the Dolphins to the new blue and pink Vice City edition Heat jerseys and even the green and orange worn by the Hurricane, I have high expectations for these.
This jersey will give an ode to Latin America’s contribution to baseball’s rich history. In 1959, the Cuban Sugar Kings’ won the Junior World Series Championship which opened doors for many future Latin American baseball players to get to the majors.
Fidel Castro nationalized all U.S.-owned enterprises in Cuba and on July 8th moved the team to Jersey City, New Jersey, were they became the Jersey City Jerseys. They lasted there one season before the franchise had to move again due to poor attendance.
The somewhat new normal of black and orange usually worn by the Marlins will be replaced by red for their City Connect jerseys. The jersey’s red color will pay tribute to the energetic vibe and culture of Latin American nations, blending the old school character with the bold swagger of Miami.
“Miami” will be across the chest of the jerseys in the hand-painted style of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. On the right sleeve, there will be a redesigned Sugar Kings’ patch to connect Marlins baseball to the Latin American heritage and community in Miami.
One of our favorite, most flashy, stylish and swaggy MLB Bros, Jazz Chisholm, will get a chance to rock the new red uniforms as he returned to the club on Sunday after being sidelined with a hamstring injury since April 28.
Five other teams will wear their City Connects on the field this season while the rest of the league waits until next year. The White Sox on June 5, Cubs on June 12, Diamondbacks on June 18, Giants on July 9 and Dodgers on August 20.
The Marlins will debut their jerseys this coming Friday as they take on the New York Mets and their trio of MLB Bros Dominic Smith, Marcus Stroman and Taijuan Walker.
When he went down, the second-year second baseman was batting .290 with four home runs and seven stolen bases. Chisholm recorded hits in 14 of the 21 games he played before heading to the injured list with a left hamstring strain.
While he was gone, the Marlins went 7-9, including losses in six of their last eight games entering their matchup with the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. In those eight games, Miami scored a total of 22 runs, and six of those came in a 9-6 loss on Friday.
But Jazz joined his teammates on Saturday and hit the field on Sunday, and immediately made a difference.
Playing shortstop in his first game back, Jazz went 2-for-5, while scoring a run and stealing a base in a 3-2 win that allowed Miami to salvage one win in the three-game series and stay three games back of the New York Mets in the division standings. The rookie is a difference-maker and his absence proved it.
He was inches away from collecting his third hit of the game in the ninth inning. It took just about everything Gavin Lux had to throw him out after Jazz sent a two-out grounder back up the middle. That play brought out the best in Lux and Chisolm. That’s what baseball is about.
Jazz putting in work in his first game back shouldn’t be a surprise. He mauled Triple-A pitching during his rehab stint with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. He slashed .444/.500/.899, with a home run, four RBIs, and three runs scored in nine at-bats.
Some players just have “it.”
You can’t describe “it.” You can’t develop “it.” You can’t fake “it.”
Jazz Chisholm has “it.”
One of the things that every manager wants to see out of a young player is the ability to learn and adjust.
Chisholm was showing that in the last 15 games before his injury. He hit .327 over that stretch, including mashing all four of his home runs, six of his seven RBIs, and four doubles. His OPS was a ridiculous 1.012, and he was slugging better than .600.
Most importantly, the Marlins produced an 8-7 record in those games.
If you’re nitpicking, then yes, Jazz still strikes out too much and walks too little. Just imagine what damage he could do just by raising his on-base percentage to .420.
But remember, he’s only played in 125 games. He hasn’t truly discovered the rhythms of the major league baseball season. Once he gets that experience, it’s not much of a stretch to think that pitchers across baseball will be adjusting the Jazz Chisholm more than he’ll be adjusting to them.
The young phenom returns after sustaining a strained left hamstring in late April. The Marlins say that after a few appearances down in the Minor Leagues, the “Bahamian Blur” could rejoin the team by the end of the week.
General Manager Kim Ng told the Miami Herald that Jazz is “starting to get pushed now.” She added, “the plan is to start the rehab assignments this week with the hopes of a return by the end of the week.”
Over the weekend, the staff of the Marlins tested Chisholm’s’ janky hamstring with base running drills and some live at-bats. The man wearing the yellow shirt in the video examined the usage of his Chisolm’s extremities on the defensive side of the diamond as well, which ultimately led to the rehab assignment for Tuesday.
Manager Don Mattingly told MLB.com, “You want to make sure a guy can play, and he’s going to hold up, and it’s not the next day he’s not feeling it again.” He added, “You don’t want that to happen where it could take another three or four days.”
After placing Chisholm on the 10-day disabled list, fans took note as the Marlins played off-key without their catalyst and emotional sparkplug, losing five out of the next nine games in his absence.
Miami won its first four games to start the homestand, only to lose two straight to the Milwaukee Brewers. They left seven men on base and were 0-6 with runners in scoring position. When facing off-speed pitches of 86 miles per hour or lower, the Marlins are batting 35-221 for a .198 average, ranking 30th in the MLB.
In just 69 at-bats, Chisolm has accounted for 20 hits, 11 runs, seven RBIs, seven stolen bases, and four home runs. He’s batting a fine-tuned .290 with a .375 on-base percentage, and a 551-slugging percentage. His OPS is an impressive .926.
Like a fish out of water, the fins are looking for a breath of fresh air as they begin another three-city, ten-game road trip. So, the smooth sounds of a possible return by the Bahamian Blur is music to the ears of fans.
Listen up for the sweet tunes of Jazz Chisholm as he and the Shrimps take on the Durham Bulls tonight. The first pitch is at 6:35 p.m. EST.
With the coming out party Jazz Chisholm is having this season, he may shut down every club on South Beach by season’s end. The seventh Bahamian baseball player in the major leagues is a rare breed and has already put himself in some extremely exclusive clubs this year.
Jazz is the only player with a hit off the two best pitchers in baseball this season; Corbin Burnes and Jacob Degrom.
He used his speed to beat out an infield single to lead off Monday’s game against Burnes and the Brewers. Burnes has 49 strikeouts and no walks this year. The same way Jazz music is so versatile, so is Chisholm’s bat. He is the only player to ever hit a home run off Jacob Degrom while being down in the count 0-2. His upper deck blast to rightfield may have just landed.
The talented neophyte is batting .279 with 4 home runs and 6 stolen bases. If Jazz continues the beat of his current pace, he has a great shot of joining the elusive 30-30 club, a mark not reached by any player since fellow MLB Bro Mookie Betts’ 2018 MVP campaign. 30 steals and 30 bombs have only been accomplished 41 times in major league history, and 28 of those special seasons were accomplished by righties; making what the southpaw Chisholm is doing even more special.
Do you want the pure FACTZ? Well, Jazz is one of the most exciting players in the sport, playing in one of the most exciting cities in the world. Party on kid, party on.
NOTE:The rookie sensation exited Tuesday’s 5-4 loss to the Brewers with a hamstring injury in the first inning. We hope he returns soon because baseball definitely needs this Black Knight’s energy and charisma.
Cedric Mullins used to be known for bunting and speed. Now he’s just known for mashing. The Orioles centerfielder smacked two homers against the struggling New York Yankees on Monday night to raise his batting average to .365, good for seventh in the league. He’s also 14th in OPS, joining (.996) joining Michael Brantley (.966) of the Astros as the only two Black Knights in the Top 20 in OPS.
Mullins went 3-for-4 with two bombs, two runs scored and two RBI.
He did everything but cut the grass and sell the hot dogs in leading the surprising (10-13) Orioles to a 4-2 win over the last-place Yankee in the AL East.
The 26-year-old rising star has been a Yankees killer this season. He hit a bomb off the pinstripes on April 7th to help lift Baltimore to a 4-3 11-inning win. That was a game that set the tone and the AL East rivals know they weren’t going to lay down for anybody this season.
I think the rest of the league is finally starting to take Mullins seriously. At first, Mullins’ success was a nice little story about a guy who started the season on a hot streak.
The Beast Of The East continues to feast on Yankees pitching and is still turning up and showing out. Pitchers are going to stop challenging Mullins like he’s still that young guy trying to find his way because he’s making them pay like the IRS. Taking lunch money like The Gooch. What we’re seeing is the emergence of a superstar and an MLBbro who is not only fun to watch but impacting the game in a major way.