Everything Rays fans need to know about Tampa Bay's City Connect jerseys'

Rays pay homage to skateboarding culture in the design of their City Connect uniforms.
Apr 21, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA; Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Amed Rosario (10) with an at bat against the New York Yankees.
Apr 21, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA; Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Amed Rosario (10) with an at bat against the New York Yankees. / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays have always achieved more with less. Their payroll is consistently at or near the bottom of the Major Leagues, and they play in a stadium that was not built for them. However, they have still won World Series' Championships and have fought for the city that they play in and represented them admirably.

Despite those low payrolls, year after year, the Rays have made the post-season for the last five seasons by getting the most out of their low-rent players.

So we should not be surprised that they reflect those characteristics in their new City Connect uniforms, which were unveiled Monday at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay will wear their new look uniforms this weekend when they square up against the New York Mets at the Trop starting Friday night. They will also wear the new uniforms during every Saturday home game and on select road games this summer.

The design is a celebration of the culture or "counterculture scenes" which focus on skateboarding, street art, tattoos and music, according to Warren Hypes, vice president of creative and brand for the Rays.

MLB designed the City Connect program in 2021. The whole idea was to connect the team to their communities and bring in the history and culture of the city. These alternate uniforms are to bring the team closer to the embodiment of their fans.

One might think that the Rays and Major League Baseball would have featured the beaches and the beautiful skyline that the Rays and their fans get to enjoy. However, they went in a different diretion and featured the culture of the area as opposed to the aesthetics. They brought the actual community streets to the ball park in the new uniforms.

""When we started thinking about that feeling you have when you're in some of these really special places around this community, it's fueled by energy. A lot of these types of countercultures, creative cultures, they're really at the center of that in terms of creating that vibe.""

Rays chief business officer Bill Walsh

The Rays drew inspiration for the new alternate uniforms from the skateboard culture in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. The culture has deep roots in the region and really expresses the views and beliefs of the fanbase.

""It's also something we think that we have in common as an organization. We have demonstrated that, that you've kind of got to be willing to go against the grain and have some courage and disrupt. So, I think it's exciting that there's that overlap, too.""

Rays chief business officer Bill Walsh

The uniforms, which have been designed for four years, associate the bright colors with the area's vibrant art and sunshine. The Rays have put a lot of thought, and resources into the details of their NIke City Collect uni's which have been dubbed as their "Grit and Glow" uniforms.

The "grit" stems from the fact that they scrap and fight as a team and accomplish more than most teams with the same payroll or less. The "glow" reflects the sunshine that fills the skies of the Tampa-St. Petersburg region and focuses on the vibrant colors of the city.