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Some of the Minors' most popular jerseys

These threads turned heads and flew off the shelves in 2023
November 3, 2023

Jerseys can be gateways. And in the Minor Leagues, there’s plenty to explore. The kit can represent the town, a favorite food, the local culture, an important issue. And with longer affiliation partnerships, more teams have used them to connect with their parent clubs. Not to mention, they’re nice to

Jerseys can be gateways. And in the Minor Leagues, there’s plenty to explore.

The kit can represent the town, a favorite food, the local culture, an important issue. And with longer affiliation partnerships, more teams have used them to connect with their parent clubs.

Not to mention, they’re nice to look at. and celebrate National Jersey Day by looking at some of the top-selling threads from These looks showcase alternate identities, theme nights, Copa de la Diversión and classic home jerseys.

Eugene Emeralds

The Emeralds’ entry is a whale of a tale. In 1970, a 45-foot whale washed ashore in nearby Florence, Ore. Authorities came to the conclusion the best way to dispose of it was to blow it up. What transpired was a comedic tragedy caught completely on video, ready to go viral once the internet was born. The Giants’ High-A affiliate started thinking about ways to turn this into a theme night in 2018, and this year, it finally made it happen. Former Eugene employee Danny Cowley designed the logos and jersey, adding playful elements like the whale in the "a" and the dynamite "l." The subtle swirl in the background adds depth with a calming vibe. The brand was nominated for the best alternate identity at the MiLB Awards. Although some locals want to forget the 1970 event, the Emeralds are helping turn all the buzz into an important conversation. “We're not making fun of it. This happened, it's part of our history, but we've learned from it and moved on,” Eugene GM Allan Benavides said. “We're working with the Oregon State Mammal Institute and raising money for the Marine Institute that's looking at why whales are beaching themselves.”

Norfolk Tides

To welcome the large Filipino American community in the area, Norfolk started heritage nights in 2019. Wanting to expand these efforts while also noticing the growing food logo trend in the Minors, the Orioles’ Triple-A club worked with San Diego-based design firm Brandiose to create a look that celebrated one of the most popular Filipino foods: the lumpia. The spring roll-like snack features prominently on the sleeve of the jersey. The kit itself draws from the flag of the Philippines with a strong blue background, red and gold lettering and the sun. The jersey proved to be popular not just in Norfolk, but across the country with orders coming in from as far as Hawaii. The Lumpia also were nominated for the MiLB Awards' alternate identity of the year. “For us, it's about highlighting the culture of the Filipino Americans in our area and bringing all elements of the culture -- the food, dancing and all the different things that are a part of their culture in our community -- together," said Mike Watkins, Norfolk's assistant GM of sales, marketing and fan experience. "You're at the ballpark. It's not just about the Norfolk Lumpia merchandise.”

Rocket City Trash Pandas

Since its inception, Double-A Rocket City has been a fan favorite. Three years before the club ever took the field, it was already one of the most popular hats in the Minors. And the jersey carries the same attraction. With this Brandiose design, the Angels' affiliate pays homage to the area’s NASA roots, but with a furry twist in the form of a triumphant space cadet. Rocket City executive vice president Lindsey Knupp said fans gravitate to this home jersey because it’s what they see players wearing the most. Also, “it has the branding, the ‘Trash Pandas’ on there; that's really the only one that has our lettering on it. And I think the name and the raccoon tail that goes underneath it is cute.” The black and red lettering is complemented by the electric blue piping. One of the club’s alternate logos, an American flag-planting raccoon sits as a sleeve patch. With the continuous popularity of the Trash Pandas, it’s clear fans love the look to the moon and Saturn.

Nashville Sounds

The Sounds’ Brewskis jersey is a sparkling marriage between the local community and the parent club. When Triple-A Nashville rejoined the Milwaukee organization in 2021, the Sounds started thinking about ways to celebrate the affiliation, working with 3-2 Designs. “Our creative team thought of this idea of becoming the Nashville Brewskis, utilizing a lot of the same colors as Milwaukee and having this throwback look to our affiliated team, and then also paying homage to all of the microbreweries and budding brewing industry here in Nashville,” said Collin Perry, Nashville's communications manager. The jersey, which is similar to Milwaukee’s City Connect jersey that says Brew Crew, came together for the 2023 season for the Sounds' Brew Fest and Oktoberfest games. The Brewskis' iteration flips Milwaukee's letting colors with the main type being navy and yellow serving as an outline. Perry said fans gravitate to the throwbacks' feel and trending powder blue, which is a new shade for the club. And the jersey isn’t just popular in Nashville. When Caleb Boushley made his MLB debut -- in a Brew Crew jersey -- there were a couple Brewskis jerseys in the crowd.

Chattanooga Lookouts

The eyes of the Lookouts logo make their hat popular. But for this jersey, it’s all about the city. Shortening Chattanooga to the affectionate “'Nooga” nickname shows this jersey was made by locals for locals. The Lookouts previously wore Dodger blue to connect with their parent club, but when the team switched affiliations in 2015, they decided it was time to make a unique look with red and black as the color scheme. And with that came the alternate black jerseys, which were originally intended to just be worn on Thursdays, but fans loved them so much, they increased the frequency. “I think it speaks to the city, just going with the abbreviation of the Chattanooga,” said Dan Kopf, the Lookouts' director of public relations. “We’ve been here since 1885, we’re very proud of the city’s brand.” While the Reds' Double-A club typically wears the hat with the eyes in the "C," they pair this jersey with an eyes-only cap, making the pair part of a complete set.

Tacoma Rainiers

The inclusion of this Rainiers jersey proves some folks prefer simple and classic. This look has been Tacoma’s primary jersey since 2015 with a script that dates back to 1995. “In 2015, we really simplified our brand, and I think since then we’ve really tried to connect to an iconic look and a classic look that really does well with the Tacoma fan base,” said Megan Mead, the Rainiers' vice president of marketing. The home jersey embodies the club’s value of “beautiful, clean look and design,” sticking with two accent colors and the name as the only marking. Blue piping down the front and red piping on the sleeves tie into the logo without detracting. While the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate has a variety of hats, it keeps its jersey options to a “clean, iconic set” -- including Copa de la Diversión and Slammin’ Sam -- which also helps reinforce the main branding. Even after eight years, Tacoma continues to see sales grow for the classic look, with many fans getting it customized as well.

Indianapolis Indians

The Indianapolis Indians have been around since 1902, representing the longest continuously operated team name in the Minors, and with the Circle City jersey, the franchise celebrates its longtime home. The Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate worked with local agency Borshoff to create a jersey as connected to the city as its name. Indiana means “land of the Indians,” and Indianapolis is a variation of that, so the Indianapolis Indians come full circle. The navy jersey -- which has gotten minor tweaks since its 2019 debut -- features script that mirrors the “Visit Indy” font, complete with the swirling "y" at the end. The sleeve patch reflects the downtown map that gives the city its nickname. The alternate jersey is an about-face from the white, red and black home look the club has worn since 1993. Even though this jersey is not new, the club sold a record number in 2023. Cheyne Reiter, Indy's director of communications, said it’s “a fresh look for fans to enjoy and wear around the city and something that they can wear to a Colts or a Pacers game … the colors as a whole just give fans a new option.”

Toledo Mud Hens

This look might be called “Ugly Christmas Sweater,” but it is beautiful. For the club’s Christmas in July weekend, the Mud Hens wanted fans to feel fully immersed in the theme, which meant the players needed their own trimmings. The Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate looked at ugly sweater examples, then made it its own, complete with the historic High Level Bridge. “Ugly sweaters are very popular these days, so I think it was that. I think the use of the baseballs, the sleeve had our Santa Muddy on it. It very much was an ugly Christmas sweater-looking jersey, but it was still very much a Mud Hens jersey,” said Craig Katz, Toledo’s director of merchandising and licensing. Yes, the Mud Hens even made sure their logo was dressed up for the event, taking the classic Muddy look and adding a Santa hat. The jersey was so well received, fans were celebrating Christmas in August and September with their ballpark fit choices. And now they’ll have the perfect look come holiday party season.

Charlotte Knights

Last offseason, Charlotte introduced a fresh logo and color scheme. And with it came pinstriped home uniforms that are as head-turning as the view from Truist Field. As a connection to the parent club, the White Sox, the Triple-A squad added black pinstripes. As for the new “Knights Blue,” that draws closer to home. Someone on the staff noted how in Pittsburgh, all the pro sports teams wear the same color, so Charlotte’s color palette was studied closely. "We liked the concept of that, where you can wear your Knights cap to Panthers games, Hornets games, Charlotte FC games and our games, and it would match. It all looks like it belongs in the City of Charlotte,” said Knights GM Rob Egan. The jersey is also reminiscent of Robert Redford’s fictitious New York Knights uniform in the movie “The Natural,” but with a refreshed look. The nostalgia coupled with the blue that pops off the black and white make this jersey ready to slay.

San Jose Giants

Single-A San Jose has suited up as the Churros as part of the Copa de la Diversión initiative since 2018, celebrating one of the most beloved snacks of the region as well as stadium legend Hipolito "Paul" Cerda -- aka "Super Churros Man." Ben Hill,’s business culture reporter, said, “San Jose's 'Churros' identity has a great story behind it, as it's as much a tribute to a person as it is to a food. This Copa jersey's popularity is a testament to how much fans love Hipolito Cerda, a beloved ballpark presence since the 1990s." The orange piping and yellow details provide pop against the black backdrop in the Brandiose-designed look. On the sleeve, the featured churro character holds a cinnamon stick like a bat and licks its chops while awaiting a pitch. The character wears a hat similar to Hipolito’s, which also pays homage to the region’s agricultural history. The Giants wore white Churros jerseys before switching to black, and in 2022, they added the extra bit of yellow sparkle, reminiscent of cinnamon sugar. With this delectable treat, San Jose gives a whole new meaning to “sweet jersey.”

Kelsie Heneghan is a writer for Follow her on Twitter @Kelsie_Heneghan.