The Arizona Diamondbacks have unveiled the latest alternate jersey in the City Connect collection, a gold uniform that nods to the Sonoran Desert and the state’s Hispanic culture.
The front of the shirt reads “Serpientes” to highlight Arizona’s Hispanic culture, while the uniform patch features the Arizona state flag and a reference to Phoenix’s nickname as Valley of the Sun.
The Diamondbacks will debut the uniforms on June 18 against the Los Angeles Dodgers and plan to wear them six more times: July 16 against the Chicago Cubs, July 30 against the Dodgers, August 13 against the San Diego Padres and for a three-game series with the Dodgers on Hispanic Heritage Weekend, September 24-26, which includes Roberto Clemente Day.
“I was really excited about it because we involve the Spanish community in a special way. Arizona has a really big Hispanic community and that I’m a part of it I’m really proud and excited,” said Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta, Venezuelan. “We have Venezuelan and Dominican guys on our team who represent the Spanish community in Arizona. It’s really a big deal for us, especially the way they do it with the team name.”
Arizona will be joining the Boston Red Sox, Miami Marlins, Chicago White Sox and Cubs with a City Connect jersey.
The Diamondbacks made Zoom calls during the 2020 season to ask players about their thoughts on possible City Connect uniform designs. Peralta said that while many of the uniforms featured a nod to Arizona’s Hispanic culture – more than 42% of the state’s residents identify as Hispanic according to the latest U.S. census data – the gold design popped off the side.
“I looked at the colors on the computer and thought it looked good, but when I saw the jersey, the way the colors come out, the contrasts, it was like, this is unique,” said Peralta. “This is something else.”
Derrick Hall, President and CEO of Diamondbacks, said the jersey will replace the current alternative that says “Los D-backs” and could become a regular part of the rotation, depending on fan reaction and whether the team wins, while wearing the uniform.
“When we have an overwhelmingly positive response to it, we’ll work on it a little more,” Hall said. “When we see the hoodies and the t-shirts and jerseys flying off the shelf in the team shop, we know that the fans want to see it more and we will get feedback from fans and players. Our players are extremely superstitious, and when we do as we turn the season, you will see a lot more Serpientes, especially if we can get some wins with it. “
When approached by MLB and Nike about City Connect, the Diamondbacks immediately agreed to participate in the inaugural series of uniforms. When choosing which colors to use, they decided to stick with their existing set.
“Our preference was more of a light or loud color, but we thought it was a reflection of the desert,” Hall said. “It was a color we already had so it’s not an escape from what we already have, but I think our fans would have been more shocked if we had given up our colors completely.”
The Diamondbacks have been one of the more experimental teams in the past when it comes to uniform designs. Ahead of the 2016 season, the team unveiled a complete redesign with a polarizing snakeskin gradient pattern on the uniforms and pants, widely considered by fans to be one of the worst in the sport. When Nike took over as the shirt supplier for the MLB, Arizona redesigned its jerseys again.
“We were sometimes brave, maybe too brave, had too many options in the past and simplified ourselves,” said Hall. “We were one of the first teams to completely give up our original colors and we were purple and teal and for years the MLB asked us to change our colors. We already had the Rockies with the purple. The purple never really went together “on, and it looked more blue on TV, purple and teal was a bit dated.
“There was no red in our division and they did a whole presentation for us where baseball showed us that we should be the color red because of the Sedona mountains and the sky and we said no thanks, but the more we thought about it, it made sense. We’re such a young franchise and you can do that. “
Peralta said that while gold is not your typical baseball jersey color, he believes the unique look will appeal to fans. During a photo shoot before the kit reveal, the outfielder noticed a similar shade of gold on a snake’s skin as it did on the shirts.
“It’s just about doing something else,” said Peralta. “The fans, the young people, they like it, all the children. It’s different with these new uniforms, and I think that’s the best thing about it. People will say, ‘Wow, I’ve never seen anything like that before.’ “