The Pittsburgh Pirates are being welcomed to the club. The club specifically dedicated to crafting jerseys that showcase the history of the organization and location.
MLB City Connect uniforms were founded in 2021, attempting to create a bond between the city and team to represent the nuances that make each ball club unique. 2023 marks the third year a new batch of teams will debut their City Connect jerseys. Seven franchises began wearing the jerseys brought together by Nike and MLB each of the past two seasons. Six teams will unveil them this year, bringing the total to 20 of the 30 big league teams.
The Pirates announced in a preview video their Pittsburgh-inspired uniforms will be first worn on Tuesday, June 27, hosting the San Diego Padres.
The team’s social media incited much conversation regarding the three sets of numbers included in the 15-second video, followed by the release date.
The game is on to decipher what each line could mean:
The “Y” to begin the line immediately brings “year” to mind, followed by the years 1909 and 1925, the first two years the Pirates won the World Series. It’s followed by the number 60, likely representing the 1960 World Series victory at Forbes Field against the New York Yankees, the last time a major Pittsburgh sports team has won a championship-clinching game in its home building. We begin to see the inclusion of player numbers once “19” is no longer used with the full year, but rather the last two digits. “09” represents Bill Mazeroski, whose walk-off home run in Game 7 won the series and remains one of the most iconic home runs in baseball history.
“71” and “79” represent the last two championships in team history and are paired with the series MVPs. Roberto Clemente (21) and Willie Stargell (08) conclude the first stanza of the puzzle. Clemente batted .414 with two home runs and four runs batted in, totaling 12 hits in 29 at-bats during the 1971 championship. Stargell hit .400, crushing three homers and driving in eight while also obtaining 12 hits in 30 at-bats during the 1979 Fall Classic.
As the video and number patterns continue, deciphering them becomes harder and certainly makes you think. Pittsburgh Clothing Company and Pirates fan Brian Cox helped to discover that the list of numbers detail dates the Bucs' past three ballparks first opened.
06/30/09= June 30th, 1909. The opening of Forbes Field in Oakland
07/16/70= July 16th, 1970. Opening Day at Three Rivers Stadium on the North Shore
04/09/01= April 9th, 2001. Donning a new era on the North Shore at PNC Park
Line 2 of the code seems to be three dates:— Brian Cox (@BCox5503) March 27, 2023
06-30-09 — Opening of Forbes Field
07-16-70 — Opening of Three Rivers Stadium
04-09-01 — Opening of PNC Park
Credit the Pirates, the social media team undoubtedly put a ton of thought into the totality of the Pirates in Pittsburgh as a joint community. The final portion of numbers is easier to recognize than the first. Let's break it down into two separate groups, beginning with the back half:
412724878= 412 (Pittsburgh area code), 724 (Area surrounding Pittsburgh metro area), 878 (Surrounding 13 counties near Pittsburgh)
Pittsburgh is possibly the city most proud of its area codes, especially “412.” Shirts with the “412” area code are visible throughout the city at various stores and a specific brand on the South Side (Shop412) that has worked with Pittsburgh celebrities and embraces our hometown.
00031816= 03/18/16. Pittsburgh was officially chartered as a city on March 18th, 1816. Pittsburgh was first declared in 1758 when General John Forbes addressed Fort Duquesne to William Pitt as “Pittsburgh.” It remains to be seen what the first two zeros could represent, potentially a placeholder for the city date or each zero representing a century of Pirates baseball.
The Bucs will be the final team to wear their new City Connect jerseys, following the Atlanta Braves (April 8), Texas Rangers (April 21), Seattle Mariners (May 5), Cincinnati Reds (May 19) and Baltimore Orioles (May 26). The Pirates’ debut comes a full month after Baltimore dons its new threads on the field. It will be exciting to see how the Steel City is depicted in the jersey, hat, and color combination to create a potential must-have item for not just Pirates fans but people who love Pittsburgh. The Pirates begin the regular season Thursday in Cincinnati before returning home April 7 facing the Chicago White Sox.