Twins unveil lake-themed City Connect jerseys

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For the better part of a year, a small group of representatives from the Twins and Nike worked to come up with ideas to best encapsulate Minnesota.

Ultimately, they landed on lakes: the lakes that bond us, the lakes that provide for us, the lakes that are so critical to life in the state.

On Monday, the Twins unveiled their City Connect jerseys, which they will wear for the first time on Friday against the Oakland Athletics, and used their new uniform set to pay homage to Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes.

“We wanted to tell the story of our state,” Twins vice president of brand marketing Heather Hinkel said, opting for that over a more city-themed uniform.

The jerseys are different shades of blue — when you look at bodies of water, you’ll see multiple hues, with a sublimated pattern on the tops representing the water’s ripples.

Pops of yellow are scattered throughout the jersey, which Hinkel said represents the sun, which “brings us out to the lake and brings us out together.” A light pink is also woven into the piping, which, along with the yellow, is supposed to reflect the colors you might see when the sun sets over a lake.

“I just like being different. Over just navy blue, red, white. Let’s bring in a little bit of yellow. It’s different,” veteran
Twins center fielder Byron Buxton said. “I know it’s got a little bit of pinkish in it. That’s cool. Just to bring out different colors, for me, that’s something fun.”

The font on the jersey, both on the front in the “MN,” logo, which features the North Star in between the two letters, and on the back, curve together like the waves in lakes and rivers.

A logo of the loon, the state bird, with baseball stitches for eyes adorns one sleeve, and on bottom of the jersey and the hat it reads “10,000 Lakes,” in capitalized letters.

Along the neckline of the jersey, there is a small state logo, and the hat features an outline of the state with the Northern Lights at the top of the logo, the waves of a lake at the bottom and the North Star in the middle.

Under the brim is a topographic map of Lake Minnetonka, paying tribute to Prince, one of the state’s most beloved sons, who famously spoke of purifying in the waters of Lake Minnetonka in his “Purple Rain” film.

“I like that part a lot,” Buxton said of the topographic map. “Just little bitty things like that that kind of make it cool.”

While some MLB teams unveiled their City Connects in 2021, the Twins opted to be in the last group to get new jerseys after completely overhauling their uniform sets ahead of last season.

Their design process started in 2021, Hinkel said, and they ran through about a dozen different designs before settling on the final version.

In watching other teams conduct their reveals, they learned valuable lessons on how to launch their City Connects and how they wanted to form their story, coming up with a new mantra, which they are calling “The Ripple Effect.”

“Think about: when you drop a rock into a lake and it ripples beyond,” Hinkel said. “… Those ripples get bigger, and bigger and so as a brand, we really feel like that’s what the Twins do. We create positive action and we hope that ripples out throughout the community.”

As part of their daylong celebration at Target Field, the Twins invited 10 artists from around the state to paint Adirondack chairs on Monday, some of which will then be dispersed throughout the state and some of which will be auctioned off to benefit four nonprofits.

The Twins plan to wear the new jerseys on home Fridays for the rest of the season as well as on three Saturdays, totaling 11 games this season, and players have already ordered custom cleats and other accessories to pair with their new look.

“I think it’s cool they integrated the lakes and the vision is to bring the whole state together. That’s really a great idea,” starting pitcher Joe Ryan said. “… I think they did a good job capturing Minnesota, and I’m excited to put them on.”

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