The jerseys sold out at most retailers during the playoffs, and with Nike replacing Majestic as the official on-field uniform supplier for Major League Baseball this season, there was some question whether the navy blue alternates would ever be restocked, let alone remain part of the Nationals’ uniform rotation in 2020.
Nike did not respond to a request for comment, but a Nationals spokeswoman said the popular navy blue alternate jerseys will return this season and be available at the team store at Nationals Park. A spokesman for Fanatics, which owns Majestic and will manufacture and distribute Nike’s MLB gear, said the jerseys should be available online before Opening Day, which is March 26.
It’s unclear how often the Nationals intend to wear their navy blue alternates this season, but would anyone object to every day?
Facing elimination against the Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLDS, the Nationals took the field at home in their navy blue alternates, which they typically wore for Tuesday home games during the regular season. After a 6-1 Washington win sent the series back to Los Angeles, it was hardly a surprise that the Nationals stuck with the same look for the deciding Game 5.
Howie Kendrick’s 10th-inning grand slam two nights later, which lifted Washington to its first playoff series win in team history, came in navy blue. The Nationals wore their lucky alternates for the remainder of the postseason and won nine straight in navy before suffering a loss in Game 3 of the World Series. While the Astros could have forced Washington to ditch the look by wearing their own blue alternates at home, the Nationals clinched the title with a Game 7 win in Houston in navy. Players put the jerseys on again for the championship parade down Constitution Avenue.
No one could have predicted at the start of the playoffs that a jersey the Nationals wore 11 times during the regular season would become such a coveted piece of apparel. Given the lead time required for producing another run of jerseys, it was too late to restock the shelves with navy blue alternates before the holidays. A limited quantity of Majestic’s white Nationals jerseys with a World Series patch are still available online, but $105 is a lot of money to spend on a replica jersey, especially for a jersey the team didn’t actually wear in the World Series.
The situation is similar to what Washington Wizards fans experienced three years ago, when the team announced it would wear its seldom-used white stars-and-stripes alternatives for every home game during the playoffs. Fans loved the jerseys so much that the Wizards sold out of their entire supply of retail inventory before the postseason began. With the NBA switching from Adidas to Nike as its official uniform supplier after the playoffs, the Wizards’ stars-and-stripes alternate didn’t return until this season.
A few weeks ago, Nike’s white home and red alternate Nationals jerseys featuring the curly "W" on the upper left chest became available online. A new white alternate jersey with blue-and-red “Nationals” script, similar to what the team wore during spring training last year, was previously released, but the navy blue alternates are still nowhere to be found. They’re coming — along with Nike’s swoosh on the upper right chest. Majestic put its logo on the sleeve.
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