We currently have both the Bruins and Celtics in the playoffs, swapping nights to electrify the TD Garden. The Patriots draft is coming up, and the Red Sox season is in full swing. Among them, there are eight standard uniform combinations. Each Boston professional team has a third option to throw into the mix as well. Thus, we’ve decided to apply a ranking to Boston’s best alternative jerseys.

Why a Third Jersey?

Often the purpose of a alternative uniform is to honor a “throwback” style or to simply keep with league guidelines allowing a franchise to create an exciting modern look. They are often based off the team’s official colors, but don’t necessarily have to.

The alterative jersey has also become one of the more popular merchandise items for fans to purchase. They are unique in style and loud in energy. But the purpose of the alterative jersey is to keep it just that – a selective look, for the players to wear on special occasions.

The NFL does not allow alternative jerseys to be worn in the playoffs. While the NBA and MLB have become more lenient with postseason jersey choices. The NHL has a different rule, “Teams are also allowed to wear their third jerseys as often as desired in the Stanley Cup Playoffs; however, they may only wear two different uniforms during the playoffs (one at home and one on the road),” a 2019 press release announcement stated.

Furthermore, third jerseys have given professional sports leagues and franchises an additional stream of revenue. They’ve become so popular, there is even a wiki page dedicated to just information on “third jerseys.”

So far in the 2023 playoffs, the Celtics wore their third jersey in game one, and their white home uniform in game two. The Bruins wore their home black sweaters in their game one victory against the Florida Panthers. This means, they have opted to not sport the third jersey in the playoffs, although they did wear it often throughout the regular season. The Red Sox have worn their third jersey on average, once a week. Finally, the Patriots alternative option pays tribute to a look from their early beginnings.

So, listing from low to high, let’s get into ranking Boston’s best alternative jerseys.

  • #6 Red Sox - Blue

    The navy blue alt jersey is for away games only. It contains “Boston” across the chest in the team’s red stylistic font. The same way it appears on their standard away jersey.

    Boston Red Sox

  • #5 Celtics - City Edition

    The Celtics are honoring the late Bill Russell in their current City Edition jersey. The gold accents on the dark green uniform option were a nod to Russel as was the 11 gold diamonds down the side (representing Russell’s championship rings). This season was the debut of this jersey. The Celtics did wear it at home, game one of the playoffs vs. the Atlanta Hawks. It’s one of the only third jerseys here where the primary color is not the exact team color.

    Boston Celtics

  • #4 Red Sox - Red

    The Red Sox rock this look as an alternative for home games only. It started as a Friday uniform only, but is not sporadically inserted into the lineup. They offer some hometown flash that pairs very nicely with the green walls of Fenway Park and red-ish infield dirt. The team has two walk-off wins so far this year wearing the red jersey.

    Boston Red Sox

  • #3 Bruins - 'B'

    The Bruins wore their third jersey for six games this year, all at home. The first time resulted in a 4-3 overtime thrilling win over the Minnesota Wild. Though there were similar “B” sweater styles dating back to the 1940’s, this exact rendition wasn’t officially introduced until 2019. It quickly became one of the team’s most popular items in the fan shops. It’s the only uniform where the B can stand for both the team city and nickname.

    Boston Bruins

  • #2 Red Sox - Yellow

    This is just an awesome look. Yellow and light blue have nothing to do with the Red Sox organization. “The City Connect uniform adopts colors that honor the spirit of Patriots’ Day weekend, and features ‘Boston’ in a stencil font across the chest paying tribute to the Boylston Street finish line,” the Red Sox said in a statement upon their 2021 debut. The sleeves sport a 617 patch, which is a tip of the cap to the Boston area code. 

    Boston Red Sox yellow

  • #1 Patriots - Red

    This is just a classic look. It perfectly blends throwback tradition with modern flare. The funny thing about these Patriots jerseys is that the team wasn’t nearly as good in them as they were when they changed to the new color pattern, logo, and blue home jersey. What makes this third option even more attractive is the fact that it always pairs with the white helmet, sporting the “Pat Patriot” logo. This look was brought back in the 2022 season, and worn vs. the Buffalo Bills during their Thursday night game in Foxborough.

    New England Patriots

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