Et tu Yankees? I never thought I would see the day, but it appears that my worst fears have come true....the New York Yankees have very quietly introduced road jerseys in Majestic's Cool-Base material. By its very nature, Cool-Base is a very thin and cheap looking fabric; letters and numbers almost appear as though they were ironed-on, and white jerseys are practically translucent. As if that wasn't bad enough, there is also the issue of having only one shade of gray and ugly, discolored mesh vents under the armpit.
I thought I had noticed something different about the Yankees road jerseys earlier this season, but it wasn't until this past series against the Angels where I could get clearer views. Below you will notice the tell-tale vents under the arms of David Phelps and Brett Gardner.
Now, all hope may not be lost. It seems that this issue may be based on players' preference because as you can see below, both Hiroki Kuroda and Mark Teixeira, (as well as several other players) are still wearing traditional doubleknits as there are no vents under their arms.
Thankfully, Cool-Base has not yet crept into the home uniforms. The thought of printed-on pinstripes, being able to plainly see the logos on the undershirts of the players, and blank, off-white gaps under the arms is enough to send a tingling chill down the spine of even the most hardened of baseball purists.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
On the first day of spring, I thought it would be nice to take a glance at the history of Yankee spring training and batting practice uniforms. You’ll see I’ve now updated the database with a section on spring/BP uniforms broken into two drawings – one covering c.1980-1999, and the other covering 2000-2014.
Prior to the late 70’s/early 80’s the Yankees simply wore road uniforms for workouts and the previous year’s uniforms for spring training. Around 1980, the Yankees began wearing a double-knit navy top with a white tackle-twill “NY” logo for workouts and spring training. My research has pointed to these early jerseys as being manufactured by Sand Knit.
In 1983, Roman Sport produced a V-neck mesh pullover which was used for only one year. You’ll notice the “NY” logo is much bolder and distinctive than the logo on regular game jerseys.
From 1984 until the end of the 80’s, Wilson manufactured navy tops very similar to the original Sand Knit’s. These included tops with set-in sleeves using the bold logo introduced by Roman Sport and from roughly 1987 on, tops with raglan sleeves and a logo matching the kind on game jerseys.
In the early 1990’s mesh tops were back, once again manufactured by Wilson with raglan sleeves.
Russell Athletic took over and introduced pullovers with a two-button Henley design which also added white stripes at the sleeves. This basic design, including a regular full button-down version was later used by Majestic Athletic and lasted through the spring of 2002.
In the spring training games of 2002, the Yankees wore a button-down mesh jersey which was essentially identical to previous year’s but with the white sleeve stripes removed.
From 2003-2006 Majestic ditched mesh for their first iteration of a Cool-Base material. These jerseys were unique for having mesh-like underarm vents.
Starting in 2007, Majestic introduced two-buttoned pullover jerseys with colored side panels: white for home, gray for road. The road jerseys used by the Yankees in the springs of 2007 and 2008 were virtually identical to the home version, but the side panels were gray and the “NY” was silver with a white outline.
This changed in 2009, when the road jersey featured “NEW YORK” on the front in silver with the white outline.
With the exception of the reintroduction of full buttoned-down jerseys in 2011, and changes in side panels, Yankees spring/BP jerseys have remained fairly consistent in recent years.
So, there you have it – an abbreviated history of Yankee spring and batting practice jerseys. The early years of these jerseys were somewhat difficult to document without many pictures or authentic-used examples, so if anyone feels they can offer more information and insight on these jerseys please feel free to contact me so I can alter the information here accordingly.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Well, it has certainly been quite some time since the database launched – I hadn’t planned on such a busy summer and fall. I suppose I was a little “burnt out” after doing the original work, but I wanted to let everyone know about a couple of updates and some changes coming up in the future.
I updated 1948 to add the proper date range for the use of the Babe Ruth armband in mid August. I also updated 2012 and added the postseason hat with the postseason patch on it. I had the hat made already but somehow forgot to place it in the original drawing, so it is now in its rightful place. The drawings for 2013 are now up as well. While not the most memorable year performance-wise (considering the injuries not only to ¾ of the starters but even to the backups of the backups, the fact that they still won 85 games and were in contention for a wildcard spot in the last five days of the season is an absolute miracle), on the uni-front, the Yankees honored Mariano Rivera’s retirement with a classy sleeve and hat patch during the final home stand. In addition to league-wide events such as the camouflage uniforms for Memorial Day and the Sandy Hook Memorial patch for the opening series, the Yankees chose to wear their white-billed BP hat on August 9th. Whether or not this will be a recurring practice is yet to be seen; though there have been rumors of all (or a portion of) teams changing their hats to the BP Diamond material for this coming season. Every MLB team, including the Yankees, will also be getting new batting practice jerseys for the 2014 season.
I would also like to take this time to mention Jerry Coleman, who passed away recently at the age of 89. Jerry spent his entire playing career with the Yankees and was the only player to see active combat in both the Second World War and the Korean War as a fighter pilot. Jerry was also the memorable voice of the San Diego Padres for over forty years. He will certainly be missed. It’s unclear at this point if the Yankees will be adding an armband this Year to remember him, but if anyone deserves such an honor its Jerry Coleman.
Finally, for the past several weeks I have been working on every batting practice uniform worn by the Yankees since the late 70’s. My goal is to get these finished and on the database just in time for Spring Training. Afterwards I’d like to get started on team jackets, sweaters, and other dugout wear. Additionally, I’ve been working on updating subtle changes to the NEW YORK script since 1973. So, hopefully there will be a lot more activity on here as I get things completed, so stay tuned and thanks for all the support I’ve already received.