May 03, 2012
(Editor's Note: Longtime baseball uniform expert and sports author Morris Levin has his second weekly look at MLB team jerseys. Today, Morris focuses on perhaps the most famous uniform in all of sports, the pinstripes worn by the 27-time World Series champion New York Yankees.)
By Morris Levin
While the New York Yankees have worn the same pinstripe jersey at home since 1936, the Yankees have made many subtle changes to their jersey through the years, while continuing to be the most conservative of clubs in considering changes.
Majestic introduced the lighter weight Cool Base fabric jerseys in 2006 as a warm weather alternative to the double-knit poly worn since the early 1970s. Majestic offers every MLB club the option of having on-field jerseys made in either standard double-knit of double-knit, or both. The Los Angeles Angels have jerseys made in both fabrics while some teams, like the Astros, only wear Cool Base. In 2012, the Yankees remain one of only two teams which do not wear Cool Base.
The Yankees were also hold-outs during the early-1970s change-over from flannel uniforms to poly. The Pittsburgh Pirates were the first club to switch from flannel to double-knit polyester fabric uniforms in 1970. The Yankees waited until 1973 to wear polyester, and along with the Montreal Expos were the last club to make the change.
In 1981, the Yankees changed the density of pinstripes on its uniform. In his opus, the MLB Game Worn Jerseys of the Double Knit Era, Bill Henderson notes that the Yankees’ pinstripes were approximately 1¼-inches to 1 1/3-inches apart from 1973 to 1980. The Yankees changed this to a 1-inch width which increased the number of stripes on the jersey and pants.
Today’s Yankees jerseys have six button down the front placket. Through 1991, the Yankees wore seven buttons down the front, evenly spaced from top to bottom. Since 1992, the team has worn only six buttons with the top two spaced close together at the top.
Majestic and Major League Baseball added the MLB corporate logo to the rear collar of on-field jerseys in 2000. The MLB logo on the rear of the Yanks’ jersey was navy and red from 2000 through 2011. New for the 2012 season, this MLB logo is now navy and gray on the Yankees’ shirts.
My favorite element of the Yankees’ authentic jersey is that it is the only jersey in 2012 which does not have the Majestic manufacturing label on the sleeve. Because the Yankees are the Yankees, the Yankees opt out from this obligation of MLB’s contract with Majestic, keeping the sleeves clean and corporate logo-free.
Throwback Night: In writing about throwbacks on Monday, we neglected to mention another one of the occasions marking Fenway Park's centennial season celebration that includes throwback jerseys in select games.
The latest was Wednesday night's Red Sox 4-2 win over Oakland in which teams wore 1936 jerseys, the Athletics appearing as the Philadelphia A's in their gray uniforms, and the hometown Sox in a similar looking jersey to the longtime home model, albeit with a '36 cap and socks.
The reason for 1936? It was the year that the teams made a trade in which Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx was sent from Boston to Philly in a deal involving four other players and $75,000.
Authentic Store Buzz: As we wrote earlier in the week, Flyers women's merchandise has been flying off the shelves during the team's post-season run which continues Thursday night with game three against the Devils at 'The Rock' in downtown Newark, N.J., the series deadlocked 1-1.
There will be plenty of stock on hand in time for Saturday's Cinco de Mayo street festival which will be happening right outside the PLA store on 13th Street, so plenty of reasons to come by the area for fun and shopping.
One prominent item that will be featured for Flyer fans are three new styles of Zephyr Flyers caps, and for throwback fans, how about hats from these long-gone leagues? WHA, NAHL, and the USFL! If you don't remember what the acronyms stand for, just click the links.
Coming Up: One week from tonight, the second installment of PLA's "Jerseys as Art" series at the aforementioned Center City Philadelphia store location which is located on 13th Street between Walnut and Sansom (137 S. 13th Street).
Former Mitchell & Ness president and throwback uniform expert Peter Capolino will discuss and exhibit jerseys going back decades to the all-flannel era.
Philadelphia baseball stadium architect Rich Villa will detail a stadium project that's full of rich, baseball jersey history, and there will be a collector's look and presentation
of virtually all of the commemorative jersey patches ever worn by the 30 major league clubs.
The event begins at 6:00 pm, with refreshments provided and in-store discounts on all authentic MLB products.
We hope to you see you there, but if you can't make it we plan to tape the event to be available online.
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