Baseball, by and large, has the best uniforms of the Big Four sports. There are the classic looks – the Cardinals and the Giants – and more modern designs, like the Colorado Rockies’ purple jersey. Then, in a class all their own, are the Yankee pinstripes.
The home pinstripes are not just a great look, they’re an iconic part of the history of the New York Yankees. They’re right up there with the interlocking NY as an enduring symbol of the team. When Bryce Harper said his goals were to “Be in the Hall of Fame, definitely. Play in the pinstripes,” none of us had to guess what pinstripes he was talking about.
The Yankees should never change their home uniforms. However, in the same way that their home uniforms exist in their own class, so too do their terrible, terrible road grays. I dislike the road grays; they’re flat, boring, unflattering, and look like an amateur team spent all their sponsor money on the home uniform.
Therefore, I propose a change in the livery of the New York Yankees: adopt the navy spring training jerseys as an alternate road uniform. The navy jerseys are the best thing about spring training – a unique look for a team starved to do something new.
I think the fans would largely be on board too. The shirsey seems to be as popular as actual team jerseys these days – I have a Sanchez and Cano myself. They’re much cheaper and less work to keep clean than the white-and-pinstripes jersey, and guess what color the shirseys are? They’re the same navy as the spring training.
A lot of pushback comes from the tradition and legacy of the Yankee uniforms, and I get that. But if you try to instill The Yankee Way on your youngest players, what’s the first real Yankee jersey they wear? The navy in their first spring training. It’s already traditional, we’re just expanding the notion of tradition.
The Yankees have actually done a pretty good job of embracing the youth of their team over the past couple of seasons. The Judge’s Chambers, Star Wars Night, and other actual fun things show a commitment to reaching out to younger fans and showcasing the plethora of players under thirty. Players like Aaron Judge and Luis Severino are wildly popular, mostly because of their age and homegrown status. What better way to lean into that completely than to introduce a slight change in uniform?
The road greys wouldn’t disappear completely – in my mind the greys would be worn on games where the home team wore their colored jerseys. So when the Red Sox wear red, or the Athletics are in green, the greys allow for some contrast. Conversely, when a team wears the home whites, that’s the perfect time for some more contrast.
The Yankees probably hero-worship their own tradition a bit too much. Giving up the road greys, even a little bit, would wind that back a bit and give fans a different look at their team. And of course, it would open up a chance for fans to buy the authentic/gameday jerseys, and this IS a business, right?