Apr
20

For Fenway’s 100th, Yanks throwback to 1912

By

The Yanks will sport throwback 1912 hats today to honor the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park.

While watching the Twins and Yankees play on Wednesday night, I took stock of the field and shook my head at the Twins’ uniforms. Minnesota sometimes sports these alternate road jerseys with grey pants, and the team looked as though they were more prepared for a Spring Training game than a regular season affair.

The Twins though aren’t the only team with solid color tops. All across baseball, either as part of a marketing effort or to vary up the styles, clubs have added alternate uniforms. The Angels were sporting solid red tops over the weekend; the Blue Jays wear something that’s, well, very blue; and the Red Sox too have solid red or blue tops for home or away games, respectively. Call me old fashioned — or a Yankee fan — but I much prefer the solid look.

The Yankees, meanwhile, have not broken with tradition. Except for one game during which MLB honored the Negro Leagues, the Bombers have steadfastly refused to discard their now-famous home pinstripes or road greys. The uniform may have looked a little different in the earlier decades of the 20th Century but for over 50 years, since the Yanks ditched the alternate road jersey in 1943, the club has adhered to tradition through thick, thin and whatever MLB marketing gimmick crossed its path.

That is, they’ve adhered to this tradition until today. When the Yankees and Red Sox take the field in a few hours at Fenway Park, they will be dressed in modern garb updated to resemble the 1912 team. It’s Throwback Day for the Yanks for the first time in franchise history. It’s finally okay to tinker with obdurate tradition as long as the club is honoring that tradition, and I like it.

For the game today, the Yanks will sport the cap atop this post. It’s an updated look on the 1912 original. This one, from New Era, is a bit different from the 1910-1911 Cooperstown Cap. The interlocking NY is the modern version and not the compressed version from the past. The colors though — a grey cap with a navy blue bill — are sleek.

The jersey, above, are similar yet different. Gone is the New York in block letters across the front, and the interlocking logo looks a bit more historic. The serifs on the letters are more pronounced and wider, and there will be no names or numbers on the back. It’s a look straight of the time when the AL ball club had yet to settle on an identity. They weren’t quite the Highlanders as many believe today, but they weren’t yet fully embraced as the Yankees yet. (The club will also be sporting appropriate stir-ups with the high-sock look.)

I enjoy this nod toward tradition. It’s not garish; it’s not ruining the Yankee brand or the Yankee legacy. It’s a glimpse of history in 2012. And at least the Yankees of 1912 had that identifiable logo and branding. The Red Sox throwback hat is, on the other hand, such a hilarious beauty that you’ll just have to see it for yourself.

Categories : Days of Yore

55 Comments»

  1. Paul VuvuZuvella says:

    Wow, 100 years…The Pahk doesn’t look a day over 99.

  2. MannyGeee says:

    nice hat Red Sox. I think they forgot to finish them. they’re missing…. something.

  3. keithr says:

    I want this hat. And I generally hate any hat aside from the traditional navy blue.

  4. Robinson Tilapia says:

    For reference’s sake, they used dress-up pics from Jamey Moyer’s childhood.

    Tip your waitress on the way out.

  5. Love everything about this…minus the Sox hats…milk anyone?

    I actually love the Yankee gray cap/navy brim…picked one up…it’s teh first Yankee hat I’ve ever gotten that’s not navy with the interlocking NY.

  6. A.D. says:

    Heh, gotta love 35 bucks for the blank Sox hat

  7. I actually wish the hats went without the mlb logo for today.

  8. MannyGeee says:

    kinda bummed i had to come to the office today. not going to get a chance to see the game. counterpoint, I will get to listen to Sterling & Suzyn undoubtedly recall their childhoods while admiring these unis.

    Well, save for the obvious diversity in the game 100 years later.

  9. I heard a hologram of Ted Williams will be on the field today to throw out the first pitch.

  10. Matt DiBari says:

    Its a very nice thing to do once. And I’ll be getting that jersey

  11. Donna L says:

    Thanks for pointing out that the constant statements in the media that the Yankees were known as the Highlanders in 1912 simply aren’t true. I don’t think that “Highlanders” was ever the team’s “official” name; they used to be called the New York Americans (as in, American League) almost as much, and I’ve seen newspaper articles and headlines from as early as 1905 calling them the Yanks and the Yankees.

    • Cris Pengiucci says:

      I’ve seen newspaper articles and headlines from as early as 1905

      Funny, you don’t look a day over 70! :-)

    • Cliff says:

      Yeah, they were never really referred to as the Highlanders, had more to do with the fact they played at Hilltop Park. Yankees and Yanks was how the papers referred to them (or Americans) and they finally officially adopted it.

    • RetroRob says:

      American League clubs carried the “Americans” name at the start, but I’m not at all sure that was the official name of the team anymore than New York Highlanders was the official name. 1912 was the last year the Yankees played at Hilltop Park and the team officially change it’s name to the New York Yankees in 1913, yet the reason they changed their name to the Yankees in 1913 was because they were commonly known as the Yankees by then.

      Yet the answer to the question remains unknown. When they officially changed their name to the New York Yankees in 1913, what did they change the name from? New York Americans? New York Highlanders? I’m not sure “Americans” was anymore the official name of the club than “Highlanders.”

      One thing I am sure of, though, is that when the Yankees played the Red Sox in 1912, they would have been known as the Yankees and referred to as the Yankees, not the Highlanders. The term used in relation to our favorite ballclub dates back to at least 1904, but in those early days, Highlanders would have been used more frequently.

      Newspapers back then had a level of power that exceeds any news source today. Take the Internet, TV and radio and then roll them together into one source controlled by a few people, and you have an idea of their influence. The newspapers were the ones who created the nicknames of the baseball teams that eventually became the official names of the teams. Yet different, competing newspapers might use different teams. When the Yankees officially changed the name of their team to the Yankees for 1913, they actually met with the heads of all the newspapers in town to help settle on one name, and it was the name that over the prior decade they had become most known by. So the Americans, Highlanders, Hilltopers, Griffiths, New Yorkers, Griffiths all went away.

      So my guess out of all this is the Highlanders and the Yankees were both informal nicknames, with the Highlanders being more common and popular anme in the early days of the franchise, with the Yankees name growing in popularity to the point where they officially changed their name in 1913. I have no idea if the Yankees were even “officially” the New York Americans.

  12. LiterallyFigurative says:

    It’s cool for a one day thing. In a weird way, I’m kind of excited to see the team wear the throwbacks.

    Most teams have ridiculous alternate jerseys. I actually kind of like the old school unis more than the modern day unis. The 70′s throwbacks are bright and can cause epileptic seizures, but they are kind of fun.

  13. Juke Early says:

    Throwbacks are great. Unless the ugly pandering NewEra 5950 is used for a cap. Boston must have needed sveral months of focus groups to get that all white monstrosity. Will they be superimposing CGI ads on them? at least use the lower crown, morons.

    Another flashback effect will also take place. When NYY pitchers fail yet again to quash Jortiz & get the flailing possible clubhouse quisling Youkillus’s BA healthy. Ellsbury will probably get 5 hits from the DL. Mark that Fox Saturday game now, as an auto Yankee L. Win 1 lose 1. Make that 2.

    And away we go. . ..

  14. Boston Hate says:

    Anyone else wish the Yanks would have told Boston to stick it with these uniforms?

  15. Wyatt says:

    http://shop.mlb.com/product/in.....5.12949856

    100% Polyester?! Not sure why they wouldn’t go with the Cooperstown cap with the old-school NY. A little disappointing, since I own that cap and would like to see the team wear them.

    I like the jerseys. Not enough to shell out $180 for one, but I do like them…and if the Yanks win the game, I’ll be all for them doing this kind of thing slightly more often.

  16. Cliff says:

    I am confused about the interlocking NY. I know it wasn’t permanantely part of the home uniforms until the 30′s as I don’t think Ruth actually wore the NY at home for 99% of his career.

    And I thought the aways had New York on them. I know Devery introduced the NY to the team so that had to be before Ruppert, so this time frame makes sense, I just don’t remember ever seeing anything like this.

  17. Al Czervik says:

    “Oh, this is the worst-looking hat I ever saw. What, when you buy a hat like this I bet you get a free bowl of soup, huh?”

  18. gc says:

    These throwbacks are a joke. I can’t believe they’re not playing in cotton uniforms! Cotton breathes, you see, it’s much softer. Imagine playing games and your team is five degrees cooler than the other team. Don’t you think that would be an advantage? They’re cooler, they’re more comfortable…they’re happier – they’re gonna play better. Maybe I’ll say something to Joe.

  19. Robinson Tilapia says:

    I can’t stop laughing at the sight of the Sox hat. It’s like Paula Deen’s recipe for canned peas.

  20. Pat D says:

    I wonder, since I heard that EVERY former manager and player was invited, if Boggs and Clemens will be there.

    • RetroRob says:

      I doubt it, especially Clemns, although the ceremonies look like they started at about 2:00. I just turned it on, but I don’t see them.

  21. RkyMtnYank says:

    Count me in what I am sure is a very small group that thinks it’s time for the road grey uniforms to go. They are just plain f’n ugly and I don’t care about any tradition associated with them, it just doesn’t matter. The spring training blues are a sharp looking uniform that actually looks like they were made in this century. Traditions are made to be broken and this would be a great one break!

    • KeithK says:

      You are entitled to your opinion, but I completely disagree. I absolutely love the road greys. It’s a classic baseball look, understated and elegant. That’s the jersey style that I own and wear.

      Traditions are made to be broken? Geez. Long standing traditions ought to be respected unless there’s a good reason to change. There’s usually a good reason why something has lasted for a long time. (Ugly may be a good reason but whether or not the road greys are ugly is, of course, open to disagreement.)

    • RetroRob says:

      I think the altitude is getting to you!

      You are in a small group of probably less than one percent, so we’re safe.

  22. Darren says:

    Ya know what was cool as a kid? Yaz’s baseball card.
    You looked on the back and the type was tiny because he had been in the league for like 29 years or something. All with one team. Even as a 6 year old i remember appreciating a baseball card where the player only played for one team. Maybe because it was neater and easier to understand?

    Those rookies cards with like 7 different minor leagues teams were the worst!

    I also liked George Scott wearing a batting helmet in the filed. And Luis Tiant’s wind-up, of course. I think that was it for my Boston like.

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