Tuesday, November 5, 2013


If clothes make the man, then my jersey collection makes my closet Yankee Stadium.

Sports jerseys are awesome. They are comfortable, they are colorful, and they show off your love of sport, team, pop culture, or even your country. My runaway favorites, of course, are my Yankee jerseys. I own a large collection but the Yankees lay claim to my best represented team in all of sports. By far.

Jerseys help fill the void now that the Yankees are done. I don’t allow myself to wear the Pinstripes again until the New Year. My Yankee hats don’t go anywhere. I rely on the remainder of my collection for comfort.
The more unusual the jersey the better. I like minor league teams in all sports, pop culture and comedy, but my favorite is the mash-up. I love finding a jersey in a different sport than the team actually plays.

My absolute favorite is my New York Yankees hockey jersey. It has become my signature piece. I found it in a store I never would have gone into normally. I loved it right away, and had it lettered and numbered for Derek Jeter. I even put the ‘C’ for his captaincy on it.

Before the purists start up, yes I know authentic Yankee jerseys do not have player names on them. I own several. My reasoning was that this wasn’t an authentic baseball jersey, and should follow the traditions of hockey, the sport it pays tribute to.

I liked that the jersey was unique. I liked that it could represent a Canadian Yankee fan. It never fails to delight others. It was a rare design to find ten years ago let alone now, and I have never seen another that was lettered and numbered.

Anyway, that one jersey has gotten a bigger reaction than any other. I wore it for ten years to Yankee away games in Toronto. Even in enemy territory, most of what was said was, “Man, I hate the Yankees, but that jersey is awesome.” Yankee fans would practically fall over themselves rushing over to find out where I got it.

When I returned to New York after years away and made my first trip to the new Yankee Stadium, it was a beautiful sunny Labor Day and quite hot. My wife, then my girlfriend, suggested I might not want to wear it due to the warm weather. No. I had to wear this.

It took seconds for Yankee faithful to react positively. We spent the day just chatting to fans and stadium staff who approached us. Robin told me she felt like we were celebrities. Even now, walking around the city, that jersey always provokes joyful outcries.

And sure, there have been negative reactions to jerseys. You don’t have to tell me the Yankees aren’t super popular everywhere, understatement of the year. But even if someone hates the team whose colors you are flying, they don’t hate you. It’s a sign of respect, really, that your team provokes such a strong reaction. Take it as a compliment. Smiling and waving at insults is generally the best response.

Jerseys are a great way to meet people. I have lost count of the number of times random people reacted to me due to the jersey being worn at that time. Normally, reactions from other people are not only positive, but enthusiastically positive. It’s hard to have a bad day when random people are not only happy to see you, but really happy to see you.

With the Yankees done for the year, I turn to my jersey collection for comfort. For now, I will wear my hockey sweaters and my football and basketball shirts. They will hold me over until spring, when I can fly the Yankees colors again.

Because after all, I may have put away my Yankees jerseys today, but I did not put away my Pinstripe Pride. I never will.

Chad R. MacDonald
BYB Features Writer
Facebook: New York Yankees the Home of Champions
My Blog: ChadRants

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