Today in baseball: Yankees break with a tradition

The New York Yankees are known as one of the most conservative MLB franchises. A lot of things are regarded as tradition and will not change any time soon. But on April 6, 1973, the Bronx Bombers were the final team in MLB to get rid of something that was a common thing in baseball since the earliest times of baseball.

For decades, MLB teams played with flannel uniforms. In the early days, the owners of the teams didn’t take much effort to wash the unis, so the players had to enter the field in dirty uniforms.

After 120 years teams slowly started to switch from the flannel uniforms to the polyester unis. While the white flannel uniforms were said to be difficult to be washed on the road, teams turned to grey road unis to “hide” the dirt. Eventually, in the early seventies, teams turned to polyester. With this move came the more colorful uniforms the seventies were known for. But not the Yankees. The Yankees stuck to their pinstripe home unis and grey road unis, refusing to get more colorful ones.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor yankees road jersey

But eventually, at the start of the 1973 season, the Yankees were the last team to switch to polyester uniforms after having worn flannels for 70 years, since their inauguration in 1903. Nothing changed to their home uniforms but their road unis were changed. Not dramatically, just a bit. The name of the city and the uniform numbers on the back of the jersey would get white piping around them. And there is the traditionalism again as this look is the same for fourty-six years (and counting).

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