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The Best and Worst Uniforms of All Time: The New York Yankees

Nov 12, 2010, 12:01 PM EST

SPORT RIPKEN

The Best: Wow, this is tough!  Do I go with 1937? 1947? 1957? 1967? 1977? 1987? 1997? 2007? 2017?  OK, that last one was merely speculative, but there you go.  The point is: there are so many options!

The Yankees, obviously, know what looks good and how to stick with it.  With the exception of an occasional patch, some updated fabrics, and differences in tightness and looseness depending on the fashion of the time, their uniform has been unchanged for 74 years.  You don’t mess with perfection, and the Yankees’ uniform is perfect. In 20,000 years, when alien archeologists excavate the ruins of our planet and try to piece together the important aspects of our culture, they will find the Yankee uniform and hold it up as the ideal. It is baseball. And no matter how much you hate the Yankees, if you don’t admit it, you’re lying.

The Worst: This is all relative, of course.  Pfun Pfact: they first put the interlocking “NY” on the uniforms in 1905, but it was an off-and-on thing for years thereafter, and didn’t stick for good until 1936.  Still, they never looked bad. Even in dark blue. Even without pinstripes. Though, I suppose, we have to pick one of those for the worst of all time, because the Yankees look freakin’ weird without pinstripes.

Assessment:  I have a personal, idiosyncratic favorite that is not the New York Yankees — we’ll get to it on Monday — but you could put any ballplayer in history in a Yankees uniform and they’d look pretty damn spiffy. Even guys like David Wells.

  1. yankeesfanlen - Nov 12, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    Thanks for doing the research. Literally 10 minutes ago I was almost going to look through the file to see if the Yankees have come up yet. Then I couldn’t remember that they had ANY other majore variations.
    So, like the team, you can’t improve perfection, just keep working on the players. What would the FAT TOAD look like in Padres’ yellow and brown? It staggers the imagination.

  2. heiniemanush - Nov 12, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    Nothing idiosyncratic about the uniforms of the Detroit TIgers. They are the best.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Nov 12, 2010 at 12:14 PM

      Bingo. I guess “idiosyncratic” was the wrong word. Biased, maybe, because it’s what I grew up with. Tigers’ homies are the best ever, bar none.

      • heiniemanush - Nov 12, 2010 at 12:25 PM

        An elegant, classic uniform—it could even make Don Mossi look handsome. I kind of wish they kept their pre-90s road uniforms. Real old school drab.

    • Mr. Furious - Nov 12, 2010 at 12:41 PM

      The problem with the Tigers, though, is that they succumbed to the beer-league-softball-pullover-jerseys trend from ’72-’84. Had they not done so, they’d be blemish-free. At least they only did that with their road jerseys, though.

  3. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 12, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    Love that picture of Wells. You should do a countdown of the best expressions on pitchers’ faces in mid-delivery of all time :)

  4. sdelmonte - Nov 12, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    I can hate the Yankees, but have to love the look. It’s that simple.

    Also have to give them credit for not even adding player names. Yeah, it’s a little hard figuring out who the non-icons are sometimes, but it works so well without the name. Which is why those t-shirts with names and numbers seem wrong to me.

  5. kinggeorge96 - Nov 12, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    Is that really Tim Raines for 1997??? Couldn’t find a pic of Bernie Williams to throw in there instead? Poor Bernie, never gets no love! Tim Raines wasn’t a real Yankee…. (I couldn’t resist)

  6. billythekidinny - Nov 13, 2010 at 12:22 AM

    There is ONE thing and one thing ONLY that I find faulty about the NYY uniform. That is tha digit/# 5. On the left side of the number five, the bottom of the vertical straight line makes an angular turn (which represents a curve). The only curve in the digit/number 5 is connected angularly (ninety degrees or less) to the vertical straight line part. It always looks wrong; double wrong when Hideki Matsui was on the team.

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