“My thought is, it’s a three day thing, so it doesn’t really change the tradition of the Yankees,” Girardi said. “It doesn’t really change what the pinstripes stand for, and not having your name on the back of your jersey. It’s something that they’re trying to do for the good of baseball and the good of charities. And I think that’s a good thing. Yes, there are other ways to do it, but I think this is bringing awareness to certain things which is think is good. But my opinion on pinstripes, my opinion on the Yankee tradition, my opinion of not wearing your name on the back of your uniform is not going to change because of these three days. That’s going to be the same for me. So, it is different. I’m sure we’re going to see some wild things out there.”
The Yankees had a different look for Friday night’s 2-1, 11-inning loss against the Mariners. For Players Weekend, instead of the traditional pinstripe uniforms with no names, the team wore more colorful uniforms with nicknames on the back.
The manager didn’t have a name on his jersey although Joe Girardi joked that the players may have a nickname for him but haven’t shared it with him.
For this weekend, players are also wearing special caps and socks as well as different spikes, batting gloves, wristbands and compression sleeves. There is also a patch on the right sleeve for a player to write the name of a person or organization that had helped him along the way.
CC Sabathia, who gave up one run in seven innings on Friday, said it was “awesome.”
The agreement made by MLB and the MLBPA to have special jerseys was met with mixed reactions from Yankees fans. Some didn’t mind as it’s only for three days and the jerseys will be auctioned off with the net proceeds going to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation. Some Yankees fans didn’t like bucking the tradition of only wearing pinstripes with no names at home, no exceptions, even if some of the same fans own replica pinstripe jerseys with names on the back.
As someone with several World Series titles as a player, and a manager in his 10th season, Girardi has a deep understanding of Yankee tradition, deeper than most. The manager was asked before the game what he thought about the jerseys.
Girardi also liked the nicknames as well as the patch that the players could fill in. “I think you like to see the creativity in the players and who they’re showing their appreciation to and who they’re trying to give back to,” Girardi said. “I think that’s a really good thing.”
And it’s only for one weekend. Or as Girardi put it, “Then after these three days I won’t have to look at it again for a year.”
Girardi also added, “I’m kind of looking forward to it, but again, I’ll be ready for Monday.”