Apropos to yesterday’s Bits and Pieces entry about rankings of caps and logos, here’s one from the Getting Blanked blog about the best-selling jerseys.
Personally I never quite understood wearing someone else’s name on your person, although the whole psychological study of BIRG (basking in reflected glory) is fascinating. (When I played softball at Marine Park in Brooklyn there was one guy who would always show up in a full St. Louis Cardinals uniform. Did he really think someone would think he was a Major Leaguer? Naturally he was the biggest pain in the ass of all the players. I’m just sayin’…)
Even better than the ranking is the “Jersey code” of selection.
Rule #1: Do not get your own name and favourite number printed on the back of a baseball jersey. The only bigger faux pas at a baseball game is interfering with play by grabbing a baseball to the detriment your home team and then not giving that baseball to a nearby kid.
Rule#2: No matter how old you are, you must at least struggle with the idea of purchasing the jersey of a player that is younger than you. This rule used to be a lot more strict, but that was before I turned 28 years old.
Rule #3: Do not wear a former player’s jersey to a game unless: a) he played on a championship team, b) there’s an element of irony attached, or c) he’s a personal friend of yours and scored you the tickets.
Rule #4: Buying a promotional third or fourth jersey with a zany colour is regrettable about 238 seconds after you hand over the money for it.
Rule #5: Jersey Ts are only allowable if you’re a student. After that, you might as well just tell the whole stadium that you’re unemployed.
For a fascinating look at the evolution of uniforms, pick up a copy of Marc Okkonen’s Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century: The Official Major League Baseball Guide, which is sorely in need of an update).