The Best Selling Jerseys

Darren Rovell at CNBC brings us the list of the top selling Major League Baseball jerseys from 2010, but before we get to that, we should talk about The Jersey Code.

The Jersey Code goes a little something like this:

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.

That about does it.  Here are the top ten MLB jerseys sold in 2010 (not including eBay purchases from Taiwan or the $20 Gardner jersey you haggled for outside of Yankee Stadium.

1. Derek Jeter, Yankees
2. Joe Mauer, Twins
3. Roy Halladay, Phillies
4. Chase Utley, Phillies
5. Cliff Lee, Mariners and Rangers
6. Albert Pujols, Cardinals
7. Josh Hamilton, Rangers
8. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
9. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
10. Tim Lincecum, Giants

Comments (55)

  1. Pretty sure they’re called uniforms, not jerseys. Just like in hockey, it’s called a sweater and not a jersey.

  2. I think “uniform” refers to the whole get-up (including pants, hat, etc.) and “jersey” is the shirt, i.e. what’s being discussed here.

  3. totally agree on all points. however, the photo for this post breaks what SHOULD be rule #6:

    Do not get a player’s name on a jersey that doesn’t actually use player names on the back.

  4. I don’t know, I feel like there should be an indemnity to wearing a former player’s jersey if they left the club with class. I happily bought my Doc Halladay jersey because I loved his play with the Jays, even though I knew he’d likely be traded within a couple of years (and he was).

  5. Pretty sure Bob is trying extra hard to find something to nitpick about.

  6. @ Eric: An excellent point.

  7. Useless semantics aside, I’ve avoided buying anything with a name on it for a while now because it seems like every time I do, the player disappears. I bought my younger brother a Frank Thomas jersey t-shirt (yes, I’m a student!) at a game a few years ago and it ended up being the last one he ever played as a Blue Jay. Scott Rolen and Alex Rios have also left me with useless shirts in recent years.

    If only my tiny kid-sized Kelly Gruber jersey still fit somehow.

  8. To go along with rule #1: don’t be the fat old guy with a ponytail wearing a #69 jersey. Your nickname may be big dog but I say it’s douchebag.

  9. I have to agree with all points – including Eric’s great point about having a Yankee’s jersey with a name on it when they do not wear them – except the point about t-shirt jerseys. I have had about a dozen of them over the past few years from the Jays and other favourite players. What good would a Halladay Jay’s jersey do me now? I just never see them being worth the $200 they cost.

    One additional rule – no wearing of a hockey jersey to a baseball game. So annoying to see someone wear a Leafs Jersey to a Jays game.

  10. This is why I buy hats.

  11. Worst Rogers Centre experience I can remember: surrounded by douchey fratboys from upstate New York who were in Toronto for some reason, decked out head-to-toe in Buffalo Sabres gear, screaming about hockey for the entire three-hour game. I’ve had an unusually strong hatred for hockey jerseys at baseball games ever since.

  12. @ Drew Agree 100%. I own every Jays hat that the team actually wears. You could also post an article about wearing hats. I find it ridiculous when people buy stupid New Era hats with gaudy prints on them. That isn’t a Jays hat, it is a stupid fashion statement.

  13. @mike – to be fair, there is nothing wrong with fashion statements.

  14. @ Drew- At a baseball game? You might as well go all out and get a jersey with your own name and number on the back.

  15. Gotta love the names on the back of Yankees shirts….. idiots.

  16. @mike – I disagree. Repurposing the logo for an original creation (like an obnoxious hat) is not the same as butchering a piece of the uniform. Weird hats don’t claim to be official on-field wear. In my mind, anyway.

  17. I agree with all but #1. Personalizing a jersey can make the statement that “I as a fan am a believer of this club, and feel a part of it”. It the douches that put Fratboy or pool hall nicknames on the jersey that I dislike. ie. slugger 69

  18. I’m OK with the Jersey shirt. I mean, I’m not going to wear a jersey to go grocery shopping, but maybe I pull off a t-jersey. If that means we can’t be friends Parkes, well, that hurts man.

  19. @ Mike – What’s wrong with a fashion statement that also states “I am a Jays fan?”

    I have several Jays hats, ranging from classic to baby blue with the old school logo to black with the team name in teal script.

  20. Additional rule suggestion: No wrong fonts allowed (i.e. Jays’ jerseys at Champs Sports with one-colour boxed numbers and letters)

  21. I disagree with no 1. I don’t like a jersey with no number on it, and I’m always weary of having one with the number of a guy who might get traded tomorrow. I don’t understand why it’d be a faux pas to have your name and number instead.

  22. There is nothing wrong with a Jays hat that has a different print on it. I own the jays on-field hats as well as several others jays hats such as in red, blue and others colors that are still jays nothing wrong with that. I also agree that the jerseys are priced to high i have an alex rios jersey which i still wear because i am not buying another $200 item.

  23. Rule #7: Thou shalt not wear a jersey to a game representing a team that is not playing that day.

    On a sidenote, I just picked up a vintage World Series era Grey CCM Toronto away jersey and am having Gruber 17 put on it as we speak.

    God bless ebay.

  24. @ Drew. Very good point. I concede.

    @Matt_CC- Fair enough. Not really trying to insult anyone who likes non uniform hats. Personal preference for me, but from what I see in and around Toronto, I am in the minority.

  25. Speaking of names on jerseys, some of you may be old enough to remember The Coolest of the Cool: Vida Blue had his first name, “VIDA”, across that back of his jersey, rather than his surname. Vida was BADASS, brother.

  26. Being 35, I’ve found that any commitment to rule #2 has disappeared long ago.

    Also, I can’t disagree more with rule #3. Throwback jerseys for legends of your team are an awesome way to show support for the team without having to worry about whether or not your jersey will become a regrettable purchase in a couple of years. I bought a Halladay jersey (when he still in Toronto) and that’s a jersey I can proudly wear for a long time.

  27. I have to disagree with the tshirt jersey point. I love those things, I wear them all over the place. I actually never buy real jerseys cause I just feel like a wannabe or a kid wearing them…

  28. @ Mike: There’s no conceding points on the internet. If a lot of people disagree with you, you’re supposed to revert to name calling.

  29. Haha, yeah, I’ve never really bought into the whole name calling thing on the interwebs. I’ll just stick to privately thinking that if you wear an oversized, gaudy printed jays cap without a curve in the bill that you are a douchebag.

  30. Wearing a t-shirt jersey to a ballgame is kinda like wearing a t-shirt tuxedo to a wedding.

  31. “Wearing a t-shirt jersey to a ballgame is kinda like wearing a t-shirt tuxedo to a wedding.”

    I KNEW T-shirt jerseys were awesome!

  32. @ Mike – Haha, I can see where you are coming from, I try to stay with the more simple and elegant designs (I guess what qualifies under that description is my own opinion). You won’t find me wearing any Jays hats with the Toronto Skyline across them.

    I am trying to be less judgemental on others fashion as it really doesn’t affect me. My girlfriend recently called me out for “hating” on dudes that wear their pants down below their ass.

  33. “Wearing a t-shirt jersey to a ballgame is kinda like wearing a t-shirt tuxedo to a wedding.”

    If you play on the team, yeah. Part of me feels like wearing an actual jersey (as a fan) to a ballgame is kinda like wearing a wedding dress to somebody else’s wedding.

  34. @ Ted & Chad: Well played.

  35. Oh, and another (Jays-specific) jersey rule: if you wear a T-Bird jersey to a game, I will question your sanity.

  36. agree whole heartedly with @Garold — my powder blue Dave Stieb jersey is easily the best one I won and the one that attracts the most postive commentary

  37. Also — I’ve found that the $20 jeter t-shirt jersey purchase is a sound way to avoid getting mugged on the subway to Yankee Stadium

  38. Concur that classic players never go out of style. When I got my throwback white jersey I sure as shit wasn’t going to go putting V-Dub or Greg Zauner’s name on the back. I wanted Olerud.

    As an added bonus, Olerud played for everybody, so I can remind opposing fans to not give me shit when I visit other stadiums (which I have to do in NY).

  39. Parkes, what’s your take on my Johnny Mac jersey going forth? Obviously based on the established jersey code it would be a faux pas, especially given that we share a last name and number (convenient, I know).

  40. I feel like Rule #3 can be broken if the player is HOF calibre but didn’t play on a championship team. Ted Williams in Boston, or Halladay in Toronto are two examples. I mean, hell, I paid a lot of money for that thing, I’m not going to stop wearing it because of a business decision I had no say in damn it.

  41. If I want to buy my little cousin a Jays jersey with his last name and T-Ball number on the back, I’m going to — to hell with the faux pas.

    But really, when did this become a faux pas?

  42. My next jersey is going to be a Steib jersey. I don’t think that’s a faux pas. What would be a faux pas would be if I grabbed my crotch in public as often as he did, though.

  43. Upon re-examination I guess my Olerud jersey is allowed since he played on a championship team, but what about, like, Ed Sprague or David Weathers? They pass the test but were marginal, Sprague’s GW HR in the 92 series notwithstanding.

  44. Failing to curve your hat is d-bag in the first place. That just SCREAMS “Vanilla Ice”, who, as we all KNOW, is the EPITOME of cool…

  45. @ Ty : I wear my T-Bird jersey…AND hat…for 2 reasons…one, they were a parting gift from the organization, and 2…my wife thinks they look hot on me.
    (As I approach forty, I need that extra edge now and again….!) :)

  46. I pity those poor Mariner fans that bought a Cliff Lee jersey for all of the 20 minutes he played there.

    I too like to buy the hats. I like the batting practice ones, they are stretchy and seem a little lighter than the official ones.

    I love cheap ebay jerseys from Taiwan. 3 jerseys for $100? They look real, that’s good enough for me.

  47. I see nothing wrong with t-shirt jerseys and I also see nothing wrong with wearing a Halladay jersey. A Rios or Burnett Jays jersey is different though. Those guys were wankers when they left and at least AJ still is one.

  48. Jersey T’s should also be allowed when you’re a woman. Regular jerseys don’t come in measurements for smaller frames. I wish they did.

  49. Rule #8.

    Don’t wear a jersey or tshirt jersey of a player who is now hated by 95% of the fanbase.. I’m talking to you, guy with his gf wearing a Rios tshirt.. Spring for the 30 bucks to get yourself an updated player that no one hates.

    I’m going to show up with a Hillenbrand tshirt jersey to the home opener as a stand.

  50. I am offended by the opinions stated as fact in this article. The only man who should authoritatively tell other men what they can’t wear is Tom Ford.

    I wouldn’t have said anything but I think jersey shirts are cute.

  51. At the game tonight, the Yankees jerseys that had names on the back outnumbered the unnamed jerseys by at least 2 to 1. i think this should be considered like the pink hat brigade of the Red Sox. One guy in front of us kept turning around and pointing to the Rivera on the back of his jersey when Mariano came out. Embarrassing.

  52. Agree with all items accept for #3.

    It would be wrong to wear a Jay Shawn Marcum, Alex Rios or Orlando Hudson jersey to a game; however wearing a jersey of an all-time great (Dave Stieb, George Bell or Lloyd Moesby etc) is okay, even if they didn’t win a championship/

  53. Jersey code is a joke!
    What grown man can feel like a man while wearing another man’s name on his back. You guys might as well go marry Don Cherry’s daughter.

  54. My last name is McGowan. Am I allowed to get ol’ Dusty’s jersey (assuming he makes a miraculous comeback), or does that violate Rule #1?

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