This past Friday the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees met up at Fenway Park, one-hundred years to the day that those same two teams played to open up the stadium for the very first time back in 1912.
The Red Sox went all out in their 100th anniversary celebrations for the historic New England ballpark, inviting over 200 former Red Sox players to take part in pre-game ceremonies. Legends such as Carl Yastrzemski, Carlton Fisk, Johnny Pesky, and even Jose Canseco paraded around the field wearing (ugh) replica Boston Red Sox jerseys with (double ugh) player names on the back of the jerseys.
While the Red Sox may have struck out uniform-wise in the pre-game show, once the game got underway is when the team started to redeem itself in the accuracy department.
The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees both took to the field wearing uniforms inspired by their 1912 teams. Boston’s home whites had RED SOX arched across the front in red coupled with a blank white cap, the Yankees in road greys with an interlocked “NY” on the left breast matched up with a grey cap featuring the same logo in navy blue.
Wearing a throwback uniform is especially unique for the Yankees who had worn a throwback uniform only once before – a Negro League tribute game at Tiger Stadium in 1996. The uniform-nerd in me however has to point out that the Yankees have still yet to wear a YANKEES throwback jersey; the ’96 jersey was for the Negro Leagues’ New York Black Yankees, Friday’s throwbacks were those of the New York Highlanders – the predecessor to today’s Yankees team.
What was the best part of these throwback uniforms? No numbers, just like in 1912. Job well done all around.
Throwback jerseys from the pre-uniform number era have been worn several times before, even by the Red Sox, but never without the numbers inaccurately added back on. For those wondering this was the first time an entire team went numberless since the Philadelphia Athletics added numbers to their home jerseys in 1937. The only other time anyone took to the field without a number was when Detroit’s Gabe Kapler went blank for the final game at Tiger Stadium in 1999.
No they didn’t wear wool uniforms like they would have back in 1912, but there’s little chance that either team would do anything that could potentially negatively impact the performance of their players (and before I get comments that it wouldn’t… you try playing in that heavy material for a day after a lifetime in ultra-light polyester).
The Boston Red Sox wore blank-white caps, which is accurate except for the MLB logo they added to the back, but like last year the team is selling this cap for the same price as any other authentic cap, it’s a blank white cap! For $35 it can be yours.
Boston also committed a throwback jersey sin and included the Majestic logo on the sleeve of their jersey (see pic below); why this was included but not the MLB logo (or numbers, even) is puzzling. If the Yankees could get away without the Majestic patch, I don’t see why the BoSox couldn’t for the day.
All players wore stirrups which really helped with the throwback illusion, this is a tactic I’d like to see all teams use in future throwback uniform games.
Modern helmet designs were used by both clubs; to be fair teams didn’t wear helmets in 1912 but a helmet designed after the caps they wore in that game would have been a nice touch.
All in all despite some criticism of inaccurate jersey materials and manufacturers logos on uniforms both teams did a great job; I love that the Yankees finally had some uniform fun and that both teams went numberless – let’s hope this sets a precedent for future pre-1930 throwback games.