I have forever been outspoken on the importance of the unchanged Yankee brand, and how strongly I feel against alternate uniforms for the Yankees. However, with City Connect uniforms being a success of 2021, it is only a matter of time before the almighty Yankees get a jersey of their own.
The Yankees are a tricky brand to be creative with because its majesty is in its simplicity. Therefore, swaying too far from normality is jarring and unnatural. Contrast this with the San Fransisco Giants who have a timeless brand, but have a natural leeway to be adventurous.
As i have said in a previous article, City Connect jerseys need to do three things correctly: 1. Actually reflect the city. 2. Look coherent enough with the teams brand so we can tell who they belong to. 3. look adventurous but not obnoxious. Believe it or not, the Yankees have a crystal clear path to doing all three of these things, particularly the first one. In fact, the Yankees uniform already has a historic connection to the city, and many fans do not even know it. Have you ever stopped to wonder, where did the Yankee logo come from?
The Interlocking NY logo comes from a badge made by Louis Tiffany to be presented to John McDowell in 1877. McDowell is the first NYC police officer to be shot in the line of duty. Furthermore, the police chief who commissioned such badge, Bill Devery, will one day become a partial owner of the Yankees himself. The Yankee Brand is the New York City Police Department at its roots. This is practically a softball pitch of an opportunity for a City Connect jersey.
The jersey color needs to be a deep navy blue. Not only is this already the Yankees primary color, but it mimics NYPD uniforms. Notice the stripes on the end of the sleeves come from the away jersey, except the blue lines being replaced with black. The NY on the left chest is replaced with the shield of the badge given to McDowell. underneath is his name tag, just as the NYPD have theirs today.
The numbers on the back will be black, outlined in red and blue to suggest sirens from a police cruiser. This may also be consistently represented in the undershirt or compression sleeves. Superimposed into the number is the phrase ”Valor”, which also comes from the original badge.
Home pinstripes are the way to go with these. The Yankees should never play at home without their pinstripes.
The hat is inspired by the 9/11 hats from the past two seasons (by the way it is a shame that they do not sell them). The yellow letters will really pop and compliment the otherwise dark themes of the rest of the uniform.
I strongly debated using players uniform numbers to also be displayed on the front as a badge number. I ultimately decided not to because I want the front of the jersey to specifically commemorate John McDowell as the city connection and the historical reference. While it would admittingly be cool to see a 99 as a badge number and a ”Judge” name tag like a real police uniform, I just feel like maintaining the true meaning of the badge, logo, and roots, are just a tad more important and heartfelt.