Yankee Tradition

As most of you know, the Yankees are not just a baseball team; they are a brand recognized throughout the world.   As such, they are very particular about their reputation and the brand ambassadors who represent the Yankee name – the baseball players and staff.   Although every baseball franchise has it’s own traditions, I am only privy to those of my husband’s team.  Since David’s time with the Big League Club has been limited to Spring Training, short of the well-known Major League traditions, I will mostly be sharing the rules they must follow in the Minors.  Below are a few that you may or may not be aware of.
Wearing pants down is a Big League privilege in the Yankees organization. The way a Major Leaguer wears his pants is really a matter of preference, but while in the Minors they must wear them up.  Nevertheless, I have noticed many Big Leaguers wear their pants up while on a rehab assignment out of respect to the minor leaguers.
Facial Hair
This is a pretty important one for the Yankees.  While you may see a lot of unruly beards and facial hair throughout baseball, you will never see facial hair on a NYY during the season.  While mustaches are allowed, the rest of the face must be clean-shaven.   Personally, when I think of mustaches, I think of my father and his generation.   It appears the ‘stache may be making a comeback, nevertheless, I’m still getting used to seeing them on men under the age of 50.  Tom Selleck… now he knows how to rock a mustache.  🙂

This one is interesting because it depends on what you consider to be “long” hair on a guy. The rule still stands, however, that long hair is not permitted.  This is the case in the minors and the majors.  I am pretty sure that as long as your hair does not look unruly, you can have it to your ears.  Honestly though, I can’t really confirm that.
When it comes to spikes, my knowledge is strictly limited to the Minor Leagues.  From what David has told me, they are only allowed to wear black cleats.   Limited amounts of white are permitted and the laces must be black.    I am pretty sure all Yankees wear black spikes and I am not sure that I have ever seen a Yankee wearing pink cleats in honor of Breast Cancer, for example, so my thoughts are that this rule may very well carry into the Big League club.

In the Minor Leagues, the Yankees do not permit any jewelry to be worn.  Period.     I believe that the Big League club permits their players to wear one piece of jewelry – usually a necklace.
Travel Dress Code
While this is not the case for the Yankees Big Leaguers, in the Minors, the players are required to wear a collared shirt to the field as well as on the bus when traveling.   Any time they are in public while on a road trip, they are also expected to wear a collared shirt.  I have heard that when flying, the Yankees are required to wear suits.   I honestly cannot confirm this though.
This again, is a rule I know to be true in the Yankees’ Minor Leagues.  Since David cannot recall it ever being mentioned at Big League camp I can’t confirm it to be the case in the Bigs.  In the Minors, however, the hats must have a bend in the bill.  They do not permit bills to be completely flat.
The following is a fact that is by no means exclusive to the Yankees.  I believe it is a known tradition within the Yankees organization as well as several other organizations.   I am sure you have noticed that the Yankees’ Jerseys do not have the players’ last names on them.   Regardless of whether you are at a Low-A, AAA or Big League game, whatever the level, you will not see names on the jerseys.   This was really frustrating at first because I never knew who was who, but I have gotten used to it by now.  The only time you will see a name on a Yankees jersey is on a fan.  🙂  This is the way it has been since day one, within the Yankees organization, and I don’t foresee it changing.

2005 Old Timers Game. Click on the image to be redirected to the history of “nameless” jerseys. It’s rather interesting.


  1. Reply

    Mateo Fischer

    October 8, 2012

    I’m pretty sure the major league team allows completely flat hats. I’m not 100% certain, but I’m thinking about C.C. Sabathia and Joba Chamberlain. I think Sabathia has a bent hat now and only had it flat elsewhere, but Chamberlain has only ever been with the Yankees. I recall him having a completely flat hat at one point or another, so I think the Yankees at least *have* allowed it at one point or another.

    • Reply

      Baseball Serendipity

      October 8, 2012

      Thanks for that! I hadn’t thought about the bill until David mentioned it to me while I was writing this. Now I will have to pay attention to how everyone wears it. :). Hopefully l’ll have more insight into the Big League club to share with everyone soon! 😉

  2. Reply

    Malcolm - TheBallparkGuide

    December 23, 2012

    This was really interesting, Camille! Super cool to get the inside scoop on this stuff; thanks for sharing!
    – Malcolm

    • Reply

      Baseball Serendipity

      December 26, 2012

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! These are my favorite posts to write. 🙂

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