Yankees to break from tradition in 2017 and have names on jerseys

Yankees to break from tradition in 2017, print names on jerseys

The Yankees, long known for their rich baseball history are opting to break from tradition this upcoming season.

By Matthew V Pryce / @formerlyfuntime

New York, NY -- In previous seasons, adoring onlookers would only see the roster number on the back of the legendary pinstriped jerseys. Numbers on baseball jerseys came about during the Babe Ruth / Lou Gehrig era as a way of delineating the batting order. Hence, Babe Ruth is forever associated with Number 3, and Gehrig, 4, respectively.

As the years progressed, the Yankees fully embraced this no-name, number-only approach and the retired numbers beyond the outfield fence are a showcase of baseball immortality. Even teenage Mariner fans know what number Joltin' Joe Dimaggio wore. (It's 5, for the uninitiated).

But, this upcoming 2017 season presents a problem that the Yankees don't often have to deal with.

With the departure of the fabled #13, the Yankees are left with a long list of nobodies on the roster. These are people so deep in obscurity, even their own parents might have trouble identifying them. So, 2017 is the year the Yankees break from tradition, print names on the back of the jerseys, and hope that this shift helps alleviate some of the mystery when the team takes the field.

In a related Yankees uniform note -- The MLB has approved the team's request for Masahiro Tanaka to pitch wearing surgical mask.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. It first appeared on April 1, 2017.

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