- Chris O’Meara/AP
The New York Yankees have arguably the most iconic uniform in sports, one that has gone practically unchanged over the last 90 years. Any modification is significant, and the Yankees made one recently that came with almost no fanfare.
Nearly one-third of the way through the season, the Yankees changed the paint on their batting helmets from glossy to matte.
The change is being made just to the batting helmets on the road. Here is how the new helmet compares to the old version, which will still be worn during home games:
- Adam Glanzman/Getty Images/Chris O’Meara/AP
According to Billy Witz of The New York Times, Rawlings sent a sample to the Yankees this spring. It wasn’t until after the regular season had started that equipment manager Rob Cucuzza showed the prototype to some players. They liked it and, with the permission of the general manager, Brian Cashman, Cucuzza ordered a set.
It wasn’t until recently that the order arrived.
According to Cucuzza, the decision to not change the home helmets was an aesthetic one.
“I like the way it fits with our uniform; it looks good with the gray,” Cucuzza told The New York Times. “I don’t think it looks good against white. We won’t wear them at home.”
Outside of just being odd that a team that never changes their uniform actually changed their uniform and did it mid-season, this move is also odd because it is trendy. The Yankees have never been a team to follow the herd, so to speak, and yet, changing to a matte helmet is something that has become popular at all levels of baseball and across several sports.
A trend that started in the college-football ranks has spread to baseball. The San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks are two teams that have switched to matte helmets recently.
- Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Interestingly, as a few fans have noted, the new matte helmet is reminiscent of the helmets worn by the Yankees in the 1960s. They were not nearly as glossy as the helmets typically seen today.
- Gene Herrick/AP
In an age when sports teams change uniforms like they are changing underwear – a move that is not unrelated to producing more revenue by getting fans to buy more jerseys – the Yankees have always avoided any temptation. This is not the dramatic overhaul typically seen, but it is just as jarring.