Major League Baseball today announced a series of initiatives for Memorial Day, including the return of poppy patches, emblazoned with the words “Lest we forget,” to be worn by all uniformed personnel.
MLB used camouflage and/or olive-accented uniforms on Memorial Day for many years. But in 2019, they switched the camo/olive gear to the relatively obscure holiday Armed Forces Day (the third Saturday in May) and started using the poppy patches for Memorial Day. You can see how they looked in a few of last year’s games here, here, and here.
As has been the case since 2019, the poppy-patched jerseys will not be available for retail sale.
Twenty-two of the 30 MLB teams are scheduled to play on Memorial Day.
(My thanks to Phil for letting me know about the MLB announcement.)
This, I don’t mind at all.
An appropriate and tasteful gesture. Love this.
Which mean they will eventually find a way to screw it up. I’m picturing every team in red hats that look like hundreds of overlapping poppies.
I’m surprised they haven’t sold an ad to be placed with the poppy on the uniforms.
These poppies are a subtle yet powerful reminder. Unlike the sleeve ads.
Also teams playing or practicing at 3:00 pm local time will observe the national moment of silence. It’s still impressive to me to see a sports league, especially MLB, commemorate Memorial Day in a completely appropriate, non-objectionable way.
This is a good move by MLB. A simple and appropriate memorial on Memorial Day. Not a glorification of the armed forces. Nothing that can be parlayed into a revenue stream.
I do wonder if there would be any objection from non-American players. Some Irish players in the Premier League have refused to wear the poppy on days of remembrance.
The poppy of course already has quite a significance in Canada with it symbolizing Remembrance Day on November 11th (Veterans Day in the USA). It will be interesting to see the Blue Jays with a poppy. Many hockey teams put the poppy on their helmet in November, and of course most Canadian coaches will wear it on their suit lapel (plus other Poppy uni-centric items in hockey and other sports). The Poppy worn in the UK is much larger and a more realistic (!) style. You can buy a plastic poppy to support the Royal Canadian Legion up and on November 11th every year. From the RCL website “Since 1921, the Poppy has stood as a national symbol of Remembrance. The Poppy is also the recognized symbol for the Legion’s Poppy Campaign, which raises funds to support Veterans and their dependents.” The Poem “In Flanders Fields” was written by John McCrae in 1915 who was a physician and soldier fighting in World War I. He was born in Guelph, Ontario where I currently live and there is a memorial to him in town. In the poem he writes “In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow; Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky; The larks, still bravely singing, fly; Scarce heard amid the guns below…”. Stirring stuff and ties the poppy to Remembrance Day, and now hopefully Memorial Day.
The American Legion, like their Canadian counterparts, have sold plastic poppies for many years. link
That is great. I like that they mention Lieutenant (pronounced Left-tenant of course ) McCrae on their site under the History of National Poppy Day (today!). I didn’t even know there was such a day in the USA. As a poppy enthusiast I am glad to be learning more!
really cool historical facts Will, I know Ron MacLean and Don Cherry would wear and talk about it on hnic.
Once you have visited the museum at Ypres, witnessed the last post at the Menenpoort that is still played every night at 20:00 hours and have the opportunity to visit war memorials in Belgium and France the poppy as a symbol will forever be significant to you. It happened to me, anyway.