As various MLB uniform rules and initiatives have come along in recent years, people always ask whether the Yankees will somehow be exempt from the rule or opt out of the program, even though that’s never the case. “The Yankees won’t wear those silly Players Weekend jerseys with the nicknames on the back, will they?” Yes, actually, they will. “The Yankees won’t wear the Nike logo on their sacred pinstripes, will they?” Yes, actually, they will. “The Yankees won’t sell ad space on their uniform, will they?” Yes, actually, they will.
So when the City Connect program launched in 2021, there was the usual chorus of people saying, “The Yankees won’t take part in this, will they?” And all along I’ve said, “Yes, actually, they will,” because MLB had explicitly stated that all 30 teams would be part of the CC program. The Yankees are among the 10 teams that have not yet received a CC uniform (the other nine are the A’s, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Guardians, Mets, Phillies, Rays, Tigers, and Twins), and the plan, at least to my understanding, has been that all 10 of those teams will get on board the CC train in 2024.
Or will they? Team owner Hal Steinbrenner, making a radio appearance on Wednesday’s edition of The Michael Kay Show, was asked if the team would have a CC uniform and had this response (the exchange comes at the 23:46 mark here [and is worth listening to if only to hear how much Hal sounds like Larry David impersonating Hal’s father on Seinfeld]):
I’m not having any serious conversations about doing it. I think I understand the reason [behind the CC program] — and again, I think it appeals to a lot of fans, especially younger fans, and you know, merchandise and all that. But we have not had any serious conversations about doing it. It doesn’t mean I won’t [do it] someday, but I don’t even know how that would look, quite frankly. I don’t even know what the look would be.
So there you have it: The Yankees do not have a CC design currently in the works, which means they will not have such a uniform for the foreseeable future. Good for them! The only question now is why they didn’t opt out of Players Weekend.
(My thanks to longtime reader Joel Keller for his assistance in locating the exact audio passage.)