This weekend, MLB players are free to wear whatever name they want on the back of their jerseys are part of MLB’s Players Weekend. gMost players throughout the league are having fun with the opportunity, but some aren’t, choosing to instead wear their last name on the jersey.
One of those players wearing their last name, though begrudgingly, is Brett Gardner of the New York Yankees. In fact, if Gardner had his way, he would be upholding the Yankee tradition of having no name on the back of his jersey rather than his last name.
“I’m more of an old-school guy, so I’m not a big fan of it,” Gardner said. “It doesn’t really matter what I think. I’ll play and hopefully we’ll win.”
“I tried to go no name at all and keep it original,” Gardner said. “But they made me put something. I figured I never had my name on the back of my jersey before, so instead of putting a freakin’ nickname, I put my name on there. That [having no name] apparently is not allowed.”
Gardner is the longest tenured current member of the Yankees, debuting with the team in 2008 after being drafted by the organization in 2005. Along with Gardner, the only other member of the 2017 Yankees that were on the 2009 Yankees World Championship team are reliever David Robertson (who spent two and a half seasons with the White Sox before returning last month), starter CC Sabathia, and manager Joe Girardi (who took over at the helm of the team in 2008, Gardner’s first season in the majors).
The Yankees also had some fun at Gardner’s expense on Twitter.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 25, 2017
Todd Frazier, who has only been a Yankee for a month (but grew up cheering for the team in New Jersey), is fine with throwing a name on the back of his jersey for a weekend.
“You guys are blowing this up too big,” the third baseman said. “I think just for the three days, it is good for everybody in baseball. Then we can go back to the pinstripes. It is good.”
Reliever Adam Warren agreed with Frazier, emphasizing that this was a three day only deal and not the start of a new trend for the Bronx Bombers.
“It is a neat way for players to express themselves,” Warren said. “It lets the fans in on who they are and where they are from. I think it will be neat to kind of see that. I think for the traditionalists out there, it is only three days. It will definitely be different to see the Yankees run out there in something other than the pinstripes. I think it will be neat for us and the fans to get to know a little more about us.”
It’s okay. Everything is going to be okay. The world is not going to collapse upon itself because the Yankees are wearing names on their jerseys with no pinstripes for the next three days.