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Archive for July 16th, 2010

When the Yankees take the field tonight, their uniforms will be emblazoned with two patches honoring the recent deaths of long-time public address announcer Bob Sheppard and principal owner George Steinbrenner. Unlike in the past when the team has used either a black armband or number to honor a fallen team legend, this time around the Yankees have opted to be more descriptive.

The Sheppard patch, in particular, uses the image of microphone enclosed by a diamond along with an apt inscription to evoke the memory of “the voice of Yankee Stadium”. It will be worn on the left sleeve, following tradition.

The Steinbrenner patch is ironically more understated, offering only a collage of his name, initials and “The Boss” moniker. It would have been nice to have an image incorporated into the tribute (maybe a turtle neck?), but then again, the Boss always provided his own embellishment anyway. What is unique, however, is the positioning of the patch, which will be worn just above the heart (i.e., the interlocking NY on the home uniform and “York” portion of the road uniform). The Yankees have never worn a memorial patch on the front of their uniform, but if anyone deserves such a distinction, it is the Boss.

Since the tragic death of Indians’ shortstop Ray Chapman, who was beaned in the head by Yankees pitcher Carl Mays, the Yankees have used their uniform as a means of offering tribute to the passing of legendary figures or commemorating tragic events. Below is a list of such honors:

Year Honoree Designation Term of Honor
1920 Ray Chapman Black armband on left sleeve (undetermined duration)
1929 Miller Huggins Black armband on left sleeve (undetermined duration)
1948 Babe Ruth Black armband on left sleeve (undetermined duration)
1976 Casey Stengel Black armband on left sleeve of Billy Martin’s uniform only. Entire 1976 season
1979-1980 Thurman Munson Black armband on left sleeve From August 3, 1979 through the entire 1980 season
1981 Elston Howard Black armband on left sleeve Entire 1981 season
1985 Pete Sheehy Black armband on left sleeve August 16 until the end of the 1985 season
1986 Roger Maris Black armband on left sleeve Entire 1986 season
1990 Billy Martin Number “1” on left sleeve Entire 1990 season
1995 Mickey Mantle Black armband on left sleeve with number “7” later added above. August 14 until end of the 1995 season
1996 Mel Allen Black armband on left sleeve June 18 until the end of the 1996 season
1999 Joe DiMaggio Number “5” on left sleeve Entire 1999 season
1999 Catfish Hunter Black armband on left sleeve below Number 5 patch. September 10 until end of 1999 season
2000 Bob Lemon Black armband on left sleeve Entire 2000 season
2001 9/11 Tragedy Various patches worn on caps September 11 until end of the season
2005 Hurricane Katrina Relief Salvation Army emblem worn on right sleeve September 6-11, 2005
2007 Corey Lidle Black armband on left sleeve Entire 2007 season
2007 Virginia Tech Murder Victims Virginia Tech logo on left side of cap May 23, 2007
2007 Phil Rizzuto Number “10” on left sleeve From August 15 until the end of the 2007 season.
2008 Bobby Murcer Black armband on left sleeve From July 13 until the end of the 2008 season.
2010 Bob Sheppard Black patch with name and microphone worn on left sleeve From July 16 until the end of the 2010 season.
2010 George M. Steinbrenner III Black patch with name and “The Boss” worn above the interlocking NY and “York” portion of road uniforms. Black armbands also worn by Yankees participants in the All Star Game on July 13, 2010. From July 16 until the end of the 2010 season.

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