Some Historical Perspective On Derek Jeter's Yankees Uniform Tribute
As Derek Jeter's illustrious New York Yankees career comes to a close, the team is honoring him in an unusual way. A commemorative logo bearing his uniform number 2 is being worn by the club as both a sleeve patch and as a headwear decoration, a rare honor for an active (much less living) player.
While this tribute is uncommon, it's not unprecedented. The Yankees similarly honored Mariano Rivera only last year. And in 2001 the San Diego Padres commemorated the career of Tony Gwynn with a sleeve patch, matching the Baltimore Orioles' tribute to Cal Ripken, Jr.
Even earlier, the 1950 Philadelphia Athletics paid tribute to manager Connie Mack with a commemorative "Golden Jubilee" sleeve patch, worn throughout Mack's final season as A's skipper.
The club pulled out all the stops that season, even going so far as to add gold trim to their uniforms in honor of the retiring Mack. They centered a marketing campaign around the Golden Jubilee season, one which saw the team finish dead last, 46 games out of first place.
To be sure, the licensing and revenue-driven aspect of Derek Jeter's final season logo separates it from the Connie Mack celebration of 64 years earlier. But make no mistake, that uniform recognition was similarly part of a concerted marketing effort. History repeats itself, commerce is king, and Derek Jeter will be joining Connie Mack in Cooperstown sometime in July 2020.