• No Names, Just Numbers

    Posted by on October 24th, 2012 · Comments (13)

    Via Paul Lukas

    Quick, name the only three teams in all of North American pro sports whose jerseys have NNOB (that’s “no name on back,” for those of you who don’t speak uni). Right, the Yankees do it for every game, and the Red Sox do it at home. And the third team? The Giants, who’ve been going NNOB at home since 2000.

    The day the Yankees start putting names on the back will be a very, very, sad day in Yankees history…

    Comments on No Names, Just Numbers

    1. 77yankees
      October 24th, 2012 | 7:03 pm

      Speaking of, don’t you hate those people who walk around in the cheap Yankee replica jerseys that have the name on the back? I’m not talking about the t-shirts with the name & number on the back – those are fine. I’m talking the pinstriped home & road grays with the name on the back.

    2. Corey
      October 24th, 2012 | 8:16 pm

      @ 77yankees:
      I wear one of those to the stadium. I can’t afford to buy a real jersey, and they don’t make Bernie Williams jerseys anymore anyway.

      Why does it bother you? Your average person doesn’t have a few hundred bucks to blow on a jersey. And frankly, they shouldn’t have to pay that much.

    3. KPOcala
      October 24th, 2012 | 9:10 pm

      Steve, off-topic (is there a way to directly e-mail you things for your review w/o ‘rudely’ doing the ‘off topic route?): Something that I’ve championed, the idea that numbers become almost God-like in baseball debates:


      Appreciate your thoughts, if you find this interesting.

    4. 77yankees
      October 24th, 2012 | 9:38 pm

      @ Corey:

      For the same reason Steve is alluding to…Yankee jerseys don’t need the name on the back. If you say Yankees….Number 7 or Number 51, i.e., every Yankee fan know who you’re representing.

      Few hundred dollars?? The replicas on MLB shop are $80.


    5. October 25th, 2012 | 12:06 am

      I’ve never understood why teams put the names on the back of jerseys. Isn’t the whole point of having numbers is to identify the players?

    6. October 25th, 2012 | 7:51 am

      @ Corey: I’m with you. Those jerseys aren’t bootleg gear — they are officially licensed and sold by the Yankees. Why isn’t the purists’ outrage directed towards the Yankees for licensing jerseys with the names on the back, instead of at the people who wear them?

      As for the $80 example shown, that has no name or number. The ones with numbers and names cost more, and the jerseys with numbers but no names cost a lot more, as you note.

    7. October 25th, 2012 | 9:30 am

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      I’ve never understood why teams put the names on the back of jerseys. Isn’t the whole point of having numbers is to identify the players?

      True. I think the names came along when buying a scorecard went out of vogue.

    8. October 25th, 2012 | 9:41 am

      @ 77yankees:
      @ Corey:
      @ lisaswan:

      I can see both sides of this one.

      First, don’t let the names on the shirts fool you. That’s all about money too. With the names, it enables to player to get a % of the profit. But, if it’s just a number, how can you tell where to split the money between the club, player, MLB and the MLBPA? #24 could be for Tino Martinez or Robinson Cano. And, #33 could be for David Wells or Nick Swisher. And, #55 could be for Hideki Matsui or Russell Martin. The people selling the shirts can’t keep track of when the shirt was made and who should get the kick-back at the Point of Sale. The names allows them to at least pretend they are tracking that, I suppose.

      So, if the names on the shirts bother you or look bogus, blame the players and the MLBPA for making sure that they get money on the sale.

      That said, I also know where 77yankees is coming from, albeit fair or not. I must be honest and confess, when I see someone wearing a Yankees game jersey and it has a number AND name on the back, it’s easy to allow the thought of “I wonder if he just bought that on his way into the Stadium?” to enter your head.

      When I was at Game 5 of the 2012 ALDS, there were two guys sitting in front of me, adults, but, no older than 35, both wearing Yankees caps that looked like they just came out of the bag and they had the 2012 Playoff logos on the side. And, my first thought, and forgive me, was “I wonder if they can name more than five guys on the team?”

      I think that’s the line here – died in the wool fans think that those with these shirts (with the names and numbers) are drop in fans who don’t realize that the players don’t wear those shirts. Fair? Correct? Not always, if ever. But, that’s what happens.

    9. October 25th, 2012 | 9:48 am

      @ KPOcala:
      I’ve always thought that ERA for RP was bogus. I think I once wrote about that here or at NetShrine too…

    10. 77yankees
      October 25th, 2012 | 12:53 pm

      That’s a good point about the money grab, Steve. Although it must work differently for the Cooperstown & Mitchell & Ness jerseys sold for retired and/or deceased players. They probably have to make separate deals with the retired players’ reps or estates, because they’re marketed as Mickey Mantle #7 Yankees 1951 Jersey, for example, not “Yankees #7 1951 Jersey”.

    11. KPOcala
      October 25th, 2012 | 2:23 pm

      @ Steve L.:
      Steve, RP, absolutely. But starters, yeah all parks and fielders are equal, but does it really take “advanced metrics” to adjust for that. I.E., pitcher keeps the other team from scoring, you have a pretty good idea of what kind of job he’s doing for That year. If his k/bb and fb/gb numbers are iffy, then you have an idea that giving the guy a big contract may not turn out so well, no?

    12. October 25th, 2012 | 2:43 pm

      When it comes to stats, context is always the key.

      ERA+, WAR, RSAA all make adjustments for park, etc. Those work for me WRT SP.

    13. KPOcala
      October 25th, 2012 | 7:41 pm

      @ Steve L.:
      Thanks, and FWIW, I agree. You didn’t mention if there was alternative protocol for asking you questions besides ‘off-topic’. Unless this is OK by you…

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