The Laundry


While on the train and walking to last night’s game in the Bronx and seeing multiple people in Giambi shirts (seriously, that’s whose shirt you spent hard-earned money on?!), I thought of a dilemma.   If you had to pick a player from this and each of the last three decades and were forced to wear, in public, their shirt, whose would it be?  And whose shirt, regardless of their affiliation with your beloved team, would you avoid?   This isn’t so easy as "who is your favorite player", I don’t think.  After all, I really appreciated Manny, he was perhaps my favorite player to watch at the plate (perhaps ever), but I never had an urge to put on his jersey.  And, I have come to totally love Dustin Pedroia, but also feel no urge to grab a top with his name sewn on the back.  That went for Nomar too, despite his almost magnetic presence at the plate and in the field, and his utter watchability.

If I had to pick four guys from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and Oughts, I think I’d go with Pudge Fisk, the Rocket, the Hit Dog, and Big Papi.  Non-controversial picks at the time of their play, but in retrospect (particularly with Clemens and Mo) I wasn’t really thinking about ethics, off-the-field character, or dutiful dedication to one’s calisthenics regimen.  Only Pudge and Papi stand that test, to this point (though "Papi" and "calisthenics" isn’t the first word pairing that comes to mind).  But hey, I was (am?) a kid.  So whose laundry for your beloved squad would you don?

And here’s a second, monkey wrench question:  which bitter rival’s uniform would you "proudly" display (if that’s even a possibility)?  For me, it’s Mo.  No competition.  If I were eleven years old today it would be Joba – that kid is something to see and appears like an athlete to emulate, his love of the game apparent. 

Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • didn’t even have to think about it sf, i’d wear a ‘papi’ jersey…

    dc August 1, 2008, 9:46 am
  • a fantastic way to cleanse the palate, SF.
    thurman, mattingly, mo, joba
    evans, boggs, garces, pedroia

    Yankee Fan In Boston August 1, 2008, 9:53 am
  • i agree; it’d be rivera, if for no other reason than his reaction to the 2005 standing ovation at fenway. as for chamberlain, he’s thrown at youk’s head four times in under a year and there’s a lot of players who are hated a lot more for a lot less.

    rcolonna (sf) August 1, 2008, 9:54 am
  • I have 2 jerseys i wear to games: Torre’s 6 and Tino’s 24 (which is now Cano which is fine by me)
    id wear a Ted Williams jersey if forced. I never saw him play but all Ive read about him…

    Sam-YF August 1, 2008, 9:57 am
  • Love this thread and nice to momentarily escape trade and trade-ramification talk.
    For me it would have to be Munson, Mattingly, O’Neill, and Mo. Boring and obvious? Perhaps. I have to admit that in these cases, “favorite” and “prefered jersey” are pretty similar for me, though Jeter is probably in front of O’Neill as favorite 90’s player for me.
    But similar to you with Manny, A-Rod is an interesting case for me and I have no interest in his jersey even while I marvel at his talent. There is no player on the Yanks right now for whom, if I see the guy at bat while watching a game on mute and doing other things (as I often do), I will stop what I am doing, turn up the volume, and watch, no matter what the game situation is. In other words, he is the greatest offensive talent the Yankees have had perhaps since Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig (no disrespect to Joe D intended), and I love watching that talent, but his jersey doesn’t interest me in the least.
    I think there is something about attitude that I love about all four of the guys whose jersey I’d choose and Joba is also up there – he just hasn’t compiled enough memories for me (yet) to supplant O’Neill, or Mo. And Jeter is right up there with the four I picked but feels somehow too easy.
    As a kid I would have worn Willie’s jersey, but we’re looking back now and I just don’t feel about Willie the way I do about Donnie Baseball.
    As for a rival’s jersey, it probably has to be Ortiz. Or Billy Buckner. But for very different reasons ;o).

    IronHorse (yf) August 1, 2008, 9:59 am
  • I wasn’t a hardcore Red Sox fan until 1999 (when I was 14), but here goes:
    70’s: Luis Tiant
    80’s: Bob Stanley
    90’s: Pedro Martinez (Nomar if you wanna say Pedro doesn’t count since he was only with us 2 years)
    Current: Josh Beckett
    As for the Yankees, I don’t think I could “proudly” wear any uniform, though Mariano Rivera would be the closest thing. He’s my favorite Yankee, he’s an elite player, and he’s classy.

    Atheose August 1, 2008, 10:01 am
  • I still wander around the city with my Willie 30. I’ll also take Key and Coney.
    For opponents, it’s all about the laundry. I love the Giants unis, and it doesn’t hurt at all that they’re the old NYC team that I’d probably have rooted for if they stayed around. In fact, I have a NY Giants cap. I love the Dodgers cap. And the Royals cap. And the Detroit cap, though it’s been Magnumed. Let’s face it: The Mets cap is fantastic too: not the black one’s they use too often, but the classic all blue with the orange NY. But, believe me, you won’t be seeing me in those colors any day soon.

    YF August 1, 2008, 10:01 am
  • The mutual rivalry-crossing respect for Mo and Ortiz is quite clear here. And I think ethics, character, class, etc. probably do play more than a small role here in both case. On top of monumental talent of course.

    IronHorse (yf) August 1, 2008, 10:06 am
  • There is no player on the Yanks right now for whom, if I see the guy at bat while watching a game on mute and doing other things (as I often do), I will stop what I am doing, turn up the volume, and watch, no matter what the game situation is.
    Nolan Ryan and Pedro Martinez were the only two players who did this for me. No matter what I was doing I absolutely HAD to watch them pitch their inning. I could care less about the offense. I guess that’s why my four picks are all pitchers–I like pitchers.
    By the way YF, I was checking out your book link on the left and I wandered over to your site. SF was right: you’ve got some crazy jew-fro going!

    Atheose August 1, 2008, 10:06 am
  • I have and had usually wear a Mo jersey. Doubly cool because the number is retired also with Jackie Robinson.
    I like Jeter, but the 2 is too popular – you know it’s bad when there are girls decked out in pink Jeter jerseys. Not that there’s anything wrong with it.
    People might forget how damn good Bernie was during the late 90s. I would definitely wear that. Most of the other ones have been said though.
    I like Soriano too.
    By the way, I feel it’s cooler that the Yanks jersey doesn’t have names on them. It’s vaguely amusing to see some “fans” ask me who’s number N (that I’m wearing). I mean, okay, so I don’t expect people to remember Soriano’s number, but I’ve gotten it for 42. Go figure. (And actually, I always say Jackie to see what happens!)

    Lar August 1, 2008, 10:14 am
  • Great Post SF. You bring up a good point about it not being necessarily your favorite player. I love DJ, but due to the fact that that’s primarily reserved at the stadium for little kids and women, I go with the following. (I know weird guy, name my child DJ, but won’t wear the jersey)
    70’s: Munson
    80’s: Mattingly
    90’s: O’Neill
    Today: Joba
    Sox Jersey: I would never wear one, but if I was forced to I would go with Mo Vaughn. He’s a Seton Hall guy at least.
    As for the people who wear Giambi jerseys, I am ashamed to say I bought my wife one. It was back when he first signed. I had high hopes (for Giambi). We just started dating and she would actually pretend to like the Yankees, so I bought her one. It now hides in the back of her closet.
    Side note, it drives me BANANAS when people wear authentic or replica Yankee jerseys with the name on the back. Call me a jersey snob, but I just hate it. The Yankees don’t have names, why would your jersey have the name? If you are wearing a #2 jersey do you really need the JETER across the back for me to know whose jersey your wearing? Those blue t-shirts with the name…acceptable.

    John - YF August 1, 2008, 10:18 am
  • “you’ve got some crazy jew-fro going!”
    Made me think of Knocked Up when she tells him she likes his hair.
    “I love your curly hair! It’s so great. Do you, like, use a product or anything?”
    “”No, that’s uh– I use, uh, Jew, it’s called.”

    John - YF August 1, 2008, 10:22 am
  • “If you are wearing a #2 jersey do you really need the JETER across the back?”
    No, but the “C” on the front is critical. Oh wait…forget it…

    IronHorse (yf) August 1, 2008, 10:24 am
  • “If you are wearing a #2 jersey do you really need the JETER across the back?”
    When you wear that shirt all sorts of good things happen. It’s got intangible style.

    SF August 1, 2008, 10:30 am
  • 70s – Yaz
    80s – Yaz
    90s – Pedro
    00s – Yaz
    I’m now too old to wear the jersey of a current player.

    I'm Bill McNeal August 1, 2008, 10:32 am
  • No, but the “C” on the front is critical. Oh wait…forget it…
    Way to kick me when I’m down, IH! And after I said such nice things about Mo.

    Atheose August 1, 2008, 10:33 am
  • Sorry Ath. But how do you know that was directed at the Sox? After all, I don’t make fun of .216 hitters.
    OK, now I will stop. I promise. Besides, there are any number of “driven” cracks that must be coming at yfs sooner or later…

    IronHorse (yf) August 1, 2008, 10:59 am
  • Papi, Yaz, Pesky, Pedro
    Mo, Bernie

    LocklandSF August 1, 2008, 11:07 am
  • Hey YF!
    Speaking of your book, I almost shit my self last weekend when I walked in to me soon to be father in law’s den last weekend and saw him reading Spalding’s World Tour!!!
    I said, “Hey John, holy shit, I know the guy that wrote that!” Then I had to explain with much embarrassment how I “know” you.

    LocklandSF August 1, 2008, 11:14 am
  • I said, “Hey John, holy shit, I know the guy that wrote that!” Then I had to explain with much embarrassment how I “know” you.
    Damn interwebmachine with its interwebmachineforums!

    Atheose August 1, 2008, 11:16 am
  • Speaking of funny names for the internet, I refer to it as the “internet machine” whenever talking to my parents. It’s just funnier that way.

    Atheose August 1, 2008, 11:17 am
  • Pedro first and foremost. I actually have four of them (home, away, allstar, and WS)
    After that Beckett, Spaceman, and Timlin
    Moose or Mo.

    Brad August 1, 2008, 11:18 am
  • HAHA!!! You couldn’t be more right Ath, it was like explaining a kaleidoscope to a blind man.

    LocklandSF August 1, 2008, 11:21 am
  • 70’s: murcer
    80’s: randolph
    90’s: el duque
    00’s: rivera
    red sox: manny

    Nick-YF August 1, 2008, 11:21 am
  • wait, no Beckett, Nick?:)
    I freaking knew someone would say Manny.

    Brad August 1, 2008, 11:25 am
  • Good question!
    70’s – Guidry
    80’s – Mattingly
    90’s – Jeter
    00’s – Mo
    Sox Jersey? It’s not exciting, but I would go with either Wakefield or Timlin. Two totally class acts that just take the ball and do their jobs.

    Jay August 1, 2008, 11:25 am
  • Pedro first and foremost. I actually have four of them (home, away, allstar, and WS)
    After that Beckett, Spaceman, and Timlin

    Pedro is the reason I became a huge Red Sox fan. I already sort-of was because my dad lived in Boston as a kid, but he wasn’t 100% successful in indoctrinating me until we lived there for a few years and I got to see Pedro perform. I only have one jersey though.

    Atheose August 1, 2008, 11:30 am
  • I would go with either Wakefield or Timlin. Two totally class acts that just take the ball and do their jobs.
    Don’t forget that they kill stuff with bows and arrows!

    Atheose August 1, 2008, 11:32 am
  • ath,
    I was the same way about Rocket, but Pedro quickly took over that top spot.

    Brad August 1, 2008, 11:32 am
  • Wow, when I googled ‘Timlin’ to find a good picture of him killing something this picture came up:
    Talk about a blast from the past. ARod’s face look’s smoother than Giselle’s ass.

    Atheose August 1, 2008, 11:33 am
  • Pedro. Duh. After Pedro, Ortiz. I think a Lester jersey would be pretty cool, too.
    Rivera for the Yankees. Nothing new here. I’m boring.

    Paul SF August 1, 2008, 11:36 am
  • I revise. Since Pedro started pitching in ’98 I respectfully request the right to substitute Pedro for Mo Vaughn.

    SF August 1, 2008, 11:37 am
  • This is fun…
    70s: Munson and Nettles (duh)
    80s: Mattingly
    90s: Jeets and Brosius (he’s from Oregon and a 3rd baseman)
    00s: Mo and Jorge
    I respected the hell out of Fisk, even though he and Thurman were mortal enemies. But I’d find it pretty difficult to put on any type of Sox gear, as much as I respect them. It just doesn’t seem right to me.

    nettles August 1, 2008, 11:38 am
  • Great question!
    Sox –
    70s – Fisk
    80s – Boggs
    90s – Petey
    00s – Manny
    Now – Youkilis
    Yanks –
    70s – Munson
    80s – Donnie B or Righetti
    90s – Bernie or O’Neill
    00s – Jorge
    Now – Joba

    A YF August 1, 2008, 11:48 am
  • I only trace my Yankee-fandom back to about ’82 but here goes:
    70’s- Sweet Lou (the reason my mother became a Yankee fans and consequently led me down the path of enlightment)
    80’s- Donnie Baseball of course!!
    Honorable mentions:
    Willie, Pags and STEVE BALBONI!!!
    90’s- Tino was my favorite..
    Honorable mentions:
    #21 and #2
    2000’s- Captain Clutch but I have also gotten on the ARod train, so I switch up between the two. Of course, I’m going to get a Joba next season for sure so…
    As far as wearing Sox gear…can’t do it. I would no more wear anything Sox than I would wear anything Flyers, Maple Leafs, Jets or Patties. Just can’t do it. I won’t even draft players from those teams in fantasy!!!

    krueg August 1, 2008, 12:08 pm
  • 70’s: Fisk
    80’s: Rem-dog
    90’s: Nomar
    00’s: Varitek
    As for the opposing team player, why has no-one said they would proudly wear a Strawberry jersey? it just boggles my mind.
    but in all seriousness, Mo. I’ve never feared or respected a player more than him.
    Also, I must have been the only person in the world to purchase a JT Snow (#84) t-shirt (was too poor to afford the jersey, if they even sold it) for JT’s 38 games with the Sox in ’06. But I wear that baby with pride on the streets of NY where I now reside, as that man TAUGHT me how to play first base, back when he was helping at University of Arizona baseball camps. Plus, no one in NYC has a clue who he is, and can’t think of anything witty to say to me while I smarm my way past them.

    wykell (sf) August 1, 2008, 12:09 pm
  • YEah, Wykell. I hear ‘ya I have a Jackson T-Shirt. People are always asking me who it is, which is why I wear it.
    My response: Remember when you started watching and liking the Red Sox so long ago – well, this was the guy that gave Damon the concussion that season on a fly ball in CF.

    Brad August 1, 2008, 12:23 pm
  • 70s–Murcer-Jackson
    90s–Dennis Rasmussen retro 90s jersey! Probably El Duke like my brother.

    walein August 1, 2008, 12:28 pm
  • I won’t even draft players from those teams in fantasy!!!
    How’s that worked out for you,krueg!?

    SF August 1, 2008, 12:30 pm
  • SF: well, I don’t play fantasy baseball because I hate baseball, except the Yankees so that doesn’t hurt me. In hockey, I know enough to compensate for it and football, it hurts sometimes but it’s a small price to pay for my principals!!! :)

    krueg August 1, 2008, 1:01 pm
  • Just an observation: haven’t seen the name “Buckner” pop up here yet…

    nettles August 1, 2008, 1:19 pm
  • Lockland: I hope he likes the book!
    For the record, folks, the ‘fro is gone. Though the ladies did love it. An excellent conversation starter, just no fun in this summer heat….

    YF August 1, 2008, 1:23 pm
  • Though the ladies did love it.
    By “ladies” he means “mom, wife, and daughter”.

    SF August 1, 2008, 1:24 pm
  • Nettles, I already claimed Buckner above…

    IronHorse (yf) August 1, 2008, 1:35 pm
  • A few years back my sister gave my two young boys each a Yankee jersey. I was thrilled until I turned them around and saw the number 25 — Giambi’s number.
    Now if anyone sees the kids and asks me who 25 is, I’ll tell them it was Joe Girardi, Tommy John or Jim Abbott.

    Roon August 1, 2008, 2:03 pm
  • Well, I own a 70s-replica #27 jersey (Fisk, if you have to ask). Yaz would be a runner-up, but Tiant or Lynn or Rooster or Dewey or Spaceman all would work for me, too.
    For the 80s… Tougher call. Boggs jumped to mind, but in truth I never liked him much. Eck would be an option. Carney Landsford would be one for the trivia buffs.
    90s — Guess it’s got to be Pedro.
    00s — Ortiz is the obvious choice, but I’d go for Wakefield. #38 would start more conversations. Millar or Mueller… I once might have said Foulke, but he went out on such a sour note. Tek seems too obvious; Timlin or Cabby would get some cred. DLowe is a nice counterintuitive choice, he was amazing in the postseason.
    And I don’t know what Dave Roberts’ number is, but he has got to be one of the most universally loved BoSox to play less than a half-season in Fenway.

    Hudson August 1, 2008, 3:33 pm
  • Oh, and I forgot Oil Can.

    Hudson August 1, 2008, 3:37 pm
  • Ooops, IH. Missed that one. Sorry ’bout that. Great minds think alike! :)

    nettles August 1, 2008, 3:43 pm
  • SF: Mother HATED it. Wife less than enthusiastic. Daughter agnostic.

    YF August 1, 2008, 3:51 pm
  • yaz’s 8 is always my mainstay sox jersey. as for those cheeseball jersey/t-shirts…daubach, pokey, and youkilis haunt my closet.
    couldn’t wear yanks gear, but i will say bernie and mo are the only 2 yanks that don’t make me want to puke in pinstripes. i would consider sporting a karim garcia jersey….on my way to hell.
    also, i would love to see a thread on “worst sports logo adorned gift received”. nothing says “i don’t know you all that well” like a red sox cell phone holder for your belt.

    sf rod August 1, 2008, 7:08 pm