The New York Yankees have one of the most recognizable uniforms in all of professional sports. Although their uniform is world-renowned, it wasn’t always that way, and the rumor is they added their famous pinstripes to make Babe Ruth look slimmer.
The baseball star known as Babe Ruth was a fairly large guy, that’s not much of a secret. When he traded from the Red Sox to the Yankees in 1920, he was the biggest sports star in the world. Although he was amazing while batting, it wasn’t the only thing he was known for.
Ruth lived life to the max, and if that meant partying hard and eating whatever he wanted then so be it. It was a different time in the ‘20s and if Ruth wanted to eat his way through New York, then why should anybody stop him? He still got it done on the field, so did it matter if he was larger than most?
A Record Breaker
By the time Babe Ruth retired he held a long list of records including the most career home runs and the all-time highest slugging percentage. Ruth was pretty much the original franchise player, and he stuck around with the Yankees for 14 seasons, helping them to become the dynasty they are today. Before Ruth, the Yankees had never won the World Series, but by the time he left, they had four in the trophy cabinet.
A Big Problem
By this point in history, baseball teams were becoming aware they had an image to uphold, but Ruth would not conform to that. To solve their problem, it is believed the Yankees changed their uniforms to be more flattering for Ruth’s ample figure.
Now Ruth would appear slimmer on the diamond, but is this why? The pinstripes were actually a part of the Yankees uniform several years before Ruth traded to them. They adopted it as their home jersey five years before Ruth became a Yankee, so no they did not add the stripes to make Ruth appear slimmer.
The dates are close, so it’s understandable why people make the connection, but they had already been in use before Ruth joined. Although they no doubt made Ruth appear slimmer, that is not why the pinstripes were introduced to the Yankees uniform.