Whether the MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL and also amateur sports leagues and college athletics, various forms of hazing have long been part of the culture. Amongst professional sports, rookies are often tasked with carrying out duties that veterans don’t have the desire to.
In recent seasons for Los Angeles Dodgers rookies, that’s included trips to Starbucks across the street from Wrigley Field, and an annual dress-up day during the final road trip. In 2015, Corey Seager, Yimi Garcia and Adam Liberatore were among players who dressed up as wrestling superstars.
The Dodgers pushed the envelope this season, putting rookies in cheerleaders uniforms after a loss to the Miami Marlins.
Since Seager participated in 2015, he was exempt from dressing up this season. The honor went to Jose De Leon, Kenta Maeda and Julio Urias, among others. In a show of solidarity, Yasiel Puig put a uniform on and posted a video of himself on Instagram.
While rookies dressing up will continue, MLB implemented guidelines in the new collective bargaining agreement to ensure the costumes are not offensive, per Ronald Blum of the Associated Press:
The policy, obtained by The Associated Press, prohibits “requiring, coercing or encouraging” players from “dressing up as women or wearing costumes that may be offensive to individuals based on their race, sex, nationality, age, sexual orientation, gender identify or other characteristic.”
As news of the change began to spread, Stripling reflected on being part of the last group to dress as women:
Honored to be one of the last players ever to be dressed up as a woman pic.twitter.com/NenUSzBG6k
— Ross Stripling (@RossStripling) December 13, 2016
The change presumably will lend to more creativity as veterans will now be required to think outside the box. That should result in rookies dressing as characters from movies or TV shows, or perhaps musicians.