When MLB introduced Players Weekend during the 2017 season, they were lauded for embracing the league’s personalities and making efforts to connect with a younger, more expressive generation.
Players Weekend last year was considered a success as well, but a change in 2019 to monochromatic uniforms backfired. Rather than allowing teams to wear Little League-inspired jerseys and caps, players are outfitted in white or black uniforms. Albeit still with nicknames on the back.
Managers and players have been outspoken about the change, and the Chicago Cubs went so far as to rebel by wearing their traditional blue caps with the white Players Weekend jerseys. Along with the new designs not resonating, that Players Weekend occurred during the series the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees are meeting, added insult to injury.
With a spotlight on Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers reportedly petitioned MLB to allow for them and the Yankees to wear their usual uniforms, per Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports:
To that end, according to two sources, the Dodgers asked MLB for permission to have both teams wear their traditional uniforms for at least one of the three games.
Had MLB granted the Yankees and Dodgers permission to wear their respective road and home uniforms, the most natural game for them to have done so would’ve been the series finale that will air exclusively as part of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball programming.
Of course, the national broadcast serves as an opportunity to promote Players Weekend. To that extent, Players Weekend jerseys and batting helmets are being auctioned at MLB.com/auctions.
All proceeds will be donated to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, a joint effort established in July 2015 by MLB and the MLBPA with an initial commitment of $30 million focused on improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the United States and Canada.
While fans were robbed of seeing the Yankees and Dodger in their iconic uniforms, there remains the possibility that will come to fruition in October. The teams sit atop the American League and National League standings, respectively, and are among the favorites to reach the World Series.
The Dodgers and Yankees have met 11 times in the Fall Classic, though the last came in 1981. New York has won eight of those series.