Of course, there was a story behind the jersey and T-shirt that Joba Chamberlain designed for the Players Choice Signature Series.
06/03/2010 1:03 PM ET
Yankees take a turn designing apparel
Bombers unveil jerseys, T-shirts, caps for fans
By Jon Lane / Special to MLBPLAYERS.com
At first glance, the T-shirt with "Chamberlain" scripted shoulder-to-shoulder in Blackletter font has a Mixed Martial Arts feel. But a closer examination reveals a design representing Chamberlain's father, son, adopted city and Winnebago American Indian heritage. The center of the shirt is the Big Apple with a tattoo on Chamberlain's arm and the New York City skyline duplicated as a background, complete with an eagle's feather paying homage to Indian lore.
"It was cool how it came out," Chamberlain said. "Those were the three biggest things: New York, my family and my heritage."
Chamberlain's design, along with those of Curtis Granderson, Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia, Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira, took the stage at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.
The Yankees' stars unveiled the Players Choice Signature Series jerseys, T-shirts and caps designed exclusively for their fans with each product expressing their personalities and attitudes. The line was put on sale at the Stadium, Yankees Clubhouse stores, New York-area Modell's locations and MLB.com, with hats available next weekend.
The Yankees were the first of four teams to release their series; the Phillies (June 4), Mets (June 9) and Twins (June 10) are next in line.
Last year, the apparel was put through a dry run with fans, licensees, manufacturers, retailers and players, emerging as an overwhelming a success with confidence the public will connect because of the apparel's uniqueness.
Pettitte's shirt features images of the new Yankee Stadium and his celebratory fist-pump, and on the back is the famous shot of the left-hander with hat down and staring into the catcher as a backdrop to his No. 46. The camouflage shade is for his love of hunting, while the hat is colored in desert camouflage with stars and stripes to represent the soldiers fighting overseas.
Sabathia's jersey is colored in the popular silver and black combination with an image of his tattoo in his No. 52. Swisher went for the "comfort thing," with the hat meant to be worn backwards.
Granderson has a music theme of a DJ spinning turntables and headphones simulating around the neck on back of tee (he's never one to travel without his headphones).
Teixeira went old school with a throwback to the vintage uniform look of 1970s and '80s and a unique look to his hat.
"You don't see many pinstriped hats," Teixeira said. "I didn't know how it would work out, but the pinstripes are so important to the Yankees I thought I'd bring it on the hat.
"The cool thing is we're all different. Everyone's hats are different. Everyone's T-shirts are different and everyone's jerseys are different. Hopefully they're all going to sell, and everyone's going to have fun showing off what we think."
The design process began during Spring Training with the players spending 45-60 minutes with designers from Majestic creating and drawing their concepts. E-mails and texts were subsequently exchanged with revisions and final approval.
The one theme constant was the Yankees' 2009 World Series win. And while each player reveled in his own originality, they stayed true to New York and the Yankees' history and heritage.
"It's a reflection of everybody's personality, and it shows up in the shirt," Swisher said. "I think it's pretty cool for a lot of us."