As I write this post, the New York Yankees are playing the Athletics in Oakland. It’s a fair bet that the Yankees will draw more cheers than the A’s, a common occurrence when the Yanks play on the road. The Yankees have been so dominant for so long that no other team approaches their influence on baseball and on American culture.
Above is an image of two of the greatest Yankees, Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. They’re sporting classic Yankees caps with the intertwined “N” and “Y,” one of the most iconic images in all of sport. That ligature symbolizes what for decades has been the Yankee ethic of professionalism, superb skill applied diligently without pretension or showboating. It’s DiMaggio smacking a home run, circling the bases in workmanlike fashion, crossing the plate and heading straight to the dugout. It’s Jeter streaking to the sidelines and tumbling into the seats to snare a pop foul, then trotting resolutely back onto the diamond to signal “two outs, let’s get this next batter.”
No pointing to the sky. No flashy hand-slapping routine between the plate and the dugout. No facial hair.
No matter what team you root for, like it or not, we Americans are known to the rest of the world as Yankees. For its simple, direct, unequivocal statement of Yankees baseball, I award the Yankees cap my highest rating, five.