The Mysterious Afterlife of Holiday-Themed Baseball Jerseys

What happens to them the other 364 days of the year?

Photo: slgckgc/Flickr, Art: Kelly

It’s sad to think about what happens to objects when nobody wants them anymore. Like a soiled teddy bear left in a box marked “FREE — PLEASE TAKE.” Like the bike you left chained to the bike rack outside of your friend’s apartment building five years ago. Like something else. What happens to these objects? A good question. Maybe the once-loved teddy bear is eventually thrown away. 🙁 Maybe the always-somewhat-disliked-out-of-fear bike was still there the last time you looked, and now you just try not to think about it. 🙁 Something else. 🙁 But what about holiday-themed baseball jerseys?

A good question.

If you’re an observant viewer of baseball, you might’ve noticed that sometimes on a holiday the jerseys are a little different. On Mothers’ Day they’re pink, reminding us of a mother’s breast cancer. On Memorial Day they’re camouflage, providing the added benefit of stealth. On yesterday they’re flag.

When you think about what happens to normal baseball uniforms you think they’re probably washed, and then the player wears the uniform again. Right? Or maybe, like in Catholic school, the player has two skirts, or uniforms, and rotates them when necessary. But what about a holiday jersey, since the teams only use them the one time? That’s the good question we’re focusing on today.

My guesses:

  • Cut into scraps
  • Stuffed like dummy
  • If a player has an especially good holiday he frames the jersey
  • If a player has a bad holiday, or the holiday reminds him of something bad like if someone he knows died that day, he doesn’t frame it or even keep it at all (!)
  • Thrown away 🙁

What’s your guess? Just kidding.

Rather than wonder about the fate of holiday-themed jerseys forever like some asshole, I reached out to Matthew Gould, VP of Corporate Communications for Major League Baseball, and asked him about what happens to the holiday-themed jerseys. (If you know the answer at this point, please do not say it out loud in case anyone around you would like to uncover it naturally in this post.) (“Can I just mouth the words?” No, please do not mouth the words.)

Here it is, from my new friend Matthew:

Like all uniforms, holiday caps and jerseys (such as Memorial Day) are property of the Clubs that wear them. Those clubs make the decisions on what happens to them after the games are played. The caps and jerseys can be auctioned for charitable purposes, provided to the players and/or retained for historical purposes. Hope this helps. Anything else, please let us know.