The history behind the interlocking ‘NY’ logo on the Yankees uniform

Posted On Tue, October 9, 2018 By

Posted On Tue, October 9, 2018 By In History

Via Brian Boyd on Flickr

Considered one of the most recognizable logos in sports, how did the interlocking NY logo of the Yankees develop? The logo is actually older than the baseball team itself, as Untapped Cities learned. At the start of their franchise in 1903, the Yankees, then known as the Highlanders, wore uniforms with the letters N and Y sitting separately on each breast section of the jersey. In 1905, the team adopted a new interlocking version, but later tossed this logo out and returned to their old emblem.


The interlocking NY logo is said to have come from this medal of honor via NYC Police Museum

Four years later, the enduring symbol as we know it made an appearance on the Highlander’s jerseys, thanks to the team’s part-owner Bill Devery, a former NYC police chief. According to the franchise, the design was inspired by a medal of honor created by Louis Tiffany of Tiffany & Co. in 1877 and presented to John McDowell, a New York City police officer shot in the line of duty.


The 1926 Yankees wore a pinstripes-only uniform via Wikimedia

The new interlocking NY logo appeared on the left sleeve of the jersey and the cap. In 1912, the logo moved to the left breast. Five years later, the team got rid of the logo completely and went with a strictly pinstripes-only uniform for home-games until 1936. However, the emblem did remain on the cap during this time.


Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig sporting uniforms without the interlocking NY via Wikimedia

Because Babe Ruth joined the team in 1920 and played until 1934, he never wore a jersey with the classic logo on it throughout his career. In 1929, the Yankees became the first team to make numbers a part of the uniform, given based on a player’s order in the batting lineup.

Since 1936, the home uniform with pinstripes has remained relatively the same.The team has worn the same away uniform since 1918, except between 1927 and 1930. During that time the “NEW YORK” was replaced with an arched “YANKEES,” as seen above.

[Via Untapped Cities]

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