- NotGraphs Baseball - http://www.fangraphs.com/not -

A Sartorial Study of the Baseballing Fan


While attending a baseball game on Monday, July 23 at the local baseball stadium in Seattle, Washington, the researcher (heretofore referred to as “the researcher”, or “I”) made the acute observation that other people were going to said baseball game. It was also observed that the researcher’s friend was quite late, and that he had the tickets. This unforeseen wealth of time and opportunity led to a scientific survey asking the question: what jerseys were other people wearing?


Observations were made by standing at the corner of Occidental Avenue and Royal Brougham, across the street from the left field park entrance and next to a rather tired-looking scalper who clearly had difficulty determining what I was doing on his turf. The street corner was chosen in order to make observations based on south and eastbound traffic into the stadium, and reduce double-counting. For the purposes of this survey, any torso covering that sported a name or number was treated as a jersey, including T-shirt jerseys. Observations took place between 4:45pm and 6:05pm, at which time the researcher decided he’d had enough and went to get a cheap beer.


Figures 1 and 2 show the results of the survey, providing a histogram for both Mariners and Yankees jerseys. Figure 2 is further broken down into two categories: those that had the player’s name on the back, and those that did not. “Personalized” categorizes those jerseys that had the fan’s own name on the back, or some nickname he wished other people would address him by, but who probably do not.

(Side note: don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t embiggen these pictures. It’s your right as a person.)

Figure 3, included below, is a tabulation of all non-Yankee, non-Mariner jerseys observed. This section is included for completeness, and in no way makes any statement about the human condition.


Based on our findings, we can make several assumptions about the fans who attended Monday night’s baseball game.

1. The most notable result of the survey is that 66% of the jerseys counted were New York-based. This is not because New York fans are better than Seattle fans, or more spirited. It is because Mariners fans are uncomfortable with wearing a short-sleeved garment to an event that ends after ten o’clock, no matter what time of year.

2. Yankees fans, in comparison to Mariners fans, were more likely to select “safe” players to wear. Of the 193 Yankees jerseys, only 8 could be said to be potentially risky choices, in the long-term: Swisher (3), Granderson (2), Chamberlain (1), Rivers (1), and Wang (1). Only Wang and potentially Joba could be considered ironic. 13 out of 98 Mariners jerseys qualified as being at least somewhat ridiculous.

3. More than half of the Yankees jerseys seen had the player’s name on the back, despite the fact that the real jerseys never do so. This seems particularly odd in light of the fact that many of the listed players have had their numbers retired, and could not possibly be confused with another player. Particularly jarring was a cheap T-shirt jersey, number five, with the word “DiMaggio” crammed unnaturally between the shoulder blades. The researcher does not know how to process this information.

4. There were just as many A-Rod Mariners jerseys as there were Yankees jerseys.  This is either weird or awesome.