Die-hard or try-hard, ball-game style doesn’t discriminate. Now, the new heavy hitter collaboration between Ralph Lauren and Major League Baseball™ is reminding us why we love the sport…even if you’re all-gear-no-idea.
Ralph Lauren is a baseball fan. A really, really big baseball fan…
He has lived and breathed the sport his whole life. Growing up in The Bronx in the 1940’s and 1950’s, he’s been a tried and true Yankee since childhood. In 2018 Mr Lauren told MLB.com “As a kid, it was my whole life, being involved with the Yankees and being a fan…It had a big impact on me as a kid. I couldn’t afford to go to the stadium, so I was in the bleachers.”
Serendipitously, 50 years after starting his eponymous label, Mr Lauren found himself an honorary team member. Kitted out in the white and navy uniform, the cap and the official pitcher’s glove, his beloved team invited him to throw the game’s first ceremonial pitch – in celebration of his career milestone.
“I felt like it could have gone a little higher,” he told the The New York Post at the time. “I needed one more shot. That’s how I am, I always want to improve.”
Mr Lauren’s youth was during the golden era of baseball. When the Yankees repetitiously won the World Series. When baseball entered the psyche, the culture and the personality of modern Americana. He’s of the ilk that can chat the esoteric minutiae of seasons’ past – of Reggie Jackson becoming Mr. October in 1977 thanks to his out-of-field belters or of Joe DiMaggio being robbed of a home run by Al Gionfriddo’s cap-flipping catch in the season’s smash of 1947.
And if baseball is America’s favourite pastime then, surely, Ralph Lauren is its favourite uniform.
In 2011 I went to a Yankees game at Yankee Stadium, but I know nothing about baseball…
The last time I’d swung a baseball bat was during mandatory P.E. class and my knowledge of the game extended to A League of their Own and George from Seinfeld.
As soon as I arrived I bought the cap. Then I bought the commemorative ball and the miniature wooden bat. Of course. My seat was in the nose-bleed. I kept making comments about the size of the stadium. About how I was having an existential out-of-body experience from the grandeur and poignancy. About how I wondered where the bar was. Being inside a sporting amphitheatre that had seen the greatest players of all time was…ooh there’s the bar. I stood in a drinks queue for 30 minutes then ordered it in a red cup like a grade-A sorority wannabe. I adjusted my cap, popped my collar, sipped my drink and wondered if I was fitting in.
I cheered for a guy that stole a base. I ordered a hotdog from someone who wished he wasn’t selling hotdogs. I couldn’t stop TAKING IN THE ATMOSPHERE. Thousands of people in Yankees caps, thousands in Boston Red Sox caps all whooping on their team. Big foam fingers and so. many. Raglan. t-shirts.
There was a framed picture of Babe Ruth on the wall. I knew he was the GOAT. Wasn’t he also one of the ghosts in that – if you build it they will come – movie? Google: Kevin Costner baseball. Field of Dreams. Beside me, a man gave me a glare that suggested I wasn’t taking this seriously. I needed to focus.
We were winning. Someone hit a home run and the crowd went berserk. The player threw his cap in the air and I applauded like it was live cosplay. I couldn’t help but admire they’ve stuck with the all-white pinstripe thing. The caps. The socks. This is probably the most chic sporting uniform in the world. Maybe I should buy the jersey on the way out. Would look cool, kind of ironic, with jeans, maybe.
The point is, we’re all going home in pinstripes…
Baseball fashion is perennial. You can know the Almanac backwards or need an outhouse to store your millions of Major League swap cards but ball-game style is just as slick if your only motivation is any Jay-Z worth his cap-wearing, gum-chewing homage.
Prepped up team logo sweaters worn with track pants and trainers, jerseys and bombers tucked into straight-cut jeans or the ever-present insignia headwear worn with, well, anything – it’s all honorary fandom and fashion in its own right.
You don’t even have to be particularly team loyal. If you’re not a blue-blood Bronxian, or a born-and-bred Bostonian you can split your time between an LA Dodgers™ bomber jacket, a Chicago Cubs™ jersey and a St. Louis Cardinals™ cap without being slated for frivolity. Your wardrobe is free to explore the many bases of sartorial preference.
In fact, there’s no other sport whose ephemera has been so timelessly worshipped…and so far from the field.
So, when Polo Ralph Lauren announced a team-up with Major League Baseball™ we were here for the pitch…
This month, a brand new collaboration between the home of American baseball and the home of American fashion launches. Following on from the sell-out Yankees™ x Ralph Lauren anniversary range in 2018, this collection is to be the first to include several teams (the New York Yankees™, Los Angeles Dodgers™, Chicago Cubs™, St. Louis Cardinals™ and then later will expand to incorporate the Boston Red Sox™).
It will see Ralph Lauren’s venerated spotif style lends itself to baseball’s all-time archetypes. Fleecy sweats fledged with logos, satin bombers in colours born of original team uniformity and even special edition New Era™ caps. There’s also a line of collared Polo’s – the Ralph Lauren classic – sliding into baseball territory via team colours and team name frontage. The overall look takes a bleachers, locker-room style. Slick for the side line or absolutely anywhere else – all inspired by Mr Lauren’s upbringing and his famous 2018 moment on the field.
It’s like a perfectly arranged fashion marriage, really.
A cap-throwing, dust-sliding, red-cup-spilling home run.
The Ralph Lauren x Major League Baseball™ collection is available for purchase at specialty stores globally, at select Ralph Lauren stores as well as on RalphLauren.com, MLBShop.com, and on The Polo App.
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