What does 18 wins buy you these days?

I arrived at Yankee Stadium about 15 minutes earlier than the friends I was meeting with a clear goal. I was finally going to shell out the cold hard cash  required to net myself a Phil Hughes jersey. I’m not one to buy the jerseys of the long gone stars–I wasn’t around when Ruth or Mantle were playing, and so feel little kinship with these stars of the past (which doesn’t mean I don’t get all tingly watching their highlights on the jumbotron). When I make such a purchase, it’s because I honestly think that the player whose jersey I am purchasing will be around 5, 6, 7 years from now (and that I’ll actually enjoy wearing their number that far into the future!)

So, at 12:15, I arrived in the Bronx and started walking from store to store, seeking a Hughes jersey (without a name, thanks). In my travels I stopped into maybe eight different stores. I saw Javier Vazquez, Nick Johnson, even Marcus Thames jerseys…but not a single Phil Hughes jersey. By that time, my 15 minutes had lapsed, and I had to go meet my friends, and together we headed to the stadium. Once inside, I took my leave of them, and got back to the search.

Neither of the stores inside of Yankees Stadium carry Phil Hughes jerseys. One helpful sales lady commiserated with me, and noted that they had finally gotten shirts with his number on them this year (last year they didn’t even have these). This kid won 18 games for the Yankees last season, and made the All Star team! This is the kid that Cashman wouldn’t trade for Johan Santana. The guy who was essentially the best reliever in baseball in 2009. Before we had Jesus Montero at the top of the Yankee prospect list, Phil Hughes was the best pitching prospect on the planet (back in 2006).

The sole Phil Hughes jersey for sale in Yankee stadium was in the Steiner Sports shop–a signed, game used version retailing for $2,000. I tried to take a picture of it to include in this post, but was nearly tackled by a middle aged store attendant. Apparently taking pictures of a jersey with an iPhone is a capital offense.

Upon getting home, I went looking again–first to Yankees.com, in the store tab. No #65! A google search shows up a few dodgy Ebay auctions (priced as low as $170, and as high as $340), and then a number of autographed jerseys at $350.

I suppose this isn’t the worst outcome possible. Instead of my desired jersey, I instead get to keep the $220 or so it would have cost to purchase. But what the heck, Yankees? Can’t be bothered to stock your own stadium with jerseys of your own star players? Color me surprised and disappointed.

About Will@IIATMS

Will is a lifelong New Yorker and Yankees fan who splits his time between finance, music, and baseball. He was one of the early contributors to IIATMS, though life took him away for some time. He is very excited to be back.

5 thoughts on “What does 18 wins buy you these days?

  1. Hey man, not trying to make money off of this as I am in NO way affiliated, but there is an online retailer I found 2 years again called sportsk.com that has the authentic jerseys at discount price. You fill out the form and get whatever player number you want. Just fyi. I am the proud owner of an AJ Burnett [ugh!?!] jersey.

  2. The customizable jerseys on MLB.com shop or the Yankees.com shop tab let you choose any player on the 25 man roster. But totally agree that it's pretty crazy you can't get a Hughes jersey inside the Stadium or outside.

  3. I have a #22 Jimmy Key jersey that I purchased in 1994, with the Baseball 125th Anniversary patch on the sleeve. I still wear it. It's the only jersey I own. I consider it lucky because as soon as I bought it (well, after the strike), the Yankees started winning again. Most people think it's a Clemens jersey, which drives me nuts because I was never a big Clemens fan (not because I thought he was on steroids, but because to me, like Boggs, he'll always be a Red Sock). Anyway, no one ever guesses Jimmy Key, even though the guy was a total stud, and, along with O'Neil, one of the guys who really started the turn around.