Babe Ruth at first game in New York City’s new Yankee Stadium, 95 years ago yesterday: pic.twitter.com/9YI86GtcF1
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) April 19, 2018
Believe it or not, yes, it may have been those old-school sweaters that powered the classic 1923 New York Yankees to legendary status.
It’s one of the most famous sayings in all of sports. “Look good, play good.”
Loosely translated, it means deck yourself out in the absolute freshest gear and you will be a better ballplayer.
You see the shortstop rocking a new Wilson A2000? He’s never made an error in his life. Guy on first showing off some PF Flyers? Why don’t you save yourself a couple pitches and just let him cut across the diamond to third? I don’t even need to start on how much better players perform when they opt for high socks rather than low pants (i.e. Aaron Judge, Chad Green and Didi Gregorius)
By that logic, if the entire team looks good, the entire team plays good (and yes, “well” is the proper English word, but it doesn’t fit the phrase).
Now take a look at this picture above, courtesy of Michael Beschloss’ official Twitter account.
I mean if that isn’t the flyest looking group of ballplayers I’ve ever seen, I don’t know who is. Imagine being an opponent at the brand new Yankee Stadium in 1923 and right before the game starts you see this crew rolling out for warmups. I would honestly consider calling it quits for the day and try to catch an earlier bus to the next city.
And in getting back to the “Look good, play good” mentality, who do we see front and center rocking that timeless sweater? None other than Babe Ruth. The greatest baseball player who has ever lived.
You think it was just a coincidence that Ruth wore that sweater en route to a game during an MVP season, a season in which he slashed .393/.545/.764? I think not. I’d even venture to bet that every one of his iconic nicknames can somehow be traced back to that sweater.
Since the rest of the team is also wearing that incredible sweater it seems appropriate to evaluate the New York Yankee’s performance in 1923. Does a 98-54 record sound solid enough? How about winning the World Series? Seems to me like a pretty decent season. Can’t help but wonder if the sweater had anything to do with that.
Sure, causation and coincidence are different. But let me ask you this: If you ran out of the dugout wearing that sweater, where is your confidence level?
The answer is through the roof. That’s a good place for your mind to be before a ballgame and, as a pretty decent catcher once said, “Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.”
Look good, play good.