Money Can’t Buy Taste

Be sure to get the optional death and dismemberment plan.

Late last year, I bemoaned the relentless encroachment of advertising into every single facet of our lives. At the time, the ads in question were on the uniforms of the Boston Red Sox. Now, the arch-rival Yankees have made their own sacrifice at the altar of capitalism. It, too, is a vile sight:

New York Yankee uniforms with an ugly patch advertising an insurance company on the sleeve

🙊 Barvd. I do hope they shot these photos in the bathroom, where there were at least convenient places in which the photographer could get sick.

To my ear, “Starr Insurance” sounds like the small-town shop that might have employed Ned Ryerson, but they’re apparently a massive multi-national firm.1 Now, they’re also the “Signature Partner” of the New York Yankees, with an ugly sleeve patch to prove it. Baseball fans likely know that the Yankees are unique among Major League teams in never putting player names on their jerseys. Later this month, however, there will be one name visible: that of Cornelius Vander Starr.

For nearly half a century, the Yankees have famously had a written “personal appearance policy”. They also seem to have an unwritten “no fun” policy. Here’s a quick recap of what the Yankees do and do not allow:

  • ❌: Beards

  • ❌: Long hair

  • ❌: Alternate “City Connect” jerseys

  • ✅: Advertisements plastered right on the uniform

The team is reportedly receiving $25 million a year from this sponsorship, which is certainly a nice chunk of change. Still, for a franchise valued at over $7 billion (with a “B”), it feels like a decidedly low-rent move.


  1. While writing this post, I came across a theory about “Groundhog Day” that is just great. ↩︎