Darren Rovell has reported that the Major League Baseball Players' Association will open a Clubhouse store in the Met's new CitiField. The rationale is that MLB fans DO want to support individual players through product purchases, instead of merely individual teams.
As I read the report, a few things came to mind, especially about how the NFL and NBA do not permit non-player jerseys to be sold. Well, duh! I have not actually calculated the area of the numbers on the front of an NFL Jersey, but I am sure they must account for at least 85% of the markings on the jersey. Who wants an $80 generic Indianapolis Colts Jersey? It's a white shirt with blue stripes on the sleeves:
In most cases with the NFL, it is the combination of the font style of the numbers, along with the colors, that demonstrate the team designation. The Ravens, Broncos, Steelers, among others have a unique font that associates with the team.
The NBA, while featuring a team name or logo on the front of jerseys, still includes a large number. The jersey looks out of balance without it. You KNOW something is missing.
MLB jerseys, by their design, are different. Most do not feature a player number on the front so blank back jerseys do not look as awkward as a blank Indianapolis Colts or Pittsburgh Steelers jersey. They would look like rejects from the factory.
So, go ahead MLBPA, and market the individual player. My Yankee home pinstripe jersey proudly has a "44" on the back. But for those fans that want to support the TEAM, please don't take away their option as a fan/consumer.