Petty In Pink

[Author's note: I wrote this in August of 2005 on the suggestion of a good friend. It was meant to be a "practice column," but I like the way it turned out. With another baseball season upon us, I thought it would be a fine time to put it out there. Enjoy!]

Go anywhere in this city and you’ll see Cubs and Sox fans out and about, each side wearing their allegiance with pride. Black and white for the south side. Blue and red for the north. Pink t-shirts all around.


No one’s really sure how, but at some point it became fashionable for team colors to be left off of team apparel. It says Cubs, it must be a Cubs shirt, right? I don’t think so.

Teams are not just names on the front of jerseys. Teams are made of players and heroes, of stars and supporting acts and the stadiums they all call home. But you can’t take the front gates or the concourse or the parking lots with you. All you have is good memories and your favorite squad’s shirt on your back.

NYY. TC. These are just symbols until you paint them in the right home team shades, and then you take note of someone getting behind the Yankees or the Twins. A pink baseball shirt is the equivalent of a grade-schooler writing his favorite team’s name on a notebook; the sentiment is pure, even if the execution isn’t perfect.

It would be equal parts ignorant and stupid to say people can’t support their team any way they choose; the whole point of sports is that they belong to all of us. But people should be careful not to cheapen what that team means to the rest of us.

Even if they do look good doing it.