Major League Baseball unveiled a lineup of holiday and special event uniforms to be worn during the 2019 season. In addition to newly designed hats with pink accents for Mother's Day and blue for Father's Day, MLB revealed a new look for Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day.
Baseball plans to honor military members' and their families' service and sacrifice in support of the U.S. throughout the weekend of Armed Forces Day, typically celebrated on the third Saturday in May. Some designs include camouflage-designed caps and camo-themed socks. The hats will feature a five-starred emblem on the right side to represent the five branches of the U.S military. Also, jerseys will feature a patch with the stars-and-stripes silhouetted batter on the left chest.
This year, with camouflage being the theme of Armed Forces Day, baseball has changed their Memorial Day approach to strike a more somber tone to better fit the meaning of the holiday. For 2019, teams will wear a poppy on Memorial Day uniforms with the phrase "Lest We Forget." Caps will feature a stars-and-stripes patch. The poppy became a symbol of remembrance following the First World War, taking inspiration from the poem "In Flanders Fields" by Canadian Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, who would die in France of disease in January 1918.
The shift came after many felt the league was profiting off Memorial Day apparel, despite making donations to charities. And so this year Memorial Day apparel will not be at sold at retail.
“We wanted to make sure we were sticking to the true meaning (of Memorial Day),” MLB’s vice president of social responsibility Melanie LeGrande told Yahoo Sports. “It’s really about observing all those who were lost.”
"We don’t want to earn revenue on things that are supposed to honor those that we lost,” LeGrande told Yahoo Sports. “We want to continue to raise funds, but we want to do it in a way that’s respectful.”
And for the twelfth-straight Independence Day, teams will wear hats emblazoned with stars-and-stripes and a stars-and-stripes patch on their jerseys. A new feature for 2019 will have all 30 clubs wear one of their historic team logos with the side featuring their respective American or National League logos. Players will also have the option of wearing special socks with a Fourth of July fireworks design.