yankess fans = hoodlums

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September 15, 2010
Crime Blotter Has a Regular: Yankees Caps

Two men and a woman broke into a locker at a Manhattan gym in February and stole credit cards, the first in a series of similar thefts.

Three months later, in May, a young man tried to rob a Chase bank in the Bronx armed with only a note, which he slipped to a teller. She read it and stepped away, and he fled empty-handed. Weeks later, in June, a gunman robbed a Family Dollar store in Queens.

Gym-locker heists, bank robberies, daylight holdups — these New York City crimes have only one thing in common, and it is not the culprits.

It is the Yankees caps they wore.

A curious phenomenon has emerged at the intersection of fashion, sports and crime: dozens of men and women who have robbed, beaten, stabbed and shot at their fellow New Yorkers have done so while wearing Yankees caps or clothing.

One of the three suspects in the gym break-ins wore a blue Yankees cap. A security camera photographed the man who tried to rob the Bronx bank, and though his face was largely obscured, his Yankees hat was clearly visible. The Queens robbery suspect was last seen with a Yankees cap on his head.

In some ways, it is not surprising that Yankees attire is worn by both those who abide by the law and those who break it. The Yankees are one of the most famous franchises in sports, and their merchandise is widely available and hugely popular.

But Yankees caps and clothing have dominated the crime blotter for so long, in so many parts of the city and in so many types of offenses, that it defies an easy explanation. Criminologists, sports marketing analysts, consumer psychologists and Yankees fans have developed their own theories, with some attributing the trend to the popularity of the caps among gangsta rappers and others wondering whether criminals are identifying with the team’s aura of money, power and success.

Since 2000, more than 100 people who have been suspects or persons of interest in connection with serious crimes in New York City wore Yankees apparel at the time of the crimes or at the time of their arrest or arraignment. The tally is based on a review of New York Police Department news releases, surveillance video and images of robberies and other crimes, as well as police sketches and newspaper articles that described suspects’ clothing. No other sports team comes close.

The Mets, forever in the shadow of their Bronx rivals, are perhaps grateful to be losing this one: only about a dozen people in the same review were found to be wearing Mets gear.

“It’s a shame,” said Chuck Frantz, 57, the president of the 430-member Lehigh Valley Yankee Fan Club in Pennsylvania. “It makes us Yankees fans look like criminals, because of a few unfortunate people who probably don’t know the first thing about the Yankees.”

The Yankees organization declined to comment for this article.

Antisocial behavior has no dress code; people wear what they please when they please, whether they are going to see a movie or going to rob a bank. And in New York City, that often means Yankees attire, regardless of the hour or the season.

In April 2008, on the day after the Boston Red Sox defeated the Yankees in the Bronx, a man in a Yankees cap robbed a bank about a mile from Yankee Stadium. The woman who robbed a Manhattan bank on July 7 was diplomatic in her clothing choices: she wore an orange Mets cap and a gray Yankees T-shirt.

Three gunmen burst into an apartment in Washington Heights on July 23, bound the hands and feet of the tenants and left with cash. A surveillance video released by the police and broadcast on television showed one of the suspects in a Yankees cap — one of the most iconic brands in sports represented, however briefly, by someone accused of helping tie up a 9-year-old girl.

In 2007, after activists protested the sale of Yankees caps that bore the colors and symbols associated with three gangs, Major League Baseball’s official cap manufacturer pulled the headwear, and the Yankees said in a statement that they were unaware of the caps’ symbolism.

Yankees caps have even played a central role in a few crimes. One day in 2003, a fight over a missing Yankees cap broke out between two brothers in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. One brother, an ex-convict, ended up stabbing and killing the other.

One criminologist said the trend might be a result of what could be called the Jay-Z effect.

The rapper Jay-Z has worn a Yankees cap for years — on his album covers and in his videos — and has helped turn the cap into a ubiquitous fashion accessory for urban youths (“I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can,” he boasts in one song).

Criminals might be wearing Yankees merchandise not because they are fans of the team, but because they are fans of the cocked-hat look popularized by Jay-Z and other rappers, said the criminologist, Frankie Y. Bailey, an associate professor at the University at Albany, who is writing a book about the role of clothing and style in criminal cases.

“He wears it and makes it look cool,” Ms. Bailey said of Jay-Z and the cap. “It’s almost like the Yankees have acquired a kind of street rep, a coolness.”

It is but one of several theories. Sports marketing analysts say it is a matter of numbers: the Yankees sell more merchandise than any other baseball team. As of August, they hold a 25.13 percent market share of nationwide sales of merchandise licensed by Major League Baseball, with the Red Sox second at 7.96 percent and the Mets seventh at 5.32 percent, according to SportsOneSource, a firm that tracks the sporting goods industry.

For criminals outside New York, the team’s caps and clothing are nearly as popular.

The man who robbed a Chase branch in a Chicago suburb in May wore a Yankees cap. In July, a young man in a Yankees cap assaulted an 81-year-old woman in her home, about 2,800 miles from Yankee Stadium, in Seattle.

“Why people pick the Yankees over the Mariners, I don’t know,” said Detective Mark Jamieson, a Seattle police spokesman. “It just happened to be an article of clothing he was wearing on that particular day.”

And Yankees caps hold a distinguished place in the annals of crime: the man who robbed more banks than anyone else in American history wore one. Edwin Chambers Dodson, known as the Yankee Bandit because he wore a Yankees cap and sunglasses during most of his holdups, robbed 72 banks in Southern California in the early 1980s and the late 1990s.

Mr. Dodson, who died in 2003, was a fan of the team. “We did everything we could to get this guy,” said William J. Rehder, 69, a retired special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation who was the longtime coordinator of bank robbery investigations in the Los Angeles area.

Mr. Rehder not only named the Yankee Bandit, but helped put him behind bars twice. “I couldn’t figure out why he was so lucky,” he said. “I didn’t attribute anything to the cap, but I’m sure he did.”

Mr. Rehder, now a security consultant in Los Angeles, is a Dodgers fan. Nevertheless, he keeps an old, worn Yankees cap on a shelf in his office at home. Mr. Rehder never wears it. It belonged to the Yankee Bandit.

"ill samosa, hoos" "gibreel, big wrink" (gr8080), Friday, 17 September 2010 04:08 (eleven years ago) link


J0rdan S., Friday, 17 September 2010 04:16 (eleven years ago) link

yankess fans = the worst.

Fartbritz Sootzveti (Steve Shasta), Friday, 17 September 2010 04:27 (eleven years ago) link

(except for sanskrit and JtM)

Fartbritz Sootzveti (Steve Shasta), Friday, 17 September 2010 04:27 (eleven years ago) link


('_') (omar little), Friday, 17 September 2010 04:30 (eleven years ago) link


('_') (omar little), Friday, 17 September 2010 04:32 (eleven years ago) link

jtm is not a yankee fan

his friend adam schefter is tho : /

mookieproof, Friday, 17 September 2010 04:34 (eleven years ago) link

i'm confusing JtM with jay borchard.

Fartbritz Sootzveti (Steve Shasta), Friday, 17 September 2010 04:36 (eleven years ago) link


Attention White People: My baseball cap is a statement of fashion, not affiliation

I swear, yo....

If I have to tell ONE mo' old white nigga that I'm not a Yankees fan, I'mma lose it.

This was inspired by my encounter at the airport in Cleveland the other day when, after peeping my Yanks fitted, the gate attendant felt the need to joke: "Hey, man...only Cleveland Indian hats are allowed on this plane!" I played it off and gave him that good Water Cooler Office Chuckle that you give white folks when they be corny as hell, but you just wanna keep the peace and get on with your day. No harm no foul.

Fast forward two days later and me and the boys are stuck at the airport in PORTLAND, MAINE fam......and the kid was NOT in the mood for jokes. The broad workin the security gate was lookin at me and Flash up and down in that 'silently judging you' sort of way. She asked if we were from New York cause we were wearing Yankees caps, and I just couldn't take it no mo. Something in me just snapped. I had no choice but to hit that ho with the GillieFace

I'm addressing this blog specifically to white people cause I ain't never had no Black person run up on me all geeked and shit like, "Yoooo son...you think *insert whatever team hat I'm wearing* gonna go all the way this year??!??!"

White folks, please understand that Black people don't rock team paraphenalia because of the teams. We rock it because of the colors....colors......colors, colors...

I often sport the Yankees fitted in my photos and such because I like clean and simple colors, and there is very little that doesn't match up with a classic navy and white cap. Sometimes I'll switch it up and rock the Detroit joint, or if I wanna add a little color I'll thow on the Braves joint cause the contrast of that red brim be lookin provocative against the chocolate skin of a nigga like myself.

Don't get me wrong, I got mad love for my man Derek Jeter cause him and his sister Charlee are BIG supporters of underground hip-hop but in my 29 years, I've yet to watch a Yankees game, or any baseball game in full. I think my hatred of sports goes back to my childhood when my grandpops (God rest his soul), usta have our TV in the den on straight SMASH, yo. I'm taumbot, if it wasn't Sanford and Son, "the game," or Andy Griffith, you wasn't gettin no play in his ride (c) Stacy from Menace. His methods of control were downright Debosian. So, to this very day, whenever I see any type of sports, I am reminded of all them fuckin episodes of Smurfs I missed cause my Grandaddy was housin the TV. Not a good memory at all...

So yeah.....white folks, my baseball cap is a fashion statement not a pledge of allegiance. Ain't no Black people rockin a Colorado Rockies cap cause they a fan of the 2nd baseman; they just trynna match that shit up with they Dunks. Nothin more, nothin less.

If you identify as a white person, please print out this blog and pass it on to your fellow brethren. I'm tired of y'all axein me about this silly shit.


Andy K, Friday, 17 September 2010 10:17 (eleven years ago) link

jtm is not a yankee fan


kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Friday, 17 September 2010 11:52 (eleven years ago) link

Black people be hatin Clint Barmes?

Mark C, Friday, 17 September 2010 13:03 (eleven years ago) link

It is true that Derek Jeter has always been a staunch patron of emerging underground hip hop artists.

sanskrit, Friday, 17 September 2010 14:42 (eleven years ago) link

whut do these things mean? black ppl fuk w/ the gilly sketch on snl?

Something in me just snapped. I had no choice but to hit that ho with the GillieFace

His methods of control were downright Debosian.

johnny crunch, Friday, 17 September 2010 14:46 (eleven years ago) link

yankess fans = the worst.

― Fartbritz Sootzveti (Steve Shasta), Friday, September 17, 2010 12:27 AM (10 hours ago) Bookmark

we've gone through this before, do keep up

worst fans in order of egregiousness:

phillies fans
cubs fans
yankees '96 bandwagon fans
red sox fans
yankees fans

sanskrit, Friday, 17 September 2010 14:49 (eleven years ago) link

I do have a grudging respect for NYY fans who endured the Mike Blowers era

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Friday, 17 September 2010 15:38 (eleven years ago) link

i feel like there's at least as much of a divide between pre/post-2003 redsox fans as there is with pre/post 1996 yankees

ciderpress, Friday, 17 September 2010 15:42 (eleven years ago) link

Something in me just snapped. I had no choice but to hit that ho with the GillieFace


His methods of control were downright Debosian.



Andy K, Friday, 17 September 2010 15:42 (eleven years ago) link

not that us pre-2003 redsox fans are any less insufferable tbh

ciderpress, Friday, 17 September 2010 15:48 (eleven years ago) link

Mets hats disproportionately worn in horribly botched robberies

Ground Zero Mostel (Hurting 2), Friday, 17 September 2010 18:31 (eleven years ago) link

^beat me to it

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 17:08 (eleven years ago) link

three months pass...

actual lol @ 2nd post

nakh get on my lvl (roxymuzak), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 04:31 (eleven years ago) link

five months pass...

haha i was going to bump this last week but didn't know what thread to search for

hi grady

sanskrit, Thursday, 9 June 2011 21:46 (eleven years ago) link

hi sanskrit, miss u bud.

i'd like to thank comedy podcast Uhh Yeah Dude for alerting me to this important news story.

gr8080, Thursday, 9 June 2011 22:13 (eleven years ago) link

errr www.uhhyeahdude.com

gr8080, Thursday, 9 June 2011 22:13 (eleven years ago) link

uyd has been on fire lately

strongly recommend. unless you're a bitch (mayor jingleberries), Thursday, 9 June 2011 22:52 (eleven years ago) link

four months pass...


sanskrit, Friday, 21 October 2011 13:38 (ten years ago) link

apparently the NY Post banners that kid as "YANKEE FAN KILLS QADDAFI"

Bet he doesn't know who Betances is.

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Friday, 21 October 2011 13:48 (ten years ago) link


am0n, Saturday, 22 October 2011 06:56 (ten years ago) link

reggiecide jackson

Lana Cel-Ray (buzza), Saturday, 22 October 2011 07:00 (ten years ago) link

thread delivers.

⚓ (gr8080), Saturday, 22 October 2011 13:16 (ten years ago) link

gillieface and

Don't get me wrong, I got mad love for my man Derek Jeter cause him and his sister Charlee are BIG supporters of underground hip-hop
always have me rolling

sanskrit, Monday, 24 October 2011 13:00 (ten years ago) link

two years pass...


action bronson pinchot (sanskrit), Wednesday, 15 January 2014 01:40 (eight years ago) link

three years pass...


mookieproof, Thursday, 19 October 2017 20:14 (four years ago) link

seven months pass...

Yankees Fans Pack Stadium For Asshole Heritage Night https://t.co/oo87qrIY82 pic.twitter.com/lrndOUqjlJ

— Onion Sports Network (@OnionSports) May 25, 2018

mookieproof, Friday, 25 May 2018 23:02 (four years ago) link

Fuck the Onion

calstars, Friday, 25 May 2018 23:13 (four years ago) link

Wah, our local teams suck

calstars, Friday, 25 May 2018 23:14 (four years ago) link

jesus says to love our haters

k3vin k., Friday, 25 May 2018 23:45 (four years ago) link

three years pass...

NEW YORK -- — Yankees fans in the right-field bleachers pelted Cleveland outfielders with bottles, cans and debris in a chaotic scene moments after Isiah Kiner-Falefa and pinch-hitter Gleyber Torres got RBI hits with two outs in the ninth inning to lift New York over the Guardians 6-5 Saturday.

Rather than a celebration, Aaron Judge and other Yankees players rushed toward the wall in right-center field, trying to calm the crowd as security personnel joined the effort.

mookieproof, Saturday, 23 April 2022 21:41 (two months ago) link

A great night out at the ballpark

Karl Malone, Saturday, 23 April 2022 22:06 (two months ago) link

The closer the bleachers get to 1982 the better

calstars, Saturday, 23 April 2022 22:27 (two months ago) link

yankees in the 80s is the kind of yankees i like: shitty

mookieproof, Sunday, 24 April 2022 01:19 (two months ago) link

Steinbreners are the Jerry Jones of baseball.

we only steal from the greatest books (PBKR), Sunday, 24 April 2022 01:32 (two months ago) link


calstars, Sunday, 24 April 2022 01:32 (two months ago) link

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