Jersey Girls: MLB's unseen sewing heroes
This piece published as part of our All-Star coverage. I found out that Major League Baseball flies in seamstresses to work on jerseys throuout the weekend, and worked with MLB to gain permission, producing a video and writing a story.
As soon as Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, No. 22, was named to replace another pitcher on the All-Star team on Sunday, the A-team moved into action.
Dawn Jayne started fishing for 2s, and various sizes of Ks, Es, Rs, Ss, Hs, As, and Ws. The Los Angeles ace's name was pulled up from a special database, revealing Kershaw's size – which by the way is a 50 – but also the sizes of the jerseys his family members will need.
So, just after a jersey was made for Kershaw himself, a tiny jersey was made with tiny letters and numbers. (His daughter, Cali, is only six months old.)
There is more to baseball than baseball.
A persistent click, click, whirl, swoosh, has been emanating for days from a room deep within the bowels of Great American Ball Park, not too far from the Reds Clubhouse.
Women from Majestic Athletic in Easton, Pennsylvania, are in place, making last-minute customizations to All-Star and Home Run Derby jerseys.
They're far-removed from the rain, the traffic and Downtown crowds as the excitement of the actual games surrounds the city. "I did take a walk yesterday, I think," said Donna Erney, manager of team services at Majestic.
Apparently, when you spend most of your waking hours in a windowless room, the days sort of get jumbled.
But the show would not go on without them.
"In essence, we bring in our All-Star team," said Michael Johnson, vice president of marketing for Majestic's licensed sportswear.
The player roster, he explained, is always changing as players get injured, or pitchers are no longer available after pitching too close to the game. So being on site is the best way to be nimble.
"The team has to be on top of their toes to be able to move quickly to get every name, every number, every patch right, on the spot."
Because these jerseys may one day be in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, or folded neatly in baby books, where memories live.