Rookie dress-up day is a longstanding tradition in baseball. But back in December 2016, MLB enacted a new rule to target hazing: players, rookie or otherwise, would no longer be forced to dress up like women for rookie dress-up day. It was part of the anti-bullying and anti-hazing policy that was in the most recent collective bargaining agreement.
Players definitely had issues with the ban when it was announced. So did fans. But it was announced nine months before the next rookie dress-up day would occur. Why don’t we take a look at some of the recent rookie dress-up day themes from around baseball and see how teams are doing with this new restriction?
Philadelphia Phillies rookies took a cue from Rhys Hoskins’ nickname “Rhys Lightning” and dressed up as the T-Birds from the musical “Grease.” They even put together a choreographed routine!
The Atlanta Braves donned Super Mario costumes, and someone even had a shoutout for Harambe.
The Cleveland Indians went the superhero route for their dress-up day.
The Tampa Bay Rays all dressed the same: in Rays branded cat onesies.
The Washington Nationals went all-out. They chose a “Game of Thrones” theme and everyone got in on the fun.
And some things you just can’t unsee.
The amount of creativity on display here is fantastic. Superheroes, onesies, dance routines, it’s all great. And despite the comments from players last year, it doesn’t seem like anyone had a problem finding a theme or costumes in line with MLB’s anti-hazing and anti-bullying policy.
In fact, the policy might have even improved dress-up day. Take the Nationals for example. For them, dress-up day wasn’t about hazing the rookies and making them dress up in a women’s costume. They picked a theme that everyone could do and turned it into a full team bonding experience.
The ban on women’s costumes didn’t negatively impact dress-up day in the slightest. Rookies (or entire teams) still dressed up, and the tradition continued. Plus, everyone still had fun, and when it comes to dressing up in costumes, that’s what really matters.
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