The Yankees were named the 2012 MLB “Club Retailer of the Year” by Major League Baseball Properties for the Club’s commitment to driving merchandise sales. The Yankees and Legends Hospitality, led by Legends general manager of retail Michael Loparo, earned the honor based on significant improvements to the Yankee Stadium clubhouse store as well as consistent product innovation and reinvention.
Since its inception in 2005, the MLB “Club Retailer of the Year” Award has been awarded based on a combination of sales, vendor/customer feedback and creative marketing and merchandising efforts. In 2012, the Yankees focused on advancing the retail experience of their fans and customer base. A New Era Tajima embroidery machine was added to the Great Hall at the Stadium to offer fans a personalized experience, resulting in increased interest in headwear. The team store was completely redesigned, including a restructuring of the floor plan to create a streamlined approach for the customer. The Yankees also worked with MLB to place Astroturf in the store to feature the Authentic Collection On-field Areas.
The Yankees and Legends Hospitality worked with MLB’s design services department to create new graphics for three key locations to add dimension and consistent branding. Other areas of innovation and development were the addition of the MLB and Victoria’s Secret PINK co-branded line and a Yankees Knievel Motorcycle in front of the store.
“The demand among fans for Yankees merchandise and other licensed products is always strong given the iconic nature of the team and their brand, but the Yankees deserve special praise for not resting on their laurels and continuing to innovate and provide creative new ways for fans to express their team pride,” MLB senior vice president for licensing Howard Smith said. “The clubhouse store at Yankee Stadium has evolved considerably just in the four years since the new ballpark opened. Mike Loparo and the Yankees are especially deserving of this honor.”
“This honor is a great compliment to the talented people we have working at Legends Hospitality,” Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost said. “The Yankees and Legends Hospitality have always tried to provide fans with products that reflect a variety of tastes while remaining respectful of Yankees tradition. We appreciate the recognition and look forward to building on our success by continuing to provide the best possible products and experience at Yankee Stadium.”
“We are extremely honored to be recognized by Major League Baseball,” Legends Hospitality president Dan Smith said. “Mike Loparo and his team work with great passion to develop new and original retail offerings that complement the culture and enthusiasm of the Yankees and their fan base. We are fortunate to be able to work closely with the Yankees in developing these innovations and share their unmatched devotion to delivering an unsurpassed customer service experience for their fans each and every time they come to the ballpark.”
Previous recipients of the award have been the Mariners in 2005, Mets in 2006, Phillies in 2007, Brewers in 2008, Reds in 2010 and Tigers in 2011.
The Yankees in conjunction with the Cloudbreak Group will donate 20 percent of all sales at http://www.nyyankeesfragrance.com during November and December to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. A minimum guarantee of $10,000 will be offered by the Cloudbreak Group, in addition to the dedicated portion made from all sales on the website during the aforementioned months.
“We have had an overwhelming response since the launch of the New York Yankees fragrance collection and are pleased that our loyal fans in the Tri-State area have embraced these products,” Cloudbreak Group chief executive officer Thomas Butkiewicz said. “As a member of the Yankees family, we recognize the needs of these individuals during this difficult time and are proud to help support them.”
Michael J. Tusiani, Yankees senior vice president of corporate sales and sponsorships, said, “We are very thankful to the Cloudbreak Group and proud of our partner for supporting the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts through its commitment to the American Red Cross.”
The motion is part of an organization-wide commitment in helping to rebuild the lives of those who have suffered great losses in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The Yankees have donated $500,000 to the American Red Cross in support of relief efforts associated with the storm.
In addition to helping the Red Cross, Yankee Stadium’s Gate 2 entrance was recently converted into a collection hub in which non-perishable food and household items were donated by the public for those affected. The Yankees have continued to deliver and distribute these items to those in need through various other local charities.
“New York Yankees” and “New York Yankees for Her” both helped usher in the 2012 baseball season by officially launching in April. Originally available exclusively at Yankee Stadium and select department stores, the fragrances have expanded to department stores in multiple international markets. Fans can purchase these and other items and help support the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts by visiting http://www.nyyankeesfragrance.com.
Lee MacPhail, whose ties to the Yankees go back more than 60 years, died Thursday night of natural causes at his home in Delray Beach, Fla., two weeks after his 95th birthday. MacPhail had been the oldest living member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, a distinction that belongs now to former Red Sox second baseman Bobby Doerr, 94.
Born Oct. 25, 1917 in Nashville, Tenn., Lee MacPhail was the son of another Hall of Fame executive, Larry MacPhail. They are the only father-son combination in Cooperstown. Lee followed in his father’s footsteps by serving as a front office executive in baseball for 45 years.
“Baseball history has lost a great figure in Lee MacPhail, whose significant impact on the game spanned five decades,” Hall of Fame board chairman Jane Forbes Clark said. “As a Hall of Fame executive, Lee developed one of the game’s strongest farm systems for the New York Yankees before serving as American League president for 10 years. He will always be remembered in Cooperstown as a man of exemplary kindness and a man who always looked after the best interests of the game.”
MacPhail began his career with the Yankees in 1949. He served as farm director and player personnel director for 10 years and built a system that resulted in the team winning nine AL pennants and seven World Series championships during his tenure.
“Lee MacPhail was a good man, and I had a great relationship with him for many, many years,” Hall of Fame pitcher Whitey Ford said. “I was pleased to see him elected to the Hall of Fame because he was so talented at building winners. As farm director, he was integral in maintaining the Yankees’ championship run.”
MacPhail left the Yankees in 1959 to become general manager of the Orioles. In Baltimore, he laid the groundwork for the 1966 World Series championship squad that began a decade-long stretch of success for that franchise.
In 1965, MacPhail became the chief administrative assistant to newly-elected commissioner William Eckert. After being named Executive of the Year in 1966 by The Sporting News, MacPhail returned to the Yankees as general manager and served in that capacity from 1967 to 1973 before being elected president of the AL.
From 1974 to 1983, MacPhail oversaw expansion in Toronto and Seattle, helped develop the designated hitter rule and ruled on George Brett’s famous pine tar home run in 1983. MacPhail was not popular with Yankees fans for that decision which upheld Brett’s home run. Principal owner George Steinbrenner felt strongly that Brett had broken baseball’s rule for how much pine tar could be used on a bat, but MacPhail ruled that the spirit of the rule was violated by negating the home run. The incident still causes debates today nearly 30 years later.
MacPhail resigned after the 1983 season but continued his work in baseball as the president of Major League Baseball’s Player Relations Committee. He was elected to the Hall of Fame’s board of directors in 1974, making him the longest-tenured member of the current board, and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1998 by the Veterans Committee.
“Lee was one of the nicest, most considerate general managers I ever dealt with,” Hall of Fame executive Pat Gillick said. “And as president of the American League, he was one of the most professional individuals with whom I have ever worked.”
No services are planned at this time. A memorial will be held at a date to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, the MacPhail family has asked that donations in his memory be made to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Here is the reading on Lee MacPhail’s Hall of Fame plaque:
Leland Stanford MacPhail Jr.
One of the leading executives in baseball history, his name is synonymous with integrity and sportsmanship. As farm director and player personnel director of the Yankees (1949-58), helped build a system which yielded seven world championships. As Orioles general manager (1959-65), helped lay the groundwork for one of the game’s most consistently successful franchises; and he later rejoined the Yankees in the same capacity. Served admirably as American League president (1974-83) before concluding his 45-year career as president of the Player Relations Committee. He and his father Larry form the first father son tandem in the Hall of Fame.
The Yankees have begun collecting donated items from the public at Yankee Stadium for those affected by Hurricane Sandy. As items are received, the Yankees will immediately deliver and distribute them on an ongoing basis.
Individuals are encouraged to bring the non-perishable food and household items listed below to Yankee Stadium’s Gate 2 entrance at any time through the end of the week. Gate 2, located at 164th Street and Jerome Avenue, will be staffed 24-hours-a-day to receive donations.
“Even though a week has passed, the tragedy of the hurricane endures for many residents of the metropolitan area,” Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost said. “In addition to the many loved ones who were lost, people have been left without homes, food and the basic necessities. We hope our efforts support and show solidarity with those who are bravely dealing with heartbreaking circumstances.”
Recommended items for donation include:
• baby bottles and formula (powdered or liquid)
• baby clothes and blankets
• baby food (jarred or canned)
• baby powder
• diapers and wipes
• dish soap
• disinfectant wipes and bleach
• heavy duty trash bags
• latex gloves
• laundry detergent
• mops, brooms and shovels
• spray-bottled cleaners
• work gloves
CLOTHING AND HOUSEHOLD
• blankets and pillows
• coats, sweaters and other warm winter clothing for all ages
• hats, scarves and gloves for all ages
• raincoats and rain ponchos
• work boots and rubberized boots
FOOD (NON-PERISHABLE ONLY)
• bottled water
• boxed/non-refrigerated milk
• canned fruits
• canned tuna fish
• granola bars and energy bars
• instant coffee and tea bags
• instant soups
• packaged snacks or cookies
• peanut butter and jelly
• batteries – especially “D”
• disposable cameras
• face/dust masks
• gas containers (only government-approved “red” containers)
• hand and foot warmers
• masking tape and marking pens
• power strips and extension cords
• feminine hygiene products
• hand sanitizers
• razors and shaving cream
• shampoo and conditioner
• soaps (bar or liquid)
• toothpaste, toothbrushes and mouthwash
• adhesive/non-adhesive bandages, antibacterial ointments, gauze and tape
• acetaminophen, aspirin and ibuprofen
• rubbing alcohol and peroxide
• can openers (manual only)
• disposable dinnerware (cups, plates, and plastic utensils)
• napkins and paper towels
• toilet paper
• dry dog or cat food (no cans)
The Yankees will sponsor a New York Blood Center donor drive to help replenish supplies after Hurricane Sandy from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at Gotham Hall, located at 1356 Broadway at 36th Street in Manhattan.
The first 300 donors will receive vouchers for a pair of tickets to a 2013 Yankees game.
“We thank the New York Yankees and Gotham Hall for helping us replenish our community blood supply after Hurricane Sandy,” New York Blood Center vice president Rob Purvis said. “We’re opening up new locations and drives all the time – including Friday’s drive at Gotham Hall – and the latest information is at nybloodcenter.org and 1-800-933-BLOOD.”
Blood donors will receive free mini-medical exams on site including information about their temperature, blood pressure and hematocrit level. Eligible donors include those people at least age 16 (with parental permission), who weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, are in good health and meet all Food & Drug Administration and NY State Department of Health donor criteria. People over age 75 may donate with a doctor’s note.
The Yankees have also donated $500,000 to the American Red Cross to support the relief efforts in the Tri-State area associated with Hurricane Sandy.
“The damage and destruction to the Tri-State area caused by Hurricane Sandy is daunting, but we have seen the great resiliency of this region before,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said. “As a neighbor and community member, the Yankees embrace our role of stepping forward and assisting the American Red Cross, which comes to the aid of so many people through their tireless efforts.”