Brandon Nimmo wore a yellow uniform with a skirt and a blonde wig and he owned every minute of it.
The Mets outfielder posed for the camera with a huge smile with his fellow rookies all dressed in “A League of Their Own” costumes this September as part of the team’s annual rookie trip. He held the skirt in his hand and curtsied to play the part.
“For me it was a good team bonding experience. I was also very lucky to have a group of veterans that didn’t exploit us. They kept it fun, but it was also a team-bonding experience. I really enjoyed it,” said Nimmo, who was at Citi Field Tuesday to play an elf at the Mets’ annual holiday party for local Queens school children. “I think it just kind of brought the team closer together, have a little fun together. We got to serve the veterans, kind of the way things are, when you get in, got to put in your time. I enjoyed it.”
But Nimmo’s class of rookies — eight players in all — will be the last class of Mets rookies to wear their dresses proudly.
According to details of the new collective bargaining agreement published Monday night by the Associated Press, teams are prohibited from “requiring, coercing or encouraging” players from “dressing up as women or wearing costumes that may be offensive to individuals based on their race, sex, nationality, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or other characteristic.”
At the holiday party on Tuesday, Sandy Alderson said he understands and supports baseball’s new rule limiting rookie hazing.
Brandon Nimmo and other Mets rookies posed as characyers in “A League of Their Own” in 2013.
(@Mets via Twitter)
“It’s something I’m very concerned about as a potential issue,” the Mets GM said. “I’ve seen it in the military. For all the camaraderie it’s supposed to promote, it’s divisive and I think undercuts morale. So you’ve got to be very careful.”
“What’s my experience?” asked Alderson, a former Marine. “It’s not as a player. It’s as somebody who was in the military, somebody who was in a fraternity. We all experience that at different levels. Is it constructive? Is it useful? Is it juvenile?
“It’s probably juvenile. It’s probably not useful or constructive in too many ways.”
Josh Satin, whose rookie class of 2013 dressed as bridesmaids to Zack Wheeler’s bride, was one of several players who publicly said they enjoyed the hazing. That class was marched into an Octoberfest celebration in downtown Cincinnati where they got on stage and sang.
“It was one of the days I had the most fun in my career,” Satin said. “It was a day where I got to show the veterans my personality. They were there with us the whole time, we had fun. It was a day where a guy like LaTroy Hawkins, who had been in the league forever, and us rookies were able to have fun together.
David Wright was a scantily-clad rookie once, too.
“I can see the other side too, but for us, the Mets in 2013, it was great.”
According to the AP, the new policy states “a player’s actual or perceived willingness to participate in prohibited conduct does not excuse the activity from being considered a violation of the policy.”
And clearly not everyone enjoys it. Famously, in 1992, Jeff Kent refused to wear the Mets’ rookies pimp’s costume and demanded his regular clothes back. In the last four years, the only rookie who obviously had an issue with the outfits was in 2015. The Mets rookies were dressed in male superhero “tighty whities,” which technically could still be allowed, that year.
The player, who was gently coaxed into participating by veterans, had an issue with how skimpy the outfits were — not the gender — and being marched through the streets of Cincinnati nearly naked. He declined to talk about it on the record, afraid of being ridiculed by his teammates.
However, in that same group of 11 underwear-clad rookies was Noah Syndergaard, who embraced it. Syndergaard, who played Santa Claus at this year’s holiday party, had even brought his own hammer to go with the Thor-themed underwear he was assigned to wear.
“It was a fun time,” Syndergaard said. “It was fun to be a part of it.”
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News