Ties in Baseball (and Beyond)

By Erik M. Jensen

This article was published in the Fall 2018 Baseball Research Journal.

It’s often said that there are no ties in baseball. If a game is deadlocked after nine innings,1 you keep playing until someone wins.2 That’s the general rule, to be sure, but tie games have occurred in the past, for all sorts of special reasons.3 And the neck tie, the real subject of this essay (yes, the title is a bait and switch), has played a role in the lives of some prominent baseball guys (and others as well).

Of course, as Donald Kagan has noted, we’re far removed from the time in which men routinely wore neckties for leisure activities, like going to the ballpark:

Those who are too young to remember should look at the movies and photographs of games at Yankee Stadium in [Joe] DiMaggio’s day. The men wore white shirts and ties under coats and hats, the proper attire in public, even at a ball game. People were . . . not insulted by the notion that another way of life might be better than their own.4

Indeed, in the old days a few ballplayers wouldn’t have been caught alive, off the diamond, without a tie.5 The most prominent example was DiMaggio himself. Until the end of his life (and probably beyond), Joltin’ Joe was stylishly dressed. Except when he was in a baseball uniform,6 he was seldom without a suit in public.7

Sad to say, that aspect of Joe DiMaggio has left and gone away, hey hey hey.8 (And a little wo wo wo and koo-koo-ca-choo, too.) We’re now in a world of “faded elegance,” to borrow a phrase of Arthur Schlesinger Jr.,’s.9 In Dinner with DiMaggio,10 Dr. Rock Positano described taking DiMaggio in the 1990s, long after his retirement from baseball, to the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan, where Woody Allen would be playing in the band: “Eying the crowd, Joe had just started muttering to me, ‘I don’t know about this. This isn’t the Carlyle that I know. Nobody in that crowd is wearing a jacket and tie. What are you getting me into, Doc?’”11

 

Joe DiMaggio was the picture of elegance and stylishly dressed. Except when he was in a baseball uniform, he was seldom without a suit in public. (NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME LIBRARY)

 

When it came to dress, DiMaggio’s unfaded elegance resembled Charles de Gaulle’s, Richard Nixon’s, and J. Robert Oppenheimer’s. Those three weren’t ballplayers, of course, although Nixon wanted to be commissioner of baseball, and each, in his own way, was always trying to hit a Ballantine Blast. De Gaulle was at heart a military man; DiMaggio and Oppenheimer were bombers, one of the Bronx persuasion, the other atomic; and Nixon bombed a few times too—in Cambodia, for example.

Let’s take them one by one:

De Gaulle

Author and screenwriter Frederic Raphael wrote that

In captivity [in World War I prison camps], lordly majesty led [de Gaulle] never to use the common showers, and it is reported that no one saw him naked. Philippe (later Admiral) de Gaulle says in his hagiographical memoir of his father that, even at home, the general never came out of his bedroom until fully dressed, complete with tie.12

Just so.

Nixon

Historian and Kennedy family gopher Arthur Schlesinger Jr., was, for a short time, a neighbor of the Nixons—an arrangement probably distasteful to both families. In his journal, Schlesinger described the Nixons “relaxing” in 1980 in what passes as a backyard in Manhattan:

Sprawled on a deck chair, wearing jacket and tie, was Richard Nixon. Seated near him, wearing an afternoon dress and high-heeled shoes, was one of his daughters. . . . The two Nixons looked as if they were dressed for a garden party: even in his own house, his own garden.13

Nixon wouldn’t take off his coat when working alone in the Oval Office, or so he said.14 (The Economist claimed in 2008 that Nixon “wore a necktie when he was in his dressing gown.”15) In 1990, pundit Anna Quindlen spoke for Nixon detractors everywhere: “The image of him walking on the beach in a suit and lace-up shoes became a metaphor for everything we hated. He was the ultimate adult at a time when adult had become the greatest pejorative.”16 Yeah, what could be worse than being the “ultimate adult”?

Nixon’s adult behavior brings to mind Robert Caro, biographer of Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson. As reported in the New York Times, Caro “dresses every day in a jacket and tie, and reports to a 22nd-floor office in a nondescript building near Columbus Circle. . . . His office looks as if it belongs to the kind of C.P.A. who still uses ledgers and a hand-cranked adding machine.”17 Caro sees no clients there; he has none. Nor does he share the office with professional colleagues. Nixon’s White House attire may have been intended to show reverence for his surroundings, but Caro’s clothing must have a different justification. Impeccably dressed, reflecting the importance of his work, Caro engages, Bob Cratchit-like, in “a solitary, Dickensian occupation with long hours and few holidays.”18 It’s a grown-up thing.

Oppenheimer

With or without a clearance, Oppenheimer wanted the security of proper dress. His biographers wrote that, at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, which Oppenheimer headed for years, he relished the role history had assigned him and he tried hard to play the part well. While most of the institute’s permanent scholars walked around in sport jackets—Einstein favored a crumpled sweater19—Oppenheimer often wore expensive English wool suits hand-tailored for him at Langrocks, the local tailor for Princeton’s upper crust.20

And nothing, I’m told, can be crustier than Princeton.

De Gaulle, Nixon, and Oppenheimer (Caro too) were ultimate adults, and in many respects DiMaggio wasn’t. He played the field both at and away from the ballpark, and he would have been near the top in a U.S. News ranking on that score.21 Nor was DiMaggio a nice man, except with kids and best friends. Otherwise, he was often petty and rude.

But DiMaggio knew the importance of appearances, and coats and ties connote discipline and seriousness. (Joe often said he played hard regardless of a particular game’s importance: “There is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first time. I owe him my best.”22) Yes, hygienic concerns may justify not wearing ties in certain circumstances. For example, the authors of Super Freakonomics present the germ of an idea to control hospital-based infections: “forbidding doctors to wear neckties because, as the U.K. Department of Health has noted, they ‘are rarely laundered,’ ‘perform no beneficial function in patient care,’23 and ‘have been shown to be colonized by pathogens.’”24 Yuk. But in most settings neckwear presents no health problems, and ties can be deloused. (I’ll bet Joe’s ties visited the dry cleaner regularly.)

 

Hall of Fame executive Bill Veeck was infamous for his dislike of formality. (NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME LIBRARY)

 

DiMaggio’s style was never the norm for ballplayers and baseball executives, of course; many avoided ties at all times if they could get away with it. Indeed, two baseball greats who were as compulsive in their own ways as DiMaggio was in his were famous for disdaining neckwear, with near religious conviction: Ted Williams, who wanted to be remembered as the greatest hitter who ever lived,25 and Bill Veeck (as in wreck), Hall of Fame owner and promoter extraordinaire. (Think Eddie Gaedel, with the world’s smallest strike zone.)

Williams was the consummate fisherman. As Ben Bradlee explained, “He loved the beauty and authenticity of the outdoor life. ‘No stuffy characters. No formal dinners. No tight ties around your neck.’”26 And Veeck was a born contrarian, or at least he wanted that image.27 Paul Dickson wrote that Veeck “turned being tieless into an article of faith in a day when male working-class patrons showed up to watch the game in neckties, hats, and lace-up shoes.”28 For Williams and Veeck, there should have been no ties in baseball or anywhere else.

Williams admired President George H. W. Bush. Both had been fighter pilots, and Bush had played baseball at Yale.29 In 1991, Bush wanted to award the Medal of Freedom to the once Splendid Splinter (still splendid, although no longer a splinter), but Ted declined. He didn’t want to have to don a tuxedo for the ceremony. White House Chief of Staff John Sununu assured Ted that only a tie would be required,30 but Ted still balked. Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent then intervened, brokering a deal in which Ted could attend tieless. On the morning of the ceremony, Ted, wearing gray slacks and a powder-blue shirt, continued to insist that “I’m not wearing a tie.”31 But lawyer John Dowd, who would be accompanying Ted to the ceremony, laid down the law:

“This is your commander in chief. I’m not going over there with you if you’re gonna look like Joe Shit the Rag man.” Then [Ted] weakened a little and said, “I don’t even know how to tie the fuckin’ thing.” So I tied it. He’s mumbling out of the side of his mouth, “This is the last time.” . . .

In the receiving line to meet the president, [I preceded Joe]. I meet the president. Bush says, “I don’t recognize this fellow with the tie on.” Ted had steam coming out his ears.32

Ted lost his head.33

The contrasting styles of DiMaggio and Williams had been illustrated at the All-Star Game in Toronto earlier in 1991. DiMaggio, Williams, President Bush, Commissioner Vincent, and Williams’ 22-year-old son, John Henry, were to go onto the field before the game. Doc Positano wrote that, when reminiscing about the day, DiMaggio “slapped his forehead. ‘Who could forget what that kid said to the president?’”34 John Henry apparently had told Bush “that his father didn’t like to wear a jacket and tie on the field. He asked if the president would mind taking off his own jacket to accommodate his father’s fashion statement and refusal to wear a jacket and tie, so he wouldn’t make Ted look bad.”35 But even had Bush been inclined to honor John Henry’s request, he couldn’t do so: POTUS has to wear a bulletproof coat for security. And for DiMaggio, just raising the question was a breach of decorum: “Can you imagine the balls on that kid? . . . Asking the president not to wear his protective jacket out on the field?”36

John Henry had the last laugh, for now. He made arrangements so that at his dad’s death the head and body were frozen separately in a cryonics facility. The idea was that, when medicine advanced enough, Ted could be thawed and his tieless head and body repaired and reassembled, probably using more than a few replacement parts.37

Ted did have clout; guys who can bat .406 often get their way. And sticklers for formal dress will alter their views (and their clothing) when it’s in their personal interest to do so. Bradlee said that Joe McCarthy, as manager of the New York Yankees,38 “had always insisted that he and his Yankees wear jackets and ties off the field.” But when McCarthy was hired to manage the Red Sox, “How, people wondered, would he enforce his dress code on Ted? . . . The manager surprised everyone in Sarasota [at spring training] with a disarming gesture: he greeted his star while wearing a shirt with an open collar.”39 A walk-off win for Williams.

Another Williams shift that shows Ted’s pull occurred at the Cheeca Lodge, an upscale resort on Islamorada, in the Florida Keys, where Ted, fishing rod in hand, spent much of his retirement:

The women wore long gowns at night and the men were required to wear ties. One evening when Williams showed up in his usual khakis and T-shirt getup, he was turned away. So Ted went home, put on a tie, and returned in the same khakis and T-shirt. They let him in, and after that, the Cheeca dress code was effectively broken.40

Ted didn’t need Alan Turing to crack that code.

As an adult, or as close as he ever came to adulthood, Veeck also refused to wear a tie, except for one period in his life. In Paul Dickson’s telling:

“I once owned a tie 15 years ago,” said Veeck, addressing the issue of why he was not going to wear a tie to [a dinner hosted by Elsa Maxwell], “but I didn’t like it. When I joined the Marines, they knew I didn’t wear ties, but they suggested that a tie would go nicely with my uniform. I saw their point—quickly.”41

Marine officers (guys nicknamed Mad Dog, for example) can be very persuasive. Veeck “joked that he had made the ultimate sartorial sacrifice to keep America safe,”42 but otherwise he wore no tie, almost without exception.43

 

Ted Williams never wore a tie if he could help it, but President George H.W. Bush once compelled him to do so at the White House. (NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME LIBRARY)

 

I’m a law professor, so let me try to tie this knotty (and occasionally naughty) subject to law. When John Roberts, now chief justice of the United States (and a man who views the judicial function as similar to umpires’ calling balls and strikes) interviewed for a clerkship with Justice William Rehnquist, Roberts found Rehnquist to be quite the casual guy: “[He] was friendly and unpretentious. He wore scuffed Hush Puppy shoes. That was my first lesson. Clothes do not make the man. The Justice sported long sideburns and Buddy Holly glasses long after they were fashionable. And he wore loud ties that I am confident were never fashionable.”44

To his credit, Rehnquist did wear ties, grotesque though they may have been. And in the 1990s, as chief justice, he began to wear a judicial robe with four gold braid stripes on each sleeve, looking like the Lord High Chancellor.45 He may have been making fun of convention in both cases, I suppose, but he knew that people paid attention.46 His attire mattered.

So was Rehnquist always playful when it came to dress? Well, no, not with lawyers. As chief justice he “complained to the Justice Department that one of its female lawyers had appeared before the court in a brown dress, not the preferred black or navy blue.”47 Clothes apparently do make the woman, and Rehnquist sent a strong, albeit condescending, signal to that effect.

Had he been a lawyer, on his worst-dressed days Joe DiMaggio would have satisfied the sartorial expectations of the Supreme Court. But would Ted Williams, thawed and reconstituted as an attorney, be able to dispense with coat and tie in that setting? Maybe. A lot of baseball fans have sat on the court,48 Ted Williams was (is?) Ted Williams, and he often got (and may still get) his way.

But maybe not. Today’s court wouldn’t be unanimously sympathetic to a tieless Williams. Whatever she thinks about dress codes in general—she prefers them to the tax code, I’m sure—Justice Sonia Sotomayor is unlikely to support bending the rules for someone who played (and may play again) for the Boston Red Sox. She’s a Yankees fan; she’s visited the Judge’s Chambers (“All rise!”) at Yankee Stadium.49

To be safe when you return, Ted, wear a tie. And may I have your autograph?

ERIK M. JENSEN is Coleman P. Burke Professor Emeritus of Law, Case Western Reserve University.

 

Notes

1 Or whatever the appropriate number is in your setting. In Little League, games generally last only six innings. (The games just seem longer.)

2 A 1981 minor league game between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings lasted 33 innings. It was suspended, still tied after 32 innings, at 4:07 a.m. on April 19, the morning after the game had started. (If the umpires had had an up-to-date league rulebook or had the league president been reachable, the game would have been suspended earlier.) What turned out to be the last inning was played two months later. Dan Barry, Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption and Baseball’s Longest Game (New York: Harper Perennial, 2011).

3 In ballparks without lights, afternoon games were sometimes called on account of darkness. Even if the score was tied, the game was over. The hitting, pitching, and fielding statistics counted, but a new game was played thereafter, as soon as possible. (The called game wasn’t continued, as would typically happen today. Cf. supra note 2.)

4 Donald Kagan, “Joe DiMaggio, Baseball’s Aristocrat,” Weekly Standard, March 22, 1999. http://www.weeklystandard.com/joe-dimaggio-baseballs-aristocrat/article/11516. For that matter, we’re far removed from the time when men routinely wore ties in business settings. I’ve lamented the decline in professorial dress in law schools. See Erik M. Jensen, “Law School Attire: A Call for a Uniform Uniform Code,” Oklahoma City University Law Review 32 (2007): 419, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1020738. Although it’s been written that “[l]awyers are smart professionals who wear suits,” (Brian Z. Tamanaha, Failing Law Schools (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012), 135) that statement was dated when Tamanaha wrote it. The “smart professional” part still rings true, but the rest comes from the nineteenth century: “The present-day uniform of the male professional—the coat and necktie—traces its provenance to [Beau] Brummel.” Joshua Kendall, The Man Who Made Lists (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2008), 184. Beau may not have known diddley, but he knew style. A more up-to-date view of attorney dress is that of Mark Herrmann. Chapter 8 of The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law (Chicago: American Bar Association, 2006), titled “Dress for Success,” reads in full: “I don’t give a damn what you wear. Just make sure the brief is good.” But see Joseph Epstein, “Hitting Eighty,” Weekly Standard, Jan. 2/9, 2017. (“A friend in the clothing business tells me that only lawyers buy suits nowadays.”). http://www.weeklystandard.com/hitting-eighty/article/2006085.

5 The propriety of being caught dead with no tie is another question. That project would be a major undertaking.

6 Unlike other teams, the Yankees regulate hair length and facial hair—mustaches OK, but no beards. See Daniel Barbarisi, “No Beards—And That’s Final,” Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2013, https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324048904578320741510151474. Professional baseball’s uniform rules are brief. E.g., Official Baseball Rules (2017 ed.), Rule 3.03(e) (“No player shall wear ragged, frayed or slit sleeves.”); Official Baseball Rules., Rule 3.03(h) (“Glass buttons and polished metal shall not be used on a uniform”).
It wasn’t unheard of, in ancient times, for baseball managers to wear coats and ties in the dugout. (Uniform rules apply only to players.) The best-known examples are Connie Mack, manager (owner too, good for job security) of the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901 through 1950, and Burt Shotton, twice skipper of the Brooklyn Dodgers (1947, replacing the suspended Leo Durocher, and 1948–50, stepping in after Durocher’s firing). Shotton supposedly wore “street clothes,” but that term often meant coat and tie. The pictures I’ve seen show Shotton dressed to the nines. And I’ve seen nothing to suggest that Mr. Mack was ever tieless in the A’s dugout.

7 In his memorial essay about DiMaggio, Kagan wrote: "[H]is day was not ours. America was a democracy, but of a different kind. Its people were more respectful of excellence, both of matter and manner, prepared to follow the leadership of those they deemed superior in achievement and 'class.' People wanted to behave according to a higher and better code because they believed that in doing so they would themselves become better, worthier, 'classier.' " Kagan, "Joe DiMaggio." Now retired, Kagan was a Yale professor and dean, and a contemporary of Bart Giammati, who ascended to the Yale presidency and ultimately became commissioner of baseball, the highest office in the land. (A Yale connection helps only so much, however. Another Yalie, former pitcher Ron Darling, regularly says “have went” on baseball telecasts. Cornellians Strunk and White knew better.)

8 Cf. Mark Steyn, “Happy Warrior: The Mutant Present,” National Review, December 31, 2011: [W]hat would a visitor from Eisenhower’s America make of our time? . . . [H]is initial reaction would be complete amazement at the people. Instead of the sober suits and hats of a 1950 Main Street, men and women crowd the sidewalks in brightly colored leisurewear that, to his mid-century eyes, gives them the air of overgrown children. https://www.nationalreview.com/nrd/articles/294066/mutant-present. Likening the scruffy to kids is common. See, e.g., Joseph Epstein, “Hope I Die Before I Get Young,” Commentary, February 2017: I . . . see men I taught with [at Northwestern] who are now in their late sixties and early seventies who dress as if still students. They carry backpacks, wear baseball hats backwards, are in jeans and gym shoes. . . . But for their lined faces, grey hair—and the occasionally heartbreakingly sad grey ponytail—they might themselves be students. Clearly they intend to go from juvenility to senility, with no stops in between. https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/hope-i-die-before-i-get-young/.

9 Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Journals, 1952–2000 (New York: Penguin Press, 2007), 396. (Sept. 21, 1978) (complaining that Chicago’s Ambassador East Hotel “has fallen on sad days. Its atmosphere is now one of faded elegance, and the lobby is filled with tieless men wearing double-knit trousers.”) [Hereinafter Schlesinger’s Journals]. The punctuation in Jr.,’s looks strange, with back-to-back-to-back punctuation marks, but, as far as The New Yorker is concerned, it’s right. See Andrew Boynton, “The Correct Punctuation of Donald Trump, Jr.,’s Name,” New Yorker Online, July 12, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-correct-punctuation-of-donald-trump-jrs-name.

10 Dr. Rock Positano John Positano, Dinner with DiMaggio: Memoirs of an American Hero (New York: Simon Schuster, 2017).

11 Positano Positano, 229. Positano is “Foot Doctor to the Stars.” In 1990, when he was treating DiMaggio for heel problems that had hobbled Joe for years, the two became friends. See Richard Ben Cramer, Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life 474 (New York: Simon Schuster, 2000). (Bone spurs hadn’t kept Joe out of the military, however. He was in the Army Air Force, sort of, during World War II. But he just played baseball and, even so, dogged it. Reports noted a “defective attitude toward the service” and a “conscious attitude of hostility and resistance.” Tom Leonard, “Joe DiMaggio made a poor soldier, military records show,” Telegraph, Aug. 3, 2010, http://study.com/academy/lesson/the-great-joe-dimaggio-baseball-in-the-old-man-and-the-sea-symbolism-use.html. The uniform probably didn’t suit Joe. Nor did the salary.)

12 Frederic Raphael, “The Indomitable de Gaulle,” Wall Street Journal, July 7-8, 2012.

13 Schlesinger’s Journals, 438 (Aug. 16, 1980). Schlesinger was also a dress-up nerd, however (Oct. 16, 1989) (“Jerry Wiesner [science advisor to Kennedy and later MIT president] has never let me forget that once when JFK called me in [Wiesner’s] office I put on the jacket before taking the call.”).

14 “I work in a coat and tie—and believe me, believe it or not, it’s hard for people to realize, but when I’m writing a speech or working on a book or dictating or so forth, I’m always wearing a coat and tie. Even when I’m alone.”
Bob Greene, Fraternity: A Journey in Search of Five Presidents (New York: Crown Publishers, 2004), 29; see also Greene, 156 (describing discussion with former President George H. W. Bush). Bush was surprised to learn of Nixon’s practice. Bush kept his suitcoat on in the Oval Office when other people were present, but not otherwise:

I would go in there to the Oval Office on a Saturday morning when nobody was there, and I wouldn’t wear a jacket. At the house, the living quarters part of the White House, that’s different, too. I mean, I’d walk around there in a bathrobe. I mean, you know, the bedroom? You’re not going to wear a suit.

Id. at 157. Oh yeah?! See id. at 28 (quoting Nixon: “[Pat and I] would not feel comfortable in [the White House] unless we were somewhat formal.”); id. at 39 (Nixon “said that the use in newspapers of ‘president,’ lowercase, was very much like the idea of first families who might choose to dress casually inside the White House. He strongly disapproved of both”).

15 “The Fuel of Power,” Economist, May 10, 2008. http://www.economist.com/node/11326268. How could they know?

16 Anna Quindlen, “Public Private; Nixon’s the One,” New York Times, November 11, 1990. http://www.nytimes.com/1990/11/11/opinion/public-private-nixon-s-the-one.html. To be fair, pictures of Nixon walking in his un-beachlike clothes usually don’t show a tie.

17 Charles McGrath, “Robert Caro’s Big Dig,” New York Times Magazine, April 15, 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/magazine/robert-caros-big-dig.html.

18 McGrath.

19 The universe might be curved, but Einstein couldn’t handle the breaking pitch.

20 Kai Bird Martin J. Sherwin, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (New York: A.A. Knopf, 2005), 371.

21 He didn’t necessarily approve of similar behavior in others, however. For a Time magazine dinner in 1998, President Clinton wanted Joe, “radiant in his bespoke Pierre Cardin tuxedo” (Cramer, Joe DiMaggio, 480), to be seated at the Clinton table. But “DiMaggio loathed Clinton. Hated his style. And that Monica Lewinsky! That was not up to the standard. (As Joe pointed out to some pals: ‘You know, we paid for that White House. He shouldn’t be doing that there.’)” Joe wound up sitting between “Hank” and Nancy Kissinger, who (after prompting from Doc Positano) had asked Joe to sit with them—providing an excuse so the president wouldn’t feel dissed. Across the table were Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft, also Joe’s friends. When Joe wondered how planners came up with that arrangement, Doc replied: “Joe—get it? They sat DiMaggio with Mrs. Robinson!” Cramer, 481.

22 Quoted at https://www.inspiringquotes.us/author/4575-joe-dimaggio. (He made the same point many times using varied language.) But see supra note 11 (noting DiMaggio’s lack of enthusiasm in the military). Appearances used to matter in politics too. See Sam Knight, “The Astonishing Rise of Jeremy Corbyn: Enter Left,” New Yorker, May 23, 2016 (discussing Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader and potential prime minister, at a rally: “The man next to me, a Labour councilor from Kent, whispered, ‘Why the bloody hell doesn’t he have a bloody tie on?’”), https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/05/23/the-astonishing-rise-of-jeremy-corbyn. But overdoing conservative dress can create problems. See Monica Langley, “Iowa Touches Off a Free-for-All: Romney’s Best-Laid Plans Mugged by Political Realities,” Wall Street Journal, January 5-6, 2008 (county co-chair “cringes when [Mitt Romney] wears his ‘CEO uniform’ of a suit rather than a more casual sweater. ‘He comes across as cold and regimented, not warm and fuzzy.’”), https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB119949556092669169.

23 Wrong. Looking like a real doctor reassures patients.

24 Steven D. Levitt Stephen J. Dubner, Super Freakonomics (New York: William Morrow, 2009), 207. But the offending garment isn’t ties qua ties. Long sleeves may also be problematic. See Rachael Rettner, “Long Sleeves on Doctors’ White Coats May Spread Germs,” Scientific American, October 14, 2017, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/long-sleeves-on-doctors-white-coats-may-spread-germs/. The UK has adopted a “bare below the elbow policy” for hospital staff. Id. (I hope that means below the elbow on the arm.)

25 He may well have been, and may be again. See infra note 37 and accompanying text.

26 Ben Bradlee Jr., The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams (New York: Little Brown, 2013), 594 (emphasis added). In Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea (New York: Scribner, 1952), Santiago, the old man, repeatedly referred to DiMaggio as the “great DiMaggio.” Santiago’s father had been a fisherman, “as was the father of the great DiMaggio.” Unlike Williams, however, as a fisherman’s son DiMaggio wasn’t hooked by fishing. For one thing, fish smell.

27 Some incidents described in his autobiographical works are apocryphal, however. See Warren Corbett, “Bill Veeck,” SABR Biography Project, https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/7b0b5f10. Veeck may not have been as much a maverick as he wanted people to think.

28 Paul Dickson, Bill Veeck: Baseball’s Greatest Maverick (New York: Walker Co., 2012), 60.

29 Leigh Montville, Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero (2004), 339; see also Herm Krabbenhoft, “The Complete Collegiate Baseball Record of President George H. W. Bush,” Baseball Research Journal 46, no. 2 (Fall 2017).

30 Montville. The details of the story vary from telling to telling, but the basics are true.

31 Bradlee, The Kid, 631.

32 Bradlee. Dowd had done legal work for Ted. He later investigated Pete Rose’s gambling for Major League Baseball, and, from June 2017 until March 22, 2018, was President Donald Trump’s lead counsel in connection with the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. (Dowd apparently drafted a presidential tweet or two during that period.)

33 That happened later too. See infra note 37 and accompanying text.

34 Positano Positano, Dinner With DiMaggio, 159.

35 Positano Positano.

36 Positano Positano.

37 Montville, Ted Williams, 455–56; Bradlee, The Kid, 750–52; see also David Hancock, “Ted Williams Frozen in Two Pieces,” CBS News, December 20, 2002, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ted-williams-frozen-in-two-pieces/. It was said that Ted as a hitter had ice water in his veins. That’s now close to being literally true.

38 That’s the baseball guy, not the senator who was indirectly responsible for the Cincinnati Reds’ being known as the Redlegs for several years in the 1950s.

39 Bradlee, The Kid, 295.

40 Bradley, 602.

41 Dickson, Bill Veeck, 169.

42 Dickson, 94.

43 Almost. In 1951, because of hotel rules, Veeck “had to put on a necktie to . . . close the deal to buy the St. Louis Browns.” Dickson, 185 (quoting real estate developer). He had to dress up to buy the worst team in baseball!

44 Jeffrey Toobin, “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” New Yorker, May 25, 2009, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/05/25/no-more-mr-nice-guy.

45 Robin Givhan, “Trial by Attire: Supreme Court look should go with everything we believe in,” Washington Post, October 9, 2010, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/08/AR2010100806588.html. For a stupid analysis of judicial attire, see Erik M. Jensen, “Under the Robes: A Judicial Right to Bare Arms (and Legs and . . .)?” The Green Bag, 2d 221 (2009), http://www.greenbag.org/v12n2/v12n2_jensen.pdf.

46 “[N]o [Court] rule requir[es] robes, though it is hard to recall any justice breaking from the tradition.” John Eligon, “Behind the Gavel, a Sense of Style,” New York Times, September 6, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/06/nyregion/06robes.html. Do the justices clean their robes regularly? See supra note 24 and accompanying text.

47 Tony Mauro, “Reluctant Rehnquist Chief justice in spotlight he’d just as soon avoid,” USA Today, January 7, 1999; see also Joan Biskupic, “Enforcing the Sartorial Code,” Washington Post, December 6, 1999, (“Since then, women in the solicitor general’s office have worn black.”), http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPcap/1999-12/06/008r-120699-idx.html. (For the record: I think brown is OK.)

48 Adam Liptak, “This Bench Belongs in a Dugout,” New York Times, May 31, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/01/us/01bar.html.

49 Named for Aaron Judge, who, when healthy, is seldom on the bench.