Batboy gets in line after getting blasted by Michael Kay

The Cleveland batboy wearing the Yankees uniform with long hair on April 10, 2023, and again appears in the next game on April 11 with his long hair tucked.
John Allen
Wednesday April 12, 2023

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During the first game of the Yankees-Guardians series, the image of a long-haired batboy went viral. As YES Network cameras focused on Yankees manager Aaron Boone, the focus moved to show the batboy nearby.

The visual immediately got the attention in the stadium and beyond thanks to the strict facial hair policy of the Yankees.

As it was noticed, Yankees commentator Michael Kay had some harsh words for the team’s batboy in another city. The batboy appeared in the next Yankees game against the Guardians tucking his hair under his helmet because of the rant about compliance with the Yankees “uniform” rules.

Kay’s rant against the batboy

As soon as the long-haired batboy in the Yankees uniform appeared on the camera, Kay didn’t wait long to scold him for breaking the “Neatness Count” rule, which was made by the former owner of the Yankees, George Steinbrenner, in 1976 and is still in place today.

“Strange to see a Yankee uniform, somebody wearing that uniform with that sort of hair. If the players aren’t allowed, I don’t know if the bat boy should be allowed,” Kay said as the cameras focused on the bat boy.

Steinbrenner’s rules said that players couldn’t have long hair or certain kinds of facial hair. Mustaches are fine, but beards are not, and Nate’s chin looked like it had a little bit of scruff on it.

“There are rules. Rules are rules,” Kay said Monday night. “He’s disobeying two of them. I think there’s facial hair and obviously, the hair is below the collar.”

Kay may not have known that at the time, or he may have just wanted to show how different the look was from how a real Yankees batboy or player would have to look. Even though Kay might have been joking, the serious way he spoke suggests that the bat boy’s blonde hair really did bother the veteran commentator.

The poor kid was also made fun of because his red shoes matched the Yankees’ opponent. It turns out, though, that the bat boy works for the Guardians, which makes sense since the game was in Cleveland and Batboys usually don’t go with teams when they’re on the road.

The Yankees rulebook on facial hair

In 1976, the Yankees adopted a rule that says: “No beards. No beads. No mutton chops. No long hair. No long stirrups.” Two years later, owner George Steinbrenner defended his “Neatness Counts” policy claiming that “trying to instill a certain sense of order and discipline.” Though there were changes over the year, the policy remains strict on having facial hair in men on the Yankees team.

It now states: “All players, coaches, and male executives are forbidden to display any facial hair other than mustaches (except for religious reasons), and scalp hair may not be grown below the collar. Long sideburns and ‘mutton chops’ are not specifically banned.”

The batboy gets in line

On Tuesday, Kay gave viewers an update while cameras showed the same bat boy in the Yankees dugout with a different look.

“They had him tuck the hair under the helmet,” Kay said. “His name is Nate, he’s in a band, he’s a drummer — Open Doors is the name of the band — and he found all the uproar from social media kinda humorous yesterday.”

However, Kay has to deal with criticism for his rant.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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