Derek Jeter to Mariano Rivera on the New York Yankees fragrance, 2012

Too bad you can't bottle the scent of handsomeness, am I right?

Dear Mariano,

I’m sincerely flattered that you would like my opinion on what the New York Yankees official scent should smell like.

1)    First of all (and I think this is obvious): baseballs. Have you ever really smelled a baseball? Just put it right under your nose and breathed in? Well, if you did, you’d know it smells like a mixture of leather and rotting mouse carcasses. I do this for 20-30 minutes every morning and it is extremely arousing for the baseball.

2)    Any scent that claims to represent the smell of New York City should include a large measure of dog urine. I can get you some dog urine wholesale if you are willing to do this under the table so to speak. Let’s just say Chinese dogs pee a lot.

3)    Is mildew bottleable?

4)    Baseball just isn’t baseball without hot-dogs. Make sure this scent is truly reminiscent of a baseball game by including the tinny scent of a hot-dog that’s been sitting on a rotating grill for too long.

5)    I don’t know. I can’t think of baseball without thinking of sniffing permanent markers. Don’t ask me why.

6)    Freshly cut grass.

Thanks again for soliciting my opinion, and don’t worry: anyone who feels conflicted about whether to wear my scent or the New York Yankees scent can just combine them for a classic aroma: the unfamiliar armpit sweat of the stranger you’re in bed with.




Derek Jeter knows a few things about baseball. Clearly, though, he may have a skewed perspective on the smells of the game. For the untold numbers of minor-leaguers who will never have the opportunity to wake up in a Tampa Bay hotel room with two strippers named Amber, baseball is less about the smells of a long night out on the town and more about the smell of a beaten-down bus sputtering into Moose Crack, Georgia for a four game series. Still, it’s nice of the Yankees to try to encapsulate the smells of the Bronx without simply going with dog urine and leaving it at that.

Bob Costas, in his seminal “Smells of the Game: A history of Baseball,” describes an amusing anecdote of the first official team cologne. In 1906, the Chicago Cubs, led by player-manager Frank Chance, decided to release a new concoction “guaranteed to clear the malaise from your nos-trils and make your presence known to ladies fair.” The mixture’s complete recipe has been lost to history, but it is believed to have been a near-lethal mixture of rye whiskey, pig entrails, and hair scavenged from the carpets of a number of Chicago brothels. Instead of wearing it as a cologne, most of the customers simply drank it (the aftertaste was described as “hellish, but not as bad as life itself.”

The most successful baseball scent ever from a marketing perspective remains former broadcaster Curt Gowdy’s “Cracker Jacks,  Beer, and Frank Howard’s Jock” (for ladies.)


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