Why are the Yankees so popular among criminals, the New York Times wants to know. Is it because of the team’s "aura of money, power and success"? And/or because "gangsta rappers" and some of their criminal-minded listeners are emulating Jay-Z, who declares in "Empire State of Mind," "I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can." Or maybe Yankees fans are ALL a bunch of violent scumbags who'd slit their own mothers' throats for beer money? Whatever the reason, the paper of record has found that so many criminals wear Yankees paraphernalia that no other sports team comes close.
"Since 2000, more than 100 people who have been suspects or persons of interest in connection with serious crimes in New York City wore Yankees apparel at the time of the crimes or at the time of their arrest or arraignment," writes Manny Fernandez. Their crimes range from bank robberies to gym locker heists to stabbing each other in fights over Yankees hats. Some suspect that the trend may have something to do with three varieties of Yankees caps that were manufactured with gang colors and symbols. (After getting complaints, Major League Baseball's official cap manufacturer stopped making them, and the Yankees claim they were "unaware of the caps’ symbolism.") The use of Yankees paraphernalia during crimes even spans galaxies.
But what's interesting is that the criminal underworld's love for the Yankees is not a new phenomenon; the man who robbed the most banks in American history in the '80s and '90s was Edwin Chambers Dodson, who was dubbed the Yankee Bandit because he always wore one of their hats. And let's not forget the more recent Yankees-related crime of paying $40 million for Carl Pavano.