Sunday, January 23, 2022

Why Virginia Tech is wearing the Yankees logo on its Pinstripe Bowl helmets at Yankee Stadium

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Virginia Tech Football/Twitter

Virginia Tech will be taking on Maryland in the Pinstripe Bowl on Wednesday, and the Hokies will be sporting some interesting helmets when they take the field at Yankee Stadium. Virginia Tech will have a New York Yankees logo on one side of its traditional helmets for Wednesday’s game.

Here’s a look:

This may seem like an unlikely pairing, but the Hokies and Yankees actually have a long-standing relationship. 

Back in March 2008, the Yankees came to Blacksburg and played the Hokies baseball team in an exhibition game in front of over 1,000 fans at English Field. This was an attempt to help heal the Virginia Tech community after the campus shootings that took place on April 16, 2007.

The Yankees visited the Virginia Tech campus memorial that honored the 32 people that lost their lives in the campus shootings. When the Hokies arrived to the locker room before the game, they found out that they were going to be wearing uniforms that featured maroon pinstripes.

“It was almost larger than life, it seemed like at the time,” former Virginia Tech second baseman Matt Hacker told the Roanoke Times earlier this week. “The game day experience, it was like a concert almost. The guys were rock stars. It was a blast.”

Those Yankees included the likes of Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Jorge Posada. The iconic baseball stars signed autographs for the Hokies baseball team and their fans prior to the game and stuck around to talk afterward.

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Derek Jeter and the 2008 Yankees played an exhibition game against Virginia Tech. Getty Images

The 2008 exhibition game wasn’t the only encounter between the Hokies and Yankees.

In May 2007, the Yankees announced that they were going to donate $1 million to the Hokies Spirit Memorial Fund. On the night of that announcement, Virginia Tech President Charles Steger threw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium prior to a nationally televised game against the Red Sox.

The two sides have a longstanding history and the Yankees helped provided some healing during one of the darkest times in the school’s history. It will certainly be a feel-good moment to see that iconic Yankees logo on the Hokie helmets when they take the field at Yankee Stadium.

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