Poppies on Uniforms Today as Major League Baseball Observes Memorial Day

Fans watching any of the thirteen Major League Baseball games on Monday may notice a small red flower patch on each player’s jersey.

The patches are poppy flowers and are being worn for the Memorial Day 2022 holiday in the United States, Monday, May 30, in recognition of those who made the ultimate sacrifice, losing their lives in service to their country.

Aaron Judge with a poppy flower patch during a game on Memorial Day 2021

The poppy patch was first worn on Major League Baseball uniforms on Memorial Day during the 2019 season as a subtle and mournful uniform tribute. Prior to 2019, Memorial Day was a head-to-toe camouflage cap, jersey, and sock design worn across the entire league, and usually done so for the entire four-day weekend. The league has instead shifted the camo look as a tribute to living military members and their families to Armed Forces Day weekend (which was held last weekend) by simply wearing camouflage caps and matching socks.

The 2022 Memorial Day patch is the same as what has been worn twice in the past (Memorial Days in 2019 and 2021), it’s a simple red poppy and green flower with “Lest We Forget” across it on a black banner in white, worn on the upper left part of the jersey.

This poppy patch will be worn on each MLB jersey on Memorial Day May 30, 2022

So, why a poppy flower patch?

The origin of wearing a poppy to remember fallen soldiers can be traced back to the poppy flowers which were spotted growing over graves during the First World War, inspiring the famous “In Flanders Fields” poem.

Jacob deGrom wearing a poppy patch while pitching for the Mets in 2021

While its use is certainly less common in the United States, it’s a regular sight to see poppies on shirts and jackets in the United Kingdom and right here in Canada during the first eleven days each November, a tradition that goes back several decades.

The American Legion in the U.S. asks those wishing to honour the war dead by wearing a poppy on National Poppy Day, the last Friday before Memorial Day, though this is one tradition which appears to have not caught on quite yet.

Poppies are a common sight in Canada and the UK each November

In addition to wearing poppies, all Major League games on Memorial Day will pause play at 3 pm (local time) for an extended moment of silence (those games yet to begin by 3 pm will observe a moment of silence prior to the playing of the national anthem).

Those of you who routinely scream “it’s a cash grab” whenever the league does anything to their uniforms may be surprised to learn that none of the special poppy patches or the Memorial Day jerseys will be sold to the general public. This is purely an on-field tribute by Major League Baseball and its players.