"It always feels good any time the fans respect how you play," Jeter said. "It's never something you think about, but you definitely take it as a huge compliment."
MLB and the MLB Players Association on Wednesday jointly announced the 20 top-selling jerseys of 2010 based on Majestic sales, and Jeter topped the list, followed in order by Twins catcher Joe Mauer and then three Phillies: Roy Halladay, Chase Utley and Cliff Lee. In Lee's case, it also included sales of his Mariners and Rangers jersey during the 2010 season.
Rounding out the top 10 in order were Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum.
The second 10 include Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, Braves outfielder Jason Heyward, Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, Giants catcher Buster Posey and Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
Players representing 11 different clubs make up the list -- including seven of the eight 2010 playoff teams -- with seven different clubs in the top 10. In addition, 12 of the top-20 players are under the age of 30. The Phillies have the most players in the top 20 with four. Three rookies -- Heyward, Strasburg and Posey -- cracked the top-20 list .
The top 20 included 10 infielders, four pitchers, four outfielders and two catchers. Of the top 20, 16 were All-Stars in 2010 and 15 played on teams that reached the postseason.
MLB also announced that sales of officially licensed MLB merchandise reached an all-time high in 2010, with total licensing revenues up six percent over the previous year. Products featuring the marks of the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Phillies and Cubs were the hottest sellers in 2010. Rounding out the top 10 were the Cardinals, White Sox, Braves, Twins and Tigers.
"It makes you feel proud, like you're doing something right," said Jeter, who grew up wearing a Dave Winfield jersey and "any Yankee" he could find. "I know my parents get extremely proud when they go to the games and they see kids wearing my jersey -- especially the younger kids who don't really know too much about baseball. It makes you feel as though the parents respect how you play."
As for Mauer, staying with his hometown club has helped his popularity, and that also was reflected when he was named top vote-getter for the 2010 All-Star Game, as well as a two-time cover athlete for Sony's "MLB The Show" video game series.
Pedroia grew up in Northern California, and the only Major League jersey he remembers wearing as a fan was the No. 25 sported by Barry Bonds, then with the Giants.
"It's cool," Pedroia said of seeing fans wearing his number. "When we're playing at home at Fenway it's fun, because it seems like everybody in the whole stadium has one of our jerseys, and we all kind of look up there and see who it is. It just makes it fun."
Ellsbury was a Mariners fan growing up and said Ken Griffey Jr. was his jersey of choice as a young fan. Now that he is on this list, Ellsbury said it is especially meaningful because of how much time he had to miss while injured in 2010.
"It just goes to show I'm blessed to have these great fans that go to the game and support me. It's exciting," he said. "It's always special. Here at Spring Training, just to see all the kids rolling in, wearing all the jerseys, supporting us, cheering, just seeing their excitement. When you step up to the plate and take the field, just seeing someone wearing your jersey is even more special."
All of these players' jerseys are customizable in multiple styles at the MLB.com Shop.
Todd Dallman said he is "not surprised" to see so many Phillies in the top 20. The Phillies fan said he has jerseys for each of those three top-five players and said his biggest issue has been whether to wear the Halladay No. 34 or the Lee No. 33 jersey on Opening Day for the game against Houston.
"I'm going with the Lee, because it's a home jersey and Halladay is a gray," said Dallman, from Burlington, N.J. "I got it for a Christmas present, and 33 was my number growing up playing ball, and I was a left-handed pitcher like Lee. So I'm going with him even though he's not pitching Opening Day."
As for the overall success of Phillies jersey sales, Dallman said: "Our capacity is at 104 percent every game, and across the nation, I see more Phillies fans on television during the away games, which is pretty impressive. I try and represent my Phillies whenever I go away and let people know where I'm from."
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less