For the second year in a row, Yankees captain Derek Jeter topped the list of most popular Major League Baseball jerseys, coming in ahead of Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee and new Angels first baseman Albert Pujols for most Majestic Athletic sales during the 2011 calendar year. The list was released on Thursday by MLB and the MLB Players Association.
"It always feels good anytime the fans respect how you play," Jeter said last season. "It's never something you think about, but you definitely take it as a huge compliment."
Rounding out the top 10 are Josh Hamilton of the Rangers, Roy Halladay of the Phillies, Tim Lincecum of the Giants, Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox, Ryan Braun of the Brewers, Hunter Pence of the Phillies and Buster Posey of the Giants.
2011 top-selling MLB jerseys
* Sales combined between two teams
In the case of Pujols and Pence, the data included combined sales of their jerseys while they were with multiple clubs. So for Pujols, it accounts for all those No. 5 Cardinals jerseys still being bought through the World Series, as well as his No. 5 Angels jersey tha became the hottest-selling item at the MLB.com Shop during the past holiday shopping season. Pence was acquired by the Phillies from Houston before the Trade Deadline, so his sales soared in the second half of the year.
Seven players cracked the top 20 after failing to make last year's list. In addition to Pence, they include: Robinson Cano of the Yankees, Carl Crawford of the Red Sox, David Freese of the Cardinals, Adrian Gonzalez of the Red Sox, Mariano Rivera of the Yankees and Justin Verlander of the Tigers.
Players who dropped out of the top 20 include Mark Teixeira of the Yankees, Jason Heyward of the Braves, Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals, Justin Morneau of the Twins, Jacoby Ellsbury of the Red Sox, Ryan Howard of the Phillies and Evan Longoria of the Rays.
Players representing 11 MLB clubs make up the list of top 20 most popular jerseys, with seven clubs in the top 10. In addition, 12 of the top 20 players are under the age of 30.
The Phillies and Yankees, the teams with the two best records last season, each had four players in the top 20. The list includes nine infielders, five pitchers, four outfielders and two catchers. Of the top 20, 12 were All-Stars in 2011 and 14 played on teams that reached the postseason.
Personalized jerseys are available now at the MLB.com Shop, where the annual virtual catalog for spring just launched, and you can celebrate Opening Day by buying one item and getting a second one of equal or lesser value for 40 percent off. You can find jerseys of all types, from an Orioles Authentic Cool Base with a Camden Yards 20th-anniversary patch to that No. 28 Prince Fielder jersey that made its debut on Thursday at Comerica Park.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.