New apparel for women unveiled at Fan Cave

New apparel for women unveiled at Fan Cave

New apparel for women unveiled at Fan Cave
NEW YORK -- The last eight seasons have been the most attended in Major League Baseball history, and one unquestioned catalyst over that time has been the growing proportion of women in the stands. That trend is reflected by the ever-expanding selection of fashion for women at the MLB.com Shop, and a Victoria's Secret PINK Big Fan Bash party hosted by Amber Sabathia on Wednesday night at the MLB Fan Cave felt like an exclamation point for the whole movement.

Sabathia brought along her husband, CC, as well as his Yankees teammates David Robertson, Andruw Jones, Brett Gardner and Cory Wade and their wives. PINK spokesmodel Elsa Hosk was on hand to help reveal some of new PINK merchandise in time for this weekend's Yankees-at-Mets Subway Series and other big Interleague Play matchups. Others in attendance included former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber and his wife, as well as Chord Overstreet, the "Glee" actor who will play in the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game on July 8 in Kansas City.

"I found out a fact today, that 47 percent of MLB fans are women," Amber Sabathia said after emerging from the gifting suite, loaded up with gear. "So women don't want to wear the normal, small pinstripe jersey [or] the plain T-shirt. We want it blinged out, we want to be cute, we want to stand out in the stands. So we definitely have to go to the Victoria's Secret PINK collection to stand out.

"It's a great event for the wives. We love the Victoria's Secret PINK Bronx Bomber gear. We're so excited to be here. When they reached out to me and said, 'Can you get some of the wives to come?' I said, 'Absolutely. We love the gear, it's great, we will be there for sure.' ... The new line that's coming out, I can't wait to wear it, especially on Friday during the Subway Series."

The PINK gear is now a fact of life at every Major League ballpark, an added staple at the MLB Shop along with such popular lines as Touch by Alyssa Milano and Nike apparel. The cumulative effect is noticeable now, like with the "I ONLY KISS ANGELS FANS" item that Hosk presented to Cave Dweller Ricardo Marquez.

"The thing with PINK is, they do your traditional sportswear, but with a feminine touch," she said. "It really just fits the girls' bodies. Victoria's Secret obviously knows what they are doing. They're blinged out, super cute, and there's something for everyone. Everything from panties to sweatpants to caps, they've got you covered."

Hosk said she adores her now-familiar "PINK girl" role, and she did confess to a favorite item in the collection.

"They do one piece that some of the line has, kind of a see-through leopard print with a team logo on it," Hosk said. "And I have to say that I'm a Yankee fan, because I'm a New York City girl.

"Everything in the collection is really beautiful. You can spot a girl wearing it from miles away. They just look incredible in the stadium."

The PINK line has gradually grown to cover 19 clubs, and it will be at 30 by next season.

Giants fan Ashley Chavez, one of the Cave Dwellers, worked at Victoria's Secret from 2007-09 as the line was just beginning. She was employed at one of the stores in Tracy, Calif., and one in San Francisco. On Wednesday, it was her job to focus on the Cave Monster's 15 TV screens in front of her to watch live baseball, but she was soaking up the ambiance all around -- pink candy, pink ice cream cones, PINK gear.

"This is the perfect blend of Ashley right now," she said above the din. "Victoria's Secret plus baseball equals Ashley. So I'm in heaven.

"I think it's made a huge contribution toward women's clothes in sports. The fit is what we want, the styles are what we want, and they're always changing. It's a popular brand already, Victoria's Secret and PINK. I absolutely adore it, and I, myself, and most women, want to own all the pieces. It's really addicting."

As Amber Sabathia's husband chatted downstairs -- four days away from his titanic pitching matchup with R.A. Dickey of the Mets -- she sorted out the perfect items to take home, and gathered player wives with Hosk for a group photo.

"We were having a great time," Amber Sabathia said. "It's like shopping. And they're giving it to us, so that's even more exciting. Picking out the blinged-out shirts and the sweats, and deciding where we can wear this to, or where we can wear that, it's so much fun."

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.