Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association on Monday jointly released a list of the 20 best-selling Majestic Athletic jerseys since the All-Star break, and it is dominated by clubs that have clinched or have been jostling in recent weeks for any of the 10 playoff berths.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton and Yankees newcomer Ichiro Suzuki (got the new No. 31 yet?) top the list, with rookie sensations Bryce Harper of the Nationals and Mike Trout of the Angels rounding out the top five.
Six players, including Ichiro, Harper, Trout, Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish and retiring Braves legend Chipper Jones, made the top 10, after not appearing in the top 20 on the 2011 calendar-year list released in March.
Jeter topped that earlier list as well, and is still going strong, gradually climbing into the career top 10 for hits and easily leading MLB with 213 of them in 2012.
"It always feels good anytime the fans respect how you play," Jeter said after his No. 2 finished No. 1 in a previous ranking. "It's never something you think about, but you definitely take it as a huge compliment."
Seven additional players are in the top 20 after not appearing in last year's list: Matt Kemp of the Dodgers, Joey Votto of the Reds, Prince Fielder of the Tigers, Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays, Yadier Molina of the Cardinals, Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers and Brett Lawrie of the Blue Jays.
Players representing 12 different teams make up the top 20, including postseason contenders that have not been represented on the list in recent years, such as the Nationals, Pirates and Reds. It is another metric reflecting today's overall competitive balance.
The top 20 include nine infielders, seven outfielders, two pitchers and two catchers. Of the top 20, 18 were All-Stars in 2012.
The list figures to be a harbinger for what fans are likely to be purchasing over the holiday season at the MLB.com Shop, but that also depends on who wins the World Series and which players switch teams once the Hot Stove League gets under way.
Albert Pujols' new Angels No. 5 jersey was far and away the top seller during last year's holiday shopping season, and 2011 World Series MVP David Freese is still high at No. 11 on the new list.
Most popular jerseys
These are the 20 most sought-after jerseys since the All-Star break, based on sales of Majestic Athletic jerseys:
1. Derek Jeter, Yankees
2. Josh Hamilton, Rangers
3. Ichiro Suzuki, Yankees
4. Bryce Harper, Nationals
5. Mike Trout, Angels
6. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
7. Yu Darvish, Rangers
8. Chipper Jones, Braves
9. Justin Verlander, Tigers
10. Robinson Cano, Yankees
11. Matt Kemp, Dodgers
12. David Freese, Cardinals
13. Joey Votto, Reds
14. Ian Kinsler, Rangers
15. Prince Fielder, Tigers
16. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
17. Buster Posey, Giants
18. Yadier Molina, Cardinals
19. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
20. Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays