The Man Behind The Jerseys: Meet Pittsburgh’s Jersey Tailor
PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Okay, we may be a little biased, but Pittsburgh has some of the best looking jerseys around, so of course you know the ‘Burgh has something to do with how they are made. The attention to detail on lettering, decals and numbering is not lost on our next guest.
John Young, the head sales associate and manufacturing manager at Pro Knitwear, works closely with the Steelers and the Penguins. He talked with Bill Rehkopf on the KDKA Afternoon News about the passion he has for his job.
“We are very fortunate, all the four teams in Pittsburgh use us for their knitting needs and alterations for players.” Young said.
Hand-stitched jerseys are a work of art. So much detail goes into making one.
While the jerseys are actually manufactured by Nike or Reebok, the real detail comes after that, once they reach Pro Knitwear. Young and his coworkers are responsible for knitting on the team decals, letters and numbers for the jerseys.
“We are the official, it’s called a crafter, for the Penguins of Pittsburgh. Which means they supply us with the Reebok jerseys as a stock unit and then we put all the lettering on there to their exact specifications,” Young said.
Young tells us that its not just their job to make the jerseys look good but they are responsible for making sure all the rules are met. The smallest mistake in measurements or mistake in stitching could actually lead to a penalty.
“People actually don’t realize that it’s very important for these players to actually meet these requirements, and that if they don’t, it results in fines or actual penalties during the game. You know yourself, the front office isn’t going to be all real happy if that’s the reason they go to the penalty box,” Young said.
Traveling here from Ireland at the age of 18 looking for work, Young has certainly found it and is grateful for his 21 spent with Pro Knitwear. His story is an interesting one and you can hear more about that as well as the whole interview here:
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
You can also listen to the KDKA Afternoon News with Bill Rehkopf weekdays 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.