Black Armbands and Memorial Patches

by fedoratipper - 313 cards (Last updated on Jul 16, 2024)

1. 1990 Score #207 Shawn Collins

83- Brad Beckman
73- Ralph Norwood

9. 2014 Topps #379 Gerardo Parra

19-Hotshot Firefighters

10. 2002 Topps #9 B.J. Surhoff

41- Eddie Matthews



Jul 13, 2017 - 11:02PM

Amazing list! Unless I missed it there are Detroit Tigers wearing EH in 2011 for Ernie Harwell.

Also, Yankees wore 8 on their arm last year for Yogi Berra.

Chicago Bears have GSH for George Stanley Halas, Sr.

Detroit Lions now have WCF on their jerseys for William Clay Ford, Sr.

Maybe you had these and I missed it.


Jul 14, 2017 - 9:06AM
Billy Kingsley
Jul 14, 2017 - 8:55PM

@dsorek Thanks! I'll add them. I didn't add the GSH since that's basically part of their uniform for a long time.

@Billy Kingsley I'll make sure to add those too. I completly forgot all about the NBA!

Jul 16, 2017 - 9:18AM
Billy Kingsley

I know I've seen some more NBA ones, but I don't remember what cards they are on. When I come across them I will give you some links. One to watch for in the coming season, the Detroit Red Wings wore an I on their shoulder near the end of the season for the team owner, who died during the year. Thanks again for doing this list, and so comprehensively! 

Jul 16, 2017 - 4:03PM

@Billy Kingsley You're welcome! If you come across them, I'll be happy to add them. I'll keep on eye on the Red Wings cards.

Jul 18, 2017 - 10:29AM
Billy Kingsley

Here's a card that shows the 42 in the yellow band for the Warriors better than the one I gave you

Jul 18, 2017 - 10:29AM
Billy Kingsley

Here's a card that shows the 42 in the yellow band for the Warriors better than the one I gave you

Jul 18, 2017 - 11:57AM

@Billy Kingsley Thanks! I just added it.

Jul 20, 2017 - 2:29PM
Billy Kingsley

Here's one on a card I just got: Plaid circle with 77 is for coach Jack Ramsay

Jul 23, 2017 - 7:43AM

@Billy Kingsley I just added it along with some other ones. Thanks!

Jul 23, 2017 - 4:46PM

Here's another one for you.  The Vancouver Canucks jerseys had the words Babe on them in the late 80s in memory of Babe Pratt.

Great list by the way!!

Jul 23, 2017 - 8:32PM

@DanD Thanks! I'll add it right now. I'm glad you like it.

Aug 1, 2017 - 2:19AM
Billy Kingsley

Found another: Los Angeles Lakers wore JB in honor of Jim Buss, the team owner. The Steve Nash card in the same set also shows the patch on a different color jersey.

Aug 1, 2017 - 1:05PM

The Royals are wearing a small black patch on their right sleeves these season.  The patch reads: ACE in memory of Yordano Ventura, who died during the offseason.  I looked on the Topps Now cards and the only place you can see it very well is card #385.

Great list!  Super idea.  I enjoyed going through it.

Sep 29, 2017 - 10:16PM
Billy Kingsley

Correction on my part- it was Jerry Buss who died that the Lakers honored, Jim is his son and still very much alive.

Oct 17, 2017 - 11:15PM
Billy Kingsley
Jan 3, 2018 - 4:54PM

Unless I missed it, all NFL players wore GU63 patches in the 2008 season to honor Gene Upshaw.

Jan 3, 2018 - 8:41PM

@C2Cigars I forgot that one! I'll add it now. Thanks for the suggestion. 

May 22, 2018 - 2:15AM

The Cubs wore Harry Caray on their right sleeve in 1998 as you've indicated, but they also wore a Hey Hey patch on their left sleeve after August in 1998. Since it wasn't there long there aren't many cards with the patch. Hard to see on this Mark Grace Sports Illustrated card, but it's there above the Cub patch on his left sleeve.

May 22, 2018 - 2:29AM

Here's the actual patch on a 1998 Kurt Miller Cubs jersey from a Mears auction.

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May 22, 2018 - 5:13PM

@Lerxst2112 Thanks! I didn’t notice that at first. I’ll update it.

Oct 22, 2018 - 1:16PM

Jake deGrom's All-Star card has a nice shot of the Mets Rusty Staub memorial patch

Oct 29, 2018 - 9:24PM

@stevejrogers Thanks. I'll add it.

May 17, 2019 - 9:31PM
May 17, 2019 - 9:41PM
May 17, 2019 - 9:42PM
May 18, 2019 - 11:25PM

@stevejrogers Thank you! I'll add them all.

Oct 12, 2019 - 3:54PM

Here is an old one:

Florida Marlins honoring early VP hire Carl Barger who passed away the offseason before their inagural season.

Interesting story, the Fish retired #5 in his honor heading into that season, in honor of Joe DiMaggio being his favorite ballplayer growing up.  It got unretired in 2012 because free agent accquistion Logan Morrison requested the number, and management at the time (Jeffrey Loria, can't blame this on Jeter) probably had no clue why #5 was ever retired in the first place.

Oct 12, 2019 - 4:11PM

@stevejrogers I forgot about that one! Thanks!

Oct 12, 2019 - 4:13PM

BTW, looks like I was a bit too quick on the FUCK LORIA trigger, as Barger is memorialized in the park with a plaque.

Oct 18, 2019 - 2:53PM
Oct 18, 2019 - 8:51PM

@buckstorecards I'll add them. Thanks!

Apr 29, 2020 - 8:24PM
May 9, 2020 - 11:54AM

The Dodgers put on black armbands on June 8, 1968 (see pic below) in memory of Sen. RFK.  Don Drysdale pitched that day and set the major league scoreless inning streak.  I don't know how long they wore the armbands, but DD was not wearing it when he pitched in the All-Star game in Houston in July.  Good luck finding any Dodger collectibles with this particular armband.

May 9, 2020 - 11:58AM

@theFalcon I'll see if I can find any.

May 9, 2020 - 8:46PM

I assume this was for Charlie Dressen's demise during the 1966 season:

It was big news when Gil Hodges died at the end of spring training in 1972:

This must have been for Paul Edmonson's death in 1970:

Edited on: May 9, 2020 - 8:47PM

May 9, 2020 - 8:48PM

Thank you! I'll add all of them.

May 9, 2020 - 9:23PM

I remember when Chuck Hughes dropped dead of a heart attack on the field at Tiger Stadium in 1971:

In memory of Barry Ashbee, who wore #4:

May 9, 2020 - 9:50PM
May 14, 2020 - 5:01PM

The NY Mets had a black armband in 1976 ... I'm guessing this was for team owner Joan Payson who died in Oct. 1975.  Casey Stengel died almost the same day, so maybe it was a two-for-one.

May 30, 2020 - 10:13AM

I just noticed this 46 years after I watched on TV Hank Aaron hitting homer #715 (April 8, 1974) - the Dodgers wore black armbands (pic below).  After further research, it was reported that the wife of Ken McMullen died of cancer two days earlier, so they donned the armbands until he returned to the club.  That's probably why I can't find any 1974 or 1975 Dodger cards with them.

Oh, and my parents' wouldn't let me have the TV in the living room, had to watch this historic homer on their bedroom TV.

May 31, 2020 - 12:46AM
MoPack626 I'm not sure if you have this one, but I just noticed it tonight and tagged it under "commerative patch." NFL players wore GU on their uniforms in 2008 to honor Gene Upshaw's death (

Jun 21, 2020 - 3:41PM
Jun 21, 2020 - 5:14PM
Jun 22, 2020 - 12:52AM

Cool list! Reading through it reminded me of this patch, consisting of colourful neckties and the name "Roger", that the Senators wore in the 03-04 season in honour of former coach Roger Neilson, who had succumbed to cancer the previous offseason

I also found a couple of examples from Canadian junior hockey that I think would qualify for your list:

In 1989-90 the Laval Titan wore a patch with the number 19 and the initials "N.C." to honour Neil Carnes, a centre on the team who was killed in a motorcycle accident the previous offseason

There are also a handful of permanent memorial patches in the CHL. One is this shoulder patch worn by the Windsor Spitfires that has at the bottom a small number 18; this was the number of former team captain Mickey Renaud, who in 2008 died suddenly midseason of a heart condition at just 19 years of age

Another permanent patch is worn by the Swift Current Broncos, consisting of the numbers 8, 9, 11, and 22 inside a four-leaf clover. This honours Trent Kresse, Scott Kruger, Chris Mantyka, and Brent Ruff, four players who were killed in 1986 when the Broncos team bus crashed during a midseason road trip


Edited on: Jun 22, 2020 - 1:57AM

Jul 5, 2020 - 8:40PM

Three California Angels had untimely deaths during the '70s (Chico Ruiz, Mike Miley and Lyman Bostock), but I haven't seen any memorial patches for them ... of course, I could be wrong.

Jul 5, 2020 - 9:05PM

@BlankWhiteBucket Thank you! I've added them.

@theFalcon I couldn't find any. They must not have worn them.

Aug 18, 2020 - 7:41PM

I was poking around Getty Images and came across this pic of the Red Sox wearing black armbands on the left sleeve in 1955:

I have no clue who it was done for.  We need a Red Sox expert for this one.

The 1956 Topps Red Sox cards have such poor artistry that it's hard to tell if they are wearing black armbands.  Maybe Tom Hurd (#256) has one, but I'm not sure.

Aug 18, 2020 - 7:55PM

@theFalcon I did some research and I believe it's for Harry Agganis their up and coming 2nd basemen who died of a pulmonary embolism.

Aug 19, 2020 - 11:08PM

Well, here's a new situation I hadn't seen before .... while reviewing the serial mauling of Bill Lee by the Yankees on 5/20/1976, I noticed that only Billy Martin wore a black armband on his team.  I don't know why ... maybe this was done in memory of Casey Stengel who died eight months earlier.  See Billy at the 0:35 mark:

Sep 24, 2020 - 6:53AM

I noticed that the 1961 Topps set has at least two KC A's (Larsen & Throneberry) wearing black armbands on the left sleeve ... for whom I don't know.  They both joined that team in 1960.  The 1961 Bazooka Bill Tuttle also has it.

Also, did you get the passing of Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley at the start of the 1977 season?  Donny Moore and Rick Reuschel have black armbands on the left sleeve in the 1978 Topps set.

Mar 1, 2021 - 5:08PM

Mets unveiled a new Tom Seaver tribute patch today.

Wonder what's going to appear on this site first, a card with that one, or one featuring the one worn last fall? 🤷🏻‍♂️ 

We shall see ;)

Nov 28, 2021 - 11:24AM
Feb 19, 2022 - 10:26AM

I recall the Celtics having a black shoulder band in the Bird era.

"The team has honored deceased members of the Celtics family with a commemorative black band on the left shoulder strap of the jersey. It has been featured seven times in the history of the franchise: Walter Brown (1964–65), Bob Schmertz (1975–76), Joan Cohen (1989–90), Johnny Most (1993–94), Reggie Lewis (1993–94), Dorothy Auerbach (2000–01) and Dennis Johnson (2006–07)."

Edited on: Feb 19, 2022 - 10:38AM

Feb 25, 2022 - 11:43AM

Not sure if you have these Redskins ones yet

Jack Kent Cooke (Sept 14, 1997 to end of season)

Gerald S. Snyder (Danny Boys' Dad) worn in 2003

Nov 28, 2022 - 2:21PM

Michael Wacha card with the actual Oscar Taveras "OT" memorial patch

May 11, 2023 - 2:00PM


Edited on: Apr 11, 2024 - 11:35PM

Apr 11, 2024 - 11:35PM
Apr 13, 2024 - 7:17PM
Apr 13, 2024 - 7:20PM

@C2Cigars I’ll count it. I have one for Vladimir Konstantinov on here and he survived.

Apr 13, 2024 - 10:26PM

I just noticed that the Topps 1975 baseball set shows many of the Angels sporting what looks like a diagonal black piece of tape on the left sleeve.  So, the pics would have been taken during the spring of 1974, but I don't remember any deaths at that time or during the 1973-74 off-season for the Angels.

Apr 14, 2024 - 5:53AM

Google isn’t being too friendly, but I’m guessing

”Reliever Bruce Heinbechner never played in a regular season game in the majors, but had apparently made the opening day roster when he was killed in a two-car crash while returning to the Angels’ spring training hotel in Palm Springs on March 10, 1974.[fn]“A pitcher lost, but hardly forgotten,” Long Beach Press-Telegram, 12 March 1974.”

Apr 14, 2024 - 5:56AM

Bingo, this great page over at the baseball Hall has a nice listing

Jul 13, 2024 - 9:16PM

"Raiders 30" - Stacy Toran (players wore it without Al Davis' approval)

Jul 13, 2024 - 9:27PM
Jul 16, 2024 - 9:13AM
Jul 16, 2024 - 9:25AM

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