IntroductionParts of the UniformTimelineUniform DatabaseActivitiesCredits

 
  

Your first baseball game.

There is an excitement, an anticipation as you walk to your seat. You look down onto the green expanse of the ballfield and you see them. The big leaguers: the players on your hometown team and those of the visiting club. You may not know them all. You may only have heard of just a few. But their uniforms immediately tell you “He’s on my club” and “That guy’s with the enemy.” At the same time, while the bright, clean uniforms help bond you to your team, they also remind you that you are not wearing the uniform. You are just a fan. They are the pros.

Your first baseball game.

There is a different kind of excitement about this game, because this time you are a player, not merely a fan. You proudly put on your jersey, your pants, your stockings, shoes and cap in a pregame ritual that is performed by ballplayers from tee ball to the big leagues. As you walk onto the field you look around. The other players on your team are all wearing the same uniform as you and you feel a sense of belonging and camaraderie. You are a member of a baseball team and these are your teammates.

There is something special about the baseball uniform, a mystique that is hard to pin down. Whether we are looking at someone in a uniform or we are trying it on ourselves, it is the feeling of the fabric, the design on the cap and jersey, the colors, cut, and history of the outfit, that all lend meaning to our relationship with the game.

The first official baseball uniform, adopted in 1849 by the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York City, was a simple outfit consisting of a white flannel shirt, blue wool pants and a straw hat. Fast-forward over 150 years later, and you’ll find the modern-day major leaguer wearing brilliantly colored double-knit uniforms made of synthetic blend fabrics. What happened along the way? What styles came and went (and came again)? Which changes to the uniform were successful and which experiments fell flat? How has the baseball uniform become an integral part of our national pastime?

 


Dressed to the Nines: A History of the Baseball Uniform
Introduction · Parts of the Uniform · Timeline
Uniform Database · Activities · Credits
Online Exhibits · National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum