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Jerseys

Special patches and armbands have long been a part of the baseball uniform, but the practice is much more common now than ever before. Today, nearly every major league uniform features some sort of patch, whether it commemorates an anniversary, promotes an upcoming event, or honors the memory of members of the baseball community or others who have passed away.

Mourning Miller

Memorial armbands and markings of one sort or another have been a tradition in baseball since the 19th century. The first-known use of a memorial marking on a major league uniform took place in 1876, the inaugural year of the National League. In late May of that season, Tom Miller, catcher for the St. Louis nine, passed away from a disease of the kidneys. Though Miller had last played ball with the club the previous season, his teammates adopted a resolution stating “that we, his late associates, wear a badge of mourning for thirty days as a token of respect for his memory.”

Black Bows in Boston

On March 28, 1907, Chick Stahl, manager of the Boston Americans (later known as the Red Sox), committed suicide. Three days later, in a spring training game, both Boston and their opponents, the Cincinnati Reds, wore black crepe bows on their arms in memory of Stahl, who was laid to rest that day. Though three key players for Boston missed the game in order to attend Stahl’s funeral, the club still defeated the Reds 3-0.

Just one day after Stahl’s untimely death, the National League Boston Doves (later known as the Braves) lost their teammate Cozy Dolan to typhoid fever. On Opening Day, April 12, 1907, the Boston players donned uniforms with the Old English “B” on their jersey front adorned with black crepe.

 

 

 

Pulliam’s Passing

An early use of a memorial armband occurred following the death of National League President Harry Pulliam on July 29, 1909. Pulliam, who had battled with mental illness and was despondent over the stresses of his job, shot himself on July 25, though he did not pass away until four days later. On August 2, the day of Pulliam’s funeral, all major league games were postponed (a first in the history of the game). In memory of the former league president, each National League club donned black armbands on their left sleeve for the remainder of the season.

At left: Fred Tenney of the New York Giants, 1909

 

 

Tribe Tribute

The only major league ballplayer to die as a direct result of an on-field incident was Ray Chapman, star shortstop for the Cleveland Indians. On August 16, 1920, Chapman was struck in the head by a pitch delivered by New York Yankees pitcher Carl Mays. The blow fractured Chapman’s skull, and the following day he succumbed to the injury. For the remainder of the season and during their triumphant appearance in the World Series, the Indians wore black armbands on their left sleeve in memory of their beloved teammate.

At left: Joe Sewell of the Cleveland Indians, 1920

 

Miscellaneous Memorial Markings

Though black armbands have long been the most common method of paying tribute to a recently deceased individual, baseball uniforms have also utilized other symbols as memorial markings.

A player’s uniform number within a circular patch has been used as a symbol to honor the memory of a ballplayer on numerous occasions. The first instance of such a patch occurred in 1973, when the left sleeve of the Pittsburgh Pirates uniform featured the number “21” in a white circle with a black border. The patch was worn in memory of the club’s star right fielder, Robert Clemente, who was killed in an airplane crash on December 31, 1972. Two years later, the Houston Astros honored the memory of pitcher Don Wilson by wearing a circular black patch surrounding a white number “40” on the left sleeve of their uniform. The author of two no-hitters and an 18-strikeout performance, Wilson had committed suicide on January 5, 1975.

The initials of a recently deceased individual are often used as a memorial symbol when the honored person never donned a big league uniform. Following the death of San Diego Padres owner Ray Kroc prior to the 1984 season, the club chose to don the initials “RAK” on the left sleeve of their uniform. The patch was worn for three seasons. When longtime St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck passed away during the 2002 season, the club added a black patch with white initials “JFB” on the right sleeve of their jerseys.

Other specially designed patches have also served as memorial markings. For the 1988 season, the Milwaukee Brewers honored the memory of their former coach and manager Harvey Kuenn by donning memorial patches featuring the initial “HK” surrounding the image of a baseball bat. When Willie Stargell passed away at the beginning of the 2001 season, the Pirates paid tribute to the beloved Pittsburgh slugger by wearing a special patch on the left breast of their jersey. The patch featured the letter “S” within a gold star, reminiscent of the “Stargell Star” merit badges doled out to teammates by Stargell as the team captain neared the end of his career.

Below is a partial list of memorial markings donned by major league clubs for either all or part of a season (last updated April 2014):

Year Club(s) Description In memory of …
1876 St. Louis (NL) Badge of mourning (likely black crepe) Teammate Tom Miller
1878 Chicago (NL), Milwaukee (NL) Black crepe Sporting Editor of the Chicago Tribune Lewis Meacham
1881 Worcester (NL) Black crepe on sleeves Teammate Chub Sullivan
1882 Chicago (NL) Badge of crepe on sleeve National League and Chicago Club President William Hulbert
1887 Pittsburgh (NL) Black crepe on uniform Teammate Alex McKinnon
1888 Washington (NL) Knot of crepe on sleeve Washington Club President Robert Hewett
1888 Philadelphia (NL), Washington (NL); New York (NL); Boston (NL) Black crepe on left sleeve Philadelphia teammate Charlie Ferguson
1891 All NL and AA Clubs Black crepe on uniform Player Jim Fogarty
1892 Brooklyn (NL), Washington (NL), New York (NL), Boston (NL) Black crepe on left sleeve Brooklyn teammate Hub Collins
1900 Brooklyn (NL) Crepe (likely black crepe) Manager Billy Barnie
1901 Detroit (AL) Crepe (likely black crepe) Former sports editor of the Detroit Free Press “Bo” Needham
1903 Washington (AL), Cleveland (AL), Philadelphia (AL) Black crepe on left sleeve Washington teammate Ed Delehanty
1906 Washington (AL) Black armband on left sleeve of home uniform; white armband on left sleeve of road uniform?  Teammate Joe Cassidy
1907 Boston (AL), Cincinnati (NL), Boston (NL) Black crepe bow on sleeve (in spring training) Boston (AL) manager Chick Stahl
1907 Boston (NL) Black crepe bow on jersey front Teammate Cozy Dolan
1909 Philadelphia (AL) Knot of black ribbon over Athletics’ “A” logo Teammate Mike "Doc" Powers
1909 All NL Clubs Black armband on left sleeve League president Harry Pulliam
1911 Cleveland (AL), St. Louis (AL) Black armband Cleveland teammate Addie Joss
1911 Philadelphia (NL) Black armband on left sleeve Club vice president Frank Elliott
1911 St. Louis (NL) Black crepe bow on left sleeve (end of spring training and beginning of regular season) Club owner Stanley Robison
1912 Washington (AL) Black armband on left sleeve (Walter Johnson and Danny Moeller wore armbands on right sleeve) Club president Thomas Noyes
1919 New York (NL) Black armband Club scout and former player Germany Schaefer
1920 Boston (AL), Cleveland (AL), Detroit (AL), New York (AL), Cincinnati (NL), Brooklyn (NL), Chicago (NL), New York (NL) Black armband on left sleeve Cleveland shortstop Ray Chapman
1922 Cleveland (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Club president Jim Dunn
1923 All NL Clubs Black armband on left sleeve U.S. President Warren G. Harding
1924 Chicago (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Appointed manager Frank Chance (retired due to illness prior to managing in the regular season)
1924 Boston (NL) Black armband on left sleeve Teammate Tony Boeckel
1925 New York (NL), Brooklyn (NL) Black armband Brooklyn club president Charles Ebbets
1925 Washington (AL), Pittsburgh (NL) Black armband (in World Series) Former player Christy Mathewson
1929 New York (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Manager Miller Huggins
1930 Chicago (NL) Black armband on left sleeve Teammate Hal Carlson
1931 Philadelphia (NL) Black armband on left sleeve  Club owner William Baker
1931 Pittsburgh (NL) Black armband on left sleeve (probably spring training only) Sam Dreyfuss, son of club owner Barney Dreyfuss
1931 Chicago (AL) Black armband (in spring training) American League president Ernest Barnard and former American League president Ban Johnson 
1932 Pittsburgh (NL) Black armband on left sleeve Club owner Barney Dreyfuss
1934 Brooklyn (NL) Black armband on left sleeve Former manager Wilbert Robinson
1934 New York (NL) Black armband on left sleeve Former manager John McGraw
1935 Brooklyn (NL) Black armband on left sleeve Teammate Len Koenecke
1936 New York (NL) Black armband on left sleeve Club owner Charles Stoneham
1938 Brooklyn (NL) Black armband on left sleeve Club president Stephen McKeever
1939 Chicago (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Club president J. Louis Comiskey
1940 Cincinnati (NL) Black crepe on left sleeve for two days, then black armband on left sleeve Teammate Willard Hershberger
1945 Washington (AL) Black armband on left sleeve U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt
1948 New York (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Former player Babe Ruth
1949 Pittsburgh (NL) Black armband on left sleeve Teammate Ernie “Tiny” Bonham
1951 Boston (AL) Black armband on left sleeve (in spring training) Club vice president Eddie Collins
1951 New York (NL) Black armband on sleeve (in spring training) Mother of club president, Mrs. Charles A. Stoneham
1955 Boston (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Teammate Harry Agganis
1956 Baltimore (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Former club treasurer Howard Jones
1957 Washington (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Club vice president Wootton E. Young
1960 Kansas City (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Club president Arnold Johnson
1961 Cincinnati (NL) Black band on left vest-sleeve opening Club owner Powel Crosley
1964 Houston (NL) Black armband Former teammate Jim Umbricht
1966 Detroit (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Former manager Charlie Dressen
1968 Los Angeles (NL) Black armband on left sleeve Senator Robert F. Kennedy
1970 Chicago (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Teammate Paul Edmondson
1972 Chicago (NL) Black armband on left sleeve (spring training) Coach Rube Walker
1972 New York (NL) Black armband on left sleeve Manager Gil Hodges
1972 Oakland (AL) Black armband (worn by Ken Holtzman, Mike Epstein, and Reggie Jackson) 11 Israeli athletes killed at Olympic Games in Munich
1973 Pittsburgh (NL) Black rectangular patch on left sleeve (in spring training); number “21” in circular patch on left sleeve (in regular season) Teammate Roberto Clemente
1974 Los Angeles (NL) Black armband on left sleeve Wife of teammate Ken McMullen
1974 California (AL) Black strip of cloth on left sleeve (in spring training) Minor league player Bruce Heinbechner
1975 Houston (NL) White number “40” in black circular patch on left sleeve Teammate Don Wilson
1976 Boston (AL) Black armband on left sleeve (Bill Lee wore the armband on right sleeve) Club owner Tom Yawkey
1976 New York (NL) Black armband on left sleeve Club owner Joan Payson and former manager Casey Stengel
1977 Milwaukee (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Teammate Danny Frisella
1977 Texas (AL) Black armband across number “4” on left sleeve Teammate Danny Thompson
1977 Chicago (NL) Black armband on left sleeve Club owner Philip K. Wrigley
1978 Los Angeles (NL) Number “19” in small black circle on left sleeve (in World Series) Former player and coach Jim Gilliam
1978 California (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Teammate Lyman Bostock
1979-1980 New York (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Teammate Thurman Munson
1981 New York (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Former player Elston Howard
1982 St. Louis (NL) Black armband on left sleeve Former player, coach, and manager Ken Boyer
1984 Chicago (AL) Numbers “6/46” within baseball on left sleeve Coaches Charlie Lau and Loren Babe
1984 Atlanta (NL) Black armband on left sleeve Coach and former player Tommie Aaron
1984-1986 San Diego (NL) Patch with “RAK” on left sleeve  Club owner Ray Kroc
1985 New York (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Clubhouse man Pete Sheehy
1986 Milwaukee (AL) “SULLY” in blue inside white circular patch left sleeve Equipment manager Robert Sullivan
1986 New York (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Former player Roger Maris
1987 Kansas City (AL) “HOWSER” above the  number “10” within circular patch on right sleeve Former manager Dick Howser
1987 Los Angeles (NL) White “MAC” on black rectangular patch on right sleeve Former coach Don McMahon
1988 Baltimore (AL) Initials “EBW” on left sleeve Owner Edward Bennett Williams
1988 Milwaukee (AL) Gold “HK” with gold bat on blue patch Former manager and coach Harvey Kuenn
1988 Cincinnati (NL) Black armband on left sleeve (opening homestand only) Former player Ted Kluszewski
1988 Pittsburgh (NL) Initials “RSC” on right sleeve Pittsburgh mayor Richard S. Caliguiri
1989 Houston (NL) Black armband on left sleeve Club shareholder Vivian Smith
1989 St. Louis (NL) Black armband on left sleeve Club owner August A. Busch Jr.
1989 Oakland (AL), San Francisco (NL) Black armband on left sleeve (in World Series) Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti
1990 Boston (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Former player Tony Conigliaro
1990 New York (AL) Number “1” on left sleeve Former player and manager Billy Martin
1990 St. Louis (NL) “AAB  JR” on left sleeve; black armband on left sleeve of batting practice jerseys Club owner August A. Busch Jr.
1991 Atlanta (NL) Initials “JWM” on left sleeve Club vice resident John W. Mullen
1991 Pittsburgh (NL) Initial “H” in black circle on right sleeve Equipment manager John “Hoolie” Hallahan
1992 Boston (AL) Black stripe below red “JRY” on left sleeve Club owner Jean R. Yawkey
1992 California (AL) “DJ” on right sleeve Coach Deron Johnson
1992 Chicago (AL) Small black diamond on left sleeve Four team associates who passed away over the past year
1992 Kansas City (AL) Initials “JRB” on right sleeve Club president Joe Burke
1992 New York (NL) “S” in white circle with black pinstripes on left sleeve Namesake of Shea Stadium, William Shea
1993 Cleveland (AL) Number “31” under an arrow pointing upwards (for Olin) and “52” under a star (for Crews) within a baseball patch on right sleeve Players Steve Olin and Tim Crews
1993 Kansas City (AL) “EMK” above Royals logo in circle on left sleeve Club owner Ewing M. Kauffman
1993 Texas (AL) “HEC” on right sleeve Former club owner Harrell Edmonds “Eddie” Chiles
1993 Florida (NL) “CARL” below Marlins’ inaugural year patch on right sleeve President Carl Barger
1993 Los Angeles (NL) “52” in black circle Former player Tim Crews
1993 Los Angeles (NL) “39 ROY” and “DON 53” in black circle on right sleeve Former player Roy Campanella; former player and broadcaster Don Drysdale
1993 Los Angeles (NL) “IKE” in black rectangular patch on right sleeve (worn during five-game post-season exhibition series in Asia) Akihiro “Ike” Ikuhara, longtime assistant to Dodgers President Peter O’Malley
1994 San Francisco (NL) Initials “CSF” in black circular patch on left sleeve Former club president Charles S. Feeney
1994-1995 California (AL) Black armband with “50 REESE” in white on right sleeve and circular black patch with “REESE 50” in white on left sleeve (worn during second half of 1994 and spring of 1995) Coach Jimmie Reese
1995 Kansas City (AL) Blue initials “MIK” in white patch on right sleeve Muriel I. Kaufmann , wife of former club owner Ewing Kaufmann
1995 New York (AL) Black armband on left sleeve; later the number “7” above the black armband Former player Mickey Mantle
1995 Oakland (AL) Green initials “WAH” in white circle with gold border above a dark green armband on right sleeve Former owner Walter A. Haas, Jr.
1996 Colorado (NL) Initials “MDM” in circular patch on left sleeve Michael McMorris, son of club chairman Jerry McMorris
1996 New York (NL) Home plate with crossed bats and “JM / NL Umpire / 10” National League umpire John McSherry
1996 New York (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Broadcaster Mel Allen
1997 Texas (AL) Black rectangle with white initials “MH” on right sleeve Former broadcaster Mark Holtz
1997 Philadelphia (NL) Black armband with “1” on sleeve Broadcaster and former player Richie Ashburn
1998 Chicago (NL) Caricature of Harry Caray in circular patch on right sleeve Broadcaster Harry Caray
1998 Chicago (NL) “HEY HEY” in curved black patch on left sleeve Broadcaster Jack Brickhouse
1999 Anaheim (AL) Caricature of Gene Autry with “26” in circular patch on right sleeve Club owner Gene Autry
1999 Baltimore (AL) Number “7” on right sleeve Former manager and coach Cal Ripken Sr.
1999 Colorado (NL) Initials “CHS” in circular patch on left sleeve 12 students and one teacher killed at Columbine High School in Colorado
1999 Los Angeles (NL) Black armband with “PEE WEE 1” on left sleeve Former player Pee Wee Reese
1999 Milwaukee (NL) Logo of the Ironworkers Local Union 8 on left chest Three ironworkers who died in a crane accident during construction of Miller Park
1999 New York (AL) Number “5” on left sleeve Former player Joe DiMaggio
1999 New York (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Former player Catfish Hunter
1999 Oakland (AL) Number “27” in green circle on right sleeve Former player Catfish Hunter
2000 Minnesota (AL) Blue initials “CRG” outlined in red on white arched patch on left sleeve above normal logo patch Former owner Calvin R. Griffith
2000 New York (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Former manager Bob Lemon
2000 Montreal (NL) Number “9” on right sleeve Montreal Canadiens hockey great Maurice Richard
2001 Cleveland (AL) Number “5” in circle on left sleeve Former player and manager Lou Boudreau
2001 New York (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001
2001 Pittsburgh (NL) Letter “S” within a gold star on left breast of jersey Former player Willie Stargell
2001 New York (NL) Numbers “20/60” within baseball on right sleeve (worn for home opener only, April 9, 2001) Former player Tommie Agee and prospect Brian Cole
2001 New York (NL) Date “9-11-01” with U.S. flags on either side Victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001
2001 Atlanta (NL) Number “41” on left sleeve Former player Eddie Mathews
2002 Boston (AL) Black armband below black “9” on right sleeve Former player Ted Williams
2002 Cleveland (AL) Initials “JW” in white oval patch with red trim on right sleeve Trainer Jimmy Warfield
2002 San Diego (NL) Number “26” in circular patch on right sleeve Teammate Mike Darr
2002 St. Louis (NL) Initials “JFB” in patch on right sleeve Broadcaster Jack Buck
2002 St. Louis (NL) Initials “DK” and number “57” in circular patch on left sleeve Teammate Darryl Kile
2003 Houston (NL) Space Shuttle Columbia STS-107 patch  Crew of Space Shuttle Columbia STS-107 
2003 Cleveland (AL) Number “18” in small circle on right sleeve (on right chest of sleeveless jerseys) Former player Mel Harder
2003 Cleveland (AL) “14 DOBY” in rectangular black patch above Harder memorial patch on right sleeve (on right chest of sleeveless jerseys) Former player Larry Doby
2003 San Francisco (NL) “BB” in small black circle on right sleeve Former player Bobby Bonds
2004 Atlanta (NL) Black “21” in white home plate-shaped patch on left sleeve Former Braves player Warren Spahn
2004 New York (NL) Scripted “Ya Gotta Believe” with “TUG” underneath, embroidered on right sleeve Former player Tug McGraw
2004 New York (NL) “BOB MURPHY” embroidered above Mets logo on left sleeve Former broadcaster Bob Murphy
2004 Philadelphia (NL) Burgundy-colored arched patch with “POPE” in white on right sleeve (above McGraw patch) Former manager Paul Owens
2004 Philadelphia (NL) Green shamrock on right sleeve (below Owens patch) Former player Tug McGraw
2004 Minnesota (AL) Patch with scripted “Eloise” in white on right sleeve Wife of club owner Carl Pohlad
2005 Texas (AL) White  “26” in black square on right sleeve Former manager Johnny Oates
2005 Toronto (AL) Initials “BM”, “DA”, and “JC” on a blue diamond, with the Blue Jays logo above and a pennant with the phrase “TEAMMATES FOREVER” below Former manager Bobby Mattick, broadcaster John Cerutti, and former player Doug Ault
2006 Baltimore (AL) Black “44” on left sleeve on white jerseys; orange “44” on left sleeve on black jerseys Former player and coach Elrod Hendricks
2006 Minnesota (AL) Black “34” outlined in white on right sleeve of full jersey and on right chest of vest jersey Former player Kirby Puckett
2006 Oakland (AL) Yellow and green patch featuring microphone, the phrase “HOLY TOLEDO!” and the name “KING” on home jerseys Broadcaster Bill King
2006 Toronto (AL) White “TC” with image of microphone in black circle on left sleeve on white jerseys; black “TC” with image of microphone in white circle on left sleeve on black jerseys Broadcaster Tom Cheek
2006 Pittsburgh (NL) Gold “BOB” on black rectangle over left breast of vest jersey Pittsburgh mayor Bob O’Connor
2007 Boston (AL) Green cap and jersey (April 20 only) Boston Celtics basketball coach Red Auerbach
2007 Boston (AL) Virginia Tech “VT” logo in black on left sleeve of jersey (April 20 only) 32 people killed at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA
2007 Minnesota (AL) Black armband on right sleeve for first week of season; afterwards, a blue microphone and the word “Herb” in white on a blue-bred circle with a blue border on right sleeve Broadcaster Herb Carneal
2007 New York (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Teammate Cory Lidle
2007 New York (AL) Virginia Tech logo on left side of baseball cap (May 23 only) 32 people killed at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA
2007 Toronto (AL) White “SP” in a black circle on right sleeve of home, white jerseys Former Chairman and CEO Sam Pollock
2007 Atlanta (NL) White “LB 33 JS” in a black baseball with white stitches on left sleeve Former players Lew Burdette and Johnny Sain
2007 Philadelphia (NL) White “VUK” in small black circle on right sleeve Former player and coach John Vukovich
2007 San Francisco (NL) White “BECK” and “47” inside black rectangle on left sleeve Former player Rod Beck
2007 St. Louis (NL) White “32” in small black circle on right sleeve on home uniforms, left sleeve on road uniforms Teammate Josh Hancock
2007 Washington (NL) Virginia Tech baseball caps (April 17 only): position players wore burgundy caps, manager and coaches staff wore white caps, relievers wore orange caps 32 people killed at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA
2008 Baltimore (AL) Black armband on right sleeve Sportscaster and minority owner Jim McKay
2008 Chicago (AL) Northern Illinois University baseball caps (Spring Training game of February 27 only) 6 people killed at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL
2008 Minnesota (AL) The words “INTERSTATE MINNESOTA 35W” in white within a blue and red Interstate highway shield on right sleeve
First anniversary of the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis in which 13 people were killed
2008 New York (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Former player and broadcaster Bobby Murcer
2008 Atlanta (NL) White rectangle outlined in black with black word “SKIP” on right sleeve Broadcaster Skip Caray
2008 Atlanta (NL) White arch patch outlined in dark blue with dark blue word “BEACH” on left sleeve Former coach Jim Beauchamp
2008 Cincinnati (NL) Black circular patch with white word “NUXY” on right sleeve Former pitcher and broadcaster Joe Nuxhall
2009 Cleveland (AL) Patch with white “HERB” in a blue ribbon over a black and gray microphone centered over a red number 27 outlined in blue and white on right sleeve Broadcaster and former pitcher Herb Score
2009 Los Angeles (AL) Black diamond patch with thin red border and white “PRESTON” on right sleeve Coach Preston Gomez
2009 Los Angeles (AL) Black circular patch with thin red border and white “ADENHART” above the number 34 on the left chest Teammate Nick Adenhart
2009 Minnesota (AL) Black oval patch with white border and white “Carl” signature on right sleeve of full jersey and on left chest of vest jersey Club owner Carl Pohlad
2009 Toronto (AL) Black ribbon patch with red border and white “TED” on left sleeve Club owner Ted Rogers
2009 Philadelphia (NL) Black circular patch with white “HK” on left chest Broadcaster Harry Kalas
2009 San Francisco (NL) Black patch with orange “BURNS” on right sleeve Senior general partner Sue Burns
2010 Detroit (AL) Black circular patch with white “EH” on right sleeve Former broadcaster Ernie Harwell
2010 New York (AL) Black circular patch with an inset microphone and two white portions of Yankee Stadium facade on a black and white baseball diamond with white words “BOB SHEPPARD” above the words “THE VOICE OF YANKEE STADIUM” Former public address announcer Bob Sheppard
2010 New York (AL) Black armband on left sleeve (only worn during the All-Star Game by members of the Yankees named to the AL All-Star squad) Team owner George Steinbrenner
2010 New York (AL) Black oval with white initials “GMS” in the center, the name “George M. Steinbrebber III” at the top and the nickname “THE BOSS” at the bottom Team owner George Steinbrenner
2010 New York (AL) Black armband on left sleeve Former player and manager Ralph Houk
2010 Colorado (NL) Black circular patch with white “KSM” on right sleeve of full jersey and on left chest of vest jersey Club President Keli McGregor
2010 Philadelphia (NL) Black circular patch with white “36” on right sleeve Former pitcher Robin Roberts
2011 Baltimore (AL) Black circular patch with white “FLANNY” on right sleeve Former pitcher, executive and broadcaster Mike Flanagan
2011 Cleveland (AL) White circular patch with red border surrounding a blue and red “FELLER 19” on right sleeve (in spring training); circular white patch with red border (on cream or blue jerseys) or blue border (on white or gray jerseys) surrounding a blue image of Bob Feller pitching and the number “19” on right sleeve (regular season) Former player Bob Feller
2011 Detroit (AL) Black home-plate-shaped patch with white “SPARKY 11” on right sleeve Former manager Sparky Anderson
2011 Kansas City (AL) Black circular patch with white “SPLITT” on right sleeve Former player Paul Splittorff
2011 Minnesota (AL) Black “3” patch on right sleeve Former player Harmon Killebrew
2011 Oakland (AL) Black ribbon on front left of jersey Fan Shannon Stone, who died after falling over a railing at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (July 8 only)
2011 Seattle (AL) Black oval patch with image of a microphone and white “DAVE My Oh My!” on right sleeve Former broadcaster Dave Niehaus
2011 Texas (AL) Black ribbon on front left of jersey Fan Shannon Stone, who died after falling over a railing at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (July 8 only)
2011 Atlanta (NL) Circular patch with blue “ERNIE” in the center above a microphone in front of a baseball glove on left sleeve Former broadcaster Ernie Johnson Sr.
2011 Chicago (NL) White circular patch with blue border surrounding the number “10” in blue and red on right sleeve Former player and broadcaster Ron Santo
2011 Cincinnati (NL) Black oval patch with white “SPARKY” on right sleeve Former manager Sparky Anderson
2011 Los Angeles (NL) Black circular patch with white “4” on right sleeve Former player Duke Snider
2011 Milwaukee (NL) Dark blue circular patch with white “GV” on left chest Groundskeeper Gary Vanden Berg
2011 Philadelphia (NL) Black circular patch with white “B” in Phillies script on left chest Minority owners Alexander K. "Whip" Buck and J. Mahlon "Jim" Buck
2011 Pittsburgh (NL) Black circular patch surrounding gold star with black number “7” in the center on right sleeve Former manager Chuck Tanner
2011 San Diego (NL) Black circular patch with white “RHW” in the center on right sleeve (July 14 only) Former manager Dick Williams
2012 Boston (AL) Black armband on right sleeve of gray, road jerseys; black circular patch with white “6” on left sleeve of all other jerseys (home or road) Former player, coach and manager Johnny Pesky
2012 Chicago (AL) Black diamond patch with white “HIC MAN” atop a second black diamond patch with white “BMS” on right sleeve Former pitcher Kevin Hickey and former player Bill "Moose" Skowron
2012 Oakland (AL) Black circle with white “GJN” on right sleeve (worn during post-season only) Gehrig John Neshek, son of pitcher Pat Neshek
2012 New York (NL) Black home-plate-shaped patch with white “KID 8” on right sleeve (at times worn on upper-right chest; worn on upper-left chest of road jersey by R.A. Dickey, David Wright, and Terry Collins during 2012 All-Star Game) Former player Gary Carter
2012 San Diego (NL) Black circular patch with white “48” on right sleeve Bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds
2013 All MLB clubs White oval patch with black border surrounding a black ribbon underneath the city seal of Newtown (CT) surrounded by a total of 26 stars on left chest of jersey (opening day only) 26 individuals killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut
2013 Baltimore (AL) Orange circular patch with thin black and white border surrounding black “EARL WEAVER” above the number “4” and the words “HALL OF FAME” on right sleeve Former manager Earl Weaver
2013 Boston (AL) Black armband on left sleeve of road jersey on April 16 (Felix Doubrant wore armband on right sleeve); on right sleeve of road jersey (April 17 and afterward). Blue circle with classic Red Sox “B” in red above the word "STRONG" in white, with all elements surrounded by thin white borders, on left chest of home jersey (April 20 and first game of doubleheader April 21 only); on left sleeve of home jersey (second game of doubleheader on Apri 21 and remainder of season) Victims of the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15
2013 Cleveland (AL) Black armband on left sleeve (April 16) Victims of the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15
2013 Kansas City (AL) Blue circle with classic Red Sox “B” in red above the word "STRONG" in white, with all elements surrounded by thin white borders, on right chest (April 20 only) Victims of the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15
2013 Los Angeles (AL) Black circle outlined in red surrounding red “LEW” outlined in white with white “DR. LEWIS YOCUM” arched inside top of circle and “1947-2013” arched inside bottom of circle on left chest Team physician Dr. Lewis Yocum
2013 Los Angeles (AL) White patch with red “SUPPORT” above blue “WEST” to the left of the flag of Texas on the right sleeve (July 5 only) Fifteen people who died in a fertilizer explosion on April 17 in West, Texas
2013 Seattle (AL) Black circular patch with thin white circle surrounding white “HY” on the right sleeve Owner Hiroshi Yamauchi
2013 Arizona (NL) White circular patch with black “19” on left chest (July 5-7); black circular patch with white “19” on right sleeve (July 8 and remainder of season) Nineteen members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who lost their lives fighting a fire on June 30 near Yarnell, Arizona
2013 St. Louis (NL) Red circular patch surrounding white, gray or cream-colored center (matching the uniform’s background color) with Stan Musial’s signature in blue atop a red number “6” with all red elements surrounded by a thin blue border on left sleeve Former player Stan Musial
2014 Baltimore (AL) Rectangular patch surrounding “TOM CLANCY” at base of right sleeve. Four color schemes used: orange background with black lettering, white background with black lettering, black background with orange lettering, and gray background with black lettering. Club investor Tom Clancy
2014 New York (NL) Black circular patch with white border surrounding a white microphone, with white “RALPH KINER” at the top of the circle and “1922-2014” at the bottom, on right sleeve Former broadcaster Ralph Kiner
2014 Philadelphia (NL) Black circular patch surrounding white “CB” on left chest Minority owner Claire Betz
2014 Pittsburgh (NL) Black circular patch with gold border surrounding a black “4” outlined in gold on left sleeve Former player Ralph Kiner
2014 San Diego (NL) Black, five-pointed star patch with white border surrounding the white initials “JC” on left sleeve Former broadcaster Jerry Coleman

 

Our National Patch-Time

Uniform patches have long been used to commemorate or promote special events. The first such patch used on a major league uniform was worn by the 1907 Chicago White Sox on the left sleeve of their road jerseys. The circular patch commemorated the club’s 1906 World Series victory over their crosstown rivals, the Chicago Cubs. Ten years later, following the United States’ entry into World War I, several major league clubs donned patriotic patches on their jerseys and sleeves. Over the years, numerous clubs have adopted special patches for a single season, but the practice reached a fever pitch beginning in the 1980s, when clubs began wearing patches on a more frequent basis. The Colorado Rockies, for example, donned commemorative or memorial patches in each of the club’s first seven years of existence.

Ruptured Duck

In 1945, former servicemen Hi Bithorn, Peanuts Lowrey, Paul Gillespie and Mickey Livingston of the Chicago Cubs, and Aaron Robinson and Red Ruffing of the New York Yankees, each wore a special honorable discharge patch, affectionately known as the “ruptured duck,” on their sleeve. Though other clubs discussed the idea, apparently no other players donned these patches.

 

Plenty of Patches

Rabbit Maranville of the
Boston Braves, 1930
Lou Chiozza of the
New York Giants, 1938
Sam McDowell of the
New York Yankees, 1973

Below is a partial list of commemorative patches worn by major league clubs from 1907 through the 1970s.

Year Club(s) Patch commemorates or promotes …
1907 Chicago (AL) White Sox 1906 World Series championship
1917 Brooklyn (NL), Chicago (AL), Chicago (NL), Detroit (AL), Washington (AL) U.S. involvement in World War I
1918 Chicago (AL), Cleveland (AL), New York (AL) (Yankees wore commemorative armbands, not patches) U.S. involvement in World War I
1925 All National League clubs 50th National League season
1930 Boston (NL), Boston (AL) 300th anniversary of city of Boston
1938 Brooklyn (NL), New York (AL), New York (NL) 1939 World’s Fair in New York City
1939 All major league clubs Baseball’s “centennial season” of 1939
1942 All major league clubs “Hale America” Fitness Campaign
1943-1945 Most major league clubs U.S. involvement in World War II
1945 Chicago (NL) (Hi Bithorn, Peanuts Lowrey, Mickey Livingston, and Paul Gillespie only), New York (AL) (Aaron Robinson and Red Ruffing only) Former servicemen honorably discharged
1946 Cleveland (AL) 150th anniversary of city of Cleveland
1950 Philadelphia (AL) 50th anniversary of Connie Mack as club owner/manager
1951 All American League clubs 50th anniversary of American League
1951 All National League clubs 75th anniversary of National League
1951 Detroit (AL) 250th anniversary of city of Detroit
1952 New York (AL) 50th anniversary of New York (AL) club
1964 Baltimore (AL) 150th anniversary of “The Star Spangled Banner”
1964-1965 New York (NL) World’s Fair in New York City
1968 Chicago (AL), Chicago (NL) 150th anniversary of Illinois statehood
1969 All major league clubs 100th anniversary of professional baseball
1973 New York (AL) 50th anniversary of Yankee Stadium
1975-1976 Boston (AL) home jerseys only 200th anniversary of Massachusetts statehood
1976 Cleveland (AL) Cleveland Sports “Spirit of ’76”
1976 Detroit (AL) Detroit “1776 1976”
1976 All National League clubs except for Montreal 100th anniversary of National League
1976 Montreal 1976 Olympics
1976 Chicago (NL) 100th anniversary of Chicago (NL) franchise
1976 Philadelphia (NL), Oakland (AL) 200th anniversary of U.S.A.
1978 San Diego (NL) 10th season of the San Diego Padres

 


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