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Pitcher Earl Moore and  third baseman Fred Smith of the Federal League Buffalo Blues, 1914

When one thinks of the quintessential baseball uniform, it is often adorned with a team or city name angled across the shirt front in script lettering. The earliest known use of the style on any professional team uniform is 1902, when both Oakland and San Francisco of the California League donned jerseys with their city names displayed in script lettering. The first time the style was adopted in the major leagues was on the road uniform of the 1914 Federal League Buffalo Blues (also known as the Buffeds). The front of the club’s jersey featured the word “Buffalo” in script lettering and was partially underlined by a slight flourish. The St. Louis Cardinals experimented with the style in 1918 and 1919, but script lettering did not reappear in the big leagues until 1930. In that year the Detroit Tigers adopted the style that has since been embraced by nearly every major league club at some time during their history.


Return to Timeline: 1901-1920


Dressed to the Nines: A History of the Baseball Uniform
Introduction · Parts of the Uniform · Timeline
Uniform Database · Activities · Credits
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