The Rundown: 5 Things You Never Knew About Baseball Uniforms

All of the greats have worn uniforms – Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth and Mark Zuckerberg. Here’s five things you never knew about on the field fashion.


You look good in my shirt,

The Last Night’s Game Team


PS – Thank you to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and our friends at Three Sands Clothing who celebrate historic sports teams, games, and events through vintage apparel for the research on today’s post.


  1. The first official baseball uniform was made for the 1849 New York Knickerbockers. It featured wool pantaloons, flannel shirts and straw hats. We’re sure dressing like the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz while trying to catch a pop fly was no big deal.                             
  2. In 1882 teams were required to wear different uniform colors to represent the positions on the field. For example, red and white striped shirts and caps were worn by first basemen, while shortstops wore solid red. This experiment didn’t last long and by mid-season this uniform rule was abandoned.
  3. Since most uniform colors were similar, teams began wearing colorful socks or stockings to differentiate one team from another.
  4. A baseball manager (aka head coach) is the only coach in sports to wear the same uniform as the players. It’s not because they think it makes their hips look small but because the role of coach used to be performed by the captain, who was also a player. The manager was actually the one who paid the bills and scheduled the games. As baseball advanced, the role of the captain evolved to a non-playing role and eventually into a manager/head coach as it is today – uniform and all. 
  5. Numbers weren’t worn on the back of the uniforms until the 1920s. Instead of wearing a number of the player's choice, the number corresponded to where the player was in the batting order. So Babe Ruth wore #3 because he was the third person hitting in the lineup.


  • Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy revealed that his infamous (or famous depending on how you look at it) mullet was worth millions in marketing value this offseason, elevating the brand of the school. Party in the front, money in the back.


  • The LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) is enforcing a new stricter dress code to require players to dress more professionally. The fine for a dress code violation? $1,000. On the new dress code, pro Christina Kim said “Do you really need ventilation for your side-boob? It’s not going to make your score better.” Touché.


  • Nike, the new official apparel provider of the NBA (National Basketball Association), unveiled the jerseys for the upcoming season yesterday. The new jerseys will be lighter and partially made out of recycled plastic bottles. A little different than the flannel and straw hat used in baseball.