Ballplayers are gruff, grizzly, and I’m trying to think of another word beginning with “gr” meaning dirty but for the sake of time, I will simply move on. These guys play 162 games in a season with some refraining from washing their jock straps for good luck. All locker rooms smell terrible.
But woe betide the ballplayer rockin’ a uniform that isn’t styling. For as mean and nasty as some ball players seem, they are all very in tune with how to wear their uniforms. This post will show the evolution of the baseball uniform.
These guys below all played the game before the Great Depression. Their uniforms were all made out of wool, the baggy look was in, and some even had collars (Honus Wagner, top right). Ty Cobb in the top left has a long sleeve jersey and Babe Ruth, bottom left, is wearing white undersleeves (no team wears white undersleeves today). His Yankees were the first to incorporate pin stripes and rumor has it that New York adopted pinstripes to make their portly slugger (Ruth) look just a bit more svelte.
Ted Williams (on the left) played a bit after the guys listed above, and he incorporates some of their styles with the baggy look, wool uniform and thick stirrup socks. On the right is Willie Mays. His uniform is much tighter, probably a polyester blend, and his stirrup socks are thin.
The next three ballplayers have all been linked somehow to performance enhancing drugs. Maybe that’s why their uniforms are so tight. I mean, it looks like these guys sprayed their jerseys on. Jose Canseco (top left) is wearing the thin stirrup socks but his era (late 1980’s to mid 1990’s) was the last to make the stirrup sock popular. The next two ballplayers wear their tight pants all the way down to their shoes. Shirt sleeves also seem to hang down to the elbow as opposed to the earlier styles that featured a higher sleeve.
Below is Manny Ramirez, the epitome of the modern baseball uniform style. He wears his uniform roughly nine sizes too large (slight exaggeration). Pants resemble boot-cut jeans that hang over the shoes and the top is even very baggy. Not all players wear their uniforms like Manny, but the norm these days is to have pants that look like casual, loose fitting jeans.
It seems as if baseball fashion has come full circle. Uniforms started baggy, became skin tight, and are now baggy again. Socks went from thick stirrups, to thin stirrups, to solid colors. As for the next big fashion statement on the baseball diamond? Look for ballplayers wearing sunglasses with white frames this season. Dark frames are just so five minutes ago…