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Everything You Need to Know About Baseball Jerseys
On Jul 20, 2022
Baseball jerseys are an important part of the baseball uniform worn by players during their games or batting practice. Fans also wear baseball jerseys to show support for their favorite team or players. The jerseys are used to differentiate different teams and players on the field with their colors, logos, and patches.
The New York Knickerbockers were the first baseball team to wear uniforms, taking the field on April 4, 1849. The practice of wearing a uniform soon spread, and by 1900, all Major League Baseball teams had adopted them. By 1882 most uniforms included stockings, which covered the leg from foot to knee, and were used to differentiate one club from another. The uniforms themselves had different colors and patterns that reflected the different baseball positions. In the late 1880s, the Detroit Wolverines and Washington Nationals of the National League and the Brooklyn Bridegrooms of the American Association were the first to wear striped uniforms.
Marc Okkonen wrote, "Americans love the game of baseball the way it IS, but they also worship the sport for what it HAS BEEN and they can't always have it both ways. No matter, we accept and idolize the teams of our preference and seldom take issue with the way they are packaged — we adapt with changes in uniforms very quickly."
Whether or not that is true, one thing is certain; more than 4,000 different uniform styles have been worn by Major League ballplayers since 1876! In an effort to provide some insight into this aspect of baseball history, we have turned to the foremost authority on the subject — Marc Okkonen, author of Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century (1991).
Baseball Almanac is honored to present an unprecedented set of research regarding baseball uniforms. This research, which is the life-long work of Okkonen, is protected by copyright an no part may be reproduced without permission from Baseball Almanac and Marc Okkonen.
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