Seeing players and fans wearing uniforms for baseball games is a practical certainty these days. Whether at a Major League game played in a big league ballpark, a college or high school game, or just over at the local little league, baseball uniforms and baseball shirts create a colorful wave both in the stands and on the diamond.
The baseball team uniform has become an integral part of the game, as nobody wants to sit in the stands and watch players in slacks and neckties take the field, nor would we want both baseball teams to wear identical apparel. But what is the history behind custom baseball jerseys? Have the game and its teams’ custom baseball uniforms always been synonymous?
Before crowds of awe-struck parents and kids, baseball uniforms debuted in 1849, when the New York Knickerbockers took the field donning blue wool pants, white flannel shirts, and straw hats. The trend stuck, as each year fans witnessed more and more teams wearing baseball uniforms.
By 1882, colored stockings were introduced to distinguish the competing teams. Then the classic pinstripes began appearing on baseball uniforms for the first time later that decade. By 1900, not only did every Major League team sport custom baseball jerseys with unique colors and team names, but there were separate color configurations for home and away games.
It wasn’t long before specialized team logos were employed to spruce up custom baseball uniforms. Old English lettering was the most common fixture, while city names were used on road trips to advertise the visiting team’s origins. Then teams like the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs took it one step further, placing pictorial logos on their hats and baseball uniforms.
1916 was the year individual numbers showed up on a baseball team uniform, as the Cleveland Indians had them sewn on the left sleeve. That style hung around for a few years, until the Indians and New York Yankees decided numbers on the back made perfect sense. By 1932 every Major League team had adapted the numbers on the back look, and it’s still the most prominent style used today.
Just like in the Major Leagues, today’s youth baseball uniforms are a tribute to the past. With team names and numbers on youth and little league baseball uniforms, every young player in the country carries on the traditions started back in 1949. Many little league teams even use big league team names, colors, and logos, allowing the players to feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves. They’re part of the legacy encompassing America’s favorite pastime. And where would the game be without those colorful custom baseball jerseys?
The Graphic Edge specializes in custom screen printed and embroidered baseball apparel. For baseball uniforms, warm-ups, hats, t-shirts, practice gear, shoes, and accessories – begin here.