The Story Behind the Baseball Uniform

By April 25, 2014Uniforms

Even though NHL playoffs have barely started, baseball season is here once again. Have you noticed that while every team has a set of uniforms, players tend to wear their socks differently? The story behind those socks goes deeper than you might think.

The high socks worn by baseball players goes all the way back to the 1800s when players originally wore knickers (knee-length pants) and stockings that covered the lower leg. The colors of these stockings gave several teams their names, including the Red Sox and the White Sox (originally the Red Stockings and the White Stockings). Even after knickers stopped being used and special baseball pants came into style, the high stocking look continued through the 1970s by players who wore high socks and even old-fashioned stirrup socks, which no longer had much of a practical use.

In the ‘70s, however, some players began to wear their uniform pants lower and lower, exposing less of their socks. By the ‘90s, most players were wearing their uniform pants down to their ankles while only a few players kept the high sock look.

Uniform enthusiasts and many baseball players and fans prefer one look over the other, and many players simply make the choice as a result of practicality. Wearing high socks requires a bit of maintenance during the game to keep them hiked up and even, while by contrast, wearing the uniform pants down to the ankles means the player won’t be distracted by one extra detail.

Still, many players and fans like the retro look that high socks and stirrups offer, and others appreciate the nod to the game’s history. No matter how a player decides to wear it, uniforms have always been a part of the game. They are a huge part of a team’s identity, tying together a brand, a logo, a history, and a pedigree that players, fans, and cities attach themselves to.

While most of our uniforms at Clean are more practical, such as those used by mechanics, nurses, and chefs, these uniforms are still important to each profession. While they have a useful role to fill at a job, they also have to look attractive and are part of a profession’s identity.

For information about our uniform programs, contact us by filling out our simple online form or by calling 1-800-GO-CLEAN.