Not much in the way of text for this article, but it touches on a couple of my favorite topics; flannel uniforms and variations. This was prompted by an e-mail that read:

“Dear David,

I read your article on World Series patches and was wondering if you help me out. I have been told that the patch worn in 1939 to commemorate Baseball’s Centennial was also worn in the minor leagues. I have also been told that there were two versions of this patch, one for each level of play. Can you confirm this and provide examples of how to tell a minor league patch from a major league patch?”

The Centennial patch was worn in both the major and minor leagues in 1939. To be honest, I have not looked at minor league uniforms from that year or period in any detail at all. I can say that at the major league level, there are at least two major variations, and I suspect within these two, there are likely to be further variations.

The most striking variation seems to be with respect to where the player is looking.

TYPE I: Player is looking forward

TYPE II: Player is looking off to the side

The modern replica patches are constructed in a similar manner as the TYPE II patch. The most notable differences are the fabric and the detail of the players face itself. If you are buying a 1939 flannel, either TYPE I or TYPE II would be appropriate for a major league jersey. Spotting a modern replica patch should be very easy, as long as you are presented a detailed photograph of the patch to evaluate before purchase. As to if the patch is original to the jersey, that is something you may have tough time trying to discern from a photograph alone.

Great question and a great topic to be sure.

As always, collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect.


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