Last week I wrote a piece titled the “The Fabric of the Game.” The article was intended to be simply a look at satin jerseys. Along the way I cam across information about the Cincinnati Reds wearing satin uniforms in 1948. While back in Cincinnati over the weekend, I found further confirmation of this in both the Cincinnati Post and the Cincinnati Enquirer. The Post of 4 May 1948 features as headline of “No Red Reaches Third in Satin Night Uniforms.” The only insight offered by the Post is that the jerseys were “jockey satin white night game uniforms.” What I found even more interesting was the description offered by the Enquirer for the same event describing the bat boy running a pre-game errand “decked out in crimson satin.” To me this means that there may have in fact been a home white and red road uniform, similar to those of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
In addition, I came across this entry in the May 26th edition of the Moberly Monitor (page 11). This time the team in question was the St. Louis Cardinals. The article goes on to mention that “The St. Louis Cardinals carried their new satin night uniforms through most of their eastern tour without wearing them because they wouldn’t change during a winning streak.” I had only seen evidence of the Cardinal satin uniforms on one occasion and that was an offering by Leland’s back in June of 1997 (lot # 108 Vernal “Nippy” Jones). This jersey was manufactured by Rawlings and featured a zipper front.
What this means is that the “rare” satin uniforms were actually worn by ½ of the National League teams in 1948. Remember this was time when each league only fielded eight ball clubs. I also found a reference in the August 31st 1946 edition of Kingston Daily Freeman that features the Brooklyn Dodger Juniors in their “snappy satin uniforms.” Even more surprising was to see a very young Ed “Whitey” Ford pictured seated in the second row. This leaves me wondering if these uniforms were made especially for this club, or were they hand- me- downs from the big league club? If they were in fact hand-me-downs, then we now have an additional style of Dodger satin uniforms. Also, if these satin uniforms that were not popular with players because they did not absorb perspiration , were passed down to minor league or exhibition teams, this could help account for why they don’t show in the number we would expect.
Although this update is not feature length or a new topic, I felt that it was information worth sharing none the less.
As always, collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect.
MEARS Auth, LLC
For questions or comments on this article, please feel free to drop me a line at DaveGrob1@aol.com