I recently had occasion to research and evaluate what may at some point in time prove to be one of the most significant post season jerseys in history. I will run a story on this particular jersey in the very near future.
Part of the work on this project involved something I have been looking at for some time; that being the concept of teams ordering special or additional uniforms for post season play. This is not something that seems unusual, but it also nice to document or find evidence of it when you can.
Trenton Evening Times: 19 September 1921
NEW YORK, Sept. 19. No one can blame the New York Giants for ordering their World Series uniforms today. The Giants practically have cinched the National League pennant.
Comment: This is not surprising given McGraw ordered special black uniforms for the Giants to wear for the 1905 World Series.
Decatur Herald: 26 July 1927
NEW YORK; While major league pennants as a rule are not won that early in the season—the national pastime having its inevitable elements of uncertainty, no less than prize fighting—Miller Huggins already is having his men measured for world series uniforms.
Comment: This may or may not reflect an actual order comment, but it does support the idea that post season uniforms were considered during the time frame.
Mason City Globe Gazette: 1 October 1945
Following their game with the Pirates, Sunday, the Cubs first went to Chicago to get their World Series uniforms and player tickets and then headed for Detroit.
Comment: I really liked this find. The Cubs were already on the road, and as such they had road uniforms. They were also opening the series on the road against the Tigers at Briggs Stadium so they had appropriate attire on hand. Yet, they went back to Chicago to get their “World Series” uniforms.
The Lima News: 14 September 1959
The Indian players themselves seemed to sense they were through after yesterday’s two defeats. They sat depressed and stonily silent in front of their lockers and lad nothing to say. Some of them may have been thinking, though about the new set of World Series’ uniforms Frank Lahe ordered only last week. Those uniforms won’t be wasted, however. The Indians simply will use them for regular season play next year.
Comment: This was the first mention I found of team ordering post season garb without making it to the World Series. I wonder how many times this happened before this date.
The Pontiac Daily Leader: 4 November 1964
The Yankees in the American League and the Cardinals and Reds in the National League ordered World Series uniforms long before the season ended. But the Phillies did not order new ones.
Comment: We can now add the Cincinnati Reds to the list of teams ordering World Series uniforms and not making it to the series. All of this is not that surprising given phantom World Series bats and Press pins that have surfaced over the years.
The Racine Journal Times: 2 September 1965
WORLD SERIES UNIFORMS?—The Minnesota Twins players usually get new uniforms in the spring. For reasons that become apparent by glancing at the standings,
the date for the next change has been moved up. Above, outfielder Bob Allison was measured as teammate Zoilo Versalles, right, awaited his turn. (SEE IMAGE)
Comment: What I liked about this, and the supporting image, is that it appears the players were actually measured as opposed to an order being filled based on the sizes of a regular season order.
There are any number of important things about all of this that we don’t know and are likely never to know in all cases. Those include:
1. Was this done as matter of course by all or a majority of clubs?
2. How many sets were ordered?
3. How were these individual orders tagged with respect to year or other means of identification?
I am sure collectors would love some absolute answer with respect to all of this, but this is something I don’t see us ever having. When evaluating jerseys like this, the best we can do is separate theories from those things that are known, observable, and objectively verifiable. In my mind, this is the only responsible thing to do when dealing with topics and items like this.
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