December 10, 2008

A Look At The Changing Red Sox Uniforms and Logos

The Red Sox will unveil "changes to the ballclub's logos" and "select uniforms" on Thursday. Out in CF has collected a few of the designs that have been circulating online, including this cap:

It's not known if any of these designs are in any way being adopted by the Red Sox.

Changing the look and style of uniforms is not new. The Red Sox uniforms have changed many times since the team was formed in 1901. And while some would say the most recent alterations are purely to increase merchandise sales, you can't say that about the many changes in the 1920s and 1930s.

All of the uniform pictures below are from the Hall of Fame's online exhibit Dressed to the Nines. Marc Okkonen designed all of the 1901-1994 graphics. Cap pictures are taken from MLB's Red Sox shop.

From the exhibit: In 1882, the Detroit Wolverines (National League) had different-colored and patterned uniforms depending on the player's position: "scarlet-and-white-striped shirts and caps were worn by first basemen, while shortstops wore solid maroon". ... In 1916, the Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers) wore blue-checked uniforms, while the New York Giants wore purple plaid. ... For the 1927 season, the St. Louis Cardinals had "World Champions" on their shirt fronts. No team has done it since.

(Note: These are general changes to the Red Sox uniform. Various other permutations -- throwback uniforms, occasionaly use of white and green caps, the current tomato-red jerseys -- are not included. I trust that most of the information from the exhibit is correct.)

1901 - First year of the American League; no red in sight; the road cap was changed to all blue in 1902, then all white in 1903 -- and that's how it stayed until 1921.

1908 - The only year the team had the big sock on the front of the uniform; the laced up collar was gone after 1909 (both Boston teams were the last clubs to wear them). BA = Boston Americans.

1912 - First year in Fenway Park; two sets of home and road uniforms.

1918 - Home uniform: white cap, white shirt, white pants, no letters or numbers anywhere (however, there may have been very thin blue pinstripes)

1921 - Caps will have the red bills for the next 12 years. There are pinstripes (for sure) on both home and road uniforms. Pinstripes are dropped from the home unis in 1924, but brought back in 1927. They disappear from all uniforms in 1932.

1931 - Little sock logo on a red-pinstriped cap - a one-year experiment.

1933 - The blue cap with B (though not the Old English B of modern times) makes its first appearance. There were various changes to the stockings during the mid-30s.

Red Sox cap: 1936-1945.

1946 - Two sets of uniforms for the next three seasons. The B on the cap is also changed (outlined in white).

Red Sox cap: 1946-51.

1972 - No changes to the uniform until the introduction of the red collar and red Boston lettering on the road uniforms.

1974 - Players wear red/blue caps for part of the season (post-All-Star Game at home?).

SoSHer staz found this 1974 picture of Luis Tiant:

1975 - Players will wear red caps with blue B for four years, before switching back to the red B on blue cap in 1979.

1979 - Grey road uniforms with blue Boston lettering.

1990 - It's back to the red lettering on the road jerseys.

1995 - A change to the uniform models. They must have been working out!

2004 - Uniform models stop doing 'roids. No striped socks shown after this year (Manny's pajama pants influence)?

You can see the various Red Sox team logos here and here.

This page -- showing how each team's hat logo has changed -- is pretty cool. (I love the Cubs' 1914 bear.) When did the Red Sox Old English B first appear? This site has nothing for Boston from 1952-1974, then it's there in 1975.


Finally, if this is the new design
I may become a Blue Jays fan. The Joy of Jays?


andy said...

That was a nice buildup to a good joke

FenFan said...

Great job! So long as they don't make Wally the new logo, it should be okay.

(I say that now, but...)

laura k said...

Great post! I really enjoyed this.

I may become a Blue Jays fan. The Joy of Jays?

Heh. Some things we don't have to worry about. This is one of them.

nick said...


I was scrolling through and suddenly wondered what the hell they'd put in the crotch of that uniform (specifically the 1918 home uniform) when I realized it was my cursor.

Snazzy - all white uniform save for a glove codpiece with one finger sticking up.

Jere said...

There was one change in 1969--the BOSTON on the road got a red background, which is barely visible on those pics from Dressed to the Nines. That stayed until '72 when they got the pullovers and the BOSTON turned red and fancy.

Also, another shot of some Sox in the blue caps with red front panels can be found on the cover of the '75 yearbook. In the posed shots.

FenFan said...

Hey, so when is the announcement being made? Are they waiting for Theo and company to return from Vegas? I was expecting something before the 5:00 PM news hour in Boston.

FenFan said...

Here are the new-look Red Sox uniforms... changes are relatively minor.

Patrick Byers said...

I'm not even a Red Sox fan and I enjoyed your post.

Nicely done.

Unknown said...

Can anyone tell me which year the players names first appeared on the away uniforms?

Unknown said...

1990 the names first appeared on the away uniforms.