The History of Baseball's Stirrup Socks July 31 2019, 0 Comments

Why do Baseball players wear Stirrup Socks

In 1905 Nap Lajoie of the Cleveland Naps baseball team missed nearly half a season due to a blood infection. He had been spiked in the lower leg during a game and it was believed that the dye from his sock had caused complications. Baseball players had been wearing colored high socks with knickerbockers to complement their uniform trim for nearly 40 years; but Lajoie’s problem got players to start wearing colored socks over white high socks, called sanitaries, which could be changed more often and were easier to clean. The toes and heels of the over sock were cut out to fit the player’s cleats and the baseball stirrup was born.

For over one hundred ten years the stirrup has been part of the baseball uniform. Many high school or little league players experience a rite of passage when they put on their first uniform with the stirrup sock. Traditional, iconic, call it what you will, few sports uniforms have a single piece so identified with them. And in those one hundred ten years the stirrup sock has undergone constant change, from the original meant-to-be-hidden cut out stocking, to the ever longer stirrups, also called loops, to even the 2-in-1, which is a single sock with a stirrup printed right on. Solid color, striped, even logos and symbols ended up on the stirrup. Colorfast dyes eventually led to colored sanitary undersocks, leading to greater color combinations. The possibilities were endless, and with Major League Baseball’s apparent toleration of team uniform variations regarding socks and pants, players have been indulging.

So goes Major League Baseball, so goes minor, school, or amateur leagues. All varieties of baseball stirrup socks or straight high socks are available when building your team’s uniforms. Long loops to go with high cuff-and-blouse pants, or full color socks for mid calf pants. Even socks meant to be hidden underneath full length pro-flare pants that go all the way to the shoe. Solid color socks, striped stirrups, white sanitaries (also called liners) are available. Don’t forget to customize any with your team logo as well. 

Whether going for a traditional look, or simply offering players an opportunity to individualize their uniform, the history of baseball’s stirrup sock provides plenty of precedent when outfitting your team.