Who started the socks over pants look in baseball? November 04 2020, 0 Comments

There are few things that look more American than a baseball uniform. Probably the only sport that requires its players to wear button ups with belts, the uniforms players wear today haven't changed much in the last 150 years. On a major league field, the home team gets to display the pretty bright colors of their uniform along with stylish baseball socks that fans eagerly snap up in stores in order to emulate their favorite player. Socks are such a defining look in baseball, just where did the classic socks over pants look come from?

It Was Simply a Fashion Statement

Baseball players have been displaying their socks since the Cincinnati Red Stockings decided it would look good in 1868. It didn't take long for other teams to follow suit. After all, it offered a sophisticated look, much like that of cricket players. By 1905, the traditional sock had evolved and players from every team were opting for the new and more colorful baseball stirrup socks.

Back then, it was commonly believed that the semi-permanent dye used to color the socks posed a risk for blood poising should the player received an injury with an open wound. To protect themselves, players wore white socks, known as sanitary socks, against their skin, which they covered with the colorfully dyed stirrup sock.

The look was a sensation.

A Tradition That Has Endured

Today, players know they're safe with the colorfast dyes now in use, yet the tradition of wearing stirrups as a part of their baseball socks attire has remained. The unique sock combination has become as much a part of baseball as hot dogs and the 7th inning stretch.While stirrups were originally designed to look like a part of the sock, over the years the opening of the stirrup got higher so that it really served no purpose other than to look like a stirrup.

By the 1990s, some players began wearing full-length pants that covered their baseball socks, much to the dismay of many die-hard baseball fans who prefer tradition over personal preference. On any Major League Baseball field today, fans will find a mix of players wearing the traditional short pants with colorful socks and players wearing long pants and no sock to be seen.

Baseball socks have always allowed the teams to customize their look a bit more, since many times their uniforms resemble those of there teams. The 2020 World Series champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers, displayed bright blue socks with three palm trees placed above the team name.

One thing is certain. Baseball socks and stirrups add flare to a sport that has captured the hearts of millions of Americans through the years. Fans should hope to always see a nod to times past in the whimsical baseball socks.

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