The Stubborn History of Baseball and Basketball Uniforms: A Tradition in the Making
Posted by admin on January 20, 2011
Although many of the traditions involved with the history of baseball may seem confusing and/or pointless to many people, the traditions of baseball have changed relatively little since the invention of the game. Baseball uniforms, for example, bear exceedingly close resemblance to the original uniforms of the first baseball game; in addition, the wooden bat is a tradition that’s stayed with baseball throughout its history. In fact, the MBA doesn’t allow players to use anything BUT wooden bats, although aluminum and titanium bats are allowed in other levels of baseball. What’s the reason for this? Most people agree that the tradition of using a wooden bat is for the purpose of protecting old batting records.
If you’re into professional basketball, then you’ve probably noticed that while the on-court players wear official basketball uniforms, the coaches wear formal suits. This stems from a popular tradition that was first started by a legendary school gym teacher. This gym teacher, who is credited by many people with the invention of basketball, liked to wear suits to his team’s basketball games. This trend quickly spread, and became the first step in a tradition that would continue on to become official dress-code rules for basketball. Additionally, it was this same coach who set the groundwork for no on-court participation in basketball; while in baseball, coaches can run onto the field to talk to players, this is not allowed in basketball.
The quirks of both basketball and baseball make for interesting table conversation; inevitably, there are strong traditions in both sports. Why do MLB managers wear baseball uniforms? Here’s why: Originally (before the 20th century), a baseball team manager, who was usually a player, as well, was responsible for public relations, administrative duties, and travel plans; there was no official “coach.” However, as these “team captains” grew older and lost their ability to play, they still retained their experienced knowledge of the game. So instead of leaving the team, these captains continued to stay in the dugout to direct the team. These team captains are what we now know as baseball coaches!