While doing the research for the last several posts on the World Series, I came across a picture of the 1916 Brooklyn Robins in action against the Boston Red Sox. At 1st I thought I was having a seizure, or possibly a vessel might have burst in my eye, because I was having a hard time focusing on the Brooklyn Robins players. I finally managed to focus on what I thought was the worst uniforms I’d ever seen.
Yes, you’re looking at blue checkered uniforms. They liked them so much, they wore them on the road as well. They liked them so much they wore them while participating in a World Series. They liked them so much they brought them back for the 1917 season.
This is a picture of the redoubtable Duster Mails sporting that fine looking uni. And yes, the caps are checkered as well.
Don’t adjust your monitor, it’s just the Robins’ Manager Wilbert Robinson. He looks like one of those old-time TV test patterns……a huge one at that.
Now when I stated that I thought these were the worst uniforms I ever saw, it was because of these fine specimens.
The 1916 NY Giants didn’t want to be left out of the checkered uniform craze that was sweeping New York City. They went with the purple plaid look. That’s right….purple plaid.
Imagine how sweet George High Pockets Kelly would look if this was only in color. At least the cap isn’t checkered, and they dumped this fashion nightmare at the end of the season. I wonder how many visually induced seizures occurred when the Robins played the Giants that season? Little children were probably dropping over all over the Polo Grounds.
I’m thinking that Wilbert Robinson and John McGraw got together for a few dozen cocktails after the 1915 season ended and decided these uniforms would be a good idea. When they sobered up it was probably too late to return them.
The American historian Jacques Barzun recently passed away, just 1 month shy of his 105th birthday. He is quoted as saying, “ Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball, the rules and realities of the game and do it by watching first some high-school or small-town teams.”
I wonder what Jacques would have had to say about these uniforms?