LA Dodger Uniform History – How it all started and a Surprise Ugly Edition
When the Dodgers joined the National League in 1890, their original name was the Brooklyn Bride Grooms because there were so many newlyweds on the team, but we’re going to start all this in 1910.
These were inspired by the Chicago Cubs and say Brooklyn stitched right down the front of these uniforms. They also featured a blue cadet collar, which was commonly worn by teams from the 1910s to the 1920s. Then you’ll notice that the belt loop was worn to one side, and that was to prevent injury from sliding into bases.
In 1916, the Dodgers wore this plaid-style jersey for two years. From 1916 to 1917, it featured vertical and horizontal pinstripes.
So yes, the Dodgers wore pinstripes before the Yankees did. And these were special because the Dodgers advanced their first World Series in franchise history; wearing these, they faced Babe Ruth and the Boston Red Sox and one of the most memorable World Series games. It was a 14-inning game where the Dodgers lost by a score of two to one, and the great Babe Ruth pitched all 14 innings and held the Dodgers to just six hits.
And then, how about these sweet digs from 1929? This road uniform was used for just one season. It featured a blue B outline in red, double piping around the collar, and piping on the belt loops.
That was unique at the time. And what’s cool about these is you’ve got those hits of red, and that’s what the Dodgers uniform would evolve into—lots of blues with some hits of red. Currently, the Dodgers got the red numbers.
And then in 1933, this is the first time Dodgers appeared on the front of the Dodgers jersey, featured on both Home and Road 1933. It went away until 1938, and then you had that big Brooklyn “B” on the sleeve and those pinstripes right there. This definitely was a look that would inspire future Dodgers uniforms with that Dodgers appearing right on the chest.
Then something horrible happened in 1937 when the Dodgers replaced Dodger blue with Dodger Green, and to get even weirder, their road uniforms went from gray to tan.
So if you want my vote for the worst Dodgers uniforms of all time, I’m going with these. These constitute a significant L to me.
Thankfully, they lasted just one season, but don’t worry, the Dodgers would make up for years later.
When Ebbets Field introduced night games in 1944, Dodgers Brass felt that the reflective blue material would make players more visible to the fans during the new night games.
Imagine that not only are you seeing baseball at night for the first time, but they’re also rocking these really sweet uniform. I like how it’s innovative, as they pushed the envelope with these. They were made with this cool shiny blue satin.
Also, notice that tail on the end underlining Brooklyn. The Dodgers started doing that in 1938. It was inspired by the Chicago Cubs, who had done it the year before. Then also noticed that white stripe that goes down the side of the sleeve, down the pants.
There’s also a white and darker blue version. So everyone always talks about the powder blue ones, but the white one was also worn from 1944 to 1948. But what really jumps out on the white ones is the Dodgers script.
There it is right there. The iconic classic Dodgers script is featured on the white satin ones.
So these are very important because when I think of the Dodgers, I first think of that iconic script. And then there are these from 1945, where the Dodgers replaced the light blue with darker blue.
These look more like Dodger blue we know today. You still have the Brooklyn script and those white stripes down the side, but they wore these for night games in 1945. I know some people prefer these over the live blue ones because it’s more of that dodger blue they are used to seeing today.
And then, in 1945, the Dodgers also had these, a gray uniform with Brooklyn across the chest. You had a little piping right there. Simple.
But these are classic really like these simpler than the ones we’ve seen so far, but very clean.
Now jump ahead to 1952 where these are the uniforms you think of when you think of the Dodgers also known as the best uniforms in the history of Major League baseball.
You have the iconic Dodgers script across the chest, and these are the uniforms you think of when you think of the Boys of Summer with Jackie Robinson, Peewee Reese, Roy Campanella, duke Snyder, and the gang.
And it’s already a spotless uniform, but what makes these pop the cherry on top with these is those red numbers, those TV numbers right on the front of the Dodgers uniform.
No team had done that before. The Dodgers did it in 1952. Now the Dodgers had planned a debut, debut the red numbers in the 1951 World Series. But unfortunately, Bobby Thompson shot her around the world of Ralph Branca and sent the Giants to the 1951 fall Classic to face the Yankees instead of the Dodgers.
Still, the Dodgers would introduce the red numbers the following season as their standard home uniforms.
Why do the Dodgers go with the red numbers on the uniforms? Well, it had to do with television. This is from an issue of Sports Illustrated. In 1952, the brand new uniforms that the Dodgers unveiled on an opening day carried five-inch identifying numerals on the left side of the shirt below the team name.
In addition to the regulation numbers on the back, this is another idea, Walter O’Malley, president of the club, is a particular benefit to television fans who often obtain only a front view of a player before he passes out of the camera range.
There are also other theories about the red numbers. This is from the senior director of graphic design for the Dodgers, Ross Yoshida. He says that Walter O’Malley got the idea from watching football and liked the idea of players being identified from the front. Also, someone in the front office thought front numbers would be beneficial to home crowds at Abbots Field. Note that the Dodgers did not introduce front numbers on road jerseys until 1959, by which time the team had moved to Los Angeles. Also, a uniform manufacturer, most likely Rawlings, suggested the Dodgers used red numbers as a nod to the red baseball logo used on the team’s letterhead.
Also, red was suggested because it would be easier to see at a distance since the front numbers are considerably smaller than the blue back numbers. So I’m sure there are a lot of different reasons they end up going with it, but let’s just be happy that they did because I think these are what really make the Dodgers’ home uniforms so unique.
The following year, the Braves and the Reds would introduce numbers on the front of their uniforms, copying the Los Angeles Dodgers. So these are absolute perfection, the pinnacle of what a baseball uniform should look like.
Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley officially announced on October 8th, 1957, that the Brooklyn Dodgers were moving to Los Angeles, and the Dodgers played their first game in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Coliseum on April 18th, 1958. But the Dodgers wouldn’t introduce these road uniforms featuring the Los Angeles script on the front until the following year in 1959.
Then in 1965, they removed the piping around the collar and down the front. Now at this point, the Dodgers were rolling as a franchise. They made it back to the World Series for the seven times in 14 years; LA beat the Twins in seven games.
On two days rest, Koufax pitched a complete game three hitter and won his second World Series MVP.
Then in 1970, after 11 seasons, the city name on the Dodgers Road uniform was replaced with the team name again.
For just one season in 1971, the Dodgers wore these for their road uniforms. You can see a blue and white stripe down the shoulders and also a blue and white stripe on the sleeve cuff and it goes down the pant leg as well. And then also notice the Dodgers script is outlined with the white border. So a pretty daring design that the Dodgers wore for just the 1971 season.
And then for the next five seasons from 1972 to 1977, the Dodgers went back to the 1970 version that featured the Dodgers script on the front with no white border. In 1972, they scrapped the 71 road uniforms and went back to the ones they introduced in 1970.
They wore these from 1972 to 1976 and made one World Series appearance in 1974 in them. Then in 1977, they rolled out these new Gray Road editions that featured the Dodgers script outlined in white.
You had striping around the sleeve cuff which the Dodgers wore when they made four World Series appearances, the birth of Fernando Mania Blue Monday, Rick Monday’s home run against the expos. The 1981 World Series win over the New York Yankees. The Improbable 1988 World Series win over the Oakland As. For the entire Tommy Lasorda era, the Dodgers sported these road grays.
Speaking of Tommy Lasorda, who could forget his iconic Dodgers warm up jacket, which are making a comeback with Starter and Homage getting together to bring these limited edition jackets back.
They wore them from 1977 all the way up until 1999. Hideo Nomo threw his no-hitter against the Rockies in these. Mike Piazza wore these when he was raking as a Dodger. A lot of great dodger memories were made in these road grays.
In 1998, for the first time since 1944, the Dodgers wore a blue jersey. It featured a patch on the left sleeve commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Dodgers moving to Los Angeles. Alternate uniforms were all the rage in Major League baseball in the late nineties.
In 1999, the Dodgers ditched the Dodgers script across the front on the road uniforms and replaced it with the Los Angeles script. You had multi tackle twill bordering on these ones. There was piping down the front of the jersey and on the sleeve the Dodgers script logo was on the right sleeve.
Also the numbers and the name on the back of the jersey had that border outline tackle twill. Then in 1999, the Dodgers, another alternate blue jersey, these one featured a gray LA logo.
Here’s Kevin Brown wearing these. A lot of people have forgotten about these, but they wore these on July 20th, 1999 against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Three River Stadium. And as it turns out, the Dodgers were actually wearing their road batting practice jerseys at Kevin Brown’s request. And it was the first and only time the Dodgers wore blue uniforms on the road.
And also the first time the Dodgers wore uniforms without a script across their chest since 1938. Then in 2004, the Dodgers introduced the interlocking logo monogram on the left sleep of the home uniforms.
In 2007, they made some changes to the road uniform, again removing the piping across the front and the multi twill bordering on the Los Angeles script.
In 2007, when Major League Baseball celebrating its turn back the clock night, the Dodgers chose to pay tribute to their origins in Brooklyn with the city name appearing on a gray uniform and a bee on the cap.
They also wore a white version with a sweet Brooklyn B on the left sleeve.
And then in 2011, the Dodgers allowed fans to vote for which throwback uniform they would wear that year, and they voted for the 1944 powder blue throwbacks. They weren’t the shiny ones, but very nicely done by the Dodgers that year.
And then in 2014, the Dodgers introduced an alternate road jersey, which resembled a great version of the home jersey displaying the team name instead of the city name. You’ll actually see these worn more frequently than the Los Angeles script road uniforms these days.
The Dodgers have also worn players weekend uniforms three times, first being powder blue ones and then there was the all white ones they wore in a weekend series against the New York Yankees and then the Plumbers All Blue Uniform in 2022.
None of these were not very popular with fans.
Now, as far as the current Dodgers uniforms in 2021, the only difference is you have a Nike Swoosh on the front.
When Major League Baseball went from Majestic to Nike, they feature the Nike Swoosh on the front of the uniform as opposed to the sleeve. And you’re also gonna have two patches this year for the Dodgers on the right sleeve, a Don Sutton patch and a Tommy Lasorda patch commemorating those two dodger legends that passed away last year.
Transcribed as best as possible from the YouTube Video Above