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APRIL 24 (1907) - Numbers*
By Bill Grimes
Apr 24, 2007 - 7:17 PM

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Take a number  

READING, PENNSYLVANIA, APRIL 24, 1907 Ė On this day in baseball history the manager of the Reading Pennsylvania Red Roses of the Atlantic league decided he wanted numbers on his teamís uniforms so fans would have some idea of who the players were. No one recalls that ever having been done before. The numbers went from 1 to 15. Thirteen was skipped thinking no one would want it on the back of their jersey.

 

The origin of the above information is an article in The Sporting Life of April 27, 1907. Itís not known if the team ever took the field with numbers on their uniforms, but itís the first known mention of a team deciding to do it.


According to The Baseball Hall of Fame, numbered uniforms were experimented with off and on for a couple decades. Cleveland and the New York Yankees were the first teams to permanently use numbers starting with the 1929 season, though Cleveland had them only on home uniforms. Some players werenít crazy about the idea because they thought the numbers made them look like convicts, but t he fans liked being able to tell the players with a scorecard. By 1934, all major league teams had numbers on their uniforms.


In the early days, numbers corresponded to the playerís spot in the batting order; hence Babe Ruth was #3, Lou Gehrig was #4, etc.


Read on:

The Sporting Life, April 27, 1907

http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/exhibits/online_exhibits/

http://www.all-baseball.com/ref/retired.html


Come back tomorrow



© Copyright 2007 by TODAYinBASEBALL

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