Boston Red Sox History: The Evolution of the Red Sox Jersey

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Yankees suck. Any true Red Sox Fan knows that.

How much do you know about Boston Red Sox history? Sure, you know about the 86-year Curse of the Bambino, you know Fenway Park has been home since 1912, and you know you could never root for another team. But do you know about the evolution of the player's uniforms?

For decades, Bostonians have cheered in the stadium and worn their own lucky jerseys and tees in hopes of another World Series Championship.

Let's take a look at how the team's uniforms have evolved over time and what they look like today.

Boston Red Sox History

Founded in 1901, known then as the "Boston Americans", the team began under the ownership of Charles W. Somers.

It was the first year the American League took shape. Boston was one of eight teams at the time to join the league. They played home games at Huntington Avenue Grounds in Boston, Massachusetts.

Their uniforms were grey with a blue 'B A' sewn across the chest. They were one of the only leagues to have a collar with a laced neckline.

This is when Red Sox history began. Their first World Series Championship happened in 1903, to the delight of their many fans.

Origin of the Red Sox Name

In 1908, the Boston Americans became the Boston Red Sox. Named by owner, John I. Taylor, the name was adapted from the original baseball team in Boston the "Red Stockings".

The name change also meant new jerseys. White with a red lace neckline, the front of the jersey depicted a tall red stocking with the word "Boston" spelled vertically down the stocking in white. They remained one of the only teams to continue using a laced neckline.

From here, the Red Sox jerseys continue to evolve.

An Evolution in Style

The Red Sox jersey has had a long time to evolve--over a century, in fact.

1909: The team eliminates the red stocking and switches to using the word "Boston" across the front.

1912: The Red Sox move to their permanent home at Fenway Park. They would win the World Series again this year.

1915: Babe Ruth's first season. The jerseys are all white with no lettering. The collar has been removed with buttons introduced. Worn through 1921 for home games. The Sox win the World Series this year and the next.

1918: The away jerseys are updates as all white with very thin pinstripes, and "Red Sox" in red is stitched across the chest. Again the Red Sox are the World Series Champions this year.

1919: Babe Ruth is sold to the Yankees. The rivalry and curse are born. It is 86 years before the Red Sox win another World Series.

1923: The "forgettable twenties" kicks off with a widened pinstripe, button-down jersey. "Red Sox" is kept in red across the chest.

1931: Numbers are added to jerseys. Since then the following numbers have been retired:

  • 1 Bobby Doerr
  • 4 Joe Cronin
  • 6 Johnny Pesky
  • 8 Carl Yastrzemski
  • 9 Ted Williams
  • 14 Jim Rice
  • 26 Wade Boggs
  • 27 Carlton Fisk
  • 45 Pedro Martinez

Pinstripes are out, all white is in. With "Red Sox" in red across the chest, a red stocking is added on the left sleeve from 1931 to 1932.

1942: We see a move to all white with red trim on the collar and buttons. The "Red Sox" text is outlined in black and the font is changed.

Wartime patches, stars, and stripes are added on all MLB uniforms out of respect for World War II soldiers. They are worn until 1945 when the war ended.

Health patches also come up during this time during a push for Americans to be more active.

1948: The away uniform begins to use zippers. It is all white with a blue "Boston" over the chest.

1951: Zippers are out, buttons are back. "Boston" is written in blue across the chest with an 'American League Golden Anniversary' patch on left sleeve.

1967: The jerseys are updated to all white with red trim on the collar, buttons, and now sleeves. "Red Sox" is written across the chest in red.

1975: This year, the league starts going in a new direction with pull-over jerseys. This became the norm in the 70's for most baseball teams. The Red Sox jersey is white with a thick red trim around the collar, no belts were worn with the new styles.

There is a Massachusetts Bicentennial patch on the left sleeve.

1986: The style of these is very similar to the 70's but buttons are added again. "Red Sox" in red across the chest, remains.

1999: The All-Star game is played at Fenway Park. Last time it was played at the stadium was 1961. Because of this, the Sox add a patch commemorating it.

2003: The team decides to add a pop of color to their jerseys by making them all red with navy blue "Red Sox" lettering with a black trim. These jerseys are worn during home games.

2004: The Curse of the Bambino is lifted. For the first time in 86-years, the Boston Red Sox win the World Series Championship against the St. Louis Cardinals, 3-0.

During their win, the team wore grey jerseys with "Boston" written in red lettering. The sleeves had a red accent trim and red undershirts were worn underneath.

2007: They did it again! The Red Sox defeat the Colorado Rockies 4-0 in the World Series. They wear the same jerseys as they wore in 2004.

2013: The Boston Red Sox defeat the St. Louis Cardinals again in the World Series. The score is 4-2.

Boston changes up their uniform to an all white version, with red trim jersey. "Red Sox" replaces "Boston" as the text.

2017: Last year, in 2017 the Red Sox introduced a blue jersey with red sleeves, with white trim on the collar and sleeves. "Red Sox" is sewn across the chest in red lettering with a white trim.

These jerseys are also pull-over, bringing back the 70's style.

Getting Your Own Red Sox Apparel

Become a part of Boston Red Sox history. From t-shirts to super fan banners, you can support your favorite team on and off the diamond with our Body Rags officially licensed MLBPA gear.


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