Red Sox Uniforms | Facts and Trivia
Since 1969, one person, Valentina Federico, who works out of the Riddell All-American Sports shop in Somerville, Massachusetts, has sewn the numbers for all the Red Sox jerseys.Some players are tougher on unis than others. Riddell’s Neil DeTeso — who launders all the uniforms for the Sox, Patriots, and a couple of hundred schools in the Greater Boston area — dubs Youkilis and Pedroia the “pine tar kids.” Nomar often had more patches on his pants than any other player of his day, but the roughest of all in Neil’s 31 years on the job was Jose Canseco.
In all those 31 years, how many Sox tops have gone astray? Not a single one that was in his care, says DeTeso.
Ted Williams was well-known for his refusal to doff his cap to the cheering crowds, but in his rookie year — 1939 — he played right field and often tipped his cap, as Eddie Collins’ secretary said: “When he’d hit a home run, he’d reach for the button on top of his cap with the tips of his fingers as he rounded first base. Then he’d lift it off his head about three inches and let it plop back on top of his head.”
One piece of headgear Williams never wore was a batting helmet. Beginning in 1971, helmets were required throughout baseball. Red Sox catcher Bob Montgomery wore all sorts of protective gear, but then-current players were grandfathered. Monty eschewed the helmet and in 1979 became the last batter to hit without one.
The red shoes the Red Sox sported in 1977 and ’78 were a little much, but after that year’s playoff loss, they had to make some kind of change. Sadly, they also ditched the horizontal blue stripes that had graced the top of the stockings since 1936.
Clearly, there have been some fashion choices made as to stockings, ranging from Manny Ramirez‘s baggy pants that almost covered his cleats to the high stockings still worn by some — a Mike Timlin or a Daniel Bard.
There was the day back in 1975 when Roger Moret wore Luis Tiant‘s jersey after thieves robbed the Sox clubhouse during the night before and made off with 17 jerseys and four pairs of pants. Moret had to wear Tiant’s shirt in a relief stint the evening of May 12. He faced one batter and induced a double play.
How many different uniform styles have the Red Sox worn over the years? There have been any number of minor changes to this and that element (the belt loops, trim styles, cap variations), but one of the more surprising stretches ranged from 1913-1930 when home jerseys bore no lettering at all, front or back, nor did the caps. Road shirts simply said “Red Sox”.
Just as the Red Sox never played the National Anthem at Fenway before 1931 (they played the “Star Spangled Banner” often, but it was not designated the National Anthem until 1931), neither Babe Ruth nor Cy Young nor Tris Speaker nor any Red Sox player before 1931 ever wore a number.