Submitted by BTGrimes on Sat, 04/24/2010 - 5:00am
Take a number
READING, PENNSYLVANIA - On this date in 1907 the manager of the Reading, Pennsylvania Red Roses of the Atlantic League decided he wanted numbers on his team's 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 above information originates with an article in old The Sporting Life newspaper of April 27, 1907.
According to the Baseball Hall of Fame, numbered uniforms were experimented with off and on for decades. The Cleveland Indians and 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 weren't crazy about the idea because they thought the numbers made them look like convicts, but the fans liked being able to tell the players with a scorecard. By 1934, all major league teams had numbers on their uniforms.
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