April 19, 1960 marked the date that baseball uniforms would change in a way that would even further identify the individual player. Read a little about history of numbers and names from:
NUMBERS AND NAMES
The first attempt to identify individual players with numbers affixed to their uniforms occurred with the Cleveland club in 1916. In this early experiment, the numbers were attached to the sleeve, not the back. For reasons unknown, the idea faded away and was not seen again (except briefly by the Cardinals in 1923) until 1929 when the New York Yankees (possibly inspired by earlier trials in the Minor Leagues) boldly took the field with large numbers on their backs, an idea that initially did not escape ridicule. Since teams and batting orders were relatively stable and not likely to change (especially the infamous "murderers row”), the first number sets reflected their position in the batting order — hence, Ruth #3, Gehrig #4, etc. Obviously, if the numbering system were to presevere, this system was eventually incompatible with roster changes in ensuing seasons. In any case, the new system met approval by the fans and this time it was here to stay. By 1932, all major league teams were “numbered”. In 1952, the Brooklyn Dodgers repeated the numbers on the FRONT of their home jersey and many other teams soon copied this idea. The sixties saw numbers appearing on the sleeves and by the seventies, even the trousers could not escape number identification by some clubs.
Another feature which was probably inspired by increasing TV coverage, was the display of the player’s last name on the back of the uniform. The Chicago White Sox were the pioneers of this idea in 1960. Acceptance was not instantaneous, partly because of the fear of lost revenues from lower scorecard sales, but the fans liked it and almost every team today has adopted the practice. The most notable holdout being the traditionbound New York Yankees (ironically, the same Yankees who introduced numbers on the back in 1929).
Jerseys Before Numbers
Jerseys Before Names
Jerseys with Name and Number
What do you think: Do the Yankees have the right idea in sticking to tradition or should all teams include a player name? Let us know!
Darrell Green was born on February 15, 1960 in Houston, Texas. He played college football and track at Texas A&M-Kingsville. Green was drafted in the first round (28th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He is considered to be one of the greatest cornerbacks to ever play football. He scored the first time he touched a ball in the NFL, with a 61-yard punt return against the Atlanta Falcons in a preseason game. Green became known for his legendary speed and was one of the fastest players in the NFL. In 1991, he was the World’s Fastest Athlete. At age 40, Green was able to run the 40-yard dash in 4.2 seconds. He played with the Washington Redskins for 20 years, and he was admiringly referred to as “Mr. Redskin.” His lengthy career included two Super Bowl victories, seven selections to the Pro Bowl, and four of the NFL Fastest Man competitions. Green had an interesting pre-game ritual of eating and sticking Tootsie Rolls in his sock – claiming the candy helped him run faster. In his 20 NFL seasons, Green recorded 54 interceptions, which he returned for 621 yards and six touchdowns -- with the help of those Tootsie Rolls, of course. Green retired after the 2002 season at the age of 42. He played for six head coaches: Joe Gibbs, Richie Petitbon, Norv Turner, Terry Robiskie, Marty Schottenheimer and Steve Spurrier. In 2008, Green was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Darrell Green is also known for his work off the field. In 1988, he founded The Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation. His foundation provides a wide range of academic development and education programs through the Darrell Green Youth Life Learning Centers, which operate in select neighborhoods. “I love playing against Darrell. Defensive backs and receivers will talk and cuss and fuss to get you out of your game. But he’s not that way. He plays the game. He’s not a dirty guy. You’ll be walking back to the huddle, and he’ll be smiling and say ‘Good route, good play. But I’ll get you next time.’” – Irving Fryar, former NFL wide receiver. A few of the many awards Darrell Green received throughout his career are as follows:
• 1996 NFL Defensive Player of the Year
• 1996 Redskin Alumni Player of the Year & Redskins Most Valuable Player
• 1997 USA Today Most Caring Athlete Award
• 1998 Redskins Player of the Year
• 2001 Texas Sports Hall of Fame
• 2002 Named to 70 Greatest Redskins Team
• 2003 Division II Football Hall of Fame Inductee
• 2004 College Football Hall of Fame Inductee
• 2008 Pro Football Hall of Fame First Ballot Inductee
Look for a Darrell Green jersey from Mitchell & Ness in Fall 2010!