August 24, 2012
(Editor’s Note: Philadelphia-area writer and longtime sports apparel industry researcher and developer Jared Wheeler writes weekly for Authentically Speaking.)
By Jared Wheeler
Throughout its history the game of baseball has reflected the state of American society. In 1933, the economic depression was a paralyzing force on a defeated society. American’s took refuge in days out to the ballpark. Arch Ward, sports editor for the Chicago Tribune, understood the important impact that the game had on our society. Ward proposed the idea of an All Star baseball game to coincide with Chicago’s Century of Progress Exhibition.
On July 6, 1933 the holy grounds of Comiskey Park welcomed the best players from both the National and American Leagues for the first All Star Game. The American League players wore their team uniforms while the National League wore a customized hat and jersey, identifying their league. It would be the only All Star Game in which one team wore a uniform that identified their league instead of their team. The All Star Game became an annual event and is now known as the Mid Summer Classic.
The Bronx born Frankie Frisch played in the first All Star Game at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. Frisch was a member of the St. Louis Cardinals and their famous Gas House Gang. The Hall of Fame seconded baseman was the best of his times. Frisch played in 8 World Series during his career with both the New York Giants and St. Louis Cardinals. In 1937, after playing in just 17 games, Frisch called it quits. He finished his career with a .316 clip and just 120 hits shy of the holy hit number, 3000.
This uniquely styled navy wool fitted hat is attributed to Frankie Frisch of the St. Louis Cardinals. Frisch wore this hat during the 1933 All Star Game. This is a six-panel wool hat constructed by the Spalding Co. The front two panels hold the unique National League logo, NL, stitched in white thread. A navy wool covered metal button rests at the top of the hat. The eyelets are accented with navy thread. The under-visor is lined in green cloth. The aged, sweatband is made of tanned leather and shows signs of wear. The Spalding Co. logo is stamped beautifully in silver on the leather band in the rear of the hat. The cap is tagged by an archivist denoting the date and player that are attributed to the artifact. This rare historical piece remains in the vaults at the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum and Library.
Authentic Store Buzz: Pro League Authentics has announced a new sale. Currently, all MLB jerseys, including batting practice, on field, replica, and authentic jerseys are 25% off. This includes when you purchase the jersey in store or on the internet.
Authentically Speaking Trivia: In what year did the Phoenix Suns introduce their alternative orange uniforms? Answer to come tomorrow.
Thursday's Answer: 1956-1960
The Marlins wore this uniform as a minor league team in the International League, in both the Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore Orioles organizations.