Classic Threads: Pittsburgh Pirates

The Bucco’s Beginnings: 1900-1932

Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library

When Major League Baseball formed, the Pirates established themselves as one of the premier teams in the National League. Their uniforms were not to bad either, as the team went with a simple look.

For the first ten seasons, the Pirates wore plain gray or white uniforms with a navy collar. For many of these seasons, the only thing on the front of the jersey was a left chest pocket. A red “P” was put on the pocket for two seasons, later replaced by a “PBC” logo on the left sleeve. “PBC” meaning Pittsburgh Baseball Club.

From 1910 to 1914, the team went to a shortened stand up collar. They made the collar and placket navy for some seasons (“P, P” added in 1913). In 1912 in particular, the placket went to the uniform collar so “Pirates” could be stitched in navy. The red “P” returned in 1911. The uniforms went from a plain gray or white to a pinstripe design.

The 1915 season saw the basic baseball jersey cut we know well. Pittsburgh went back to a solid gray or white design for the rest of this era. From 1915 to 1920, the left chest pocket had the red “P” (it was navy on the 1920 road). The pocket was dropped after 1920, though a larger navy “P” was added for the 1921, 1922 (in an old English font) and 1932. In between that era, the team wore the navy “P” on both sleeves. In 1925 the team wore a special 50th anniversary patch for the National League on their sleeves. This left the “P” on only the right sleeve.

The hat worn for the majority of this era was a navy cap with the red “P”. Earlier, though, it was a navy cap with the white “P” or a white with navy brim with the navy “P”. In the early teens, they had a gray with navy pinstripe hat as well.

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