A Century of White Sox Fashion, 1924-1949

Sorry, been a while with my White Sox stuff, but had other things to write about, a boy who had his tonsils out and a daughter with lice. So my usual bloggy time later in the evening was pretty much consumed by non-brain functioning activities, though the argument that this blog does not require much brain function is valid. I also wanted to mention that I plan on doing a recap of the White Sox again this year, pretty much on a road trip/home stand basis, which is what my recaps devolved into last year anyway. A series by series recap was just too much, too repetitive and I’m supposed to enjoy this stuff, not dread it. I must admit my admiration for Joe Cowley and other beat writers grew immensely after trying to write recaps after every series, let alone after every game like they do. Speaking of enjoyment and excitement about the upcoming baseball season two awesome things happened this past week that have me at defcon 5 for the new campaign. First, I completed two fantasy baseball drafts and like the promise of real baseball, even I have a chance at winning before a single pitch is thrown. After opening day, I’m ready to assume last place as though it was a comfortable nest. The second, perhaps sadder example of my geekiness, event to take place this week was the setting of my Tivo. Something about looking at that Wish List for “White Sox and Baseball” and picking the games I want to save makes me feel good. I’m getting ready for couch time with the Sox and summer can’t be far behind.

I left off in the 1920s and with exception of 1926, there weren’t any notable changes in the Sox uniforms. From 1920-1924, and then the later part of the decade saw relatively minor changes in home and away kits. For the most part, the away look vacillated between a solid gray, a pinstriped gray and the heavy navy uniform. All of the away uniforms were similar to a previous edition from the team’s past. The exception of 1926 is only notable because it introduced a logo that remains popular. Even though it was only on the uniform for one year, the criss-crossed white socks on the cap and sleeve are still seen around US Cellular Field, especially the hat.

Didn't last long on the uniforms, but still available in the gift shop.

I wonder if people think that it is the original look from the founding of the team. It certainly has a throw back appeal, even in 1926, but it is not the earliest logo of the Sox and didn’t last long. By 1927 the team had reverted to its more traditional looks.

 

The 1930s introduced a more somber look to the Sox uniform and much of the decade was dominated by the presence of navy blue. The vertical SOX was still prominent on the uniform, going through a couple of color changes, most notably red. I particularly like the red logo with the bat weaving through it, another logo that has remained popular through the years, though it was only around for a few years.

Slick!

Though the Cubs don’t use navy, the choice is still too close to the north side team, especially when the Sox removed SOX from the cap and went with a small circular “c.” Not only that, compared to the Cleveland Indians, they are almost identical, especially when, instead of a small “c” they chose a large block “C” that the Indians have used intermittently throughout their history, most recently in the 2009 home alternate. I could say that the choice to go to a more muted color pallet, the navy with the home whites and the somber, plain gray of the road was a reflection of the times. The Depression Era was a reaction to the flash of 1920s. I could say that, but it’s too much like my sometime day job. Anyway, if I could take anything from these uniforms it would be the block lettering of “Chicago” on the road uniforms. The current Sox uniform (which we rarely see because of the black alternates) has a script “Chicago” but I just like the clean look of the block lettering. Looking through the decade, it is quite the mish-mosh of looks. The changes in the logos, the lack of lettering, to the different lettering on the caps, to the final move of adding piping in 1936, it as clear the White Sox just couldn’t settle on one set uniform.

To go to my day job one more time, as the nation was going to war, the Sox went with a much more bold and masculine looking logo, a large block S with the o and the x in the curves of the S, much like the classic logo. In addition to the big red block logo, the piping on the uniform was changed to red giving both the home and away uniforms a very patriotic, even militaristic, look.

Typical from the 1940s, not bad

I’m not sure what the shield patch on the uniforms was for, but it looks a lot like a logo for US War Bonds and that isn’t much of a reach. The national push to buy bonds was a patriotic duty that many Americans undertook. The White Sox adding to their uniform a patch reminding folks to buy bonds is very in keeping with the national mood during the war. Unfortunately, even with patriotic flair the uniforms look too busy, adding to the mish-mosh feel of the majority of the 1930s kits. However, they did stick with the red block SOX until 1949 when the Sox went with a look that has been associated with Sox success for over half a century.

All graphics provided by The National Baseball Hall Of Fame On-line Exhibit, Dressed to the Nines.

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