The L.A. Angels “Waffle Weave” Uniform and Other Experiments
I love this post. The tail end of the flannel era was one of experimentation and the obvious sign that baseball was trying to find cost-effective and comfortable uniforms for their players. Nothing beats flannel for comfort but it doesn’t hold up to the countless washings that double-knit can endure.
I collect military baseball uniforms and recently landed a WWII-era 5th Army (Headquarters team) uniform that, from my assessment, is made from a lightweight cotton canvas/duck material rather than the typical wool flannels of the period.
Wool uniforms were quite heavy prior to World War II, and there were a few attempts to alter the traditional flannel suits before double knit polyester uniforms arrived with a bang (or a thud, depending on your viewpoint) in the early 1970s. Another issue was mobility, particularly for running and throwing. One experiment can possibly be tied to Branch Rickey, as several Brooklyn-affiliated clubs tried flannel shorts and a rayon pullover shirt in the early 1950s. This experiment was most famously associated with the Hollywood Stars, but the uniform style was also worn by the Ft. Worth Cats, Miami Beach Flamingos, Bisbee-Douglas Copper Kings, and others. The shirts were made of the same “durene” rayon/cotton blend that football and hockey had adopted (although the shorts were made of the standard wool flannel material).
In 1956 the Los…
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