Firstman: Every uniform number tells a story

From SABR member Diane Firstman at on March 5, 2014:

Back in 1916, the Cleveland Indians became the first team to experiment with wearing numbers on its uniforms, specifically on the left sleeve. The experiment quickly died. The St. Louis Cardinals tried the same thing in 1923, again with limited success. It wasn’t until 1929, when the Indians and New York Yankees wore numbers on the backs of their uniforms that the modification took hold. By the mid-1930s, all teams wore numbered unis.

Using Baseball Reference as my source, I created a database of uniform numbers, noting the year, player and team for each and every number ever worn. Dicing and slicing through that database, I discovered some interesting “records.”

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This page was last updated March 5, 2014 at 12:49 pm MST.

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