SABR member Craig Brown launches 19th-century baseball uniform database

Much of what we know about the history of baseball uniforms we owe to Marc Okkonen. A public relations consultant, freelance artist and writer professionally, Okkonen exhaustively cataloged major league uniforms for his groundbreaking book, Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century: The Official Major League Baseball Guide, and the Baseball Hall of Fame’s companion website, Dressed to the Nines.

But his research begins with the formation of the American League in 1901. That leaves a large void in early baseball history when it comes to the history of uniforms.

SABR member Craig Brown of Decatur, Georgia, an active member of the Magnolia Chapter, recently launched a new website called Threads of Our Game that displays original uniform designs for a variety of professional and college teams in the 19th century. Brown’s research covers the years 1856 through 1900, and he is on the lookout for a more complete visual record of baseball’s earliest years.

“The site is designed for baseball historians to submit their local knowledge and expertise,” Brown said. “I am looking for the SABR community to send in corrections or any new information about old uniforms. There’s a lot of great research already completed and published, and I am hoping Threads can gather in all that is uni-related.”

Brown’s website was featured last month in a post by SABR member Paul Lukas at

Here’s a sampling of worthwhile tidbits:

I could go on, but you’re better off exploring the site on your own.

To learn more or help contribute, visit or contact Craig Brown.

Originally published: August 18, 2014. Last Updated: August 18, 2014.