Shieber: Bagpipes and Baseball, or Clash of the Tartans

From SABR member Tom Shieber at Baseball Researcher on November 12, 2012:

This summer, I came across an absolutely fantastic image in the photo collection of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum:


Pictured is a baseball team wearing what I believe to be the first (and likely only) tartan baseball uniform in professional baseball history. How great is that?

A number of questions came to mind and, in an effort to answer them, I eagerly researched the photo. Here are those questions, my research and the answers that I determined.

What team is pictured in the photograph?

Obviously, with “Ottawa” plastered across the front of each player’s jersey, the team likely represents that city. Additionally, a previous owner of the photograph added a handwritten note at the bottom of the mount that reads:

Eastern League Team of Ottawa Canada 1897
Transferred from Rochester New York

Rochester’s Eastern League club, sometimes called the Patriots, did indeed move to Ottawa, but as evidenced by this short article published in Sporting Life of July 16, 1898, the transfer occurred during the middle of the 1898 season, not 1897.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: November 12, 2012. Last Updated: November 12, 2012.