Kid Gleason, Ty Cobb, Connie Mack, Eddie Collins
Recently my son and I were watching a MLB game and at the start of the game they showed the managers meeting at home plate. My son asked, “Dad, why do MLB managers wear uniforms and in other sports they don’t?” I gave the answer I thought to be true which was because they used to play and manage. Turns out I was pretty close. I decided to look up the history so I can confirm my answer with him. Pretty interesting.
John Thorn, the Official Baseball Historian of Major League Baseball, knows about the traditions of baseball, and the reasons for them, as well or better than anyone alive. He said that in the earliest years of the game in the 19th century, “The person who was called the manager of a team was the business manager — he was the person who made sure that the receipts were paid and that the train schedules were met. He didn’t make any decisions about what went on during a game.
“The person who did that was called the captain. He did what a manager does today, but he also played. So at first, the person we would today call a manager wore a uniform because he was a participant in the game.”
The tradition — sort of — continued even when, in the 20th century, the people calling the shots in the dugouts became non-players. Some of them wore uniforms even though they were never going to get into a game. But others — Connie Mack of the Philadelphia Athletics and Burt Shotton of the Brooklyn Dodgers may have been the best known — decided that if they were no longer baseball players, they shouldn’t dress like baseball players.
Continue reading at Why baseball managers wear uniforms – CNN.com By Bob Greene.