Baseball is a game of traditions, and the uniform is no exception. Baseball uniforms are more colorful now, but the basic elements are about the same as they were 150 years ago. Players still wear mostly the same kind of caps, jerseys, pants and socks on the field. Over on the bench, coaches and relief pitchers still wear the traditional jackets.
Lots of people can recognize uniforms from a variety of teams, but not many people have ever designed one. If you’re putting together a baseball team’s uniforms for the first time, here’s a checklist to make sure you have all your bases covered.
Baseball caps: The original athleisure accessory
Many more people wear baseball caps than have ever played baseball. Your players will probably spend more time wearing ball caps away from the diamond than they will on it.
If you create a smart design for your team’s caps, they might want two: one for games, and one for the rest of their day.
The guidelines for custom baseball jerseys permit the use of embroidered caps, so jersey makers can get innovative with the design on caps within the boundaries of what their league allows.
Caps are not “officially” required, but without them, what would you turn around to start a rally late in the game?
Jersey: Define your team’s identity
This is where you can do the most with your design. Jerseys have a lot of space and the guidelines let designers do just about anything with it. One requirement is that the sleeves are hemmed and are the same length (that is, all short-sleeve or all long-sleeve) for every player on the team.
What to put on your custom baseball jerseys
- Number: Most baseball jerseys have the player’s number centered on the back of the jersey, and some will have the number on the front, just below the team name or logo. The number on the back of the jersey should be at least X inches tall, and on the front between A and B inches tall.
- Player name: The player’s name usually goes above the number at the back of the jersey, but some teams will put the number below the name (especially if the team name or a team sponsor get the space above).
- Team name: You can’t forget the big one! Choose a font that is consistent across all of your branding, something classic so people will recognize your team year after year.
- Flags: If you have players from different countries on your team, you may want to have their home country flag on their sleeve. Or, if you play in a regional baseball league, you could place your state flag on the sleeve.
- Sponsor logos: Depending on your league’s regulations, you may be able to print the name or logo of some of your sponsors on the back of the shirt (above or below the name) or on the sleeves. Be sure to read your league’s guidelines and double check anything you are unsure about with league management before placing your order.
One- or two-thread embroidering will work for the players’ numbers and names. With one thread embroidery, the player’s name and number are in a single-color that stands out against the jersey’s base color. In two-thread designs, there is a proper border around the name and number.
Depending on where you are located and how long your season is, the jacket may be more or less important. If the temperatures get a little low and you have the budget for it, invest in extra warmth during pre- and post-game warmups and on the bench. If nothing else, your pitchers will appreciate it.
Because jackets are not allowed on the field of play, many leagues will have minimal regulations about their design, but still check the guidelines for any curveballs.
Pants: Keep it simple
Pants are generally plain with two pockets and belt loops. Some teams go for contrasting piping on the sides of the legs.
As for decorations, you can use twill, embroidery, or printing to add a logo, but baseball pants are usually simple. Shorts are also available, if your league allows them and you want the option.
Socks: Battle of the baseball traditionalists
Don’t balk just because fewer teams are wearing the old-school knee-length stirrup socks. That style is not as popular now, as full-length pants have become the norm. But socks are still in demand for baseball players, as they are for any athlete. Socks are part of the required kit, so it makes sense to make them part of the uniform.
More often than not, baseball players wear socks that do not have a pattern. They usually have one or two colors, and some will have a logo.
If your team is counting on you to design a new baseball uniform ahead of opening day, we have you covered from cap to socks so you don’t go down swinging. We’re ready to step up to the plate and knock your uniforms out of the park.