Why Do Baseball Managers Wear the Team’s Uniform Instead of a Suit Like In Other Sports?


Football coaches wear clothes bearing their
team’s logo thanks to the NFL’s push to sell more merchandise. Basketball coaches stand on the sideline in
collared shirts and blazers looking for a neat, professional look. And then there are baseball managers who dress
in the team uniform, as if they are planning on joining their players on the baseball diamond. Despite that today’s managers are universally
beyond the point where they could play at a level worthy of putting them in the field,
the tradition of them wearing the team uniform dates back to a time when that’s exactly
what they did. Specifically, the position that managers hold
today used to be typically held by the team captain. This person was a player responsible for making
decisions about plays on the field during the game. He wore the team uniform because he often
took to the field to play alongside his teammates. connie-mackOver the course of baseball history,
managers gradually stopped going onto the field to play alongside the men that they
coached. As this happened, contrary to what you see
today, a few of them began to distance themselves from the tradition of wearing a uniform. Instead, they wore suits while managing. In fact, famed manager Connie Mack wore a
business suit for each of the fifty years that he managed the Athletics. A former manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers,
Burt Sutton, also shunned his team’s uniform. But this wasn’t the norm and their idea
for how a team manager should look failed the test of time. John Thorn, the official historian of the
MLB, has his own take on why this is the case. “Maybe it’s just a testament to the notion
that, no matter how old you get, between your ears you think that you’re a baseball player.” After all, the body gets old, but so often,
particularly if those you hang around are younger (and in this case incredibly athletic),
the mind still feels like you’re young and vibrant as ever. Many MLB managers also have been wearing a
baseball uniform since they were little kids, so it may just seem more comfortable for them,
despite their expanding girths. As for the official rules on uniforms, we
have Rule 1.11, Section a, number 1 and 3 where it states: “All players on a team
shall wear uniforms identical in color, trim and style… No player whose uniform does not conform to
that of his teammates shall be permitted to participate in a game.” The official rulebook further goes on to state
in Rule 2 that “A COACH is a team member in uniform appointed by the manager to perform
such duties as the manager may designate, such as but not limited to acting as base
coach…” Also in Rule 2, “THE MANAGER is a person
appointed by the club to be responsible for the team’s actions on the field, and to
represent the team in communications with the umpire and the opposing team. A player may be appointed manager.” As you can see from this, while players and
coaches are explicitly required to wear uniforms, there is no mention of managers specifically
needing to wear the team’s uniform, nor will you find such a reference explicitly
stated anywhere in the rule book. In fact, they even allude to the fact that
managers are not required to wear a uniform in rule 3.15: “No person shall be allowed
on the playing field during a game except players and coaches in uniform, managers,
news photographers…” mentioning that players and coaches must be “in uniform” but putting
managers in a different category. That said, there is one references in the
rulebook that could be interpreted as managers being required to wear the team’s uniform,
found in Rule 2 where it states a, “BENCH OR DUGOUT is the seating facilities reserved
for players, substitutes and other team members in uniform when they are not actively engaged
on the playing field.” Managers would presumably be considered “team
members” even though that is not specifically defined in the rule book. Since they certainly spend a lot of time in
the bench or dugout during the game, and the team members there are explicitly required
to be in uniform (and there is no mention of the manager being allowed in the dugout
otherwise), then it would follow that managers should be in uniform too. However, when defining coaches, as mentioned,
the rule book explicitly states “is a team member.” The manager, on the other hand, is defined
“is a person…” So perhaps assuming managers are team members
by the official rule book definitions is not correct. Moving on, in rule 4.07 it also states that,
“When a manager, player, coach or trainer is ejected from a game, he shall leave the
field immediately and take no further part in that game. He shall remain in the club house or change
to street clothes…” also implying the manager should be wearing special attire while
managing, though it’s not clear from this whether this is just supposed to adhere to
the general MLB dress code or requires the manager to wear a uniform. And since it’s been a long time since any
manager tried to wear something like a suit, which certainly is within the bounds of the
MLB dress code, it’s not clear what officials would do if a manager tried wearing that during
the game instead of a uniform as tradition dictates. As noted, in some instances, the rulebook
seems to go out of its way to imply the manager is not required to wear the team’s uniform,
while in the definition of a “bench or dugout” perhaps implying they should, hinging on whether
they are officially considered team members by the rule book’s definitions. Of course, a player can also be the manager
or designated such, in which case they are required to wear a uniform, but it’s been
a few decades since the last time that happened when Pete Rose had a stint as a player/manager
for the Reds starting in August of 1984 through his retirement as a player in 1986. So, in the end, as to how this all got started,
it would seem originally individuals who did the job of managers today simply wore the
uniform because they also were players, or at least started out that way in many cases,
and later it just became a tradition. And baseball is, perhaps more so than any
other major sport, all about tradition and fighting tooth and nail before changing the
way things have always been done. After all, even the MLB Hall of Fame still
honors Abner Doubleday by displaying an oil painting of Doubleday, despite the fact that
he had nothing to do with baseball at all and this fact is well-known and conclusively
proven. Two blocks from the Baseball Hall of Fame
in Cooperstown (where Doubleday was said to have invented baseball, which is why the Hall
of Fame was put in this backwater town instead of a place more accessible to fans), there
is also a “Doubleday Field” which annually features various Hall of Famers and retired
MLB players playing an exhibition game there on Father’s Day weekend. These and many other baseball honors for a
guy whose own obituary stated he was a man “who did not care for outdoor sports.” This is, funny enough, the only documented
instance of him being connected to sports in any way, despite the amazing amount of
documentation on the man’s life thanks to the journals he kept and news reports covering
the famed General. But, you see, tradition says he invented baseball,
so here we are.

100 thoughts on “Why Do Baseball Managers Wear the Team’s Uniform Instead of a Suit Like In Other Sports?

  1. Baseball actually evolved from so-called Folk games. The main predecessor being Stoolball. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origins_of_baseball
    And it is as American as Yorkshire Pudding. It was born in Europe, most specifically, it was first named Baseball in Surrey, UK. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2340053/U-S-baseball-expert-proves-baseball-played-England-royalty.html

  2. Comment section is full of pompous, ball lovers, who took it apon themselves to insult every sport that isn't theirs.

  3. I grew up just outside of Cooperstown… Should visit there and see what it's like before making it sound so bad as "a backwater town" with a tinge of distaste in your voice. Just and fyi, the NFL HOF is in Canton, OH which is not a huge metropolitan area. Same with Springfield, MA being the home to the NBA HOF. Be more respectful!

  4. Connie Mack

    Damn your good.

    That's why I love this channel….true facts no clikbait bs or false info for hits and subscribers.

    Keep up the good work #todayifoundout

  5. Since I read the entire text of this video on the website, I'll just skip to comment. Some managers have been in trouble for not wearing a jersey during a game but only a team approved jacket or pull over. Rule 1.11, Section a, number 1 and 3 which you mentioned is the reasoning for it being considered an infraction. For myself, I believe the manager of a baseball team should be attired in proper uniform as his actions are part of game play and therefore he is in fact active member of the team. The only exception would be the allowing of a jacket or pull over in addition. I expect coaches of other sports to be attired in suits or shirt and tie such as Coach Ditka, so it annoys me royally that football coaches have come to look so casual on the side lines. But then I might be a bit old fashion.

  6. Hockey coaches wear suits. And no protective gear, either, despite pucks flying around at 150kmh.

    If you want to see how ridiculous managers in uniforms are, look up pictures of Don Zimmer.

  7. Pete rose should been executed by his team. No matter how good you were the Ohio river should of ran Red that day for his betrayal!

  8. I think the other sports should follow baseball. I mean, who wouldn't want to see Ken Hitchcock in a hockey uniform with skates?

  9. I gotta ask this while I can… Why is it that, even though everything has DNA, humans are the only things in the world where each and every organism looks physically different?

  10. Why the hell would a manager wear a hot ass suit outdoors for hours on end? Why would anyone do that actually? Lol

  11. It's because baseball is always trying to look like a rural sport where anyone can play. Baseball is also the only sport where a non-player can walk onto the field of play, during the game, stopping the game, when it isn't a medical emergency. Substitution of players in all other sports just happens casually. In baseball, its a whole ceremony.

  12. For the rules listed in this video, it sounds to me like any manager that is not a player wouldn't be allowed in the dugout.
    …Time to penalise every manager today, I'd say.

  13. Because baseball managers must go out on the field from time to time. No other game managers of other sports do this.

  14. There is a rule that also says that while the game play is in session, no-one is allowed on the field that is not properly attired (in uniform). So, if the manager needs to make a pitching change in the middle of an inning and he is wearing a suit (street clothes), he can't personally do it. He must send a coach or someone who is properly attired.

  15. Most of your questions seem perfectly reasonable to me. This one is SO stupid I can't believe anyone asked it

  16. Technically, a uniform IS a suit! A suit is just a set of matching garments to be worn together. Though I'm assuming you mean business suits, in which case I don't know why baseball managers rarely wear them.

  17. For all the people saying the managers and players are fat. That’s just a lie! MLB players can be large but they are deceptively athletic for their size. You have to be much more athletic in a sport like baseball than soccer.

  18. I work @ Minute Maid Ballpark. Loved baseball as a child. It is a pleasure working there. I think it's great that the manager looks like the players. I just love the "feel" of baseball and it's traditions. When they say baseball and apple pie is American, and when the National Anthem is performed solo, as a band, etc. I really get a sense of pride in the game and the event and experience WE call baseball. Great video as always. Thank You! Simon.

  19. I'd like there to be a Today I Found Out where Simon Whistler explains why it is that he has to tell us that we're watching Today I Found Out when we all know that we're watching Today I Found Out due to we had clicked on to a video thumbnail which told us it was a Today I Found Out.

    That's what I really want to find out. Know what I mean?

  20. Nobody gives a shit about these over paid kids anymore all they want is more money.
    And go home and shave that gays ass looking beard your not 15

  21. watched buck showalters orioles get swept by the blue jays this weekend. fuck yeah. seeing his picture in this video made me laugh.

  22. Then there is the Jim Leyland rule, which changed everything. He hated wearing a uniform so you always saw him in a team jacket, or some other "outerwear" . He wasn't wearing a jersey shirt. I've seen him called on it by a lot of umpires. They relaxed to traditional rule a bit. For team members, managers, and coaches, anyone who is not on the field during play, they can now wear a different kind of shirt. Approved by MLB of course.They still wear the uniform pants though.

  23. Funny how I recalled Connie Mack almost as soon as the video started. I thought there were many more, but I guess not.

  24. I've asked this for decades.
    Coach baseball, team uniform.
    Coach football, sports apparel.
    Coach basketball, suit.

  25. Great Video New York Mets fan from Scotland.

    Alan Shields from Hamilton
    South Lanarkshire.

    persenly I think Baseball Mangers should be more smartly attired but I guess it is just part of the game & it's history.

    But at least now I have a better understanding of why Baseball Mangers are in team Uniform.

  26. About ejected participants… Remember the time NY Mets' Bobby Valentine was ejected and put on a disguise and came back into the dugout?

  27. Baseball is the only sport I can think of where the manager (head coach) enters the playing field during game time ("discussing" calls with umps, changing pitchers). It would have looked kinda silly to see Billy Martin kicking dirt on an ump wearing a 3-piece and top hat.

  28. Backwater town. Jeez. Way to diss the place. Cooperstown actually quite quaint and well kept, at least near the tourist area. Sure the surrounding towns are out there and have some of the poorest neighborhoods in NY, but it's not a hole in the ground that is home to 3 people and a cat. It's also the home if ommegang brewery as well as many other tourist trap things. Plus some fancy houses. Not everything needs to be stacked up inside a skyscraper in a city. We can share the wealth a little, you know?

  29. Just want to say, a manager probably wouldn’t want to wear a suit because baseball is played in the spring and summer, meaning that it’s going to be hot outside. Just logical thinking.

  30. Thanks, Simon. Nice choice. Baseball is the only sport that interests me, but I'll take all that you can offer. Other than that, it's skiing for me and my family.

  31. You're trying too hard; it is simply tradition. Baseball is a classic game, and the team is a unit, unified in purpose and form. Even uniform 😉

  32. The MLB Hall of Fame should be in Hoboken, NJ. It was there that the first professional baseball game was played.

  33. I'd like to point out that , if you haven't seen the video of the good looking girl who caught a foul ball in her beer cup, then proceeded to chug the beer with the ball still in the cup and do a sexy dance, you should. That girl is getting marriage proposals left and right.

  34. “Despite the fact they are well pas the point of being usefull in the field”… I submit for your consideration, Gabe Kapler

  35. This is my interpretation of things, the Baseball Manager position is an appointment applied to a coach or player. Whatever uniform rules that apply to coaches and players translate to the person given the appointment.

  36. The rules now state that a manager may wear clothes of the team as long as it is simular to the other teammates, ie baseball pants and a team jacket

  37. "Universally beyond a time they could play" i think there are a couple of managers who would disagree with you about that.

  38. I suppose it makes sense. They are the only non players that are actually in the field of play that the athletes compete in.
    I still think it looks funny that the managers and coaches still dress like the players.

  39. I think a big reason of why it doesn't look stupid is that of all sports in the US baseball's uniforms are the most formal. They wear button down shirts with belts and long pants that are almost always white or gray. Imagine a basketball or football coach wearing the same uniform as the players.

  40. I still think the best NFL story is that Jack Del Rio, who got fined for wearing a suit because it wasn't made by Reebok (who were the official apparel sponsors). So he then paid Reebok to make him a suit.

  41. The ejection rule mentions trainers who do not wear a uniform. They are all in khakis and a team polo.

  42. They could very easily have a manager wear a team shirt with slacks or blue jeans, or dress like the trainer in a team-colored polo shirt. Thousands of fans in the stands dress precisely that way. Baseball is my favorite sport, but many of the "traditions" are just bs.

  43. Heres one Id like answered if not already:

    Why dont football/soccer players have their team name on their jersey? The only have their advertisers

  44. The way I see it the manager is part of the team, not someone who just tells the team what to do. Did you ever see how worked up baseball managers will get for their players?

  45. Also played outdoors in potentially hot weather. So a cooler uniform looks better than wearing a hit suit and tie showing sweat stains and shoes.

  46. Rugby Union has much more deference to tradition than baseball. Baseball didn’t implement inter-league play until 1993, but Rugby Union didn’t allow pro players until 1995.

  47. Speaking of bizarre clothing choices, ever wonder how the fads of the Aloha shirt and Casual Friday at businesses got started? Well, wonder no more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHMm5NCWJLg -Daven

  48. You totally missed that mangers used to wear uniform jerseys, but many started wearing logo pullovers, batting shirts, etc. For a while, mlb made the mangers wear the jerseys under the pullovers. Now mlb does not require the jerseys to be worn underneath.

  49. You don't understand baseball enough to deal with this question (you're a brit). The manager may have to step in and act as base coach due to the base coach getting thrown out of the game which often happens when they argue a call

  50. To be fair, the official baseball rulebook is one of the worst places to look for the rules of baseball. There are hundreds of conflicts within it, because… well, tradition. You can't change old rules! So just add a new one!

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