Last Updated 21 March 2002

Pirate Uniforms through the years

Last Updated July 22, 2007

 

 

The reference book I used for this page was just fascinating. It provided hours of interesting reading along with photos and illustrations. As I read the book, I realized that there have been many trends in Major League Baseball uniforms, yet many of these patterns return at various times throughout a team's history. I was sitting at a spring training game in 1996, and a fellow sitting next to me made a comment/question about the uniforms that day; I'm afraid the fellow got more of an answer than he really wanted. I must have talked for 10 minutes to him about various general baseball uniform trends on display that day. The fellow was pleasant enough, but I did notice than when he excused himself to go to the restroom in the 6th inning, he never returned to sit next to me - poor guy; it is as if he asked for the time of day, and I told him how to build a wrist watch.


First, I'll provide a few general comments on the evolution of the modern baseball uniform, and then a specific time line for the Bucco uniform through the years.

Index: | Fabric | Jersey Style | Lettering and Graphics | Numbers and Names | Caps | 1900 Pirates | 1910 Pirates | 1920 Pirates | 1930 Pirates | 1940 Pirates | 1950 Pirates | 1960 Pirates | 1970 Pirates | 1980 Pirates | 1990 Pirates | 2000 Pirates | Team Logos |


General uniform comments: Major League Baseball teams have generally maintained a white uniform for home games, and a similar uniform with a grey hue for road games. In the 1970's, some teams adopted a light blue color for their road uniforms. In the 1900-1915 era, some teams adopted reverse colors (or a negative image) for their road uniform. In 1963, The Kansas City A's challenged the tradition of road grey uniforms by introducing a green and gold uniform; Charlie Finley wanted a uniform that would show up well on color TV sets. Most teams have experimented with colored uniforms (or just jerseys) over the years, but many have returned to the basic white/grey, home/away configuration. Many of you remember the rainbow colored jerseys worn by the Astros (1975) and White Sox (1982); let's hope that was just a passing fashion trend in Major League uniforms.
One last note: When you think of pin stripes, what team comes to mind? For me, it is the Yankees, but pin stripes were first introduced by the 1907 Cubs (a uniform pioneering franchise in many respects).

Teams used to wear their prior season uniforms in spring training. If they had a new uniform design to introduce, they would wait until the season opener to unveil the new duds. This practice is still common today where you will find most teams sporting batting practice jerseys in the spring, while saving their "nice clothes" for the regular season.

Fabric: The early uniforms were wool flannel or wool/cotton. Post-WWII uniforms were wool/orlon blends. Some teams even introduced satin uniforms for wear during night games for a more dramatic look. The Pirates introduced double knit uniforms to the majors in 1970. Each generation of fabric has tried to be lighter, cooler, more comfortable, and more durable than the last.

Jersey Style: The 1900-era jersey was a pull- over shirt with a fold down collar; a large left breast pocket was common; the front was either laced or buttoned. As early as 1906, John McGraw and the Giants introduced a collarless jersey that is similar to many modern uniform styles. Around 1909, some teams adopted a compromise collar style that was a short, stand- up, cadet style collar. In the 1920's, a V-neck jersey with a brief tapered extension around the neck was popular. By the mid-1930's, the collar extension was eliminated and a nearly modern looking jersey was common place. Full-button front jerseys were common by now, but some pull-over jerseys with partial button fronts could still be seen. The Cubs introduced a zipper front in 1937 that many clubs used through the 1960's, with the Phillies using a zipper front even more recently. The Cubs also introduced the sleeveless vest in 1940, but wore it for only three seasons; however, the vest was used extensively through the '50's and '60's and has enjoyed a resurgence recently with the Reds, Marlins and others. When the Pirates introduced the new double knits in 1970, they ushered in an era of pullover jerseys that lasted for many years. In the late-1980's, many teams returned to a button-front, V-neck collar, traditional jersey style. In the 1990's several teams have reintroduced the sleeveless vest. Now, remember, I said that uniform styles have gone in cycles. For those of you old enough to remember the 1976 Chicago White Sox softball style uniforms, you might now recognize their pull over style jersey and wide collars as a throw back to the early 1900's baseball style.

Lettering and Graphics: The earliest uniforms had no markings at all; the teams were distinguished by the color of their socks - thus, we ended up with the White Sox, the Red Sox, and the Browns. The early 1900's Pirates were unique in the majors in that they had two colors in their stockings (maroon and navy). The first jersey markings were plain block letters with the city name. The teams were not formally called by their nicknames. The 1901 Detroits did have a small red tiger on their cap, but the 1905 Washington Nationals were the first team to display their team nickname across their chests. Many teams soon followed suit (Cubs, Sox, Reds), but it took until 1954 for the Athletics to spell out their nickname on their jerseys. The 1930 Detroit Tigers were the first team to use script lettering on their jerseys. By the end of the decade, many teams used script letters and even underlined it with a flourish - look for this style tonight on Sports Center to see how many teams still (or again) use this type of script lettering (Orioles, A's, Indians, Royals, Dodgers). With the introduction of the cadet style collar around 1909, many teams vertically displayed their team nickname or city on the front button lapel. Some teams through the years have displayed both their city and nickname on their jerseys.

Many teams used graphical versions of their team nickname; the 1908 AL Boston team wore a red stocking silhouette (with BOSTON) across their chest; the 1908 NL Chicago team sported a small bear cub inside a large C. Even the Pirates went through this uniform phase too. The best known team nickname graphic still in use today is the St Louis Cardinals perched on either end of a baseball bat. The Cards first debuted this logo in 1922. Before numbers were introduced, the Tigers and the Braves wore large mascot profiles on the back of their jerseys. Modern day examples are the Indian's mascot face, Blue Jay head, and Braves tomahawk.

Numbers, Names, Patches and other Uniform items:

The 1916 Cleveland team was the first to put numbers on the uniform sleeves, but the style soon faded. The 1929 Yankees were the first Major League team to wear large numbers on the backs of the jersey. They were initially assigned in the same order in which the players appeared at bat, so Babe Ruth was #3 and Lou Gehrig was #4. By 1932, all teams had incorporated numbers on the backs of the jerseys. In 1952, the Dodgers also place the number on the front of the jersey. Later, some teams put numbers on the sleeves and also on the pants. Names on the jersey were inspired by the TV-era; the 1960 White Sox first listed their names across the shoulders. It was feared that scorecard sales would drop, but most teams have incorporated names on the uniform. Many patches have been worn on MLB uniforms; some have commemorated special baseball anniversaries, World Championships, World's Fair, WWI, or WWII, but many Bucco fans will remember the 1973 season patch (#21) that the team wore to honor Roberto Clemente after his untimely death.

The pant leg has moved up and down through the 20th century; so has the stirrup stocking. It seems the current trend is toward a longer pant leg with less sock displayed. Chipper Jones and Jim Thome like their pant legs high though.

Caps have gone through a few evolutions. The 1890's Chicago style pillbox cap with horizontal stripes enjoyed a revival in the 1970's and 1980's in Pittsburgh. The Pirates also introduced the hard batting helmet to the Majors. In fact, the Bucs wore a hard hat (with no ear pieces in those days) in the field in the mid-50's.

Many teams have gone through most of these uniform trends through the years. The Yankees, Red Sox, and Tigers have maintained a fairly consistent uniform design throughout their long history (the Expos and Blue Jays too over their shorter time span), but the San Diego Padres provide an interesting case of a team who seemed to have changed uniforms almost every year. For a detailed description of each of these Major League teams, I refer you to my reference book.


Here are some of the uniforms of the Pittsburgh Pirates since 1900:

1900

A pullover shirt with a folded down collar and a buttoned front was used. The collar was dark blue and the shirt had a large left breast pocket. The cap had a white/grey crown with a blue bill and blue "P". The stockings were all blue. The undershirt over the next few years was either white, blue or blue/red striped.

1901

Red stripes were added to the stockings. The cap was all blue with a white "P"; this style cap was used at different times through 1909. This was the uniform worn by the Pirates in the first World Series in 1903.

1906

A single red "P" was worn on the large left breast pocket of the jersey.

1907

A large, ornate, red "P" was worn on the left breast pocket. The grey crown cap from 1900 was worn on the road and was used at different times through 1912. The large jersey collar was no longer blue, but now matched the home white/road grey jersey.

1908

The dark blue collar returned; the large breast pocket disappeared for 2 years. A vertically intertwined PBC (Pittsburgh Baseball Club) was worn on the sleeve. This was the uniform of the 1909 World Series Champions.

The famous Honus Wagner baseball card is listed as a 1910 card, but if fits better into this era. The pullover, button front jersey with the blue collar is common in this era. The picture shows the city name across his chest (not uncommon for the era), but my reference doesn't show the city name on the Pittsburgh jersey until years later (although I have seen some 19th century photos with the city name across the chest).

Here's a picture of Honus from Cecil Greek's page. The pullover shirt, buttoned front, and blue collar are all evident.

Tommy Leach provides another view of this uniform; the PBC is evident on the left sleeve.

1910

This was a period of great change in baseball uniforms. A cadet style collar was introduced. Dark blue trim highlighted the collar and button lapel; the left breast pocket returned to the home uniform and the PBC logo disappeared from the uniform sleeve.

Max Carey wore this uniform as a rookie (from Cecil's page).

1911

A red "P" was added to the left breast pocket.

1912

The cadet collar was still in style. Pin stripes were worn for the first time by the Bucs. The Team name ("Pirates") appeared on the uniform for the first time; it was arranged vertically along the jersey button lapel for one season. The socks changed to dark blue with white/grey stripes for 2 seasons.

Fred Clarke models this version of the Pirate uniform (from Cecil's page).

1913

Pin stripes are still the style. A tapered collar was introduced. A "P" was worn on each collar. The road jersey had dark blue trim along the collar and button lapel. A grey crown cap with pin stripes, a blue P and a blue bill was introduced.

Honus was nearing the end of his career in this photo. It appears to be 1914 on the road.

1915

The Pirates returned to standard white/grey jerseys. The left breast pocket and slightly ornate red P returned. Two red stripes are now visible on the blue sock. A new blue cap with a red P was introduced.

This uniform marks the end of Honus Wagner's playing days.

1920

A blue P is worn on the pocket of the road uniform. A white/grey crown cap with widely spaced pin stripes, blue bill and red P is introduced. A solid blue sock returns for one season.

1921

The 1915 cap is returned to service and stays in use until 1940. The pocket disappears from the jersey for good; these pockets were outlawed as a result of hidden ball shenanigans. A nearly modern, full-button front V-neck jersey is introduced. A large block letter blue P is worn on the left breast.

1922

A large script P is introduced on the left breast.

1923

The front of the jersey becomes plain again except for the blue trim along the button lapel and collar area. A blue undershirt is worn on the road. A P is worn on the sleeve of the jersey. Red stripes return to the blue socks.

This was the basic uniform for most of the 1920's and particularly for the 1925 World Series Champions and 1927 National League Champions. Max Carey models this uniform. Kiki Cuyler gives you a better look at the P on the sleeve (from Cecil's page).

1925

A patch commemorating the 50th year of the National League was worn on the left breast (the Okkonen book shows the patch on the sleeve, but a jersy on display in the team offices shows the patch on the left breast; I think Mr Okkonen may be in error here). There was still a P worn on the right sleeve.

1932

The piping along the button lapel was removed and a large, block style, blue P was worn on the left breast. A solid blue band was worn at the bottom of the left sleeve. Blue socks returned for one year. Although I can't pin point what year the Bucs added numbers to the uniform backs, it was in this period (1929-1932).
A fan (BASEBRAWL9@aol.com) passed this item on to me:
During the 1932 season, an arm band was worn on the uniform jerseys to honor the passing of team owner Barney Dreyfus (5 Feb 1932). This was not the first time mourning bands were worn though, as a band was worn on the jersey sleeve during 1925 World Series, to note the untimely death of Christy Matthewson.

Lloyd Waner models this uniform (from Cecil's page).

1933

The drab, simple uniforms of the 1920's were made much more colorful in the 1930's. The home uniform had piping along the button lapel and a large red and blue fancy lettering P was worn on the left breast. The road jersey spelled out PIRATES for the first time in an arc across the chest. The lettering was similar, but slightly fancier than today's Pirate uniforms. The belt tunnels of both uniforms were colored blue, and red & blue striped socks returned to the Pittsburgh inventory.

Arky Vaughan wore this Pirate uniform (from Cecil's page).

1936

PIRATES was added to the home uniform. Blue socks were reintroduced for one year at home and two years on the road.

Pie Traynor wore this uniform as he played and managed the Bucs (from Cecil's page). The Waner brothers also model this uniform with PIRATES arched across their chests.

1938

The lettering on both the home/road jerseys is changed to a script that spelled Pirates with an underline flourish. Red and blue are still the primary colors of the team.

Pie Traynor is also seen in this uniform in several pictures.

1939

A zipper was added to the uniform jersey and remained for 9 years.

Elbie Fletcher models the zipper front jersey with the Pirates script; this has to be a photo from 1939.

1940

The zipper is still used on the jersey. The team wears the buccaneer logo on their left breast. It was very similar to this logo adopted for the team's centennial in 1987:

Stripes were added to both the home/away sock. The away sock is red, white and blue striped. The away cap is a blue crown with a white P and a red bill. Red or white trim was also displayed at the base of the crown of the cap.

Debs Garms models this unique Bucco uniform.

1942

The home jersey returned to a lettering style similar to the 1933 road jersey. PIRATES in red slightly fancy lettering again was displayed in and arc across the chest. For the first time in the team's post-1900 history, the city's name was displayed in block letters in a arc across the chest. A World War II patch was worn on the sleeve of the uniform 1942- 1945. The cap was blue with a white P. The socks returned to a solid blue color.

1947

The Pirates abandoned the zippered front jersey and returned to a button-front uniform. Red disappears as a team color; blue is the main color for this uniform. A blue script lettering is used on both jerseys; the home uniform displays Pirates (without an underline flourish), and the road uniform displays the city name. The cap has a white script P on a blue cap.

Hank Greenberg only played for the Pirates for one year; this uniform also only lasted for one year, so the two of them are usually displayed together.

1948

The Bucs adopted new team colors; Black and Gold; the colors come from the city's flag. The lettering on the home jersey spelled PIRATES in block letters very much like the modern version. The city name is arced across the chest on the road jersey. The now-familiar black cap with a gold P is introduced (although the heighth of the crown, the detailed points on the "P", and exact shade of gold have evolved over time, this 1948 version of the black cap is not exactly like more modern versions, but it is definately the grand daddy of the black cap family; a fan wrote to tell me that the Bucs had a gold button on the top of the crown from '48-'50 and '65-'69). Gold stripes on the black socks and gold trim on the uniform completed this revolutionary Pirate uniform.

This is the Ralph Kiner era of Pirate uniforms. Kiner cuts a dashing figure in this road version of the era's Bucco uniform.

1949

The gold stripes on the socks disappeared for 8 years.

1953

The zipper returned to the road jersey for 2 seasons.

1954

The team name replaces the city name on the road jersey. It will be 36 years before the city name returns to the road jersey. The Pirates did play with fiberglass cap in the field for a couple years. The field version was discarded after a couple years, but the Pirates did introduce the batting helmet to the game.

This is the uniform that you will see in Clemente and Mazeroski rookie pictures.

1957

The Pirates adopt the sleeveless jersey with the black T-shirt underneath. "Pirates" is displayed in a familiar arc across the chest on both the home and road jerseys. Gold stripes were returned to the black stirrup sock. This basic uniform incorporates many of my childhood memories of the Buccos. This was the uniform of the 1960 World Series Champions.

Dick Groat displays this Championship uniform (from Cecil's page).

1962

The uniform number was added to the front left side of the jersey. This is the uniform that was retired along with the closing of Forbes Field.

Willie Stargell models this uniform.

1970

With the opening of Three Rivers Stadium, the Pirates ushered in a revolutionary style uniform. This was the first synthetic uniform in the majors. A pullover, form fitting jersey was introduced. The trousers had a built-in sash belt. The team name is displayed on both the home and road jerseys. A new cap was introduced with a gold crown, black P and black bill. The cap was "old gold" or as we called it, a brownish mustard color. A gold and white stripe were worn on the black stirrup sock. This was the uniform of the 1971 World Champions.

Bob Moose displays this Championship uniform.

1973

Although the Pirates have worn several different patches on their uniform over the years, after the death of Roberto Clemente, the Bucs worn the number 21 patch on their sleeve for the '73 season.

This is worth special mention because of the dramatic impact that it had on youngsters like me. The best Pirate player to display this patch is Roberto's good friend, Manny Sanguillen (from Cecil's page).

1976

For the nation's bicentennial (or the National League's centennial), several NL teams adopted a Chicago-style pillbox cap with horizontal stripes. The Pirates adopted their version for full time wear. The color scheme of the old gold crown cap of 1970 were retained, but the circular cap design and black horizontal stripes were added. Although the Cards, Phils, Reds, and Mets worn a similar cap in 1976 at least part of the time, they abandoned this style the following season. The Pillbox cap became a fixture in Pittsburgh for 11 seasons.

The rest of the pictures are all from Cecil Greek's Pirates Page.
Bruce "Buster" Kison models the new Bucco cap. And here is one in color of Richie Hebner.

1977

The Pirates abandoned the concept of home/road uniforms. They adopted three sets of uniforms (pin stripes, black, gold) that could be mixed-and-matched into 9 different combinations. The undershirt and socks could be black or gold depending on the color combination. The gold crown cap became a lighter shade of yellow. I suspect that the "old gold" didn't quite match the 1977 mix-em/match-em gold uniforms and was made more yellow to match the bumble bee uniform shade. That would mean the "old gold" pillbox cap only lasted 1 season (1976, although I haven't seen this detailed anywhere, it is obvious that there were two shades of gold caps in our history). A black pillbox cap with gold P and gold stripes was also added to the collection.

Wow; where do I start?
All Gold uniform: Rick Rhoden
All Black uniform: Miguel DiLone
Black top/Gold pants: John Candelaria
Gold top/Black pants: Johnny Ray
Pin Stripe uniform: Kent Tekulve; wow - look at those stirrup socks!

1979

This was the last year the pin stripe uniform was worn. The 1979 World Champions (We are Family) retired the pin stripes. This is also the year that Willie issued his Stargell Stars for wear on the caps. The stars were issued for outstanding performance in game situations. I suspected that the Bucs added player's names to the backs of the uniform in this era. Father John Hissrich (ForbzField@aol.com) sent this: As I recall, the National League mandated names on the road uniforms, and the Pirates, of course, couldn't designate any one uniform for the road, so they put names on all of them. You should remember that names on uniforms is a 1960's TV introduction. The 1997 Media Guide confirms the addition of player's names to the uniform in this era. Another fan told me that the names of the players were mandated and added to the Pirate uniform in 1979.

1980

A basic white uniform was added to the Pirate collection. It was a pull-over jersey with black/gold trim around the sleeves and neck. Black socks and the black pillbox cap were worn with the white uniform.

Jim Morrison also has a Stargell Star.

1985

The black/gold uniforms are replaced by a basic white/grey home/road uniform. The jersey is still a pull over style. The black pillbox cap is retained for two seasons. The socks are solid black stirrups.

Rafael Belliard models the road greys.

1987

For the team's 100th anniversary, the 1948 style black cap with gold P is returned to service (and I am happy about it). It is the Pirate cap of my youth. The modern cap has been updated slightly - a different shape crown, more detailed points on the "P", and different shade of gold in the letter.

1988

A Pirate patch is added to the left sleeve. It is a new team logo, adopted for the team's 100th anniversary, but it is very similar to the buccaneer worn on the 1940/1941 uniform. I saw a photo recently from this era with large letters "RSC" on the right sleeve. The Bucs must have worn these initials in memory of Pittsburgh mayor Richard Calaguri who died in May 1988.

1990

The city name is returned to the road jersey for the first time in 36 years. It is a slanted script across the chest.

R. J. Reynolds

1991

The Pirates return to a more traditional button front jersey and trousers with belt loops.

Road version (grey with the city name in script): Andy Van Slyke
Home version (white with the team name in a modified block letter): Carlos Garcia

1994

The Pirates hosted the All-Star Game in July. They wore the All-Star patch on their sleeve all season.

1995

The player's names are removed from the back of the home jersey because of the preferences of the General Manager. The team wore a patch that said Pirate Fan in order to help lure back disgruntled fans after the strike-shortened '94 and late-starting '95 seasons.

 

1996

The player's names are returned to the back of the home jersey because of the preferences of the new team owner.

 

1997

The Pirates introduced new uniforms for the 1997 season. There is a new home white, road grey (with pin stripes), and a third special uniform to be worn occasionally at home. The third jersey is black with gold lettering and red trim around the lettering. The red color returns for the first time since 1946, but you can see its use in the 1994 All Star logo above. The team name is displayed on the home uniforms, and the city name is displayed on the road jersey (in script). There are three caps, and a new team logo. The black cap with gold "P" will be worn with the home uniform and may be worn with the road uniform. A grey crown, black bill, and black "P" cap is an alternate cap that may be worn with the road uniform. The third cap is a black crown, red bill, gold "P" with red trim and a red button on top. It was very popular the first weekend it was released. The new Pirate logo is displayed on the left sleeve of each jersey. There are no sleeve or trouser stripes on the home whites. The home jersey displays a Roberto Clemente patch on the right sleeve; it commemorates 25 years since Clemente's final season. The away jersey displays a Jackie Robinson patch (on the right sleeve) which commemorates 50 years since Robinson's appearance in the Majors. You can find all the new Pirate uniforms and logo at pirateball.com. The player's names will be displayed on the jerseys; owner Kevin McClatchy prefers that style, while manager Cam Bonifay and manager Gene Lamont prefer no names on the jerseys.

 

1999

Each MLB team introduced a new spring training cap (to give a boost to cap sales). The Bucs adopted a black cap with the Pirate logo on the front. Coaches wear a similar cap with a red bill. The cap is also used during the regular season in batting practice. It seems obvious that the 1997 grey crown cap is being phased out. The Bucs announce they will wear the grey cap on Sundays on the road, but adopt their classic black cap with gold "P" as the topper to their road grey/pinstripe uniform. A "Turn Ahead the Clock" Night promised a peek at uniforms in the year 2021. The pull-over red jersey (with modified cut off black sleeves and gold undershirt) featured a huge Pirate logo on the front. The names and numbers were displayed vertically on the player's back. The gold-billed, black crown cap featured a Gold "P" with red trim and a gold button. The underside of the bill was red. The Bucs wore their regular home/road pants with this promotional jersey. Some writers described this combination as garish, futuristic, ugly, and hideous.

 

2000

The Bucs will wear a commemorative patch marking the last season in Three Rivers Stadium. The patch will display a picture of the stadium and the years played at the confluence. The red-and-gold patch depicts Three Rivers Stadium, along with the slogan "Three Golden Decades." It will be worn on the right sleeve of the home and alternate jersey only.

 

2001

The Pirates updated their wardrobe for 2001. They moved into a retro-style ballpark at PNC Park and went retro with their uniform look. Both the home and away jerseys are sleeveless vests. The home vest, with black undershirt and Pirate logo on the left shoulder, is white, with gold-black-gold trim around the arm holes. "Pirates" in ornate black lettering, trimmed in gold, is arched across the chest. The uniform number (black on gold) is on the lower left front. It is a near-replica of the '62-'70 jersey, except the players names have been added across the shoulders. One other difference, the previous jersey had trim around the neck; this version does not. The home trousers have gold-black-gold trim down the side with standard belt loops. The socks are solid black.

The road vest is gray, with the city name in black block letters (and gold trim), arched across the chest. The lettering is very similar to the '48-'53 era road uniform. The trim, player name, number, and trouser stripes are all the same as the new home vest/trousers.

The batting practice jersey is new. It is a throwback to the '40-'41 jersey. The Pirate logo is used on the left breast (with a white backing to the logo, to standout from the black mesh, two-button pullover jersey). Gold numbers and player names are on the back. The batting practice cap retains the Pirate head logo, but adds a red bill for this season (which I like better anyways). In a different twist, the Bucs break with tradition and wear their new batting practice uniforms in spring training, but wear last year's trousers (white with no stripes, or gray pin stripe).

The alternate jersey remains the same since 1997, but the alternate cap is replaced with a gold billed, black crown, gold "P" trimmed in red, with a red button on top. The underside of the bill is red, and it is labeled as a first ever in MLB. This cap sticks to the traditional colors of the Pirates last 50+ years. Gold is used more prominently; many teams have a red-billed cap (Braves, Cubs, Jays, Indians....), but the new gold bill is unique. Red is still retained as an accent color. If you look back to the 1999 "Turn Ahead the Clock" cap, you'll see that the Bucs auditioned this cap two years earlier.

The Bucs have retained their historical ties to their rich heritage with this collection of uniforms. Sleeveless vests, a logo jersey, and redirection toward black & gold as primary colors are all stylish and true to our history. In the 2000 campaign, the Bucs wore a replica of the 1960-era sleeveless uniform in a weekend salute to that World Champion team. It turned out that those uniforms were a preview for this year's retro wardrobe.

This year, the Pirates wore a Stargell star (gold star, black circular background, with a black "S" in the center of the star) on their left-front shoulder of their home/away jerseys. Stargell died on opening day of PNC Park (April 9th), and the Bucs wore the star this year in memory of Willie. Also, after the September 11th terrorist attacks, the Bucs added American flags to the back collar area of their jerseys and to the left side of their caps.

 

2002

American flag patches were added to the warm up jackets of all 30 major-league teams this season.

 

2003

The batting practice jersey seems to start an annual MLB-wide change.  The style of every MLB BP jersey seems to follow the same pattern.  Red and later Gold stripes accent under the arm pit area.  A gold bill is added to the BP cap with the Pirate head logo.  In my opinion, the team has hit the right balance with all their uniform attire.

 

2005

The Pirates added a Pinstripe version of the home sleeveless jersey (and pants) for wear on Sundays at home.

The Pirates don a “Bob’ patch for the Pittsburgh mayor, who dies in office mid-way through the season.

 

2006

The team hosts the 2006 All Star game and the ASG patch is worn on the upper left chest area of both home and away uniforms.

 

2007

The Pirates took the alternate black jersey out of the inventory and added a red sleeveless vest (with gold lettering and black accent).  It is a break from traditional Pirate uniform looks.  The alternate cap returns to a red-billed cap (similar to the 1997 model).  The batting practice jersey continues its nearly annual transformation across MLB.  The accent colors now are along the sides (from waist to arm pit) with red and white accent for the Pirates.  The BP cap follows the MLB-wide trend with a small semi-oval accent color (red) over the ear area and a solid black crown and bill.  The Pirate head is replaced with a raised gold “P” on the BP cap..


Here are a few photos of Pirate uniforms on display in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Here are some pictures of Bucco uniforms on display in the team offices.

This painting from the Pirates 1996 scorecard shows several of the famous Pirate players in the uniforms from their era.


Team Logos:
Here is a list of the team logos through the years:

1908 PBC

1940-1941 Pirate Head: the original Buccaneer

1960-era (1950's-1967): I call this logo the cartoonish Pirate

1970-era (1967-1986): The Smiling Buccaneer. this batting circle was on display at Cooperstown when I visited in 1994.

1987-1996: This Doug Drabek look-alike Pirate inside a gold diamond incorporates the 1940-1941 Buccaneer in a logo that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Pittsburgh NL franchise

1997-xxxx: The new Pirate Logo

Source: Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century; Researched, Illustrated & Written by Marc Okkonen, 1991.
Note: The photos on this page come from a variety of sources. Some are from the source book cited above; others are from Cecil Greek's web page; still others are from the Pirates Media Guide. They are provided as illustrations of the uniforms described. Marc Okkonen's book has a complete sketch of each uniform since 1900; if you are interested in more information, I recommend you purchase his book.


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