Monday, March 16, 2009

The Disappearing Stirrup

Many of the posts this week come from the Topps Cubs team sets of the 1990's

I am very much a traditional baseball guy. Change is something I am reluctant to accept. One change over the past twenty years has been the disappearance of the stirrup and the lengthening of the uniform pants. I detest the pajama pants look that many of today's players wear. I much rather prefer the stirrup and the cuffed pants look.

I would be happy if the players all wore stirrups like Billy Williams has here

I could see the change in the pants as I was paging through the team sets from the 90's. I've selected three cards from each set to show the change from everyone in stirrups at the start of the decade, to the near complete disappearance by the end of the 90's.

1990 set. Most of the players were wearing the long stripped stirrup. I prefer the lower stirrup with more color showing, but that was pretty much gone in the 80's, replaced by the long single stripe. Maddux and Assenmacher are good examples of the stripe. Bielecki had the lowest pants in the set, but still is showing a lot of stirrup.

1991 set. Most were still in the stripe like Dawson, but Bell and Williams show that the longer leg is starting to be more common.

1992 set. Sandberg, Vizaaino, and Castillo show the small, medium, and large range.

1993 set. The longer pants leg has really started catching on, as all three cards show.

1994 set. Even Ryne Sandberg has gone to the longer pants. Glenallen Hill, with his hightops, has no stirrup showing.

1995 set. The return of Shawon Dunston, who always wore his pants higher. The rest of the guys were going with longer pants.

1996 set: Sandberg and McRae showing a little stirrup, Sosa showing none.

1997 set. Very little stirrup showing on anyone anymore.

1998 set. The stirrup has almost completely vanished.

1999 set While the stirrup is pretty much history in the big leagues, the minor leaguers start wearing the high pants with the solid sock and no stirrup. And history repeats itself...


  1. Being a traditionalist myself, I like the stirrup look too. I also prefer outdoor day baseball, doubleheaders and pitchers who throw complete games. Not all change is good . . .

  2. Corey Wimberly, an Oakland A's prospect has been rockin' the stirrups at spring training, and has been causing a bit of a stir.
    There's an interview with the A's equipment manager on Uni-watch talking about stirrups.