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Monday, August 16, 2010

St. Louis Cardinals Uniform and Team History

Please click on the evolution of the Cardinals uniform poster above for a close-up version of the poster. The descriptions below give you some insight and background about the uniforms and/or eras depicted in the poster.

Fall 2022: To purchase a reasonably priced 8" x 24" plaqued mounted version of the Cardinals poster that's ready to hang on your wall, please visit Heritage Sports Stuff.


The St. Louis Cardinals were originally known as the St. Louis Brown Stockings. The Brown Stockings were a charter member of the National League in 1876, and were originally owned by John B.C. Lucas. That year they finished with a record of 45-19, second to Chicago’s 52-14 mark. Remarkably, and perhaps a sign that the game has changed in the last 125 years, St. Louis’ pitcher George Bradley pitched all 64 games, thus going 45 and 19 with a 1.23 ERA. The next season Bradley was signed by Chicago and he went 18 and 23, while his ex mates went 28-32 with two pitchers sharing the duties.

Partly because of Bradley’s departure, there was talk of a scandal, and St. Louis owner John Lucas withdrew his team from the league after the 1877 season. In 1881 the team was taken on by Chris Von Der Ahe for no other reason than to promote his beer business in 1881, but he joined the new American Association for the 1882 season. They became known as just the Browns and went on to win four straight Pennants from 1885 to 1888. In 1891 the American Association folded and the Browns re-entered the National League for the 1892 season. In 1898 they were sold to Frank and Stanley Robison, owners of the National League Cleveland Spiders. The new owners moved the best Spiders players to St. Louis and in 1899 re-named the team the St. Louis Perfectos. They wore red hats and red stockings, prompting a female fan to remark “What a lovely shade of cardinal”. St. Louis sportswriter Willie McHale overheard this and began using it in his articles. The name stuck and thus the Cardinals were born beginning with the 1900 season.

The first jersey we see is a home jersey with a very prominent collar. Note also that the jersey has four buttons down the front, a jersey style known as a “pullover” style jersey because it had to be pulled over the head. This style was common in jerseys throughout baseball at this time. We believe the first major league team to wear a completely buttoned front jersey (ie one that didn’t have to be pulled over the head) was the 1909 Phillies, followed by the 1911 Cubs. The pullover style jersey finally disappeared after the 1939 season (the A’s were the last team to wear it), but of course pullovers resurfaced in a big way with the double knit era of the 70’s and 80’s.

Note also that even though this is a home jersey, it reads “St. Louis” and not the team nickname. In this era it wasn’t unusual for teams to wear the same inscription on their home & away jerseys, and the practice of wearing the city name on the road and the team nickname at home didn’t really come into vogue until the early 40’s (the 1914 Cubs appear to have been the first team to adopt the fashion of team nickname at home, city name on the road).


By 1920 the lapel style collar has disappeared from the uniform. Note also that the jersey now buttons completely and thus is no longer a “pullover” style jersey. If you look closely, you’ll see that there is a center belt loop, which secured the belt buckle off to one side. Players in the 1st part of the 20th century usually wore the belt buckle to one side so they could prevent injury when sliding into a base.

After several sales of the team Sam Breadon becomes the majority stockholder of the Cardinals and in 1919 makes 38 year old Branch Rickey the Vice President and General Manager. These two men slowly and carefully developed the Cards into a competitive team for many years to come.

Except for the 1914 Cards who went 81-72, and 1917 when they were 82-70, the period from 1900 to the early 1920’s was pretty woeful for the Cards. One bright light was the emergence of Rogers Hornsby as a gifted batter – in this 1920 season he hit .370, then .397 in 1921, .401 in 1922, .384 in 1923, a remarkable .424 in 1924, and .403 in 1925 – three .400+ seasons in a 4 year period! Only Ted Williams has hit .400 since then, and that was only once - .406 in 1941. By the time Hornsby retired in 1937 after 23 seasons, his lifetime average was .358 – good for 2nd place all time (behind Ty Cobb’s .367 lifetime average) and two triple crown titles (1922 and 1925). But even Rogers Hornsby couldn’t propel the Cards into the playoffs, and in 1920 they finished 75-79.


This 1926 road uniform has several new additions from the last jersey we saw. First off, pinstripes have been added. As best we can tell, the first instance of pinstriped uniforms was in 1907, when the Boston Braves’ road uniforms were made from a gray flannel with a fine green pinstripe. Later that same year the Cubs had a new gray uniform with fine pin striping made for the World Series - they wore it for the World Series opener in Chicago and were later reprimanded by the league for not wearing a white uniform at home. The Yankees, most often associated with pinstripe uniforms, first wore a pinstriped uniform for one year at home in 1912 (the New York Times wrote about their 1912 home opener “The Yankees presented a natty appearance in their new uniforms of white with black pin stripes”), then every year from 1915 to the present. The Cards first pinstripe was in 1918, when they wore it both at home and on the road.

Note also the red piping that will become a trademark of Cardinal uniforms in years to come – see how in 1926 it doesn’t extend down the buttons but stops right at the team nickname. Note as well the fact that the team nickname is written on the jersey as opposed to the city name. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, note the two cardinals balanced on a single bat. This concept was first introduced in 1922, and both the birds and the bat have changed a number of times over the years. Over time we’ll see the bat go from red to black to yellow, while the cardinals themselves will take on quite a number of appearances.

But let’s talk about the 1926 season – the first time the cardinals win the National League pennant – they finish 89-65 under 1st year player-manager Rogers Hornsby, edging the Reds by 2 games. Thus the Cards advanced to their first World Series, facing Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig and the rest of the 91-63 New York Yankees.

St. Louis is led by 39 year old pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander, who was traded to the Cards from the Cubs in midseason. The mighty Yankees took a 1-0 and 3-2 series leads, including a 10-5 win in game 4 that featured 3 home runs by Ruth. But the Cards roared back to win game 6 in New York by a 10-2 score, then hung on in game 7 for a hard fought 3-2 victory in Yankee Stadium to capture their first ever World’s Championship. Alexander pitched 20+ innings in the series, and went 2-0 with a 0.89 ERA.


The 1927 Cards jersey was the first time we saw only the cardinal logo with the abbreviation “St. L” on the jersey sleeve, as well as the words “World Champions” circling the cardinal logo. By 1928 the celebrating is over, but the lone cardinal on a bat logo remained for this 1928 home uniform. Note also the red piping only on the collar – a very subtle touch.

After going 92-61 in 1927 and finishing 2 games behind the Pirates, the 1928 Cardinals go 95-59 and make it back to the World Series for the second time in three years. Once again the Cards face the New York Yankees, who won a remarkable 110 games against only 44 losses in 1927, then came right back and went 101-53 in 1928.

This time out, there were no Grover Cleveland Alexander stories, as the 41 year old pitches 5 innings over two games and posts a 19+ ERA. But the whole Cardinals team was overwhelmed, hitting a paltry .206. Ruth, on the other hand, goes 10 for 16 and Gehrig 6 for 11 (4 of which were home runs). Enough said.


As we see on this home white uniform, the Cards have dropped the pinstripes, and have brought back the two cardinals-on-a-black-bat logo, with “St. Louis” script as opposed to the team nickname. This uniform was identical in design both at home and on the road.

The Cardinals’ wonderful run continues into the 30’s. In 1930, the Cards finish an impressive 92-62, then go on to face the powerhouse 102-52 Philadelphia A’s, a team which some have called “the greatest team you’ve never heard of” (they won the World Series in 1929 and again in 1930). The Cards fall to the A’s 4 games to 2, but 1931 will tell a different tale.

The 1931 Cards finish with their best record ever – 101-53, 13 games ahead of their nearest rival (the Giants). Meanwhile, the mighty A’s amass a 107-45 record, setting up a repeat match up.

In a see saw series, the Cards take 2-1 and 3-2 series leads, but the A’s tie it up in game 6 with a 8-1 shellacking of the Cards. Thus a dramatic 7th and deciding game was in order, and the Cards prevailed with a nail biting 4-2 win as the A’s came back for 2 in the top of the ninth. The Series heroes for the Cards were rookie Pepper Martin, who batted .500, stole 5 bases, and legged out 4 doubles, while starting pitchers Bill Hallahan and Burleigh Grimes each collected 2 wins apiece and Hallahan added the save in the 7th game.

This was the Cards’ 4th World Series appearance in 6 years (1926, 1928, 1930 and 1931) and second win (1926 and 1931), and they weren’t done yet!


The infamous “Gas House Gang”, a moniker which described the 1934-35 Cardinals' fiery attitude toward the game and their fun-loving style of play at the time, was made up of a bunch of colorful characters, including brothers Dizzy and Paul Dean, Pepper Martin, Joe Medwick, Frankie Frisch, and Leo Durocher. They were a group of guys that loved baseball more than anything and loved having just as much fun off the field.

At the start of the season Dizzy predicted that he and his brother, (a rookie) would win 45 games between them. Dizzy won 30 himself, and his brother 19, for an impressive total of 49 wins for the two brothers. Their 49 wins accounted for more than half the Cardinals regular season wins, and the Cards go 95-58 for a 2 game victory over the Giants. Their opponents this time out – the 101-53 Detroit Tigers led by Hank Greenberg, Charlie Gehringer, Goose Goslin and Mickey Cochrane (in fact, 7 Tigers regulars hit over .300).

In another close World Series, the Cards fall behind 3 games to 2 heading back to Detroit, and things look grim. But they scratch out a 4-3 win in game 6, capped by Paul Deans game winning 7th inning RBI. And Dizzy is back on the mound for game 7 and he tosses a complete game 6 hitter as the Cards wallop the Tigers 11-0. When all is said and done, the Dean brothers account for all 4 Cardinals victories and Martin and Medwick are the hitting heroes.

As a side note to the 7th game, in the 6th inning, St. Louis’ Joe Medwick slides hard into Tigers third baseman Marv Owen, sending the hometown crowd into a frenzy. When Medwick took left field in the bottom of the inning, the crowd started hurling fruit, bottles and everything else they could at him and was taken out of the game for his own protection.

The home uniform worn by the “Gang” that we see here has changed very little from the last one we saw, with the exception of “Cardinals” replacing the city name on both their home and away uniforms. Note also the way the red piping stops at the team name, a Cardinal “trait” since the early 20’s.

This was the Cards’ 5th World Series appearance in 9 years (1926, 1928, 1930, 1931 and 1934) and third win (1926, 1931 and 1934), and they’ll catch their breath for a couple years before cranking it up again in the 40’s.

1942 and 1944

During the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s many teams used zippered jerseys instead of the more traditional button front jerseys, while a handful of teams wore them well into the 70’s and even the 80’s. The Reds, Yankees and A’s were the only 3 pre-1977 teams that never wore zippers. The 1937 Cubs were the first team to wear a zippered jersey, and as far we can tell the 1988 Phillies were the last to wear one.

The first year the Cardinals wore a zippered jersey was 1939. Notice how the red trim on this road uniform has changed to become a much more prominent design element on this 1942 home jersey, even around the “belt tunnel.” For those of you that haven’t heard of this expression before, a belt tunnel is really just a 6”-8” wide belt loop.

December 1941 to November 1945, America goes to war, and the question is raised, should able-bodied athletes of baseball be fighting for their country rather than playing baseball? Baseball Commissioner Landis asked President Franklin D. Roosevelt what to do - here is part of Roosevelt’s reply:
“I honestly feel it would be best for the country to keep baseball going. There will be fewer people unemployed and everybody will work longer hours and harder than ever before… Here is another way of looking at it - if 300 teams use 5,000 or 6,000 players, these players are a definite recreational asset to at least 20,000,000 of their fellow citizens - and that in my judgment is thoroughly worthwhile.”

Wartime sleeve patches were worn by all levels of professional baseball teams between 1942 and 1945. A “Health” patch (seen here) was worn during the 1942 season, part of a war-time health and fitness awareness campaign, and from 1943-1945 a “Stars and Stripes” was worn.

Towards the end of the season the Cards trailed the Brooklyn Dodgers by 10½ games, then went on to win 43 of their last 51 games to finish with a 106-48 record and pass the Dodgers for the NL Pennant (the Dodgers finished 2 games back at 104-50). The 1942 Cardinals team is considered to be one of the best ever, featuring among others Enos Slaughter, rookie and NL MVP Stan Musial, and pitcher Mort Cooper, who went 22 and 7 with a 1.77 ERA.

The Cards faced the 103-51 Yankees, led by Dimaggio, Gordon, Rizutto and Dickey. After losing the first game in the World Series, the Cards storm back to win four in a row, to collect their fourth World Series Championship (1926, 1931, 1934 and 1942).

It should be noted that the 1942-44 Cardinals have to be considered one of the best baseball teams in history - they are one of only 4 teams in baseball history to win 100 games three years in a row. In 1942 they went 106-48; in 1943 they went 105-49 (they went on to lose 4 games to 1 to the Yanks); and in 1944 they also went 105-49 (they beat their stadium sharing AL counterparts the Browns 4 games to 2 in the only “Stadium Series” ever played). The three other teams to win 100 games three years running were the 1929-31 Philadelphia A’s, the 1969-71 Orioles and the 1997-99 Braves.

Thus in the 21 years from 1926 to 1946, the Cards made it to the Series 9 times (1926, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1934, 1942-1944, 1946) and won it all 6 times (1926, 1931, 1934, 1942, 1944, 1946). Much of the credit has to go to Branch Rickey, the crafty general manager of the Cards during this period of time – he is credited with having one of the most extensive minor league systems ever assembled – it’s been said that at their peak the Cards had more than 30 farm teams, a far cry from today’s 3 or 4 farm teams per major league club.


This home uniform starts to set the pattern of Cardinals uniforms to come for the next 40-50 years – look how similar this jersey is to the 1998 version. The bat has now become yellow (it changed in 1951 after being black and red over the last 30 years). The red piping has been slimmed down from the 1942 jersey, and follows the classic line around the collar and down the front of the jersey. Note also the red belt, which we haven’t seen in this poster since the 1903 uniform. Finally, note that the zippered front is still in effect, although this would be the last year for the zipper on a Cardinals uniform.

In 1953 the Cardinals were sold to Gussie Busch of the Anheuser-Busch Company, and at the end of the season the Cards home, Sportsman Park, would be renovated and renamed Busch Stadium. Mr. Busch had wanted to rename the Stadium “Budweiser Stadium”, but the league thought that was too commercial and turned down the request – funny how times change, now it seems every Stadium has to have a commercial sponsor.

The 1955 Cards are still led by the immortal Stan Musial, but he can’t do it all himself as the Cards struggle to a 68-86 record.


The two cardinals sitting on the bat have disappeared, and just the Cardinals name in script appears on the front of this road jersey. Also new is an underline “flourish” or “swoosh” under the team’s name. This flourish, as well as the cardinal logo on the left sleeve, first appeared in 1956 and was never seen again after 1957.

Over the years many teams have worn a “swoosh” under their team name. This style was introduced to baseball by the 1932 Cubs, and has been worn by many teams since then. As mentioned above, the Cardinals would “swoosh” it for two seasons – 1956 and 1957.

It was also unusual for the Cardinals to have a blue undershirt and a black belt, which once again only lasted the two seasons. Both home and away uniforms feature the team nickname as opposed to the city name.

At the time, Stan Musial was playing in his 16th season, and had established a National League record for most consecutive games played at 895 until he was forced to sit out a game mid way through the 1957 season due to injury. He still won the NL batting title with a .351 average in 134 games, gathering 176 hits, 102 RBI and 29 home runs. Remarkably, Musial would go on to play 6 more seasons and end his career in 1963 with top 10 all time records in 8 offensive categories (5th in games; 9th in slugging; 5th in at-bats; 4th in hits; 3rd in doubles; 6th in runs; 5th in RBI; 9th in walks).


As we see on this home uniform, numbers have started appearing on the front of the jersey, something that began for the Cards in 1962. This 1964 jersey is very similar to the Cardinals current jersey. Simplicity is key: there is no piping, no zipper and lots of white space. The bat color, belt color, and placement of the birds remain almost identical to today’s jersey.

Uniform numbers first made their appearance on the front of a uniform in 1952 - the Brooklyn Dodgers were the first team to wear uniform numbers on the front of their jersey. The Braves followed suit in 1953, and the Reds joined in 1956. The 1916 Cleveland Indians actually wore a uniform number on their sleeve, but it wasn’t until the ’52 Dodgers that the number made it to the front of the jersey. The Cards, as mentioned above, joined the parade in 1962.

On June 15, 1964 the Cubs and Cards completed a six-player deal later referred to a simply the “Brock for Broglio” deal, meaning a one-sided trade. The actual trade was Lou Brock, Jack Spring and Paul Toth from the Cubs in exchange for Ernie Broglio, Bobby Shantz, and Doug Clemens from the Cards. In the 103 games Brock played in St. Louis in 1964, he would score 81 runs. The team jumps from 7th place at the time of the trade to first by the end of the season (with a 93-69 record, good for a slim 1 game margin over both the Reds and the Phillies, and 3 games up on the Giants – what a finish!). With another Pennant, the Cards would face Yogi Berra’s powerful New York Yankees in the World Series.

After losing game 2, Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson came back to pitch complete games in both game 5 and game 7 on just 2 days rest – that after having pitched all 10 innings in game 5. He didn’t have to pitch the 11th inning thanks to Tim McCarver, who belted a three run homer in the top of the 10th. McCarver had an awesome Series, going 11 for 23 for a .478 average.

In the 7th and deciding game superman Bob Gibson struck out 9 Yankees, giving him a total of 31 K’s for the Series. The Cards won the game 7 to 5, and took the Series 4 games to 3. Gibson was named the World Series MVP.


This home uniform is of a double-knit style that most major league teams succumbed to during the 70’s and early 80’s. It was a pullover style, made of stretchy, synthetic material. The pants were called “Sans-a-Belt”’s because the elasticized waistline eliminated the need for a belt. The 1970 Pirates were the first double-knit - sans-a-belt team, and the Cards and Astros joined them in 1971. By 1975 two thirds of major league teams, including the Cards, had succumbed.

The Cards had several notable accomplishments in 1974. Lou Brock broke the single season stolen base record by stealing a total of 118 bases, breaking Maury Wills’ record of 104 set in 1962. With these 118 thefts he leaps from ninth to second on the all time stolen base list. Bob Gibson strikes out his 3000th hitter, and is only the second player to do so at this time, (he currently ranks 12th in career strikeouts with 3117 K’s). And on September 11th the Cards and Mets play the longest night game on record, 25 innings.

In the standings, the Cards finish 2 games out of first in a very tight NL East. Their record of 86-75 is 2 behind the Pirates.


This road uniform is still the double knit “sans-a-belt” style, however it is highly unusual because of the colors. The Cardinals abandon the clean white uniform and go for baby blue. This seems like an odd choice for a team that has traditionally been wrapped in cardinal red and white.

On the basis of a 92-70 regular season, the workmanlike Cards - led by Ozzie Smith, Lonnie Smith, Keith Hernandez and Willie McGee - enter their first National League Championship Series since it was established in 1969. They sweep aside the Atlanta Braves in three straight games to capture their first Pennant since 1968, and face the Milwaukee Brewers in the World Series.

After being down three games to two in the Series and facing elimination, the Cards returned home to Busch Stadium for games 6 and 7. In game 6, the Red Birds embarrass the Brew Crew 13 to 1, including a 6 run 6th inning. Then in the 7th and deciding game, the Cards overcome a 3-1 deficit in the bottom of the 6th to take the lead 4-3, then add 2 insurance runs in the 8th to seal a 6-3 victory. Dane Iorg goes 9 for 17 and Jose Andujar wins 2 and posts a 1.35 ERA, but Darrell Porter’s steady play and timely hitting earns him the Series MVP.

A side note: 1982 would mark shortstop Ozzie Smith’s third consecutive Gold Glove, on his way to winning 13 in a row.


The bat color, belt color, and placement of the bird’s remains almost identical to the 1955 jersey. As you can see on this home uniform there isn’t much difference between the uniform of today and how it looked over 40 years ago. Some things do stand the test of time, and the Cards’ clean, classic look is something to admire.

Ever since the 1994 cancellation of the World Series due to a player lockout, baseball fans had been looking for something to cheer about. It came in 1998 in St. Louis and Chicago.

Cardinal slugger Mark McGwire went head to head with the Cubs Sammy Sosa for the single season home run record of 61 set by the Yankees Roger Maris in 1961. In a home run derby that gripped the entire nation, the two sluggers went toe to toe on the evening sports casts and in the headlines of the nation’s daily newspapers. Every morning even casual fans had to know – how’d they do last night?

On September 7th McGwire reached the magical plateau of 61, and kept going. The next night he created a new record with his 62nd homer, but the question was, how many more could he hit? Sosa broke the 61 mark as well, and then caught and passed McGwire on September 25th as he hit his 66th dinger. Sosa’s lead would last for 45 minutes as McGwire tied the mark, then hit two the next day to take over the lead. Meanwhile, Sosa paused on 66.

On the last day of the season for the Cards, “Big Mac” hit another two outta the park, setting the new single season home run record with 70 dingers. The fans had come back, and what they witnessed was pure magic. Thanks Sammy, and thanks Mac!


Without a doubt the 2004 Cardinals had the best offence in the National League. Their lineup featured Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen who each had 34 more or more homers, 111 or more RBI, and a batting average of .300 or better. The pitching staff was equally impressive as starters Jeff Suppan, Chris Carpenter, Jason Marquis and Matt Morris all won at least 15 games. The Cardinals 3.75 team ERA was ranked second in all of baseball just behind the Atlanta Braves 3.74 ERA.

In August Cardinals GM Walt Jocketty made another one of his great mid-season deals acquiring Larry Walker from the Colorado Rockies. By adding the 3-time NL batting champion, the Cardinals, without question, had the best hitting lineup in the National League and perhaps all of baseball. The team finished with an MLB best record of 105-57, the second highest win total in Cardinals history. The club’s best finish was 106-48 in 1942, a year they won the World Series under manager Billy Southworth.

The Cardinals won the NL Central by 13 games over the Houston Astros. Both teams advanced to the post season and in the NLDS the Cardinals played the LA Dodgers while the Astros lined up against the Braves. The Cards won their best-of-five series 3 games to 1 to advance to the NLCS for the third time in 5 years. Houston also advanced to the NLCS by beating the Atlanta Braves 3 games to 2.

In the National League Championship Series the Cards were in tough, pitted against their division rival and pitching Ace Roger Clemens. The Cards opened the series at home and won games 1 & 2. The home team streak continued as the series shifted back to Houston - the Astros took games 3, 4 and 5 at home.

Thus the series returned to Busch Stadium for Game 6 and Game 7 if necessary. In Game 6 the Cardinals and Astros went into extra innings where Jim Edmonds homered in the 12th to give the Cards a 6-4 win to force a decisive seventh game.

In Game 7, the Cards were trailing Roger Clemens 2-1 in 6th when Albert Pujols delivered a game tying double, followed by a Scott Rolen 2-run homer, thus giving the Cardinals the lead for good as they went on to win the game 5-2 to advance to the World Series for the first time in 17 years. Pujols earned NLCS MVP honors by batting .500 with 4 homers.

In the World Series the Cardinals faced the Boston Red Sox who were flying off a incredibly dramatic ALCS victory over the New York Yankees where they became the first team to rally from a 0-3 playoff series deficit.

Game 1 was another slugfest, as the Red Sox won 11-9 on the strength of a Mark Bellhorn home run in the 8th inning. However that would be the last noise made by the Cardinals bats all series as the Sox took a 2-0 series lead behind Curt Schilling’s brilliant and inspired pitching performance in a 6-2 Red Sox win. Back on home turf for games 3 and 4, not even Busch Stadium could get the Cardinals back into the series as the Sox were just too hot. In Game 3 Pedro Martinez shut down the Cards allowing just 3 hits in a 4-1 Red Sox win. The Red Sox would go on to complete the sweep with a 3-0 win in Game 4 as Derrick Lowe and Keith Foulke held the Cards to just 4 hits as the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years, holding the Cardinals powerful offense to a .190 average in the Fall Classic.

The Cardinals wore this road grey jersey when they lost their Game 1 of the 2004 World Series 11-9 at Fenway Park in Boston. The jersey sports the traditional Cardinals logo on the front; all letters and numerals are cardinal red.

If you look closely you will find the official 2004 World Series patch on the right sleeve. It is our belief that the custom of both teams wearing a year-specific World Series patch began in 1987 and has continued ever since (if you know the truth to be something else, please email us at and we’ll try to make it worth your while). As noted earlier, MLB uses a different patch each year on the World Series participants’ uniforms. The patch design changes from year to year, but it always features the World Series year and the words “World Series”.


What a great year to be a Cards fan, and especially what a post-season year to be a Cards fan. After struggling to win the NL Central with a 83-78 record (good for a 1.5 lead over the second place Astros), the Cards lit it up in the post-season. In the NL Division Series, the Cards defeated the favored San Diego Padres 3 games to 1 to up their lifetime NLDS record to 6-1.

Then in the NLCS the Cards faced the NY Mets and beat them in 7 hard fought games, game 7 being a 3-1 win in New York and the margin of victory coming in the top of the 9th as the Cards scored two runs to break a 1-1 tie and take the game 3-1. Starter Kevin Suppan pitched brilliantly in Game 7, allowing just one hit in 7 innings of work.

And in the World Series, the Cardinals took on the surprising Detroit Tigers – two of baseball’s most storied franchises going head to head. These two teams met in the World Series twice before – the Cardinals won in 7 games in 1934 and the Tigers returned the favor in 7 games in 1968.

After splitting the first two games in Detroit, the Cardinals swept games 3, 4 and 5 in St. Louis to win their 10th World Series crown in 17 visits to the finals. David Eckstein went 6-for-9 in games 4 and 5 and contributed four clutch RBIs and was named the World Series MVP, but any number of Cardinals players could have won the honor.

2006 - a great season for a great franchise. The Cardinals’ 10 World Series crowns are the most of any NL Franchise, and second only to the Yankees in all of baseball. (In 2011 the Cards won their 11th World Series in a dramatic 4-3 series win over the snake-bitten texas Rangers.)


Celebrate the Cardinals' uniform history by owning a piece of history:
If you love the St. Louis Cardinals and the history of the Cardinals franchise, you might really love to own an original piece of artwork celebrating the team's historic uniforms as seen in the poster at the top of this blog - you can actually own one of those original pieces of art! There are only 16 pieces of original art available for sale, and when these 16 are sold, that's it, they're all sold out.

These original watercolor paintings would make a great gift (birthday gift, anniversary gift, retirement gift, Christmas gift, etc.) for someone you love or even a great gift for yourself (one of these framed pieces would look fantastic in your home or office). Each piece can be bought one of three ways:
1. As unframed art that you could have framed or mounted yourself (the one on the left)
2. Framed in our "Classic" framed version (the middle version)
3. Framed in our "Deluxe" framed version (the version on the right)

If you would like more information about this great artwork including the three ways you could purchase each piece, please visit our St. Louis Cardinals YouTube video at or go directly to the artwork website where you can see and purchase the artwork.

And if someone you know loves the history of sports uniforms (but maybe another team) and loves great art, please let them know that we have over 1500 pieces of great original artwork for sale at (all NFL teams, all MLB teams, all NHL teams, all CFL teams, select NCAA football teams) or check out each team's video at the Heritage Sports Art YouTube Channel

And please search my blog archive for other blogs on the history of the Cardinals.


This text was written by Scott Sillcox and was last updated August 16, 2010. I have tried to ensure the accuracy of the information, but I am human and can make mistakes. If you believe I have made a mistake, please let me know by email at !

Many thanks!!!


  1. Weren't the Cardinals wearing poweder blue road unis going back to the 60s, with a darker version in the 70s and early 80s? Also I believe their home unis always had the white and red. (noty powder blue)

    1. No, the powder blue started in 1976 and thankfully ended in 1985. 10 years of that horrible idea was just way too long. The years prior were grey.

  2. I seem to remember that the Cards had multi colored stockings back in the day when the players still wore pants that looked like plus fours. Were there ever stripes on the leggings that included the color YELLOW?,.............. I can t seem to find information anywhere about it.

    Pat Roth Phoenix, AZ or

  3. Did the Cardinals ever wear a McGwire 70th HR patch? I have a Big Mac jersey with this patch and can't find any info on it.

    1. Let's hope the cards didn't celebrate steroid boy

  4. When did the Cardinals start to put players' names on the back of the jerseys?

    1. Hi NCMC -

      In 1960, the Chicago White Sox introduced the first uniforms to feature player names on the jersey. The innovation was a success and today every major league club has adopted the practice with one notable exception: the tradition-minded New York Yankees have yet to don a uniform (home or road) adorned with player names.

      The Cardinals were the 1st NL team (and second next to the White Sox) to follow suit in 1962. This article
      has a copy of a 1962 newspaper clipping from Jan 11, 1962 explaining the addition of player names on the back of the Cardinals jersey.

      When I first read your question, I thought you asked about uniform numbers on the back of the uniform. If that had been your question, here’s the answer thanks to the great "Dressed To The Nines" resource by Marc Okkonen and the Baseball Hall Of Fame, here's some info:

      "1916: While the New York Yankees are often cited as the first big league club to don uniform numbers, the Cleveland Indians were really the pioneering major league team in this field. On June 26, 1916, the Indians took the field at League Park in Cleveland wearing large numbers on their left sleeves. The experiment lasted just a few weeks that season and, after a brief trial the following year, this time with uniform numbers on the right sleeve, the practice was abandoned altogether.

      "1929: Both the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees were to open the 1929 season with uniform numbers on the back of their jerseys. But the April 16 opener at Yankee Stadium was rained out, and so the Indians became the first to play with this style of numbered uniform. After many brief experiments with uniform numbers during the first decades of the century, the 1929 trial finally took hold. By the end of 1932, every big league club wore numbered uniforms, though the Philadelphia Athletics would not wear numbers at home until 1937."

      So the answer to "when did the Cardinals start to wear uniform numbers on the back of their jerseys" is some time between 1929 and 1932.


Thank you for taking the time to add a comment - all input is welcome, especially the constructive kind! All the best - Scott