Starting Nine: Short Stops
The Hall of Fame's Starting Nine includes must-see artifacts from every big league team. Check out the White Sox Starting Nine online.
When Bill Veeck returned as the Chicago White Sox owner in 1975, he promised to bring some excitement to a franchise that had posted only one winning season since 1967.
One of the first steps was a radical uniform idea that still makes fans smile more than 40 years later.
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Veeck announced during Spring Training in 1976 that the White Sox would wear shorts as part of their uniform during games that season.
In an Aug. 8 game against the Royals at Comiskey Park, Veeck made good on his promise when his club wore navy blue shorts – along with the team’s white shirt with an oversized collar – in the first game of a doubleheader.
Playing in front of a Sunday crowd of 15,997, the Sox defeated the Royals 5-2.
The 62-year-old Veeck modeled the uniform before the game.
“Look at that,” Veeck told the Associated Press while rubbing his artificial right leg. “Perfect contour.”
Many White Sox players expressed their satisfaction with the uniforms, including second baseman Jack Brohamer, whose two-run single in the sixth inning extended Chicago’s lead to 3-0.
“I like them, they’re very comfortable,” Brohamer told the AP. “Everybody seems to like them.”
White Sox manager Paul Richards had his team return to their traditional uniforms in the second game of the doubleheader – and the White Sox lost 7-1.
“From now on, it’s up to Richards to decide when they’ll wear them,” Veeck said.
“When it gets hot enough, I’m sure they’ll want to wear them.”
The Sox wore the shorts uniforms in two more games that season, going 1-1 in those contests.
After that, they were retired for good.
An example of the uniform is on display in the Hall of Fame’s Whole New Ballgame exhibit.
Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
The Hall of Fame's Starting Nine is a lineup of must-see artifacts from our vast collection containing tens of thousands of pieces that preserve the magical moments and memorable stories of our National Pastime. Our curators have spent countless hours hand-picking special objects from every major league team to create a lineup of pieces you simply won’t believe we have!