Jan. 2, 2011
RESEARCH UNCOVERS NEW INFORMATION ABOUT THE RED SOX UNIFORM MANUFACTURER, HORACE PARTRIDGE & CO.
BOSTON RED SOX ALSO PIONEER DETACHABLE UNIFORM NUMBERS IN 1932; BOSTON BRAVES FIRST WORE PARTRIDGE SATINS IN 1946
Long before the internet and near-real time information streaming into our lives 24/7, we saw and understood the world via the newspaper. As a uniform collector and researcher, the daily edition remains an invaluable source of information and pleasure for me.
As part of researching another project that involves The Horace Partridge Company, I came across some absolute gems that I thought would be well worth sharing. I hope you find them as fascinating as I did.
PLATE I: In many ways, we use the style of a manufacturers label to date a jersey. Conversely, in many cases, we date the style of a manufacturers tag by style of the jersey it’s on. What is interesting and rare is when you can confirm the dating of a manufacturers label by period information. Here we can trace a company’s history by location as well as when we should, or should not, expect to see a style of tag and why.
PLATE II: We tend to think of our ability as fans to obtain a high quality jersey of our favorite team as something relatively new. This has been both a blessing for the fan and curse for the collector since the proliferation of professional quality product gives the collector reason to pause; questioning if what they are buying is really a “gamer.” Well, it seems that all of this just got a little more complicated since it appears that as early as 1919 you could have waltzed into 49 Franklin Street and purchased a professional quality duplicate of what Horace Partridge was making for the home town Red Sox. (And, yes, that is the Bambino who is featured swinging for the fences in the Partridge Globe advertisement.)
PLATE III: The Boston Red Sox began wearing numbers on the back of their uniforms during the 1931 season. It appears this may have been great for fans…not so much for the players or club house personnel. In order to keep everyone on the same sheet of music, or scorecard if you will, the 1932 Red Sox featured uniforms with detachable numbers. Even if the laundry came back late, Smead Jolly would still end up in left field or at the plate wearing #9, making everyone happy along the way. As a side note, this article confirms that both the Braves and Red Sox were outfitted by Horace Partridge for the 1932 season.
PLATE IV: When the Boston Braves ushered in Night Baseball at home in May of 1946, they did so in satin splendor. Contrary to what is often referenced in auction descriptions or on-line uniform data bases, the Braves began donning this garb in 1946, and not 1948 which is typically the date cited or referenced.
Maybe Will Rogers had the right idea when he said “All I know is what I read in the newspaper.” For a man known for spinning simple truths, he appeared to be spot on as it applies to knowing the value of the newspaper and the forgotten treasures about The Horace Partridge Company, and their role dressing up our national pastime.
As always, collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect.
(For questions or comments on this article, please feel free to drop me a line at DaveGrob1@aol.com)