For only the eighth time in National Baseball Hall of Fame history, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) produced no 2103 inductee. Not to worry, the ceremony will take place this summer with three non-player inductees voted in by the Veteran’s Committee including the charismatic former New York Yankees’ owner Jacob Ruppert who purchased the franchise in 1915. In the 24 years that Ruppert owned the club, he influenced design in the baseball world from building the first Yankee Stadium in 1923 (designed by Osborn Engineering) to uniform typography design. In fact, his affect on baseball was so great, that he is often credited with bringing the Yankees’ pinstriped uniforms to the club in order to make star player Babe Ruth appear thinner. In truth, the team first donned the pinstripes three years before Ruppert bought it.
Design was extremely important as baseball grew to become America’s sport. According to the National Baseball League Museum, in the beginning most clubs had no typography design on their uniforms. One Old English letter like Ty Cobb’s “D” above or the still used interlocking NY logo of the Yankees was often all that identified the team.
In 1910, A. G. offered free typography with the purchase of a uniform:
Eventually, script lettering with the name of the club or city where it hails from is the kind of design most of us know, which became the norm in 1930 and continues today.
*Big thanks to the National Baseball Hall of Fame for the use of the images above.?
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