Ranking the best and worst White Sox uniforms of the last 117 years
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The White Sox and Athletics are going to be wearing some absolutely gorgeous jerseys when they play Tuesday night in Oakland. The 1968 throwbacks, which have gotten rave reviews from players and fans, are part of a special night in which everyone is being admitted into the stadium for free. Yes, as in zero dollars and zero cents.
The Athletics are celebrating their 50th anniversary, which is the reason for all the pomp and circumstance, but the throwback jerseys are the really eye-catching thing for those of us who can’t make it to the Bay Area. Anytime we can get the Sox into those sweet, sweet baby blues is a good day for baseball.
And because we can’t celebrate any occasion without special jerseys, and we can’t see special jerseys without having opinions on them (something Chris Sale knows well), what better time to go back into Sox history to rank their uniforms? This list can’t be 100 percent exhaustive given how many mild tweaks have occurred through the years, but we’ll try to cover all the major changes.
All images are courtesy of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
The Sox introduced big, floppy collars to their jerseys in the mid-1970s, and like many other styles from the time, they don’t hold up well. They’re really the Disco Demolition of uniforms.
Throwback uniforms of these style were at the center of Chris Sale’s tantrum a couple of years ago, and, honestly, it’s hard to blame him for not wanting to look like he works on L. Ron Hubbard’s cruise ship. Luckily, they didn’t even try the shorts again.
Whoever designed these deserves credit for doing the absolute bare minimum.
The original Sox logo, with the “O” and “X” inside the curves of the “S,” was first introduced in 1912, but the franchise’s uniforms underwent a lot of tweaking over the next couple of decades. Some years, they wore dark or pinstriped road uniforms. Other years, they wore gray on the road. These 1925 uniforms only lasted a year in this specific incarnation, but those roads are something else.
These were the first uniforms to use the newer logo along with red accents on the home and road jerseys. The look would only last a few years before the Sox dropped the red accents from the road jerseys, although they kept them on the hats and socks.
The Sox overhauled their uniforms entering 1949 by dropping much of the color in favor of simpler jerseys with a new primary logo. These resemble the team’s current uniforms in a number of ways, although there’s not as much going on. These are clean, classic baseball jerseys.
You have to talk in an old-timey accent about going to the soda fountain on a horse-drawn carriage if you wear this uniform. That’s what’s great about them, really.
What a difference 70 years makes. And I mean, when your team is characterized by the color “White,” who doesn’t naturally think of red pinstripes and powder blue? The home uniforms are a total disaster, but the roads are pretty sweet, so we’ll meet somewhere in the middle.
These take some inspiration from the early 1950s with the red accents, which go well with the navy blue. These uniforms lasted only three years, however, before the team started phasing them out.
The Sox have been wearing essentially the same primary uniforms for the last 27 years. You can see why: They settled on a clean style that allows them to freely deviate into the weird and bizarre with throwbacks and other customs while returning to a classic foundation. There have been a lot of special moments in these jerseys.
An underrated part of the Sox’ jersey history came in the early 1930s. The Sox logo shown here would eventually evolve into the styled logo used on their current jerseys, but there’s something nice about having some color, a baseball and a bat in there. They don’t scream “White Sox” like many of their other iconic jerseys, but these are nice.
America!!! These are a common pick for the best of the bunch, for good reason. The team wore special USA-themed jerseys for the 1917 World Series, and they’re a good example of adding some patriotic flair without going totally overboard.
Maybe we should just call them the Blue Sox? It’s understandable why the team would pivot away from the color blue given the Cubs’ palette, but these uniforms are much preferred to the basic black-and-white stylings of their present duds. Hey, at least we’ll get to catch them in the powder blue against the Athletics on Tuesday night.
The Sox seemed to realize a few years back that they had something awesome with these 1980s jerseys because they’ve found ways to bring the style back into the fold, whether through throwback uniforms or the hats they wear during batting practice. They’re a bit over-the-top, but in the best way. These are the greatest Sox uniforms of all time.