What Is the Role of Baseball Stirrups?
When you hear the word “stirrups,” you probably think of horseback riding or 1980s leggings fashion. But these socks have been part of our country’s most treasured pastime for over a century. What is the role of baseball stirrups? There are several reasons to include them in your league’s uniforms.
When baseball began, early teams wore knickerbocker pants that reached just below the knee. That exposed their legs when sliding into bases or getting kicked by other players. But when teams started to incorporate their team colors into their socks, the dye wasn’t safe. In 1905, a player nearly had his leg amputated because a spike wound became infected from the dye. Athletes took to wearing a white “sanitary” sock under their colored socks, just in case. By adding a stirrup, it was easier to fit the two pairs of socks into shoes.
Baseball stirrup socks became optional once uniform legs became longer in the 1990s, but they’re an effective way to pay homage to the long tradition of the sport. In recent years, there’s been a resurgence of interest in stirrups at the pro level. The Cleveland Indians’ Francisco Lindor started wearing them as a nod to his father’s love of them, and the Tampa Bay Rays’ Brad Miller and Chris Archer considered them a sign of respect. After all, there’s a reason that the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox chose their names.
If you’re still wondering what the role of baseball stirrups is, consider this: stirrup socks are another opportunity for teams to set themselves apart from competitors. Uniforms are symbols of a team’s spirit, and stirrups usually feature stripes in the team colors or even logos and mascots. It’s an essential part of bonding, especially for youth and high school teams. It’s a retro touch that gives players a sense of what it was like to be a legendary player from a past era. They are part of a sport with a proud history, and stirrups are a reminder that we carry on the game with honor.
MK Socks can help you find the perfect stirrups when choosing your own team uniform. You can customize them to reflect your team’s values and individuality. Get inspired by our selection of stirrups, or contact us for more ideas.