The National League officially crested The Los Angeles Dodgers franchise in 1890 after it won the American Association title in 1889. They bounced through as many names as they did coaches, including the “Bridegrooms” (because so many young players had just been married).
Other nicknames included Ward’s Wonders, Foutz’s Fillies, and Hanlon’s Superbas – nicknames associated with the then coaches.
The term “Trolley Dodgers” was attached by sportswriters to the Brooklyn club in reference to the maze of trolley cars weaving through the borough to get to the ballpark. The name was embraced, and later shortened to “Dodgers.”
The first uniform to display the team name was unveiled in 1933, and the current designs for both home and away were unveiled in 1939.
Ever since, the team has kept the uniforms remarkably consistent, with only small changes like outlines and shading. The franchise move to Los Angeles in the late 1950s didn’t affect their look in the least, keeping the traditional uniform and signature “Dodger blue” coloring over the years.
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Logo History Dodgers
1911: The Brooklyn Dodgers adopt an old-English “B” enclosed in overlapping lines to form a diamond.
1912–1913: The logo remains largely the same, but the overlap of the lines is eliminated to form an enclosed diamond.
1932–1936: The diamond is wholly removed – and a larger, old-fashioned “B” is used as the logo.
1937: A block “B” in a green font becomes the new logo.
1939–1944: The team unveils its first logo that features the complete team name in cursive font. The classic Dodger Blue is born.
1945–1957: The last design the Dodgers used in Brooklyn contributes the red outline of a baseball in flight to the background of the logo. This red is the impetus for the iconic red numbers later adopted.
1958–1967: The Dodgers’ first logo after the team’s move to L.A. draws heavily on the previous logo, with tiny modifications to the coloring and thickness of the font.
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1968–1971: The logo remains the same, but the shade of blue becomes bolder and darker.
1972–1978: The shade of blue becomes bolder and darker, again.
1979–2011: The font becomes thinner, and the red outline in the background is lighter.
2012–present: The red outline in the background returns to its previous form with a thicker baseball, and the font is modified slightly again.
Notable Uniform Changes Los Angeles Dodgers Jersey
1910: The Dodgers abandon previously used embroidery for a plain jersey with the logo on the left sleeve. On the road uniform, the city name is displayed in a vertical strip down the buttoned area.
1915: The team added pinstripes to the uniform along with a new version of the “B” logo to the left breast. It is a baggier look than many of the uniforms of the era.
1916: The pinstripes change to a checkered style.
1920: The Dodgers remove front embroidery in exchange for a plain, pinstriped design.
1939: The still Brooklyn Dodgers add the team name to the home uniform instead of the city name. This design mirrors the current uniform (hat obviously withstanding), and the design has remained consistent ever since, with only a few cosmetic alterations.
1944: The team unveils powder blue uniforms, as is the move du jour among teams, with white font displaying the city name as an alternate jersey to be worn on select nights.
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1952: The famous red numbers are added to the left midsection of the uniform.
1958: Upon the team’s arrival in Los Angeles, the Dodgers replace the “B” on the caps with “LA.”
1959: The new home of Los Angeles is adapted to the road uniform, breaking the trend of “Dodgers” on both home and away jerseys.
1970: After 11 seasons, the city name on the road uniform is replaced with the team name again.
1999: White piping appears, bordering the city name on the road uniform.
2007: The piping around the city name is removed for an embroidered look that displays the city name in traditional Dodger blue.
2007: With the MLB celebrating its Turn Back the Clock night – a resounding success over the futuristic uniforms it once made its clubs wear – the Dodgers chose to pay tribute to their origins in Brooklyn with the city name appearing on a gray uniform and a “B” on the cap.
2014: The Dodgers introduce an alternate road jersey, which resembles a gray version of the home jersey, displaying the team name instead of the city name. It is essentially a blend of their own history of both sorts of away options.
2016: The current uniform mirrors those that were unveiled in the late 1930s with only minor changes. The “LA” logo is depicted on the hat and the left sleeve.
Looking Back to Look Forward
Tradition is important to most of the original teams in sports across the board, and the Los Angeles Dodgers are no different. The team plays this history up by keeping their uniforms as crisp, clean, and simple as they were in the ’30s – despite the many flamboyant personalities and dominant players that have come and gone.
The Dodgers have retired 10 numbers:
No. 1 – Pee Wee Reese
No. 2 – Tommy Lasorda (manager)
No. 4 – Duke Snider
No. 19 – Jim Gilliam
No. 20 – Don Sutton
No. 24 – Walter Alston (manager)
No. 32 – Sandy Koufax
No. 39 – Roy Campanella
No. 42 – Jackie Robinson
No. 53 – Don Drysdale
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In addition, they’ve been home to some of the biggest stars the sport has ever seen, enthralled at various times by Manny Ramirez and his army of wig-wearing fans, Jackie Robinson and his legion of detractors, Yasiel Puig, Sandy Koufax, Clayton Kershaw, Fernando Valenzuela, and many more famous names.
Will the franchise ever change up the threads to spur interest, or is the star power on the field enough for the bright lights of Los Angeles? Well, the new billionaire owners respect the tradition that is the Dodgers, especially with a man like Magic Johnson as the public face. He wouldn’t mess with the Lakers uniforms, would he?
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