Baseball uniforms change over time, but they change rather gradually so that we always recognize a baseball player in uniform. Pants go up, pants reach lower, stripes are in or out, shorts button or they don’t. One fashion that comes and goes is stirrup socks. How did those ever become part of a baseball uniform? It’s not just because of fashion, although fashion begins the story of how they came about.
In the mid-1800s, ballplayers were prone to wearing uniforms that had pants extending all the way to the top of the shoe. Then, in 1868, the players of the Cincinnati Red Stockings decided to make a fashion statement by hiking their pants up to just under the knees, knickers-style. Other teams followed suit in the belief that a shapely calf might excite female fans attending the game. (Remember, this was the 1800s.)
This, of course, showed their red stockings. The rest of the story has to do with practicality and safety, which you can read about at Mental Floss.
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