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Why do the manager and coaches wear the same uniform as the players?

Dear Guru,

Here's one for you that's been kicking around the office. As far as we can determine baseball is the only sport where the manager and coaches wear the same uniform as the players. Ever wonder why? The nuts at Texaco have.

- Peter Natale

Guru's Reponse


What a thoughtful question! I think that the wearing of uniforms by coaches and managers in baseball traces back to the 1850's.  Rounders, a sport which contributed to the invention of modern day baseball, was played by amateurs doing double duty as players and either managers or self appointed know-it-alls (coaches), such as you would find in a pick-up game on the playground. Another interesting question would be "Why have other sports, such as basketball, abandoned the wearing of uniforms by managers?" It seems obvious to me why football coaches don't wear uniforms!

Actually, in baseball, the manager and coaches all step onto the playing field at various times! The manager and pitching coach make trips out to the pitchers mound and the first and third base coaches are constantly on the field. In other sports, the coaches are penalized for stepping onto the playing field.  But in general, baseball is about tradition and history in a way that makes it like no other sport in the world. Some would say that it's traditions make no more sense than certain perpetuated religious traditions, so to some extent, answering your question involves answering a much deeper question.

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