Sunday, November 13, 2011

Green Bay's *Other* Team, Part 2

This beautiful gray flannel road jersey was worn by the Green Bay Bluejays in the 1940s, when they were a Milwaukee Brewers farm club.

The detailing is exquisite, with an interlocking "GB" monogram on the chest and namesake patch on the left sleeve.

These are set off with a thick blue soutache on the sleeves, placket and up the side seam under the sleeves.

The distinctive thick soutache is our first clue that this jersey first saw service at Borchert Field. It was customary in those days for uniforms and equipment to be passed down the ladder from major league teams to their farm clubs. It was the same for independent minor clubs like the Brewers, with their own farm systems. In this case, the Brews sent their old flannels up to Joannes Stadium in Green Bay.

Compare this Bluejays with this Brewers exemplar (which has had its sleeve piping removed) from about the same period. The chest logos have been swapped, but the flannel's Milwaukee origins are easy to see.

Similarly, the distinctive backs are identical, down to the large pleat in the middle.

The Brewers' flannels featured this type of pleat at least as far back as 1938, as seen in this photo from Spring Training:

Also note the same number style as our two jerseys, and the resulting large gap between the two-digit numbers:

The pleat is secured near the bottom by a length of elastic sewn into the interior of the jersey.

The jersey is double-tagged, with a Wilson tag from the manufacturer and a tag from the supplier, Burghardt Athletic Goods of Milwaukee.

Again, we see the same pair of tags in our Milwaukee Brewers flannel (with a green Burghardt tag in place of the blue).

Few of the Green Bay Bluejays would make it to the parent club in Milwaukee, but thanks to the hand-me-downs they could at least dress like the Brewers.

1 comment:

  1. This is just as awesome as it gets. Thank you for a fabulous job of uncovering the connection between the old Brewers and the Blue Jays of Green Bay. This stuff is priceless! And if you're interested in Wisconsin baseball history, it's the crem de la crem (sorry, I don't write French, but you get what I'm saying...) ;) Congrats on a fabulous piece!