Baseball Player Circa 1891
Baseball history photo: Arthur Van Winkler, Centre College (Louisville, KY) baseball player, 1891. Note the primitive fielder's glove, devoid of padding. Even by 1891, gloves for players other than the catcher were slowly developing. Winkler may have been a pitcher as is evidence to the fact that his right uniform sleeve has been tailored into a short sleeve. The bat he is leaning on shows only small taper from the handle to the 2½ inch barrel. This size was eventually increased to 2¾, beginning with the 1895 season and is the standard today. Winkler's baseball pants are also fully padded as seen by the quilt stitched pattern. Ads for sliding pads first appeared in the 1887 Spalding's Official Base Ball Guide as "Morton's Patent Sliding Pad." This was a quilted piece of material that was strapped to the player's leg, on top of his pants, covering the hip and thigh just above the knee. It was available in chamois and canvas and according to the ad, "Its use increases a player's confidence, and renders the act of sliding free from danger." The following year Spalding offered baseball pants with the padding stitched into the game pants, at an extra cost, as well as the Morton sliding pad. Click photo to return to previous page.