Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Managers with Uniforms

From a Q & A in the Dallas Morning News no a subject I've noticed before and pointed out, just never got an answer.

Q: This may sound like a silly question, but here we go. Why is baseball the only sport where the head coach (manager) and assistant coaches suit up in uniform?

Could you imagine seeing Bill Parcells in shoulder pads? Why can’t baseball coaches dress like regular coaches?

Alan Harwell, Corpus Christi, Texas

GRANT: Tradition is the closest thing to a cast-in-stone answer. In baseball’s formulative years, the manager was often a player. So, he wore a uniform for reasons of practicality. But the age of player-managers pretty much faded in the first half of the century. Two managers, Connie Mack and Burt Shotton, both of whom didn’t manage after 1950, chose to wear civilian clothes in the dugout. Baseball is a game of tradition. You don’t mess with tradition.

If there is still a reason for managers and coaches to wear uniforms, it’s because they are the only coaching staffs to enter the field of play (legally, at least) in any sport. It would look funny to see the base coaches in slacks and Tommy Bahama and funnier to see Buck Showalter jog out to the mound to make a pitching change in a suit. I have him for more of a tie-dye and Birkenstock look anyway.


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