Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Stirrup. Why?

What's the point of the stirrup? I wore them when I was in little league. What do they do though? Logically I couldn't figure it out. Are they there to keep your sock up? But if you can keep the stirrup up, why can't you keep a sock up? So that can't be it.

Fortunately, the National Baseabll Hall of Fame's web site,, has the explanation, so I don't have to drive myself crazy thinking about it.

The colored sock (or stocking as it was called back then), was a big part of the "flair" of the baseball uniform. However, when players got spiked to the point where it broke through the skin, the dye from the colored stocking could get into their body. Ah, the good ol' violent days of the game. So shortly after the turn of the century they would wear white sanitary socks, with the colorful stirrup over it.

It was many years later that players starting pulling them up so much that they were stretched out and you could only see a stripe. What it comes down to though, is if you don't mind the boring white sock showing, they serve no purpose whatsoever, and they only came about because drawing blood was an often enough occurance to make sock coloring seep into the body.

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