1887 is full of interesting colors for the Browns. We have brown and white stripes, blue, wine colored, solid blue, bright blue, sky-blue, scarlet, and red all discussed in the newspaper accounts.
Wine colored is the most subjective of those descriptions. We can only assume they’re referring to a dark red color. Still we find this subjective, and once again we question the integrity of the newspaper writers. Our primary basis for the wine color is based on the Buchner card series from this era.
Our other suspicion is that this wine colored fabric spanned across all uniforms this season. From an artistic and design perspective, putting brown letters on top of brown and white stripes seems like an awful choice, and while we wouldn’t put it past them to do that, we think the wine colored St. Louis from the blue road uniform was also applied on the home uniform. The choice for wine colored letters on the World Series uniform also is directly tied to the blue regular season road uniform.
The color of blue is also subjective to us. We went down odd rabbit holes analyzing what people of the 1880s thought blue was, what Ancient Egyptians thought blue was, and what we consider blue in today’s world. In the end, we decided that the blue color for the road uniform should be similar and consistent to the Buchner cards. The World Series blue seems a little more obvious, as the reporters describe it as sky blue and bright blue. But we still found ourselves questioning exactly what that garment’s true color was. We possess no photographs of road uniforms and no photos from the World Series, so these colors remain a mystery to us.
What color is wine colored?
Was the wine colored letters used on all uniforms?
What color is blue?
What color is sky blue?
Do the newspaper accounts have credibility?
Sporting Life: March 23, 1887
The Browns will have two new uniforms. The championship uniform will be of the champion’s color, brown and white striped, of the finest cloth. The relay or exhibition game uniform will be of blue — shirt and breeches — and wine colored stockings. Across the breast of the shirt words, “St. Louis Browns” will be placed in wine colored cloth. The boys of the of the boss club will be supplied with uniforms this season.
The Sporting Life: 1887
The St. Louis Browns donned new uniforms in the first game with the Detroits. They are blue and brown. The caps are blue with brown stripes.
The Sporting Life: 1887
Maybe those beautiful new blue uniforms were the Browns’ hoodoos?
St. Louis Post Dispatch: October 9, 1887
Last championship game to-day.
The Detroits arrive this morning.
Tie games are becoming the fashion.
The Browns got their new uniforms last night. They are a solid blue, with brown stockings.
St. Louis Globe Democrat: October 11, 1887
The appearance of the Browns was the signal for a burst of applause which amounted almost to an ovation. The home boys looked very giddy in suits of a bright blue, forming, with the brown hose, a very showy combination.
New York Times: October 16, 1887
St. Louis followed in more carriages and received more cheers and admiration. No debutant or prima donna was ever more closely inspected than were the nine in blue and brown. They were a trible gaudy as they descended with scarlet “blazers” over their bright blue uniforms, and they lounged somewhat carelessly through the plebeian throng as if they owned the earth and could not afford to bother with its petty population.
Chicago Inter Ocean: October 26, 1887, research from Dan O’Brien www.rubewaddell.net
The St. Louis team was radiant in a sky-blue suit with red jackets and brown stockings.