In the 1928 World Series and in the 1929 regular season we believe the Cardinals wore red pinstripes on their road uniforms. With the exception of a few green pinstriped uniforms, typically up until this point the Cardinals had always worn blue pinstripes, never red.

Newspaper articles from the 1928 World Series use language similar to articles from previous years that describe the pinstripes.
In 1923 the paper says “These uniforms are white with a blue stripe
In 1925 the paper says “The traveling uniform is of a gray striped material
In 1926 the paper says “They are steel gray with dark green stripes
In 1927 the paper says “New home uniforms are white with navy blue stripes. The road suits are gray with a green stripe.”

And finally in 1928, the newspaper articles reads as follows.
The Knoxville Journal: October 4, 1928
The uniforms have red stripes and two red birds across the breast.

Intelligencer Journal: October 5, 1928
The Cardinal uniforms made a good contrast with the Yankees’. Grey with red stripes, red and grey cap and stockings. 

This language makes us think that the road uniform had red pinstripes. The 1928 World Series uniforms were produced by a company called Sainz, who tried to rival Rawlings but failed. Even though the Cardinals were most displeased with the Sainz uniforms in the ’28 Series, they continued to wear Sainz manufactured uniforms in 1929, and we believe the road uniforms would have continued to be red pinstripes, although we have no certainty of this claim, and currently can not find any other evidence of red pinstripes being used.

Coincidentally, 1929 would be the last season the Cardinals would ever wear pinstripes in their regular season uniforms.

History Mysteries:
What color were the pinstripes in the 1928 World Series?
What color were the pinstripes in the 1929 season?
Being a red team since 1900, why have the Cardinals pinstripes never been red until this point?

Sainz Uniform Manufacturer

Jose Maria Sainz was born in San Dimas, Mexico in 1889 and was well educated as a youth. He and a friend journeyed north in 1908 from the State of Durango to St. Louis, MO by train to seek university schooling. They both fell upon hard economic times and could not pay for their schooling and became homeless and destitute. Jose worked odd jobs as a day laborer and eventually found steady work as a furnace room keeper at Rawlings Sporting Goods. He slept in the furnace room as well. He married in 1914 and had saved enough money to rent an apartment. He was constantly ridiculed at Rawlings for his Mexican heritage and had many fights with other employees. At his wife’s urging, he quit Rawlings in 1916 and started work at Robert-Johnson-Rand, a shoe manufacturer. The machinery there was quite different from Rawlings and Jose struggled mightily to avoid being fired for costly mistakes. Disheartened, Jose applied for a job as an apprentice at Commonwealth Steel Co. as a machinist. He found a measure of success there and rose to foreman and Steel Workers Union representative. However, when the Armistice was signed ending WWI in 1918, Commonwealth started to lay off employees and Jose was one of the unfortunate ones. He had saved enough money to enter business school in 1919, and upon graduating, went back to work at RJR Shoe Co. with the idea of expanding their market into the Hispanic community. The job was so low paying however that in 1922 he jumped at the chance when Rawlings offered him a similar job at double the pay. He was to be an outside sales representative to the Hispanic community in the U.S. and Mexico. He was also to design Rawlings catalogs and literature in Spanish. He traveled extensively in Mexico and was highly successful. He was on a management track at Rawlings and his future looked bright but his marriage was disintegrating. Jose took offense to a comment by an executive at Rawlings regarding his personal life and punches were thrown. Jose was immediately fired. He was nothing if not resilient and took this as an opportunity to start his own company, J.M. Sainz & Co. He designed the crest of his trademark logo incorporating the words, “The Sunshine Line.” This was in tribute to the Sunshine Special, the Missouri Pacific Railway train he used when coming north in 1908. He contracted with three companies, RJR Shoe Co., Mexican American Hat Co. and oddly enough Rawlings (personal grievances were set aside for the sake of business). Marketed under the J.M. Sainz Brand, Jose left for Mexico in 1923 to sell his goods to an eager populace. He became wealthy and bought huge plots of land in Mexico. He met and interacted with political figures and gained influential contracts. Disaster struck in 1926 when a large shipment from Rawlings turned out to be faulty. Jose lost some of his reputation in Mexico because of this and really raised his ire when Rawlings would not settle up with the damaged merchandise. Jose won a lawsuit against Rawlings in court for real and punitive damages. At this point, Jose decided to teach Rawlings a lesson and in 1927 he leased a factory on Washington Street in St. Louis and hired away many Rawlings employees and went head to head against the larger company. He sought the friendship of Judge Landis, the Baseball Commissioner and Sam Breadon, the owner of the St. Louis Cardinals. Jose was able to obtain some contracts with the St. Louis club and traveled extensively in the Midwest marketing his sporting goods. In the end, he was destined for failure against the bigger company and J.M. Sainz & Co. closed in 1931. Because of his extensive land holdings in Mexico, Jose was able to retire to the good life down south and raised horses.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s