This jersey is dated 1931 and has Spalding tags. We don’t know the exact story behind this jersey, but we believe it was a salesman sample created as a prototype for the Cardinals. In 1930 the Cardinals wore Spalding uniforms for home games and Rawlings uniforms for road games, but switched fully to Rawlings uniforms in the 1930 World Series. In 1931, the Cardinals continued wearing Rawlings uniforms. We think maybe Spalding created this sample jersey and pitched this idea to the team for their road uniforms. Obviously the Cardinals decided not to wear these jerseys.
The jersey still fascinates us, and its notable feature, or lack of feature, it has no birds. Beginning in 1922, the Cardinals have never gone a season without a bird on their uniform, and that includes Sluggerbird snuck onto the sleeve in 1956. This jersey is devoid of the Cardinals identity. The letters are dark marroon/brown, and so dark they almost appear black. It has similar fancy lettering to the Cardinals jerseys of the 1920s, but arched across the chest with a radically huge C. The piping is incredibly similar to the piping found on the Cardinals 1936-37 uniforms, but is five years earlier.
While this jersey is interesting, we’re glad it remained just a sample.

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