1909 began a period of monotony. The team changed jersey styles, opting to wear plain white uniforms with nothing across the chest. Their only identifying mark would be a new STL emblem, in red, embroidered on the left sleeve. The jerseys also switched from classic shirt collars to a small skinny collar called Sun Collars. This uniform design would last for 7 years. We have a large collection of baseball cards from this era that are mostly hand drawn, and based on photographs. The artist chose to give the team gray uniforms, with red collars, and red piping. We do not think these drawings are accurate and do not match what the team wore on the field.
We also have a newspaper article from 1909 describing the road uniform. The article describes the road uniform as being identical to the home, but in gray. In the 1909 team photo, however, it is only our assumption that the player on the far right is wearing the 1909 road uniform. We do not know for sure if the newspaper or the photograph is correct.
1909 is the first season we observed the team wearing stirrup socks. Players of this era mistakenly believed that they were at risk of blood poisoning from the colored dye in their socks if they got spiked in the shins by opposing sliding players. As a precaution they wore white sanitary socks underneath the colored socks. But wearing two pairs of socks didn’t fit inside their cleats, thus the stirrup sock was invented, a baseball creation that still endures to this day.
St. Louis Globe Democrat: March 6, 1909
As for the new uniforms the Cardinals will wear this season, they will still adhere to the color that has given the team its name, though they will be almost completely changed outside of that. This season the shirts will be of white, for the home games, and gray for those abroad, but they will be made without collars to the shirts and the necks will be V-Shaped. The words St. Louis will be omitted from the front of the shirt, and instead there will be a 3-inch monogram on the left arm. With the traveling uniforms, the hose will be gray, with a 5-inch Cardinal stripe around the calf of the leg while the home hose will be white with the stripe. The caps will be gray and white, with the cardinal piping along the seams and cardinal visors. Gray sweater coats will be worn with the uniforms, and the latter will be trimmed with cardinal and have a monogram on the left breast. Altogether the new uniform should prove neat and attractive and serviceable besides.
Cardinals red – PMS 200