1956 may be the most controversial years for Cardinals uniforms. General Manager Frank Lane, the man who traded Red Schoendienst in 1956, and who also attempted to trade Stan Musial, removed the Birds on the Bat from the uniforms. In its place was a cursive script that read Cardinals. The shirt also removed all traces of red piping, and returned to button down shirts instead of zippered jerseys. Sluggerbird was embroidered on the left sleeve, batting left handed. This is the first season Sluggerbird appeared on the team’s jersey. The road uniform featured blue undershirts and navy blue socks with a brand new stripe pattern. The caps worn were solid navy blue and featured a new STL emblem in red with a white outline.
Frank Lane’s original plan was to only wear the cursive script at home, and wear an interlocking STL on the chest for the the road uniform. Luckily a prototype of that road uniform survived.
While Frank Lane’s decisions were incredibly unpopular, the red cursive lettering and the new outlined STL cap emblem have been more or less maintained through the years, and still endures through the 2020s on present day Cardinals uniforms.
St. Louis Globe Democrat: February 25, 1956
Cards Decked Out in New Uniforms
The 1956 Cardinals will have the “bold look. Not to be confused with the new look,” “Dior look” or “slim look,'”, the Red Birds will be resplendent in newly-designed uniforms, both at home and on the road. Gone are the twin red birds perched on the bat. One has disappeared, the other now is. on the left sleeve, brandishing a bat. 1 . Across the chest of the ’56 hte flannel home suits will – white . be the script world Cardinals,” in cardinal red on navy blue, and a streamer of red will cross the chest below the letters. Numbers will be in red on navy blue, and the swashbuckling cardinal on the sleeve also will be in red.
“We hope the new uniforms will match the new, bold look and attitude of the 1956 Cardi: nals,” said General Manager. Frank Lane. “We have striven for a lighter, roomier uniform that will allow for more comfort, greater speed and greater ability for the players. ‘We hope it will be reflected favorably in the percentages.”
Only part of the uniform that remains identical with last year are the socks. They will be red with seven alternating stripes of white blue and red. A red belt and red sweatshirt will be worn with the outfit.
The familiar blue cap with the red peak also is gone, re- placed by a solid blue chapeau with a red button. On the front will be an interlocking “St. L.” in red, trimmed with white.
ATTIRE FOR THE ROAD
On the road, the Cardinals will be attired in pearl gray flannels, with the same Cardinal perched on the left sleeve. The left breast will be adorned with a large, interlocking “St L.”The “St” and the “L” will be In navy blue with red edging. The “L” will be in red with a blue outline. Numerals – red on navy blue will be Identical with the home suits. The same navy blue cap will be worn on the road, and the belt and sweatshirt also will be navy blue. Road uniform stockings will be navy, with three white stripes edged In a narrow red border.
St. Louis Post Dispatch: March 4, 1956
General Manager Frank Lane conferred today with Oscar Roettger, representing the company manufacturing the Cardinals’ new uniforms, and announced that he had decided to have the name “Cardinals” lettered across the new traveling uniform shirts as well as on the white home uniforms. The letters will be in scarlet, edged with navy blue. Lane had planned only an interlocking “St. L” on the road shirts.
“We’re not taking the color out of the Cardinals or their uniforms,” Lane remarked. He had heard that some old timers resented the dropping of the pair of Redbirds astride a bat, hallmark of the Cardinals through their great years. “Wait till you see the uniforms and the men we have in them. I don’t think anybody will be disappointed.” he said.
Cardinals Red – PMS 200
Yellow – PMS 1235
Navy Blue – PMS 288
One thought on “1956 Cardinals”
I have been fascinated by the 1956 unis for a long time. Thank you for this detailed look at the history of this one year wonder.