The Cardinals made a radical change in 1971. Along with many other teams in baseball, the Cardinals switched to new polyester fabric pullover jerseys with beltless elastic waistband pants, called Sansabelt. Along with these new uniforms, extra high stirrup socks would become popular.
We have chosen to combine these three years because of only one minor change. The red-white-blue stripe pattern on the pants was consistent from 1971 to 1972, but in 1973, it was reversed. We do not know the reason.
In 1971-1973 we continue to observe another odd STL cap emblem. This emblem is inconsistent and we do not know its use.
The Journal Herald: January 21, 1971
Cardinals make uniform change ST. LOUIS (AP) – The St. Louis Cardinals will emulate the Pittsburgh Pirates in Wearing pullover shirts and elastic band trousers in baseball this summer. The Cardinal uniforms with red, White, and blue trim, are of lighter weight and designed for greater player comfort, General Manager Big Devine said yesterday. Hold over from the old uniform style are red caps with white monograms, Cardinal emblems on shirt fronts and player names and numbers on the backs.
Belleville News-Democrat: April 6, 1971
With his old shirt wrinkled and ready for retirement, catcher Ted Simmons wears the St. Louis Cardinals’ new style uniform. The pullover shirt and belt-less pants were to make their debut today as the Redbirds opened the season against the Cubs in Chicago.
St. Louis Post Dispatch: April 12, 1971
The double-knit nylon uniforms the Redbirds displayed as Easter baseball fashions did look as if they were held up by the imagination only. Fact is, like latter-day long-johns, they’re gathered together with a draw string and white-and-scarlet elastic waist band.
A significant feature is the pull-over shirt, similar to the one introduced last year by the Pittsburgh Pirates, who proved that if clothes don’t make the man, they at least don’t hurt. The Pirates took the Eastern Division title.
To a man, the Cardinals like the form-fitting suits designed by the Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. of St. Louis. They’re lighter and more comfortable than the old models.
More colorful too– navy blue, white and scarlet piping appear on the sleeves and the collars as well as down the side seams of the trousers.
The only problem with the close fitting, beltless double-knits is that they put a premium on a trim profile.
Joe Torre said he was glad he’d taken off 25 pounds over the 12-month period that represented the best baseball year of his life.
Cardinals Bright Red – PMS 186
Yellow uniform use – PMS 1235
Yellow print use – PMS 108
Navy Blue – PMS 288 / 289