Baseball pants figure way down on the game’s uniform hierarchy, at least as far as publicity and fans go. Baseball caps, shirts and jerseys, are touted as retail products and bring in a significant amount of revenue. But not so the baseball pants.
In the early years of the game, full-length trousers were common though many experimented to find a more comfortable fit. Some solved the problem by adopting pants with buttons down the sides, while others belted the leg openings to prevent any interference during play. In 1868, the Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first to opt for knickers instead of pants. At some point, padded pants came into vogue, but did not last and instead padding was worn separately.
Up to the early 20th century, ball players wore their pants in a manner where the stockings showed to the bottom of their knees. But yet again, the trend of lower pant legs crept in bringing with it a host of problems. Solid colored pants and jerseys are not a thing of today. They have been in style for ages. There existed a tradition of wearing white at home and gray on the road. Colored pants came on the scene with a bang in the early 60s.
By the 1970s, pants became more tight-fitting. It was also the season of the belt less pants with an elastic waistband. This trend continued till 1993. During the 90s, the pant legs dropped almost to the soles of the shoes with the baggy pants returning. The 2002-2006 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) has for the first time included a section on uniform regulations. Of the seven rules, one states that the pant length should be no lower than the top of the shoe heel, thus discouraging the baggy-pants look.