Do Baseball Pants Have Pockets? (Find Out Here)

Baseball is one of America’s most beloved sports and has been around since the early 1800s. As with any other sport, uniforms change. Baseball pants changed from wool pants and bow ties to lightweight polyester. These design changes have many fans wondering if baseball pants have pockets.

Baseball pants have pockets. In the early years of professional baseball, the pants baseball players wore had hip pockets. The fielding gloves were small enough so players could put them in their pockets. Over the years, the league changed the uniforms, and hip pockets gave way to two back pockets.

Baseball uniforms have come a long way in the last two centuries, and the design, colors, and maneuverability have improved each year. We will look at how these changes have affected whether baseball pants have pockets, how the pants have changed, and why.

Do Baseball Pants Have Pockets?

Baseball pants have pockets. In the early years of baseball, the uniforms were made of wool knickers that had always incorporated hip pockets. The players used these pockets to store anything from a fielding glove to cigars.

In the early 1920s, they switched to jean pants instead of the uncomfortable wool garments they used to wear. However, the league soon discovered that while jeans work great for most forms of labor, they were impractical to wear when playing a highly interactive sport like baseball.

During the 1920s, these jean pants had front/hip and back pockets, and the players would keep their ball caps, lucky charms, and tobacco/snuff in them. By the late 1920s, players stopped wearing jean pants as part of their baseball uniforms.

After they started to wear the knee-length pantaloons with stirrup socks, the pockets also moved to the rear of the pants, with one pocket on each side. Each pocket is large enough to store anything the player or coach may need, like fielding gloves, a stopwatch, a whistle, or even a wallet.

Baseball pants are still available with hip/side pockets, but most teams prefer pants with back pockets.

Why Were The Pockets Moved From Front To Back?

The original knicker-style baseball pants with side pockets were removed because the ball would get stuck or because the players put too many items in their front pockets, making playing uncomfortable.

In the early 1950s, some baseball players started to wear their pajamas to practices and games instead of their uniforms. These pants did not have pockets but were removed as part of the uniform after only nine years as they got damaged too quickly.

By 1959 the knicker-style baseball pants were back but with back pockets to make it easier for the player to have the items they needed without being uncomfortable. In addition, these new back pockets were reinforced to help absorb the impact of players sliding into bases.

Does Having Pants Pockets Influence A Baseball Player’s Performance?

It’s not about the pockets but what the players put in them. One prime example of a player’s performance that was influenced by what was in his pockets is Tim Raines, who had a significant cocaine addiction in the 1980s.

He learned how to slide headfirst into the base instead of the regular slide with legs first because he always had a crack pipe or his cocaine stash in his back pocket.

In Bob McGee’s book – The Greatest Ballpark Ever: Ebbets Field and the Story of the Brooklyn Dodgers, the author mentioned a time when Frenchy Bordagaray got tagged out of a play. He got tagged out because he didn’t slide. Later, people discovered that he didn’t slide because he had cigars in his pockets.

Have Players Ever Gotten Hurt Because Of Pant Pockets?

As odd as it may sound, there have been several instances where a player has gotten injured because of their pant pockets. One example was on September 21, 1923, when a Red Sox rookie named Clarence Blethen stored his false teeth in his back pocket.

While playing, he slid into second base and bit himself in the backside with his dentures. Luckily the injuries were minor. The second incident happened to Mickey McDermott, who played for the Red Sox during the 1940s and 50s.

He said that he was smoking in the dugout when he was called into the game. He put the pack of matches in his back pocket. He hit a triple and ran like hell to slide into third. As he slid along the ground, the matches caught fire, and smoke was coming from the back of his pants.

They helped him put out the fire, and he ended up with a blister the size of an apple and even had the third baseman saying that now he could see Mickey could run fast.

Some Interesting Items Baseball Players Put In Their Pockets

The primary purpose of the pockets in baseball pants is to store items the players may need, like batting gloves, sliding gloves, or baseball caps. Some players have stored more interesting things in their pockets than gloves.

Some of the strange items players keep in their pockets include

  • Gates Brown was eating a hot dog once and was called to pitch-hit. Unfortunately, he had nowhere to put his half-eaten hot dog at the time, so he stuffed it in his pockets. The hotdog smeared the ketchup and mustard over his entire backside.
  • Merrit Clifton stated that a few baseball players carried pistols in their pockets. Reportedly one dropped it on the field, and when the runner gave it back, he told the player he had lost his gun. The player said thank you, but it’s ok because he had an extra one in his sock.
  • Many players put talc powder in their pockets that they rub on their fingers before pitching, so the ball is not slippery. Others have taken balls home as souvenirs in their pockets.


Baseball uniforms have changed through the years, and where the original wool knicker-style pants had side/front pockets. They fell away by the early 1920s, and most baseball pants only had back pockets. The main reason they changed the placement of the pockets is maneuverability and comfort when playing. Players are more comfortable having pockets in the back instead of the front.


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