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Finals begin this week. Hope you have done your studying for the event. But school is out, so Wedwand must be talking about sports finals. To be specific, the Professional Basketball (NBA) and Hockey (NHL) titles are up for grabs starting this week.

Coaches dressed in neatly tailored suits will provide encouragement or criticism and shout instructions or profanities whichever seems appropriate at the time.

The basketball coach will kneel alongside of the court and sometimes even venture on to the court with animated hand gestures. None of his players seem to pay attention to these gestures and do nothing until one of them says to the other, “Gimme da ball” and off they go.

The hockey coach will stand, somewhat stoically behind his bench and never go on the ice. In the meantime, his players are hitting a small rubber disk at speeds of up to 100 MPH with a stick while skating on ice more proficiently than seems humanly possible while he looks on wondering, “When are they going to put it in the net”.

Despite that difference, both sports’ coaches look rather dapper in their fine looking designer suits and ties. In fact, they would look silly wearing the same uniform as their respective basketball and hockey teams do.

But, that is exactly what baseball coaches and managers wear. And yes, in some cases, it does look silly. Don’t think so? Here’s former Cubs manager Don Zimmer, in case you don’t agree. (See Footnote below.)

The fact that baseball managers actually wear baseball uniforms when managing seems odd when you think of it, but we have come to accept it.

Research reveals that the tradition of managers wearing uniforms go back to the roots of the game around the turn of the 20th Century when some players were actually the managers too. Ergo, they needed to be in uniform to play the game as well as manage.

The tradition continues to this day for no explicable reason. Of course, Wedwand has come up with some reasons and here they are.

Top 10 reasons why baseball managers and coaches wear uniforms instead of suits.

10. Pine Tars stains are a bitch to dry clean.
9. The fabric really wrinkles in a rain delay.
8. Hard to hit fungo’s in suspenders.
7. Bad look to have a ring of sunflower shells on your vest.
6. The baseball hat clashes with the suit.
5. Tough to tuck in the pants under those baseball stockings.
4. The number on the back just looks dumb on a suit coat.
3. Don’t want to dribble tobacco juice on your tie.
2. Kicking dirt on the umpire really puts wear and tear on your suit pants.
1. Those weren’t the pinstripes I was hoping to wear.

So, you know when you are watching a show and you are really into it, then at the end you realize it is only Part 1 of a multipart series. Don’t you hate that? Me too, but this was only Part I..

So, be sure to read Part II of Coaches and Clothing coming soon.

FOOTNOTE: As I was finishing the draft of this entry, having included a picture of Don Zimmer in his Cubs uniform, I saw a post with the news of Zimmer’s death today at the age of 83. RIP Zim. Thanks for a fun summer in Chicago in 1989. Here’s a better tribute to you. 021

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