Here’s a photo from LIFE magazine taken in September 1956 during a doubleheader between the Cincinnati Redlegs and the Milwaukee Braves. On the left is Ted Kluszewski of the Redlegs, and he is speaking with Braves manager Fred Haney. I, for one, sure am glad that the sleeveless look never took off in baseball.
Something interesting I learned as a result of finding this photo: the Cincinnati team was known as the Redlegs from 1953 through 1958, due to the Red Scare in America. Even though “Reds” had been inspired by the old Cincinnati Red Stockings, people have a way of letting fear dictate their reactions to things sometimes. The term “Reds” became associated with Communism, and from 1956 to 1960, the name “Reds” was removed from the team’s logo and no longer appeared on the team’s uniforms. The name “Cincinnati Reds” was restored to the team after the 1958 season.
The first home run in the history of the National League was hit on May 2, 1876 by Ross Barnes of the Chicago White Stockings — an inside-the-park home run against the Cincinnati Redlegs. Barnes had been a superstar in the National Association, signing with the Chicago team just before the NA disbanded. On top of having the honor of hitting the new league’s first homer, Barnes had a single, a triple, two stolen bases, and four runs scored.