Why Do Baseball Coaches and Managers Wear Uniforms?

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You must have seen your baseball team’s manager and coaches wearing uniforms and thought it weird since coaches and managers from football, basketball, and other sports do not.

Baseball is a sport with many traditional elements that make people question why it is the way it is.

Coaches and managers wearing the same uniforms as the other players is one such custom that makes people wonder why it is so.

Is this question on your mind too? Then keep reading for the answer.

Why Do They Wear Uniforms?


To understand why baseball managers and coaches wear uniforms, one must go back to the early years of baseball when player-coaches or player managers were common.

Early in baseball, members of the sports team would both play and coach, taking on administrative tasks such as arranging the batting order while still being on the playing squad.

These were sometimes referred to as the ‘team captain,’ They were key members of the squad known as player-coaches/player managers.

These players had to wear the same uniforms as the rest of the team since they used to play on the field with the rest of the team, and according to MLB regulations, all players on a team must wear a uniform, and it must match the rest of the teammates.

The manager’s job has gotten more complex and time-consuming over the years, making it hard for him to simultaneously play, manage, and coach.

Thus, having one person who serves as both a teammate and a coach is becoming less common. A separate manager is now assigned who is in charge of everything from team formation to in-game preparation to player care and so on.

The most recent player-manager was Pete Rose, who served the Cincinnati Reds from 1984 to 1986.

The tradition of managers and coaches wearing uniforms has persisted in baseball even though there are so few player coaches around nowadays.

So, wearing uniforms is just a stuck norm and nothing else!

Official Baseball Rules About Outfit

Outfit of baseball players and coaches

Another reason is the rules and regulations of baseball, which indicate that players and coaches are supposed to wear uniforms.

These include

  •  “Base coaches shall be limited to two in number and in team uniform.”

To further clarify, the official rules describe a coach as a team member in uniform who is selected by the management to fulfill such functions as they deem appropriate, including but not limited to being the base coach.

Frequently Asked Questions About Baseball Uniforms

1. Can MLB Managers Wear Suits?

Unlike basketball, hockey, or soccer coaches, who all wear suits, MLB coaches cannot wear suits. The outfits of baseball coaches are different compared to the coaches in these sports.

2. Do MLB Managers And Coaches Have A Number On Their Shirts?

Like the players, MLB managers and coaches have a number on their shirts.

Are all baseball coaches required to wear uniforms?

In general, yes, coaches are required to wear some form of team attire. However, the specific rules may vary depending on the league or organization. For example, in Major League Baseball (MLB), coaches are required to wear team uniforms that are identical to those worn by players, with the exception of the number on their jersey.

Why don’t coaches have uniform numbers like players?

While players are identified by their uniform numbers, coaches are identified by their position on the field. The manager, or head coach, typically wears uniform number 1. The bench coach wears uniform number 2, while the pitching coach wears uniform number 31. Other coaches may wear numbers that correspond to their position, but it is not required.

Are coaches required to wear a full uniform?

While coaches are required to wear team attire, they are not necessarily required to wear a full uniform. Coaches may choose to wear team polo shirts or jackets instead of a jersey and pants. However, the attire must still be consistent with the team’s colors and branding.

Does anyone still coach and play for the same team?

It is rare for someone to coach and play for the same team. While some players may become coaches after retiring, they typically do not continue playing for the team at the same time. This is due to the different roles and responsibilities of players and coaches, as well as the potential for conflicts of interest.


The concept that managers and coaches are still required to wear uniforms goes way back to when players also served as coaches.

Changing or improving the baseball game is frowned upon by the majority of baseball fans since “tradition” is so important to them.

The custom of baseball managers and coaches wearing uniforms is one such example, but dressing up as players aren’t doing any harm, and it also doesn’t make baseball a bad sport.

But why? Let coaches and managers live their lives!

At last, you can check these articles as well- What Does A Baseball Manager Do, How to Increase Bat Speed, What is OPS in Baseball?

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James Arnold
I'm James, and I live in Stanislaus County, California. I'm playing Baseball for many years, and I love this sport so much that I also encourage my kids (Danny and Sara) to play Baseball & Softball.