I believe that for many years, MLB managers would always wear the same uniform as their players during games. However, I've been watching more games on TV this year, and it seems that many managers now wear other clothing.

For example, in this photo from May 9, 2015 (credit David Richard of USA Today), we see Cleveland manager Terry Francona making a visit to the mound. The shirt he's wearing is completely different from his player's uniforms, and it doesn't look like he has a uniform jersey underneath. enter image description here Why the break with tradition? Was there a rule change, or simply managers deciding to dress differently for some reason?

1 Answer 1


Major league players, managers and coaches are required to abide by strict uniform guidelines. They are required to be in uniform, but can also wear other team apparel on top to stay warm.

However, some managers have elected not to comply and wear just a team pullover for various reasons. MLB can and does check and fine repeat offenders.

Terry Francona's case is a bit different though. During the 2005 season he had some circulatory and clotting issues that led to him thinking he was having a heart attack. Because of this he has to wear several layers of clothing in order for his body to behave properly.

During the 2005 season, Francona was hospitalized after complaining of severe chest pains. Tests revealed significantly clogged arteries, but it was concluded that Francona had not suffered a heart attack. This incident, as well as a life-threatening pulmonary embolism suffered in 2002, painful knees, and ongoing treatment for blood clots, has led to circulation issues which necessitate wearing extra clothes, including two pairs of tights. This is also why his regular uniform top is usually hidden by a pullover

  • Buck Showalter wears a pullover like Fancona. It is well known that he doesn't wear a jersey. He did with the "Baltimore" home uniforms last month. Picture 2
    – diggers3
    May 28, 2015 at 21:36
  • 2
    This will sound pedantic, but nowhere in the rules does it mention that managers have to be in uniform, as this answer suggests. The rules do state that coaches have to be in uniform, specifically base coaches. They are required to wear uniforms while performing their responsibilities on the field, but the current rules say nothing about requiring managers to wear a uniform.
    – Jim
    Oct 2, 2017 at 14:54

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