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Thread: 1933 Giants Uniform-John "Blondy" Ryan

  1. #1

    1933 Giants Uniform-John "Blondy" Ryan

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    Found this jersey with pants at an outdoor flea market in 1990 for a couple hundred bucks, just high enough to keep the pickers and grubbers away. It is the uniform style of the 1933-5 New York Giants home uniform, which introduced orange trim for the first time to this now famous uniform style. "J. Ryan" stitched in the collar next to the Spalding label is of course John "Blondy" Ryan, the team's primary shortstop in 1933,
    a World's Championship year for the Giants. The jersey has a nice amount of game use, particularly on the collar top outside, because Ryan had a distinctive style of wearing it turned in (see photo from 1933).

    All extant references on baseball numerology show Ryan wore only number 23, but I respectfully submit that he wore number 27 for at least part of the season. Another feature that links this to Ryan is the trimming out of the "sun visor", which is the extra material around the collar opening and it could be rubbing on the player's neck during game use. Look at the famous Conlon photos of the 1930's Giants and you can see that only a few players cut the sun visor out, which was a personal preference.

    Another reason I say this jersey is from 1933 is that photos show that in 1934 and '35 the lettering "Giants" was lowered slightly across the jersey front, well below the second buttonhole.

    If an artifact looks like the genuine article, I like to satisfy all the conditions of potential doubt. I think this one passes the test.

    Bob
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  2. #2
    Blondy Ryan managed the Class B Clinton Giants in 1939, after his playing career had ended. It is possible that he wore No. 27 as a manager, and that this is his uniform from that year. I haven't seen a photo of that team, so I don't know whether their uniform resembled the New York uniform of 1933.

  3. #3
    Thank you for your commentary, RUKen. In the study of baseball attire over the decades anything is possible, but there were a number of changes stylistically to Spalding professional uniforms between 1933 and 1939, so I doubt the Giants uniform could be from 1939. These changes include the use of 2-color braid prominently around the collar, down the front and sleeves instead of single color piping. Also, numerals became thicker to enhance viewing, and zippers instead of buttons became the choice as well as changes in tagging. Here are pix of a Chicago White Sox road of 1940 which can best describe these differences.
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    Thanks for your interest and the information about Ryan's number with the 3 I League '39 team which also had future Giants Sid Gordon and Rube Fischer.
    Bob Evans
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