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This is a contributing entry for Bart Kaufman Field and Indiana University Baseball History and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.

Seminary Square is an important location in Indiana Baseball history as Indiana won the Indiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association Baseball Championship there in 1892. A photograph taken at the game captures the earliest image of the team in action contained in the IU Archives Photograph Collection. The championship team wore a primitive version of the uniforms seen today at Bart Kaufman Field. After Malcom McDonald brought baseball to Indiana University, the uniform saw various changes until reaching a more familiar look in 1920. These changes were caused by the progression of the program and by current fashion trends.


  • Malcom McDonald is known as the Father of Baseball at Indiana University and is picture wearing athletic clothing.
  • The 1892 Indiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association Baseball team champions pictured in their uniforms.
  • The 1887 Indiana Baseball Team wearing varying uniforms.
  • The original plan of the Seminary Square Campus. The baseball field was located in the southwest corner. College Avenue now runs the old grounds which since have been converted.
  • The 1897 Indiana Baseball Team pictured in uniforms with clear influences from older styles while also displaying the new front panel.
  • A scene captured from the 1892 Indiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association Baseball Championship played at the Athletic Park on the old Seminary Square Campus.
  • The 1895 Indiana Baseball Team pictured in jerseys with I and U across the chest similar to the sweaters of the university.
  • The 1920 Indiana Baseball Team standing on bleachers which were nonexistent in Indiana Baseball's early days. The uniforms have a much more modern look than past designs.

According to the IU Archives the field was located in the southwest corner of the old campus. Malcom McDonald, the father of baseball, is the focus of the first baseball related photograph in the IU Archives Photograph Collection. He is wearing what appears to be athletic clothing as it does not meet the specifications of a jersey. One if its defining characteristics is, “The front panel has identifying indicia from one member of a group comprising a plurality of members. The back panel has identifying indicia from another member of the group.” (Lee, 2004) The front panel of his attire does not include a team name. His socks do however contain a pattern similar to candy stripes which will appear on uniforms in the future. The championship team of 1892, won the title in an early jersey design which included a dress collar.

This is indicative of the times as the coach can be seen wearing a suit as opposed to today’s managers who are dressed much more casually. The material is baggy, similar to the suit which is a looser fit comprised of thicker material than today’s suits. In 1895, we still see the I and U across the chest. This can also be attributed to fashion trends as the sweaters display the same insignia. In 1897, we see a hybrid between the earlier 1887 jersey and later 1920 jersey. Over time, the suits worn by the coaches are slimmer. The photographs were taken mainly for yearbooks or as documentation of baseball related events. As jerseys are a defining aspect of team representation, these photos are a way of showcasing the team and its uniform. The photos are clearly staged, except for the photograph of the championship game. A decision was made to wear the uniform in order to display the latest look and represent the team.

By 1920 we see evidence of an increase in funds as the team stands in front of an on top of bleacher seating. In the 1892 championship, the field provided standing room only. The uniforms are also worn by every player and appear to be much cleaner. In 1887, the team can be seen wearing a variety of clothing. Not all players are shown in the uniform. Even the jerseys pictured are different. Some have a more prominent collar and buttons while others are laced up. The only identical article of clothing worn by every player is a hat.

These images provide a clear example of investment into the program. Over time, the equipment improves along with the jerseys. Once established, the team eventually gained funds to put toward improving the program and consequently the jerseys. The team grew since its early days at Seminary Square. The team became Indiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association Baseball Champions in 1892 after its genesis years before. Performance leads to more investment. Since Malcom McDonald introduced baseball the team saw improvements in performance which led to the improvement equipment. The equipment improvement, specifically the jerseys, underwent changes over time as the progression of fashion made an impact as well.

“The 1887 Baseball Team.” IU Libraries. IU Archives, 1887. 

http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/archivesphotos/search/search.do?

userQuery=baseball&sortKeys=&offset=0&facetFilters=DATE_TAKEN-part-

year+exact+%221887%22&maxResults=10

“1892 Indiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association Baseball team champions.” IU Libraries. IU

Archives, 1892. 

http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/archivesphotos/results/item.do?

itemId=P0023927&searchId=19&searchResultIndex=2

“The 1895 baseball team.” IU Libraries. IU Archives, 1895.

http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/archivesphotos/search/search.do?

userQuery=baseball&sortKeys=&offset=0&facetFilters=DATE_TAKEN-part-

year+exact+%221895%22&maxResults=10

“The 1896 or 1897 baseball team.” IU Libraries. IU Archives, 1896 or 1897. 

http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/archivesphotos/results/item.do?

itemId=P0025617&searchId=22&searchResultIndex=2

“The 1920 baseball team.” IU Libraries. IU Archives, 1920. 

http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/archivesphotos/results/item.do?

itemId=P0059605&searchId=26&searchResultIndex=1

“Championship baseball game of 1892 in which IU won the Indiana Intercollegiate Athletic

Association Baseball Championship.” IU Libraries. IU Archives, 1892. 

http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/archivesphotos/results/item.do?

itemId=P0032101&searchId=28&searchResultIndex=1

Lee, Curtis. “Athletic Jersey.” Google Scholar. N.a., 2004.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US20060143779A1/en

“Malcolm McDonald, the Father of baseball at I.U.” IU Libraries. IU Archives, 1867. 

http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/archivesphotos/search/search.do?

userQuery=baseball&sortKeys=&offset=0&facetFilters=DATE_TAKEN-part-

year+exact+%221867%22&maxResults=10

“Site Plan of Seminary Square campus,” Indiana University Archives Exhibits, accessed April

28, 2020, http://collections.libraries.indiana.edu/iubarchives/items/show/516.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

“Malcolm McDonald, the Father of baseball at I.U.” IU Libraries. IU Archives, 1867. http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/archivesphotos/search/search.do? userQuery=baseball&sortKeys=&offset=0&facetFilters=DATE_TAKEN-part- year+exact+%221867%22&maxResults=10

“1892 Indiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association Baseball team champions.” IU Libraries. IU Archives, 1892. http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/archivesphotos/results/item.do? itemId=P0023927&searchId=19&searchResultIndex=2

“The 1887 Baseball Team.” IU Libraries. IU Archives, 1887. http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/archivesphotos/search/search.do? userQuery=baseball&sortKeys=&offset=0&facetFilters=DATE_TAKEN-part- year+exact+%221887%22&maxResults=10

“Site Plan of Seminary Square campus,” Indiana University Archives Exhibits, accessed April 28, 2020, http://collections.libraries.indiana.edu/iubarchives/items/show/516.

“The 1896 or 1897 baseball team.” IU Libraries. IU Archives, 1896 or 1897. http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/archivesphotos/results/item.do? itemId=P0025617&searchId=22&searchResultIndex=2

“Championship baseball game of 1892 in which IU won the Indiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association Baseball Championship.” IU Libraries. IU Archives, 1892. http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/archivesphotos/results/item.do? itemId=P0032101&searchId=28&searchResultIndex=1

“The 1895 baseball team.” IU Libraries. IU Archives, 1895. http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/archivesphotos/search/search.do? userQuery=baseball&sortKeys=&offset=0&facetFilters=DATE_TAKEN-part- year+exact+%221895%22&maxResults=10

“The 1920 baseball team.” IU Libraries. IU Archives, 1920. http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/archivesphotos/results/item.do? itemId=P0059605&searchId=26&searchResultIndex=1