116th Infantry Engineers Group

Sold in 2014, this 116th Engineers Group jersey dates from the late 1950s to early 1960s (source: eBay image).

This (road) gray wool flannel jersey, sold on eBay in 2014. It was listed as dating to World War II but as I examined it further, I disagree with the seller’s assertion based upon a number of aspects. When I considered bidding on the auction, I did so without due diligence, investing minimal time performing elementary research on the unit history in order to determine WWII service (which I confirmed) but didn’t proceed beyond that point.

In revisiting the jersey for the purpose of archival research, I committed myself to a more in-depth analysis and my findings have caused me to depart from my original thoughts.  The overall design and cut of the jersey (three-inch, set-in sleeves and rounded shirt tails) are very common among mid-late 1950s and later jerseys. The half-inch red rayon soutache, though not age-indicative, is seen on several amateur baseball uniforms of that era. However, the most significant feature of the uniform is that of the MacGregor manufacturer’s tag, sewn into the collar. The progression of the MacGregor company is reflected in the tags used during each era of uniforms. This example, (blue stitching on a white field) emerged in the late 1950s and was in use into the early 1960s.

Uniform Features:

Jersey:

  • Buttons: The buttons are brown-colored plastic, convex, two-hole.
  • Material: The base material is road gray wool-flannel.
  • Soutache: A 1/2-inch wide line of red rayon material that encircles the collar and down the placket as well as along the sleeve cuffs.
  • Lettering: Heavy red chain-stitched embroidered block letters spelling out an abbreviation of the team name with smaller chain-stitched regimental numerals on the left sleeve.
  • Numerals: None visible.
  • Sleeves: Set-in, three inches in length, non-gusseted.
  • Tag: A MacGregor (blue thread on white field) tag with size (38) is sewn sewn inside the back of the collar.

See: Obscure Military Baseball Jerseys – Rare Finds or Fabrications

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