As teams adopt foreign color palettes for a day to fit in with the Americanized Irish tradition of St. Patrick’s Day, let’s give credit to the team that made a more permanent jump into green in 1963 – the Kansas City Athletics.
Long before ball clubs donned single-game green-tinged versions of their jerseys for annual March 17th exhibition contests, the A’s blew the lid off what had become a rather boring set of major league color schemes.
Baseball conventions in the 1960s dictated that teams wear white at home and a muted color such as gray on the road. A’s owner Charles Finley wanted a change, and he chose a gaudy combination of Kelly green and bright gold.
“This is the age of color,” Finley told Sports Illustrated in 1963. “You’ve got to have color if you’re selling.”
The A’s kept the color scheme with the move to Oakland, even adding white shoes to further shake up conventions.