Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Over the last few decades it’s been customary for some teams to drop their usual colours in favour of the more festive green, white, and sometimes orange for games played on or around the 17th of March.
Today we’re doing a brief look around the major North American sports leagues at how some teams celebrated St. Paddy’s Day in years past with these green and white uniforms.
NBA ST. PATRICK’S DAY UNIFORMS
Of the big four North American leagues, the NBA is the only to have had several clubs wear green for St. Patrick’s Day during regular season play. It used to be a common sight to see clubs wear green for the holiday in years past but this seems to be a forgotten celebration for the league. Unusual considering how many different uniforms each of the NBA teams now wear! The Boston Celtics, of course, lead this list, but even they couldn’t resist cranking up the Irish for March 17th, adding gold to their already green and white uniforms.
MLB ST. PATRICK’S DAY UNIFORMS
As baseball has always held its Spring Training exhibition schedule throughout the month of March this has given some teams many years ago an opportunity to have a little fun with their uniforms, even back in the days before in-game uniform tributes were really a thing. While evidence exists showing the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1890s were the first ever to do so, it’s the 1978 Cincinnati Reds who are often credited as the first to wear green for the holiday when they replaced red with green on their usual home white uniforms. The Astros, Phillies, and Blue Jays joined in over the next 15 years before the league took over and gave everyone the same green and white design in the 2010s. The Chicago White Sox brought green to the regular season with their “Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day” uniforms in September.
NHL ST. PATRICK’S DAY UNIFORMS
In the National Hockey League teams typically won’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with an in-game uniform, almost always keeping their green tribute to the pre-game warmups. There have been a few examples, however, of clubs that opt to do so during the actual game. The New Jersey Devils and Toronto Maple Leafs both regularly wear throwback uniforms that are heavy on the green on games during the week of St. Patrick’s Day, the Leafs with perhaps the perfect throwback uniforms for the event, those of the old 1920s Toronto St. Patricks.
Of course the NFL doesn’t hold games in the month of March, nor does the CFL so sadly there are no examples of either of the two big North American football league’s teams wearing green for St. Patrick’s Day.