Anytime you've looked for a 3/4 baseball tee, you might have seen it called a Raglan shirt. You might even use that terminology yourself, but have you ever wondered why it's called that?
What in the World Is a Raglan Shirt?
I know I've asked myself this question billions of times, but I've never had the drive to discover the answer - until now!
And it's actually a pretty cool story as to how this type of shirt came to be, dating all the way back to the 19th century.
You can thank Lord Raglan for these 3/4 shirts you enjoy today. Lord Raglan - named FitzRoy James Henry Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan - was a British Army officer who served in the Waterloo campaign, and would eventually lose his arm in the Battle of Waterloo.
After losing his arm in battle, it is said that Lord Raglan wore a coat with the 3/4 style of sleeve to allow more seamless movement, which leads to its use among athletes today.
How Did the Raglan Shirt Become Popular in Baseball?
These Raglan shirts have become ubiquitous in the game of baseball.
The Raglan shirt design gained real prominence in the 1960s for its aesthetic appeal (which is why you often seen this described as a vintage shirt), and the reasons for its popularity in baseball are pretty straightforward. The 3/4 design simply provides a looser, more comfortable freedom of movement under a player's jersey, as this style does not contain a more restricting shoulder seam and armpit area like a regular T-shirt.
And now, all these years later in the 21st century, you can buy a Raglan shirt with just about any ridiculous thing you want it - we're pretty sure it's what Lord Raglan would have wanted as his legacy.