Rays to wear 1951 Tampa Smokers jerseys
Matt Joyce models the 1951 Tampa Smokers uniforms the Rays will wear for their July 2 Turn Back the Clock game against the Cardinals, who will wear 1953-style jerseys. The Smokers were a minor-league team in the Class B International League.
Here is the team release on the promotion:
ST. PETERSBURG, FL—The Tampa Bay Rays will turn back the clock six decades when the St. Louis Cardinals visit Tropicana Field on Saturday, July 2 at 7:10 p.m. for the ninth “Turn Back the Clock” game in Rays history.
The Rays will wear the home uniforms of the 1951 Tampa Smokers of the Florida International League and the Cardinals will wear their road gray uniforms from 1953, the first jersey in Cardinals history to feature a yellow bat on the front of the jersey.
In 1951, the Tampa Smokers led the Class B Florida International League with a 90-50 record. The beige jersey features red lettering outlined in black, and red piping down the center of the jersey in addition to black hats with a red “T” outlined in white. This will be the first time the Rays wear jerseys from the Florida International League.
The 1953 Cardinals uniform is based on an actual 1953 road gray jersey of Stan Musial’s that resides in the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum collection. Other details of the ensemble include a period-appropriate cap with a red bill, navy crown and red embroidered “STL” logo, and the absence of names on the backs of uniforms, a feature that did not begin with the Cardinals until 1962.
The ’53 Cardinals finished third in the National League with an 88-66 record, led by Hall of Famers Red Schoendienst, Stan Musial and Enos Slaughter.
All of the game-worn jerseys will be auctioned off on raysbaseball.com following the game with proceeds benefitting the Moffitt Cancer Center and the Rays Baseball Foundation.
Rays Past Turn Back the Clock Days
Date, Uniform worn by Rays
July 17, 1999 – Tampa Tarpons, Florida State League, 1960
May 29, 2000 – St. Pete Saints, Florida State League, 1965
June 17, 2005 – University of Tampa, circa 1960
June 24, 2006 – Tampa Tarpons, Florida State League, circa 1975
June 23, 2007 – St. Pete Saints, Florida State League, circa 1950
June 21, 2008 – St. Pete Pelicans, Senior Baseball League, 1989
July 11, 2009 – Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 1998
August 13, 2010 – Tampa Tarpons, Florida State League, 1970