NYLON COACH JACKET / BIRDIES
An authentic reproduction of an iconic Coach Jacket, a relaxed fit first seen on American Sports touchlines in the mid-century, popular for its versatility and appeal across seasons and climates, though most accustomed to Spring.
This Coach Jacket is branded for the Coach of the Cleveland Birdies, the Little League Baseball Team named for Cleveland Indians’ legend “Birdie” Tebbett, who played for and managed Cleveland following his service with the USAAF and a long stint at BUCO’s home team, the Detroit Tigers.
Despite holding a deferment from the draft, Birdie voluntarily joined military service with the Army Air Corps in August 1942, following a parade of professional ballplayers into the armed forces - and was assigned to Waco Army Flying School when Waco Army Air Field welcomed its first basic training pilots.
Tebbetts lost three years of his baseball career to military service but was able to hone his skills as player-manager for the Waco Army Flying School’s Baseball Team.
After graduating, Birdie was sent to Tinian and Saipan, the sights of the some of the Pacific Theatres most intense battles as they held strategic military importance due to their close proximity to Japan. In order to build up the morale of the troops, a series of baseball games, featuring Major League and minor league players, were played on those islands. The Seabees cut ball fields into the sides of hills and bleachers were created out of bomb crates to accommodate the games, where Tebbetts managed the 58th Wingmen, based at West Field, Tinian.
On Saipan, Captain Birdie Tebbetts thought he recognized the voice of an Air Force Pilot who used to heckle him from the crowd when he played in Cleveland. When Tebbetts came to bat in the seventh inning, he spotted his tormentor and hollered back to the bench: ‘That fellow, has followed me all the way from Cleveland to give me the works.’
Service players, including Birdie, also participated in war-benefit games, perhaps the most famous being American League All-Stars vs. Service All-Stars, itself played in Cleveland Stadium in July of ‘42.
Following the War, many who had served harbored a strong desire to set aside the rigors and traumas of wartime experiences, this catalysed a huge uptake in attendance at professional games and participation in amateur leagues, with a notable growth in the Little League game, which was founded just a few years prior to War, where many Vets became coaches at newly formed teams throughout the U.S.
The NYLON COACH JACKET / BIRDIES is made using a custom fabric that benefits from a special finishing process to match the texture of nylon from the 1970s, when some of the finest Coach Jackets were produced, leading to the style infiltrating 90s Hip-Hop culture. The strong metal snap-button and chin strap faithfully replicate the original. The jacket features exquisite contrast cotton flannel lining and drawstrings for an adjustable hem.
The Birdies Coach Jacket features two bespoke graphic patches to the front and rubber lettering to the back. The chenille patch is custom made to a quality that can only be produced by a handful of remaining craftsmen. The felt patch is chain embroidered with an exceptional thickness and quality.
- Cotton Flannel Lining
- Brass Dot Button
- Chenille Patch on Right Chest
- Embroidery Patch on Left Chest
- Rubber Print on Back