AUGUSTA — The baseball uniform is too shiny and glorious to sit in an old attic. From the moment he found it, Augusta native Pete Rand knew that to be true.  

To the casual eye, this uniform would look a bit out of place during just about any era of baseball throughout history. Even in the early days of America’s pastime, the satin material wasn’t something to be found on jerseys or pants.

Now, the uniform that’s three-quarters of a century old is headed to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. 

There was a brief moment in history when uniforms such as this one – worn by Rand’s father, Dick, in a high school all-star game played before tens of thousands of spectators in 1947 – weren’t all that uncommon on diamonds across America. The arrival of night games in the mid-to-late 1940s led to a few changes to the aesthetics of the sport.

“That (satin) material was popular because they liked the way it looked at nighttime,” said Rand, a Cony High School graduate who now lives in South Portland. “They really thought they would show better under the lights.”

As lighting systems improved over the coming years, the need faded for the exotic uniforms like the ones worn by Cony’s Dick Rand and Gardiner’s Jack MacDonald. But they still have a place, however brief, in history – something that will be made formal this weekend when Rand’s uniform arrives at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. It coincides with 2022 Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Sunday. Former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz headlines the class. 


A pair of standout athletes, Dick Rand, who was set to begin his senior year at Cony High School, and Jack MacDonald, who had just graduated from Gardiner, were selected to play in the Dream Game of 1947 at Braves Field in Boston. Representing New England, the two wore “blue satin uniforms trimmed with red,” according to a story in an August 1947 edition of the Kennebec Journal.

The game pitted the two central Maine teenagers and other standout players from New England at large against a team from Boston. The all-star game drew 24,523 fans to Braves Field, believed to be one of the largest-ever crowds for an amateur baseball game played by teenagers.

“This was a big deal,” Pete Rand said of the game, organized by the now-defunct Boston Post newspaper. “They put all these kids up at the Parker House in Boston, all expenses paid, and they treated them like kings. There was a big contingent of people from Augusta who went down to see it.”

The uniform that Augusta native Dick Rand wore in the 1947 high school all-star game played in Boston. His sons, Pete and Jim, displayed the blue satin and silk outfit adorned with a map of New England on Wednesday in Augusta. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

After Dick Rand’s passing in 2013, his son came into possession of the uniforms. When Pete Rand was cleaning out his home in South Portland last fall, he came across some more mementos: a booklet recapping the game, Kennebec Journal clippings previewing the matchup, and a box score that ran in the Boston Globe the following day.

With Rand and his wife planning a move, the two decided an old attic was not the proper place for uniforms of such historic value. So Pete and his brother, Jim, contacted the Baseball Hall of Fame to see if the museum had any interest in adding the artifacts to its collection.

“That uniform was always in the closet, but we might not have known the details behind it,” Jim Rand said. “We knew that our dad was in an all-star game, but that was about it. When my brother found (the booklet and clippings) a few months ago, that’s when he decided to get in contact with the Hall of Fame.”


It took a while – and, ultimately, two separate votes – for a decision to be made on whether the uniform and game booklet would be accepted. On March 16, though, the Hall of Fame confirmed to Peter Rand in an email that his artifacts had been accepted. The booklet would be accepted weeks later.

Hall of Fame Director of Collections Sue MacKay said more donations are rejected than accepted. In all, she said, the institution accepts 300 items a year into its permanent collection – not many when considering baseball’s all-encompassing history worldwide. The decision to accept the Rands’ submissions, she added, was an easy one.

“A lot of people send us things that we already have, such as old scorecards, but there’s a surprising amount of things we don’t have, such as this type of uniform,” MacKay said. “Our committee was very happy when they saw the photo of the uniform; it’s in great condition. It was a unanimous consensus that we wanted these items.”

Verifying the information the Rands presented, MacKay said, was also an easy task. Although memories of events decades ago can fade over time, the brothers had the aforementioned newspaper clippings to back up the story, making it easy for MacKay to confirm the details of the game.

Cony baseball player Dick Rand runs past first base during a game in the 1940s in Augusta. Photo courtesy of Peter Rand

“When stories get passed down, you’ll have some things that get embellished or that you can’t corroborate when you look into them,” MacKay said. “This was fabulous because they had all the supporting documentation. When I did my own work to corroborate it, what I found matched perfectly with the information they had shared.”

As for the game itself, it was a back-and-forth contest that went 10 innings. The New England team scored two runs in the seventh inning and one run in the eighth to close a three-run deficit, but the Boston side scored a walk-off winner with two outs in the 10th to claim a 7-6 win.


Cony’s Rand, who played most of the game at catcher, had a game-high 10 putouts in the loss. Gardiner’s MacDonald played left field and smacked base hits in both of his at-bats. He also had an RBI and a stolen base.

From left, Buddy Rand, David Rand and Dick Rand pose at Capital Park in Augusta when they played for the Augusta Merchants baseball team in the early 1950s. Photo courtesy of Peter Rand

Prior to the game, a home run contest was held featuring Boston Red Sox legends Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr. Earl Torgeson of the Braves and Tommy Heinrich of the New York Yankees participated as well. As catcher, Rand had the honor of being behind the plate while those players took swings.

“I remember I would ask my dad, ‘Dad, did you talk to Ted Williams?’” Rand recalled asking his father of the home run contest, won by the 19-time All-Star. “He’d tell me (that) Ted would just say, ‘Put (your mitt) here; put (your mitt) there.’ That was about as much talking as he did.”

On Sunday, one day before the Rand brothers hand over the uniforms and booklet, David Ortiz will enter the Hall of Fame as part of this year’s induction ceremony. The brothers, who have received a lifetime pass to the Hall as a result of their donation, planned their trip specifically for this weekend in order to see the Red Sox great enshrined in Cooperstown.

Pete Rand requested that the uniform and booklet be displayed rather than kept in storage. MacKay said the Hall of Fame intends to display the items eventually, though they won’t be showcased immediately, as the Hall plans its displays a few years in advance.

“It’s certainly our hope that we’ll be able to display this,” MacKay said. “These are great items, and we’re so glad that they’ll be coming to the Hall of Fame.”

Comments are no longer available on this story