HS Letter Jackets: Anyone care about them nowadays?

When I was in HS, decades ago, HS letter jackets and sweaters ranked just below a Corvette in status pecking order. Girls wore them as gifts from their jock boyfriends.

Nowadays no one around here seems to even own one.

When did letter jackets go out, and why?
Original Post
They actually are alive and well with football and basketball players in the high schools around here. My son was a football player and earned his jacket and his letter in football along with an All-State football tag. His position was also indicated on his shoulder. I think I had to pay $90.00 for the jacket. While baseball players do earn letters, they had no jacket to put them on. My son was elected as his high schools most outstanding something or other and his picture was made in his high school letter jacket for the high school album.
At his college they do earn letter jackets (given to them)and they are a prized possession although players tend to be very discreet about where they wear them. Depending on the situation it can be very cool to wear them or it can be very un-cool too. I think letter sweaters went out with Pat Boone, The Brothers Four, and the shoes we called white and "dirty bucks". noidea
It was a big deal for my son - getting a varsity letter in baseball as a freshman was a nice achievement, now reflected in his jacket. I still have mine, too, from when I lettered as a freshman in baseball at Northville High School, Northville, Michigan, Class of '79! I don't wear it anymore, but I hang it with pride. We went through a lot together in high school, me and my jacket. We grew up together Wink
Still very popular at our high school, but after graduation, to the closet they go. With medals being given for various awards in various sports, my son is a walking wind chime.

NEVER ever wear one on a college campus. I took my sons to a football game when they were younger and one wore his varsity jacket, his normal attire then. As he walked across campus, he caught a couple "OH GEE, An atha-lete"-type wise guy comments.

We received them in college as well. Unfortunately, when my time came they were re-designed into a gosh-awful bright orange with a tad of maroon. It became my trash take out coat upon getting married, ultimately died, and was buried in an unmarked dumpster.
Kids here have them. All the sports have the same kind of jacket, but may do a little something different with the name, etc. My kid's HS is BIG on band and the band kids have a separate kind of jacket. I don't know if his jacket will always be special to him, but it will be to me. Smile
At our HS, most of the football-only and multi-sport athletes wear letter jackets, but the guys who only play baseball don't. My son wears his this time of year (football for three years), but come baseball season it hits the closet. Since he's a senior, its public life is almost over.
My son is an '07 who got his last year and is very proud of it. I'd probably still be wearing mine, but the seams of the sleeves split and I haven't found a local place to fix it. But then I haven't tried that hard, so I guess it's a motivation thing.

BTW, how long to class rings last on a HS grad? Got mine in '74 and only wore it a year or two, but still have it.
Here in N.Central Florida, all the Varsity players are wearing them, especially on a day like today when it was 39 degrees outside. My son hopes to start on the Varsity team this year as a Sophmore. He is definitely looking forward to getting his Letter Jacket!
Letter jackets and sweaters were a BIG THING in high school when I was growing up.

Just my humble opinion....When they started giving out letters to band members and academic achievers, the "status" symbol of a few, i.e., the jocks, quickly got lost because now "everyone" has a letter jacket/sweater.

Another loss to be politically correct.
As long as girls craved boy friends' letter sweaters, then letter sweaters remained very much "in" among the boys. Some babes would do "anything" for a chance to strut around school in a too-big letter sweater.

Refresh my memory: do girls ever wear their OWN letters?
I quickly learned when I came here that the Letter Jacket and all of the patches are some of the most treasured items in our school's sports culture. We have to outline our school's criteria for awarding a letter. We also have to get patches order - All Area, All-State, Conference Champs ... Currently, I'm in some hot water because we received Regional Champ Patches and not Sectional Champ Patches. I am innocent. I order the correct patch. I swear I did. No don't ....... (Story to be continued as CoachB25 comes before the hanging judge.)
It was a big deal for sons HS....each sport has their own special jacket type...Son wore his everyday to school...like most his has letters, sport pins and captain pin and uniform number on the sleeve...

Since college it has hung in the closet of my office.....waiting for its turn on the wall....

No player on his college team would wear a HS jacket, but any baseball related T-shirt from camps, PG, HS, pro team, or equipment supplier are everyday wear......

My first thought was that you're right again Roll Eyes Razz. But then I thought, who ever said that letter jackets were for jocks alone. Personally I think they should be. However, the jacket identifies the school, an extraciricual activity, and an accomplishment. While most of us are old school and run with the athletic blinders on, I think the letter jacket exemplifies "school", "team" and "accomplishment" all of which these groups identify with. What alternative do these "other teams" have?
Lettermans jackets are still popular here in Oregon, however, this will be my sons fourth year as a varsity starter and third year as a varsity football player and it hangs in the closet. Other kids where them but I think I would have been better off sewing his letter on a sweatshirt.
My wife has a VERY old HS band letter, so I know band ones go back at least to The Letterman and Pat Boone.

No football player was ever so brave as that long-forgot band member who was the first in the country to wear a band letter jacket to school. Smile
Letter jackets are very popular at my son's HS. Whether a single or multi sport athelete, everyone wears them. In addition, our school district issues 'academic' letters; a different color from athletic letters, for all students who maintain a 3.75 GPA while carrying a full schedule of core courses. Makes it easy to spot the "student-atheletes". My daughter now wears her brother's jacket to HS sporting events. Even if he wanted to have it at college, there's not many opportunities for a plebe at West Point to wear civis. Big Grin
The new athletic director at our school tried to revive the letter jackets when my son was a junior.

He even tried to talk a few of the top athletes into being "trend setters" to lead the way. I think he only got one player to buy one.

The trend died in it's infancy.
They were popular when we lived in Scottsdale, AZ...but then moved to Tucson....and they were not....it does just depend on the locale.

What to do with the letters....when there is no jacket? Last week I hot glued them to the covers of the 2 scrapebooks I just finished....son's 11 years of baseball....pictures, clippings....a surprise waiting for him when he arrives home from school......tomorrow night. He may not wear them on a jacket but I know they are still important to him!

Originally posted by AParent:
The new athletic director at our school tried to revive the letter jackets when my son was a junior.

He even tried to talk a few of the top athletes into being "trend setters" to lead the way. I think he only got one player to buy one.

The trend died in it's infancy.

Thank heavens dental floss and deodorant didn't meet with the same lackluster effort!

Having a letter jacket was a big deal when I was in school. I had academic letters as well, but didn't want to wear the sweater.

When my son was in high school the letter jacket was apparently a football thing - not baseball. Nobody on the baseball team did anything with their athletic letters.
At our High School letter jackets were big deals with the football and basketball players. "Moms" tended to wear the jackets to the football games to be retrieved by son after the game. Older son wore it on his recruiting trips. Of course, living in San Diego it was the only jacket he had and needed it for those East Coast in January football visits.

Our Baseball Players never had them, unless they played football. Their CIF Championship Rings, though, are still a big deal. The tournament and travel team t-shirts are still being worn in College. I've had to delay the baseball t-shirt quilt until he is really to give up the shirts.
I live in the DFW area and letter jackets are still very popular around here. My question is what does it take to earn a letter. Is it the number of seasons a player plays Varsity or does it depend on the number of varsity games an underclassman plays on the Varsity team?
Good question. Why don't you start a new thread on that topic.

Around here, if you play even one minute as a senior you get a varsity letter. I have no idea what it takes for a underclassmen to get one. It's not something anyone ever has the nerve to ask. LOL Nothing in the tons of literature our teams give out, spells out those requirements.
Thanks. Just wondering what it takes to letter as a baseball player. Maybe it's different from state to state; school to school. In Texas I've heard an underclassman would have to play at least three varsity games to letter. Not sure if that is correct.
Just my observation:
Student/athletes in rual towns and the suburbs wear them much more than they do in the metropolitian cities. I spoke with a friend that owns a sporting goods company and was informed that the good ones (like everyone used to wear 30 years ago) cost over $150.00 today. They do make a much less expensive one but like everything else you get what you pay for.

Add Reply

Likes (0)