I remember trying to get an official game-quality Tigers jersey back in 1983 or 1984. Even in Michigan it was a pain. My folks couldn’t find one anywhere in Flint. Just a bunch of cheapo-knockoffs with iron-on quality lettering and stuff. The options were mail-order or to drive 60 miles to one of a handful of sporting goods shops down in Detroit who kept them in stock. Maybe there were better ways we didn’t know about, but it wasn’t like you could just walk into any random suburban sporting good store and get one like you can now.
But you could in 1919! Check out this ad for game-quality Red Sox jerseys over at Hauls of Shame. I’m guessing you’d be thought of as a hooligan for actually wearing one — my understanding of that time is that you would be beaten about the head and shoulders if you did not wear a hat, starched collar, wool suit and possibly a monocle — but the option was there for you.
Good point raised by the linked article, though: how many people have purchased vintage, putatively game-used jerseys from that era without realizing that there were identical-quality knockoffs floating around?