Unless you were living under a rock, you probably heard the big Philadelphia Phillies news of the week. Namely, that the team will eschew their normal road grays to wear their red tops twice during their current West Coast swing and then continue to do so periodically this season.
I suppose you’ve got to start somewhere, and maybe we’re seeing the beginning of a change in how the Philadelphia Phillies look on the field, a first inkling that their current look (now in its 30th season!) might be headed towards an overhaul.
I know it’s shocking to some degree because we’re all so used to these duds, but this jersey kit has already lasted longer than its predecessor, the Mike Schmidt-era maroon and powder blues (more on those in a moment). Three decades sporting the same look is admirable in one way, but I believe that the franchise is in a good place to make some adjustments in the near future.
You may balk at this idea because this look is emblematic of the most successful era in Phillies history from 2007-2011 (even though it yielded only one title). Maybe a uniform change would somehow sever that connection in your mind to the likes of Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and the rest of those core players who made us all so proud to be fans. But I don’t really subscribe to this notion. Each era deserves to be its own snapshot, and it’s not somehow lessened because the team now wears different uniforms. Unless you’re the Yankees, with their sanctimonious dedication to tradition, all parties involved could use a refresh a couple times per century.
It could be time for the Philadelphia Phillies to consider a uniform change.
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This begs the question of what can be done and when.
For starters, I think the Phillies’ home unis still look kind of snazzy. You could retain them for now and maybe give the wording some sort of redesign in the next few years, keeping the pinstripes. The road grays are, however, seem pretty drab and dated, which is the whole reason we’re going down this road in the first place.
Chris Creamer of Sports Logos.net suggests going to the alternate powder blues immediately as the team’s road jerseys. And I 100 percent agree. It’s a unique look, and we all loved when the Phillies brought it back for their “Throwback Thursdays” a few years ago. The issue here is that this gimmick feels kind of old already, and it strips away a dozen or so games every year when the Phillies could wear their regular home look. Then, when you throw in the creams that they wear during afternoon home games, you’re left with the Phils wearing their actual home jersey at home barely half the time.
The solution: Keep the creams either for a specific day of the week or afternoon games at home and go with the powder blue on the road full-time so that the rest of baseball can see how good the Phillies look when they come to town. Plus, Phils fans need only travel to New York or DC to see them, so there shouldn’t be any moaning about the loss of them at home games. The idea of a road gray is a traditional one in baseball, but its time is long past. I don’t believe anyone would shed a tear if the Phillies’ grays all found their way on a truck out of town.
I don’t know if the final answer here is as simple as keeping the current home look and promoting the powder blues to the official road uniform, but I believe that it could hold down the fort for the next two to three years while the Phillies work on a full redesign.
As for specifics of how a new jersey kit would look, your idea is as good as mine. The Phillies have plenty of Philadelphia iconography to lean into, as well as 125-plus years of club history that they could incorporate. They’d be the ones spending millions on research and development, so my two cents don’t really matter.
I’m committed to the product, but I want the packaging to look good too, so I’m going on record as saying that I am ready for a different look from the Phildelphia Phillies. Now, do enough people (and the right people) agree?