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Updated: The Phillies Will Wear Their Powder Blues in Game Five

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Some MLB teams wear their alternate uniforms whenever they feel like it, or when the starting pitcher wants to wear them, or when they’re on a winning streak, or when they just want to change things up. Other teams have specific protocols for when they wear their alts, and the Phillies are one of those teams. They wear their cream alternates and blue caps for non-Thursday afternoon home games, their red spring training tops for road getaway games, and their powder blue throwbacks for Thursday home games.

The Thursday throwbacks haven’t been an issue so far in the postseason (the Phils haven’t played on a Thursday, at home or even on the road, since Sept. 29), and they weren’t supposed to be in play for the World Series either, because this Thursday was originally supposed to be a travel day. But after Game Three was rained out on Monday night, the entire Series schedule was bumped back a day, which means Game Five will take place tomorrow — Thursday. That led to this tweet last night from Phils beat writer Matt Gelb:

That makes sense. The Phils wore the home creams for the NLDS clincher against Atlanta because it was a day game, so they’re apparently sticking with their basic uni guidelines for the postseason. I’d be surprised if they don’t wear the blues.

Update: It’s now official — the Phils will indeed wear the blues tomorrow night:

I should probably acknowledge here that I’ve never loved the idea of wearing a road throwback at home, but whaddya gonna do. In any case, this will be the first time a full powder blue uni has been worn in the World Series in many, many years. How many? I think you have to go all the way back to the 1985 Royals!

Also: Since the Phils won last night, there’s a chance, however slight, that they could close out the Series in Game Five, which could result in a powder blue dogpile on the field.

Meanwhile, here’s a fun coincidence: Philly and Houston won’t just be facing each other on the baseball diamond on Thursday night — they’ll also be squaring off on the gridiron, because the Texans will be hosting the Eagles for Thursday Night Football.



ITEM! Really Fun New Premium Article

I have a new Premium article today on Substack, and I don’t mind saying that it’s so interesting and so much fun. It’s about how MLB umpires like to collect players’ caps, especially during the World Series. It features some new discoveries and some great quotes I got from current MLB ump Hunter Wendelstedt. I really loved working on this one.

You can read the first part of the article here. In order to read the entire thing, you’ll need to become a paying subscriber to my Premium content on Substack. (Didn’t hear about my move from Bulletin to Substack? Additional details on that, including the “Pay What You Wish” subscription option, can be found here.)



Too Good for the Ticker

So this is pretty cool: Car registration (or inspection?) stickers in Puerto Rico currently have a Roberto Clemente theme. We could quibble with some of the design elements (Clemente never wore the Pirates’ current number font and never wore an NOB), but the overall presentation is still very nice. And hey, Uni Watch colors!

(Big thanks to John Dankosky for letting me know about this one.)



ITEM! Uni Watch Soccer Jerseys Have Arrived

I’m happy to report that the Uni Watch soccer jerseys are back from the factory (a few weeks early!), and they look really, really good. If you ordered one back in September, you should be receiving it in the next day or so.

Here are some additional pics of my jersey, along with more professional-looking pics taken by Uni Watch reader Austin Chen, who collaborated with me on this project under his Equipt uniform brand:

I know from past experience that a few people may be emailing me to say, “Hey, I missed those when you first offered them, but they look great! How can I order one? Can I get it in time for the holidays?” So here’s what we’ll do: If there’s enough interest, we will take another round of orders for holiday delivery — but these will be blank on the back. (Doing custom numbers/NOBs would take too much time.) The price will be $50. If that interests you, shoot me a noteIf we get enough requests, we’ll start taking orders soon. Thanks!

Finally, I should say here that Austin has been an absolute pleasure to work with throughout this process. Thanks so much, buddy — hope we can collaborate more in the future!



Late-Breaking Halloween Costume

Gotta love the costumes worn on Halloween by reader Matt Estreich’s sons Max (the ref) and Jack (the replay assistant). Kudos all around!

Comments (37)

    Phillies wear there cream alts for all home day games not just weekend day games

    “Also: Since the Phils won last night, there’s a chance, however slight, that they could close out the Series in Game Give”
    I believe that should be game five

    Thanks for posting, Paul. And credit-where-due, thanks to my friend Luis Cotto for letting me know about the Clemente sticker. Luis is a dedicated chronicler of all things Puerto Rico, and all things Central Square in Cambridge!

    I’m all for the Phillies wearing powder blue at home, especially if they win tonight and have a 3-1 series lead going into Game Five. After all, the 1980 Phillies won the series at home, and so the world missed the chance to see one of the greatest road uniforms of all time celebrate a World Series championship. (Instead 1980 fans got to see one of the greatest home uniforms of all time celebrate a World Series championship.) Phillies winning at home in powder blues will complete an aesthetic-historical cycle of epic proportions, on the level of a Mayan Long Count, but for sports uniforms.

    As to powder blue at home in the abstract, I share Paul’s initial resistance. But given that the alt uniform alternative for most teams most of the time is not some other, better, fully integrated color uniform but the regular home uniform with a lazy softball top, I grudgingly approve. But only if the pants match the top. If it’s just a powder blue jersey over white pants, that’s a softball top and yuck. However, if the home team goes full pants-and-jersey color, then the visiting team should be permitted the choice of wearing any non-clashing uniform, including home whites.

    I came up with this the other day for a Ticker comment:
    “Nostalgia aside, the Phillies post-season record in that uniform was not very good.
    I calculated (with highly questionable research/math skills!) that between ’76-’83, they appeared in 8 “Series” (2 WS in ’80 & ’83, 5 NLCS from ’76-’78, then ’80 & ’83 of course, & 1 NLDS in strike-impacted ’81) and played 36 games total, 17 of which were held away from the Vet. Out of those the Phillies recorded just 7 wins, with the ’80 NLCS accounting for 2 of those…the only time they won more that 1 road game in a series.
    And the last time they wore powder blue for a postseason game (Game 2 of ’83 WS), they lost.”
    None of that matters much, as I realize we are talking about a home WS game in the (I Still Call It Road) powder blues, which is unprecedented, and I don’t know what the Phillies record is wearing that set at Blankety-Blank Park – but I for one would rather they stick with the classic pinstripes. But MLB is probably salivating at the chance to slap a WS patch on those jerseys for retail sale.

    Living in Philly sports territory I can say there is definitely a weird nostalgia for the powder blue uniforms. Just my personal observation seems to be most of the fans wearing that jersey weren’t even alive when they team wore it. Pre-2007 people seemed to remember them fondly because they were worn for the team’s only championship. Yet the crowd that seems to have embraced them even more would all have grown up with the 2008 team, so it is odd there is that connection. Can’t quite put my finger on it, but for some reason I think Philly fans associate that uniform with that passion/anger/blue collar fetish identity Philly fans are infamous for and fully embrace.

    Powder blue is one of my favorite colors, and is my favorite color wear, but I think the current Phillies uniform (and even the cream alt) are superior to the powder blue set in every way.

    Uni watch soccer jerseys are amazing, and a testament to how good soccer uniforms could be if ad free.

    I don’t know if I agree. Maybe it’s because I don’t watch soccer, or maybe ads on kits seems grandfathered in, but I think an ad might look kind of good on the Uni Watch jersey. Maybe an ad for a defunct company that can be found on one of the many unique antique items Paul has collected. Maybe a made-up company that aligns with Uni Watch. I realize this may sound blasphemous and/or ironical, but I’m pretty sure I’d be down with it. And I do despise ads on uniforms. Except in soccer. I guess. Maybe?

    As a Uni-Watcher who is primarily focused on soccer kits, I share your opinion about ads. Great sponsors are a key part of some of the sport’s most beloved uniforms. But, in this context, I disagree with the idea that a UW shirt should have a sponsor – it wouldn’t be true to UW/Paul’s values.

    They are advertisers, not sponsors. And this comment makes me really sad as to where we are headed in the US if soccer fans now view the uni ads as a key part of what makes a uniform actually look good.
    Just curious, if you or someone else is wearing a golf shirt out, do you think it would look better with giant logo of some soulless corporation across the chest? Or better yet, if you were wearing a golf shirt with you favorite teams logo as a small patch over the heart, would said team branded golf shirt you are wearing be improved by also throwing a big procter and gamble logo across the chest? Would you even want to buy ad emblazed team gear if it wasn’t the official jersey?

    Replying to you here since I can’t respond to your last comment.

    First, calling them sponsors is common parlance in the soccer world. Almost nobody says “advertiser” so I don’t really care if it’s the correct term. Major news publications refer to them as kit sponsors.

    Who said I’m American, Greg? I’m not. And even if I was, why would I have to identify as an American sports fan first and foremost? I am a soccer fan. I love most of the major sports but that doesn’t mean my opinion will be the same across the board.

    I don’t think jersey ads have a place in the NBA, NHL, or MLB. I think it’s great that the NFL hasn’t succumbed to temptation. With that being said, I think the way the NBA has executed their ads has been acceptable for the most part.

    On the same note, I wouldn’t have a problem with MLS clubs rejecting ads and going with a more “American” approach by having a large club crest, logo, etc. emblazoned across the chest. MLS should lean into its Americanness and stop trying to appeal to the global market (at least in terms of aesthetics and club names).

    I like that the Phils stick with a Uni schedule. I think that should be the rule rather than the exception.

    A lot of teams let the starting pitcher make the call on what uni combo they wear. I’m not a fan of that approach, but I understand it and respect it.

    I like that there are different protocols by different teams.
    If I owned a team, my team’s uniforms for each game would be chosen by the owner! (Not to mention be designed by him too).


    Atlanta followed their schedule last year during the World Series too. As Paul noted, they became the first team to win the World Series while wearing a different uniform for each win

    Am I losing my sight? (I did get a new pair of glasses last night). Where is there a NOB of that Clemente jersey on that sticker?

    It definitely feels like the text is referencing something different or more than the photograph is showing. Maybe there is supposed to be a link to additional examples?


    Look at the “50.” Inside the zero, it says “Clemente 21,” like on the back of a jersey. But the number font is the current one (which, as I said, Clemente never wore) and he never wore his name on his back.

    A bit of research?
    How many times have the same cities squared off in an NFL (or AFL) game when the same two cities were squaring off in a World Series game that day/night?


    Someone picked this up yesterday. 7th time. Most recently as 2011, and Philly in fact had this happen in 2009 also. Though does not mention if in the other instances the games were being played at the same time. I don’t recall the Eagles/Giants and Phillies/Yankees games taking place simultaneously in 2009.

    The Giants and Eagles played at 1pm at Lincoln Financial Field and the Yankees and Phillies played Game 5 at 8:20pm at Citizens Bank Park on November 1, 2009. The Eagles won and the Phillies lost.

    The Phillies wearing their powder blue throwbacks is awesome, but not gonna lie, it makes me a little sad that the Astros aren’t going to follow suit with their tequila sunrise set. A full-on recreation of the 1980 NLCS (minus the rock-hard astroturf).


    It breaks my heart too, but I think we’re in the minority when it comes to widespread acceptance of the Tequila Sunrise pullovers. Rank & file baseball fans tend to see them as clown suits, and no begging on our parts is going to change their conservative tastes.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to see it every day. But as an alternate in the rotation, and in situations like this, absolutely.

    Saw a Halloween costume post yesterday. Kid went out dressed as Angel Hernandez. Full MLB umpire getup but wearing a pair of sunglasses and a white cane.

    The reporting I’m seeing is that the powder blues are “available” for tomorrow night.

    Not necessarily happening, but available…

    Of course, the Phillies didn’t follow protocol in Game 2 of the World Series, sticking with the standard road grays, not the spring training tops.

    The long sleeve undershirts look like the standard red and don’t match the maroon of the throwbacks. Did the original also have the ball stitching on the cap P logo, but no stitching on the shirt P logo?

Comments are closed.