The Phillies will throw it back to the 1970s with retro uniforms and sweet, sweet pillbox hats for two games this summer (pictured above in a photo by Phillies beat writer Ryan Lawrence). June 3 and 5, when the Phils play the Brewers (who have some pretty nice throwbacks of their own), the Phillies will take to the field in replicas of their 1976 uniforms, reprieving a burgundy pin-striped look worn by the likes of Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, and Garry Maddox.
The uniform features a color scheme that the Phillies wore throughout the 1970s and 1980s with a P logo on the chest that is slightly different from the one they wore on their hats. The cap logo has a curved line through the bell of the P, evoking the image of a baseball. The chest logo does not have that line.
About those pillbox caps, though…
I grew up in the Philadelphia area and continue to be a Phillies fan, but I don’t have a clear recollection of the team wearing pillbox hats during this era. I reached out to noted designer and master baseball uniform historian Todd Radom, who confirmed that the Phillies did indeed wear the pillbox hats in 1976, “certainly on Opening Day, maybe additional times.” Todd shared as evidence the above grainy newspaper clipping of Larry Bowa from his collection.
Phillies wearing painters hat, maroon for 70s night on June 3. pic.twitter.com/fy3IOz2kFo
— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) April 30, 2016
While the replica uniforms will fasten with buttons, the actual jerseys from 1976, as seen on Greg “The Bull” Luzinski above, employed the latest in 1970s zipper technology.
The throwback uniforms will also include these patches, which the Phillies wore in 1976 to celebrate the centennial of the National League.
For much of their history, the Phillies have had an identity similar to the one they use now—red and white with a script P cap logo. (True fact: The Phillies’ current script is a custom-designed typeface called Scriptwurst, which to me is like a magical sweet spot on the Venn diagram of baseball, typography, and sausage.) However, the era of the burgundy pinstriped home uniforms and the powder blue road uniforms is beloved in Philadelphia, especially since many fans associate it with a time of unprecedented success for the team on the field, including the franchise’s first World Series title in 1980.
The current Phillies squad will hope to capture some of the success of that 1976 team, which is one of only three 100-win seasons in the franchise’s history.