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February 01, 2016

Phillies introduce new uniform top for day games

Welp, I guess they couldn’t hold out forever: the Phillies are joining the vast majority of major league teams that regularly wear uniform tops that best resemble Sunday morning softball league jerseys.

Except the Phillies aren’t wearing them “regularly” at all, but instead just six times in 2016. (Why introduce them at all then? Oh right, money). 

The Phillies will debut the all-red jersey on April 14 at Citizens Bank Park against the San Diego Padres. Just as with that date, the other five on the schedule for the new look fall on mid-week day games, otherwise known as Businessperson’s Specials: Wednesday, May 18; Wednesday, June 8; Monday, June 20; Wednesday, July 6 and Thursday, August 4.

Apparently the cream-colored alternate uniform (which debuted in 2007) is specifically reserved for Sundays now.

When they don the jersey for the first time on April 14, it will mark the first time the Phillies will have worn a red jersey top in a game since their infamous “Saturday Night Special” at Veterans Stadium in May of 1979, when they wore an all-burgundy uniform.

[Correction from earlier: the Phillies press release forgot out that time in 1999 when the team actually wore this jersey for a game Philadelphians hopefully slept through while the team played out west. Frankly, I would have tried to forget that happened, too. We can all be grateful that no photos from that game apparently exist on the World Wide Web.]

Back to your regularly-scheduled new cherry-red jersey story...

“We’re excited to bring a new, colorful look to Citizens Bank Park this year,” David Buck, the Phillies’ senior vice president of Marketing and Advertising Sales, said in a press release. “We have great respect for the history of our uniform, so by going with a simple, classic design, we feel we’ve been able to balance a new look with our storied tradition.”

Surely you can buy these lovely tops at the Majestic Clubhouse store ASAP. Otherwise, what’s the point, right?

By my own unofficial count, it’s now down to just the Yankees, Dodgers, Cardinals and Tigers among teams that do not wear a dark, primary color jersey and stick to the traditional basics: white at home, gray on the road.

(The hat pictured in the above tweet, by the way, is a new cap for batting practice in 2016).