The Philadelphia Phillies have one of the nicer jersey sets in the league, but breaking down the aesthesis of jerseys in sports has become an interesting niche in recent years. With that, fans constantly push to alter the looks of their favorite teams (looking at you, Eagles fans). Phillies Twitter produced an interesting hypothetical along those lines recently: what would the ideal Phillies alternate jersey look like?
Let's take a look.
Do they need one?
Technically, no. The team has had a home, day game cream alternate jersey since 2008, which is one of the nicer alternates in the league.
They did also make their new Spring Training jerseys into a Business Person's Special alternate prior to the 2016 season, though those jerseys weren't as universally liked. They are almost too red when you match them with the red hat that the Phillies wear during the regular season. And though they are fine for Spring Training, they start to have a discount-rack-at-Forman-Mills look when worn during the regular season.
The guess here is that the all-red alternates that were introduced in 2016 won't be a long-term regular season alternate. If that's the case, it does potentially open up a small spot for another alternate jersey.
Potential new options
I'm not an artist, nor does Sports Talk Philly employ a full-time graphic artist, so we're going to have to use our imaginations here.
My first potential new option would be similar to the home jerseys that both the Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds currently wear. The jersey would be white, with a red lining up the middle of the jersey and would ditch the team's traditional pinstripes. It would then have the team's "P" logo at the player's heart. It would look similar to this jersey:
Phillies jerseys I've seen today in Lakeland: Halladay, Ruiz, Madson and ... Stan Lopata. Oh, and this bizarre Phillies/Howard jersey. pic.twitter.com/1mfUKbsErc— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) March 7, 2017
Personally, I'm not a fan of this jersey. I don't like the font and I think rather than a vintage look, it just looks outdated. I am intrigued by Stolnis' idea of a jersey that potentially has the city's name on it, but "Philadelphia" may be too long to look good on a jersey. Perhaps using "PHILA," as the Sixers do, could create a better looking jersey.
I do believe that "Philadelphia" or "Phila" would look better on the team's grey away jerseys. It's fair to wonder if the team would go out of their way to make an alternate away jersey.
The team's 1976 power blue jerseys and the 1970/1980s maroon red look hasn't aged especially well. The Phillies do occasionally wear their maroon red pinstriped jerseys as a throwback, including last year when they added a pillbox cap to the look. As an occasional throwback, the jersey is fine. Neither would be a good permanent alternate.
Of any of the throwbacks that the team has, the 1950s era throwbacks appear to have aged the best. The jersey has been worn a few times over the past two seasons, including Father's Day 2015 against the St. Louis Cardinals, and as Maikel Franco shows below, the hat that is worn with the jersey is beautiful.
The Phillies don't have any imminent plans to add another alternate jersey, nor is there any indication that they plan to stop wearing the red alternate jerseys that they introduced in 2016. Perhaps the best course of action for fans who hope for another alternate would be to make their voices heard through social media, Twitter and Facebook specifically, on the distaste for the red jerseys. If you are in favor of the team wearing an existing jersey more frequently, such as the 1950s alternates, it would again be valuable for you to make your voice heard in the many ways available to fans in 2017.