The Phillies

The Phillies and Brewers are turning back the clock next week, back to the year of America’s bicentennial, 1976. Philadelphia is hosting 1970s Retro Night, and both clubs will be sporting era-appropriate uniforms.MORE: Who will Philies take No. 1? |Best compensation picks everThe big visual highlight here will be the Phillies’ pillbox caps. The Phils wore them at the outset of the 1976 season; this will mark their first appearance since.While several National League clubs wore pillboxes to commemorate the league’s centennial season in ’76, the Pirates made it their signature thing by continuing to wear them for another decade.#Phillies to wear pillbox hats with their 1976 retro night vs the @Brewers on June 3rd. @sportslogosnet @PhilHecken Phillies Phamily (@PhilsPhamily) April 30, 2016The Phillies’ uniforms will be double patched, with embroidered salutes to the National League’s centennial season on one sleeve and the city of Philadelphia’s own bicentennial logo on the other. Milwaukee’s uniforms of the time were pretty standard stuff unembellished block lettered BREWERS arched acro s the fronts of the uniforms against a powder blue field. In a 70s sea of aesthetic weirdne s, the Brewers’ look was comparatively sedate.Here’s a rare image of the Phillies’ pillboxes in action on Opening Day, April 10, 1976. It appeared in the 1977 Phillies yearbook:That game featured a hellacious home plate collision between Pittsburgh’s Dave Parker and Phils catcher Johnny Oates. Oates suffered a broken shoulder, an injury that landed him Daniel Norris Jersey on the disabled list and cost him his job as starting catcher. This sequence of photos, printed in the Pirates’ 1977 yearbook, shows the force of the contact as well as Oates’ fallen pillbox Victor Martinez Jersey cap.One critical original feature seems to be mi sing from the Phillies’ throwback uniforms zippers. The Phils eschewed the pullover trend of the time (as well as the more traditional buttoned look) in favor of zippers. The aesthetic effect was a streamlined one, all clean vertical lines, including the team’s signature 1-inch wide racing stripes on both jerseys and pants. The Phillies continued to wear zippered jerseys until 1986, the last MLB club to do so on a regular basis.While this year’s Phillies are far exceeding expectations, the 1976 club won 101 games and the NL East title. The year 1976 gave us leisure suits, the first VHS machine, and the first “Rocky” movie, a Philadelphia favorite. Forty years later, pillbox caps are making a triumphant return to the diamond.

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