As you know, tonight, the Phillies will wear their 1984-era throwbacks (Dan will have a full write-up later), uniforms worn by the likes of Von Hayes, Juan Samuel, Mike Schmidt, and the Steves: Carlton and Jeltz.
Coming off a World Series appearance in 1983, the Phillies finished their 1984 campaign with a paltry 81-81 record. There was really nothing special about the season. Highlights included Schmidt having what would be a sub-par year for Ryan Howard (36 HR, 102 RBI) and Samuel stealing 72 bases. The Phillies finished in fourth, losing their last eight games. Yikes.
So why choose the "84-era" uniforms? Because that's the year the Phillies switched to a new logo, which they would use until 1991.
Since 1970, the Phillies had used the ever popular Philadelphia Phil and Phyllis as their official trademark. The logo, an oh so 70s drawing of what looked like a young George Washington propositioning Penny Gadget for sex, had grown stale (now would be a good time to mention that searching Google Images for "Penny Inspector Gadget" with SafeSearch turned off yields some horrifying – or delightful – results, depending on taste). It was time for a change. After all, in 1984, our country was to be in the throws of an Orwellian dictatorship.
Hello, Mr. Perfect.
Look at that 80s-esque red-blue trim, and depthless, plain looking Philadelphia typeface. Mmm.
Such vanillity (word?) was present so as to not distract from the crown jewel of this baby: the green and white Independence Hall tower, which appeared to be rising from the grasp of an 80s pubical thicket. This would be the logo most of us Gen Yers came to know the Phillies by. Game tickets (here's mine from Terry Mulholland's 1990 no-hitter, which fell on my 7th birthday), Phillies Franks, and merchandise all greeted us in the colory goodness of the logo that spanned almost the entire 10-year gap between postseason appearances.
While the Phillies' jersey switch in 1992 was a welcome change, the official logo refresh was – and still is – a disaster.
At the time, it was at least relevant. But the shape lives in the past. The ellipsed diamond look resembles the very symmetrical Vet Stadium field.
The Phillies have done a lot with just the Liberty Bell this year (thanks to Cliff Lee), may we recommend embedding CBP's dimensions (seen here) in the top of a blue-trimmed bell and calling it a day? That would be a simplistic and logical update.
Either way, tonight, we welcome back an old friend.