By Phil Hecken
For the past two years (2014 and 2013, it has been my privilege and pleasure to run photographs of our fathers dressed in uniforms — whether they be sports uniforms, military uniforms, or any other uniform. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and I’m pleased to again run this feature.
If you’re not familiar with this tradition, just click on either of the past two Father’s Day posts for a description. That’s all I’ll have to say today. So sit back, enjoy (and click on the photos to enlarge). I’m running them in the order they were received.
Happy Father’s Day everyone!
This in game photo is of my father, Tom Thompson #11, getting a quick jump as a defensive lineman for the Saginaw Arthur Hill Lumberjacks (Michigan) in 1973. That year, his team went undefeated (9-0), unscored on (443-0), and were Class A State Champions. I loved hearing about his team growing up, and it always pushed me to be better at everything I do. Thanks for everything, Dad. Happy Father’s Day!
Attached is a scan of the front page of the Cincinnati Post from December 7, 1951. The Post was Cincinnati’s afternoon newspaper at the time (the Enquirer was, and is, the morning paper in town).
My Dad was stationed in Korea at the time and, as the article details, he and his fellow airmen decided to ask the editor about the lack of patriotism and support they were hearing about from back home – especially in light of the events scheduled to honor the tenth anniversary of Pearl Harbor. The article carries a pic of Dad, his letter and the response from the Editor.
Dad never played sports much. He was one of fourteen kids and lived in the poor East End section of Cincinnati during the depression and WWII. So I do not have any pics of him in a sports uni. He had six older brothers serve in WWII (one was killed when his B-25 was shot down over Italy). He also had three brothers-in-law serve in that war.
Dad was killed by a drunk driver on Good Friday in 1973. He was a hard working man who always held at least two jobs. He left behind a disabled widow who had six of his nine children left at home to raise (I was number 8 and was ten at the time).
Anyway, here is my Pop in his Air Force uniform. I hope you find it worthy of sharing. I miss my Dad. I miss him every day.
Here is a pic of my grandfather, Gordon West from from the early 1930’s. The colors were cream and maroon sweater, brown shorts and brown leather gloves. He played for his local team, the Rosemount Senators, in the Rosemount neighborhood of Montreal. They had just won the cup in a tourney against the other major Burroughs in and around Montreal. One in a long line of incredible father figures I have been fortunate enough to have involved in my life.Thanks for being involved in this awesome project. Its one of my faves for sure!
My Grandfather, my idol;, my hero
James Jacob Philllips
June 12, 1922 – Feb 17, 2011
Thank you for running this feature.
I found some old photos of my dad Craig Holland last year. He was a great basketball and football player out of Maryvale HS in Phoenix, AZ. Played college basketball and football. Was in the NFL for three seasons with the Bears and Giants, and was a longtime high school football coach in Arizona.
This my dad Donald A Mazza he was light heavyweight champion during his stint in army during Korean War! Awesome father and man!!!
Here’s a few pics.
First pic is from when he was coaching my team as a kid – he’s in the top left corner with the blue jacket with the coaching level patches and I’m right beside him.
Pic of some of the coaching patches he still has.
A lot more recent photo is when he went to play, on a team from Minnesota, in the 70+ age division of the Snoopy Tournament last summer in Santa Rosa, California. He’s front row far left.
Here’s a photo of my dad Bill Murphy on his 9th grade basketball team, back in 1945. A few years later he was coached by young Erk Russell, who went on to establish a football dynasty at Georgia Southern. My dad coached my Little League team and signed me up for Punt, Pass, & Kick, where the kicking bug bit – leading me to a spot kicking in high school. Happy Father’s Day, Pops!”
Here are my submissions for the Fathers Day column.
(top photo) My great Granddad, Hallis Northcutt, sitting in his ROTC uniform from the University of Tennessee in the early 1940’s. Pacutt (as we called him) went to fight in World War Two in Germany, and helped to liberate the Dachau Concentration camp.
(bottom photo)Number 35 on the far right is my dad, Scott, during his senior year at David Lipscomb High School in Nashville. He was a trainer for the team, and he went on to be a trainer for the Tennessee Vols football team. I followed in his footsteps to an extent, as I’m now a manager for the Auburn basketball team. Great minds think alike, love you dad.
I might have a new one for you.
Here are a couple of pictures of my dad – Manuel Enos – a professional rodeo cowboy. He was a founding member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association, and their predecessor, the Cowboys “Turtle” Association. The cowboy uniform was pretty simple, and functional – hat, western shirt, jeans, boots, spurs, and chaps. Felt numbers were pinned to the back of their shirt.
The picture of him on the paint bucking horse captures one of the rare times that horse was ridden. The horse, War Paint, is a Pro Rodeo Hall-of-famer and that photo is still the basis for the logo of the Crooked River Round-up in Prineville Oregon.
He was an all-around athlete, who dreamed of pitching in the Major Leagues. A broken wrist while boxing led him to look elsewhere, and after growing up on his aunt and uncle’s ranch in northern California, he wound up in rodeos, competing in multiple events. Saddle bronc riding was his favorite, but he also competed in bareback bronc riding, bulldogging, and occasionally bull riding. He traveled a nation-wide circuit, including stops in Madison Square Garden, but mostly Texas, Arizona, California, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Calgary, Alberta.
In the rodeo “off season” he worked as a stuntman and extra in Hollywood westerns, earning an IMDB credit for “the Bronco Buster”.
He passed away in 2008, at the age of 89.
PFC Homer Crothers, Jr 1957.
In the space of one month: graduated from HS, turned 18, got married*, went to Parris Island. Got out just barely before getting sent to Lebanon in 1959. Rode the GI Bill to a doctorate.
*50 years (until my Mom died)
Thanks so much for doing this again this year – and I’m honored to include the memories of my Father and my Dad this time around!!
(Brief explanation: my Father, Pape Lukk, was killed when I was two months old – October 3, 1963. His brother – my Uncle Jaak – later married my Mother in July of 1969, becoming my Dad – he passed away in December of 2010”¦)
Picture 1: Brothers Pape and Jaak outside their mother’s home in College Point, NY, circa 1956. My Father (Pape) has on a Brooklyn Dodgers jersey he “borrowed” during a tryout at Ebbetts field (1955) – in fact, it’s Babe Hermann’s #54 (with Babe’s name embroidered inside – he also “acquired” a sleeveless Duke Snyder jersey, and a pair of Roy Campanella’s pants at that tryout, too!!) My Dad (Jaak) has on his College Point softball jersey.
Picture 2. Brothers Pape and Jaak Lukk at Pape’s New York Military Academy graduation, June 1956. My Father was a graduating cadet (and later ROTC 2nd Lieutenant at the University of Delaware), and my Dad was an Airman First Class in the US Air Force.
Picture 3: My Father holding me, and posing with his brother, August, 1963.
Picture 4: My Father, Pape, preparing to apply the tag at home plate during a U of D baseball game, circa 1960.
Picture 5: My Father, Pape, eyeing up a Lehigh linebacker as a fullback on the University of Delaware’s Lambert Cup winning 1959 Blue Hen squad.
My mother kept all of my Father’s football jerseys and baseball uniforms, hats and equipment (he played a season for the Jamestown Tigers of the old NY-Penna. League after graduating from Delaware, too) in a trunk at my Grandparent’s house that I would pour over every time we visited – and I’m certain that’s where my love of sports uniforms was born – a love that I’ve passed on to my two sons (Benjamin and Pape)!!!
This is my grandfather Duane Nelson who proudly served in the National Guard for 20+ years. His other bit of uniform history is quite cool in that he also had a 30+ year career working for the company with the all brown uniform (which sadly I do not have a picture of). We consider him to be my daughter’s guardian angel, as he passed the day she was born after a long illness. He had to make sure his first great-grandchild made it safely into this world!
I’ve been meaning to do this for a couple of years, because this is one of my favorite photos of my grandpa and I love the Father’s Day post you run. My grandpa, Ronald Dean Stewart (known as “RD”), is wearing number 24 and was the center for the Villisca (IA) High School football team. He was about 15 at the time. There used to be a billboard on the way into town that declared Villisca is the “Pork Capital of southwest Iowa!” The sign was no longer there the last time I visited in 2012, but the pork tenderloin sandwiches tasted just as good.
Here’s a shot of my dad in his 7th grade boxing robe at Vidrine Elementary School in Louisiana. I’ll always remember him complaining that when he and his cousins went to tournaments, he had to starve himself to make weight, while his cousins HAD to eat to fight in their weight class. It made him mad to have to sit and watch them eat ice cream while he had water.
Here’s a photo of my dad, (with young me), when he was a member of the United States Army, 24th Infantry Division. He served in Operation Desert Shield/Operation Desert Storm, and was also my little league baseball coach. I personally competed in organized sports through college (cross country & track and field), and excepting the times that he was traveling, he did not miss a competition. Dad taught me how to love sports and be an intelligent fan. I love him, and am thankful for the times at the ballpark we’ve shared.
This is my father, V.C. Elms. As my brother said when he posted it on Facebook: “This is a curious photo — I don’t know who took it or where. He obviously would not pass inspection with his uniform and his hair looking like that, so maybe it was taken after he came home at the end of the war.” WWII, that is. He was drafted around age 31, “old” for the draft but came from a small town in Texas [DeLeon], which had not filled its quota of draftees. At least he was able to choose the branch of the military and picked the Navy, and spent his time stateside, as an aircraft mechanic.
My name is Saxon Brack. I’d like to submit my father, Vance Brack, in your yearly athlete dads article.
Vance played for the Texas A & M Aggies football team from 1966 to 1969. He was a corner back and wore number 37. The first two years he was on the junior varsity team. Back then they had two teams. I guess you could call it a practice squad. Start of junior year, he made the varsity team. They started 0-4. Then they rattled off seven straight wins and ended up winning the SWC. They played Alabama, coached by Bear Bryant, in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Unfortunately, my dad had broken his collar bone the previous game and did not get to play in the Cotton Bowl. His coach, Gene Stallings, went up against his former mentor, Bryant and ended up beating him that game, along with Alabama ‘ s starting quarterback Ken Stabler. Stallings would later win a national title with Alabama in the 90s.
I always looked up to my dad for being in college sports. Was always very proud of him and would boast to all my friends whenever I could. It was a huge deal to me. He made me the sports lover i am today. Happy father’s day Vance!
Here is my Dad, Joe Hilseberg Sr., rocking out the Overlea, MD flannel uni back in 1963. (1st row far left) Not sure what you had to do to get a hat with a “P” though! He kept catching all the way through High School.
That’s my Grandfather in the stripes in the back too!
My dad, Howard Hoelter in about 1928 in his Oak Park, IL back yard. Despite a missing tooth his tongue is out and that boy is ready.
This is my father Todd Kellough. Senior year of high school. Notice all his teammates are odd numbers, odd for away even for home (10). Dad is now the head coach at our alma mater Huntington High School in Ohio.
Second is my grandfather Milton Eugene Kellough in his Coca Cola uniform 1978ish. He worked at Coke for 37 years as a service man. Milt had polio in his left leg but I never heard him talk about it. It was about a third of the size of his better leg. He passed in 2013, and since I could talk we had a game where I would never drink Pepsi….I’m 26 now and still won’t touch the stuff!
Here’s a photo of my dad, Rich, during his senior year of high school at Holy Cross in Flushing, NY in 1964. He was the captain, kneeling with the ball at midcourt.
I graduated from there 28 years later, and currently teach there. His college jersey hangs in that same gym today.
Thanks again for all you do for Uni-watch. This Father’s day post is always one of the year’s best.
My father, Terry, as a pitcher for Jefferson Junior College in the late 1970s. I love this picture for a many uniform reasons, but this is the year he met my mom, which makes it that much more sentimental. Happy Father’s Day, pop.
My father, Angelo Colosimo, played football for Colgate in the late 1970’s. He turned down schools like Penn State and Rutgers to stay home at Colgate. He was very passionate about the sport and the school which is why he was so successful. He later went on to have a short stint in the NFL.
(Left) This picture is from homecoming 1979. I believe they were playing Fordham. My father is #32 in maroon.(check out that stache)
(Right) Here is my father (carrying the ball) featured on the program for the Colgate vs Rutgers game in 1979. For a small school like his, this was a humongous game.
Thank you for the consideration. I can imagine my dad would be thrilled to be a part of something like this.
Here’s a photo of my dad, Dr. John S. Hickey, wearing a basketball(?)uniform from a Philadelphia-area school or athletic club.
The graphics aren’t very clear, so I don’t know who he was playing for or if there’s a number present, and it’s unfortunate that his socks and footwear got omitted by the photographer.
I don’t know when he posed for this…I estimate early 1930’s, in his adolescence.
I don’t know where this shot was taken…a row-home in North/Northeast Philly is my best guess.
He passed away years before this photo was discovered, and no one in my immediate or extended family knows more about it or can help provide these missing details.
What I do know is that he is missed by Team Hickey so very much…especially today.
Thanks for running this feature!
This is Kirk Lacy (#12) as a sophomore in high school in 1970. His team made it to the second round of the Nebraska State Tournament, beating Omaha Benson before losing to Lincoln Northeast in the state semifinal. Dad was an all-state honorable mention as a senior in 1972 and went on the play one year at our local junior college. Our school didn’t make the semifinals again until 2007 when I was a senior. My high school career wasn’t nearly as accomplished as his, but it always makes me smile to see my team picture in the same trophy case as his.
We lost dad last month to kidney cancer, so this is going to be a very difficult Father’s Day for me. He was a great man and was always there for his kids. He wasn’t usually the sort to tell us he loved us or that he was proud of us but he didn’t need to because his actions said it all. He coach me in both baseball and basketball when I was little and worked with me in the gym when I was in high school. He came to all of our games even if we knew I wasn’t likely to get off the bench. He showed me what it means to be a good, honest, hard-working man and I miss him dearly.
Here is a photo of my late father, Bradie Wallace, who grew up in Wayne County, West Virginia.
He’s in his U.S. Navy uniform. He served in 1945 in the South Pacific, including near the Philippines, on an LST. While he didn’t talk much any dangerous experiences in the Navy, he was very proud to have served and enjoyed attending LST reunions late in his life. And we are proud of the sacrifice he made to defend the United States during a time of crisis.
This is my dad, Hank DeMazza, who died April 9, 2014, at 81. He spent some time in the Army during the Korean War (stationed in Germany among other places; thankfully never saw live action). He was also the star RB for Notre Dame-West Haven (Conn.) and was part of the school’s first graduating class (1950). My brothers and I miss him!
I’m attaching two shots of my father, Norman J Andrews. Both are of him in uniform and both show him with his younger sister Greta. The were taken at their Brooklyn home on Bay Avenue about 8 years apart. In one he is in his U.S. Army uni in 1945. In the other, taken circa 1937 shows him at the age of 10 in a ‘sailor suit’.
Whether you use one, both or neither I thank you for doing this. I’ve enjoyed the past pics.
This is a photo of my dad Al Dragani. He played Defensive Line and Linebacker for the 10th Marines out of Camp Lejeune, NC. They had a record of 12-0 that season playing against other Military teams.
The season for this photo is 1952.
This is a photo from 1957 of my grandfather’s semi pro baseball team, the San Mateo Blues. This photo was taken after a game at San Quentin state prison, and my grandfather is the man in glasses, second from the right in the back row.
My father got to wear some great looking uniforms during his football career, my favorite was the red 1968 Patriots (even though it was only two games) but I also liked the Pottstown Firebirds which were the Philadelphia Eagles hand me downs. The first half of his career 1966-1970 he wore the durene jerseys and the second half 1970-1975 he wore mesh. Though he liked some of his durene jerseys he said they were heavy and harder to throw the ball in. He liked his green Pottstown jersey but even after he cut the sleeves under the white stripes he still thought they were too long and got in the way. He didn’t get his first mesh jersey until he went to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1971 and he liked the mesh jerseys a lot better, they were lighter and the sleeves were shorter, his biggest problem was getting number 9 when he would go to a new team.
When I would talk uniforms with him I was very surprised when he told me what his favorite uniform from his career was, the 1971 Norfolk Neptunes. The King’s favorite colors were black and silver and he loved the Oakland Raiders uniforms, Ironically the last time he ever suited up for an NFL game was against the Raiders in 1971 but he never got to play in that game. The Neptunes had white numbers and light gray pants and the stripes on the pants were different from the Raiders but to him it was almost an exact match. There were no stripes or numbers on the sleeves but the uniform did have a clean look to it. He only played one season for the Neptunes but he led them to the 1971 ACFL Championship. He got to keep his white Neptunes jersey because it was ripped across the number 9 and they couldn’t repair it and for some reason he kept those black heavy socks too.
His second favorite uniform was the blue Philadelphia Bell road uniforms, he thought he looked great in that uniform. He would have looked better if he took my mother’s advice and wore a bigger size. I have owned that jersey since 1975, he only put it on twice after his career. One time my mother talked him into putting it on in the kitchen for some of my friends while she was cooking. She then said show the kids how you used to call time out. The King had this skin tight Bell jersey on while his hands are in a T formation screaming at the top of his lungs Time Ref -Time! The King needs a Time Out! He then decided to eat dinner wearing his Bell jersey. Happy Father’s Day to all the Uni Watch Dad’s out there.
Thank you for helping us remember our Dads! Left is a photo of my Dad and to the right of him is his Dad.
Circa 1970, my father, Garvis Semore (left photo), in his uniform as the lone tuba player for the Hickman County (Tenn.) High School Marching Bulldog Band. He still has that beanie which reads “Bulldogs.” I, unfortunately, do not have the talent of colorization, but the uniform and hat are red, and it’s a white fiberglass sousaphone with a red “H” bell cover. I could write a book on how he and I are alike. We both went through high school and college playing tuba and we now have the same job as preachers (he in MS, me in AL).
My dad’s father (right photo), Jessie Paul (JP) Semore in his Tennessee National Guard Uniform. This was the height of the Vietnam War. The director of the local draft was a good from of JP and one day told him that his number was the first to be called the next day. But there was a way to stay home (he had 3 young children – not afraid of or opposed to fighting – just wanted to take care of his family). If you volunteered to be in the Guard, then you would serve stateside and not be sent overseas. So that day, JP volunteered for the TN Nat’l Guard and when his name was called for the draft the next day: he was able to show his volunteer papers. He ended up selling potato chips at the local National Guard base until his time was up and he was honorably discharged as a corporal.
I’ve attached some photos of my father, IFD Lt. George T. Miller, who was a Lieutenant with the Indianapolis Fire Department. When he retired, he was the only firefighter in the history of IFD to have earned 3 citations/awards/medals for valor. Including his final medal for saving a 3 month old girl from a fire after several other firemen had made failed attempts. I work at the local ABC affiliate and went down into the archives and found an old beta tape with the story of the fire. No mention of my dad’s heroics that day, but you actually see the baby and my dad briefly on the roof of the burning home. Mind you this is old school firefighting, no oxygen tanks or protective gear other than the coat and helmet. (there was a big write up of his heroics in the Indianapolis Star the following day.) But I uploaded it to YOUTUBE HERE.
***SPORTS TIE IN, this happened on the SAME DAY as Superbowl 16 when the Niners beat the Bengals for the first time.
The second photo is of him speaking in front of former Indy mayor William Hudnutt, you know the guy seen walking hand and hand with Robert Irsay when the Colts moved to Indy… My father was the very first 911 responder in the city’s history (1976) and he was reporting on the system’s efficiency.
My father passed away in 2013 and as you can tell, I’m very proud of his legacy. He wasn’t only my hero, he was a hero to many.
He was also in the US Navy and was a gunner’s mate on a Destroyer. That’s the 3rd picture coupled with a photo of him taken 3 or 4 years before he died.
Here is my spy pilot dad in the cockpit of his plane in Korea, 1953.
Details are at the bottom of the restored image.
(restored by me)
Hope all is well! When I found out that my parents would be attending the US Open this weekend, I immediately thought of this tribute, and I’m excited to submit this year. If my dad wasn’t going, I know we’d be watching together on the couch instead.
My dad played soccer for many, many years and is a lifelong fan. I dare you to get him started on the topic of how embarrassing the game is today. Here he is, Phil Suarez, on the bottom left (eyes closed).
Some uniforms! I’m not certain on the year (1980?), but I won’t ask him since I want this to be a surprise.
Most of my sports memories have my dad there alongside me, and they’re all the best ones. In fact, I’d say many of my favorite life memories thus far have a sports connection, and my dad’s always nearby.
I’m already looking forward to hearing his play-by-play recap of this weekend.
My Dad, Jan Chanko, was recently sorting through family photos and found this one. He sent it to me for restoration and colorizing just a week ago.
Dad is a WW II vet and shown here in his U.S. Army Air Corp uniform. He recalls this photo was probably taken while stationed in India. He’s still going strong at age 95 and is a life long Philllies and Eagles fan. He also had a lot to do with what I’m able to accomplish with the graphic arts. Happy Father’s Day!
I have two pictures for you. My grandfather Bud Castle and grandma Martha Castle in1926. He is wearing his Tacoma Indians uniform. The other is his baseball mitt from later in his career- a 1941 Wilson Lefty Gomez mitt.
One more note- doing research I could not find any History for Tacoma Indians. Asked my mom who gave me the photo and she said she thought that was the team but she may have mixed it up with Spokane Indians or Tacoma Tigers. Maybe you or your readers can help me identify the team? Pretty hard to tell by the picture, and it is a generic uniform. Any help is appreciated!
Please add to the posting this photo of my Dad”¦. Roger Bond”¦. Stephen F. Austin High School, Bryan Texas”¦ 1942”¦ The Broncos
My old man executing a perfect hook slide for the 26th Infantry Blue Spaders in 1952. From the stories I’ve heard about him back then, he was like a cross between Billy Martin and Ty Cobb. In other words, I believe he sharpened his spikes between innings. I dig the white belt.
I’m fortunate to have, in addition to a top-notch dad (made the 2014 cut), a top-notch father in law. The first pic is of him in his high school football uniform.
I had met Steve (Rauch) on more than one occasion before Holly and I began dating (Her sister married my best friend four years earlier). On my first meeting as a suitor, Steve could not have sparked a better initial conversation. He started by saying, “So I hear your into uniforms… I kind of like them myself.” We proceeded, and have continued to have many uniform based discussions. We fortunately have very similar tastes, and he’s a super guy to boot.
That second pic is on Holly’s 34th birthday. I made her the Payton cake that year. We took that pic because Steve and my dad showed up wearing the same “dad” uniform.
Here’s a photo of my dad, John, in full New York Rangers gear, c. 1980. He didn’t play for the Rangers, but their practice rink was our local rink, and he was a coach and he was deeply involved in the local athletic scene (and friendly with Rangers’ staff). Those were different days then! Not only was the big pro team playing at a local rink (the Rangers now have their own private facility), they also didn’t keep under lock-and-key each and every piece of game-used pro gear, to be tagged and sold by the likes of memorabilia dealers (actually, a lot of stuff usually got recycled to minor league teams).
Anyhow, perhaps inspired by my recent visit to the newer local rink to buy a new stick (I only occasionally play roller hockey and pond hockey nowadays), this week I had a dream about playing hockey and getting picked up by my dad, and afterwards going off to buy new sticks. Those were the days indeed!
Thanks to everyone who submitted photos and stories this year. It was wonderful to hear about all of your dads.
Happy Father’s Day everyone!