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Happy Father's Day, Uni Watchers

Dads Day 550
Click to enlarge

By Phil Hecken

For the past three years (2013, 2014, and last year) 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 three 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!

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Jimmer Vilk:

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Here’s Dad in a spring training photo. Ted Vilk was a Washington Senators farmhand, training with the Charlotte Hornets, then he had a sip of coffee with the Erie Sailors in the 1954 regular season. “They sent Harmon Killebrew up and they sent me home,” he said. That’s OK, you’re still a pro baseball player.

As seen from the interwebs, these Hornets were not teal & purple, but blue & red… just like almost everyone else in the 50s.

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Chris Sciria:

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My dad Paul Sciria was proud to be an undersized lineman for the Auburn, NY Maroons in the late 1950s. Thanks for doing this.

Chris Sciria

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Kelby J. Phillips:

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Hi Phil,

Here is a picture of my dad in his civil war reenacting uniform. As you can tell by the gray color, he was part of a confederate regiment. This does not mean that he supported slavery or racism in any way, but you can’t portray a historical war accurately without depicting both sides. The yellow trim signifies that they were a cavalry unit. This picture was taken at a Memorial Day parade in 2008. Little did I know that he would pass away quite suddenly and unexpectedly in December of that year at the age of 58, just a few weeks before I got engaged. Now that I’m a father myself, it makes me so sad to know that my kids will never get to know him. Dad never served in the military himself (he lost his left index finger in a workplace accident, which kept him out of Vietnam), but he enjoyed going to these reenactments. He was always curious and eager to learn about things, including history, and he loved the opportunity to teach young people about a very different time in our nation’s past.

Thanks for letting me share a bit about him,
Kelby J. Phillips
(I comment as Special K)

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Nick Ruggeri

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My Dad was at Normandy on the USS Ancon.

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Andrew Trello:

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Here’s a 1949 photo of the St. Aloysius grade school basketball team. My dad, Joe Trello, is first in the back row, next to the coach. I’m pretty sure I have more photos. I’ll have to look. I’ll try to get them in before the deadline. This is an awesome idea by the way.

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“The Ham”

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Hey Phil, thought I’d share a really cool picture of my grandfather, his wife, and 2 of my uncles.

This collage was made around 1943, and in order clockwise are my grandmother Louise Hamar (Glatch) my great Uncle Rowland, my Great Uncle Joe aka Indian, and my grandfather Ted Hamar. (Pronounced Hay-mar)

My grandfather served in the US Coast Guard, my grandmother in the WAC (Womens Armed Corps) Rowland in the Marines, and Joe in the Army.

My grandfather helped raise me after my father passed away when I was a baby, and raised me to love and honor the Browns, Indians and Cavaliers. He had old 8mm films of the Browns back in the AAFC and early days of the NFL, and we studies them religiously.

Rowland was unfortunately killed at Iwa Jima Hill, and Joe was killed in London during a bombing, as he was a volunteer with his Brigade at the time.

Also included is a picture of Grandpa Ted and Grandma Lou on their wedding day in 1946 at the Euclid Tavern in Euclid, OH.

My grandpa retired with honors as a petty officer, and Lou was a senior foreman.

Hope you can use this!

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Joe Hernández:

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Phil,

Here is a photo of my father, Francisco X. Hernández, Sr., in his dress blues when he was a firefighter in the El Paso (Texas) Fire Department. The photo is from the early 1960s, and he is second from the left on the first row. It’s just too bad they didn’t spring for color film at the time.

As you can see from his white socks he never really cared about his fashion regimen, but I always thought he looked great when he had to wear this formal outfit. Come to think of it, when he wasn’t working, his casual look always consisted of Levi’s 501 jeans, a white or blue pocket t-shirt and white, low-top Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers. So maybe he was just ahead of his time as a millennial hipster.

He was in the EPFD from 1960-1984. He passed away in 2010 from a brain tumor at the age of 74. Nobody worked harder than he did during his lifetime, and nobody enjoyed an after-work beer(s) more than he did.

Big thanks to you and Paul for letting me share.

Joe Hernández
Austin, Texas

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Rich Friedman

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Hello Phil. Rich here.

I am attaching three of my dad, Phil Friedman. One is from Samuel J Tilden High School in Brooklyn. He was born in 1930, so it had to be 1946, 47, or 48, I suppose.

When he served during the Korean War, (#34), he defended Fort Dix (as he told it) from the Koreans by playing center on the Base Team. The other uniform one is from the army.

Rich Friedman

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Mike Colvin:

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Hey Phil!

Paul ran the shot of my sister Jennifer and I with the Dale City, Virginia Cardinals a few years ago in an ESPN piece. Until now, I have never sent a photo of our father Frank, assistant coach and designer of the 1978 team yearbook. At some point, the old man got the idea to decorate his black cowboy hat with Cardinal decals on either side and the number 80 in front (same font as the team’s own rear helmet numerals). This, along with the team issued red polo, became his uniform for the remainder of the season.

The yearbook cover he created is an illustration of an outfit he actually wore to games and a futuristic if not ultimately inaccurate depiction of me (1978 would be my final season, retiring at the age of 9 due to lack of any obvious skill or talent).

Frank Colvin was and is a real character who will turn 70 this November and I’ve also included a shot of us from my rehearsal dinner two years ago when I enlisted Frosty to make Unis for my groomsman. Thank you Phil for continuing what has become one of my favorite annual columns, The Father’s Day special. Keep up the great work!

Mike Colvin

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James O’Hare:

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This is My Dad, Thomas R. O’Hare. The picture was taken in basic training in Paris, Texas in 1942. He was a World War II Veteran, and a member of the United States Army Air Corp. (The Air-Force was not its own branch of the Service yet). He married and had 7 children. He passed away in 1978 at the age of 54. He will always be Loved and Missed. Happy Father’s Day, Pop, RIP.

James O’Hare

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Keith Goggin:

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Hi Phil. This side by side has a little story behind it.

On the left, my Dad is teeing off on a par three on a course in the Bahamas. It was July, 1969. He was on his honeymoon. The picture was snapped from the cart by his new wife (hi Mom!)

On the right, I’m teeing off on a par three on a course on Maui, Hawaii. It was July, 2008. I was on my honeymoon. The picture was snapped from the cart by my new wife (hi Kat!)

Such similar photos, 39 years apart, what are the chances? The lesson is: marry a woman who is willing to let you golf on your honeymoon. The rest is cake.

Anyway, thanks Dad, for introducing me to this game. Thanks, Phil, for your work and running this every year.

Regards,
Keith Goggin

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Bob Kile:

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John Kile. West Jefferson High School Class of ’51. Led the team in scoring. It wasn’t a very good team (0-6-1, and the tie was a 6-6 affair against ANOTHER winless squad.) Dad had five brothers play for the RoughRiders before him. He was the baby of the family. And HIS dad coached during WWII. Stadium’s still named after grandpa. For giggles I’m attaching a pic of the semi-pro team he coached back in the day. Mainly the HS guy’s he’d already coached. I could go on but I know your space is limited.

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Ben Neureuther:

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Please see attached photo of my grandfather, Robert Neureuther, in his baseball uniform. We are pretty sure this photo is from sometime around WWII. He played catcher for the Bark Lake baseball team near Hubertus, WI, about 30 minutes NW of Milwaukee.

Ben Neureuther

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Ron Roza:

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The Photo of my dad is from his playing days at Gage Park High School on the South-Side of Chicago. He was the driving force for my love of sports and was a life-long Bear, Blackhawk and White Sox fan! My first memory of life is him taking me to my first Blackhawk Game in 1971 as a 6 year old. And I will never forget the dismay he had when I informed him I was a Cub fan after my first trip to Wrigley Field as an 8 year old.

He passed away on Fathers Day 2014 and I miss him every day and I am proud to have his name.

Ron Roza

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James MacNeil:

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Hey Phil,

i asked my dad (Don) to take some photos of his old sports photos, these are the ones he sent. He migrated from Scotland to Western Australia in the 1950s and quickly assimilated into the local sports.

Thanks for the great work you do!
-James MacNeil

1966 – Perth, WA (top left photo). High School Footy (Australian Rules Football) Team (with ball, front row); As football is a winter sport, guernseys (or jumpers) often come either long-sleeved or sleeveless. Before the 1990s, a collar was standard.

1968 – Perth, WA (top right photo). High School Cricket team (back row, third from left); Cricket uniforms are traditionally plain white and collared, although the shorts seem to be an antipodean touch.

1968 – Perth, WA (bottom left photo). High School Footy Team (front right with champion’s shield); How is the emerging collar fashion here?

1996 – Bridgetown, WA (bottom right photo). As I became a father in December, he threw in a photo of my Junior Footy Team (front row, far right, bald head). I was 12 years old.

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George Chilvers:

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Phil

I posted a version of my Dad’s picture a few years back when you printed pictures of Dads in uniform – but being me I had to colourise it, so I have resent it for this year.

His name was George, of course, and being born on Christmas Eve 1926 he only was called up in 1945, and while not (to my knowledge) seeing active service he was part of the Control Commission for Germany (CCG on his sleeve patch), working to rebuild Germany in the first years after the end of the War. Sadly he passed away in 1985, aged just 58. He was a passionate follower of cricket.

Best wishes

George

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Chris Howell:

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Hey Phil,

Here is my dad in his senior year at Stratford High School in Nashville where he played OL and DL. I actually found this picture in his yearbook in the Archives section at the library. Sports was always a big deal at my house and it was my dad who introduced me to noticing uniforms.

Great times at Stratford High. Playing on the first football team at a new school was very unique. We didn’t even have a locker room the first year and we had to dress in an empty classroom. It took the custodians two years to get the horrible smell out of that room.

Chris Howell

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David Teigland:

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Hi Phil,

This is a picture of my dad, Bruce Teigland, just after meeting President Johnson in October 1964 — he’s in the upper right corner, being interviewed by a reporter. My dad’s high school band greeted LBJ at the airport in Des Moines when he arrived for a campaign stop. Johnson walked through the band and took note of the girls’ auxiliary group, the Riderettes, dressed in cowgirl outfits (Theodore Roosevelt High School’s mascot is the Roughriders). LBJ told my dad, “It looks like you’re from my part of the country,” in reference to the girls’ western garb.

Thanks for coordinating “Dads in Uniform” again this year.

Best wishes,
David Teigland

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Jimmy Corcoran:

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Happy Father’s Day Uni-Watch Dad’s! I made a plain looking Pottstown Firebirds card since they never had them. My father is wearing his long sleeve jersey so this is from 1969, in 1970 he also got a short sleeve one in each color. The Philadelphia Bell only had one set of jerseys but since Pottstown got the Eagles hand me downs they always had plenty of game jerseys.

He hated wearing the long sleeve jerseys because he said he had a hard time throwing the ball with them but in 1970 when he switched to the short sleeves he would wear a long sleeve hooded sweatshirt under his jersey in cold weather games?

I made this collage because no one liked the swingin’ 70’s like the King, he is wearing one of his custom made polyester suites here in 1972, my uncle asked him why didn’t he just wear his pajamas out? My father said are you kidding? the King has the best threads in the league.

I wanted black dress shoes but he bought me white boots, I didn’t like them because I thought they looked like girls boots but the King talked me into wearing them. He said trust the King Jimbo, everyone is gonna dig these boots, the only reason you don’t see me wearing them is they don’t have my size? These are the same boots I saw the Osmond bothers wear on TV when they were singing Yo Yo, trust the King Jimbo, black shoes are for old men! Here is an old picture of the Osmonds and my father was right, they are wearing the same boots.

The picture of my Father in his Bell uniform was taken in 1974 before the Chicago Fire game, this was the game where he destroyed the bathroom because my mother said he looked fat in his uniform. I had this picture in my college apartment, I was friends with Chuck Cecil in college, he went on to play for the Packers and Cardinals and now coaches in the NFL. He asked me who that was? I said that’s my father. He said “That is the oldest looking college guy I have ever seen Jimmy” I said that is because he is 32 years old there. Chuck said, “what team is that?” I said the Philadelphia Bell of the WFL. He said “I never heard of them?” I knew Chuck was from California so I told him his home team there would have been the Southern California Sun with Pat Haden and Anthony Davis. He said” I kind of remember them now but I never heard of King Corcoran”. When I got back to Maryland I told my father that story and he said ” Who is Chuck Cecil? everyone in California knows the King Jimbo” I guess they never heard of each other.

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Ed Hughes:

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Phil,

My dad was a lacrosse man. He played (college and club) for as long as he could, and even before he stopped playing he became a referee. He ended up spending a good bit more time as an official (referee, timer, scorer, etc.) than as a player. He loved the game and he kept contributing to it for the rest of his life. He passed away in 2007. Last week I was visiting my mom and I found a little plastic bag in the basement. Inside were little bits and pieces of Dad’s officiating life–whistles, scorecards, checklists, coins for coin flips, and such. I already had an old photo of Dad in his preferred referee uniform (knickers, not shorts!) and so I combined what I had into a shadow box that now hangs in my office.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I miss you.

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Jon Solomonson:

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Phil,

Seems my Dad, Carl Solomonson, was a pretty good swimmer/diver as a kid. Oddly, his team photos (at least the ones I could find in an old scrap book) all have him wearing sweats! Not that the other boys’ trunks are much of a uniform either.

Far left, top row, photo 1
Top row 5th from left, photo 2
Front row, 2nd from left, photo 3

These are likely from the early/mid 1940’s.

The last photo is just funny.

Thanks,

Jon Solomonson
aka Dumb Guy

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Michael Hergenhan:

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Hey Phil,
This is my first Father’s Day as a father. That’s my son, Joey ( a Christmas Eve baby). He’s with my father-in-law, Ray. Ray is currently battling Colon Cancer. This was at a Cornell lacrosse game from this past season. My brother-in-law was an assistant coach for Cornell. He’s since moved on to become a coach at divison 2 school. That means new gear for next season. Ray is the greatest Dad, besides my own. I am thankful that he is able to enjoy his first grandchild.

Mike H

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Chris Ingstad:

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These are my pictures of my grandfather, Don Ingstad, from Jamestown, North Dakota around 1936. Number 8 in basketball, 30 in football, and hatless in baseball (American Legion team Post 14 so they all wore 14). I also included a photo of him as a naval aviation cadet in WWII before he received his commission and wings of gold as a fighter pilot.

Chris Ingstad

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Tony Graefe:

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My father, Bin Graefe, grew up in Jackson, WY, and in the early 60’s he played college basketball at Casper College in Wyoming before transferring to what was then called Colorado State College (now the University of Northern Colorado). All who saw him play describe him as a fierce competitor. He went on to teach and coach at the high school and collegiate level for over 30 years. Happy Father’s Day to the Jackson Flash!

Troy Graefe

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Jim Nedelka:

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Phil…

What a great idea: posting pictures of Dads in Uniform at uni-watch.com this coming Sunday, Father’s Day.

Since this is a sports-themed website, I’m sure you’ll get many Dads pictured in their home uniforms.

Here’s my dad – Frank Nedelka, Jr – wearing the ultimate home uniform, that of the United States of America.

This shots was taken in May, 1946, when he was 18 years old and awaiting shipping out to Germany, where he became part of the post-WWII Occupation Force.

Decades later, while he and my mom, Joan, were tourists in Germany, they were able to visit the base where my dad had once served.

Frank, who has two brothers, turns 89 next month. Like his dad, my dad also has three sons: my two brothers, Larry and Bruce, and me.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Best,

Jim Nedelka

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Joe Werner:

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Hi Phil,

I would like to submit a picture and write up for both my father and my father-in-law, if that is OK. Pictures are attached, and the write-ups are below. Thank you for doing this feature, it is such an awesome and personal extension of the Uni Watch web site.

-Joe

By all accounts, my father, Germain Werner was a decent offensive lineman at Greensburg (PA) Central Catholic High School until a knee injury ended his football days. Alas, I don’t have any pictures of him in his football uniform. However, he would later go on to wear a much more significant uniform. After graduating from John Carroll University in 1967, dad joined the Marines and went to Officer Candidate School in Quantico, VA. He graduated as a second lieutenant, did a tour in Vietnam, and then finished out his time in the Corps at Twentynine Palms in CA. In this picture he is seen with my mother on their wedding day in 1968, shortly after he graduated from OCS.

Much like my dad, my father-in-law, Clayton Zuber had some solid moments as an athlete, but went on to greater accomplishments in a very different “uniform”. As the catcher for his JV baseball team at Honeoye Falls (NY) High School, my father-in-law still fondly recalls his role in a game-ending, strike ’em out/throw ’em out double play his junior year. About the time I met my wife in 2004, my father-in-law, a lifelong, third-generation dairy farmer, had just embarked on a new career journey. He enrolled at Concordia Seminary to become a Lutheran Minister. In 2010 he was ordained, and installed as Pastor at The Lutheran Church of the Epiphany in Avon, NY, where he continues to serve. In this picture (taken at his installation ceremony), Clayton is seen with his own father, Paul Zuber.

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Steve Johnston:

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Phil:

Attached are two photos of my grandfather, Dean Johnston. When he passed away my mother came across some memorabilia from his Riverside Brookfield High School (IL) days. There are two photos: an individual photo of him and a team photo of the 1935 Conference Champion. She also found the letters and his 1936 Conference Championship patch he earned while playing. As you can see one photo show the great Christmas gift I received which has all of these items together. The second photo is the individual photo of him.

Thanks,
Steve Johnston

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Adam Vitcavage:

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Here’s my dad, Alan, in the best baseball uni ever circa mid-70s. Powder blue, white, purple. Team was THE WHO. Logo was a question mark.

Adam Vitcavage

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Hugh McBride:

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Phil:

I’ve attached a few photos for your consideration for this weekend’s Father’s Day Uni Watch edition. The “01” version is my favorite, but I also included the other two options b/c they show a bit more of the late-1950s uniforms. Here’s my proposed caption:

This is my dad, Hugh C. McBride Sr., who was a three-year starter at quarterback for the Hubbard (Ohio) High School Eagles from 1954-1956, & who was in the first class of athletes elected to the school’s Hall of Fame in 2008. He is 15 years old in this photo, which was taken during the 1955 season. (His parents enrolled him in kindergarten a year early, so during his first season under center for the varsity squad he garnered a few headlines as a “14-year-old sensation.”)

Though my dad’s football playing career ended when he chose the Navy over college, sports remained a big part of his life. He played softball in the Navy, umpired amateur baseball in the 1970s, coached my brother & I in youth football and baseball in the ’70s & ’80s, worked the chains at Hubbard football games from the mid-80s until just a few years ago, & still golfs three or four days a week. He passed none of his athletic skill on to me (that all went to my brother, Brian), but I’m immensely proud to be his son nonetheless. .

Happy Father’s Day, Pops! (And thanks so much for running this feature, Phil!)

Hugh C. McBride

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And that’s it for the 2016 Edition of Uni Watch Father’s Day! Thanks to everyone who submitted their photographs and memories.

For those of you still lucky enough to have a pop still with us — please give him my best today — and give him a hug for me. I’d give anything … ANYTHING … to have the chance to give one more hug to mine.

Happy Father’s Day, Pop. I miss you more than you will ever know.

Peace.

12 comments to Happy Father’s Day, Uni Watchers

  • Memal | June 19, 2016 at 9:19 am |

    That was a wonderful post, thank you Phil and thank you for everyone who shared their photos and stories. Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there.

  • Greg Mays | June 19, 2016 at 9:55 am |

    With Title IX turning 31 it shouldn’t be too long until their are readers who can send in pictures of mom in uniform for Mother’s Day!

  • Greg Mays | June 19, 2016 at 9:56 am |

    Hell, my math is going in my old age. 41.

  • Bruce | June 19, 2016 at 10:09 am |

    Great piece today Phil…and thanks to everyone who sent in a photo and shared their memories. Happy Father’s Day!

  • LarryB | June 19, 2016 at 12:33 pm |

    Always a fun day to see the dads unis pics.

    But I was really surprised to see Hugh McBride from my old school Hubbard Ohio Eagles.

  • A Gray | June 19, 2016 at 4:20 pm |

    Great posts today, kind of wish this site was on medium though.

  • Nico | June 19, 2016 at 6:05 pm |

    Happy Father’s Day to everyone concerned !

    Some perplexing news in the 2016 Euro : the France away kit was supposed to be this one : https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7426/26963591463_7a0136096c_b.jpg
    But tonight against Switzerland, Les Bleus wore this one : http://i.eurosport.com/2016/06/19/1879986-39596713-2560-1440.jpg?w=1150
    Personally, I had never heard of that one.

    This change might be for the best. Still, it seems strange that a team would change its uniform in the middle of a tournament.

  • Eddie | June 19, 2016 at 6:35 pm |

    I went to the phillies game today, they were playing the diamondbacks…..here is a pic I took with my cell phone.
    It was fun trying to see what numbers they were wearing but even more so the names.

    http://i.imgur.com/TCnl5cf.png

  • Attila Szendrodi | June 19, 2016 at 9:17 pm |

    The blue looks pretty good on most teams today. Reminds me a lot of those gorgeous mid-2000’s Blue Jays.

  • Lindsay Resnick | June 19, 2016 at 9:33 pm |

    Did anyone else think at first that David Tiegland was saying that LBJ was his dad? :P

  • Ben D. | June 19, 2016 at 10:52 pm |

    Terrifying thought:

    What if the Cavs use tonight’s result as an excuse to go sleeved full-time next season?

  • Joel K | June 20, 2016 at 9:19 am |

    Wow, Bin Graefe. I did the radio broadcasts (along with the late, great Rich Bircumshaw) when Bin coached at Central Wyoming College in Riverton, including games where two of his sons played for him. Great to see that.