By Phil Hecken
For the past six years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018) 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 any of the past 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 is a picture of my father, Robert Roddy, with his graduating class of physician assistants from Long Island University: Brooklyn. He is the one in the middle of the front row with the big hair and mustache! I was born 6 years later, so never saw him in his white uniform, but he always wore a shirt and tie to the office, until his practice banned the wearing of them about 15 years ago for sanitary reasons. My father passed away rather suddenly last summer and this is my first Father’s Day without him. I inherited my love for athletics aesthetics from him and I have plenty of pictures and stories to contribute in future years! I even designed my membership card in his honor. Thank you for running this feature, especially for those of us still grieving the loss of our best friends.
U. S. Army Captain Howard S. Traisman, M. D., of Chicago served his country proudly in Korea between World War II and the Korean War.
My dad was in the Louisiana National Guard many years before I was born. He also taught military science and history at Fortier High School in New Orleans before becoming a school principal. This was always one of his favorite pictures. I just love the perfect tilt of his hat that was the style in the fifties. Dad loved his wife and family, church, New Orleans, and Mardi Gras. And could the Saints aggravate him! He passed away last fall and we miss him.
As I’ve shared pictures of my dad in prior years, this year it’s my Maternal Grandfather who gets the nod this year.
Frank Vespa. Immigrated to the US from Italy in about 1905 or so. Among other jobs in his life, he worked as a train conductor in a coal mine. He served in WWI. Attached picture clipping shows him in 1918 at the end of the war, having served in the US Army. He was a bugler, and a recipient of the Purple Heart. Spent lots of time as a boy listening to his stories and having him instruct me on how to be man. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him.
For Father’s Day 2013 I submitted an undated picture of my dad, Dr. John S. Hickey, in his Holmesburg (section of NE Philly) Ramblers football uniform:
With help from my eldest brother, I was able to locate another photo of John well before he was “Dad” which I’d like to share today:
He looks younger (and the uniforms seem well worn) in this dated team shot than in one of him standing alone (his uniform looks practically new in that one, his number assignment clearly is). These observations lead me to believe that my father played for Holmesburg for at least 2 seasons, with 1944 probably being his last before joining the Navy and serving in the Pacific theater, returning home to attend medical school and subsequently meeting and marrying my mom and becoming a father to 11 children.
Miss you, Dad.
This is my Dad, also called George Chilvers.
He was born in late 1926. so saw service at the end of WWII, stationed in Germany.
The badges are RASC – Royal Army Service Corps, the logistics branch of the British Army, and the shield shows CCG – Control Commission for Germany.
He wasn’t himself sporty, but loved watching cricket on TV, and often used to watch Liverpool FC live.
He was a printer by trade, and passed away in 1985.
One of my favourite colourisations, for obvious reasons.
My Dad, Charles (a computer programmer for 25 years) would always wear the same calculator watch year round. Here he is dancing with one of my sisters at a wedding(with the watch ha). He passed away 13 years ago in April, and my second child (Levi Charles) was born 13 years to date of my dad’s final earth birthday. Happy Father’s Day to all Dads here and in other places…
My dad, August Altese, white jersey in front on number 42, on the 1940 University of Michigan Freshman Football team. He didn’t make it back to the varsity for various reasons. But did play in the alumni flag football game before the Michigan Spring game in 2014 at the age of 92!
My father was a drinker and a fiend (to steal a line) but my older brother, my brother is a good man regardless of his exposure to my horrible father (or perhaps because of him? no better role model of what not to do in life exists better than my father). My brother is also an exemplary father to two children, my niece and nephew. He was in the Army for a four-year tour from 1988-1991. He also had an awful hitch in his swing and a terrible double clutch in his jump shot, so let’s focus on his service to our country. My brother is a wonderful father to his children and deserves the happiest of Father’s Days. And whether you run this or not, I am glad I said it.
My dad, Jeff Volk, wore this uniform as the QB for the Rugby Panthers (Rugby, ND) in high school (1979). This is actually a figurine cutout! Happy Father’s Day to all dads out there.
Here’s a photo of my dad, John Bailey. John owed a auto body shop (which was 15 yards away from our house). John became a Cleveland Browns fan in the late 40’s and passed his love on to his 5 sons. Here he’s wearing his West End Collision work uniform with the John name plate. He and my mom ran West End Collision for 46 years. Not a bad run. He was smoking in this photo but stopped smoking at age 68. He passed away in 2013 at the age of 82. He also served in the Army during Korea, but (fortunately) was sent to Germany. He was a good guy.
This is a photo of my dad, John Bullis, when he was stationed in Morocco with the Air Force in the late 1950s. This was well before I was born, but he was away, serving when my oldest brother was born. He has lots of interesting, and mostly humorous, stories about his time there. I thought this photo was a good one. It’s not great from the standpoint of dad’s uniform, but I like it for UW since it shows a calendar over his right shoulder with what appears to be a rendition of Paul Hornung. On a sadder note, we lost my mom (his wife of 62 years) in January, so this father’s day isn’t exactly the most cheery time for us. In honor of him though, here’s my photo entry.
Cheers to you dad, love you!
I’d like to submit the following for Father’s Day, if that’s ok. Thanks a bunch for your consideration. The photo of my dad is attached.
My father, Barry Wileman, was a lifelong baseball fan. In high school, he wasn’t allowed to play on the baseball team, so he made his own team with his brother, sisters, and friends, most of whom were much younger. They got so good that they challenged the varsity team to a game and won! He was extremely excited when the Nats came to town in ’05. This picture is of him sitting next to me as Stephen Strasburg pitched his first game in 2010. He sadly passed away in 2015 of lung cancer, but I’ll always remember our games together.
Hi Paul and Phil;
Attached is a photo of my 17 year old Dad in 1950. Sorry for the crease.
He grew up in Ridgewood, Queens and they had a neighborhood team (not High School), that played various teams in Brooklyn and Queens.
He was the first baseman, bats and throws right handed (still), and is seated second from the right in the front row, holding a bat in his left hand, for the Ridgewood Vikings.
They were sponsored by a local exterminating company so they were able to buy some pretty decent uniforms for a neighborhood team.
Thanks very much!
Robert “Bob” Bosworth, in the Navy uniform was my Dad. My grandfather, Howard Bosworth ( I am named after him) is pictured to his left.
Both men taught me so much, an appreciation for laughter, for family, baseball and other things too.
I miss them so very much, but am inspired by things they showed me and they way I have lived because of those lessons.
Love You Dad and Grampa!
This is my father, Francis A. (Bud) Brooks Jr., from Braintree, Massachusetts, in 1948. He served two years in Korea after the war ended. He was a standout baseball player and this is him in an all-star game uniform for a game played at Fenway Park in Boston. He played summer ball for years in New England and New Brunswick. After Korea, he returned to Brown University, played baseball there, and graduated from Brown in 1958. He turned 87 on June 11, has been married 60 years, and has two children and four grandchildren, all living in Dallas, TX.
This is a picture of my Dad, Al Fountain, and I at Red Sox Fantasy Camp in 2001. It was the only time we were able to work on the field together.
He gave me the love of baseball, Red Sox and umpiring. My Dad started umpiring back in the late 60’s early 70’s when my brother was growing up. He umpired while I was playing ball as well, and continued to work high school, men’s leagues and Little League.
His greatest memories though are when he started going to the Boston Baseball Fantasy Camp in the early 90’s (notice his 1992 trading card). His final camp in 2001, he was named a Hall of Famer. I am so grateful for the memories we created that year. I miss you Dad!
It’s Friday evening, July 13, 1945, and this is my parent’s wedding reception in Shillington, PA. My dad, Stillman Shannon, was on leave after serving with the US Army 104th Infantry in Germany in WWII. He and my mother were off to Ft. Lewis in Washington state for his probable redeployment in the Pacific.
The jacket was in the house as long as I can remember. While my dad has been gone for the past 11 years, the uniform jacket is now in the collection of the Berks Military History museum in my hometown of Mohnton, PA.
I ran out of photos of my father in uniform, so here’s another of my grandfather, around 1917. He’s on our left. He was a corpsman in the Navy, assigned to the Marines (hence the USMC uniform). As it turns out, the unit he was assigned to did not go to France.
My three sisters played Bobby Sox softball (fast-pitch) for many years in the seventies in El Paso, Texas. In 1975, they were all in the same age group and played on the same team. At the team-assignment banquet, the league announced that something had happened to the coach and they asked for a parent to volunteer to take over the team. Being afraid of an unqualified parent stepping forward, my mother volunteered my father to coach and she would serve as manager. That’s them at the far left on the back row. “Pop” is wearing the official white Bobby Sox cotton pullover with maroon polyester pants and his ever-present low-top Chuck Taylor Converse shoes. As most readers know, youth sports is a serious time commitment, especially when you are running the team. So it was the summer that I’ll never forget, because it not only consumed most of my parents’ time, but a lot of mine as well. As the ten-year-old little brother, I was present for all practices and games. Family in the photo: my father Francisco (back row, 1st from left), my mother Armida (back row, 2nd from left), sisters Liz (back row, 5thfrom left), Pat (back row, 6th from left) and Teresa (front row, far left).
Thanks Phil and Paul for letting us share. Happy Father’s Day!
This is my father, Raymond (Al) Sailor, in Panama in January 1942, fresh out of Navy training, on his way to Hawaii and the war. He’s 17 years old. He’d enlisted along with his brother out of a CCC camp in September 1941, two months before Pearl Harbor. Within a couple of weeks of this photo he’d be in Hawaii and soon after that in combat as a landing boat coxswain. A month after his 18th birthday he was landing troops at Guadalcanal. He died in 1988.
here is my submission for Uni Watch Father’s Day 2019. I’ll give you a brief synopsis:
My Dad, Albino Sencich, wore this incredible kit while playing soccer for Palermo in Italy during the late 40’s early 50’s.
My dad Glenn Mays as a Wood River Eagle in 1964, his junior season. He would be all-State in football and basketball as a senior, go on to start at NAIA Hastings College, become the all-time leading scorer in Nebraska college history, and turn down a chance to try out for the Knicks after college. None of which he would let me know growing up. Wanted me to find my own path. Happy Father’s Day!
My dad, John Marretta in his McKee High School baseball uniform circa 1953. Love the stirrups and all black leather spikes.
Here is a photo of my dad (Chuck) before a softball game in North Dakota from the early 80’s. I always thought this was a baseball uniform so I was surprised when he told me this was for his Pabst “sponsored” softball team.
Thanks for letting me share and happy Father’s Day dad!
And finally — not quite a Father in Uniform, but this came in late yesterday (past the deadline, but still…), so I wanted to include it (I’m getting too sentimental in my old age):
So, not to start on a dark note, but, I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer three years ago. A few months ago, my mom brought me a big bag of my dad’s caps. One jumped out to me. It was a St. Louis Blues cap that had to have been from the late 90’s. I decided to make it my good luck charm for the playoffs this year and needless to say, it paid off. He would have loved to have seen us finally win a Stanley Cup, and this felt like me getting to share that with him.
That’s all folks! Everyone have a Happy Father’s Day!
This is always one of the more moving posts of the year, thank you everybody for sharing today and Happy Father’s Day!
Absolutely delightful set of tales this year.
Happy Fathers’ Day to all!
@ Christian Condrey: sorry for your loss. My father passed away about 18 months ago. Six weeks later, my Eagles won the Super Bowl. One of my roommates from college lost his father right before his beloved Cubs won the World Series. It is illogical to think one person’s passing can swing a team’s fortunes, but such is the gulf between what we can prove and what we choose to believe.
That McKee jersey is awesome
Great job once again, Phil. Participating in last year’s column right after the death of my day for very healing. The time got away from me this year. Thanks for all you do. Bill
Thanks, Phil, for these great stories and pictures!
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, grandads and great-grandads out there! Let’s also remember all the fathers who can’t be with their families today.
Always enjoy this fantastic Uni Watch tradition. Thanks for doin’ this, Phil – and thanks to all who contributed photos & memories of their pops. Happy Dad’s Day to you all!
My dad passed away two years ago. He would have loved to see this Blues team’s amazing Stanley Cup run. Even though he always griped about not being able to see the puck.
My honest condolences to Bruins fans. If your pain is to the extent of my joy, I know it must be tough.
And please bring back the yellow socks.
I always love reading the Father’s Day post. As someone whose dad has passed away (I sent in a submission a couple of years ago), this feature always brings a tear to my eye. Thanks, Phil, for creating this opportunity for people to remember their dads, and thanks to all the submitters for sharing your pictures and stories with us.
I love taking a few minutes to visit to Uni Watch on Father’s Day.
Thanks to Phil for starting this tradition and keeping it going, and thanks to everyone for sharing these photos and stories with us.
Thanks for this, Phil. I’m choked up right now. Great pictures and stories. I miss you, Dad.
Thanks Phil for running this feature….I look forward to it each year