By Phil Hecken
For the past seven years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019) 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. This year I let readers know they could submit photos of their dads, grandpappys and uncles.
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. I did receive two “late” entries (they came in on Friday, and one on Saturday, even though the deadline was Thursday at midnight, but I’m including them as well — I don’t want to keep anyone from their tributes!), so the verbiage in the writeup will reflect that.
Happy Father’s Day everyone!
I still can’t believe my father was able to get his Bell uniform out of the locker room for this photo shoot? It was always a goal of his to be on a magazine cover. It finally happened for him in 1974 for a local Philadelphia magazine called Metropolitan. They wanted him in his road blue jersey because they thought the white jersey would look too dull. The only problem was Bob Colonna the equipment manager wouldn’t let him have the jersey, he was afraid it would get lost and he didn’t have a spare. My father promised to bring it back but Bob wanted him to give him his Pottstown Firebirds Championship ring for collateral, my father said he would be glad to do it but the ring got stolen when our house was robbed in 1973.
My father said to him, “what do you think the King is going to do with it, walk around the streets of Philly in my game jersey?” Finally Bob let him have the uniform. Once in a while despite being ultra cocky my father would let down his guard and tell me the truth. When I told him how great it was that he got the cover he said “I have to be honest with you Jimbo, the only reason the King got this gig was because they couldn’t get Roman Gabriel for it”. Happy Father’s Day to all the Uni Watch Dad’s and to the ones that are no longer with us, we miss you and think about you today.
I’ve combined photos of my grandfather Thomas Colvin and father Frank Colvin in their respective uniforms while serving in World War II and Vietnam. My Grandfather served in Dutch Guiana in The Pacific Theater and his tank has my grandmother’s name, “Annie” written on the side. This is the first Father’s Day since my dad passed last August and it means a lot to honor him here.
This picture is of my dad Darrell Simpson. He was raised in Estill Springs,TN which is a few miles from Winchester. This was in 1958 when he was 10. He played for Dechard Franklin which was a textile mill from what I understand. Excellent ball player who wasn’t allowed to play on the same team as his older brother since they were so good. They were placed on 2 different teams!
Christy Cater Simpson
This is my dad David Cater. He served 3 tours in Vietnam. He lost his leg in his last tour. He received 3 Purple Hearts and a Silver Star and a Bronze Star. He passed away in September 2017.
Christy Cater Simpson
My father, Edward Kozak, was an artilleryman in World War II, serving in the European Theatre with the 44th Division. He always said he was fortunate, because the Allies were always shooting at the Germans, but the enemy, being in retreat, rarely shot back at him. Luckily the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan; otherwise he would have been shipped out to the Pacific to fight Japan like so many others. Fortunately he was soon mustered out and started a family with his bride, my mom, instead. Here’s his Army photo.
Ed Kozak, Bolingbrook, IL
This is my father, Francis A. (Bud) Brooks Jr., from Braintree, Massachusetts, in 1949, kneeling down on the far left. During the summer of 1949, he played baseball for the Blacks Harbour Brunswicks team in Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick. They won the league championship that summer. He turned 88 on June 11, has been married 61 years, and has two children and four grandchildren, all living in Dallas, TX.
Photo of my great-grandfather Charles Quick (front right) as goaltender for the 1918 Terra Novas. The trophy is the Boyle Trophy, the second oldest hockey trophy in North America (after the Stanley Cup). The trophy was donated in 1904 by Governor Sir Cavendish Boyle, and awarded as the National Championship of Newfoundland (Newfoundland was an independent country prior to joining Canada in 1949).
On the front row, second from the right is my Dad, Dr. Michael S. Harris, in his 1951 Little League Uniform in Garland, Texas. My Dad has been a lifelong baseball fan and has passed that passion on to me. We have attended dozens of games together dating back to the early 1970s including seeing our hometown Texas Rangers clinch their first American League Championship against the Yankees at home in Arlington in 2010.
My father Arnold Benner has always lived in Friendship, Maine and is a long time lobsterman there. The photo shows him in 1961in his Waldoboro High School baseball uniform. He was primarily a third baseman but pitched some. That year as a senior he had a game where he threw 4 no-hit innings and hit two home runs. Other uniforms he’s worn: National Guard sergeant and state champion candlepin bowler representing DePatsy’s Lanes.
Hi Phil –
This is a picture of a baseball team comprised entirely of my grandfather (2nd row, far right) and his 8 other brothers. Their dad, my great-grandfather, is the coach. This was in Menomonie, Wisconsin, and they were known as “The Larson 9.” To the best of my knowledge, this photo was taken around 1930, when my grandfather would’ve been about 20 years old. It’s one of my favorite family pictures of my grandpa, I have copies of it in my home and office, and my sons (twins, who are now 19) have it in their dorm room, too.
Thanks for doing this!
This is my dad, Jeff Volk, dressed up in these beautiful orange threads (check out the socks and shoes!) in 1980. He was a PF for the Rugby Panthers (Rugby, ND). This is a figurine cutout they did for all the seniors. Pretty cool! Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there.
Good Morning Phil
I just sent a photo of my maternal Grandfather.
I promised to send a few words along to accompany the photo.
My Grandfather, Charles Oswald worked a Branch Manager for Bankers Trust and traveled from branch to branch to oversee the operations.
He was a wonderful man, who taught me a lot about many things. I am forever grateful for his patience, wisdom and love he shared with us all.
[Yes, I know he’s technically not *in uniform* but how could I not run this??? — PH]
My father, Sgt. Daniel J. Crocker, served in the United States Marine Corps from 1967-1970. He spent most of his civilian career working for the State of Michigan as the Director of Veterans Services for The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Even though he retired several years ago, he continues to advocate for veterans any chance he gets. Here he is initiating a conversation with a fellow veteran at a Detroit Tigers spring training game in Lakeland, Florida last year. God has been gracious to bless me with such a wonderful dad.
My Dad, T J Regan (2nd row center) circa 1951 Varsity Spring Track at Phillips Academy-Andover. Remarkable because I never knew my father when he had hair and Andover Springs were always too cold for these tank tops. Two different logo treatments mystify me. Lost TJ 2 years ago.
My Grandfather (Mother’s Father) John Calametti lived in Mobile, Alabama. He worked on the shipping docks and played baseball and basketball around Mobile. I believe this team photo is from mid-1920s.
This is a photo of my dad when he was in the Falls Church (VA) high school band.
He was about 15 at the time, and was (and still is) a damn good tuba player.
I credit my love of music to him.
Happy Father’s Day dad!
My father, Dr. John S. Hickey, MD, served as team doctor for the Father Judge High School football team from 1955 til 1976 (the photo is from the early 1970’s, and one of the few I have of him acting in that capacity). This was before sports medicine was a popular specialty and athletic trainers were commonplace, so he relied solely on his skills as a general practitioner, his experiences as a former player, and the contents of his ‘house call’ bag to treat injured Crusaders or their opponents. While he didn’t wear a uniform in the performance of his duties (i.e.: pre-season no-cost physicals, game-day first aid, post-game office follow-up visits if needed), he selflessly volunteered his time and talents to a countless number who did.
Last February, my dad was posthumously inducted into the team’s Hall of Honor; he passed away in 1984. The ceremony included a heart-felt testimonial given by one of my brothers, along with a couple of amusing off-the-record stories shared by past players. As wonderful as it was to celebrate him that night, it was also the last time I have been able to gather with my family, including my mother…she resides in a senior living facility, due to coronavirus safety/distancing measures. I miss my dad each day, especially today, and hope to reunite with my mom and brothers and sisters for another happy occasion very soon.
I’ve always admired the old yearbook photos when they posed. This is my Dad’s senior year of basketball. Our schools colors were green and white but I was always intrigued that these road uniforms were black(with green and white lettering). I ended up recreating the jersey so I had one to wear.
This is my dad, Jamie Hamm, playing football as a freshman at Wheeling Central Catholic High School in West Virginia. The uniform is all-maroon — note the unusual double-striped helmets and thick white pants stripe. He wore #9 as a freshman but would eventually wear his usual #19, chosen for Johnny Unitas, as an upperclassman.
My dad, Robert Barnett, Jr, is second from the left in the front row. Here he is playing for the 1947 St. Columba basketball team in Louisville, putting him at about 11 or 12 years old at the time. Our family has several pictures of him in different sports uniforms, but most of those were, essentially, costume uniforms his parents bought for him. This may have been the only time in his life where he played for an organized sports team. He went on to become a pharmacist, husband, and father of twelve. He died in 2004.
Justin C. Cliburn
Attached is a photo of my dad, Robert Cliburn, in the Army in 1973. He spent four years active-duty, two in the infantry and two on a Pershing nuclear missile site. He then spent several years in the Army Reserves later in life before having to retire due to a medical condition. Also attached is him 20 years later coaching elementary school baseball. My little brother is second from left. He took his life last October, and this will be my dad’s first Father’s Day without him. Maybe appearing on Uni Watch will help.
Thanks (and thanks for retweeting my extremely biased Saints poll on Twitter).
Justin Cliburn (@bootscallahan)
Great work with the site. Been a fan for many years.
Attached is a trading card the city of New Brunswick made for the Firefighters, including my Father (attached) and the write up.
Since you can’t see the back of the card, let me give you the “stats”:
Bob was hired by the City of New Brunswick in 1973 and worked his way up the ranks. By 1986 he was promoted to Captain and then again to Deputy Chief in 1993, the position he maintained until his retirement in 1999. In 1985 he received the FMBA Valor Award and in 1999 was named the Knights of Columbus Firefighter of the Year. Known for his cool, calm demeanor on the job, Bob was nicknamed “The Iceman” by fellow firefighters and the Home News Tribune.
Dad recently scanned a bunch of old slides into digital format with a home-use device made for doing a lot of them quickly, so they don’t have a great professional feel, but here’s one that sticks out a bit as being fairly good looking. It’s from the 1970’s, early in his time playing on a men’s rec (beer) league team called the DePaul Alumni Soccer Club, initially for graduates of DePaul University but later opened to anyone who wanted to play. Dig the long sleeves paired with shorts, and the one knee sock versus one shorty. Hope dad’s shins were okay that day.
Happy Father’s Day,
Hi Phil. I know your post said to include just one photo, but I’ve included two photos (in 1 JPG, mind you)😀. I understand if you need to crop it down to one picture, however. Here’s the story of the two pics:
The picture on top is of my grandfather, Carl Sr. sometime in the early sixties. He owned Erdmann Drug Store in Grafton, WI for 35 years. The bottom picture is his son (my dad), Carl Jr on the left with an unknown store employee, sometime in the late sixties. He also was a pharmacist for over 30 years at multiple stores in Indianapolis. They’re both gone now (2001 & 2009 respectively) and I definitely miss them. The pharmacy profession skipped a generation in my family, but is now back with my daughter as a sophomore pharmacy student at Butler University, my dad’s alma mater. Happy Father’s Day, and Go Dawgs!
This is a photo of my father, Tony DiRubbo, in his high school football uniform. The photo is from 1940 or 1941 taken in front of his house. He attended Vocational High School in Syracuse, NY. My Dad died in 2013, but he shared the same birthday as Paul, March 21.
I hope this isn’t being sent too late and can still be included for Sunday.
This is my Grandfather, Gary Allan Houk. He served in the US Army from the early 60s to the mid-80s, rising to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer three. He passed away this past Saturday, June 13th. He gave my Dad his first baseball glove from Korea after a deployment there. That instilled in my Dad his own love of baseball which he passed on to my brother and I. We will miss him a ton. There’s so much more to tell but he was an amazing man and loving grandfather.
My father (far right) and Dr. Martin Luther College teammates – October 1982 – New Ulm, MN.
I’m the bundle of blankets.
– Caleb Bentz
Here’s my photo to include with my tribute to my dad, and here’s the text of the tribute:
My dad, Peter M. Klismet, Jr., has worn numerous uniforms in his life, those of the U.S. Navy and the Ventura (Calif.) Police Department being two of the most significant. I’m proud of his service to our country and his community, but the uniform that speaks most to me was the one he wore to help coach my first Little League team. A timid, light-hitting eight-year-old, I might have quit without his reassuring presence. His influence guided me toward a love of sports that’s brought us many great memories and still bonds us today. Thanks for always being there for me, Dad!
Thanks for putting this Father’s Day tribute together every year, Phil! It’s an invaluable service to the Uni Watch community!
I am so sorry…..I wanted to send this yesterday, but it was my Mom’s birthday and I got distracted. Please don’t say it’s too late to include my Dad this year. We lost him in March and I was looking forward to this….
His name is Donald Hayden
– Jennifer Hayden
Hi Phil- I realize I missed the midnight deadline last night, but it took me awhile to remember where I’d put this photo. Blame it on the pandemic, I guess. I hope you’ll consider allowing these to be part of the Sunday photo posting. I’m really sorry these are late.
My father, Jack Ramsey, passed away from natural causes (not covid-19) earlier this year, February 6, 2020. He was 98 years old. He received a football scholarship to attend Marin College in San Rafael, CA. He injured his knee during training camp in 1940 and never played for the team.
(L-R: Jack Ramsey, North Central High School, Spokane WA. 1939; US Army Corporal Jack Ramsey, Day D plus 4, 1944; Jack Ramsey, February 2, 2014 celebrating the Seahawks Super Bowl win)
Thanks, Phil. I”m a daily reader of the blog and a big fan of all Paul, you and the others do daily.
Take good care, and stay safe-
(Father & Uncle)
Here’s the Topps card I made of my dad. Since you could only use current MLB names, and since his Senators parent club was also called the Nationals, I picked them.
Also, this year I found a team photo with my Uncle Joe, when he played for the Uhlans of German Township High School. He went on to pitch in the Minors, winning 26 games in one season for Iola in the old KOM League.
That’s all folks! Everyone have a Happy Father’s Day!