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The Intangibles: Philadelphia Phillies 
Posted on February 12, 2012 at 07:05 PM.
Today, I am continuing my look at all thirty teams in Baseball and the things that make them either great for starting a franchise, or lousy for playing one. This is "The Intangibles," a series of games that look at the aesthetic side of Baseball.

I grade my selections on these criteria...
  • Stadium Playability- This has to do with how well the stadium plays in the game
  • Stadium Aesthetics- Basically, how pretty the stadium is.
  • Team Logo- Is it unique or is it just another run of the mill baseball with circular text?
  • Uniforms- Are they classic, are they eye-poping, or do they induce depression?
  • Overall- Not an average, but a summation of the experience that I have with the team.
I will play with thirty teams in their stadiums, and I hope to have this done by the next baseball season. By the order in which I'm going, that means today I am looking at the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies are in a strong media market, but that didn't really help their early fortunes. The first team was known as the Quakers, and for many years the names Phillies and Quakers were used interchangeably. The team first played at the Baker Bowl, then moved down the street to Shibe Park which was also used by the Philadelphia Athletics. After years of being there, the team was able to convince the city to build Veterans Stadium; a cookie cutter events center that was considered to be one of the worst built in that generation. However, the Phillies did find success there as they were the 1980 World Champions, something that would not be accomplished until 2008 when the Phillies defeated the Rays in the Fall Classic.

The Phillies have had interesting logos in the past, including a switch for one year to a Blue Jay. Perhaps the best logo in the past was the swirling "P" which was famously put on the left side of the chest. Today, the logo is that of the wordmark "Phillies" superimposed on the outline of the baseball diamond. The colors are officially red, white, and blue, but the colors seem to be muted with the addition of whiter tones. It provides a washed out look, but it's nothing that is just horrid to look at. It's kind of hard to imagine what a "Phillie" actually is, and perhaps a redo of the old brother's logo wouldn't be bad for the "City of 'Brotherly' Love."

The uniforms are hit and miss. While the red pinstripes are something different in baseball, they make the team look like candy canes. The team has some sweet home alternates that they use during Sunday day games, and if they could go to something like that full time with the addition of some blue, the Phillies would have one of the sharpest sets in baseball. The throwbacks go back to the Championship days of the 80's and 90's, and are neat to wear once in a while. I just wouldn't use them every single day.

The home of the Phillies is Citizens Bank Park, opened in 2004 across the street from old Veterans Stadium. The ballpark is laid out in a square rather than a diamond, and that has effected the look inside due to new angles. The stadium looks like it has eight sides, and it provides for a new feel for major league parks even though it fits into the retro fad. The left field scoreboard is a bit much as it looms over the playing field like a giant, and some of the angles are contrived. The upper deck also suffers from being split level and disjointed in right field. Overall, it feels like the park is missing a few pieces and is just short from being an amazing ballpark.

The stadium on the other hand plays really well. The distances to the outfield fences nod to the days of playing at Shibe Park, and the view from the plate is really nice. There are no viability issues during the day or at night, and most of the moving gadgets and video boards are out of sight of the cameras. There are some minor disappointments such as the limited foul ground, but overall it plays really nicely.

Grading the whole thing...
  • Stadium Playability- (A)
  • Stadium Aesthetics- (B-)
  • Team Logo- (B)
  • Uniforms- (A-)
  • Overall- (B)
The Phillies are a team I really wanted to like, but there are just too many jutting details that prevent me from putting them in the top of aesthetic beauty. While the team earned an average grade, it's really in the eye of the beholder for this one.
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