The good news: the Phillies are heading to the World Series. The bad news: The 13-year drought has left fans — and their closets — feeling a little empty inside.
Philadelphia’s first home game against the Houston Astros is Monday, but if you’re looking to up your merch game with apparel that isn’t straight from the Pro Shop, you might want to start shopping now.
Phillies gear is already starting to sell out at local chain outposts like Rally House, but the cachet of a World Series bid (let alone a title) is a market force that already has prices for Game 3 tickets in Philly in the thousands. That rising tide also makes memorabilia more expensive, from jerseys to commemorative t-shirts.
“We can’t keep Phillies gear in stock right now,” Josh Steinberg, the store manager at Philly-based nostalgia sportswear retailer Mitchell & Ness, told Billy Penn. “Hoodies, crewnecks, sweatshirts, satin jackets — it’s all flying off the shelves.”
At its 1301 Walnut St. flagship store, Mitchell & Ness’ Phils apparel section was already on its way to being cleaned out Tuesday morning, though Steinberg was unpacking new boxes of gray t-shirts for a display at the back of the store. The apparel brand specializes in nostalgia-based merchandise, so everything on the floor is a reminder of other MLB golden eras.
Looking to revamp your Phillies wardrobe ahead of the games, and don’t mind dropping a pretty penny?
We visited Mitchell & Ness and ranked what was left of their throwback apparel, from $400 athletic shorts to bomber jackets and vintage-esque tees.
Though this rainy weather jacket is advertised as a piece of women’s apparel, its oversized fit definitely makes it more of a unisex buy. The classic Phillies P adds a bit of understated fandom, but the colorblocked design gives 80s off-duty-police-detective vibes, which can mean whatever you want it to.
Baseball Slay or Baseball Nay: Slay. Wear to a Phils game, in a thunderstorm, or as part of your 80s jazzercise instructor costume.
Unisex Heavyweight Jacket
This powder blue oversized puts a Philadelphia twist on a streetwear staple, complete with a national league insignia on one of the sleeves and an oversized Phils’ logo taking up real estate on the back. Rosenberg, the Mitchel and Ness manager, said it’s his favorite piece in their collection, and we say it’s the kind of jacket that can transition from the dugout to the club.
Baseball Slay or Baseball Nay: Slay. Wearing it might make you feel like a rapper, even if you’ve never dropped a verse in your life.
Athletic Shorts (that Bryce Harper also owns)
These glorified basketball shorts retail for about a quarter of the cost of a World Series ticket in Houston, but Steinberg told Billy Penn there’s a reason behind the price tag.
The shorts are part of a collaboration with Just Don, the basketball apparel brand founded by Chicago native and Kanye West bestie Don Cawley. Steinberg called the shorts a “luxury style” since they have side pockets (???) and are a favorite among local celebrities — and our hometown sluggers themselves.
“Earlier this season, Phillies players came in to buy the shorts,” Steinberg said. “Bryce Harper has a pair.”
Baseball Slay or Baseball Nay: Nay — unless you’re Adam Sandler. These look like something the “Hustle” star would’ve paired with an oversized tee while filming in Philly.
Mike Schmidt Jersey
This zip-up jersey bears the number 20 in honor of Mike Schmidt, a retired Phils third baseman (and Eagles superfan) who spent all of his 18 professional seasons on the team. Wearing this jersey should get you major credit with the oldheads at Citizen Bank who still keep score by hand — some consider Schmidt to be one the greatest draft picks of all time. He was the first Phillie to hit four home runs in a single game, and there’s a statue of him outside the third base gate..
Baseball Slay or Baseball Nay: Slay — but be prepared to get asked how many singles Mike Schmidt has (2,234 to be exact).
MLB Legendary Tee, Phanatic edition
This is on the more affordable end of Mitchell and Ness’ Phillies offerings, and it’s a no-brainer. The Phanatic looks like a friend.
Baseball Slay or Baseball Nay: Slay. This is a version of the Phanatic you could cuddle with.
The ‘One Strike Away’ Crew Neck
Presumptuous, much? After all, the streets are saying it could be a close series.
Before you start clutching your rosaries or warding off superstitions, Steinberg told Billy Penn the crew neck actually pays homage the Phillies 1980 World Series win, which birthed some of the most iconic moments in local baseball, like the time pitcher Tug McGraw struck out the Kansas City Royals’ Willie Wilson to secure the chip.
“When a lot of people come in, they’re like ‘I don’t want to jinx it,” Steinberg said. “So we remind them it’s from 1980, and it’s time for the Phils and their fans to run it back.”
Baseball Slay or Baseball Nay: Nay — if you don’t want the baseball gods to think you’re getting cocky.