The story behind Phillies' new Home Run Hat tradition originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
If you've been watching the Phillies' last few games, you've probably noticed a new item popping up in the dugout, you're not seeing things.
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Yes, that's indeed a straw hat bobbing around after home runs.
The Phillies' brand new Home Run Hat made its debut over the weekend during the bizarre marathon win over the Nationals. J.T. Realmuto wore the hat into his postgame Zoom press conference, and things took off from there.
On Tuesday night, after he launched a solo shot vs. the Braves, Phils superstar Bryce Harper marched through the dugout with a comical mean mug and posed for the NBC Sports Philadelphia cameras while wearing the hat:
So... why a straw hat?!
Realmuto explained its origins, via MLB.com's Todd Zolecki:
"'[Archie Bradley] bought one, wore it in the clubhouse, we all loved it [and] thought it was funny, so we ordered a couple more and decided to make it the home run hat,' Realmuto said. 'We haven't actually set the rules down yet. For now, you just put it on when you get back to the dugout. I think '’m actually the first one wearing it in the press conference. I don't know if that'll be a thing or not. Greg [Casterioto, Phillies baseball communications director] just talked me into wearing it. We'll see how that goes.'"
I love it. You've got to have some fun during a 162-game season. And of course a guy as outgoing and wild as Archie Bradley is the one who brought the hat into the clubhouse.
It sure seems, after Tuesday night's game vs. the Braves, that the Home Run Hat is here to stay, at least for a little while. After Harper smiled for the camera, Realmuto put the hat on in the dugout after his own home run.
Of course, having a piece of apparel or jewelry is nothing new to sports in the last few years.
The Padres have the Swagg Chain. The Sixers have the Big Energy Chain. The Eagles previously had the Turnover Mask. This proliferation of celebration-wear is all a clear homage to the University of Miami football team's indelible Turnover Chain, and it's all extremely fun.
I want less of the self-seriousness and more of this stuff in sports. It's what keeps fans smiling throughout the admitted slog of a regular season! It's great.
Plus, this Phillies team - sort of tossing and turning around .500 all season so far - needs to lighten up and loosen up. The best teams in the league are the ones having the most fun, so maybe a change in attitude can start the mojo flowing at Citizens Bank Park.
As of Wednesday, the Phillies rank 20th in Major League Baseball this season with 64 home runs. It's time for the Home Run Hat to get those bats going.