The Phillies had a few-years-long identity crisis during World War II. Beginning in 1943, Philadelphia's beloved baseball team took on a new nickname: The Philadelphia Blue Jays. Now, a rare jersey with the Blue Jay emblem is being sold.
In 1943, Bob Carpenter Jr., new owner of the team, aimed to boost moral and give the Phillies a new image, so a contest was held. Accoring to Larry Shenk, author of Fightin' Phillies: 100 Years of Philadelphia Baseball from the Whiz Kids to the Misfits, a 1944 Philadelphia Inquirer story reports that, "suggestions have been pouring in from fans between the ages of 12 and 82." Mrs. John Crooks submitted Blue Jays and took the prize of a $100 war bond.
The reason for Crooks' idea: "It reflects a new team spirit. The Blue Jay is colorful in personality and plumage. His fighting, aggressive spirit never admits defeat."
The team now had a new nickname and new logo. However, Philadelphians did not support the new image. Students from Johns Hopkins University even protested saying the Blue Jay was their school's logo. By 1949, the nickname and logo were gone.
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Now, 73 years later, former Phillies catcher Andy Siminick’s game worn 1944-45 No. 24 "Blue Jays" jersey is being sold off by Maryland-based Huggins and Scott Auctions. Bids are being accepted online thorugh Aug. 3.
As of Tuesday morning, the highest bid was $16,750.
Siminick played for the Phillies from 1943 to 1951 and then in 1955 to 1957. The catcher of the 1949 All-star Game is was a member of the Phillies' 1950 Whiz Kids.