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Phillies All the Way: The Four Aces and Joe take the stage

March 16, 2021

Phillies All the Way: The Four Aces and Joe take the stage

The Phillies entered the 2011 season with one of the most fearsome rotations in baseball history. Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt were deemed “The Four Aces.” The four pitchers combined for 13 All-Star appearances, three Cy Young Awards, two NLCS MVP awards and one World Series MVP.

The media requests were out of control so the Phillies had a solution: put them all on the podium at once. The love affair officially began on Valentine’s Day 2011. 

Yes, that also included Joe Blanton. Halladay was on board with the news conference, but only if Blanton was there. The team’s fifth starter was rumored to be on the trading block all winter long. Instead, he was thrust into the spotlight. It made for a funny moment between Blanton and a reporter who forgot that he was part of the 2008 World Series Championship team. 

The $65 million rotation, which would probably cost at least twice as much 10 years later, were asked a flurry of questions on the expectations they have for themselves. The convenient part of scheduling a news conference on the first day of workouts is that nobody has done anything yet and that reflected in some of the answers. 

“I think we haven’t thrown a single pitch as a group yet,” Lee said. 

The off-season began with Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt, but the re-acquisition of Lee for a team that fell just short of a third consecutive World Series appearance fueled the hype around the team’s starting staff. For weeks, it seemed as though Lee’s return to the Phillies was surreal -- a type of miracle unfamiliar to Philadelphians. 

The Phillies’ self-imposed restraints on free-agents pitchers were well documented. A team that was unwilling to commit more than three years wasn’t getting their hands on a pitcher of Lee’s caliber, especially considering they blindsided the left-hander by shipping him off to Seattle on the same day the team traded for Halladay. 

In a twist nobody saw coming, the Phillies emerged as a mystery team for Lee’s services. The pitcher turned down a higher offer from the Yankees (seven-years,$148 million) to return to Philadelphia. Plenty of New York-based reporters were among the 70 or so media members in attendance. The question of why Lee spurned the Yankees was asked. 

“I felt like this was the best chance to win world championships. That's what it's all about,” Lee said. “Obviously, I played here in the past and enjoyed myself here, and thought we had a really good team at that time. Since then, they've made a couple of additions that I think have made the team that much better. I felt like if I ever got an opportunity to come back and be a part of what's going on here, I would take advantage of it, and that's why.” When a New York Daily News reporter further questioned his decision, Lee retorted, “Phillies all the way.”  

Roy Halladay echoed Lee’s sentiments.

"A lot of us are to the point in our career where you feel like the biggest thing left for you to do is win a championship, whether you've already done it or you haven't. That was my only goal going into last year was to try and win a World Series. So, coming close and coming up short is definitely hard. It's disappointing. That's why I still want to play this game. I want to be part of a world championship team."

To say Phillies fans were excited would be an understatement. 2011 was meant to be the peak of the golden era of Phillies baseball. The aging lineup and an average bullpen were a cause for concern, but the Phillies were expected to dominate the NL East on their way to a fifth-consecutive division title. And they did just that, winning a franchise-best 102 games, but of course, fell to the Cardinals in Game 5 of the NLDS. 

The 2011 Phillies rotation had a combined 3.02 ERA, the lowest mark for a starting staff in MLB since 1989. They led the league in wins (76), strikeouts (935), walks (221) and quality starts (108). Halladay, Lee and Hamels all finished in the top-10 in ERA and fWAR. “The Four Aces” did all they could to propel the franchise to its third World Series title, unfortunately, the baseball gods had other plans for the Phillies that season.




Size Charts

Select your brand and style to read more about how your purchase will fit:

American Needle fitted hats | '47 Brand hats | '47 Brand apparel | Majestic apparel | Majestic jerseys | Red Jacket apparel | Junk Food apparel | Next Level apparel (Shibe Originals)

Use these tips as a general guide when finding your measurements:

 

American Needle Fitted Hats

If you do not know your size, first determine where on your head you want to wear your hat. Usually it is worn about a half-inch to an inch above the eyebrows and/or just above the ears. Have a friend hold the tape measure (cloth, plastic, or download a printable version here) at the point where you want the hat to rest on your head.  Insert the tip of your little finger between the tape and your head.  Record the measurement and find your Fitted Hat size using the chart below.  This should provide you with a comfortable fit.

 

'47 Brand Hats

 

47 Brand Adjustable Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Adjustable Hats Men's 6 7/8 - 7 5/8 55 - 61
Women's 6 5/8 - 7 1/4 53 - 58
Youth 6 5/8 - 7 1/8 53 - 57

 

47 Brand Fitted Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Fitted Hats XX Small 6 1/2 - 6 5/8 52 - 53
X Small 6 3/4 54
Small 6 7/8 - 7 55 - 56
Medium 7 - 7 1/8 56 - 57
Large 7 1/4 58
X Large 7 3/8 - 7 5/8 59 - 61
XX Large 7 5/8 - 7 3/4 61 - 62
XXX Large 7 7/8 63
XXXX Large 8 64
XXXXX Large 8 1/8 65

 

47 Brand Stretch Fit Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Stretch Fit Fitted Hats Youth 6 1/2 - 6 5/8 52 - 53
Small / Medium 6 7/8 - 7 55 - 56
Medium / Large 7 1/8 - 7 3/8 57 - 59
Large / X Large 7 1/2 - 7 5/8 60 - 61
One Size Fits All 7 - 7 1/2 56 - 60

 

47 Brand Knit Hats Size Chart Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Knit Hats Youth 6 1/2 - 6 3/4 52 - 54
One Size Fits All 6 7/8 - 7 1/2 55 - 60

 

'47 Brand Apparel

 

 
47 Brand Men's Size Chart S M L XL XXL
Neck 14"-14.5" 15"-15.5" 16"-16.5" 17"-17.5" 18"-18.5"
Shoulder 21" 22" 23" 24" 25"
Chest 36"-38" 39"-41" 42"-44" 45"-47" 48"-50"
Waist 28"-30" 31"-33" 34"-36" 37"-39" 40"-42"

 

47 Brand Women's Size Chart S M L XL
Size 2-4 6-8 8-10 10-12
Shoulder 14.25" 15.25" 16.25" 17.25"
Bust 32"-34" 35"-36" 37"-38" 39"-42"
Waist 26"-27" 28"-29" 30"-31" 32"-33"

 

 

Majestic apparel

Men's Sizing (measurements in inches)
  S M L XL XXL 3XL 4XL
Chest 34-36 38-40 42-44 46-48 52-52 54-56 58-60
Waist 28-30 32-34 36-38 40-42 44-46 48-50 52-54
Hip 34-36 38-40 42-44 46-48 50-52 54-56 58-60
Sleeve 32-33 33-34 34-35 35-36 36-36 1/2 36 1/2-37 37-37 1/2
Neck 14-14 1/2 15-15 1/2 16-16 1/2 17-17 1/2 18-18 1/2 19-19 1/2 20-20 1/2

 

Women's Sizing (measurements in inches)
  XS S M L XL 1X 2X
Size 0-2 4-6 8-10 12-14 16-18 16W-18W 20W-22W
Chest 32-33 34-35 36-37 38-40 41 1/2-43 1/2 43-45 47-49
Waist 24-25 26-27 28-29 30-32 33 1/2-35 1/2 36-38 39-41
Hip 34 1/2-35 1/2 36 1/2-37 1/2 38 1/2-39 1/2 40 1/2-42 1/2 44-46 46-48 49-51
Sleeve 29 1/4 30 30 3/4 31 1/2 32 32 1/2 33

 

Youth Sizing (measurements in inches)
  S M L XL XXL 3XL
Size 6-8 10-12 14-16 18-20 20 22
Chest 24-26 28-30 32-34 36-38    
Waist 21-23 25-27 29-31 33-35 37-39 40-42

 

 

 

Majestic Jerseys

Adult Men's Replica Jersey Sizing  
Jersey Size Small Medium Large X Large XX Large
Neck (diameter of neck) 6.5 6.75 7 7.25 7.5
Chest (underarm to underarm) 20 1/2 22 1/2 24 1/2 26 1/2 28 1/2
Sleeve (back of inside neck to end of middle sleeve) 8 1/2 8 3/4 9 9 1/4 9 1/2

 

Apparel Sizing Tips:

Use these tips as a general guide when finding your measurements:

Chest/Bust: With your arms at your sides, measure around the fullest part of your chest, across shoulder blades and under arms.

Waist: To measure your natural waistline, wrap the tape so it intersects your navel. Keep tape flat, but comfortably loose.

Hips: Stand with your heels together and measure the fullest part of your hips. Make sure the measuring tape is level all the way around your body.

Inseam: Stand up straight, and start the tape measure high in your crotch. Straighten the tape down the inside of your leg to the bottom of your ankle.

 

 

Red Jacket apparel

 

 

Junk Food apparel

 

Next Level apparel (Shibe Originals)

General Size Neck
(in inches)
Chest
(in inches)
Waist
(in inches)
Arm
(in inches)
Small 14-14.5 34-36 28-30 31.5-32
Medium 15-15.5 38-40 32-34 32.5-33
Large 16-16.5 42-44 36-38 33.5-34
X-Large 17-17.5 46-48 40-42 34.5-35
XX-Large 18 – 18.5 50-52 44-46 35.5-36