The Philadelphia Phillies joined the National League as an expansion team for the 1883 season, a last-minute replacement for the Worcester Brown Stockings who unexpectedly folded following 1882. They initially adopted the name "Philadelphia Quakers" after the large population of members of that religious sect in Pennsylvania before officially changing their name to the Philadelphias. Newspaper writers shortened the lengthy city name in headlines to "Phillies" and by the 1890 season the team had adopted that as their official team name. The Phillies name is the longest continously used nickname in professional North American sport.
Like most teams of the day the team frequently changed uniforms and colour schemes in the early part of the 20th Century, switching from blue to maroon to black and even a season in green all within 10 years. In 1911 they began using red and (with the exception of 5 seasons in the 1930s and 40s) would continue to use a shade of red for every season moving forward.
Before the 1944 season the Phillies held a contest to give the team a new nickname, not one to replace "Phillies" but to be used alongside it and as a mascot. The winning entry was "Blue Jays" and for the next two seasons the club would wear blue and white uniforms with a blue jay logo on their uniform sleeves. The public and the press never really fully embraced the new nickname and the jay was dropped after 1945.