Let me repeat that headline: This year’s spring training baseball caps are hideous.
As my long blogging layoff will attest, I’ve paid little heed to the Grapefruit and Cactus leagues these past few weeks. So what I saw on a television set in a neighborhood shop a short while ago hit me harder than it might have otherwise. On the tube was a Tigers-Mets game. When I saw the Mets’ caps, I blanched.
From a distance, they look like something for a beer league softball team. On closer inspection, there’s Mr. Met running the bases — in the wrong direction. (Yeah, it’s the Mets, so why should I be surprised?)
I was vaguely aware of the unveiling of these new cap models when they were announced a couple of months back but I didn’t pay attention. After doing a Google search for images of the new caps, I wish I’d skipped the spring altogether.
The white-billed Yankees’ caps may be the worst of the lot. Or maybe it’s the egg-splatter Tampa Bay Rays model. All in all, these caps look like they belong on sale by street vendors in the seedier sections of any number of Rust Belt cities.
I started this blog based on my love of baseball caps, but I have standards. Most of these spring training caps are devoid of artistic merit and devalue the brands of the teams they represent. The teams see this merchandising as a profit center, which is why there’s a continuous stream of new models.
Sorry, MLB. I ain’t buying.
Posted in Baseball
Tagged Baseball, baseball caps, Cactus League, caps, Detroit Tigers, Grapefruit League, hats, Major League Baseball, New York Mets, New York Yankees, sports, Spring Training, Tampa Bay Rays, yankees caps
The fabulous Uni Watch blog has a great rundown on the new batting practice caps that major league teams will be wearing this year. The design comments by Paul Lukas are excellent, and I give him a tip of the cap for noting the unbalanced use of serifs in the “P” on the Pirates’ cap.
You’d think a guy running the Ball Caps Blog would be an enthusiast for these alternate caps, but I’m not. I see most of the designs as second-rate and cheap, designed primarily to extract even more dollars out of the fans’ pockets.
Straight? Gently curved? Bent like a barrel? Multiple variations mark the way guys shape (or don’t) the brims of their baseball caps, and I’ve always been of the “gentle curve” persuasion.
Ten, maybe 15 years ago, there was a big movement to an exaggerated curve, almost as if the bill were wrapped around a beer can. Today, there’s a broad mix, including the blade-flat style that’s even more popular on the urban fashion scene than it is on the baseball diamond.
My friend Ed kindly pointed me to a great piece in The Plain Dealer of Cleveland in which Indians players explain their choices in shaping the bills of their caps.
From the Our Gang Wikia Wiki
As to how to orient the cap itself, readers of this blog probably won’t be surprised that I wear mine straight on, never cocked to the side. For guys of my generation, any cap bill that’s off center is straight out of the “Little Rascals.”
Buckwheat say, “No way!”
p.s.: My posts have been infrequent of late, as I’ve been distracted by a cross-country move, a new job and a few other associated details. I’ll crank up the frequency come July.
A Babe Ruth baseball cap fetched more than half a million dollars at auction yesterday, but its value is a pittance compared with one of Ruth’s New York Yankees road jerseys that sold for $4.4 million. (The New York Daily News has the details.)
The cap, which Ruth had worn in the 1930s with the Yankees and was worn in 1997 by pitcher David Wells when he played for them, was estimated before the auction to be worth $400,000. It sold for $537,238.
Wells says he’ll use proceeds from the memorabilia he’s selling to raise money for the high school in San Diego that bears his name. A New York Times story today notes that Manager Joe Torre fined Wells $2,500 for wearing the Ruth cap.
This is a rare day when a baseball cap is in the news. I’m enjoying it!
It’s also cool to find out that Ruth and I have the same hat size. Check the Times’ story to find out what that is.
One of the critical questions I face this week as I prepare to drive cross-country is what baseball caps to bring on the trip and when to wear each of them.
I could, for example, stick with my San Francisco Giants caps all the way. I could wear the standard cap Thursday, a vintage one Friday, the 2010 World Champions cap on Saturday and the appropriate orange-brimmed model on Sunday.
Maybe I should wear caps from eastern times while traveling in the west, and vice versa? That makes each cap all the more exotic.
Or maybe I should wear the cap of the team most appropriate for the region I’m traveling in: Giants out west, Cubs when I reach the “Triple I League” states, Indians when I reach Ohio and Yankees when I hit the East Coast.
I’m not sure what I’ll do. On a 2,900 mile drive over four days, I’ll have plenty of time to contemplate.
The new Miami Marlins logo is a fantastic look for somebody pulling down $8 an hour at a burger joint or a juice shop. But on a professional athlete making a couple of million dollar a year for hitting .236? I don’t think so.
Detached from baseball, the logo is appealing. The font is light, modern, inventive. The marlin swoosh is clever. The color palette seems drawn from the shells washing up along the Atlantic beaches (or maybe from Robin Williams’ wardrobe in “The Birdcage.”)
But apply the logo to a cap as shown and we’re talking Orange Julius in Ocala, not Game 7 of the Fall Classic.
I suspect that the Marlins players will react to these uniforms much the way male dogs that get frou-frou haircuts do: They’ll skulk for a few days, then gradually build up the nerve to venture out in public.
Once the Marlins’ new uniforms get a few grass stains and cleat tears, they’ll look better. And I will give them this much credit: They make me appreciate the old Houston Astros’ mustard-stripe specials.
The Baltimore Orioles have resurrected the old cartoon logo that was featured on their uniforms and caps up until the late ’80s. The Baltimore Sun tells you pretty much all you need to know at this link. The Sun also has a poll, and the fans are overwhelmingly in favor of the change.
I prefer the “ornithologically correct Oriole” myself, but I still like the cartoon bird. What I don’t like is the logo imposed on a white panel and the front of the cap. That brings back too many bad 70s fashion flashbacks.