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 U.S. Capitol stands proudly over the U.S. Open logo on my new cap that arrived a few days ago from the United States Golf Association. The 2011 championship will be played June 13-19 at one of the game’s great courses, Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.
The cap is sharp in patriotic red, white and blue. I particularly like the strip of red piping in front of the brim. The cap makes a nice addition to my collection. As the sun shines here in central California, I’ll be wearing it today to get into the mood for some golf. It’s time to flex those rusty swing muscles on the range.
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I was so irritated with NBC’s delay of the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics from Vancouver that I didn’t bother to watch. But I felt it my duty to look for the top caps worn by the athletes. So I cruised through the scores of opening ceremony photos on picapp.com this morning to see if any of the teams’ tuques caught my fancy. My search wasn’t exhaustive, and I didn’t find any particular hat that knocked me out.
So here’s a salute to the RCMP with their wide-brimmed hats, shown as an honor guard brings the Canadian flag into the arena.
p.s.: I’ve really grown to appreciate the service picapp provides here on WordPress. What a wonderful assortment of images we have to choose from for our blogs, all without worry of copyright infringement.
In the market for a new cap or two? Major League Baseball has a sale on at its online store: Buy one cap, get the second of equal or lesser value at a 50 percent discount. The sale runs through Aug. 3. It’s a great way to build your collection. A Seattle Mariners trident model, anyone?
The San Francisco Giants placed Randy Johnson on the 15-day disabled list after he hurt his left (throwing) shoulder while swinging the bat in a game against the Houston Astros. With the All-Star break on the horizon, the Giants hope the Big Unit will mend quickly and miss no more than a regularly scheduled start or two.
I’m tempted to attribute Johnson’s injury to bad fortune brought on by bad cap karma. The Giants wore the patriotic red caps in the weekend series. By itself, the cap is OK. But paired with the orange and black? Blech. The late Mr. Blackwell would surely disapprove of the color clash.
As one might expect of someone who blogs about baseball caps, I spend a little bit of time every now and then scouting the Internet for information on the subject. In a serendipitous search last night, I wound up on ballcap.com, which is the site for the Cooperstown Ball Cap Co. The company is in Cherry Valley, N.Y., not far from Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The firm makes authentic replicas of old-time ballcaps. I was familiar with their major league and Federal League caps, having ogled them in many a catalog and Web site. But I had no idea of the depth of caps the company recreates. There are caps from Negro Leagues teams, railroad teams, military schools, Native American tribes, even night clubs!
The caps come in a variety of styles, including those 19th Century ones with the band-like crowns and short brims. With only a few photograph exceptions, the Cooperstown site offers only artist renderings of its caps, such as the 1910 model above from the Alameda, Calif., professional team. Having lived on that wonderful San Francisco Bay island town for several years, I’ve put that cap on my wish list along with a few others. (Hint to any relatives with $48 to spend – the 1920 Cleveland Indians cap looks mighty fine.)
A baseball fan could spend a lot of time — and probably money — on the site. I recommend it.
Political and fashion lore has it that by not wearing a hat on inauguration day, John F. Kennedy killed the haberdashery industry. From then on, American men stopped wearing hats. While JFK and his fashion-conscious wife certainly influenced American style, I suspect the growing dominance of the automobile in our culture did more to hasten the end of the hat than Jack and Jackie.
As we approach Inauguration Day 2009, there’s renewed hope for us hat fanciers. President-elect Obama has been wearing his Chicago White Sox cap regularly since the Nov. 4 election, and he wore it while campaigning. That’s commitment. It’s not reasonable to expect that he’ll be sworn in wearing a baseball cap, but one can always hope.