'47 Brand Becomes a Serious Competitor in the On-Field Cap Market

"'47 Brand" is the only surviving ancestor of the great "KM Pro" baseball cap empire. When KM Pro shuttered in 1976, Devon Professional Cap kept its legacy going until the end of the 80s. They were subsequently bought out by Twins Enterprises, now known as '47 Brand. They have since become the leading supplier of "Dad Hats" (under their "Franchise" line), a far cry from the ones that KM Pro once provided for player use in professional baseball. The last time a '47 Brand-related cap was worn by an MLB team it was the 1987 Boston Red Sox wearing caps made by Devon, which until then had exclusively been supplying the Red Sox caps since about 1979.

Despite being known for Dad Hats, '47 Brand has still provided pro model caps for organized baseball. One loyal customer has been the Cape Cod League, which makes sense as '47 Brand is based in Massachusetts.

The official 2020 on-field cap of the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod League…

NPB Baseball Caps

Updated 3/16/20

The baseball uniform market for Japan's major league - Nippon Professional Baseball - is wide open. Typically, the uniform supplier also provides the caps. However, some teams have chosen New Era at one time or another for caps and gone with a separate uniform supplier.

A cap worn by Sadaharu Oh in the 1970s.
There are several major sports and athletic apparel brands that have provided NPB uniforms and caps, such as Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas. Former MLB uniform supplier Majestic also supplies uniforms and caps. '47 Brand just recently began supplying caps for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles franchise. Rawlings was also a uniform supplier in the past. Then there are Japanese brands such as Mizuno and Descente that remain popular. Asics has supplied caps and uniforms at one time. Japanese brand Tamazawa was also once a popular uniform and cap supplier but it appears that they mostly supply fielding gloves nowadays. Descente is a major player in the NPB cap …

San Francisco Giants Memorabilia Sale and Fanfest Finds

The San Francisco Giants offer two different opportunities to purchase game used caps during the offseason; an annual memorabilia sale held in mid-December and Giants Fanfest.

The December sale is usually held within a different area in the ballpark each year. It's been near the front entrance, in a cleared-out section of the team store, and this year it was held inside the actual player's clubhouse. Some years, a player (past or present) is there to sign autographs. One I can remember from a previous year was J.T. Snow. This year it was Joey Bart, one of the Giants top prospects.

Giants game used prices have been astronomical for years given the success of the franchise in the early half of the last decade, but prices have come down quite substantially in the last couple of years. The 2018 memorabilia sale was quite something as prices were the lowest I'd ever seen. They sold worn "Prolight" batting practice caps for $15. There was a massive amount of them and I…

2020 Oakland Athletics Fanfest Finds

This was the first time in about three years that I had been able to attend A's Fanfest. My brother and I had been attending the NAMM expo in Anaheim in that time, which usually takes place the same weekend.

The last A's Fanfest I attended was the first time they had it outdoors at "Jack London Square" in Oakland, where they continue to have it to this day. Jack London Square is Oakland's waterfront area, which is a decent area to visit. In the past, A's fanfest was held at the Oakland Coliseum or the neighboring arena.

The A's fanfest website did not mention a game used memorabilia sale, as they had in the past. I emailed the guy in charge of the A's game used sales. He told me there would be a tent sale with some "equipment" available for purchase but was not specific on exactly what this "equipment" was.

When I got in line for the tent sale, my expectations were very low as I could not see any caps. The line was near a bench tha…

2020 San Diego Padres Fanfest Finds

This year's Padres Fanfest was quite something. Upon entering the Padres garage sale, I was greeted by tables and tables covered in caps. It appeared that the team was getting rid of all of its team-issue stock since the Padres will have new uniforms next season.

They had all the varieties; spring training with the Cactus League patch, batting practice, primary home blue, Friday brown alternate, and camouflage alternate (the later three had 50th anniversary patches).

 Spring Training "Hex Tech" bell panel cap with Cactus League Patch.
Standard blue cap with 50th Anniversary patch. Good bye and Good riddance, blue!
The caps were definitely team issued, as they lacked New Era's stickers. The boxes they were in were labeled clearly for the clubhouse manager to easily find what he needed. I grabbed a few of the boxes when they became empty.

In retail, the Friday brown Taco Bell caps were only made in USA for the first batch sold in the Padres team store at the unveiling …