Thursday, March 5, 2015

Look What The Katz Dragged In

Last year, I purchased several game used vintage caps that I believed came from minor league teams in the 1960s. I was able to correctly identify some including a Knoxville Smokies and the other a Macon Peaches.

Three of the caps (including the two mentioned above) were worn by Tom Tischinski, who played in the Athletics, Reds, and Twins farm systems and spent two years in the big leagues. The 3rd cap worn by Tischinski features a goofy-looking cat face. The cat is a felt shape with chain-stitched details. I could not find any team that Tischinski played for that would have had this as their cap

After hours of internet searching, I was able to obtain Tischinski's current home address. I wrote him a letter asking about the cap. Not too long after, I received a reply from Tischinski. Aside from wanting to know how I got the caps (they were on eBay), Tischinski was able to tell me about the cat cap. He saod that the cap is from 1961 when he played for the Ban Johnson Amateur Baseball League in the Kansas City, MO area. His team was called the "Katz" as they were sponsored by "Katz Drug Co." a Midwestern drug store chain. The cat face was the company's logo. Through some research, I found that Katz merged with another drug store company in 1971 and the name and logo then disappeared. Over the years through buyouts and more mergers, the company now exists as CVS Pharmacy. The Ban Johnson Amateur Baseball League also still exists. Their website says "The League has been serving the Greater Kansas City Area since 1927 and operates a summer baseball program open to players up to age 23. The majority of the players are either present college players or high school graduates desiring to further their skills with eyes on a potential college baseball future."


Thursday, February 19, 2015

And We're Back: Fan Fest Finds

Sorry for the lack of updates, folks. At the end of August and received a promotion at work (I'm now working full-time with benefits, etc.) plus still taking night classes. This has taken up most of my time. However, I have some things that I want to post on the blog that I will do over the next couple of months or so. I will do my best to at least make monthly posts.

Here are some caps that I found at the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants Fan Fests.

The Oakland Athletics memorabilia sale was inside the Oakland (O.Co) Colosseum inside one of the team merch stores. Despite the fact that I got there when the gates opened, the line to the memorabilia sale quickly grew and it took me over and hour and a half  to get in. Luckily, there were plenty of caps left and employees were regularly replenishing stock. Unfortunately, all but one game used cap was left. The rest were team issued caps. Some had stickers removed, some didn't. There were various caps with patches (Japan Series 2012, Postseason, etc), turn back the clock game caps, and surplus team stock including the new road cap. There were also some older caps that I was surprised they still had after all this time. Caps were priced at $20 and were placed on racks along the back wall of the store. They were then knocked down to $10 shortly after I got in. My purchases are below...

Blank grey cap made by Mitchell & Ness. 1910s style. Probably from a late 90s/early 2000s turn back the clock. I also found a matching pair of flannel pants from this game.

1914 TBTC Brandon Moss Game Used. These caps were worn on August 16th, 2014 in Atlanta. This was the only game used cap that I found. 

1929 TBTC Team Issued. These were worn August 16th, 2009 in Oakland vs. the White Sox.

1989-1991 Team Issued. There was a large abundance of these old Sports Specialties caps for sale. There were even a few Korean-made versions from the mid 80s. I picked out a USA-made version made around the time of their last world championship.

Chicago White Sox 1929 TBTC Team Issued. The A's are known to keep the opposing teams uniforms from turn back the clock games. There was a large amount of these White Sox caps for sale from the 2009 game.

The Giants fan fest was quite crowded (obviously) but the memorabilia sale required no wait. However, there were only two caps for sale. Both were 4th of July caps from their loss at San Diego. Both caps were $100 each. I coughed up the bucks because I wanted a piece of the 2014 championship team and it was literally the cheapest item for sale. I inquired as to why only 4th of July and Memorial Day caps are the only ones that ever come up for sale from the Giants. I was told that the team is superstitious about caps and all players keep their regular gamers.This cap was worn by Brandon Hicks, who was present at the 4th of July game but sat on the bench.

Next is the Padres fan fest, which will be in early April. I will post what I find right here on the Ballcap Blog.

Also check out my eBay page to see my caps for sale HERE.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Chase Headley Caps for sale!

Hi Readers!

I'm in the process of transitioning into a new job and need a few bucks for supplies and to help me through the next two weeks before I get my first paycheck. I am selling two game used Padres caps worn by Chase Headley in 2013. First is his full-season gamer, second is his 4th of July "Stars N' Stripes" cap.

Chase Headley 2013 Regular Season Gamer

Chase Headley 4th of July Gamer

Both caps were purchased at the Padres "garage sale" in February. I am willing put my reputation on the line and guarantee that both caps are completely authentic and legitimate game used caps.

Check out my other auctions as well for some rare and unique game used items. Don't be afraid to make an offer!

I have lots of stuff backlogged for blog posts. It's just a matter of time before I sit down and have new things for you to read about. Check back regularly!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Ballcap Blog on TV

I've been invited to appear on the "Padres Social Hour" on Fox Sports San Diego today to discuss the history of San Diego Padres caps. The show is on from 5:30 to 6:30. Tune in if you are in the San Diego area!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hat Club Releases Near-Perfect 1977-1982 SF Giants Reproduction

Hat Club has released a near-perfect reproduction of the cap that the San Francisco Giants wore from 1977 to 1982. A proper reproduction of this cap has NEVER been done before. Hat Club tried making this cap in the past but the improper versions were sent to them instead.

The Reproduction

The reason is that MLB Licensing and New Era believe that the cap that the Giants wore during that era uses the same logo as the present cap but without raised embroidery and with green fabric under the orange visor. The real cap had the logo seen above with with grey fabric under the visor.

The Original

 Vida Blue rocks the original. Photo proof that MLB and New Era have it wrong.

Features of the reproduction:

-100% Polyester
-Black Sweatband
-Tonal New Era Flag on the side
-No MLB "batterman" on the back

The reason for the flag is because this is not the official on-field cap reproduction in the eyes of MLB Licensing & New Era. However Hat Club made sure the flag is black like the crown. Also, the grey fabric under the visor is also 100% polyester instead of cotton twill. This makes sense because the original caps had nylon fabric on both sides of the visor.


Monday, June 2, 2014

2013 & 2014 Turn Back The Clock Padres Taco Bell Comparisons

The Padres opted to have a turn back the clock game early this season, wearing 1984 uniforms on Memorial Day weekend. Initially, there was supposed to be little difference from last season's version and the one for this season. However, there are two that I noticed.

The 2013 version is on the left, 2014 on the right. The 2013 version has a much smaller "bell" compared to the 2014 version. The 2014 version also has thicker stitching and does not show any yellow where the orange outline is close together. The non-outlined portion of the logo still overlaps instead of interlocks. Just when New Era was showing signs of making these caps more faithful to the originals, they took a step backwards this year. The 2014 version is almost exactly like the 2011 version (which was not released to retail).

I was all set to purchase a game used cap once the last game they wore them was over, but I was told that the team changed their mind and will wear these caps once more this season. They have not announced a date.

I will be in San Diego at the end of the month and I am in talks to make an appearance to discuss these caps. I will post the details once everything is finalized.

Now that that my schedule allows for more free time I will have more posts coming. There's a lot in the works with lots of neat and unique content. Stay posted!

Monday, March 3, 2014

New Era's Blunderful "Heritage Series"

At the end of February, New Era released the first wave of their highly-anticipated "Herritage Series". The first part of the series is based on the year 1934, which is the year that New Era made their debut in the on-field cap market that they would later dominate and then monopolize. The Heritage Series will be released in several parts over the course of the year, with each collection focusing on a certain year.

At first glance, it would appear that New Era had created the vintage on-field cap reproductions that us hardcore cap fanatics have been dreaming of. For the price of $75, they feature melton wool with leather sweatbands. They use the "19Twenty" pattern as opposed to the 5950. The description states that the Heritage Series is based on key moments during the course of their relationship with MLB. They are also shipped in special box that is a replica of the boxes that on-field caps were shipped in. So these caps are replicas of on-field caps, right? Well, they are, but they aren't. I'll explain.

There are three major flaws. I'll start with the most obvious, which is the fact that the damn New Era flag logo is on the side of these caps. At least they don't have the "battrerman" logo. Second would be six-stitch visors, as opposed to eight. Even back then, New Era ALWAYS used eight stitches on on-field caps.

Last but certainly not least, THE CAPS ARE MADE IN CHINA!!! All of the advertisements for the Heritage Series speak of New Era's rich history of craftsmanship. Back in 1934 (and even up to five years ago) it sure as Hell wasn't Chinese sweatshop labor. USA labor is the foundation that New Era built itself on, and these caps seem to falsely advertise "American Pride".

I took to New Era's Facebook page just to see if I'd get a reaction or comment. I wrote:

"As a loyal New Era customer since 1995, I must say how extremely disappointed I am that the new "Heritage Collection" is being produced in China, especially when New Era has the money and resources to have them made here in the USA. You guys could easily afford to bring more jobs back here. Also, get rid of the flag logos on the side! The originals you are trying to reproduce obviously never had them. If you're going to make faithful reproductions of vintage on-field caps, just do it right!"

They wrote back:

"Hey Paul - We appreciate the feedback and will pass this on to our team. We design a lot of our headwear in Buffalo, NY and produce it in various locations around the world. However, the Heritage Series is not intended to be a replica of past on-field caps, but rather a fashion-play and homage to New Era’s on-field legacy in baseball. We hope you understand."

So basically, they are not on-field replicas, but take away the flag and they are... I don't get it. I encourage anyone reading this blog to contact New Era, whether by email, phone, Facebook, Twitter, whatever, and let them know how badly they dropped the ball on this one! Sometimes a few comments from customers on a social networking page can make changes. I've seen it done before.

You can view pictures, official info, and shop for the Heritage Series at New Era's website. If those pictures of the collection don't make you angry and frustrated as an on-field cap enthusiast, nothing will!

Feel free to speak your mind at New Era's Facebook page! Write on their timeline or join the conversation going happening on my post.