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
-MADE IN USA
-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.

ORDER YOURS BEFORE THEY'RE GONE!!!

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.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Are Diamond Era Caps The Way of The Future?


In 2013, New Era introduced a new cap material that they've dubbed "Diamond Era" due to the diamond-shaped pattern in the fabric, which is made of 100% polyester. These 5950 fitted caps have replaced the 3930 stretch-fit caps for both spring training and regular season batting practice. Players had long complained about the 3930s, which have a material that has been described by players as feeling like a "wet towel" once it starts to absorb sweat. They made their debut at the 2013 MLB Spring Training. Several teams also wore them in a few regular season games. Diamond Era caps are made in China, as opposed to normal on-field caps which are made in the USA. However, the patriotic caps made to be worn for the 4th of July were made in the USA (with "imported fabric" according to the tag).


I purchased my first Diamond Era caps a few months back after dragging my feet for most of the 2013 baseball season. I currently own three; a Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, and an Oakland A's worn in spring training by their bullpen catcher. I've read reviews and discussed these caps with my fellow cap aficionados, and concluded that these caps are plagued with the same problems that affect Chinese-made caps; an uncomfortable fit, stiff, hard-to-bend visors and bulbous crowns. I especially had issues with my Giants DE cap, which has an awkwardly-shaped crown and the visor creased in three places when I tried to curve it. The material is very thin and flimsy. It's almost paper thin. In fact, I though that it might tear if I bent the visor. Luckily it didn't. The material does its job, though. I wore the caps while exercising, and noticed that it kept my head cooler and reduced sweating. Also, if there was a breeze, it went right through the cap. However, I learned that these are not to be worn in cold weather. They will not keep your head warm as the cold air goes right through it. In my opinion, DE caps are great for hot weather and exercise but that's it.

DE caps have started showing up in "custom" colors, and will be replacing Minor League 3930 stretch-fit batting practice caps this upcoming season. Rumor has it that several MLB teams will be replacing some of their regular on-field caps for DE caps this upcoming season, and some teams will be wearing DE caps in regular season games on a more regular basis. There has even been some talk of DE caps becoming the standard on-field caps and replacing the traditional style. Nothing official has been announced yet, but only time will tell. What is your opinion? I'd love to hear about it in the comments section!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Selling an Alfonso Soriano Game Used Cubs Cap

I am selling an Alfonso Soriano game used Chicago Cubs cap on eBay. I am a bit reluctant to do so, but there are six days during the Holiday season that my work is closed that I don't get paid for them. In other words, I really need the dough.

I acquired the cap through a person that got it at the Cubs Convention in 2012. It has no authentication but shows use. I am willing to put my reputation on the line and say that Soriano used it at one time or another. Soriano's main 2011 gamer had distinct sweat stains so I doubt this one is it. My best guess is that it's from spring training 2011, since the Cubs wear their standard uniforms in spring training games. Either that or it's a backup or secondary cap.

Get it for yourself or for the Cubs fan or Soriano fan in your life. Just in time for the Holidays! Check out the auction HERE!!!

Happy Holidays everyone!