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 …

A Tribute to Will Arlt

I recently find out Will Arlt passed away. He was the owner of Cooperstown Ballcap Co., later Ideal Cap Co. It appears he may have passed sometime in early November of 2019. I had noticed that Ideal Cap Co. had stopped releasing new caps on a monthly basis, so perhaps Mr. Arlt had been ill for a little while before passing. Will was one of the last people that believed in making a fine-quality ballcap and actually did so.

I never had the chance to meet Will Arlt in person. In the summer of 2018, I visited Cooperstown, NY just before the Hall of Fame induction ceremony that year. It was busy on the downtown strip. Ideal Cap Co. had been (and still does, as of the time this is being written) selling caps at the store of the "Where It All Began" bat company. I went in the store and bought probably half a dozen caps. There were more that I wanted, but they were sold out. They told me they would be restocked in a short time that same day. Wouldn't you know, a short time later…

Exclusive: Where New Era will be "assembling" MLB Team-Issued Caps

According to multiple news outlets, upon the closure of New Era's manufacturing plant in Derby, NY, production of New Era's on-field caps for MLB team-issue only would be transferred to a facility in Hialeah, Florida. The facility has already been in use for several years by 5th & Ocean, a clothing company purchased by New Era in 2009. At his facility, 5th & Ocean "decorates" (i.e. screen-printing) already made clothing such as shirts.

With a bit of sleuthing, I was able to find exactly where the facility is in Hialeah, as well as some photos of the interior of the facility during a mayoral visit in 2011. Keep in mind that the facility may be completely different on the inside now. While it wasn't hard to get photos and footage of New Era's Derby, NY plant, it seems highly unlikely that we'll likely ever get to see any footage or images of workers "assembling" the caps that MLB players wear from this point on.

5th & Ocean seen from a…

The Padres: Back In Brown

The San Diego Padres have brought back the brown! This past Saturday, the Padres unveiled the team's new brown uniforms. It's a major moment for those of us that have tried to make our voices heard to the Padres organization. I have been a supporter of the "bring back the brown" movement since childhood. Let's talk about the new caps...
The Padres new primary cap resembles the original 1969 cap but with an updated version of the logo they've been using for over fifteen years. They've also updated the cap they wear with the camo jerseys and made it the same shade of dark brown.
The cap worn by new Padres manager Jayce Tingler at his introductory press conference. Notice how warped and out of shape the crown and visor are. It is unknown if the cap was 100% made overseas or if it was "assembled" in Miami. New Era's quality is going downhill like a runaway train.
The new darker-brown camo cap.
There appears to be no other caps. The primary cap wi…

Made in USA 2019 World Series Caps

With the Washington Nationals reaching their first World Series in franchise history, I was curious to see if any made in USA World Series caps made it onto retail shelves.

I put it out there on my social media that I would pay anyone that could find me a made in USA Nationals cap with the World Series patch. On Twitter, someone reached out to me and was kind enough to look for some when they went to the Nationals team store. He replied and said there were two red caps in my size (7 1/4) so he got one for me. Thanks @Chip_corp!

When I received it, it was very interesting to say the least.

The New Era flag patch indicated that this cap was manufactured at least three years ago. Also, the sweatband was stuck in a permanently squashed-down position on one side (see 3rd photo, it looks worse in person). The red polyester fabric was also identical to the overseas-made caps. Despite its flaws, I am happy I got it and I'm glad I can say I have one.

I have so many questions. Exactly how m…