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Showing posts from 2011

Did ANNCO make New Era's caps in 1988?

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Back in the old days, New Era made caps for Wilson Sporting Goods under private labeling. After New Era nearly wiped them out as a major competitor, Wilson switched over to having ANNCO (American Needle and Novelty Company, now American Needle) make their caps. In the past ANNCO made the cheap felt souvenir caps that were sold at stadiums. By the time Wilson changed to ANNCO, Wilson was only supplying caps to the Phillies. Around this time, ANNCO made pro model caps under their own label for the Mets. However, the Mets expert I spoke with doesn't believe they were used on the field.

The early caps made by ANNCO for Wilson used cloth sweatbands similar to KM Pro's cloth sweatbands. New Era's Wilson caps also featured the same sweatbands, as the sweatbands and embroidery were originally added by a 3rd party.

Early 80s Phillies Wilson cap (made by ANNCO)



Later on, the sweatbands became one-sided like New Era's.
Mid 80s Phillies Wilson cap (made by ANNCO)



The Mets caps were mad…

(Mis?)Adventures In DIY Cap Repair

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A couple of weeks ago, I received what should have been the crown jewel of my collection: A genuine 1969 Seattle Pilots cap made by New Era. While the crown of the cap was in perfect condition, there were some problems. All of them had to do with the visor.


Like many caps its age, it suffers from what has become the bane of my existence: a cracked visor board. Actually, it wasn't cracked. It had completely crumbled. Most of the visor board pieces came in an envelope. The seam that kept the visor fabric together had ripped open, and the pieces came out. The other problem was the embroidered wheat stalks on the visor. The thread literally disintegrated. Some of it was already gone by the time it arrived, and the rest rubbed off when I touched it.


I knew that with a little work, I could get the cap into somewhat presentable condition. Luckily, New Era's Pilots caps did not have seams across the visor. There is only a seam between the blue top and green underside. I sacrificed a vis…

Mysterious Vintage Caps!

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About a week ago, I bought these two old caps on eBay. The seller was no help in figuring out what they are. I have no clue what they are but I'm guessing they may be high school or college caps. Here's two more caps to add to my "Unknown Collection", along with the that duck cap I found. Below are some descriptions along with some detailed photos. If anyone has any clue what they are I would appreciate if you could help me out. Regardless, there are interesting and worth sharing.

The first cap is dark red with an Old English-style embroidered "C". It has a name written in pen on the underside of the visor. It's a well-made pro model with a white leather sweatband made by the Leslie Corporation (Any info on that company is also appreciated!). The construction is identical to a KM Pro cap only it doesn't have the zig-zag buckram behind the front panels. There is no size tag but it may be 7 3/8 or 7 1/2. I'm guessing it's from anywhere …

Oddball Alley: 2000 MLB Umpire Cap

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I recently picked up an MLB umpire cap from the year 2000 on eBay.




The MLB logo on the front was only used for the 2000 regular season, which was the first year that the MLB umpires were together in one group. The current MLB umpire logo began use in the 2000 post-season.

The cap features a leather sweatband. Umpires had the option of leather sweatbands through the 2007 season, a full 20 years after players caps lost them. Oddly, the leather is stained and it has rubbed off on the cap enough to show on the outside. I wonder what the season for that is?

If you have a cap you consider to be an "oddball" and would like to have it featured, please email me!

New eBay Account, Updates

Hey everyone!

I have a new eBay account. My screen name is now "insomniaccaps186". I currently have three caps from my collection on there now so if you are a Reds or Red Sox fan check it out. I will put various caps up for bid on occasion that I have doubles of or no longer want in my collection, so be sure to check once and a while to see if I have anything.

I have various blog projects in the works that I will finish as time allows. If you have any suggestions or ideas of something you would like me to write about, please don't hesitate to comment or email me! Also, if you personally own or have seen any neat or interesting pro-model baseball caps, I would love to see them.

The Stiff-Visor Blues/Poll Results

Now that New Era is no longer offering repairs (and I still haven't found a company or person that can do repairs), I've been trying to see if I can find a way to fix visors that are too stiff to bend and are at high risk of breaking. Despite the risk of running some of my caps, I decided to experiment. I held the caps under a faucet and ran water on both sides of the visor until the entire visor was saturated. I was careful to try and get as little water possible on other parts of the cap. Here are the results:

Getting the visors moist DOES make them bendable again. However, older caps go back to being stiff after they dry. Only bend visors of old caps once they are completely saturated. The only reason you should do this to an older cap is to bend a warped/misshaped visor back in to the right shape. However, a few of them became bent out of shape again after drying. Luckily, caps made in the 90s and after seem to be cured and become flexible again. Obviously you must be caref…

Differences Between USA-made and Chinese-made New Era Caps

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UPDATED 9/22/19

PLEASE NOTE THAT AS OF JUNE, 2019 MADE IN USA ON-FIELD CAPS ARE NO LONGER BEING PRODUCED FOR RETAIL.

One discussion that keeps coming up between baseball cap enthusiasts is the difference between New Era's USA-made and Chinese-made caps. The 2011 season saw the majority of all minor league teams wearing on-field caps made in China, and even some major league caps are being made in China, mostly special events caps. Ironically, from 2010 to 2012 the patriotic "stars & stripes" caps were exclusively Chinese-made. After receiving complaints, patriotic caps were made in the USA again starting in 2013. Since 2016, only team issued stars & stripes caps were made in USA. The spring training/batting practice/occasional regular game caps are also being made in China..

The differences between USA-made and Chinese-made caps are many. I have been told that New Era has received many complaints about Chinese-made caps regarding quality. I will go over the most …

New Era Has Stopped All Cap Repairs

Fellow readers,

New Era would like everyone to know that they have ceased all cap repairs. I spoke to Dan Harrigan (the assistant customer service manager) and he told me that it takes too much time away from production, and they haven't set up a way to charge money for it. All caps that have been shipped in for repairs will be returned un-repaired.

Who is to blame? Well, that would probably be yours truly. Some people that sent their caps in apparently referenced me and my blog, saying that they found out about it that way. Of course, I had no idea that so many people would be sending caps in for repairs, and I also had no idea that so many people were reading my blog! And to top it off, I'm not the only one that has blogged about it. I have sent several batches of caps in for repairs, completely unaware that it was a burden to New Era. After all, I had been told that repairing broken visors was "an easy fix". Had I known otherwise, I probably wouldn't have blo…

ID this cap!

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Hey everyone!

Sorry for the lack of updates, but things have been crazy in my personal life this summer. Luckily, the craziness has died down and things are pretty much back to normal, so I should have some new articles coming soon. I have some things that I am working on. Right now, I just need your help to solve a mystery!

I recently found this cap at a local thrift store. It's a vintage 100% nylon New Era cap that appears to be from the 70s. It features a logo of a duck's head, with a green crown and yellow visor. My first thought was that this was a Oregon Ducks cap, but I can't find any evidence of them ever using this logo. I figure it has to be a college or minor league team, since the cap is a fitted pro model.



Thanks,
Paul

Multiple Turn Back The Clock Game Caps Now Available In Polyester

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Aside from the Angels "Flashback Friday" caps that were released recently, multiple caps for this season's "Turn Back The Clock" games have been released in the modern 100% polyester "Cool Base" style. Availability varies, and they can be found at hatlclub.com, ecapcity.com, and the mlb.com shop. Here are the caps that have been released to the general public thus far:

Tampa Bay Rays as the 1940s "Tampa Bay Smokers"

1940s St. Louis Cardinals

Los Angeles Dodgers as the 1940s "Brooklyn Dodgers"

Early 1980s Seattle Mariners

Washington Nationals as 1930s "Washington Senators"

1970s Atlanta Braves, made for the "Civil Rights Game"

1930s San Diego Padres "Pacific Coast League"

1970s/80s Philadelphia Phillies

Early 1970s Pittsburgh Pirates

Kansas City Royals (I can't find any further information, any help is appreciated)

1960s Baltimore Orioles

More caps are expected to be released throughout the season, I will post …

Angels "Flashback Friday" Caps Coming to Retail

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"Hat Club" announced today via their Facebook page the arrival of the four Angels "Flashback Friday" caps to their retail locations.

What is shocking to me is the fact that they went with the 100% polyester "performace" caps rather than wool models normally used for "Turn Back The Clock" games. Does anyone have these yet? I'd love some detailed pictures!

Two Different New Era Cap Machines?

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Early on in my collecting, I noticed there are two distinct styles of vintage New Era caps. Here are two examples of the exact same caps for two different teams. First we have the mid to late 1970s San Diego Padres caps. Then we have a pair of Chicago Cubs caps circa 1985 - 1987.

The easiest way to tell the difference between the two styles is the visor. Notice the first cap in both pictures features a more "squared-off" visor. The second style has the more rounded edges like New Era caps of today.




Let's talk about the insides. Style "one" on the left has transparent taping and backing behind the front panels. Style "two" on the right has satin taping and more opaque backing.




Another difference is the embroidery. The 70s versions have somewhat of a difference, but on the 80s versions the difference is less drastic. Style one has much flatter embroidery. On style two, the logos are bulkier.




The are other differences as well. I have noticed on style one ca…