Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Taco Bell Reviews

I'm kicking off the return of the Ballcap Blog early. Right now, we'll look at the Taco Bell caps of 2012.

On May 18th, the Padres donned the 70s taco bell caps in a 1978 Turn Back The Clock game vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (the Angels did not participate).

The caps had the shape that has been used for the past several turn back the clock games, with a flat logo, green underside, brown batterman logo with yellow interior, and again with the brown squatchee instead of yellow. Luckily, there was no new Era flag on the side. Like the 1983/84 caps of 2011, the caps were not available in retail. However, where in 2011 there were no taco bell caps of any variation available, there were some variants available this year. There were now 70s and 80s versions available, made with 100% polyester fabric and manufactured in China. I discussed them in a previous blog. While they did have cut front panels, they were nowhere near the proper shape. They were (and still are) available at the Padres team store and A 1978 Padres cap with an All-Star Game patch on the side was also available in retail (which was also discussed in a previous blog).

Some of these incorrect shape 70s versions actually showed up at the Padres 1978 turn back the clock game (compare the above caps on the left and right).

I will attempt to obtain some of the 70s caps from this game at the upcoming Padres fan fest.

In late June, the Tampa Bay Rays became the third team ever to wear a taco bell cap, the second being the Phillies on 1981 St. Patrick's Day of 1981. The Rays wore fictional 1979 uniforms, which were essentially a complete rip-off of the Padres uniforms of that time. Why the taco bell shape? Who knows. However, these taco bell caps were ALSO not available in retail. The retail version had a full powder blue front panel. Luckily, the team sold their team issued caps at the end of the season and I was able to get a hold of one.

This month, the 70s and 80s caps were remade again. They are apparently exclusive to Hat Club, who went through a lot to get them made. The shaping of the front panels have improved, but not much else has changed. Eyelets were omitted for reasons unknown (and it was not the fault of Hat Club).

Will there be any Taco Bells in 2013? We will find out in the coming months!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ballcap Blog Fundraiser

Folks, it's that time of year where MLB team "fan fests" are approaching. Aside from player meet-and-greets, most teams will sell off game used equipment from the previous season. For us cap aficionados, that means acquiring game used caps from our favorite players along with some holy grails; game used and/or team issued caps for special games that were not released to retail. Unfortunately for me, I don't make much money, so in order to save up and prepare for the upcoming fan fests, I must part with some items from my collection to raise some funds.

insomniaccaps186 is my ebay seller name. Among the items listed is a new-with tags Roman Pro-made Houston Colt .45s cap. Other highlights include some minor league caps including a pair of rare game used Southern League umpire caps from the late 90s. I am listing a few jerseys as well; a game used minor league Padres jersey from the early 80s, a Blue Jays turn-back-the-clock jersey from 2010, and a Xavier Nady Pirates vest jersey. Nady was part of the 2012 Giants championship team. Feel free to make offers on the jerseys, I am reasonable and I'm actually taking a loss on them.

Thanks and good luck! New posts and big news coming in the New Year!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Ballcap Blog to Relaunch in January!

I've got everything squared away, figured out, and plans ready to go for re-launching the Ballcap Blog this new year! I've been overwhelmed with how successful this blog has been and with work, school and other things I had to take a step back for a while. Now that things have settled down I've been working hard on putting some things together for new articles and possibly some new features. Thank you to everyone for your patience, I know many of you have been looking forward to something from me for a while. Anyone is welcome to email me and talk about caps in the meantime. Stay posted!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Sorry for the lack of entries lately. I've been trying to post something but I have no idea where anything is or how to do anything now that the Blogger interface is completely different. It's very frustrating. Eventually I will figure it out.

Thanks for your patience.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Awful Bells

After New Era's "production issues" with the Padres taco bell cap remakes in 2011, two have surfaced in retail in the past month.

The first is a 1978-style Padres, featuring an all-star game patch on the side. It's being sold on Notice the drastic improvement in the shape of the bell! It's the closest that they've ever gotten to the original since...well... the original. However, there are many flaws. Look at the logo. The "D" is overlapping the "S" instead of being interlocked. Not to mention the underside is gray, and there is a New Era flag and MLB batterman on the back. I hope that they come out with one of these with the problems corrected.

With the shape of the bell being so near-perfect, my hopes were high when I found out that would be receiving early 80s taco bell caps. However, when they arrived, I wondered what the hell went wrong!

What happened to the shape!?!?! This is worse than the American Needle "9 Deep" versions! My question is: Who is dropping the ball here? Or is something getting lost in translation at the Chinese factory?

The Padres will be wearing 1978-style uniforms on May 18th. I wonder how those caps will end up.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Up for auction: 1992 Gary Sheffield Padres Cap

While at the Padres Fan Fest last weekend, I rummaged through the garage sale and then went back for a second look. That was when I discovered this gem: A cap worn by Gary Sheffield! How was this still around after all these years?

It's a Sports Specialties cap that shows great use, and Sheffield's number 10 written on the buckram.

This is most likely Sheffield's cap from 1992, since he was traded mid-season in 1993, therefore his cap wouldn't have shown as much use. In 1992 and 1993, Sports Specialties were still supplying caps to MLB. 1992 was also the first year of the MLB "batterman" logo on the back which this cap has, ruling out the possibility of a 1991 cap. Also, from what I have seen, Sports Specialties MLB on-field caps were made in the USA in 1993, while this one is made in Korea.

1992 was one of Sheffield's best seasons. He was an all star, won the NL batting title with a batting average of .330, won the "NL Comeback Player of the Year Award", and a Silver Slugger Award!

While I had originally planned to keep this gem, my car had some trouble on the drive back to the Bay Area from San Diego. To help offset the cost for repairs, I've put this cap up for auction on eBay. (Link Below). Bid on this cap for a great price, and check out my other items!
(The cap has sold)

Monday, February 13, 2012

The 2011 Padres Taco Bell Cap

Another elusive cap this past season was the Padres Taco Bell caps worn for the 1983 & 1984 Turn Back The Clock games. These were not available in retail, including the team store. In fact, you could not buy any newly made New Era taco bell caps ANYWHERE in 2011. Why? I have heard two things from a few different sources. One is that New Era's seamstresses dislike making them, which is likely why they were team store exclusives in 2010. I heard that last year there were "production issues". Whatever the case may be, only the players and coaches got them in 2011. I went to the Padres fan fest on Saturday, February 11th and by the time I got to the Padres garage sale, the 2011 taco bell caps were gone. Luckily, an acquaintance of mine that got in early grabbed me ONE team issued cap. So without further adieu, here is an up-close look at the 2011 Taco Bell cap.

The front looks the same as the 2010 version, only now the outline is done differently. Instead of the orange "piping" it's an orange fabric sewn in between the brown and yellow.

The interior looks like normal modern polyester caps.

Look under the tags and surprise! Made in China AND 85% wool %15 polyester. WTF?

The good news is that this season, taco bell caps should be in ample supply. The Padres will be doing 70s, 80s, and 90s Turn Back The Clock games every Friday. also informed me that they will be receiving taco bell caps next month.

I am selling game worn Padres caps from Orlando Hudson and Gary Sheffield on eBay right now. If you are interested, find the seller name "

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Non-Retail Caps Show Up For Sale at the "Cubs Convention"

It's that time of year for MLB "fan fests", events where teams open their ball parks to the fans, players sign autographs, and game used items (for most teams) are sold off for pennies on the dollar. The Chicago Cubs held their event called the "Cubs Convention". During the 2011 season, the Cubs wore two caps that were not sold in retail. They were for sale at the Cubs Convention.

The first cap is the 1947 style worn on May 4th against the Dodgers. The caps were provided by Bobcat Athletic (who made the uniforms), but it is most likely that the cap was actually made by California Custom Caps since the construction is identical to their caps, which is also the same as Ebbets Field Flannels. Strangely, they went with gray under the visor, and the cap is "unstructured", as in there is no buckram behind the front panels. Luckily, someone sold me one that was worn by Blake Dewitt.

The second cap, made by New Era, was worn on May 21st against the Boston Red Sox. This is one of only a few New Era "Turn Back The Clock" game caps that were not made available in retail this past season. Like the other New Era TBTC caps made in 2011, it is 100% polyester with black under the visor. Oddly, the caps the Red Sox wore (and also weren't available in retail) had green undersides. Unfortunately, I still have not been able to get a hold of one of these. If you or anyone you know has one in size 7 3/8 or near it, please contact me, I'd love to have one! These photos come from an eBay auction for a size 7 7/8 cap.

I am going/have been to three MLB fan fests this year; I attended the Oakland A's fan fest and I will attend the San Francisco Giants this coming Saturday and then the San Diego Padres fan fest on the 11th. I will post my findings the weekend after.