In-depth analysis, reviews, and comparisons of official Major League Baseball caps, the kind used on the field of play, old time to present day.
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!
The history of the New Era Cap Company has been well documented. New Era has been the dominant cap supplier for Major League Baseball and anything baseball-related for decades but their dominance grew slowly, starting in the 1930s. Eventually they steam-rolled the competition, providing the majority of MLB on-field caps by the 1970s. They have been the exclusive cap supplier for Major League Baseball since the 1994 season.
New Era's interior tags evolved very slowly from the 1930s through the mid 80s. Since then they have changed rapidly, usually about every two years. Since 1982 there have been three tags inside of the cap; the MLB license tag (left side), New Era manufacturer tag (middle) and size tag (right).
Let's take a look at the evolution of New Era’s tags from as early as possible to the present day. Keep in mind that this guide is not 100% perfect. Game used and team issued caps were all used as references for this guide. Tags can show up years after being phased o…
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 …
One of the biggest problems today facing vintage cap collectors besides stiff or broken visor boards is mold & mildew. This happens if the cap is stored too long in a warm and humid area. I receive vintage caps with this problem every so often. Since many of these caps are priceless or very hard to replace, I thoroughly clean them rather than throw them out. Here is my tutorial on how I remove mold & mildew on caps.
Supplies: You will need disinfectant wipes and isopropyl alcohol, the strongest you can get. Mine was 99%. If you get sick easily, perhaps you will need a hospital face mask. You can get all of these at your local drugstore.
First, look everywhere on the cap for any signs of mold or mildew. On the outside it may appear as powdery-looking spots. On the inside of the cap and the outer area of the sweatband, they may appear mostly in black, white, and green-ish spots or a larger powdery area or layer.
If you spy plenty of it in plain sight, prepare for an unpleasant surp…