Thursday, October 8, 2015

How Many Is Too Many?

For the vast majority of the history of baseball, most teams wore just one type of cap per season. In the mid-19th century, "Road/Away" game caps began to appear. Then "alternate' caps and "spring training/batting practice" caps. In the 90s came patches on the caps of players in the All-Star game and on the caps of teams in the World Series, which gave birth to patches on caps for the post-season in general. Since then, we've seen patches on caps for multiple reasons, most notably retiring Yankees players and an American flag patch on 9/11.

 1995 Atlanta Braves cap with World Series patch.

In the last decade we've begun to see "theme" caps. Caps that may differ in design and/or color from the regular on-field cap for a specific team. Most prominently is the "Stars and Stripes" collection worn on the 4th of July and camouflage caps worn on Memorial Day. Teams have also done green caps environmental causes and pink caps for Mother's Day and breast cancer awareness. "Turn Back The Clock Caps" are another story...

2014 Chicago White Sox Mothers Day Cap

Minor league teams have just begun to catch on to this trend. Minor league teams have never done patches on caps very often. Usually they're done if a team is hosting an All-Star game that season or if the team had won a championship the previous season. Minor League teams have been doing theme jerseys for a while now, but some teams have decided to go all-out with matching caps. In fact, my local San Jose Giants wore a total of FIVE different theme caps this past season (they already have four different on-field caps) to go along with corresponding jerseys. They have been doing this for the past three seasons. They wore even more special jerseys but paired them with one of the four on-field caps the team regularly uses. Some teams may just do one, and some teams don't do any at all.

2015 San Jose Giants Caps (on-field bottom row, theme caps top row): Batting practice/alternate, home, road/alternate, alternate. Memorial Day, "Relay For Life" Cancer Charity, 4th of July, Breast Cancer Awareness, Italian Heritage Night)

Common Minor League Theme Caps:

"Turn Back The Clock" - Common in MLB but not MiLB, However, some teams still do it.
"What Could Have Been" - Team wears a prototype uniform or a different name that was being considered before the team's first season
"Memorial Day Camo" - Identical to MLB
"4th of July Stars And Stripes" - Identical to MLB
"Cancer Charity/Awareness" - Typically a purple cap
"Breast Cancer Awareness" - Typically a pink cap
"Heritage Night" - celebrates an ethnic group, usually Irish or Italian

The questions now are... How much is too much? Should every cause or celebration get its own cap? Should teams stick with a couple of regular caps, or the more the merrier? Personally I enjoy many of these caps, much to the dismay of my bank account...

Thursday, September 24, 2015

1979 Santa Clara Padres Cap

Long before the city of Santa Clara, California was home to Levi's Stadium and the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL, the city's only other professional sports team in modern history was the Santa Clara Padres, a co-op team in the single-A California League. Their lone season was in 1979, where they were supposed to play their home games at Washington Park, a WPA project which was built in 1935 and featured a wooden 1,000-seat grandstand. However, minor league baseball was unsatisfied with the small park and so the Padres played many home games at nearby San Jose Municipal Stadium instead, which they had to share with then-Mariners affiliate the San Jose Missions. The Santa Clara Padres featured players from the Mariners, A's, Angels, Padres, and Cardinals organizations.Three future major leaguers played for the team; John Hobbs, Ron Tingley, and the one-and-only Joe Maddon, who caught 60 games behind the plate.
Santa Clara Padres Cap: Gold logo identical to the USC Trojans, maroon crown, kelley green button and visor. It was also a mesh snap-back. The colors were meant to be a tribute to the many Portuguese, Italian, and Mexican families that call Santa Clara home.

After a disastrous 47-93 season under manager Joe Volpi and the lowest attendance in the league, the team moved north of San Francisco to the Sonoma County town of Rohnert Park where they became the Redwood Pioneers for the next five seasons. They then became the Palm Springs Angels, and since 1994 are now the Lake Elsinore Storm.

Washington Park still stands today and is used today by local youth leagues as well as hosting games for the local "vintage" league that plays by 1860s rules. I watched a vintage game there myself in 2013.
Note: I do not personally own a Santa Clara Padres cap, although I wish I did. The photo was sent to me by someone that owns one.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pre-Order the Katz Cap

Ebbets Field Flannels now has the Kansas City Katz cap available for pre-order via their website HERE!!!
As you can see, the logo looks 100% identical to the original cap. They did a fantastic job. I visited the Ebbets Field Flannels store/factory in Seattle on Monday, August 10th and got a tour of the place from owner Jerry Cohen. He's a great guy. Order your Katz cap today!

P.S. I still plan on posting more on the blog but life keeps getting in the way. Please be patient and I'll get more stuff going eventually!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Ebbets Field Flannels to Reproduce "Katz" Cap

The Katz cap mentioned in the post below will be reproduced by Ebbets Field Flannels. I had sent the cap along with others to the EFF headquarters to be documented for their archives.

This was confirmed by EFF via their Facebook page on July 24th. They posted a picture of my Katz cap along with the caption "Kansas City Katz amateur team cap sent to us by our good friend Paul Carr. Soon to be available from EFF!".

EFF head honcho Jerry Cohen told me the caps will be available in the next couple of months with their next "rotation" of caps. Stay posted here for an update on when they'll be available as well as and the Ebbets Field Flannels Facebook page.

I have more posts in the works!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Look What The Katz Dragged In

Last year, I purchased several game used vintage caps that I believed came from minor league teams in the 1960s. I was able to correctly identify some including a Knoxville Smokies and the other a Macon Peaches.

Three of the caps (including the two mentioned above) were worn by Tom Tischinski, who played in the Athletics, Reds, and Twins farm systems and spent two years in the big leagues. The 3rd cap worn by Tischinski features a goofy-looking cat face. The cat is a felt shape with chain-stitched details. I could not find any team that Tischinski played for that would have had this as their cap

After hours of internet searching, I was able to obtain Tischinski's current home address. I wrote him a letter asking about the cap. Not too long after, I received a reply from Tischinski. Aside from wanting to know how I got the caps (they were on eBay), Tischinski was able to tell me about the cat cap. He saod that the cap is from 1961 when he played for the Ban Johnson Amateur Baseball League in the Kansas City, MO area. His team was called the "Katz" as they were sponsored by "Katz Drug Co." a Midwestern drug store chain. The cat face was the company's logo. Through some research, I found that Katz merged with another drug store company in 1971 and the name and logo then disappeared. Over the years through buyouts and more mergers, the company now exists as CVS Pharmacy. The Ban Johnson Amateur Baseball League also still exists. Their website says "The League has been serving the Greater Kansas City Area since 1927 and operates a summer baseball program open to players up to age 23. The majority of the players are either present college players or high school graduates desiring to further their skills with eyes on a potential college baseball future."


Thursday, February 19, 2015

And We're Back: Fan Fest Finds

Sorry for the lack of updates, folks. At the end of August and received a promotion at work (I'm now working full-time with benefits, etc.) plus still taking night classes. This has taken up most of my time. However, I have some things that I want to post on the blog that I will do over the next couple of months or so. I will do my best to at least make monthly posts.

Here are some caps that I found at the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants Fan Fests.

The Oakland Athletics memorabilia sale was inside the Oakland (O.Co) Colosseum inside one of the team merch stores. Despite the fact that I got there when the gates opened, the line to the memorabilia sale quickly grew and it took me over and hour and a half  to get in. Luckily, there were plenty of caps left and employees were regularly replenishing stock. Unfortunately, all but one game used cap was left. The rest were team issued caps. Some had stickers removed, some didn't. There were various caps with patches (Japan Series 2012, Postseason, etc), turn back the clock game caps, and surplus team stock including the new road cap. There were also some older caps that I was surprised they still had after all this time. Caps were priced at $20 and were placed on racks along the back wall of the store. They were then knocked down to $10 shortly after I got in. My purchases are below...

Blank grey cap made by Mitchell & Ness. 1910s style. Probably from a late 90s/early 2000s turn back the clock. I also found a matching pair of flannel pants from this game.

1914 TBTC Brandon Moss Game Used. These caps were worn on August 16th, 2014 in Atlanta. This was the only game used cap that I found. 

1929 TBTC Team Issued. These were worn August 16th, 2009 in Oakland vs. the White Sox.

1989-1991 Team Issued. There was a large abundance of these old Sports Specialties caps for sale. There were even a few Korean-made versions from the mid 80s. I picked out a USA-made version made around the time of their last world championship.

Chicago White Sox 1929 TBTC Team Issued. The A's are known to keep the opposing teams uniforms from turn back the clock games. There was a large amount of these White Sox caps for sale from the 2009 game.

The Giants fan fest was quite crowded (obviously) but the memorabilia sale required no wait. However, there were only two caps for sale. Both were 4th of July caps from their loss at San Diego. Both caps were $100 each. I coughed up the bucks because I wanted a piece of the 2014 championship team and it was literally the cheapest item for sale. I inquired as to why only 4th of July and Memorial Day caps are the only ones that ever come up for sale from the Giants. I was told that the team is superstitious about caps and all players keep their regular gamers.This cap was worn by Brandon Hicks, who was present at the 4th of July game but sat on the bench.

Next is the Padres fan fest, which will be in early April. I will post what I find right here on the Ballcap Blog.

Also check out my eBay page to see my caps for sale HERE.