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Just Designate a Different Cap for Each Day of the Week and Get It Over With

It all began last Thursday, when the Braves and Twins played each other and wore their BP caps. Two days later, the Diamondbacks wore their BP caps for a game against the Padres. Two days after that, on Memorial Day, the Blue Jays eschewed the G.I. Joe caps that every other team was wearing and instead wore their BP caps.

Trend? Coincidence? Any lingering doubt on that point was erased as last night’s slate of MLB games began, as several teams took the field wearing their BP caps. The games in question were these:

• At Fenway, the Phils and Bosox both wore BP caps.

• At the Trop, the Marlins and Rays both wore their BP caps.

• In Oakland, the A’s and Giants both wore BP caps.

• At Kaufman Stadium, the Royals wore their BP caps, but the Cardinals didn’t.

I immediately dashed off a query to a contact in the MLB offices. Before I could hear back, however, the story began taking shape on Twitter. First came a tweet from Matt Gelb, the Phillies beat reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer:

About an hour after that came a tweet from Gordon Edes, the Red Sox beat reporter for ESPNBoston:

And another hour and a half after that came a tweet from Bob Dutton, the Royals beat reporter for the Kansas City Star:

Faaaascinating. Now, it’s worth noting that a lot of this headwear looks pretty sharp. The current generation of BP baps doesn’t have all those ridiculous gewgaws like the previous few sets, and you can’t even tell that they’re made from different fabric than the regular 5950s. I like most of what we saw last night, so aesthetics aren’t the issue here, at least not for most of the teams.

But this is a classic case of MLB trying to have it both ways. First they create a special class of headwear — a class that everyone knows exists for no other reason except to be merchandised — and now they’re essentially saying, “Oh, it’s not really that special, just treat it as another alternate cap.”

And the fact is, many of the current BP caps work just fine as alternates. But if that’s what you want them to be, then just be honest about it instead of trying to creating a whole new class of allegedly specialized product.

Either way, issuing a “Please wear the BP caps this week” directive just makes the whole thing feel like another overcalculated corporate scheme. Pfeh.

Meanwhile, there’s this: While writing this entry last night, I cued up the Giants/A’s game on MLB.TV so I could make screen shots of the caps. When I logged on, they were between innings, so I saw a commercial — from New Era. For the BP caps. Honest.

(My thanks in to everyone who assisted in tracking down this story last night, including Dan Cichalski, Chris Creamer, Mike Vamosi, Andrew Gladstone, and of course Phil.)

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Bobcats/Hornets contest: As you know, the Bobcats are now poised to reclaim the Hornets moniker for Charlotte, but it isn’t yet clear whether the team will wear the old Hornets uniforms. So I’m running a new ESPN design contest to create new uniforms for them. Details here.

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OMFG: My latest One-Man Focus Group column is about a very specific aspect of cereal box design. I think you’ll like this one. Check it out here.

“Candela” reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, Kirsten and I have written an article for the New York Times about those fiberglass structures we’re obsessed with.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Ten members of Congress, including the leaders of the Congressional Native American Caucus, are urging the ’Skins to change their name. ”¦ Very unsual scene prior to last night’s Mets/Yanks game in Flushing, as Mariano Rivera threw out the first pitch in full uniform! This was part of the Mets honoring Mo’s last regular season visit. Has there ever been a case of an active, uniformed player tossing out the first pitch in an opposing team’s ballpark? Rivera also took a walk-off loss, which means he threw the last pitch as well as the first pitch. ”¦ In a related item, here’s an article about how the first pitch has evolved over the years. Good slideshow, too. … Here’s more about the new Penn State football jerseys (from Chris Buttgen). … Jersey snafu last night for Chris Colabello of the Twins, who wore “Twins” while the rest of the team wore “Minnesota” (screen shot by Nicole Haase). ”¦ Yesterday I mentioned that R.A. Dickey had some sort of military pin on his cap, but I didn’t have a photo. Now, thanks to Kevin Kennaley, I do. Looks kinda like a bronze star. … Neglected to mention yesterday that the Memorial Day G.I. Joe initiative included a rare sighting of the Marlins’ road grays. … Fans hated the new Everton badge, and the team has responded. … Here’s Nike’s latest hype video for the new Baylor football uniform. … David Jones was visiting the Packers Hall of Fame and was surprised to see Leroy Butler represented by a fashion jersey. … Why did the Nets choose black and white as their colors? In part because of Derrick Rose. Details here (thanks, Phil). … Here’s an article about all of the Rays’ themed road trips (from Matthew Wolfram). … Speaking of which, the Rays’ latest road trip finds them dressing in all white (thanks, Phil). … There’s a poster about the use of maple bats in the Mets’ clubhouse (from Kenny Ocker). ”¦ Matt Jacobson notes that the Orioles’ Earl Weaver memorial patches are starting to curl pretty severely. … Field Schlick was an old Minnesota department store that had its own marching band, and the band apparently had some really nice uniforms (photos by Scott Kneeskern). … The Lewis County High School baseball team in Kentucky wore autism-awareness jerseys the other day (from Sammy Holder). … Some funny “what might have been” concepts for England’s new soccer kit here. … This is fascinating: This past Sunday was Mother’s Day in the Dominican Republic, so several Dominican MLBers wore pink accessories. I had no idea that the D.R. had its own date for this holiday (Kevin Kennaley again). … New logo for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. ”¦ Yesterday I noted that the Oklahoma baseball team was wearing light blue undershirts and speculated that it might be tornado-related. “They were indeed,” says Pat Davis, who provided a better view of the shirt’s design. ”¦ The owner of a Packers helmet buggy is putting it up for sale. I like the striping on the seats! (From David Petroff.) ”¦ Nike will soon stop making Livestrong products. ”¦ Somewhere out there is a very confused Mr. Potato Head with a mix of Mets and Yankees iconography. ”¦ A small note buried on this page indicates that the Braves and Nationals will wear Negro League throwbacks on June 1 — Atlanta Black Crackers for the Braves and Homestead Grays for the Nats (Phil again). ”¦ The term “armchair quarterback” takes on a new meaning with this old Packers chair. Jeff Wilk spotted that at a thrift shop in Racine, Wisconsin. ”¦ This is pretty awesome: Jameson Adams bought an old Dale Murphy signature glove at a yard sale and then paid a leatherworking company to turn the glove into a wallet. Total cost, including the $2 he paid for the glove at the yard sale: $62. ”¦ Yesterday’s “Collector’s Corner” featured some old Xmas cards from the Bengals. That prompted Ange Coniglio to send in this 1965 card from the Chiefs. Here’s how it looks on the inside. ”¦ And then Bruce Menard sent along this Mets holiday card. I’d never seen Mr. Met dressed up as Santa before! ”¦ New name and logo for the Charlottetown Islanders — formerly the Prince Edward Island Rocket (from Craig Abbott). ”¦ LeBron James and Dwyane Wade wrote “Live Like Bella” on their sneakers last night, in memory of a child who died of cancer (from Hugh C. McBride). ”¦ Giants starter Mike Kickham wore glasses for his big league debut last night (thanks, Brinke). ”¦ Also from Brinke: Charles Woodson hasn’t yet gotten his preferred uni number from first-year Raider Tracy Porter. ”¦ Wayne Miller, one of my favorite photographers, died last week. He did lots of important work over the decades, but I’m particularly fond of the photos he took on Chicago’s South Side in the late 1940s. Those shots, collected in this highly recommended book, are all the more remarkable when you consider that Miller was white and nearly all his Chicago subjects were black. He was really, really good. R.I.P.

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Comments (175)

    Perhaps MLB should lower their price point. I need a new Cubs hat but there’s no way I’m dropping $35.

    or you can realize that the price of everything has gone up over the years.. or just wait find one on sale somewhere..flea markets are usually super cheap

    Yeah, don’t be a discerning consumer! Just pay it! The price of everything has gone up, so consume, consume, consume! Because spending more than you want to on something could never come back to bite us in the economy.

    It’s framing effect. They price the “authentic” one super ridiculously high, so they can price the “replicas” (i.e. ones with adjustable back, Nike swoosh, cotton instead of wool) at $25 and they *seem* affordable.

    I, for one, prefer the cheaper hats that already look and feel broken in. The authentic stuff looks too “formal”

    Am I the only one who kind of loves Baylor’s new unis? Even the BFBS looks sharp. But really it’s the white jersey. The bear claw on the shoulder is the kind of cool, identity specific touch (By which I mean, not stock like some of Adidas’ jerseys) that I actually like in the new school (Read: Oregon) era.

    Also from Brinke: Charles Woodson hasn’t yet gotten his preferred uni number from rookie Tracy Porter.

    At this point, I’d think that more people probably associate him with the 21 he wore there than with the 24 he used previously in Oakland. Seriously Charles, just leave the poor rookie alone and wear the number that people associate you with.

    Personally, I’m glad to have him back on my favorite team, but I really don’t care what number he uses.

    Tracy Porter isn’t a rookie, he’s a first year raider.

    His interception of Peyton Manning – which was returned for a TD – sealed Super Bowl XLIV for the Saints.

    He also went to IU while I was there.

    (and while we’re talking about memorable Tracy Porter plays, he was one of the victims of Marshawn Lynch’s epic playoff run against the )

    This could be a stupid question, but isn’t the original point of BP caps, really of any “warm-up” gear of any kind in any sport, so they can have something to wear to run around and stretch and trot out and shag some balls, take a few hacks in the batting cage, and get all sweaty in and have fresh game gear to change into for the game.

    So if they’re going to wear BP caps in the game, do they have a separate set of BP hats to actually take BP in? Or do they wear the regular ones before games that they wear the BP caps in game?

    And if they wear the same ones, then what’s the need to even have them in the first place? (I mean besides to move merchandise)

    (That being said, that Phillies BP cap is sweet, I may have to go buy one. But I think it would look best worn exclusively with the cream colored home alt.)

    No, the original intent, as is the intent today, was to sell more merchandise. Doesn’t matter what they wear during BP. They could develop a separate cap for every day of the week (some teams had Sunday caps) and they’d sell them.

    That being said, that Phillies BP cap is sweet…

    To me, a lot of the BP caps actually look better than the team’s everyday cap. I’m not sure if it’s because they are just a fresh look, or because they are using some of the awesome alt logos (like Oakland’s elephant at the top of this page). Either way, it keeps me from being too disappointed by this.

    On the other hand, it is all kinds of slimy for MLB to actually tell the clubs they have to wear them. More to the point, telling them when to wear them.

    Old attitude: Man, the Nats new BP caps really are disappointing. Freakin’ Nats.

    New attitude: I take pride that my favorite team is one of the few whose regular game cap is actually better than its stupid BP cap. Yay Nats!

    The Nats hat is indeed a cut below the regular hats. I did get the new home alternate hat as a gift from my wife.

    Have every version of the Nats hats except the new alt. That’s just me, I like hats. From a fan perspective, I like the Nats BP hat. Plus, it’s a lot more comfortable than the game hat. That being said, I don’t want to see them during the game. If you’re going to put out BP hats, should keep them just for BP.

    I’m with you, Tim: Nats BP is a decent cap. For a fan. And I do appreciate the subtle, probably deliberate nod to the Expos. But with the Orioles having brought back the white-panel cap as a signature element, a white panel has no business on the head of any nearby team, not even in BP.

    The new-look BP caps would have been perfect to finally use the seldom-seen 2011 DC alternate logo:


    Or to adopt a “pinwheel” of red in front and back, navy on the side panels, and a navy bill.

    I wonder why the Phils didn’t go with their Liberty Bell logo for their “BP” caps.
    The interleague cap they used to wear was terrific:


    Well I think the Oakland Elephant and the Mets and the Reds and a potential Liberty Bell Phils cap and any other “ornate” BP caps like that are fine for BP but have no business being worn in a game.

    But the ones like Philly and Boston and others like that that are just variations of the regular cap (or even if they had something different, like a secondary logo or initials or something) I just don’t like the cartoony ones in a game.

    I liked the white paneled KC Royals, for instance.

    I think the Royals have retired their shield insignia with the gold crown and the capital “R”, which is a pity. I’d like to see that “R” on one of their alternate caps.

    I have always thought the Royals’ “R” could have been utilized as an alt logo.

    BoSox and Phils are natural rivals? I don’t think so. I don’t mind the wearing of the BP caps, just don’t call them BP caps, put them in the regular rotation and be done with it.

    Can’t remember where I read it, but the Phillies and Braves will be “sharing” the Sox as their rival. Essentially, it will go back and forth each year. I’m not sure why this was done – the Braves and Sox have been paired for years (since the Braves originated in Boston).

    My guess is because Toronto doesn’t have a “natural” National League rival.

    Probably – though Washington would be logical, if not for Baltimore being so close.

    Still doesn’t really explain why the Phillies and Jays couldn’t have just been paired permanently. Well, other than the obvious reasons, like ticket sales.

    Well yeah, Toronto had a perfect NL rival in Montreal, and back then Baltimore had Philly. But still it’s not perfect, what with Arizona and Colorado in the same league. And Texas & Houston should be interleague rivals, too, not in-division.

    As a Nats fan, I really don’t feel all that much heat for Baltimore as a “rival.” I mean, yeah, there’s a lot I hate about the Orioles organization, but that’s just a matter of the Orioles ownership screwing over the Nats financially and Nats fans in terms of broadcast schedule. One day, Peter Angelos will die, and in all likelihood, ownership of MASN and of the Orioles will be less closely held, and that irritant will go away, and once that happens I can’t imagine giving two rips about the O’s either way.

    As a city, Washington’s “natural rivals” either already have an NL team – Philly, Atlanta – or no big-league team at all – Richmond. Now that we have interleague every day anyway, I’d be totally happy to have Philly pair back up with Baltimore and pair Washington with Toronto. Then we can either pretend that Toronto is really Ottawa, or that it’s USA vs Foreign Enemy, and everybody is happy.

    Plus, it would get rid of the ridiculous “Battle of the Beltways” nonsense. Stupidest, most forced rivalry nickname ever.

    I’m looking forward to how your NPR segment deals with the fact that the exchanges with Mr. Johnson are rather profane…as is his name.


    Note that the Yankees and Mets didn’t go BP. A little disappointing, though, that John Franco came out in link to participate in the ceremony.

    Only from 1999-2004; he didn’t wear that BFBS crap for the nine seasons prior as a Met. Of course, until the last half of 1998 he had been wearing #31…

    It makes sense that they’d want to give him a jersey with the “C” on it. And that’s from the drop-shadow era.

    I think we can agree that this is one case where period-accuracy has a bad side-effect, though, right?

    It’s not my favorite Mets jersey, but I can understand why that’s the one they gave him to wear. It’s historically appropriate, etc.

    Just thought I’d chime in with my love for the drop-shadow uniform. Hi, folks.

    Well, what they’re doing is working. The more I see them, the more I want to buy one.

    Not sure if it’s uniform related but I came across a blog dedicated to female news anchors and reporters that wear boots. link

    I’ve been ripping the front part off of box-top slots for a long time–in essence making them slotless.


    Regarding Rivera throwing out the first pitch in Flushing, the ESPN announcers mentioned that Rivera is doing meet and greets at opposing teams ballparks for his last year in the bigs. He apparently had a roundtable Q & A with Mets workers and fans before the game. The first pitch may have stemmed out of this. I didn’t catch all of the announcer banter on this point, so I am not sure.

    Thanks for the RIP about Wayne Miller, Paul. Just went to Amazon and bought the book you recommended.

    In that same South Side of Chicago — most American of great world cities, no? — there’s an historical-marker plaque embedded in a sidewalk in a section of town called Bronzeville, named for the skin color of the first wave of post-WW1 immigrants from the old Confederacy (spit). I can’t tell you the exact location — have never seen the plaque — but I wrote the text.

    The one thing that distinguishes the BP caps other than appearance is the lighter weight fabric. New Era already produces and sells cold weather caps, which are heavier and have ear flaps, for teams to wear in cold weather. Why not just have these designated as being hot weather caps, for playing in weather in which players expect to sweat more profusely than usual? At least then there would be some purpose to having them included in the rotation.

    Today in Redskins news, another group requests that an octogenarian team change its name because it’s the fashionable thing to do.

    Could you explain how being “fashionable” plays into this? Please be specific. And please avoid using the nonsense term “politically correct.” Thanks.

    It just seems to me that this wasn’t an issue until one group came out against the name. Now, it seems that once the seal was broken, every civil rights group is hopping on the bandwagon.

    I’m not saying that I’m against a name change, but the team has been around for almost 81 years, and this whole debate didn’t really have much steam ever before (I realize that there were always groups that didn’t like the name, and that this isn’t a completely new issue.)

    Yes, that’s how social justice movements happen: Someone goes first, and then momentum builds. The civil rights movement didn’t happen because it was “fashionable”; it happened because more and more people realized it was a cause worth fighting for. Marriage equality isn’t becoming legal in state after state because it’s “fashionable”; it’s happening because more and more people are realizing that it’s a cause worth fighting for.

    If you disagree with the notion of changing the team’s name, that’s fine — argue your case on the merits. Disparaging ideas you disagree with as “fashionable” is just a form of (a) name-calling and (b) avoiding the actual issues at hand.

    Eventually this thing is going to reach a tipping point. And when it does, you’re going to be standing there calling it “fashionable” while the rest of the world moves on.

    I don’t really see this on the same level as the civil rights movement, as Native American groups aren’t being treated the way Blacks were in the 60s. I understand I may sound insensitive, and I’m sorry if I offend anyone.

    You’re missing the point. I’m not saying that changing the ’Skins name is as important as passing the Civil Rights Act; I’m saying that disparaging a growing movement as “fashionable” is an intellectually lazy way of dealing with it.

    Indeed, Scott. This isn’t about civil rights. This is about a small group of people being “offended” by what they consider to be a racist depiction of their ancestors. No one is being discriminated against or having any rights violated. It really is a non-issue, no matter how loudly a some people want to yell about it.

    Scott, the last time the Redskins name was discussed was in 1992, also the last time the team was nationally relevant. Now that the team is decent again and has a telegenic star, the ridiculous name paired with a ridiculous-er imagery are visible again.

    This is less about fashionable and more about being more noticeable. Things seem less offensive when you don’t see them.

    Also, I like how The puts “offended” as if any objection is disingenuous, or if it’s some failing in character to take offense.

    One doesn’t have to be “offended” to point out that something is offensive, nor does one have to be directly or tangibly affected to raise objections.

    Terriblehuman, I believe that exemplifies by initial point. Fashionability, conformity, groupthink, bandwagon…. all the same animal. Twenty years later, when the team is relevant again, is when the opposition comes out? Why couldn’t they have been fighting this for the past 20 years?

    Twenty years later, when the team is relevant again, is when the opposition comes out? Why couldn’t they have been fighting this for the past 20 years?

    According to this “logic,” you can never advocate for any position that you haven’t been advocating for since birth, because then you’re just being “fashionable” and jumping on the “bandwagon.”

    Some guy in 1962: “Hey, I think everyone should be allowed to vote without poll taxes or literacy tests.”

    Some other guy: “Oh yeah? How come you weren’t saying that 20 years ago?”

    See, it’s not a very effective argument. (And no, I’m not comparing a team name to voting rights; I’m showing that issue advocacy isn’t something that can be judged by the calendar.)

    Sometimes issues just coalesce, movements just happen, etc., when they’re ready to happen. But you’re so busy disparaging the messengers that you’re avoiding the message. Again: Instead of questioning the motives or characters of those involved, why not actually deal with the issues at hand and argue your case on the merits? If you think the team should keep its name, then say so and explain why, but do it without name-calling and issue evasion.

    Because all things considered, it’s not a *huge* issue, and for better or worse, it’s not something that directly affects most people until they’re exposed to it.

    Also you could throw “conformity” and “groupthink” to apologists of the Redskins name and imagery, given that their primary arguments are “tradition” and “pride” and “Well, that’s just the way it is”.

    And at the risk of making too much of a parallel with a civil rights issue, but gay rights as a mainstream debate kind of died down after the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” clusterfuck of the early 90s, then came back in recent years, and what we have now is a groundswell of support for marriage equality. That’s a good thing, and I really couldn’t give two shits that it happened to be fashionable.

    Is it so terrible that good taste and decency are fashionable?

    I’m not disparaging the messengers, I’m disparaging the movement.

    I’m all for people’s opinions, and their right to their own opinion, just as I hope others allow me the right to mine, too.

    I understand the term Redskin is offensive to some, not all, but some. Many people simply aren’t offended because it doesn’t affect them at all. That doesn’t take anything away from the people who it offends, I’m just saying that to many people, it’s not an offensive term. If the term offends you, all the power to you to fight the use of it.

    I understand that to many people the issue is real, it’s not a simple bandwagon effect, and I apologize for brushing it under the rug before. I suppose use the term “fashionable” was a poor choice.

    I’m not disparaging the messengers, I’m disparaging the movement.

    You realize that’s the exact same thing, right?

    Anyway: I think we’re done here. Thanks for the good back-and-forth.

    Paul Lukas | May 29, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    Straw man argument. Nobody claimed it was about civil rights. Stick to the issues at hand.

    Some guy in 1962: “Hey, I think everyone should be allowed to vote without poll taxes or literacy tests.”

    Some other guy: “Oh yeah? How come you weren’t saying that 20 years ago?”

    Nobody claimed it was about Civil Rights but you compare it to Civil Rights.

    No, I’m not comparing it to civil rights. I’m using the civil rights movement to make intellectual points about how movements form, how they’re perceived, etc. I’m not suggesting a moral equivalence.

    Think harder.

    Compare: To examine in order to note the similarities or differences of.

    That’s what you’re doing.

    Nice attempt at disparaging other’s intelligence with the “think harder.”

    Fine, I’m comparing for the purposes of making a point that does not imply moral equivalence, which is what you’re suggesting.

    And yeah, I’ll keep telling you to think harder as long as you keep misrepresenting a point I’ve now spelled out repeatedly.

    Let’s move on. Thanks.

    Plenty of things have existed for far more than 80 years while still being wrong. Age most definitely does not necessarily equal righteousness.

    If a few members of Congress want a say in the naming of the Redskins, then they should pool their personal finances together and buy Snyder out.
    The article names 2 reps…who are the other 8?
    I am curious if any of them were sighted at FedEx Field last season (luxury boxes?)or if they hold season tickets.

    If a few members of Congress want a say in the naming of the Redskins, then they should pool their personal finances together and buy Snyder out.

    Yes, that would be one strategy.

    Another approach would be to try to persuade people of the justness of their cause, and to thereby apply social and economic leverage on Snyder — which is exactly what they’re attempting to do. And that’s a perfectly legitimate approach too.

    It’s not as if the Redskins don’t benefit from the services of the federal/District government. Why, it would be an awful shame if the Metrorail were to not run extra late night trains when there’s a night game at FedEx Field.

    The team has to pay for Metro to stay open late during night games. Its roughly 33 grand an hour. And this isn’t RFK, most people realize FedEx is too far from Metro to be practical.

    Try again.

    You’re right (though in decent conditions, the mile walk from Morgan Blvd to FedEx isn’t terrible). Still, it’s not like the Skins don’t benefit from services and infrastructures.

    Plus, the whole issue came up when Snyder started talking about eventually wanting to move back to DC, and with the obvious subtext of public stadium funding.

    There is nothing, nothing, nothing like asking white people what they think about whether an ethnic group that was systematically dehumanized and outright euthanized under direct order of the US government has ever been discriminated against. Because they ALWAYS have the best perspective.

    If it’s not about whether or not I have to battle bad traffic, it’s a boutique complaint, I guess.

    One of the most unintentionally humorous headlines of the past few months was NFL Poll: Majority OK with ‘Redskins’.

    It seems most people’s complaint about using the Spring Training/BP caps is that MLB calls them BP/Spring Training caps, not against the caps themselves. However, I think it’s worth noting that, in MLB’s current advertising at least, they do not describe them that way. If you find them on their official site they are called “Authentic 2013 Game Diamond Era 59FIFTY Cap.” Which is obviously a much of weird marketing mumbojumbo, and even more obviously the purpose is to sell stuff, but I’m not sure if I see “dishonesty” here.

    Do you anticipate any momentum/possibility for the mesh-style caps to replace the current 5950 as the official everyday cap? Wouldn’t be out of line with precedent, such as CoolBase jerseys.

    Now that the BP hats are being used regularly, man I wish the Braves had gone a more interesting route. Opinions on the chief logo aside, they could’ve chosen more creative and aesthetically pleasing routes to go than “Eh, let’s just make the ‘A’ red.” Would’ve loved something based on the old 70’s lower case A, or even something in a different color, a la the 1980s Dale Murphy era powder blue. Instead they have probably the most boring alternative.

    Agree completely. The lower-case “a” would have been great. Maybe update it to navy and red to fit in with the rest of the uni – at least it would have been a change. As it stands, the BP cap doesn’t look a whole lot different than the road cap (which I already find boring).

    I’d love to see the Braves bring back the stylized feather that used to grace their sleeves in the lower-case A era. Stick that right on the front panel of the cap!

    Let’s face it: baseball stadiums are plenty big, and most people sit far from the action. Those uniform names and numbers are tough to see! If MLB opted to use caps as “player position identifiers,” you could have nine different caps per team per game (not counting the DH). Add specialized caps for relief pitchers and subs, and the number increases.

    And nobody keeps score anymore, which makes keeping track of innings a real hassle! if the cap brims were color-coded by inning, you’d have a minimum of 81 cap variations per team per game.

    This, it goes without saying, does not include variations to honor veterans, raise cancer awareness, support campaigns to boost community spirit, promote literacy, memorialize dead ex-players, managers, announcers, owners, owners’ favorite mistresses, and beloved peanut vendors, and assert pride in American Values.

    We’ve really only scratched the surface of ballcap innovation.

    Just wait until Selig and Majestic get a hold of link. They could do 9 caps and 9 jerseys per team!

    I could claim this is one I hand-tinted in a former life – but it’s from the time:


    Could that Leroy Butler jersey be a practice jersey? There is no striping on the sleeves either.

    Could very well be. I also saw a white Frank Winter’s jersey with no stripes. The plaque said it was worn by him.

    Who and where is the leather worker who made that glove wallet? I would love to get one of those made from one of my old gloves.

    The Red Sox BP cap with their home uni really looks good. Although I would love to see them in their old hats with the red crown and blue bill, but their BP cap is great too. Also, it really bugs me how the Giants BP cap is pretty much the same as their alternate cap. The only difference is that the orange SF has a black outline that you can only see up close. Most of the BP caps I don’t mind with the normal unis, but others can stay in the clubhouse (Padres, Cardinals, etc.). And I also love the mascots on the hats (Reds, A’s, Mets).

    “The Nets considered a red-white-and-blue mark tied to their old ABA days with Julius Erving. They also looked at black and gold, colors symbolizing the borough of Brooklyn, but the scheme looked too much like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mangione said. They settled on black as a primary color after finding out a nontraditional black jersey for Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose outsold a regular home jersey for Miami Heat star LeBron James, he said”

    fuck, and double fuck!

    in other words:

    “we wanted to make a fashion jersey that jay-z can wear on stage…”

    anxiously awaiting the nets BP caps!

    I actually like a lot of the practice caps — the Royals look great with that white Toronto/Montreal-style front — but it’s disgusting to see Selig and the league office sticking their snouts in yet another thing that should be decided only by the teams. Next you’ll see them ordering changes in uniform design just to sell more merchandise.

    Well, this is not entirely unprecedented. And the precedent I’m thinking of predates Selig’s tenure as commissioner.

    Back in 1990, after the White Sox introduced their uniforms for the next season, they were asked to wear them for their remaining games.

    Point taken, but were those White Sox uniforms available for sale to the public? I’d feel more cynical about that episode if the White Sox had announced the special uniforms before the 1990 season and had produced thousands of them that were sitting in stores unsold when the league asked them to wear them more.

    The merch was definitely available for sale. Obviously, not to the extent the stuff is available today, but it was out there.

    And true, this is not an apples-to-apples comparison, but there are similarities. The team was asked to wear the new unis in an effort to drive up sales.

    Yeah, they’re much better than the ones with piping worn in recent seasons. I’d get the Nationals one if I didn’t just plunk down for the regular home cap. It feels like an accidental tribute to its Expos roots, and it’s better than the other alts (especially the road one that looks like the Braves hat with a curly ‘W’).

    My dad passed away from cancer when I was a boy. Even though it was not testicular cancer, I admired Lance Armstrong and his foundation. A few years ago before The Great Unraveling, I purchased one of the LiveStrong technical t-shirts from Dick’s Sporting Goods with the belief that I was supporting a good foundation and my dad. Eventually, I think I will just burn the shirt and post a picture of it online for Lance.

    I’m sure that it’s a matter of time before the foundation collapses and closes up shop. I only feel bad for those employees who work for LiveStrong and no doubt believe in the cause. I’m sure that they will be collateral damage when it’s all over.

    I’ve had the chance to meet a couple of my childhood heroes. Each time has been a monumentally disappointing experience: the person never matches the Ideal.

    It’s one thing to find out that someone you admired is a boor, or jerk, or just plain creepy. It’s another to realize that he engaged in a massive, decade-long fraud, and used charitable works as a means of deflecting criticism.

    Lance Armstrong is the Bernie Madoff of the sports world.

    It looks like a coordinated campaign for the new BP caps – I had not seen that ad for them on MLB.TV until this week.

    All marketing mumbo-jumbo aside, they are pretty comfortable to wear.

    I’ve been meaning to find someone who has worn them to compare them to the regular 5950 caps. I find the regular on-field caps to be terribly uncomfortable (heavy, tall, unbalanced toward the front) and I wondered how the new BP caps compared. For some reason they looked like they’d be even heavier.

    It is a lighter material, but they do have a high front. I wear a size 8, so on my big head it’s not the worst thing. I also find it’s a little looser than the 5950 size 8s, which vary wildly in terms of snugness.

    Hope that helps!

    Say what you want about his politics, but based on the handful of presidents I’ve lived to see throw a first pitch, and the pictures in the slide show, George W. certainly has the best throwing motion.

    It never ceases to amaze me how bad non-baseball players are at throwing (even athletes from other sports), and how easy professional pitchers make it seem.

    I’ve seen tons of bad first pitches from individuals I would expect to be bad: pop singers, politicians, actors, etc. But you hit on a point there. Even other professional athletes from other sports have been surprisingly bad.

    I don’t know – Reagan has to get credit for the quality of his throws, considering his advanced age. And in the era of throwing from the stands, we had a good run with Truman, Eisenhower, and JFK putting credible distance on the ball. But factoring for age, I think the Gipper has to be considered at least a near competitor with Bush the Lesser as a presidential arm.

    Or maybe this: Dubya is our right-handed power-throwing ace starter; Reagan was a left-dominant righty who would probably make a good long reliever; Truman was a lefty specialist; and JFK was our righty closer. (Obama is the utility infielder you bring in to pitch an inning when you pass the 16th in extras after a rain delay.)

    Speaking of presidential first pitchers, Obama might be the first one to wear uniforms of two different teams (White Sox hat with Nationals jacket) to a first pitch: link

    I remember George H.W. Bush throwing a one-hopper, despite being a former college baseball player (although that was many, many decades ago).

    Finally, it seems like Reagan was the first president to throw from the mound, rather than the stands. Anyone know why that changed?

    Heck, Reagan might also have been the first to throw from the field – in Baltimore in his first term, he throw the ceremonial first pitch to a catcher just on the foul side of the infield. And I’m nearly positive that Reagan was the first president to wear team gear in a first-pitch ceremony; I believe his satin Cubs jacket at Wrigley in 1987 or ’88 was the first instance of a president wearing team gear as president.

    As to why, that’d be an interesting question to try to chase down with any of his surviving staff. But a likely hypothesis: Reagan had a flair for ceremonial drama, and often ad libbed little gestures like that. For example, the whole thing where the president returns the salute of soldiers, marines, airmen, and seamen at the door of a vehicle or building? Reagan started that. Why? Because it looked good on TV. Projected an atmosphere of command, even though at the time it violated both protocol and two centuries of American tradition.

    Through some Googling and procrastinating at work, I came across this article about Reagan’s first pitch in 1984: link

    It seems Reagan’s staff thought throwing out the first pitch was a security risk, coming off an assassination attempt (the 1983 first pitch was scrapped altogether), which explains why he did it on the field.

    Good find, terriblehuman, but we’re still left with the question of, why the mound? Reagan threw that first pitch in Baltimore in ’84 from just up the top of the dugout steps (in suit and tie, no team gear):


    But in Chicago in ’88, he threw from the mound (twice!) and wore team gear, before joining the Harry in the broadcast booth to call an inning of play-by-play:



    Incidentally, Bush the Elder seems to have continued the from-the-mound tradition, but he didn’t wear team gear in any of the photos I could find. Clinton brought back the team-jacket look.


    So Ronald Reagan grew up a Chicago Cubs fan, which would explain why he wore the jacket for the first pitch. I guess he threw from the mound because like you say, theatrics?

    Because I’m now totally engrossed on the subject: here’s Ronald Reagan throwing the first pitch in the 1988 Japan Series:

    In Japan, a batter stands in the box for the ceremonial first pitch and politely swings at it.

    Not just a fan: Reagan did radio play-by-play of the Cubbies for WHO in Des Moines. What I’m not able to confirm in a single lazy search is whether Reagan actually broadcast those games from Wrigley in Chicago, or by interpreting a wire ticker in Des Moines and making up the details, as was a common practice for local sports broadcasting in the day.

    Reagan did the recreations of Cubs games for the Des Moines station complete with sound effects. There was a 60 Minutes or something similar where he actually showed and demonstrated the wire readings and the sound effects and crowd sounds. This ran on Network TV sometime after he was elected, during his first term.

    There were a good amount of Democrat/MSM editorials and comments claiming that Reagan’s “faking” the game broadcasts were evidence of his insincerity, etc. That’s my party – never off the clock, ever.

    To tie in a few issues from today post –


    Here is Bill Clinton throwing up the first ball at the first game at Jacobs Field, wearing the block C Indians cap (which I don’t think the team was using at the time) as not to offend by wearing Chief Wahoo.

    Perhaps the author of this piece should “stick to the issue at hand” and write about uniforms, not politics.

    Sorry, what political issue are you referring to? Surely you can’t be suggesting that the name of an NFL team — with all the logo and mascot ramifications — is irrelevant to Uni Watch?

    Now, my One-Man Focus Group piece about cereal boxes, and my Candela Structures article — those have nothing to do with uniforms. But you don’t seem to mind that I included links to them. Hmmmmmm. Interesting.

    Hey, Paul — about those Candela Structures: Did they become the model for public shelters in other parts of the country? Because in Bear Creek Park in west Houston, there are a couple of picnic shelters that bear more than a passing resemblance to the candelas. They’re smaller, I think, but they have the same basic design. They must date to the 70’s, when the park opened.

    I miss Culinary Corner.
    I borrow from those quite a bit, especially when outdoor cooking is the focus.
    Without a new entry before last weekend (“If you’re grilling, use charcoal” was all that was offered), I was stuck with a leftover technique from last-year…making spiral-cut hot dogs on a stick.
    My guests above the age of 8 were not impressed.

    As Paul and others have pointed out more than once, it’s his site and he can write about whatever he pleases. Don’t like it? Go to another blog. It’s the same concept as folks who bitch about what’s on TV… there’s this new thing called a remote. Change the channel if you don’t like it.

    Quickly srolled through the comments and didn’t see it mentioned, so I’ll ask: Why the FUCK is R. A. Dickey wearing an actual military medal on his cap?

    I’ll reserve extreme anger until I hear any valid reason (HE earned it), but I doubt any exists.

    We don’t know that it’s an actual military medal. Could be a facsimile or something else entirely.

    But it still feels unearned and inappropriate, yeah.

    That’s my hope. Otherwise, I’d say it’s inappropriate. My father earned a Bronze Star in Vietnam. I’d hate to see someone compromising it, even accidentally, by pinning a representation of it to their baseball cap.

    Read R.A. autobiography. It’s deeply confessional, frequently uncomfortably personal. He seems to be earnest to the point of being just a tad off-putting, and possibly a bit off his rocker.

    He’s exactly the kind of guy who’d pin his grandad’s medal to his ballcap, and be sort of hurt and confused that people took offense.

    He’s exactly the kind of guy who’d pin his grandad’s medal to his ballcap

    That was my thought. One of the most introspective players in the game, I doubt he was wearing that without some sort of personal connection. Family member, or maybe somebody he’s met via his charity work.

    If it belongs (or belonged) toa relative, I think it’s great. Much better to offer a shout-out to a father or grandfather who served than to put civilians in bogus camouflage like Selig is doing.

    I don’t know bout MLB directives to wear the BP caps but I suspect once the weather turns hot you will them being worn in games quite often. Just a hunch. I also think New Era will eventually use the BP cap material in the standard game caps.
    And…I normally don’t like white-paneled caps but for some reason I do like the Nats BP cap. A design observation: With the white panel it looks much better when it is 3 colors like the Nats than 2 colors like the Royals. I don’t know why but it just seems to work better.

    What is the point of the Minnesota Twins having the same uniform, but having one says “Minnesota” and one saying “Twins”?
    There is a reason, right??


    Twins jersey is supposed to be for home – Minnesota jersey is for road. Hence – all other players were wearing the Minnesota jersey Collabelo was wearing the home version. Probably why they sent him down today. (just kidding)

    Keep in mind this mistake happened once in 2009, back when the “Minnesota” was a different font and allcaps…

    I really don’t mind the Sox wearing their BP caps during games, but they’d look way better with the red jerseys than the normal home whites.

    Even better, bring back the red-crowned ’70s hats with the red jerseys.

    Y’know, you’d get a nice-looking road cap if you took the everyday cap and ditched the white outline.

    Only the Mets, only *these Wilpon-owned* Mets would have a member of their crosstown rivals throw out the first pitch. Rivera is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He’s the best relief pitcher ever. And by all accounts, he’s a high-class guy. And he’s a YANKEE. The Yankees would never let a Met throw out the first pitch.

    Not a fan of this BP cap thing. Wasn’t that reserved for spring training games? If you noticed, the teams with class (i.e. no alternate jersey, tradition enriched- Yankees, Dodgers, Tigers) ditched the idea. is referring to this interleague play period as “rivalry week” on their shop’s homepage w/ a hotlink to the hats. shameless marketing as mentioned many times here.

    Adolf is a teapot short and stout
    Here is his handle, “SIEG HEIL!”goes his spout

    You have to be the same terriblehuman that is a commenter on Deadspin right? That’s great. +1

    Paul, nice work on the OMFG subject today. Yet another interesting little detail hiding in plain site. I’m always amused by corporate types in these cases discussing the merits of such seemingly small things. I can imagine a pretty funny comedy skit using dialogue from a board meeting discussing the male tab – female slot and the saving of paperboard, etc.

    An update on yesterday’s ticker

    The University at Buffalo athletics department posted a picture of what the new basketball floor will look like with new logos and paint.


    I thought the Red Sox BP caps looked great with the home unis as well. Really good look.

    As far as wearing them with the red alts… well the Sox alts can’t go away fast enough for my tastes. Simply horrible.

    I wonder if we’ll ever see BP-style caps that are identical to the regular caps except for the materials. Then on days where some guys think it’s hot and others think it’s cold, they could choose which hat to wear without disrupting the team’s look.

    In the Japanese major leagues, before Cool Base came to the majors, teams made both mesh and knit jerseys for the players, and the players were free to choose which one to wear on any given day.

    Was Chris Colabello of the Twins wardrobe error his fault, of that of the Twins’ Equipment Manager? Perhaps they failed to have the alternate road jersey for him and had to make the closest substitution.

    Funny enough a comment on a friend’s facebook status mentioned the Yankees having Cal Ripken Jr. throw out the first pitch in what would be the final road game of his career.


    Actually, the Twins first trotted out their BP caps in game on May 19th. There was no warning, and the Red Sox just wore normal caps. I knew it was just the beginning for those ugly ass caps. (Ugly because the TC is outlined and raised and completely unnatural.) Ugh.



    Yeah, the one they wore on the 19th was the white-faced BP cap. They’ve used their red BP cap a couple of times now. I was wondering why at the time. I guess they’ve used 5 different caps this season including Memorial Day, home cap, road cap and the 2 BP caps.

    I love how the numbers are in order, you just don’t see that anymore do you?

    Speaking of the Chiefs’ Christmas card, on the cover I couldn’t help but notice the chin strap is included on the illustrations of the helmets.

    How often do you see chin straps on drawings of football helmets, especially NFL helmets? NEVER!!! How odd and unusual is that?!

    Here is the cover:


    that is odd.

    I noticed yesterday that the helmet on the link had a chinstrap but no facemask and then the next year it was replaced with a helmet that had a link.

    Paul, did all of Playbook get fired? I can’t find any articles newer than May 24, and it has been replaced by X Games on the home page. Any insight there?

    Scott Davis: “Why couldn’t they have been fighting this for the past 20 years?”

    You’re presuming that they haven’t been. link, as it turns out. Don’t confuse widespread media coverage, obsessed with the new-n-shiny, with reality.

    The “they” referred to is Congress(well…the 10 reps in this case)?

    For the Atom Bomb Bikini/cheesecake fans out there, this history of the genre’s golden age, with a particular emphasis on some of the women artists, is a must read. It’s also NSFW for some:


    I haven’t read the linked article on vintage cheesecake beer glasses, but that looks awesome too.

    Recently posted on Retronaut is a picture of Ronald Reagan on Air Force One wearing sweatpants, but the most interesting thing about the picture is what’s next to him on the wall of the plane: a photo of George H. W. Bush, Reagan’s vice president, holding what looks like a white Dallas Cowboys jersey with the NOB “BUSH” and the number 84.

    I’m guessing the jersey was given to him during Reagan’s reelection campaign in 1984?

    Here is a link to the pic:


    Great Catch O’ the Day. Not sure if it’s a new one, or an old one, but I like.

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