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Source: New MLB Caps in 2014

Got a note yesterday from someone who claims to have a lot of connections in the cap world (and who convinced me that those connections are legitimate). He had some interesting news to share about MLB caps:

I’ve been told that all MLB hats will be switched to the “Diamond Era” BP cap material next season and that the current Authentic Collection caps will be discontinued. I do not yet know if this means all the hats will be imported (as all the BP caps currently are) or if a percentage will be still USA-made, but the visual difference will likely be jarring, since the Diamond Era caps have a textured fabric.

Also: New Era’s exclusive contract with MLB is set to expire at the end of 2014. MLB is less than pleased with New Era for snagging the rights to the NFL and creating a product line that is in direct competition with MLB’s on-field line, and as such has been slow to re-up with New Era. Nike has thus become interested in acquiring the contract and has begun a full-court press to become MLB’s exclusive supplier of on-field hats.

New Era’s current contract stipulates that the hats are to be made domestically but allows for a percentage to be imported. The imported caps have included the Chinese-made GI Joe caps (because nothing says pride in America and supporting our troops like a Chinese-made baseball hat) and the new BP caps that were introduced this season. Nike currently does not have means to produce hats domestically, so if they end up with the new MLB cap contract, all game caps would presumably be imported.

Hmmmm. I asked an MLB spokesperson for comment about the 2014 cap fabric. The response: “We aren’t going to confirm or deny any information about new products for next year.”

If any retailers, sales reps, or other knowledgeable folks have additional info to share on this subject (anonymity assured), you know what to do.

Meanwhile, for those of you who buy, wear, or collect MLB caps, what do you think of the potential move to the new fabric?

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’Skins Watch: Even Dan Snyder’s attorney, Lanny Davis, thinks Snyder won’t be saying, “Put it in caps, NEVER” anymore. That piece is really fascinating, especially the bit at the end about how Davis, as a Jew, feels about another marginalized minority group (i.e., Native Americans). Recommended reading. … And sure enough, Dan Snyder just sent a lengthy letter about the team name to season ticket holders, and his tone was steadfast but less defiant. Tone notwithstanding, the letter was largely nonsense and was quickly deconstructed by Deadspin, Kissing Suzy Kolber, and ProFootballTalk. And as you can see in that last link, the Oneida Nation has requested a meeting with Snyder so he can explain his postion to them directly — your move, Dan. … Fascinating article about a Native American woman who lives in DC and has been fighting to get the ’Skins name changed for nearly 40 years. Her time is finally upon us. … Here’s a very interesting article suggesting that the groundswell of debate over the ’Skins name is connected to the growing concern about concussions and other ethical issues involving the NFL (from Matthew Busch). … Latest public figure to support changing the ’Skins name: Howard Stern (from Chris Flinn). … Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, however, would rather not wade into that thicket (from Tommy Turner). … Want to see why Wahoo is as problematic as the ’Skins name? Look here. … Latest sportswriter to call for the ’Skins name to be changed: Doug Robinson of the Deseret News (thanks, Phil).

Baseball News: Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen has provided a full set of uniforms for a softball team that got shafted by their uni outfitter (From John Jankosky). … “The Boston Public Library has a huge archive of photos on Flickr,” writes John, who asked that his last name not be used.. “There’s a ton of other strings one can use, but I chose to focus on baseball. Many of the images are large enough to serve as nice computer wallpapers.” …Phil points out that three of the remaining teams in the playoffs — the Dodgers, A’s, and Cards — are the only MLB teams with totally plain, piping-free pants.

NFL News: An absurd soap opera unfolded yesterday, as Bears WR Brandon Marshall announced that he’d be wearing lime green shoes tonight for Mental Health Awareness Week. At first the NFL told him, “No fucking way,” but then they relented and said, “Okay, way — but we’re fining you.” I’m not sure which is worse — the seemingly bottomless Worthy Cause of the Month Week phenomenon or the pointlessness of a “disciplinary” system in which both sides agree beforehand what the transgression will be and how it will be punished. Inmates, asylum, etc. Meanwhile, I’m sure Marshall’s green footwear will mesh beautifully with all the pink everyone else will be wearing (from Yusuke Toyoda). … The Ravens will be wearing their black jerseys — with Pinktober accessories — this Sunday … The Chargers will wear their powder blues on Monday night (thanks, Phil). … The NFL is auctioning off what appears to be a 2005 Jets prototype jersey (from Eric Stangel). … Josh Freeman will wear No. 12 with the Vikings (thanks, Phil). … I’m not sure what’s most surprising about this old photo of Y.A. Tittle — that he had hair or that he was wearing No. 63. That’s from his time with the old Colts of the AAFC, prior to his move to the 49ers (great find by Matthiew Mitchell).

College Football News: I was interviewing Virginia Tech’s equipment manager for an upcoming ESPN column and he mentioned to me that they’d be wearing the Hokie Stone helmet one more time this season. No firm date, though. … Dreadful matte black helmets on tap this weekend for Washington. … Here’s a Boise State corn maize (from Brad Iverson-Long). … New gold alts for Southeastern Louisiana (from Chris Mycoskie). … Gold jeseys on tap this weekend for North Dakota State. … Thanks to a bunch of home games and a road game at LSU, Auburn hasn’t yet worn white this season. Clint Richardson takes a look at how that compares with previous seasons. ”¦ Pinktober helmet on tap this weekend for UMass (from Zach Emery). ”¦ Grand Valley State will wear solid white this weekend (from Forest Page).

Hockey News: Gorgeous new striped-sleeve throwback for Princeton (from Anthony Nuccio). … Very nice new uniforms for Minnesota-Duluth (from David Cummings). … Funny video of Buffalo’s Steve Ott losing and then replacing his helmet uni number decal during a practice (from Timothy Tryjankowski). ”¦ Pinktober has spread to the sideboard ads in St. Louis (from Ben Gorbaty).

Soccer News: New third kit for Newcastle (from Yusuke Toyoda). ”¦ Here’s a list of 20 of the most “weird and horrendous” soccer kits (from Leo Talbot).

NBA News: ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd has weighed in on the topic of NBA nickNOBs (from David Firestone). … The Hornets’ color scheme for next season has leaked.

College Hoops News: Looks like Wichita State has new uniforms, at least judging from the background photo on this Twitter account (from Jaylen Lane). … New uniforms for Iowa (from ack Kurtz). … New black uniforms for Weber State. … Creighton has a new logo, which is featured on their new court design (from Mike Vamosi). … Oooh, look at the great Kansas socks on the cover of the new SI. Reallyreallyreally hope they wear those on the court (from Todd Boyle). … New uniform for Virginia Tech (from Andrew Cosentino).

Grab Bag: Interesting story about the lasting influence of the 1989 Batman movie logo (thanks, Brinke). … Just when you thought you’d seen every logo-clad apparel product in existence, here’s a new one (at least to me): team-branded arm sleeves. Anyone ever worn these? Fill us in (from Ben Traxel). … The Taliban’s latest tactic in Afghanistan is to steal Afghan army and police uniforms (from Tom Mulgrew). … Have college volleyball nets always had ads like this? (From Chris Flinn.) ”¦ I’m visiting my Mom today, so please go easy on the Ticker submissions — thanks. See you tomorrow.

Comments (189)

    That NoDak State jersey sure looks to me like what I’ve seen them wear earlier this season. What’s alt about it?

    The “alt” is Southeastern La.’s gold. The NDSU link just says “gold jerseys on tap”. They weren’t described as an alt. You’re correct, they are no different than what they’ve worn previously.

    As long as the hats fit my dome better than the over-structured, high crown New Era caps, I wont mind the fabric and will buy several. Gotta pull that stuff down over my ears…

    Hate the “new” 5950s with the synthetic material – I think they started with those in 2009. It is definitely a cooler material, but it doesn’t shrink to fit like wool does.

    I just wish their sizing was standardized. My size 8 Cardinals fits fine, but my size 8 Yankees runs small.

    I agree with this. Sizing consistency would be nice. I have many Cardinals 7 3/8 hats. Not a one fits the same, many are way off. I can’t wear one because it’s way to big and one I have is too small. Can’t order them online anymore because of this.

    I actually miss the wool caps. You could shrink them to fit. The BP fabric is definitely lighter and more comfortable. And, unless you are up close, can’t really tell the difference.

    Exactly. I felt like the old MLB hats you used to be able to buy for $19.99 and get a penny back fit so much better. I’m talking around the 90’s. Now, you can sit in a store trying on 50 caps and you still might end up walking out with a cap that just never fits right – and it’s $35. Forget about ordering a fitted cap online!!! And yes, the crowns are SOOOOO SUPER high. You get lucky if you get one that can be broken in and lower a bit. They do have the New Era Low Crown version of the on-field caps. Never bought one myself as the only place I’ve seen them is online (so again, good luck with size). I feel if they move to the new fabric, it might be better. I feel they should also have the small/medium, medium/large, large/extra large stretch fit – which is usually in that kind of fabric. I’ve got a Cape Cod Baseball League cap that is one of their team’s on-field caps and it’s the stretch fit fabric. I love that hat. Fit perfectly the first day I put it on – and the crown was normal. It’s by Pacific Headwear – solid cap.

    Anyone know what material the caps were in the 1980s, or if there was an industry name for it? I saw this in the Baltimore Sports Museum, and it doesn’t look like the construction of the current polyester hats: link

    Looks pretty cool actually.


    I will be VERY disappointed if this change happens. The current fabric is a hat that PROS wear and feels professional the BP fabric is too distracting and ugly. It looks like someone stitched a workout shirt to a hat! That said new era hats generally have worn better than Nike or reebok hats.

    The logos look awful on Diamond Era caps too. Hope they go back to traditional embroidery if they do in fact switch the material.

    Ehhh new hats? No thanks. I’d be fine with a redesign, but I love the way they look now. If the season wasn’t over id still have my orioles hat on everyday!

    … “The Boston Public Library has a huge archive of photos on Flickr,” writes John Leftwich. “There’s a ton of other strings one can use, but I chose to focus on baseball…”

    It is an extraordinary collection, and BPL is hyper-civic to make so many hi-def exemplars so easy to download. The BPL main building, btw, is the prettiest public library in the world, a stellar CF McKim job…

    Unlike the Johnson building, which is a bit of an eyesore (and which they’re talking about modernizing)

    Personally the Diamond Era template both fits and feels better on my head, although I feel like I’ll miss the look of the current material. Something just doesn’t seem right about a textured baseball cap for everyday use.

    I don’t care at all for the current material on the hats, because they just don’t break in like the wool ones used to. But the batting practice material just seems like it would be a terrible idea for the on the field hats. Honestly, even though I hate most of the designs, I currently buy more 39thirty caps than 59fifty. The high crown just looks terrible, and none of the suggestions for making it look “better” actually do.

    There was nothing like getting a new wool cap and working to get it to fit perfectly: wearing them in the shower, stretching out the sizing band, cutting out the buckram. I miss those old 5950s.

    My college Alma Mater – Southeastern Louisiana University (Robin Roberts’ too – she was a pretty good college basketball player) has some pretty lame uniforms of late. Sad. Great colors, ambition to try alternates, and instead we get BFBS last week and Blah yellow alts this week. Yuk on Stilts.

    The New Era design”s crown is way to high. I only wear Nike MLB caps (even though they aren’t fitted). I would be happier with a NIKE official cap. The BP hats currently look like HS caps and I hope MLB doesn’t make them official on field caps.

    What’s interesting about Josh Freeman getting #12 is that he got it from a rookie punter who switched from 12 to 18, and I thought it was against the rules for players to switch numbers during the season.

    (Well, since it’s a rookie punter and no one is buying his jersey, it’s all okay?

    I thought this rule exists to prevent confusion for coaches and scouts studying game film. Difficult to evaluate game film if the jersey numbers are being switched. (Not a big issue for a punter, but important for linemen)

    Those Wichita State jerseys look the same as the ones they wore in there final four game against Louisville.

    I have 186 fitted game caps from MLB and MiLB teams. Been collecting for almost 20 years (Yes, I have a problem). Got most of ’em when you had to travel to the park and buy them. Then came Manny’s Baseball Land.

    This change is a gimmick to drive up sales as we know. But the fun of collecting has gone away. Gimmick caps, camo caps, flag caps, alternate BP caps…I mean, c’mon.

    I miss Manny’s baseball land! I have a buch of caps I got there dating back to the fifties and sixties that I will be sending pics of to uniwatch soon.

    I miss them too. Actually had the chance to shop in the store in Hackensack when I lived in Jersey. What a place!


    Their signature cap, a fitted New Era (green underbill) with Ted Williams swing on it, was a classic. I’ve never seen one on Ebay, but I know they’re out there somewhere.

    I went to the one in Cliffside Park and then many trips to Hackensack. I still have some of their t-shirts with that Ted Williams logo.

    re: ugly soccer jersey gallery

    Some of those aren’t so bad. SC Heerenveen’s flag design is pretty nice, and the orange Shimizu S-Pulse kit has always been one of my favorites. And how can you not like the fringes on the Colorado Caribous shirt?

    Without even looking at the link, wasn’t the Caribous jersey a topic a while back? I could be wrong, just thought I remembered seeing it featured here some time ago.

    The Caribous jerseys are *always* a topic. The “ugly kits” gallery, invariably featuring some some neon gradient design from the 90s and some 70s Admiral kit and something from North America, is what websites do about every 3 months.

    Not a fan of changing to the BP cap material. The low crown 5950’s fit great and look professional! Only complaint is the bills dont curve but otherwise a great cap. Go Brewers!

    with Cards, Dodgers, Bosox, and either Tigers/ A’s, this might be the best looking LCS/ World series I’ve ever seen. Though the Dodgers and Cards could use a lil piping on their pants.

    I agree about this should be one of the best looking teams to face off in the LCS ! Looking forward to watching these teams grace the field. And should be a gorgeous game tonight with the Bears/Giants game :)

    Totally agree. I wish the Cards had a little red line down their white pants, a la the 1960s Cards.

    Last year was pretty solid, too: Cardinals, Giants, Yankees, & Tigers. On the plus side, though, this year we’ll be able to see the Cards wear their red hats in Dodger Stadium.

    Man that Jets prototype jersey looks awesome! Jets already have a classic uni, I think the protype is a major upgrade to the solid green sleeve pannels they have going on now.

    PLEASE SWEET MOSES DO NOT LET NIKE GET AN MLB CONTRACT. Their baseball products are all very low quality and it would be one more feather in the cap of a monstrous giant that would show more branding than team pride.

    I love the current new era hats (aside from the high scrowns)…I think they look great and are made very well. I have a ton of hats, and my only dislike of the New Era hats are (as stated above by some) the high dome. I was able to find a Phillies low dome version, but haven’t been able to find any since then.

    I don’t mind the spring training caps; I think the Phillies one looked sharp this year, and I don’t feel that the fabric will be too much of a distraction.

    My only concern is Nike getting the contract. I really don’t like what they have been doing with the NFL (the business shirt-under-uniform look, and the hideous pro bowl jerseys) OR olympic hockey (everything about the sweaters they have produced are just….no! Fake laces?! And they look like long sleaved t-shirts, not hockey sweaters!).

    I don’t much care for the high dome myself. I think that New Era’s lower-dome style is the 39THIRTY, but they don’t appear to make replicas of the on-field hats. I’m a Cards fan, so I used them as to search, and this was the closest I found:

    Usually when it’s time to get a new hat, I’ll go out of my way to find it in the ’47 Brand (formerly Twins Enterprise) “Franchise” model. I realized several years ago that both the navy and red Cardinals hats I had were made by Twins, and I’ve always liked the way they fit.

    Interesting… I guess the other thing I didn’t mention I don’t care for with the 59Fifties is that the bills don’t seem to bend as easily.

    Yeah, don’t like the flat bills, the Cooperstown Collection hats by American Needle are the best fit for me, the bills curve nicely, thankfully I like old hats.

    I thought I read that 47 Brand was also makinga run for the MLB contract. I’d prefer them over Nike any day.

    I agree, I have a bunch of hats in the “Franchise” model…I love the way they feel and they fit my head a lot better. That being said, I have always loved the authentic look of the New Era hats (on field). The lower dome one I found was at a local Modells store, and it is the same exact thing as the on field hats (no other branding on the hat and with the same MLB logo on the back).

    I’m with all of you who are fine with the current MLB caps but hate the high crowns. I prefer a lower-profile cap, and I found that has a whole bunch — pretty much for all MLB teams (and most of their alts), as well as a lot of Minor League teams. They’re based in my old stomping grounds of Anaheim, CA.

    I like the look of the 5950 the texture, but the wool can get a bit warm on a hot day, its basically the same technology since 190whenever. Not surprising an upgrade is being considered.

    We were New Era dealers at Ruby’s. I remember once when the late Dave Koch, son of founder Harold Koch told me very succinctly that New Era Cap Co. would never ever import any of their caps. This was in the late 1970s. How times have changed.

    I remember when “MADE IN USA SINCE 1920” was prominently displayed on a tag in the sweatband of various New Eras. Then the “MADE IN USA” text disappeared approximately 10 years ago. I remember New Era boasting about the MLB authentic hats (and all their caps) being made in the USA–justified sense of pride. It’s too bad that’s all changed.

    A lot of cap enthusiasts prefer the old woollies, but the poly caps I have no problem with. They don’t shrink or contort to your head as well, though.

    I think the preference to the wool caps, with their white sweatbands and grey underbrims, stemmed more because of quality at first; I remember a lot of those initially-released polyester hats did not fit well at all off the rack whereas the wool hats had always fit just right. It took New Era several years to provide a consistent fit on their polyester hats. The fit’s better now but still doesn’t compare to the wool hats.

    Over time, it seems the grey underbrim became an aesthetic preference, especially on the custom caps. I wish New Era still made those in the United States.

    Those “new” Kansas socks aren’t quite that new. They’re the KU version of the Adidas Team Speed crew socks that have been available for at least two years. They have white and colored versions for many of their teams (KU, Indiana, Wisconsin/Nebraska, Michigan, Notre Dame, etc.)

    I have to correct myself…just got the issue of Sports Illustrated in the mail where that photo of Andrew Wiggins came from. The first page of the story includes a nice superimposed shot if Wiggins sitting on a bench lacing up his shoes next to an old photo of then KU-sophomore Wilt Chamberlain doing the same. The modern Adidas socks have stripes that angle as they go to the front, and no seam going downward. Perhaps they’re a new version of the Speed sock.

    Y.A. wore 63 for the same reason Otto Graham started out wearing 60. In the AAFC, quarterbacks were required to wear numbers in the 60s, running backs in the 70s (Marion Motley wore 76) and linemen wore lower numbers. Remember that was no mandated numbers in NFL or college football at the time.

    Jonas Hiller has an eggplant and teal mask for use with Throwback Night.
    Check this out: Hiller must have had his artist flip Wild Wing in order to be left-handed, just like Hiller. One little problem: Wild Wing’s jersey logo accidentally got flipped too! OOPS!

    Reverse wild wing aside I really miss the Mighty Ducks purple and teal look. Sure it’s a dated vestige of the 90s but it was theirs and they owned it. They had a color scheme unique to them and their current look is so lifeless and bland with weird stripes and a bad wordmark for a logo.

    I’d hate to see the 5950 go. I always see the complaints but the high crown/stiff brim fit my noggin perfectly, particularly the wool hats. No other fitted hat I’ve tried works for me.

    If New Era lost the on-field contract, would they still produce the fashion hats? I prefer the on-field hats (or at least hats in correct team colors) but it would be better than nothing.

    This morning’s Houston Chronicle refers to the star of ” Machete Kills” as “beloved character actor Danny Trejo.”

    Dan Snyder has once again reiterated that the Redskins name will not be changing. He owns the franchise, he is Roger Goodells boss, and the tiny minority of libtards will not sway him no matter how much they bitch and moan. Please take up some other pathetic cause like eliminating fighting in hockey and suspending children for wearing NRA shirts. But keep your grubby biased lib paws off the NFL. If Mr. Lukas doesn’t get off his soapbox regarding the Redskins (a name which btw refers to WAR PAINT…if a white person put on red war paint he’d be a red skin too) then I will no longer be reading uni watch.

    And I will be spreading the word about your radical agenda

    ps. Howard Stern? Howard Stern is 60 years old and DOESN’T EVEN WATCH FOOTBALL. He’s said the worst possible filth imaginable on the air. This is somebody who you latch on to in your backwards brainless crusade to get the Redskins name changed?

    That’s like saying “Let’s eliminate all cigarettes and alcohol! Hitler was for it!”

    If Mr. Lukas doesn’t get off his soapbox regarding the Redskins (a name which btw refers to WAR PAINT…if a white person put on red war paint he’d be a red skin too) then I will no longer be reading uni watch.

    Hmmmm. If only all the ’Skins material were conveniently grouped together in one spot so people who don’t care for it could just scroll past it…..

    When you have your own blog, Holeman, YOU can keep YOUR opinions off of it if you like.

    That isn’t the way this one works.

    Paul, don’t be reasonable. The internet is no place for that.

    FYI: The National Congress of American Indians has their report on “Harmful Indian Mascots” posted here (links to a pdf): link

    It is very thorough.

    “if a white person put on red war paint he’d be a red skin too”

    Al Jolson is in complete agreement with you!

    If you think that fighting in hockey is even remotely close to what people believe is a racist team name, I’d say we have very differing opinions on what people should be worrying about as a society.

    Are you comparing Howard Stern–most recently a judge on a talent competition show–to Adolf Hitler?

    Well, the comparison to Hitler is a bit out there, but Howard Stern did make a career out of being as offensive as he could get away with. If people can look at the article from Rick Reilly a few weeks back and say things like “oh, well if he’s against changing the name, then it must need changed” (and yes, there were posts like that on here), then one can certainly view Howard Stern’s opinion in the same way.

    While I don’t think anyone sees Howard Stern’s views as gospel, it does put lie to the notion that the anti-‘Skins movement is a solely the domain of white-guilt-ridden ivory tower liberals.

    The problem with Rick Reilly’s column wasn’t so much who he was, but the stupidity of the argument.

    “…If Mr. Lukas doesn’t get off his soapbox regarding the Redskins…”

    See what you started Paul?

    There’s something to this argument though. I love uniwatch. I’ve been an avid reader since the beginning and I love the observations and artistic details Paul and the readers investigate. For years, this has been a favorite website. Now, I will admit, it’s hard to read the same way, as Uniforms have taken a backseat to political grandstanding about Indians and Redskins and such. First, I disagree with the idea that Dan Snyder is “whistling by the graveyard” or that any type of change is likely to occur. Simply because a growing number of white liberal journalists feel one way does not mean that their goals will necessarily be realized. I surely have no objection to anyone expressing their views, but the smarmy activist assertion that anyone of consequence is paying anything other than lip service to a squeaky wheel is unsupported Second, I am a fan of the Indians, Chief Wahoo and Indian nicknames in general. I feel somewhat excluded and one might even say “offended” by the backlash without regard for traditionalists like me. This is a uniform site and a damned good one. Let’s bury the divisive Skins watch crap and leave it for CNN. Now, on to New Era Caps….

    Very well said. I feel like saying you are OK with the Skins name, even if you make an intelligent, non-confrontational argument for it, has become verboten around these parts.

    Steve, intelligent, non-confrontational arguments are always welcome here.

    But that doesn’t mean it won’t be met by a similarly intelligent counter-argument. That’s how public debate works. If you feel like your side is in the minority here (which I’m not sure is the case), well, that’s how life works sometimes. Sometimes we’re taking a more popular position and sometimes we’re staking out a more isolated position. I’ve certainly been on both sides at various points of my life, and you probably have been too.

    If you disagree with my position that’s fine. Either way, it’s a topic that’s (a) relevant to Uni Watch (we always discuss team names, logos, and branding) and (b) in the news. So I see no reason not to keep reporting on it.

    Thanks Paul. You’ve always been good with respecting the opinions of others and allowing the opposition’s voice. I don’t always think that’s true of all commenters though. But that’s the internet and there’s been just as many that make poor, unintelligible arguments for the Skins name.

    You’re not doing supporters who’d like to see the Washington Redskins remain as such by using labels instead of logic, caustic language rather than civil presentation, and threats (“And I will be spreading the word about your radical agenda”)instead of thoughts.

    Probably just a coincidence, but today I found Uni Watch referenced in a place I did not expect to see it (comments section), right?:


    NEW ERA LOW CROWNS, people. They are the best. The boxy 59Fifties people are complaining about is nothing new…ballplayers have been wearing the high crowns since the 1960s. If Nike took over the contract (God help us all) then I would not be surprised if they kept making high-crowns.

    And Nike had better not put a motherf*&#ing swoosh on those caps.

    As for the “Diamond Era” stuff, I think the material is fine, but I really don’t like the way the logos look. I just hope N.E. also offers low-crown versions of the Diamond Eras.

    New Era has been Instagramming pictures of players switching to “New Performance Caps” since the playoffs started. Here is a link link

    Dear MLB –

    Please leave the superheroing of sports uniforms to the NFL and NBA. You do not need your caps to look like the newest costumes worn by Superman and Spiderman. You’re better than that.

    Thank you.

    and bring back wool jerseys too! Player comfort be damned. We don’t care how you play, we want you to look good!

    I’m guessing you’re saying that ballcaps as they’ve been made for the past 100 years aren’t comfortable? That’s odd, because I don’t see football or hockey helmets being worn by the general public (or even crossed over to other sports on a large scale), but I see baseball caps just about everywhere I go (including locker rooms of all major sports’ champions). I guess it’s not because of the comfort, but because all the other sports know that baseball is #1, and they want to pay homage to MLB, right?

    I much prefer the texture of the 59Fifty and would not want those hats to be replaced by the Diamond Era caps. I was never a fan of the Diamond Era batting practice caps and became even less of a fan when I finally held one in my hand: felt way too thin and cheap.

    I don’t want Nike to become the official on-field, either. They’ll find a way to incorporate Flywire in the worst way possible…

    I look forward to the new material on all caps. I bought several of this year’s BP caps (both of my souvenirs on trips this year were BP caps for the teams of that city), and I find they’re very comfortable.

    I really hope Nike does not get the MLB cap contract. Next would be the uniform contract, and that would really suck because Nike can’t leave anything alone. It has to put its stamp on everything.

    You say that like Nike has destroyed/altered the look of the NFL as a whole?

    Aside from the Seahawks, what team has had their look radically altered? Pro Bowl unis don’t count because really, no one cares.

    I love how people jump off buildings when they hear Nike but don’t, I don’t know, look at facts!

    The powder blue story has a quote that should not have been included in the story because it’s mostly wrong:

    “But just know the guys that came through here and grinded — Charlie Joiner, Dan Fouts and Kellen Winslow Sr. — for them, wearing the powder blue was a big deal.”

    Dan Fouts wore powder blue for one season (1973) when he was a rookie. The Chargers ditched the powder blue in ’74. Charlie Joiner didn’t join the Chargers until ’76 and Kellen Winslow didn’t break into the NFL until ’79.

    While most folks may think of Chuck Muncie when the the San Diego NFL team’s yellow facemask era is mentioned, but I always recall how cool Wes Chandler’s was:


    Didn’t Rolf Benirschke have a non-QB/P holder at one point?

    Paul, I have worn wool 5950’s since I was burned when I was in the Army. I have a large scar on the back of my head that is about the size of a saucer plate. I preferred the old wool grey underbill but when New Era made the switch to the polyester black underbill I bought one and only one. They just don’t fit right. I can’t find the website now but I remember seeing it on Uni-Watch about how to pull the plastic out of the front panels and shape the hat to your own head. I’ll be spending most of the day trying to find that again.

    That is the link I was looking for! You’re awesome I had it saved on my old CPU. It suffered a bit of water damage and was not salvageable. I now have an external hard drive that I keep in a high and dry place. I have actually bought two of the new polyester 5950’s the first one I tried that method. It didn’t work. The second I’ve had for 2 years and it still doesn’t fit right.

    The writing was on the wall all season that game caps would make the fabric switch. Opinions will vary about comfort between the old twill and the new mesh, but aesthetically, I think it’s likely to be an upgrade. Cap material will now match the texture of the uni material more closely than it has since the days of wool jerseys.

    And sweet baby Jesus, let Nike get no further toes in MLB’s door. Most importantly, because Nike makes crappy hats. Well, I mean, Nike basically makes crappy everything, from a quality-of-manufacture point of view, but aesthetically, Nike’s caps are terribly designed. I know New Era comes in for a lot of criticism on consistency and quality control in manufacturing, but the 5950 is a nearly perfectly designed cap. (And if it’s too tall for you, then order a low-crown version. They’re not hard to find.) The bill, in particular, is simply the best out there. No corners, just the perfect curve to provide above-the-eyes shade with no peripheral obstruction. Nike cap bills, in comparison, tend to have too-sharp corners that drop down into the field of view.

    There was also that week or two when MLB had actually asked teams to wear the Diamond Era hats during games this season.

    Yep. That was the biggest writing on that particular wall. That, and the couple of special-event caps done in the mesh version, led me to expect that game caps would switch for 2014.

    Wait…so MLB would ditch New Era because they make NFL hats and switch to Nike who makes the NFL uniforms?? I’m not following this logic.

    And Nike makes TERRIBLE hats. Ohio State has worn Nike since the 90’s and I have NEVER found a hat that actually fits. They’re all small. And I wear a 7 3/8 in New Era. That’s not that big!

    I’ve always found Nike flex fit hats to fit great. All my Pitt script hats are these kind. They would be great for MLB on field in my opinion.

    I wouldn’t want a swoosh on in-game hats… much like there isn’t a NE flag logo on them now. Hopefully that’s something MLB dictates in the contract.

    I own 3 caps, 2 of which are Nike.
    I have found that the DriFit is very durable and even the one I own which has been laundered several times (even though you’re not supposed to do so)has retained its’ shape and color.

    I would welcome the change in the caps as long as they are made in the USA. I think the BP caps are more comfortable.
    I would think you would still be able to get the 5950’s and please no Nike hats.

    Yes, lavender. The NHL uses that color, instead of pink, for its “Hockey Fights Cancer” initiative. You’ll see the coaches wearing lapel pins or lavender ties (Ken Hitchcock wore the latter last night).

    The Cubs don’t have any piping either. And of course few (if any) of the pinstripe-wearing teams have extraneous piping on their pants. I couldn’t see where this “only teams with no piping” thing was coming from.

    Good point. I assumed they excluded teams with pinstripes. Thought maybe he meant the Cards, A’s, and Dodgers are the only teams with plain pants for both home and road, but the Dodgers have road piping: link

    I think a move to the BP caps for games would be a bad move. They just look like a warm up caps. I will say that I love working out in my two BP caps because they breathe, they’re light, and they don’t shrink.
    The poly 5950’s are still heavy when they get sweat-wet, but they just look better. They look like a real baseball hat. As pointed out, the texture of a BP cap in a game would really look different.
    And as for the high crowns of the 5950, those of us with big lids (I wear a 7 3/4) need a deep crown. They fit the best. Nothing made by Nike, Adidas or UA ever stays on my head.

    “Very nice new uniforms for Minnesota-Duluth”

    Clean design, all the stripes in the right places, no random, pointless elements… Someone in the corporate design department was asleep at the switch!

    Here’s the home maroon version of UMD’s uniforms in action from Monday’s exhibition game (clobbering my home town Lakehead Thunderwolves as expected 7-1).

    Interesting how college football (and basketball really) uniforms continue to become a mockery, while many college hockey programs keep proudly releasing what i would consider tasteful traditional designs.

    I’m sure they’ll have blowout sales, just like Majestic does with uniforms. And sales will be brisk for the loyalists.

    I’d rather the NFL not put these “supportive” colors on the field, but if it is going to be done, I appreciate what Brandon Marshall is doing. Hopefully other players follow his lead and these October shenanigans get so out of hand with all the different colors that the NFL just says, “ENOUGH!” and ditches the idea altogether.

    Also, why is Marshawn Lynch getting fined for wearing green shoes? I thought the NFL ditched the rule when Nike took over and started allowing team color shoes.

    That’s a funny slip. I believe it’s a corn “maze”. A corn “maize” would be a corn corn. (Or did you do that on purpose?)

    Also note about the Blues, since you mentioned their boards, they changed the decal on their home navy helmets. Instead of the word mark they’ve worn since they changed their uniforms in 1998, they now have the main logo on the navy helmet… which now makes me hope they get rid of it or heavily scale it back, like the Bills did.

    I agree with the complaints about the typical high crown 5950s. is an excellent source for the low crown model. I’ve bought several from them and will probably buy backups before the switch to the new material is made.


    I know the website looks kind of sketchy, but they’re totally legit. Fast, reasonable shipping too.

    The main problem with the current MLB caps, even though they switched from wool to “performance fabric” several years ago is that they are just too hot to wear in the summer. With summer temperatures being regularly in the high 80’s and 90’s the past few years, they are just too hot and you sweat too much. While I prefer the old wool caps for pure aesthetics, if I were to wear something while playing baseball in the 90 degree sun I would prefer the diamond era fabric for that purpose, and I did take to wearing them to games this past season.

    From a pure look/quality perspective, I would love for MLB to give their on-field contract to California Custom Caps, Ideal Cap Co. or Ebbets Field Flannels. Those are high quality and good looking caps.

    “Just when you thought you’d seen every logo-clad apparel product in existence, here’s a new one (at least to me): team-branded arm sleeves. Anyone ever worn these? Fill us in (from Ben Traxel). ”

    NHL branded ones have been around for a while – I’m sure it was mentioned here.


    I almost pulled the trigger on a set at least three years back, but I couldn’t find anyone who would ship to Canada without mega $$$ for shipping.

    I’ve worn unbranded arm warmers for cycling and running many times, I’m sure the experience of wearing team branded arm warmers is much the same.

    I’m pretty sure they’re the same thing that’s been sold by the NBA as link.

    From what I understand, they’re popular as link.

    “Bicep stretches to 15”

    I’m pretty sure that’s not aimed at any cyclists I know. ;)

    If MLB caps go over to Nike or 47, you know what would be sweet? If the new manufacturer stuck to making and selling on-field caps and just walked away from New Era’s wide array of fashion caps.



    Does anyone know when Majestic’s contract is up? The only thing I could find in a quick search is renewed “through 2014.”

    As a buddy of mine pointed out, NIKE could make a huge push to get the whole apparel deal – which would be horrendous, but throw tons of $$ into MLB’s coffers.

    MLB likes the fact that Majestic is only outfitting one league and I don’t see that changing.

    I’m a baseball traditionalist, so I’d prefer they stay with the current fabric look of the 5950’s. On the other hand, since I also play amateur baseball, I’m all for finding a material that’s best suited for comfort in the summer heat. However that is served, would be best for the players. As for Nike possibly becoming the supplier, as long as I don’t have to see more of the swoosh, I’m OK. We’re already inundated too much with the swoosh.

    On another note, I’ve always been a fan of Andrew McCutchen from afar, but after I read the story of him donating uniforms to the girls softball team, he’s at the top of my current, favorite players. Props to the Cutch!

    The difference between New Era & Nike is Nike’s distribution & ability to absorb dead inventory.

    New Era insisted that the side logo was cool. Ok, then why are they in this predicament? There’s no other explanation (besides the already mentioned distribution). People hate the extra logos. The 90’s are over; they took a fashion fad of logos/stickers/tags & ran with it for almost 2 decades. Fashion moves forward & they didn’t.

    Nike will make the exact same mistakes. As stated, they will be able to absorb dead inventory, & will have one fewer competitor for MLB licensed hats. That doesn’t make them the fashion winner, just the business model winner.

    If anybody at Nike reads this blog, you will never get my money with a swoosh on the hat. Unlike Dan Snyder, when I say never, I mean it. New Era didn’t have enough teens to cover the lost sales of the older more conservative consumer, & neither will you. I know Nike is too big to care what I think, & apparently New Era thought they were in the same league. “Speak with your cap.”

    If anybody at Nike reads this blog, you will never get my money with a swoosh on the hat.

    MLB regulations don’t allow a manufacturer’s logo to be visible on a game cap.

    Everyone thought Nike would give the NFL a makeover, too. Didn’t happen (except for the Pro Bowl, which doesn’t matter). Chill.

    I know MLB doesn’t allow logos on the game caps. I was referring to the fashion caps, throwbacks, etc.

    The fashion caps expanded New Era globally; they were the money maker, & they screwed it up.

    Nike outfits (or outfitted) the LSU baseball team. I bought an LSU baseball cap because I have friends in Baton Rouge and try to see an LSU game every year. I also love purple, but that’s another story (Paul – purple and gold ok for LSU baseball or bad for them also?).

    Anyway, long story short, there was a gold nike swoosh on the back of the cap so I got a seam ripper (link) (you can also get a stitch puller), watched some battlestar galactica DVDs and pulled that sucker out.

    While on the one hand I never really want to give my money to the swoosh, on the other, it was super satisfying to de-swoosh something. And using a seam ripper is easier than trying to cover a swoosh on an article of clothing. I haven’t yet overscreened a swoosh, but I have thought about it. it’s hard to color match ink and fabric.

    That’s my solution!

    Ben, there will be ghosting on either a cap or a jersey.

    This thread shows in detail how to remove the NE flag:


    For jerseys, just look at game used jerseys on eBay that have nameplates removed. It is quite noticeable.

    Comparing link, link, link new basketball uniforms, it’s obvious that Nike has a new, basketball net-themed template for its sweatback designs. I think I’ll call them “netbacks.”

    (Pardon me while I pat myself on the back…)

    I already have a decent stockpile of LOW CROWN 5950s, but it looks like I will have to go into full hoarder mode and buy up enough caps from (they are awesome, I’ve even been to their warehouse in Anaheim in person) to hold me until I die.

    Regular, high crown 5950s and Diamond Era 5950s are simply too enormous. Nike, Zephyr, 47 Brand, blah blah blah are just crummy caps.

    But, boy howdy, those New Era LOW CROWN 5950s are incredible. I will be a sad, sad boy if they disappear.

    I love the batting practice caps released this year! I know I have a very odd reason for doing so, but as a person that has had to wear a bone conducting hearing aid on his head his whole life, the fit of these caps is great! They just have more flexibility than the standard game cap. For the same reason, I love the deep crown as it fits over my damn hearing aid. But, yeah, I get my reasoning for liking the caps is self serving.

    The cons I have with the caps are 1) I find the brims don’t bend as well as the standard cap & 2) the stupid/pointless raised outline around the team logos.

    Ebbets Field Flannels should get the contract to make the MLB caps. It would be a win-win for everybody, high quality American made caps for the fans, and good publicity for the league for the patriotic and altruistic gesture of selecting an American made supplier.

    Since the 5950’s went away from wool in 2007 the quality of the product has declined. I have a couple of the Diamond Era caps. One is a regular BP cap (made in China) and the other is a July 4th cap (Flag desecration as Paul would say, made in USA). The July 4th cap fits, feels, and looks better. The regular BP cap is not sized correctly, and the shape of the cap doesn’t look right on my head.
    If they make the Diamond Era caps in the USA, I see no problem with it…
    The best solution, is to go back to the wool 5950 caps to begin with, but unfortunately we live in a Polyester world now.

    I was surprised to get one of the Diamond Era BP caps and have it look a lot look a chef’s hat. I’ve been trying to squish the crown but haven’t been able to. I guess I’ll try that de-stitching procedure.

    I have about 100 MLB/New Era caps that I’ve collected over the last 30 years. Best fitting cap I ever bought was a short-billed AL Umpire’s cap from just before they merged the umps. I don’t remember if it’s a New Era, I think it is, but man it’s perfect.

    Personally, I don’t like the fact that Nike is thinking about getting the cap contract for MLB. I love New Era Cap so much….. the polyester game caps, as they are now, I have no problem with. But switching to the Diamond Era fabric? Unnecessary.

    “Want to see why Wahoo is as problematic as the ’Skins name? link.”

    This certainly drives home the point in a visually striking way. However, the analogy works only to a point. New York is well-known for having the largest Jewish community in the world outside of Israel. Likewise, residents of ethnic Chinese origin make up more than one-fifth of San Francisco’s population.

    Conversely, after most of Ohio’s indigenous population was forcibly removed from the area in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries, Native Americans make up less than three-tenths of one percent of Cleveland’s population. In fact, there are link. Perhaps the arguments in opposition to Native American team names that relate to appropriation of cultural identity and lack of sensitivity to resident ethnic communities would be highlighted even more if the “teams” mentioned in the ad were moved to cities with significantly smaller Jewish or Chinese populations. Maybe, say, the “Oklahoma City Jews” or the “Memphis Chinamen.”

    While the green shoes Marshall will be wearing probably will look hideous, the cause he’s wearing them for is actually something that personally effects Marshall, due to his Borderline Personality Disorder. TO me, it’s certainly admirable from him to raise awareness on a cause that most Americans don’t generally think about (unlike the pink that is now synonymous with Breast Cancer). More information on this mental heath awareness website about Marshall: link

    I’m all in favor of mental health awareness, and I agree that Marshall’s intent is admirable.

    But lots of people have all sorts of problems, maladies, causes, and other worthy points of view. Should they all be represented on a uniform (even if only on footwear)?

    It’s gotten way out of hand.

    I know Paul has covered the OU/Texas uniforms for the Red River Rivalry this weekend, but there is one small thing that I haven’t seen mentioned (and it may have been covered in the comments. If so, I apologize):

    The “OU” logo at the base of the Oklahoma (front) collar is gold. The Longhorn at the base of the Texas (front) collar is the normal white.

    The reason for this? The trophy awarded to the winner annually is a gold cowboy hat (thus, the gold accents). OU currently holds the trophy, so their logo is gold. If Texas were to win, next year, OU’s logo would be white and Texas’ would be gold.

    Dear God I hope your contact is wrong. BP caps have always looked and felt cheap and chintzy. Not great for a product that is already overpriced and hard to justify buying but which at least still feels well made and is US made more importantly with the current 5950s. I’d have bought my last MLB cap if they make the change to the BP caps.

    And don’t even get me started on Nike and their garbage caps that never seem to fit right.

    Go back and read it again: It’s one source who’s talking to Sports Biz Journal. NBC is simply repeating what SBJ wrote (just like they initially repeated what I wrote).

    As far as the volleyball ads go, those sorts of advertisements have existed for quite some time. Most teams opt to just put their logo or name on it, but others do actually get an advertisement on the tape. It’s an extremely common occurrence in beach volleyball as well.

    I’m 41 and been collecting fitted caps since my early teens. Have around 100 in my collection. I’ve noticed in the last 5 years that New Era’s “quality control” has gone down the crapper. I can’t tell you how many caps I’ve returned because the logo is crooked or off centered, Brim is not on straight, crown is too high or just plain looks bulbous. For the price you pay for these caps you’d expect good quality. I’ve been seeing this a lot with the China made caps and even some of the USA made.

    I have a couple of the current BP caps and they are not bad for BP. I wouldn’t want to see them replace the current poly 5950s. I think they could bring them on as a summer time “Cool Base” version similar to what Majestic does with the jerseys.

    I like the new Blue Jay logo that Creighton went with. Still think they should have left the wishbone-C, but it might take some time to warm up to the new C

    I don’t like the look of the Nike fitted caps they provide college baseball teams. They end up looking a little off for some reason IMO. Hope the MLB just sticks with the 5950’s and New Era hires some quality control to get some consistency in sizing.

    I’m surprised to see all the hate on the NewEra high crown 5950 caps. Do people actually thinks the players look stupid wearing them?
    First of all concerning the current 5950 caps. The quality and fit of the caps made in China can be embarrassing at times. When you compare the two side by side it’s quite noticeable. Being in Canada we only get Authentic MLB caps made in China. I get all of mine at the ballparks. I’ve noticed even in the US they’re starting to get China ones now.
    It would be too bad if they changed the material since they’ve been using the current look with the polyester and previous wool for so long. I’m curious if the Yankees would be so quick to switch since they’ve been reluctant to switch in the past and deviate from tradition. They don’t even currently use the new Cool Base jerseys.
    Finally I think it would be disappointing if Nike got the contract. I have a hard time seeing them getting it right.

    If I had my way, baseball would build a time machine, go back in time and get Sports Specialties to make the official on-field hats. Sadly, Sports Specialties isn’t around these days. My very first hat was a Sports Specialties 7 1/8 New York Mets hat that I got in 1988. I loved that hat and wore it everywhere!! The blue and orange were so bright and looked awesome in the sun! They were high quality and beat the hell out of New Era. Back then, New Era turned out crap hats.

    All these years later, I have to give New Era credit. The hats they made in the 90’s were very high quality. I liked the wool hats but, if you got caught in the rain with a wool hat, it would start smelling pretty rank. I even love the 2007 polyester style hats. I’ve had no problem breaking in these new style hats…on one condition. They need to be the made in the USA versions. I’ve noticed that it’s the Chinese made New Era hats that have the Elmer Fudd high crown look and are of low quality to say the least. All my USA made New Eras since 2007 break in really nicely, curve very well and are among my faves. As for the Chinese made hats (mostly they tend to be the BP hats, all MiLB hats, special edition hats, i.e. anniversary or patch on side, NFL on-field, the fashion hats and what ever else I may have missed) tend to be really hard to break in, have stiff brims that tend to crack when curving, attract EVERY piece of lint and dust around, have the ultra high crowns and have the way goofy sizing differences.

    I do have a few New Era Chinese made hats that have broken in good…took forever and needed the aid of walks on nice, hot summer days. The majority are simply bad craftsmanship. Of course, I only have 7 Chinese made New Eras…the rest are USA made (70 in total). Sooooooooo, there’s my 2 cents worth. Had to comment, I love hats!!!

    I consider myself to be a “hat guy.” I very go out without wearing one. On MLB 59fifty on field caps alone, these are the teams that I have: Orioles, Indians, Tigers (5), Astros, Royals, Twins, A’s, Rays, Rangers, Blue Jays, Cubs, Marlins (Miami and Florida), Brewers, and Pirates. That’s not even counting the MiLB ones that I have. I liked the old wool 59fifty’s, but love the new polyester ones. They are cooler and don’t shrink. If MLB switches to the BP material hats, as the official on field caps, I think I’ll quit buying MLB them. I’ve had several in the past, and love them right away. When you first get them, they fit great. The problem is, when you wear them as much as I do, they start to stretch. Before you know it, your hat that used to fit great, can now be pulled down over your ears. I’ve had 3 BP hats and all 3 have done this. Has anybody else had this problem?

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