One of the biggest trends in Major League Baseball these days is the explosion of home run celebration props, and the prop that’s caused one of the biggest sensations is Atlanta’s “Big Hat,” which is exactly what it sounds like — a giant cap that’s placed on a player’s head after he returns to the dugout following a home run. (Yes, it looks a bit like the padded cap that pitcher Alex Torres once wore with the Padres and Mets.)
But now Big Uni has put the kibosh on the big hat, according to an Atlanta-based memorabilia firm called More Than Sports, which posted this tweet last night:
— More Than Sports (@MTSMorethanspor) April 26, 2023
I’d never heard of More Than Sports, so I got in touch with the author of the tweet, who turned out to be More Than Sports founder/CEO Nick Radosta. He told me the following:
We work directly with some of the Braves and a ton of Georgia football players. We made the big hats go viral during Georgia’s playoff run this past season. I had the idea of it being the home run hat this year for the Braves, so I cooked one up for them and I gave one to Ozzie [Albies] and one to A.J. Minter.
We don’t sell the hat. This was just meant for the Braves to have fun with and I passed out a couple to Bally Sports as well as a blooper. Sadly, they got the call from New Era that they had to shut it down.
I’ve inquired with New Era and will update this post if I hear back from them.
If Radosta’s story checks out, this would appear to be the very definition of corporate douchebaggery. I’m not the biggest fan of home run celebration props — they tend to feel played-out and rote within a few games — but shutting this one down because it isn’t an official New Era product seems really, really petty, and a good example of what’s wrong with the increasing corporatization of sports these days. Sigh.
Update: Although I never heard back from New Era, the team has now confirmed the story with an Atlanta news outlet.
(My thanks to @miketfrick for bringing the More Than Sports tweet to my attention.)