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EXCLUSIVE: Oat Milkers Caps Have Two Surprising Design Omissions

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Last week I exclusively broke the story that MLB has arranged for all 120 minor league teams to wear oat milk-themed uniforms this season, and then I followed up by showing you mock-ups of the uniforms. Now I’m the first to provide you with a photo of the actual cap.

That photo comes from an MiLB team source who prefers to remain anonymous. They checked in yesterday with this:

In the ongoing saga of Oatly and MiLB/MLB, we received our team’s Oat Milkers hats. While I knew that they were going to be the 39THIRTY style (which is usually our BP hat style and not normally allowed for in-game use), I was very surprised to see that MLB has joined the Remove-ment! Not only is there no New Era logo on the side of the hat, but there’s no MiLB logo on the back!

Normally this would not bother me, but after working in MiLB and being used to seeing that batterman on the back of the hat, it was jarring to not see it and realize how cheap it made the hats look. These do not look like the hats of a professional baseball team. They look like fashion hats that have no affiliation to anything or anyone.

I have nothing to support this theory, but I’m wondering if eliminating these two embroidered elements helped to speed up the production time. We are normally told that if you want to create a new on-field hat, the lead time for New Era is almost two years. We have already submitted final artwork for new hats for the 2025 season! So unless this deal has been in place for the past two years, I wonder if omitting those two items on hats for 120 teams helped speed up the process.

I can’t speak to whether my source’s conjecture is accurate. But unlike them, I love that the cap isn’t bogged down with extra logos. In fact, that might be the only good thing about this promotion! (For the record, neither Oatly nor MiLB has purchased any seam rippers from me.)

If anyone out there knows more about why the maker’s mark and MiLB logo were omitted, and/or if you have photos of the jerseys,  you know what to do. Thanks!



ITEM! Meet the Man Who Invented Color Rush

For this week’s Uni Watch Premium article over on Substack, I have something very special: an in-depth interview with Tom Andrich, the longtime Nike art director who created the NFL’s Color Rush program. I don’t mind saying that this is one of the best Uni Watch interviews ever! Clocking in at over 5,000 words, it’s jam-packed with insider info about how Color Rush was developed, which teams rejected which design ideas, how Nike managed a tricky working relationship with the NFL (one particular detail of which left me dumbfounded), and more — a lot more. Tons of graphics, too. Most of this has never been published anywhere, and I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s a major contribution to the field of NFL uniform history.

You can read the first part of the article here. In order to read the entire thing, you’ll need to become a paid subscriber to my Substack (which will also get you access to my Substack archives). Subscribing now, even if only for one month, will also get you my annual — and final! — MLB Season Preview, which will be published in two weeks.

My thanks, as always, for your consideration.



And Speaking of Substack...

Next week’s Substack piece will be the latest installment in my quarterly “Ask Me Anything” series, where you can submit questions about uniforms, about Uni Watch, or just about me. If you have a question for me, feel free to email it here. One question per person, please. As always, I look forward to seeing your queries!



Can of the Day

I think this one’s greatness speaks for itself, no?


Comments (31)

    In a vacuum, without any context of the nefarious and stupid marketing behind it, I think this is an objectively good-looking hat. Needs a pink squatchee, though.

    I can go either way on the pink squatchee, but I second your notion of it being an objectively good design, absent all the background of the advertising campaign, etc.

    I am curious if those hats will actually be sold anywhere–the New Era sticker on the front indicates yes… but who the hell would want to buy one of these things?

    I agree. It doesn’t look bad. Does anyone else see the “cow” that the O (cow head) and M (cow body) make? Maybe I’m late to the party, but it’s pretty ingenious.

    Just read the Substack piece – I am amazed that Tom Andrich is able to share all of those sketches!

    Does feel weird without a batterman logo on the back, maybe I am just programed to seeing that as the indication of an on-field hat? Or just programed to see any sort of smaller graphic on the back? But of course the lack of the maker’s mark is great.
    Even though you can’t divorce the advertising aspect of it, if you could, if this was just one of those food name promotional one-offs, the design would be decent.
    Interesting the color rush program itself is almost quaint now, the overload of mono designs every week would have me easily agreeing to a Thursday only color rush option if it spared us from mono fest on Sundays.

    If that were the case, I think we’d be seeing the Oatly logo, which appears on the jersey sleeve, on the side of the cap as well.

    From my limited experience, 59FIFTY hats usually have the MLB or MiLB logo on the back, while 39THIRTY often have the team’s wordmark on the back. Another reason I love the 39 over the 59. Maybe that was too much to do for 120 teams.

    The lack of the batterman logo on the back, and the reaction to it, is so interesting. I’m a millennial who grew up used to seeing the league logos on the back of the hats, but you could very easily make the argument that the addition of the batterman to the back of the hats is an early example of logo creep and the league marketing people having a bit too much control.

    Of course, it worked to perfection, since so many people started wearing the hats backwards and prominently displaying the league logo instead of the team logo, and now its omission feels like there’s something missing.

    I’m trying to focus on what’s actually interesting about this hat mainly because the whole program is an abomination.

    Could you imagine the players wearing color rush unis playing on the NBA in-season tournament garish colored courts?

    I don’t mean to sound snarky or condescending, but it is a little funny to hear you say the de-logoed hats look cheap and unprofessional. I don’t disagree, and it definitely says something about how desensitized we’ve become to logo creep. But it’s a little amusing to hear from you.

    Actually, that wasn’t from me. It was from my anonymous source.

    In fact, I specifically said that I disagree with that assessment, because I prefer the cap without the logo creep.

    I think we have an expression for when an unintended benefit arises amid a series of mistakes– two, actually: “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then.” And, “A stopped clock is still correct twice a day.”

    I like this hat. I do not like the product or the fact that teams are forced to wear these hats for a promotion stunt, but the hat itself is really nice. I do not miss the MiLB or New Era logos at all. The fact that it is not a 5950 model like the pros usually wear is a bit bothersome, but the hat itself: OK.

    That can!

    I’m curious what it says in the box where the guy’s pointing… can you please tell us what and speculate why it was placed there?

    Could it be, that the league might be thinking about eliminating the hat logos altogether?
    Fingers crossed, fingers crossed…

    The splash photo seemed to answer the headline for me: Two things the cap is missing are Class and Quality. Mostly due to the whole context of what it is and represents. But specific to the design, the O and the M are cludgily too thick; the letters scream out to be intertwined, rather than sort of just-barely overlapping as if the O is some kind of weird deep-sea predator slowly consuming the M by osmosis. And I never approve of team-name initials on a ballcap, at least not on the home uniform. Long before the modern era of merchandising and fan attire culture, baseball caps had a traditional role in American fashion as a symbol to represent place. All of modern sports merchandising and “athleisure” fashion ultimately descend from that primordial interwar and midcentury phenomenon of people wearing baseball caps to represent their geographic identity. As such, team location initials, not team nickname initials, belong on a team’s primary or home cap. In this instance, that would be an O for Oatly, not OM for Oat Milkers. Oat Milkers is already represented on the jersey, so this cap is symbolically redundant, another drawback of nickname-initial cap lettering.

    The only things I like about this cap are the logo creep absences.

    -“For the record, neither Oatly nor MiLB has purchased any seam rippers from me.”

    That you know of.

    Interesting move. My guess is so the oat milk company gets the most exposure.

    My guess is so the oat milk company gets the most exposure.

    But if that were the case, they’d have the Oatly logo on the cap. It’s on the jersey sleeve, after all, so they could easily put it on the side of the cap.

    But it’s *not* on the cap, so I don’t think the “give the company more exposure” explanation makes sense.

    For the record, I’ve never heard of this brand until Paul brought it up in the previous post. I’m just curious as to why a Swedish company is doing this. As for today’s post, I think the cap would actually look better with the MiLB logo on the back, especially since they have a new logo this year. It would look more “official” in a way. Otherwise it’s just a cap with an OM logo on it.

    Because, despite its origins, it’s an oat milk brand that’s already popular and in many stores throughout u.s. And now you’ve heard of them so in a way I guess it’s working!

    Although they’re based in Sweden, they have a large retail presence in America (just like many other European brands — Nestlé, Mercedes, etc).

    I’m at the stage where I’m cynical enough about all of this to look at the lack of logo creep means differently:

    1. It means more “bang for the sponsor buck,” i.e. nothing else cluttering up the hat so the focus is on the sponsor.

    2. It does mean the hats are produced more quickly and cheaply because hey, every cent counts.

    3. While I don’t mind the New Era logo being gone, I’ve never had an issue with the batterman being on the hat. I always thought it was small, subtle and made the hat feel more official. Never saw the need on the yoke of the back of the jersey; to me, that felt redundant with the logo on the hat, too. But, that being said …

    4. … hey, maybe this is preparation to clear such logos from the hat for … you guessed it, more sponsorship! Why have a league logo where you can have another ad? That’s more space where money can be made! [sigh]

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