Baseball hats have the most crossover appeal of any single piece of sporting apparel. Everyone from diehard fans to soccer moms own one. Young, old, rich, less rich and everywhere in-between; the top piece of the game is a part of everyday life.
However, once you get into it a bit deeper, that’s where the culture of the cap comes into play. Where it’s known by its true name to those in the know, The Fitted. This is where it starts to get serious, because what fitted you see somebody rocking can say a whole world of different things. Hardcore devotion to the game is still in play, where it is a common link from fan to player. But at the same time it goes into the realm of fashion, as well as regional devotion.
The Fitted may be Major League Baseball’s largest common impact in society today, both in America and abroad. The styling that New Era has exclusive rights to representing the MLB with puts over $340 million worth of hats into the streets each year. But when you break it down, it all comes back to the tradition that those 30 baseball clubs choose to follow.
While there are tons of offshoots and alternate caps, some of which even the MLB clubs themselves take to every once in a while, it’s the standards that still ring out the loudest for me. While some have stood since the early 1900’s, others have only stood since March. However, all caps are not created equal, and to speak to this point, I’m doing my own personal 30 for 30 on the best fitteds in the game today…
It’s somehow appropriate that the best of the best in baseball are the most enduring, for it’s the most enduring sport in the nation’s history. Even though it has been surpassed in mass popularity, it still has a place deep into the imagery of the country it once owned. So it’s only right that the top 15 fitteds in the game today are mix of what’s been great about it forever.
Let the sure-to-be debate begin …
30. San Diego Padres: It gets no more boring than this. The dull blue on straight white of the newest incarnation of the Pads caps suits the team’s style and product these days pretty well, but if fans are going to show up for this, they might as well at least provide some decent gear for them to buy and suffer in.
29. Miami Marlins: The Death of the Florida Marlins was the intro to a tragedy in the hat world. It started a case of not only messing with a good thing; it’s ruining a great thing. The Marlins had it figured out with the teal and black joints. There was literally no combination that didn’t work right, and the Marlins had a dope logo to boot. It was exciting … the complete opposite of whatever it is they’re doing now. It looks like a Simon Says game threw up black licorice on its shirt. Not the freshest reset we’ve ever seen…
There’s a lot more to the mix here, and for 28 to the top, head over to the Cheap Seats at The Sports Fan Journal to take in Part 1 & 2 of my countdown of the best lids in the game.
And for the rest of what I’m doing from, stretching out my paycheck to roaming the bleachers in Busch, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan