Here on Throwback Thursday, we have talked about baseball caps in depth before.
But today, in the twilight of American Independence Day (July 4), and, lest you forget, also in the wake of Canada Day (July 1), we shall discuss one very special kind of baseball cap:
The Stars And Stripes Hat.
The “Stars And Stripes Hat” is the official name given to a particular tribute edition of New Era 59FIFTY on-field baseball caps, introduced in 2008, which typically* feature a design encompassing Betsy Ross’s claim-to-fame, the good ol’ Old Glory. The caps are worn by all teams on Memorial Day and Independence Day, and the Blue Jays also sport their caps, which typically* feature the Maple Leaf, on Canada Day as well.
Which is why I prefer to call this hat the “Stars And Stripes And Leafs Hat.”
The subtle-ish patriotic nod is pretty swell, I suppose, but it is for a purpose. The hats signify MLB’s support of the Welcome Back Veterans Foundation, which awards grants to non-profit agencies around the States to serve Veterans’ needs.
*So, like I mentioned before, the caps typically pay homage to the countries’ Colors/Colours. However, this year, for the first time, in uh, ever?, the aptly-named Stars And Stripes Hat did not depict any stars nor stripes. Instead? The designer(s), with whom I would like to have a word, opted for a digital-ish/pixellated khaki-and-yuck-green-colored camouflage pattern to fill in the team insignia.
I might say I’m a little inclined to be both aesthetically and morally uncomfortable with the new style. Without getting political, I’d say the new caps are a bit too busy, too clashy, and far too military-ish for my personal taste. I would simply like a double-helping of the Leaf, to go, please.
Ok. So. Sometimes the Stars And Stripes And Leafs Hats are pretty… well, pretty ugly. In years past, the hats have been translated into either navy or white or red, or some variation thereof (think navy or red brim with a white panel), instead of the team’s official colors. And usually they just look pretty awkward.
In my opinion, adding the desert-storm-techno-camo-print doesn’t clean up the mess. It only makes it worse. So, if you must tweak with the unis, please, just keep it simple. And keep the Stars And Stripes And Leafs forever.