Thursday, June 7, 2012

5/18-5/20 Angels vs. Brown Padres, Blue Padres, Camo Padres

The San Diego Padres are boring. There, I said it. They have no offense. They have no offense because they play in a stadium that would be better suited for cricket than baseball. They have no stars. Hitting 30 HRs as a member of the San Diego Padres is a Ruthian feat. To top it all off, the uniforms that this team wears are just as boring as the brand of baseball that they play. They are baseball's vanilla.

Now that I've got the disparaging remarks about the Friars out of the way, time to shower them with admiration and fascination.  During their weekend series with the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim. I'm not trying to get sued by that city.), they injected a bit of personality and quirkiness into their look on that particular weekend. Don't believe me? Then please sir, please ma'am, allow yourself to fall deeper into this well of reading.

FRIDAY: 70s FUNKY DISCO JOHN TRAVOLTA AFRO PADRES

On this particular Friday night, deep in the heart of Southern California, the Padres decided to break out their 1978 home uniforms. The Angels, who had their fill of throwback-mania last season, decided not to comply. This led to a pretty odd-looking game from an aesthetic point of view. The Angels' current uniforms aren't exactly the Miami Marlins when it comes to modern baseball uniforms, but they're still pretty futuristic looking compared to the art-deco look that the Padres have going on. I mean, seriously, look at this uniform, and more importantly, the hats.


Everything about that hat just screams "Oh wow, it's 1978. Let me pop in my Willie Hutch 8-track while I drive my Pinto to the disco so I can whisper sweet nothings into the ear of the honey with the biggest afro in that club. Out of sight. While I'm at it, let me put on this brown-&-yellow hat because nothing screams out the 70s like weird-looking baseball hats. Far out!" In all seriousness, though, it's definitely a hat & uniform look of it's time. Funky color combination? Check. Pullover? Check. Waistband instead of belt? Check. Only things that were missing were the weird mustaches and the stirrups. Would've been an extremely cool-looking game had the Angels decided to play along w/ Turn Back the Clock night. But this was just awkward-looking. Ah well.

SATURDAY: BLUE "meh" PADRES


I covered these unis way back in November when they unveiled the changes, and now that I've actually covered it in action, my opinion on them is solidified: It is the most "meh" alternate uniform in all of baseball. It's really hard to believe that the Padres went from looking as quirky as they did on Friday to looking like baseball's version of Ambien in the span of 24 hours. Nothing about the uniform is really all that unique, and the hat falls in line with the multitude of navy crown-navy bill-white lettered hats that are all over baseball right now. Not to say that it's a bad uniform...but it's definitely a boring one. If you haven't fallen asleep by this point, then you're about to be rewarded for staving off your slumber with:

SUNDAY: CAMO PADRES


This is the regular Sunday home uniform for the Padres. San Diego is a city with strong military ties, so it's only right that they pay tribute to those military ties with a uniform like this. They've worn camo-heavy uniforms since 2006, and they made the switch to the digital camo in 2011.

When it comes to the jersey, the digital camo looks much better in my opinion than the 2006-2010 jersey, which looked like they slapped a green Padres script on top of a camo shirt that they bought from Dick's Sporting Goods. The digital camo falls in line with what you see our beloved U.S. Troops wear. However, the green hat that went with the 06-10 uniforms trumps the brown monochrome hat that goes with the digital camo. So, while I prefer the digital camo as a uniform, I still wish that they could've found a way to keep that awesome green hat.

However, the reason why this particular series was the subject of this blog was due to the fact that the Padres literally looked like 3 different teams during this weekend. I can't remember another series where a team wore 3 wildly different uniforms over a 3 game series. It's fascinating, and only a team with the scattered uniform history of the San Diego Padres (those words are all 13 links, not just one, btw) could pull off something like this. 

However, the Padres looking like 3 different teams over 3 different days wasn't the funniest part of this thing, oh no. Take a look at the 3 pictures below:



The funniest part was that the Angels, in contrast, wore 1 uniform and 1 hat all weekend. Padres, Angels, y'all so crazy.

Image credit goes to gettyimages, AP, mlb.com.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

6/1-6/3 Cubs vs. Giants - AWESOME WEEKEND

So, things got pretty awesome in San Francisco this past weekend. I mean, the Giants and the Cubs have some of the best uniforms in baseball to begin with (well, maybe not the Giants since they traded this for this over the offseason. On a side note, Brian Wilson's beard is unreal. Look at that thing. That's beside the point, but still. Wow, bruh.), so it was already going to be an aesthetically pleasing series to begin with. However, things went from "aesthetically pleasing" to "HOLY CRAP WHY IS THIS SO AWESOME" over a 4-day span. Why did this happen? Keep on reading....

FRIDAY: COLOR vs. COLOR, UMPIRE BREAKS OUT A BLAZER

Normally when you see 2 uniforms & 2 hats like these, you know you're in for a game that's gonna be pretty easy to watch. It most definitely was, but even a guy who writes a blog that is focused on the hats took note of one of the most important things to come out of this game:
The home plate umpire was decked out in a blazer. How awesome is that? I know it's happened a few times this season, but this was a perfect storm of awesomeness. Great uniforms? Check. Great hats? Check. Umpire in a blazer? BAM. Hell of a night.

And the best part was? It only got better on Saturday.

SATURDAY: OLD-TIMEY BASED BALL ROUNDERS


Saturday afternoon in San Francisco was Turn Back The Century Day, and the Giants & Cubs went all the way back to 1912. Yes, the days when the Yankees weren't the most important ballclub in New York, and the days when the Cubs actually won pennants and raised championship flags. I'm not even kidding, go look it up! But that's all beside the point, the point is that they brought out some pretty cool throwback uniforms from that year. The Giants wore the home uniform pictured here, but I'm not really gonna focus on it considering the fact that it's a blank, navy-colored hat, and what else can you say about a blank, navy-colored hat other than the fact that it's a blank, navy-colored hat?

Nope, the stars of Saturday's show were the Cubbies, who busted this look out:


While you can't say too much about a blank, navy-colored hat, you can talk for a bit about this navy-colored uniform. The hat's a much simpler take on the modern Cubs hat that we know today, but what makes it stand out from the multitude of navy hats w/ white letters is the fact that they wore navy shirts, pants, and socks with it. For this to be from 1912, it was a really progressive look for the Cubs, in my opinion. Almost as if they were ahead of their time when it came to this type of stuff. Shoot, look at how baseball looked in the 1970s and what their crosstown neighbors on the Southside wore back then and you could honestly say that the 1912 Cubs were trailblazers when it came to baseball uniforms. Could it fly nowadays? Hell no. Is it awesome for a one-off Turn Back The Clock deal? Hellzzzz yeah. So, chalk this one up as another successful throwback day, and while I'm not exactly the biggest fan of navy hats w/ white lettering (despite the fact that I'm currently wearing one in my personal twitter account's avatar), I could definitely see myself buying and wearing one of those hats. Very sharp.


SUNDAY: GOOD OL' WHITE ON GREY



The series with both teams wearing their normal looks, with the Giants switching it up a little bit by going with the orange-billed caps. While the normal, black-crown-&-black-billed Giants hats are superior to the orange-billed hats in my opinion, it's still a very good looking hat and it's a nice change of pace from the every day look that we're used to seeing. And what else can be said about the Cubs' hat? It's a bonafide classic. All in all, a great end to a great weekend. Not really gonna cover Monday's game because there was nothing new when it came to the hats, but if you want to see what it looked like, here's the link to MLB.com's wrap-up.

WRAP-UP


Overall, there were 6 uniforms worn during this series, and 5 hats. Since this is the Fitted Cap Fiend, I figure the only right thing to do would be to rank the hats. So yeah, here's the 5.

1. Giants (all-black)
2. Cubs (current)
3. Cubs (1912)
4. Giants (orange-bill)
5. Giants (1912)

There you have it, a somewhat ham-handed look at a pretty awesome weekend in the world of baseball. Hope you enjoyed it, and hope you enjoyed the fact that I actually blogged twice within a span of 2 weeks. It's a miracle.

Photo credit goes to mlb.com, gettyimages, Associated Press, & the San Francisco Giants.

Monday, May 28, 2012

IT HAPPENED

My friends, the picture that rests above this blog post is not an optical illusion. That is not a photoshop. That is not a figment of your imagination. That is not a delusion brought on by eating too many ribs, downing too many cold ones and erstwhile surfing the internet in your state of intoxication. No, no, no, & no. Ladies & gentlemen, for the first time since 2004 (I guess), the Colorado Rockies played a Major League Baseball regular season game wearing PURPLE HATS.


I'm gonna repeat that just in case you've fainted due to the state of delirium that you are probably just now recovering from: THE ROCKIES FINALLY WORE THE PURPLE HATS.


Now, I have no idea what brought about this miraculous occasion in the annals of baseball's aesthetic history. If I had to guess, it was probably the result of the fact that they had to do a doubleheader today with the Houston Astros (speaking of which, what a great day to be a baseball fan in Denver (and in Houston if you're willing to be in front of a TV or radio all day); a doubleheader on a holiday? I'll take that a million times.) and whoever's in charge of uniform combos out there finally decided "You know what? I'm sick of wearing these black hats eleventy billion times a year. Let's put some color in here!" and they did just that.


Seriously, that uniform looks SO much better with the purple hat. It's a shame that they didn't have matching purple batting helmets, but at this point, beggars absolutely cannot be choosers. I'm just happy that they finally decided to let this beautiful beast out to roam in the mountains. Thank you #Based WhoeverDecidedToHaveTheRockiesWearThisCap. Your efforts are greatly appreciated by the fitted cap fiend.


Photo credit goes to Getty Images & Major League Baseball.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April Update: The (Red)White Sox, among other stuff.

So, earlier today (or Sunday, since it will be Monday when this thing gets posted), I decided to catch the end of the Tigers-White Sox game on WGN. I observed 2 things while watching this game:

1: Hawk Harrelson is quite possibly the biggest homer on the mic right now.
2: The White Sox were decked out in red. Yes, the White Sox were wearing red sox (haha, I am TOO clever.). The Southsiders have decided to add their 1972 home uniform to their 2012 set, and they went all the way with it. Oversized numbers that were standard for that era? Check. Correct sleeve patch (and matching batting helmet? It's a big problem in baseball nowadays.)? Check. STIRRUP SWAG?!!?!??! CHECK!!! Now, this is the Fitted Cap Fiend, so of course the focal point around here is the cap. So, did they get the cap right?
They sure did. Yes, that is the inspiration for what you see on the current black-&-white White Sox cap (which is pretty awesome in its own right).  Even though the 'SOX' script on the hat doesn't match up with the script that is on the chest, the #1 goal for a throwback uniform is accuracy, and it's accurate. 

Plus, it's kind of awesome to see a team nicknamed the White Sox playing in red in the same league that includes the Red Sox. I'm sure that caused a bit of confusion back when this was what the White Sox wore on a regular basis, instead of just on Sundays for a year. Either way, it's a solid look for the White Sox, a nice change of pace for Sundays, and a decent infusion of color in an identity that gets bogged down by the team choosing to wear their black jerseys for like every freakin game. Good job by the White Sox for getting everything right, and I'll be looking forward to every time that they decide to wear these nice hats.

-------------------------------------------

In the meantime-inbetweentime, the Los Angeles Dodgers (led by Matt Kemp, who is on pace to become baseball's first ever Eleventy-Eleventy Man) honored the legendary Jackie Robinson by breaking out the Brooklyn Dodgers cap. Here's a pic.
Now, we saw this hat last year when the Dodgers wore throwbacks from 1944 for a few games, but it's always nice to see this hat paired with one of the best home uniforms in baseball today. Brings back memories, doesn't it? Now, while the hat may not be completely accurate (to make a long story short; that hat logo has gone through so many minor changes that it's almost a completely different animal than what guys like Jackie, Pee Wee Reese, and Roy Campanella wore), it's still a classy compliment to a classy look. So yeah, points off for inaccuracy, but when it looks that good, who am I to complain?

So, really wasn't expecting a random post at 2:00 AM EST writing about two teams who went to a throwback look for Jackie Robinson Day to be my first post in months, but here we are. C'est la vie. Baseball's back!

Photo credit to the following: 30fps, Getty Images, Yahoo Images, mlb.com

Monday, November 21, 2011

Revisiting the Past...

As some wise person with a beard longer than Babe Ruth's bat may or may not have said, ‘In order to move forward, one must look back.” The Fitted Cap Fiend is also a fiend for wisdom, so I’m gonna take that sage’s advice and look back on a couple of posts from the past: Namely, the posts concerning the Mariners’ teal hats with blue brims & the Rockies’ purple hats. Let’s start off with the Rockies and a little bit of what I said about their awesome purple hat:

…according to Darth Brett over at the Chris Creamer Sports Logos Community (the absolute best forum for intelligent discussion of sports logos & anything else pertaining to sports), this hat was worn VERY briefly in 2004 and hasn't been seen since.

Colorado Rockies, I am politely telling you to USE THE PURPLE HAT, YOU FASHION BLIND DUMMIES. IT'S AWESOME. IT LOOKS GREAT. IT FITS YOUR IDENTITY TO A T. IT'S PATRIOTIC. IT WOULD MAKE THE
NATIONAL PASTIME'S COLORADO TEAM LOOK BETTER. USA. USA. USA.

Well look at what happened on Opening Day 2011:



The Rockies took a PERSONAL CHEAP SHOT at me by wearing the purple jerseys but not the purple hats. Douchebags.


But seriously, I was glad to see that the Rockies finally decided to start wearing the purple jerseys again. I figure if we can’t get the purple hat, maybe we can get the jerseys, and that’s exactly what we got. Now, if the Rockies can finally break out the White Whale, we can finally see the Rockies wear a GREAT uniform instead of just a decent one. But for now, the closest we’ll get to seeing this on the field will be if a streaker takes to the field in nothing BUT the purple cap. I’m sure the Denver authorities want no part of that.

While the Rockies may not have brought back a specific request of mine, guess who did?



From my previous blog post concerning the subject:

You hear that? Unlike yesterday's Hat of the Day that is still active but probably has no chance of returning to the field, THIS ONE MAY COME BACK. So heed their word, and 'Let 'em know,' Mariners fans! It's an awesome cap, it deserves to be back out there! It deserves to be on the heads of the players, as well as the fans.

I knew there was a reason why I liked you guys, Seattle. It’s because of stuff like this in this article:


I keep hearing rumors that the Mariners are bringing back their teal-billed caps for 2012. Can this be either confirmed or denied at this point?
-- Spenser S., Walla Walla, Wash.

Ahh, this is the sort of rumor I actually can put a definitive answer to during the Hot Stove season! The Mariners prefer to call them "Northwest Green" caps, but those hats are indeed making a comeback to go with the Northwest Green alternate jerseys that were worn on Monday and Friday home games last season. And, yes, they are available now at Mariners Team Stores.

Even if it's just the teal brimmed caps, this is est news I’ve heard all Fall since hearing about a potential sequel to the all-time classic film “Herman Munster goes to Brooklyn” that will come out NEXT leap year!!! Seriously though, Mariners fans’ voices were heard and the teal-brimmed caps are indeed back! Although it’s kind of lame that they’re only gonna be worn on Mondays & Fridays, at this point, beggars cannot be choosers. We should all just be happy that the Mariners are bringing teal back into their identity. Hopefully soon they'll be bringing back the caps that I've posted above & we can celebrate the fact that one of the better-looking and unique hats in Major League Baseball will be making its return. However, I can live with what the Mariners have given us.  So in the words of a legend on hard times:



 Skip to 3:57 to actually hear him say it.

It's been a good month to be a Fitted Cap Fiend, and hopefully it will only get better during this long offseason from baseball.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Changes. Changes, everywhere.

First off, it’s been way too long. Secondly, WHOA. First we get that crazy World Series (congratulations to the Cardinals on their 11th trophy. Shame that it somewhat came at the expense of my beloved Braves collapsing like a Jenga tower during the pennant race, but that’s neither here or there…), and now this? 6 (SIX!) teams have all either made tweaks to their visual identity, or they’ve completely overhauled it. Needless to say, this has resulted in a cornucopia of new hats! Thanksgiving’s come early for the Fitted Cap Fiend, and like any red-blooded American during this time of feasting, I’m gonna dive face first into this crazy turducken meal of baseball caps and other stuff! So here we go, starting off with:


Los Angeles Dodgers (?!)

Yep. Believe it or not, the Dodgers kicked things off here, and unless you had a keen eye for this type of stuff, you would’ve missed it. But, the change definitely happened, so why not comment on it?. The iconic interlocking LA logo has been slightly modified for the 2012 season. While this wouldn’t be cause for celebration or jumping for joy, it’s good to see that even teams like the Dodgers are willing to make tweaks in order to make their identity even better than it already was. In the Dodgers case, they didn’t need to make much of a change at all, but the change that they made was still an improvement.


San Diego Padres

The second club to unveil its’ identity changes was the San Diego Padres, who made a bit of a lateral move here. For the past couple of years, their colors have been blue & khaki, with two separate caps for home & road games. Both were pretty straightforward, with the home cap consisting of a stylized & interlocked SD logo, and the road cap having the same logo, except colored in khaki & outlined in white. Personally, I was a fan of the road cap. If you were a fan of that cap, then you were probably disappointed with the unveiling which saw that cap go bye-bye. Shoot, if you were a fan of exciting redesigns, then you were disappointed here as well. The de-emphasis of khaki in this identity has turned it from one of the more interesting ones in the league to one of the most boring, and the same goes for the cap. A khaki outline around the letters (like they did for their batting practice caps) would’ve done a good job of distinguishing this cap around the league. Instead, we’re stuck with another navy cap with white letters in the league. Woopty-doo.


Miami Marlins

So we go from two nondescript changes to this 100%, wholesale, “Let’s act like we didn’t exist before November 11, 2011” change. When this logo first leaked on the internet, my initial reaction was “WOW! That is FUNKY.” Considering that my favorite era of baseball caps & uniforms was the Pullover Era from the 70s & 80s, that’s a compliment. Light blue, yellow, orange, white, silver, & black with an abstract Marlin jumping from the stylized M. Say what you want about the color scheme, one thing you have to say is that it’s unique. That uniqueness is what makes me enjoy this identity so much. That uniqueness is what makes this black cap stand out from the rest of the black caps in the league, and that uniqueness is what makes this funky, funky, FUNKY ORANGE (and the above image doesn't do it justice. Click on the link near the end of this entire post to see the hat in its natural environment. "Bright" would be an understatement.) cap stand out from pretty much anything you’ve seen in Major League Baseball to date. While I’m not exactly a huge fan of the uniforms (except for the even funkier orange jersey, which I’m planning to have an affair with sometime soon.), the hats are amazing. Miami’s definitely going to stand out from the rest of the pack with this identity, and in this age of every other team wearing a navy-or-blue hat with white lettering, you really can’t ask for much more.


Baltimore Orioles

Not too many changes here uniform wise, but hat wise, the Orioles made one of the best decisions in the history of their franchise concerning their visual identity: They went back to the Cartoon Bird. Yes, the little goofy-looking bird’s head that graced the hats of legends like Reggie Jackson, Brooks Robinson, Eddie Murray, Earl Weaver, & the entire Ripken clan. THAT little guy is back, and he’s styling and profiling as he gets ready to make his return in 2012!  Personally, I never got behind the realistic-looking bird for the Orioles. My favorite memory of that team was the entire 1979 World Series w/ the Pittsburgh Pirates (quite possibly the only World Series in baseball history that ever burnt multiple holes into many Americans’ television screens due to the fact that TVs back then could not handle the bold & bombastic colors that both teams wore throughout that series, but I digress), and it was mainly because of the uniforms. While they haven’t gone crazy or anything and actually brought back the pullovers, they did bring back the Cartoon Bird and included him on a very sharp-looking black cap with an orange brim. Not only did they do that, but they brought back the white-paneled caps! YESSSSSS! Whoever’s in charge of this thing in Baltimore must’ve been sipping on the Awesome Sauce the day that he or she made this decision. Normally when baseball teams throw back to the past, it works. This not only worked, it was a grand slam. Well done, Baltimore!


New York Mets

The only reason why I’m including this is because the color black’s stranglehold on this franchise has finally been loosened! That’s right; the black cap with blue brim is dead. The all-black cap (and the black alternate jersey) still exists, but it’s better to go all the way black (there’s a joke in there somewhere) than to run out in that black-&-blue hodgepodge that they used to wear on a regular basis up there in Queens. Anyways, the story here is mostly about the uniforms (which are beautiful, by the way), so we won’t spend too much time on this one. The classic hat is now accompanied with classic uniforms, which is all that baseball fans have asked for about a decade or so now.


Toronto Blue Jays

Our good friends up north who run the baseball team in Toronto finally got a clue and realized that the team is nicknamed the BLUE Jays, and now they will be dressed as such. The Graphite Jays are dead, to the chagrin of all 3 baseball fans who enjoyed that look. The Blue Jays will take to the field next year with one of the classiest looks in the league. It’s a modern take on the look that defined their back-to-back World Series victories in 1992 & 1993, and the designers knocked it out of the park. The hat itself is a GIGANTIC upgrade over the weird-looking bird’s head flying out of a beveled J that they wore for 7 years. Now, we get the modernized classic Blue Jay on a royal blue hat. It’s simple, but it’s elegant. Simply put, this is what the Blue Jays are supposed to look like, and this is the hat that the Blue Jays are supposed to wear.


So there you have it: 6 changes in Major League Baseball and most of them were upgrades. Some teams made small changes; others took a huge leap from the past; while others chose to pull inspiration from the past. Personally, here are my favorite caps from this offseason in order (not gonna include the Mets or Dodgers here):

  • Orange Marlins (The most unique cap in the league, IMO, and it also might be the best one that isn’t an established classic.)
  • White-panel Orioles (Seeing the old bird come back in THIS style was amazing. Never thought I’d see this type of cap return in 2011, but it happened, and I love it.)
  • Blue Jays (Solid-looking cap here. HUGE upgrade over what they used to have, and fits right in with the team’s history)
  • Black-&-Orange Orioles (Cartoon bird returns on a more straightforwardly designed hat. I prefer the white-panel, but this is a good hat in itself.)
  • Black Marlins (Not as daring as its Orange cousin, but it does the job, and will serve as a good primary cap going forward for the team)

Rumor has it that there may be even more changes coming. Either way, it’s a good time to be a Fitted Cap Fiend, especially with the holidays right around the corner. With these designs, I have a feeling that most of these teams are gonna rake in some serious dough thanks to some great changes.

All credit for images used go to Chris Creamer's excellent sportslogos.net.
Got some knowledge you want to drop? Feel free to comment!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

12/9/10 Hat of the Day

2006-Pres Spokane Indians (Northwest League) Home Cap

 Thursday, December 9th, 2010, The Fitted Cap Fiend goes on a trip Northwest & down in the minor leagues. It's there where you find 2 hidden gems of baseball: The city of Spokane itself, and the Spokane Indians, who currently have my favorite minor league baseball identity. Shoot, it's one of my favorite baseball identities period. It's a perfect blend of a traditional baseball look with a hint of modern amenities here & there. Plus, it's just about the classiest way you can do a Native American look w/o it being insulting or a caricature of Native Americans. I mean, they even made a logo in the Salish language, which is one of the coolest baseball logos I've ever seen. Everything about this identity just says 'classy.'
The classiest thing about this look? Of course, it's the hat. That's what we came here for! The hat is actually a great update on what was an already solid look. They combined elements of the past with new additions from the future to create what you see above. Major league quality on a minor league level. 
Of course, you get a little more leeway to be a bit more creative with minor league identities than you do with major league establishments that have been around since, what seems like, the beginning of time. The designers of this look took the leeway and made themselves a classic with this one. I can't say it enough, this is a REALLY GOOD LOOKING HAT (yes, that proclamation deserved all caps), and one that would make a perfect fit in your hat collections. I mean, you want to have a great looking hat on your head, but be unique at the same time (because, quite frankly, who's wearing a Spokane Indians hat outside of the Northwest US?)? Make sure you pick this up. I know I will (as soon as I graduate from being a poor college student, haha). I mean, it's the Hat of the Day, I feel as if I have a duty to pick this bad boy up now.