So I’m late to this thing about the caps getting a whole make-over. I’m sure I’m not the only one, but for refreshers-sake, here it is.
Baseball decided to make some drastic changes to the cap. We’ve all seen the new BP caps (or hats) and their funny looking ornament by the sides. Turns out the good ‘ol 59/50 will also get a perm, and instead of it being 100% wool (and 100% too expensive, methinks) the thing will be almost two-thirds polyester.
The MLB Press Machine swears that less wool is cool; it’s one of the 10 things to keep in mind, according to MLB.com reporter, Mark Newman:
The 59FIFTY game cap is 100 percent polyester. This is a massive change in baseball tradition, during which wool has been the rule practically forever. The last universal change to the MLB cap was in 1954, when the six-panel model was introduced. The BP cap is 62 percent polyester and 38 percent wool.
Other than the technological enhancement argument, I don’t think MLB or New Era have said why they decided to replace wool, which had been the main ingredient for the caps since, well, 1954. (I wonder if that 11-month strike over at New Era a few years ago had anything to do with that).
The new cap will also have fancy moisture retardant fabric technology so that the things don’t soak up and stink. Because, as well all know, we can’t have those ball-players stinking up the dugout during rain delays.
As Mr. Newman reminds us:
5. Players will smell better — “They look exactly the same, they breathe more and they won’t shrink,” said Tigers pitcher and 2006 American League Rookie of the Year Justin Verlander, who shot a commercial for New Era in the offseason. “The best thing is, when it rains, the hats won’t stink like the wool ones did.”
You know; I did notice that my battle-scarred, four-year old 59/50 did have a peculiar smell that would just not go away, no matter how many times I washed it.
Another radical change is the bill of the cap. Taking a cue from Kenny “stinking rat” Rogers, they changed the color of the underside of the visor to a glare-repellent black, instead of the traditional light gray we’re all accustomed to.
It’s supposed to help or improve performance or something. And I always thought the hats were a fashion statement.
So I dunno; I guess I must say hats off to Baseball officials for finally proposing a change that won’t screw us over. Let’s just hope the thing doesn’t set you back $30.
Whoops, spoke too soon!!