I’ve been going crazy lately buying presents. Two weeks ago it was Mother’s Day. Tomorrow it’s my dad’s birthday. Two days after that my sister graduates from college. And two weeks after that it’s Father’s Day.

For Mother’s Day, I got by with flowers. I’m not sure what to get my sister for graduation, but I’m not sweating it too much since she still hasn’t even attempted to watch the “Flight of the Conchords: Season 1” DVD I bought her for her birthday.

Then there’s dad. Last year, I got him a t-shirt that said, “100 percent Butch,” which was funny, because his name is Butch. But he doesn’t wear it, because I think he’s afraid that people wouldn’t get the joke. And he’s probably right.

So this year, I figured maybe I’d get dad a hat from his favorite baseball team. I went online to mlb.com and…well…that’s where I ran into problems. There are so many different hats, it’s hard to know where to start.

Of course, there’s the classic fitted team cap. You can’t go wrong here. The only problem with this kind of hat is that 1. you need to know the hat size of the person you’re buying for and 2. fitted hats are a bummer to break in. Still, there’s nothing cooler than an official team hat.

Well, ok, a fitted retro hat is maybe just a little bit cooler. This Red Sox replica 1946-1951 cap looks like it should be worn while eating Jell-O casserole and watching The Jetsons. It stays true to the team’s colors and honors its past. I love everything about it.

But maybe you’re not stuck in the past. Maybe you’re all about the here and now. In that case, this batting practice cap is for you. Personally, I don’t know why anybody finds the vents above the ears necessary, attractive or otherwise compelling, but to each his own.

What if you want a hat that’s just a little more awesome? There’s always this Rangers cap, which looks like it was designed by C.J. Wilson himself. I can just picture the conversation, where C.J. approached the MLB marketing people and said, “Look, bra, I just need a cap that’s a little more, you know, extreme! You know?” Oh C.J., if only you could channel just a little bit of that extremeness into, oh, I dunno, not sucking? Would that be so hard?

What if you’re looking for a hat that’s equally intense, but a little less straight-edge? You might consider the Phillies warfare cap. This cap serves two purposes, marking the wearer as somebody of singular badassery and also expressing an appreciation of the seriousness of the situation. The person who wears this hat is making the statement, “Of course I’m wearing black – I’m a Phillies fan.”

Then there’s this Cubs white New Era cap, that would seem to be marketed for people who enjoy spinning rhymes. Note: the tall buildings in the background give this cap a more urban feel. This “lid” is meant to be worn with a flat brim, and with stickers and tags intact. Word.

If you’re looking for a hat that is a little less urban and a little more suburban, you might consider this white Orioles number, which would go great with khakis, a matching white, cotton oxford shirt, sleeves rolled and top three buttons undone. And sandals. Gotta have the sandals.

There are a few hat styles that I just can’t support. There’s the Abercrombie-wannabe, already-broken-in hat that comes pre-torn. Here’s an Oakland Athletics hat that only a Giambi brother could love. I can just picture Jason walking around the clubhouse in nothing but this hat and his gold tiger-print thong, talking about how fast his boat is.

Then there’s the pink hat, which we’ve discussed on Umpbump before. The pink hat – loathed for its wussy color and for the bandwagon-hopping female fans it has come to represent – is a favorite of Fenway femmes. And it is laaaame. Featured here is the Cleveland Indians’ pink cap, which manages to be both lame and racist. Nice.

Next, there’s the camo hat, which Sarah defends and I just embrace. I’m all for supporting the troops, but can’t we find a way that’s a little less…gaudy? I think we need to try.


Finally, we have this monstrosity:

It blends elements from all of our offending caps. It’s a pre-torn, pink, camo monstrosity. May God have mercy on any “fan” who dare don this disaster.

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7 Responses to “So many hats”

  1. Sarah Green says:

    The sad thing about that column on pink hats is that the Metro changed its website all around and now the link to the column is broken. You get some weird error message in Swedish. So here, courtesy of my personal file, is the text of the column from September of 2006:

    I remember when a pink hat was just a hat. But in 2004, pink baseball caps debuted on Yawkey Way and by 2005, the pink hat backlash had arrived. And this year, the phrase “the pink hats” has officially entered the Fenway lexicon. Usage: “Varitek’s ability to game call doesn’t really add much value,” as one member of the Sons of Sam Horn message board groused, “But every pink hat on Landsdowne St. will tell you how awesome the captain is because of his game-calling ability.”

    Nevermind for now that many blue hats would say the same thing. “Pink Hat” has become synonymous with a certain gender (female) a certain age (young) and a certain type of fan (bandwagon). In fact, nowadays you don’t even have to own a pink hat to be dismissed as a Pink Hat.

    Gentlemen, I know you hate sitting in front of a bunch of chicks knocking back six dollar beers, ogling Gabe Kapler, and ignoring the game. But puhlease—I have been sitting in front of frat guys doing the same thing for years (well, except for the Gabe Kapler part). Nowadays, these Bleacher Creatures seem to favor hats in St Patrick’s Day green. Yet where is all the purist “it’s not even a team color” moaning about the “Green Hat Brigade”? Yes, some female fans are unknowledgable bandwagon jumpers. But men, of course, have been lousy fans for years.

    There is one thing about the pink hats (and lavender jerseys, and sequined hoodies) that bothers me—but it’s not the women who wear them. The Red Sox can talk about “reaching out to female fans” until they are blue (or pink) in the face, but it will just make me see red until I can buy a traditional shirt in size small. I know I’m not the only woman tired of “mediums” that reach to her knees.

    Aware of the frustration among female fans, baseball-obsessed actress Alyssa Milano recently unveiled a new line of baseball shirts for women—and promptly made the situation even more exasperating. In one publicity shot, Milano shows off what appears to be a Pittsburgh Pirates kimono, complete with yellow satin sash. In another, she displays a White Sox blouse so violently polka-dotted it makes the pixels on my laptop vibrate. The Yankees v-neck top appears to be see-through. This is my alternative to XXL windbreakers?

    Meanwhile, NASCAR plans to offer bikinis and stilettos to its female following. NFL fans can buy a Tom Brady jersey in “peach,” Brian Urlacher in “crocus,” or Jake Plummer in “guava.” (Call me a stickler, but shouldn’t so-called “fashion” jerseys for a fall sport at least come in fall colors?) And at the US Open, pundits’ eyebrows raised and their tongues wagged about Maria Sharapova’s sparkly little black tennis dress, coupled with her “I feel pretty” Nike ad. “It’s okay to be fierce and competitive on the court and still have a feminine side off-court,” she explained. The 6’3” Siberian then proved you can win grand slams in sequins. Unfortunately, whether you can win respect in them is still an open question.

    As for the pink hats, I think I’ll pass—but not because of the backlash. It’s just that jungle camo really brings out my eyes.

  2. Coley Ward says:

    I didn’t want to get into this in the post, but I am a big fan of the “flex-to-fit” hats. I know they’re not quite as cool as the normal fitted hats, but as somebody who can never find a fitted hat that actually fits, I’ve learned to love the hats with the elastic bands in back. If only they would make the retro hats in flex-to-fit!

  3. Lyndsay says:

    oh my god WHERE did you find that retro sox cap? I NEED to get one for my dad!

    if you want to talk old school v. pink hats…my dad hates, HATES, Sweet Caroline. doesn’t get it. he was a peanut guy at Fenway for 8 years to put himself thru high school and college, was there for Ted Williams last at-bat, and the early days of Yaz. nowadays he would prefer to sit at home and watch NESN to going to the ballpark, dealing with crappy expensive seats, drunk college kids, long bathroom lines, all the advertising all over the place, and music and fan promos that he finds “distracting” to the game. he’s a purist. and during ‘sweet caroline’ he just sits and shakes his head and says ‘when did THIS start happening?’ I feel sad almost because they’re not ‘his’ team anymore.that being said, he still ran up to me on the night of Clay’s no-no and said, “the new kid threw a no-hitter!” with all the giddiness of a 12 year old.

  4. Coley Ward says:

    Lyndsay, I also love that Sox cap. And you can find it here.

  5. Lyndsay says:

    and no, I guess my comment above has nothing to do with ballpark fashion. so carry on…

    I am with you on the shirt thing, Sarah. I don’t want a supertight girls shirt that shows off my sexy muffin top…nor do I want to swim around in a shirt that looks like it belongs to my grandfather.

  6. Danny O says:

    This is some funny-ass shit. Well said, Coley.

    I always thought the camo hats were aimed at folks who want to declare their love for hunting and/or fishing through baseball apparel.

    And I don’t know bout them flex hats; they give me a headache.

  7. I’ve found the absolute abomination, the worst of the worst. Check it out if you dare.

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