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Hats Off to MLB

NostraDennisFriday, February 2, 2007
By NostraDennis


At the risk of being accused of grumpy old man disease, let me say I like to consider myself a baseball purist. I hate the designated hitter. I much prefer a well-placed sacrifice bunt. I love the late-inning double-switch. I smile at that first trip to the mound, especially if it's the other team's coach making the visit. Will he? Won't he? Should he? Who's up in their next half inning?

I hate the wild card. I must admit, though, that it's made several recent seasons more unpredictable and enjoyable. In practice, it's been good for teams and fans, in that they can extend the illusion that they have a shot at the post-season for just a little bit longer. In theory, though, I hate the wild card.

I don't think a 2-1 game has to be boring, as long as there are sound fundamentals being exhibited on the field. Unlike a lot of new fans, I don't think an ideal baseball score should look like the score of an NHL All-Star game. Oops, forgot - nobody watches that any more. I'll clarify: I don't think an ideal baseball score should be 12 to 9.

But the one thing that ticks me off most is renegade baseball caps.

Every major league team has ONE official ball cap with ONE official logo. It's cool to look back through history and see how these logos have changed through the years. The Orioles' cartoon bird head with the sly smile giving way to the Audobon Society-looking full-body portrait. The thin script capital "A" of the Braves turning into the chubby lower-case "a" of the Hank Aaron homer chase era, then back to the old skinny "A" again. The Astros' old H on a star, that looked suspiciously like the Texaco logo, and their new stylized incomplete swooshing star. The Mariners' upside-down trident "M", that quietly departed in lieu of the "S" on a compass they have now. For ten years, nobody bothered to tell team officials that an upside-down trident was considered by seafarers to be bad luck. By that time, the M's were averaging 28 games under .500 each season.

The point is, we can't just make up our own idea of what our favorite team's clothing and headgear should look like. If I like bright red (no Mets fan in their right mind likes that color right now, but play along with me here), I can't slap a green NY onto a red cap and call it a Mets hat. That's just not right.

The merchandising powers that be in Major League Baseball don't see eye to eye with me here. They've licensed a whole host of stuff that no self-respecting player would be caught dead wearing. Lime green Yankee caps? I know, it's all about the Benjamins, but pink logos on pink backgrounds? Yuck. It makes a trip to the local mall seem like a visit to an asylum full of victims of color-blindness. I even look askance at the new Red Sox caps with the huge pair of socks on the front of the cap, and the tiny "B" logo on the back of the cap. If they don't wear it between the lines, it's just not right.

Those examples are mere annoyances, though. The cap I saw in the gym the other night set me off big time. At first glance, the dude working the ab crunch machine was wearing a Cardinals cap. Bad enough. Upon further review, though, the cap also had a big white "HU" to the left of the logo, and a big white "ER" to the right. WTF?

After a few minutes of staring at the cap, and silently gauging whether dude was too far ahead of me in the bodybuilding category to approach with a smart-ass comment (he was), I figured it out: HU (STL) ER. See what they did there? Heh-heh. He's a Cardinals fan AND he's a hustler.

That got my fertile imagination going, which can be a dangerous thing. Those three letters can get sandwiched into the middle of a lot of phrases. Like:

Mo (STL) osses by a World Series winner ever

Be (STL) uck ever in the post-season

Fir (STL) oss in '07 will be April 1st

Why stop there, though? How about these:

Royals: LAC (KC) ASH

D-Rays: CAN' (TB) EAT ANYONE

Dodgers: DOUBLE P (LA) Y AT THE PLATE

Padres: PIAZZA HA (SD) EPARTED

Giants: SWEENEY WA (SF) RAMED

Yankees: ALWAYS WHINE (YN) EVER HUMBLE

Mets: CHAMPIO (NY) EAR 2007

I've got more, but I think you all have suffered enough. A baseball fan's early February afternoon is a terrible thing to waste, and I fear I've done just that.

Seriously, though, can we agree that these pastel lids have got to be banned? I call Met law.

About Dennis McCarthy: I was born in the Bronx in 1960, but moved to Long Island four years later. I became a Mets fan in '69, thanks to my Aunt Ellen, who still lived in the Bronx.   Read More -->

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Comments (7)

No one is backing those pink hats.

No one.

It's some straight guy's idea of what girls want to wear.

that said, i love my traditional-colors-mets-cap-with-rhinestones...


MLB doesn't make those hats. New Era makes them. And sadly they make alot of money off of it.
MLB has nothing to do with the designing of those "fashion" hats.

Benny - I stand corrected. I thought team logos were licensed to teams by MLB, and the use of those logos (in any shade) was forbidden without the express written permission...well, you know the rest.

In fact, I own a nice T-shirt that's orange and blue with four numbers on the front and a website on the back, and no Mets logo anywhere to be seen. Yet it's a Mets shirt. Maybe the two guys who made those shirts should've put the logo on the shirts in powder blue, and said New Era told them it was okay.

And wasn't New Era the company that had Jose Reyes and several other players standing around in the cold in Greenwich Village the other day filming some TV commercials? If any of them catch pneumonia from that shoot, I hope New Era gets hit with a big fat lawsuit.

ND

well yeah the mlb teams give them permission to use thier logos but new era are the ones that do the actual designing.

there was a shot of Reyes in a red Mets hat at the charity fantasy camp the other day....It made me feel uncomfortable.

m00kie - Seeing any Met, present or past, in red is...well, it's just not right. It didn't look right to see Seaver in a Reds uni, or Dykstra in Phillies red, or Preston Wilson in Cardinal red.

But Jose? HO-ZAY!!! Que pasa, mi amigo?

Here, Here Dennis!

I live in Texas so I usually have to order my Mets stuff from MLB.com but walking around the Mall I usually wander into the sports stores.

(usually, the fastest way to get rid of a salesman if he ask if he can help you is pose the question, "got any Mets stuff?" and the usual response is a weak retort of "we have Yankee stuff" as they scurry away)

This year though, more Mets stuff has come to Texas. Not only the Black hats and Blue hats that our beloved team wears on the field but the mutant hats of which you speak. Some sales guy tried to convince me to buy a Mets hat in (no lie) Dark Blue and gray. I just stared at him like he was an idiot and finally asked him, "Why would I want a Mets hat in Yankee colors?"

I'm with you brother. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't mind seeing the black removed from our headwear and dismissed as a throwback to an era fad much like the teams that have worn shorts early on in baseball or The Colorado Rockies-the entire team.

Keep up the good work brother! I can't wait for opening day!

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